Replied to Your Blog Should Have an About Page by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (

What to put on that /about page? Just your professional history, making it more like a boring résumé, hoping the blog will help you land a job? Your hobbies and coordinates? Your martial status? A complete summary of the technical tools wielded and endless prowess showcased when building your custom blog engine? A list of social media links where people can also find you? How many years you’ve been uploading words onto a server? A selection of the most popular articles you’ve written so far? A lovely photo of you in a suit presenting something at an important conference?

Your Blog Should Have an About Page by Wouter Groeneveld

Wouter, I have long wondered what should go in my ‘about’ page and how to approach the challenge of telling my story. Sometimes I wonder if I have a story to tell? If so, is it that unique or even important? Groeneveld talks about selling your brand, does everyone have a ‘brand’? I have explored different ways of telling before. This has included Amy Burvall’s #3ofMe project, unofficial CV, my connected story, the story of my domain and Story of Connection. I feel I have always grappled with the balance between my identity associated with work, family, professional and personal interests.
I have been many things in my life. An English teacher. An ICT specialist. An EdTech coach. A primary teacher. An administrator. A student. A functional consultant. A functional specialist. This makes me many things to many people, let alone to myself. I fear that this means that if people come to my blog that they are disappointed as they will always meet with a different identity to the one they expected as it is not a space that can necessarily be everything to everyone. Maybe Adrian Camm’s idea of a ‘user manual‘ is useful?

Replied to Publish Your Work by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (

I don’t create or publish in the hopes of influencing others. I create things because I have an urge to create. But it sure is great to help others along the way, however small my contribution might be. I don’t care about being found online and I am certainly not actively pushing my stuff down others’ throats (Kleon’s rule #7: Don’t turn into human spam). I love reading about the creation process of others. I love sharing my creation process. It’s almost second nature: it feels like a wasted opportunity to do something good in this world if I didn’t.

Source: Publish Your Work by Wouter Groeneveld

Wouter, your argument about the wasted opportunity missed by not sharing ideas in public reminds me of Clive Thompson’s piece from Wired from a few years ago.

Just as we now live in public, so do we think in public. And that is accelerating the creation of new ideas and the advancement of global knowledge.

Source: Why Even the Worst Bloggers Are Making Us Smarter – How successful networks nurture good ideas by Clive Thompson

I personally find the benefit of working through solutions and often find myself refining things as a part of the process.

Replied to The Downsides of Generalism by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (

The path to generalism is indeed more challenging, yet the reward at the end of the rainbow is genuine satisfaction. Generalists are much more creative. Generalists are more curious. Generalists as system-thinkers are better at solving high-level problems.

I am not sure if I am really a generalist with various pokers in the fire as you seem to have Wouter, but I am always willing to dive into new areas of learning. I wonder if the biggest challenge with this is the narrative, something you touch upon. This week I was asked to step into a different position, one more technical. It is not necessarily my background, but it is what is needed for the project I am a part of. I plough on, connecting the dots, making new pictures, remaking old ones.
Bookmarked Self-Assessing Creative Problem Solving (

So what’s the point of all this? Well, since we now have a self-test that measures more than simply divergent thinking and is specifically geared towards computing education, we could start experimenting with interventions in courses and measure its effects pre and post intervention using the CPPST

Wouter Groeneveld discusses his development of the Creative Programming Problem Solving Test (CPPST), a self-assessment test that measures more than just divergent thinking. It explores various aspects of problem-solving associated with programming with the intent to help developers test the efficacy of interventions. I am not sure I am really a true ‘programmer’, but a part of my work is involved in creating solutions for problems with the tools at hand. What I liked about the test was the way in which it helped think and reflect through the act of answering the various questions. Whatever the outcome, I felt that there was something in the actual asking of the various questions.

It all has me thinking about the ATC21s project from a few years ago and the attempt to capture the capabilities in themselves. One of my takeaways was that capabilities are often captured through something and the ability to separate the doing from the thing can be very hard.

Replied to The Modern QR Code Life by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (

While thinking about the implications of smartphone requirements, I completely disregarded two very important topics: accessibility and privacy! We seem to prefer interaction with shoddy interfaces on small screens where different browser and OS versions all add to the complexity of simply rendering a restaurant menu instead of reducing it. Furthermore, to use the WalkUp app, you of course have to exchange your precious data. Why?

