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Tools for Social Capitalists

Page history last edited by Jay Cross 14 years, 7 months ago


Tools for Social Capitalists



Match learning needs with web 2.0 solutions. The reference pages that follow are meant to give you a bit of background and some places to get your questions answered. Most of this will soon be obsolete. Please add new things when you find them. Also, part of any background check should include both Wikipedia and Delicious. 1/2007. See also Jane Hart's excellent Learning & Performance Solutions Overview.







Create & share info
Present Connect Collaborate Meta


blogs & RSS




screen sharing



social networking

org network analysis


communities (CoP)

realtime collaboration






virtual worlds

personal knowledge mgt

web 2.0






Learning Need

 Creating, finding, & sharing info


Talking with another person, the greatest instructional technology ever devised.

Share knowledge and understanding. Differing viewpoints lead to innovation. Dave Pollard says, "People like information conveyed through conversations and stories because the interactivity and detail gives them context, not just content, and does so economically."

blogs & RSS

Anyone can post essays, reference information, or news on the web.  RSS: Subscribe to blogs, photo albums, columns, whatever. They are delivered to your screen or email at your request, not someone else's. Aggregator: Read the contents of multiple RSS feeds by subscribing. User chooses = pull system. Same a feed reader.

Capture ongoing knowledge, give voice to workers, experts, customers. Blogging's direct benefit to individual learning is that it  helps make implicit knowledge more explicit and as a way of personal knowledge management. RSS:




Folkosnomy. Informal descriptions added to blogs, photos, articles and other digital data, enabling access from anywhere on the net. Used to index Technorati, Flickr, Del.icio.us. Metadata: Tags which are drawn from an approved set of codes and labels

Folksonomy. Recall by topic, hassle-free, any digital asset on the web by its tag. Build a knowledge base incrementally. Find out what others are reading and what's popular. Metadata: Recall information by topic. Rigid but orderly. Appropriate for things that do not change much. Can be constructed collaboratively for communities of practice. Aggregator: For information triage. Save time by skimming the headlines or summaries of feeds so you can read only the ones you want to know more about. Usually not required to go to actual site of feed


Using del.icio.us to foster collaboration.


Answers to the most common questions people ask

Don’t reinvent the wheel, use a single-source reference

Widgets Insert on a web page tracks information, provides alerts, updatesw in real time. If someone requires a continuous flow of information from a specific location, make it easy for them.

 Presentation (usually one-way)


A digital recording, generally in MP3 format and often played on Apple iPods, on a computer or even burned to a CD and played on your car audio.

Listen to portable recordings during the or in the gym. Still something of a novelty. Great if you can't read. Many conferences provide podcasts after the fact, so they can be used for professional development.


Memorable, natural way to spread values and goals

More sophisticated than text. Oral tradition reinforces meaning.

Screencasts & Screen Sharing

Electronic show and tell, “look over the shoulder” demos. Screencasts are recorded; screen sharing is live.

Explain “how to” by showing the real deal.

Web tours

Simple tours of web sites with narration.

Great discovery learning tool, especially when done n small groups

Wizards & performance support

Provides just the info you need.

In lieu of reading the manual. Once called performance support. Why make people do what the system can do for itself?


Two or more web applications linked together, e.g. an interactive map that shows real-time real estate values

Easily constructed performance support



Podcasts for the eyes

e-Books Think: book on-screen. Searchable. Need to convey lots of information, often reference info. Maintaining a single copy beats the messy process of distributing multiple hardcopies.

 Connecting people

instrant messenger

Immediate connection to selected colleagues & customers.

Presence awareness. Immediate one-to-one connection. Speeds communication. Can be limited to one's contacts. 

Telephone, cell phone What we used to call a phone + photos, video, audio, downloads, SMS, email, browsing, and more. The M-learning tool of choice. Often the simplest, most cost-effective means of delivering performance support, news bulletins, project information.

social networking



A network whose nodes are people or organizations. If software can connect those nodes through common tags, it is called social network software,

Locate individuals with common interests or simply see what others with your interests are paying attention to. 

organizational network analysis

Map interactions among individuals or organizations. Software is available to help.

