A few weeks ago when I posted about instructional designers as digital curators, Claudia Escribano of Lifelong Learning Lab left me a comment about a bi-weekly report she posts on her company's internal blog, "Buzzin' on the Biz." It sounded like a great idea, so I asked Claudia if she could send me more information on how she does it. This is what she told me:
In the year or so that I've been blogging, I've learned SO much about the learning industry and what other people are doing. It's made a HUGE difference for me. But most of us get so busy that we just don't have time to monitor blogs. I confirmed this when I conducted a quick poll of people in my company to find out what blogs they're monitoring. I only got 5 responses out of about 30 people. One person even said, "I wish I had time to check blogs." I decided I would provide this service for my colleagues so that they could regularly get a quick glance at what's going on in our industry and what the hot topics are.
Every other week, I scan through about 50 learning industry blogs (including Bamboo Project) and then I post a Buzzin' on the Biz report to our internal blog. The report consists of 3 main sections:
1) Buzz: Hot Topics--Here I summarize any patterns I see in terms of what people are blogging about. It was interesting, the first week I did Buzzin' on the Biz, there were just a TON of articles on social networking. The second week, no one topic stood out as hot--basically, everyone was talking about different things.
2) Buzz in the Professional Organizations--In this section I summarize what ASTD, Elliott Masie, the Human Capital Institute, the E-Learning Guild, Educause, ELearn Magazine, , and Training and Development are saying for that week.
3) Bytes: This is where I identify about 5 or 6 articles that I think are especially interesting and useful. I provide the link to the article with a one- to two-sentence summary, so people can get the basic ideas and then link to the article if they want to and have the time.
In addition, I present on Buzzin' on the Biz at our biweekly staff meetings. I just open the blog on LiveMeeting, and show people what's there and talk about it for about 5 minutes. This is for those people who don't feel like they have enough time to even go out to the Web site and look at it. This way, they get the info in an already scheduled meeting.
This was all inspired by a former colleague named Jim Elsenheimer who used to send regular Industry Update e-mails. His e-mails were more like my Bytes section, but with more entries. I really loved getting those e-mails because they offered me a quick way to stay current on things in the industry. It was thanks to Jim that I was introduced to Will Thalheimer's Work-Learning Research site. I really missed getting those e-mails when Jim left the company, so I wanted to continue the tradition.
If you want to see a sample of Claudia's "Buzzin' on the Biz" column, check out her latest version here. Tomorrow, I'm going to share some of Claudia's advice on how to be an effective digital curator and what she's gotten out of the experience.