Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Reading Globally

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Nov 11, 2010

Responding to Dean Shareski,

Certainly some thoughts worth consideration.

- I don't buy the 'time zone' argument, even for a minute. There are all kinds of ways to get time-shifted Twitter posts, even if you don't do anything online outside of office hours.

- Geographical distribution isn't everything - there's a bunch of people I follow who depict themselves as "international" but who are basically based in American schools around the world, and talk only to each other. My major criticism of Global Voices is similar - many of the feeds are Americans living overseas or expatriates living in the U.S., neither of which counts as "global"

- I do like Debbie's comment about a map based on professions. I don't follow people on Twitter. But I have an extensive RSS list, which is well-divided between education, media, ideas, news and science. Even within education, I have taken care to have a good balance of K12, corporate, higher ed, and technology.

- BTW I would look at Debbie's blog, if she had one, but she provides no contact information whatsoever - pretty hard to follow without a url

- I also totally agree with her about cold surfing. I rarely typed URLs at random, but I would visit random Geocities pages, blog posts, etc. Today my cold surfing happens mostly when I'm writing an article - blogging for Huffington has really helped me here because it increases my cold surfing. Blogging without looking stuff up and linking is lazy and leads to closed-group thinking.

- I make use of the 'translate into my language' feature in Google reader to extend my range, but even so, language is a challenge. Looking at my follows geographically, I find them heavily weighted toward the English speaking world. I follow some Spanish and French language blogs but that's it. This is a barrier I'd like to cross and should attend to.

- But all of that said, I don't worry overly about it. "Think globally, act locally." There's going to be a regional cluster to my work.

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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