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Preview: Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development

Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development

Training is an event. Learning is a process. Technology supports both. Improving workplace performance is the goal.

Updated: 2017-11-20T05:04:36.680-07:00


EdCast Presents the Future Learning 2020 Summit - Silicon Valley - August 23rd and 24th


I'd like to personally invite you to attend EdCast's 3rd Annual Future Learning 2020 Summit taking place August 23-24 in Silicon Valley.Many of the most well-respected names in the corporate training, learning, and development will be there to discuss critical topics, including how machine learning, artificial intelligence, and augmented/virtual reality are transforming learning today.  EdCast just added some new speakers that you will be interested in hearing from at the event:  New sessions announced to help tomorrow's training learning and development leaders (with more to come):EdCast is still holding a block of hotel rooms at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara at a discounted rate, but the hotel will have to release these soon, so please book as soon as you can. Also, please plan to stay through the night of August 24th to attend the Future Learning Excellence Awards dinner.Last year, 88% of survey respondents said they would recommend this event to a colleague or friend. Please make sure you do not miss out on this year's Future Learning 2020 Summit by registering today. Simply click the button below: [...]

Brent Schlenker Joins EdCast!


The Big Story!I am officially part of team EdCast. If you missed it, I left Litmos a couple months ago. After a few weeks of soul searching and many many conversations with mentors, colleagues, and friends, I decided a new adventure on the cutting edge of learning platform solutions was exactly where I wanted to be. EdCast checked all the boxes for me and my family and I am beyond excited about this journey. Special thanks to the visionary Karl Mehta for trusting me to be a part of his team.A Little Historic ContextI remember very clearly being quite bored with learning tech in late '90s. I had experienced all the authoring tools, the cumbersome LMSs, and a fantastic virtual reality project just as VR entered the trough of disillusionment...and then basically disappeared. The industry wasn't moving anywhere. I didn't see anything changing and contemplated a complete career change. But then the internet changed.The tools that would soon be called Web2.0 started reaching my network of like-minded geeky friends. Blogs, wikis, RSS, and early mobile devices (Remember the Treo?) hit the scene. These technologies changed me. Once again I became excited about my chosen profession and what was possible. I could see the future of learning in this new internet and it was wonderful. This early adoption of Web2.0, and the Learning2.0 craze, helped me build the rest of my career.I was well into Web2.0, but didn't actually start this blog until 2005 when I couldn't sit on the sidelines any longer. I needed to play. And so I began experimenting and sharing those experiments at every event that would accept me. It felt like we were onto something BIG! Check out my first blog post to get a feel for my frame of mind at the time.Sadly, as we rolled into the second half of the 2000s, I realized the L&D market was a LAGGING indicator, not a leading indicator of technology. It would take many more years for these tools to become commercially acceptable. And then many more years for L&D to see the value. Some might argue L&D still hasn't seen the value, or made the shift. It was obvious to me that companies were not ready for this type of disruption in their training departments. But I was lucky enough to join the eLearning Guild and use the DevLearn stage to help influence training practitioners around the world. DevLearn was the first L&D event to use an event hashtag and display the tweets LIVE on a monitor at the event. It was about the same time that a Guild research report stated 82% of Guild members NEVER use twitter. Let's hope that percentage is MUCH lower today.During all of this change in the internet the backend technologies that drove these systems were defined as "the cloud". And just when I was beginning to lose hope that learning tech would ever keep up, I discovered Litmos: The tiny little cloud-based LMS out of New Zealand. This was nearing the end of the 2000s and I had renewed hope that there was something to be excited about. But while I was excited about LMSs finally moving into the cloud, nothing really changed. It was the same LMS functionality we had before just, sort of, a little better, a little cheaper, and a little more user friendly. And that was GREAT! But still no rss capabilities. No wiki-style functionality. And we were STILL trapping media content in the black box of SCORM. Very much not Web2.0. It wasn't what I had envisioned for a truly Learning2.0 platform. Does anyone remember my 2007 keynote at eLearnDevCon in Utah? Were you there? Maybe you saw me deliver similar presentations on Learning2.0 at other events that year. I hope you felt my enthusiasm for the changes I saw in our future. That was almost exactly 10 years ago.That presentation and Learning2.0, 10 years later, is finally reality.So why did I feel like I needed to write a history report? I wanted to give you some context around my excitement joining the EdCast team. There are over 1300 LMSs in the market presented in various shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. The world doesn't need ANOT[...]

