Blogging – Internet Time Blog Thu, 05 Nov 2015 01:35:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Map of personal travels and other Google hacks Sun, 23 Aug 2015 16:43:22 +0000 Isn’t it great that Google’s API enables you to do stuff like this?

I’ve visited 46 countries. (20.4%)
Create your own visited map of The World

I’ve visited 48 of the 50 states. (96%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Google hacks site.

Google talk
Google Hack
Douwe Osinga


Ten years after Wed, 29 Apr 2015 07:41:33 +0000 Continue reading Ten years after ]]> atdplusThose who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, so I’ll reflect on the old days a dozen years ago when we were sorting out the ground rules for eLearning.

In 2002, ASTD and I introduced a blog, Learning Circuits Blog, about eLearning and networking. I was an early and frequent contributor. For a simple blog, we went far. At ATD, Ryann Ellis was the under-appreciated editor who held it together for years. <Kudos!> Learning Circuits was ASTD’s first foray into modern learning.

It’s amazing to look back. In 2000, ASTD executives assured me you couldn’t charge for online instruction. Live conferencing and lecture, maybe, but not for mere content delivery or interactive learning. People were still debating whether online learning “worked.” Many were skeptics. Two years later we launched the Learning Circuits Blog. We were web and network enthusiasts; that’s how we got here.

Ryann wrote: This isn’t the first time ASTD has revamped the LC Blog into a more serviceable offering. Excited about the new communication tool, we actually started our first blog somewhat ambitiously in 2002 as an experiment lead by informal learning guru Jay Cross and Learning Circuits editor Ryann Ellis. After a few years of misfires and restarts, Jay helped us relaunch the blog as we now know it on January 5, 2005, with a post laying down ground rules for a group-generated blog. In short, the rules were, no self-promotional posts, no personal attacks, and keep it brief—all good advice to heed today, no matter the platform.

Indeed, over the years, the blog has seen several incarnations and a parade of learning technology thought leaders contributing content, including Clark Aldrich, Karl Kapp, Donald Clark, Dave Lee, Clark Quinn, Clive Shepherd, Harold Jarche, and most notably Tony Karrer, who was at the helm for nearly four years. We thank them and everyone else who shared their ideas, expertise, and dedication to the field. [And have no fear: For those looking for an older post, the LC Blog will remain live with all its content intact.]

For a few years, the Learning Circuits Blog was our learning community’s early substitute for Twitter. The vocal folks built their online reputations there. Tony Karrer and Dave Gray figured heavily in making the LC Blog go. Forgive my feeble memory for blanking on the other contributors.

ASTD revamped its IT system several years ago, breaking thousands of links irrevocably, sending lots of my content down the rathole. Bad move. Links were severed. Thank goodness Goggle has a different mindset: keep everything. Since we set up the Learning Circuits blog on Blogger, it’s there to this day.

Here’s the last (2008) Learning Circuits Blog. Or 2006.

Stroll back in time. Not much new, is there? You could use some of this stuff in Sunday’s sermon and no one would recognize they’d heard it before.

lc blog



The year’s top posts on Working Smarter Thu, 19 Dec 2013 17:21:50 +0000 Continue reading The year’s top posts on Working Smarter ]]>
2013 is over for everything but the holidays so I’m posting this list of the top 50 blog posts on Working Smarter this year. Here’s how they were selected.
Working smarter draws upon ideas from design thinking, network optimization, brain science, user experience design, learning theory, organizational development, social business, technology, collaboration, web 2.0 patterns, social psychology, value network analysis, anthropology, complexity theory, and more.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

Here it is: The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013

‘The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013 list was compiled from the votes of over 500 learning professionals from 48 countries. Here are some of the highlights from this year’s list. For a fuller analyis, visit Analysis 2013 Twitter retains its no 1 position for [.].

MARCH 10, 2013

Group work advice for MOOC providers

The most valuable aspect of MOOCs is that the large number of learners enables the formation of sub-networks based on interested, geography, language, or some other attribute that draws individuals together. With 20 students in a class, limited options exist for forming sub-networks. When you have 5,000 students, new configurations are possible.

APRIL 11, 2013

Exploratorium: Mapping the Experience of Experiments

‘We’re huge fans of our soon to be San Francisco waterfront neighbors, the Exploratorium. They don’t have docents, they have Explainers.

