This blog post is my keynote address to IACSS09.

200px-MarshallMcLuhan Source

If a new technology extends one or more of our senses outside us into the social world, then new ratios among all of our senses will occur in that particular culture.

When the sense ratios alter in any culture then what had appeared lucid before may suddenly become opaque, and what had been vague or opaque will become translucent.

Instead of tending towards a vast Alexandrian library the world has become a computer, an electronic brain … (Marshall McLuhan)

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This process has accelerated since these insights were first published in McLuhan’s work. The Twitter example from Infoharmoni exemplifies this I believe. (“This is a dynamic network, showing what companies the 200 most prolific tweets were talking about. Both people and companies are nodes, and the edges change over the course of the day. Everytime a person tweets about a company, an edge is added connecting that person to the company. After 30 minutes, the edge decays. The companies are labeled, and the individuals are anonymized here”.)

I did not mention McLuhan’s global village ideas I made in a post recently but I have taken the fate of equus grevyi very seriously!


Males are highly territorial, claiming prime watering and grazing areas with piles of dung called middens. They generally live alone in their territories, except when females move through during mating season. Non-territorial males travel together in groups of two to six animals. This social system differs from that of other zebras, which typically form female harems that live in one male’s territory all year. During dry months, many Grevy’s zebras migrate to greener mountain pastures, but males on prime territories often remain there year-round.

Interestingly “each zebra has its own unique set of stripes, which are as distinctive as fingerprints”.

I would like to use the ecology of Grevy’s Zebra to discuss social networks stimulated by Dan Rubinstein’s 2007 paper and my experience of connectivism through my participation in CCK08 (and CCK09).

It is a discussion about digital ethnography too inspired by some of Michael Wesch‘s insights.

To be continued …

CCK09: Spring in the Air … and air in my tyres

Last year I was delighted to be involved in CCK08. Without being too dramatic the course transformed my life!

At the time I was working from home thinking about how someone with a fascination for learning might develop in rural Australia. Bandwidth at Mongarlowe is not great but at least I have access to satellite connectivity. This blog was developed as part of the course. I have been posting to it ever since.

I saw this picture recently and thought it was a great summary of my feelings during CCK08


What I discovered too is that there is an incredible group of people on other journeys in connectivism. Before, during and after CCK08 George Siemens and Stephen Downes have been my links to these journeys. I have a real sense of a CCK family and am looking forward to CCK09. This time I must get involved in Moodle!


The added bonus is that the arrival of CCK09 coincides with Springtime in Australia. The Daily arrives just in time for breakfast.


Photo Sources

Geen hulp voor Giusto Cerutti

People sitting on a large log across a gully in the rainforest at Spring Bluff

Spring Flowers, Mongarlowe


I was driving into Canberra today and managed to hear a delightful program feature on Radio National’s Bush Telegraph.

The impending arrival of CCK09 has encouraged me to continue exploring communities. The ‘Grow Your Own in the Kimberley‘ feature is an excellent example of the impact a small number of people can have on a community of practice.

This is a post about Wangkatjunka and this is the link to an MP3 audio recording of the Radio National program segment.

This is an article about the Wangkatjungka Community. This is some information about the school at the centre of the Grow Your Own project.

(I thought this Panoramio photograph was a great link to the exciting events in Wangkatjungka.)