TLDChat - Video Friday - Guest Brian Fanzo talks Live Streaming


Welcome to #TLDChat!

Today we are talking with the amazing Brian Fanzo, aka @iSocialFanz !

You can view it here or click the video screen below and login at for the event. 

Be sure to get updates on future #TLDChat guest by signing up for the newsletter at      allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="800" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="" style="border-radius: 3px; border: 1px solid #eee;" width="100%">
powered by crowdcast

TLDChat - Another First for the L&D Industry


Last year we experimented with a daily live streaming show called L&D Talk. It was a fantastic experience, and convinced me that this crazy idea of daily live streaming was now possible. I've been thinking about this since my days in broadcast television back in the early '90s. The live streaming tech that exists today makes it possible within a simple interface. And we are looking forward to moving the L&D industry forward and seeing the future. But we are also focused on how you can do the work of training today and provide immediate business value.Crowdcast.ioThere are many new apps, tools, services, launching in this space, but we've decided on to get us started. So far the tool has been wonderful. The Q&A and polling features are simple to use and add an interesting element to the conversation. The screen sharing is simple to use as well, and now that I have tested it I am looking forward to using it more often in unique ways.TLDChat#TLDChat is a part of the TLDC brand experience. TLDC is the Training Learning and Development C...: Community, Conference, and Chat. All aspects of the experience revolve around YOU, the members of the community. Technology has given us all the ability to organize more efficiently than ever before. TLDC is here to facilitate your success through interactivity with your peers and the experts the you want to hear from.Rings of FocusAre you familiar with the Rings of Focus yet? Maybe not. This is just one way that we looked at designing the TLDC experience. There are 5 rings: YOU in the center, Projects, Team, Organization, and Industry in the outer rings. These 5 areas make up the work in your career. You focus on yourself in order to produce great projects within teams for organizations or clients. You then have the ability to share key learnings and experiences within the industry as a part of giving back to the community that most likely helped you succeed. It always comes back full circle. and TLDC.eventsCheck out to see a list of episodes and review the notes and archived recordings. If you want to participate in the live streaming conversation you can find us at TLDCommunity is yours. Tell us what you want to discuss, learn, and share. We will figure out how to facilitate that for you. Because we probably want the same things.  [...]

Brent Schlenker Says Good Bye to Litmos!


The Big IdeaToday Litmos is announcing that I am no longer working as their Chief Learning Strategist.  We still plan to work together in the future, but currently have no specific plans to announce.A Quick Look Back...I remember meeting the Litmos founders via twitter back when they launched. And seeing them exhibit for the first time while I was Program Director for DevLearn was a highlight. I remember being so excited to finally see a SaaS based Learning Management System disrupt our industry. Of course today, just about all LMSs are SaaS based, but as far as I know Litmos was the first.Litmos was acquired by Calliduscloud back in 2011 and I joined the growing team in 2014.  Up until that point I had experienced corporate training, and L&D, from just about every angle. As a practitioner that included instructional designer, eLearning & virtual reality developer, Director of Training, and other titles across different organizations like HR, logistics, manufacturing, IT, and corporate universities. My passion for technology as an early adopter and evangelist for what we called Learning2.0 launched my industry career beyond my corporate career as a practicing L&D professional which led to my role in programming DevLearn for 5 years. Why Did I Work for Litmos?The piece of our industry that I had not yet experienced, on the inside, was the vendor community. So, in 2014, I jumped at the opportunity to work with the vendor I saw disrupting the industry the most. I learned so much and enjoyed offering them leading industry knowledge, thought leadership, and playing a role in their tremendous growth. Through my industry presence blogging, being active in social media, presenting at events, and marketing campaigns, I provided Litmos visibility across many different channels giving them a voice, and face, in the larger community.So, What's Up?It's been a fantastic 3 years.  Experiences like this have given me a more complete picture of our L&D industry that is unique and valuable. I'm looking forward to taking this experience, and new vision of the future of training/learning into my next role. I'm grateful to the Litmos leadership team for the amazing opportunity. We plan on continuing our relationship while I continue to pursue opportunities helping other corporate training and L&D organizations optimize their training systems and processes.As always, you can find me on twitter @bschlenker, or on snapchat as @schlearning. And my Facebook page is . [...]

