I tried really hard, really hard, to turn make cleaver use of Maslow’s Hammer as this post’s metaphoric title “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” And…
Are SPLOTs becoming a thing? Spotted this tweet this morning… I’m thinking about this kind of request as I get stuff ready for the Staking Your Claim on the Open Web workshop I am doing…
What mean ye SPLOT?
Smallest/Simplest * Possible/Portable * Open/Online * Learning/Living * Tool/Technology
Yeah, we still have some work to do on tightening up that catchy acronym…
SPLOT comes from the conviction that there is great value in learners and educators sharing their work on the open web. All too often, doing so gets derailed by two problems. First, open web tools are perceived by users as difficult to use, and by organizations as complicated to support. This is why most organizations direct or even restrict activity into a consolidated Learning Management System (LMS). Second, online identity and privacy concerns (and laws) scare people off. Not every learner is ready to share their work with the world on a medium that “never forgets”. We know that most free online communication tools capture and exploit the data of their users.
So the tools on this site are designed with two core principles in mind:
- make it as easy as possible to post activity to the open web in an appealing and accessible way
- allow users to do so without creating accounts, or providing any required personal information
We are mindful of Norman’s Law of eLearning Tool Convergence, that tools will tend to become more complex and LMS-like as they are more widely used. SPLOT tools are deliberately limited in scope. They try to meet a single need, and to do so as simply as possible.
The tools here are built utilizing the WordPress platform, and should be readily sharable to other WP installations. If you would like to use a SPLOT tool in your environment, please let us know.
But there is no reason that the problems that SPLOT tools try to address cannot be addressed in other frameworks. If this approach appeals, we hope others will find better ways to support more accessible, sustainable, and user-friendly ways to get publicly-engaged learning happening on the open web.
It’s one of those things to keep your attention on long drives. From hundreds of miles away are billboards enticing you to check out The Thing in southern Arizona. From a piece in Vice: The T…
Having enjoyed the mobile app TimeHop and its functionality for a long time, I’d spent a long time a while back searching for what I was sure would be multiple WordPress plugins that might offer such functionality. At the time I could only find one and seemed deeply hidden: the Room 34 Presents On This Day plugin which has served my needs for a while.
While the two are implemented somewhat differently and have different levels of UI features, it’s nice that there’s now a bit of competition and options available in the space. Alan’s excellent version is a shortcode-based plugin with some options for configuring the output and he’s got lots of additional details for customizing it. The Room 34 version creates an archive view of most of its data and also includes a widget for adding the output to various widget locations.
I’ve added some of these examples and links to the On This Day page of the IndieWeb wiki, so that others looking for UI examples, options, and brainstorming for their WordPress-based or other sites might have an easier time tracking them down and building additional iterations or coming up with new ideas.
These sorts of plugins provide some useful functionality commonly found in other social media sites, including Facebook which allow you to go back in time. I find they’re even more valuable on my own site as my content here is generally far richer and more valuable to me than it is on other social sites which often have a “throw away” or a more ephemeral feel to some of their content. It’s nice to be able to look back at old thoughts, revisit them, possibly reshape them, or even see how far I’ve come in some of my thinking since those older days.
Now, if we could only get Timehop to dovetail with the WordPress API so that they could add WordPress websites to their offerings…