It’s worth taking a look at ALL these blogs!

worth taking a lookSo I’m finally getting around to my recommendations for the “It’s worth taking a look at these blogs” request. I’ve been intending to do this for awhile but just busy with many end of semester things (and still am). However, inspiration got hold of me and also because I DO think it such a great idea — I forced myself to come up/out with something. Thank you to all who read my blog or mentioned my blog. Bless your soul.

Jason Renshaw (bless his combative soul), really threw down the gauntlet by posting  THIS. A kind of “J’accuse” and manifesto stating that all those not playing this game are mean spirited and unhelpful and …. You get the point.

He wrote:

All in all, the It’s Worth Taking a Look at this Blog idea worked well – really well.

For those who actually grasped it, that is.

I’m sorry, but I DO grasp it but I really don’t buy into it. This whole henpecking, ranking people/teachers and constant breast pounding, jolly be good, jolly I’m good streak that runs through blogging. It is in many forms, however you put lipstick on the pig – just plain pandering to something I’m most against in education – comparing people.

Our schools and classrooms are full of it (pun intended). All through my career as a teacher I’ve played the game. All the while getting the last laugh and finding a way to give everyone an A. Yeah, that’s right. If you are in my class, you get an A. The marks don’t matter to me — only what the student thinks of themselves and how they connect with their own learning.

Everyone's a winner

But back to blogging. I really wanted to participate in this but really couldn’t find a way without offending others and participating in the “this is better than that”. So I decided to just give everyone an A!

Please click the random ELT Blog Generator and get taken to new and old bloggers alike. You be the judge – we all will fall in love with different ones. There are 130 blogs in the bunch, culled only in two ways. 1. They have been regularly updated (at least 1 post in the last 3 weeks) 2. Are not commercial mouthpieces (however soft).


If you like the idea, copy down the code and put a nice button linking to the generator page. Happy blog roulette!

Also – this means that if you are in the generator – you are tagged!

<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”” alt=”Random ELT Blogs” /></a>

PS. Jason, no slight intended. I know you heart is always in the right place….bless your soul.


Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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7 Responses

  1. (Following written with good-spirited chuckle):

    Hey Dave,

    First – let me just say that I think the random ELT blog generator is a fantastic idea. Love it, and shall definitely promote it!

    Back to the substance of your post – sorry mate, but you really DIDN’T get it!

    The idea of the 10 blogs to recommend was not a ranking or awards initiative – not for those, as I mentioned, who actually grasped it in the right spirit. I despise the breast-thumping narcissistic vein/vain of many of those listing and awards-based pyramid schemes as much as you do, so for you to describe it in this way does lead me to believe that you still haven’t grasped what I was on about, or have somewhat distorted my account to fit a bit of soapboxing (remember I’m grinning with good humour as I type this!).

    The post of mine you reference throws the gauntlet at people who wrote the 10 blogs initiative off as either pure PLN backscratching or a discriminatory exercise that celebrates certain bloggers over others.

    I stand by my claim that people (like you, for example) who make big statements about not being willing to recommend 10 blogs because it will offend anyone not included really do miss the point, and quite possibly both under-estimate and over-estimate themselves and their PLNs.

    Anyway, all that aside, I’ve got to take my hat off to you – the random ELT blog generator beats that original initative hands down. It’s both more discovery-based and more exciting, and more likely to uncover some new gems!

    So well done – great work.


    – Jason

  2. ddeubel says:


    Thanks for your comments and clarifying things.

    I just found your post a little bit “heavy handed” – meaning that there are many reasons people might not participate in the “this blog is worth” initiative. It lumped and divided wholesale.

    I am like you, for anyone promoting other blogs, efforts, resources. That’s what my community has basically become (didn’t really start with that intention really). However, I don’t think you can “list” blogs without others thinking that “these are better than those” . Our blogs ARE places of authority, especially your own and a good number of others. When you do label – it has the effect of deflating others who are writing.

