Just a quick post here to reference what I posted on the Connected Courses site as part of the “pre-course” unit September 2 to 14 I am co-doing with Jim Groom and Howard Rheingold.

This is the equivalent of what we used to do in ds106 as “Boot Camp” (probably a metaphor not useful worldwide) as a chance for people to get settled in the blog they will use, experiment with some customizations, and hone their blog style.

What I posted on Connected Courses is rooted in the ds106 How to Write Up Your Assignments Like a Blog Champ (in which I remix myself)– and is now live on the site at

It covers what I find is important– and is open to additions, rejections, rotten tomatoes– the importance of a good title, using hyperlinks (you know, what makes this thing a web), writing blog posts that stand on their own, using/embedding media especially photos (the one above I found not by searching on “Champion” but “child jump” in flickr creative commons images), and the flip side to writing in your own space- commenting on other blogs.

Another piece written for that week is Setting Up Your Digital Space and Connecting it Here to frame some of the options for choosing a blog space, and what we ask on the web form that allows you to connect your blog to the hub on Connected Courses, which for now seems to be the stuff that flows into the nice tiled display on the bottom of the front page, I am not running the site and have no idea what they are doing with the syndicated content archives.

The gravity forms to Feed WordPress signup is working well, with 29 blogs in the mix now. I still see maybe 30% not getting the correct URLs for using tags/categories/labels as an organizer (sigh).

Lastly, because I cannot seem to do these without a shtick, for our pre-course unit Jim, Howard, and I brainstormed a knock off of NPR’s Car Talk– we have a Blog Talk theme, with us playing the Connected Brothers– Click, Link, and Embed.


We have our lawyers too– Dooey, Blogum, and Howe.

The idea was (I think) as part of our live call in shows (Google Hangouts, which seems to give Jim allergic fits), we will ask people to drive their blog into our Garage, and we will give it some suggestions for a tuneup.

It ought to be fun.

Oh ““ and one more thing ““ Don’t blog like my brother!

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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.


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