JANUARY 27, 2013

PKM in 2013

“The basic unit of social business technology is personal knowledge management, not collaborative workspaces.” ” Knowledge.
744 Tweets 191 Tweets 103 Tweets 114 Tweets
Google+ Learning Community Sat, 23 Nov 2013 02:45:58 +0000 Join us in the Learning in Organizations Community on Google+. We have 977 members and an occasional worthy idea. Sign up today (we’ll take anybody with minimal keyboard skills) and you might be member #1000.




These crack me up: Sayitwithotters Fri, 08 Nov 2013 05:42:11 +0000 sayit



The Churchill Club Wed, 27 Mar 2013 05:58:47 +0000 Continue reading The Churchill Club ]]> The Churchill Club is the real deal. Movers and shakers and enterpreneurs. A nexus. I’m always blown away.

cclubSome of my notes from tonight’s session, mainly Alan Kay’s observations.

“The revolution is old but it feels like it’s just taking off.”

Kay and a bunch of his pals back in ARPA and PARC days remembered Licklider, who wanted ARPA to develop and intellectual amplifier. In those cold war days, money was not a problem. The influential were out to change the world, not to amass fortunes. Licklider called for developing an intergalactic network. Missing the mark created the internet.

Unfortunately, business people are rewarded for making money, not for improving the world. Imagine how business would look at marketing bicycles if starting from scratch. These things have one hell of a steep learning curve. And they are dangerous. Kids are going to ride them in traffic. Our lawyers will be in fits. Forget it.


Appropriately, Kay shared a Churchill anecdote with a great message: The future is cooperation, not competition.

The hostess at the manor party tells Sir Winston she’s just seen a senior peer pocket a solid silver salt cellar. Should she confront him?

Winston walked over to the earl, pocketing a salt shaker along the way. As he pulled the shaker from his pocket, he told the earl, “it looks like we’ve been discovered. Better put them back.”


Kay set a hurdle for software. It should be like the human body, which replaces every molecule in the course of seven years; it doesn’t have to die for maintenance and then reboot. Software should accommodate improvement without shutting down.

The typical Silicon Valley has a little angel on her shoulder, saying “Change the world.” On the other should sits a little devil saying “Get rich quick.”

Why is the movie industry in Hollywood? It’s not just the light. It was as far as they could get away from New York. Similarly, Xerox put PARC in Palo Alto, far from the executive offices in Stamford, CT.

Kay hasn’t seen much true innovation beyond mere scaling.

Business people seem to feel as if God had given them this verdant valley, and they figure it’s their right to strip it bare.

MOOCs? The amazing thing is their popularity. The underbelly is Backlash.

Maxwell (or maybe it was Faraday) gave Disraeli a demo of two small motors. “What are they good for?” The reply: “What are human babies good for?”

Most managers are more concerned about maintaining control than with doing the job well.



Six topics for the price of one Sun, 03 Feb 2013 22:43:14 +0000 Continue reading Six topics for the price of one ]]>

I’m spending the first quarter of the year learning experientially by walking around and trying new things.

This blog is turning conversational. It’s me to you. Informal. Personal. I’m returning to the impromptu, stream-of-consciousness style I used when I began blogging a dozen years ago.

I’ll be narrating my work, describing my discoveries before I mesh them into white papers and polished posts. When I’ll post things ready for prime time to, my official blog. Here at, you’ll find thought fragments, tips, speculation, and experiments.

If you want to view lots of Jay and ideas in the making, subscribe to

If you prefer just the industry-changing posts, finished white papers, and a more conservative tone, subscribe to

You may also want to check out my curated topics, too.

Hacked? Last year hackers infected four of my sites with malware. I was at a loss until a friend turned me on to They cleaned up the mess and now monitor my sites for badness.

HTML5 plays natively on laptop, pad, and phone.

HTML5, why should I care? When I first grappled with the web, I loved learning and writing HTML. View source enabled me to figure out how people created various effects. I learned by tweaking: do it, try it, fix it. Immediately seeing the result was tremendously motivating.

As HTML advanced, many original conventions were no longer supported. I began getting lost when CSS replaced declarations like <font size=”small” color=”red” />. HTML5 joined my list of things to learn on Walkabout.

Why switch?

