Tony Gurr

“Love your work, darling” (but love me own even more)!

In News & Updates (from the CBO), Technology on 04/12/2011 at 1:12 pm

All the excitement of the EduBlog Awards this year – and the whole nominations process – has created a lot of chatter about “shameless self-promotion”!

“Educators” do this type of thing?

“Educators” who “blog” do this?



So to help us all along Adam Simpson (from Sabancı University – aka @ayearinthelifeof in tweetie circles), issued edubloggers with a wee blog challenge. He suggested that we all try and choose our top “11 from 11”!

His rationale was simple:

This just seems like a great chance to reflect back on a year of blogging, with the hope that others will also do the same. Right then, down to business: some of you are trying hard to drum up support for your blog in the upcoming EduBlog awards. Good luck to you. The thing is, to get those votes you’re going to have to show people why you’re so wonderful. What better way to do that than by showcasing your eleven – go on, I’ll use the ‘B’ word – best posts of the year. What’s more, you can pretend you’re not blatantly canvassing for votes by making out that you’re just fulfilling a blog challenge set by one of your wonderful PLN. Everyone’s a winner baby, that’s the truth…

MMMMmmmm…an opportunity to “flog our own blogs”!


My first thought was to do a post on posts I have NOT written yet…you see, I kinda had a subtle dig at Adam for having a subtle dig at the Edublog Awards – and NOT submitting any nominations for this year’s awards!

The problem was I decided to wait till the nominations were closed to make a point and take a stand on “shameless self-promotion” (OK, OK – I’m lying – I was just too bloody busy to get it in before nominations closed…) – anyways, Tamas Lorincz pipped me to the post on that idea (Tamas – good suggestions and I look forward to seeing them all)…

What to do?


Hang on….my textual coherence (or was than “cohension” – never knew the bloody difference) ain’t what it should be…I haven’t said enough about “self-promotion”.

I remember Daniel Craig (just after he got “the 007 gig” that every leading man, with a British accent, wanted) saying “I don’t believe in self-promotion, really I can’t be arsed”! Funny – because he was on a promotional tour at the time and the success of the franchise was his bloody job and required him to do what he said he couldn’t be “arsed” doing (least we know he’s a real Brit – none of that “ass” rubbish!


Jeffrey Zeldman did a great piece on self-promotion a couple of years back – and suggested that when bloggers are charged with this most heinous of “crimes”, most of us would probably say (very quietly, mind) “guilty as charged” (while downplaying the bit about “shame”)!

The question, of course, is really about whether self-promotion is as “horrid” as it is cracked up to be. Zeldman says “no” – and he also tells us:

  • Marketing is not bragging, and touting one’s wares is not evil.
  • There is a difference between being arrogant about yourself as a person and being confident that your work has some value.
  • Do it right, and only haters will hate you for it. To get, you must give.

I really liked that last one as well as his “elaboration”:

  • …direct self-promotion is ineffective and will go unnoticed unless it is backed by a more indirect (and more valuable) form of marketing: namely, sharing information and promoting others.

Ahhhhh, Jeff – you are the man. Feel so much better about what I am going to do next!


So, here are my BEST posts from 2011!

Hang on…..Adam did not tell us what “best” means and I’m still a bit worried about all that “shame” business (remember, I was raised in a family of “fallen catholics”)….

The problem for me is that I am not sure what my “best” posts are – and I am still a bit wet behind the ears in terms of my “blogging literacy”.

Sometimes I write my average 1,000 words (at the speed of two words a minute – with 2 or 3 days of editing) and think “this is brilliant – my best work ever“!

Hardly anybody reads it!

Other times, I’ve got a spare 15 minutes while I wax me legs or dye my hair – I bang away at the keyboard without a care in the world (with a beer by my side, usually) and fire off a post full of verbal diarrhoea, spelling mistakes and (God forbid) punctuation that ain’t seen the light of day since Shakespeare…..

Everyone loves it……….!

Is there no justice?


Maybe Stephen Fry is right – all bloggers are “illiterate idiots”, and all blog readers are, well, “a bit thick (otherwise they’d be doing more of that real book learning)”!

I’m not so sure (gotta try a “save” here – remember, those are “his” words – not “mine”) – I like to think that people who look at some of me posts are pretty smart (especially when they tweet and RT my posts)!

So, my “top 11 from 2011” is being done on the basis of “infamy” or the raw number of “hits” that the posts have had. I was going to try a pretty complex algorithm that takes account of how many weeks a post has been up on the blog and the % of total hits it gets over a given month divided by that earlier numberbut that was just too much bloody work!


My BEST posts from 2011!

The stats I get from those lovely “happiness engineers” at WordPress tell me that two of my top 11 are my homepage (surprise, surprise) and my little “user guide” called “What’s the Point of this Blog” – so I have not included these in my count!


