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

Stephen Bounds

Am I the only one who interprets "working out loud" as meaning something quite different from "converse about everything in shared channels"?

For example, if I do some research and publish the findings on my personal blog, that's "working out loud" in the sense that I make it available for anyone else who serendipitously comes across it in a later Google search. And perhaps there might be someone diehard enough to subscribe to my feed to see everything I write. But I wouldn't publish the article and always CC everyone in my organisation to say "hey, check out my post!".

Similarly, attaching my correspondence with a client to their bug report would be "working out loud" in sense that the history remains available to anyone who takes over the report later on. But I wouldn't subscribe everyone in my team to receive notifications unless it was a "drop-dead, all hands on deck" bug that had to be fixed as soon as humanly possible.

As for Slack, the first thing I do is to turn off everything except @-notifications and I never leave it visible and running unless I'm having an active conversation. There may be people who can be productive and have a running ambient commentary in a corner of the screen, but I'm not one of them.

Seems like your organisation may need to learn the difference between "working out loud" and "yelling loudly across a virtual open plan office" Matt 😉


Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
On 28/03/2021 2:03 pm, Murray Jennex via wrote:

I feel you Matt, I'm in the same boat and I pray I don't ignore something important but fear I am, this is the problem with this and I don't have a solution but hope someone on the list does...murray jennex

-----Original Message-----
From: Matt Moore <matt@...>
Sent: Sat, Mar 27, 2021 4:54 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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