Wouter Groeneveld discusses his experience of the new normal associated with the use of QR codes and smartphones for viewing menus. He touches on the bad habit of expecting people to use their smartphone at the table and privacy impact.
Replied to None Of My Best Friends Are Content Creators by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (

I wish more of my best friends were content creators. The easy way to achieve this is to make more friends. The hard way is to keep on nudging. If you’re still not convinced, read Alexey Guzey’s Why You Should Start a Blog Right Now.

Thought provoking as always Wouter. I have been thinking about this lately, after reading Tom Critchlow’s piece on the idea of a blogging accelerator. Personally, I have been a part of several such groups that tried to get people to blog. I have also written my fair shares of pieces on blogging. I wonder what happened to the rich community, although having said that, I am not sure how much I myself truly blog these days.
Bookmarked How To Enjoy Your Own Digital Music by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (

Mike Harley recently wrote about making collecting an MP3 library popular again. It seems to be a hot topic in the circles I sometimes find myself in, and I’ve read a couple of interesting thoughts following Mike’s post on Mastodon.
As for myself, I slowly but surely came to the same conclusion …

Wouter Groeneveld reflects on the move away from Spotify and owning your music once again. He touches on such options as Navidrome and Music Player Daemon. I think the biggest challenge is convenience.

I have read about people setting up their own personal music servers. I imagine I could probably do this with Reclaim Cloud. The other alternative is to go complete old school and scrap streaming altogether and just load purchases to my devices as I used to do. To be honest, it just isn’t a priority for me right now. I guess I have become far too wedded to the cloud, even with all the hidden costs.

Liked Re: Writing A Book Is Nonesense by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (

If you read Irene Vallejo’s Papyrus (don’t worry, it’s an academic!), you’ll learn that books did not (only) originate as a way to preserve knowledge. Sometimes, knowledge is boring. And we’re not even talking about fiction yet.

There’s a lot of crap out there. That statement is true beyond the context of books. Sifting and decision-making while buying is up to you. To ignore everything but academic authors when it comes to non-fiction is just ridiculous.

Liked Why Mastodon Isn’t Great For Serendipity by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (

When I sometimes skim through lifestyle magazines my wife loves to read, and encounter an article that triggers another link to a problem I’m working on, that is serendipity. I love walking into book stores and going home with a new purchase that I didn’t foresee on a subject that I at first wasn’t interested in.

Replied to Are Digital Gardens Blogs? by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (

Cory Doctorow has been calling his blog his Outboard Brain since 2002. Outboard brain, not Second brain. He must have had notes—either in his head, on paper, or digitally—before being able to put the message out there. Quite a few people reach for WordPress to build their digital garden nowadays, and although WordPress is the de facto blogging tool, the result is all but a blog.

I really appreciate your though provoking reflection Wouter. I have been left thinking after your post a few months ago about ‘posting everything‘, especially after reading some of Chris Aldrich’s recent discussions about commonplace books.

I would consider my Read Write Respond site as a ‘blog’, but agree with you that my Collect site is not really a blog. In some respects I would be happy enough to make it private is it is primarily my own secret garden with the gate left open. This is why I curate my monthly newsletter. It is a habit which I find forces me to look back through all the noise. I think this creates a clearer narrative to pick through than my multitude of links.

Although I believe in webmentions as a way of commenting on other posts, one of the reasons I have not made more of my posts private is because I like using Webmentions to connect pieces within my own site. This was brought to a head this week when an update seems to have updated my settings to say no self-mentions stripping my site of all my own self-webmentions. This has force me to consider what I want from my site, even more so after reading your reflections.

Liked Are You In The System Yet, Sir? by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (

In the end, abusing our personal data has the opposite effect: we’re disgusted by companies that won’t leave us alone, even if we mail, call, and yell at them to please remove our data in accordance with the GDPR. Some bigger multimedia stores even ask for your ID card “to put the reductions on”. When queuing up at the cash register, I see 90% of the people in front of me whipping out their ID and handing it over, where it gets “scanned” somewhere behind the counter. All it takes is a no, although admittedly, I could do without the stress.

