I’m sitting at the keyboard and I’m feeling a little disoriented and intimidated by the prospect of my first blog post. Up to now I hadn’t consider myself a dinosaur but maybe I should be re-evaluating my Jurassic tendencies. The idea of writing for the internet, beyond a few lines to my captive Facebook audience seems daunting. I find myself reaching for another caffeine.
The materials we’ve used this week have shed new light on familiar territory. My mind is still reeling from the structural and social revolutions in group organizing and communications described by Clay Shirky in ‘Here Comes Everybody’.
Describing the universe of possibilities that have been opened up to non-institutional groups to tackle activities ‘from below that Coasean floor’. These topics are so relevant to the operations of many with interests in public health that fall outside the remit of government priorities and commercial operations. We now have the possibility for “Groups that operate with birthday party’s informality and a multinational’s scope.”
It’s a call to action! But I just have to learn how to do it now….
Luckily there are plenty of tools to help you get started, such as those on Lynda.com which guide you through the mechanics of WordPress. What’s Morten saying again? He’s a great chap but clearly, much like learning hang gliding by Youtube, at some point this is going to require the commitment of a leap.
In the end blogging means you just have to get started.
Blogging for health is a space where the professional media and institutions share space with personal commentators, and all make contributions to the public health dialogue.
Each has an opportunity to cater to the new ‘high number of small audiences’ described by Blogs in Plain English on CommonCraft.com
Three tips that will help you get started:
1. Identifying an audience will allow you to create relationships with your readers and others in the blogging community.
2. Use images to communicate and personalize your material, making it more approachable. Remember not all images are ready to use due to copyright considerations but there are great websites available to guide you through image selection.
3. ‘Social Media for Social Good’ by Heather Mansfield gives great advice for nonprofit organizations, of any size, on how to get the most out of your blog. This includes taking a big picture view and integrating your blog material as part of a social media strategy – providing new content for your organization to share on Twitter and Facebook while growing your number of followers and also driving mobile website content.
The power of these social tools are just being discovered. They are constantly being invented, re-invented and explored. While traveling through a landscape of revolution can be disconcerting, it’s an exciting time to get on board.
Wait a minute…..did I just write a blog post?!