August 31, 2002

I hear you

Which do I love more--gadgets or learning new things? It's a tough call.

Two recent purchases fill both needs. I plan to learn (and teach) with sound as well as sight. This gave me an excuse to buy a portable speaker and a set of 900 mHz wireless headphones.

The more interesting device is the Soundbug speaker. About four inches across, the Soundbug is a miniature battery-powered amp attached to a suction cup. Stick it to a window or table -- any hard surface -- and that resonates as your speaker. I'm trying out different surfaces now and will report back with my findings.

The Advent AW770 headphones will free me to listen to lectures or tunes while wandering around my house or yard. Time will tell if I really get into this.

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Usability - HERE!

My blogs in the past (for example, Research on Time), followed the casual format characteristic of Internet Time. Large font, lots of white space, colorful.

This new blog is a standard template with only minor modifications.
This blog also consolidates what were five blogs on specific topics into one. (You can look at only entries from one topic if that's your pleasure.)

The ideal is probably some middle ground. Please comment. What features or formats would make the Internet Time Blog better for you? What should I change and what should I keep?


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August 30, 2002

Community/collab resources

...stumbled across the Alliance for Community Technology (University of Michigan), which provides this handy knowledgebase on collaboration tools, discussion boards, virtual campus software &c.

Also, Ray Schroeder maintains an awesome list of online campus programs and consortia. It still boggles my mind to find lengthy lists of resources without a single reference to a paper by a profit-making entity. Don't want to get involved with filthy lucre.

Today has been a fun day.

  • I've pushed my research a little: Soft ROI, i.e. the valuation and reporting on human capital is grabbing a larger portion of my attention.
  • I created a demo of Impatica. Impatica appears to be a nifty, quick & dirty authoring tool. I'm holding back announcing it on the home page until I can figure out why the sound waffles here and there. If you want to give it a shot, order a free trial version here.

  • I finished putting together a customer survey asking where I should take Internet Time's website from here. I want to get away from static content and focus more on change. Fewer white papers, more blogging and discussion.
  • I was happy to receive my few couple of comments from this Blog. It's tempting to say something outrageous just to troll for more comments.
  • Disucssions throughout the day on emotional intel, learning objects, community building, the power of graphic images, knowledge blogs, and more.

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August 29, 2002


Darwin magazine says that "blogs are threatening to take over the world! There are a reported 500,000 blogs out there now, and more are on the way! Tell your friends! We will be zapped into the blogosphere—it’s inevitable!"

About time. I started blogging in April 2000.

Darwin continues that, "Some people saw this coming, of course—the nut-jobs that no one listens to." Fortune magazine? Newsweek? The Wall Street Journal?

I've got to write another article on blogging because there's so much material piling up out there. This is part of the future of KM.

Jon Udell says, "I don't know exactly when it happened, but at some point I became an extreme anti-extremist. Or maybe the way to say it is that I became hyper-empathic: I couldn't avoid seeing issues from every point of view." Me, too, Jon.

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August 28, 2002

Ray Ozzie

If you've read my stuff during the past couple of years, you know I'm a big fan of blogs. But Ray Ozzie, smart cookie that he is, has blown past fandom into the realm of mania. Today he blogs:

    PUBLISHING IS DEAD. Gone, a relic of the past, dead as a doornail, breathless, buried. According to police reports, one-way publishing was killed off by a technology - Weblogs - that has reshaped journalism forever.

Uh-huh. What is Ray smoking?

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Why customer eLearning?

A list of benefits from Powered

  1. Increase Conversion & Revenue - Powered drives transactions. Our customers average direct, online conversion rates of 25% through their PowerCenters. Offline purchase rates average 43%.

  2. Reduce Customer Acquisition Costs - Powered solutions are a compelling offer to use in advertising and promotion campaigns, with click-through rates on demand generation emails as high as 33%.

  3. Increase Customer Retention - PowerCenters give companies a reason to stay in contact with their customers and customers a reason to come back. Our performance statistics show that 47% of customers who engage with a PowerCenter return to use it again.

  4. Reduce Inconsistency in the Channel– Powered provides the capability to deliver consistent messaging, branding and positioning across your company and your channel partners. In addition, the Powered solution serves to increase demand and drive more volume, strengthening the vendor-channel relationship.

