Connections. What is meant by connections? In this instance it refers to other people. Some of whom I know and others that I do not know.

Connections is also a reference to the articles and news items that I read on reasonably regular basis. Perhaps every second day or so I consult my feed reader and scan through the articles written by teachers, journalists, friends and others. I have subscribed to their web sites, whether it be a blog, journal, online newspaper or technology news site.

These articles are a source of news and information. The articles keep me up to date with my interests in teaching, technology and history. I also learn what my friends have been up to of late. The articles keep me connected. I am not operating in isolation.

At one stage, during the development of this web site this particular page was entitled Personal Learning Network. The menu item was “PLN”. However I felt a little uneasy with that title. A Personal Learning Network is not an entity per se. Too ephemeral and malleable to be defined. These things are so tenuous. I am not one for religious adherence to theories, concepts, cliches and the like. As Graham Wegner wrote the terminology Personal Learning Network has been bandied about a lot. Acronyms also annoy me however I cannot escape them. They are everywhere. I tend to agree with the thoughts shared by Alan Levine as well.

Initially this page was called Blogroll. That was shortlived. I have never liked the term ‘blog’. The term blog sounds quite awful to me personally. It sounds like something you might do after suffering from a gastrointestinal infection for a couple of days. Blogroll is a weird term. I know a roll can be a list of people but the term “roll” also features in a number of derogatory or critical phrases in various languages, particularly when linked with the word “egg”. So, blogroll has not particularly appealed to me but I have used it in the past.

I now avoid using the word blog when I write about or speak of tools such as WordPress. I always emphasise the fact that one can make rich and functional web sites with those browser based tools. Blog is not always a popular term in some circles and as a result I refer to the construction of a web site with the addition of a dynamic news component. This sounds more appealing and dare I say it, professional. Blog simply sounds downmarket to me. That is my problem, my perception.

I notice that WordPress has replaced the word blog with site in some areas of their Dashboard and related menus. After all WordPress is a tool for creating fully fledged web sites and just not blogs.

I am not happy with the term “connections” either but it is the best of a bad bunch. For about three hours I toyed with the idea of calling this page “Things I read…” or something to that effect. This page is designed to act as a launch pad to the lists of the various blogs ( ^_^ ), news sites and web sites that I have subscribed to during the past six or so years. Categorising those was a semantic nightmare for me as well. I need to break up my educator list according to type, country or surname one day. That list is too long.

Finally, a thoughtful piece of advice from Alexandra Samuel regarding you and social media.

Educators write, draw and speak about PLN, PLEs and PLENKS…