Learn and Lead

About continual learning and leadership

My Twitter Bookmarks

Now that I am using Twitter more frequently, I am bookmarking links on Twitter as favorites. I don’t save all the links on del.icio.us. Here are some of my Twitter favorites.


cammybean RT @eduify The Top 100 Education Blogs http://tinyurl.com/36ou27 (via @GarinKilpatrick)

hjarche Gloria Gery: Why don't we weigh them? - a classic for the learning profession  http://www.gloriagery.com/articles/whydont

jtcobb Free online course: Instructional Design for the Subject Matter Expert (SME):  http://www.kineolearning.com/60minutemasters/

jtcobb Whether for e-learning or content marketing - How to create your own online course: 100 tools, guides, and resources:http://bit.ly/12T2by

thoughts  RT @KathySierra: In Defense of Eye Candy -http://www.alistapart.com/articles/indefenseofeyecandy

jagoinvestor Be careful when you pick a domain name... Top 10 Most Painfully Funny Company URLs http://is.gd/sigE

rnarchana Ruth Clark's Give your training a Visual Boosthttp://bit.ly/43rOGJ very precise, to the point, and effective... must read

Quinnovator RT: @eduinnovation: 3 Brainstorming Problems Faced By Professional Learning Communities... http://is.gd/qJC5

JaneBozarth How to bypass most firewall restrictions http://www.buzzsurf.com/surfatwork

arnoldbala How to form a company? - http://tinyurl.com/c9eggb

cammybean Tough love for instructional design:http://tinyurl.com/bxx64l

hgetson 10 ways to measure social media success.: Is your social media strategy helping your business? How do you know? ..http://snipurl.com/d9pd4

narayananh Awesome Facebook profile photo hack - http://tinyurl.com/bbafhs

Twitter - Social or Professional Networking?

I came across the following tweet from someone who I am following:

Is twitter a social networking or a professional networking tool? I really dont want to know ur progress through the day unless ur a starlet


The choice is really yours, the users. What you absolutely can’t control is what others tweet. You decide who you want to follow. And even the people who tweet ‘professionally’ are also humans (unless you are following a bot or a company/publication, in which case this conversation doesn’t hold good). And humans are rarely uni-dimensional. Even professionals have families and friends and have other interests besides work. There will be tweets related to family and friends, movies they recommend, walks they walk, runs they run and hikes they take. Spouses will say funny things to be shared, children will fall ill and best wishes will follow. The beauty of the open architecture of twitter is that you can decide not to follow someone. However asking others to tweet to your tastes is expecting too much.


Indian Learning Professionals on Twitter

Following up on my post on blogs by learning professionals in India, here’s a list of Indian Learning professionals who tweet a little more frequently on Twitter. My criteria for selecting: minimum 50 tweets and must have bio text. Mind you, not all tweets are about learning/elearning. You can catch me on twitter at @manishmo.

Here’s the list of Indian learning professionals on Twitter, sorted on most tweets:

  1. Ruchi Bhatia @rucsb: Web 2.0 buff,IBMer,Learning professional, Indian, geek,net addicted, thought leader, luvable !
  2. *Abhinava @Abhinava: biker... dreamer... sapiosexual
  3. Geetha Krishnan @thoughts: Learning professional
  4. Archana Narayanan @rnarchana: Constantly evolving as an instructional designer at Kern Learning Solutions (www.kern-comm.com) to ensure richer learner experience
  5. Sahana @sahana2802: Instructional designer and social learning enthusiast. Believe collaborative, participative learning will be the future of e-learning and workplace learning.
  6. *R. Jaideep @rjaideep: elearning professional,tech lover,future entrepreneur
  7. Sreya Dutta @sreyadutta: Instructional Designer by profession, working at Oracle.
  8. Kapil Bhatia @kapil1312: Enjoy discussing Education, web 2.0 , edupunk, elearning. Hate people who block youtube and twitter in schools.
  9. Geeta Bose @geetabose: Run Kern Communications -a learning solutions & usability consulting company
  10. Rupa Rajagopalan @ruparajgo: Instructional Designing - My Passion
  11. Amit Garg @gargamit100: Co-founder - Upside Learning India. Interests - Outsourcing, Instructional Design, Sales, Marketing, Social Media.
  12. Taruna Goel @write2tg: “A learning professional” – an instructional designer, trainer, recruiter, supervisor, mentor, coach, change initiator, training manager…and more.
  13. Gerald Jaideep @gJaideep: Innovation Initiator or Hunter/Gatherer for FireStarters

