Our first forum…
Our recent open forum on blogging was deliberately unstructured in the hopes that no area of interest would be inadvertently omitted. I think that was a fortunate choice as some things came up which I would not have anticipated. Now that we have had our first forum, I think we can make it easier to give and receive information.
For example, there was strong interest in advanced blogging as well as beginning blogging. Fortunately, our senior bloggers, Fred First and Doug Thompson were able to provide sage counsel to bloggers who were looking for advanced blogging tools and tips on taking their blogs to the next level.
I had my hands full answering questions and demonstrating blogs and blog features that are of critical importance to the newer blogger. Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one answering questions. There were plenty of helpful bloggers who pitched in and shared information with the would-be bloggers.
The most interesting part of the forum may have been the introduction to bloggers we had not met before in person. Bloggers are an interesting and varied bunch of people! So much talent and such a wealth of life experience! It is hard to conceive of a meeting that could bring together such a disparate group except for blogging. Blogging is all about communicating and we were there for the purpose of helping others to communicate more effectively.
Going forward, I would like to keep the forum as unstructured as possible so that it can adapt to the needs of the participants.
Perhaps it should become an unforum where the content of the meeting is driven and created by the participants rather than by a single organizer. See Unconference in Wikipedia for more on participant-driven meetings.
I think the easiest way to achieve this kind of forum is to set the next forum up as a half hour introductory session and then break the meeting into two or more groups which deal with a specific range of topics. Each group will have an experienced blogger to act as a source of information, but the groups should be driven by questions raised by the participants.
Long-term objectives – open to discussion
My objective in creating this forum was to promote the spread of blogging in the Floyd area and beyond. I feel that the power of blogging for personal enhancement and commercial purposes has barely been tapped. When every artisan, craftsperson, poet, farmer and businessman in Floyd is blogging, we will see a paradigm shift in our ability to attract customers and revenue from outside this area.
I feel that the way to promote an expansion of blogging is by showing what can be done on a personal and business level on a one-to-one basis. When enough individuals discover that the barriers to being published have been erased, there is no telling what kind of renaissance will ensue.
My questions for attendees and future attendees are:
How should we capitalize on the progress made so far?
Do these ideas make sense to you?
What else would you like to see in Floyd’s next open forum on blogging?
UPDATE: New reports on the first forum continue to appear. Read Leslie Shelor’s post for still another viewpoint on this groundbreaking event.