Saturday, 24 March 2007

Blogging workshops - National Youth Week

Well, I think I am just about ready - still some fine tuning details to get through, but the bulk of it is all done. For those of you just joining in, we will be running a series of blogging workshops during National Youth Week, which is from 14 to 22 April 2007. The workshops cover basic blogging, using blogger, and also an introduction to RSS feeds. We will be using Google Reader, mainly because of people's familiarity with the google name. I was hesitant to go down the 'google only' path - there are many others out there, but as I started using blogger and used my gmail account to login, thought it would be easier to keep going down this path. I did think of trialling some other email addresses to sign in, but didn't want to end up with millions of unused blogs everywhere (and hence clutter up cyber space - hate clutter, even on the net!)

Because (at the time), I was unsure if one could start a blog with blogger using a different email account, I then had to think of whether to say persons doing the workshop needed a gmail account or whether we would run participants through that too. Of course, I couldn't assume all had a gmail account, so now that is in the program too. Then we move onto Google Reader....

Another concern was the age. 12 and up? 13 and up?? Went to Google's terms and conditions and they say that anyone signing up has to be 13 years or older, no provision for parents signing for anyone under, so that settled it - anyone signing up has to be at least 13. Maximum age?? Still undecided. Perhaps 16?? They are probably already blog-savvy by then!

I have put together some basic steps on how to get a gmail account, then start a blog using blogger and using Google Reader as an aggregator. I have been told that getting people to understand RSS feeds can be quite a challenge, which surprised me, maybe because it is so logical to me??? time will tell! The idea is that everyone will start a blog (after getting a gmail account of course), put some posts on their blog, then everyone can use Google Reader to get feeds off the other participants’ blogs. It really seems too easy……

Now the biggest challenge- preparing and educating the staff!! The biggest barrier will be the mindset of this being something run by the Children’s Department – always a challenge! Then preparing something so that staff understand what a blog is, what RSS is and what participants will be doing. They need to understand so hopefully they will be more interested, but also so that they can answer any enquiries made and they can tell patrons what is required (ie an email address will have to be created) and what is also involved.

Had a brilliant flyer created by BoneyGirl – really funky, but very streamlined and classy (appeals to my nature of wanting less clutter!). Need to print these out in the coming week and distribute them. The bookstores have agreed that they will pass them on to their customers. Of course, over promotion can be a problem in itself…. We have just undergone a major refurbishment and the public access PCs are now in clusters, so I can really only give the workshop to about 5 participants. I didn’t want to be over ambitious and assume that we would fill 5 sessions (for the week) so have just put something like ‘Starting April 16, call for more details”. If there is more interest, then we can open up another session. Of course I have to remember to advise staff to take a waiting list…..

1 comment:

boney said...

I think you will do well with the blogging workshops for youth week. I'm sure the staff will get the hang of it. In this day and age I think it's a matter of necessity, we all have to move with the new trends. Take me for example I'm past the age of consent perhaps way past and have taken to like a cat takes to milk