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To trod a word into the ground of repetition, my trip to Nelson BC was….


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… for many reasons. The excuse was to present at and attend the ETUG (Educational Technology Users Group) Spring workshop. I was invited to do a version of Amazing Stories of Openness, for which I assembled all new videos.

I’m not exactly complaining, but I only had a handful submitted; most of them I had to record them myself. All were done in one take, and really, took but 2-3 minutes from the person I interviewed, and assembled on my web site in the CoolIris method, as well as individual videos, and a playlist viewer.

For this go around, the bulk of the new videos were ones I snagged on earlier trips last month to Vermont, New York City, Vancouver, and a few visitors who came to the CogDogHouse in Strawberry. Again, I was more than pleased with the quality of video I recorded with my iPhone 4 (one other was done with my Canon T1i, see if you can identify which one!).

It would not be much of a keynote for me to just stand there and play videos, so I told a few outright myself, or paraphrased and played portions of videos.


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The new thing I tried, and I was very pleased with, was after showing a few sample stories, I asked for volunteers to share theirs live to the audience. Thanks to Jacqueline Bradshaw and Amanda Coolidge for being great volunteers– and I also recorded them on the spot, later adding them to the story mix (see Amanda’s and Jackie’s story).

I don;t have an audio recording, but there was video shot– but even better than that, I have graphic notes courtesy of the team of Michelle Laurie, Sylvia Curie, and Rachael Roussin:


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Okay, this is all pretty much just a recap. I know without a doubt that there are hundreds, thousands, more of these out there; in fact, I think anyone who has spent some time online and sharing in the open space has a handful of these stories. People came up and described their own anecdotally. But getting them to capture it in video seems to be a big step.

I do have some notes here on paper I scribbled the night before as I was prepping.

  • First of all, for this audience, it is very much the preaching/choir metaphor. Most in attendance are the kinds who grok the open mindset. But what I urged them to do was to not just sing in the choir, but do what they can to get others to join- yes, Join Together with the Band
  • We all ought to be doing more to be expressing in video- if you cannot quickly create a short video with a message, it is time to sit down, turn on the web cam and get in the mix.
  • Openness, as Nancy White so well said it in the video I shot of her at a noisy dark patio, is not about courses and resources, Openness is an Attitude
  • Openness is like the potential energy for allowing serendipity to take place- you cannot make serendipity, it happens.
  • As I heard earlier in the month at the SCoPE meeting in Vancouver (Scott Leslie?), openness is one thing, but there is more than just putting stuff out there; it is a sense of being inviting that really makes it work. It means being active in drawing people into openness and also being a participant in the space.

And with time and events going by, I am more convinced that we need more time jamming together than sitting watching one a performer on stage


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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com 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.

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