Monday I saw the tagged tweets and had some wondering about what I might contribute for Open Education Week. So I dusted off and cleaned up an oldie- my collection of Amazing Stories of Serendipity.

This was something that goes back to a 2009 presentation at the Open Education conference. The idea was to solicit short videos from people sharing the kind of stories I had myself- how some unexpected outcome, connection, surprise– typically at the person to person level– came as a consequence of sharing openly online.

Talk about old tech- for that one I used a now Flash dead tool called Cool Iris that generated a dynamic video “wall” all generated by a special RSS file. The videos are still there.

There were 110 total videos on the site, collected mostly from previous times I have done this as a presentation, in person, but several times online. That’s about the only time I get new stories, when I put out a call.

But before asking, as is the way I work, I wanted to add my own new story, it is one about the Amazing things that happen when people comment on blog posts of my family stories.

I updated some of the site’s language and updated the form I beg people to use to add a story. I realized though, that in 2020 there is an easier way to share a video than uploading to YouTube or Vimeo (not that those are hard)… one can stuff a video in a tweet, and use that as a link (or heck just mention @cogdog in your tweet).

That’s how I did a second quick video on my iPhone to announce this. I played a little trick, as I wanted to do one without editing, but also to show a few screens of the web site.

So I set up my laptop in a way that I would film it’s screen. To get me on the screen talking, I opened up QuickTime Movie player and launched a window for recording (w/o actually recording), e.g. just using it as a camera.

Pretty clever, eh?

Here was my 10 minutes of effort.

And woah. The analytics for this tweet suggest it has 2215 impressions (meaning it ended up in someone’s timeline), 330 media views, 56 total engagements (13 likes, 9 retweets).

And zero new stories (so far).

Oh well. I can wait. Been waiting 11 years for more stories. I got time.

Seriously. I am patient. Especially for stories.

Because, unlike Flash-based plugins, google services, most tech tools, stories have a long long shelf life. Especially we share them.

Featured Image: A crop of the image I modified for use in presentations, an edit of one of the old covers of “True Comics” magazine (After the first presentation with “Amazing” in the title, I got a cease-desist letter from the owners of that copyright, so I switched, did not cease, to open licensed art/content. See all the covers at

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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


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