Re: Working Out Loud - I can’t even hear myself think #WOL #information-overload

Robert L. Bogue

Matt –


Your message prompted me to remember a long-lost thought.


The difference between “working out loud” or more broadly social approaches is that we move from a contract-based system to a leaky bucket based system.  By this I mean, if I receive a directed email from another person, I’ll respond to it if it asks for a response.  For me it’s a social contract.  I’ll break it for spammers and if you clearly demonstrate you’re not adhering to the same social contract – but it’s a contract.


With social and “working out loud” it’s firing things into the universe (resulting in a deafening noise) and we’re hoping that some of what we’re saying will stick. It’s like we’re trying for our thoughts and ideas to go viral.  We forget that we’ve got roughly the same odds of becoming a viral phenomenon as winning the lottery.  However, it plays well to an audience of folks who believe in luck.


That being said, I firmly believe in work out loud – but doing so in a way that doesn’t interfere with others right to turn the squelch up and ignore me if I’m not relevant to them.  I’ve been posting a book review each week for years now.  I’ve got a library of hundreds of reviews that are available for anyone who wants to extract something from them – but I don’t push them.  That’s the heart of it but not everyone’s motives are the same.





Robert L. Bogue

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From: <> On Behalf Of Matt Moore via
Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2021 7:55 AM
Subject: [SIKM] Working Out Loud - I can’t even hear myself think




So I work in an organization where email is little used.


I generally think that “working out loud” is better than a “need to know” culture but it has challenges. There are benefits in having work visible - altho “visible” is not the same as “accurately represented”.


A disinformation technique has developed among malignant online presences called “Flooding the zone with s***”. Basically you say all kinds of stuff if the hope that no one can tell what is true and what is false and everyone just disengages.


In my day, I deal with few emails but many Slack conversations, Salesforce things, ZenDesk tix, Asana messages, G-Suite docs and Confluence pages. We work out loud and the noise is deafening.


My technical solution to this challenge is that I ignore a lot of stuff.


One person’s information sharing is another person’s spam. The issue we have is that human attention is limited.


Perhaps a Marie Kondo approach is helpful. Does this Slack message spark joy? No? Well thank you for being part of my life...




Matt Moore

+61 423 784 504

On Mar 27, 2021, at 3:31 AM, Dennis Pearce <denpearce@...> wrote:

One of the benefits of developing a "working out loud" culture is that employees don't necessarily have to actively help others (although that would be wonderful), just work in a more open way.  For example, if I post to a discussion instead of sending an email, it's essentially the same amount of work for me but it makes a world of difference in terms of information sharing.  Platforms instead of channels wherever possible.

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