2. What is Bloomfire and what inspired you to develop it?
I developed Bloomfire out of the pain I felt along my career as a public school teacher, corporate trainer, and small business owner. In every one of these roles I felt like I was just scratching the surface of what my students, trainees, or employees needed to know to be successful. There needed to be a better way to rapidly share knowledge with people all over the world. Although traditional eLearning tools allow this, the time and cost to create content was still limiting. I knew that by using the power of the crowd, any organization could harness the the long talk of knowledge, how-to's and tricks if they had the right tool.
3. What makes Bloomfire different from wikis and other collaborative knowledge building tools?
Reduced mistakes - Information is moving at the speed of light. We are in a constant state of learning in order to stay on top of our game. In most instances, we have to figure things out on our own - even if there are other people doing the same thing we are. We are all reinventing the wheel because we have no other option. This practice is so common that it's been given names like "sink or swim" or "drinking from the fire hose." This is a rocky path riddled with pain and frustration. Collaborative learning allows others to groom the path for those that follow.
Increased performance - What if you could bottle the knowledge, skills, tips, and tricks of your top 10 performers? What if this could be shared with everyone else? What kind of difference would that make in your organization?
5. How can you be assured that social learning is accurate and not a way to disseminate misinformation or propagandistic / agenda-laden material?
If someone posts something that is just plan inaccurate, it should be praised that there is a way to flesh out problems before they occur. These are teachable moments that can mitigate risk and prevent future mistakes. How else would an organization know if someone was spreading this misinformation. An online learning community should be viewed as an extension of the classroom. If it's OK to say inaccurate things or ask silly questions in the classroom, then it should also be acceptable that this is done in the online classroom.
6. Please recommend a book you recently read and enjoyed.