Calm our interfaces with an option for no stats. Unhook from the optimizing of engagement.
Through my own work I’ve come to believe the most important thing we can do to help students develop as writers is to allow them to write on subjects of interest and write for audiences that matter.
It’s not surprising this is de-motivating when it comes to writing. As I have said and will continue to say until everyone agrees with me, writing is thinking, and it is significantly more engaging to spend your time thinking about things you’re interested in.
Auto-Scoring of writing assignments should be abandoned if we are genuinely interested in students learning to write, rather than training them to pass assessments.
“Writing is thinking” is my favorite expression for how to work in a company.
The biggest thing about writing down strategic choices is that they serve to build a corporate history (over a year or two, not really thinking about decades). Why decisions are made is rather important because companies, like people, can make the same mistakes over time without history.
Plus writing something for an audience is a way of making you consult representatives of that audience before publishing. What will marketing think? Will sales people be able to sell? Whether you consider those perspectives before or not does not change that they will react. This isn’t “buy-in” or “heads-up” but actually consulting the real stakeholders of a decision.
The act of writing forces a team of experts to share the details of goals-not just the what, but the why, what else was considered, the history, context.
But what is missing from that logic is that the process of writing and sharing thoughts is clarifying AND collaborating itself. Execution actually speeds up when you spend the up front time to write.
Writing is more inclusive. It is easier to contribute, doesn’t reward bullies and bullshitters, and allows for contemplation.
Are you creating a writing culture? Said in a way that I think makes more sense, is writing a core value of the company (team)? I hope so because I think it really matters and can help.
The first people to stop writing in a company are often those that were there the longest or the execs. Writing is important for everyone. Execs need to write, and do their own writing. Don’t farm out to others to fill in the details from an outline. Having others do your writing for you is for when you’re a head of state making speeches every day and for when every word matters, not for business writing even for the largest of companies.
I updated “An Option for No Stats” with selections from “Audience Doesn’t Matter. | THE TEMPERED RADICAL” and “My name is danah and I’m a stats addict. – The Message – Medium”.
I love data and I hate stats. Not stats in abstract - statistics are great - but the kind of stats that seem to accompany any web activity. Number of followers, number of readers, number of viewers, etc. I hate them in the way that an addict hates that which she loves the most. My pulse quickens as I refresh the page to see if one more person clicked the link. As my eyes water and hours pass, I have to tear myself away from the numbers, the obsessive calculating that I do, creating averages and other statistical equations for no good reason. I gift my math-craving brain with a different addiction, turning to various games - these days, Yushino - to just get a quick hit of addition. And then I grumble, grumble at the increasing presence of stats to quantify and measure everything that I do.
For the vast majority of us practicing educator types, blogging and participating in social spaces is about reflection, plain and simple. Every time that you sit down behind the keyboard for any reason – whether that’s to join in a Twitterchat, to read bits that appear in your social streams, or to create a new bit on your own blog, you are an active learner.
Articulation of ideas – whether it comes in the short form of a Tweet or the long form of a blog post – requires you to think carefully about what you THINK you know. Finding the right words to express your core notions about teaching and learning forces you to wrestle with what you actually believe.
Every time we make the argument that audience matters, we forget that reflection matters more. Our goal shouldn’t be to #becomepopular. It should be to #becomebetter. Blogging and sharing in social spaces can help us to do that whether anyone is listening or not.
“Every time we make the argument that audience matters, we forget that reflection matters more. Our goal shouldn’t be to #becomepopular. It should be to #becomebetter. Blogging and sharing in social spaces can help us to do that whether anyone is listening or not.”