Tie And Jeans

The next decade will still be full of first posts

So I have no excuse for being as bad at this blogging thing as I am.

When I was little, the age of the kids I teach, I was on a BBS that spelled it out as clear as could be: “No new mail. That’s magic you’ll have to do for yourself.” I built a blog for comic book bight at the local pub on Greymatter. I ran
mrcarle.isageek.net from a DynDNSed Redhat box for my first class of 6th graders (now safely in college). I followed my 9th graders on LJ in 2003.

I’ve been doing this, badly, for a long time.

When I plan out how to sell my peers on the whole Web 2.0 bandwagon, I start at the shallow end. Here’s a list of feeds I’ve compiled of teachers who are doing *your job* in cities all around the country/world. Read what they have to say, marvel at where they find the time, and see that there’s things to learn in those spare minutes of your day.

From there you can push. Here’s the Twitter names for those teachers — see the thoughts that don’t make full blog posts. See the frustrations and the inanity, meet the people behind the PD ideas. Follow their RTs and mentions. See who else is out there.

Then I might get them to contribute. There’s already a window at the bottom of the Twitter client. They already have a name, “just write what you’re doing.” ( Or, I guess, “what’s happening.” Ugh. ) Write something. Make your name a person.

Then you can push back up. Don’t you have something to say that’s bigger than 140? Wasn’t that person *so wrong* about differentiation? Make a blog for the thoughts that are bigger, for comments and responses that shouldn’t be chopped up by bit.ly

But it’s a hard, hard sell. My wife, the educator who convinced be that this was an intellectual discipline worth pursuing, the woman who ran the first lessons that broke my conception of what MS kids were capable of, says “what do I have worth writing about?”

How have we been convinced that this crucial practice is the only thing *not* worth sharing?

So when I see someone jumping in to the deep end of a cold pool (CANNONBALL!), I have to laugh and applaud. I felt so privileged to watch her first blog post turn into her second, and then her third.

I’ve felt like I was coming into this PLN thing way too late to make any difference. Timid, halting steps because (certainly!) everything I had to say had already been said more times than I could count.

But seeing L jump in made me realize how thin my excuses were. No. I haven’t said any of these things before. And they’re worth saying in public.

I find myself a little bit sickened at how “First Post!” has become the cheapest non-interaction of the web. First posts are important! Beginnings are the most delicate times.

When you watch L build this identity, you’re watching real magic. It’s not cheap, but it’s at all of our fingertips.


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