Collaborative Learning Anthropologist and Specialist (CLA): Enterprise 2.0, Web 2.0 and Learning Career or Job Opportunities

Share this article

Future jobs now, today! Collaborative Learning Specialists – of all types!


Please let me know if you see these types of jobs or if you do these jobs.

I pondered on what jobs, specializations, and careers we may eventually discover or are even starting to evolve in organizations. My exposure tells me that these general functions are starting to surface. Although the jobs are not fully articulated in job descriptions, eventually, they will be -I predict.

The common theme in functions is the ability to study and practice the skills of a “Collaborative Learning Anthropologist” (CLA). Major changes in learning and training are fundamentally challenging the current and old assumptions, principles and beliefs. There are many opportunities to discover and innovate new learning models. CLAs are focused on studying and reporting human behavior in relation to learning and productivity technologies, specifically Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0. This is the primary task of a Collaborative Learning Anthropologist.

CLAs are provocateurs, innovators, and observers of the rapid impacts of learning behaviors and technology.

Here are jobs, tasks, and roles in emerging Enterprise 2.0 Collaborative and Social Networking Systems.

  • Resident expert – accessible to networks of people, provides ideas as needed, shares expertise, is highly visible, initiates thinking (SMEs, face-to-face trainers, consultants – as specialist SME bloggers who are sought after, followed by their networks in domain areas inside Enterprises).
  • Gaps consultant – a snapshot analyst for gaps in information, data or process that are missing in networks (project leads, instructional designers, writers, editors, researchers – example is tracking Microlearning impacts by using Web 2.0 tools).
  • Toolkit Guru – has specialized in one Web 2.0 tool and is positioned as a champion, e.g., Wiki, Blog, Second Life, social media, etc. (developers, authoring programmers, technically- inclined SMEs, trainers).
  • Social Media Specialist – converts content into short, enticing, provocative, rapid, instant media with the likes of YouTube, e.g. CommonCrafts presentation and Institute of Social Research. (multimedia developers, audio and video developers, graphics and concept developers).
  • Online Coach – uses video and audio conferencing, Instant Messaging, Twitter, tracking to support coaching roles. Learning coaches can help their clients by using Web 2.0 tools to continue communications and support. Twitter for example, helps in sharing small updates by using cell phones or PDAs.
  • Social Network Catalyst – promotes, educates, processes, and nurtures the growth of networks – if you are one of those people that are adept or have the passion to help others improve relationships with Web 2.0 relations, you can be a catalyst. Catalysts grow, nurture, support and cajole networks to yield productive values.
  • Social Network Analyst – is involved in metrics and research on performance of networks, learning and performance, using Web 2.0 to communicate the strengths and weaknesses of social networks and provide solutions. See Raytheon Professional Services.
  • Social Network Architect – designs, implements and leads network projects (Project leaders and managers). Implementing Collaborative Learning and Social Networking in organizations require new thinking processes, technologies, support, financial strategies and communications. See Fortune article “Hidden Workplace.”
  • PLE Assistants – Personal Learning Environments (PLE) Downes, Sims and Kareer talk about the need of the connected learners to learn to work with technologies to advance personal learning. Easily said, but difficult for some to execute. The assistants coach learners on the possible choices and options on PLE decisions.
  • Web 2.0 Specialized Programmers – specializes in discovering creative and new learning methods with Web 2.0 tools, the likes of C Dragon software, visualization, visual mapping (see invisible to visible), widgets, and others.
  • Collaborative Learning Anthropologist – studies and researches the new learning behaviors of people, Web 2.0 and productivity technologies. What is needed is the ability to constantly poll, survey, and make small studies with your audience. Share the results for immediate feedback and learning in your social networking communities. The CLA focuses on organizing a dynamic, quick-loop, data generation for sensing the pulse of community members. The data when published becomes a resource for learning and continuous improvement. It’s like “The Survey Says”, sounds familiar? Jeopardy. For practical example, see eLearning Guild Dynamic 360 Degrees Reports (search 360).

    The CLA constantly runs surveys, publishes studies and links resources and comments. This is done real-time, daily, and fed to members instantly.

Alert: Act now, it is here, or happening soon.

