Week 12: Wrapping Up

Congratulations!! You’ve reached the finish line. I hope you enjoyed the journey and learned something along the way. I have enjoyed the conversations and connections I’ve made and look forward to even more.

This isn’t the end.  It’s the beginning of a new, improved way to work and learn. You’ve been introduced by some amazing people who can help you extend what you’ve learned here to advance your career.

All the things we’ve discussed can help you turn a minimal investment into a meaningful return. But not if you don’t make the investment. So pick one thing you’d like to start with and carve out 10-15 minutes a day to do it. Leave a comment on a blog post. Share that interesting article you read on Twitter. Ask a question about something you’ve stuck on in a LinkedIn group. Or maybe you have time to spend an hour on the weekend reading your RSS feeds and saving the best to share with your team at work. Find what suits you best and get started.

When you make what you’re doing visible, you open the door to many great new possibilities for yourself, while helping others at the same time.

And you don’t have to do it alone. As you start connecting with others, you’ll build a personal network that will always be there for you. A great place to start is the Working Out Loud group on Facebook.

Please take 30 seconds to give some feedback about your experience: 

Or if you prefer you can reach me directly via:

Thank you for being part of Learn Camp! If you’re interested in running a program like this in your organization, let me know. I’d love to talk with you about it.

Thank you!
Mike Taylor 

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Week 11: Working Out Loud

Welcome to the penultimate week of #LearnCamp. We’ve covered a lot of ground and now we’re ready to cap things off by exploring how to tap into the power of “working out loud”. You’re probably wondering just what in the heck does that mean?

No one can explain it better than John Stepper, who’s written a fantastic book about it called “Working Out Loud for a Better Career and Life“.

“Working Out Loud starts with making your work visible in such a way that it might help others. When you do that – when you work in a more open, connected way – you can build a purposeful network that makes you more effective and provides access to more opportunities.”

When thinking about how to get started, I totally agree with Harold Jarche’s suggestion that the first step of needs to be as simple as possible. How you start isn’t as important as starting. John reminds us that “The best first step is one you actually take.”

Your first step will different than everyone else’s but the general concepts are the same:  

  • Make your work visible in such a way that it might be helpful to others.
  • Think of “work” in the broadest sense. It could be anything you’re learning or doing that has value to others.

For example, anytime  read something good onlinethat you think others could benefit from hit the like button, leave a comment,  or even better yet – post it to Twitter. Add a quick comment about why you liked it. Email it to a friend or colleague.

“It’s a small, simple step, but when you do it often enough, you change your mindset. Every time you discover or do something of value, no matter how small, you start thinking of others who might benefit from you sharing it.” – John Stepper

Here are a few good ideas for getting started. You might even be ‘working out loud’ already and not even know it!

  • Bust Your Bookmarks Out of  Web Browser Jail :
    You’re already bookmarking things in your web browser, so why not move them off your hard drive and set them free? Free online tools like Diigo, Delicious or Pinterest get them off your hard drive and make them easier for you to use. Even if you keep them private, you still get the benefit of them being searchable and accessible from any of your computers or devices.
  • Aggregate:
    Collecting as many of your information sources as possible through a feed reader such as Feedly or Flipboard, saves time and helps you keep up with a very busy world. I can’t emphasize enough how helpful this one is!
  • Connect:
    Social media offers amazing potential for making valuable connections. Twitter is my favorite. Go find interesting people in your field and follow them. Check your feed read once or twice a day. (Having the mobile really helps.)  Pretty quickly, you’ll “get it” and start finding more valuable people and insights to learn from.

    Since you’re probably already on Linkedin, that is one place you can easily start sharing what you’re learning and working on. Drop me a note, I’d love to hear from you.

Start with one of these, then add another when you feel ready. If you do just these three things you’ll realize a huge benefit.

For even more great ideas, grab a copy of the exercises from John Stepper’s book. John shares some simple nudges – things you can do in less than a minute or five minutes – to help you practice. And go get the book! I loved it so much that I asked our amazing library to get a copy for others to enjoy.

If you’re still wondering to yourself “Why would I do this? Why would I share the things I’m working on and learning?” consider what Jane Bozarth writes in her book, “Show Your Work: The Payoffs and How-Tos of Working Out Loud

“In its simplest, most obvious benefit, showing work helps an idea connect with someone else who needs it.” – Jane Bozarth

Isn’t that what being in the Learning & Development field is all about? Or any other field for that matter?   Not only do you help someone who needs it, you’ll also be helping yourself by being more productive, working better as a team, accelerating your career, and more.

