If I had a blog, this is what it’d say…

February 12, 2010

*** Posted on our no longer used Google Site on Jan 29 by Brent ***

How do you communicate when you don’t know what you’re communicating? How do you teach people something you don’t know yourself? How do you teach SMART people something you don’t know yourself? Interesting questions, easy to ask, not so easy to answer. This project will be the exploration and tangelization (I always thought that if I ever started blogging I’d do my best to make up a new word each post) of that problem. I wonder if there are patterns for this like there are patterns for software design. Perhaps I should email Erich Gamma and the rest of the “Gang” and ask them for some patterns? That is an interesting thought actually and perhaps one worth looking into: the existence of communication patterns.

In any event, it does little to solve the problem at hand. There is no clear solution but the proposed answer is in fact to not answer the question but rather let someone else do it. This would appear at first glance to be the “students manifesto” as it were but a slightly deeper analysis might reveal it to be something that can actually work. If you look at the facts:

1) We don’t know the right way to do it, nor do we have any experience
2) We KNOW we don’t know the answer, which is a pretty big realization…
3) We DO know the people who have the answers, but they are a diverse crowd

So we may be able to solve a different problem and in turn solve our original: stimulate, organize, motivate and perhaps even coerce the people with the answers to bestow on us the knowledge and information we need to communicate to the world. Our new problem is knowledge aggregation and this one is much more solvable. So, the plan…..

1) Discover what we do and don’t know about each topic we need to communicate
2) Present our findings in an easily accessible, familiar way with easy feedback mechanisms
3) Solicit (in the positive sense, as in most cases it will be self-serving for our solicitees, hey look TWO new words, provided you’re not referencing a legal dictionary…) feedback
4) Analyze organize
5) Wash, rinse and repeat

Sounds a little bit like agile software development eh? Maybe this idea of communication patterns has some merit after all!


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