    My own blog here gets about 20 hits a day (3-4 are my own). However, I don’t focus on that but use it as a way to have a conversation with my other self – to better myself as a teacher through reflection. If we start as a community emphasizing “worth” and “popularity” – you really hurt those who do write blogs, not just to get readers or be popular or help their career but to “reflect and better” themselves. That’s my take.

    We may both be dancing around the same circle though and just getting lost in nuance and words.

    But I do reserve the right to be completely wrong and off base about this!



  3. Dear Sir or Madam,

    Congratulations from the team at and Lexiophiles! Your blog has been voted number 3 in the category ‘Language Tecnology’ in our Top Language Blogs 2010 competition.This year we received 495 nominations and nearly 21,000 votes. You should be really proud of yourself for pleasing so many readers!

    You can check out the overall ranking here:

    And the ‘Language Tecnology’ ranking here:

    We have created some buttons for you to put onto your blog telling everyone how well you’ve done in the competition. Simply copy and paste the following code in your sidebar to embed the buttons:

    Number 3 ‘Language Tecnology’ category:

    Thank you for participating and we hope to see you back soon on Lexiophiles!

    Kind regards,


    On behalf of the and Lexiophiles team

  4. Alex Case says:

    Ha, have just ended up here from your random blog generator, which I linked to after coming across it on Jason’s blog, only to find his comment as the only one here! What a strange circle within circle experience that was!

    PS, do you not think that the Lexiophiles comments go over the line into spam? No bitterness about not being included in that comment, honest…

  5. ddeubel says:


    Glad you “droppped by”…. I think there is some worth in the blog generator or whatever it is. The internet puts us all in a little cocoon and this is one way to fight it. I’ve avoided getting news from the net precisely for this “spotlight” effect.

    However about the “contest” YES. It is spam and there are also about a half dozen other lists being tweeted, tagged and spread about as fact when in fact they are just some bloke sitting down with a modicum of knowledge and wanting to “fill in” X spots. And then everyone spreads it about as gospel when the real intention is to spread the soft advertising. I’ve tweeted and contacted others about it but no response. Still keeps getting passed around like gospel because it “looks” official and after all it is a list and hey, lists MUST be true.

    Jason is a wonderful bloke. This isn’t the first issue we butted heads on – however we still respect our differences. However, there a lot of others who don’t really see through the fluff and instead get pulled merrily along the middle ground – unaware of the hidden agendas. It’s a swamp out there…. I prefer high ground. So does Jason except it is over there and not HERE.

    Glad you landed here and appreciate the comment. Important to think of those things, if we value an internet that is about freedom and voice….


  6. Hi David

    I would just like to say what a brilliant idea your Random Blog Generator is. Everyone gets an A and that’s also a lovely idea, because it promotes harmony and a feeling of equanimity.

    Do the chosen 130 blogs remain the same or will another selection of blogs be chosen at a later stage?

    Once again, it’s a fab and very clever idea. Thanks for the post.


  7. ddeubel says:


    thanks for the comment and questions.

    I’m really just in the process of thinking this through! Meaning, I would like to refine it and make it more user friendly / web 2.0. Maybe allow others to add their own blog? Although I don’t know about that one. I took a lot of time culling blogs (but always leaning on the side of caution and if a blog didn’t have much activity recently – I looked at the history, how old the posts were, the content etc…. and made a choice from there.). There is some benefit to having a judicious gatekeeper. So many ideas like this start out fine but then a lot of garbage gets in there and people stop promoting or using.

    But I like its simplicity. I think for the moment, I’ll continue to add worthy blogs myself (added 10 new ones today) and work on a live feature for the page (a live screenshot of one blog will also be presented on the page). Take down my banner which I just put up there for color / filler more than anything. Maybe even make the slot machine interactive…. we’ll see. I’ll have time while I am housebound watching the World Cup!

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