September 01, 2005

Sept 1 session (afternoon): Main discussion points

We modified our approach a little bit for the afternoon session, based on a quick review of this morning's session before we went for lunch.

For the afternoon session, we did pretty much the same except that we conducted the demo a little slower (for the hands-on blogging part).

Some participants tended to get a little mixed up over the "User Name" (when they register for blogger), the "Blog Name" for the blogspot site, as well as the "Blog Address". Not surprising, since many of them had no experience in creating their own homepages.

But Rajen and I felt that for a group that had no experience in creating personal homepages, they did very well. Everyone today (morning & afternoon's session) was able to create a blog of their own, create posts, change the template, add comments, post comments in other people's blog, delete comments and also deleting a blog.

This is a snapshot of the discussion points raised for the afternoon session:
01Sept05b 001

We took these down before the start of the session. We asked what came to the participant's minds when they hear about "blogs". We had responses like "it's a website", "it's similar to email", "it's a web diary", "it's put up by people with lots of info to share", "it's a teenager thing", "it's controversial".

At the end of the session, we asked them to review those same points noted earlier. One thing all agreed that it wasn't just a "teenage thing" and blogs aren't necessarily controversial.

Someone asked "do people or authorities monitor blogs". I took that question and said I don't really know. Basically, to blog is to publish. So do it responsibly.

As with the morning session, the participants were also interested in legal issues regarding blogs. The point Rajen & I tried to make was that existing laws applies -- you'd get into trouble if you make inaccurate or inappropriate statements.

We had a point noted down -- "Any use of blogs about work?" (whatever "work" might be). We discussed about corporate blogging. Mentioned about IBM blogging guidelines, and shared the example of Microsoft's Channel 9.

And just like the morning session, we showed them Bloglines as an example of a RSS newsreader.

Judging from the participants' responses & written feedback, the course seemed to have met the stated course objectives.

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