Corporate Trainer as Knowledge Broker


I've often referred to the corporate training professional as a Knowledge Broker.  And not in the academic sense (Google it and you'll see what I mean), but in the framework of the corporate training profession. In all honesty, in the corporate setting that just seemed more closely aligned with what training professionals did on the job, and the value they provide to the business.A Knowledge Broker connects those that have the knowledge with those that need the knowledge. - Brent SchlenkerThe Knowledge Broker & Their SolutionsDesigning and developing courses as solutions is only one part of the job. Actually some of your most valuable solutions to the business do not involve the creation of training content or courses. The Knowledge Broker has a much larger bag of solutions to choose from than the traditionally defined training professional. But don't get too caught up in the semantics of it all.  No matter what your job title is, thinking differently about how you provide value to the business is the ultimate goal."Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match!"It may seem over simplified, but here's the reality: Some employees HAVE the knowledge and other employees NEED the knowledge.  New employees, often overwhelmed, approach the training department looking for answers, for content, for training... but mostly just for help. And more often then not, just connecting the new hire with the subject matter expert is all they need to get started.  It's 1:1 training. And it's the most valuable thing you can do.That may not sound like "your job", and that you didn't really do anything because you didn't design a solution. But I would argue that you did.  In fact, you designed the most elegant and, likely, most effective solution."A designer knows when he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away." - Antoine de Saint-ExuperyRemember To Keep It Simple!p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 20.0px 0.0px; line-height: 17.0px; font: 15.0px Times; color: #272727} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 20.0px 0.0px; line-height: 21.0px; font: 15.0px Times; color: #272727} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 25.0px; font: 20.0px Times; color: #272727} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} span.s2 {font-kerning: none; color: #f99926} Remember to keep your solutions simple, and always look to add value to the business.  Part of your job as Knowledge Broker is simply being a matchmaker. Try adding Matchmaker to your toolkit of solutions. [...]

Remembering L&D Entrepreneur Leader Don Pierson


The L&D industry lost another member of the community last week. Don Pierson died in a car accident last Friday.  Read In Memory of Don Pierson here.This month last year we lost Jay Cross who was such a visible and outspoken advocate for learning and development. But Don was not part of that side of our industry. He was a strong member of the Phoenix entrepreneur community and a builder of software products. He was part of the L&D vendor community. Most ISDs, and practitioners of training and eLearning, probably didn't know him. But many of you have used the products and services he's built for us over the years.Don was a co-founder of Learning-Edge, and founder of Interactive Alchemy. Then went on to launch Flypaper which was acquired by Trivantis 3 years later. He then jumped outside of L&D, but not by much, and started a business that could track and predict sales performance based on activities (at least that's how I understood it.) He most recently joined the Indecomm team providing software services for some of the largest companies you can think of.I met Don in 1997 when he hired me to work for him at Learning-Edge. That was my first experience working with a small company and the entire team he assembled was top notch. I was honored to be a part of that team. I didn't end up staying long, because I was just starting my family and Intel was pulling me back with offers I couldn't refuse. I was only there a year, but that year built many great relationships.I lost touch with most of my Learning-Edge colleagues during my Intel years until I discovered the Interactive Alchemy offices a half mile down the street from my house. Then he and I met for lunch and he introduced me to his latest project, Flypaper. It was very cool! I was programming DevLearn at the time and I remember their first appearance in the expo...they had the coolest stickers. Those were the golden years of eLearning to be sure.Don and I had just recently started meeting for lunches again and talking L&D.  I was actually looking forward to our next lunch today. I will miss him. And my heart goes out to all of his family and friends.Don was a big part of the Phoenix startup community. StartupAZ #yesphx has created a memorial fund in his name that will support the StartupAZ Foundation. Please consider giving a small donation in his honor. [...]

