Here are a few things I’ve learned in the past 2 months while working on three projects related to this blog:
- “Learning and Sharing on the Social Web”, a lifelong learning course at Yavapai College
- “Using Things That Talk”, an assistive technology demonstration session at Yavapai College
- 2nd Tuesday AAUW Book Club
General Lessons Learned
- Blogs, blogging, and bloggers are still somewhat mystifying, although legitimized by the “Julie and Julia” movie. Some people will readily comment, while most need encouragement. It takes several trips around a blog to understand its structure, find the comment space, and adjust to the theme.
- Facebook has driven interest in social media, like “my family wants me to post and view pictures this way, now what?”. While I appreciate the attraction of everybody having a place on the web, similar to the spirit of the recently defunct GeoCities, personally I have several problems with Facebook:
- I’m turned off by the use of “friend” for every opportunity to snag an email address. This demeans a very important relationship for the sake of advertising placements.
- All the interfaces I tried, m.Facebook, lite, and regular were cluttered and sometimes inaccessible with my screen reader
- As a 30 year veteran of the Internet and early adopter of the Web, I don’t like to see the splitting off and duplication of fan or public sites even if this racks up more interaction.
So, my Facebook page, says, I hope, that “Susan maintains a blog and an active Twitter stream. Please use these or email”. Uh, and, of course, my vision doesn’t support faces or pictures any more, so I’m outta there.
- Many people are perfectly happy with email, specially if they are primarily receivers or have limited interactions. However, anybody on mailing lists with members prone to “reply all” is looking for better solutions, especially if they are coordinators. That’s what drove the AAUW book club above for keeping track of future books, allied information, and questions. I have hopes for, but not yet tried out in a group, the Posterous email-based blogging service
- I personally favor using blogs as reference collectors. For example, in the AAUW book club blog are podcasts, articles, and other outlines easily linked in via comments whenever we encounter them. This leaves behind not only a great resource for new members but also for general web browsing. It’s just great to have a place to share a tidbit of information without the fuss of email lists or message replies.
- Presenting information in a classroom while visually impaired is easy enough with a helper to run the PC connected to the projector. Since I cannot see much of the projected web page beyond a white on white blur, I just talked away and kept my accompanists on track. However, this got harder when doing the assistive tech demos and the audience members couldn’t all see that well either.
More later when I think of additional or better explanations. By the way, all these activities are lots of fun, engaging me to work hard on my skills, and interact with neat people, whom I thank for the opportunities.