Crowdsourcing: Hot Mess or High Art? #TChat Recap

Do you ever wonder what unsuspecting people think when they stumble across a #TChat event in-progress? Do they mistake it for some sort of wild, unchained idea orgy?

I can see why the uninitiated might assume that a magical “meeting of the minds” has spontaneously sprouted in a random social media moment.

After all, for 2+ years on Wednesday nights, the #TChat hashtag has consistently trended on Twitter, as the stream lights up in a blaze of 140-character glory about workplace culture. We’re creating our own gravitational pull with all those tweets. Could a TalentCulture zip code be far away?

But seriously, those of us who participate in #TChat conversations know that it’s not crowdsourcing’s answer to a flash mob. This isn’t just a way to fill an hour with social serendipity that evaporates when we turn out the lights. At least, that’s not the intent.

Instead, I like to think of TalentCulture as a living learning laboratory — or as Meghan Biro puts it, a metaphor for the social workplace. And each week’s events are carefully planned and presented with the goal of creating something bigger than the sum of its parts. Ideally, each of us can find something useful to ponder and apply in our professional lives, between those intense #TChat conversations.

For me, the most memorable and meaningful idea this week came from learning expert, Justin Mass:

What was your top takeaway?

Most likely, it was one of the brilliant thoughts from our guest, Nick Kellet. As co-founder of, a service that makes it easy for people to organize and share information through social channels, Nick deeply understands the art and science of digital discovery, curation and collaboration. His #TChat insights were so varied and powerful, I’m inspired to write a separate post that showcases those ideas. But in the meantime, here’s the “Nick” tweet that garnered the most retweets this week — with good reason:

So, in that spirit of discovery and sharing, we invite you to review other comments from Nick and the entire #TChat tribe in the “highlights” slideshow below. There’s an abundance of wisdom in this crowd, and we’re grateful for your contributions. Let us know how these resources help you gain a better perspective on tools and techniques can improve your world of work. We’re always open and interested in your thoughts!

#TChat Week in Review: Learning Through Collaboration

SAT 7/27


Watch the G+ Hangout with Nick Kellet

#TChat Preview: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed the week’s topics in a post featuring a brief G+ Hangout with Nick. Read the Preview Post: “Social Learning: Making Connections Count”

SUN 7/28 Post: In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, offered advice about how organizations can create more value from collaborative endeavors. Read “5 Leadership Secrets of Collaboration Success.”

Audit ResultsTUE 7/30

Related Post: Our guest, Nick, contributed a fascinating post about blog content analysis, inspired by a benchmarking tool he has created with Listly. To learn more and to request a free audit of your blog site, read “Web Content: What Does It Say About You?”


Listen to the #TChat Radio show

WED 7/31

#TChat Radio: Just prior to our weekly Twitter chat event, Nick joined TalentCulture founders and radio hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman for a thoughtful look at why and how collaboration tools and techniques are redefining how we live, work and play. Listen now to the radio show recording.

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, the entire TalentCulture community came together for an open discussion on the #TChat stream. In case you missed the action, check out the highlights in our Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: Social Learning Through Collaboration

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Nick Kellet for sharing his extensive understanding of core issues and opportunities surrounding learning in today’s networked business environment. Your passion and depth of knowledge inspire us to keep pushing the collaborative envelope.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about social learning tools, techniques or implications? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we welcome workplace learning and innovation expert and author, Marcia Conner! Stay tuned to TalentCulture social channels for details.

In the meantime, the World of Work conversation continues each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or on other social channels. And feel free to explore our redesigned website. The gears are always turning here at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Punkrose via Flickr Creative Commons

Web Content: What Does It Say About You?

Written by Nick Kellet

In today’s digital world of work, all of us are content consumers and producers. Our personal brands are defined by the thousands of ways we express our preferences and communicate our personal values. Our choices become us.

This is the power of social media in the age of self-expression. We can be anything we choose. We’re defined both by our inputs and outputs:

• We are what we create.
• We are what we consume.
• We are what we share.

