You wont get for down the road if you only look at the rear view window, but it is a good idea to glance at it every now and then.

It is almost 5 months since writing about the odyssey I am on and my leaving my job after 5 years at the NMC. There is some bittersweetness looking back to that time; I am having the time of life on the road, but I do miss people from the member organizations and the staff at the office in Austin.

I’ve met while traveling and heard from a number of colleagues who were unaware I had left my job. I guess that means they dont read my blog (I am teasing you, Rick Schwier) or maybe my impact there was ? (c.f. tree in the woods falling). I am not going to try and theorize any more there, but it was rather saddening that even with a new communications team, there was never any notice sent to the people at the organizations I worked with for 5 years (I thought the lack of NMC spam mail from me might be noticed). So I had some awkward e-mails from people who showed up at the annual summer conference who expected I’d be there.

But I also got to sleep in that week and go for a hike down a canyon. Not bad.

Getting swept under a rug was bothersome, but I’m done there. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel– I am looking down the road now.

So a lot of people I am meeting are asking what I will do next. And I am firmly not trying to have a definitive answer now- I am really looking to do something different, but am just trying to go with the travel flow, let the brain run open, and see what emerges. I am planning to be on the road through end of November or longer, return to Strawberry, and…. um…. and …

Then again at some point I might be carrying a sign:

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Steve Rhodes

That said, I am thinking of trying to get by a while doing some consulting or presenting, and even on the road, well, not to be too crass– I am available for conferences, workshops, weddings, and bar mitzvahs.

One thing I have not gotten around to doing is filling out my new “business” site,

Things I have done this year, and can bring to you are:

50+ Web 2.0 Ways To Tell a Story
It was not long ago that producing multimedia digital content required expensive equipment and technical expertise; we are at the point now where anyone can create and publish very compelling content with nothing more complex than a web browser. This session will cover a basic basic story development that can be created in a web 2.0 tool using images, audio, and/or video. We are using the word “story” in a general sense; it may be a deeply personal one of the digital storytelling variety, or it may be a tale of a travel trip, or a simple multimedia presentation. It consists of more than one type of media (images + text, audio + images, etc) that are assembled on the web, and can be linked to or embedded into other web sites. And just to prove it can be done, I told the same story as an example for every tool!

Amazing Stories of Openness
While the Open Education movement focuses on institutional issues, a large ocean exists of powerful individual accomplishments simply from tapping into content that is open for sharing and re-use. As colorful as old covers of “Amazing Stories” magazine, this presentation shares moving, personal stories that would not have been previously possible, enabled by open licensed materials and personal networks.

Looking Through the Lens
The mechanics and art of photography unveil an intriguing metaphor for thinking about learning and our world view. For a photographer, the operation of cameras– exploiting apertures, shutter speeds, optics, — coexist with the artistic skills of pre-visualization, framing, composition. It is no longer a field dominated by pros with expensive gear, we can all make photographic art, damnit. Taking the metaphor farther, creating an engaging learning experience is much more than point and shoot or flipping the settings into automatic mode. Photography is a beautiful example of how you can get better at doing something just by regularly doing (and sharing) your craft. Regular acts of photography, such as the Daily Shoot, are a model of informal learning that works.

(Not So Stupid) Browser Tricks
The future will be browsed! I’ll share ten lesser known techniques or web tools you can use in your web browser to may impress your friends and co-workers, or make you more powerful on the web. Know them all? Share yours!

I’m also looking for some opportunities to do some group activities with the StoryBox ( and my hours behind the wheel and conversations with people I am visiting are bubbling up some interesting ideas.

The time’s real short, you know the distance is long
I’d like to have a jet but it’s not in the song
Climb back in the cab, cross your fingers for luck
We gotta keep movin’ if we’re going to make a buck.

Let it roll down the highway
Let it roll down the highway,
Roll, roll.

CogDog For Hire.

Featured image: Driving in the Rear View Window flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

If this kind of stuff has any value, please support me monthly on Patreon or a one time PayPal kibble toss
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. One more song for you, crafty Ulysses, on your way from Troy back to Ithaca:

    Keep your eyes on the sky
    Put a dollar in the kitty
    Don’t the moon look pretty?
    Tonight when I chase the dragon
    The water will change to cherry wine
    And the silver will turn to gold
    Time out of mind

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *