Our life looks trivial, and we shun to record it. – Emerson

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e_t_the_extra_terrestrial_ver3_xlgLive notes from DML Commons Intro Hangout 23 March:

Here are my notes for the first 30 minutes of the March 23 Introductory #dmlcommons hangout (exported  to Evernote from

I’ve found a Why? and I’ve found a How? I’ve set the Why comments below in blue.

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+ Alan: Connected courses project brings people in to talk about people working together on blogs and connecting together through a central course.
+ Include your blog here at any time.
+ Why would researchers blog?
+ Keeps an ongoing narrtion of things that are important and that are not important.
+ Creates a record or narrative of what you’ve been thinking about and working on
+ Connects you to others who are thinking about the same things.
+ Howard: Uses as an “outboard brain” – for incomplete thoughts, stuff that won’t be edited lot.
+ A collection of spare parts.
+ Things that you throught out for a public that is potentially responsive.
+ Thinking in public, with a public, can help you to refine your thoughts.
+ This connects you to a community.
+ DS106 was the beginning, using WP
+ Provided students for an individual voice in their own space.
+ Public communication is important – it isn’t about closed groups, peer-reviewed journals and so on.
+ Having control over your own online platform is important. It means that you are the publisher and you “have your hands on the mechanics” – you are indepenednt and empowered.
+ Jim: Works with faculty across disciplines to think about the relevnce of digital media to scholarship. Faculty need their own space.
+ Faculty resisted – is this part of my tenure package?
+ Group blogs for academics help them to understand what the point is. They are building a community in space they control.
+ Many faculty at MWU now have their own WP blogs.
+ Some develop these into group blogs that involve scholars from other countries, or become conference blogs…
+ Alan: Use blogs as a way to think in public – a notebook – write about what’s interesting to you.
+ Public activity creates a “serendipity potential energy field”
+ Personal blogs do not disappear when the course is over and connections also persit.
+ Students decide what to include and what not to include.
+ Content is more important than presentation. Blog content is stored differently than formatting is so the entire blog can be reformatted easily. Focus on content.
+ Howard: titles of posts are important. Learn to think of good titles quickly.
+ Blogs are a ‘WORK IN PROGRESS’ you can customize it later.
+ What is it like to get started as a blogger?
+ People think with their finger tips so get started and see where it goes.
+ Jim: Got profession for what he needed to do.
+ Started to blog about his work – became a professional blogger.
+ Bulding a professional network helped to develop skills rapidly.
+ Someone is always reading. If you blog, pepole will find you and read what you’re saying.
+ When you put yourself out there, something more will come back… manifestly far more.
+ Reflect quickly. YOu don’t need completely formed thoughts. It can just be a record of where you are.
+ Reading this on other people’s blogs can be disorienting. Over time, you build up a sense of what is going on.
+ You are following lives and ideas as much as you are following a discipline.
+ It is humanizing. It is an investment and it takes a lot of time.
+ I’m going to become a digital scholar, to become a connected scholar … this will take a lot of time.
+ Howard: Blogging is leveraging. You put out what you’re doing and it comes back as more.
+ Share what interests you. This is a small investment. People will understand your interest and will reciprocate.
+ Rhetorics of blogging: link share, write something about a link, tell people why they should read this; reflect, just say what you’re thinking about – you don’t need to refer to what your reading – you can include link or reference; critique – link to something and say why you disagree; advocate – others who share this advocacy will respond.
+ Alan: Gardner Campbell – do you need to summarize an entire paper? Go for the nugget. What is it there that sparks your interest. Follow your reactions.
+ Look for something outside the scope of your research.
+ Draw in unlikely links – disconnected things and bring them in.
+ Jim: Working in different spaces – twitter, flicker, tumbler … each has a different character.
+ Link to someones blog – this creates a connection – an ET Moment.

So, why participate in DML Commons?

This is a learn by doing sort of thing. My personal goals are to

  • learn to use the WP platform – I’ve used it for a long time but have not learned it well.
  • learn to use blogging as a foundation for my personal learning network
  • learn to integrate Twitter into this network
  • find people who are interested in some of the same things I am
  • become an active participant in a learning network
  • explore digital scholarship