Start Today!

Follow John Stepper and Harold Jarche via Twitter and plug their blogs into your feed reader. They will help you succeed – I guarantee it!

If you like cheatsheets here’s a nice one page summary of Austin Kleon’s book “Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered” that you can print and hang on your wall for reference or inspiration.

Check out these books & resources to learn even more:

Join Jane Bozarth’s free webinar “Getting Started With Working Out Loud” tomorrow 10/20/15 at 2pm Eastern

Activity 1: Share something

  • Share one thing you’ve learned this week in the comments below or on Twitter with the #LearnCamp hashtag
  • Set a goal to share one thing everyday on your platform of choice.

Activity 2:  Take a few minutes to ‘reconnect’

Week 10: Crafting Your Online Presence

NEWS FLASH! You have a online brand. Yes, you! And everyone who’s ever done anything online.

CLICK TO TWEET:
Do you know what people find when they Google you? You should! #LearnCamp

Do you know what your online brand looks like? Are you taking control of it or leaving it to chance?

These days your online presence is your resume. [ See Why Traditional Resumes Are Dead: The Rise Of Resume 2.0 ] While you may still submit a traditional resume and cover letter for job openings, the things that really matter are what the recruiter and hiring manager find when they type your name into a Google search.

Taking care of your personal online brand isn’t just for job seekers. There are lots of other people besides recruiters who want to learn more about you. Think about recruits, new colleagues, potential partners, prospects, customers and more.

What do all these people do before they meet with you? Look you up online. Have you thought about what those people are finding out about you? Heck, you do this before meeting others too don’t you?

Just about everything you’ve done online has been captured and is being served up on Google on-demand. Go to Google right now and see what results you find about yourself. Go ahead, I’ll wait here until you get back.

Mike Taylor Google

What did you find? Did you like what you found? Or did you find anything at all?  A surprising number of people haven’t given their online presence any thought. Don’t be one of them!

The question is how do I manage, curate, and build a reputation? Here are several effective ways to build your online presence.

LinkedIn

If you do nothing else, take some time to upgrade your LinkedIn profile. And then start using it regularly! (You can find me here if you’d like to connect.)  For many professionals, one of the top search results is LinkedIn. Many people think of LinkedIn as nothing more than just a resume site. But boy are they missing the boat!

CLICK TO TWEET:
5 Ways to Rock your @LinkedIn Profile #LearnCamp

5 Ways to Rock Your LinkedIn Profile

Not only should you have a LinkedIn profile, but you should stay active there as well. Here are just a few of the reasons to give some thought to how you’re using LinkedIn.

  1. You need to build a network now so you can use it later
  2. Staying active creates opportunities that come to you. Recruiters look for passive candidates
  3. Industry groups can offer you value and connections
  4. Keep your resume up to date just in case
  5. Read the news feed for your industry

Hubspot’s “The Ultimate List of LinkedIn Tips” is a great resource to help you tap into the power of LinkedIn.

Creating Your Online Home Base

If you want to do more consider creating a site showcasing your work. This presentation introduces you to 20 free and easy ways to set up your own personal site for this.  Although, this deck is meant for elearning pros, the concepts apply to everyone.

CLICK TO TWEET: 
20 free & easy ways to establish your personal online presence by @tmiket #learncamp 

Other great ways to start shaping your online reputation include:

  • Start a blog. A professional looking WordPress site can be set up in minutes for free. Mine is here if you’d like to see one example.
  • Join Twitter and Facebook. Connect with the leaders in your field. Engage with them. Learn from them.
  • Buy your own domain name (your own name, perhaps) and put something up. Something, anything.

At a minimum create a nameplate, or personal landing page. These serve as an online business card and are a great way to provide your basic info and unite any social media accounts you have. They are very easy to set up in just a few minutes. They’re free and mobile-friendly. Here are a couple good ones to jump start your online presence:

About.me

aboutMe-tracy

Flavors.me

flavors

Strikingly

strikingly

Commit to the process and the challenge of growing your online presence. It’s worth it!

Three Easy Steps to Improve Your Online Presence

  1. Craft an effective LinkedIn profile and use it.
  2. Connect on Social Media
  3. Create your online home

ACTIVITY 1:  Your home base online

Please share if there any single place online you can send people for them to learn more about you?  Where is that?

