WordPress has a world map in its Dashboard to indicate from where visitors come to view a blog.
I liked today’s map. At noon today I found a parallel universe!
WordPress has a world map in its Dashboard to indicate from where visitors come to view a blog.
I liked today’s map. At noon today I found a parallel universe!
Early this morning I was looking at some information about my blog.
I have been thinking about open sharing after receiving an invitation from Darrell Cobner to write about blogging.
WordPress offers a range of information about blog visits.
when I reflect on my own practice it does seem to me that my own work is based in forming connections – though, more specifically, it is based in acting as a node in a network, and not in network-forming per se (I think the concept of ‘building networks’ is a bit misleading; if we want to be a part of a network we must be in the network, as a node, and not outside it
A few hours later I was listening to Michael Cathcart interviewing John Ironmonger about The Notable Brain of Maximilian Ponder. In this novel:
the central character wants to record every thought he’s ever had, every memory, every aside, every piece of odd knowledge picked up by reading the back of a cereal box. Maximilian Ponder also wants to leave his brain to science, and believes in the power of his increasingly absurd project. Unfortunately, he’s also stuck in 1975.
I am hopeful that someone in Aruba found something of interest in Clyde Street that might be relevant in 2012. Darrell has helped me clarify how this relevance can be shared.
As ever Stephen has demonstrated the energy created by sharing connections.
By the end of the day, Aruba, had moved off my geo-locator page:
… but had been in my network and had linked the Caribbean and a small village node in Australia.
This WordPress blog dates back to June 2008.
I have Blogger, Tumblr and Posterous blog accounts too.
This week a friend, Darrell Cobner, asked me to write about blogging. He is an accomplished blogger and I was delighted that he asked me.
Darrell’s request was for me to address:
I started drafting this blog post just after I had read John Kessel’s delightful Celebrating Together post on the USA Volleyball blogs site. His opening paragraph addresses implicitly Darrell’s questions:
Just finished our annual meetings in Salt Lake City, where all the USAV leaders come to share their season’s experiences and best practices and plan ahead to grow the game anew. This being an Olympic Year, our CEO Doug Beal shared a special powerpoint at the Congress, celebrating the achievements of volleyball in the USA, aka USA Volleyball in his State of the Game. It is shared here, since so many of you reading this blog could not be in Salt Lake, yet you are growing the game so well in your part of our nation – we wanted you to celebrate too. CLICK HERE to download and read it, you will learn a lot about how the Team behind the Team, which is all of us, are doing at USA Volleyball.
Explicitly, here are my thoughts on Darrell’s questions.
What Is Blogging?
Wikipedia has a very clear description of blogging:
A blog is a personal journal published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often are themed on a single subject.
Stephen Downes adds that:
Though blogs are typically thought of as personal journals, there is no limit to what may be covered in a blog. It is common for people to write blogs to describe their work, their hobbies, their pets, social and political issues, or news and current events.
The uptake of blogging was accelerated by easy to use blog platforms like Blogger and WordPress. Both provided and continue to provide ways for the uncomplicated upload of content. This makes blogging a very personal activity. The author creates, uploads and monitors content of the blog.
In recent years Twitter has made microblogging an everyday activity that enables the exchange of short sentences, web links, and pictures.
In the paragraph I quoted John makes the following points:
John’s post exhibits two fundamental aspects of the why blog discussion:
I see blogging as a voluntary contribution to a community. Whenever I attend a conference or workshop I blog live so that those not attending can access information if they wish.
An example is my blog posts from the Computer Science in Sport Conference (Special Emphasis: Football) at Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany in 2011.
I blog to share my interests in performance and this leads me to share data from my research activities.
An example is my blog posts about performance at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
What I find particularly exciting about this approach is:
What Is The Impact?
Blogging offers an immediate way to share information or discuss ideas.
I have posted 619 times to my blog since June 2008. This is a rich record for me of items of interest to me and a cloud resource I draw upon when meeting others interested in learning, teaching, coaching and performance. To date I have had 112,000+ visitors to the site.
