I've been a big fan of Doug Johnson since Will Richardson's reference to him in the comments of one of his posts. Now, Doug is a very experienced educator, author of several books and maintains a comprehensive website consisting of his collective resources, experiences and wisdom. One thing that really resonated with me listening to Marc Prensky was his comment that educators needed to get all of their good stuff online to share with others so as the pace of change continues to accelerate, we don't spend all of our time re-inventing the wheel. Well, Doug is an excellent role model to aspire to because all of his good stuff is on his site. It's all there - models he's developed, courses he's designed and articles he's written for professional publications. And he's been doing for quite a few more years than this Web 2.0 thing's been around and way longer than this blogger who sometimes gets false accolades for what he does. Interestingly though, he has become just as well known for his blogging as his other exploits as he pointed in a post late last year.
At the TIES conference on Sunday, I had a woman come up and ask me, "Are you the Blue Skunk guy?" 15 years of writing for print publication and now my claim to fame rests with this goofy blog written for just a few months. There must be a message in this somewhere.
I'll tell you all another thing for free - Doug has the best blogger's etiquette going around. Leave a comment on his blog and he will always e-mail you back with a note saying thanks and an observation on your comment. It makes me feel a bit guilty because I will sometimes respond to a comment by adding another but that's assuming they will come back to check. Once or twice I've e-mailed a thank you especially if I haven't seen the commenter before or I'm unfamiliar with their own blog and sadly, I take the rest for granted. Not Doug.
Now one of the reasons I'm bringing all of this up is that I'm waiting for my amazon.com delivery of several books that have been widely quoted around the edublogosphere. In particular I am keen to read Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat because it is constantly referenced. (I know, Aussie behind the rest of the world but why pay A$50 for a book when I can pay US$13 and bundle it up with a few others.) Doug used this reference in a recent post and that's what got me thinking about improving the static pages in Teaching Generation Z. So I left a comment and Doug e-mailed me a response. In that response he referred to the future of blogs and I wondered to myself what are the advantages of maintaining a blog compared to an in-depth site full of your own "other stuff." To me, it's this: I could read all of Doug's articles, pdf's, columns etc. and get a lot out of it or I can correspond with the man directly through his blog, maintain a conversation, challenge his and my own thinking. As good as the rest of his site is (and it is exceptional) it can't compete with the connectedness (Will Richardson expression - Creatively Commons licensed, I hope) that the Blue Skunk Blog can give. However, if you are reading this and have never heard of Doug Johnson (hard to believe), do yourself a favour, click on the links and enjoy the best of both worlds.