The ScotEduBlogs site which aggregates posts from Scottish Educational bloggers mostly hums along by itself.

Every so often I get an email to add a blog, or one for someone ignoring the, “Please do not use this form if you want us to review a product or you want to post here, we will not do so or reply”. notice.

Recently something went wrong with the form and I missed a couple which I’ve now rectified.

This reminds me to post about SEB here. I think it is a valuable resource, gathering blogs posts from around the country and sectors. It provides a handy twitter feed too: @ScotEduBlogs auto tweeting the posts.

I guess a lot of educators are a lot more engaged in twitter than blogging now. I think that is a pity.

You can follow ScotEdublogs by just reading the site, by following  @ScotEduBlogs or by adding the RSS feed to your feedreader.

If you are a blogger and write from a Scottish pov or about Scottish educational matters you can add you site.

 

I just saw a provocative link from Aaron Davis, down with syndication, it was a reply on his site to an original post with that title by Ben Weirdmuller.

Arron has be a great example of an educator exploring the IndieWeb of which Ben is a major proponent.

Ben’s post is concerned with the idea of gaining more independence from the silos (twitter, Facebook and the like) and publishing more on his site. A lot of IndieWeb concepts involve publishing to your own site and sending links or repeating the posts across social media (like a link to this one will be auto posted to Twitter).

In his post Ben writes of leaving the silos behind completely. Just keeping things on his own site:

I think it might be more effective to move all the value away: publish on your own site, and use independent readers like Woodwind or Newsblur to consume content. Forget using social networks as the conduit. Let’s go full indie.

Ben mentions IndieWeb readers, that allow folk to create their own ‘syndication’ and reply, bookmark etc on their own site.

Nothing I’d disagree with there. I am quite shallow and enjoy likes, especially from Instagram coming a back to my blog via brid.gy but, in theory, I love the idea of full independence.

The provocation, to me came from the word Syndication. Before I’d heard of IndieWeb I’d been involved in DS106. This means that for me syndication means something different than a silo. To me a syndication is something set up for a group, long or short term that can be completely separate from any silos. DS106, and many other educational syndications uses a WordPress blog to syndicate content from other sites. Alan Levine, @cogdog, has set up many examples of this sort of thing.

When I was involved in the migration of Glow Blogs one of the features I managed to get included was a syndication plugin. This took quite a lot of insistence on my part, but the University of Dundee and Derek Robinson have certainly made that worthwhile with EduShare which syndicates trainee teacher reflections. 1

These non-silo syndications are, if not a gateway drug to the IndieWeb, a great way to get people considering how and where they publish to the web and how community could be built.

These syndications can be used for long running or short projects 2, the participants don’t need the expertise beyond setting up a blog. You can participate in different communities from the same blog.

The great thing about a syndication is that the content doesn’t go away if the syndication does. Any discussion can take place on the participating sites. All the hub does is make it easy to read and make connections. Micro.blog reminds me of this in many ways, although the participants are not grouped round a class or topic.

Now I am thinking I should do a lot more to publicise the possibilities for syndication in Glow Blogs.

Featured image: Silos | Darko Pevec | Flickr Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic — CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

  1. The UoD is by far the biggest and best example of syndication in Glow Blogs. I’ve used it for a couple of smaller examples but it is IMO one of the features of Glow that could be used much more widely.
  2. A example of a short aggregation I organised on Glow Blogs Blogging Bootcamp #2 | Get your blogs up and running Autumn 2015

At the end of last year I started using Good Reads again, but quickly found I want to record what I’ve read but don’t want to write a review.

I am much happier writing one line notes/reviews here. I’ll probably manually POSSE to Good Reads, but consider this where I keep the record.

I’d really like to map posts with the book emoji, 📚, to the Read Post Kind automatically. That means posts from micro.blog would get sorted here without me having to go to the dashboard and edit. I do have a function on the blog to add a wwwd category to any post containing colon wwwd colon but I don’t know how to set the post kind in the same sort of way…

Just over a year ago I read about the micro.blog kickstarter project, it seemed a no brainer to back. I got in early at number 51.

