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As Cogdogblog awoke one morning from uneasy dreams it found itself transformed in its posts to something else.
Not at all an insect.
But absolutely changed.
If only he could remember how to blog.
Surely it was not difficult.
Surely there was a Manual.
Surely there was a Professional Development Seminar by a World Known Leader.
If only he could remember why he blogged.
He went back in time, or in his head in time. There was a place. A building lacking decor. A building lacking a center. A building with no soul. No one lingered in the lobby. It lacked even a water cooler
The windows were shiny.
But his desk at least was situated under a window.
Dull black machines blinked on the grey laminated desk. Attention must be paid. Protocols were posted. Process reviews were regular.
He functioned. He was the poster of productivity
He did not dream.
Dreams did not exist.
People woke up as people. They went to work in their gray pleated suits, traveling aboard gray pleated trains.
Coffee was served in regular portions.
Coffee was not permitted at the desk.
Coffee instead did the dreaming.
He showed up as usual at 9am on a Tuesday.
The building was gone.
Instead he bought a ticket to Morocco.
The change in light, the tenor of spice, the volume of laughter might have invigorated some one.
Instead he worried about small pieces of cake.
The fire broke out in the receptionists area. Everyone looked at him slyly because he always held a lit cigarette. But he know, as well, that the receptionist would sneak a puff in the supply room. One knows their own kind.
But she was no where to be found.
Instead, the fire department showed up, carrying woodwind instruments.
At least order had been restored.
Once the trucks rolled away, spewing diesel exhaust on the spectators, he pulled his office chair from the charred wreckage. It lost one wheel, but could be balanced against the remaining bricks of the rear garage. Crows circled overhear, completely bored.
But hey, flight is always a thrill.
At last he had something to blog about.
This thing, it was done.
Day two in Wellington took us up to the top of the Terrace, where the Victoria University of Wellington is perched. A bit of traffic direction confusion provided a detour though downtown, a place I have wandered before, but we were on track once spotting the beehive shape of Parliament (hey I took a photo here back in 2000)
We met up with Stephen Marshall, who looks marvelous in a bit of Navajo decoration
The sessions they had requested for me in both the morning and afternoon were related to storytelling. In the morning I did my newly remade “what works” in digital storytelling, Storythinking > Storymaking > Storytelling
I’ve filled it out more with examples to demonstrate principles, such as comparing the differences between two technology product commercials, but one has a more “storified” approach; compare
As always, Kurt Vonnegut’s Shape of Stories video goes over well. I love pointing out how brilliantly he brings the point home using the presentation technology of a blackboard and chalk.
Also new in the mix is are video examples shown in the Budweiser Puppy Love video, where the dramatic tension is first edited out.
In the second hour I had the entire room do a round of pechaflickr; I like asking the group to each take a turn, but I also give anyone the option to not participate. One man in the back opted out (others told me he is one of the funniest people around) as he wanted to observe. I realized later how right it is to not force people to participate, they should always opt in (he thanked me after).
They chose the tag “viking” which did well for providing a good mix pf pictures. I have taken to noting as it goes around, when people augment the picture with something not literal, and at least 3 people (group size was 24) did it in this round.
This of course always goes over well, and totally changes the energy level in the room. I like to start with this in other sessions, but it worked good as a bridge from the more presentational part to something more active.
Next I introduced the Storybox and sent the group out to gather media, then showing them after how to contribute back to it. Again, because we had about 35 minutes, we mostly got to the adding part and not much into the examining/creating part.
Some sneak peaks of media, a lot of people follow the suggestion for a photo of shoes, several in imaginative formations– wouldn’t the future people of the world be able to tell something about life in 2014 from it’s footwear?
Following a fine lunch in the campus cafe, my afternoon session was the whirl wind tour The ds106 Files: Outbreaks of Infectious and Open Acts of Creativity, an augmentation of the first version spotted a year ago in Alaska
I try to give a sense of the benefit of the distributed/aggregated architecture, the lovely syndication bus, and why we make this choice to have people publish, reflect, and create in the spaces they manage. In other sessions about it as a mode of a Connected Course, I have been trying to make a distinction between how we feel in a room we rent (a hotel) and a room we live in (our own homes).
