Aug 08

Sweettt.com – Episode 6 – The Best Way to Share Knowledge

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Wordle on The Best Way to Share Knowledge
Hi folks!  Here we are again with the next installment from our August 15th discussion.  Here we continue our discussion, no longer focusing on the best way to create a podcast from a conversation (see prior episode) but instead, exploring the notion that the really best way to share knowledge is through the art of dialog.

Engaging in meaningful discourse enables us to truly know what we think we know, by getting a chance to hear what we have to say.  The ability to recognize certain facts and patterns is only an introductory level of understanding.  However, when we can freely recall information & ideas, and actually generate language based on those concepts, this is an indication that a deeper, more thorough level of understanding is achieved.  Take that a step further and show that you can think on your feet, reacting spontaneously the highly-variable momentary situational demands of a conversations, and you have knowledge-sharing nirvana.

So, here is a challenge to all the wonderful speakers out there in the world who thrive on your specialness at the podium.  Are you really doing your best to ensure that people are learning during the time they are investing on you?  If there was a better way to ensure knowledge development within the audience, would you do it?  What is the purpose of the audience?

00:00 BEGIN
00:30 Introduction
01:15 Previously heard, on Sweettt…
02:30 Kicking off discussions without the kickoff.  Keep it natural, baby!  When you make a bit SHOW out of it all, then the prefiltering kicks in.  It’s so much nicer when you forget that you are recording and you get to be yourself, and have a real conversation.
03:40 Your feelings inside of you are a tremendous source of information.  If you don’t feel right doing it, this is telling you something.  If the introduction of a podcast feels pressured and awkward and artificial, then maybe it could be better.  The podcast can sound forced.  It’s much better to do an introduction outside of the podcast.
05:30 Record the introduction at the outroduction is what we’re going to do.
06:30 We could actually record an endless loop.
07:00 Here it comes… The best way to share knowledge… This is what you don’t want to do when you are setting up presentations…  We’re ging way back in time to KM 2003.
08:00 Nancy Dixon – Common Knowledge – The traditional way of doing presentations is not a very good way of sharing knowledge.  Conversations, instead, are the best way to share knowledge.
09:00 In keeping with the idea that conversations are the best way to share knowledge, we actually had an entire conference full of breakout sessions where only 50% of the time was spend delivering the presentations.  The rest of the time should be spent in conversations.
10:30 The idea really caught on.  Attendees were expecting an opportunity to talk and have real discussions during the breakout sessions.  The conclusions was that we should definately keep the presentation to discussion ratio at 50:50.
12:00 Luis remembers that conference & notices how little we see this in other conferences since then.
13:00 Even Enterprise 2.0 had speakers running overtime.  They don’t get it!!!  E2.0, if any conference is supposed to get it, should be a dialog.
13:30 This is a major downfall of conferences.  Speakers are not willing to explore the option to have discussion in their time slot.  People don’t like to give up control and move outside of their confort zone.  As soon as you allow the audience to challenge the speaker, they are not comfortable.
15:15 It’s patronizing & insulting for the speaker to continually talk down to the audience.
15:45 Some sessions @ E2.0 were like a trap, where there was no way to interract with others.  The network was cut off.  And this was not acceptable.  We just left and went to the lobby.
16:45 There is a growing trend & expectation in conferences to allow for this discussion & interraction.  The back channel chat is at least the most minimal requirement.
17:45 The audience might have something more intelligent and smarter to say about your presentation.  And it is good to listen to that.
18:00 Speakers are afraid to allow the audience to talk in the room for fear that it will make them look less of an authority.  Wake up speakers!  Deal with the reality that you do not know everything!  No one expects you to know it all.
18:00 It is a myth that one must be an definitive authority in order to be valuable.  You don’t need to have students sitting at your feet in order to prove that what you know is worth teaching.
19:45 Professional conferences are sometimes the only chance many people have to present the facade of the authority.
20:30 People don’t trust the process of dialog and conversations.  They don’t trust themselves to think on their feet.  Instead of being a facilitator, they play the authority game.
21:30 Carl Frappaolo – Knowledge Management – held a session in the morning that was really refreshing, a real wake up for the attendees.  It was engaging.  He followed the 50:50 Rule.  He invited the audience to engage with him in a discussion.  He played the role of facilitator.
22:30 A full room at 8:00 in the morning, people with expectations to hear about KM 2.0 and not really expecting much… all of a sudden were treated with one slide and 15 minutes of discussion.
23:30 Out take
24:42 END

