Jay Cross

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


In Uncategorized on January 9, 2009 at 11:44 pm


It is great to interact with people who don’t need to be instructed in the rules for brainstorming. Thank you for your suggestions; the words are prodding me to flesh out my vision of what’s taking shape.

First of all, this is a non-profit endeavor. The goal is to change the world. Participants will be rewarded with karma. Of course, when you change the world enough, and people notice. Our name can’t be frivolous, for that doesn’t match the dream.

Our primary purpose is fostering innovation in learning in organizations. My interest is in corporations, but learning underlies everything in life, so it’s not a business-only deal.

The economic spasms shooting around the globe are the precursor to a new age. The rigid, mechanical, predictable, slow-moving, top-down industrial age is giving way to flexible, erratic, rapid-fire, empowering web of relationships. Things are not going to snap back to “normal,” for we’re redefining normalcy.

This phase change makes the times ripe for bold experiments and unprecedented innovation with human learning. On the one hand, yesterday’s classrooms and workshops are too slow, cumbersome, and expensive to meet today’s needs. On the other, we know that people learn best from one another in the context of working with one another. Economic turmoil and survival instinct can force staid corporations to get serious about the social, networked, peer, sharing, bite-sized, need-driven, self-serve, collaborative learning we’ve been talking about amongst ourselves.

Our group will host challenging conversations among well-meaning people from multiple disciplines. Not just learning and organization development and knowledge management consultants, but also mash-ups of cognitive scientists, labor leaders, CFOs, anthropologists, psychologists, historians, executives, and others.

Our agenda is change. We’re trying to influence business culture, not start a school or produce erudite white papers. I’m leery of names that smack of theory instead of practice. These are too theoretical: emergent, meta-, competenz, education, knowledge. The word learning itself is dangerously close to the line.

Positive words are next, commons, innovation. I wish we find a way to shoehorn in concepts like humanism, holistic, and heartwarming, too.


Jay’s technology session at Learning Technologies 2009

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2008 at 11:14 am

Learning Technologies 2009

Track 1   Session 1

Learning technologies: the road ahead
Under the radar: great technologies that you could be using

Collaborative Learning;

Blip.fm for exploring music (and our soundtrack)  MariaFernanda choconancy

Backnoise for back channel, to get more conversations going. Go here to take part.

Poll: Jane’s Top 100 List

  • Write a blog?
  • Twitter
  • TED talks
  • RSS Reader
  • YouTube, SlideShare
  • Skype/Instant messaging
  • Google Docs/collaborative writing

Learner redefined. Prospering in community with others. Becoming who you are. Getting good at what you do. Figuring out how to do a good job. Preparing for an uncertain future. More




Smart Search, e.g. Informal Learning Flow. Tony Karrer. Jay Cross

Activity streams, e.g. Jay’s FriendFeed. FriendFeed. Jay’s Tumblr.

Jay’s learning ecosystem


Research page





Mimeo on-demand publishing for training

Lulu on-demand publishing for books

Veodia video directly to the cloud. Example.

EyeJot for video email and a sample

Scribd “social publishing” for documents


Google for an ever-greater array of services. Docs.

Delicious tools for shared bookmarks

MindMeister for collaborative mind-mapping

Emergent Learning Forum

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2008 at 9:01 pm

“He who is not busy being born is busy dying.” Bob Dylan


The Emergent Learning Forum is a non-commercial, diverse community coming together to foster innovation at the intersection of learning and business.

Mission: Foster innovation in organizational learning

* We tell it like it is
* We are stridently non-commercial
* We share our findings freely

* Face-to-face conversations of people from diverse disciplines
* Fishbowl conversations shared live on the web
* Online community, archives, recordings of sessions, and discussion area
* Unconferences and events when we feel the need

How We Operate
* We are purposely edgy; we consider ourselves innovators and provocateurs
* We do not offer consulting services and do not charge for research reports
* We eject people who attempt to use our forum for self-serving sales pitches

Emergent Learning Forum is in formation. We are recruiting advisers and expect to begin the conversation in January 2009.


Innovation is the product of mashing up diverse disciplines. Learning is already a core topic among practitioners of training, knowledge management, talent, change management, social network analysis, and organizational development, but they don’t talk among themselves enough. The Forum intends to push further, to enrich the dialogue more by adding perspectives from politics, the arts, visualization, the sciences, network studies, management science, information architecture, and other fields.

Our premise that humanity is going through a phase change from the industrial age to the network era. Last time around, clockwork replaced working to the rhythm of nature, mind-numbing piecework replaced working with nature, urban slums were invented to house people who once lived in the countryside, and people died of stress, but in the end, we live the most luxurious life-style in history as a result of their torment. We are convening Emergent Learning Forum to spark the innovation that will enable us to reach the other side of this chasm with a maximum of joy and minimum of tragedy.

