Archive for 2006

Top 100 education blogs?

Published on 21/12/2006 at 10:38 am

[NB Apparently this is just shonky link getting stuff… I’ve nofollowed the appropriate links but I guess the comments still stand.]

Just got an interesting email congratulating me on Bionic Teacher being in the top 100 educational blogs.

Interesting not only because it’s not my blog, it’s Jim & Tom’s, and they moved to their own hosting a while back, (which is the second post on the page) – but also because the Top 100 claims that there are at least 5,000 education blogs (with possibly hundreds or even thousands more!)

Now I’m not going to bother to search out that 60K number a bit back (mainly because I didn’t think that held a lot of weight at the time) but instead ask you to roll over to edublogs, scroll down to the footer and check out that number alone!

No biggie, but I would’ve expected a little better in the way of research from the Online Education Database… and where was mention for edublogs eh? eh? eh? Naturally this is my sole real whinge ;)

Anyway, regardless I suppose it’s kinda nice to see The Knowledge Tree listed there as a blog (which means I’ve achieved my aim of blogifying a journal – w00t!) together with the always excellent Graham Wenger.

But if you really want to check out the best of the educational blogosphere may I recommend – alongside this (because it does have a lot of very good blogs in there) – the winners (and the nominees) of the edublog awards.

Oh, and have a great Christmas, new year and break (if you can get it) – exciting things are in store for 2007.

The Edublog Awards 2006

Published on 9/11/2006 at 4:52 pm

Good stuff, Josie is up and running with the awards for 2006… go nominate an user today :)

bbPress is gold

Published on 14/10/2006 at 6:46 pm

Great news that bbPress has made it’s debut, congrats to everyone who’s been involved in the development, it’s a great piece of software!

Now all we need is WPMU to edge it’s way onto the dancefloor, and everything will be candy ;)

[although word is that won’t be until the next major build of WP… ]

Two interviews with me

Published on 6/10/2006 at 4:57 pm

Just to prove I’m definitely not a journalist I also do interviews :)

Here are a couple, one a few days old and one just today (and in Spanish… my mum would be proud!)

Here’s the first one by David Tosh at Edufilter.

And here’s the second at La Clase Abierta.

Thanks for giving a shit guys!

Citizen journalism sucks

Published on 5/10/2006 at 12:23 pm

Alrighty then, here’s a big ‘un to mark the first week of the new blog :)

Blogs, beautiful blogs

Published on 3/10/2006 at 2:08 pm

blogcentral at’s Citizen article is a homage to the humble online news/ent/info site’s blog… but not for the reasons you might expect.

There’s an interesting distinction between blogs based around opinion, news, ‘your say’ style articles and feature pieces… anyway, have a peek and lemme know what you think.

My new, new media, blog

Published on 28/9/2006 at 10:38 am

Citizen - new media blogWell, it’s not everyday you get a new blog, and certainly not everyday you get to run it on the biggest news and information site in your State, so I figured I may as well crow about it a bit and invite you over for a peek.

Basically it’s me making baby gazelle steps into writing about new media in the context of my job at The name is a play all sorts of things, I’ll get to that later, but you should expect some critical and overly opinionated commentary on blogs, citizen media, online news sites and more.

If you’re of that persuasion you can grab the feed here.

Today’s post is all about how comments are way too overrated in big news sites – especially as they are currently done.

Go weigh in :) currently upgrading

Published on 3/9/2006 at 1:37 am

Am running upgrades on over the next 24 hours so please excuse any bugs in that period… the improvements are going to absolutely rock though!

Later: I had to roll back for a number of reasons, please check the forums for more details. – the first year (stats)

Published on 14/8/2006 at 10:07 pm

Bugger, missed the official date but still a happy belated first birthday to!

One of these days I’ll get round to writing some serious stuff about the site, how it’s been, where I’d like it to go and how it can get there. But for the moment here are some stats:

First year stats at

By the end of January (6 months) the site had served 38,534 unique browsers and 1,448,743 page impressions that month. By the end of July (12 months) we’d gone through a whopping 113,883 unique browsers and 3,607,871 page impressions.

In the same month, and went though over 50,000 unique browsers.

OK, it isn’t quite myspace but it’s pretty cool :)

As for blogs on May 23rd the 10,000th blog was created. Which was great. But as of this moment today (August 14th) there are 17,869 blogs. Yikes.

Yes there are definitely some splogs (although I catch 99% of them I reckon) and yes a high percentage aren’t updated that regularly, and yes some of them are students blogs (annoying – I need to highlight and better) but all the same… there is a *lot* of great stuff happening in there and you can subscribe to the RSS feed for the entire site to see the rate (and the great stuff) that’s coming out.