Aug 08

Sweettt.com – Episode 5 – How to Make a Great Podcast

Hi folks! In this Episode, Luis and I discuss how we are going to handle the logistics of our podcast (e.g. length, number of topics, how to post, how to handle show notes, etc.)  We both want to make sure that we’re using the time to create quality for ourselves and our listeners.  And so, we need to figure out the right format for getting those great conversations we’ve been having into a publishable & consumable podcast.

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Sweettt.com - Episode 5 - Wordle

Tune in and listen to the kinds of things we’re planning to do.  Are we on track?  Is this what makes for a great podcast?  What would you do differently?  If you were creating your own podcast, would you consider this good advice?

Show Notes

00:30 – Introduction
00:50 – We’ve actually up to the 5th episode with this one
01:15 – Previously, on Sweettt.com…
01:50 – Maybe we should use the word Tertulia.
02:15 – Tertulia is already used.  But not Sweettt Tertulia – Place to be… This is quite an exotic word, not English.  Anything not English is exotic, right?
03:35 – The topic of conversations is really the focus here.  If you focus the conversation, what do you get?  Let’s consider all the things we could do, or should do with this podcast.
04:15 – A good podcast will focus on just one or two topics.
06:00 – We hit 113 downloads from Sweettt.com when we checked on Episode 3
07:30 – Doug Cornelius – says that a good blog post should focus on one topic, and shouldn’t go over 20 or 30 minutes, just enough time for a short commute.  My god!  How are we going to cut this down?  We just did an hour and a half!!!  Answer – stay with one topic.
09:45 – We can stick with one topic and really enjoy the subtopics within that one major topic.
10:20 – Very few podcasts that we like go over 30 minutes on average.
11:45 – And so how in the world did we end up recording an hour and a half???  It didn’t feel like it was that long at all.
12:30 – We got lots of feedback from people saying that they really liked the podcast.  But not a single person told us it was too long.  Wake up people!!
13:00 – We think that people enjoyed it because it was an introduction.  And so they forgave the length of it, or maybe didn’t notice the length of it. Hmmmm QUESTION – Is it really a problem when it’s over 30 minutes?
14:00 – 30 minutes can be great for the listener.  However, it’s a challenge for the non-razzle-dazzle-em discussants.  We really were into the discussion.  We weren’t putting on a show.  If we artificially stop at 30 minutes, it will really cause the conversation to suffer.
15:30 – Does it make sense to split a longer recording into mutiple episodes?
15:55 – Other podcasts in the area of KM have done just this.  There was no need for a hard stop.  Instead, the post production edit simply found the natural transition time, that occured naturally in the middle of the conversation.  This was the split point, where it can be divided into multiple parts.
17:25 – Next question – When do you post the episodes?  Post all 3 at the same time?  Or should we post and wait a bit?
18:15 – Matt Moore – http://engineerswithoutfears.blogspot.com/ – Whenever he does a podcast, if it is too long, he splits it up & posts each subsequent episodes one day apart.

(oh!  THAT Matt Moore!!  Hi Matt!!!  When I was listening to Luis, I thought he said ‘Mark.”  Of COURSE I know Matt Moore.  He was my great KM colleague in Australia who always reminded me of the timezone difference for the all the KM calls… that and many other things we discussed via **cough** email.)

