Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Teaching about blogging

Last week I did my first public workshop on blogging (How to Create a Blog for Your Business). I was pleased with the number of participants as well as hearing from those who wanted to come, but couldn't due to their schedules. I was intrigued by the blogs people wanted to start, including those for their businesses, on a forthcoming book, and to support college courses. Only about half of the people were already reading blogs and then only a few blogs (with one person reading/monitoring eight blogs). I believe no one was using a blog reader, so teaching about blog/RSS readers became an addendum to the workshop via e-mail two days later.

What lessons did I learn from the experience? Among them are:
  • As the surveys have shown, a lot of people don't know what blogs are, so we still need to make people aware of them.
    • If you have a blog for your organization, remember to continually market it.
    • This also means continuing to make people aware of RSS and RSS readers.
      • RSS is very versatile. There is a list of things you can do with RSS that really shows off the technology's capabilities.
  • People need to know about blog readers. Period. You can monitor more blogs and be impacted by more information/opinions if you use a blog reader.
  • People are willing to adopt new modes of reaching out and communicating if they understand what the benefits are.
    • With your users and colleagues, make sure that they know how to use the technologies that you present AND tell them how using the technologies will benefit them. Give very specific examples.
  • Although anyone can blog, not everyone can modify a blog's template. So for example, a person may not be able to insert the HTML for a Creative Commons license in the temple.
    • I joked that they should turn to their IT support person, web site developer, family member or the kid next door for help. The "kid next door" as the IT support person is both real and folklore. There is a TV ad here showing a police car stopping in front of a group of teenagers. The one teen approaches the police car and the police officer holds up his laptop which has frozen. The teenager tells him how to fix it, then walked away.
  • It is important to emphasis simplicity. One blog I showed was a library blog for internal staff (although it has an external following) because it was simple and effective. The template had not been modified at all. The emphasis on keeping it simple helped the participants know that blogging is doable.
I learned more than that, but I'll keep it simple for now! It was a wonderful experience, which I'm looking forward to repeating.


Blogrankers said...
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Anonymous said...

Cool blog you have going here, I will check in often! I have a similar site about autoresponders and rss - small world! :-)

Best Wishes,
autoresponders and rss

small business opportunity ideas said...
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