There was a lot of energy and excitement about the Assignment Bank. I’d like to be able one day to do more with the part we tend to do least with, the ds106 inSPIRE. This was the brilliant concept developed by two student’s in Jim’s class in Spring 2012 — a place for participants to nominate the work of others that have “inspired” them. Fleshed out, you can cultivate a “best of ds106″ (or whatever course it is) as picked not by the instructors, but the participants.
I was inspired by a flyer I saw in the hallway:
“Change the Web: Change the World. Can you make a difference through digital technologies?”
I hope the answer is yes.
It was then off to the Wellington airport for a return flight to Hamilton, quite the bumpy affair with a high windstorm coming in to visit. There was this weird guy looming in the airport, he might be involved in some local industry
This was a super fast breeze through of Wellington, not giving it nearly the attention worth its attractions. I had hopes of visiting the Reserve Bank Museum of New Zealand where they have a working version of the MONIAC, an analog based computer developed by New Zealander Bill Philipps in the late 1940s.
But we ran out of time.
I will be baccccccccccccck.
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After the end of the Tuesday sessions of the Shar-E-Fest conference in Hamilton, Richard (my host, driver, and handler) drove us to the lovely small airport where we boarded a plane to Wellington, about an hour by the beats of the propellers. It was a cloudless day and dramatic to be over the rugged hills and mountains, not to mention flying into a city that is sprinkled like sugar crystals on the craggy hills overlooking the sea.
We stayed over in a quaint Motel in Petone, just across the street from the beach, and near where the Hutt River empties into the Harbor. There were plenty of good choices to eat on Jackson Street, we found a great Vietnamese place. I swam laps in a bowl of noodle soup. I spotted the country of Brew Zealand, a fine sounding place to live.
In the morning we drove to the campus of the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, an institution devoted completely to distance learning for over 30,000 students, most of them working adults.
I really enjoyed getting to meet our host Mark Nichols, and had a good turn out for my morning and afternoon sessions. There is something calming and spiritual about having it start with a Maori greeting; of which I cannot understand a word, but can get the feeling. Thanks Wayne for that.
The morning session was one that no other institution chose from the list; this is the Mythical Reuse of OERs (which I first did a version of in August, presented online for the Ontario Universities’ Council on e-Learning).
I modified it somewhat, mostly to add in a more locally relevant mythical creature, the Moa. You can find the slides ‘n stuff on my wikispaces site. This was the only one I used Google Docs to present with (it does a nice job with the GIFs and embedding YouTube videos)
They seemed to not have a problem with the Bigfoot references ;-) And I also was able to add in a Martin Weller nod for his wisdom in noting that “reuse” was not nearly as important or relevant as “adaptation”.
As usual, they really enjoyed the backyard discovery video by Clint Lalonde . It may not be clear enough (ahem Sasquatch blurry quality) but Clint, here are some New Zealanders watching your video
There was some good discussion about the appeal of reducing textbook costs, which as I learned are not as large a problem here where they develop most of their materials in house. The collaboration in British Columbia at that level intrigued them, as well as what I shared of the efforts by Scottsdale Community College’s Math Department.
I also got to show one that came in after the Ontario presentation, Sasquatch Finding by Tannis Morgan of the Justice Institute of British Columbia. And I say that not only because she actually found Sasquatch, but because her three levels of reuse were really applicable to this audience, especially because it was used in a vocational field.
The idea of sharing seemed challenging and was the topic for much of the conversation. If you talk of sharing materials, it seems problematic since they do so much development in house, and it might sounds like I advocate for giving away the store. I try to emphasize there are many ways to share that go beyond the “stuff”.
The second morning workshop is one I am doing at all stops- giving people an opportunity to try my Storybox Digital Time Capsule, now with a new container and interface built just for this trip.
