Twas just some silly banter in twitter that got me looking for an image I had created for a presentation at an EDUCAUSE ELI conference. And thus I found myself flipping through a set of remix style book covers I had made back in 2006, a full half decade prior to find a course/cult named DS106.

“Beyond The Blog: Ready For Prime Time” was co-presented with Brian Lamb January 30, 2006 at the EDUCAUSE ELI Conference held that year in San Diego.

I am not remembering the exact genesis, but somewhere in the goofy stage of preparation, we concocted a conference location quasi relevant theme of Fish Tacos (hence the user name on the flickr account). On some previous vacation in San Diego, I had sampled the divine delicacy of my first fish taco, but could not remember the name of place. So Brian and I wrapped a theme of Search for the Perfect Fish taco for our time in San Diego.

They were found at a place called “Blue Water” — and Bryan Alexander was present at a witness. Look at these young Ed-Tech Kids

Brian had the idea to use a theme of science fiction book covers, but while browsing the ones on a flickr group (still there), remixing seeming questionable because most were copyrighted. So I took it on to create mock covers, using Creative Commons licensed images (found in flickr), and playing with the author names to represent our colleagues.

The whole idea to construct the presentation within flickr (coined a “Flickrtation”) was borrowed/stolen/inspired by a presentation we spotted by Sean FitzGerald and Leigh Blackall. I think it got accidentally blogged or leaked (this was pre-twitter after all), so the first image is a nod to them:

The presentation itself was aimed at what might have been called Peak EduBlogging

As Weblogging matures, the supporting technology and techniques become more sophisticated, from online diaries to powerful social networking and Web publishing tools. Participants will plunge headlong into the pitfalls, perils, and payoffs associated with supporting social software use in educational settings. Disruptive technologists and skeptical academics are especially welcome.

How quaint, we were calling it “Weblogging” ;-)

If you go to any of these “slides” you will find more than the gorgeous Photoshoppery (actually my work then was rather primitive), but also full, hyperlinked annotation. We could set of on flickr branches based on tags (“tag branches” to show related content riffing off of the book cover themes. We added auxiliary commentary audio as well (oi, hosted on which now just responds “no longer in use” I wonder if I have the old files). And people could add comments.

Ten years later people are still pumping out Powerpoints. Poo.

We had some kind of Hermann Miller “Advanced” designed presentation room set up (I have seen recent home video screens 4 times that size)

How many people can you recognize in audience?

Fitting in with the sci-fi theme, Brian had cued up some opening creepy alien music, and we both were wearing foil hats. How many presentations have you done wearing foil?

We started by talking about blogs, which were still dismissed by many as “online diaries”, D’Arcy Norman was the first honored author:

As an alternative, we remixed David Wiley as author of the book that showed the ways blogs were much more. I will not want to run a linkcheck to see how few of our examples are alive.

We then looked at what were early stone club equivalents of campus blogs, with the author representing James Farmer, who was just getting off the ground with a startup that is now (I wonder what happened to that guy?)

After this, Phil Long gets remixed with Philip K Dick to provide the entrance to talk about Social Software… in 2006. Look at those names of dead services. Except flickr.

Our next remixed author is named in honor of Stephen Downes, in talking about networked learning… this was 2006! Two years before he co-spawned the MOOC. We wrote:

The internet has shown itself to be a model for growing, interconnected “scal-free” networks… and as new services and tools are added, we face a world where things are not all neatly categorized or stored centrally. Can we deal with it?

Ten years later, the same conversation is happening in little silos of Facebook Groups, slack etc. We quote from Jill Walker, one of my first key blog influences (she started jill/txt in 2000 is still blogging) on “Network Literacy” plus ça change…

What’s more important to teach our students is network literacy: writing in a distributed, collaborative environment. Weblogs are the first native web genre. Serial, unstable (ethics: edit? annotate? delete? change your mind? – compare net journalism, post-editing), networked.

And we could not do sci-fi book mashups without including Bryan Alexander, here in the epic novel RSS 451 where people burned syndication tools in lieu of Facebook… Here we talk about the only partly realized potential of RSS (It Still Works, /me kicks Google in the shins)

And we come to the evangelist of syndicated thinking and being, Gardner Campbell, her recast as “Dr Glu” for the now dead sites that offered “glue” like aggregation, spinning out the idea of the elusive magic Edu Glu that would knit it all together.

I can still call Gardner “Dr Glu” when I see hime and watch him break out the classic smile.

Our “key questions”…

  • What are some ways of collecting the small pieces into useful packages?
  • What are the key considerations in aggregation and representation?
  • How do the current available tools stack up?
  • What are advantages/pitfalls of relying on this site versus hosting it in your own web site?

Damn, Brian and I were pretty far seeing with our foil hats. Those flickr images each have anywhere from 2000 to 9000+ views each, maybe because they are just old, or maybe they aer that good. It depends how you want to bake the numbers.

Without boasting (what the heck have I been doing), this is one of my proudest talks, and that says a lot, because Brian and I have done more than a few over the top ones.

I wonder if blogging will ever take off…

Top / Featured Image: Screen shot of a flickr set used as a presentation at a conference more than ten years ago. And people always hold up flickr as some kind of dying web albatross. Silly fools.

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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. I love this post in more ways than I could possibly say.

    So I’ll just say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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