I dare you. I double dog penguin dare you to contribute a story for my True Stories of Openness (formerly known as Amazing) aka Magic Acts of Web Serendipity…

First conjured up long long ago (2009) at a conference far far away (Open Ed in Vancouver “Crossing the Chasm” was the theme), deploying not light sabers, but the CoolIris plugin:

Photo shared by D’Arcy Norman hopefully licensed CC-BY or close to that

but enough nostalgia, it is 2022 and I am cranking up the machine again in a push to collect new stories for a presentation next week at OER22, “The Tonic of Serendipity: A New Call for True Stories of Open Sharing

Here is my pitch, plea, shameless begging


When I put out the call, I get plenty of likes, retweets, soft pats on the back, but it usually takes more direct prodding to shake some stories loose. I can only guess why, there are well over 100 examples of great variety, and they can be shared in not just video, but audio, or old fashioned text.

What am I asking for? Why there in About Page that says what it is about!

In this site I want to celebrate the True Stories of what happens to people when they share something openly on the web. I asked colleagues to share their own stories of something unexpected, valuable, powerful, or just plain inspiring as a result of sharing that piece of media, document, video, blog post, even a single tweet that became valuable to someone they did not know before.


I saw one recently in twitter, the person kindly submitted… the tweet. I do appreciate that, but what I mean by a story, is a human narrative, the kind of thing that you would bust into your friend’s house and say, “THE MOST AMAZING THING HAPPENED ON THE INTERNET! and then re-tell it like “I was just doing my regular thing and this happened” and “because of that this happened” and “next thing you know I was doing this!” and “I never thought that THAT would happen.

Well maybe not like that, but I always crave more, more than just a link or a piece of media. I crave the back story. The emotion. The joy. The crazy sense of adventure. Has the creepiness of the net just snuffed that out of people?

Not that it’s an incentive, but this newest (3rd) version of my site is powered by my SPLOTbox theme, meaning you an add/upload media to go with your story (note the with, the media is never the full story). If you really want to figure out what this SPLOT stuff is about, here is your chance!




and make me and a penguin happy.

We double, triple, quadruple penguin dare ya.

OER22 Art work by the amazing Bryan Mathers / Visual Thinkery, who I hope/expect is sharing these via CC BY-something

C’mon! Here is your last nudge…

Please? Share?

Featured Image: More artwork by Bryan Mathers, a custom CogDog logo he made for me plus the GO-GN/OER22 Penguin, recast into a propaganda style poster.

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


  1. The photo’s CC-NC-By (in a tiny footer at the bottom of the page). Use it for whatever, but if you sell it I gotta get PAID, son!

    I’ve got a couple of ideas about Amazing Stories of Openness™. Maybe…

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