I believe that transparency is a good thing. It builds trust, as it makes it hard to hide things. And trust is important. So, in the spirit of transparency, it occurred to me to share a little bit about me and this blog. Here I lay out who I am, why I write it, and what I write about.
You can find out more via the ‘about Clark Quinn’ link in the right column, but in brief, I saw the connection between computing and learning as an undergraduate, and it’s been my career ever since. It’s not just my vocation, but it’s my avocation: I enjoy exploring cognition and technology. And while I’ve done the science and track it, what I revel in (and have demonstrable capability for), is applying cognitive and learning science to create new approaches and fine-tune existing ones. Learning engineering, if you will.
And, for a variety of reasons, I do this as a consultant. I make my living providing strategic guidance for clients. I speak at events, and write books, but my main income is from consulting. Which means you should hire me. I assist organizations to improve their processes and products, both tactically and strategically. My clients have been happy, and find it’s good value. What you get are unique ideas that are practical and yet effective. Ideas you aren’t likely to have come up with, but are valuable. I really do Quinnovate! Check out the Quinnovation site for more. Of course, I do have to live in the real world, and so I need to find ways to do this that are mutually beneficial.
Yet generating business isn’t why I write this blog. I started writing this blog as an experiment and originally tried to write 5 days a week (but was happy if that ended up being 2-3 times a week). My commitment now is 2 per week (which rarely yields 1 or 3). And I haven’t monetized it: there’s no advertising, and while I occasionally talk about where I’m speaking or the like, I haven’t used this as a way to sell things. Hopefully that can continue.
So, the reason I write is to think ‘out loud’. It’s largely for me: it makes me think. I’m just always curious! I’ve previously recounted the story about how I was on a panel answering questions from the audience, and one of my fellow panelists commented that I had an answer for everything. And the reason is in the ongoing attempt to populate the blog, I’ve looked at lots of things. As my client engagements have been in many different areas, I also have wide-ranging experience to draw upon. And I just naturally reflect, but getting concrete: diagramming and/or writing, provides additional benefits.
Thus, the process of continually writing (for over 10 years now) means I’m looking at lots of things, reflecting on them, and sharing my thoughts. I also make a point to look at related fields, and look for connections. I also look at what’s happening with technology. In general, I look with a critical eye, as I was trained as a scientist. I think that’s valuable as well, because there still is a lot of nonsense trotted out, and there’s always some new buzzword that’s being loosely tossed about. Blogging’s given me cause to continue to tune my thinking, and at least some folks have commented that they’ve found it useful.
Mostly I write about things related to technology, learning, and individual and organizational implications. It includes diversions to innovation, design, wisdom, performance support, and the like, because they’ve implications for practice. In many ways I see approaches that aren’t well aligned with how we think, work, and learn, and that strikes me as both a shame, and an opportunity to improve. And that’s what I enjoy, finding ways to improve what we do.
So that’s it: I blog to facilitate my understanding, because cognitive science and technology is my passion. It isn’t a direct business move. I do need to make a living, and prefer to do it in the area of my passion, and fortunately have been successful so far. (Which isn’t to say you shouldn’t find a reason to use me, there are never enough opportunities to assist in improvement, and I’m not a sales person ;). And yes, this life is a learning experience all in itself! I hope this is clear, but in the interests of transparency I welcome your inquiries and comments. Stay curious, my friends.