Video Friday - Scoping Video Projects for eLearning


Today we're joined by the President of Cine Learning Productions, Diane Senffner, for a fantastic discussion about all things Video Learning!

You can find out more about Diane and Cine Learning Productions at:

Some fun tangents videos we referenced:

Keep this conversation going on LinkedIn:

Also chime in with your 140 characters of comments on Twitter!

...And we'll see you here every weekday at 8am Pacific / 11am Eastern allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">

L&D Talk: Gartners Emerging Tech Hype Curve, LMS Platforms, The Changing L&D Industry


L&D Talk is presented by - Get your FREE trial at

Today our panel discussion centered around the new Gartner Hype Cycle For Emerging Technologies report.

We also discuss LMS markets, trends, and issues.

Keep this conversation going on LinkedIn:

Also chime in with your 140 characters of comments on Twitter!

L&D Talk is every day 8am Pacific Time. We are currently testing new live streaming platforms.
But you will always find us at

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Christmas Items for the Training Professional on Santa's Nice List


Check out these 3 great lists of gift ideas for the corporate training professional in your life.

This is a 3 Part Series from The eLearning Blog.

Trainer's Emergency Kit Items
Video Recording Gear

You can also see the Holiday Gift Guide for that Special L&D Professional in Your Life from Brian Washburn at his blog Train Like a Champion.

Brian was the inspiration for part 2 of the Litmos blog series the Trainer's Emergency Kit. So, I'm certain you'll find more cool stuff in his latest post.

There are big items and there are stocking stuffer ideas. You're sure to find something for the trainer in your life. Let's stop giving apples :)

Remembering Jay Cross and Informal Learning


We lost an great leader in the Learning and Development community this weekend. His presence will be missed. But his impact will forever be felt by an industry struggling to see the future that appeared so clearly to him. I will miss Jay's casual, yet driven, approach to spreading the word about informal learning...and that smile. Oh, and those shirts. They were the perfect informal vehicle for carrying his message of informal learning. His warm presence will be missed at industry events all over the world.  We love you. Rest in peace, Jay.-----------------I am encouraging everyone in the industry whether you knew him or not, to record a short, "informal", video with a short story, or comment about Jay's impact on your work.  I will be collecting and editing them together to be posted on the ITA website or other appropriate internet location.You can use to send large video files. And send it to brentschlenker(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks! [...]

My Advice for New Bloggers - Don't do it!


