Liked Jonomancer — Don't Lie To Me About Web 2.0 (
“First there was web 1.0, which was, like, geocities pages and stuff, and it was decentralized. Then there was web 2.0, which was the centralized silos of social media - facebook, twitter, etc. Now Web3 is gonna re-decentralize everything by letting you own your own data on the blockchain…” No! Stop there! Web 2.0 was not social media! You’re rewriting history that’s less than 20 years old! Web 2.0 was:...

My own memory (and blog) tells me Web 2.0 was blogs, wikis, delicious, flickr & rss before it was twitter & facebook. I remember thinking it was the power to pull and aggregate without a great deal of technical know how that was exciting. Back in 2007 I didn’t welcome Facebook. I am pretty pleased with my forsight:

Facebook seems fine, fun etc but it misses the serendipity and easy linking and mashing of data. From my, admittedly very limited experience, it seems you can pull information into facebook but not get too much out.

Although Facebook seems neither fine or fun nowadays.

More from Jonomancer

if you want to make the dream of “buy your Minecraft skin as an NFT and bring it with you to wear in Fortnight!” work (why is this the example every article uses?) you would need to get all the games involved to decide to implement equivalent items, or some kind of framework of item portability, and if you could do that then you wouldn’t need the blockchain!

Jonomancer — Don’t Lie To Me About Web 2.0

It doesn’t seem that web3 will solve our problem fast.

For me Flickr still provides a great example of an open-silo. Flickr not owned by users (although I am happy to pay for my bit), but makes it easy to share, license, mashup and remix in what I think is web 2.0 fashion.

Listened Podcast Episode: Wordle and the Web We Need from Electronic Frontier Foundation

Where is the internet we were promised? It feels like we’re dominated by megalithic, siloed platforms where users have little or no say over how their data is used and little recourse if they disagree, where direct interaction with users is seen as a bug to be fixed, and where art and creativity are just “content generation.

But take a peek beyond those platforms and you can still find a thriving internet of millions who are empowered to control their own technology, art, and lives. Anil Dash, CEO of Glitch and an EFF board member, says this is where we start reclaiming the internet for individual agency, control, creativity, and connection to culture – especially among society’s most vulnerable and marginalized members.

I enjoyed this podcast. The K-pop glitching of wordle was fascinating.

There is a lot of pushback against silos/platforms that appeared as part of the Web 2.0. I often wonder if Flickr is an example of a service than is some much better than most:

  • Free & paid accounts
  • You can get your photos out
  • API stable & straightforward, allows you to display or work with photos in all sorts of ways

It seems to me Flickr does just what Web 2.0 promised. It has had a bumpy ride in regard to ownership, but has manage to stay pretty stable for many years.

Mozilla Webmaker

Webmaker moz

Mozilla Webmaker seems to have improved a lot since I last looked. In Doug Belshaw’s Things I Learned This Week newsletter, recently, he pointed out that thimble now supported JavaScript, I went over to lok and found that the site now lists your productions:
Search – for johnjohnston. I knocked up a couple of quick JavaScript examples: 5Dogs & flipcard, the later being an old one.


OpenShift by Red Hat, this is pretty amazing:

OpenShift Online is Red Hat’s public cloud application development and hosting platform that automates the provisioning, management and scaling of applications so that you can focus on writing the code for your business, startup, or next big idea.

What that means is you can easily and cheaply (first 3 free), set up websites with applications. It is pretty geeky for a teacher but there are plenty of instructions, and they work.

I gave it a quick test last week and managed to get a ‘server’ up and running with etherpad is short order: Etherpad Lite. Not sure what I’ll use that for, but I can delete it and start something else if I get to the max of 3 apps.

Openshif wp map

Slightly more useful, on an email list I am on someone asked how, using iPads, could a set of pupils construct a resource with a map and pins with images, text and video. I though this could be done with
WordPress a plugin and google maps. OpenShift allowed me to test this very quickly:

  1. Set Up a new app
  2. Installed WordPress
  3. Added the MyGeoposition plugin
  4. Added some posts and used the plugin interface to add positions to these posts.
  5. Knocked up a quick google maps page to display the blogs RSS, which now had geo info.
  6. Added that to the blog

Here is the blog and the map.

OpenShift made it practical to turn a bit of simple blue-sky thinking into reality.

I am not suggesting that everyone should dive over to openshift and start playing. You need a slight friendship with the terminal, at least have heard of ssh and git (I’ve used ssh a we bit setting up the piratebox and a raspberryPi, heard of git). If you do, the possibilities for trying things out are wide open.