Since the launch (25-April-17) I’ve been using micro.blog I’ve made over 300 posts categorised as micro. It has made me think quite a bit about blogging and social media. It is certainly one of the bigger steps of this blog’s history 1.

I am beginning to feel real affection for the software/service that micro.blog is developing into. Here, in no particular order, are some reasons why:

  • The apps, for mac and iOS are so simple elegant and clean. Both are in very early version, but they are the fairly stripped down type of software I find enjoyable to use.
  • I don’t need to use the app, I can post content in all sorts of ways 2
  • The discourse on micro.blog is at a different pace than twitter, mostly more thoughtful, certainly less hypeful. I am reading things that are sometimes marginal to my interests and enjoying them.
  • The folk on micro.blog who produce the discourse.
  • If micro.blog suddenly goes away my content and conversations will not. I’ll lose the continuing discourse & software but I can go on posting my short form posts to my own blog. The posts I made and any conversation around them is still here.
  • Manton, I started listing to his timetable microcast when I signed up for the kickstarter. The pace micro.blog is developing is on one hand reasonably quickly but on the other hand it is incredibly thoughtful. He really does seem to care about principals as opposed to grabbing huge user numbers. On one podcast he describes working on the export that would allow hosted micro.blog users to leave the service. This as an early feature!
  • You can use the service for free. I pay for cross posting of my rss feed to twitter. That is $2 a month, the service is very neat, the tweets are sensible reflections of the post, but I also want to pay something to keep the service going.
  • For a variety of reasons I’ve not fully grasped I feel like I am becoming a little more thoughtful posting than I was on twitter. I’ve not stopped using twitter, but some short posts feel as if I should own them on my own blog. Not necessarily anything deep or important but owning some of these feels better.
  • Micro.blog photo blogging is weaning me away from instagram, I get a lot less engagement but I like it. I still like Instagram, but I’ve not posted in December yet, I have visited and like a pile of pictures. I wish Instagram would: 1. let me post here and then push out to Instagram, 2. see my friends posts without out algorithmic help.
  • I am learning a bit more about the indieweb and the workings of WordPress.
  • Learning and thinking about blogging, social media, both from the growing micro.blog community and by thinking my way through how I want my blog to work.

That final point is not finished by a long way. I still am puzzled about how webmentions and other indieweb technology I am using works in practise. I’ve not finalised how I want to present the different kinds of post here on the blog.

Some other posts about microbloggin

  1. These would would include: starting my own blog as part of my school’s site, joining twitter, moving to my own domain, changing from Pivotx to WordPress and micro.blog. Every part of the blog has changed except for the text of the posts, but I think of it as the same blog.
  2. I post, in no particular order, in WordPress, from TextMate, any text in any app on my mac via appleScript, from Drafts via Workflow on iOS and with the micro.blog applications.
On WordPress and Webmentions by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (Read Write Collect)
In a backchannel conversation, I was asked about what is involved in setting up webmentions. I responded there, but thought that I would keep a note of it here: Hmmm, my suspicions to why my webmentions/linkbacks are not getting through is that they are being flagged as spam by spam filters. On th...

I really love the idea of webmentions, they seem to return us to the earlier days of the web, where conversation spanned sites. It also feel much more of an acknowledgement to get a mention on someones own site as opposed to a social media silo.

I’ve already turned off the moderation of webmentions here, they get published immediately.

As Aaron’ says the solution is technical. Even the basic use of webmentions take a step or two more than just setting up a blog.

I notice mentions from some folk come through as mentions but don’t link to the post they come from. I do get the full post via email notification, so they must be sending all the information,but either my blog is not handling it correctly or they are not formatted in a way the blog understands.

I love the record of thinking and linking that now stretches back 12 years, 5 months, 4 days on this blog.

I don’t like the breakages.

A lot of the links on this blog are to the blogs of the school I used to work in in Glasgow, Sandaig Primary. The site is now gone. A lot of it is in the internet archive. I had hoped that the Amber plugin would sort that, but since the domain is now up for sale, the links lead to the sale page.

