On this page:
  • On blogging and platforms, and experimenting with Google Hangout
  • Visual metaphors: Success
  • Visual metaphor: Danger
  • Visual metaphors: Trust
  • Visual metaphors: Change
  • Visual metaphors: Argument

On blogging and platforms, and experimenting with Google Hangout

I’ve been thinking about how I can take this blog to the next level. Blogging is a fantastic way for me to learn, and I’m amazed at what people are doing with what I share. I want to get even better at it. I’m learning to ask more questions – people are awesome and generous with their insights!

Following up on his comments, Thomas and I chatted about blogging. He’s been learning about platforms, and he had a few tips and suggestions for me. He has a great write-up over on his blog. I wanted to follow up on some of the topics we discussed.

Here are some things people have written about blogging and platforms:

Something felt a little odd for me, though, so I wanted to dig into it further. “Platform” is an interesting word. There are lots of different ways to think about it, and the way you think about it influences your approach. Here are some ways I started thinking about “platform”:

Visual metaphor - Platform

(Feel free to reuse, remix or share this under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence!)

I want to build the kinds of platforms on the right: platforms that people can build on, platforms that fill in the gaps and act as scaffolds or foundations for further growth, platforms that drill deep and bring up resources and insights for everyone. =)

I love it when people do stuff with what I share. I love how there’s a hackerspace in Atlanta with a huge version of one of my sketchnotes. I love how The Shy Connector often turns up in Twitter mentions and blog posts. I love the way Melissa Burch turned one of my visual book reviews into a full-scale webinar. (This is why I use Creative Commons Attribution instead of All Rights Reserved!) I love how people think about stuff and share their own insights, and I love the conversations and new adventures that grow out of that give-and-take.

I love it when people ask me questions and I either point them to a blog post that I’d already written about it, or I write a new post that helps them and people in the future. Sometimes it feels a little haphazard as I jump from topic to topic, but I trust that if I keep filling in the gaps, I’ll make it easier for other people to go on from there.

I love digging into something, trying to figure it out, sharing my thoughts along the way–and learning from other people’s perspectives and experiences in the process.

These are the kinds of platforms I want to build. I’m working on getting better at:

  • Writing and drawing, so that I can share my ideas and other people’s ideas more expressively
  • Editing, organizing, and packaging, so that I can make it easier for people to find and understand what they want to learn
  • Asking questions and trying new experiments, so that I can explore and go deeper

Here’s an experiment I want to try: getting to know people who read this blog. (You!) I want to try talking to people more – asking for ideas, looking for ways to help. Let’s try a Google Hangout about blogging (June 19 8 PM EDT) as a small experiment along these lines. I want to hear about what people want from this blog, find out the questions people have, and discover things that I didn’t know I knew enough to share. It’ll be chaotic, but maybe you can help me figure out how to make the most of it! =)

I’m a little over ten years into blogging, and it’s been great. I wonder what this could be like after fifty, sixty, seventy more years of writing and sharing… Wouldn’t that be interesting? (… gosh, that’s probably 32,000 posts…) What kinds of things could people build on this if we make the most of the opportunities we have? Let’s find out.

Visual metaphors: Success

image

This is part of my Visual Metaphors series. I’m drawing these to help expand my visual vocabulary for drawing sketchnotes. It’s a good way to exercise. Any suggestions?

Visual metaphor: Danger

danger

This is part of my Visual Metaphors series. Like it? Suggest other terms you’d like to see!

Visual metaphors: Trust

trust

Click on the image for a larger version.

We show trust by shaking hands, and by looking people in the eyes. Open body language: “Trust me.” Closed: “I don’t trust you.” Blindfold exercises are popular at team-building sessions. Blind trust is dangerous, though. You could get stabbed in the back.

We don’t trust rickety things. We trust solid ones. We used to trust institutions. Now, maybe not so much. Some are more trustworthy than others. No one trusts a used-car salesman… But for some reason, we trust celebrity endorsements, suits, anything printed, charts, and precise numbers (even wrong ones).

We don’t trust poisonous things, or cats around cheeseburgers. We trust puppy-dog eyes and babies.

Contracts are usually a good idea, because you should trust but verify.

Trust is like launching yourself into the air, hoping that your partner will catch you… but you’d better have a safety net too. A good one.

Trust is like a crystal vase that’s hard to fix when it’s broken, like a bone that heals but will never be the same.

This is part of my Visual Metaphors series. Like it? Suggest other terms you’d like to see!

Visual metaphors: Change

visual metaphors

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Change is a journey. Sometimes you have a map, or a guide, or signposts, but usually just a long and winding road (if that), with the occasional fork or crossroad.

Change is like scaling a cliff or climbing the stairs.

You can have fun with the idea, too.

Change is also transformation, growth, decline.

You can pun about change.

Graphs are handy, too.

Spirals show iteration… Change can sometimes be like taking three steps forward and two steps back. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

This is part of my Visual Metaphors series. Like it? Suggest other terms you’d like to see!

Visual metaphors: Argument

visual-metaphors-argument

(Click on the image to view a larger version.)

Different ways to visualize argument:

  • War: conflict, opposition, fight, demolishing a flimsy argument, score, scoring points, targeting the weak link, poking holes
  • Logic: building an argument, issue-based information systems, sound/unsound logic, follows/does not follow
  • Cooperation: Co-adventurers searching for a creative solution, on the same side, trading, shared journey
  • See also: Balance

This is part of my Visual Metaphors series. Like it? Suggest other ways to visually describe “argument”, or tell me about other terms you’d like to see!