I saw a big spike in readership during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Thereafter searches on Google yield some of my posts.
The availability of alerts to blog posts on topics or by a particular author has transformed the impact of blog posts.
Slow Blogging is a willingness to remain silent amid the daily outrages and ecstasies that fill nothing more than single moments in time, switching between banality, crushing heartbreak and end-of-the-world psychotic glee in the mere space between headlines. The thing you wished you said in the moment last week can be said next month, or next year, and you’ll only look all the smarter.
I am conscious that if we are to use blog posts as an indicator or reach and impact then we must engage in slow blogging.We must think too about the tags we use to point to the slow blogging outputs.
I think microblogging with Twitter offers an alternative for the immediate response to events.
What Are The Rules Of Engagement?
It is a public space
Back in 2007 Tim O’Reilly suggested that “I do think we need some code of conduct around what is acceptable behaviour, I would hope that it doesn’t come through any kind of regulation it would come through self-regulation.” One of his seven recommendations was:
Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person.
Kate Carruthers’ advice
In my own blog I have an About page. On it I say:
This is a personal blog. Kate Carruthers has a great guide to rules of engagement for personal blogs. I try to follow her rules.
Sharing openly and open about sharing
Richard Byrne has a helpful post from 24 May 2011 that contains some detailed advice about:
I am excited by the reflective potential of blogs in education and sport settings.
I facilitated a Sport Coaching Pedagogy unit at the University of Canberra last semester. One of the requirements of the unit was to develop a blog as a journal. I have compiled a list of the 60 blogs produced by the students on a Wikiversity page.
Perhaps the next discussion with Darrell will be about wikis … but not before some more of John Kessel’s post:
The final night of meetings before play begins, is the “Boyce Banquet” in honor of Dorothy C. Boyce. Dorothy joined USAV in 1952 as a consultant on women’s volleyball and took on many leadership roles over her 22 years of involvement, including being USAV Vice President for a decade. Traditionally, I sit at the banquet with Mike Hulett, who, if you don’t know of him…well dang it you should. I knew what was coming, as I had contributed a lot of photos of Mike, having been with him for decades as he helped head coach in our USA Paralympic programs. So take time to read the link award below, and watch the video ( CLICK HERE to watch) that I took of his surprise in being honored with USA Volleyball’s highest award, the Frier (named after the USAV leader who almost singlehandedly got volleyball into the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, just one of those things that we all should know and celebrate too…). Mike’s achievements are something we ALL should celebrate in volleyball. Just another thing USA Volleyball does to help volleyball for all, including the disabled of all ages.
Thank you for finding time to read this post. There are some other posts about blogging here.
The Clyde Street blog passed a small milestone this morning.
At 6.35am (AEST) a visitor from the United States became the 100,000th visitor to the site.
In the last three and a half years I have written 574 posts on a range of topics linked to teaching, coaching, learning and performing.
I have found the WordPress platform the perfect host for my blogging.
I am fascinated by the potential and actuality of sharing openly. I see blogging as an invitation to others to explore ideas.
Looking back at all my posts I realise that I have a detailed record of my thought process since June 2008.
In this time the five most visited posts have been:
A post from the CCK08 MOOC that has attracted gardeners.
I see a number of my posts as alternatives to peer review publication. Whilst I realise that the numbers of visitors to a post are not indicators of its impact I am excited by the possibility that readers can access information that is freely and openly available on the public web.
Since I started posting at Clyde Street the amount of data available for secondary analysis has grown enormously. Blogging provides a vibrant opportunity to engage with these data.
I have noticed a significant change in search behaviours since 2008. WordPress provides an excellent dashboard to monitor these trends. I use a lot of Creative Commons images in my posts and these images provide an anchor for search activity. I do try to be very clear about my tags and images but sometimes feel I disappoint searchers when my sense of a tag and image does not meet theirs.
One on my CCK08 posts exemplifies this. I used an image of the Twelve Apostles from the Great Ocean Road in Victoria to help me develop the theme of ‘stacks’. I get a lot of hits on this post relative to its content but it has taught me to think carefully about ambiguity in tagging and categorising.
