Archive for November 7th, 2011
One of the hardest things to do is to develop a community of interested readers, sharers, and contributors to a blog. For new bloggers, it can be discouraging to publish thoughtful content without seeing the immediate return in reader comments and shares. Creating a blog community takes time and commitment, but there are some things you can do to develop a community of interested readers and fellow bloggers.
Why do you want to create a blog community, and what is it? A blog community is a community of readers who regularly comment on and share your blog content. They definitely feel connected to you through your blog content, comments and responses. They may also feel connected to each other through your blog. This community can be fiercely loyal, if truly engaged with your blog. Blog communities have been known to fundraise for a cause as a community, and encourage fellow members to do great things. If you manage a nonprofit blog, this is exactly the kind of community your nonprofit wants to develop. Once engaged, this community can be moved to action.
This week I’m launching a regular blog feature called “New and Improved on the Social Web.” The social media landscape continually iterates, and it’s hard to keep up with all the changes. Platforms and apps I know and love suddenly have new capabilities, add-ons, and changes. In this regular roundup, I’ll be highlighting some of the latest changes and iterations to social media platforms, apps and tools, and commenting on their implications. This week, I’m discussing changes to delicious (social bookmarking) and Facebook.
Digital Storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories. As with traditional storytelling, most digital stories focus on a specific topic and contain a particular point of view. However, as the name implies, digital stories usually contain some mixture of computer-based images, text, recorded audio narration, video clips and/or music. Digital stories can vary in length, but most of the stories used in education typically last between two and ten minutes. The topics that are used in Digital Storytelling range from personal tales to the recounting of historical events, from exploring life in one’s own community to the search for life in other corners of the universe, and literally, everything in between. A great way to begin learning about Digital Storytelling is by watching the following video introduction to Digital Storytelling.
Digital storytelling is a craft that uses the tools of digital technology to tell stories about our lives. Done properly, storytelling can be a powerful, evocative way of communicating themes and stories, often touching us in deeper ways than one-dimensional videos that rarely probe beneath the surface of people’s lives. Nonprofits, especially, can use this technique to convey powerful, emotion-filled messages — by letting the people you’re helping tell their own stories.
If you plan to do it yourself, see our Visual story checklist to make sure you follow all the steps involved in creating a compelling story. You may also want to sign up for a digital storytelling workshop (see bottom), which can last from a few hours to a full day or two and generally costs a modest tuition fee. Either way, follow the following steps and you’ll be on your way.
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.