I’ve come across a couple of new, simple to use, almost throw away blogging tools recently:


Throwww – The Simplest Blog. An example post: Minimal Blogging engines –

Throwww is the easiest way to write something and share it. Just start writing, post it, and share the url.

Posts on Throww can be tied to your twitter account, as my examples, or anonymous.


Authpad my example
Minimal Blogging engines – johnjohnston’s Pad.

Authpad (beta) is a frictionless approach to blogging. Our goal is to take away any distraction that keeps you from focusing on what’s important — producing quality content.

Authpad has more of a traditional username/password setup, comments via disqus and themes.

Both support markdown for writing and work on iOS (I tested with an iPad).

Both also get away from the relative complexity of most blogging platform’s ‘dashboards’ and editors. Authpad has a slightly less minimal editor, as it has a toolbar:

Authpad Toolbar

Whereas with throwww you just type on the home page. Once you type a bit the Save button and a Formatting Help link show up, the latter will give you markdown help.

Authpad also gives you an option to publish as website or a blog style.



Both, in my limited testing, are straightforward and easy to use. I an not sure that they are tools for the classroom, markdown and hosting images elsewhere might be a wee bit complex for pupils. They might fit with some teachers for their own publishing, certainly they are quick to use.

I am also not sure where they fit with the current trend to reclaim ones data from web 2, or a Domain of One’s Own or Un-Web 2.0 which I am finding interesting at the moment.

A couple of other similar things, Calepin which I’ve not tried and which I tested a while back: John Johnston |

I’ve been a big posterous fan since June 29, 2008 since then I’ve blog with and about posterous a lot.

More importantly it is at the heart of EDUtalk where there are over 600 posts of educational podcast episodes of course Radio Edutalk.

Six weeks ago posterous was aquired by twitter and I had some Posterous Worries. I am now more worried as a few things have happened.

  1. The stuff that makes the domain work with our edutalk posterous site broke. A bit of reading and guess work got it fixed. The real worry was that both a tweet and email to posterous got no response. In the past I have been amazed at the quick reaction by the posterous team to both problems and suggestions, to help with SLFtalk, the precursor to EDUtalk they added a feature to their API overnight.
  2. Over the last couple of weeks the posterous API 1 for posting seems to have broken. AudioBoos tagged edutalk are normally posted to edutalk via the api by a script. This has stopped working, admittedly I am still using the depreciated API 1 rather than the new one, but as far as I know, the old one was just meant to keep working.
  3. When posting audioboos and phlogs to edutalk we relied on the fact that a url to an mp3 file would result in the posterous player being used to allow the audio to be played. This seems to have stopped working.

I know that we have been lucky to have a wonderful tool like posterous for free. I expected it to go pro at some point and would have been more than happy to pay for the service. I pay for hosting for this and other sites, I pay for flickr…

I am not sure where to go for this, in the last Posterous Worries post I listed the features that we need. I’ve asked the question on Quora: Is there another service like posterous which allows anyone to email content and has an API? – Quora. I’ve still not got an idea.

Some of this I guess we could sort with wordpress and some plugins. The disk space for large files will be a problem. The submit audio via email will be a problem. I am open to ideas?

I have found Posterous Backup Tool for Mac and spent the £2.49 in the mac app store. This worked a treat and I now have 600 odd posts and the audio that was posted to edutalk (not audioboo or ipadio files) in a >1GB backup, I just need to figure out what to do with it.

Birds of a Feather by EJP Photo
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Recently I’ve played with 3 ways of collating tweets:


Storify allows you to search lots of social media and pull content together, I noticed Doug Belshaw using it and gave it a whirl for some twitter activity around and episode of Radio Edutalk: Radio Edutalk 20111124 · johnjohnston · Storify. Storify is pretty simple to use there is a side bar search where you can search across different social networks:


Once you have found something you just drag it into the story.