In a short session, I set up some prompts of media I am asking for, and send people out with their devices to see what they can find in the vicinity. It is refreshing to say I totally going opposite to the trend of professors making no laptop policies. I enjoy seeing how people approach this “assignment”. Some never leave the room, others just look for stuff on their computers, but others are out there, often in pairs or more setting up photo shots or videos. I treat it almost like a ds106 assignment, suggesting to try and use metaphors to represent ideas of “friendship”, “relaxation”, even a smile.
And then you get photos like this.
No surprise, since he looks for his Precious in the Wellington airport, there was a Gollum tossed in the box:
I doubt you can use something like that in a story (and see, I am breaking my own rules by putting a few pieces on the web). But the Storybox is MY own internet, so I get to make rules.
Over lunch I got to chat with Dr Caroline Seelig their Chief Executive, typically New Zealand in being very down to earth in person. The more she described the mission and programs of the Open Polytechnic (flexible start dates, working adult students), the more I was reminded of Rio Salado College from the Maricopa system. She seemed interested in getting a contact there and it was even more appropriate as she lives in Lower Hutt, which is a sister city of Tempe.
I later remembered I worked in the Maricopa District Office the same time that current Rio Salado President Chris Bustamente did as well, so I launched an email to connect the two leaders. Last I heard, a Skype call was being arranged.
My afternoon session was Beyond the MOOC Hype: a Look at Connected Courses, and MOOCs were there mostly as a soft punching bag, I more wanted to talk about Open/Distributed/Connected Classes and make a pitch for people to join Connected Courses. I talk about ds106 and the concept of participants blogging in their own space and aggregating that activity back to the course site, the notion that it’s what the web is made of.
I tried a icon symbol guessing “game” starting with an open circle, adding spokes (like a sun, or a power button logo), to something with arrows pointing in (maybe a university), and what it means when a lock icon appears (cough, xMOOC).
And for more metaphor fun, I tried to make a comparison between the relation we have to our space being different in a hotel room then our own personalized bedrooms (the way Gardner Campbell refers to the way students decorate their school lockers).
I certainly had fun in this day. Hope others got something out of it. And Mark Nichols looks good sporting the Navajo charm I am giving my hosts
Not much rest for this dog, I had Day 2 in Wellington coming up the next day. To be blogged….
Frequent words I heard as a kid was reminding me of my household chore– “TAKE OUT THE TRASH!!!”
I’m finally getting around to doing it regularly.
Even with Akismet running on this blog, I have seen it accumulate more than 1000 trapped spams per day, and by the time the count hit 10k, the WordPress interface hung on how long it too to empty the spam odored trash. The only way to clean out was to jump into the database via phpMyAdmin, and manually run an SQL command.
I finally decided to set up a cron script to do this, and here is how I did it via my Reclaim Hosting cpanel (I await some technowiz to tell me how bad my approach is). I am essentially doing a command line database query to empty the comments marked as spam (the ones that Akismet IDs as spam).
To do this you will need info that is stored in your wp-config.php file on your server- they will look something like:
// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** // /** The name of the database for WordPress */ define('DB_NAME', 'mygroovydatabase'); /** MySQL database username */ define('DB_USER', 'trickyusername'); /** MySQL database password */ define('DB_PASSWORD', 'X4somehiglhycryptic8password');
- the name of your wordpress database (below referred to as DB_NAME)
- the user name that logs into your wordpress database (DB_USER)
- a password for that database user (DB_PASSWORD)
The thing you are looking for in your cpanel is Cron Jobs down in the Advanced Section
When you add a new cron job, you need to choose how often it will run. Mine is every day at 4am; but a more reasonanle setting might be as shown below, every other day at 3am
The command is the big deal here. Mine looks like this, you will have to fill in your own values (no quotes) for DB_NAME, DB_NAME, and DB_PASSWORD (and make it all one one line, I broke mine up so you can see it)
mysql -u DB_USER -pDB_PASSWORD --database=DB_NAME -Bse "DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = 'spam'"
Note that there is no space after “-p” and your database password, so for my fake example above, it would look like
mysql -u trickyusername -pX4somehiglhycryptic8password --database=mygroovydatabase -Bse "DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = 'spam'"
So far, I am finding it is keeping the number of flagged comments to a more reasonable number.
