Week 1 Mid-point Check-in

Hi everyone,

I hope week 1 of the course is going well for you. If you are new to the course, you can read the previous announcements by clicking on the Announcement menu on the course website.
I hope you have all found your way to the week 1 content. Some of you have mentioned that you are finding that there are too many blogs to look at – and too much content. I want to emphasize that what is important right now is not that you follow and read blogs, but that you look at the blogs for the types of things you like or dislike about them. Do you like the color scheme? The way the text is laid out? The fonts? What things appear on the left or right margins that are useful to you? Understanding the features you want will help you decide which blogging platform to use, and how you might wish to configure your blog.
I’ve done some improvements to the Week 1 content. Specifically, I have also added two new sections to the content for week 1: Blogging, Writing Therapy, and Journalling; and Blogs versus websites. I also added a paragraph under Following Blogs to talk about Facebook Pages.
If you are eager to get started, or are looking for a place to hold your ideas, consider using an app like Evernote (http://evernote.com). It is free and works on all your devices. I will often have an idea for a post or an email (like this one), that I compose first in Evernote and then copy it over to my website. This also has the advantage of not having to worry about the connection when I’m writing. If you are writing a longer text, you risk losing it if the Internet connection fails – so it is best to write those longer text in some other application – e.g. Microsoft Word or Evernote – and then copy and paste it into your blog once it is ready.
Please at any time send in feedback, questions, and comments. Your feedback will help me better shape the content of the course. You can leave feedback or questions anonymously using this form (link is also in the header and footer of each page on the shouldiblog.org website): https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1_Id0IBtpnmN7bIYPIwRihu-JyuYtetJCDpOF9G2tcsk/viewform. I’ve added a new check box question, so if nothing else, please send in your response to the check box so I know how things are going for you.

Welcome to Week 1

Hi everyone,

Welcome to week 1 of the free online course “Should I blog?”. Each week of the course I’ll post a short video clip with a couple of key points. If you navigate to the weekly menus at the top of the website (http://shouldiblog.org), you will see button at the bottom of each week labeled Content, Discussion, and Activity (note that since this is the first time the course has been taught, the content will be released each Sunday – or at least that is my plan).

This intake of the course will remain open until the end of week 1. After that, if anyone new wants to join, they will start the first week in April. If you know anyone that might want to explore this topic with you, please pass along the invite to join in.

Announcements for the course are send via email and posted on the Facebook Page and the course Website (http://shouldiblog.org) under the Announcements menu.

Course discussions will mostly take place on Facebook, but you are also welcome to post comments directly on the course website. When posting on the website, you can choose to use any identity you like – so you do not need to use your real name – just be sure to use the same email address each time (email address is not posted). The first time you post, your message will be held for moderation. Once your email address has been approved, new messages should appear immediately. This is one way in which to avoid spam messages on the course website.

Please take some time this week to look over the content, discussion, and activity for the first week of the course (under the menu “Week 1”). If you have any questions, you can post them on Facebook (preferred), leave a comment on the http://shouldiblog.org website, or reply to this email.

Happy Learning!

Rebecca (aka Becky)

Welcome to the course

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to Should I Blog, a free online course about blogging through illness. I will be sending out an email to this list once or twice a week throughout the course. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe at the bottom of this email. If that doesn’t work, reply to the email and I’ll remove you from my mailing list.

Please note that if you read the Introduction and Week 1 course content before March 1st, you may wish to go back and review it. Will be making changes and tweaks to the course content until March 1st – mostly to help ensure that everyone can participate at a level that they are comfortable.

If you do not already blog, then I recommend that you wait until week 3 of the course before you set something up. The topics discussed in the first three weeks are important things to consider before creating a public blog. If you feel the urge / need to write, you can start crafting blog posts in any word processor on your computer. Then, when you start your blog you will have content for the first few days/weeks.

Most of the discussion activity for this course will occur in the close Facebook group. If you wish to participate in the group, you must request to join (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1557962144421106/ ). It is a closed group, and posts are only visible to those who are in the group. There is also a Facebook announcement page, where messages like this will also be posted. If you wish to receive announcement on your Facebook stream, please like the page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Should-I-blog-Announcements-Page/1030059647020070.

If you are not comfortable participating in the Facebook discussions, you are welcome to “lurk” – which means to just watch and read the discussions. You are also welcome to just email me or any of the other cancer blog mentors your answers to the course discussion questions. You may also wish to find someone in your face-to-face world in which to talk through some of the ideas presented in this course. I would encourage you to share and discuss the different ideas in whatever forum that works well for you.

If you are mostly participating offline, I would greatly appreciate the occasional email to let me know you are still here and are progressing well through the course. If you don’t post anything and don’t email me, I have no way to know how you are doing.

For some people, you may not yet be ready to read other people’s blogs about cancer. I began writing my blog months before I could contemplate reading other blogs. Also, note that the cancer blogosphere is over represented by those with metastatic disease – which again can make it difficult to read the blogs. If you are not ready yet, then I encourage you to choose another topic for exploring other people’s blogs. The lessons about how blogs look and are designed work just as well if you are reading travel blogs as it does illness blogs. I’ve added links to a few of my favorite travel blogs in the week 1 course content.

If you have any friends who might want to take the course, there is still time to sign up for the March intake. Please pass along the message.

I’m looking forward to virtual meeting everyone.