Foraging for blog posts –

Photo by Erik-Jan Leusink on Unsplash

Trying to explain to people why you put an open license on something like this blog can be tricky if you don’t (like me) have a stock answer. This blog is openly licensed, I guess primarily as I feel that it is good practice and a “good thing” to do. Over the years, blogging has become a central part of my open education practice, and I have used a creative commons licence as a statement of that.

Last week, I took part in a seminar with our 4th year cyber psychology students who have a blogging assignment during this trimester. I was asked to share my experiences of blogging with the students. My colleague and open education advocate from our Library, Marian Kelt, also joined the session. Partly because Marion was talking about copyright issues including open licences, I did highlight that all posts on my blog are available via a creative commons license. However, I had almost become complacent about making sure that the open license was obvious to others.

I updated my site theme last year and didn’t actually realise the the CC license statement had inadvertently disappeared. That was until a couple of weeks ago when I got this tweet from Royce Kimmon

@sheilmcn Hi Sheila, I’d like to include two great posts from your blog (Kindness of blogging & Lecture capture…) in my open EdTech book , but I didn’t see a CC license on it. May I get your permission to do this? Thanks!— Royce Kimmons (@roycekimmons) 12 February 2019

What a great prompt to sort out that “oops” moment and get that CC statement back on the front page. It was also a great reminder of why open is good.

I know I don’t have the biggest readership in the world, that’s not why I continue to keep writing blog posts. I am continually surprised and thankful when I get positive reactions through retweets and comments (the ultimate pay back imho). So this request from Royce illustrated to me once more why open is a “good thing”.

One of the things I highlighted to the students last week was that the reason I have been blogging for so long (12 years and counting now) is that it gives me a place to express myself that I control. One that is free from the conventions of traditional academic writing. In many ways I do write “in the wild”.

I love the idea that anyone can stumble across my ramblings, or like Royce take a more structured foraging approach and create a book from a range blog posts and perspectives that are all openly licensed. Much simpler and quicker than a traditional, edited collection – though I’m sure it did still take a considerable amount of time in selecting and mixing together this collection. I’m included with a some of my blogging heroes so I am quite humbled to be included in Ed Tech in the Wild. A positive reminder of why sharing openly is good.

I also love this rationale for the book:

“In this volume, we want to bring these blog posts together for future reading and dialogue. Blogs don’t live forever, but their ideas can as we archive them and share them in helpful ways.”

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