TOKTalk Reflections

A cake with whipping cream
Readers of TOKTalk have probably already noticed that I’ve been experimenting around with the layout of the website – and that I’ve still not settled for a final design. The square pictures are now back where they originally were (on the right side) and the advertisements at the top in the individual posts are now also gone. The ads simply didn’t “fit in” aesthetically and, in my view, did not provide sufficient additional value for the readers. Worst of all, these ads nearly generated no revenue for me and sometimes advertised products with which I do not want to be associated.

Podcast: Regular visitors also will have noticed, that I’m somewhat behind with the audio component, and that the most recent posts do not contain an mp3. I’ll try to catch up as soon as I have more time.

Visitor count: As of November 30, 2009, TOKTalk is approaching the magic number of 5000 visitors, with about 150 visitors every day. Most people who visited the site were searching for help and advice for the TOK essay. The search terms are quite revealing (I can see them). In many cases the people simply copy-pasted the whole prescribed title into the search engine. As if an answer to the prescribed title can simply be found on the web! Many people do seem to realize that the purpose of a TOK essay is not to provide a single “correct” answer to a problem, but rather expects students to adopt a self-reflective, critical approach.

Web 2.0: For those of you, who don’t know, Web 2.0 refers to user-generated content, such as comments and forums. Yes, I’m considering the introduction of a comments section, but am a bit worried about spam or people asking questions concerning the essay or presentation, topics which may not be directly relevant for the article. Spam is also a problem. A forum would be quite a helpful addition to discuss TOK relevant topics, but here too I am a bit worried about people posting whole essay outlines and presentation structures. The problem already exists with other forums that I found. In one case I made one student rewrite the complete TOK essay, because it was plagiarized. Maybe I just have to try it out to see how well it works.

Numbering of posts: Is numbering of blog posts a good idea? There are arguments for and against it. I think that I’ll keep the numbering internal.

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All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.

- Immanuel Kant -