Thursday, October 5

Throwing a Big Community Net

I have a few new aspects of "The Big Question" to announce. Both are designed to bring everyone in the greater LCB community a bit closer to each other and to enhance the conversation.

Capturing the Big Conversation

Through the magic provided by Cocomment and MySyndicaat we now have a chronological listing of all the comments made to all of the blog postings regarding The Big Question. To let you in on the secret behind this list here's what I did:
  1. Captured the comments conversation for each post with the cocomment widget (whether there was a comment made to the post yet or not)
  2. From the cocomments "your conversations" page I then found the RSS feed for each post and it's comments(this is generated once there is at least one comment on the post)
  3. I then fed these RSS feeds in to a MySyndicaat feedbot.
  4. (Then I leaned on MySyndicaat's support service because I could only generate the first comment for each post)
  5. Giovanni from MySyndicaat got me the last mile by fixing a setting in my feedbot and Voila! We have the page you can link to by clicking on this button where ever you see it.

A Poll For Our Lurkers
Following good community design, we've posted a flash poll in the sidebar to give anyone and everyone a change to participate in the discussion. The first poll is simply a repeat of The Big Question - Should Every Learning Professional be Blogging? Whether you've posted to your blog, commented on a post, or have just been sitting back enjoying the discussion, go voice your opinion in our poll.

Now back to the conversations!


Peter Isackson said...

I agree that this is fun and educational at the same time. What a way for us ignorant "learning professionals" to learn about the prowess of technology, including RSS feeds and MySyndicaat (another My to flatter the individualists)!

But there is an issue that has plagued every revolutionary "breakthrough", including e-learning itself, once deemed -- as many of us remember -- to turn e-mail into a "rounding error" (John Chambers). The issue is hype. Let me formulate a new law: "the more we hype something in the learning field, the shorter its shelf-life". Blogs have nothing to fear; they will survive and evolve. But their use in learning may suffer from over-hyping.

Want proof through a counter-example? Look at my favorite analogy. The flipchart became the major technological breakthrough of the 20th century because nobody thought of hyping it. Users of flipcharts developed a real culture of use simply by finding ways of exploiting it, not by being pushed into proving its worth.

But, as I say, the discussion is fun so let's keep it going, preferably with the kind of distance and humor that Tony Karrer has shown.

Wendy said...

Unrelated side comment: The My Syndicaat thing would be REALLY cool if it listed the blog the comment appeared in, the author of the blog, and the author of the comment on the front page rather than having to dig through all the links.

This was a fantastic exercise. And the poll thing on the right is very slick.

Dave Lee said...


You're absolutely right. The headline in the MySyndicaat feed is the title of the post which is then followed by the name of the blog in parentheses. The problem is that everyone has used just about the same title for their post! (Check it out in the home post below).

So it's not really MySyndicaat's fault, it more a lack of originality on the posters' part.

I'm working on tweaking the feed display (particularly the namss of the commentors. I'm glad you like the exercise.