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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I have had several people tell me that they are not able to leave comments on my blog. I have also had a hard time leaving comment on other people’s blogs at times. This prompted me to think it might be a good idea to have a basic blogging workshop. We talked about this in one of our monthly journaling meetings recently and everyone agreed it would be helpful. I realized during our discussion however, that we have a lot of questions and a lot of different needs, so I thought we should break down the content of the workshop and make it really simple. I thought we should break down information about blogs and blogging into simple steps beginning with the most basic information such as how to search for blogs, save and organize blogs, and interact in the blogging community. I also realized that we would need to hold a series of workshops in order to cover all that needed to be covered and to give people time to practice what they learn and feel comfortable to move on to the next step.

A common frustration for people as they work with technology is the fact that everyone knows something different, so when you ask a question, the answer is usually filled with terms and information unfamiliar so you never really get your question answered, but instead, find yourself with even more questions. A lot of people feel overwhelmed when this happens and maybe even “stupid” and they simply resolve themselves to “not being that much into computers anyway.”

Well, I wanted to be sure that no one felt intimidated about asking any question and that the answers would help identify what terms and concepts needed to be explained. This is the premise and rationale for the first basic blogging workshop.

We held the first workshop at my house a few weeks ago. It was aimed to focus on reading and interacting with blogs, not creating one or learning more about how to improve one participants may have already created. We learned about the different kinds of blogs, how to search and surf to find blogs, how to bookmark, save, and organized blogs, and how to interact by posting comments.

After the workshop, I could see that while we had basically hit the target on what we wanted to cover, it has been a bit of a mess. People doing their own thing, people helping other people, people no knowing what we were talking about, etc. all led to an active, exciting workshop, but maybe not the most efficient. So ever since then, I have been thinking, evaluating, and processing my ideas. I am creating worksheets and handouts to make the workshop better next time, and in the process, I’ve realized that what I am really creating is an ebook of blogging basics for beginners.

I am going to post at least some of the parts here on this blog and may eventually have a free ebook for readers to download. Your feedback is very welcome as I work through this! Next week I am hosting a re-do of that first workshop to test out the curriculum materials before I post them. I would like to invite my readers to tell me what questions you have about blogging and send me tips about your own blog-reading, blog-interacting experiences. This is a learning opportunity for all of us and I am just very grateful for the questions that keep me moving forward.

* Next month the second workshop will be all about how to set up and create your own blog!

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