I did get more powerful solution from Brad Emerson that essentially blacklists IPs at the server level, and am hoping to sort that out eventually.
For now, I just wanted something to keep the database from bloating from all the trash that piles up.
I do not fault anyone else for making the choice, but I refuse to turn off comments. Call me a masochist. And sometimes… sometimes.. it is mildly entertaining to see what floats through. It’s kind of like occasionally lifting your floor to scan the sludge for curiosity of how life can exist down there,
When I visited New Zealand in 2004, I was excited to find the source of wikis. This being of course, a time when wikis were a platform I was excited about sharing. In going through my flickr photos of that visit, besides guffawing at my own photos (that never changes), I ended up down the Internet Archive hole again.
I saw the reference links to all my materials for that visit, but it pointed to a web server and a wiki back at Maricopa that was long ago deep sixed — http://realgar.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/wiki (again, all my subdomains were minerals) (look it up willya?).
The topics? As WikiWords: WebTool, HybridCourses, LearningObjects, ElectronicPortfolios, IntroRSS, BlogShop, DigitalStories, DigitalPhotos, PhotoBlogging, OcotilloMaricopa, FindFreeStuff, RipMixLearn, EduWikis
That’s November 2004’s topic.
Ten years later, it’s a different wiki http://cogdog.wikispaces.com/Sharefest+2014.
The Topics? As NonWikiWords: Being on/of the web, Beyond The MOOC Hype Connected Courses, Mythical OER Reuse (now including Moas), Storythinking Storymaking Storytelling, The ds106 Files, True Stories Open Sharing, The Storybox
Still talking how groovy the web is; rather than Learning Objects, I am talking about OERs, Storytelling and blogging still figure prominently.
No MOOCs in 2004. Whew.
We could talk about the physical similarities/differences, nah.
What I will say has remained the same is what a treat it is to visit this magical place, to again stay in the homes of friends, and to connect with a bunch of really passionate and inventive educators whom you do not see in TEDTalks or the Chronicle of Higher Obfuscation. When one talks of the cloud here it is not just virtual servers.
Now where is that Wikimart?
That’s my photo, but that’s not my name or occupation. My mug has been hijacked by someone pretending to be someone who does not exist. Like many of you, I had no idea this kind of thing went on. It’s called Catfishing.
Welcome to the dark underbelly of openness.
I’ve read with the greatest respect how Alec Couros has dealt with this. He’s dealt with this a lot, yet he did not clam up his presence on the net, run off to live in an ice house in Forward, and probably shares more of his photos than before. It’s not only brave, it provides valuable lessons in digital literacy, the kind where we need to Question Everything.
It’s happened a lot to Dean Shareski, too.
Maybe it’s just Canadian educators who’s photos get stolen to create fake online identities to lure woman on dating sites to somehow con them. I kind of was jealous for a while, then just said, it was better to now be featured in such a way.
It’s the kind of thing that makes you say ‘GROSSSSSS’.
My number came up today; a fellow flickr user sent me a message to say she had seen my photos reported on romancescam as some dude named David Frederickson (not the most suave non de plume -why is it not Dirk Savage, or Hank Grockman), with links on Facebook and LinkedIn.
This is the photo David is using to be me. I cannot say its a favorite pic, but it was from that special time I was alone in Iceland
— Alan Levine (@cogdog) October 4, 2014
Naturally I was curious and clicked the Facebook link. And the LinkedIn one.
Since I nuked my Facebook account and unlinked myself from LinkedIn, I actually have no recourse to report their site’s abuse of my image.
But what I can do is ask for help
— Alan Levine (@cogdog) October 4, 2014
It might take me hours to get an automated response from FacebookedIn, and even more effort to actually get something that addresses the issue.
On twitter, it took approximately 90 seconds- thanks Matt Jukes (in the UK) and Brian Bennet (in America)
— Brian E. Bennett (@bennettscience) October 4, 2014
@cogdog the Fb one seems to have gone..
