I get to talk to a lot of different people each month when I speak at conferences and run my Knowledge Cafes. And I am surprised at just how many people especially knowledge managers are not using social tools (not necessarily internally but on the web for personal use) and consequently do not really understand their power as knowledge sharing and informal learning tools.
What I find particularly strange, is that people are not reading blogs or using an RSS reader or reading Twitter posts (tweets). Personally, this is how I keep up with what is going on in the world. I do most of my learning this way. I have come to depend on it - its how I make sense of the world; keep up with new trends and ways of thinking. I'd psychologically die without it!
So when I ask people why they do not do the same the answer is always "Oh I'd love to but I am too busy. I just do not have the time." But I think in reality the truth is that in our busy lives we never have enough time to do all the things we would like to do. So we prioritise things and taking the time to learn tends to fall off the bottom of the list.
I think that many people are so busy they have got out of the habit of informal learning - maybe they never got into it. Its not seen as a priority. So can I make a suggestion - if you are one of those people who are not keeping up with your with new developments and thinking in your field of endeavour then take a few minutes to think about how important is it to you compared with everything else that you do. And if you decide it is important then commit to doing it. Start to use social tools as learning tools. Put aside a little time each day or each week to learn in what ever way works best for you :-)
And if you decide you would like to learn more about social tools then Learning 2.0: 23 Things is a good place to start.