ACTIVITY 2: Be prepared

If your opportunity of your dreams came to you this afternoon, what  could you share online that would convince the decision makers that you’re the right person for it? Or what if you lose you job tomorrow? What do you have in place to show your next employer or client?

If you don’t have anything, think about what you’ll no longer have access to from your current employer and how long you’re prepared to spend assembling a suitable online presence.

Share your thoughts about the current state of your online presence.

Week 9: Catch Up

Fall is football season and just like a quarterback sometimes need to change the play at the last second, we’re calling an audible. We originally planned to talk about your online presence this week, but we’re going to give you a catch-up week instead.

So enjoy a breather this week and the opportunity to review anything we’ve covered so far. Or if you’re one of the folks who joined mid-stream, now’s the time to hit anything you might have missed.

Activity 1 – Share Your Thoughts

Now that we’ve got two months under out belts its time for you to let us know what you’ve taken away from #LearnCamp.  Is there anything you’ve added to your repertoire that you didn’t have before? Are you still looking for something to fill a need?  Leave a comment to share your thoughts and contribute to the conversation.

Activity 2 – Where can we find you online?

In preparation for next week, do a search for your name. (Sign out of Goole or use an Incognito browser).  What do those results tell you? Did you find a representation of yourself that you liked? What would a recruiter who is considering you for your dream job think?  Could you even find yourself at all?

Tell us about what you found. Where there any surprises?

Week 8: Curation

“The growth in digital information is staggering. As trusted content curators, learning professionals help learners cut through the noise to get the information they need.” -David Kelly

Content curation is the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest.

Curation is an increasingly important skill. Being digitally literate requires you to curate things to address your own personal learning needs. As L&D people, we should be leading the way. But it’s not only for ourselves, it is also for our organizations.  Curation is a good way to extract value from the flood of information we face every day.

To make sense of the world, for ourselves and those we hope to move, we must wade through a mass of material flowing at us every day – selecting what’s relevant and discarding what’s not. -Daniel Pink

If you think about it, isn’t instructional design and creating training programs a form of curating? Taking all the information you can find on a topic, analyzing it, paring it down, organizing and presenting it in a logical, easy to consume format. Sounds like curating to me! Courses are a common form of curation, but definitely not the only form.

Click to Tweet:  Instructional design is a form of content curation.

Watch Harold Rheingold’s interview with Robin Good to learn more about curation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1IeOzIoRDs

Let’s take a look at a few examples of what this looks like in practice.

Examples:

David Kelly is a master curator who does a much better job of talking about curation that just about anyone. Take minute to read his article “Curating to Enhance Organizational Learning

Click to Tweet:  As trusted content curators, learning professionals help learners cut through the noise to get the information they need

In his article, David shares this simple three-step curation process, adapted from Harold Jarche’s personal knowledge management (PKM) framework.

  1. Seek – Find information that is of value to workers.
  2. Sense – Make sense of the identified content and add value that shows how it applies to the work and work environment.
  3. Share – Once content is identified and the curator has added context, the content can then be shared.

Now that we’ve introduced the concept of curation and seen some examples, let’s explore how you can make it happen. I really believe Harold Jarche’s  Seek-Sense-Share framework for personal knowledge management (PKM) is a great model. It makes a lot of sense to organize your approach around the three steps in his PKM process.

Finally, as learning practitioners, we’re awash in information about social tools and technology-enabled learning. It can be easy to overlook how unfamiliar busy professionals are with some of these technologies—especially in a work context. We need to take the time to help familiarize them with new tools, using practical, realistic examples. – Eric Kammerer

Now I’d like to share a few practical ways to use curation tools and techniques in the Seek-Sense-Share context.

Seek: Seeking is finding things out and keeping up to date. These are tools that help you save time discovering relevant content efficiently.

  • Feedly: We covered Feedly earlier in the program when we talked about RSS and feed readers. Feedly is the great way to organize, read and share the content of your favorite sites all in one place. You can save and share items to other social tools directly from within Feedly.
  • Flipboard: Mainly used as an app for your tablet or smartphone, Flipboard is “a single place to discover, collect and share the news you care about. Add your favorite social networks, publications and blogs to stay connected to the topics and people closest to you” You can use it to easily aggregate content from a variety of sources and presents the content in a very nice magazine type format.  And you can quickly and easily curate and share articles directly from within Flipboard with the click of a button. You can “flip” things into your own magazine or use the Flip It bookmarklet in your web browser. Check out JD Dillon’s ‘magazine’.
  • This video shows how to use Flipboard to find, curate and share content.  You’ll find a complete step by step guide to setting up Flipboard here.
  • Twitter is also great for the curation process. Don’t forget to leverage lists and hashtags.

