Updates from October, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • The Technology Guy 13:07 on October 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

    Just had to post this…. 

    Politicians win prizes every time (good humour)
    John  was in the fertilized egg business.
    He had several hundred young layers  (hens), called 'pullets,'
    and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs.
    He  kept records, and any rooster not performing
    went into the soup pot and was  replaced.
    This took a lot of time, so he bought some tiny bells
    and  attached them to his roosters.
    Each bell had a different tone, so he  could tell from a distance,
    which rooster was performing.
    Now, he  could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report
    by just listening  to the bells.
    John's favourite rooster, Barry, was a very fine  specimen,
    but this morning he noticed Barry's bell hadn't rung at  all!
    When he went to investigate, he saw the other roosters  were  busy chasing
    pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets, hearing the  roosters coming, could run for
    To John's amazement, Barry had  his bell in his beak, so it couldn't
    He'd sneak up on a  pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.
    John was so proud of Barry,  he entered him in the Renfrew County Fair
    and he became an overnight  sensation among the judges.

    The result was the judges not only awarded  Barry the No Bell Piece

    Prize but they also awarded him the Pulletsurprise  as well.

    Clearly, Barry was a politician in the making.


    Who else but  a politician could figure out how to win two of the                
    most  highly coveted awards on our planet by being the best at                
    sneaking  up on the populace and screwing them when they weren't paying  attention.
    Vote carefully, the bells are not always  audible.

  • The Technology Guy 07:42 on October 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Leaning, social networking,   

    How many tweets make overload? 

    I’ve been looking at Twitter as a learning tool. Convinced that there is some way we really can make this tool work for us and not just as a noise that gets in the way.

    This morning a well know US pundit started to follow me after a post I made that they obviously liked. I was astonished to see they were following over 3000 others.

    So I started to look at everyone and how many they were following, was I lacking in playing this game, not following enough and therefore missing something?

    Some stats!

    British gurus seem to follow far less than our US peers.

    The average guru here follows less that 200 people, in the USA it averages at almost 1000.

    I saw 127 tweets in the last 24 hours and I follow 60 people. So my hypothesis is that there is a 2:1 ratio of how many tweets you see to how many people you follow. Love to know if anyone can confirm this!

    With that in mind, the guru following 3200 people must see 6400 tweets every 24 hours. Whoa!

    I spend about 15 minutes, 4 times a day looking at twitter and following the odd link I find interesting. 1 hour a day. So another off the wall calculation says 1 minute per person being followed per day?

    So for the guru following 3200 people they need to spend 53 hours a day to get the same level of information as I do from Twitter.

    Some others I looked at!

    Donald Clark, following 47. 47 minutes very manageable.

    David Wilson following 162, does David spend 2.5 hours a day on Twitter?

    Clive Shepherd follows 190. 3 hours a day? Maybe!

    At what level does it get to be unmanageable? How many is too many to be able to see all of the information?

    And, if we just skim the information, what do we miss and/or learn incorrectly!

    If we want to use tools like Twitter in the workplace, can we limit the number of people our staff follow.

    My crazy calculations would suggest an 8 hour day is equal to following 480 people and doing no work!

    Have I got it wrong….

    • Liz Cable 08:04 on October 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Neil,

      There’s some Twitter stats included in my blog post at http://www.reachfurther.com/2009/09/22/dont-twitter-just-tweet.

      Unfortunately its very difficult to split out the Uk from the US statistics.

      I think the point you are missing is that Twitter is like a restaurant. You go in and start a conversation with friends who happen to be there. If there is someone you know who isn’t there, it doesn’t matter. There’s no obligation for them to catch up on missed tweets.

      Twitter is an instant tool, unlike email or linkedin messages, there’s no assumed obligation to respond. You are either online at the time, or you’re not.

      If however someone leaves me a message – via an @reply or a direct message (DM) – then I can pick it up next time I’m in, and respond then, if appropriate.

      While I’m in the restaurant, I can listen in on other peoples conversations, and if I like what they’re saying, I can join their table and
      join in. Getting some new friends and followers along the way.

      And when you follow lots of people, that’s when you start using the tools to help – like tweetdeck, refollow and socialoomph. For example, tweetdeck allows you to divide learners into cohorts so you can follow the groups conversations easily.

      So in conclusion, I spend about half an hour on twitter a day – this updates my facebook, linkedin, website and other profiles – as well as the social interaction, so its time well spent. 🙂

    • Clive Shepherd 12:11 on October 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Well I may follow 190, but I doubt if I spend more than 15 minutes a day on Twitter. Most tweets pass me by. I’m only guaranteed to look at replies and direct messages. Having said that I do find the process useful both for disseminating information and finding interesting stuff from others.

    • Mike Morrison 12:40 on October 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hi, great blog
      I have a few more followers and following than most – but to me its about 2 main factors, which are unique for each user of this medium:
      1) why tweet? – what is your goal or business objective?
      2) what is your personal objective?

      I use a lot of different software solutions to help me find content I am interested in – so for me investment in designing the ‘tool’ pays off in less time on the solution.

      It also depends what your purpose of tweeting is for.
      Like Liz I use my tweets to drive LinkedIn and other vehicles – I get more from the other channels than i do directly from twitter – but twitter is a useful starting point – one which can ‘fan out’


    • Jacks 19:32 on November 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! The site has very much liked. Tell, I can use this material in our magazine? We guarantee the royalties!

    • mark oehlert 13:09 on November 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      hi Neil!

      Lovely meeting you in person at #dl09 last week. Really looking forward to being over on your side on the Pond in January.

      I think of Twitter like a river. If I go down to the river every day and take a drink, I don’t lament the water that passes me by when I’m not there. I also don’t worry about the size of the river – I just drink what I need.

