Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Creating Passionate Users

A blog about a blog, very recursive.  Cannot help it today. 

A couple of entries ago, I talked about the blogs I read and others suggested some.   I checked them out and one that I really like now is Creating Passionate Users.  Not just for the slam on the MS “passion” marketing campaign either (although I hadn’t thought about it the way they did, and am now in total agreement with them, you can read about it here).

Today though – I read their entry and was just saying “yes, yes, yes”.  The quotes in bold/italic are theirs from todays posting.

The better you get at something, the better it feels.

I know that feeling.  It is a two edge sword, sometimes if I cannot pick something up fast – I might drop it.  But, when you pick up something and get really good at it, it does feel better. 

The more knowledge and skill someone has, the more passionate they become, and the more passionate they become, the more they try to improve their knowledge and skills.

That is so true.  I think I’m fairly passionate about what I do – if you’ve seen me talk about the database and how to do things with it, you’ll know my arms move a lot, I walk around the front of the room, I get into it.

It's not what you sell, it's what you teach that matters. Or rather, what you help someone learn.

I like these guys.  Their articles are well written and they just grab you.  It seems so topical to me as well, just a couple of days ago – they wrote about writing, and books.  I immediately recognized the McGraw Hill page there – that is Oracle Press format.  One of the best comments I got from a reviewer on Expert One on One Oracle was from a guy who didn’t realize I was writing the book.  His comment was “this author better be careful because he is stealing a well know and very identifiable format — that of Tom Kytes on asktom.  It is a good style, but people will notice the similarity”.  That was perhaps the best comment I ever received, the style was identifiable enough that without knowing it was me, he recognized it.  I hope it carries through in the book.  I’m having Apress use a non-standard format (for them), in order to keep the original look and feel of Expert One on One.

It's more fun to know more. It's more fun to be able to do more. It's more fun to be able to help others do more.

That is how I feel about this Oracle stuff – when I see the light bulbs go on, when the connection between what you want to do and what you can do and how you can do it is made, that is perfection.

So... how are you helping your users/ customers/ students/ guests/ visitors/ clients/ members/ readers kick ass? What are you teaching them? How are you helping them get past the painful parts and into the better-than-drugs flow state?

There is my goal for the year, perfect… 

I suggest you check out that blog, set aside some amount of time though.  The articles are great, I really like their use of graphics here and there.  That is something I need to work on (I’m considered “graphically challenged”). 

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17 Comments:

Blogger Rachel said....

Yet another "must read" blog.... it's a good thing I'm going off to learn to do something I'm passionate about, I'll need the extra time being in school will give me to read all the links!

Tue Jun 07, 09:50:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Don Seiler said....

I'm finding this out now. I've been fumbling my way as a de-facto DBA for 4 years now. I've finally decided to do myself and my employer a favor and start seriously studying for OCA/OCP. Along with this I'm reading the data warehousing guide.

Being able to then apply this knowledge in the workplace and see the instant results (sqlldr times 75% shorter in some cases) at first had me disgusted at how clueless I was (and still am in most areas). Then this weekend I was laying awake in bed and just got this immense feeling of excitement at the thought of studying for these exams. Having more confidence, being more productive, being able to answer a question without searching comp.databases.oracle would be a whole new world for me.

Being able to someday answer questions on internet forums with the mastery and sharpness of a Kyte, Rogers, or Lewis is now what gets me going when I'm feeling ambivalent about cracking the study guide open again.

Tue Jun 07, 10:22:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous denni50 said....

Tom

that is a really cool and neat blog(graphics are fantatstic!)

I especially got immersed in the F*** the Rules post.

Like you I was "yes,yes,yes"....the post exemplified my innermost sentiments,
how archaic,inane and downright damaging "rules' have become so entrenched in the fabric of everyday life rendering us all to become inhibited, defensive and restrictive.

The pervasive forces that discourage intellectual and independent thinking slowly
devouring our schools, personal lives and government policies.

The pioneering spirit of our ancestors is slowly being extinguished.

great blog...thanks!

Tue Jun 07, 10:37:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

I've noticed many times that i'm happy in the present when i'm expecting/forecasting to be happy in the future ... it's only hinted in the blog, but imho that's paramount for motivation.