    New additions to the list:

  14. *Swaminathan Moorthy @mrmwrites: Technical Writer, Blogger, Web Admin, Secretary - ITC SIG of STC, Employment Manager - STC India Chapter
  15. *Kavi @kavismusings: Anything that hits the fan is not evenly distributed
  16. Sathish Narayanan @elearningtyro: Instructional Designer and E-Learning Specialist
  17. Kaushik Chakraborty @togetherinlife: Love.Life.Great Parents.Training,Blogger.Speaker.Travelling.See India.Trekking.Himalayas.Reading.Long Drives.Yoga.Beer.Making Mistakes.Explore Life Everyday!
  18. Sundar @sundararajit: An ardent fan of social media..learning consultant in the enteprise space..venturing into management consulting, and life skills training...
  19. Abhijit Kadke @abhijitkadle: interests range from genetics, evolutionary biology, biochemistry, engineering, technology, computing to electronic games, media, communication, and design
  20. Vijeesh Shankar @vijeesh: learning - mobile, classroom, web, social, informal..(a-z of learning :-)
  21. Vasan @followVasan: e-Learning professional committed to making difference through learning solutions
  22. Gautam Ghosh @gautamghosh: HR and Social Media geek. Perpetual Learner. Student of Life.

* less frequent tweets about learning/elearning

Feel free to add to the list. I will update the list every now and then.

Solve a Business Problem or Create a WBT?

I had an interesting chat conversation over the weekend with a budding instructional designer.

ID: I wanted to discuss about Instructional approaches

ID: Suppose there's a client who says " they have been using ILT that has not been successful, their mentors are not motivating enough& nw wants to change it to a WBT.......and target audience are senior &middle level managers well versed with sales, dealing with retailers etc.....

And I've to give them 2 approaches.....do u hv any ideas?

Me: why is their ILT not successful?

ID: their mentors are not motivating enough

Me: why do you believe wbt will be motivating?

ID: hmm.....It would give them the space of doing the training at their own pace and on their own

  after all they are senior managers..who might not like to be trained

  I mean not support trainings

Me: basically your instructional strategies need to remove the problems they are having with ILT

  so if the mentors/trainers are boring, the WBT has to far far more interesting and interactive

ID: Yep.....

Me: so you have the answer...

  unless i understood the question wrong

ID: and with just this information and the fact that I’ve to develop 2 approached based on level 2 interactivity.....

  I needed some ideas

  See.......ok, can you list down types of approaches......

  one can be scenario based, case study based.....

  dialogue based

Me: you should know more about the users, job profile is one, what about their other characteristics -- gender, age, race etc.

Me: also what kind of industry are they in?

ID: they are in sales industry

  all senior and middle level managers


Me: basically sales guys travel a lot, they don't like to attend training

  do they have PDAs etc.?

  which country are we talking about?

ID: India

Me: what access do they have to computers and Internet?

ID: broadband

Me: from home?

ID: yes


Me: so the company is expecting the sales guys to take training from home?

ID: anytime they are free.......

Me: they are never going to be free

ID: they are senior level and middle level managers!

Me: are you expected to solve the business problem or just create a WBT?

  my response will be different in each case

ID: just create a WBT

Me: :-)

Now I know this person is a budding, relatively junior instructional designer and probably is just doing what she has been asked to do. There was a sense of déjà vu for me. I know many a times, the client appears to be very clear about what they want and wants the vendor to “just create a WBT”. Not all clients want to have a business problem discussion with the vendor. And not all instructional designers want to solve business problems. They are happy with creating a WBT and getting on with their jobs. Unfortunately that’s a lose-lose situation for both clients and instructional designers.

My advice to instructional designers is to stay focussed on solving the business problems. Sometimes creating a WBT might not be the solution, even though that’s what your company may have been contracted to do. Focusing on solving the business problem will help you add value in your interaction with the client and that will in almost all cases eventually lead to more business.

And if you are a client outsourcing a learning content creation project, my suggestion would be that you work with the vendor and collaborate on solving the business problem. There is no harm in having raking up more brains to solve your business problem. And if you are sure that WBT is indeed the answer to your business problem, then provide that information to the vendor so they can do justice to your project.

