Of all days, yesterday, happened as a convergence of doing presentations at two different conferences. Fortunately, I was able to do all from the comfort of home as they were online ones.

In my late morning I did a session at the 2019 Technology, Colleges and Community (TCC) conference, which amazingly is the 24th one, and still organized by the same ringleaders, Bert Kimura and Curtis Ho, as the first one.

I went retro (surprise) for Publishing and Building Communities Around Digital Images: What’s Happened in 15 Years as a bit of re-visit of my first TCC presentation in 2004 (which was the same title up to the colon).

Back in 2004 I did presented at TCC on the idea of blogging and teaching around collections of photographs (http://mcli.cogdogblog.com/show/tcc04/photoblog/) then a thing called “photoblogging”. How far have we come with these ideas in 15 years? The photos, the camera tools, the web sites we have are much improved. But what are we doing, can we do with maybe the most accessible technology tool, once most of us have in our pockets? How can images be used to communicate via metaphor? This session will explore the use of photographs in 2018 as a field observation tool, a creative/expressive outlet, forms of protest, and the ever spreading meme.


Participants will participate in the kinds of photo scavenger hunts and daily challenges I use in media classes, and will be able to contribute/share/discuss photos directly to a “SPLOT” site (e.g one using this available WordPress theme https://github.com/cogdog/tru-collector)

I started with some setting the scene of 2004 (flip phones were the cutting edge with mayb 1 Megapixel cameras, iPod classic just out, no YouTube, and some new site called thefacebook.com). My interest came from the early blog years setting excitement for easy online publishing and finding an art teacher at the Maricopa Community Colleges who was experimenting with having his photography students share images in an online site called “Buzznet”. I looked a bit at another one called Fotolog.net where people were limited to posting one photo per day. So thought maybe there was something to a form of blogging than center more on the image than text.

There was a thing then called “moblogging” (blogging from mobile device), and posting to these sites via email. And just before I presented in April 2004, I had learned about and joined a brand new site in March called “flickr” (about the only site in my original presentation that still exists and serves its original purpose).

In yesterday’s talk I went through my interest in creativity through photos as storytelling and projects where community happened- the photo a day group in flickr originally inspired by D’Arcy Norman in 2007, Five Card flickr stories, pechaflickr, the Daily Shoot becoming the DS106 Daily Create (still going strong after some 2600 dailies since 2012), and the photo safari and sharing photo tips activities of DS106.

And ending soundly on a SPLOT (surprise) I set up at http://photos.cogdogblog.com I had started the presentation by asking participants to email a photo of where they were sitting to show “View from Where I Sit” to participate in the conference (a variation of an activity my Maricopa colleague Donna Rebadow did in text only online classes in pre-web days).

Web site with images representing photos people have shared to this site.

As I was preparing this talk, it did strike me how the TRU Collector SPLOT did provide pretty much the capabilities of those 2004 photo sharing sites (easy of publishing content centered on media, categories/tags to organize, search, archiving, syndication) but in a site I could own/manage, that would not years later end of a dead link or a site for celebrity gossip.

The presentation and lots of related links are in my Best of Show collection.

The second presentation yesterday was for PressEdConf19 the WordPress in Education twitter-based conference, a format I find extremely refreshing compared to the typical fare. Each presenter/keynote has a 20 minute slot for tweeting their slides/ideas/ comments. You get a lot out of it, whether you see it live or later, much more that watching someone in the front of the room click through slides.

I presented last year on that too frequently blogged topic, so this year aimed for sharing some small but hopefully useful, non-code requiring, tips for WordPress. The pitch for Not So Stupid WordPress Tricks (none that involve writing code) was:

There are plenty “Top 50” WordPress tricks listicles, this is not one. Maybe. From my own banging on WordPress since 2005 comes a collection of frequently used techniques, plugins, and sleight of hand put into play for educational sites. No code is touched in this production.

Yes, this was a bit of an homage to my TV watching days of David Letterman.

A TV show host stands middle of stage while a dog standing on hind legs (with the head of my own dog superimposed) pushed another dog in a toy car, that dog with the WordPress logo inserted on its head)

SPLOTs did make it the mix, as I decided each of my tweets would link to a more expanded version of the trick as one “slide” in a SPLOTPoint deck.

All the tweets were scheduled in Tweetdeck. The thing I like about this way of presenting is that all the work is done up front in the prep; there is no focus during the talk of the performance or standing in front of a group. You can almost sit back and engage like the audience.

I had to do one extra thing during the talk since I wanted to embed each tweet in the WordPress post that described one of the tricks.

With scheduled tweets, you do not know the URL for embedding until it publishes, so before the talk, each “slide” (a WordPress post) had an “insert tweet here” text. As soon as it appeared in the published column of TweetDeck, I copied the URL, and updated the WordPress post that it referenced (see an example with the tweet added).

I have all my materials, and the tweets organized together, over at the same site as my other presentations.

It was worthy during the day as I was able to follow maybe 6 other talks in the midst of doing other things. If you check the conference schedule, you will find that the tireless conference organizers have curated and added the tweets for each as a Twitter Moment. This way, the conference itself becomes an open resource.

Both of these presentations were done as support for long time colleagues who organize them- Bert Kimura at TCC, who drew me into their circle in a meeting at a conference in 2003, and Pat Lockley and Natalie Rafferty who have done a beyond heroic effort to make #PressEdConf a reality.

Two for one, and no travel involved. Okeh!


Featured Image: Re-edit of text and graphics of a Larry Williams and Johnny Watson album cover found at discogs.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
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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