I ended up taking more than a week off on my self-proclaimed time for writing elsewhere as a commenter only, not posting any new posts here. I really enjoyed the experience and it seemed to resonate with others. My tracks in cocomment indicate 51 different places I left my mark, not really all that huge an agenda, as this was really squeezed in between way too many edge of the shelf projects.

So maybe the whole thing was an excuse to be lazy, eh?

I did have some things I would have blogged about, would have liked to, but was not burning in loss that I was not writing them. I did not get to write about all the great activity that was happening at the Northern Voice conference, which served well, as I have been insanely jealous I could not be there this year (plans are in motion to ensure this tragic mistake doe snot repeat itself), but I tossed some comments in posts about it or into the NV wiki.

So how did I go about this? I started mainly by commenting on blogs in my RSS reader (note- I am an avid Google Reader-er but use bloglines solely to provide a public URL for my list).

So I hit early people who send me comments- Beth’s post on wiki activities, Brian’s photo being put to questionable use… Sheryl’s 21st Century Collaborative on an internet speed test (where I found my satellit upload speeds were sub dialup that day!)- surprisingly, Sheryl responded with a thanks as she hardly gets comments- that surprises me since she is pretty prolific at blogging.

So then I decided to go “offlist” and follow links from Sheryl’s blogroll, landing at Bud The Teacher, a place I’ve been off and on, and serendipity! He was blogging about something I said on commenting. Oi, the recursion again hurts the head. Then from Bud’s blog roll I bopped over to Weley Fryer’s leaving a snide remark re: a photo about Vista.

And that got me thinking about another path I’ve not gone down a while, following all of the photos in my flickr contacts list. A great place to quickly spray lots of comments, and find some great photos to boot. I favorited quite a few, including ones from Mike B (who’s not too far away in Prescott Valley), from superNovaK who posts some of the most beautiful photos all across flickr (and gets lots of comments in strange languages), a fun one from nessman, and CB70 has another beauty, and D’Arcy’s Northern Voice ceviche made me mad again I missed the conference.

Going back to the blogs, I got to SL colleague Angela Thomas’s new blog where my eye was caught by what looked like a photo of an avatar in a gallery, and through an exchange fo comments, she turned me on to dumpr.net, a fab slick web tool that allows you to apply special photo effects to images from your flickr account AND repost them as new flickr images– where I ended up trying the cartoon effect and my own dog avatar meets dog art in faux museum (not that old trick!). Getting turned on to dumpr wwas the find of the whole week.

I had a lot of comments back to my own blog (is that cheating)? And I got a nice comment from a Mr Williams on my What Can You Do With Flickr (hyperlinked hotspot demo) who had his elementary math students use flickr notes to annotate appearances of angles in their own original drawings (neat!)… and more serendipty, he teaches at a school in Phoenix.

Whew, that’s just the tip of the desert iceberg. It was a heck of a week, and I’ll pull out the stops and run it again sometime in the future. Try it some time- spend a day, a week, a life just writing, communication in the comments of other people’s sites. Lots will happen, I assure you.

But the dog is back, ready to bark….

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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.


  1. Thanks for the mention of our project. I showed it to my students today and they were very excited that other people were viewing and talking about their work.

    I showed them the comments I had left on your flickr photo and how it got to a point where you mentioned it here. My students really liked the connection aspect and I think it may have helped drive home the point I keep trying to get across about anyone with an Internet connection being able to produce, share, and view different ideas and content.

    (Maybe they’ll believe me now when I tell them that anyone can search Google and get their grade level AIMS test scores.. haha )

  2. Came back to this post, and was again struck by what a wonderful and illuminating exercise this was. And you write it up so well. I’ve mentioned this experiment in a lot of talks and workshops, and it always goes over well. I should try this.

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