It took around 5-8 years for training executives to realize they need to include “e-learning skills or exposure” in their hiring specifications for trainers. This is regardless of whether the skills are directly or indirectly related to the position being hired. It will take only 2-3 years for training executives to start including “Collaborative and Social Networking skills.”


Please let me know if you see these types of jobs or if you do these jobs.


Ray Jimenez, PhD

“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”

9 thoughts on “Collaborative Learning Anthropologist and Specialist (CLA): Enterprise 2.0, Web 2.0 and Learning Career or Job Opportunities

  1. Ray, this is interesting. At this point, I haven’t seen anybody other than us consultants who come close to doing this full time.

    I’ve been a bit of an Social Network Analyst/Catalyst/Architect in most of my client projects.

    My goal is to help get Resident Experts involved in the projects to get them to either act as an Online Coach, or Social Media Expert to get their expertise online.

    I think at this stage in most companies we have a long way before we’ll see many of these as a full-time position. But they are usually needed as job roles.

    Doug Foster
    D Foster Associates

  2. Hi Ray, You are bang-on in recognizing this trend. It’s been all over my radar the last month (for the first time). A former colleague who is a sales and marketing manager for an anti-virus software company recently showed me how he is using a wiki for project management with his sales team. That started me thinking that our training department (and the company as a whole) should be exploring this as a learning and producivity resource as it seems to be much more powerful and user-friendly than our corporate forum and intranet. I quickly found some supporters and we formed a clandestine “drupal” group and created a secret site on one of our servers. By Day 3 we realized we needed to show this to our corporate executive, so blown away we were by the genie we’d let out of the bottle (our IT department tends to be a little reactive – they’ll have to get over that). If trainers aren’t aware of this, they need to be! These social collaboration tools have very quickly reached the tipping point. I remember how long it took for e-learning to take hold – wiki adaption will be lightning fast in comparison and if it doesn’t take hold officially first it will certainly come through the corporate back door. Educators who get on board early will lead professionally – likewise companies that get on board early will develop fiercesome competitive advantages over their rivals who don’t in terms of employee retention, productivity, etc….

  3. Brian,

    Thanks. Your story is a true “guerilla warfare” in implementing new technologies. You are right. If you have not done it, you have have not gained the emotional insights and see how people behave differently (or really released by unbounded tools) with the new tools. Congratulations. Keep me posted on your story.

    May I share your story into my next email message?

    I am excited just knowing of your discoveries.

    Ray Jimenez

  4. Nice Effort,
    keep it up
    Job-Hunt: Aims at helping the Fresh Graduates, Engineeers, MBA’s to get jobs in good companies

  5. Sorry, I forgot to update this and lots of great stuff has happened in the interim. The long and short of it is that my company decided to completely replace its intranet with Intranet 2.0 running on a Drupal open-source platform and hevily focussed on capturing the organisations informal knowledge through lots of social collaboration tools! I do not believe it! Me and my partners of subversion are now the key members of the Intranet 2.0 implementation team. What they say about a small group of people changing the world rings true to me – my company was a bit of a dinosaur tech wise and now they are leaping out front. Stay tuned – the fun is just beginning as we finally give our employees a true voice, an easy way to contribute their expertise and knowledge and a dynamic learning environment. Who knows which employee will contribute the next genius idea! Still can not believe it!

  6. Ray,
    Loved the insights and discussion. I am a Social Network Catalyst, Thanks. I'm so happy you have named me. I want-to-be a Architech and feel empowered now!

    I'll pass the descriptions along to my HR partner. I can see creating new competency model with your language. It's a Brave New World!

    Thanks again for the title and insight.

  7. The above post is awesome I found your blog via Google and it is about my research academic writing strive to maintain the highest level of customer satisfaction.

    college admission essay examples are great it is very use full information for students specially for those students who searching for college entry essays.

    academic writing services
    topics for argumentative essay
    argumentative essay topics
    argumentative topics
    classification essay
    topics for college essay
    topics for compare and contrast essay
    compare and contrast essay
    good essay questions
    essay on love
    Narrative essay format
    Personal narrative essay format
    cause and effect essay

Comments are closed.