What is Tummelvision?

Tummelvision is a weekly salon-style podcast about the art and science of engaging and collaborating in a networked age. Each week we explore how to connect and create a world that puts people at the centre of business, technology and culture with the smart folks creating this new world.

Kevin, Heather & Deb caught in a rare moment together in the same room

Tummelvision is  hosted by Heather GoldDeb Schultz Kevin Marks.  We first launched on Leo Laporte’s  TWiT Netcast Network in 2009 and now we run our show independently.

This site is an accompaniment to the show where we explore the art of engaging and collaborating in a networked age . The blog includes taped versions of the show as well as background info, related articles and more interesting tidbits relating to the world of Tummeling.

How did this all get started?

Heather, Deb and Kevin have always lived and worked at the intersection of technology, business and the arts.  All three have careers deeply rooted in the human side of the Web.   The importance of Tummeling in an increasingly connected world came together in 2008 when Kevin responded to Clay Shirky at a Supernova conference. Clay was saying that we didn’t know why communities and conversations form and flourish. Kevin disagreed and so did Deb and Heather. We do know how engagement and collaboration develops in a networked world – with a unique combination of the right tools and the right people.

If we live in an age of participatory media and culture, why is it we place so little emphasis on the art and types of skills required to engage and collaborate in this new online world?

We were all equally frustrated with the lack of the right word to describe this skill set as well as the lack of emphasis on these uber-connector types who bring life and humanity to the Web.  None of the existing definitions seemed to work and they were loaded with preconceived notions that didn’t quite fit: community manager (community is served not managed), evangelist (too religious and too much about advocacy of an agenda or idea),  organizer, host/hostess, geisha – you get the idea.  The best suggestion came from Teresa Nielsen Haden who suggested Tummler!

A movement was formed to get the word out on the importance of Tummeling  and getting the right mix of people, skills and tools together to succeed in a participatory & networked world.


What is this Tummler word?

Tummler is a Yiddish word used to describe a person who catalyzes others to action.  Tummlers were traditionally hired at Jewish weddings to encourage everyone to dance.  It has been most popularly used in reference to comics in the Borscht Belt who warm up the audience, involve them in their shows and spend the week connecting the people staying at these camp-like resorts to each other.  Search Wikipedia and other dictionaries and a good definition of Tummeling [verb] is hard to find.  We like this one from the free dictionary:

Tummler |ˈtoŏmlÉ™r| : A person who makes things happen, in particular a professional entertainer whose function is to encourage an audience, guests at a resort, etc., to participate in the entertainments or activities.  A professional comedian. ORIGIN 1960s: Yiddish, from German tummeln ‘to stir.’

When does the show air?

The show livestreams every Thursday at 6pm PST and 9PM EST.  Just hop over to TummelVision LIVE! and you can take part in the chat and listen to the show live.  We strongly encourage you to jump on the live chat – where we interact and take questions from the chat room


Credits: TummelVision is produced by Andrew Hazlett of The New Modern.  Many thanks to founding engineer emeritus Mike Vardy.

Site relaunch thanks to Sarah Dopp.  New logo courtesy of Stefan Lawrence.  TummelVision’s excellent cheesy 80s theme song was written by Dan Lueders.

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