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I’m Chuffed at Mariana’s Bravery

It’s a new word for me (go ahead and giggle you Brits), but I have just finished listening to one of those things that happen fairly regularly in ds106, but can slip by you in the fast flow of all the activity.

Mariana Funes aka The ds106 Shrink has been a force of awesomeness since coming into ds106 this summer from Martin Weller’s H817 course, She has taken a lead in promoting the ds106 Google+ Community (of which I was lukewarm). For every call I put out for volunteers, she is pulling off an Arnold Horshack

While waiting for some files to load or some database to launch I scrolled through the ds106 tweets from the last day, and found this solo Google Hangout Mariana did– she has been restricted this week from using the computer because of RSI… but that sure did not stop her. And demonstrating the best aspects of ds106ness, she stepped out of her comfort zone to try something new, audio blogging. I was guessing, and she conformed it, the first time I have heard her voice.

mariana, please do this more often!

What I value in listening to her audio blog (which reminds me of Scottlo’s Slices of Life audio reflections) is how deeply, and connectedly (yes I know that is not really a word) she is approaching her ds106 work. Everything is full of meaning, and thoughtfulness, and… well I could gush on, but I am so moved by her motivation to be part of ds106, that RSI is no match for Mariana:

Yeah, take that RSI!

Towards the end, she focuses on a topic I have wondered about- the way that as “grown up/mature/professional” people, we get to this place of heavy self censorship of our creative side. We don’t share drafts. We don’t want to be embarrassed or seen with less than baked ideas. We become programmed to projecting just our shiniest bits, the left are kept under wraps (those are all my words, not hers).

But she shows how she is going up against her own tendency, pushing at her own boundaries. Her inventiveness to say- “This physical challenge is keeping me from using my computer but it sure as BLEEP is not keeping me from using my mind.”

And this is what I love about ds106, it is the stretch that people do beyond their own expectations.

Her words, are in fact, better than mine, and I leave you with her explanation, to her, what storytelling is about:

… when it’s not about a polished product, but it is about sharing of yourself with other people who share your love of story.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff 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. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. I too find Mariana’s inquiring spirit an inspiration. She’s already pointed me to lots of useful approaches, and I’m sure there’ll be more. Keep on audio blogging, Mariana.

  2. I am so touched by your words, Alan and the kind comments I read above. I still hesitate about being on the open web, and take a deep breath when I see my name written up anywhere. It is credit to all of you that I feel safe enough to experiment in the ways I am experimenting. There is something very special about this hashtag or is it the people who use it? 🙂

    ….and Alan, you have shown me how to offer feedback with a video clip! I was going to ask you who Arnold was as the clip did not show on my email alert. I laughed out loud when I saw it! You have no idea how much of my life has been just like that clip, now I have a choice as to when I raise my hand but for a long time I did not. DS106 is a worthy cause to volunteer for.

    1. I thought I should have provided the context for Arnold, since it is from an old American TC show that I watched as a kid.. sometimes it is best to let people wonder and explore, but that is what I thought of as a symbol of overt, unbridled enthusiasm

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