UMW (Blogs) Postscript

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Well, it had to happen sooner or later, and as I have been telling the folks at UMW for the last week or so: I am going out on top! This coming week will be my last at Mary Washington, and I can honestly say I have yet to have a job that has afforded me this much space to work creatively on a regular basis. I’m both grateful and indebted to my partners in crime at DTLT for making the environment constantly engaging, entertaining, and thoughtful.

Moreover, I have to thank the faculty at UMW for being unbelievably open and undeniably cool — you all make this kind of work worthwhile. The fact that in little over two years I have been able to work with faculty on well over eighty projects is a testament to their unbelievable tolerance (dare I say gluttony?) for punishment–they are a model for the school of the future and it has been an honor working with them.

Going will be a bit difficult for, as anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I will be leaving behind a project that I have in many ways been married to over the last six months: UMW Blogs. I am extremely proud of the success of this project, but not so much because of the actual application, the design, or its conception. Rather, I am proud of the powerful virtual trace it has left of the amazing work that has been going on at UMW for the last several years. UMW Blogs will continue in the capable hands of DTLT, and by leaving now I am in the privileged position to take partial credit for its future success without any of the responsibility of its potential failure. This project has been a passion for me ever since Gardner and I had that fateful hallway conversation (almost a year ago to date) that led to a powerful “enterprise” publishing platform for the Mary Wash community.

Oddly enough, “divorcing” myself (to keep a metaphor rolling) from this project further reinforces the larger ideas that have come out of all this experimentation: UMW Blogs has far more to do with learning, communication, and community than with any single fascination with a technology. The fascination was simply an easy way to realize a framework. All of which makes the larger issues about educational publishing platforms that are open and community driven far more interesting to me than any isolated understanding of a blog or blogging software (more on this strain of thought soon).

So to the UMW faithful I say farewell, and to the good folks at the University of Richmond I say brace yourself, for I come further South with something to prove which makes me as dangerous as I am driven.

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14 Responses to UMW (Blogs) Postscript

  1. hubbaWHAH? Congrats! what’s the new job? starting when?

    I _know_ the UMW folks will miss you.

    Looking forward to hearing more @ NV 🙂

  2. Jon says:

    Good luck with the move, Jim!

  3. Tom says:

    It’s about time.

    UR’s been an interesting adjustment for me (not that I’m done adjusting). I’m sure we’ll have a good time.

  4. jimgroom says:

    @D’Arcy: Doing what I was born to do, preach! More at NV for sure.

    @Jon: Thanks, and I hope to see you at NV as well, should be fun.

    @Tom: Looking forward to it, a bionic colleague is most definitely a great asset 🙂

  5. Brian says:

    Best of luck, and I’m sure you will do fantastically well in the new gig.

    But you are deluded on one key point. Never underestimate the capacity of people to blame failure on departed co-workers — no matter if they were involved or not…

  6. jimgroom says:


    You have a point, but the good folks at DTLT make the possibility of failure miniscule. Either way, by the time WPMu blows up they’ll be on to Moveable Type or Drupal or some other forsaken system 🙂

  7. Gardner says:

    That *was* quite a fateful conversation, wasn’t it? I’ve had some cool partners in crime in my life, but the partners-in-fate club has a much smaller membership list.

    That hallway just got a lot longer, and a lot lonelier.

    Godspeed, my friend. There’s probably some more fate for us to stir up. Some other hallway awaits our conversation. Just let’s promise each other what Walt Whitman promises us at the end of “Song of Myself”:

    Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
    Missing me one place search another,
    I stop somewhere waiting for you.

  8. Matt says:

    Congrats, Jim! I can’t wait to talk to you. . . . and I’m only sad that you’re not moving North!

  9. colleen says:

    Hey BavaTuesday! Congrats to you. Keep us posted as you map out new ways of defining a fascinating career. So, are you indeed a learning network communication knowledge technology something other specialist?

  10. Cole says:

    I wish you all the best! Your work will continue to lead the way for a whole lot of people. Keep us all in the loop as you make your way south!

  11. jimgroom says:

    @Gardner: As impatient as I am, I will always wait for you. Thank you for that.

    @Matt: I too wish I was going North, but sometimes you have to go down to get back up.

    @Colleen: I thought piratical learning network specialist would have been too radical. Thanks for the congrats, and if you think what I am doing is fascinating you need to get out more 😉

    @Cole: The work being done at UMW took no small initiative from your outstanding group at PSU. Having access to all your posts about e-portfolios, campus blogging initiatives, and community publishing platforms let’s us know that we are on the right track. Thanks for the wishes, and wish I could have been at ELI to hear you talk and finally meet you.

  12. Neva says:

    Love Richmond, dear Jim. Your leaving is leaving a hole in my bucket so I cain’t buy no beer.

  13. jimgroom says:


    Guess I am gonna have to buy you a beer before I leave then 🙂 Thanks.

  14. Just came across this now (catching up on feeds) —

    Congratulations on the move!



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