Human ingenuity knows no limit. Learning is how our species adapts. Our environment shapes us, we shape our environment, we optimize for each step of evolution. Learning is the art of maintaining an ideal fit with one’s ecosystems. The Forum picks up Doug Engelbart’s challenge: to augment the group intelligence of human kind.

Potential Events

Collaboratory session. Three hours. Profesiional video. About one/month. Slice and dice for the web.

Hillside Club Emergent Learning Forum. Evening events. Tech + social mashup. Every six weeks or so?

Small face to face meeting, online fishbowls. Anyone can run a meeting on their own provided they share what they learned.

CLO online show?


In the early stages, Jay will act as benevolent dictator, making the rapid decisions required for lift-off, with or without the approval of others. However, since Jay does not relish being a despot and wants to hand off leadership once the ball is in motion, I encourage participants to think of themselves as partners in this effort, not subjects. A small board helps figure out how we can change the world and  makes suggestions to keep the effort on course. We are actively recruiting board members.

AT&T is run by clowns

In Uncategorized on December 15, 2008 at 7:58 am

This is another saga in my series on dumb-ass, time-wasting companies that should know better.

I called ATT to report that my land line went dead three weeks ago. The automated message at 611 said they were experiencing heavy traffic and suggested I report the issue on http://att.com/repair.

I went to the ATT repair site and wrote down what was wrong. When I pressed CONTINUE, I was offered tutorials on how to rewire my phone jack and so on. I have a lot to do today besides helping the phone company sort out its problems, so I pressed CONTINUE once more.

It seems that I have to register in order to report a phone problem. Curious. The phone company never has a problem identifying me each month they send out the bills.


The next page asked for my Online Registration Code.  Huh? A sidebar  explains:

As part of our efforts to meet the requirements of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and to protect your privacy, we have enhanced our online security features. AT&T now requires an online registration code in order to register for an online account. When you request the online registration code you will be able to select a delivery method that is convenient for you. You may select to receive an email to the email address we have on record, a phone call to the telephone number we have on file, or a letter via U.S. Mail to the address we have on record. Once you have received the online registration code you can enter the code in the space provided on the online registration form.

I click “Request an online registration code.” I (again) enter my phone number. Plus the last four of my Socail Security Number and my zip code.


Okay. I put in my other phone number, the one that has not worked for a month.


I went back a few screens and clicked that I had forgotten my password. ATT sent me a temporary password. I entered it.


I started a new conversation online. This meant my earlier trouble report would vanish. However, I got in! But after I select a new password, I have to make up two security questions to protect my privacy. Could not any hacker make up her own questions?

Finally, several screens later, I am back to my Repair Request. I enter the problem. (Back in the beginning I was asked to enter my primary phone number after I had entered the number I was asking to be repaired.)


My “Account Manager” page appears to link to only one of my phone numbers. I cannot find a way to add my second line.

I go back to the beginning page. It features this woman, who appears to be having a much happier time reporting her repair. Or maybe she’s just check her phone bill:


I try to open an account for my second line.


I enter the last four of my wife’s Social Security Number.


I give up. I have spent an hour dorking around with this Kafkaesque site.

December 9

In Uncategorized on November 28, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Jay Cross, Jane Hart, and Charles Jennings invite you to join a four-hour discussion and workshop to build the business case for informal corporate learning. We are convening a small group of thought leaders in social networking and informal learning to discuss the near-term future of organizational learning, given such factors as:

* economic slowdown and corporate reconfiguration
* increasing democratization of the workforce
* pervasive internet infrastructure for social networking
* convergence of knowledge, knowledge work, and learning

The global recession is wiping out traditional training budgets in corporations. This is an ideal time for organizations to adopt informal, bottom-up, collaborative approaches. Nonetheless, most corporations seem paralyzed, afraid to take action. The purpose of our session in London is to identify the barriers to change and discuss what corporations can do to embrace networked, self-service learning. We hope you will be able to join us.

The event is free and by invitation only.

The meeting is at Thomson-Reuters in Canary Wharf this December 9. Please arrive at Reception by 9:45 am. Charles Jennings or Jackie Wykes will meet you there and escort you to the 5th floor Board Room. Lunch will be served at 12:15 pm. We adjourn at 2:00 pm.


  1. Charles Jennings, Thomson Reuters
  2. Jane Hart, Center for Learning & Performance Technologies, togetherlearn
  3. Jay Cross, Internet Time Group, togetherlearn
  4. David Gurteen, Gurteen Knowledge
  5. David Price, Global Sensemaking
  6. Deborah Findlayson, Diageo
  7. Norman Lamont, Lloyds TSB
  8. Claire Line, Lovells
  9. Laura Overton, Toward Maturity
  10. Hugh Greenway, Reed Learning
  11. Paul Kearns, PWL, Speaker/trainer/author
  12. Peter Butler, British Telecom
  13. Fae Longman