The Best Job in the World

So Ben Southall bagged the best job in the world, the dream job of Tourism Queensland.  He gets a six-month, live-in contract to promote the Great Barrier Reef, and get paid $100K. This got me thinking what my dream job might be. Here are a few my dream jobs.


Consultant, Advisor... I can tell you what to do; just don't ask me to do it. And pay me top dollar for it too.

Mentor, Coach (corporate kinds)... I would love to share my knowledge and experience. Fortunately I get to do this a lot in my current job, so I am pretty much close to doing what I really like.

Teacher (academic kinds)... Become a professor in a management school, new batch of students each year, lots of time to research and experiment. Unfortunately schools require me to have fancy degrees before they would even consider me as a professor.

Writer... full time that is, not just writing a blog, and not just work stuff either. If only I can figure out how it will pay for my mortgages.

Producer, Director... of a full fledged Bollywood movie. Heck who wants the critics awards… I want the whole nine yards to produce and direct a Bollywood movie. I just need to find a close relative in the likes of Karan Johar to get started.


So what's your dream job?

Rules for Kids and Teenagers for Facebook Usage

So I succumbed to pressure and signed up my daughter on Facebook. Most of her friends are already on Facebook. In just a few hours, she has 7 friends and 3 more pending requests. Her FB wall is now active and flowing. I browsed her wall updates and some of her friends’ profiles and I am… PETRIFIED, and that’s an understatement. So I plan to give her a printout of the following rules for Facebook.


  1. Don't talk to strangers. Just as we tell you not to talk to strangers in real life, the same rule applies online. Do not accept friend requests from people you don't know.
  2. Watch what you say. Again similar to what's preached to you for real life, be careful of what you say. In case of writing anything online, the consequences are of much higher magnitude. Remember, what you write online will be there forever, be read by everyone, and be interpreted by the reader and not necessarily in the way you might have intended. Don't write anything that you wouldn't say directly face to face. Don't think your teachers won't be able to read what you have written simply because they are not on your friend list.
  3. Censor the pictures you post. Don't post pictures that you don't want everyone to see. If you want show your friends pictures, show them in person instead of posting online. Remember, pictures you post online will be seen by all and will be there permanently on the Internet. Your teachers will also see these pictures. So be very careful about which pictures you post online. Initially seek approval from your parents for all pictures you want to post online.
  4. All that glitters is not gold. Do not be lured in by the ‘cool offers’ or prizes you may have won. And don’t click on EVERYTHING that comes along on your wall. Be careful of applications you access and the sites you might visit through the incoming links. Don’t go to sites that you are not supposed to. ASK if you are not sure which ones but I am sure you do know.  UPDATE: This applies to profiles of your favorite TV and film stars. The profiles of your favorite stars might not actually be by the stars themselves. Be careful, it could be just about anyone putting up the profile.
  5. Safeguard your privacy. Do not give out more information than necessary information to anyone. Don’t enter your personal details like address, phone number etc. for contests, quizzes etc.
  6. Always give your correct age. Okay, well at least until you are 21. Do not try to project yourself to be older than what you are, even if your friends are doing so.
  7. Do not make your profile public. I have set your profile settings to be private. If and when you discover how to change the settings, just make sure your settings stay private and not viewable by everyone.

UPDATE from Nancy Curtis on Facebook: ABSOLUTELY NON-NEGOTIABLE RULE OF ALL RULES for Facebook: you MUST be friends with your parent(s) and you MUST not use privacy settings to block your parents from any part of your page. Failure to comply with this requirement (which pertains to any and all social-networking sites including YouTube, etc) results in immediate, indefinite, complete suspension of any non-supervised non-school related computer access. (Also, the correllary is: your parent MUST always have the password to any and all of your email accounts.)


And here are some guidelines that I really wish she would follow.

  1. Write proper English, please!!! Please please don’t just write SMS English. Writing full words will help you learn the language and your spellings too.
  2. Don’t ask me to take quizzes. Don’t forward me the quizzes you take or ‘cool applications’ or the gifts. Oh wait, perhaps you should, so I can keep an eye on what you are doing.


Did I miss anything out? Am I being too paranoid?




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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.