Sense: Sensing is how we personalize information and use it.

  • Evernote: Evernote is great for collecting and storing information using folder and tagging functions that can be used to organize content you find valuable.
  • Diigo: Allows you to collect bookmarks, annotate web pages with highlighting and sticky notes that persist when you return to the site, and share bookmark collections with others, among other features.
  • Blogging: (WordPress, Blogger) Blogs posts are a good way to curate because they allow detailed followed up and elaboration. Plus there are a lot of possibilities to customize and organize a lot of information in a blog including the ability to embed content from other sources into your blog posts, etc. Check out this post on blogging as a curation platform to learn more.
  • SlideShare is a site where you can post your presentations online to share with others. They can also be easily embedded into blog posts.
  • Storify enables you to curate your own stories from photos, video, tweets, what people post on social media sites and your own narration. Here’s a quick video on how to use Storify.

Share: Sharing includes exchanging resources, ideas, and experiences with our networks as well as collaborating with our colleagues. These tools enable you to organize, annotate and display your content.

  • Feedly, Flipboard, Zite, Twitter, Storify, Blogging, Diigo (See above)
  • Social Bookmarking tools: Diigo, Delicious, Pinterest
  • Scoop.it! is a curation platform that enable users to collect news, articles, and other sources found on the Internet and share them on their own custom-themed Scoop.it! site.  Scoop.it! is like a social bookmarking web site but with a visual, online magazine-like format.
  • Rebel Mouse, Paper.li

There are a bazillion tools you can use.; and the tools you use, and how you curate, is very personal. Try a few out. Keep what works and don’t worry about whether or not you’re doing it “right”. There isn’t any one “right” way. If it works for you, it is all good!

You already have a reputation online and you’re either managing it yourself or leaving it to chance. Curation is one good way to  control!

Activity 1: Choose a tool for each curation step: Seek, Sense & Share

  • Leave a comment about which tools you selected. Bonus points for your thinking about why you picked what you did.

Activity 2: Answer at least one of the following questions.

  • Do you think curation should play a role in learning & development?
  • Think about and share how you are already curating? (If you are reading blogs, blogging yourself, sharing links on Twitter, saving your bookmarks online, pinning things to Pinterest, etc you may be curating and not even realize it!)
  • How do you personally benefit from curation? Either your own or someone else’s.
  • Will you explore any new tools from this list? Are you looking for any tools to fill a particular need?
  • How can your organization benefit from curation?

Further reading:

Examples of content curation tools.
Content Curation Tools: 21 Criteria To Select And Evaluate Your Ideal Ones
Master list of content curation tools

Week 7: Blogging

Last year, Mark Britz shared some great insights about how blogging can be an important part of your professional toolkit. Another of our previous webinar speakers, Allison Michels, landed her amazing job with Yammer after the founder and CEO read a post from her personal blog. You just never know what connections you’re enabling by blogging.

Mark Britz on “Why Blogging (Still) Matters”

Webinar Recording:

[ Note our producer was sleeping on the job and missed recording the first few minutes. ]

Slides:

Blogs are a great way to engage people in knowledge sharing, reflection and conversation. You can create one in just a few minutes and they are super easy to use. Even if you don’t think you have anything important to say or that nobody would read it, you can still benefit from blogging. Here are just a few reasons to create a blog of your own:

  • Personal journal. Share your ideas or vent your frustrations, it’s your choice.
  • Personal or Professional interest.  Your blog can be a great place to collect and share knowledge on anything that interests you. Before you know it you’ll have a valuable repository of knowledge.
  • Online resume. It is impossible to capture what you do on a one page printed resume.  A blog is a much better way to capture all your professional thoughts and experience.
  • Communications. Blogs are better than email in so many ways. (But you can still connect them to email if you need to. Check out that “Follow by email”  button over on the right side of this post)
  • Great for newsletters. Blogs are a great way to publish newsletters, for your department, club, hobby group or virtually any kind of organization.
  • Quick & easy website. Many organizations big and small use blogs as their company website. (Here’s a sampling of well-known sites that are powered by WordPress blogs.)