So, the good news is that I that to keep all of this going smoothly I just bought another huge server to support the site (not cheap!!!) and that it’s going well… the average news is that it needs an upgrade, a redesign and some cool new features, but the upside of that is that sooner rather than later it’s going to get Flickr, YouTube,and widget integration.

More thoughts on futures and implications later, meanwhile…

First birthday

My presentation at the ‘What’s changed’ seminar

Published on 5/8/2006 at 11:25 am

This is something I haven’t done before – listened to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

– it’s kinda scary.

Lots of ‘ums’ and ‘uhs’ to start with, which decrease a little over time, but I reckon I could do with a few public speaking classes nonetheless :)

An absolutely great seminar / conference – fascinating attendees and a great organisation. Couldn’t have enjoyed it more.

Here’s My powerpoint (3.11 MB). You can find some very dodgy quotes and some of my early scratchings about what I was going to say in the notes for each slide.

Me at Seminar

Published on 2/7/2006 at 5:27 pm

Am seriously looking forward to attending this seminar in August… seminar

Can’t believe I’m on the same bill as Philip Adams, like, wow :)

Last Mad Puppy

Published on 2/7/2006 at 4:41 pm 10,000th blog winner Mark O’Meara has invested his winnings in as a discussion space which is ‘a bit like a book club but for movies and music as well’. Congrats again Mark and best of luck with the new endeavour!

Bloglines: The lover with a sting

Published on 28/6/2006 at 11:06 pm

Have discovered a little more about recent server issues… it seems that Bloglines, when allowed access to my server, is making ~230 parallel requests/second to it… which is naturally, along with all the other requests, killing everything.

Problem is that a very significant percentage of people hosted on the server – users included – are heavily bloglines dependant (as am I).

I’ve contacted them and emailed them but with no joy and as such have to ban them for the moment… but it’d really make my day if a Bloglines engineer could come along and figure how we could fix things up (bearing in mind I’m going to sleep now). Dunno if they’ve ramped up their crawler but it needs sorting soon.

Server trauma

Published on 26/6/2006 at 8:13 pm

Huge apologies to anyone who has been put out in the last 24-36 hours by incsub server performance. In an attempt to configure backups to maximise performance the tech. people set up a system that basically crashed everything :( and then, most annoyingly, as the server was just overloaded rather than ‘down’ – didn’t stop the process to allow the system to get back up and running again.

As well as typing in lots of capitals to them at the moment I’m also investing in several more Gig of RAM to support the server straight away and looking into purchasing a dedicated SQL server to run edublogs dbases off… annoying as it’ll cost thousands to properly maintain but in the RAM doesn’t sort it I’ll do that immediately.

I found out my text message this AM and have been scrabbling with it all day on and off, in the future please SMS (DO NOT CALL) +61 405 703 923 . Two reasons not to call, first up if you get your timezone wrong I’m more likely to tell you to ‘eff off, go back to bed and ignore you for weeks afterwards… and secondly I’m more likely to get your message and do something about it if you text… can be days between me checking my voicemail.

Sorry again to anyone who’s been inconvenienced… it’s our first big stuff up in a couple of years and regardless of new jobs and commitments I’m 100% committed to providing the best possible environments to users and those who have domains hosted at incsub, at whatever cost. So it will be sorted, promise.

Update: Eeek, apparently we’re under a ‘huge’ DDoS attack, dunno who by or why though? DO these things have to have a reason? Any hints / tips while the tech people are working on it.

Finally, the penny drops

Published on 23/6/2006 at 11:55 pm

It might sound odd, it definitely sounds hypocritical, and could well be seen as altogether tame… but after that stupendous game this morning I actually feel, for the first time since I touched down here over 6 and a half years ago, like an Australian. Seriously, small things may sway the weakest of men, but I’m not altogether sure if this is entirely accurate any more. Sheesh!

BTW, check out some of the great reader pics we’re getting… and what do you reckon to the song :)

subverted links

Published on 13/6/2006 at 8:00 pm

subverted links

Published on 10/6/2006 at 8:00 pm
  • mikes web log » I’m becoming a green man
    "from September be project managing the Green Man project at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. We are going to create a virtual green man who will help visitors explore" Double kewl :)
  • Scientifically Thinking… » Details are Weeds in the Curriculum
    "Not all details are weeds. When a student grows a concept, the details grow as leaves and little rootlets. Those are details that students attach to a larger, meaningful structure in their mind, and details that support and strengthen the overall understanding as students connect them into place. Notice the shift to details that students are uncovering and connecting. Weeds are the details strewn about by teachers." Kewl!

