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50 Days Worth of Blogs About ‘Tornadic’ Tom Vander Ark: Day 2

day 2

*Note: Links are in bold type except in chart!

A friend told me I used a good ‘ear worm’ in yesterday’s blog. (I referenced one apropos catchy line of a song.) I had never heard the term before. As she defined ‘earworm’ for me, I was literally working on today’s blog and the following parody. I laughed and told her “ohhhh good, well, tomorrow I think I will be putting an ‘earsnake’ in the blog.” Here is the song that was stuck in my head today while I was choosing the Tom Vander Ark topic flavor of the day: DIZZY by Tommy Roe.  But, hold on …imagine me singing it rather loudly with THESE slight changes in lyrics:

Dizzy
I’m so dizzy, my head is spinnin’
Like a whirlpool, it never ends
And it’s you,Tom, makin’ it spin
You’re makin’ me dizzy
First time that I saw your, goals, I knew that I just had to make it known
But it’s so hard to talk to you with your own writings round you all the time
I want you for my Tweet set
But you keep playin’ hard to get
Goin’ around in circles all the time
Dizzy
I’m so dizzy, my head is spinnin’
Like a whirlpool, it never ends
And it’s you,Tom, makin’ it spin
You’re makin’ me dizzy

I finally got to write ‘bout you and tell others just exactly how I felt
Then I held you far from me and dissed you and my rant started to be dealt
Tom, you’ve NO control of me
‘Cause I’m so dizzy I can’t see
I need to call a teacher for some help
Dizzy
I’m so dizzy, my head is spinnin’
Like a whirlpool, it never ends
And it’s you, Tom, makin’ it spin
You’re makin’ me dizzy
My head is spinnin’
Like a whirlpool, it never ends
And it’s you, Tom, makin’ it spin
You’re makin’ me dizzy
Oh, I’m so dizzy
You’re makin’ me dizzy

The online landscape when researching Tom Vander Ark….is eerily unnatural. When people speak of ‘rabbit hole research’ they talk about a downward spiral that occurs when you click a link on one site, and it leads to another which in turn makes you type another query in the research bar, which might then send you to a Wikipedia site, from which you grab primary source links, and chase those down…and on and such until you have deepened your knowledge and in education reform, ultimately traipsed down some bizarre- caterpillar-smoking-a-pipe-scenes. But when one researches Tom Vander Ark, it is not quite like that at all. It is a series of loop-de-loops that after a brief time, will bring you right back to where you started.

You type in Tom Vander Ark and you will come to articles written by Tom Vander Ark. Not exactly the ideal objective perspective. So you type in Newspaper Articles About Tom Vander Ark, and you come to nearly the same identical list. Once maybe every 10-15 links or so, you get a bit excited and relieved to see a listing that carries a different name than all of Tom’s litany of Tom. You click, yes, at last it is not a site in which Tom is NOT the Board Director (more on that tomorrow), and you read only to find…that what they wrote ABOUT Tom is verbatim the same picture and schpiel that you come across 100s and 1000s of times over and over and over again online, authored by Tom himself. It is viciously cyclical.

Speaking engagements, ALL also have the very same block paragraph or two about Tom, written by Tom. Sites plugging his books are all written by Tom. Tom’s links in Tom’s articles carry back to Tom’s connections or partnerships which in turn inevitably link you back to Tom’s Getting Smart, homebase I suppose.

No person who is reportedly that well-known reads that scripted-like online. Here I will show you exactly what I mean in a step-by-step, side-by-side comparison.

Google Search

Tom Vander Ark

Google Search

Diane Ravitch

About 114,000 results (0.36 seconds) About 604,000 results (0.29 seconds)
1st link Tom’s Getting Smart Blog Site 1st link Diane Ravitch’s Blog Site
2nd link Tom’s Getting Smart Blog Site 2nd link Diane Ravitch.com
3rd Vander Ark on Innovation author Tom 3rd good ole Wikipedia ABOUT Diane not BY Diane
4th & 5th Linked In and Twitter by Tom 4th & 5th HuffPo and Twitter by Diane
6th Amazon link to Tom’s books 6th an article ABOUT Diane in the Public Defender
7th Five Things I’ve Learned dot org BY Tom 7th link to Diane’s book Myth of Charter Schools
8th & 9th link Fb & digiLearn BY Tom 8th & 9th link Atlantic Article ABOUT Diane & FB
CLICK TO PAGE SEVEN of search CLICK TO PAGE SEVEN of search
10 links BY TOM (1 misc to unrelated) 2 BY Diane 6 ABOUT Diane
CLICK TO PAGE TEN of search CLICK TO PAGE TEN of search
2 links to Speaker Tom to his pat bit 8 BY Tom Nine tags to Diane’s Blog BY OTHERS
Google Search Newspaper Articles About Tom Vander Ark Google Search Newspaper Articles About

Diane Ravitch

About 21,100 results (0.45 seconds) About 195,000 results (0.38 seconds)
8 links BY Tom 3 ABOUT Diane 8 links BY Diane
CLICK TO PAGE SEVEN of search CLICK TO PAGE SEVEN of search
5 links BY TOM to Tom 3 links by others to Tom 10 links ABOUT DIANE or others tagging her blog
CLICK TO PAGE TEN of search CLICK TO PAGE TEN of search
5 BY Tom 6  About Tom (but link to BY Tom) 10 links ABOUT Diane

Where Tom Vander Ark  is concerned online it is incredibly surgically sterile. It reminds me of that chemical smell when I was wheeled into that chilled room to have a radical nephrectomy, right before the gas-induced ethereal countdown from 10 where you are able to say no other numbers. Where all things down to micro-germs were killed off. Where Diane Ravitch is concerned online it is incredibly vibrantly virile. It reminds me of the seasonal smells when I walk the 28 acres in the Allegheny Forest where my grandpa, uncle and dad built a cabin, right before the fire-cooked meal is about to eaten with family and friends. Where all things up to the tops of the 150 foot trees, hold dear life.

One is a Human DOING. And one is a Human BEING!

When one writes in first person they use the pronouns “I” and “We”.
When one writes in third person they use the pronouns “He, She” and “They”.
When one writes about themselves in third person that is illeism, and it is often associated with narcissistic or egocentric personality types.

Reading about Tom writing about Tom as Tom linking to links where Tom is again the author but acts as though he is a fresh writer sending the reader back  to links written by himself makes my head swim.

Tonight we will put this all in the  “washer on spin cycle” and then see tomorrow if we can reach into the entangled mess and start to untwist it all so that we may hang some of it out on a line.

tangled clothes

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