Nick Leffler shared a tweet of mine in his blog post Community Advice for New Bloggers.It's a great post. And I say that because it got me thinking. Not many posts that I read, or write for that matter, do that any more. In fact I reflected so deeply on the post that I felt moved to blog here again. I haven't posted here in a while and the few posts that I have done have been few and far between. So, special thanks to Nick for writing the post and for all those who shared their thoughts about getting started.Blogging has changed so much over the last 10+ years. In the early 2000s blogs were pretty much all we had for sharing our own content online. Compare that to today's social media cacophony and I can see why people don't even feel it's necessary to blog. Why bother, when I can just post to twitter, or update my status in Facebook, or share an article on LinkedIn, or share photos on Instagram...I almost typed Flickr but that's not so cool these days...and now I feel old.Today's blogosphere seems to have a lot of rules. There are a multitude of books on how to blog, how to write the best headline, how to make money with your blog, and so much more. The wild west world wide web of yesterday it seems has matured into the big city internet.Professional writers have taken over the internet providing an unending stream of content to large blogging sites like The Huffington Post and so many others. Blogging has simply become a shorter form of writing for the professionals and aspiring professionals. And I find that quite sad. Those who simply want to write in a blog stop themselves because they don't feel like they are good enough, or ready. I call BS!I never started writing this blog to "become a writer". Although I will say it built my confidence in sharing what I know. Honestly, my favorite part was knowing that I didn't need to be a good writer to start my blog.  I didn't need to worry about spelling, I didn't need to worry about grammar. I just didn't care because the only person I was doing it for was me.When I first discovered that people were finding my blog and reading it, and commenting on my grammatical errors I was SHOCKED to say the least. But after getting over the initial fear and uneasy feeling of being judged I found a comfortable groove and enough positive, friendly supporters, that I just kept going.It actually became quite fun to know that I had the power to irritate the grammar nazis with a misplaced apostrophe, or using too instead of to. But my personal favorite has always been using too many exclamation points. I LOVE IT!!!!! And more importantly...I really dont' care if you don't!!!!!!!See?! That's what blogging was.  It was the internet's first gift of user-generated content. Then it all when to hell from there.If you really want to start something with a little more 21st century kick, start a YouTube channel. If you really want to write about your chosen profession, then just use the platform built into LinkedIn. You don't need to mess around with wordpress, or the headaches that come with it, just to express yourself these days. There are plenty of really simple platforms for expressing yourself in writing.  Make your life easier and just start blogging in those spaces.My blogging advice to those who are set on doing it stands as stated in Nick's blog.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that really isn't what I should be advising anyone. If you are a writer, or want to be a writer, then fine. Go start a blog and practice your craft. There is no better environment for practicing than in the real world. So go for it.However, if you are looking to express yourself with the medium of tomorrow then consider video. The YouTube explosion today, is what blogging was 10 ye[...]

Serendipity and Reflection on Games and Learning


I've always wanted a reason to try out Storify and so I took my own advice and just did it. This week I posted about Mary Meekers Internet Trends Report on the Litmos blog. There are just under 200 pages of information.  And each page lights up a new nugget of information shining light on an otherwise unseen trend in technology.

One of the most interesting items Mary reveals is the trending of vertical video.  You've seen these people. The soccer moms recording their kids with their smartphones in portrait instead of the video standard landscape mode.  Well, it's not just that soccer moms are doing it wrong.  They may actually have been the early adopters.

And of course knowing that the eLearning industry is a technology lagging indicator, I wrongly assumed that it would be a long time before training departments starts producing vertical video.

Wrong again!

Shortly after publishing my Litmos blog post I had this conversation on twitter.
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Looking Back at Wikis - My Early Days of DevLearn - and 2015


Nobody really talks about wikis any more. I think the closest most people get to a wiki these days is wikipedia. Bummer.They were my absolute favorite new tech back in the day. The genius of the wiki was it's edit-ability. Of course today, everything is sharable and editable by multiple people. Google docs is the best current example. Ho hum... I still dream of an old-fashioned wiki circa 2005-ish.It's the end of the year so I'm already feeling a bit nostalgic. So imagine my delight when I read an email from PBwiki reminding me that I have sitting idle. Cool. I wonder what could be there?Wow! DevLearn2006 stuff...LOL! Now I remember how busy Heidi kept me at early eLearning Guild events. Looks like I did 3 sessions and sat on a panel discussion:RSS: The New Learning PipelineInteractive 3D Simulations w/ Macromedia DirectorMXMMOs Gaming and LearningLearning2.0 Panel DiscussionDoes anybody remember DevLearn2007 and the pocket guides I created for the event? Check out the DevLearn2007-PocketGuide.pdf.From the extreme lack of interaction on the pbwiki site I'm reminded how much these technologies scared training people. I remember the rolling eyes, the many dissenting opinions around security, and my personal favorite...  "We can't just have everyone creating and editing content however and whenever they want!!!" - Corporate Gatekeepers and fearful training leaders circa 2005Will anyone admit to being freaked out by this stuff back then? Probably about as many twitter "experts" will admit to "not getting it" when they first signed up.(Feel free to join the pbwiki and add your comments or memories from back then. Maybe I'll keep it around and breath life back into it.)Times have changed...FINALLY! I'm looking at 2015 as the year everything we longed for back in 2005 has finally come true. Complex corporate cultures are even beginning to come around...even if the old guard corporate leadership continues to struggle with it. 2015 will certainly be filled with new incredible technologies. But for our little world of training and eLearning, 2015 is the year we finally see the culture shift we've been looking for. More on that later. [...]

