My 2500+ Daily Creates and Counting (but Celebrating 4000)


Yesterday, the DS106 Daily Create celebrated its 4,000th daily invitation to make, remix, create. I started with my first response way back on Sept. 9, 2015, and at some point, doing the Daily Create became part of my daily morning routine (along with: walking the dogs, sipping on coffee, and writing a poem or two).

On the very first day I started (thanks to a recommendation from a CLMOOC friend, Karen F.), Stephen Colbert had just taken the helm of the CBS Late Show as new host and Queen Elizabeth had just become the longest-ruling monarch of Britain. Yeah, it was a while back.

My first Daily Create wasn’t anything special, really, and was little more than a reply:

But once I got rolling, I got rolling, and have added audio, video, memes, comics, poems, games and other responses along the way. You can read the history of the DS106 Daily Create here and then join in yourself today, tomorrow, or whenever the inspiration takes hold.

Hats off to Alan Levine, who holds it all together, and to others along the way who have helped coordinate the daily scheduling (I know of Sarah and Paul, but I suspect many others have stepped up from time to time). I know there were collaborators along with Alan — like Jim G. and Marcia B. — who got DS106 off the ground at the university level as a experiment in MOOCs. Others have picked up the DS106 baton over the years to create college courses with open components on various themes, and/or fully online courses around media production that anyone in the open can join in.

The Daily Create is/was always one component of the larger DS106 ecosystem but for me, even if I took part in DS106 courses (like Headless DS106 or the Wild West 106), I still found myself centered the daily invitations to make things. We even worked to replicate the Daily Create into the Daily Connect for various projects, first through Connected Courses and then through CLMOOC and Write Out.

Alan is now migrating the Daily Create over to Mastodon, which gives me hope that others will find the daily inspiration and build a new audience there.


Alan often notes that while other educational MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have come and gone, and faded away, the DS106 ecosystem, with the Daily Create at its heart, continues onward through crowd collaboration and artistic flexibility. Participants are encouraged to submit prompts, which I have done more than 170 times.

Is it massive? Maybe not. Is it meaningful? You bet it is.

Peace (making it happen with art),

  1. I’ve been amazed by the persistence of you and others who have posted daily creations prompted by #clmooc and #ds106.

    However, I’ve also been disappointed that this daily energy has not focused on actions people in your communities can take to help kids and families living in high poverty areas.

    I’ve tried to model this with my own posts and blog articles and you, Sheri, Terry, Sarah and a few others have echoed them with some of your own posts and blog articles and by reTweeting many of my posts. However, not with the same energy that the #dailycreates have earned.

    If I look at some of the #clmooc interactions in 2015 and earlier it seems that we focused more on issues, like the conversation around maps where we asked “who’s here, and who’s missing”. I think the #dailycreates sort of pushed those conversations off to the side.

    Thank you for your many encouragements and for your financial support. Not many do as much.

    Happy New Year.

    • Thank you, Daniel, for taking the time to read and react, as always. And your point is well-taken, although I would respond by noting that the aim and intention of the Daily Create may not be on change in the world but an invitation to make art. (I was not there when Daily Create started, so I speak here only as a participant and observer). Can art have political themes and impact? Of course, it might. I have a T Shirt designed by Ron that says Make Art, Not War. Art can be lined with a message, and help situate change.

      The difference with CLMOOC was that it was a planned intention, with social justice issues and access issues one of the underlying philosophies behind the National Writing Project support. The same is true with Write Out, if you notice, and how the work with Write Out (which comes out of CLMOOC) is about diverse experiences, access to public lands, and how to make education and shared spaces more equitable for all. I don’t think the Daily Create was built for that, and I am not sure every online experience has to be turned into a political platform, either.

      Others may disagree with that observation.

      Thank you again and see you online, my friend.

    • No master plan or program guides the Daily Create- the challenges are suggested by participants or surfaced from a band of volunteers. If something is lacking not by omission it’s more that no one has teed one up.

      There’s also more to what it has covered/not covered than the blogs of a few participants, you would have to review all 4000 daily creates and 30000+ responses to make this conclusion.

      One could take an approach of suggesting more challenges that you would like to see others do (and I have to say that often coming up with one is more creative than responding). The other approach is to participate by responding in the vein of the types of acts, actions you would like to see more of.

      Kevin has been exemplary over long time of participating in both ways,

      The daily create (as if I can speak for it) would greatly welcome social justice or other kinds/variants of challenges, the door is open and the welcome mat out at

      I for one would relish more suggestions, those of us tending the machine are often short on ideas.

  2. Thanks Kevin. I don’t think every on-line experience needs to be turned into a political platform. Yet, I do wish the National Writing Project emphasis on social justice and access had continued for the past few years. And, there are many issues beyond youth and poverty that need to be addressed. The example of the Write Out focus on access to public lands shows ways to do that.

    I often write about network building and complex problems and the need to build participation and keep attention focused for many years in order to get enough people involved to actually solve any problem.

    The Daily Create shows that it’s possible to offer an activity that many people will spend time on daily. It’s a great example of what’s possible.

  3. And here I am going on about how “productive” I am on the bava, and I come here to see you have 2500 daily creates. That is insane! And that regular creative habit is definitely how I remember the Daily Create being introduced as a part of the class at UMW. And folks like you have walked that walk for years now. I fell of the wagon a while ago, but I can’t help but look-on with admiration bordering on awe!

    • There is something so powerful about daily practice, and connection with others, too. Thanks, Jim. What you all set in motion years ago still is sustaining … how great is that, right?

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