cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by striatic

A week ago I drove into my driveway and parked the truck. Nothing special eh? Except that it was 11 months and 14,000+ miles since I had last backed out of the January. This second cross country jaunt was not meticulously statistically tracked as the 2011 Odyssey but included the 6 months stay in Fredericksburg VA, then a few loops up and down the northeast USA and southern Ontario. The last sprint was 2190 miles in 5 days.

Let’s hear it for my heroic Ford F-150, the Red Dog, who performed faithfully, and only suffered a little boo boo when I back into a pole at a gas station.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

It’s been a week of slowing down unpacking, finding stuff, pulling weeds, chopping firewood, catching up with my local friends, fighting lousy cell phone service, and always, always in the background that softly whispered question… “What’s next?”

Despite previous messages from my washing machine, there were no congratulatory letters from the MacArthur Foundation in my mailbox. So over the next few months the general plan here is to… not have one, if possible. I’ve got some time to chill out here, you might say I am going to be living off of my Mom- as the sale of her home is covering my expenses. But it is time to come up with a next thing, which I am seeing as “emergent”

Meaning I don’t know what it is.

What I do have on the plate is:

  • Teaching ds106 online (January-May 2012).
  • Presenting at the Flat Classroom Conference in Yokohama, Japan (March 2013) as well as doing 2 days of workshops at the Yokohama International School (trying to catch up with Kim Cofino)
  • Keynoting the TCC Online Conference (April 2013)

I’ve got a few web consulting jobs in the air, and am looking for other sorts of online teaching, workshop-ish things I can do from the comforts of home in Strawberry. One of the top of list things to do is organize a real site for my “employer” the outfit I call CogDog.It. That is me, myself, and.. some other self.

Actually I have a whole butt/boat/shitload of stuff I hope to tackle in the next months. Just to try and think about it I jotted down some things on paper.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

For my own reference and in no particular order…

  • Feed2JS It’s time to seek out support for 2013. My anonymous supporter from this year has not contacted me. I’ll be seeking again if any entity that gets a lot of use out of this cause they cannot seem to develop parsing of RSS inside their enterprise app, might want some promo. I wont name names. I have some code fixes to deal with, and probably ought to get the source code to github.
  • 50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story I am a year behind in updates. Like 40 more to add. I am surprised people keep linking to the dust ridden site.
  • pechaflicr runs great, but I want to add some ways to append a credits list for photos used, and more to make a way to save the slide shows you do (and then send it to someone else to try). Actually, I have an idea how I can turn this into a WordPress template.
  • site – just needs to be done out (WordPress). I am pondering an idea that might make it worth my while to poke into the Commons in a Box.
  • Barking Dog Studios my photo site- a few wordpress tweaks in order, but need to get to regularly updating. I want to add more writeups (blogging) for “Inside the Photo” where I narrate the process.
  • Web Consulting- I have at least one current client (actually one of the first web sites I did back in the mid 1990s, we are going to modernize it from my old table ridden HTML static pages o wordpress.
  • ds106 – besides finishing the class, there is a giant pile of things to work on for the site and the class. Among these are cleaning up the main site (wordpress, plugin updates, database trimming, we have to slim down the categories). It really needs a better orientation to help first time visitors to the busy front page. I’ve been talking to some folks about running some sort of animated GIF event in late December, plus I had another idea to recognize student work from this semester. Also, ideas to ramp up participating in The Daily Create who is coming up on its first birthday. I need to activate a new twitter account fo the TDC (long story). AND… plan for the spring 2013 class I am teaching.
  • Cowbirding- I am at least two months behind on my revisiting stories of 2011. I need to just sit down and crank these out!
  • The Big Secret Idea- I had an idea earlier this week for a web project with book tie ins. I *think* its a good idea, but need to develop it, do a promo video, and flesh out a web site for the domain I bought.

And this does not even include the personal goals of hiking, biking, landscaping, mocking moocs, guitar, photographing, tweeting, learning to play harmonica, and reading!

I am sure I am missing a ton from the list above – there is really not mich room for a J-O-B! But I am pondering a lot, yes.

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by i am brad

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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. Dang… that’s an impressive list! It’s also kind of comforting to know that you can not have much of a “plan” in the traditional sense and still have a lot of productive, useful, fascinating things going on. That’s kinda where I am a bit, especially where my research project for next semester is concerned.

    Good luck with all this cool stuff! And if you need help/support/whatever for ds106 stuff let me know! I’m always game for more fiddling around with that class.

    1. I will take you up on that, Haley. One of my goals for the next class is to find some ways to ramp up the participation/encouragement from people outside the class.

      And I expect to see you blogging your project ;-)

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