And On the Seventh Day

31 Day Challenge

At least God got to rest…but no rest for those of us in the Comment Challenge!


Our task for today from Michele Martin is to come up with three lessons we have seen so far in this challenge. I blogged Sunday about the number one excuse of “No Time“…but one lesson is that commitment to this challenge is a definite time commitment. I have added CoComment and RSS feed of the updates from Technorati for “comment08” in to my Google Reader. So, this morning thanks to that feed, I had 40 updates to read instead of the usual 15-20. I have already given up on trying to blog daily about this experience, but I have (so far) been able to comment daily to others in the challenge – which I am enjoying. But in hindsight – while there is NO good time for a 31-day challenge – it is certainly challenging to be conducting this in May while completing Spring Semester, finalizing my grading for my students, preparing for two week-long institutes we run for faculty (one of which starts next week), and keeping my own sanity!

That said, the second thing I have learned is the extent of and the interconnectiveness of the conversations swirling in the blogosphere. Several of us have commented in this challenge on the small tight networks versus the large interconnected networks, and this challenge has certainly expanded my world view. It has also shown that to some degree there is no harm in missing some of the comments. The global conversation swirls in blogs, Twitter, emails, and face-to-face conversations such that missing one piece does not mean missing the conversation totally. I attended Ruben Puentedura‘s presentation on Networked Conversations yesterday at University of Richmond (thanks to Terry Dolson for the invite). It was fascinating to hear Ruben discuss his use of Twitter, blogs, and Ning sites for extending classroom conversations – and recognize that I had been a part of some of those conversations already, even though I was meeting Ruben for the first time.

Gull Off Balance

The final thing I learned is to keep this in balance with other life commitments. This past week, I have felt like this seagull – off balance. Yet, I still managed to steal away for four days and visit my daughter in Boston who is expecting her first baby next month. I “will” finish grading the final papers from my grad students tonight. And I just read Jim Groom’s blog post on HIS day yesterday at the same conference I attended. I had to leave at noon for another commitment, so I was not at U of R when they locked down the campus due to a strange man seen wearing a gun holster. Virginia Tech is still fresh in many of minds, so his post helped remind me that there are larger issues in the world than blogging…and yet even his post reminded us that this interconnected conversation is a part of what can be renewing for this world.

I therefore look forward to the next 23 days of the challenge!

[Photo Credit: Fisserman]

7 thoughts on “And On the Seventh Day

  1. Thanks for joining us–so glad you got out before the inhospitable lockdown ; )

    We’ll be posting notes from Ruben’s talk. I’ll let you know when it happens.

  2. My response here constitutes a bit of a F2F conversation with Britt over coffee, but for the sake of the blogger community, I’ll reply. This also counts toward my meager participation in the 31 day challenge. :=)

    As I walked to Starbucks with Britt, I started talking about thoughts I was having about the first 7 days of the 31 day challenge. I said that I felt like posting that the 31 day challenge is just that; 31 days of 24/7, non-stop commitment to blogging. The idea promotes the concept that you have to always be monitoring, reading and writing. I also said that since the challenge started just before last weekend and I chose to address a number of other personal time demands in my 1st life (yard, house, church, piping, etc.), that knocked two days out. My days have been busy with work issues and evenings this week have also had other time demands; suddenly I’m feeling stressed and most of 7 days behind. Britt then stopped me and said, “read my recent post”. The point is that Britt has already posted about several of the ideas I’ve been contemplating. I could accuse him of taking my ideas, but that’s not the case. Ideas are in the air. I think that’s why there are so many similar posts. When the time is right, forces present ideas and the first to snag them gets credit. This concept is not a new one. It is a thought that was shared with me by Jewett Campbell (a graduate school instructor), who’s father was an inventor. His father told him that “ideas are in the air”. Essentially, if you make contact with one, act on it quickly.

    I’m getting the sense from this networked community that we are all struggling with balance in our lives. And, periodically, we recognize some of the issues raised by Britt in an earlier post as well as thoughts shared by Jeff Nugent about his fishing trip. The metaphor discussed there was the stream and ideas, blogs, twitter, etc. represented information constantly flowing down the stream. Jeff learned during is vacation that it’s OK to dip into the stream and then walk away for a while.

    I’ll continue to look for threads of these ideas in other posts as we all begin to figure out our individual rhythm of participation and how to make this experience meaningful without creating unnecessary stress.


  3. Oh – and my wife thought the picture was perfect – she thinks I am off balance anyway! I took that as a positive! 🙂

  4. Well Britt,

    you and I both about the time commitment bit.

    I’ve found it exhilarating but very exhausting – the newness of it all for me I guess. I’m learning all the time though.

    As an elearning teacher myself I now appreciate what my students must feel like when confronted with assignments that they have to perform on software that they are unfamiliar with.

    I find that there is so much I have to remember too, or it all goes to mush, as it were. That’s the fun bit I guess – when it all goes to mush I mean. 🙂

    Thanks for your support and your own thoughts on the Challenge so far.

    Ka kite

  5. Sorry Britt – I hope it’s okay if I respond to Bud first? 😎 . It’s okay to do several tasks in the one day (lets say 7 day tasks in one day). We did it all the time in the 31 Day Blogging Project last year — it helps you maintain the balance you need in your life plus gives you a nice run to get them done. Here is an example of how I did it.

    Britt I absolutely loved the Seagull – it really grabbed my attention as did you opening sentence. Totally agree there never is a good time especially considering that different school years.

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