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Week 2 in MultiMOOC: Using tags to DECLARE why you are here and where we can find you

January 24, 2013

Blogging / Posterous


Keeping a blog is a step toward including it, or making it an anchor for, your ePortfolio.  You can call your blog to our attention by making it come up in our tag searches.  The most reliable tag searches these days that we can control are Delicious and Diigo.  Once we find your blog we can find the posts relevant to our session if you tag those posts evomlit and mmooc13.


Posterous is one way you can have a voice in MultiMOOC by contributing to, and commenting on, a shared blog.  This post explains more: 




Tagging is the essence of declaring in MOOCs


MOOCs organize content differently from courses not designed to scale (such as most EVO sessions). Often in such courses, participants are encouraged to introduce themselves, but the ability to track participants via the information given in such posts diminishes as the size of the group increases.  MOOCs normally try to address the issue of scale by tracking participants algorithmically.  


Technorati used to serve as a tag-finder in blogs. Some years ago a group of colleagues and I managed to get students in various parts of the world to find (and in many cases respond to) each other’s blog posts by using Technorati to ferret out all posts with the tag “writingmatrix” <>.  Search results can still be found on Technorati at

Although Technorati no longer works well for searching blogs without ‘authority’ some MOOCs use scripts that enable participants to register their blogs, and then in those blogs find the posts with the MOOC tag. Stephen Downes has a script he uses to funnel these posts into a daily newsletter, and ETMOOC has a “hub” where all registered blogs are listed <> and an algorithm to tease out and rate featured posts. The MultiMOOC blog is registered at the hub, and posts made there since Jan 13 have been tagged #etmooc (and we’ll see if any get featured, but we’re competing with thousands of others jockeying for pole position πŸ™‚


However they configure themselves, interaction in MOOCs relies on tags. This is why I encourage you to tag all posts and artifacts you find or create with our tags mmooc13 and evomlit (best to use both whenever possible). Once we have a substantial body of tagged artifacts, we can look at our aggregators and see where these tags end up. 


From individual post <—> to aggregator

Some aggregators are listed in the sidebar at 


<=== Image attribution, cc license 


Apart from the Writingmatrix project mentioned above, exploiting a class tag can be a productive way to organize a blended learning environment, as I’ve shown here:


This week we’ll examine a few more ways we can tag content relating to MultiMOOC, and see if we can aggregate that content in some meaningful way.




Twitter ‘tweets’ frequently include hash #tags, and these tags can be useful in congealing groups ranging from flash mobs to participants in blended learning situations. 


Once we compile our Twitter IDs, we can make a twitter list (no following necessary) where we’ll have a twitter feed of all MultiMOOC participants at one URL. I frequently use this technique at conferences where delegates tweet using a common #tag. Whenever anyone tweets using that tag, I add them to a Twitter list, and then tweet its URL for the list using the same #tag. That way, like-minded attendees at that conference have a way of getting to know each other. It’s brilliant because from the twitter photos associated with each tweet you can look around a session you are in and spot the other tweeters.


Delicious and Diigo


Another thing we can tag is each other’s posts using Delicious in Diigo. I intend to get all your blog URLs from our dbase and visit each of your blogs and tag in with the above tags in Delicious (if you use Diigo, please do the same). This is why you should put your blog address here 


There are two ways you can get it there. Maybe the best way is to visit or re-visit this form


Create an original entry or fill in a duplicate one with any missing information. I can go in and reconcile duplications, no problem. Another way is to get your google ID to me (by this I mean your gmail address) so I can add that address as editor to the spreadsheet, then you can go in and tweak directly. If your gmail address is there already and I haven’t added you as editor, I will be doing that shortly.


More on Diigo and Delicious





There are aggregators listed in the sidebar at


For example, we have a


Views may vary, but this is one view of #mmooc13 where we are starting to crowd out whomever was using that tag before (and also the efforts of a lone spammer πŸ™‚



We’ll explore aggregation more in Week 3 (networking).  For now there are some ACTIVITIES you can be doing in week 2 listed in our wiki at


Enjoy the week in MultiMOOC


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