At some point in February 2019, we’re going to have completed 500 episodes of TLDCast.
However, as of January 23rd, 2018, we’ve produced 444 total casts. That’s 444 L&D conversations, most around sixty minutes. Coincidentally, we’ve had over 4000 logins to TLDCast in 2018 so maybe four is a lucky number today (my son is four too!).
When it comes to TLDC, TLDCast, and TLDChat, the question I probably ask myself the most is “What am I learning?”
It’s a constant query because it takes a significant amount of effort to keep up with the scheduling, maintenance, development, and overall management of TLDC. Having thousands of users actively log in to your website and products is a full-time job, although I manage to fit it into a part-time schedule. I wake up first thing in the morning to work on it and it’s the last thing I work on late at night. Maintenance and growth. Every day.
So am I doing it because I’m always learning something new from Brent? Does Video Friday keep me coming back? Maybe it’s the variety of speakers with a multitude of perspectives that keep me engaged.
It’s none of that.
I described TLDC and the bounty of content we’ve managed to produce to a former L&D colleague of mine. “I’m not sure what to do with all of it,” I said.
“Luis, you have a knowledge management problem”, she said.
And sometimes when I open up my spreadsheet to update TLDC reporting, my eyes go a little blurry and I start thinking about something said in TLDCast. A snippet from a guest, a text post from an attendee, maybe something that migrated from one of our TLDCasts into twitter or TLDChat.
But then I’ll refocus and get back to my spreadsheet.
And there’s that buzz again. “What are you learning, Luis? Why do you keep pushing forward?”.
I’ve realized it’s all right in front of me.
On that spreadsheet. In that daydream state staring at blurred numbers and cells. In our Slack TLDChat group, on social media, in emails and direct messages from people I’ve never met before.
What I’ve learned is that my passion for TLDC isn’t about L&D. It’s not about growth strategies, media, or this industry.
It’s about Mark, Lita, Molly, Craig, Alan, Kim, Sam, Ed, Deborah, J-Rock, Alex, Cheryl, Jo, Marco, Toddi, Jac, Jeanine, Cara, Mike, Bethany, and so many more. It’s about people. It’s about the connections we’re making, the support we’re facilitating, our role in helping one another get better.
Sure, the content focus is all about L&D, and we’re passionate about what we do and the challenges we face professionally.
But the problem TLDC solves is the finding of others that are facing similar challenges. TLDC helps people grow and offers support where it might not otherwise exist. It’s about the people that have found us and keep coming back. And they keep sharing and supporting and being there for one another.
So what am I learning?
That I feel privileged to be a part of producing The Training, Learning, and Development Community and the events associated with it because it helps people. It’s not about what I think is important for the Community to learn, it’s about what they want and need to continue to help them grow. Not scare, shock or create controversy. Just get better.
I’ve learned that anyone can create content. You can rework yours or other people’s old blog posts and rebuild/mask ideas into something that pretends to be new and relevant. You can game whatever system of growth marketing the latest Instagram entrepreneur is babbling relentlessly about. But that doesn’t mean you’re creating value. And if you’re not creating value, you’re just noise.
I’ve learned the most important thing that TLDC can do is to continue to share. And to be there and be consistent. I can’t thank Brent enough for being there for 99% of our broadcasts. And for everyone else that helps with TLDC and supporting the Community.
I’ve learned that TLDC is about people. Not technology, not L&D, not “learning”. It’s about the generosity, the curiosity, and the development of human beings. By each other.
So thank you 444. Easy enough to remember, and a number I’ve learned a whole lot from.