      Twitter and its kin are not like email. I like Liz’s example above – I kinda use a cocktail party to the same end. These are conversations and they swirl and eddy.

      I also think while tools like Tweetdeck and Seesmic can configure these conversations in more granular ways, the network itself is my main filter. I follow about 1500 people but I’m followed by about 2500 people – these two groups and the asymetric follow that they create provides-for me anyway-a filtering network that not so much keeps things out but rather ensures that if I miss something important-the network will swing it back around again until I catch it.

      Make any sense?

    • Michelle Lentz 15:12 on November 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I know you kept after me about this last week, but I hold that it works for me. I’m following around 500, followed by over 2500. My 500 number increases after each conference as well.
      Now, I always check my replies and Direct Messages, but aside from that, I suscribe to Mark’s theory above.

      In one of my classes, a student had a fantastic analogy for Twitter. Her grandmother would turn the TV on a news station every morning and then go about her day. Occasionally, grandma would stop in the living room and see what was happening on the news. The tv was contstantly providing information, but she only paid attention when it was convenient for her.

      That’s exactly how I use Twitter. I “pass through,” and don’t have to be there for every piece of information. It’s information when I want it. Do I miss things? Sure, but if they’re important, they’ll make their way back to me the same way headline news loops its feed.

      Cheers, and it was so wonderful to see you last week. I do miss you!

    • Stephen Martin 16:06 on November 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply


      Pleasure meeting you in person at DevLearn.

      I concur with the comments above and would add to Mark’s comment that the network is the filter. If something rises to the level of being “important” I expect that it will gain some life of it’s own and rise to the surface through retweets and discussion. Using Michelle’s student’s analogy, if it’s just filler on the news channel, it will pass by into the ether. But if it’s important news, you can bet it will be running on the ticker and get repeated every five minutes as breaking news.

    • Steve Howard 16:40 on November 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Columns in TweetDeck make sorting that river into multiple streams of greater or lesser interest really easy. I sort into topics – Adobe, eLearning, Tech, Local etc – then dip in and out of each as I feel like it. Makes for faster/easier scanning, ultimately.

      I also add search columns for various reasons, including conference hashtags, like #dl09 🙂

      I used to have to see every Tweet, but like others here, I can dip in and out to suit myself now. I still learn oodles and get plenty of valuable content. Like Mark Oehlert said, if it’s important and I miss it, it will come back around.

      The biggest downside I see of Twitter is that I tend to surround myself with like-mined people. That means I probably miss some of the more important contrary viewpoints, but I have other resources for those – falling short of buddy-boy Rush L 🙂

    • Neil Lasher 17:41 on November 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I think all your points are great.

      As I said in San Jose, I am the antagonist and I am pleased to have stated this thread.

      You all make very valid points, Mark’s about re-tweeting is very true. There needs to be a best practice on how to use this type of data so that we can educate the masses, by doing this the corporate will eventually embrace social media systems.

      Based on what I learned at DevLearn from networking with others, I am now doing some different research to see if I can argue my own points….

      Keep posting…

      Thanks N

    • Paul Simbeck-Hampson 20:21 on December 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Nice blog post, did make me grin.

      I use a nice piece of software for twitter stats called TFF Ratio which calculates your statistics and gives you a rating based on a number of seemingly simple factors…and what’s great about it, you can’t cheat!

      I find it to be quite accurate, in-fact, I think it should be included within every profile allowing users to asses whether they really do want to follow or not.

      I’ve used this tool recently to reconsider my own Twittering strategy (I’m still quite new, but learning quickly!). I’m actually still optimising days later!!! Quality, Integrity, Community and Honesty are now my no.1 concern and are far more important than how many thousands of marketeers are trying to sell you, or worse, your community, something.

      Best regards

    • Darrell Dellajacono 10:29 on March 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you! I definitely desired to indicate in my site.

  • The Technology Guy 06:53 on October 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , provocative post   

    New slogans for eLearning 

    Q. What is the difference between a consultant who is 18 years old and one who is 55?

    A. The older consultant ‘probably’ has more experience.

    Q. What is the difference between a consultant who charges £250/day and one who charges £1850/ day?

    A. Probably going to get much better quality and experience at the higher price.

    Q. Do you choose a product that just released? Or has been around for 10 years?

    A. Often the one with the track record. You think it will work better and have less chance of going wrong.

    Q. Would you pick up the box that contained instructions for use? Or the one that said no instructions included?

    A. Be honest in your answer there. Even if you were not going to read the instructions, there is something comforting in knowing they exist.

    None of the above were about eLearning.

    In eLearning for some crazy reason we throw these rules out the window and caution to the wind.

    Some want latest technology and untested.
    Some want quick without regard of quality.
    Some want cheap, without thought of cost effective.
    Some don’t care if there are no rules or instructions for use (Twitter etc)
    Some want ‘sexy’ because the young consultant made it sound great , and it looks fab in the brochure, and look how fast he used it. ‘They even won a shoot out you know’

    But if course I am not talking about you. Am I?

    New slogans. Actually old slogans. Apply to eLearning purchases.

    Try before you buy
    Think before you cross
    Watch out, there is a thief about

    • Scott Hewitt 07:35 on October 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Within project management there is a quote that is often used. There are 2 options cheap and good. You can only ever have one!

      Important for people to note that cost effective is not the same as cheap.

    • Terry Freedman 06:44 on November 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent post, which I am going to bookmark in Diigo.

    • CECELIA23Winters 21:09 on September 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Have no cash to buy a house? You not have to worry, because that is possible to take the mortgage loans to solve such problems. So get a college loan to buy everything you require.

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