  5. Increase Customer Satisfaction - Customers spend smarter, making an informed purchase decision they can feel good about. Surveys show that 62% of customers said they made “more purchases than before” after engaging with a PowerCenter and 43% stated the company offering the PowerCenter had become their “preferred purchase destination.”

  6. Reduce Risk – Understanding and anticipating a customer’s interests gives insights into where markets are headed. With PowerCenters, your efforts to enter new markets are based on clear insights, drastically reducing the risks of entering and competing in those markets.

  7. Increase Purchase Size - Topical knowledge is a means to cross-sell or up-sell additional services, accessories and solutions. One of our customers recognizes a 138% increase in purchase size through its PowerCenter.

  8. Reduce Support Inefficiency – All companies look at support as a required cost of doing business. But what if you could turn support into a profit center? PowerCenters help your customers to get the most out of their purchases and create a touch point for driving new cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

Not that Powered is alone in claiming these. Any customer eLearning can deliver many of these goods.

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Experiencing MovableType

Changing from Blogger to MovableType is a little like trading up from a Honda to a Lexus. The new gadgets are fun to play with but confusing at first. You need to learn new routines.

  1. First of all, it's great to have one place where I can write about any topic. MovableType lets me assign a "Category" to my posts.

  2. Moveable Type lets me save entries in Draft form. With Blogger Pro, I could Post but not Publish; that always felt like a bit of a kludge.

  3. It's easy to break an item into pieces so the reader sees the beginning of a post and is directed to another page for a continuation.

  4. After saving an entry, the default is to leave it on the editing screen until pressing "New Entry." This encourages a blogger to save as you go. (I've lost long entries in Blogger when something crashed before I'd saved an entry.)

  5. When I make a new entry, notice of the change automatically appears on

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Imports into this blog

I've just imported most of my half dozen public blogs into this one MovableType blog. Unfortunately, some of the older entries didn't make it. I've retained the Blogger originals and will need to link back to them. Also, apparently some graphics got into my archives folder and were wiped out; these may be in the \images folder, too.

I'll be a few days messing with the formats to make this look right.

One of the reaons for this change is to enable you to comment. Just do it. Thanks.

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August 27, 2002

First MovableType entry

This is entry #1 for a new blog. It will consolidate entries from my Blogger blogs on learning, time, visualization, books, and just jay.

A reader will be able to read everything within a Category or everything from all Categories. Readers will also be able to enter comments.

Less useful immediately, but perhaps the most important items long term, Moveable Type is a content management system. Its content can be syndicated.

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Everyone along the value chain

Everyone along the value chain benefits from learning more effectively, but customer learning is going to receive more than its fair share of the attention. Why? Because knowledgeable customers buy more, are less likely to defect to the competition, and pass the word along to other potential customers. Also, because while executives may choose not to invest much in developing their own employees, everyone agrees on the wisdom of building stronger relationships with customers.

Mercer Management points out that while sellers have so saturated the consumer market with goods that it's differentiate-or-die time, "in most industries there is abundant next-generation demand, because a wide range of higher-order customer needs are going unmet. These needs involve the broader economic issues surrounding the product rather than the strictly functional needs met by the product alone."

Mercer is talking about stuff like life cycle cost management, capital cost reduction, process streamlining/integration, reduced value chain friction, and risk minimization.

These are learning deficiencies. Another reason customer learning is going to be so important.

(Internet Time Group is digging into the topic right now.)

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August 26, 2002

Scientific American's current issue is

Scientific American's current issue is about TIME.

"Punctuality comes from within, not from without," writes Harvard University historian David S. Landes in his book Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World. "It is the mechanical clock that made possible, for better or worse, a civilization attentive to the passage of time, hence to productivity and performance."

A team from France and the Netherlands set a new speed record for subdividing the second, reporting last year that a laser strobe light had emitted pulses lasting 250 attoseconds--that's 250 billionths of a billionth of a second. The strobe may one day be fashioned into a camera that can track the movements of individual electrons. The modern era has also registered gains in assessing big intervals. Radiometric dating methods, measuring rods of "deep time," indicate how old the earth really is.

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Business, the Ultimate Resource This

Business, the Ultimate Resource

This one may take me a while to read. It's two thousand pages of concentrated articles and checklists and factoids that make up what Daniel Goleman, in the introduction, calls "business intelligence."