— Matt Jukes (@jukesie) October 4, 2014
And Ron Houtman did the reporting for me
— Ron Houtman (@ronhoutman) October 4, 2014
Yes, this is a Terrible Thing and Someone Ought to Do Something About It.
But you cannot. This is the light/dark balance I talk about in presentations on openness.
For all that we cherish, value, and benefit from the openness of the web and the internet, it cannot exist without the the potential for the Dark Side. Not that you have to have it in your face or spend much time there, but you have to allow for it to exist.
That does not take away the yuck factor. When it happens to you.
It’s why the approach and attitude of Alec Couros to remain an open educator
— Alec Couros (@courosa) October 4, 2014
And also, you cannot use rules and technologies to provide an iron clad guarantee. You cannot prevent David Fredericksen (or whomever it is) from taking my photo and putting it on a fake profile.
Well there is one way to prevent it. Never go on the internet. Never put anything on the internet. It’s an option.
Not for me. That approach may address the symptom but not the problem.
And that’s the subtle beauty of the open internet. Beyond the bounds of private enclaves, and LinkedBookIn silos, are the places that use the webness of the web, that there are people like my flickr messenger and the people that report these in online spaces like RomanceScam, and that educators out there like Alec who use their stories as teaching examples.
Do a favor for everyone. Read/Share/Teach from The Real ‘Alec Couros’ Please Stand Up?.
That is what we can do.
Monday and Tuesday of this week was spent at the Shar-E-Fest conference at Wintec in Hamilton. I know I did a workshop here almost 10 years ago, November of 2004. Maybe it was the same topic as this time. This is a relatively small, grass roots conference with attendees from mostly post-secondary institutions in New Zealand. You can take your vendorhallpalooza of a conference of thousands of attendees stumbling around in a chicken induced haze; I like one where it seems like everyone knows each other, and you see a lot of hugs going on.
I had 4 speaking slots on the agenda (hah, I had prepared for 3), and those will be mostly just linked. I also want to jot down notes from things I got from other sessions and connections.
My opening keynote was Being On/Of The Web (slides, urls, and audio available). In some ways, this a continuation of the one I did at UMW Faculty Academy in 2007, par celebration of the web, part nostalgia to where it began, part a call to create, own, take the web.
I’d done a few of variations talks in 2014, marking the 25th anniversary of the invention of the web. Usually, I do some flashbacks to 1989 news events, but mine were all North American relevant. So I did some research, and ran them by Stephen Harlow, who is a native kiwi. He suggested one more that was mint; the very first news show for Paul Holmes featured an American who did not behave so nicely:
I said I hoped, as a visiting American in 2014, to be more cordial.
At the end of the day, did a version of True Stories of Open Sharing, pretty much the sequel to the morning one.
On Tuesday morning, I gave them the DS106 Files, and blitzed through some 70 slides of ds106 love. People love ds106. They should.
For the ending of day session, I did my first round of workshops with the Storybox. This needs to be a post or twelve on its own, but my plan is to do a stop with it at every location (as it is I did 4 this week).
In addition to creating a new iteration of the StoryBox, in a cool new/old container (This is a Piratebox), I have completely redone the interface of the web site it offers when you join it. In fact, you can see most of it in action on my revamped site http://cogdogblog.com/storybox (and yes, this is another site running the Treble theme).
The only thing you do not get on the web version is the ability to upload content, and for now, the Media Explorer online shows only the started media I out on there (but I do think its infinite wall is pretty sexy cool).
But explaining it comes laters. You can page through the slides I use in a workshop (and do listen to the Pirate Box song Leslie Linballe recorded for me 3 years ago). What I am doing in these shorter sessions is setting people out on a media acquisition quest with stuff they can then add to the box. I do not do much front load explaining, I am even running the slideshow off of the StoryBox.
These sessions have gone lively. First of all, when you send your participants out of the room with their cameras/phones to go record media, they do get lively. I have made up a series of prompts as I do think it helps to have something as a bit of a guide
Just look at their body language!
