The most popular posts in almost every community center around someone sharing their work. I’ve seen it time and time again; people post a job aid, or a solution to a problem and it is liked, shared and implemented by others.
This sharing, or amplifying of a message is one of the core principles of Working Out Loud. It’s a main piece of our company’s social learning strategy and is being championed by people like Jane Bozarth (@janebozarth) and John Stepper (@johnstepper). We’re set to launch a promotion around it next week and I’ll let you know how it goes. But now I thought I’d post this, since even people who are tapped into social learning in my org were not sure what it is.
WHY WORK OUT LOUD?
Working Out Loud helps foster innovation by allowing community members to add onto one another’s work. By sharing your experiences, you may be able to help someone with a similar issue. You may post an idea or a problem that others in the community can help solve. It also connects people together. By seeing what others in the community are working on, you can align your work with others and reduce duplication. Or make tasks more efficient by combining efforts.
SO HOW DO I DO IT?
It’s really simple; just post something in whatever microblog stream you use. It can be Twitter, Yammer or an internal feed like we have powered by Newsgator. The post doesn’t have to be earth-shattering or the cure for global hunger. If you’re working on something, chances are someone else will find it interesting and someone will be able to use what you share. For example, a while back someone I was mentoring in social media asked how to ease the clutter in their Twitter feed. I made a quick job aid in PPT (it took me less than 30 min) on how to use Twitter lists. Now rather than just send that to the one person, I posted it in our microblog feed to share with others. It was work I was doing during the course of my day and it was liked by 5 people and others commented on it.
It doesn’t even have to be something you’ve produced. It could be an issue you have or a problem you resolved. Let people know what you’re doing. It helps the group discover more about you; what you’re working on, what expertise you have. And don’t forget to add onto what others are sharing, that’s what makes the whole thing go round and round.
Another great example would be if you leveraged something you picked up in a community. Did you create a piece of bite-sized learning after reading a blog on the subject? Did you or your team struggle with a way to do it? Let the group know. There are no wrong answers or perfect questions.
You don’t have to narrate your entire day, or post every day. But really make an effort to get involved in the conversation. Amplify what you’re doing; show your value and work out loud.