The week started so well … a first-ever videopost, the 31 Days were over, tidying up time in blogland had began. What could go wrong for Superblogger? The word hubris springs to mind … me thinking I could use the learnings from the 31 Days challenge to leverage the build of a new blog I’d been mulling over. That, and tidy up and post the SWOT analysis, and have it all done by week’s end. Easy stuff. And of course the fabulous team on the Building a Better Blog would be there as supportive stalwarts. I’d share daily with them all the great stuff I’d be doing.
See? I said hubris.
It all started to go horribly wrong when my smarts deserted me during the new blog build. This was for an advanced level Shakespeare class, pretty much a niche area, and I was going to tame Edublogs to my needs. My public whinings gave way to rants, and then to private curses as the nuances of edublogging hadn’t even arrived, let alone deserted me.
Then came the curse of Ning; no way could I get into the Building a Better Blog party. I couldn’t upload, edit posts or do more than read content from home; they were all having such a good time too. This impasse continued for a week; more whining and rants. No help from Ning land, nice supportive hand-holding from the team … but wait … there’s more. It comes in threes, right?
Frustrated by the Edublog experience (but not down and out … I am still working at it), I rebuilt my site using the new iWeb 08 application part of iLife 08 from Apple, itself very beautiful … easy but different. I started to calm down. By the time I had finished, the new site looked ravishing. I uploaded it to the University server. No soap. The site file hierarchy or gods of the underworld or some such had united against me. Heads round the office door, “Sorry it won’t download etc. etc.” We’re at Wednesday by now. Home that night (still no Ning, so no distractions), I uploaded the site to my own iDisk (.Mac account). Next day smiles all round from students who at last, could log on, download, read, comment, and listen to the podcasts on their mp3s.
What does all this mean? Yes, no progress in the first week of the Building a Better Blog, and no posts here since Tuesday. All such a let down from my high hopes a week ago. Putting on my educator’s hat, having swallowed several bitter pills this week, I’m going to put the week’s experiences down as a big learning. Isn’t that we’re constantly telling our students?
- be realistic with your expectations (is there a hint of a whine here?);
- always have a back-up plan (something about Murphy’s Law … if it can go wrong, it will);
- audit what you learned and try not to repeat the same mistakes.
So, bring on Week 2’s challenge. Getting organised is going to take a little longer as I pick up the pieces. Back to the checklist!