Reading Manipoto’s post about OPLNs got me thinking about whether I already had one, and I realized that, informally, I’ve long embraced this technique (as I suspect many of us have) and just hadn’t named it!
For instance, as a web designer, I’ve constantly checked out other designers’ work and “borrowed” cool, or better, techniques for use in my own sites. I don’t steal code, but I investigate how they did something, then code it for myself as a learning experience, usually with many modifications. Additionally, I’ve long used CSS Zen Garden as an inspiration point for new site design, and have many go-to resources for keeping abreast of the latest trends, such as Responsive Web Design at one of my favorites, A List Apart; my closest friend has also long been a resource for bouncing current ideas, since she’s an Austinite employed to use social media in business development.
So I’m glad I now know what to call my Internet autodidactism!