So last week it marked 10 years since my first blog post, a full decade of writing and sharing online. As I’ve said many times before, it’s been an amazing journey. I don’t think I could have imagined the many ways that blogging was going to change my life, in a learning sense, in a professional sense, and in a personal sense. I still find all of it strangely bizarre, like I’ve been pulled along on this most excellent ride that has simply been a privilege to experience. I’m so very fortunate to be doing something that I love, something that constantly challenges me and keeps me on the edge of my brain, and something that connects me to such passionate and smart people both online and offline on a regular basis. I am, in a word, humbled. Thanks to all of you who have supported my learning these last 10 years.
That said, I’ve been thinking for quite a while now that I need to change things up a bit in terms of the way I’m sharing with the world. It’s become a struggle to blog in long form here. Yet I’ve not found the short form of Twitter to be anywhere close to a substitute for the extended conversations that take place here. (And to be honest, Twitter is a totally crappy archive of reading and thinking.) While I’ve tried to like it, Facebook just is not a place that I find myself wanting to spend much if any of my time. (I have a theory as to why , but I’ll share that in another post.) More and more as I think about “curating” my learning world, I find myself wanting to stow all the good stuff in one place, all the blog posts, quotes, pictures, graphics, photos, bookmarks, videos and other snips that I find interesting. I know I could do that here. But here’s the other thing…I’m also in constant need of fresh voices an perspectives. I’ve been pretty much connected to the same fairly small group for a long time now. Not that there’s anything wrong with those folks, but I need, I want to branch out.
So, I’ve decided to pretty much bring my run here at Weblogg-ed to a close. I’m not taking the site down, but for all of those reasons and more, I’m moving my writing over to a new space on Tumblr that feels like, to me at least, a better space for the kinds of writing and curating and linking that I want to do. I’ve been playing there for the last month or so, connecting with some of the people in that community, and I’m looking forward to connecting even more. I’m feeling a sense of energy that really appeals to me, and while there are some drawbacks (lack of rss feeds for individual tags, for instance) it’s just seems like the space I want to be at the moment. I know there is some danger in the all eggs in one basket model…but I’ve got a post brewing about that as well. And I’m not ignorant of the effects the switch may have on my “findability” in the larger webspace. But I’m also not so worried about that. I sincerely hope you’ll follow me there and continue to engage in these conversations around change.
And finally, another new book.
Before you say it, I completely understand the irony of a book of collected blog posts, which is exactly what Corwin Press is publishing in August with about 40 or so of the most commented on pieces found here in this space over the last 10 years. The idea for doing the book was broached by my editor at ISTE last year, and at first, I blanched at the prospect. But I came around for three main reasons. First, while it may seem kind of strange to those who have read this blog in the past, there are still lots of people out there who have yet to entertain the notion of change that this collection argues for. It’s the kind of “meet them where they are” strategy, and if this book can help do that, great. Second, it will give me a chance to help some schools that might be in need of technology or infrastructure to make those changes happen. I’ve decided that all of the after tax profits that this book may generate will be used to fund learning initiatives at deserving schools or organizations. We’re not talking Bill Gates dollars here, obviously, but I’ll report out next April or May what the totals are and what the projects look like. (If you have any suggestions on how that giving might be structured, let me know.) And finally, on a personal note, as much as I talk and write about the future of the written form, I find great honor in being asked to put this book together. It may be an anachronism by the time my grandkids are around to see it, and I know there is little or no real reason to print it out, but there’s still a piece of me that finds a printed book inspiring. Maybe it will spark some conversations about grandpa down the road.
To all of you who have stopped by here over the last decade, I can’t thank you guys enough for reading and sharing with me. Here’s to new beginnings and even more powerful conversations ahead. Keep changing the world.
Karen Szymusiak says
Hmmmm…. disappointment and a celebration.
Will, I will surely miss the blog posts. You help stretch my thinking and I like that. I like standing on the edge of things.
But a celebration is in order. This is an occasion to celebrate your own footprints on the edge. I like the way you are rethinking your contributions and finding a place that fits for you.
Will Richardson says
Thanks, Karen. I’m not going to stop blogging in the same way as I’ve been doing here. Just doing it in a different place.
I think it’s good to stay a bit uncomfortable… ;0)
Karen Szymusiak says
I love being a bit uncomfortable. Makes way for new learning.
I tried Tumbler for awhile and didn’t like it at all, but we all know how that goes. I seem to always end up back at WordPress. Change is good.
Alec Couros says
This space has been inspirational for me from the beginning. I wish you all the best in your new digs, and I’ll update my reader to follow you yet another way.
And you’ve got me thinking about my own blog … only reason I haven’t gone to Tumblr/Posterous etc. is I still like that element of control via self-hosting. Hmmmm.
Thanks for everything, and again, all the best with the transition and the new book.
Peter Ford says
The end of an amazing era. The start of an amazing era. Onwards and upwards. All the best!
Will Richardson says
Hey Peter…always good to hear from a long ago bloggy voice. Things have changed since we were both trying to figure this stuff out, eh? ;0)
Dan Stucke says
I read this with great interest. First of all thanks for 10 years of your writing on here, much of it has been of great inspiration to myself and I’m sure many others.
