Why should I learn in public?

Hedging against a traditional career

Afterthoughts: 1984 by George Orwell

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The notion of learning in public is one of the most valuable discoveries I have made this year. Essentially, it takes the form of an individual making the effort to document and make available online their learning journey. It does not matter what it is they are learning, the only criteria is that there is an active effort in relaying the learning journey in a form accessible by others. This can be achieve any number of ways including sharing a mix of writing, visuals, or videos that are equal parts educational and aspirational.

Learning in public accelerates growth

I want to first introduce something many people would be familiar with, an form of learning in “public” in a work scenario. Let’s take a work context as an example. If you were part of a team building a product, it may be a digital product, a physical service, or a good old fashion manufactured good. The most important thing to the success of your product is the input of your would-be customers. It would be nonsensical to exclude them from the process of creating it, their feedback is critical to it’s success.

Why then are so few people learning in public in their personal lives. The simple act of documenting your learning and making it available online opens the opportunity for feedback. Aside from one’s ability to integrate that feedback, is feedback not the single-most important thing in the learning process?

Learning in public attracts a community of kindred spirits

The opportunity to build a community of like-minds, of kindred spirits, is a natural consequence of learning in public, and more generally sharing one’s work online. Time makes the community stronger, larger, and more useful to you, the person learning public. Once you have a community, there are so many ways in which you can find value in it.

  • Discover new people to follow
  • You have a network of potential partners and collaborators
  • Find people to engage in highly-specialised discussions about your niche
  • Stay ahead with the latest developments and trends within your niche
  • You build an audience that you can leverage

Don’t take my word for it, here are what others have to say




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