I set up my first blog in March 2014. It was the initial activity in a Social Learning Practitioner Program (SLPP) that I was undertaking. At the time I was leading an Academy at Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA). Joining CCA in 2011 had introduced me to the ‘702010 framework’ as an approach to learning. 702010 is now commonly referred to as the 3Es – Experience, Exposure and Education. Exposure is about social learning – learning through exposure to, and interaction with, other people. Using this framework to design blended learning programs with my team sparked my curiosity to explore social learning in a broader sense – as part of self-directed informal learning. This led me to enrol in the SLPP offered by Jane Hart. The program invited me to adopt social learning practices for my own development as a foundational step before exploring how I could support others to use social learning.
The first activity in the SLPP was to set up a blog and then write about this activity. At the time I wrote:
‘For many years I’ve been clear on my overarching purpose – ‘to continuously learn and support others to learn.’ Blogging is a tool that I think will be tremendously valuable in living this purpose.’
This turned out to be true.
The reasons I gave for blogging in 2014 have been realised:
1. To learn – to consciously seek new ideas and information that I can use now or in the near future (or that simply grabs my attention and who knows where it may lead) and to make sense of it – to consider it, think about it, connect it and figure out what it means for me or for others I am connected to. 2023 update – Two other ways that blogging helps me to learn are (a) through reflection on my own experience , and (b) by increasing my accountability for things I say I am going to do in my blog posts.
2. To connect – to reach out to others, engage in conversations, and build my network (which means I am then able to learn more too). 2023 update – Since 2014 commenting on blogs is less common so posts support connection through sharing them through other channels including social media and direct personal communication.
3. To contribute – to support others to learn, grow and achieve their goals, either intentionally through applying what I learn or through the connections I make, or serendipitously and perhaps never knowing that I have helped someone else through sharing on my blog, or sharing ideas developed through my blog.
Blogging became a key element of my Working Out Loud (WOL) and Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM) practices. These practices radically shifted my professional development and opened up fresh, expansive career opportunities. However, in the past few years my personal blog languished as my creative energies focused on building my relaunched business, Learning Uncut. Managing and working in my own business has been very consuming and I’ve had to put aside some activities. I closed down my personal blog when I set up the new business website.
I’ve missed the freedom of my personal blog, where I can reflect on and share what I’m working on and learning, and how I’m doing both.
By kicking off my blog again I’m reclaiming this personal learning space. This is my sandpit. A place to play, to try out ideas, to be imperfect. I’ve missed the freedom of exploring any topic or activity that takes my interest, rather than being constrained to those that are relevant to my business. There is joy in simply following my own curiosity and seeing where it leads.
My posts will be about what I’m working on and learning, and how I’m doing it. I will also write about things that are on my mind – topics that I’m thinking about. I’ll also post about personal interests and activities. Posts will often be written quickly to capture snippets, favouring flow over finished product. Progress over perfection. Many posts will not be very polished. They may ramble a little and jump around a bit.
My goal is to use my blog as a tool to help me continuously learn. I hope that others occasionally find something of value to them here too.*