BSchlenker Talks about eLearning - Episode 4 - Learning Rebel, Shannon Tipton


This is episode 4 of The Brent Schlenker podcast. Shannon Tipton, Founder of, is my guest. Shannon is the 4th corporate training professional I've interviewed for this podcast.  We covered a lot of ground in our conversation and had a lot of fun.

If you would like to be a guest, feel free to contact me @bschlenker on Twitter, or leave a comment here. Or if you'd rather just ask a specific question you can always send me your questions with the hashtag #askBschlenker. (...because #askBrent is already taken by Brent Rivera who apparently tweets naked.)

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BS Talks About eLearning - Episode3 - Microlearning with Tom Spiglanin


This is episode 3 of The Brent Schlenker Podcast.  In this episode I chat with Tom Spiglanin, engineer turned training professional. Tom and I have been connected online for a long time, but only recently met face-to-face at DevLearn2014.

We talked about microvideos, and microlearning, as well as answering a question about keeping up with rapidly changing content.

After you listen to the podcast I'd love to get your feedback.  Hit me up on twitter @bschlenker, or just leave a comment here.

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BS Talks About eLearning - Episode 2 - Job Hunting Tips


(image) This is episode 2 of The Brent Schlenker Podcast. In this episode I talk with Chiara Hughes of HeadFarmer recruiting.

We covered a few topics:

  • What is Head Farmer?
  • How Chiara got into recruiting
  • Your LinkedIn Profile
  • Your Resume - Do you still need one?
  • Mistakes to avoid on your resume and LinkedIn Profile
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In the spirit of learning out loud I'm posting this episode of the podcast without using soundcloud. I'm learning how to use google drive to hold my podcast file, and then using blogger to publish. Let me know how this works for you. Thanks! BSchlenker that didn't work.  I've updated this post with the soundcloud version.  I will keep trying new options.

Is Classic Storytelling a Good Model for Corporate Training?


We've all seen the many blog posts on the benefits of storytelling and learning. But I wonder if it's beneficial in a corporate business setting where workers just want the information they need, fast, so they can get back to work.  Are today's employees capable of sitting through a storytelling session? Should they be?

The above thoughts were sparked by the following info graphic below. What do you think about the story format in the workplace? I'd love to hear what you think.

(image) Like this infographic? Get content marketing training from Copyblogger Media that will give you an unfair business advantage.'

NEW PODCAST - BS Talks About eLearning - The Brent Schlenker Podcast


I wasn't kidding in my last post. It really is time for reinvention and kicking things up a notch... or in this case, TWO notches. Besides starting a newsletter (SUBSCRIBE here), I've also started a little podcast: BS talks about eLearning.

frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"> Like everything else I do it's a work in progress, but I'm happy with finally taking that first step. It will be available for subscription via iTunes soon.  I'm still figuring out all of the details.

If you have feedback or ever want to be on the show just contact me via twitter: @bschlenker.


10 Years of Blogging - Time to Reinvent and Kick Things UP!


Hey, you guys ROCK! Thanks for riding this social media, blogging, eLearning2.0 roller coaster with me.