So far, after the four sessions, I have accumulated over 300 photos, videos, and audio recordings. In most of the sessions, there has not been enough time to do the next step, the exploration and the remixing/creation of new meaning. I should have this opportunity Monday, when I have a longer session at The Auckland University.
I did find the room of Education Solutions this week, but that’s another post.
On the other side, I got some great ideas. resources, insight at the Shar-E-Fest sessions.
I found Steven Bright’s use of the System Usability Scale relevant with my nostalgia of the web, since that is a tool that goes back to the early computer days of DEC. My rating of Google Hangouts ended up with a score just short of Good.
Aaron Steel provided useful examples and rationale for using Google Docs as a means of giving students early feedback on writing assignments, and how it can change their perceptions of writing when it gets more than just assessment commentary.
Malcolm Roberts reminded me that portable apps as still not only viable, but I had never even considered his suggestion of installing them on a Google Drive.
Nigel Robertson and Tracey Morgan lead a very active and hands on session on digital literacy. The activities, some as low tech as paper slips in an envelope, led to stimulating discussion, and some discovery of the uses of the padlet tool.
And for the blown away department, Abigail Willemse showed the results of ANZ 23 Mobile Things, a free, open, online course aimed mostly at librarians, on mobile technology, that had over 700 participants. Beyond the value of her presentation, I give triple dog dare points to good use of images in the slides.
Victor from Otaga Polytechnic was eager to share nostalgia for old tech, he showed me his Casio Programmer calculator he had recently discovered in his garage. He put in new batteries, and it lit up. I’m expecting to see some code coming out of there, Victor.
And Stephen Lowe completely blew me away with his talk on stereographic virtuality reality — I had never heard of Google Cardboard– it turns ordinary cardboard into a VR headset (as a holder of an equipped Android phone):
We want everyone to experience virtual reality in a simple, fun, and inexpensive way. That’s the goal of the Cardboard project.
Learn more from Stephen’s blog http://possiblyb9.blogspot.co.nz/p/stereoscopic-vr.html
And then a closing talk by Swiss educators Max Woodlti and Priska Fuchs show shared some extremely innovative teaching approaches at both the University and secondary school levels.
That was just the first two days of this week… Outside of this we had good beer from George Brewery in Hamilton and an amazing spread of food at Little India. There was great conversation over dinner with Bob from Manakau Institute of Technology. And lots of spicy food.
And by the end of the second day… no rest, right after the conference, Richard and I were off to the Hamilton airport (where you actually JUST WALK ONTO THE PLANE!, no security checking, no scanning, or disrobing) and flying south to Wellington.
To be continued…
Finally a chance to relax a bit. I’ve been in New Zealand a week, it feels like a month, and it’s been more than wonderful. This pup, Kay, belongs to my host and handler, Richard, and vies for the Best Dog I Have Ever Met. If I had a larger suitcase…
But woah is the blogging. My ds106radio friend and current host this weekend, Nigel Robertson, always refer to tweeting to use from the Future, given New Zealand’s proximity to the International Date line. I am composing this on a Saturday, most of you are stuck in Friday. Yet, like the FutureLearn Hadrian’s Wall MOOC I signed up for and yet to show up to– I AM BEHIND. IN the thing that matters, that I have been extolling all this week.
My blog narrative. But who likes blogging about not blogging?
The arrival into Auckland was smooth, the line at customs had maybe 3 people, and the questions were simple. Arriving at 5:30 AM, Richard was there as expected, chipper, and ready to tote me to his home for the first day. I felt little travel fatigue after having slept maybe 7 or 8 of the 13 hours in flight. But I was definitely feeling the lingering cough I had already been battling for 5 days.
It was a lovely day, we did a short walk on Milford Beach, and I got again some photos of my friend, Rangitoto Volcano.
