Your life, as Venn (Diagrams)

One of the challenges I face is figuring out how to share my various [work interests/hobbies] in a way that shows the relationship between them.  Especially as an academic, trying to show how my various apparently dissimilar research efforts were related posed a specific challenge.  Enter the concept of Venn Diagrams!

While perusing Gina Trapani’s blog from, I saw she too struggles with sharing her varied, yet often inter-related, interests.

She writes:

It’s a tough question to answer, especially when you’re not working on a single thing. Last weekend at Foo Camp I failed miserably at explaining myself and my slash careers and how they all intersect. But at that same conference, I had the pleasure of attending a session by David Eaves, who eloquently explained that his goal is to apply his experience and training in negotiation skills to open source community management. On his site, he published a map of his past, current, and future work, and how those activities all interrelated. Cool!

When I read this I had one of those “DUH!” moments. It’s a brilliantly simple idea.  I like the way it forces some things into reductionism (you have to determine a fixed set of spheres–how many do you REALLY have?).  In addition, this approach can even help one find relationships between work that seemed “intuitively” there, but were never explicitly stated, even to oneself.  And finally, the approach David and Gina have both taken is to show how they are seeking the “greater good” (or a “Better world”) through their work.

The Venn Diagram David Eaves created is below.  To see the one Gina put together about her interests and work, go visit the link (really–you should!)  To see mine…. well, that may take a while longer.

Feel free to share yours here, or just put a link to yours in the comments!



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