Being open and supporting openness is one thing. You make the step to leave the door open, letting the outside come in, ro maybe just let them see inside your living room. But it also can feel like FoD Syndrome (Field of Dreams), if you Open it They Will Come.

But it’s another whole level when there is a person, or group, or entity, that puts their energy not just into the construction and operation of doors, but more into the process of actively inviting people to take part of the openness.

Perhaps it is semantic, or perhaps it is just a weak excuse for me to try and put an animated GIF to use beyond playing around in ds106, but its been on my mind.

This idea on openness has been brewing, perhaps fermenting, in my head since my trip to Vancouver last month for the Northern Voice conference. It came up twice I believe, first in a small group discussion at the SCoPE Gathering for Online Enthusiasts — I am pretty sure Scott Leslie said it first, or maybe because he was leading the discussion, but it came up later at Northern Voice in another context.

I recall Scott using an example from the very SCoPE meeting we were at- it’s being open to put up a web page for the event, to broadcast it as an open event via social media and/or mass emails. That is an empty open door. but Scott noted and (I can confirm) how effective it was for organizer Sylvia Currie who made the direct outreach to others to be part of the event, in person or virtually. She had noted I was coming to Northern Voice, and she sent me a direct email inviting me to participate in their open meeting.

Now I am not saying we have to spend gobs of times doing one on one contacts, but I am trying to suss out more how I can be more effective at going beyond just opening doors to making people feeling invited to step in. I have doing the door thing a lot, with asking people to share a vide for my Amazing Stories and more recently, setting up another open door for my StoryBox project .

So yeah, I may do more direct, personal requests for participating, but maybe becoming a better inviter is also shaping your message more into something that makes it clear (or intriguing enough) for people to feel invited to participate.

I’m not even sure how to go about this, but I am thinking on it. I invite you to help me figure it out (?) Do you want a party invitation? Is being “open” enough?

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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. Invitations help, also an estimate of how much time is required r wanted, time is my most precious commodity and so I guard what I do with it.

  2. Your StoryBox invitation was cool, but so open need I had no idea what to do to come and play. And like Oogie, not knowing how long it might take, combined with not knowing what to do – I confess I have not given contributing further thought. I get why it was so open ended. I just like more limited choices sometimes.

    I’m not sure right now how you might motivate me to put something in your box. I think part of that is that I am very frustrated on a lot of levels with where the world seems to be headed, and feel like there is nothing I can do. I don’t want to dump gloom into your box. I’m not inspired to make anything by the things that have my attention and concern in the now. Maybe I could make a beautiful emotional story about these things… Maybe. Or I could wait for more light to hit my eyes. Your project is on my radar, but I have to have something good to put into it.

    This reminds me of how hard you worked to get people to contribute to the MLX. Nothing changes, yo.

    My best advice is keep inviting. People who don’t bite the first time may jump in on the third invite or so. Don’t give up on us, and keep reminding us you know we have something of value to share.

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