kowabunga, dude!

18 03 2006

i just had the experience that i’m sure happens to many of us.  i was reunited with a long lost favorite website. the collaborative learning environments sourcebook was one of the first resources i use when i began learning about communities of practice.  unfortunately somewhere along the way i "lost" my bookmark for it.  (thus the power of bookmarking services like blinklist, de.licio.us, and the like.)


but what struck me as worth blogging about was that i rediscovered this resource through practicing one of the first forms of informal learning that the internet spawned – web surfing.  back in the barbaric dark ages of web 1.0 before rss, news aggregators, blogrolls, technorati tags and folksonomies, most "webbies" would wander around from site to site, following whatever link caught their imagination. 

today the web is about finding information you "know" is there and thus tools from google to tags to rss feeds are created to help you pinpoint what you need to find as quickly as possible.  but back in the day, the internet was still evolving.  you really had no idea what you might find.  there was even a time when browsers didn’t have book marks. (i recall having a legal pad with urls scribbled on page after page.)  so you would just sign on, log into a site you knew had some interesting links, pick one and off you would go, surfing from one site to another.  it was like a scavenger hunt every time you went on the net. 

my favorite discoveries back then include a site called "the big red button" where fellow surfers would leave their impressions of their experience having found the big red button (it was picture of a big red button. it didn’t do anything. but thousands of people left notes.) and another site which stripped the captions off family circus cartoons and visitors wrote their own captions – most too off color to repeat here.

now don’t get the wrong idea, if i’m trying to get a project done and need information or just trying to stay up on the latest in our profession, i’m very happy to use my rss feeds and google to get the job done fast.  but i realized that i’ve kept my web surfing skills up and i use them regularly to just discover new things.  just to explore and learn. 

then i wondered, i never hear anyone talk about surfing the web anymore. 

am i the only one still practicing this ancient craft?  do you secretly sneak off to you computer at work to hang ten hoping to find a site with a wicked cool design that blows you away?  or a site for radical environmentalists in southeastern oregon seeking to protect beavers’ rights to dam any river they want?   or a gnarly site with pictures from a berlin burlesque show?

vote in the flash poll over in the left hand column and let me know if you’ve totally co-opted to the web 2.0 thang, or if you still are with it and get stoked lookin’ to catch the big one.  if you have some rad stories to lay on us of your surfin’ days, it’d be so chill if you’d lay it out in a comment below.   


hang loose dudes and dudettes!

is blogging worth it?

11 03 2006

you betcha!

one of the reasons i’ve worked at keeping this darn thing going is to have somewhere to put the real me out there for the world to see.  including potential employers.  resumes and cover letters, no matter how good they are, just can’t represent a person very well.  this is even more true for those of us that richard florida refers to as the creative class.  squeeze my career onto a single piece of paper?  you might as well try to put me in your car’s glove compartment! try to show your creativity, put intuitiveness or charisma on your resume and every single "expert" wil scream take it out.

many career concillors now recommend you build a presence on the web to support your networking efforts when looking for a job.  of course, with eelearning and learning circuits blog i’m definitely present on the web.  and part of my networking is listing my profile on linkedin and actively building a network of colleagues there.

well, after months of searching, and sticking to my principles, i landed a very nice gig in silicon valley.  invariably the questions come, how did you find it?  which job board? did you use a recruiter?  Nope. Nope. Nope.  i didn’t find this gig, they found me.

the manager saw my profile on linkedin which in turn led him to this little blog o mine.  he liked what he saw at both of these online resourse dedicated to me and  he picked up the phone and cold called me.  he already had a sense of who i am versus the what i am a resume presents.

i do firmly believe that there are a number of hiring managers out there who were ready to hire me, but i often reflected on the feeling of being the needle in the haystack trying to be found. my linkedin profile and eelearning were those red balloon on google maps, letting companies know where more talent was hidden in the veritable haystack of job candidates and contractors.

my advice?  put yourself out there, you never know who might be watching!


web 2.0 obsession

11 03 2006

Web_20_poll_results_1 i’ve closed the poll regarding how often you check out web 2.0 applications.   in the stretch, "every few days" lunged for the line and pulled out the win.  i guess that it says something about my readership that no one admitted to not checking out web 2.0 applications.  seems there are a lot of forward thinking folks out there lurking in the shadows.  i like that.  welcome.

i have to admit i’m in the catagory of folks who can’t get enough.  i answered "a couple of times a day."  although that hasn’t been the case recently both by accident and by design.  life has conspired to keep my computer hours down recently, but i’m also trying to ease back from the insanity of keeping up with every new mash up and application.

of course, what did i just do?  as i was closing a browser window something caught my eye about the  best web 2.0 applications for 2006 clicked the link to dion hinchcliffe’s web 2.0 blog and then spent the last 20 minutes checking out stickam.

i’ll be posting a new poll as soon as i decided on the question i want to ask y’all.