Alexa’s team created a WhatsApp group for our #collision experiment. This, in itself, is a bit of an experiment; we’ll see if it encourages sharing / checkin accountability. Jake and Eric said hello on the group, but so far, no other pair other than Rob and me have shared a checkin takeaway.
I was inspired to try this experiment after reading this personal productivity article. For the most part, there was nothing new for me in this article, but I was intrigued by the section on tracking your biorhythms. I decided to basically try his experiment almost exactly — same frequency, same time period, same dimensions (i.e. Energy, Focus, Mood). The only difference is that I chose a five point scale rather than three. (I noticed he was using decimal points, which to me defeats the benefits of using a three point scale.)
A few things I’ve noticed after a few days of tracking:
- It’s challenging to answer these questions consistently. What’s the difference between Energy and Focus?
- My mood doesn’t really fluctuate based on time of day.
- I’m not noticing any cycles, and I’m not sure that any of these dimensions are strongly correlated to time of day (other than I have more energy in the beginning of the day than the end). All three dimensions also seem related to type of activity (e.g. exercise, meetings, writing, eating, etc.).
I published, “Invisibility Doesn’t Serve the Work,” on June 20, 2017. I simultaneously shared a copy of it on Medium and a link to it on LinkedIn.
On LinkedIn, I got 197 “views of post in the feed.” Previously, I had gotten 33 and 65 views of the full articles I had shared there. However, clicks are probably a better comparison, because the feed view only contains a few sentences and the link. According to Google Analytics, I got 7 clicks from LinkedIn.
Engagement-wise, my sharing received 4 likes and 0 comments (compared to 5 likes and 0 comments and 25 likes and 5 comments previously).
There were two views on Medium after the first day, but no reads. Then I asked Kate to click on Recommend. Since then, the post had 11 views, 5 reads, and 2 recommends (vs 2, 0, 0 and 2, 1, 0 previously).
In both cases, I shared in the morning, which may have had something to do with the engagement numbers.
Just shared a link to my latest Faster Than 20 blog post on LinkedIn. Looking forward to tracking engagement with posting a link vs writing a LinkedIn article.
Another cool feature of #spire: Sending weekly reports that compares your aggregates to others similar to you. Here’s mine from last week:
It was fun! I actually looked forward to doing it today!
As I said in yesterday’s #themartian takeaway, I felt like I had something significant to share after each chunk of the day. The experiment was to share just one short takeaway at the end of the day, which actually wasn’t supposed to be an exercise in constraint, but of abundance.
Of course, if I had more to share, there was no reason for me not to do a longer takeaway (which is something I might experiment with later) or to share multiple takeaways. If I felt shy about occupying extra screen time (which I do), I could have found other ways to share — a note on the E3 WhatsApp channel or on my Colearning Slack, even a tweet or *gasp* a blog post!
In a lot of ways, I did this experiment as a way to see if I could encourage others to start sharing. I feel like my muscles for sharing are strong, and they are, especially in comparison to others in my community. At the same time, I’ve been generally unhappy with the low frequency of my sharing over the past year. I’m trying to correct it by investing in higher-level narrative and storytelling and by writing more blogs, but there are lighter-weight things I could be doing that might be tremendously beneficial.
Of course, I already knew that, but I haven’t been acting into it. I confused muscle tone with strength, when the reality is that my sharing muscles have atrophied. Even though I do a lot of internal sharing on my different projects and in my different communities, I can be doing more and a better job of it. This experiment has been a surprising reminder in that.
- Ever since Genentech in 2010, I’ve experimented with video as a way of reporting out after and even during meetings.
It’s always worked well, and has even become a signature in some projects, but it’s never been a discipline, especially a personal one. I could try it on for a few weeks. Because these would involve other people, it might naturally help build other people’s muscles (and mindsets) around this as well, which is one of my goals.
- I could do an experiment around sharing a tweeted takeaway after every meeting or chunk of my day.
- I want to create an external guide for following / stalking me. There needs to be channels for different frequencies and levels of communication. Crafting a guide would not only help my engagement with others, but it would force me to develop an actual strategy. This would have ramifications for my projects as well, because this kind of thinking is useful for community engagement in general.
As I also mentioned on my video yesterday, this experiment has also been a surprising reminder to me of the importance of pausing, which was not the intent, but which I clearly need to strengthen.
I got no feedback the first two days of doing #themartian, either on the E3 WhatsApp or on my Colearning Slack. As usual, I just assumed my videos were going into the ether — no harm, no foul.
I posted my Day 3 video yesterday and suddenly started hearing from folks!
First, on Slack, one colleague shared this:
Love these @eekim! Now I have TWO end of day viewing rituals: Bob Reich’s “Resistance Report” and Eugene Kim’s “Takeaway”!
Later that evening, an E3 colleague noted how my takeaway reminded her of this Oatmeal comic that’s been going around.
This morning, on our E3 checkin call, another colleague referred to my videos and some ideas that they sparked.
Most surprisingly, a peer shared a comment on my YouTube channel this afternoon! I wasn’t expecting anyone to be following me there!
Folks are listening, even if I’m not necessarily aware of it. It’s gratifying and also a little nerve-wracking, as you don’t want to waste anyone’s time either. Still, I’m much more inclined to continue this experiment knowing that folks are listening. I’m particularly curious (and this is the main thing I’m tracking) to see if this inspires others to share takeaways more regularly in similar ways.