Sunday we took a trip to Hobsonville Point, what was once an aircraft base and now is being turned into a residential community. The Farmers market was full of local stuff, and I tried everything except the beets
Sunday afternoon Richard drove me to Hamilton, and left me in the hands of Nigel Robertson, who’s home I would occupy a few days (and this weekend too). We had a few crucial stops on the way home, one of liquid items, and we ended up getting a taster of beers from Tuatara Brewery (I am disappointed Lana, you did not show up at my presentation at Waikato)
We had a gathering that night for dinner with Stephen Harlow and his family, and Tracey Morgan, a twitter/ds106 radio contact I can now check of as having met in person. She’s awesome.
Nigel and his wife Anne did get me out for a walk to lovely Hamilton Gardens, a place that has a nicely organized series of gardens from different cultures. And lots of flowers.
This was the set up for the next week, which involved doing 2 or 3 presentations/workshops each day. Each night would be a late night scramble to prepare for the next.
Heading into the week, the cough was still lingering; the voice a bit rough. But the show goes on.
Kia Ora, New Zealand.
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As always, we appreciate all feedback. We encourage you to post in our beta forums or create bug reports or feature requests on our public bug database.
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Does anyone set out to go down such a hole? It all started because Matt Rafalow contacted me- he was hoping to use medium.com to publish his work for Connected Courses. Simple, I thought. I knew medium publishes RSS feeds for user accounts. RSS is RSS. It should Just Work.
Well, these RSS feeds do work in a Feed Reader. Because they are generally forgiving on the format of the feeds.
But Matt reported an interesting problem. He tested his URLs. But when he puts it in the forms on our site, he gets a message that it’s not a valid URL
It looks like to me that the URL validation code on the Gravity Forms plugin is failing on the “@” in the URL, although technically, it is a valid, though not common, construct for a URL.
The thing is, I cannot contact Gravity Forms Support because I did not purchase the plugin, it was the folks who run the site.
The hole got deeper as I failed to validate the medium.com RSS feed, could not get Feed WordPress to process it, and even unable to cleanse it through Feed Burner. I wrote a detailed post on medium about how their feeds are messed up.
And then there was a bright light in the rabbit hole. I got a detailed response from Nick Santos, apparently an engineer who helped build medium.com, and got a lot of answers to my questions.
But I am still left hanging without a way to add Matt’s medium content to Connected Courses.
And then I heard from the Genius in Scottland
— Martin Hawksey (@mhawksey) October 1, 2014
Martin Hawksey strikes again, he found an end around. I’ve set up a Yahoo Pipe where you can put your twitter handle / medium user name (same thing) and it will fetch the RSS and route it out again as an RSS feed from Yahoo:
I can then get the RSS Feed for Matt’s medium content from Yahoo Pipes, hook that into the Connected Courses Feed WordPress, and BOOM! Matt’s got syndication.
I agree with the title of Nick’s response, it not only takes a village to read an RSS feed, you might need a Scottish Genius.
Thanks Martin, your card’s value has just gone up.
After a bit of a rant posted on medium how medium’s rss feeds are messed up, I was pleased to see the post published there getting probably ore recommends than anything else I published there.
Not that’s what I aim for.
But I could not wag a tail more from getting a response from Nick Santos, wo essentially is the person who knows best how medium works
I appreciate the detailed response. Some of the points I raised (readability of source HTML, lack of presence of RSS buttons) are minor points. I didn’t know that there were WordPress related brute force attacks that caused Medium to shut off their site from curl requests.
I am not quite sure how I would know that.
What I do know now is (a) I was aware that medium had RSS feeds (b) I told someone who submitted their medium site to Connected Courses that their site would work (c) I found out that the Gravity Forms WordPress plugin will reject a URL like medium.com that has am “@” symbol in it (although it is a legal character in a URL) (d) that all of this is moot because there is no way for my Feed WordPress sites because medium.com blocks curl requests (what I do not know is how then are Feed Reader sites requesting RSS content).
Also, what I like is getting a rather rapid response from the source, thanks Nick.
Quite the rabbit hole.
Lazy cat, cannot even generate output to provide valid RSS feed.
Technology like RSS dies not because of failure, but neglect.
You get what you ignore.
© 2000–2014 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
© 2000–2014 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.