Attendez! If a #Netnarr Fell in the Forest & No Network Heard It…



I was reading Daniel Bassill’s comment to my post about signal & noise and wondering why it had taken me so long to get back to it. I almost always attend to the business of reciprocating with folks who have honored me with their attention. I had not done so for Daniel F. Bassill . He has been kind, gentle and considerate in responding over the years to my posts. Sorry, Dan. I promise to do better.

I replied to his comment

Yes. The wheat from chaff problem. How do we decide what needs attending and what doesn’t? We need filters to do this initial pass at the noise. Questions are a way to do that. I teach my students that research questions are their only hope if they want to carry on in the face of the digital world. Other filters include personal interest or what used to be called curiosity. Passion might be another. Categories would be another of these filters. Creating filters is job one for anyone hoping to help others learn the knowledge biz. So, as much as we hate the dismissal, tl;dr is a legitimate filter. A more interesting observation, I think, is the one you make: the massive amounts of information flowing from the simplest of possibilia, a tweet or a blog post with links or… I would love to know the decision-making process behind your Facebook friend’s tl;dr. Was it a gut decision or a conscious and rational decision tree at work? How do we decide what to attend to and what not to attend to? Thanks for helping me come up with this intriguing question, Dan.

I have had a similar issue with #netnarr, the networked narrative MOOC sponsored by Alan Levine and Mia Zamora. I hit the ground running well before the course started then school began and I had to back off to attend to classes. I lost my way in an ever-rising tide of tweets about alchemy and daily do-this-and-do-that (#dtdt). And when I did try to play the game, to ante up with creative posts about identity and origin stories and psychological alchemy like this one. I got none fucks given. It was my own fault. I don’t even follow my own credo.

I needed to engage.

Did I engage? No, I pulled away. So,  I draw back in with my credo above in hand (or heart). I try again. I am Boxer in Animal Farm, filled with the surety that all I have to do is try harder for a different result. You can see how I am of two minds here: step away and let go or bear down and keep on.

Boxer (Animal Farm) – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

(Point of Information:  The embed above about Boxer was created using Wikipedia and Zuru, a HaikuDeck semi-bot for creating presentations.  Took five minutes to make.  1. Find Wikipedia page, 2. Import into Zuru, 3. Decide on a few piz to go along with preselected text, 4. Create deck. )


  1. // Reply

    I’m sorry Terry that all your forest activity in the pre-launch of #netnarr was a solitary experience. I could unleash a string of excuses, but I was (and still am) insanely scrambling to attend to the enrolled student experience. But your activity was not un-noticed.

    Yet I know the frustration of doing stuff that gets un-noticed. And occasionally I might stop, sit on a stump, and ask myself why the being noticed matters. I shrug, because at some level it does matter. Left un-acknowledged by others, we fade to ghosts.

    I had high hopes to get a stronger open participant network; we have a few folks, but I never got much interest from the conspirators I asked to hitch classes to ours. I guess no one really understand what the **** I was talking about, but people I spoke to in person, who did agree, fell silent. I hoped the Slack would be a place to plan the experience, but it was my own lonely forest.

    Only so much we can do. But we can always do more.

    You are not invisible, even if you feel like you can see through your own hand.

    1. // Reply

      Alan, first: how awesome and free can this be.

      Second: I am hella grateful although it may not seem so.

      Third, thanks for noticing, but part of me that complains about not being noticed is only too happy to be forgotten, a satellite forgotten in orbit using 8-bit DOS and a tiny transmitter.

    2. // Reply

      I knew you would understand. In return I know you are that prophet who gets folks walking to the Promised Land and then goes back for another group of us silly, oversharing pilgrims. Over and over, unappreciated bur still hopeful.

      I love the hyphen in un-noticed. It seems active as if to say that there as a conscious not noticing. Ignorance with the emphasis on the second syllable.

      I trust you noticed that I blamed myself more than I blame anyone else. I sure as hell don’t blame you, the hardest sharing technophile in Technophilia. Can’t tell you how many of your net habits i have adopted and shared with others. I gotta learn to be more personally grateful to you.

      I slacked on Slack, but we are only two weeks in so no autopsy yet, ok?

  2. // Reply

    I figured you were neck deep in data class.
    Will check out that new tool (to me)

  3. // Reply

    Terry, a few weeks ago I looked at all my blog articles since 2005 to see how many people had opened each one. None more than 4600. Many as low as 100.

    I posted a new article today showing how conflicted I am with a need to devote all my energy to resisting DT or to continue to “tilt at windmills” building new systems of commitment and support for long-term programs helping kids living in poverty.

    In the end, I feel I’ll need to carve out some time on a consistent basis to be part of the resistance. However, I’ll still devote regular time to supporting the vision of a better future.

    Thanks for spending some of your time shining your magnifying glass on the articles I share.

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