Friday's Finds: teaching ourselves

Here are some of the things I found via Twitter this past week.


@barrydahl “Forget about giving the guy a fish, or teaching him how to fish, either. Teach him how to teach himself.”

@euan “People can’t have authentic conversations with customers if work requires them to leave their real selves at the door”

“When someone is searching,” said Siddhartha, “then it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes see is that what he searches for…”  – via @WDYWFT

@skap5 “Project selection is key. Accepting non-strategic projects or jobs for the cash will haunt you in more ways than you can predict.”

@Ambercadabera “Social Media is now a job, but one day it will be a skill. You dont have a “Director of Phone”” – via Soclogical

Antony Mayfield: “We don’t grasp how magnificently, terrifyingly complex networks are ...” – via @JohnnieMoore

We don’t grasp how magnificently, terrifyingly complex networks are. We like to draw pictures of them and then think we’ve captured their meaning, when they are more like the weather – always changing, hyper-complex. Predictable if you are smart and have a huge amount of data and training, but only to a point and only some of the time. (There’s mileage in that weather forecasting analogy – I’d like to come up with it.

WSJ: How to get a real education by Scott Adams

Fail Forward. If you’re taking risks, and you probably should, you can find yourself failing 90% of the time. The trick is to get paid while you’re doing the failing and to use the experience to gain skills that will be useful later. I failed at my first career in banking. I failed at my second career with the phone company. But you’d be surprised at how many of the skills I learned in those careers can be applied to almost any field, including cartooning. Students should be taught that failure is a process, not an obstacle.

Maker’s schedule, Manager’s schedule by Paul Graham

Most powerful people are on the manager’s schedule. It’s the schedule of command. But there’s another way of using time that’s common among people who make things, like programmers and writers. They generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can’t write or program well in units of an hour. That’s barely enough time to get started.

When you’re operating on the maker’s schedule, meetings are a disaster. A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in. Plus you have to remember to go to the meeting. That’s no problem for someone on the manager’s schedule. There’s always something coming on the next hour; the only question is what. But when someone on the maker’s schedule has a meeting, they have to think about it.

@tdebaillon Emotional Surplus – via @TimKastelle

Interactions are a human-to-human matter, they involve people, not brands. Whether it be a customer service rep, a sales person, a community manager, another customer, a relative, conversations and engagement are always about exchanging knowledge between different human beings. Period. Nobody, unless irremediably harebrained, has ever conversed with a brand. In that context, talking about brand engagement or online presence is pure nonsense.

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