I hope to continue blogging as a personal discipline. I am keen to encourage the development of e-portfolios and this Semester at the University of Canberra have an opportunity to work with students to initiate their work in this area.
Whenever I write a blog post I am mindful that it is a voluntary public act. I am staggered by the quality of blogging available to us.
I am elated that 100,000 people have visited Clyde Street and hope that not all visitors have arrived through a misdirected search.
Yesterday I posted news of the publication of the Proceedings of the Seventh Symposium of Computer Science in Sport. When I checked my WordPress Dashboard this morning I found this response to the post:
Overnight (in Australia) there were 200 visits to the post following an email alert earlier in the day. I have posted the Proceedings in Box.Net at this link and the Internet Archive at this link. To date there have been 20 downloads of the Proceedings from Box.Net and other downloads of SlideShare presentations.
By coincidence shortly after posting the Proceedings I received a request to provide an abstract for a Panel Discussion at the Australian Institute of Sport. The question I and several colleagues will address is ‘How can we optimise the research effort into high performance sport throughout the Australian network?’ This is my response:
There is a wonderful momentum growing around the aggregation of effort in many aspects of social and professional life. Following on from my presentation at the NESC Forum 2009 I am going to propose that a connected network of practice is essential for sport to flourish in Australia. This connected network will be open and through aggregation will ensure that we grow a research culture that has a cumulative approach to knowledge production. For this to be really effective it will require many institutions to transform their Internet presence. I will suggest there is no wealth but life .
The dynamic possibilities of online sharing enabled me to add an Addendum to the Proceedings this morning (a paper by Alexis Lebedew). Shortly after doing so I received an alert from the Scholarly Kitchen with Ann Michael’s post about the 2010 STM Spring Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Ann reports that some common themes emerged:
Discussions and proclamations of the future of education, learning, training, and development are popular topics at conferences and in publications. For educators, leaders, and administrators, it’s easy to “get lost” in the numerous predictions. What is the next wave of technological change? Are learners really different today? Is our current model of education unsustainable? What can educators do to anticipate and respond to trends?
Unfortunately, predictions of the future are often more of a guessing game than a rigorous process. This course will utilize methods of futures thinking to explore a variety of trends and statistics and provide a series of potential scenarios and future directions. Participants will be actively involved in tracking critical trends, exploring their educational impact, and plan for ways to prepare for important changes.
In order to explore potential paths for education, learning, and training, we will spend time developing a framework for analyzing trends and for generating and evaluating scenarios.
The course will focus on developing methods and mechanisms for making sense of change patterns. Future-focused thinking is an important skill for all educators, leaders, and administrators. During the eight-weeks of this course, we will explore approaches to separating “the nonsense” from “the potential” proclamations of education’s future.
It has been quite a twenty-four hours. This week I am still dealing with my jet lag from my visit to the UK and so I have had some extra time to work on the web. The intensity of what happens in a global community underscores why connectivism is so important to emergent learning, open access and sharing.
I have been a little slow on the uptake! Scrolling through my WordPress dashboard I came across this post about PicApp.
I have been a keen user of The Commons of late but I am stunned that PicApp offers WordPress bloggers such remarkable pictures.
The announcement on 6 October noted that:
We are happy to share with you some good news, we have signed a partnership agreement with Automattic, the company behind the WordPress open source project and which runs WordPress.com.
What does it mean?
It means great news for the 7.5MM publishers using WordPress.com who just gained access to around 20 million premium, legal images and who can now search for and embed PicApp images into their blog posts.
