Terms and Tools a la Internet and Web


ICYMI (abbrev.): in case you missed it

The Oxford Dictionary added a lot of new words, including ICYMI, to its online database this summer. Other new words–clickbait, live-tweet, hyper-connected, and tech-savvy–fascinated me, too, because of their connection to information technology. Katy Steinmetz shared their definitions and many more words in the online Time magazine in August. In case you’re wondering:

clickbait (n.): (on the Internet) content whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a particular web page.

live-tweet (v.): post comments about (an event) on Twitter while the event is taking place.

hyper-connected (adj.): characterized by the widespread or habitual use of devices that have Internet connectivity.

tech-savvy (n.): well informed about or proficient in the use of modern technology.

These words are part of the onrush of new-everything related to the internet and web. And it’s more than a torrent of words that we are trying to keep up with. In the foreword to Jim Boulton’s 100 Ideas that Changed the Web, he recognizes the enormity of the changes that we are struggling to comprehend and grow with in order to “work, play, shop, socialize, and otherwise participate in society” as enabled by the internet and web.

100 Ideas that Changed the Web Book Cover

100 Ideas that Changed the Web Book Cover

“While writing this book, it became apparent that exploring the history of the web is not just a nostalgic trip into our recent digital past but an exploration of the very way we think and communicate.  Our thought processes are non-linear and erratic but the way we make sense of things and express ourselves is linear.  Pioneers like Paul Otlet, Vannevar Bush, Theodor Nelson, Douglas Engelbart and Tim Berners-Lee questioned this conviction.  Their legacy is the World Wide Web.  A place that breaks down national and cultural borders.  A place that has toppled regimes and created new economic models. A place that has radicalized the way we work, play, shop, socialize, and otherwise participate in society.  But above all, a place that is for everyone.”

Maria Popover reviews the book at Brainpickings, her highly regarded blog, and reports on the pioneer women who voluntarily staffed Idea #1 Mundaneum and who invented Ideas #27 and #45. For instance, Hedy Lamarr, the beautiful actress of the 1940s era created frequency-hopping spread radio—Idea #27–the technological precursor to wi-fi—wireless connections and data exchanges on the internet . About thirty years later, Henriette Avram came up with Idea #45—metadata, the first digital MARC (Machine-Readable Cataloging) standards for organizing digital content by capturing the who-did-it, when-they-did-it, and the what-they-did of the content of each item. Popova’s blog post includes many images from the highly illustrated book which make her blog and the book fun to scan as well as settle down with and think about how these ideas have affected our daily lives. (If you buy the 100 Ideas book, please consider linking to it on Amazon from her blog page to help support her amazing work; she receives a small fee from the sale.)

The Oxford new words and 100 Ideas that Changed the Web are included here for a reason:  to demonstrate the scope and speed of change caused by the internet and web.  While it is impossible for us to keep up with everything, we have to keep up with some things in order to pursue careers, maintain relationships, stay current, and benefit from the “small world” that these new connections give us.  It is not about staying up with the Joneses anymore in purchasing new cars or houses.  It’s about knowing how to adapt and grow our knowledge and skills to learn, lead, and connect online aided by carefully chosen tools.

(If you have read this far, maybe my clickbait is working to keep you here!) Now I would like to credit Lisa’s post last week that listed her top ten learning tools for 2014. Her post was prompted partly by Jane Hart’s release of her survey detailing the Top 100 Tools for Learning for 2014. Like many of the Top 100 Tools survey participants, Lisa’s selection sided with those “who are exploring new tools in order to improve their own professional practice and learning.”   Lisa’s criteria to choose her favorite learning tools included frequency of use; ease of use; its free or low cost; visual appeal; time saver quality; ability to annotate and share what she reads or views with others; and ease of monitoring and contributing to social media streams. These factors are all excellent and practical and influenced my selection of tools, too.

Before sharing my must-have tools list with you, I would like to add one more element for you to consider—the Seek-Sense-Share framework developed by Harold Jarche.

He can explain why we need tools to learn and function effectively:

Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM) is a framework for individuals to take control of their professional development through a continuous process of seeking, sensing-making, and sharing.

Seeking is finding things out and keeping up to date. Building a network of colleagues is helpful in this regard. It not only allows us to “pull” information, but also have it “pushed” to us by trusted sources. Good curators are valued members of knowledge networks.

Sensing is how we personalize information and use it. Sensing includes reflection and putting into practice what we have learned. Often it requires experimentation, as we learn best by doing.

Sharing includes exchanging resources, ideas, and experiences with our networks as well as collaborating with our colleagues.

Below are my top learning tools that I use to seek, sense, and share, as well as use at the Studio and in my consulting practice. I was unable to keep the number to ten.  You will see that some tools are multi-purpose. Additionally, some tools—such as the video and audio editing tools– require much more expertise than others to use. And when they are used infrequently, this user and tool need to get reacquainted.


I’m interested to know the tools that readers use to seek, sense, and share to build their professional practice and what you hope to use in the future. Please let us hear from you. And remember this prescription from Marc Andreesen on dealing with technology: “You are cruising along, and then technology changes. You have to adapt.”  Yes, change is constant.  But with the social opportunities we now have online, we can help each other learn to cruise with the technologies that add value to our work and lives, and feel free to disregard the rest.

Jigsaw puzzle piece photo by Nemo at Pixabay

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  1. […] and I have blogged a lot about personal knowledge mastery, or PKM. This seek, sense, share process of seeking information, […]

  2. […] e-learning professionals deem as most useful for them. We reported on the list last year, with both Doris and I generating our lists of tools we use to seek information, make sense of it, and share it out […]

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