RonAmok!

The adventures of an analog engineer and digital storyteller who studies emerging networks and their impact on the great game of business.

Classroom from 1899 from http://flickr.com/people/trialsanderrors/

Last December, my son took a Driver’s Education course. The course included two parts: classroom time and driving time. He loved the classroom time so much that he had plenty of funny stories to share with us around the family dinner table. So, when my daughter decided to take Driver’s Ed, she contacted the same Driving School to enroll. Unfortunately for her, much has changed in the past year as the school has since replaced its classroom time with an online version. Rather than signing up, she’s now looking elsewhere.

This morning, while driving her to school I asked, “Why do you prefer a classroom to an online course.”

Her answer is a lesson to us all.

“Because of the discipline and a better learning environment,” she said.

I’m an advocate for the online world. I’m a believer that companies need to rethink their content strategies to find better ways of connecting with their customers through the use of online tools. At the same time, we can’t do so at the risk of losing the benefits of physical world, such as the power of the human touch, the camaraderie of gathering together, and the side benefits of interacting through air as opposed to the ether.

There is a balance. We just haven’t found it yet.

Photo Credit: Oliver Beige

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Filed under: Content Development

Comments

Hello Ron,

A crucial observation Ron, thanks. The pendulum is definitely swinging more towards ether than air given the current economic climate. And the degree to which every process has been geographically distributed in its component parts can make face-to-face interaction with entire teams a thing of the past.

However, there’s nothing like having lunch or just grabbing a coffee with someone to bring home the “added value” of the “get together”.

The trick is to understand the tools and times when online communication, interaction or “use” makes sense (functionally and economically). And to also understand and manage the inherent trade-offs.

At Xuropa (www.xuropa.com) we’re building an online environment to augment many meetings and to eliminate some.

– James

James Colgan
December 22, 2008

Hello Ron,

A crucial observation Ron, thanks. The pendulum is definitely swinging more towards ether than air given the current economic climate. And the degree to which every process has been geographically distributed in its component parts can make face-to-face interaction with entire teams a thing of the past.

However, there’s nothing like having lunch or just grabbing a coffee with someone to bring home the “added value” of the “get together”.

The trick is to understand the tools and times when online communication, interaction or “use” makes sense (functionally and economically). And to also understand and manage the inherent trade-offs.

At Xuropa (www.xuropa.com) we’re building an online environment to augment many meetings and to eliminate some.

– James

James Colgan
December 22, 2008

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