In the list of websites in the photo above you’ll find the curious saying ‘browse like a sheep’. Doug, a tutor at WelTech, didn’t share a favourite, interactive website during our round of introductions. Instead he described his appetite for websites in these omnivorous terms.
I was reassured to see that people still surf the net: that aimless, time-wasting wandering, leading from one site to another. One person honestly admitted he found himself delving into real estate in Findland, then was exploring visa rules for New Zealanders in Scandavia and elsewere. This all started at the Sanson Community Website.
Among the 20 or so participants at the “Virtual networks and digital forums” session – one of 12 in the ACE (Adult and Community Education) Winter Series – there was lots of enthusiasm for the Internet. David Barrow (NZFVWO communications manager) and I talked through the highs and lows of everything from venerable blogs to rapid fire twitter bon mots.
Conversation really fired up when we talked about some of the social changes brought about by the ubiquity of new technologies, including cellphones. Face-to-face exchanges are seen as becoming rarer for economic and environmental reasons so we’ll have less contact with people further afield. This has good and bad sides of course, but there was there was mention of a sadness at the idea that people may actual meet up less.
Leaving the best to last, David talked about how CommunityCentral is providing a friendly platform for people working in community groups to interact. It will mostly be about work and professional interests, but we’re trying to make it easy for people to bump into each other.
Some of the questions that came up included:
- How to add a photo to your Facebook profile?
- What steps can you take to make sure your children are safe online?
- Can you hide personal details, like your birthday, in Facebook?
- How do you set up a Group in Facebook?
I hope people swapped numbers as some individual tuition on Facebook was offered. I won’t attempt to answer these questions. To find resources on child safety online see New Zealand-based Netsafe, including the fabulous Hectors world cartoons.
For the full list of websites listed by participants and the slides see the “Winter Series presentation”.