Family catch and eat octopus with six tentacles during Greek vacation

I keep a silly personal blog devoted to a six-legged toy that both my kids have outgrown but which still amuses me. I sometimes use that blog, and that toy, in classroom activities, and occasionally students develop an affection for what I called a “hectopus” (combining “hexagon” with “octopus,” though I concede “hexapus” would have been a better choice). Anyway, one of my former students sent me this story about…

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Feeling a bit puzzled by the “Twitter Tools” plugin

I really like MailChimp’s “Social” plugin, which not only publishes a WordPress blog entry to Twitter and Facebook, but also collects responses from Twitter and Facebook users and collects them as WordPress comments. Today I installed a different plugin, Twitter Tools, which is really just a single tool — it lets you create a WordPress post via tweet. One problem — when I then try to publish the resulting WordPress…

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Positive Feedback on a Blogging Assignment

A former student who is now excelling in grad school took a moment to share her thoughts about my blogging portfolio assignment, which is usually 25-40% of a student’s grade. In April, a different former student who had blogged for me  in several classes, whom I invited as a career workshop guest, surprised me by saying: “Every job I’ve had since I graduated from college has been because of my…

Why You Should Blog to Get Your Next Job

It’s your resume, only better: Everyone has a resume. But a blog allows you to highlight the skills on your resume, times ten. For example, if you’re a writer, you can flex your writing muscles and post examples of your creative writing. Even if you’re a tax accountant, you can write your thought-provoking opinions on some of the new tax laws or add a testimonial from a happy client. Just…

Academic blogging: pleasure and credit

To be honest, I’m not optimistic that there’s a way to gain the recognition that many academic bloggers have longed for without destroying what I believe is the real value of academic blogging, which is in many ways about pleasing yourself, escaping the targets and the quotas and the faceless bean-counters; about communicating and sharing through spontaneity and idiosyncratic self-expression. (So, I don’t blog for weeks at a time; and…