Monthly Archives: July 2014



Behold: the cat

Getting beyond the 1% rule – Intrinsic motivation and online communities

This excellent post is being reblogged as part of my attempt to make a personal filing cabinet out of all things interesting and relevant on the world wide web.

I may be a while.

What's the PONT

Recently I posted about the rule of 1% for online participation and why I think it still applies in many  of the online communities I frequent. This is a ‘note to self’ and a plea to a few people I know with the ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy for online knowledge sharing. I admire the commitment, but it is worth thinking about how you move beyond 1% participation. That’s got to be good for the business case and the return on investment figures. It also avoids the sad faces when things get closed down after 12 months because not many people turned up and hardly anyone stuck around.

There are two really good sources of information I’ve found on this, both on the website. Sponge is a service that provides a platform for online Q&A communities. It also has a very helpful blog that talks…

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It is what it is

I can’t decide whether this now apparently ubiquitous phrase is great for getting one’s head around those things that we can’t change – or whether it is a deeply irritating cop-out, used far too often to avoid effecting any kind of meaningful difference in the world.

Genuinely I can’t say which side of the fence I come down on with this; I think I have been known to use it myself. Perhaps it’s ok, if it’s used in the real Buddhist sense of non-attachment, or even as Shakespeare’s Hamlet said.

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so

And yet, there is still a fist shaker in me, who wants to shout no, this is wrong, there clearly is good and bad in the world. Like bodies dropping out of the sky over Ukraine, or people being bombed in Gaza and Israel and Syria, or a polar bear trapped in a zoo in Argentina and elephants chained up in temples. If all of us were to habitually go round saying it is what it is, then where is our compassion and evolution of kindness- where is the change?

I suppose it’s at times like this that one should invoke the last line of the serenity prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr and try and find somehow the wisdom to know the difference.

Here’s the version I’m going with…

By Gove he thinks he’s got it

On the momentous day that we are shot of Gove, I take the great risk of repeating myself…

Now we just need to get rid of his boss.

On wishes and horses

Michael Gove and his cronies are unleashing a ‘world-class curriculum’ on 5 – 14 year olds from September 2014. My children will be caught in the eye of the storm, although the oldest will hopefully only have to put up with it for two years…

Although every curriculum needs regular review, to ensure it is fit for purpose in a fast-changing world, I seriously would like to know who Gove thinks his overhauled monstrosity of a baby meets the needs of: him, or the country’s children? With its heavy emphasis on old school facts and figures, it’s not unlike the education I received when I was sufficiently compliant to be given it – and therein lies a problem. Teaching is not just the mere transmission of facts and an ‘education’ is not the summative testing of those facts at the exit point.

Like Professor Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle in…

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Spikes & Grey Skies


Where are the words?

If you should see them sometime… running helter-skelter home from the playground, or lounging languid in a cocktail bar, or buying plain underwear in a department store, or trying a fountain pen out for size… spritzing their inner wrist with foul celebrity scent, or rolling a Cuban cigar in a brothel.

If you should see the words anywhere… be they pell-melling down the cobbles, or booze-cruising the channel, conducting an inquiry, or holding up a red card. If you see them kicking a ball, wearing a yellow jersey, sashaying, or sashimi ing, sozzling or any damn thing.

If you should see the words, my words, anywhere; then send them on home to me.

I miss them you see, and I know they are just out there, somewhere. Just that little bit out of reach.

da vinci


I have had a whole conversation in my head about this.

I forgot the beginning already.

The end was inconclusive.

Not fit to be shared.

Or liked.

corn huddle

Signs: Parents’ Evening