Some Changes Afoot…

It’s been a bit of an open secret for the past few weeks but as of today the official announcement is out. I’m excited to announce that as of May 1st I’ll be joining VizThink as their Chief Community Evangelist.

As the title suggests my new role will have me focusing on growing and developing the community surrounding VizThink and the ideas of Visual Thinking. One could argue I’ve already been doing this job for almost a year now, back to when I started running the VizThink evenings here in Toronto – it some sense I have, but it’s always been something I’ve done when I could steal a few minutes to think about it/do something.

If you asked me a year ago about where I thought the VizThink events would lead I probably would have answered “Hopefully we get a little community going here in Toronto & maybe have some fun making some new friends”. As it stands today VizThink has become a full-fledged organization, with twice a year conferences, monthly workshops with gurus like Dave Gray & Karl Gude & a growing network of regional communities forming globally. (London runs its first event on the 16th, St. Louis on the 21st & Austin the 30th. The Netherlands, Chicago, D.C, San Francisco, Atlanta, New York & Seattle also all have some activity in the works as well [more])

Needless to say it’s an exciting opportunity and I look forward to sharing more about my role & plans in the coming weeks.

So What about Clay Tablet?

Ah yes, the big question… I’m not leaving CTT entirely, but I will be adjusting my job there to be more of a strategic/advisory role. Next to Robinson, I’m still the largest shareholder in CTT and am committed to helping it succeed.

The past few years at Clay Tablet have been very, very technology focused. We released version 1.0 of Clay Tablet in late 2005. Then, last year, we took everything we had learned with 1.0 and rebuilt/re-architected the product, from the ground up, releasing Version 2.0 in September. We’re really proud of what we’ve built and now that it’s out, the focus of CTT is shifting to be an aggressive outbound sales organization – and at the end of the day, I’m just not a sales guy.

At the same time my interests & passions have started to wander – After starting the VizThink events last year my interest in Visual Thinking started to grow and a few weeks ago I was presented with an offer that let me take that interest to a whole new level.

Internally this change isn’t a surprise, Robinson and I have discussed the changing focuses and interests of both myself and the organization as a whole as we were strategically planning how CTT goes forward over the coming months and years. With the shift turning to a sales organization instead of a development organization we realized reducing my day-to-day role would have minimal impact and the opportunity at VizThink affords me the flexibility to continue to support and participate in CTT.

I love what we’ve built at Clay Tablet and think it fills a huge need in the industry but I’ve now been working on evolutions of this idea for over ten years but the opportunity & challenges that the VizThink role presented to me would have been very hard to turn down.

So, long story short. CTT is healthy and doing well, and I’m looking forward to my continued involvement while also taking on the new challenge of nurturing the VizThink community.

Going Forward
As I mentioned, I start with VizThink May 1st – I’ll be here in the CTT offices full-time until then and will be working at least a day a week at the CTT offices after that for the foreseeable feature. Depending on the context you’ll be able to reach me at rcoleman [at] /

You can also follow me here:
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Mr. Crow goes to Microsoft

No, that’s not the title of an upcoming children’s book – David Crow, TorCamp‘s resident instigator and founding father, announced over the weekend that he’ll be joing Microsoft Canada as of the beginning of June as a “Senior User Experience Advisor”.

To some it’s probably a surprising move but I think it makes a lot of sense – and it’s good to see that Microsoft is interested in folks who aren’t just going to toe the line. David’s a take no shit kind of guy and I like knowing he’ll be calling it like it is with the boys (and girls) at MS.

His title may say “Advisor” but as with anything Crow sinks his teeth into I’m guessing the better word will be “Advocate” – which is good for all of us.

Congrats and Good Luck Dave!

(As an aside “Mr. Crow goes to Microsoft” would probably be a great little Graphic Novel)