#1Are we on the right “track” with CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT? [Part ONE]… (posted on 04/04/2011). This is a great case of what I was saying earlier about there being no justice or logic to blogging. I wrote this as a follow-up to a presentation I did – and to be honest – my heart wasn’t in it. However, this post has got 4 times the action of most other posts and is the single most “popular” post on the blog (and this was before I discovered the power of “visual literacy”). This is a series of posts and has a Part Two and a Part Three – but I’m not “touting” these, really)!

#2To LESSON PLAN or NOT to LESSON PLAN…that is the question! (posted on 13/03/2011). This one has a story behind it. I actually lost a “bet” and this was my “punishment”. But, for some silly reason it went “viral” (OK – for my blog that means even my mother-in-law read it)! That having been said, it was fun to write and lots of people have told me how much they enjoyed it.

#3The End of the HIGHWAY… (posted on 07/03/2011). This again was one of my very first posts (there is also a Turkish version of this post – but, considering I am writing from my adopted homeland, this was not as popular – not sure why). This one actually started as a bit of a “rant” designed to vocalise the frustrations that many teachers here in Turkey face – dumb-ass “educational managers” who do more harm than good. I’m guessing lots of people wanted to look at “bad Yoda” (the most downloaded image on the blog) – but a few people really liked my summary of the new vision of “next practice” organisational culture that has been emerging over the past few years. My peeps in Oz and NZ especially liked this one, too!

#4REFLECT yourself to GREATNESS… (posted on27/09/2011). Now, this one I did care about and actually did a fair bit of research for (not so you’d notice). This whole area is close to my heart and I was “humbled” and felt so “blessed” that so many readers also enjoyed it. Tee-hee!

#5“Herding Cats” and Change 3.0 (Part 2) (posted on 07/11/2011). This was the second of 3-part dizi (that was actually meant to be a single post). I am pretty passionate about this stuff – but, for the life of me can’t work out why Part Two was so much more popular than Part One and Part Three (I think this one is the better post – but some people told me that I left too much up to them and that I hurt their heads)!

#6Getting FLUENT with the 5 FLUENCIES… (posted on 01/11/2011). This one is actually a guest-post from those lovely chaps at the 21st Century Fluency Project (Lee CrockettIan Jukes and Andrew Churches) who very kindly gave me permission to use their new book Literacy is NOT Enough to create a series of “guest-posts” (shoot – just remembered I ain’t finished this…)! This one describes the “five Fluencies” and was the fourth in the series.

#7Have our Educational Leaders got the “STUFF”? (posted on 30/08/2011). This one grew out of some work I had been doing on some of the “train-the-trainer” programmes I run – and was an attempt to get to the heart of what really “matters” in educational leadership. I tried to apply the thoughts of Tom Peters to education – turned out to be quite interesting in the end.

#8Do our schools speak LEARNing as a “first” or a “second” language? (posted on 16/10/2011). Even though I was really keen for this one to picked up on (as I thought I had created a neat little “notion”), it took a while for people to find this one. A few friends on twitter helped with the “promotion” of this – no shame there – and lots of people keep coming back to re-read this…

#9ACCREDITATION for Dummies… (posted on 07/06/2011). If you know the blog, you know I have been threatening to write a whole series of “Dummies books” – if Wiley & Sons do not take me to court first. This one is pretty self-explanatory (and has, in fact, reminded me that I really do need to pay more attention to the “titles” I use for my posts)…That having been said, it was more of a “specialist” post – but it’s done very well and is a regular on my stats each week.

#10Bringing students in from the “cold”… (posted on 07/10/2011). I must admit this one did surprise me – I really enjoyed writing this but not as many people seem interested in “assessment” (I have written a lot about issues in testing and assessment). I think a lot of people in the States and NZ pushed this one into the “top 11” – but there are many other countries that need to “get real” about how they take on the “examocracies” that are being “forced” onto our kids… (Turkey, too…OK, especially Turkey)!

#11CLASSROOM OBSERVATION – What Works, What Matters? (posted on 10/11/2011). OK – I have to own up to a bit of “cheating” here! In terms of raw numbers, there was another blog script that pipped this little “essay” to the post (by one solitary “hit”) – The ELT Conference Calendar in Turkey…with some “sauce”! The problem is that I do not count this as a “real post” – come on, it’s just a bit of information! Besides, classroom observation (and how it is “done” in many school and universities) is far more important to all us educators. There was also a follow-up to this post – Getting Classroom Observation “RIGHT”… – but it has not been around that long (it is climbing up the “hit ladder” though and I actually think this is better than the first)….


That’s all folks! If I was really honest, I might not have chosen all of these meself – if I was selecting what I think are the best posts.


But, the “numbers” can’t be wrong…can they? 

  1. Great post today thanks. I really enjoyed reading it very much. You have an excellent blog here. Thanks again for sharing this.

  2. […] Tony Gurr – “Love your work, darling” (but love me own even more)! […]

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