Inform, don’t meform



“Inform them, catch their attention, don’t meform and angst” say the Social Media gurus. Always on the look out for tools that can assist me do the above – and I’ve recently installed two WordPress plugins that offered information possibilities.

  • Twitter Tools
  • Link Within.
    • Twitter Tools is plugin that integrates your WordPress blog and your Twitter account. Meaning…the mutterings that I make to myself (and occasionally with some amazing people) are archived publicly on my blog. Now I know some people just drool profound / clever witty thought, but frankly, my Tweets are generally are not worth ruminating on, let alone digesting. So this tool might be unplugged for a while.

      Link Within, my second WordPress plugin has done some really clever coding and planning, and has released a plugin that “retrieves and indexes all stories from my blog archive” so that new readers can see what else I’ve written , not just recent stories. Small problem is, my writing has not been uploaded to my blog. So the choice of different articles (for those that do trip up and find this hidden space) is fairly limited. Time to start finishing off those articles and uploading them to the blog.

      Both plugins impressed me with how quick and simple they were to install and use. But clever tools soon become ordinary and unless they assist with sharing ideas, their impressesiveness soon looses novelty. I read blogs to find out more about the people that have impressed me with their interesting online ideas. If a tool helps me see them explore ideas, visualize creativity, and catalogue intuitive leaps, fantastic. But if the tool simply tells me more about themselves – then they’re meforming.

      The exception to this is the Twitter landing page. In this example, @marciamarcia introduces herself and her interests. Martin Weller takes this introduction concept further. When he meets “followers” face to face he has Seven Conversation Starters for taking the conversation beyond blogging. Both clever ideas where WordPress plugins can be used.

Beyond blindspots and doff Derek

What's filtering throughMy blog is a small attempt to see better, talk clearly, strain some words and sift it into a pile of useful information. I’ve made a start at filtering on the web. Heaped albums of good photographs onto Flickr, stashed bit of paper to remember useful links and resources on Delicious, highlighted interesting blog posts using Google reader, and précised my stream of consciousness on Twitter.

So if we chatted on the pavement or in the corridor about learning technology and ICT, you could be fooled into thinking that this “oke” knows his stuff. But ask me to write – and my blindspots become, well, blindingly obvious.

Writing things on (and about) the ’net magnifies my incoherence. I have a certain post posting feeling that leaves me feeling a bit “doff”. I’ll respond to an articulate article, then re-read my response, shake my head at my idioms and vocabulary and then press submit, to once again confirm publicly that eloquence is not a strong point. Attempts to express thoughts through the keyboard magnifies an awareness of what I don’t know or what I can’t express. Constant knowledge production suggests that this problem will not disappear. No, it’s more likely that my scotomas are only going to grow.

So… time to do more than sieve data. Time to face those fears and write. I’ve been doing this privately for years, but now I’d like to let my thoughts start percolating, publicly. I’m assuming that my ideas, if accumulated and reprocessed, can be squeezed into a brew that”s tasty and refreshing. It’s likely that re-reading through my inane or inaccurately squeezed bits of knowledge could be embarrassing and that “doff Derek” might re-appear. But to become a bit more fluent, I’ve got to start writing, making mistakes, accepting correction and read my voice. If you bump into my thoughts and if they seem blindingly obvious, give them the space. They’re probably still on the boil and finding their way around. If you think “this oke knows his stuff”, but I can enlighten more, please feel free to comment. Promise, no contributions will be laughed at. If you think “doff Derek”, well sorry. We’re not behind my school desks squirming while the class gasps at foolishness. We’re learning (albeit publicly) and if you can assist me navigate beyond my blindspot, I’d appreciate the assistance.