Thursday, July 07, 2016

Celebrating Our 500th Blog Post!!! (Remembering our first ever and sharing our top 10 of all times)

That last blog post tipped it over - 500 blog posts, written since 5 October 2006. With an average of 50 per year (nearly weekly) that's not too bad. In this celebratory blog post - I reread our first ever blog post and, using our stats, link to our Top 10 of all times.

Here is our very first blog post - it was about blogging, I wonder if I heeded my own advice?

What Did I Notice Sailing Around the Blogosphere? Learning About Blogs (first published on 6 October 2006)

We have just started our blog about learning at our organization and in doing so, I did some learning myself about blogs (after being completely inspired by a presentation on the power of this medium by Alex Steffan from I spent around 3 hours looking at many blogs about learning and here is what I noticed:

1. The blog itself needs a distinguishable title and a good tag line that talks about what the theme is. Otherwise it is hard to find it;
2. Colour and font are important for readability;
3. Short is definitely good. But too short unless there is some pithy content is not good. site has good length - long enough to develop a thought, and not too long to get boring;
4. Links are valuable;
5. Postings have great title names - clever (think New Scientist);
6. No spelling errors. This reduces trust in content;
7. Write in full sentences and with proper punctuation and capitalisation - otherwise it is not easy to take seriously; and
8. Archives are hard to use if there is not a search function on the site. It is hard to look into the date archives if you are looking for something special. Thematic archives seem easier to use, except that not too many blogs have thematic archives (some do.)

We are just going to start our blog and get going. We will no doubt find our pace in a few days...

Well, I think for the most part we stuck to those observations.  I still believe in using English my mother would approve of (wait, is that a stranded preposition??) We have our search feature and our posts are tagged by topic to make them easier to use. Perhaps the posts are a little longer than I recommended to me by my 10-year younger self. Maybe I am getting wordier as I get older?

And for our top 10 blog posts of all times - here's what the wisdom of crowds thinks from 10th most popular to the 1st.....drum roll please!

10. Looking for a productivity gadget that's low tech for a change? Try Nu Board
09.  Fast and easy workshop reports with Penultimate
08. Suggested Facilitation Strategies: As the Facilitator how do you work with personal desires for harmony or debate? 
07. The Connected Facilitator: What's in the online toolbox?
06. Online Facilitation: Adapting to an online environment with free(mium) tools - Part II
05. Good Learning Design Discussions: Where to start?
04. Must See for Learning Practitioners and Educators: Remembering Rita Pierson
03. New Systems Thinking Game: The Flashmob Game
02. Learning with the Business Model Generation's Canvas

and the most popular post of all time...
01. Make a Game Out of Any Workshop Topic (The drier the topic the better!) 

There seems to be a little technology bias in the crowds, and a soft spot for games. Learning is one of our leitmotivs, so that isn't surprising, and facilitation is one of the most common tools we use to help groups and teams with their reflective practice and learning work.

Well, on to our next milestone, wonder what will be popular 10 years from now?

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