Vacation (from blogging) is Over

So, it’s been quite a while since my last post here on new eelearning. One of these days I’ll figure out how to keep blogging when live gets stressful.

The last several months of unemployment (read – running out of money and facing oblivion) were times where there was no spare time. Then gratefully, a job finally landed my way. Having not worked in a in-office, 9-5 job in approximately 15 years, the transition to full-time work with a 75 minute commute on either end of the day was equally as stressful as unemployment. Four months on the job, I’m finally getting my feet underneath me. When did they make weekends so short?!?!

So after yet another hiatus, I’m back again – for now.

The job I started in March is Senior Manager for Learning and Product Solutions with the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM). As it turns out, it is pretty much a dream job. My main project is to conceptualize and launch ASCM’s online learning presence. Unbelievably, I don’t have to contend with a legacy LMS or other systems. The organization has invested in new, state-of-the-art technologies. I’m being encouraged to apply modern Workplace Learning principles. I feel like this job is the natural culmination of 12-15 years of work and learning.

So I’m back in my blog seat again and will resume sharing what I see and learn about my own learning, how others can be helped to learn what they need to perform, and organizations preparing for the transformation of the world economy that is underway. In other words, “workplace learning from my perspective.”


Featured Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

WordPress.com for Google Docs

NOTE: There various random elements in this post. They are testing the add-in’s ability to transfer formatting from Google Docs to WordPress. For instance, this note is double spaced to test if the add-in will carry over the spacing to my blog.

HORIZONTAL_RULE: HorizontalRule

Last week WordPress announced the release of the WordPress.com for Google Docs Chrome add-in. Simply, this add-in enables Google Docs to function as a post editor for your WordPress.com or self-hosted WordPress.org blogs.

The power of this add-in comes from benefits that are innate to Google Docs:

  1. Collaboration – Co-creation of content is what Google Docs excels at. You and your collaborators create document in Google Docs and then post to the desired blog. Having lead a multi-author blog in the past, I know what a huge effort to create a post collaboratively and then cut-and-paste it to the blog. Only to then have to reformat the formatting that didn’t survive the cut-and-paste.
  2. Richer Editing Environment – WordPress’s editor has a limited set of functionality for formatting a post – in one off situations. (I can change the CSS if I want to change these things universally.) I particularly have wanted to have more control over font, font size, and emphasis. Like strikethrough. I’ve also wanted better control of padding around images and spacing between paragraphs and lines The add-in’s page in the Google webstore says “Your images and most formatting will carry over too. No more copy-and-paste headaches!” I’m using this post as a test of various formatting states, we’ll see how well it ports over to WordPress.

I’ve found that control of images and where they are within the text of a post a bit problematics in the editor in WordPress. Docs does this better so I’m hoping that inserting images that I want in a particular location will work better with this add-in.

And how about my question regarding font size.

This is normal. I assume this will correspond to “paragraph” in WordPress.

This is a bit larger.

This is even larger.

This is a test to see how the inserted polldaddy.com thumbs up/thumbs down rating deals with this add-in

I haven’t tried to arrange a group of photos on my blog yet, but noticed in the comments on the add-in page that several people do this, so i thought I’d play with it here. Just for fun.

INLINE_DRAWING: InlineDrawing

ISSUES

After I use the add-in I’ll revise the post to at least add comments as to what came across and what didn’t. I’ve included two images below of the document in Google Docs, so You’ll be able to see for yourselves.

But before that, there are a few issues that have been raised on the add-in’s page in the Google webstore. Some users of WordPress.org sites are having issues authenticating their blogs to the add-in. However, if they turn off all other add-ins, authenticate their wordpress.org sites to the add-in and the turn all other add-ins back on; everything seems to be running correctly.

The other issue that has been raised is that some people who are adding images via URLs. It seems here that most have used URLs they believed to be public but they weren’t.

Finally, one functionality that others have brought up that I agree would be awesome if it were available is that updating the Google document does not update the blog post. A revised version of a post would effectively be a new post. Since most blogs don’t allow backdating, you’d be publishing the revision today and then the question would be, do you delete the original post – which is problematic if there are comments and or trackbacks to it.

This add-on is definitely a 1,0 and the plan from Automattic, WordPress’s parent company, is that new features should be expected as the add-in usage builds.

OK, time to upload my page and see how it comes out. Here is what it looks like in Google Docs

INLINE_DRAWING: InlineDrawing

_________________________________

So the results.  This is actually the second time I tried importing from Google Docs.  The first time only the text came through.  I reported it to WordPress and they said they were fixing a few things and to try again.

The second time through, it seems to be working as expected.   Here is a marked up image of what it was supposed to look like, had everything I put in the document come through:

wordpress google editor test

The X’s represent formatting that didn’t come through.  The Double spacing of the “Note” at the beginning.  The horizontal line, the image of the WordPress editor (because it was make using the drawing tool in Google Docs), the stair step font sizes and then the collage of pictures (again created with the drawing tool).  My direct images (the two icons one right and one left) came through, but a little out of place.  The strikethrough text and the polldaddy thumbs up thumbs down poll.  So 4 of 8 came through.  According to WordPress, the formatting that didn’t come through can’t be supported in the import.

So all and all, kudos to WordPress and Google.  This is a nice add-in to Chrome.

Top Ten Learning Tools for 2016

As a part of the Modern Workplace Learning Challenge, Jane Hart tasked us with listing what we believe to be the top ten tool for learning for 2016.  I thought I’d share mine with you.  Every year, Jane compiles a list of the Top 100 Learning Tools by surveying learning professionals world wide.  This year’s list will be released October 12.

Take a look at my list and please comment about changes you’d make to my list. Continue reading “Top Ten Learning Tools for 2016”

if a blog falls on the web, but no one hears it…..

This blog was first posted on eelearning.com on 4/17/08.

my little hiatus from blogging over the past six months provided me with a number of interesting issues to contemplate, but the one that caught me most off guard was this question:

do readers really care if i post or not?

why would i ask this question? a quick look at some of my blog statistics for eelearning will clue you in. 

eelearning stats May 2007 – April 2008

Here’s a chart of the activity on eelearning here on wordpress. I my last post before my sabbatical was the middle of September. But readership of eelearning continued to grow through November. hmmmm. Makes you begin to wonder.

Add to this that my stats counter on my typepad account is still counting away and has shown steady readership there, even though I haven’t posted a new post on that verson of eelearning in almost a year now!

What I take from all of this feedback is two fold. One, many blog readers aren’t obsessed with what is being written every day. Blogs for many web users are resource sites and it doesn’t really matter whether the content they are seeking and finding was published yesterday or last year. Two, moving a blog and getting your readers to change their blogrolls and bookmarks is a very difficult task as well. if you obsessed about reader statistics, then make sure you have a comprehensive plan to migrate your readership before you move.

Karl Kapp on 10/15/09:

Dave,
Interesting statistics. I like the insight they provide in terms of readers treating the blog as a resourse. I think it also speaks to the valuable postings you have on your blog or the readership would have not returned for “reference” material.