Saturday, January 2, 2010

Posts that Influenced Me in 2009

As my thoughts surfaced from the subconscious to the conscious this morning when I woke up, I found myself thinking about Semantic Web and Homophily. Lying still for sometime, I tried to mentally brush aside the cobwebs and think back to what had triggered this association.

That pondering took me back to all the blog posts by various bloggers that have most influenced my thought process and my posts in 2009. I guess this would have been a fitting post to write on the 31st or even yesterday. But, I had not planned for it. It just so happened that even in my distinctly sleep-fuddled state, there are a few posts that I could just recollect. That is when I thought of penning this down for further analysis and to examine the pattern of influence.

The posts that came to mind spontaneously and with surprising clarity (in no particular order and not necessarily e-learning related):

1. Understanding Homophily on the Web (Bamboo Project: this blog was also my discovery of 2009) 
    What did I learn: The Internet encourages the coming together of like minds. And unless we are conscious of this phenomenon, we are likely to block out the "Other" voices and worldviews thus restricting our understanding.

    2. I Finally Get It--Why Social Networking is so Important 
      What did I learn: The importance of Social Networking and SoMe lie in their ability to help us make sense of the confusing mass of information that bombards us everyday. Only through sharing of stories and experiences, the larger pattern and the connections emerge, the information becomes knowledge that we can then effectively use. 

      3. Why Right Brainers will Rule the Future (LeftLane Blog)
          What did I learn: We are moving/have moved into a world where all the mechanical, logical, structured, left-brain tasks so highly valued in the Information Age will now be performed by machines, tools, computers, technology. In this Conceptual Age, the greatest need is for creativity, innovation, the ability to see the pattern over the pieces--all the right-brain activities. 
          4. Defining Knowledge Management and Enterprise 2.0 – Sharing Your Story (Luis Suarez)
            What did I learn: How KM turns information into decision making tools and what KM actually means. 

            5. Strategy as Process, Not Product: The Learning Value Chain
              What did I learn: The importance of having a strategy in place before jumping into the tactics, and the need for a process before a product development work can start. The activities I have undertaken in the past week in office reinforces this for me.

              6. What is Informal Learning?  (Marcia Conner)
                What did I learn: The differences between Formal, Informal, Intentional and Accidental Learning and how and when do these occur.

                7. No More "Learners"
                  What did I learn: Here is Jay Cross re-thinking the instructor/learner relationship in a You Tube video and the importance of learning together where we are not shoveling learning at learners.

                  8. Semantic Web for dummies 
                    What did I learn: The relation between Symbols, Syntax and Semantics and how this will change/is changing the nature of the web and our interaction with it.In this context, also look at: Tim Berners Lee on the Semantic Web

                    9. Social Learning Strategies, Models, and Roles (talks about the ECCO model)
                      What did I learn: Discusses the 3 different types of learning--Codified, Emergent, and Collaborative--and their place/time in an organization and how these map to various interventions.

                      10. How I use social media
                        What did I learn: Nancy White discusses the concepts of Communities of Practice and Learning, Technology Stewardship, Knowledge Sharing and Networking. And her knowledge in this area is formidable.

                        11. The Big Picture: Writing with Perspective  
                            What did I learn: Discusses the importance of perspective, of deleting pretty passages that diffuse the message and focusing on the end result, paying attention to the modifiers and the phrases, those little inserts that can make or break a prose. To quote: "Writing is as simple as falling off a log; writing well is as challenging as the 10-meter diving platform."

                            12. When should we Collaborate?
                              What did I learn: Defines with nice clarity the 4 kinds of work in an organization--.Simple, Complicated, Complex, and Chaotic--and how these help us to decide what is required--Coordination, Cooperation, or Collaboration. In this context, also look at: Is Cynefin a cult? and Cynefin

                              13. 10 Steps to creativity

                                What did I learn: Covers points that are very close to my personal experience; hence, made a mark. :)

                                14. Online social networks, learning and viral expansion loops 
                                  What did I learn: Reinforces my understanding and experience of the different aspects of Social Media, the challenges and the successes.

                                  15. Permission Learning - encouraging the informal
                                    What did I learn: Maps effective learning to Seth Godin's Permission Marketing as opposed to Interruption Marketing. In the latter case, we are likely to and do develop ways and means to escape the information being bombarded at us. Similarly, learning shoveled at learners will be ineffective. Hence, what is required is Permission Learning or Informal Learning (there when the learner needs it and wants it).

                                    16. The Builders' Manifesto
                                      What did I learn: One of my favorite posts of the year, it talks about the leadership and the qualities of a leader vs. a builder. As we enter 2010, do we need leaders or builders? Builders is what Umair Haque would say. Builders who will organize love and not work, who will say "come" and not "go", who will see the outcome and will make sure why getting there matters. 

                                      17. That First Thing - pAIN!!
                                        What did I learn: This left a mark when I read it first almost a year ago; and, on subsequent occasions, I have gone back to it when I have needed to overcome a mind-block, a hurdle, or just needed reassurance.

                                        18. Don't let your grace down!  
                                            What did I learn: A short post on the importance of the right attitude, outlook, faith and courage--my mantra for the coming year.

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