I'm not sure who first said it, but something I learned a LONG time ago is how smart it is to surround yourself with bright and talented people. Based on this, (and this alone, I assure you), I'm a VERY smart guy because I am privileged to be surrounded by some of the best and the brightest.
Case in point for this post is my long time friend and colleague Marcia Conner. Here is but the latest example of how bright and talented she is. A few months ago, we had a conversation via some Tweets and emails on the topic of capturing and sharing the answer to the simple question of “What did you learn today?” In my typical hyperbolic fashion, I took this simple idea and ranted and raved to my dear Marcia about a vision of how incredible it would be if we could start a movement that would change the opening status update question posed by the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Linked, etc. from “What are you doing now?” to “What did you learn today?”
As I am all too want to do, I rambled on and on about how incredible it would be if every day, every person was to Tweet or otherwise briefly summarize what they had learned that day. Imagine if this was shared, circulated, reposted, referenced, stored, and searchable. Imagine how much the rest of us could learn from reading about what others had learned that day. Imagine how much knowledge would be created by these insights and observations. Imagine the follow-on conversations this would provoke. Imagine if …… well you get the idea. Marcia listened/read patiently—she has all too much practice with me—and we reached an enthusiastic consensus about how stupendous this would be.
As we both like to do, we agreed to practice what we preach and also to do some experiential learning, and so we agreed to start trying to institute a self-discipline of ending each day with a Tweet that started with “Today I learned …” Within the limits of my nomadic existence of late, where it is difficult for me to Tweet while out at sea and not constantly connected, it was a great experience and experiment.
Both Marcia and I also championed the idea to our fellow followers and got more and more people answering this same question each day or as often as possible. For me, just the exercise of reflecting back on the day was incredibly valuable as I posed this question to myself and tried to choose what was the most useful and valuable thing I had learned that day. So too was the self-discipline I began to develop to ensure that I tried to do this every day and wouldn’t let myself end a day without such a post or Tweet.
But wait, there’s MORE! In typical Marcia fashion, she took this simple idea and ran with it. This effort could be more than an interesting conversation between the two of us and a new habit for just ourselves and our followers. And so it was that yesterday, when I was able to again get an Internet connection here on the tiny atoll of Hao** and I started to catch up on my backlog of emails and Tweets, I was delighted (though not surprised) to get the following direct Tweet from Marcia:
“We did it! Check out @lrn2day for a daily recap of what people are learning. You inspired the vision. Just took a little admin & help.”
Sure enough, I checked out @lrn2day on Twitter and my bright and talented friend Marcia has managed to create this Twitter address which now enables everyone—and yes that means YOU—to tell the Twitterverse what they learned today. And in return we can all learn what everyone else is learning by following @lrn2day. How cool is that? How smart am I to have people like Marcia around me?
Run (do not walk) your fingers and thumbs over to the nearest Twitter keyboard and start following this fun thread by typing in follow @lrn2day. Then, return the favor and type in D @lrn2day and tell us the answer to the question: What did YOU learn today? And finally, do your best to establish your own form of self-discipline to do this EVERY day! Imagine what we’ll all learn!
** copy & paste 18 05.937S 140 54.721W into Google Earth if you’d like to see where Hao is.