I could go through the posts and fix all the links. I guess someone with more understanding than me could do it in the database. I’ve opted for a cruder solution. I’ve added a bit of JavaScript to the blog which changes all links to Sandaig to the archive.

jQuery(document).ready(function() {
// Stuff to do as soon as the DOM is ready;

jQuery( "a[href^='http://www.sandaigprimary.co.uk']" )
.each(function()
{
this.href = this.href.replace(/^http:\/\/www.sandaigprimary.co.uk/, "https://web.archive.org/web/http://www.sandaigprimary.co.uk/");
});

});

This has probably broken something else and certainly is adding to the pile of oddities that I’ve added to the blog. But hopefully It means that links on posts like this: Impermanence and Comments will work.

I had been hoping to give a two minutes presentation at TeachMeet SLF 2017 this year, but had a calendar clash with parent’s night.

Teachmeet is famously aimed at giving an chance to teachers to present as opposed to educational experts 😉. Now I’ve been returned to the teaching fold I was looking forward to being a authentic voice again. Not that I was going to talk about classroom practice, I am still rediscovering my feet, but it would be nice to have ‘Classroom Teacher’ on a slide1.

I am fascinated by the ways that we share and talk about our work. I enjoy reading Twitter but love reading blog posts more. I was planning to frame this talk around a wonderful tweet:

‘Good works’ @MrMcMahonTPS & P7sThornlie. Deep thinking, critical reflection, positive action–“to generate possible worlds” #Bruner #Friere


and my response :

I love the inspiring tweets celebrating the work going on at Thornlie. Selfishly wish there were blog posts with details, recipes & more.

I later posted this:

But tweets are like poppies spread, You seize the flow’r,

It not that I don’t find value in twitter but I think it should only be part of an online conversation.

Comparing Blogs to Twitter

Given the two minute limit I was hoping to just provide some provocation.

It is in many ways a lot easier to tweet than to blog. But as my pal John Sexton reminds me

140 – skill in its own right! 2

There is a tendency for tweets to be a bit more knee jerk and the opportunity for Blogs to be more mindful.

Ownership, who owns your tweets, can blog posts can be more full ‘owned’?

Audience and community are easier to build on Twitter but I wonder how engaged the audience is?

Is it worth blogging if you don’t have an audience. I think so. I often blog about things that I don’t think others are interested in, this allows me to think, learn, recall later and perhaps through the power of google and serendipity find a friend.

Perhaps my main point is that twitter allows you to say “Look a a lovely fish” while a blog post allows you to explain how you catch a fish.

the best of both worlds

Optimistically I see the domain of ones own notion and the #indieweb movement as ways for us to embrace both forms of communication.

My recent playing with micro.blog and adding some indieweb plugins to this blog have been an interesting experience. I am attempting to own my own content but use silos as a distribution system.

Given the two minutes allowed for a nano presentation I can only leave you with some links and a plea for more educators to blog as well as tweet.

Credits: blog archive by Rflor, Fish by Andrey Vasiliev and Fishing by Vladimir Belochkin all from the Noun Project


  1. I am aware of the many many ironies and chuckles contained in this paragraph.  ↩
  2. This would not have been used at TM as John only tweeted it yesterday, but it is worth repeating.  ↩
Replies from Micro.blog and oh hai, comments – Colin Devroe (cdevroe.com)
However, this is causing me a bit of frustration because it feels as though the conversation about a post is happening on Micro.blog rather than on people’s own blogs.

Here I get the text from comments on micro.blog replies and from replies to that reply. Colin’s blog only seems to get a link to micro.blog.

I am not really sure how it is all glued together. The final piece would be to be able to join the micro.blog thread from the comments here, that might be a technical step too far?

Reposts and quoting
For Micro.blog, I believe the right approach is to first introduce a simple “quote” feature. This UI would be streamlined to support quoting a sentence out of a blog post, with your own thoughts tacked on. It would fit with the spirit of easy posting in Micro.blog, but it would encourage more thoughtful posts and naturally scale up from traditional linkblogging.

likes Reposts and quoting | Manton Reece

I very much agree that quoting from and adding something to a post is of great value, but some times I love something I don’t understand well enough to add value. That is why I’ve an enviable stuff category here.