Talking to Editors

A tag cloud with terms related to Web 2.

Image via Wikipedia

Last night felt like summer in downtown Toronto. I was one of two speakers to the Editors Association of Canada in the beautiful Women’s Art Institute, and enjoyed giving my rather rushed presentation. (There’s a rigid deadline when the building must be cleared.)

I always enjoy presenting, especially about how useful and easy it is to use web 2.0 (aka social web) applications. I put the PowerPoint (visuals only) up on SlideShare for those who want to review the info.

The Infinite Web

I love the web, and all its communication possibilities. I believe the web is an constantly expanding platform that anyone (with access to an online computer) can work and play on. I title my blog WebTools For Learners because I believe the constant change on the web literally forces users to be learners, always finding new possibilities and variations. There’s text, hyperlinks, and aesthetically presented text. There are images, and web-based editing and sharing of images. There’s audio, and web-based creating, editing, and sharing of audio. There’s video, and webcams, and other infinite possibilities. That’s what I write about here – the infinite web!

But … even full time, I can’t keep up. Even those technically-expert people whom I watch on Twitter and on their blogs, can’t keep up. I was delighted and relieved to read someone (I think through Stephen Downes‘s OLDaily) who reported that he no longer worried about keeping up; he saw the web not as a reservoir, but as a river he could dip into and find what he needed when he needed it. (If anyone knows who used this metaphor, I’d appreciate knowing so I could credit him.)

I’ve been aware for a long time that I couldn’t learn EVERYTHING about the web, and even that it just wasn’t my lack. What I need, what we all need, is the skill to find what we need when we need it. Simple survival.

So that’s what I write about here, stuff that I need or think I might need, which is stuff (web applications and their uses) that you might need, too, and want to learn about.

When I first named my original blog, WebToolsForLearners, I was aiming to help educators find and experiment with various computer and web communication possibilities – as part of their teaching responsibilities. But I wanted to be more open than just writing for teachers. I have learned a lot from my students, especially about using the computer and the web. I wanted to write for anyone who was interested in this utterly new, amazing communication platform, the most significant communication development since the invention of the printing press, IMHO. So I used the generic term, “Learners” rather than the more limited possible title “WebToolsForTeachers”.

I’ve kept the title, with a couple of spaces added, for my new web space here – WebTools For Learners although my web address is different – I am grateful to have had a blog at, and especially grateful that I could move my past postings here to my new space. The web has many flexibilities, and that ability to transfer is very handy. You may be wondering why I bothered to move, and my reasons are straightforward, and a result of my ongoing learning on and from the web.

  1. Bloggers I respect, especially edubloggers, keep writing on, and about, WordPress blogs. They often had more technical understanding than me, so I paid respectful attention to what they said and did.
  2. I learned enough on Blogger to understand that I had enough web application knowhow to be able to work with WordPress.
  3. On its homepage, WordPress uses the words, “aesthetics”, “usability” and “free”. What’s not to like?

WordPress › Blog Tool and Weblog Platform via kwout

For those thinking about starting their own blog, there’s lots to learn. And we can celebrate the fact that there are lots of ways to learn using the web. Start with Blogger if you want one of the easiest platforms to learn on. But if you want a more sophisticated and beautiful platform, consider WordPress, now or later. Or, when you’re ready to establish a blog in the future, dip into the river then, and find out what people are recommending that sounds like it would suit you.