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Thursday, December 28, 2006

The List that Roared?



Stephen Downes has a great synopsis about "The List" that I blogged about last week.

Christian Long demands that his link be removed ... Darren Kuropatwa asks, Why would Jimmy do this?, John Pederson creates wiki out of the list and says, "fix it." Stephanie Sandifer raises the question of transparency and blogging ethics. Dean Shareski quotes some Seinfeld. Miguel Guhlin ponders the nature of publicity and thinks about truth, trust and transparency. ... So what, may I ask, is Jimmy Atkinson's misdeed? Nothing, really - no ads, no commercialism, no payment-based linking....Meanwhile, Bryan Alexander remains neutral and points to some who react more positively: Cool Cat Teacher, Jon Yang, Alan Levine, NYC Educator.

Stephen Downes, Top 100 List Still Fishy


Here is my comment about this nonevent that I think has become an event. I posted it on Stephen's Blog but wanted to share my thoughts here.

Anything that brings attention to the edublogosphere whether or not I'm on the list is a good thing. Let's not give it more credence that it deserves, but yet it is a list. Honestly, I don't know how many readers they have, but they certainly GOT READ by all of the edublogs that they link to as most of us read our links in Technorati which perhaps was their purpose anyway.

As edubloggers we should know that:

1) Impuning the motives of a person you do not know is not right.

If you have the FACTS, post them. Otherwise, they might just be someone getting started and hey- it is their blog, they have the right to post what they want. It is your choice to give them credence or not. (And you give credence when you link to them.)

2) Let's keep the main thing the main thing.

Our focus is to be on education. Bunny trails can get us off the main focus. As the "marketeers" begin to understand the power of the blogosphere, we will see more and more such things happen as people link to us in order to get us to review / respond/ advocate. Are we going to let them get us off track? My inbox fills with companies trying to get me to do just that. When people read your blog, you have responsibility.

We've so we'd never heard of Jimmy? I say "Welcome." Perhaps his list wasn't perfect (I wasn't listed under a teacher blog and I'm the Cool Cat Teacher and several were left off) but you know what? When I pointed it out in my post, he corrected it rapidly.

There is an old southern saying "Don't burn a bridge you might need to walk across later." With the explosive growth of the edublogosphere, newcomers arrive daily. As a person who has been blogging a little over a year, I remember those who helped me early on AND those who were particularly unkind to me, "a nobody."

I appreciate those like Stephen Downes, David Warlick, Will Richardson, and others who welcome newcomers and report "the news" as they see it. I also appreciate that they were early encouragers of mine -- some of the lesser knowns of the blogosphere were not so kind because "who was I? -- a nobody." But in this day of explosive growth, everybody's got to start with a first post.

Be kind, keep perspective, encourage newcomers, encourage responsible blogging, and focus on our common mission: better education in the classroom.

Vicki Davis - Cool Cat Teacher
And I'd like to add one cardinal rule for bloggers -- IF YOU HATE SOMETHING, DON'T LINK TO IT. Don't blog about it, don't link. Don't even mention it.

For, I would say this thing would have died except for those who've been writing so profusely. And people love a good fuss, so everyone looked at it. And when you encourage what you consider bad behavior, guess what you get, more bad behavior.

I have several people that disparage me on a pretty frequent basis -- my answer. Nothing. For in linking to them, I do them a favor and encourage others. Why would I do that?

And because of this - they now have 61 links from 47 blogs in the educational community and have already broken the top 100,000 in Technorati (something that took me months to do.) So, perhaps I will be a little more wary of mentioning such lists in the future but I still stick behind my original post which was truly discussing the importance of pinging Technorati -- that is where newcomers like this database blog went for their information.

(You'll notice, I didn't link to the original list in this entire post. I always link contextually but in this case, I did not as the site we are discussing has now made it evident that they are selling online education.)
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