There's no benchmark for what is a "good" or "poor" audience turnout, other than average attendances. So I'd consider a good crowd to be 25 people and up.
I'm happy to report that about 100 people turned up this afternoon! About 15 minutes before the talk was about to start, about 60% of the 80 seats were filled. Five minutes before we began, all but two seats were unoccupied.
After that, more people came and were bunched up at the back (more than what I captured in the photo), with some standing outside the glass partition. I was sure the good turnout was due to the event being listed in the Events for Seniors Citizen Week in one of the newspapers.
Chun See, at 54 years old, kept saying he felt very young during the talk, because there seems to be participants in their 60s in the audience. I think the average age of the participant was 55 or thereabouts (darn, I forgot to ask them before they dispersed).
He shared why he named his blog "Good Morning Yesterday" (it was from a song, and one lady even sportingly tried to sing it when requested by Chun See), his motivation for blogging (mental exercise, share a bit of Singapore's history, and connection with the young), and excerpts of comments from younger readers of his blog (Chun See said the best compliment he received was "Uncle, you ROCK!")
I came in for the last part with a "live" demo on signing-up and creating a blog with Blogger.com. I told the audience I had to assume they knew what a "URL" was, and the basics of accessing the Internet. Then proceeded to show how to publish a post, edit a previously published post, how to access the blog, and a brief mention on copyright and personal privacy issues. All within 15 minutes.
I emphasised a few times the session was not about the "How To" in creating or maintaining a blog. I was mindful not to give too much information but some were clearly hungry for more. We referred them to RSVP.org.sg, where they run a course on Blogging conducted in English and Mandarin. I wonder if RSVP would have a surge in enquiries for their blogging course after today :)
Before I ended my part, I advised that even if they didn't start their own blog, what they might want to do is to leave comments in other people's blogs (followed this with a quick demo).
Prior to the talk, we asked how many of them had email accounts and half of them raised their hands. From the way the audience paid attention, the questions asked, and the way they responded verbally or other non-verbal cues, I sensed that a good number of them already have basic knowledge about accessing the Internet. It was very gratifying to have a few of them come up to us and personally thanked us for the talk.
Chun See was able to engage the audience. He was throwing names of places in Singapore (long gone now) that the audience was able to identify with his sharing. I think more important, being around the same age, they were able to identify with him. I'm sure hearing a 54 year-old blogger tell about the joys of blogging (yeah, Chun See used the word "joy" quite a bit) made the message sink in much more than what a younger person could have done.
Oh, and thanks to our FOYer friends, Victor, Walter and Dr. Tan Wee Kiat for turning up for the session!
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