Friday, August 27, 2010

Summary of week 6

I'm being a bit early this week with the weekly summary because I am traveling home to New Zealand and won't have to time to write this over the weekend - so apologies for missing any little gems that you're just about to publish. We have another couple of participants join the course - feel free to check out the blogs of Susan and Justine. Justine - please can you enable 'comments' on your blog so we can communicate with you :)

Blogging and comments
One of the observations I have made over the last couple of weeks is that some of you are not replying to the comments that people are making on your blog. This may be because you haven't realised people have commented. One of the things you can do that makes things easier is to set up your blog so that you get an email every time someone leaves a comment. That way you will know there is a comment to reply to. If you do not reply, you will stifle discussion and readers will get discouraged and not return to your blog.

Here is some information from Gina Trapani about how to make a comment on a blog and here is a great post by Michele Martin that will help you encourage people to leave comments on your blog.

There's been a little surrendity happening this week. Jean has been reading a blog by David Hopkins and what he has to say about Skype and Skype etiquette. Karen read the same article at the same time and reflected on her reality of multi-tasking. Claire has been busy and moved to yet another blog and wrote a really useful post reflecting on a session she attended using DimDim - this is worth reading because we'll be having a look at DimDim in a couple of weeks. Mirielle has been catching up and thinking about how an online facilitator 'invites you in'.

Personal philosophy
Lyn has been reflecting on Nancy White's session and how the way Nancy facilitated the 'chaos' has made Lyn feel more confident to 'have a go'. Jade made me laugh with her 'angry face' when she was discussing netiquette. Rayna reflected on her experience of facilitating the live session with Greg Walker last week and fully understanding what 'flexible delivery' entails. Jane talked about the importance of having a personal pedagogy. And whilst some of us doing this course are not educators, I still think it is important for us to think about our personal philosophy toward online facilitation. Patricia also watched the recording of Greg's session and found that because she did not have the pressure of being a participant in the session, she was able to focus much more on the content.

Starting to plan for the mini conference
Jillian is way ahead of the game and already thinking about what she will facilitate for the mini conference. Maurice has been thinking about how he can engage staff in his department blog.

I haven't heard much about your experiences of using Skype, but I had a fabulous time earlier this week talking to Jean as I demonstrated Skype to nurses and midwives in Karachi - thanks to Jean for helping me out :)

Thinking ahead
Willie, Karen and Jane are facilitating next week's Elluminate session. Not only will they be facilitating the session but they will be leading it too. I heard a whisper they may try putting us into break-out rooms which will be exciting.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks. I need a couple of volunteers who are feeling very brave to help facilitate the DimDim session on Friday 10th September with Wayne Mackintosh - Wayne is a very experienced online communicator so he won't need much facilitating. This is a great opportunity for people who do not have access to Elluminate so will be relying on free tools.

I am also looking for a couple of people who would like to take responsibility for the Twitter session in the week of the 13th September. This will not be so hard from a technology point of view, but you will need to get your head around Twitter. Sarah


WiseWoman said...

Wow, Sarah, a trip to Pakistan and still you have time to provide us with all this great information. I read the article on how to get more blog comments. I was told when I started my (big) blog that, if you get 3 comments per post, you're doing really well. I seem to get 25 on some and none on others and my average is 3. Sometimes I do feel like I'm talking to myself but then, I meet someone in the birth field, and they say "I'm a big fan of your blog." That keeps me going.

Checked my blog/website stats the other day and I get 200,000 plus hits per mo. but very few of those lookers comment.

It really is more fun if people engage.

Thanks again for all the education I am receiving from you. I appreciate it more than words can say. Gloria Lemay in Vancouver BC

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Gloria, thanks for the kind words :)

I have a similar experience with comments on my blog. And I can never predict which post will attract comments. What I do know is...the more I comment on other blogs, the more comments I get back on my blog.

Sharon said...

Hi Sarah, I'm trying to get to grips with following blogs and commenting on them, as well as keeping tabs on who is following me and making sure I respond to their comments.
How do I follow this blog FO2010? I can't see a 'Followers' widget to click on?

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Sharon, this blog does not have a followers widget - I can put one here if you like. You can subscribe to the blog via email...just scroll down on the right :)