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If you’re not following these 18 people in order to help hone your L&D trade craft, you should.

It's amazing how much you can learn, 140 characters at a time.

Last week I had coffee with a learning executive from another organization. We’d exchanged a few messages via social media (which is how we originally met), but this was the first time we were having a face-to-face conversation.

As our conversation unfolded, I kept asking him: “Do you know so and so?” or “Have you read so and so’s work on that topic?” He hadn’t heard of any of the people I was mentioning. It dawned on me that sometimes I assume everyone I interact with is familiar with everyone else I have personally found instrumental along my path to developing my professional skill set.

It’s an erroneous assumption.

Until now.

You, dear reader, have an opportunity to learn from the following 18 people who I’ve found have a lot to offer when it has come to sharpening my own L&D tool set. If you’re not following these people, you should be.

  1. David Anderson from Articulate who coordinates the Elearning Heroes Weekly Elearning Challenges to help you show off your elearning skillz and build your portfolio.
  2. Mike Taylor with whom I’ll be presenting at September’s Online Learning Conference and who seems to have an endless supply of links to share featuring cool technologies, tools, tips and hacks.
  3. Jane Hart who publishes a list of 100 top tools for learning on an annual basis and often blogs about the role of L&D in the 21st century.
  4. Will Thalheimer, author of the recently-released Performance-focused Smile Sheets: A Radical Re-thinking of a Dangerous Artform. He blogs often about research-based L&D practices.
  5. Matthew Guyan whose tweets are generally focused on elearning, he shares a variety of articles and work samples that can provide inspiration for your next project.
  6. Shannon Tipton, aka the Learning Rebel. She’s constantly writing about ways to do learning and development in a different, better way.
  7. Nicole Legault from Articulate who not only blogs about tips and tricks to make your elearning more engaging, but also invites you to engage in conversations around topics such as when converting from ILT to elearning, is it better to start from scratch?
  8. Michelle Baker who has been blogging and writing articles about onboarding for several years. She even has a free ebook on the topic.
  9. JD Dillon is one of the most thoughtful writers around when it comes to reflections on how to best leverage technology to keep people connected. He doesn’t write about technology in a theoretical way, he writes about his own vast experience on what’s worked, what’s not worked and ideas on how to get things to work better.
  10. Jackie Van Nice is a constant presence in the weekly Elearning Challenges and offers scores of ideas to borrow and incorporate into your own future elearning projects.
  11. Tim Slade not only offers some great sample work in the weekly Elearning Challenges but also has been known to take home awards at elearning Guild DemoFest events.
  12. Brent Schlenker is the Chief Learning Officer of Litmos and posts frequent content that sometimes offers suggestions on how to go about being more strategic in your training program, and sometimes he’ll challenge current conventions and thinking. Of course, sometimes he just brings his smartphone and posts short videos of the latest, coolest stuff he can find at SXSW.
  13. Tom Spiglanin just authored one of my favorite blog posts of all time, based upon L&D lessons that can be learned from his 6-year-old daughter who happens to have cerebral palsy. He also posts frequently on creating video content.
  14. Jane Bozarth has written a bunch of books and articles ranging from making your virtual classroom more effective to working out loud.
  15. David Kelly at the eLearning Guild has some interesting insights on technology and how it impacts the workforce. He also posts the Calls for Presenters for eLearning Guild Conferences if you’re looking to submit a proposal.
  16. Jane McGonigal is a master of gamification and an amazing speaker. I appreciate her tweets about game-based research and life in general.
  17. Zsolt Olah may not have a bunch of books out (yet), but he shares a ton of information about gamification, including his own work samples.
  18. Cathy Moore may not tweet a lot, but when she does, be sure to read whatever she’s posted. If there was a queen of instructional design, she’d be it. She posts great articles, visuals, flowcharts, examples and ideas.

Who would you add? Let’s hear it in the Comment section.

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