“Can I pick your brain?” That’s a tough one.

I really love hearing about what journalists are up to. Especially now that I work by myself in a home office, I look forward to conversations that involve brainstorming or giving feedback on cool ideas.

There can be too much of a good thing, though. I get a lot of requests for people to pick my brain about their work or get feedback on a report or idea. And while I wish I could say yes to all of them, I do have a primary obligation to the projects, students and clients who pay my bills.

And yet … people are so interesting! I want to say yes! The days I spend interacting with smart people are my favorite days! Plus, I’ve grown immeasurably through my interactions with generous colleagues and strangers, and I enjoy paying that forward.

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I’m glad some of my projects, like Gather, involve regular video chats.

A journalism colleague, Melody Kramer, asked me today how I decide which requests to say yes to. Mel is someone whose brain I’ve loved picking over the last several years, and she faces this same dilemma. Here’s what I told her:  Continue reading ““Can I pick your brain?” That’s a tough one.”