I’m not sure exactly what it means, if anything, but I just want to reflect for a second or two on my post about 21st Century Skills for Teachers and the 130 comments and trackbacks that ensued. I’m not one to look at my stats very often or track visits to my blog, but I do know that the number of responses to that post pretty much obliterated the old standard in terms of the amount of conversation that transpired. And while much of it was obviously just a connection to what a lot of other folks were feeling or experiencing on that topic, some of it is no doubt due to more people, lots more people in the fray, reading, writing, participating, learning.

I’ve said this before, if nothing else, the network feels more palpable and connected than ever. Without a doubt, Twitter has had much to do with the numbers of comments that have been left here of late. Tom asked in the thread to see a graph of the comments here over time, and while I’m not savvy enough to do that, there’s no question that more started coming around the same time I started “getting” Twitter. And from a network standpoint, the explosion on UStream has been pretty amazing. Just today I caught portions of a high school talent show in Shanghai, a tech session with students in Illinois, and a workshop from a conference in North Carolina. (And I missed much, much more than I saw.)

And there are downsides to this as well. Can anyone really read through 130 comments? Are we getting too distracted, too connected, too participatory for our own good? Are we simply adding to the echo chamber of nodding heads, or are we doing what we need to do to move the conversation out of the blogosphere/twitterverse/ustreamland? All questions, btw, that in some form or another were captured in the comments on that post.

But here is the good news, the best news of all of this. In those 130 comments and trackbacks, there were many, many, many new names and voices. All sorts of people who took it upon themselves to jump into the mix and share their ideas who I don’t remember hearing from before. That can only be a good sign.

Thanks for all of your contributions here over the years, all 8,800 of them. (That’s one stat that’s easy to find.) I have and continue to learn much as I hope you have as well.

(Word cloud for the post provided by Britt Watwood.)