I’m glad I wasn’t running a session on Slideshare at the Engage Your Community conference. When I went to upload the presentation I made at the conference it didn’t load first time. I tried an hour later, then the next and a day later.
There was no explanation from the folk at Slideshare about any problems with the server, or a personal message saying I’d blown my storage quota. Just a frozen file upload.
Fortunately, at the conference I didn’t hear of any presenters having any technical problems. A big relief when you’re running live training sessions on web-based applications.
During the breaks I heard about three organisations using blogger for e-newsletters or a website. The free blogging platform is being bent, twisted and turned to meet different needs, at times experimentally.
From SeniorNet Wellington’s homepage on blogger you’ll find everything you need to know about their organisation and courses. Alan has been very inventive working with the limitations of the platform to convey all the necessary information. I particularly like the custom Google Map showing nearby parking buildings and bus stops.
We’ve started quietly talking about follow-up workshops and another conference next year. I’m already looking forward to further learning and sharing.
In preparation for my presentation on “Spreading the word” at the Engage your community conference, I’m demonstrating how you can embed YouTube into a blog or a webpage.
I get pretty enthusiastic about sharing knowledge and trying to rouse people up by sharing stuff online. Using YouTube dramatically lowers the cost and technical complexity for grassroots organisations sharing their own footage. Making them, now that’s another story.
The clip below is one of five by Rhys Taylor of the Sustainable Living Trust recorded earlier in the year. Over 45 minutes Rhys lays out the what, why, where, when and how of the work of the Sustainable Living programme.
It’s proven pretty useful according to Rhys, with some correspondents describing the clips as informative.
Some of Rhy’s top tips for aspiring video makers are:
use high quality digital equipment and a tripod
ensure your sound recording quality is high
if using a PowerPoint slide background, try to adjust room lighting so that both it and the speaker are visible.
He says next time he’d “aim for shorter, clearer presentations by various people involved in our programme, as we are a grass-roots programme with many partners.”
I’m pretty impressed by Rhys delivery – he comes across very naturally. I suspects he’s got a future on the small screen. The sound quality and lighting look pretty good to me. Thanks for your comments Rhys, and without without further ado, here’s an introduction to sustainable living:
Next Thursday at least 125 people will be gathering to learn and talk about using the web for their not for profit organisation. The Engage Your Community conference is being held at Massey University in Wellington on 4 September.
The organising team (pictured above) met on Thursday for a final wrap up. Despite the last minute loss of Russell Brown as a speaker, the programme is complete and we’re all geared up for the event.
The main point of the day is to get people using some online tools in computer labs. Everything from running surveys to digital storytelling will be covered.
The Wellington e-rider IT service will be having a simple stand: anyone can come along and ask our roving IT professional Lindsay Hunter about networking, software installations, buying new computers or anything else.
I’ve ordered a $225 second-hand Dell computer from CoinNet on it so that we can do a show and tell if necessary. It comes loaded with Windows XP, but I’ll be loading the open source operating system Ubuntu as soon as I can.
I never intended to have a Windows PC in my possession, but the Dell will be invaluable for late night testing of websites on different browsers. That’s if I can work out how to run both Internet Explorer 6.0 and 7.0 simultaneously – tips welcome.
Registrations for the conference are still open – and possibly still at the early bird rate. Get in touch with Mike Brown, details on the website.
The Engage your community mini-conference in Hamilton earlier in the year was a great day. About 140 people showed up to learn about and discuss how blogs, social media and other online tools can help community groups. Read my post about the presentation I made at the conference, “Wikispaces workshop notes”).
Based on the success of the first Engage your community event, other conferences are popping up around the country. And more are planned.
Wellington ICT are hosting a conference on Thursday 4 September, at Massey University, Wellington. The programme is out and registrations are open, see www.eyc.org.nz.
On 28 November Rotorua Community ICT Trust are planning a one day event.
I’m doing a short presentation on “Spreading the word” using online tools at the Wellington conference. Then in November I’ll be running my hands-on workshop about using wikispaces.
Other sequels expected to be coming to a venue near you soon.
At my hands-on wikispaces workshops at the Engage your community mini-conference on 22 April, a couple of participants raced into action and set up trial Wikispaces for their organisations. Wikispaces covering accessible parking, a walking school bus and the Otorohanga arts project went online within the 75 minute session.
75 minutes sounds a lot of time to cover the basics of editing a wikispaces page. Because I was foiled somewhat by not being able to use my teaching aids (the curse of Apple users I suspect) my plans had to be adapted off the cuff. I supplied participants with text to enter into the wiki and planned to walk through the basic editing process. This didn’t happen as I envisaged but everyone seemed to cope. It’s amazing how resource people within the group will surface to share what they know given the chance.
In the end we achieved the goals I set out: introduce people to wiki editing including embedding multi-media such as You Tube clips, and getting people to think about how a wiki could suit project work, or their organisation more generally.
A couple of the things I neglected to mention were:
wikispaces is run by a profit making company from the USA. They’re big but nevertheless subject to takeovers (like Yahoo) so it’s not totally secure long-term, and to earn a buck they do run Google ads on the free websites.
for wikispaces organisers you’ve got lots of powerful functions (eg messages to group messages, customising the skin, manual back-up, mass uploading of files using WebDav, etc)
it’s easy to delete an account from wikispaces: login and go to your “My Account” page.
I’m running a 45 minute version of the workshop in a couple of weeks, with modifications based on what happened in Kirikiriroa Hamilton.
I’m planning to list any wikispaces that are publicly available, if I can find the website addresses.
PSMiramar Mike’s help during the workshop was fantastic. Thanks heaps!!