I'm becoming a fan of these Cliff's Notes business books. I've read Consulting Demons and The Witch Doctors, each of which boils down and denigrates management consulting jargon and fads. The Guru Guide heaps praise on many of the same people. I'll write a review of the utility of this new one after digging into it.

I could use some exercise, and

A New Kind of Science

by Stephen Wolfram is even heavier. A couple of thousand pages rewriting science around algorithms instead of formulas.

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I'm developing a resource section

I'm developing a resource section on visualization. My opening is:

envision. 1. To know in advance: anticipate, divine, foreknow, foresee, see. See FORESIGHT, SEE. 2. To form mental images of: conceive, envisage, fancy, fantasize, image, imagine, picture, see, think, vision, visualize.

Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. 1995

envisioning. 1. Seeing from a fresh perspective. 2. Looking at relationships and non-linear sequences. 3. Imagining and prototyping new ideas. 4. Focusing and documenting the flow of group discussion. 5. Shortening the time it takes learners to say, "Now I see." 6. What visionaries do.

Internet Time Group, 2002

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August 21, 2002

Monday's meeting of the eLearning

Monday's meeting of the eLearning Forum at the SRI campus in Menlo Park highlighted some of the massive changes eLearning vendors will face as ERP vendors enter the market. Already, LMS purchases are being put on hold while prospects wait for PeopleSoft to release an eLearning package before year-end.

If you think of an enterprise as a value chain, it seems foolish to relegate eLearning to a silo. After all, the promise of standards from Web Services, the Semantic Web, XML, and SCORM is interoperability that lets you glue the former islands of the enterprise into one integrated unit:

ERP and eLearning are going to become joined at the hip. The Fortune 1000 want to deal with vendors that have staying power. Consider this:

        (These are the annual revenues of SAP, PeopleSoft, and Siebel. The SmartForce revenue includes SkillSoft. The "eLearning Universe" includes DigitalThink, Franklin Covey, GP Strategies, Learning Tree, New Horizons, Prosoft, Provant, RWD, SmartForce, Centra, Click2Learn, Docent, eCollege, iManage, Eloquent, Raindance, Saba, Secure, SCT, Stellent, Vcampus, and WebEx. In other words, all the pubic eLearning companies combined have less than half the revenue of SAP. Some of the big names in eLearning are mere fleas compared to the major multinationals.)

Why is convergence inevitable? Integration. Economies of scale. One-stop shopping. Vendor viability. Existing relationships. Contracts in place. FUD. Lust for control. Those who don't see the handwriting on the wall are suffering from corporate dyslexia.

On Monday I used a nifty piece of software called Impatica to compress the discussions into steaming audio sync'd to PowerPoint presentations. Sam Adkins' opening presentation was particularly meaty. Take a look. Drop me a note if you'd like information on impatica.

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August 20, 2002

from Lockergnome this morning: Zone-Tour

from Lockergnome this morning:


    Photography is another love of mine (surpassed only by my love of computers). Maybe it isn't photography itself that catches my interest, but maybe it is more the possibility of stepping outside of the norm and seeing things that most other people don't see. This web site,, is the essence of what I am talking about. Its developers call it an urban exploration to show you a world otherwise hidden and out of mind. Most people don't think of the world that exists beneath their feet or on the roof of their building... but these people do! They spend their time taking pictures and videos of these out-of-the-way of places to show the rest of us who have never thought about them. Check out the pictures of an old German bunker in France, or look through the pictures of the Stanton Sub Station in New York. All the photos on this web site are beautifully taken and you can even do a search on the web site by country to see if there are any "hidden worlds" near you.
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August 18, 2002

This blog is moving here.

This blog is moving here. Now you'll be able to make comments. In time, it will be easier to find things.

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August 17, 2002

Learning Object Symposium, September 5-6,

Learning Object Symposium, September 5-6, 2002

Learnativity, Wayne Hodgins and Marcia Conner
...the mother lode of learning object information

Everything You Always Wanted to Know..., LiNEzine

Internet Time Group's page on standards

Field Guide to Learning Objects, ASTD and SmartForce
...thinking of objects broadly, as big chunks

The Emerging Standards Effort in E-Learning, Ed Cohen, e-Learning magazine
Perhaps SCORM is too rigid?

