Learn and Lead

About continual learning and leadership

Responses to Web 2.0 Quotient

I received some very useful feedback on various forums on the rudimentary form I created to check your Web 2.0 Quotient.

Carla Arena writes:
Well, first I must confess that being comfortable and having a high IQ on the Web is not about the services you use and how often you connect, but how you're using it to connect to others and learn. Anyway, I had fun with your form, but I'd change it to a Web2.0 version using a google docs form, rather than an excel program that you have to download. Just an idea...
Steve Tuffill writes:
Well Manish - I scored a 73 in your Excel spreadsheet-based test. I tend to agree with Carla though. It may have been more appropriate in a Web 2.0 based environment like Google Docs. And certainly the figures would speak volumes about the trends of using the technology which we are all studying so closely.

I would be interested to see what everyone scored on this test. Are you planning on making this capable of aggregating the data centrally?

Also, what exactly does my 73 score tell you (or anyone else for that matter) about me?
Roberta Miller writes:
So I have to say I was really disappointed in this. I find am having trouble finding the "greatness" or importance of "Web 2.0". I generally don't tend to respond to posts I read, but I am trying to break out of my this and start voicing my opinion.
I think you did a great job in creating the form, and it was fun participating so in that sense it was a success. After reading the questions though I felt a little let down. "Is that all there is to Web 2.0?"
I scored a 42 by the way. There were some questions I had to leave blank though because I couldn't find the appropriate answer.
Added later: I sent the form to my 21 year old to she scored 27. What does it all mean?
Catherine Fitzpatrick writes:
I'm with Roberta on this, though I scored 83, more than double her score, but I have even MORE of a sense of "Is that all there is?"

And she's right, that the answers are too pat. For example, it could ask me if I like or trust wikis -- I would say "no," although I'm forced to use them. She could ask if I actually show up on Facebook, which I don't much, etc. It doesn't chart usage.

And even if it does, there isn't really the hard question that needs to be asked: do you get paid to do this? Does this pay out to you? Does this get used in your job that pays you? And the answer for most people will be a resounding NO. I'm lucky it does pay out some modest amount for me, but nowhere near my value per hour spent at some other occupation.
George Siemens writes:
I'm with you (Roberta) on "is this all there is to web 2.0". At best, these tools are an instantiation of a longer cycle of change. When schools create new reforms based on the current fad/flavour, they do themselves and their "stakeholders" a disservice. I would just as soon do without web 2.0. But, it seems, that we need umbrella terms that encapsulate complex ideas. So discussions of participation, openness, technologies, read/write web, etc. get pressed into a term. And once we adopt the term, it in itself becomes a limiting influence to new innovation.

The common threads in all these are some answered questions and suggestions:
  • So what do the scores mean?
  • Is that all there is to Web 2.0?
  • How often do you connect is more important than just having a registered user ID on the services.
  • Should be online on Google docs or something similar.
  • Would be great to see other’s scores.

I don’t necessarily have the answers to the questions. I believe the quotient creates an awareness of the services and tools that might be considered Web 2.0. I agree completely that how often one connects and networks on the web is more important than being registered on the services. The quotient will evolve and feedback will contribute to it.

I tried to create Google docs and Zoho form for the quotient. However I still don’t know how to translate form responses to numbers that can be added to give the Web 2.0 Quotient. Any suggestions on what I could use to do this?

Getting Started with Instructional Design

Lately I’ve been asked by a few people on how to get started with a career in instructional design and elearning. Here are some of the questions I received:

  • Could someone suggest that how to start my career in Instructional Systems Design field?
  • I'm interested in joining the field of Instructional Design. I've done my MA in English and also a diploma course in multimedia. I would really appreciate it if you could guide me on which companies to approach and how, to secure an entry level position. I am looking for something in the NCR region.
  • Can u tell me how relevant is teaching exp to ID?.....If I've 4 yrs of teaching exp, what would be the starting salary in ID?
  • Lots of my friends want to know about some good courses they can take on ID - ISDT / Symbiosis ID are amongst courses they are considering. Any suggestions?
  • Well i wud lik to get som information of ID work. if u share some link and actual ID work for elearning.


Getting Started

So what does it really take to be an instructional designer? What is instructional design anyway? Christy Tucker has a great series of six posts that can help you get started. Start with her first post in the series – What does an Instructional Designer do? and follow her other posts. Closer home, Rupa Rajagopalan also provides practical tips about instructional design in her blog One-Stop Resource for Instructional Designing. Start with archives on her blog and read your way up chronological posts. I also found an interesting article by Shilpa Shet on instructional design as a career. I have also written in the past about competencies required for an instructional design role. That post also has links to other sources for the same.

You could start with the following sites to get more information about elearning, instructional design, course development, although some of these just might be too heavy for absolutely new users.

Elearning/Content development Companies

There are many elearning/content development companies in NCR region. NIIT, Genpact, IBM are the larger ones and Infopro, Liqvid, Servetium, G-Cube are some of the smaller companies in NCR region. I have compiled a small list of companies on eCube Directory listing. It is not comprehensive by any means, but a start nevertheless. I am told that there are more than 100 elearning/content development companies in India.

Instructional Design Courses

I am not sure how good the courses in India are. I recommend getting a job instead. Symbiosis is quoted more often in conversations and so must be gaining some popularity as an instructional design course. But honestly, as a manager who has had to recruit for ID, I look for prior experience, and if there is no prior experience, I look for their core writing skills and ability to learn. Having a diploma is good but not essential.