19:20 – Actually tracking topics by minutes and seconds can enable the listener to track where to listen to various things within a posted recording.
20:00 – By creating lots of content and pacing how people can digest the content, people don’t get
20:45 – Matt is invited to join the Sweettt Discussion in the future!  (How in the world are we going to get into the Australian time zone?  We should reach out to Stephen Collins too.)
21:00 – How do you create show notes?  What can you do with show notes?  What can you do with the work products that come from listening to the episode again?  Can we use show notes AND also expand out this content into blog entries or other articles?
23:00 – 2 Options – bullet outline of podcast vs. extended blogpost – The blog post option would really create a lot of content.
24:00 – Make sure that you don’t include the blog post inside the same podcast posting.
25:30 – It’s important to keep shownotes brief, and to the point, so that people can listen and then comment.
25:45 – Keep the blog posts and podcasts in seperately posts.
26:00 – We wonder how to post podcasts and blogs at the same site and to keep the podcasts and the blog posts seperately.
27:00 – Using WordPress, we can use pages.
28:30 – We have our solution!  :-)  Our approach will be to have great discussions that won’t be interrupted, and then to split them into more digestible pieces.
30:30 – We don’t want to just talk at people.  But a little bit of pazzaz can be fun too.
31:00 – END

Check out, also, Luis’ blog about Sweettt.com – Episode 5 – How to Make a Great Podcast

Aug 08

Sweettt.com – Episode 4 – Deep Discussions for Podcasts

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In this episode, Matt & Luis launch a discussion about the target main theme to the Sweettt Podcast.  They explore the difference between a podcast that functions to interview people, and one in which people participate in deep meaningful conversations.  The goal of our Sweettt Podcast is to engage is those conversations, the kind in which you would find in the cognoscenti of the 1800’s.  In Spanish, the word is “Tertulia.”  In English, perhaps the word “Salon” best fits.

If we are lucky, we’ll encounter someone as insightful and mischievous as Mark Twain.  But regardless, we will thoroughly enjoy these conversations, if for nothing else, their ability to create social events that gather our colleagues and engage in thesis, antithesis, & sysnthesis.

  • 00:30 Welcome & Introduction – “The Age of Conversation”
  • 01:50 Silly Baboons – Matt sends Luis a photo of the two of them with a caption “Silly Baboons”  Who said that podcasting is not fun?
  • 02:30 We’ve not far from the apes
  • 03:10 Great Photos – Chris Brogan getting a mention for his incredibly good photography skills, amongst many other things! heh
  • 04:00 Our Name & Brand – What should be our name?  Should we include Elsua in the brand?  Finding an identity for The Sweettt ELSUA podcast? Excuse me? (hey!  “Sweettt Elsua” hmmmm) Branding? Podcasting? Is there such a thing? Excuse me?
  • Surprise, surprise!?! We can’t comment on that one yet! (But stay tuned!)
  • 04:45 A future Elsua Podcast, in the making… ELSUA going solo podcasting! YAY!!! About time, too!
  • 05:00 Interviews & Conversations in the Enterprise 2.0 podcast space – On the importance of Enterprise 2.0 interviews… We can’t get enough of them? Fancy being one of our guests?!? Let us know!
  • Sebastian Thomschke getting a mention, too!
  • 06:50 Getting ready to bring more discussants on board
  • 07:00 Mark Masterson – is interested in joining the discussion (actually, Matt broached this with Mark back in Boston)
  • 07:00 John Mell – is interested in joining the discusion
  • 08:00 Mention of Dogear Nation and their dynamic fast-paced style of conversations. Wooohooo! Dogear-Nation getting another mention! (We highly recommend subscribing to that podcasting series, if you haven’t done so already!)
  • 10:00 In depth discussion is the goal, just like a decent long chat over coffee.  Entering the Age of Conversation and on the power of coffee!  What’s the right length of time in a podcast? The one who figures it out gets the big prize!
  • 12:13 Tertulia – Luis teaches Matt a new word.  And then “Tertulia 2.0” was born!
  • 12:50 A loud SLAP is heard
  • 13:15 An intellectual gathering… Babbelfish translates “tertulia” into ‘Social Gathering’… It’s like a Salon. Now really getting into the “Social Gathering” thing. Boy, did we have some good fun or what?
  • 14:11 What is a Salon?
  • 14:30 Tertulia definitely has a strong intellectual component, highly social, intense discussion, very intellectually stimulating
  • 15:30 A cocktail party among the cogniscenti.  This is a Salon.  Tom Short, former IBMer and good friend of ours, gets a mention when talking about the concept of “Salons”. Yes, we are still in search of that identity for the podcast!
  • 16:50 The kind of discussion that Mark Twain would be found within.   Oh, oh, we are now about to get in trouble. Mark Twain coming up on the show, too!
  • 17:40 Agreement, disagreement… Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.  Maybe we just nailed the identity of The Sweettt ELSUA Show: Tertulia 2.0!
  • 18:20 Luis attacks a poor defenseless creature.
  • 18:40 And THAT’s how you share knowledge!!  BAP!!!
  • 19:15 Finish

