Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

The Green Overlay

June 18, 2009

Have you noticed the green faces ( over 90,000!) on Twitter?  The green is in response to the following tweet: 

Show support for democracy in Iran add green overlay to your Twitter avatar with 1-click – “

This show of support requires 1-2 mouse clicks.  No  additional action is required, or even expected  — no petition to sign, no plea to any government, no endorsement of a specific action or figure.  This advocacy is not only passive, it’s ambiguous.  Some tweets have have remarked on the potential for confusion:

Erick1970 “Reading through about 7 hrs of tweets – what’s with the green avatars that are popping up?”  

bliccy    “Oh. I thought the green overlay had something to do with you smug bastards and your iPhones.  

Aurress20 “if I green overlay my avatar does that mean I want a smaller carbon footprint or I support Iran?”


The average bumper sticker is more articulate than the green overlay.  The bumper sticker explains itself, whereas the overlay can keep people guessing.  Futhermore, the bumber sticker requires the user to leave his chair and apply the sticker to his car. In contrast, the green overlay movement may be the first movement that requires no movement!

The faulty presumption behind the green overlay is that ‘showing’ support is tantamount to actually ‘giving’ support. Unfortunately, the tyrranic few who oppose freedom will not be dissuaded by the green overlayFor those who want to give real support, get some great ideas from Natalie DeBruin’s blog

Green was the chosen color of a specific candidate’s campaign for election. Guy Wallace provides a chilling explanation of why he has decided to show his true colors rather than adopting the green…hint, he “won’t get fooled again.”     

Clicking a mouse twice tells the world nothing, but taking steps to remove the green says much more.  The green overlay does not expire; it remains in place until the user decides to remove it.  Presumably, the overlays will remain in place until the users decide that the advocacy has achieved it’s goal.  What milestone will evidence that Freedom has been achieved and the overlay can be removed?

Will people remove the overlays once they’ve observed free elections…. or will the overlays fade aways as people grow bored with their avatars? What happens when someone wants to show off a new hair color, or wants to update a professional image?  Will the easy advocacy (e-advocacy?) of green overlays end when the Iran changes, or when fashions do?

Kermit the Frog sang about being green over 30 years ago.  An excerpt from the second verse provides the perfect description of the green overlayers:

It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over ’cause you’re
Not standing out…

Kermit was wrong about one thing.  …It is, indeed, easy being green. 


UPDATE:  I appreciate her honesty and her sense of humor!  :

KoreenOlbrishWhiteKoreenOlbrish  Ok, I”m still supporting democratic election in Iran, but I can’t stand looking at my green avatar in Twitter anymore. 

(She’s worth following, by the way!)


Have You Taken Advantage of Me?

May 29, 2009

Have you ever taken advantage of me?

…I hope so.  I take advantage of you whenever I can. 

I’m talking to you, Bob Mosher.  Just yesterday I shared some thoughts about Training & Performance Management with my boss.  Guess what?  I stole the thoughts from you.  That’s right, I used your PowerPoint slides .  I had seen your presentation as part of a live web based tour of e-learning.  Afterward, I googled your name, found your “Performance Supports” blog, jumped to your wiki, and found the PPT in resources.  I gave you full credit, but my boss  still views me as the source of the ideas.  

I’m also talking to you, Jane Bozarth.   I first saw one of Mosher’s slides in a training session of yours.  Then I saw it in your book, E-Learning Solutions on a Shoestring.  You gave Mosher full credit, by the way.  Still, I associated the slide with you even though I knew you weren’t the primary source.  Social Learning is like that, good finders are just as valued as good creators. 

I’ve taken advantage of you, Dave Wilkins.  Your podcasts, blogs, posts, and emails have helped me understand a concept that is still new to me.  The  Overcoming the Top 10 Objections to Social Learning webinar was great for helping me examine my own resistance to integrating social learning into my training designs.  I’ve offered nothing in return, but I still hope that someday I’ll have something great to contribute. 

And you, Kevin Jones .  I even won some great elearning software, Articulate Engage, from you in an SLQTOD contest!  (update–working on it with IT folks) I’ve enjoyed your podcasts & twitter posts.    Any thoughts I have regarding Social Learning and Social Media are from you and Dave.  Oh, and guys, I’m about to initiate my first Social Learning project.  It will be like jumping in the deep end to learn how to swim, except I’ll be taking non-swimmers with me. 

I’ve taken advantage of you, Cindy Huggett.  I’ve used your PPT slides as guides to help me plan projects.  You are the one who convinced me to try Twitter, and WordPress! I attended an ASTD meeting but still haven’t joined yet,  (I will, I promise!).  I use your trainer tips from Twitter  and end up looking like an old pro…I mean that in a good way!

My Social Learning used to take advantage of people in more old fashioned ways.  I’d whine to co-workers about my work-related problems on the job.   These friends would give me new perspectives to consider, and many of them modeled better ways to get work done.  Unfortunately, I’m sure I used up some of their time unnecessarily, especially when time for small talk is added to the equation. 

Now I bring work challenges to online  communities.  Small talk is rare, and I often find that someone has already posted concerns similar to my own.  Only interested people respond, so the responses are always relevant.  Likewise,  I only respond to posts when I have something of value to add. 

Participating in these learning environments gives me an escape from other work tasks, but these online exchanges are work-related.  They influence my overall performance in positive ways, and I am in complete control of the time that I invest in this activity. 

I’m grateful to others for how much I learn from them.  My lack of contributions makes the relationship somewhat unequal, and I find that I am taking more than I give.  I hate to take advantage of people in this way, but I’m going to keep doing it. 

I hope one day I can say that you took advantage of me.  It would be gratifying if any of you could get back a little of what you’ve given.  

And now for a 1928 Rodgers & Hart song that’s creepy because it’s cute, “You Took Advantage of Me” :