  • HTML5 automatically resizes for PCs, tablets, and smart phones.
  • Flash is on the way out. HTML5 plays all manner of videos natively.
  • HTML5 uses vector graphics, which don’t pixelate degraded when you blow them up.
  • HTML5 creates pages that are better, faster, cheaper, simpler to develop, and secure.

And more.

Can anyone suggest some good tutorials? I’m starting with HTML5 Rocks.

iCloud ate my most important file.

I store a file named 2013 Jay’s Stories in Apple’s iCloud so I can easily access it from any of my computers. (I have Macs on each of the three floors of my house.)

The file contains my journal, reminders, ideas for stories, to-do list, and plans in Pages. These forty pages are at the center of my life.

I can no longer open the Stories file; it reports that I’m missing index.html. I cannot download the file. I can’t pull a copy from my back-up because Time Machine hasn’t been backing up iCloud. I am hosed.

This makes me suspicious of the whole iCloud deal. Dare I leave other files out there? Do I have to do manual backups? I’ll talk with Apple about this but I am going back to Dropbox.

Pokey Plug-ins

Brian Dusablon turned me on to a WordPress plug-in that scans your site and calls out slow plug-ins. Called P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler), it’s free and it works.


Quiet, the power of introverts

Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Today, People, GoodReads, Fast Company, the Guardian, Kirkus Review, the Christian Science Monitor, Inc., Inside Higher Ed, and Princeton Alumni Weekly rate Quiet a top nonfiction book of 2012. I wouldn’t. It’s a good book, but not a compelling book.

U.S. society in general and the business world in particular celebrate the outgoing Extrovert Ideal. Around 1900, America shifted from a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality. The Culture of Character emphasized attributes anyone could work on improving: citizenship, duty, work, golden deeds, honor, reputation, morals, manners, and integrity. The Culture of Personality embodies qualities that are harder to acquire: magnetic, fascinating, stunning attractive glowing dominant, forceful and energetic. We became obsessed with movie stars. We all became performers.

We left the farms and citizens became employees. Introverts like J. Alfred Prufrock were forced to “prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.” Dale Carnegie became a best seller. Outgoing people were winners; shy folks were losers.

Harvard B-School
Class at Harvard B-School

Cain goes to my alma mater to check the temperament of future captains of industry. A student wished her luck, thinking that “finding an introvert at Harvard Business School no doubt believing that there were none to be found.”

“The essence of the HBS education is that leaders have to act confidently and make decisions in the face of incomplete information. The HBS teaching method implicitly comes down on the side of certainty. The CEO may not know the best way forward, but she has to act anyway. The HBS students, in turn, are expected to opine. Half of the students’ grade, and a much larger percentage of their social status, is based on whether they throw themselves into this fray. If a student talks often and forcefully, then he’s a player; if he doesn’t he’s on the margins.”

Cain is absolutely correct. I should know. When I attended HBS, my Myers-Briggs score put me two standard deviations away from the norm toward introversion. I never volunteered to speak. I rarely said anything. My years at B-School were among the worst in my life.

Nonetheless, I made it through. I wish I’d been able to read Quiet back then. Reading about the benefits of introversion would have made the situation more tolerable. It turns out that introverts are often more creative, more insightful, and more reflective than their outgoing peers. Teams and group action are not the answer for everything. Introverts and extroverts working together are more productive than either group working in isolation.

Twenty years after school, my personality flipped. Myers-Briggs now pegged me as an extreme extrovert. I became more outgoing, starting speaking up, and became fearless about meeting people. My conversion coincided with lifting the cloud of depression. The Black Dog had turned me negative about interactions with others. Choking off the depression made me an optimist. Curiously, Cain doesn’t mention depression in the book.

Quiet is a worthwhile read if you’re not familiar with this subject or if you’re a suffering introvert. You’ll learn that introverts can be mighty contributors and to “fake it until you make it.”




10 most popular posts of 2012 Thu, 27 Dec 2012 20:06:26 +0000 Continue reading 10 most popular posts of 2012 ]]> header

Google Analytics tells me these are 2012’s greatest hits on


pinkDan Pink’s new book

Dan Pink has written another best seller. (The book won’t be released until December 31 but is already in its third printing.) The U.S. Government reports that one worker in eight is a sales person. Dan disagrees. He thinks we’re all sales people, even though a lot of us are engaged in “non-sales selling.” Instructors, lawyers, doctors, bankers, and you and I spend a lot of time persuading, influencing, and convincing others to do something even though it doesn’t ring the cash register.