Jul 08

Sweettt.com – Episode 3 – New Cohost – We’re Going Enterprise 2.0

Hi Everyone.  I am very pleased to announce that Sweettt.com has a new cohost.  This person is very well known by many people within Enterprise 2.0 and Knowledge Management… a long-time friend and collaborator of mine… a person with whom we will be able to explore many topics and discussions in the E2.0 space.  Tune in, and listen.  :-)

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Wordle for This Episode

– Matt Simpson

Jun 08

Sweettt.com – Episode 2 – Embracing Change

Step 1 – YOU DON’T HAVE TO – feel like this anymore.

I’m a big fan of West Wing.  I really am.  The level of discourse in that show is simply wonderful.  The images… the characters… Anyway, there is a nice little exchange I just had with a colleague, who was sharing with me that he was resisting change…

A change
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… he wasn’t comfortable with a change that was about to happen.  And immediately, a scene within West Wing came to mind.

The story goes like this…

The President, Jed Bartlet was plagued with a 5 point drop in approval ratings.  Concurrently, a position paper on how to bring down the Bartlet Presidency was being surfaced by the press.  Because the paper was highly critical of the administration, Bartet and his senior staff had to read the paper.  In the paper was a key message, that…

Leo (Chief of Staff) drives Bartlet to the middle, and Bartlet lets him take him there.

After Bartlet & Leo read the paper, up comes the time for them to talk about it.  Now they are confronted with their partnership in mediocrity.  Bartlet brings up the suggestion from the paper, that Leo is the one driving them to the middle.  Leo struggles with the message and then rejects it with a strong retort, that Bartlet is the one to drive them to the middle.

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The two principles go back an forth in the dialog, and wrestle with whose to blame for their position.  After some negotiation around the topic, it’s recognized that Bartlet is a big thinker, the one with vision, the one who ultimately gives direction.  Faced with that notion, he justifies his political inaction with all the constraints on his office… These incessant compromises weigh him down and keep his true leadership from coming out.


He sighs, “I don’t want to feel like this anymore.”

And then Leo urges him, “You don’t have to.”

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This insight hits Bartlet squarely between eyes.  He and Leo feel the weight lift as they confirm together that they are going to start doing things differently.  They are going to disregard their fear of losing a second term in the Whitehouse.  Instead, they are going to follow some of the vision of the President and tackle some of the issues that they’ve always wanted to.


Step 2 – LOOK FOR A BOLD ACTION – to commit to that change.

No… I’m not through talking about West Wing.  The very next episode begins with Jed Bartlet making a speach in which he is about to to make a bold unprecidented announcement which is certain to enrage Congress, and trigger the parties to launching into a series of political attacks on the Adminsitration.  The speach needs a parable to build up to that announcement.

standing strong
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And so, Jed Bartlet spoke about a story that his grandfather used to tell, about 2 Irish lads who while walking through the countryside came upon a wall that they thought they could not climb.  Instead, of trying to climb or even backing away, they first threw their caps over the wall so that they were dedicated to either get over the wall or lose their caps.

Making a bold statement can be fun, enlightening, and invigorating.  It can liberate you to act freely, without prior burdens.  It can open up new territory so that you can set the direction for yourself and your endeavors.

Crossing Bridge

But don’t be reckless.  Be thoughtful.  Look before you leap.  And get ready for consequences.

A bold move can also disturb and surprise those around you.  They may become shocked and react.  They may wish that there was more of an opportunity for them to persuade you to keep things they way they were.

Keep in mind that, there is a reason to make the move bold.  Certain changes don’t come easily.

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Keep in mind that, as long as you are being fair to others and fulfilling your promises, it is your perfect right to be bold… to catch others by surprise… to be independent… and to act unilaterally.

Do you believe in change?
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