Identify bottlenecks, optimize community bonds, reduce risk of disruptive turnover


Telephone over the internet. 

Integrates Instant Messenger with free or cheap telephone service, conference calls, etc.


A yellow pages or database of people identifying their expertise

Find the right person to question or collaborate with.


An internet-based means of sending text messages and files to groups or individuals.

Direct communication to others. Can be used to post to blogs and wikis. Upside: everybody knows. Downside: spam, needless cc:, overflow.

Email list

Subscribers to a list send messages for redistribution to all; early but still viable way to share information.

Conduct discussions and provide updates on an opt-in basis on any platform.


communities of practice

(Often informal) groups of people who identify with one another professionally who share information, vet newcomers, and develop new practices

Bottom-up knowledge and innovation. Replaces some training. Professionals create and share knowledge on their own


Discussion board with email. Can be open or closed.

Participate in discussions. Past messages are archived in perpetuity.

Team blogs, project blogs

Shared blogs with a purpose

Coordinate projects, share rules of thumb. Simple, lightweight technology


Collaboration over time, share ideas, co-create practices, share insights.

Cooperative decision-making and documentation. Can replace email with a single copy all refer to. . 

Web conferencing

Converse, create & share knowledge online. 

Circuitry for learning, innovation, and change. Eliminate distance as a barrier to getting together.

Collaborative writing

Several people edit the same document

Quick way to reach consensus. No version control because there is only one version.

 Group Meetings


Mass rally online without the travel cost

Creates team spirit, rapid roll out

Virtual Meetings

From conference call to full-video conference in real time

Eliminate distance

Virtual Presence

Persistent online meeting room with screen sharing, stored presentations, chat, etc.

Provides a readily accessible place for people to chat while watching live slide shows and web tours


Impromptu events where participants define the agenda.

Great for focusing on topics people want to process. Scant administrative overhead. Don’t wait for the annual meeting!

Open Space, World Cafe

People rotate through several small-group presentations to discuss things they are passionate about

Foster innovation. Rapid transformation and buy-in at big picture level among groups.


Courses or workshops Learners come together virtually or in person to follow a curriculum, generally for a fixed period of time and often with after-the-fact recognition in the form of grades, ratings, or certification. Formal learning, but vital for teaching novices a framework on which to hang subsequent learning.
Games and simulations Practice, practice, practice. Sometimes in a mission-critical  environment (war game s, flight sims, financial trading.) Major behavioral or attitudinal change.


learnscapes  The environment of web-enabled informal learning. Informal learning meets the internet cloud


Wireless text communication among participants in a meeting, sometimes surreptitious

Encourages understanding by sharing multiple viewpoints

Meta-Learning Learning about learning. Self-improvement, accelerate and deepen learning.
Immersive Environments

3D space where avatars meet to build things and interact

Online training room of the future? Used to conduct meetings, prototype designs, test consumer preferences.

Walled environment (ELGG )

Combines blogs, wikis, bulletin boards, tracking, and discussion into a single log-in portal

Coordination, selective access, and tracking make these valuable for schools or other environments which need protection from the cacophony of the web.

personal knowledge management

An individual’s personal pages, links, photos, etc.

Online portfolio and job aid. Learning launchpad

Internet inside

Internet software behind the corporate firewall

Get the familiar advantages of the internet (syndication, search, content creation, file transfer, secure storage) inside the organization. Interoperability, lower total cost of ownership, no vendor lock-in.

Conversion experience Challenging group experience: Outward Bound, witnessing a miracle, personal catharsis, Center for Creative Leadership, shared hardship or deprivation. Learning to be rather than learning to know. Change belief system.

web two-oh

The read/write internet as learning platform. Small pieces, loosely joined.

Great way to learn what you need to know to do the job when you need to know it


  Explorations for teams and individuals. Recommended practice exercises. 



Informal Learning



Connections & networks





March 16, 2007                            






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