Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What I want to be when I grow up...

A friend of mine sent me an email on Monday:

... Any chance you could talk with my students about blogging and business?  They are undergrads and the class is "Six Degrees: Social Networking & Business". ...

I really liked the idea - so we discussed the topic and today I was the guest speaker in Professor Melander's class at American University:

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Which brings me to the title of my post here.  I was so jealous when I found out what job she was doing now - last I talked to her, this was not her job.  I've often said "when I grow up, I want to teach" - she wanted the same thing and now she does...

IMG_4736IMG_4735

That is her class and I got to talk to them for an hour today.  It was neat doing a "non-database" talk.  I talked about my initial exposure to online "social networks" - the Usenet news groups.  How that exposure helped me in my job over time - and how it morphed into asktom, the column, the books.  How asktom was a "corporate blog" in its own right (before blogs were cool) and ultimately how http://tkyte.blogspot.com/ came about.  We also talked about the perils and pitfalls of blogging (threatened lawsuits, real lawsuits, differing laws in different places) - but mostly how they can be used as a communication medium - to interact, discuss.

I talked for 30 minutes and we did a question/answer session for 30 minutes.  It was really quite enjoyable.

The future looks good :)

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29 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said....

[quote]I've often said "when I grow up, I want to teach" - she wanted the same thing and now she does...[end quote]
Don't be too humble Tom, you do teach and there are many whom you have given a valuable education.

Wed Feb 28, 05:33:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Oh, I know I 'teach' today - but I mean in the formal sense, a class of students for a semester.

Semester after semester :)

and no sales calls!

Wed Feb 28, 05:37:00 PM EST  

Blogger Robert Vollman said....

No, I agree with anonymous.

If Tom Kyte doesn't teach, who does?

Just because you teach through a different medium makes you no less a teacher. Indeed, if you became a teacher in the sense you describe, you'd actually be teaching far, far less than you do right now.

Wed Feb 28, 05:51:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

... you'd actually be teaching far, far less than you do right now ....


but I'd be doing what I want to do ;)

Wed Feb 28, 05:53:00 PM EST  

Anonymous doug c said....

Real lawsuits? Threatened lawsuits? Can you elaborate? Maybe you can't. How about a source about that sort of thing. I was thinking of starting a blog. What are the big potential hassles?

Wed Feb 28, 09:04:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Zia Hassan said....

Thanks for coming to our class today. We all had a good time, and it was cool to hear your opinions on things.

Wed Feb 28, 09:26:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

doug c said...

Real lawsuits? Threatened lawsuits?


I was talking in general - there have been cases of people getting fired (dooce.com - she was one of the first bloggers to get fired for blogging about her job on her blog - and now she makes a living blogging, go figure :)

there are cases of people getting put in jail (in other countries).

there are definitely people doing frivolous defamation/libel threats (had my share of those threatened - no more will be said)...

it is like anything else in life - everything has its ups and downs...

Wed Feb 28, 09:38:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Jordan L said....

Hey tom thanks so much for coming to our class today it was great to see what we are learing used in every day businesss

Thu Mar 01, 01:09:00 AM EST  

Blogger Neeraj Bhatia said....

Hi thomas

u said :
I talked about my initial exposure to online "social networks" - the Usenet news groups. How that exposure helped me in my job over time - and how it morphed into asktom, the column, the books. How asktom was a "corporate blog" in its own right (before blogs were cool) and ultimately how http://tkyte.blogspot.com/ came about. "

Can we have this information in textual format or can u share your rich experience with us.

Thanks !

Thu Mar 01, 03:41:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Oscar said....

on the topic of the egyptian blogger-Martyr: http://www.freekareem.org/ Living in Africa, is beautiful, but when I read about things like this, its a bit scary!

Thu Mar 01, 03:48:00 AM EST  

Blogger Jayasankar said....

Hi Tom,

A little bit out of context, so pardon for that.
Have you ever taken something like the strengthsfinder test?
Even if not a formal thing like that, I am sure you would have thought about it.'bout What your strengths are and what your weaknesses are.

Did you sort of take things as they come in your career, trying to do the best job you could of all which came or did you focus on getting a career in which you got to do only your core strengths.

Does this teaching stuff got something to do with it?

Rgds,
Jay

Thu Mar 01, 04:26:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Neeraj Bhatia has left a new comment
birth of asktom

Thu Mar 01, 07:45:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Have you ever taken something like the strengthsfinder test?

Nah, life is a series of (sometimes unfortunate) accidents. I do what I do because I did what I did - without any sort of master plan.

When I had a weakness that got in the way of what I wanted to do - I would work to correct it. Public speaking for example.

Thu Mar 01, 07:49:00 AM EST  

Blogger Bill said....

I'll bet there are a LOT of folks at Oracle who are a tad nervous today (finding out you'd really like to be a teacher, I mean).

Not sure how many folks who read AskTom or your blog realize it, but you are by far the best marketing campaign that Oracle has. Period. I know it isn't intentional, but your work on AskTom and your blog drives more business towards Oracle than any advertising they could ever do.

Hope you got a raise for doing it. ;-D

FWIW, I think you'd make an exceptional teacher ( I mean a classroom teacher ). You have all of what I would consider to be the best qualities.