[ In case, you haven’t noticed., this Learn Camp program is being run on a WordPress blog. ]

So what do you think?  Think it’s worth kicking the tires? (It is!) Why not create a blog to capture your thoughts and share the thinks you do in the program?  If nothing else it’s worth setting one up and just playing around with it to see how it works.  You can be up in running today in less than 10 minutes for free with WordPress or Blogger.

Activity 1: Watch Mark Britz’s Presentation “Why Blogging Still Matters

Follow Mark on Twitter (@britz) and plug into his blog MarkBritz.com

Activity 2: Answer the following questions.

  • If you already have a blog, what prompted you to start it? How are you using it? What advice can you give others who are just getting started?
  • If you don’t have one, what questions do you have? What’s stopping you from starting one?

Share you thoughts in the comments on this post and include a link to your blog so the rest of us can check it out! Tweet it out using our hashtag #LearnCamp

Further resources:

7 Things You Should Know About Blogs

Create a free blog on WordPress

Create a free blog on Blogger

Learn Camp Live – Monday Sept 21

We’ve reached the halfway point for Learn Camp and we’re taking things offline. The ultimate benefit of all these social platforms is making personal connections and there’s nothing better for that than meeting in person. So we’re giving everyone the opportunity to connect face to face this coming Monday morning (9/21). There’s no better way to kick of your week than connecting with your peers and sharing ideas that will propel you and your organization forward.

So come join us  Monday Sept 21st, 7AM at the Panera on Lane Ave.  (Google Map Directions) Bring your computer and/or mobile devices and we’ll help you get connected and answer any questions you might have. Heck, even if you don’t have any questions just stop by for a cup of coffee and say hi!

Week 6: Tagging & Social Bookmarking

Tagging

Tagging is a flexible, informal way of categorizing that allows you to associate keywords with online content (webpages, pictures & posts). Even if you’re not sure what tagging is, you’ve already seen it in action on sites like Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Diigo and many more.

Unlike library subject cataloging, which follows a strict set of guidelines (i.e., Library of Congress subject headings), tagging is completely unstructured and freeform, allowing users to create connections between data any way they want.  The art of tagging by folks who are not librarians or catalogers is called “folksonomy.”

Tagging helps bring order to online content.  You can think of a tag as a topic. Adding a tag (or #hashtag) to your tweet, blog post, photo, video, etc makes it easier for people find and follow the content related to a certain topic.

Twitter Hashtags Example

The idea of tagging has become very popular on Twitter.  The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet.  You can click on the hashtag in a tweet to easily find other related tweets with that same hashtag. Go ahead and click any of the 3 hashtags included in the Tweet below. (This is another way you can benefit from Twitter without ever Tweeting yourself.)

Social Bookmarking

Have you ever been at home and wished you could remember one of the great links you bookmarked on your computer at work? Or waded through the hundreds or thousands of bookmarks in your browser and wished for a better way to organize them? If so you’ll definitely be interested in social bookmarking.

Social bookmarking is a way to organize web-based information resources so you can access them from any computer and share them with others.  Social bookmarking is different from bookmarking sites in your web browser because you can access the bookmarks from any computer, not just the one on which you created them, and because you can share them with other people as well as discover what others are bookmarking.

Most social bookmarking sites allow users to organize their bookmarks by “tagging” them. The great advantage to this over saving bookmarks in your browser is that you can use as many tags as you want for each bookmark giving you multiple ways to find it later when you need it.

Watch this video to learn how social bookmarking works:

While the video uses delicious.com to demonstrate social bookmarking, I prefer to use another one called Diigo (pronounced Dee-go). Diigo has some additional features that are nice including the ability to share bookmarks with a group of people. ( Feel free to join our Learn Camp group and share your links with us! )

You can find me and my bookmarks on Diigo here.

You can plug any tag or person into your feed reader and automatically get new bookmarks posted for them.

How to Use Diigo to Collect Online Resources

Pinterest

Pinterest is another site that allows you to collect and organize online resources visually.  Check Jane Bozarth’s article about using Pinterest for L&D and check out Shannon Tipton’s great collection of creative learning ideas on Pinterest to see it in action.

Examples of how these tools can be used by L&D pros:

Activity 1:  Explore a few people and/or tags on Diigo. Here are a few to get you started:

People:

Tags/Topics:

Activity 2: Post a comment (or better yet Tweet) answering any of the following questions: 

  • Do you already use any social bookmarking tools such as Diigo, delicious or Pinterest?
  • What benefits could you see from having access to what others are bookmarking?
  • How could this be used for learning/training?

