- Félix Zaniboni wrote:
> What does Herding Cats mean?This is kind of a joke with Webheads, like Chaos Navigation.
To 'herd' animals means to keep them together and move them from place to
place. A shepherd for example herds sheep (and shepherd = sheep + herd). It
is possible to herd sheep and cows because these animals like to stick
together, and since herders can predict their reactions, they can use dogs
and horses to keep the animals moving in the desired direction.
Cats are completely different. Cats are not predictable, and cats are
notorious for doing whatever they please. Can you imagine trying to 'herd'
cats, that is keep them together and move them in the same direction?
To me, the same applies to people who meet together online. In a classroom,
teachers can keep students moving in the same direction because they have
authority to control the students, and because the students usually come to
the class having paid for a course which they all expect the teacher to
deliver. Online is completely different. You never know who will show up or
when, and each participant seems to have his or her own agenda and reason for
So I've been telling people that trying to keep a group of online students,
or conference participants, together is like trying to herd cats. You need
special skills and perhaps a special situation where the participants have
agreed in advance to cooperate in a certain way. Webheads is not like that
(either that or I lack the special skills).
Fortunately however, I like cats, and I like Webheads, and I enjoy chaos
What about you?
> What does Herding Cats mean?Felix,
Cats are supposed to be too independent to 'herd' like cattle.
Cowboys, ranchers or gauchos sometimes have to move the cattle
from place to place. Unlike cats, cattle have a natural tendency
to gather together. So sometimes we say that something that is
difficult or impossible is 'like herding cats.'