Keepers: the (re)process

I have mixed feelings about the word “curation.”  On the one hand, I acknowledge its spirit–what Clay Shirky means when he says, “Curation comes up when people realize it isn’t just about information seeking; it’s also about synchronizing a community.”

Or what I think he means, because, let’s face it, there’s a certain lack of specificity to “Hey, Dad, watch me while I synchronize the community.”

I don’t think of what I do as curation.  I think of it as putting stuff aside because I think it might have value for me.  In the olden days, when “bookmark” means something you slipped between the pages of a book, those things tended to go into file folders and bookshelves.  Now, when content is (mainly) digital and storage is (virtually) free, they go into files.

To be honest, they tend to stay there, too.  That isn’t the direction to take for things you want to learn, or learn from.  So, once again, I’m profiting from the example of Harold Jarche, who for some time has made a habit of posting Friday Finds: weekly compilations of insights and observations that he’s captured on Twitter.

  • Via Kristina Halvorson (@halvorson), a link to Corey Vilhauer’s blog post, Building Confidence: The Hidden Content Deliverable.  The ostensible topic is content strategy (which is what both Halvorson and Vilhauer really do), but anyone working in learning or workplace performance could read the post in that particular light as well.  When we’re young and working as advisors, he says,

…We look down our nose. We assume our clients are dumb.  The faster this goes away, the faster we can start doing the real work: understanding and embracing the needs of our clients and organizations.

  • From Yammer: The Blog, a post by Maria Ogneva, This is Not Your Parents’ Software Training. Nothing earthshaking, just a clear summary of alternatives to a bunch of same-time people in a bunch of same-time seats being told when and what to click.

It's a real find

  • From Sweden, a 45-minute presentation at the Technical Communication UK Conference 2011 by Magnus Ohlsson and  Jan Fredlund of IKEA’s communications group.  The topic is how IKEA meets the challenge of 400 new sets of assembly instructions per year, plus revisions.  The presentation comes via Mediasite, and the interface allows you to click through the slides; the audio will jump automatically to stay in sync.  The first 18 minutes (slides 1-13) are background about the IKEA approach and the work of the group; starting at slide 14, there’s a more detailed look at what goes into the ubiquitous guides.
  • Via Pascal Venier, Graham Allcott’s new productivity rules of the road. Allcott’s business is helping people and organizations become more productive (warning: you’ll find Getting Things Done stuff).  Among the thoughts that struck me–in part because you don’t often hear the relentlessly busy say things like these:
  • Starting well: beginning the day with meditation, exercise, a hearty breakfast, and “consuming limited information of my own choosing.”
  • Going dark: from 9 till 1, Allcott shuts his internet connection off.
  • Making himself take lunch, and not work through it.

…That’s the first installment of my shared keepers.  You can think of them as having been curated if you want. Posting them here for me is my reworking/reprocessing of things.  (I tossed a few others overboard–not everything labeled “keeper” merits being kept.)

Photo from the Library of Congress.