Bill S.

Thu Mar 01, 08:37:00 AM EST  

Blogger bill said....

i,sir, for one am proud to claim you as teacher.

Thu Mar 01, 10:00:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

you should contact the George Mason computer science department and see if there is room for you to teach a more professional database class. The academic stuff they teach is not practically useful.

I think the George Washington Campus on route 7 in Loudoun has a computer science department at it.

I got a masters from george mason in software engineering. Several of my professors work in the industry. I had 2 project managers, and one java developer(we actually worked together). now they all had masters or phds, but with your background they might make an exception.

The database part of the software engineering program at mason was pretty weak. I had a very challenging software design class, but the database was a cylinder in a diagram with a line to it.

students there are pretty good too. so you would not have to be easy.

now they won't pay you anything, but I know quite a few guys who like it. There are some instructors from AOL in the computer science department also.

Thu Mar 01, 11:13:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

http://ise.gmu.edu/

here is a class that some industry people are teaching offsite:

so you could hold the class at the oracle building reston.

http://ise.gmu.edu/Entrepreneurship2007.html

its not far from my house... I might just take it.

Thu Mar 01, 11:15:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

The problem of course Tom is you are too valuable to confine to a single classroom and a limited set of students (and likely too humble to mention it as the reason why teaching a class isn't an option).

There are times when we all crave a simplier life but we each must do our part neh?

We learn by teaching and teach by learning.

Thu Mar 01, 11:22:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Lewis Cunningham talked about doing online training classes. You could probably break it down into a 4 mos course online. Students meet up in a meeting room as you share a desktop and show off some stuff. Students then get a project to complete and turn it in as homework : )

Not sure exactly how he plans to do it though...

http://tinyurl.com/yoyyve

Thu Mar 01, 02:43:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Tommy Raun said....

I'm just wondering: why don't students sit in the front row if the subject is of there interest?

Fri Mar 02, 06:52:00 AM EST  

Anonymous RobH said....

Tom Said: "Nah, life is a series of (sometimes unfortunate) accidents. I do what I do because I did what I did"

Exactly, stuff happens, it keeps life interesting. The day I lost a friend in a car accident is the day I met my wife (easily best+worst day of my life).

They say the best leaders are the ones that lead by example, so to me teaching is similar, and you are the perfect example of good teaching (sometimes I'm shocked at your level of tolerance and patience, you're better than me).

However, I also think everyone needs to teach or pass on something to the next generation.

Fri Mar 02, 09:57:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Todor Botev said....

Tom,
Then why just don't give it a try? You probably could find a little time - if not every week then every other week or even once a month. I'm sure there are universities that will be really happy to have you as a guest speaker.

What I mean - you could start small. You don't necessarily need to make a turn in your career. I think there are lots of practitioners doing teaching besides.

Fri Mar 02, 02:27:00 PM EST  

Blogger jazo82 said....

Hi Tom-

Certainly glad that you were able to come in and educate us on blogging; you've done an excellent job!

Benjamin-Leesburg

Fri Mar 02, 10:42:00 PM EST  

Blogger melander said....

This comment has been removed by the author.

Sat Mar 03, 09:06:00 AM EST  

Blogger melander said....

I'm that friend that Tom mentioned and I can't thank him enough for coming in to speak to my students. For those of you reading Tom's blog, please check out some of my students' blogs at Six Degrees Class Blog and leave a few comments.

Sat Mar 03, 10:32:00 AM EST  

Blogger wyddl said....

I am a student in Prof. Nicole's class.
Thank you for your lecture that day.
It was great time to me.
I was very suprised when you said to us, "I started blog from 1994."
I thought that blog was started these few days.

Oh! and I also thought that
you are good teacher! :)

I agree fobert vollman.
"Just because you teach through a different medium makes you no less a teacher. Indeed, if you became a teacher in the sense you describe, you'd actually be teaching far, far less than you do right now.
"
Excatly what I want to say! :)

-Jiyong Choi-

Sun Mar 04, 01:41:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Just to clarify - I started my online participation in forums in 1994 - but described the forums like a "big room full of people with no one in charge, no one directing the conversation - a big group"

I started "blogging" if you will in 2000 with the start of asktom. I chose what questions where worthy of discussion and published them. It was a short question followed by me talking about it. A very technical blog - but a blog none the less.

Sun Mar 04, 05:36:00 PM EST  

Blogger yrk said....

Thank you for coming to our class!
I am Yuriko, one of the students in that class.
I was very impressive to be able to hear your great lecture!

Mon Mar 05, 01:37:00 PM EST  

Blogger ilovedcblog said....

Hi Tom,

It was certainly very interesting to have you in our class this past week. I'm so glad that you agreed to attend and share with us on such short notice. Interestingly I happend to be researching law suits and blogging before you came to speak with our class. I referenced Opensourcecu.com which is a website by Trey Reeme dedicated to Credit Unions to help them learn to deal with "google bombs". Mr. Reeme strongly advises against lawsuits as it only makes the problem worse. I found it interesting to participate in a live discussion with you on the headaches of filing lawsuits on blogs instead of handling disagreements in a civilized manner. Thank you for the interesting and facinating presentation you gave us! Stephanie

Tue Mar 06, 10:24:00 PM EST  

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