Extra Credit: Sign-up for at least one social bookmarking site and help us connect with you by Tweeting a link to your profile.  (Don’t forget to include the #LearnCamp hashtag!)

Week #5 Catching Up & Checking In

It seems appropriate that on this long holiday weekend, we’ve reached our first ‘catch up’ week, which is included to give you a chance catch up with the first four activities. It is also a great time to reflect on what we’ve seen so far.  If you’re coming in late or have just been busy, here is what we’ve covered so far:

  1. Week 1: Getting Started
  2. Week 2: Social Media
  3. Week #3: Using Twitter Professionally
  4. Week #4 Keeping Up in a Busy World

Be sure to take a peek at the comments at the bottom or each week’s post and add your 2 cents. Even if you’ve done the activities, the comments often add an ‘extra’ or different perspective. Sometimes the conversations are more valuable than the posts themselves.

And to that point, I’ve created a Hootcourse for us to ask questions, share valuable discoveries and connect with your fellow #LearnCampers.

Please share:

  • something you’ve learned
  • any questions that you’ve come up with in response to participating
  • your thoughts/experience so far with a new tool or resource
  • something you think has worked well with this program
  • something you think could work better with this program
  • something you’d like to see in the upcoming weeks

Click over and add a question or comment now. 

Here’s the RSS feed so you can plug it into your reader of choice and keep up this the comments there instead of having to visit the site! 😎 http://hootcourse.com/feeds/help/course/4229/

follow us in feedly

And of course, you can plug this program itself into your favorite feed reader: https://learncamp.wordpress.com

follow us in feedly

Hope you’re enjoying a nice, relaxing long weekend!

Week #4 Keeping Up in a Busy World

“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books reads.”  –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today, Emerson might encourage us to ask about blogs instead of books.  While there will always be a special place for books, blogs and other online resources provide an abundance of valuable information. (You’ll even find great stuff from some of your favorite authors without having to wait until their next book comes out. )

These days, there is so much information published that it might seem impossible to keep up.  For a little perspective on how much information is being put online, here are a few things that are happening every minute of every day:

  • Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content.
  • Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times.
  • Instagram users post nearly 220,000 new photos.
  • YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video content.
  • Email users send over 200 million messages.

How can anyone find the valuable, relevant needles in this infinite haystack of information? The key is creating a personalized way for the content you want comes to you, so you can read important stories efficiently.  This type of personalized reading helps you keep up with your world and get better at what you do.

Right now you might be thinking, “Sounds great, but how to I create this magical, personalized system?” The answer is news feeds.

What are news feeds?

Feeds are a way for websites to distribute their content without requiring  people to actually come visit their website.  Feeds permit subscription to regular updates, delivered automatically via a web portal, news reader, or in some cases good old email.

This type of technology (RSS, Atom, XML)  enables anyone to keep track of a large number of your favorite websites or blogs, without having to remember to check each site manually or clutter your email inbox.

Subscribing to feeds lets you keep track of a large number of your favorite sites without having check each site manually.

Watch this video to see how it works:
(Note: Google Reader no longer exists-Feedly works basically the same way)

Create Your Own Personalized Feeds

Fortunately, you can start building your own tailor-made reading list of the topics you’re most interested in less time than you spend in  line at Starbucks. Not only will you be more efficient, you can also segregate your reading to times when you can browse and read at your leisure. For example, you might want to peek in on your professional interests during work hours, and save your personal interests to read at home in the evenings or over the weekend.

Personally, I like to read in the Feedly iPad app over my morning coffee every day. Here are a few options for you to choose from that will let you subscribe to feeds and start building your own custom reading experience today:

A Few L&D Sources to Get You Started

Here are a few good learning and development sources to get you started.

E-Learning Guild

ATD Blogs

Tom Kuhlmann

Cathy Moore

PRO TIP:  When you see an article you really like, go look for the authors website or Twitter account and subscribe to those.

Activity 1: Setup Your Feed Reader

Create a feed reader account.  Why not try them both?!  (Both have add-ins for your web browser and apps for your smartphone or tablet)

Activity 2: Subscribe to your favorite sites

Think of the websites you frequent and plug a few of them into your reader.  Try subscribing to at least 3 sites you already know and 3 new sites. To help each other, share a professional site you added and why you like it in the comments below.

Extra Credit: Tweet about your experience with a feed reader

Click to Tweet: Now that I’ve got a personalized news feed, I’m never going back-Learn more in #Learncamp http://ctt.ec/6M0B7+