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Archive for the ‘One Post a Day’ Category

Horizontal Contributions

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Since I am thinking in a very Google Wave like mode I thought I’d share another thought related to the tectonic change that platform may inspire. In the days after watching the video of the Wave demo I’ve been finding myself thinking about how much of our online cnversations we are missing. In the Universe the Wave has led us to conversations happen in lots of places, but are instantly available in one central place — the Wave client. What I mean is that I can start a Wave, embed it in a page, and let people contribute from all over the place. The power in what I am understanding this whole thing to look like is that these contributions are not only available in the context of the submission (perhaps a comment on an embedded wave on a blog), but also in the original Wave. What I am pulling from this is that I can, via my Wave client, revisit my social contributions in context without revisiting all the sites. Just this idea has me really spinning.

So if I apply this to the notion of the traditional blogging platform I can see where this could be really important. Here at PSU we promote our Blogs at Penn State as a publishing platform … one that is powering new forms of ePortfolios. Last summer while working with Carla Zembal-Saul we explored and shared the idea that the portfolio is more than a single person’s thinking, but also a place to engage conversations. So if we look at the fact that someone commenting enhances my own artifact, then shouldn’t we think about the comments we leave elsewhere as part of our overall evidence as well?

If I think about it, lots of times I stumble across an old blog post someone created that I’ve commented on at one point and I’ve forgotten. Sometimes I read those comments and think that I should have a way to move that content back into my own space — even if it means I can only review it out of the context of the original post. With all that said, I’ve been thinking about what I’ll call horizontal contributions. In a vertical sense we contribute original posts in our own space and people comment on them. Then if I show up at your blog, I can contribute a comment in that same vertical sense. In a horizontal model I have some sort of tracking that allows me to see not only all my own posts, but also my comments across the entire web. This would give an opportunity to gather these as further evidence of my overall contributions online.

This isn’t Wave specific per se as there are third party commenting engines that do stuff like this — if everyone on the social web used them. I’m not promoting a tool like Disqus for general use, but in an environment like ours we could easily replace our MT commenting engine with a third party one. It would be integrated into the templates so it would be invisible to users. What would need to happen is shibboleth integration, but we’ve done that before. I think it is something we’ll explore … and if we do I’ll be sure to share what we find. What do you think about this thinking? Crazy talk or is there something to it?

Written by Cole Camplese

June 3rd, 2009 at 6:08 pm

One Something a Day Challenge?

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Starbucks Exhaustion

Starbucks Exhaustion

Writing can be so effortless at times … and then there are other times where it is next to impossible. The last two months have proven to be very lean writing months for me personally and I am very disappointed by it for lots of reasons. As I’ve said before, the idea of writing often is to help me keep track of thoughts and put little time stamps on ideas. I’ve done two One Post a Day challenges in the last year and they have both kicked my ass — they’ve left me angry, inspired, exhausted, and so much in between that I really don’t know if it is good for me or not. I like the idea of challenging myself, but I am also very aware of what it does to my psyche … it pushes me to compose and post things that require a lot of thought and effort and while that is a good thing the larger impact is daunting. But like I said, writing often is personally important. I’m thinking I need some inspiration.

So when my friend and colleague, Allan Gyorke, left a comment on my last post about the idea of a “One X Per Day Challenge” for the month of July I thought it might be an interesting experiment. What the “X” consists of is really up to you. On one hand I like the idea of building, sharing, creating something every single day for a month, but on the other I fear I might have a tendency to mail it in. Folks like D’Arcy and Alan do the amazing one flickr post a day and I know they rarely mail it in, but I wonder if I would simply bail on it somewhere in the middle and start posting crap. I just don’t know. I know the one thing that really pushes me is writing, so I wonder how creating other forms of stories would treat me.

Maybe it would be as rewarding and exhausting — just in different ways. Either way, if I do engage in it I’ll want to set some ground rules. I would also want to use my blog as the place where I keep track of the contributions — and if I do that well, each entry might look more like a reflection of the artifacts instead of just a simple pointer to it. As I sit here and write about the idea I am coming around to it. It would force me to think about different ways to share, it would push me to participate every day, and it would let me engage in some real reflective activity while I work to make sure it lives on in my personal space. This is sounding better … anyone up for a challenge?

Written by Cole Camplese

May 24th, 2009 at 3:06 pm