Neighbourhood blogging

I had the delightful experience this summer of working with 3 brand new bloggers at Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House.

We gathered for 1.5 hr on Monday mornings for 3 weeks to talk about sharing on the web and learning the basics of putting together a blog post. It takes time to get accounts set-up, to get oriented to the dashboard (the blog’s control panel, where the magic is made!), as opposed to the blog itself, to get clear on the difference between writing a post like this one from Connie and a comment, like this one from Fan.

Mostly however, we told each other stories and explored what we might want to share. We’re all moms. None of us live close to our families (Toronto, China, Costa Rica) and so sharing on the web has mostly been about keeping family connections alive through photos and stories of our kids.

Together we shared stories about our lives in Vancouver and where we’re from. We talked about our concerns about privacy and the potential benefits of sharing in the “open”. We talked about blogging in our mother tongue as opposed to blogging (and practicing) in English. We’re curious how we might start conversations on the web, and continue them when we gather at Frog Hollow. We explored what we’d like to read about in a neighbourhood blog.

We wanted to read each other’s personal experiences and reviews of community programs, events, issues, restaurants or shops. We wanted to write about parenting, about day-trips from Vancouver, about what it’s like to work in Hong Kong, compared to marathon days of raising kids in Canada.

During the week we tried to blog and sometimes did. But we also faced obstacles; sick kids, no sleep, broken down computers, visitors from out of town. We all agreed having a blogging club would help, both to keep learning new skills and to help us find the stories we want to tell.

I love what Yesenia said in our last session. “I haven’t been able to blog much yet but I’ve been thinking about it as I go through my days. I think about how I would tell this story, share what I see and why it is important to share it. Just knowing I could blog makes me pay attention in a deeper way.”

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3 Responses to Neighbourhood blogging

  1. Fan says:

    First of all, I would like to say “Thank you” to you, Keira. It’s you, who brought “blog” to us and taught us how to use it step by step. Your time contribution to our community, your enthusiasm to unite people to help them become stronger, as well as your passion in blogging really impressed me.

    Although I heard “blog” long time ago, I have never tried it, or thought it as a communication way in my life. But after our meeting in July, I found blogging is an interesting place for myself, my families in China, my friends in here or in China, together, to share news, information. It’s also a good place to for people being encouraged, getting help or giving help, become courious.

  2. Connie Fu says:

    Hi Keira,

    Firstly, I am appreciated that you spent your time to teach us what is blogging and how to write the blog. Before I know nothing about blog. Now is changing, I can’t say I am familiar the blogging right now, but I realize some at least, I am still keep learning the technique and skill. I am so delighted to have chance to learn from you during this summer.

    On the other hand, I agreed blogging is one of the good communication way with other people. I like to sharing stories and experience, however, I am always struggling what topics is interesting for public or myself, how to tell the stories or express the feeling, I am quite anxious I cannot write in proper way…. All these questions are obsessed in my mind.

  3. Keira says:

    Fan,
    I really like the idea that the blog is a way for people to “become curious”. Curiosity is what leads to taking a risk and learning something. I like to imagine that one day someone in the neighbourhood might read a post here and feel curious about the place- Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House- and come visit. Or someone who drops by for the first time might go home and read a post from you and feel encouraged to return.

    Connie,
    I struggle with what to share too. I always wonder “do I want to share this? or keep it private?” If I do share something, how?

    You are a storyteller- whether in person or in writing! I look forward to more.

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