I was in conversation this week with the folks concocting an AI flavored DS106 making use of the remarkable monster spawned of Michael Branson Smith of a generated Dr Oblivion All I can say is try it.

But there was a round of group fatigue, ennui, fill in another synonym towards AI. We are not deniers of what it might do, nor disbelievers, nor buy in to the gleefully swallow your inevitable future pill.

My response, was along with experimenting, poking around the edges, is my own self prescribed potion.

Mock it.

And this hing I was going to fill on blog about, well heck, when I checked that link, I had already done so, and explained in full while reached no for a prompt box but my bag of SPLOT tricks. Hence

That was my own reaction to witnessing the sameness of the generated imagery used to published stuff about generated content. Why is it always robots?

So i was blogged, and tooted, and sent a few friends. Alas, it sits there, a sie designed to make it easy to share media, a short bit of text, without any logins of asking of identity, the very hallmark of The Thing Known As SPLOT, always in the weird mystery realm.

A billboard in the Arizona desert reading - The SPLOT? Mystery of the Internet! 10 Tweets #Pressedcof18 - a remix of the actual billboards there for The Thing
The SPLOT? billboard remixed from The two RV Gypsies traveled from New Mexico to Benson, Arizona May 15, 2015

Alas, my idea was resonated with… well, just me. But it fits with my AI self therapy, when I find a terrible overhyped thought piece, I glance at the imagery, and chances are there are robots, or humaniod technobots, or giant brains plugged into glowing blue screens.

I have thought I should collect a boat load of these images, and run them though one of those color averaging programs. I am fairly sure it is in the range of Electro Screen Blue.

The “prompt” for this post came somewhat from a joyous Mastodon post from my creative pal Jason Toal (hey draggin!) with a return to blog post 18 months in the making. I’m patient Jason, but a good sight to see a signal light in my Feed Reader. It’s a small part of a honest reflexive where I am and what I value post– Love is in the Mail. The thing that caught my attention was this mention of an upcoming workshop, and a hyperlink (anyone remember them?) to the info on the workshop.

 I should mention, because it ties in nicely with my first reflection that I have an upcoming ‘micro course offering’ for BCCampus called, Please Share with the Class — Creating Online Gallery and Portfolio Spaces in which I will be discussing how to create an online media gallery or portfolio for educators, so this this seems like the perfect opportunity to both promote the event and demonstrate some of my techniques. 


Being an uncarable curious link clicker, the BCcampus FLO weeklong Microcourse:

Despite the recent growth in online and hybrid modes of teaching, many learning management systems lack simple and elegant ways for students to share, collaborate on, and discuss their multimedia assignments. Join this free one-week Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) MicroCourse to learn about different methods for managing media collections in hybrid learning environments.

In this course you will explore platforms such as WordPress, GitHub, SPLOTs, and Notion and focus on enhancing participant engagement and fostering a sense of community by:

  • Examining simple tools for sharing media
  • Contributing simple multimedia works such as text, images, and documents to different platforms
  • Developing a space to facilitate student collaboration
  • Creating a gallery or portfolio to showcase student work

Being a bit biased, I’m inclined so say go with SPLOT, but I trust Jason has valuable offerings and much hands on goodness with those other strange tools.

That’s why the SPLOT theme used for Sadly Robotic Metaphors is the ever trusty TRU-Collector. I’ve put it to my own uses at least 10 times, if not more. You wanna see some case examples, and no just mine? I will again put the use of the powerful Docsify This to embed the most current set of examples of places the SPLOT is used:

Bear with me as I foam about content transclusion happening, as list of examples above comes from a master list in the TRU Collector Github repo. You see, whenever I update that source, the embedded content above and also on the SPLOT info page for the theme are also updated.Automatically. Yeah, I too want to make the Indie web easy, but a foundation of how the web works goes a long way.

I digress.


I’ve done all kinds of these collection sites. I believe in the concept. But just setting them up does not usually guarantee much action.

The more effective use of these is within a class or workshop process, where participants have a motivation to share in the SPLOT. I used it for as a group reporting tool for a workshop activity for the Mural UDG project, and collected 145 responses.

In community work for the OpenETC shared WordPress emporium I set one up as a place for community members to share sites made by other people that inspired them. It got 18, and likely 16 were ones I submitted.

Maybe my ideas and tools for collecting response are rubbish. Maybe everyone is fatigued, overloaded, too busy. But I am thinking about Eamon Costello’s call for OER 24, Not Me, Not Mine, Not Myself.

In one sense Open Education is just giving. It is not something to make us feel clever or superior. It is not even something to make us feel good. Indeed, a lot of the time it might make us feel uncomfortable. It may be giving students “opportunities to unpack their cherished worldviews and ‘comfort zones’ in order to deconstruct the ways in which they have learned to see, feel, and act” (Zembylas , 2015). But its promise is that once we give something we get something. It is the hope that we can gain some release from that which we think we cannot do without. It is the promise of liberation from whatever it is we hold too tightly; of education as the practice of freedom (Hooks, 1996).

https://altc.alt.ac.uk/blog/2024/01/oer-2022-not-me-not-mine-not-myself/ (emphasis added by me)

Alright, I’d love to have more people join in my little play game of collecting crappy AI generated images representing AI. But I don’t need the validation. That’s where I got to by the end of this though wander.

I make and do these things because i mattero me, and playfully mocking the hype keeps my head above the swirling water. Whatever you do that works for you, I applaud.

Now where can I find some of these craptatsic images. I got a place to plop them.

Featured Image: A grid of randomly sorted feature images from my Sadly Robotic Metaphors SPLOT. I manually installed a no longer available plugin to generate this via a non-linked page. People are hating on WordPress but if you can do this in your hanky static generator or newsletter platform without coding, all the better on you. As far as rights, these AI generative images are in license limbo.

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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

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