And the prize for Linkbater of the Year goes to...
Time might win the 2006 prize for best link-bating but in 2007 I wonder how many people in the blogosphere will be trying to get others to do their work for them?
Stephen Downes hinted that the K12 Conference was, to some degree, aimed at raising the profile of a few individuals more than it was about sharing good practice. I don't think that was the intention at all, even if it appears that way to some. But his words of caution are making me see a more sinister side to the edublogosphere beginning to emerge which makes me feel a little uneasy. Just in the past month I've been called up or emailed around two dozen times expected to offer free advice to people who intend to further their own business (public speaking, promotion of businesses, "how can I make money from blogging"...).
Take Andrew Pass who this morning is starting his own meme (to join this one and that one), but with far more constructive (it seems) aims. My problem is not with the meme: building lesson plans collaboratively might have some merit. My problem is with the reasons behind Andrew starting the meme in the first place. He's an educator, perhaps, but he's also a businessman who, according to his work website makes his lion's share of cash from selling lesson plans and ideas for others.
Add to this the fact that most of us do occasionally share ideas for lessons on our edublogs for free anyway it seems that this monthly meme may serve to create a business profit (for him) with minimal business investment (because we invest for him - is that not what they call a pyramid scheme?).
At $5 a pop per user for a lesson plan from AP Education Services this seems the edublogging equivalent of getting a batch off the back of a lorry.
Am I hitting below the belt here or could AP Education Services go about things another way to endear themselves/himself to the education community while still making a crust? I have nothing against business using weblogs to make money when it's done well and in a way which benefits its users, but something just isn't sitting right with the "something for nothing" expectations of the edublogosphere's businessmen and -women.
Update: Andrew has updated his business plan online and shows how he intends to make a crust and take part in the conversation. His sponsoring and Adsense mix seems to make perfect sense. He's also not going to sell lesson plans anymore, including any from the meme. The lesson for those running businesses in the blogosphere - tell us what you're doing and involve us in it.