Brandon Hall Research Conference Community

September 17, 2007

janecurtainweekendupdate.gifaykroyd.gifNext week at this time I’ll be at the Innovations in Learning Conference in sunny Santa Clara. Yay!! Harold Jarche and I will be facilitating a pre-conference workshop (“boot camp”) on Sept. 24.

I’ve found in the past that when I’ve facilitated a ‘101’/intro-type/boot-camp workshops, the e-learning readiness of attendees has varied greatly. It makes it difficult to plan. Plus, you generally don’t have a very good idea of who your audience is when you’re offering workshops to the public. To adddress this, Harold and I contacted several attendees last week and – as in my past experience and no surprise – found varied levels of readiness and interests.  We have decided to break many topics down into small chunks and offer them up menu-style to participants. Should make things very flexible and loose. In some ways we’ll be serving up the various dichotomies that we blog about – formal vs. informal, PLEs vs. LMSs, etc. Reminds me of the Saturday Night Live skits with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin…point – counterpoint but (hopefully ; ) without the “Janet, you ignorant *&%!…”

Harold and I have organized and collaborated using Google docs, box.net, email, Skype, telephone, and a conference community (you must be an attendee to be part of the community).

I’ve been getting the conference community up and running over the past few weeks and am happy with the amount of participation and interaction. I think connecting with people before a conference begins can really make a difference in the conference experience. With limited time, it can be difficult to network face-to-face. And that’s a big part of going to conferences. We’re using Leverage Software for the community. It’s exciting to see who’s coming and the people map helps make connections with those who have similar interests.
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The people map puts you in the center. People with similar interests are closer to you and you can just hover your mouse of the pin and it’ll show you their profile. From there you can set up meetings, chat, send email, etc. The community also supports polling, chat, advertising, blogging, messaging, and groups. Blogging and group discussions have RSS and email support.
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I’ll be blogging live next week – here, in the community, and on the Brandon Hall conference blog. Blogelicious. We’re also using a wiki, twittering, maybe a little Facebook sharing…whatever it takes to keep the the communication channels open. Yay!! You can register here. Here’s my quick connect card for those attending.
Join Me at The Brandon Hall Innovations in Learning Conference Community!
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  • http://www.jarche.com/ Harold Jarche

    Ah yes, a little “made in Canada” humour, and of course, I’ll refrain from using Aykroyd’s famous line 😉

    I must admit that the Leverage software is pretty easy to use, and has good feature integration [high praise from an open-source evangelist], but it comes at a price ($300 to +$700 per month).

    I’m looking forward to meeting everyone.

  • http://www.jarche.com Harold Jarche

    Ah yes, a little “made in Canada” humour, and of course, I’ll refrain from using Aykroyd’s famous line 😉

    I must admit that the Leverage software is pretty easy to use, and has good feature integration [high praise from an open-source evangelist], but it comes at a price ($300 to +$700 per month).

    I’m looking forward to meeting everyone.

  • http://blog.cathy-moore.com Cathy Moore

    That people map looks like a great tool. I want one! Does anyone know of a more publicly accessible networking site that uses a similar approach?

  • http://blog.cathy-moore.com Cathy Moore

    That people map looks like a great tool. I want one! Does anyone know of a more publicly accessible networking site that uses a similar approach?

  • http://karynromeis.blogspot.com/ Karyn Romeis

    Okay – it was tough accepting defeat when I didn’t get approval to attend, but now I’m just jealous!

  • http://karynromeis.blogspot.com Karyn Romeis

    Okay – it was tough accepting defeat when I didn’t get approval to attend, but now I’m just jealous!

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Cathy-
    I was unable to find a public tool that would duplicate what is done with the leverage software. This particular application is nearly perfect for the needs of our conference. If all you want is a visualization map of people it seems there must be something out there. I’ll keep my eyes open. A frapp’r map is fun to use if you have a geographically diverse group getting together. http://www.frappr.com/. I created one and put it on a widget on the right hand side of this blog so you could see it.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Cathy-
    I was unable to find a public tool that would duplicate what is done with the leverage software. This particular application is nearly perfect for the needs of our conference. If all you want is a visualization map of people it seems there must be something out there. I’ll keep my eyes open. A frapp’r map is fun to use if you have a geographically diverse group getting together. http://www.frappr.com/. I created one and put it on a widget on the right hand side of this blog so you could see it.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Oh Karyn – I wish you could be there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had conference envy. In my prior job, I was generally able to attend one per year and closer to the office was better…

    Next time we’ll get you there!

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Oh Karyn – I wish you could be there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had conference envy. In my prior job, I was generally able to attend one per year and closer to the office was better…

    Next time we’ll get you there!

  • http://blog.cathy-moore.com Cathy Moore

    Janet, thanks for looking for something that could approximate Leverage’s people map. Frappr is a fun alternative for geographic info. I’ve also seen related blogs mapped out, with proximity determined by mutual links and shared views.

  • http://blog.cathy-moore.com Cathy Moore

    Janet, thanks for looking for something that could approximate Leverage’s people map. Frappr is a fun alternative for geographic info. I’ve also seen related blogs mapped out, with proximity determined by mutual links and shared views.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    If seen lots of neat visual maps too that link interests, etc. Frapprs been around for quite some time and is pretty basic – yes, for fun geographic visualization. Another map with the pushpin thingy is from IntroNetworks…another commercial software application.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    If seen lots of neat visual maps too that link interests, etc. Frapprs been around for quite some time and is pretty basic – yes, for fun geographic visualization. Another map with the pushpin thingy is from IntroNetworks…another commercial software application.

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