Back to the basics

I really was at least thinking about taking a hiatus from blogging last week, even though it was couched as a joke, but it’s clear that’s impossible for me right now—I like having this space of my own to mouth off way too much. At the same time it is also clear to me that I can’t see the forest for the trees these days. I really am in a pretty serious mental funk, and while most self-respecting people in this situation do the right thing and avoid the online space while in such a mindset, I embrace it all the more—which may not be the best of strategies.

So, I’ll be working on finding my way back to things that are actually useful and fun to write, kudos to Cogdog for setting me straight in his comment thread, and even though I am constantly tongue-in-cheeking him, I have to say his comment here hits a little too close to home for me and it is time to figure out why—I guess that’s what friends are for.

In some ways it would be the easy way out to to say I am not blogging anymore, but I can’t because I know that would be a lie. But, with that said, I will be trying to bring the bava back to the ground for a while and write about that little patch in Mississippi where I started from.

Image credit: “Randall Home Street View” by Cogdogblog

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12 Responses to Back to the basics

  1. Ed Webb says:

    How about taking the Cormier/Siemens future of education course & blogging about that? I dunno if it counts as ‘useful’ – but it should be fun.

  2. Reverend says:


    🙂 Just kidding, but a course is probably the last thing I need right now, over commitment and a sense of having to say something interesting about edtech is possibly my undoing, I think a lot more movie posts, some Rick Prelinger thinking, and just focusing on the digital storytelling class I am wrapping up will give me enough to last a long while yet. And get me safely out of this malaise. I’ll be following that class closely, but every time I commit to taking a class is exactly when I begin to refuse it—maybe a long lingering hangover for grad school.

  3. Jim Doran says:


    I enjoy your nonsense and smack talk as much as I enjoy just about anything on twitter and in blogland. I’m glad you aren’t really closing up shop. Looking forward to new posts.

    I’d totally be into a meet-up this summer (with Mr. Chaw-shoot, too).

  4. Great idea, to retrench. Very useful now and again. I’d encourage you to undertake the masochistic task of engaging at least some of the retrenching out loud in this space. Every time I see a web designer retool his/her website in public, stripping the whole thing down to raw content and building it up again a piece at a time, I’m impressed and educated. (e.g. and )

  5. You need to invent a new space, Jim….I mentioned a prezi-format blog to Bryan last week.

    remember the words of hard harry –

    “You see, there’s nothing to do anymore. Everything decents been done. All the great themes have been used up. Turned into theme parks.”

    “Quitting is not going to make you strong, living will. So just hang on and hang in there. You know I know all about the hating and the sneering, I’m a member of the why bother generation myself. But why did I bother coming out here tonight and why did you? I mean it’s time, it begins with us not with politicians, the experts or the teachers, but with us, with you and with
    me, the ones who need it most. “

  6. Mikhail says:


    How about (another) post on urban fear and dread in films of the 70s and 80s that I can have my class read for Tues or Thurs and discuss. We’re watching After Hours and the Warriors to start off a conversation about urban dread and the fantasies in engenders. How’s that for useful?

  7. Chris Lott says:

    The best thing I’ve done (which may not be much, but it’s something) for my own wounded edtech psyche is to stop fucking worrying and writing about edtech. It’s a field/discipline that’s already heavily “meta” and my own writing/thinking just puts me at one more level of remove. So for me– and perhaps for you– the best I can do is focus my time on the things I really care about, the things eduction and technology are supposed to help me and those I teach and work with get at. The shit at the core of our (to be presumptuous here) endeavor.

    You’ve become the Internet and you made the careers of the millions, but what about the things you got into this for? Film, literature, storytelling, zombies, toys, storytelling? I, at least, didn’t back-ass my way into this field because I wanted to consider the Web 2.0 LMS. As a wee one I didn’t dream of debating the affordances of the iPad.

    If/when that means I start blogging, tangentially, about technology and education again, it’ll be fine. But for now I’m quite content with writing other (and about other) things and simply letting the technology and education be part of the process…

  8. Reverend says:

    That’s exactly right, and I have held you and your ideas closely to me in this process. I have followed your struggles with this process over the last four years, and getting back to what it is I started this b-blog for in the first place is exactly my plan. EdTech is only one piece of a much larger conversation that I have become a bit too bogged down in, and it feels like I’m trying way too hard to frame that conversation into something it’s not. More than that, I think my joking and persona have actually begun to work against me in some odd ways, but at the same time not caring too much about who you are writing for is strange, because I always know who I am writing for—it is you and a handful of others. And it is there I think my antics play into a sense of fun and play, and I don;t know how that has gotten away from me. The real nightmare of this space is how much one pours his or her self into the process, it seems only natural that when you approach it that way you’ll have more than a few explosions during the trip.

    I’ve had my share, and I’m pretty sure they are far from over. But this is my paltry attempt to bring things back a notch and refocus on just what you outline above.

    Thanks for the support, you are with me constantly in this endeavor, and it is endeavor with no clear sense of an outcome—which is what keeps me in it. I guess the idea of the prefabricated outcomes that so many seem to be selling is what drives me insane. But I’ll stop there lest I lost it again 🙂

  9. Reverend says:


    I think I gave just about everything I had on that subject here:

    But that is a back to the basics idea if the bava ever heard one, let me see if I don;t have anything left.

  10. The problem is, Jim, what do you do after coining the term “edupunk”. It’s like it’s all downhill from there; the only thing left is to endorse the Edupunk line of Cosmetics. 😉

    I think all of us in this space – you, me, Levine, Cormier, Siemens, at the rest – have touched notoriety in one way or another; our careers have advanced, more or less (it’s not like they’re opening the bank) and it has changed us all. Cogdog of NMC isn’t the Cogdoc of Maricopa, Siemens of elearnspace isn’t the Siemens of Connectivism, and you yourself have remarked on the poetic Downes of my old 1995 web pages.

    Except that… it’s not a problem. It’s just life, and we all respond to it in different ways, and sometimes reflect our internal struggles in our external work, and sometimes abut hard against the people with whom we have most in common. It’s all good, if we let things slide and remember that we are (or at least can be) friends. And that we’re all doing our best, and all have the best of intentions.

    (Kum by ya…..)

  11. Martin says:

    You know I love the Bava musings and the internets would be a sadder place without them, but if you feel in a funk, maybe you should take a break. I don’t know if your funk is just blogging related or wider, but maybe a chance to step back and take stock will make you come back refreshed. I’ve gone through periods of wondering why I do it, what the point is, or just pondering career in general.
    Take some time out, think of a project you’d really like to do and put it in action.
    And although I was joking last time – maybe we should draw up a rota of volunteers to blog on the bava while you’re away. That’d be fun for all of us. Let’s look at it as a research project – Hypothesis: No-one blogs like the bava. No-one. Methodology: X bloggers take over the bava for 3 months and we compare traffic, quality of outputs, links, etc.
    Whatever, I think you should take some time to get your mojo back (not that it is noticeable you’ve lost it, I hasten to add).

  12. Tom says:

    As a master of blogging funks, I suggest we make a video. I don’t really care about what. There’s still that Cape Fear thing we wanted to do, and the “I’m a Boss” rap video, and you as Brittney Spears.

    Plus, are we still doing something for faculty academy?

    Clearly, I am your lifeline. I will heal you.

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