Gord Downie sums up why I feel it is so very worth it to have a domain of my own to share my thoughts and ideas about technology in pedagogy in the opening moments of The Tragically Hip’s live album “Live Between Us”. Listen to the first minute, then let the music play as you read if you want.
“This is for The Rheostatics. We’re all richer for having seen them tonight.”
The Rheostatics were the opening act. They are a fantastic band, but with a far smaller following than the Tragically Hip. Gord’s words must have put countless people on to The Rheostatics, myself included.
It’s a simple fact: We’re all richer for having seen each other’s work. I’d count myself lucky if something you have read or seen on my domain makes you feel enriched, but the fact is I am enriched by the sharing of so many educators in Ontario and way beyond and I want to do my part to share anything I think I have to offer.
Now, on to CogDog’s interviewing-your-own-domain queries.
CD: What is your domain name and what is the story, meaning behind your choice of that as a name?
TG: My domain is learningnuggets.ca. I got a domain because, as a hopeful open participant in ds106, I was told to grab one. I thought I’d be putting some little nuggets of my learning up there, so I called it Learning Nuggets. The movie rights to this origin story are still available.
CD: What was your understanding, experience with domains before you got one? Where were you publishing online before having one of your own?
TG: I was not publishing anything online myself beforehand. I hadn’t thought much of what it might mean to have your own domain for personal learning reasons. I knew the Web had Netflix on it, so that was cool.
CD: What was a compelling feature, reason, motivation for you to get and use a domain? When you started what did you think you would put there?
TG: The ds106.us site included looks at other participants’ work all over the place. I thought, hey cool, this ds106 thing will show me how to make something good enough to see my own work on here. And seeing everyone else’s stuff gave me great ideas and made me feel like I wanted to be a part of it. I wouldn’t be surprised if my first 100+ posts were responses to ds106 Daily Creates and assignments.
CD: What kinds of sites have you set up one your domain since then? How are you using them? Please share URLs!
TG: I’ve kept my domain pretty simple with nothing but sporadic blog posts, but learning how to run my own WordPress domain definitely helped me know how to make a couple other domains happen: The Open Faculty Patchbook and the Open Learner Patchbook. These are domains with multiple authors who share stories of teaching and learning in an attempt to cover much of what one might need to know. Want to add to them? Let me know @greeneterry!
CD: What helped you or would have helped you more when you started using your domain? What do you still struggle with?
TG: As always, the community was the biggest help. As I shared I gained more connections to a professional learning network that I can rely on for help. I still struggle with cPanel, but I know who to go to for help!
CD: What kind of future plans to you have for your domain?
TG: To keep on trucking. To keep sharing my thoughts and ideas about technology-enabled learning as they come up, to be a part of a much larger shlamozzle of people sharing ideas that spark new ideas. I want it to be some of the wood that keeps the fire going.
CD: What would you say to other educators about the value, reason why to have a domain of your own? What will it take them to get going with their own domain?
TG: You don’t need to post to your domain all the time and it doesn’t have to take a tonne of your time, but it can become a central piece of your work, can allow you the space to solidify ideas and plans and to get and give inspiration. Do a thing like ds106 or Ontario Extend that asks you to have your own domain to give you a reason and some practice with running a domain and take it from there. It’s not a race. It’s the long game.
It will make us all richer for having seen it.
RIP Gord Downie. Thank you for leaving behind so much amazing art for us to chew on for a long time.
featured image “hip crowd” flickr photo by radiobread https://flickr.com/photos/bcjams/292560789 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license