I thought I would celebrate with these images:
[picapp src=”3/f/c/a/Australia_Victoria_Melbourne_77b3.jpg?adImageId=6169971&imageId=5064784″ width=”500″ height=”333″ /]
[picapp src=”6/1/1/5/St_Andrews_62c6.jpg?adImageId=6170914&imageId=6626859″ width=”500″ height=”286″ /]
[picapp src=”0168/6c192b19-d266-4b5e-8fa3-bce0a7738475.jpg?adImageId=6171229&imageId=172457″ width=”477″ height=”358″ /]
[picapp src=”7/c/1/a/Construction_Continues_On_94fa.jpg?adImageId=6171448&imageId=4227767″ width=”500″ height=”347″ /]
I have been away enjoying the Australian summer but I have been thinking about this post for some time. Last year I posted a list of the sites that nourish my thinking about teaching, learning and educational technology. During 2009 I am going to write about these sites as a synthesis of themes and links. I hope to post once a week to capture something of a week’s news and discussions. It is my way of responding to and contributing to communities of practice that are growing by sharing (Kim Marshall, Beth Kanter and Richard Byrne are the most recent discoveries for me!).
This first post looks at blog posts published in the week beginning 11 January (back from my holidays then!). At present I am thinking that I will not include directly Ning and Wiki posts. Both are flourishing and I am working on this Ning site developed for IACSS09 and this wiki for a canoe slalom community in Australia. I have joined the Digifolios and Personal Learning Spaces Ning site developed by Cristina Costa.
I list the sites on the Nourishment page by a person’s first name and so for the first post in Food for Thought I am going to pick up on a post by Will Richardson before my start date on Why Blogging is Hard …Still (9 January). Will’s discussion on blogging concludes with this observation:
…I still feel every time I press “publish” is a good thing on balance, not something to avoid as much as to embrace as a path to a greater awareness of myself and of the world around me.
In the week in review Will has posted about his on-line reading habits and the strategies he is developing to change his on-line practices (12 January) (interesting to note Tony Karrer’s discussion of an information radar in this context). This post and the comments received give some excellent insights into reading possibilities. (Shortly after reading Will’s post I found Benjamin Stewart’s post about Storytelling and noted his observation that “I see my own online identity in a constant state of flux as I am constantly trying out new technologies that best serve my own learning and teaching practice”.) Will posted a short piece about a fascinating in-car conversation with his daughter (13 January). His last post of the week was a discussion about Web 2.0 (15 January) and he addressed some of the issues arising from Howard Gardner’s work (amongst others). Will comments that “Whether we think this new learning landscape online is a good thing or not, the reality is that it’s not going away, and that having the skills to make the most of the opportunities here are only going to become more and more important” and asks “But how do we make that happen for those who don’t find the entry point as easy as most of you reading this have found it?”
Wesley Fryer posted thirteen times last week. Amongst his posts were items about Photodropper (11 January), Gabcast and WordPress (12 January), CrowdSpring (12 January), Kaplan University’s video It’sTime for a New Kind of University (12 January), videoconferencing with Google Chat (13 January), the ISTEconnects Blog (15 January), and digital storytelling (15 January). After reading Wesley’s final post of the week (17 January) I wondered about the kind of conversation his ‘8 year old American Girl doll and movie fan’ would have with Will’s daughter. I think it would be a fascinating journey.
Meanwhile at the Cool Cat Teacher Blog, Vicki Davis posted about YouTube and sharing (12 January), Yuan.CC maps, Flyr and Woophy (13 January), Images4Education ” a space to share exciting digital possibilities to help learners develop 21st century multiliteracy skills through active learning”, the Future of Education community (Sharon Betts posted about this too), ScreenToaster (see Sarah Stewart’s post too), and the Global Education Collaborative (16 January), a link to Michelle Krill’s post on Image Choices, vFlat Classroom wiki, and Diigo (17 January).
Tony Karrer wrote this week about developments at the eLearning Learning Community and on the same day (13 January) discussed his approach to developing an information radar. Tony looked at networks and communities (14 January) and discusses social networks with a range of readings to extend the post. Tony’s final post of the week was a short item about his work with Beth Kanter on a nonprofit technology portal.
I missed Tomaz Lasic’s Gazump post in December, having written about George Oates I should have been more alert about employment status. (I thought some of the comments on Tomas’s post resonated with Steve Dembo‘s post earlier this month.) This week Tomaz’s posted about Memetics (10 January) and I tried not to get too distracted by following up his post link to Susan Blackmore.