Learning by Doing


Sitting Kills

eamesThe science is still evolving, but we believe that sitting is harmful in itself,” says Dr. Toni Yancey, a professor of health services at the University of California, Los Angeles.



The Coherent Organization

Organizations and their people are members of many different types of networks, for example, communities of practice, the company social network, and close-knit collaborative work teams. You need to optimize participation in all of them.


A Puzzler

What do the following people have in common?

(They did not graduate from college.)


Formula for Happiness

Here’s the overall prescription.

  • Relationships. Nurture your connections. Be compassionate. Express your gratitude. Love others.
  • Flow. Enjoy peak performance by doing what you enjoy. Seek appropriate challenges. Apply your signature strengths. JFDI.
  • Mindful. Pay attention. Count your blessings. Savor the good stuff. Be open. Express your joy in life. Favor positive emotions over negative.
  • Calling. Embrace a noble cause, something bigger than yourself. Take note of your progress. Don’t let the bastards get you down.


Giving My Computers a Break

Could my outbursts against the computer be stressing me out? Nobel prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has demonstrated that the slightest emotional transaction can color one’s mood for hours. And I was swearing at my computer whenever I hit a glitch, which translates into one rant every fifteen or twenty minutes throughout the day.

Would it make me happier if I stopped griping about the machine? I decided to find out. (It’s working.)


Nothing Personal

What does the phrase Don’t take this personally bring to mind?

Being fired?

Not being selected for the new project team?

Being assigned a task you don’t want to do?

Who’s kidding whom? These things are very personal.


Why Corporate Training is Broken And How to Fix It

The world of business is undergoing a profound shift. Workers are making more of their own decisions. They don’t want to be told what to do. They want to learn but they don’t want to be trained. Learning is shifting from top-down to bottom-up and sideways. Collaboration is replacing command and control.

It’s not that training departments have started screwing up; it’s that the world around them has changed. Training departments push training, while workers search and ask for the information they need. Both just want to get the job done, but they’re operating in different eras. The disparity creates a power struggle that the workers are destined to win.


Flipping Corporate Learning
More important for learning outcomes, the time spent in class can be put to more productive use. Learners convene to get answers to questions, discuss examples, put what they’ve learned in context, debate, explore, and extend their knowledge. Instead of passively listening to an instructor, they actively engage the material. Instructors, freed of the need to mouth the words of lessons, focus on helping learners understand things and coaching individuals. These activities can take place online, and people can learn from one another in virtual communities and support groups.

My elements of style Wed, 05 Sep 2012 05:52:08 +0000 Continue reading My elements of style ]]> Caveat lector.

As my research shifts focus from informal learning to well-being, I’m gaining new readers.

Welcome! Let explain where my blog is coming from.

When I began studying informal learning eight years ago, I decided to exemplify what I was talking about. I gave PowerPoint a rest. I became transparent in my work. I began thinking out loud. I shared ideas that were not fully formed.

Soon after Informal Learning came out, I arrived to give a speech to sixty people just as the curtain rose. I blurted out how happy I was to be here because I was looking forward to hearing what I was going to say. That spirit continues to this day.

I’ve been blogging for more than a dozen years. My blog is where I think in public. I’m cantankerous. I like to tease. I go to extremes sometimes, trusting my readers to pull me back from the brink.

I’m getting on in life. I am claiming the oldster privilege of being feisty. I’m opinionated. If you don’t like my opinions, let’s debate. If we find our agreement is fundamental, please go away. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Life’s too short.

Lurking’s cool. I consume lots of information passively. However, I would like to hear from you once in a while. Make a comment. Take issue with me. Expand on what you find. Offer suggestions.

I write whatever’s on my mind. This blog is opinion, not news. I write from experience. Don’t expect footnotes.

What level of objectivity can you expect? I will never knowingly lie to you, but my recollections may be off. I may tell an impressionist variation of a story to capture the moment, so long as the meaning is preserved. In the story of the speech above, there might have been thirty people in the room; there may have been a hundred. I don’t remember. They didn’t have a curtain but that better conveys what was going on than my telling you I was whisked up to a veneer portable podium. Did I lie? Not in my book. The gist was right. This is not The New Yorker.

