Open Thinkering


Tag: Ian O’Byrne

Introspection, truth, and error

I’ve spent the last year and a half doing even more introspection and self-examination than usual. That’s led to changes in the way that I think and act.

This post by Ian O’Byrne is a great reminder that we’re often misguided in life:

One of the major stumbling blocks to changing perceptions and awareness of the “truths” that we’ve manufactured is that we do not want to recognize that we are wrong or mistaken. Furthermore, we do not want to admit to others (or ourselves) that these mistaken perceptions have distorted or modified our lives.

To counteract this, it is important to periodically challenge our beliefs and viewpoints. We need to problematize these perspectives and question their validity. We need to question their role and relevance in our lives.

As someone who lives and works openly, I’d like to think that I do hold my hands up and say when I’m wrong. But to do that means that it’s only fair to be honest and point out when other people are also wrong.

I hold myself and others to a high standard, and do not apologise for that.

This post is Day 57 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 

Why you should create canonical URLs

Last night, while I was accompanying my son on the course for one of his weekly golf lessons, Ian O’Byrne asked:

I suppose the closest I’ve got to that is Working openly on the web: a manifesto, which was based on Jon Udell’s Seven ways to think like the web. There’s three points on the manifesto, with part of the second point reading:

Unless it contains sensitive information, publish your work to a public URL that can be referenced by others. This allows ideas to build upon one another in a ‘slow hunch’ fashion. Likewise, with documents and other digital artefacts, publish and then share rather than deal with version control issues by sending the document itself.

My point about having a ‘canonical’ URL is that you need somewhere that people can use a starting point for a breadcrumb trail.

We live (largely) in a post-social bookmarking world. That means people are unlikely to have carefully curated links to which they return. They’re probably going to have to use the auto-complete function of their browser’s address bar or their favourite search engine to rediscover what they’re looking for. If this fails, they need a trusted place that they can use a starting point to find that nugget of value.

The easiest way to create a canonical URLs as an individual is to have a profile page – mine is at But equally, you should have one for each project you run, each product you sell, each class you teach, and so on. It will make your life easier. Trust me.

Writing and publishing openly online

Ian O’Byrne, Assistant Professor of Educational Technologies at the University of New Haven and a big help when defining the Web Literacy Map, invited me to participate in the recording of his latest podcast, Digitally Literate.

Other than Ian and me, the participants were:

  • Gideon Burton – Asst. Professor of English, Brigham Young University
  • Rick Ferdig – Summit Professor of Learning Technologies; Kent State University
  • Charlotte Pierce – /
  • Kristy Pytash / Assistant Professor, Literacy Education, Kent State University
  • Verena Roberts  – Open and Online Educational Consultant

We discussed the options for writing and publishing online, as well as the barriers involved (and more philosophical issues surrounding it).

It was recorded using Google+ Hangouts on Air, so you should see the embedded YouTube video below:

Don’t see anything? Try clicking here.