Have you discovered Gibbon yet? It’s a still-young startup based in the Netherlands that is my new favorite learning app. Gibbon harnesses the amazing wealth of content already published online to power its peer-to-peer learning network.
There are a bunch of other options out there to help you learn. Some, like Treehouse, focus on tech and offer lessons in web design and development. Udemy offers classes in all sorts of things (including how to teach online courses!), but many of them cost money. Most of the services use videos and other rich media to attempt to replicate a classroom setting that caters to visual learners. The courses tend to be more formal and sometimes even scheduled as with the Stanford online courses.
Gibbon, on the other hand, is a more casual, “set it and forget it,” kind of learning experience. Once you choose topics that interest you and set how often you want to learn you don’t have to do anything else. Well, nothing besides actually learning! Gibbon will send you a daily, weekly, or monthly selection of readings from your chosen topics as a reminder to check in and read or watch something.
All the learnable content in Gibbon comes from its users, which is another reason I love it. Anyone can sign up and create a “playlist”, which is a topic full of educational content. For example, this User Experience Design from A-Z playlist is full of 99 articles about user experience, all curated specifically to take a learner from “what is UX?” to solving complex experience problems.
Gibbon figures out an approximate reading time for each “chapter” in a playlist which the system uses to build the reminder emails. Every morning I get an email with around 10 minutes of content in it. And because I subscribe to more than one playlist I sometimes get articles on different topics. I’ve been loving the wake up call! Each day I get a cup of coffee and settle in to spend 10 minutes focussed on learning. The articles are shown in a beautiful distraction-free view that let’s you read without wandering away. And the end of each playlist “chapter” has a big “Mark as Learned” button for a satisfying this-is-done feeling.
Gibbon is free to join as a learner or teacher, but paid plans are available for private playlists. I see a few interesting applications of the paid plans. Teachers could ask students to create playlists throughout a semester, for example, to help teach continuous learning. Or accelerator mentors could build playlists for specific teams to help them grow and succeed. So many options!
It’s a big week y’all: we’re moving house! This time next week I’ll be up on the fourth floor in a cozy apartment. Can’t wait until we’re settled in! To kick this week off right I collected a few thought-provoking pieces from Medium to get your gears moving:
Product design is a fluid field, not unlike user experience, that seems to have a different definition for every team and practitioner. “A Working Definition of Product Design” is an interesting take that leans heavily on user centered design principles.
Not going to lie, I’m pretty proud of this one! Not only is it super fabulous and distracting, these flowers didn’t take as long as you would expect. My inspiration came from this Beauty Department post from last year that I had pinned to my nails board on Pinterest, which is pretty typical of my usual nail art process to be honest!
Editor’s note: I’m trying this thing where I write long-form personal articles to be published over the weekend. It’s important to me to know how to organize thoughts through written word and this project is me practicing out loud. It’s a big leap to share like this for me so I very much appreciate you reading!
You know those people who can talk to anyone and can consistently hook relevant people together? I know a few and am so grateful for their naturally chatty attitudes. Since starting to freelance my network has been at the top of my mind. I’ve found that the contacts I make through referrals are more strong and more likely to have a positive result than cold emails and replying to job boards. Having someone personally connect me to a potential job is the the quickest way to gain and actionable lead. So it’s been tough, these past few months, to realize that my network is smaller than I thought. Reflection has shown that I’m not good at gaining new contacts and following through on growing new relationships.