I'm conducting a "Writing for Social Media"* workshop today. Have been conducting this for maybe three years or so. About eight runs so far.
The course covers aspects of writing for the Internet and social media -- blogs, a little bit of Facebook/ Twitter, an overview of planning vodcasts and podcasts. There's some technical information and techniques (e.g. what does it mean to "write concisely", "in a personal tone", "passive Vs active voice", differences in writing instructional posts Vs feature articles).
Participants go through writing activities, group discussions and class critiques (I always warn them to leave their egos at the door -- but it's not as
I also try to get the class to discuss and think about what it means to be "social", as opposed to only "writing".
The hardest bit, from my perspective as a trainer, is in explaining what it means to "write from the heart". Or rather, convince the participants why it's important to do do.
In explaining about "writing from the heart", I still quote Shel's book: write with "Passion" and "Authority".
Participants also shared that it's about giving readers a glimpse into our personal viewpoints or work. E.g. how did we plan for this programme? What did participants tell us?
And about our feelings, e.g. what's my personal thoughts after facilitating a book discussion session? What new insights did I learn?
Technical skills are easier to master. But the ability to evoke emotions from the reader -- that's an art in itself.
Also, what one reader feels is emotive writing may come across as bland to another.
And I think in a work setting, few jobs require the employee to write with emotions. Couple that with the culture of librarianship being more of "behind the scenes" rather than being "front and centre", it's harder to get a library institution to share it's institutional knowledge, through its people-assets.
* The workshop details are not posted at the NLB Academy site, but you can email them to enquire.