Tuesday, May 20, 2008

BlogLeft's First Blogger Workshop

Back in mid April, BlogLeft Massachusetts held its first event in quite a while. It was, as much as anything, a completely open forum filled with live, in-person meta. Names and pseudonyms were matched with faces. Over all, the event felt like a big success - it was messy, exciting and an all around good time, but, most of all, it was important. At the very least, now we all knew a little bit more about who we are, as a progressive, netroots movement, and what we'd like to accomplish.

About the only immediate action the group of people firmly agreed on as a short term goal was that we wanted to host more events - specifically events geared towards increasing the numbers of bloggers and activists across the state. Well, I just wanted to let everyone know, what went on in Lowell mattered - because that's exactly what's going to happen. It's now about as official as it'll ever get - at the Democratic State Convention, BlogLeft will co-sponsor a 'how to blog' forum for party activists with the DSC Subcommittee on Communications, something that will hopefully be so successful that we'll be able to take the forum on the road to a town near you.

Action Items

Not all the details are planned, but we know there's going to be two parts to the presentation: what is blogging and how do people do it? It'll cover both general knowledge and the technical 'how-to' that can leave so many people stumped. Consider this presentation a Netroots 101 event that teaches people all they need to know to start their own blog, join or create a Yahoo email group or write a comment on BMG. We're going to show people that it's not a big and scary thing and that a blog's results are well worth the effort.

Not all of that is easy and there's still plenty of room for planning left. If anyone would like to get involved, please let me know. There's two phases to this whole thing: making sure the content and structure of our presentation is solid, and actually carrying it out. In terms of actual content, we're looking for people to help with presentation slides on certain netroot topics. Some examples:

-How to create a blog on typepad, step by step
-Ditto blogger.com
-The steps of creating your own website from scratch
-Wordpress and all its tools
-Other platforms like soapblox
-Facebook, it's uses, it's pros and cons.
-What the hell is Digg and how do you use it?
-Yahoo and Google groups from scratch
-Other email tools
-RSS feeds: how to use them, how to create them.
-Video podcasting and video editing, freeware
-Podcasting and audio editing, freeware
-Photo editing, freeware
-Other online tools, etc.

If there's anything I've left off, and you know about it, please contact me. Ideally, each of those tools could be kept to just a few slides, but be powerful enough to teach people how to use them. Unfortunately, there's a high probability that we won't have internet access, so these guides will have to be very, very good (don't worry, though, I'll take rough drafts and make them prettier if all you can do is help make them). All in all, this is a very exciting event and we're going to need a lot of volunteers to pull off the ambitious agenda, which for now includes not only presentation on things like "what is a blog" but will feature interactive stations, where we can have individual time with those who are attending our workshop. So, as anyone can see, we're going to need all hands on deck - it can't just be Lynne, Kate Donoghue, Susan from Below Boston and I. Keep the Grassroots growing and join in on the fun, because this presentation - which I consider to be the big, pilot test run - may become the single most effective means of increasing the size of our progressive, netroots Bay State movement.

Crossposted at BlueMassGroup.

1 comment:

Quriltai said...

I'll help as you need me...gonna be there anyway. My blog is little read and rather new, but I'm happy to pitch in as needed, whether as Quriltai, sabutai, or what have you.

I can do something on local blogging, from my experience in Middleboro...

About Ryan's Take