List Of Tweets

List Of Tweets lets you search for tweets and gives you an HTML or plain text list:

  • Has anyone worked out an Acceptable Use Policy? What if students draw rude cartoons? #pencilchat
    Fri Dec 02 23:17:52 +0000 2011 from simon_elliott
  • So, we invested heavily on pencils, a pencil per student, but test scores are still low! Pencils do not do what they promised! #pencilchat
    Mon Dec 05 07:23:29 +0000 2011 from amberwalraven
  • RT @KathyPerret: Is the iPencil dangerous to students? Will it poke out their eye? What safety measure need to be taken? #pencilchat
    Mon Dec 05 07:22:42 +0000 2011 from RavingOstrich
  • Our school doesn’t know how to handle pencils, so we banned them. We will first give each teacher a course on holding a pencil. #pencilchat
    Mon Dec 05 07:11:59 +0000 2011 from amberwalraven
  • As a teacher I have less knowledge about pencils than my students. I fear students will laugh at me when I try to use them. #pencilchat
    Mon Dec 05 07:04:04 +0000 2011 from amberwalraven
  • So using pencils, students could write something bad about other student or teacher and post it on a notice board – I’m outraged #pencilchat
    Mon Dec 05 06:38:28 +0000 2011 from roballen101
  • Many schools forced to use GlowintheDark pencils for their mail. But would prefer ordinary ones – these are to be removed. #pencilchat
    Mon Dec 05 06:38:19 +0000 2011 from PhysicsNick
  • RT @GeorgeSwain: Does anyone know of a good program that teachers can use to monitor/limit what kids do with pencils in the classroom? #pencilchat
    Mon Dec 05 05:48:58 +0000 2011 from KarenMahonMimio
  • RT @swpax: What about the students who can’t write due to physical disabilities? could we somehow automate this pencil thing? #pencilchat
    Mon Dec 05 05:45:01 +0000 2011 from KarenMahonMimio
  • RT @mcleod: If kids can write information down on paper, soon they won’t be able to remember anything in their heads anymore #pencilchat
    Sun Dec 04 12:45:39 +0000 2011 from OlsonKirsten

Nice and simple, easy enough to style the list.

Exquisite Tweets

Exquisite Tweets has had a fair bit of linkage, it trys to catch related tweets (replies I guess) but you can paste in links to individual tweets, here is a rather strange conversation I today: Exquisite Tweets from johnjohnston, BTCare. I’ve still not heard from BT officially but tweeting seems to have fixed my line.


If you feel the need to capture a bit of twitterage yes. I’ve not clicked the link to tell me how much of my life I’ve spent on twitter yet, but for other folks results if we spend so much time on there some of that life must be worth keeping.

Update Aaron’s Twitter Viewer

7 DEC: Just noticed Aaron’s Twitter Viewer on Daring Fireball Linked List: Aaron’s Twitter Viewer

Unfortunately site has been overwhelmed by Fireball readers so I couldn’t try it out. Here is the DF example: Twitter conversation with aaronsw. Iy looks neater than exquisite tweets.

Last week at work (North Lanarkshire Educational ICT & Technical Services) we were being supported by Oggy East of Semantise, who is helping update the setup of our school websites. Oggy is an expert in FirstClass which NLC uses for emails, collaboration & school websites.

My colleague Ian suggested that Oggy entertain me with his interesting career path. This passed through doctoral study, pub management and educational technology.

At one point Oggy started telling me about an educational project he had worked on. This involved collaboration between pupils in the UK and France. They used text based chat to talk (alternating languages), translated each others horoscopes, passed audio and video files back and forth helped each other produce CVs and more. As I was becoming more and more excited about the project Ian suggested that Oggy tell me when this happened: 1998.


I got Oggy to record a quick podcast about this project for EDUtalk which you can listen to: Dialogue 2000 Electronic Village

Oggy is also involved in the wonderful Not School 1. I got a podcast out of Oggy about this too: Not School – EDUtalk.


The fact that Oggy was successfully involved in the kind of project that is still seen as innovative 14 years later is telling. I remember in 2005 feeling very proud of jumping of the blog wagon with my class the previous year and meeting Peter Ford who had pupils blogging several years before that. We had a flowering of blogging in Scotland in 2006 and this year pupil blogging has been hitting the headlines again.

What is interesting is that quite often these bit of innovation don’t seem to be connected, wheels are reinvented.

I wonder when ideas of audience, purpose, collaboration and connection using technology will really become part of the mainstream. Perhaps Glow, with all is faults, is driving this in Scotland. I certainly hope so.

1.I became aware of not school when I went to Be Very Afraid and was very impressed by the Flash skills of the a Not School ‘student’.

A couple of weeks ago I watched Doug‘s video How I Use a MacBook Pro on of the ways he discussed was a very new (beta) service ifttt.

ifttt stand for If This Then That and I requested a beta invite that arrived a day of three later. I’ve now had a look over the site and set up my first task.