Whilst nowhere near as prolific or popular as yourself I’ve been writing for over 5 years on my own blog and as I creep up the career ladder finding time and space to write is ever more difficult. I love Twitter but again find that as time is short it’s difficult to spend enough time in there to make the most of the conversations that go on. Instead I dip in from time to time – rarely getting stuck in to quality conversations anymore.
Reading this made me realise that the last time I refreshed my blog I had actually tried to turn WordPress into Tumblr. I’ll spend some time reacquainting myself with Tumblr now and see where it takes me.
I’ve also played with Amplify.com to similar ends. I could see myself using Tumblr for capturing the majority of things that I want to log and comment on online, saving good old delicious.com for things I may need one day but don’t want to comment on now. Having said that I religiously bookmark everything on delicious but find myself consulting those bookmarks very rarely. Instead I’ll just use Google to find something further down the line. Perhaps bookmarking is becoming unnecessary?
Like you have hinted at here, it’s the conversations online that hold the real value online. Perhaps you’ve hit the nail on the head and Tumblr is that sweet spot of conversation between a traditional blog and a twitter stream?
Best of look and see you over there!
Patti Grayson says
I’d follow you anywhere… 🙂 The Tumblr link is already open in another tab – See ya there! Thanks for all the work you’ve done and continue to do.
Doug Belshaw says
Wow. That’s shocked me as much as when you announced back in the day you were leaving the classroom!
Thanks for inspiring me to start blogging, Will. Only 6 years for me, but as you mentioned the new worlds and new possibilities through online connections have been mind-blowing.
Shall continue to follow you on Tumblr. I hear the SEO sucks, but that’s not the point is it? 🙂
Will Richardson says
Nope…that’s not the point. Glad to have you as a teacher, Doug.
Darren Draper says
Congrats on 10 fantastic years, Will!
The new site looks great, I can understand why you want to make the switch (makes grabbing snippets easier, doesn’t it), and I’ll continue to follow your thinking there.
Looking forward to seeing you at ISTE.
Kevin Hodgson says
I love the journey you have been on, Will, and hope it continues to provide you with good reflective moments (and us, with some interesting reading)
Steven Barber says
Will, it has been a “good run”, & while I vehemently disagree with your analysis & assessment of twitter- (best educational collaborative tool I have ever used)- I look forward to continuing to follow your work- take care!
New address? no problem.
simple RSS switch — and tada……
I am still following you.
BTW — congrats on the new book…and I look forward to hearing all about the ways the revenues will be “shared” out. How exciting.
Cary Harrod says
Your blog was the very first blog I committed to reading on a regular basis…in fact, it was you who set me on a wild and oh so fabulous journey to discovering, for the first time ever, what it really means to be a learner. You are responsible for helping me find the answer to “why am I here” and for giving me the courage to push forward, even when there are/were plenty of forces pushing against me. And yes, I’ll follow you to your new space because that’s what you do when you’re fortunate enough to find inspiration. Thanks, Will!
Jean Tower says
Will – I hope your transition to the new site goes well. Thanks for your work on weblogg-ed and for your speaking. You spoke at a MassCUE event several years ago (5?) and your presentation inspired me to get more active in the online, interactive world and to start blogging. I bet you have been the catalyst for many others. Thanks.
Derek Hatch says
I just wanted you to know that you inspired me to become involved in social media when I heard you speak at a conference in Calgary, AB. I was so impressed with the ideas that you shared that i immediately purchased your book and read it from cover to cover. I was amazed by the amount of knowledge that you shared and I was even more impressed by how approachable you were as I stayed after the session to ask you a few questions. Thank you for being an advocate for teachers and for kids!
I will sure miss reading your posts. What I always appreciated most about your content here was that you made it personal. Not personal in a unprofessional sort of way, but personal in that you shared your values and your beliefs about where education ought to be heading and you told us why by including yourself and your family. You gave us such concrete examples. You made us think about the impacts our systems are having on our own children. You challenged me in so many ways to think beyond the norm and to push the envelope. I remember you saying once, “being uncomfortable means you are learning” and I now share this with my students often. Thank you so much for setting me off on my journey of blogging and networking. Yours was the FIRST book that I bought and set me on my way. I think that a publication of your best and most commented posts is such an incredible idea and you are so humble about it. I would love to bring this into my classroom as a resource at the preservice level as it would certainly provoke discussion and critical thinking at many levels. Good luck on Tumblr and I look forward to continued learning from and with you.
Will Richardson says
Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. You don’t have to miss reading my posts…they’ll just be in a different spot. And who knows, I may end up archiving the thought pieces here in the long run. The only constant is change, right?
Hope to see you next month.
Rick Schwier says
Congratulations on completing a decade of sharing, and good luck as you transition into Tumblr. I’m particularly intrigued with your new book idea. You’re following a rich tradition in publication: Dave Barry, Stuart McLean, Peter Gzowski (yeh, I know, Canadian examples and one Minnesotan. They took transcripts of their shows and columns and turned them into books. I’ve often found these versions as captivating as the originals. I’m sure yours will translate even more easily, and I look forward to it eagerly.
