In an engaging blog entry entitled Abundance and 5 Years of Blogging, Ross Mayfield makes the following point:

When I sat down in my first economics class at UCLA, the professor wrote on the blackboard all we would learn, in really big letters:


I’ve been blogging for five years as of this month, and here’s what I’ve learned:


I have discovered I have a lot to give. And when I give, I notice others give more. Some of them I’ve formed relationships with, and trust opens giving, but I have also learned to trust strangers to share in abundance. Life is iterative, markets are not transactions and scarcity of attention is false. Our learnings compound abundance and there may be no limit to what we can produce.

Recently, there was some “controversy” about the K-12 Online Conference. In a follow-up post, Tom Hoffman clarifies that he wants people to describe the edublogosphere accurately and display some depth of knowledge and experience about both education and technology. While I agree with his approach, I again refer to Jeff Jarvis’ statement. He’s referring to Stephen’s point about edubloggers who…

…will now be the voices of our discipline… These voices, who are already fluffing it up, emptying it of substance, adding flash….

Scarcity vs Abundance. The power of relationships and conversations to learn from each other, to share ideas, to be wrong in a public setting–and one hopes, a friendly one–is always tempered by the possibility of fluff, lack of substance, and flash. The edublogosphere is still developing, ever evolving as new voices are added to the mix. Simply because my voice is here, or there, that does not mean that my voice will remain as one of the dominant ones. In fact, when I consider the diverse abundance, the many people that GIVE MORE than I ever have, I’m shocked that anyone would think that it was “dominant” or that substance was dribbling away because of my puny effort…as if abundance of thought could disappear in the face of my assertions. Perhaps, that’s the way it was in the past….

I’m reminded of a quote that my father drilled into me, and one that I hope I have shared with my children. “Education is the one thing they can’t take away from you.” There’s so much unsaid in that statement…that someone is trying to take things away from you, that the only thing that endures is what you carry in your head.

Like a flawed gemstone, precious because of who gave it to us rather than its inherent worth, I carry that quote around. Maybe, just maybe, the only way to keep what you have today is to give that education away. Trade it in constantly, like a 7 year old trading Pokemon cards.

What remains after the trading is a quiet dignity, what comes of being educated and engaged with the world.

Let the voices of the edublogosphere resound, let mine be drowned out. What I have to say remains, buried, thrown away, discarded, forgotten, unimportant, without flash. I decide if it has substance and whether it sustains me. Learnings compound abundance, writes Ross, and there’s no limit to what I can produce.

How about you?

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