Replied to #oext356 #oextend Find a Desire Path | The Daily Extend (extend-daily.ecampusontario.ca)

Desire paths are “the trails that are instinctively chosen and created over time” in spite of constructed pathways.

In a recent post on The Open Faculty PatchbookMaureen Glynn reflected on her experience with desire paths, both literal and the figurative ones we see in our courses.

“students will always find unanticipated and wonderful ways to enter, exit, and navigate through the learning events and environments that we design…”

For this Daily Extend, we ask you to either find and take a photo of a real desire path near you, or describe a “desire path” in the navigation of a course that you either took yourself or witnessed students taking. Bonus points for taking some kind of desire path route to completing this Daily, or the June Daily Extend Challenge as a whole!

“Caminito de deseo_desire path_Girona” by felixphs is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 

I mentioned it yesterday, but my “desire path” for the June Daily Extend Challenge is to accomplish the entire trip using only my personal website and just a few feeds in my feed reader rather than using Twitter directly.

smeuse n. \ ˈsmyüz, -üs\ plural -s
dialectal, England
: a hole in a hedge or wall, often created by the regular passage of animals

I always knew that it was more valuable and powerful to have my own domain and post my content there. Sadly, like many, around 2006 I started taking the well-paved roads provided by social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al. But in 2010 a few people began a “desire path” of travelling back through a more open and free internet. They created a proverbial smeuse called the IndieWeb through which many have now passed and which, over the passage of time, is becoming larger, better worn, and even comfortably paved with sidewalks and custom lanes for bicycles and other modes of transportation in many places. Best of all, they’ve created a system which doesn’t require travelling down the roads of others, but provides a lot more freedom and self-determination. They’re slowly, but surely, making it easier for everyone to choose their own desire path on the internet.

I consciously re-started down my old desire path in 2014 and have found a variety of students, teachers, and even friends have not only benefited from it, but that it opens up the ability for them to pick and choose their own paths.


Featured image: smeuse (animal path) flickr photo by debs-eye shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

Reply to Brad Enslen about The Future of Blog Snoop

Replied to Memo: Announcement: The Future of Blog Snoop Blog Directory by Brad EnslenBrad Enslen (Brad Enslen)
I’m hitting a fork in the road with this site and the experiment of using a blog as a directory of blogs.  The problem here is me: I’m running out of time.  I’m duplicating a lot … Source: Announcement: The Future of Blog Snoop – Blog Snoop Weblog Directory We’ll see what happens.  It...

Brad, much like Kicks Condor, I think you’re making a laudable effort, and one of the ways our work grows is to both keep up with it and experiment around.

If I recall, programming wasn’t necessarily your strong suit, but like many in the IndieWeb will say: “Manual until it hurts!” By doing things manually, you’ll more easily figure out what might work and what might not, and then when you’ve found the thing that does, then you spend some time programming it to automate the whole thing to make it easier. It’s quite similar to designing a college campus: let the students walk around naturally for a bit then pave the natural walkways that they’ve created. This means you won’t have both the nicely grided and unused sidewalks in addition to the ugly grass-less beaten paths. It’s also the broader generalization of paving the cow paths.

In addition to my Following page I’ve also been doing some experimenting with following posts using the Post Kinds Plugin. It is definitely a lot more manual than I’d like it to be. It does help to have made a bookmarklet to more quickly create follow posts, but until I’ve got it to a place that I really want it, it’s not (yet) worth automating taking the data from those follow posts to dump them into my Follow page for output there as well. Of course the fact that my follow posts have h-entry and h-feed mark up means that someone might also decide to build a parser that will extract my posts into a feed which could then be plugged into something else like a microsub-based reader so that I could make a follow post on my own site and the source is automatically added to my subscription list in my reader automatically.

In addition to Kicks Condor, I’me seeing others start to kick the tires of these things as well. David Shanske recently wrote Brainstorming on Implementing Vouch, Following, and Blogrolls, but I think he’s got a lot more going on in his thinking than he’s indicated in his post which barely scratches the surface.

I also still often think back to a post from Dave Winer in 2016: Are you ready to share your OPML? This too has some experimental discovery features that only scratch the surface of the adjacent possible.

And of course just yesterday, Kevin Marks (previously of Technorati) reminded us about rel=”directory” which could have some interesting implications for discovery and following. Think for a bit of how one might build a decentralized Technorati or something along the lines of Ryan Barrett’s indie map.

As things continue to grow, I’m seeing some of all of our decisions and experiments begin to effect others as these are all functionality and discovery mechanisms that we’ll all need in the very near future. I hope you’ll continue to experiment and make cow paths that can eventually be paved.

Featured Image: Cows on the path flickr photo by Reading Tom shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

👓 Paving the cowpaths: using architecture concepts to improve online user experience | Elezea

Read Paving the cowpaths: using architecture concepts to improve online user experience by Rian Van Der MerweRian Van Der Merwe (Elezea)
In architecture desire lines or cowpaths describe well-worn paths that appear in a landscape over time. I discuss how this relates to web design.

This is interesting/relevant to the idea of “manual until it hurts”. I particularly like the twist idea at the end of looking at activity after-the-fact and then paving over those methods rather than starting at free range and then paving.