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#lrnchat August 8, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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If you’re looking for a great way to connect with other learning professionals to discuss experiences and share best practices, #lrnchat may be your new best friend. #lrnchat is an online chat that happens every Thursday night 8:30-10pm EST / 5:30-7pm PST on Twitter. Participants are people interested in the topic of learning from one another and who want to discuss how to help other people learn. (If you haven’t yet joined Twitter, this may be a good opportunity to give it a shot!)

#lrnchat is hosted by @marciamarcia, @quinnovator, @moehlert @koreenolbrish and @janebozarth. The official twitter account is @lrnchat.

You may want to consider using a free service like TweetGrid or Monitter to follow #lrnchat; these services make it much easier to tune into the conversation.

Transcripts are available if you are unable to attend the live #lrnchat sessions. Personally, this has been really helpful for me, because I can’t seem to synch my schedule to participate in the live chat sessions. Here’s an example transcript of #lrnchat from July 30, 2009.

Thanks to Jane Hart; her recent post on #lrnchat reminded that this would be an excellent topic to cover in eLearning Weekly.

Micro-blogging at Work May 30, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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I’ve been on Twitter for over a year, and I find great value in the ability to ask questions to a large group of people (ex. friends, peers, etc.) when I need to find information. I often get excellent answers and suggestions that have much more value than a Google search would have yielded. I also enjoy the ability to share helpful resources that I find, and I do my best to answer questions that other people have. It only makes sense that organizations are starting to bring the same concept of Twitter (micro-blogging) in-house to improve communication between employees.

What is micro-blogging?

Micro-blogging is the process of sending short text updates that describe what you’re doing and/or thinking to a web site or web application. The messages are available to whomever has subscribed to view your messages. There are many micro-blogging platforms (see below) that allow you to easily track messages from your friends and peers, and they also make it easy to search for messages that were previously posted. All of the information is saved and it can be searched. Read a more detailed definition of micro-blogging.

How can micro-blogging be beneficial at work?

Here are a few examples of how micro-blogging can be beneficial at work. Micro-blogging can be used to:

  • Ask questions
  • Share project updates
  • Make organization-wide announcements (for non-critical information)
  • Build a community (ex. have new employees communicate with each other and share their experiences)
  • Promote a culture of information sharing

We’re in the early stages of a micro-blogging trial at work. I can’t say much about it, but I am very pleased with what I’ve seen so far. I’m seeing employees making connections with co-workers in different divisions, and I’m seeing employees provide each other with assistance on a regular basis. While I can’t articulate a rock-solid business case for micro-blogging, this behavior screams success to me.

Selecting a micro-blogging platform

If you are concerned about your employees sharing confidential or proprietary information, you will probably want to be very careful when selecting a micro-blogging platform. You can use an internally-hosted micro-blogging platform, or you can consider using a solution hosted by a vendor. Some of the most popular platforms are:

Involve the right people

When considering micro-blogging at your organization, you’ll need to make sure to involve the right people. I highly recommend you bring in people from the following departments. Help them understand micro-blogging and why you’re interested in using it:

  • Corporate Communications
  • HR
  • IT
  • Legal

Run a pilot program

Consider running a pilot program, where you use micro-blogging for a small group of users (perhaps the training department?). This will let you get a feel for how the concept works, and you should be able to figure out its potential pretty quickly. (I would also recommend that you jump on Twitter, just to get a quick understanding of how micro-blogging works.)

Good luck, and please leave a comment below if you have experience using micro-blogging at work. I’d love to hear how it is going.