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Doc posts a nice blow-up

Doc posts a nice blow-up of the different rates of change from the Long Now Foundation:

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August 07, 2002

Here's a tidy, pithy, interesting

Here's a tidy, pithy, interesting new eLearning site from Europe. The author rates the resources he lists -- great! The site covers the basics quite well.

Webmaster Marcel de Leeuwe (he's Dutch) has the right take on the issues. Navigation is simple. I like the crisp, no-BS approach.

As I'm gearing up to make the eLearning Jump Page more a specialty site reflecting my current interests, I'm glad folks like Marcel are making resources like this available.

Here are seven papers from Transforming Culture: An Executive Briefing on the Power of Learning, conducted at the Darden School of the University of Virginia in late July. Creating a Learning Culture, by Marcia Conner and Jim Clawson, is simply outstanding. Joel Getzendanner's contribution has me wondering how to teach my feet to become better learners. Truth be told, all these papers are good.

Don't miss Clark Quinn's and my screed on the value of learning to learn. Some days I feel like screaming, "Think long term! Think long term! Think long term!" Of course, everyone's so wrapped up in the present that they'll have none of it.

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August 05, 2002

Stephen Downes points to

Stephen Downes points to an article by Ruth Clark on four learning architecture, commenting,

Work by Ruth Colvin Clark, referred to in the links below, is becoming a standard division of types of architectures of instruction. In a nutshell, Clark four major types of architecture:

  • Receptive - instruction is provided in a fixed linear path from beginning to end, as in a video or television show
  • Directive - a path is suggested through a learning hierarchy, but the learner can flip back and forth, as in a book
  • Guided Discovery - learners are encouraged to explore a learning environment, as in a simulation, case study or scenario
  • Exploratory - learners may freely search or jump from place to place, as on the world wide web, an information database or a library.

Shifting from one computer to another, I realized that I don't have Stephen's excellent daily news on the eLearning Jump Page -- I am signed up for the daily deliverable, so I didn't notice the missing link.

Here's a page of links to all of Stephen's articles.

"Learning how to learn is life's most important skill."
-- Tony Buzan

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
--Pablo Picasso

"It is best to learn as we go, not go as we have learned."
--Leslie Jeanne Sahler

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August 04, 2002

In Sydney I visited an

In Sydney I visited an amazing bookstore, Books Kinokunita. Racks and racks and racks of books, and then you find there's an entire other wing filled with Japanese books and Chinese books. Deep section on design and graphics. Absolutely fantastic and if you're a booklover, not to be missed.

Doc Searles pointed me to Adina Levin's Bookblog. One way to squeeze more out of a book: read what other people are saying about it.

Another notch on the gun: On Dialogue, an essay in free thought by Robert Grudin. His premise: dialogue, even in one's own mind, is consciousness-raising and liberating, and hence that dialogue is an essential component of liberty.

"Pathways, designed for swift access from point to point, ignore the untrodden areas between and beyond them. Systems of any sort tend to grow self-protective, unfreindly to the new. Vast systems that seem just and effective can turn out to be huge conspiracies of collective ignorance, or cynical artifices of power."

"...the mind cannot be liberated from constraint until it is freed from its own inner tyrannies."

"When we see and move linearly, we are actually in the midst of another life, multidimensional and oceanically rich. Sometimes this other life makes itself visible to us, in a natural event or family tragedy or rite of passage or sudden flow of emotion. But monstly it remains hidden, obscured by the rush of our daily affairs, our lack of practice in focusing on it, our shyness in confronting its vastness. Yet this obscurity does not annul its power. Indeed, the multiple dimensions of our lives often exert a power over us that is directly propoortional to our ignorance of them."

"The dialogic mind is cosmopolitan in terms of ideas. It accepts the premise that a given idea or experience can be viewed from a variety of perspectives and that while some of those various perspectives may be mutually complementary, others may disagree with each other. The dialogic mind derives it sophistication, its play of irony and excitement, from acceptiong this variety and stress."

"Writing is a dialogic process.... Doing interludes in writing challenges and expands my own awareness, suggesting new connections and directing me into areas that I otherwise might ignore. For similar reaosns, I have allowed some chapters to dissipate into disconnected paragraphs rather than end the way chapters normally do. They may be sloppy, and it's definitely not the way wwe are taught to write by professors and editors. Essays and chapters, they tell us, should be coherent and inclusive; they should follow through.