Australia v England World Cup 2006

Published on 10/6/2006 at 12:26 am

England WC victoryThings are almost too good at the moment… am settling into a beautiful home with a beautiful family, exploring a new job that is so good it almost begs description (just imagine being able to turn those dreams of yours into reality – welcome to my job) and just to top it all off the World Cup is about to start… does it get any better?

Seriously though, did I mention the World Cup? Yes, that Cup, the one with ‘World’ in front of it. That one. That’s just about to start. Good.

And I find myself in an interesting position. As I wholeheartedly swore my commitment to Australia I did make note of the absence of any compulsion to support the [insert sport here]roos and, with the obvious exception of The Ashes, didn’t really think it would be an issue. I mean, most Aussies seem to prefer the barmy army to their own fans… so that’s cool right?

But now, with Australia’s first qualification in 32 years, it has come to football… and believe me, it’s a whole different game. Not just because throughout my life I’ve only really been a true supporter of one team, England, but also because dammit, it’s my game, it’s our game. It’s not competing for space with cricket (wrong season), rugby (wrong sport) or any other strange computation of balls and teams. Certainly none that feature 18 huge men-a-side playing in vests on a cricket oval playing ‘catch’ with a rugby ball. It’s absolutely everything and every four years (bar, ahem, the odd 1994) it sees me fall into a heap of excitement, nerves and a blend of optimism and panic that really nothing else comes close to matching.

So am I ‘barracking’ for Australia or England? Well, both of course. But when it comes down to it, there really isn’t a shadow of doubt. C’mon En-ger-land. Come-bloody-on.

subverted links

Published on 9/6/2006 at 8:00 pm
  • BBC staff fight plans for Web site advertising – Editors Weblog
    "More than 150 BBC staff members are fighting the corporation’s plans to introduce advertising to its international news Web site"… so that they can complain about the use of taxpayers funds to provide services outside of the UK.
  • | Press
    "The Guardian will become the first British national newspaper to offer a "web first" service that will see major news by foreign correspondents and business journalists put online before it appears in the paper." Obvious but nice.
  • Publishing 2.0 » Billy Bragg Walks Away From MySpace
    "The troublesome fine print informs users that by posting any content, “you hereby grant to a non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, worldwide license" Oucha… space for a site that doesn’t do that I reckon.

subverted links

Published on 8/6/2006 at 8:00 pm

On retraining at 30…

Published on 6/6/2006 at 8:31 pm

Phew, working as an editor is no easy meal ticket I can tell ya!

Seriously, the last few days have been as challenging and exhausting as they have been exhilarating and interesting. There simply is no comparison between a Uni environment and a News Room… they’re like diametrically opposed worlds, one relaxed almost to the point of being comatose (sans the frustrations to keep you awake at night) and the other like a ADD dream-come-true. I kinda like the latter!

Anyway, just wanted to raise my head above water, gasp a little, and apologise if I’m not getting back to you / utterly unresponsive or generally behaving rather poorly on the correspondence front… am sure things will get into more of a rhythm down the track but at the moment post 7PM is a time of recuperation rather than communication.

subverted links

Published on 2/6/2006 at 8:00 pm

The Gnoos is Loose

Published on 1/6/2006 at 5:50 pm

Gnoos logoCongratulations Michael & Ben on Gnoos. You must be very proud parents!

The Knowledge Tree Goes Bloggy

Published on 31/5/2006 at 8:14 pm

The Knowledge TreeOne of the things I’ve got a great deal of pleasure and a fair bit of experience from over the last few months has been helping the rather good Australian Flexible Learning Magazine, ‘The Knowledge Tree‘ move into the land of blogs.

Yep, I certainly am no graphic designer but I hope we’ve done a pretty good job using WordPress (natch :) to provide RSS feeds, commentable (and non-commentable) articles, different visually themed editions, email subscription techniques and the obligatory contact form too!

And what’s more you can catch me talking about the development here in their new current edition, Going Social. Alternatively there’s The Knowledge Tree Goes Social by Joanne Jacobs, Surveying online technology – a matter of design by Ian Robertson, the very comprehensive Mlearning: A future of learning by Marcus Ragus (with accompanying interesting book review) and last but not least an interview with Margaret Robson entitled Finding Your Voice Online.

So, why don’t you spin over to their homepage or latest edition, enjoy the articles, leave some comments, ask some questions and tell me how we can improve it. Don’t think I’ll be bagging journal publishers just so much in the future!

Starting at The Age tomorrow, can’t wait!