Blog Pile

MERLOT: The Buzz (and the next day effect)

A little bit of echo to Brian’s analysis of our conference ending session on RSS and Learning Objects. You can find the paper there as well as a hefty 6 Mb PowerPoint (if I have time, I will at least post a MS mangled HTML version), plus there is a streaming quicktime version too.

There seemed (from the front of the room) a buzz of interest and people were at least sitting forward in their chairs instead of snoozing. Stephen took in good humour our reference to “the oracle.” And hats off for Michelle for playing the part of “Lora” and showing up to the presentation.

I really hope people can go back and start on the same discovery of the power of RSS for staying in tune first with information in their interest area, and then thinking about how it can be integrated into their online materials and/or use of learning objects (no matter what defintion you can slap on them)

I regret having to rush right out at the close of the session to try and dash to the airport for a 2:00 flight. A small tip for Vancouver Travelers- forget the pokey Airporter Bus (it was 20 minues late when I gave up) that makes a billion stops. I was able to grab a cab and get to the airport in 25 minutes (thanks to a silent but agressive driver) with a risky 2 hour window to stroll through US Customs.

But then…

… it all went awry as a unspecified “security breach” left me and several hundred (thousand?) other travelers standing in line for 4 1/2 hours. There was nothing one could do, so it was not worth getting bent out of shape, and I met some very nice people as we sat on our luggage and made food runs. I was fortunate again in being on the front end of the resumed pass through US Customs, getting home a mere 4 hours later than scheduled.

Another tip for geeks- inside the gate area of the Vancouver Airport you have a free wireless network. Tres cool.

There is more to reflect on the conference- a few excellent sessions, a great meeting of the blogging minds, hanging out with my two co-presenters. But it is time for a week off in quiet Strawberry, Arizona.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Wonderful presentation at MERLOT. It was hard to believe that the three of you met for the first time at the conference. The amount of authentic, engaged collaboration you were able to conduct online was evidenced by how well you all worked together in the presentation. You would think you were all brothers. Very visionary stuff. Very insightful. THANK YOU!

    My question: I would like to try the collaborative web-development resource you three used. It was called “WICK” or something to that effect? Can you point me to a URL or is this a software product I need to invest in?

    Many thanks again.


  2. I found the WIKI. Thanks. Is someone ‘hosting’ — In other words, I get a WIKI site for ‘free’? If not, where can I find resources to build my own WIKI? (Or rather, have my programmer-husband build my WIKI)



  3. A wiki is generally hosted on a webserver; there might be places where you can post what you are interested in writing about (they are generally open to the world).

    The one we used was set up on a server at UBC by Brian Lamb. There are a number of wiki programs that can likely be set up in any operating system.

    A good starting point for wikis is:

    as well as others I found by a quick but of googling:

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