Happy New Year

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish each and every doug — off the record reader a very Happy New Year.

I hope for a better 2023 for all of us and most certainly wish everyone happiness and good health for the upcoming New Year. If you believe in resolutions, may they be life changing.

Take a moment to turn your speakers up and enjoy the best rendition of Auld Lang Syne that I’ve heard.


The year in review

Happy New Year’s Eve to all doug — off the record readers. I appreciate that each and every one of you has to make decisions about what blog posts to read. I am so humbled that you elect to drop by here – either regularly or if a title catches your attention. I’m not a writer by any stretch of the imagination but I do like the fact that you’re here. It’s the encouragement to keep me doing whatever it is that I do.

Like so many people, today is my time to take stock of what has transpired in the past year on this blog and social media. I so value those connections and being online has allowed me to make new friends and reconnect with people who I haven’t seen in years.

I don’t live and die by statistics on this blog. It remains a hobby and an opportunity for me to put down my thoughts so that I can return to them later if need me. I also share my learning with others, a concept that has always been important to me.

You may have noticed that every other post is something called OTR Links – this is automated and puts together my Twitter messages and learnings. The others are written by me unless a get a request from someone who wants to use this forum to get their message out. I’m usually happy to oblige.

Over the years, this blog has gone from being almost completely about technology to what it is today. I never really restrict myself on what I might write about.

Despite this, there are some special blog posts that appear here regularly.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs
This would be my “signature” post. I’ve written blog posts with the title “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” 543 times. The goal is to help promote great Ontario educator writing and I learned a lesson from Stephen Downes a long time ago. A quick comment on someone’s blog often isn’t enough and there might come a time when you lose track of a post. Using this format to keep everything in one place, my place, has made so much sense. I’ve learned so much from Stephen over the years and I do appreciate his wisdom. He nailed it with this one.

I’ve always enjoyed reading the thoughts of Ontario Educators who do so via their own blogs. As I look back and review things, it’s amazing the writing that has made it into this post. Of all the posts that I write, these are the most enjoyable ones to compose and most definitely take so much time to do. I’ve been so fortunate that Stephen Hurley reached out to me with his fledgling voicEd Radio project and we turned the concept into a weekly live show, sometimes with guest hosts, and available as a regular podcast.

I value them all but there were a couple of these posts that really stand out in my mind when I sat down to write this post.

Whatever happened to …
This started out a long time ago as just a single post reminiscing about something or other. It later turned into a regular Sunday morning post. I’ve now written 344 of them!

It may well be the quickest blog post to write because there is very little to research. It’s just my musing about something I miss. I’ve also got some great ideas from others for topics as well. I get a kick from asking a few questions.

My favourites from the past year:

I had the opportunity to interview a couple of educators this past year. These are always easy and fun to write since they’re the ones that actually have to provide the content. I just get to ask questions about things that I always wondered about.

My Week Ending
In the early days, once a post was written and published, often that was it. At some point, I decided to do a weekly summary of blog posts, highlights from my OTR links, and some things including sharing a picture that I took during the past week. I’ve always tried to be open with my learning and I decided to include an idea of what kind of trouble-shooting I’d done recently. I threw them all together and they form a Sunday afternoon post. It’s regular and gets posted once a week.

The above are unique and recurring types of blog posts. They fall into place nicely around here and I like to think that they complement the regular writing that I do on other days of the week. I made a decision a long time ago that I needed to be writing regularly and that’s why there’s something available most mornings, scheduled for 5:00. It’s my goal to make it worth your while to drop by daily. You may not like everything that’s written here but there’s something just about every day.

Like I said earlier, I’m not big on statistics. I seldom look at them except for the purpose of this post. It’s interesting to note that most people that read the stuff (or potentially read the stuff) do it in a variety of ways other than actually visiting the website.

On a day, I might have 200 people drop by to the actual blog. But that’s not all.

According to WordPress, 20,488 people subscribe to the blog, 6,123 follow the blog, 992 are WordPress followers, 5,131 are email followers, and who knows how many follow in any other way. I think I know the difference between those different types but I’m inspired that none of them are checking in as 0. I should confess that I’m an email follower myself and did it just to see if it actually worked and haven’t stopped. If I make a scheduling mistake, it’s either Aviva Dunsiger letting me know or a missing email that lets me know that something is amiss. Given all this, I’m at a loss to totally understand the number that WordPress reports.

Now, I said that statistics aren’t that important around here but since I wrote that paragraph, I’m curious as to what the top posts of 2022 were. According to the Jetpack statistics …

I remember writing each of them! In particular, the church and Guyitt ones had me driving a distance to do some first-hand research. How’s that for dedication?

One of the sad things that I’ve noticed over the course of my blogging stint is the lack of comments on posts. There was a time when comments were very common; now there are so many different ways to read posts, that actually visiting a website and commenting is becoming a rare thing. If it was just my blog, I’d take it personally but I see it with most blogs that I visit. Often, any commentary is on other forms of social media or not at all. It’s a different level of engagement.

It’s a hoot to see that visitors come from all over the globe.

Apparently, I need to do some work on my Norwegian connections. <grin> The shading actually shifts from month to month. You didn’t see it but I just spent a few minutes clicking on various months to see the different shadings.

It was fun to sit down and write this post. I had no idea what I was going to say when I started writing but looking at the statistics helped inform me.

I do want to close with what I said at the beginning. I sincerely appreciate that you have taken a few moments from your time online to land on this blog. I want you to know that I’m humbled by it and so appreciate it.

As 2022 comes to an end, I think we all hope that the past few years are completely behind us and that maybe we can move to a new normal. We don’t know what that will be but we won’t be returning to life before Covid.

Maybe that’s the inspiration for a 2023 post?

Happy New Year!

OTR Links 12/31/2022

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.