I'm into the 10th year of this blog and so I'm trying something new. In continuing the spirit of this little 10 year communication experiment, I'll be launching a newsletter.

Like everything else about this blog I don't know how often I will send one, or exactly what I will be including in it. I want it to be valuable information that helps you grow in your career. I don't claim to know anything more than you, but I'll share my years of experience and test out new technologies with you.  I will respect your time, your email address, and our relationship.

My guess is that it will be devoted to Corporate Training and eLearning Strategies and Development with some sprinkling of Apple fan boy news, technology tips, and other random things that I find interesting and think you will too.

There is a Newsletter signup on the top of the right side of the blog, or you can access the Newsletter Signup page from the tab above. Enter your email there to receive the newsletter.

If for some reason you are unhappy with the newsletter please let me know, or simply unsubscribe.

I'm looking forward to another 10 years of social media, training, eLearning, and fun! And I do hope you'll join me for the ride.

Brent Schlenker @bschlenker

HangChat: Google Hangout on Air During a Twitter Chat


Twitter chats have become very popular.  But popularity comes at a price. Besides the large number of tweets streaming by, you end up with spammers spamming the hashtag and other unnecessary noise.  In the early days, with fewer participants it was easier to engage in quick multi-tweet conversations to dig deeper, or gain clarity, around someone's point being made.  In my experience lately the large numbers of participants make that quite difficult resulting in a stream of one-liner tweets simply trying to one-up the next.  And while many people find that to be the most enjoyable part of a twitter chat, I prefer a more personable setting. Something with the pacing and question format of a twitter chat, but the intimacy of a video conference.Enter Google Plus Hangouts on Air (G+HoA)A G+HoA is a live video conference with up to 10 participants in video chat room setting. Think of it as a virtual dinner party.  Or a virtual happy hour gathering to watch a sporting event. Or better yet think of it as an over flow room with a video feed of the main room.  Only instead of having only 140 characters to communicate you can talk amongst yourselves and share your twitter chat experience together in a virtual small group setting.Some have put forth the idea of doing a G+HoA right after the twitter chat as a sort of recap. It's an interesting idea, but it doesn't solve the problem of desiring a more human connection DURING the twitter chat experience.After 4 weeks of testing the idea, I've found that doing a G+HoA during a twitter chat more than provides the engagement I'm looking for.How Do We Define a HangChat?I wasn't planning on calling it anything, but the term just popped up mixing the 2 experiences and it stuck.  So let's keep it.  But what exactly is it? Well, I think the best definition was tweeted recently."So these are hangouts that run parallel to someone else's chat?" - Ellen Wagner (@edsonoma)Yes! A HangChat, as I have experienced them, is exactly that. And as I reflect on my experience, I see no reason why there couldn't be many different HangChats occurring simultaneously around one twitter chat. It's an enhancement and extension of the twitter chat experience...nothing more.What Makes for a Good HangChat?Excellent, quick on your feet, facilitation skills, would make for a great HangChat leader.  Of the 4 HangChats I have run I can honestly say I did a TERRIBLE job facilitating.  But it's an experiment and we're testing it out in the open for all to see.  My failure as a HangChat facilitator does not immediately negate a HangChat's usefulness. I've enjoyed them even when I'm running them poorly. And the first 4 weeks of participants have enjoyed them as well.  It's a learning experience. It's what I do...what we do. So, we'll continue to experiment until we find a process that works for everyone.The small groups participating in the G+HoAs do not benefit by "hijacking" the twitter chat conversation. Without the twitter chat the hang chat does not exist. So, it doesn't make sense for anyone, or any entity, to remove the value inherent in the twitter chat. As mentioned earlier, the goal is to enhance and extend.Social Media is Only What YOU Make of it!The beautiful nature of social media is that it can be whatever YOU make it.  It's still the wild west. There are no rules. Except of course for Cammy Bean's ultimate rule of "Don't Be an A******." That still stands.But seriously, there is a reason why there are memes lik[...]