Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Blogging course: MICA Innovation Fiesta 2005

My colleague, Rajen, and I would be conducting a blogging-related course tomorrow, as part of the MICA Innovation Fiesta 2005. Two sessions actually. Participants will come from various MICA agencies.

The course title is "Blogging: New Tool of the E-Generation". I didn't come up with the course title. Maybe Rajen did. Guess he wanted the course to sound "sexy" :)

We've also started a training/ demonstration blog -

Rajen's the expert in content packaging and courseware development. He's also an excellent trainer, so while I'm there to conduct the hands-on session, I also hope to learn the finer points of being a trainer from him.

There's a full registration of 45 people. At the end of the course, we would like the participants to:
  1. Define, understand the types and uses of blogs
  2. Know basic terminologies associated with blogs and blogging
  3. Understand how blogs can be created
  4. Make an informed choice on blogs and blogging

The last point is important. I would think it's the crux of the whole course.

From my point of view, the aim of the course is not to encourage or discourage people from blogging. We tell them what it is, its applications and use; the potentials and pitfalls; opportunities and risks. They make their own choice as to what happens after the course.

From most non-bloggers I've spoken to, the popular perception is that it's something that the young & frivilous engage in. Their views are shaped by the local media, no doubt. I used to think that way about blogs too, until someone took issue with me.

I decided the person's indignation was valid, as I was then making a statement based on mere perception without bothering to find out what exactly what blogging was (unthinkable for a librarian!)

So I started a blog as an experiment. What better way than to try it out yourself, right? It was soon apparent to me that blogging was no different from having a personal website (like Yahoo! geocities). A blog is merely a tool. It's how you use it.

The other day, someone asked me if "blogging was dangerous (i.e. subversive)". I replied that it was as dangerous as you think books/ language/ ideas/ expression are dangerous. I also wondered if Gutenberg was asked that question.

I've been thinking of what to say as an introductory statement tomorrow. Think I'll qualify that I'm no Blog Evangelist.

I'm just doing what I believe a librarian should be doing -- which is to present information factually and efficiently, so that the users can make up their own minds on how innovative they want to be.

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