The reason why the optimistic is normally more succesfull than the pessimistic.

Tue Jun 07, 10:40:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Sokrates said....

οιδα ουδεν ειδως

Tue Jun 07, 11:09:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Scot said....

I found this blog a few weeks ago, also from the same person who posted it on your site in the blogs to check out. I started reading the articles/entries backwards/retroactively, from the beginning, which was only last December. I've found that gives it a nice directional flow and context to what they are doing.

Some good thoughts in there. It goes beyond our computer and professional lives though; into the brain and learning about learning, which are helpful in everything we do.

Tue Jun 07, 11:53:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

If only someone could learn to give our teachers that same kind of passion described.

On a side note, I've had many experiences where I hit on a topic that the person I'm speaking with is very passionate. Have you ever noticed how interesting the conversation becomes with someone who's passionate about the topic? Even if you couldn't give a darn about the topic 5 minutes before mentioning it, all of a sudden you are hanging on every word the person says.

Tue Jun 07, 12:02:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Jeff Hunter said....

It's more fun to know more. It's more fun to be able to do more. It's more fun to be able to help others do more.

In general, I agree. I believe that people would rather do something for themselves than have somebody do it for them. There's the fine line between empowering your users with the ability to get the job done and doing the job for them and becoming operational support.

Tue Jun 07, 12:18:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Simo said....

Specially that more knowledge more passionate part I can agree on. Atleast for me it's been so, I have to like what I do and the more I know - more I like.

Wed Jun 08, 03:57:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Kalita said....

http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2005/01/be_brave.html

How many one star reviews did you get for your books ;-)

Wed Jun 08, 07:43:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Martin said....

This is good stuff, thanks for sharing

Wed Jun 08, 01:12:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Even if the mentioned above "Expert One on One Oracle" had only one phrase
"read the Concepts Guide" on all its 1265 pages, it would be worth buying, because of the author's passionate personality.

I guess, users like children - you cannot teach or make do them anything you do not practice yourself. And the personal example outweights eloquence and writing skills.

Probably, the trick is that a happy talented person makes everyone feel happy and talented. (The opposite also true - I worked with contagiously unhappy people too).

Coincidentally, BBC discussed this topic lately:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4579681.stm

Fri Jun 10, 10:32:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Martin said....

Hi Tom,

You seem to send out a lot of 'Search the site/ read the manual' replies don't you? Just curious what you think about this article on Creating Passionate Users because I think often it's more like a user being lazy than new to the subject.

Wed Jul 13, 05:38:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Martin said....

Hi Tom,

You seem to send out a lot of 'Search the site/ read the manual' replies don't you?


(i had read that...)

do I really?

for the original question & answer, I don't think so. I do ask that before asking a question, you simply type the subject into the search field - for if it has been asked and answered, why answer it again?

If you ask me "what is the syntax for", yes, I'll say "we document that"

On the followup/review, I'll many times put a pointer to the docs.

For guidance to someone who doesn't have years of experience with the software, I'll nudge them to the documentation


But do I really answer with RTFM? Or do I point them to exactly the place in the FM's that answers their question?

Wed Jul 13, 09:32:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Martin said....

Tom,

First of all I wasn't trying to insult or correct you. I actually meant too say you're doing it right

I must say that after re-reading the artical my perception of it has changed. I see you acctually do what is advised in the article.

Sorry if you misunderstood me and were insulted by this, I just didn't read the article very well at first (and english is not my native language)

Wed Jul 13, 11:01:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Martin said....

Tom,

First of all I wasn't trying to insult or correct you. I actually meant too say you're doing it right

I must say that after re-reading the artical my perception of it has changed. I see you acctually do what is advised in the article.

Sorry if you misunderstood me and were insulted by this, I just didn't read the article very well at first (and english is not my native language)

Wed Jul 13, 11:01:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

No offense taken, you know, the first time I skimmed her article I was thinking the same thing.

I might even have to go to a java conference or an apple one just to see this person give a talk.

Wed Jul 13, 12:20:00 PM EDT  

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