It was a busy week at the O’Reilly Radar. The week started with a post by Tim O’Reilly (11 January) on Work on Stuff that Matters in which he discusses: working on something that matters to you more than money; creating more value than you capture; taking the long view. This post is followed up in some video interviews later in the week (15 January). Nat Torkington linked to Brooklyn Museum’s development of a socially networked museum membership. He links too to Doppir‘s personal annual report plans (16 January).
Terry Anderson posted twice this week. In his first post (15 January) he discusses name confusion on open, distance and e-learning and in the second guides readers through configuring Google Scholar (16 January).
Susan Sedro’s post this week introduced her readers to Motivator.
This week Sue Waters posted a second article about Flickr and explored possibilities for personal learning networks. She posted about global projects too and discussed Bringing us together and Around the World with 80 Schools. Sue’s Google Reader, Edubloggers, has a range of stories this week including news from Richard Byrne of developments at Google Earth (I noticed too this post about Google Maps by Scott Leslie and this post by Stephen Downes). In her Mobile Technology in TAFE blog, Sue has been revisiting the 31 Day Project (10 January) and links to the 31 Day Challenge wiki. She discussing emailing a new reader (13 January) and running a first time reader audit on your blog (17 January).
Stephen Downes is my primary link to educational technology, learning and much, much more. His OLDaily starts my day in Australia and has done so for many years (the metrics listed by Stephen here suggest a lot of people do the same). My weekly review will focus on Stephen’s Half an Hour blog. I post here Stephen’s welcome statement on Stephen’s Web:
I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle.
Where they are able to form networks of meaningful and rewarding relationships with their peers, with people who share the same interests or hobbies, the same political or religious affiliations – or different interests or affiliations, as the case may be.
This to me is a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence. This is what I aspire toward, this is what I work toward.
Stephen’s Seven Things You Don’t Know About Me was posted on 11 January. Item 5 on the list “I have my own discipline, or so I tell myself. It is that area where media, education, philosophy and computers intersect.”
Seth Godin‘s week was a full one! Amongst many of the posts this week were posts about: how to send a personal email (11 January); “If you write online, on a blog, on Twitter, on Squidoo, even in the comments section of a site, you are a published author” Don’t get sued (13 January); the end of newspapers “The magic of the web, the reason you should care about this even if you don’t care about the news, is that when the marginal cost of something is free and when the time to deliver it is zero, the economics become magical” (14 January); Twitter and Squidoo (15 January); online interactions (17 January); and a post on love … “The goal is to create a product that people love. If people love it, they’ll forgive a lot. They’ll talk about it. They’ll promote it. They’ll come back. They’ll be less price sensitive. They’ll bring their friends. They’ll work with you to make it better. If you can’t do that, though, perhaps you can make your service or product less annoying” (18 January).
Sarah Stewart has had a hectic week preparing to leave New Zealand for a six-month stay in Queensland. Her posts included a discussion of evidence based medicine and Web 2.0 (13 January) in which she observes that:
it is vital that we integrate the principles of Web 2.0 into our practice so that evidence-based information is freely available to all, health practitioners and consumers. That we work together to share and collaborate, and find alternative ways of communicating and disseminating information to the traditional journals that are locked up, and only available to those who can afford to pay to read them.
Other posts include: working environments (13 January); designing a virtual birthing unit (14 January); using Facebook to network at a conference (16 January); ethical issues for health professionals who blog and Twitter (16 January); ePortfolios (16 January); and Doodle (17 January). Quite an output for someone with a sock dilemma!
This summary covers approximately one quarter of the blogs I monitor. I found writing this review fascinating. It makes explicit for me the kind of reading I do independent of feeds. I tried to avoid diverging from the W to S posts and realise that I have some issues to address identified in Lee Gomes’ Wall Street Journal post Why We’re Powerless to Resist Grazing on Endless Web Data which I found via Tony Karrer’s post about infovores linked to in his information radar post. Perhaps it is because I am a vegetarian I am so attracted to grazing!