The Tragedy of the Stream

Michael Caulfield, Hapgood, Feb 25, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

So if I pushed my Personal Learning course into Facebook, would it be more popular? Should I abandon the idea of having participants do work in blogs? I ponder this after comments in Twitter that the first week of the course was "like I am in a desert". Of course, as someone who ran a radio station for years with zero listeners, I'm not overly concerned (I really should get it up and running again; the Ed Radio podcast just isn't the same (I also have to fix my harvester, which currently doesn't post feed names)). There will be a record of the course; people will be able to benefit from it for a long time coming.


None of this has anything to do with Mike Caulfield's post; it just seemed related. Caulfield is asking whether people have examples of blog-based courses (that's what made me think of all this). And there are examples, of course, but they're scattered to the four winds. "This is the Tragedy of the Stream, folks. The conversations of yesterday, which contain so much useful information, are locked into those conversations, frozen in time. To extract the useful information from them becomes an unrewarding and at times impossible endeavor. Few people, if any, stop to refactor, rearrange the resources, gloss or introduce them to outsiders. We don’t go back to old pieces to add links on them to the things we have learned since, or rewrite them for clarity or timelessness."

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