#Rhizo Hashtaggery: Mike Caulfield’s “Walkthrough” Walkthrough

A smartphone flash on phase changed water.

I recently read a post by Mike Caulfield from his blog, Hapgood. In that post he demonstrated his new tool for blazing internet trails. He calls it Walkthrough. I wish he had called it “Feldgang” because that is what it does. It allows you to simply and quickly blaze a net trail with ease. Below is a feldgang where I led the way from the Twitter hashtag, #rhizo. I wanted to demo how I followed and carried that hashtag so that I could show my friends how I move across the network. You can see where I went and what I thought by clicking on the embed. I would love to do an embed where you don’t have to leave my post, alas, no love there yet. What I do love is how it reveals my thoughts.

rhizo blaze


I had to buy a Windows laptop in order to generate the trailblazings. Caulfield’s software doesn’t work in a MacOS. I had $250 left from my yearly PD allowance and was encouraged to spend it. I did. I got an ASUS 14 Vivobook. Very basic machine for $232, but it works. The demo Mike does is helpful and walks you through (yeah, that’s right) the hotkeys and simple protocols for sharing. Setting up the program was as easy as downloading the program, unzipping it, and running the walkthrough.exe file inside.

I think what I like about the program is that it is simple enough to actually do something but at the same time complex enough to let surprisingly complex behavior emerge. Thanks, Mike.

It reminds me of the dead and lamented Storify.

But wait, there’s more.  How does this compare with the direct lineal descendant to Storify–Wakelet.  

Here is much the same trail blazing using Wakelet.

Or is it?

You tell me.  I like Mike’s shortcut keys. I like Wakelet’s bookmarklet and right click context menu. I like the embed feature in Wakelet, but I really love the seamless look of Netlify.  I worry about Wakelet’s long term sustainability. I also worry about Netlify’s sustainability, too.  On the whole I think Mike’s emphasis of local over global storage is a winner.

I leave the decision to the reader. Personally, I am just grateful to have been able to walk through both of these tools.  I am more fond of a small tools, loosely joined protocol for creating useful tools. Mike’s stuff rocks in that regard, but that embed function in Wakelet is fer realz. And if I have to demo this for students then I probably go with Wakelet.  Works in any browser and with any operating system, too.

I still like Walkthrough better.  I support Walkthrough. I will continue to use them both so that I can explore their nuances.   Damn, it’s a good time to be alive!

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