Saturday, May 24, 2008

Teaching Blogging to Democrats!

Hey everyone, I'm just following up on a diary I wrote last week. As a direct result of BlogLeft Mass's meeting in Lowell, our group is now co-hosting a Democratic State Convention workshop on the Netroots and Blogging. The point of the workshop will be to teach people how to blog, or how to become more effective bloggers and online activists. I know there's a lot of interest in this, because we had more than 20 people show up all the way in Lowell, squeezing in a small sun room with not an inch to spare. So here's the direct ways people could get involved, in bold:

1. Help us set it up. There are power point slides to create and ideas to foster. It's a lot of work, but someone's gotta do it. What exactly can you do?

A. Create slides for how to use Digg, Technorati, stat counter, social networking sites, rss feeds, blogging platforms, etc. Basically, anything I listed here. If you're willing, pick something in the comments and email me your slides.

B. Edit what we have. We're certainly going to want to have a few people take a look at what we're going to present ahead of time, so if anyone's willing to be a guinea pig, let me know.

2. Come to the convention! We're trying to incorporate as many bloggers, commenters and netroot activists as possible. As such, the first section of the presentation will be various presentations on what is the netroots, blogging, the different kinds, etc.

Then, there will be three break-out sessions:

A. Netroots 101: teaching people the basics (ex. how to create a username and post at Bluemassgroup or If this sounds like something that interests you, please make a note of it in the comments - or email me.

B. Netroots 201: technical tools to help your blogging and online activism - such as video blogging, podcasting, blog tools such as Digg, etc. If this sounds like something that interests you, please make a note of it in the comments - or email me.

C. Netroots Roundtable. We're going to need a number of bloggers and netroots activists on a panel for discussion, but it's also just as important to have veterans in the audience to make sure it's a real give and take. Consider this less a panel where people talk down to others, and more a round table like that of the Arthurian Legends (which, I guess, makes the Internet our Excalibur). If this sounds like something that interests you, please make a note of it in the comments - or email me.

3. Other ways to help.

A. Start blogging about this! We should try to build excitement because an event like this could lead to dozens of new political bloggers and diarists in this state.

B. Come and critique the panel. We need to learn what we did good and what we could improve on. Did we miss anything? Could anything be skipped? The presentation at the DSC Convention is the beginning, not the end, so it's important to that BlogLeft take something away from it beyond recruiting new talent.

C. Take the presentation on tour. Ultimately, a personal goal for this entire project is to create a major blogger workshop pilot so we can form the basis of something that bloggers can take on the road. There are Town Committees, League of Women Voters and Progressive Democrat chapters that need to see this presentation, because they need to be blogging about the things they're already doing everyday in their community anyway, in order to maximize their effectiveness and increase the information available to the community beyond the shoddy reporting at local weeklies. This is the best, grassroots shot at growing the netroots movement in Massachusetts - and this is the best way anyone here can do their part to expand it. I hope we'll eventually have dozens of people involved in this aspect.

FYI: the Convention will be at the Tsongas arena in Lowell on June 7th. However, our workshop will actually be at Lowell High School. It's cosponsored by both BlogLeft Mass and the DSC Subcommittee on Communications. The workshop will begin at approx. 3pm.


Ari Fertig said...

Have you seen that "...In Plain English" series on YouTube? People might be able to get some good ideas from that. It's very, very, very basic.

2 Examples:

Blogging in Plain English:

Social Networking in Plain English:

Quriltai said...


I don't have the heft to be on a table of legends, so I'll fill in elsewhere. I'm going to be a delegate at the convention, anyway so why not.

I'd be happy to do a thing on "how/why to keep blogging even though nobody's reading your blog and the three people who are think you're stupid and boring". I'll even include some ideas beyond mixing stiff drinks.

Queers United said...

best of luck on your efforts

kyledeb said...

I'm extremely interested in talking to you about this, Ryan. I hope all is well. Email me at kyle at citizenorange dot com.

About Ryan's Take