Sunday, September 30, 2007

the blog-forum concept

Why a blog?

We are experimenting with our forums. We have looked at a number of options and have not yet found a perfect solution. We have tried to find a balance between security/privacy and ease of use. We want the forum to be as open as possible so we do not want people to get bogged down with user names and passwords and links that do not work. But we recognize that not everybody is comfortable thinking out loud in an open forum. We are hoping that the option of posting anonymously will help.

Up until now we have used a list serve at NALD (thanks so much!). They worked really well and people wrote interesting, insightful and inspiring things.

Unfortunately, on list serves following threads and creating threads can be confusing. We want people to be able to follow threads and thread their responses easily. We think that the blog structure will work work well.

Also, on list serves, once the discussion is over it is very difficult to find that interesting, insightful and inspiring post. You have to remember the name of the thread or who said. That can be a challenge six months later. We think that the blog will create an easily accessible, searchable archive. On a blog we can tag the posts so people can find them by searching, by title, by date or by index.

Last but not least...

We think that blogs can be a great tool for literacy workers who want to communicate with each other, with folks outside the field, and with folks who affect or are affected by our work. We, and many others, are looking at how blogs may be an interesting online learning and communication tool for people in our programs. We hope that for those of you new to blogging, this forum will be a supportive learning and experimenting environment.

Very Important! Whether you post or not, please help us out and do our evaluation survey. We need to know how this forum worked for people.

Any questions? Please post a comment or contact me by email ~ literaciespublisher (at) gmail (dot) com.

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