Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bloggery 101

The Yavapai College campus is much prettier than the last time I visited. Much greener, with big beautiful trees and new landscaping, not to mention that a huge central staircase and solid expanse of cement between buildings was gone, to be replaced by curved ramps and plantings.

A fellow blogger, Susan of As Your World Changes, had organized a series of class discussions of social networking sites for newbies and asked me to talk with the group about blogging. They had already been introduced to Twitter and Facebook; it was time for them to meet up with Blogger and Wordpress.

The course was part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, an unusual participant-directed program at the college. As the OLLI website explains, our "learning groups" are discussion groups conceived, created and facilitated by our own members, who volunteer their time. There are no tests, grades, or college credits associated with our groups. Topics have included regional and international history, current social and political issues, the worlds' religions, fairy tales and writing your life story. Want to talk about dreams, or study the opera, movies, art or ballet? This is your chance. If American Indian art and culture interest you, stop by. And don't forget current economic issues, astronomy, our founding fathers, the Middle Ages, and Prescott's beginnings.

And so here I am, trying to compete with the strange light emitted by a computer projection system. I learned a lot prepping for the meeing. F'rinstance, Technorati has counted some 133 million different blogs since 2aughtaught2, adding that 1.5 million blog articles were posted in the past seven days and 900,000 in 24 hours. This presumably does NOT count the 72 million Chinese blogs. Wikipedia has a reasonably good entry about blogs, their history and pedigree, but I discovered that old, nearly forgotten About was the best reference I could find covering the blogging phenomenon.

Here's the student volunteer who manned the computer projection keyboard.

And some of the students, several of whom are quite interested in starting a blog. They are all on their own. I had it easy when I started out. After all, the dotter (OmegaMom) already published her own blog, was an IT person quite comfy with the Internet and she set me up, complete to a blog reader (Bloglines) and traffic counter (Sitemeter).

Susan Gerhart (far right), who organized the class series, here talks with other students at the end of the session.

Note: The Old Fat Man was mighty pleased to read about this type of learning opportunity. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute programs are found nationwide; check here to learn more.


Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

My sister, the pedagogue (had to look up the spell). More folks like you are required!!


quilteddogs said...

Wow! What a great class. Wish I lived full time in your neck of the woods.

Catalyst said...

Good for you, Julie. Wish I had been there.

slger said...

Thanks so much, J, for a great class. I think we'll have some new Prescott bloggers soon.

By the way, blogger/Firefox surprised me with a popup window for adding comments. Now I know.

Follow me on Twitter slger123

Lucy said...

How wonderful that you're being asked to speak to people about blogging, I can't think of a better ambassador.

Let us know if you hear of any of them taking it up, so we can give them a housewarming!

Granny J said...

bro -- I guess I don't mind helping people out with something I know reasonably well, Find it rather rewarding as a matter of fact.

qd -- the other sessions in the course sounded interesting, too.

catA -- would have enjoyed seeing your shining face.

siger -- thanks for inviting me! Ihope we have added a few new Prescott bloggers.

lucy == that's a fine & generous offer. Any students out there see this?

Jarart said...

Very cool. No wonder you are famous.

Anonymous said...

They'll have you back next year!

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

jarart -- as I've discovered over the years, one beomes "famous" because people often think they should know just who are you...

anon av -- I'd be glad to do a repeat performance. I'd also like to know how many of the participants started a blog -- and how many are continuing with it a year from now.

Meggie said...

How lucky your students are!!
Congratulations on your wonderful blog, & being able to teach others.

Granny J said...

meggie -- thank you for your kind words. I'll try hard to deserve them.

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