Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hatching New Alaskan Bloggers

Someone at Ole! asked me to teach a class for them.  I have enough to keep me more than busy, but they persisted. I think you should teach about what you know and have a passion for and so I suggested blogging. 

I'm learning that I know a lot about a very narrow niche of blogging.  When I started I was open to a wider universe of options, but when I chose to go with Blogspot as my blogging platform I narrowed my thinking considerably.  And while I keep learning about how to do things on Blogspot - and they keep changing things - I'm more just using it as a tool to  write my posts.

So having to put together a four 75 minute classes over four weeks made me see how much I'd hunkered down.  This isn't all bad.  You can start getting proficient in you little area of expertise and actually do something, like concentrate more on content than process.  And there's way too much to know about everything.  A little focus is good.  As long as you make time to wander outside your normal brain patterns regularly

There were about 15 participants the first week, none of them youngsters, with a wide range of expertise - from a person who didn't have an email account (but she created a blog in class) to several people who had already had blogs, but hadn't gone too far with them.  Each has learned to do new tricks with their blogs - from adding bold headlines, tabbed pages under the header, photos, labels, etc.

Many who didn't already have blogs, and some who weren't even sure what a blog was, though they'd heard about them, have actually created blogs.  So I'd like to introduce a few of these Alaska bloggers.  (I only have a few of the url's - but I saw the blogs in class last Friday.)

Those who had already created a blog:

Dorothy had set up a blog Meanderings by Dorothy to write about some of her interests such as Tai Chi, contract bridge, and Anchorage Opera. It was very basic, but now she has  added pictures, has a hit counter, and has set up links in categories.  

Joe's blog, HodgePodgepourri,  focused on documenting family history and personal recollections, has been around a couple of years.  There's an interesting series of tales, last November, of his childhood working in the "Buckingham Palace" a hotel his family owned in Indiana. 

Ed  has a very focused blog, Building an Alaska Wilderness Sauna, on the family's sauna at their cabin.  There are dramatic pictures of it burning down.  He's recently put up a lot of step-by-step pictures of the rebuilding.

Michael had begun a Wordpress blog, but wasn't doing much with it.  Since the class began, he created a new blog, Reflections,  to share his interest in philosophy and particularly the ideas in his book, The Reality of Being.

The last one for this post, is Lynne's first ever blog, Koralling Genius.  Lynne can't actually see her blog, because she is blind.  But she can hear it.  And you can tell she has a lot of thoughts on how the world tends to dismiss people with disabilities.  I think this is a blog that will give people a view of the world they don't usually hear.  And give her a platform where she can speak without being prejudged. 

This week, as I head off to Detroit to J1 and B's engagement party, several local bloggers will be guests in the class to talk about their blogs and blogging.  Thanks to Phil at Progressive Alaska, Kellie, at Stress Management, Peter at Frozen Grin and Off and On:  The Alaska Parkinson's Blog, and Mel at Henkimaa.

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