Flying home from San Diego to Phoenix after my piece in San Diego State University workshops this week, two, maybe three not so brilliant ideas floated in my head.
Perhaps the Wrong Tactic On Intro Blog Workshops
In the morning of the first day’s sessions we had all participants create new weblogs at Blogger. It went well, the usual issues of dealing with selecting a unique URL name, but everyone got started. It was lunch conversation Monday and likely Jim Julius who raised this point that perhaps we move too quickly into the “start a blog and start posting mode” when really a more sensible path would be to have people first spend time reading and identifying blog content, e.g getting a better taste of the blog-o-sphere, and a sense of the informal layers of connection (comments, blogrolls, etc).
It was like I was the Coyote getting an anvil dropped on my head– this was really the path I took.. it was the discovery that key web sites I was reading 2, 3 years ago like Stephen Downes and Serious Instructional Technology (David Carter-Tod, where are you?) where created by these things called “blogs”– I spent maybe 2-3 months reading and exploring more instructional technology blogs before I got into doing my own publishing.
The point is it dawned on me that maybe we put the technology cart before the horse by having newbies create a blog first, because it tends to start out with a blank face “Now I have a blog… what do I write about?”
I accept the need in a workshop to do things hands on, and to get some immediate gratification, but I am going to ponder this before doing another Blogs 101 workshop. I had sort of taken this approach in the old BlogShop with BlogWondering and BlogPeeking before all of the mechanics.
Any thoughts? Rotten tomatoes?
Flickr Is Electric
I should not be surprised but still i was at how engaged workshop participants got with a quick look and creation of flickr accounts. More than one person shared they had spent the evening loading photos, sharing with friends and family. There is a huge excitement and awareness created by a good flickr experience. People really were excited about the simplicity of creating interactive “hotspot” images with flickr notes (especially now that note popups can contain hyperlinks), the notion of finding usable images in the Creative Commons section, and Spell With Flickr.
If you want a sure fire excited crowd, get them flickr-ing.