Replied to A Triumph For Blogging by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (

By blogging, I rediscovered my interest in web development. That led me into redesigning everything from scratch. That taught me about web accessibility. That led me to Laura Kalbag and Aral Balkan and their Small Technology Foundation which I ended up supporting. That led me into slow tech and privacy. That led me into alternative Android OSes and de-Googling my life. It even made me rethink how I spent my money.

I am not sure if I had thought about the benefits of blogging in this manner. I have always thought about the connections that come through the sharing of ideas, but I had not thought about the benefits of blogging itself. I feel that I miss out in not being more engaged in the technical side. Guess there is always more one can do.
Bookmarked Creativity Self-Assessment Is Nonsense by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (

Curiousness and persistence slightly increase your chance at creating something that will be labeled as creative by the field. But only ever so slightly. All the other parameters need to match up as well, and we are at the mercy of entropy for most of these.

All this is somehow soothing to me. It could mean that the difference between great creative individuals—Einstein, Nietzsche, Edison, von Neumann, da Vinci—and people like you and me is not so much the intelligence, perseverance, or insight, but rather being in the right place at the right time1.

Wouter Groeneveld explains that creativity is not in what is created, but rather in the critic.

creativity is in fact a label that is put onto something (not someone) by an expert in the field that is not the maker. No single painter can claim his or her work is very creative: that is a job for the art critics—who are the domain experts that probably used to paint themselves. It is the work, the produce, that is creative. We say that someone “is creative”, but we really mean that someone “produced something creative”.

This reminds me of the work done by the ATC21s project to assess ’21st century’ skills. They offer the follow suggestions in conclusion:

Moving these aspirations from curriculum documents to classrooms is a more challenging task. Several policy strategies appear to be key in supporting this process:

  • Developing materials that illustrate where and how these skills may be integrated into content area plans and lessons, which are the common organizers of curriculum.
  • Incorporating pedagogies for teaching these skills in pre-service preparation and in ongoing learning opportunities for teachers.
  • Ensuring that classroom tools are widely available for enacting these skills – including access to technologies, materials, and exemplar tasks that will allow teachers to organize and students to engage in productive activities.
  • Creating assessments that can evaluate these skills and that create incentives for these abilities to be widely taught as a regular part of the curriculum.
  • Developing an understanding of how these capacities may develop overtime – with opportunity, scaffolding, and instruction – so that teachers can envision how to organize supports for learning in these complex domains.

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Replied to The HP Sprocket Mini Printer by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (

But really, any Bluetooth client should be able to send stuff to the Sprocket printer. Like, my laptop, whether it’s a Mac or formatted with FreeBSD.

I wish my Pogo would still work. What do they call this? Devolution?

Apps. I have the sudden urge to go and rinse my mouth now.

I am glad that it is not just me who has issues with the HP Sprocket and the dependency on an app. Also appreciated your thoughts on parking machines too.
Replied to (

Should I terminate the note experiment and relax my “real” blogging rules that state an article should ideally have > 1000 words?
Should I throw out notes in the feed and keep everything else as-is? What’s the point of streaming those to the site then?

Or should I just not care?

Wouter, my vote is for ‘just not care’, just in case you were wondering.
Replied to by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (

Another strange habit of many contemporary IndieWeb bloggers: the urge to publish simply everything. A result of perhaps chanting “own your data!” a couple of times too much? For example, endless “likes” such as or “checkin…

Thank you Wouter for the read. I accept your criticism of my practice. To explain my personal intent, I used to use Diigo to capture such links. However, I turned to using my own sites as I wanted to own the data. I am not worried about whether it is ‘blogging’ or a ‘weblog’, my focus is on collecting the dots to develop longer form reflections upon. I felt awkward when I clicked on Dave Cormier’s site and found it was full of my pingbacks. My site therefore acts as something of a canonical link in-lieu of the actual link.

In regards to following the firehose, I have discussed was of adjusting the feed before. However, I am yet to set up a page like Chris Aldrich. From your points, I guess I should.

I did think that maybe my monthly newsletter sufficed, obvious not.

As a side note to all this, I also wondered about what it might mean to capture absolutely everything to form a deeper appreciate my presence on the web, but I long gave up that hope. I read way more than I respond to.