1st Ifttt

This is a simple one, if I tag a link on delicious with @comment it will be tweeted (Hopefully with commenting at: ). I post @comment tagged links to delicious with a keyboard short cut so the whole thing should be painless.

This is a really trivial use of ifttt, and I can see a lot of more powerful uses for the service. I like this sort of thing, the way posterous post stuff on to flickr, twitter and this blog for example.

We also do a little of the same sort of thing with, auto posting audioboos tagged edutalk to the moderation queue.

In fact my first thoughs were that ifttt could replace my rather clunky system for doing this. Unfortunately, at the moment ifttt only supports posting text to your main posterous blog and as far as I could see will not post to the moderation queue. I was also looking at posting my shared google reader to a new posterous blog but as it is not my mail one this will not work yet.

I am saying yet as the service seems to be developing quickly. I did manage to create a task to post my google reader shared items onto my tumblr blog (I’d almost forgotten that one). I usually star/like stuff in google reader to check later but will now try to share ’em too to see how ifttt works out.

Finally I really love the interface of ifttt, very clean with huge text and icons. The process to create a new task is very simple with a fair bit of possible customisation:

ifttt action field

I am looking forward to seeing how ittt develops.

Update:I seem to have flooded ScotEduBlogs with my tumblr posts. I’d forgotten that it was listed there. Apologies. I’ve now removed the blog from SEB.


iPad stand by tim_d
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

I was pretty impressed with the iPad 2 which was launched this week. Some nice new features and the speed bumps especially in JavaScript sound good.

I’ve continued to test an iPad and this week I spent a wee bit of time using it to access glow. I’ve talked to a few pupils who access glow at home using an ipod touch, and have occasionally used my iPhone, but find it a bit of a strain on the eyes (The pupils I’ve talked to don’t seem to have the same problem).

On an iPad Glow works pretty well. The iPads limitation on now allowing file (picture) uploads in the browser is a bit of a draw back but a lot of the other feature are fine. Editing webparts works as well as it does on Safari on a mac. The text editor continues to frustrate me but I am resigned to avoiding it use by now.

I successfully posted to my glow blog: iPad Glow blogging without trouble. Again I could not upload photos, but it is easy to workaround using flickr, I used my flickr CC search toy which did the job and sorted the attribution.

The WYSIWYG editor did not work, but I was please to see that the html editor respected line breaks, adding paragraphs. typing <p> with an iPad is a bit slow.

I also tried using the iPad to edit a wiki page. Again WYSIWYG was turned off and this time there was no auto paragraphing. Again I could paste in the embed code for a flickr photo. The font size was a wee bit small for me, but would be fine for most youngsters.

What it would be nice to see would be support for the MetaWeblog API in glow blogs, this would allow the use of various apps to post to a glow blog. I guess it is hard to enable this due to the way glow accounts are matched to wordpress ones through shibboleth, if RM can manage this it would be make glow blogs a powerful tool for mobile learning.


On Thursday there was a fair bit of tweeting about delicious shutting down. TechCrunch blogged Is Yahoo Shutting Down (this post is now updated).

The first thing I did was backup my delicious links.

I’ve got several years worth of delicious links so was a wee bit worried. I also prefer delicious to any other system for saving links I’d seen. It is simple, the interface is clean, the network is useful without turning into another social thing and the API and scripts are useful. I have also used the delicious tools to display sets of links on various webpages (quite a lot in glow) which I don’t want to hunt down and change.

There have been a lot of suggestions for delicious replacements Diigo seems to be a favourite. I looked at this a while ago and, for reasons I can quite recall (probably lack of simplicity), I didn’t stick with it, although a lot of education folk use it. I downloaded Scuttle again and though about setting this opensource delicious like site up but I’ve not done so yet.

Delicious Pinboard

Yesterday I signed up for pinboard this cost about £5 to signup which I hope will mean the service will not go away. I imported my exported delicious link.

I choose pinboard mainly for its delicious like simplicity and the fact it supports the delicious API.

Today things look a little brighter for delicious: delicious blog » What’s Next for Delicious? but I am quite happy to have paid my fiver. I’ve set pinboard to add any new links I post to delicious and set up an email address to post links from my phone. There looks like there are a few more useful features to explore later. I’ll keep using delicious at the moment and see how things go. It is, I feel, a good thing to get occasional reminders about our reliance on free services and to get the opportunity to pay for ones we really need.