It seems like many worlds ago, when “MOOC” was not a term I mocked, but as it happens, this month marks the 10th year since Alec Couros launched ETMOOC, the Education Technology MOOOOOOC.

Susan Spellman Cann has been heroic each year in organizing a tweeted reunion

The linked “smore” site suggest ways to participate

  1. Write a blog or vlog of 10 ways made a difference to you and post to the hashtag
  2. Join us for an online gathering on Friday , Feb. 10th 7 p.m. MT
  3. Donate to the Mario Couros bursary that ETMOOC created for educators. Ask @courosa how you can contribute.
  4. Come up with your own way to celebrate and share to the hashtag

I’m not sure I will make the list of ten, but, hey I got a blog post started.

This came from the heady days of cMOOCs, following the inaugural MOOC 0 the Connectivism jam of Siemens, Downes, and cormier of 2008 (for which no site remains). I was more vested in the digital storytelling community of DS106, which not only still is online, but the web sites still work, and I still do the DS106 Daily Create.

Still, for the most part, academics and scholars and such hardly gave any respect to DS106.

But the heart that still pulses and beats there is the magic of the Feed WordPress plugin (still works) to run what came to be known as a “Connected Course” where participants did their work, reflections on a blog/web site they controlled/managed, but their posts could be syndicated to the main site using Feed WordPress.

Can I say again that this old technology still works? I know Ken Bauer might still be using it and Maha Bali as well, and of course the mother ship DS106 still syndicates as “the flow” where it has collected some 92,000 syndicated posts (some intrepid scholar might consider that as a research topic, but no one likely will).

Anyhow,,this significance for ETMOOC to me was it being the first site I created a FeedWordPress syndication hub after learning how to do it for DS106. I cannot recall how it happened, but I guess Alec asked me.

I built for ETMOOC a 3 part site via WordPress multisite including:

. I noticed a while ago, it was pretty broken! I’d helped Alec a few times with his WordPress sites as it seemed like his htaccess file kept getting deleted. Tonight, I went in to fix, and it took a while to locate the proper one to fix it, and I added an SSL plugin to make sure all links went to https. Something was still funky on the two subsites, no images appeared in the media library… it ended up taking a custom pair of rewrite rules to resolve the old way WordPress created URLs to images.

Anyhow, the ETMOOC site is back for the party and some historical purposes (it likely is broken elsewhere).

Getting this working made a path for me to refine the syndicated blog approach for a few other sites, and organizing my approach as a guide:

A lot of this was a result for applying the DS106 system to ETMOOC.

But there was more to it than just web sites… it was in the days when educators were openly sharing and building those network connections, many of which are alive for me today, 10 years later, when Twitter is a simmering pile of poop, and most folks have given up on their blogs.

The thing I did not have for ETMOOC was the gravity forms($) plugin that enabled the automatic adding of a new feed to the syndication hub. I did ETMOOCs old school manual thing with a Google Form, and I ended up first checking the feeds for 500+blogs and adding them directly to Feed WordPress (it seemed 30%+ got things not quite right finding the RSS feed for a tag/category). But the upside was — I got a glance at every participants blog!

I have a few lingering posts tagged ETMOOC a few of them the nerdy WordPress details of building the site, but it was fun to discover the 2013 version of a Mastodon #introduction as a video

It was such a rich time for networked learning and oh oh oh so innocent. I think if you described the net culture of 2023 to us 10 years ago we’d be shocked (or disbelieving).

So thanks ETMOOC for what it was, and Susan for keeping the spirit alive.

I’ll see your 10 and raise you another 10. See you in 2033.

Featured Image:

A Perfect 10
A Perfect 10 flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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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


  1. Thanks for launching the #ETM00C in 2013 and for this reflection. I’ve pointed to MOOCs dozens of times on my own blog since then to encourage people working with inner city kids to connect, share ideas, provide support to each other and innovate better ways to help the kids we aim to help.

    My inspiration started with Siemens, Downes, and Cormier. You said “no site remains” but I believe this is the archive of the MOOC they hosted.

    1. Thanks as always Daniel for your tireless energy and passion for helping kids.

      Yes, the Internet Archive has bits but thats only because the owners let their stuff go.

  2. And you explained all of that technical stuff well enough so that when I start #OOE13 Open Online Education 2013, I was able to use FeedWordPress to syndicate blogs. Of course that site is long gone as well.

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