Speaking of which, I shed a tear for Jonah Lehrer. To me, the manufactured Bob Dylan quote was not that big a deal. I can’t imagine being in Jonah’s shoes: keeping up with neuroscience, being cutting edge, writing three great books, churning out articles for Wired, WSJ, and The New Yorker, appearing in the media, being showered with money, and heaven knows what else. Instant celebrity. He could have been delirious when he answered the phone and lied about the source of the Dylan quote. Give him a break. I don’t consider that such a big deal. All nonfiction is fiction anyway. That’s inherent in interpretation. I’d be surprised if I don’t tell the same sort of white lies here. I also self-plagiarize, retelling tales I’ve told before.

On this blog, timeliness trumps dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. The “b” in blog stands for beta. Expect typos.

I’m not aloof. If you’d like to interact, get in touch.

What else do you need to know?

I have a good track record at describing the future. I was promoting the web, eLearning, blogs, and informal learning before most people had heard of them.

I understand business. I’ve managed start-ups and have a string of accomplishments in marketing, product development, sales, and management. I have an MBA but I am not a business person at heart. I would prefer to be an artist than an investment banker.

I am a optimist and I have faith in the goodness of most people. I give people the benefit of the doubt. Most people are well-intentioned and live up to your expectations of them. My calling in life is to help people improve their performance on the job and satisfaction in life.

I am contrarian. I like to consider all the options, kosher or not. Convention rarely constrains my thinking.

I am playful. Beware of jokes, puns, and double entendres.

I am a generalist who innovates by force-fitting models from one discipline into another. My mind enjoys toying with such things.

I am visual. Well, we’re all visual, but in my case I go to sleep if there’s nothing but text on the page. I take snapshots. (I have 25,000+ photos on Flickr.) I rarely write a blog post without some sort of graphic.

I am edgy. I enjoy spicy food, bold wines, and stirring ideas.

I can be socially obtuse. (Insensitivity goes along with the ability to hyper-focus.) If you feel I’ve stepped on your toes, call me on it. I probably didn’t mean it.

I am re-reading The Elements of Style. I want to write sentences that grab you by the throat and shake you up. Please help become a better writer by critiquing my writing when it is not working for you.

I believe in the karma of the web. I love to share discoveries. I give to the web and the web gives back. I’m generous but I’m way ahead thus far.

Peace be with you.

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Share this, Related posts Mon, 03 Jan 2011 20:44:10 +0000 Continue reading Share this, Related posts ]]>

I’m simplifying and cleaning up my sites for the new year. I’m not quite finished weeding this online garden, but things are a lot more tidy than last week. I’m particularly happy with the way the Stocks & Flows page is turning out. My home page is less cluttered but still suffers aesthetically.

Who’s got a site worth stealing ideas from? What are your “Oh, wow” favorites?

I’m experimenting with WordPress plugins this morning. Chris Brogan recommends these:

ShareThis” was a cinch to install. In the plugins panel, search for it and install. The little tags that let readers forward posts to Facebook, Twitter, eMail, etc., automatically appear on every page now.

Yet another related post” selects and displays related posts. You can tweak the selection algorithms. I made a minor tweak to the way the list is displayed.

Since mobile is increasingly the way of the world, I’m alos going to try WPtouch.

    WPtouch: A simple, powerful and elegant mobile theme for your website. WPtouch automatically transforms your WordPress blog into an iPhone applicatio

    Description Installation Faq Screenshots Changelog Stats
    WPtouch automatically transforms your WordPress blog into an iPhone application-style theme, complete with ajax loading articles and effects, when viewed from an iPhone, iPod touch, Android, Opera Mini, Palm Pre, Samsung touch and BlackBerry Storm/Torch mobile devices.

    The admin panel allows you to customize many aspects of its appearance, and deliver a fast, user-friendly and stylish version of your site to iPhone, iPod touch, Android, Palm Pre, Samsung touch and BlackBerry Storm/Torch visitors, without modifying a single bit of code (or affecting) your regular desktop theme.

    The theme also includes the ability for visitors to switch between WPtouch view and your site’s regular theme.