What’s more, our experiences with content reveal how we learn, across multiple dimensions:

• What we know and aspire to know;
• What we like and dislike;
• What sources of information we trust;
• Who we know and want to know.

It’s useful to see how, why and where we share ideas, because this helps us understand the social learning process. I’m particularly fascinated by this “social” side of learning, because my company (Listly) exists to help others easily find, organize and share meaningful information on the web.

Let’s Look Closer at Digital Content

Recently I analyzed popular content networks like YouTube and Slideshare — comparing them to social networks like Facebook and Twitter. I concluded that both types of content sources have their own unique advantages. (For details, see my posts about Content Networks and Social Networks.) I also concluded that there are 6 key types of “sharable” digital content: Video, Audio, Slides, Lists, Graphics and Documents.

Shareable Content: Content Networks

(Infographic: Courtesy of Visually)

We can freely create and embed these types of content in blog posts. We can also share them directly with others on social media and through private communication channels. It’s now easy to track and measure activities involving any of these content types, so we can understand what works best in various scenarios. The metrics also help us decide which content is worth consuming.

I took the analysis one step further and devised a quick way to perform a blog content audit. This enables us to generate a “snapshot” of any blog’s content mix, and compare that profile with others. The results appear in a customized “trading card” for each blog.

This initiative began by focusing on 22 top blogs, but because we’ve received such a strong response, we’re now expanding that scope and deepening our analysis.

Sample Blog Analysis: TalentCulture

To illustrate how the process works, let me explain how I audited I reviewed the site’s most recent 25 posts, and simply tagged posts that include videos, slides and other content elements. If a post contains more than one type of embedded media, all the content elements are counted. Here are the results, in our “trading card” format:
TC TradingCard

Interpreting Results

So what does this all mean? Relative to other blogs we’ve analyzed, TalentCulture very frequently features lists, with videos as a secondary form of content. Audio, slides and graphic content play a much less prominent role, compared to benchmark sites.

What is the perfect mix of “sharable” content elements? That’s a hard question to answer, because each blog serves a different audience. However, here are results from 70+ blogs analyzed thus far:

Blog Audit Benchmarks

Key Takeaways

Here are some recommendations worth noting, based on our findings to-date:

1) Consider “mixed media” a strength. There’s clearly a trend toward posts that include multiple content types.

2) Include slides and video where possible/applicable. (Don’t just embed your own content — shine a light on the work of others.)

3) Transform existing content into other forms of media, when appropriate. (For example, turn a blog post into a slidedeck or a video.)

4) Make sure you integrate some audio content — whether it’s a podcast or simply a recording of an author reading post content aloud.

5) Lists are the most frequently used form of content. Blog posts that include a list in the title are usually popular, simply because they imply that the content will be easy to skim.

6) Include “Pin-friendly” images, with meme-worthy quotes in your posts. This lends itself to sharing — images with text are much more meaningful than isolated images without written context.

7) Use embedded content to break-up your copy visually. This makes your body copy more approachable and easier for visitors to digest.

8) Consider performing a similar content audit of blogs from competitors or from thought leaders who have creative blogs that your admire.

9) Be aware of your content mix, and follow a weekly or monthly format that repeats themes. This makes it easy to manage your mix.

In summary: You are a reflection of not only what you write, but also of the content that you include in your digital space. Aim to help people think of your content as fun and easy to consume. It will create a more inviting experience for visitors, and will add a more authentic human personality to your web presence and your brand image.

(Editor’s Note: To request a content audit of your blog, “like” Nick’s “Top Content” post at Slideshare and add your URL in the “comments” area of that post. We look forward to hearing about your score!)

015_img_2801(Author Profile: Nick Kellet is co-founder of social curation platform Listly. He believes that effective curation is as much about listening and engaging as it is about publishing and the tools themselves. A serial innovator who loves to jump domains from board games to business intelligence, Nick also believes that passion in the company of friends and community is an unstoppable force.

Connect with Nick on Twitter, on LinkedIn and on G+, and follow his writing via his other guest posts and on his blogs at and at