When we are young, all we learn we learn through play. Why should it stop there?
An interesting article in Wired by John Seely Brown and Douglas Thomas Page explores the role of online gaming as job training and a recruiting qualifier:
...Unlike education acquired through textbooks, lectures, and classroom
instruction, what takes place in massively multiplayer online games is
what we call accidental learning. It's learning to be - a natural byproduct of adjusting to a new culture - as opposed to learning about.
Where traditional learning is based on the execution of carefully
graded challenges, accidental learning relies on failure. Virtual
environments are safe platforms for trial and error. The chance of
failure is high, but the cost is low and the lessons learned are
...In this way, the process of becoming an effective World of Warcraft
guild master amounts to a total-immersion course in leadership. A guild
is a collection of players who come together to share knowledge,
resources, and manpower. To run a large one, a guild master must be
adept at many skills: attracting, evaluating, and recruiting new
members; creating apprenticeship programs; orchestrating group
strategy; and adjudicating disputes. Guilds routinely splinter over
petty squabbles and other basic failures of management; the master must
resolve them without losing valuable members, who can easily quit and
join a rival guild. Never mind the virtual surroundings; these
conditions provide real-world training a manager can apply directly in
The distinction between learning to be and learning about nails it for me. From a little experience working in an immersive group simulations company, I can also point to the potential of these well designed environments to have applicability to learning about. But don't expect them to be quite as fun.
Some related inside baseball: Last night I went on my first WoW raid in a level 60 instance with my level 54 Pally. I wasn't terribly vocal with TeamSpeak and purposely played a passive role. Not just to avoid agro, but learn the role my character will play next time. I'm a guild leader and last night we had someone leave for what the group was quick to write off as no-good-reason, but I hope to bring up the conversation tonight to strengthen the group.
As an employer I'm starting to look for some extracurricular qualifiers:
As a Palo Alto native, the Merc has always been important to me since I was a paperboy. When I was an expat abroad in the mid-Nineties, it was the Merc who looked across the net to tell me Good Morning Silicon Valley. Hard to picture the valley without it. Today we may mourn it.
Dan is on to something that the local community should save the paper, even if it takes the form of a local company, or is just an online spinoff.
Aside: remember when the website was the cutting edge of tables?
Lately, I loathe moving parts. If you buy a 10 disc DVD player, odds are it will break before a single disc player would. We go through a DVD player every 3-6 months, more because of a 3 year old that tries to turn a single disc player into 10, thinks it resembles a toaster and has lately discovered screwdrivers and the notion of fixing the unbroken.
The automobile is the ultimate collection of moving parts. Perhaps by consequence, it is the single greatest money sink for consumers besides credit.
Unfortunately it seems that solid state devices are trending towards the disposable, while things with moving parts at best move towards componentization. This lets you swap out parts as service, but the parts cost more and greater systems expertise is required.
Normally the practice of exclusive broadcasting rights for March Madness is enough to drive you to drink. At a local sports bar, that is. This time, in the year of internet video, CBS is doing what the NBC Olympics should have done -- offer all games over the net. During the game they even set up Game Logs, or glogs, for an amateurish play-by-play.
Sports is tribal, the natives grow restless and this is one token of appeasement. Even though, laughably, Employers will lose $237 million in wages for every 13.5 minutes
workers spend on the Internet tracking games, according to an estimate
by outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.
Security morals? First, this is the cleverest social engineering attack
I've read about in a long time. Second, authentication is hard in
little text windows -- but it's no less important. (Although even if
this were a real co-ed recruited for the ruse, authentication wouldn't
have helped.) And third, you can hoodwink college basketball players if
you get them thinking with their hormones.
Shel Israel says CEO's shouldn't blog, but instead encourage openness and blogging within their organization.
CEOs of public companies are hamstrung by security and other regulatory
restrictions. Even if the company is private, the CEO's primary
accountability is to investors. A product manager, on the other hand,
is mostly loyal to his or her product and accountable to customers. The
CEO's future is tied to company growth and profits. The product
manager's is often tied to happy customers.
I'd beg to differ, because:
The primary skill of a CEO is communication
The CEO is the most accountable to the public
The CEO is the expected voice of the organization
CEOs learn to balance what is appropriate for public and private audiences
Most CEOs simply need introduction to the form of blogging, just like they did email
There is a spectrum of opportunities for engaging in blogging, from reading, to blogging internally, to group blogs, on out
Regulatory restrictions can be managed
I won't list all the risks and rewards of blogging here. But Shel is right in one area, you cannot compel your CEO to blog. I'd start conservatively, offering her a channel to directly and efficiently communicate to employees while building an asset in the process. The result may be they demand a wider audience.
I am tremendously saddened with the loss of Lennart Meri, the President of Estonia from 1992-2001 who died yesterday. He was one of Europe's greatest diplomats, fluent in six languages and the ideal representative for his small country. During the Soviet occupation he was a writer, anthropolgist, filmmaker and cultural leader. He was my boss, a mentor and someone that took a chance on me in my youth.
I remember stitting in his study when I was supposed to be introducing him to the web, and learning far more from how he could put it into perspective. How in a dinner with the head of NATO he could draw upon history to make his argument without confrontation. How he recounted his survival skills in private meeting with Yeltsin that required two bottles of vodka. How his curiosity and knowedge almost surpassed the professor that gave us a tour of Chichen Itza. How he taught me to speak slowly to be heard, act ethically for more than character, believe in freedom that is always at stake and showed me how diverse, deep and delightful life could be. He was, in a word, inspiring.
When I was working late at night with a cold, an isolated and ignorant American in the dead of winter, he brought me up to the west wing and he and his family gave me a homemade basalm. There was a very quiet moment there of care I will never forget.
I really can't recount or express my feelings properly. I can only say that his passing makes me realizes how much he gave to his country and to me. I never had the opportunity to thank him.
The first open session covered identity, reputation and accreditation. Meng Wong put it succinctly: identity is my story about who I am, reputation is other's story about you and accreditation is a story validated by a third party. Not much came of it. At first I was the only person to advocate alternatives to sender pay programs like Goodmail (a good thing to have in the market) like a sender pays but receiver receives (put a price on your inbox) that is decentralized.