Some subjects, however, do not always admit of inclusive and coherent treatments. They are what you might call shaggy subjects: topics so ful of contradictions and ramifications that it would be barbaric and unfair to package them in essayistic treatments. Free thought and dialogue are among such subjects." will find a book and then look for the best price for it.

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August 02, 2002

Highlights from Syllabus Magazine Changing

Highlights from Syllabus Magazine
Changing the Interface of Education with Revolutionary Learning Technologies
by Nishikant Sonwalkar

MIT's Nishikant Sonwalker points out that instructional design lags available technology. We're multisensory beings, so why don't we take advantage of multisensory media?

Multimedia Enhancements

Recent developments in digital imaging, streaming audio and video, and interactive human-machine interfaces provide a wealth of opportunities to enhance the learning experience. More important than the technologies, however, is the context in which the multimedia enhancements are presented to learners. The design and development of combined media components—text, graphics, audio, video, animation, and simulations—for enhancing the learning process will depend on the learning model appropriate for the delivery of given course content. A list of a few potential multimedia enhancements might include

  • Audio annotations to graphics
  • Graphical visualization
  • Audio annotations to video demonstrations
  • Video demonstration of graphical elements
  • Animated graphical frames (animated gifs)
  • Audio annotations for animated graphics
  • Animation of physical concepts
  • Text annotations to video frames
  • Animated simulations
  • Numerical simulations for parametric studies
  • Graphical simulation of mathematical equations

Right on! This is precisely the point that the Meta-Learning Lab has been harping on.

Check Nish's article for a handy chart of The Five Fundamental Learning Styles for Online Asynchronous Instruction.

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Great piece on Using Blogs

Great piece on Using Blogs in Business, a chapter from We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs

I've long been a proponent of blogging for knowledge management. This interview with John Robb highlights the benefits. (Robb uses the term "K-Logs" because, as president of vendor Userland, he wants to brand what I view as a generic concerpt.)

Where are the benefits of using K-Logs in the enterprise? Where does the potential lie?

Lots of benefits emerge. Here are a few:

* Better documentation of process-shorter audit cycles.

* An archive of contributions-when an employee leaves, an archive of their contributions still remains.

* Shorter training time-a team could easily ramp up a new team member or new employee by saying, "read our K-Logs, all the documents, thinking, important e-mails, discussions, and process are there."

* Better responsiveness to customer inquiries-help desks can easily find answers to customer questions by searching an intranet K-Log network.

* Easier management of decentralized employees-K-Logs make it easy to find out what a specific employee in a remote office is doing right now.

* Shorter decision cycles-need an answer to a problem, find an expert that can answer it for you. How? Search for people that write about the keywords you are interested in, read what they have written to qualify their expertise, and contact them directly.


Peggy Noonan

In The Wall Street Journal, an editorial about, "all that's right with our great country", includes: "Blogging. The 24-7 opinion sites that offer free speech at its straightest, truest, wildest, most uncensored, most thoughtful, most strange. Thousands of independent information entrepreneurs are informing, arguing, adding information. Imagine if we'd had them in 1776: 'As I wrote in yesterday's lead item on, my well meaning cousin John continues his grammatical nitpicking with Jefferson (link requires registration) "Inalienable," "unalienable," whatever. Boys, let's fight. Start the war.' Blogs may one hard day become clearinghouses for civil support and information when other lines, under new pressure, break down."

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August 01, 2002

ASTD has posted Lance Dublin's

ASTD has posted Lance Dublin's and my presentation on Marketing eLearning Internally from the ASTD International Conference in New Orleans.

You can also order an audiotape of the presentation for $13.

While I always like to spread my ideas around, I can't encourage you to take up either of these offers. I never get much out of audiotapes or PowerPoint slides without narration. For years I bought tapes of presentations I couldn't attend in person. Hundreds of them. I would dutifully listen to them while commuting. Guess what? I retained very little. I learn best if I'm looking at things as well as hearing them and if I am taking notes and reflecting on them during the talk. Maybe I'm just thick, but I really need to hammer something into my neural net if it's going to stick.

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