Real learning is a part of the work, not apart from it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Reducing Yammer clammer

I recently got everyone on my team to join Yammer. In an effort to test it’s viability for our group and see how we might consider piloting it sometime later to improve communication/collaboration.

Naturally everyone joined then … silence. So, I used it to share some thoughts and happenings in my world, enticing others to chime in still… silence…

Then on a crisp April morning (I live in New York state, its still quite crisp) I presented some on-the-fly revision ideas to a colleague prior to his presentation of a F2F communication curriculum and thought EUREKA! I’ll sit in and “posts some yams” during his presentation and I can show him how valuable the tool can be.

So, there I sat in the back, listening, texting, nodding, texting, smiling, texting, laughing, texting …

At one moment my presenter colleague asked me a question… How dare he -I was mid-text!… I began to answer with my eyes still on the Blackberry – “Ooops -how rude! I thought” and quickly glanced up, lowered my Blackberry, and answered.

No doubt all the participants (15) saw me texting during the presentation. Did they think I was playing a game? Did they think I was texting a snarky comment to a non-peer/non-employee pal?

Since my 20 or so “yams” were now posted I knew I could easily dispel any perceived rudeness to my colleague but the audience would still never know.

Later as my colleague and I spoke he said he noticed me but did not question it since he knew me …

Interesting. I was both relieved and concerned by his comment. Relieved that we build a good enough relationship that he knew I was not being a slacker but concerned of how he might perceive someone else doing what I did.

Olivia Mitchell does a great job of talking about how to embrace the micro-blog practice by designing for it!

The question though remains ... if I can’t get my peers to use these tools, can I still get them to prepare for learners that do!?
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