Thursday, June 19, 2008

Come on in, the water's lovely...

I don't know the first thing about blogging. But I suppose an admission of ignorance is a good thing in the learning world. Nonetheless I am still worried about making a complete fool of myself or more importantly the company that I run.

So, why am I doing this?

Well, I recently went to the ASTD Conference in San Diego at which the conversations about Learning 2.0 made me feel firmly dinosaur-like (to view handouts from the conference click here). I have an innate reaction against blogging as it strikes me as egocentric and attention seeking - why would anyone actually want to read what I have to say? But I was struck by a number of people at the event who appear to use blogging as part of their cognitive thought process (I should nod to Tony Karrer who is the metaphorical midwife to my idea). Essentially think out loud and in public and deal with the reaction. Take risks and be prepared to change.

The process is recognisable to any learning professional. Try, fail, think, test, learn, apply. It is just that the boundaries or the context have changed. Other people can hear you think. If I try to think about this too hard, my head starts to hurt and I wonder how long before we start to inhabit a Philip K Dick novel.

This is SO different from the learning world I was brought up in that I thought the only way to understand this great social experiment is to take part. So I will do my best to post my thoughts about learning, organisational management and occasionally life.


Anonymous said...


Some blogging probably is egocentric and attention-seeking... but so too are some conference presentations, so too are some coworkers, so too are some consultants, so too are some clients.

A couple of unexpected benefits for me from blogging:

It's deliberate reflection. I think more often about what I'm working on, how I learn, what interests me -- and I take time to write about that.

It's content management: I can use features like built-in search, categories, archives to locate something ("Where'd I put that stuff about Carol Dweck's book?").

It's simple sharing with colleagues who aren't yet using things like ("Just go to my blog and search for 'Your Brain on Music'").

...You have to decide for yourself why you have a blog. Mine is for thinking out loud. Other people comment from time to time, and that's great. The one reader I have to satisfy is myself, though. So I don't let absence of comments, number of hits, stats trouble me much.

Finally, I'd say as with any new habit or practice: give yourself time. I myself think steady and consistent is good. Set a goal that makes sense to you (three posts a week for six weeks); you can always adjust it as time passes.

There's a post on my blog about your needing only 10,000 hours to become an expert...

(See how that content-management stuff works?)

Hugh Greenway said...

Thank you for your nice comments. And for not screaming, "Interloper! Imposter! Get out of the blogoshpere!"

I don't think I have 10,000 hours to spare to become an expert blogger. I may stick to my time honoured method of fake it till I get caught, then own up, apologise and move on.

Tony Karrer said...

Great to see this Hugh. I think Dave has nailed it - sharing / discussion with colleagues. Doesn't really have that much to do with "becoming an expert" but it does mean learning.

To get yourself out there, I'd recommend responding to LCB Big Questions and things like the carnival. Also, leaving comments like you just did is good.

But most of it is simply writing what you find interesting and conversation will often find you.