Marica's meanderings

Monday, December 27, 2004

Steep learning curve

Today my husband Lynsey, my son Damian and I drove to Wanganui to visit my mother-in-law. These three hour car trips have been turning out to be productive planning sessions for me. I now always get into the car with pen and paper in my bag, ready to record the ideas which seem to spew forth while I am stationary and unable to do anything else. Ironically I still haven't found a piece of technology which works more effectively for me in these situations than pen and paper does.

On this drive I discussed my plans with Lynsey for creating a website to help me manage all the information I am gathering and as a vehicle for sharing this information with others. Since attending the Australian Flexible Learning Leaders Sharing Workshop in Sydney I have been thinking a lot about what my final FLLinNZ "product" will be. How do I classify a product in terms of a professional development opportunity? People have already commented on my professional and personal growth in these past months. Is this a product or should it be something more tangible?

Two things I had thought about doing early on in my planning was to develop a website and to establish a blog. So far I have worked on the latter. Now it is time for the website to be created and this process began on State Highway 1 heading north! As I reflected on the content I wanted to include in my site I started thinking about a name for it. Lynsey suggested I should get a domain name and I thought it was a great idea but had no idea idea what I had to do. I was told the first thing I had to come up with were some names I liked. After considering many options (it was a long trip!) I came up with the idea of "ako.net". As soon as I said the words I knew this was it and nothing else would be acceptable. The "ako" links to the Maori word for teaching and learning. I love this holistic concept and I also felt it reflected me - the teacher and the lifelong learner. The "net" goes without saying - it links to the internet but also with the fishing concept where you gather together fish or in my case information and then share the catch with others in the community.

Ako.net was already real to me and all afternoon I kept thinking about whether the name was already in use by someone else. I had to wait ...

A thing created is loved before it exists.
Charles Dickens


Later in the evening when I was back home I learnt all about registering a domain name. I was gutted to find "ako.net" was taken. After considering a number of different options I tried adding "nz" to my name and bingo - this domain name was available. I was elated. I registered my domain for five years, and now if you enter the URL http://www.ako.net.nz you will get to a page that says: You have reached the future website of ako.net.nz. Stage One completed.

Now I am investigating web hosting. This learning curve seems to get steeper all the time.



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