All the best, Will. Ride on!
Bill Freitas says
Wonder if you saw Gina Trapani’s post today about why she did not choose tumblr:
She talks about the difficulty of curation on tumblr:
Will Richardson says
I hadn’t, but I’m not surprised. Maybe I should care more about the archiving piece than I do, but I’ve been motivated more by what I want in my workflow right now, the way I feel like sharing more than anything else. As I said to Zoe above, maybe I’ll end up cross posting the long, thoughtful stuff here. But for now, I really like the feel and the flow of Tumblr. It’s just suiting my needs as a place where I can archive stuff. One part I didn’t mention is that I’m also using ifttt.com to drive all my Tumblr posts into Evernote as well. So it also become part of my notebook.
I’ve been thinking about how much of the stuff we write really has a shelf life of more than a few days. Some of my longer posts here from a year ago have been read 20 times in the last six months. Not that I’ve totally sorted it all out in my brain, but I figure I won’t be able to unless I try some different things. We’ll see.
Alan Kwan says
Tumblr it is!
I am so glad you have created a book. There are teachers who will probably not read what you have to say unless it is in a book.
Great to hear the benefits will be shared to those without the resources.
All good news:)
Shelly Blake-Plock says
Nice to see you on Tumblr, Will. I’ve found it a great opportunity to get connected to people and ideas — outside — of education. It inspires me to look at what is happening culturally in the broad sense and think about how that applies to what we are trying to do in classrooms and schools.
Here’s mine: http://growconnected.tumblr.com/
Clarence Fisher says
I think I’ve been at this for 6 years myself and I hadn’t realized that. I’m struggling with long form blogging myself these days so I know what you are going through. When I first began blogging I could find relatively few teachers around the world who were taking part in creating online spaces. Now we have thousands. While I am happy to see people evolve in new directions that fit them. I wanted to say thanks for all that I have learned from this space. It has been a constant source of inspiration and of questions for me that has driven me in many new directions.
Thanks for being part of my network.
Mark Wagner says
This was an exciting thing to discover (via your “nothing to see here” twitter post of your Tumblr space, actually). Congrats on so many things: the ten years blogging, the difference you’ve made for so many educators & students (myself included), the big decision to make a change… and a nice looking new site – not to mention the new url, perhaps the best long term change. 😉
Oh, and the book. It’s a great idea. I can’t wait to share it with others and spread the word.
I also love the idea of archiving long form thoughtful pieces here. Can you create an ifttt rule for “thoughtful”? 🙂
I’m coming up on seven years of blogging myself (though I’m not sure the last year or so counts), and I just realized I passed ten years of out-of-the-classroom ed tech work without even realizing it! And I’ve been feeling the need for some changes myself. Thanks, as always, for a little help in the catalyst department. The U2 show earlier this week really got me thinking in a new way… and I expect ISTE will be another great catalyst for new thought. I hope I’ll get a chance to see you there.
Rodd Lucier says
In exploring ideas publicly, you’ve helped to bring countless educators into a conversation that is very important… in whatever form it takes.
Congrats on 10 years, Will! Funny, this fall will mark my 10th year of teaching. We’ve both come a long way since our days of Mod Am!
Brien Gorham introduced me to Tumblr last summer, and when I found out that many of my students were already on it, I began using it with my American Lit kids. I really like its potential, and it turned into a really cool learning experience for me and the students because they got to teach me more about how to use it.
Best of luck in your new space! Here’s to another 10 years of reflection and learning!
Bill Farren says
Will: I’ve enjoyed this blog immensely and it certainly has furthered my understanding of where education should be heading. Thanks for writing passionately for ten years and helping motivate a whole lot of us to pursue change. Will certainly keep a eye on things over at Tumblr. Looking forward to your new book as well.
School in Dhaka says
Hmmmmm. Be a nice thread about Time for a Change and a Book.
From the time I attended the Colorado TIE Conference in 2007 and heard your keynote, I have been on a transformational learning journey. While you are pausing to reflect and refine your growing body of work, I am using this opportunity to let you know that you have impacted me – and those who know me. In the time that I have been following you, I have gone from being an Ed Tech helper in a school district to a present day grad student working towards my K-6 licence and MAT – at the age of 50. For the past several years I have “listened to” ed tech conversations in multiple formats and forums. After doing what I could to influence change in the classroom without the conventional certifications and degrees, I have decided to dive all the way in, become a teacher and see what can be done from within the classroom. I couldn’t be more exhilarated. You, and the online community you helped me find, have guided me in framing my teaching philosophy and have inspired me to move forward – you have done exactly what a PLN should do. So thank you. While things can seem a bit dark and dire at times, you ARE making a difference. I know you know that, but I needed to tell you anyway!
John O'Laughlin says
Will, Congratulations on the book transition and the new venue.
Thanks for the collection of learning and collaboration over a decade. That’s quite a milestone.
Will Richardson says
So…again…I’m not ending my run…just moving it to a different space.