Having said that, here are some of the courses you could look at. I have not evaluated any of them and don’t necessarily endorse any of them.


Career and Salaries in Instructional Design Jobs

Teaching experience helps but it actually depends on what you were teaching and what content you will be creating when you start with instructional design. If you were teaching in a school and you get a job to create K-12 (school) content, then your teaching experience will be relevant and may be considered when the company decides your starting salary. Most companies though will take your past work experience into consideration and give you some weightage for the same.

Basically you need to have good writing skills. This is most critical to get into instructional design job. Without good writing skills, it will be difficult to get into the role of ID. Writing skills is typically what is tested by companies for taking on new IDs.

Starting salary with 4 yrs exp but no exp in ID can vary from company to company. You can expect between 1.5 lac to 4 lac per annum CTC. The range is wide since the industry is relatively small. CTC will include PF, medical insurance etc. Refer to my unofficial salary survey of elearning and content development jobs for more inputs.

One could also try to land a job as technical writer to start with. Many technology companies hire tech writers, though it helps if you have a tech background to get started in a tech company. You will first probably start as content developer or tech writer, before moving to actual design. Good writing skills are essential for getting entry into the field.

What is your Web 2.0 Quotient?

While Kevin Kelly talks about Internet of things as he predicts the next 5000 days, the question is are we even ready for the present? We are still struggling with Web 2.0 and Learning 2.0, trying to bridge the gap between digital natives and digital immigrants.

So are we really ready for the future? How well do you use the web in the present? Are you familiar with the Web 2.0 mumbo-jumbo? Do you utilize the web to connect, learn and grow? What is your Web 2.0 Quotient? Here’s a simple form I created to check your Web 2.0 Quotient.

Check your Web 2.0 Quotient here.

Simply answer a series of questions and see how you score on the Web 2.0 quotient. 

My score: 68. What's your score?

Have I missed anything? I am sure I have missed many things. Do provide your suggestions to improve this.



Uses rudimentary MS Excel features and is highly dependent of retaining the format and location of cells. No great programming has been attempted here.

Update: See responses in a this new post.

Is This the End for Firefox?

We have been inundated with posts on the new Google browser Chrome. Here’s another one adding to the flood of posts on the subject :-).

Google’s new browser Chrome is said to give Microsoft Internet Explorer a run for its money. IE at this time has 72% browser market share. So will Chrome make a big dent in IE’s market share? I am not sure if that will happen soon. As I wrote earlier, IE is most popular in corporate organizations because (a) it comes bundled with Windows, (b) we are too lazy to learn new tools, and (c) organizations don’t really see browser as a productivity enhancement tool. Even though Firefox is known as a better product, IE is still the most used.

So who will start using Chorme? It will be first used by people who anyway have experienced more than one browser. These are primarily the Firefox users. Chrome will basically eat into Firefox’s share before it starts to eat into IE’s share. I do admit that the viral marketing of Chrome has been much stronger than Firefox and I have come across a few die hard users of IE (not because they love it or anything, but because it is the only browser they have used) are talking about Chrome even while being oblivious of Firefox’s power. Some might just download and use Chrome. But the biggest loser in this browser war is going to be Firefox. Sad really...

'To-Learn' List

This month’s Learning Circuit’s Big question is on To-Learn Lists. It seems to be a very interesting concept. Some years ago we went through Personal Effectiveness Program (PEP) in our organization. This was loosely based on Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. As part of this program we were expected to create life’s goals in various areas of life. To me, the To-Learn lists are similar, perhaps not sounding as lofty as life’s goals but equally important. And if we can articulate this and track our progress on this list, it will force us to spend time on what we really want to learn.

Do I have a To-Learn list? Well no, but here’s my first list of things I want to learn.
  • Learn to play the tabla. Have been wanting to for a very long time now!
  • Learn to run a Rs. 100 crore company. I see my bosses doing much more with aplomb ease.
  • Learn PHP !!! Actually not really ‘learn’ but knowing it will really help ever since I started messing around with Wordpress and other tools.
  • Learn to dance such that my daughter doesn’t roll on the floor laughing.
There are few other things on the list but they seem to overlap with things I want to do in life.

Other questions asked in the Big Question:
  • How does a to-learn list impact something like a Learning Management System in a Workplace or Educational setting?
  • What skills, practices, behaviors do modern knowledge workers need around to-learn lists?

I would suggest that we leave LMSs alone for now. There are enough other things to be managed with all the informal learning and Web 2.0 mumbo-jumbo. Let’s not add To-Learn Lists on to LMSs. And do knowledge workers need to have any skills, practices around this? I don’t think what knowledge workers need would be any different from what anyone else would need. This is a ‘life-skill’ that we all need irrespective of our profession, to become a better person, a better human being.

How to Select Candidates Online

Seth Godin writes about how he selected candidates for marketing and web internship. He was overwhelmed by the quality of applications he got, so he created a Facebook group for candidates to meet and hang out online. As he explains:

It was absolutely fascinating. Within a day, the group had divided into four camps:
  • The game-show contestants, quick on the trigger, who were searching for a quick yes or no. Most of them left.
  • The lurkers. They were there, but we couldn't tell.
  • The followers. They waited for someone to tell them what to do.
  • The leaders. A few started conversations, directed initiatives and got to work.

Nifty experiment! Read full post here.



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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by my employers and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my employers.

Creative Commons License This work by Manish Mohan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 India License.