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. Â Especially as an academic, trying to show how my various apparentlyÂ dissimilarÂ research efforts were related posed a specific challenge. Â Enter the concept of Venn Diagrams!
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 myÂ slash careers and how they all intersect. But at that same conference, I had the pleasure of attending a session byÂ 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 publishedÂ 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. Â 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?). Â In addition, this approach can even help one find relationships between work that seemed “intuitively” there, but were never explicitly stated, even to oneself. Â 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. Â To see the one Gina put together about her interests and work, go visit the link (really–you should!) Â 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!