My post Working Out Loud Week Lesson: Ignore the Network apparently struck a chord.
And what’s most interesting to me is that it did so among people whose work I truly admire. They’ve reminded me of what’s really important about this “out loud” process. And where working out loud may be falling short.
In the responses to my original post, my good friend Teresa Torres advises to write for yourself and “as an act of thinking.” To which Alan Levine appends, and as an act of remembering. Dave Cormier, Bruno Winck and Kristen Corpolongo – each exemplars of the same mindset – also were kind enough to share their personal insights on the value that comes from adopting it.
Alan points out that it is a challenge to advocate for this mindset – to write or create to think, and to remember – because the payoff is often far away. Kristen notes the “need to separate ourselves from the need for near-instant gratification or acknowledgement.”
A thought about all of this.
I am becoming more conscious of looking at the intersection of long-form and micro posts. We absolutely have to reflect to learn (Harold Jarche has been on this story forever). And it is encouraging to see bits of research linking reflection to job performance that help bring “reflection” into conversations about the workplace and learning.
So we absolutely have to have long-form – as an act of thinking, remembering and reflecting.
The micro-posts – whether via Twitter or status updates within an enterprise social network – play an important role in signalling to the larger network. Sometimes it is to share a snippet of an idea the emerges from our reflections (Torres does this exceptionally well as part of her blog routine). Or maybe it is pre-reflection thinking. Or work-in-progress updates that we just make visible.
I value the signalling capability of micro-posting. It connects me to people and to ideas. And often to some great long-form thinking. It is an incredibly important part of the overall value of connected thinking and learning.
Here’s what I have come to in my thinking about the current state of “working out loud” in the workplace context. What I described above – the relationship between long-form reflection and micro-posts – is a blinding glimpse of the obvious to people who design or participate in cMOOCs and connected courses. I am not sure I believe the same for the current state of working out loud.
The essential difference is in the deep appreciation for the value associated with reflection that I see associated with cMOOCs. I am afraid that if we miss making that deeper connection, then working-out-loud may not reach its transformational potential.