Thursday, February 16, 2006

After Day 4 (SAOUG Blog Course, Part 4)

[From: After Day 3 (SAOUG Blog Course, Part 3]

Rajen and I had only one session on the 16th, because we had to catch a domestic flight to Cape Town at 3.55pm hours right after the class.

SAOUG Blogging 101 CourseWe reached the University of Johanesburg at 6am. After the library was opened, we proceeded to the training room to setup and test the Internet connectivity. Rajen said the layout of venue was the best by far -- spacious, with the projector in a good position.

However, the Internet connection slowed down considerably as more students arrived in the library and logged on to the campus network.


We met Pavlinka, a librarian from the university who helped us setup the room (see photo, posted with her permission).

We did the session a little differently, where we spent less time on the hands on exercise and more time in breaking the group into teams to do a SWOT analysis on starting a blog for their department.

A consistent question that came up was "Why use a blog when we have tools like Web CT and Discussion Forums already in place?"

My response was that it's not about the Tool but about Style. Throughout the course, Rajen and I emphasised that it's not an issue of Blogs being better than Discussion forums or emails etc. What Blogs are able to provide is a complementary tool to a corporate website -- a way for librarians to present themselves less formally; allow their customers and stakeholders to engage in online conversations etc.

Essentially, the whole course was about 'Demystifying Blogs' so that participants could make an informed choice whether it was a suitable application for their intents and needs. I hope we've managed to get that across.

Pretty good session that day, at least from my perspective. There was active discussions, I could see them taking notes and nodding heads.


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