Blog Road to Nowhere

Two weeks into the semester and UMW Blogs is a non-stop post party.

Blog Activityon UMW Blogs  as of 9-6-08

Blog Activityon UMW Blogs as of 9-6-08

And while I get excited about the activity and the overall usage, it’s often the tidbits that get me going. Like Fumanchu’s random video post about the Triadic Ballet from the 80s.

UMW Blogs is about a different kind of teaching and learning resource, it’s the interstitial space of sharing that happens between people, and that’s why it’s unique in its beautiful chaos. It’s not about collecting institutional data, or some staged brochure for the world at large. It’s a complex series of intersecting roads that have no routinized map for learning. Rather, an online community driven by the engines of inquiry which randomly seeks out inspiration in the most unsuspecting spaces. Together we have built a highway leading to nowhere and, to misquote Gus Haynes from the final episode of the fifth season of The Wire, “we just want to see something new everyday.”

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4 Responses to Blog Road to Nowhere

  1. Brian says:

    Took me a second to fully digest how amazing those stats were.

    And if there is another writer and thinker who could pull off that concluding analysis, please pass the name on…

    Damn, I just love The Mighty Bava.

  2. Reverend says:

    Ahhh Brian Lamb, my first and only online love.

    Thanks man, if you have a compliment for my run-on nonsense I’ll snatch it up and deposit it in the bank immediately before the speculation of my prose finally catches up with the global housing market 🙂

    The stats show just home much spam we get. But kudos to SpamKarma 2 for working its magic from the grave. Additionally, the posts number may be a little high for we are syndicating a bunch of stuff making for doubling posting of certain work. The updated blogs number is one I like, cause it suggests that with every semester lion share of the community is going at it. A lot of people have found that this is a space to go to in order to discover what is happening in classes besides their own, and it has become more than a course space, but rather an online exchange for ideas.

    Fumanchu’s blog is a good example, he was updating his blog in preparation of his class in the Spring, just kinda keeping pace with his work and his ideas, apart from the class and within a community. More than that, I see the 50 Greatest Art videos in your delicious feed and comment on his post about it. The echoes of the web and its brilliance are real and meaningful. And we see just a trace of something greater that has no teleology or endgame, but a process of convergence like a good discussion or a thoughtful offhand conversation. The things that thought are made of.

    You teach here. Everybody does.

    All of which has me thinking about D’Arcy’s point about why a campus blogging community? Why not use the tools that are already out there? I think the more stable aggregation and the ability to frame a more coherent community for a school is why, at least for now. For me, I can’t be a part of too many communities, I don’t have the time or energy for it’s a big, big web. The goal might be to invest everything you have in your community, and hope others emerge in kind. And the means of sharing between them becomes a logical extension of searching and finding the stuff that’s out there (much like your explanation of eduglu two and a half years ago—those words still a model to pursue for us at UMW).

    I don’t think of it as “centralized” within a community, but a localized space where one can invest their time and energy to provide both a model and a means to make their involvement within the community apparent. UMW Blogs is in many ways a selfish act on my part, I can doff the tired clothes of the predominant and mechanical instructional technology logic of systems like BlackBoard and its ilk. We need to actually spend time reading and thinking within the community of learning we are a part of. It makes us better at our jobs, it puts us in the class with the faculty and students, and it allows us to see how they are approaching their topics and what they believe. As people working towards a goal of thinking about the world we are in, it is a responsible model for ant learning community. It’s optional, it’s free, and I believe it works.

    Sorry for the far too long and incoherent response, but this time of year is more of a zone than a moment.

  3. Cole says:

    You’ve inspired us! I just got pointed to this from one of my colleagues who runs the Blogs at PSU project indicating we need to follow the Rev! We’re meeting tomorrow to lay out a new front end to the MT environment you have. Now that we are seeing real traction and adoption, looking at these numbers makes me want to expose the same things in our environment. Thanks!

  4. Reverend says:


    I guess that means I can finally give back just a little of all the amazing work PSU has been producing over the years. The work you all are doing with PSU blog, eportfolios, Twitter, etc. has been a constant source of ideas for us at UMW, and we can’t thanks you enough.

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