You don’t need to read this. I’m really just writing for myself.

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.

One thought on “You don’t need to read this. I’m really just writing for myself.

  1. Right now I identified 3 sorts of posts
    – Short half baked posts, possibly grouped by topics, updated by rapid, agile iterations.
    – Long (1500 word) synthesis post around a topic, with due research and references. Evergreen and updated with final forms of short half baked ideas. Good food for search engines and first time visitors.
    – Journal oriented, what ones did this week, visits, encounters, reading, findings. Its often a kind of lost+found mix. Typically I often jump thoses and rarely comment.

    Pb we don’t really want first time visitors to reach short or journal post. How to make them aware of this fact? Most reader don’t bother reading reading instructions or title, they just start reading 🙂 . For journal it’s easy because title will often include a date.

    For short half bake ideas? Share some common signs to let them know? while followers are interested because it’s an incremental iteration on something they start reading already. Signal clearly the topic make reading easy.

    Bottom line like hashtags came after twitter stream started to become abundant, something must be made for short form posts to make them easy to follow. Today RSS will show them all and will not show updates, unless we trick it. Cache also will not show updates. Creating tons of post for each iterations makes the blog unreadable and defy the purpose of commenting. Moving everything to Twitter? too short.

    Oups, sorry didn’t take time to read the title. OK forget my comment, I didn’t read this post 🙂

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