I’ve been doing a fair amount of blog training recently, whether for students, academics, NGOs or other aid agencies. It’s fun but quite time consuming, and I recently realized (not for the first time), that I’m actually pretty redundant. If I post the slides (below) and some suggestions for structure, pretty much anyone can run a training session. Job done.
The slides cover a basic intro: why blog? Do’s and Don’ts; and 10 ways to generate a draft blog in under an hour. Text version here. But if you leave it there, it will just be another passive training session, and probably achieve very little. What matters is getting people to be actively involved in writing/critiquing each other’s posts.
I’ve tried two options:
1. Ask everyone to come with a laptop and an idea for something they want to write about. After the presentation, they sit down and write 4-500 words, then work in pairs to read and critique. The session facilitator then tries to persuade as many as possible to get their post to publishing standard after the session.
2. Ask half a dozen volunteers to come with something they have written (whether draft or published). Print off copies for everyone in the room. Then for each post in turn, everyone spends 10m reading the post and 10m critiquing as a group. So 6 posts = 6x20m = 2 hours, plus the presentation.
They both have plusses and minuses: (1) means everyone has a go, but people often don’t go on to finish their posts. (2) is more likely to generate publishable blogs, but tends to benefit those who are already confident enough to volunteer.
It’s not just about blogging of course – this is really about writing clearly and accessibly, and would benefit a wider range of comms activities.
I’d welcome any other suggestions for training formats, or links to other blog training packages.
Oh and here’s my standard guidance to would-be FP2P guests – probably needs updating.