Tummelvision explores the art of social engagement in tech, business and culture live every Thurs 5-6:30PM PST/8-9:30PMEST

What is Tummelvision?

What is Tummelvision?

Tummelvision is a weekly Internet “Salon” [aka Netcast] hosted by Heather Gold, Deb Schultz & Kevin Marks on Leo Laporte’s  TWiT Netcast Network. The name is our cheeky play on “Tunnelvision.” (I’m an 80s child. For me it’s all about Foreigner – hg)  Dane our crack Producer suggested it when we where struglling for a name – and it just stuck.

This blog is an accompaniment to the show where we explore the art of social engagement in culture, business and technology in the context of the social web, the internet and the 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.

When does the show air?

The show can be seen every Thursday at 7pm PST and 10PM EST.  Just hop over to TWiT and you can watch the show live.

We also strongly encourage you to jump on the live chat – where we interact and take questions from the chat room

How did this all get started?

Heather, Deb and Kevin have always lived and worked at the intersection of technology, culture and business  and the art and complexities of social engagement both online and off.  It all 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. If we live in an age of participatory media and culture, why is it we place so little emphasis on the art of the types of skills required to engage and collaborate in this new online world. Heahter & Deb were in the room and had also been 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 also loaded with preconceived notions that didn’t quite fit: community manger (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 suggeted Tummlers!

A blog post, foo camp session, speeches and passionate focus followed and here we are [needs links]

What is a Tummler?

Tummler is a Yiddish word used to describe the act of catalyzing others to action.  It has been more popularly refered to comics in the Borscht Belt who warm up the audience and spend the week connecting the people staying at these camp-like resorts and involving them in the shows. Search Wikipedia and other dictionaries and there a good definition is hard to find.  We like this one from the free dictionary:

tumm·ler // (tmlr)


1. One, such as a social director or entertainer, who encourages guest or audience participation.
2. One who incites others to action.

[Yiddish tumler, from tumlen, to make a racket.]
tummler [ˈtʌmlə]


(Performing Arts / Theatre) a comedian or other entertainer employed to encourage audience participation or to encourage guests at a resort to take part in communal activities

[Yiddish, from tumlen to stir, bustle]

4 Responses

  1. rulds says:

    I watched your show on the twit network it must be new because the leaf has not settled to the bottem of what, I call the entertainment pool with regards to your show.

    Try to get use to why your show is on every thursday even friday.

    Leo has not made perfect sense of the show to his tech viewers as of late.

    The most I see out of the show is talking about things other then tech.

    Even kiki’s science shows are to far out for me to find a reason why I should tune in.

    I do not know if you like feedback from listeners but so far this is how I feel about your show..


    • heathergold says:

      Hi Rulds,

      Thanks for leaving us feedback.

      Social connection drives much of the use of tech and creating space for social engagement and conversation is a major interest for many people in tech, business and culture. in fact, social engagement is a really fertile place to look at the overlapping interests and influence of tech, business, media and culture. We want to see tech and business and culture serve human needs and not the other way round. If this doesn’t interest you, there’s no end of other tech-related shows for you.

  2. […] check-in, read, create, delete, favorite, join, leave, gift, friend, play, connect, tag, save and tummel around issues, articles, lists, photos, videos, music, people, groups, applications, events, […]

  3. […] Tummelvision crew (@heathr, @debs and @kevinmarks) have been exploring the human side of how digital communities and […]

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