Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blogs? Wikis? Oh my . . .

Yesterday the newly-formed Technology Interest Group met to plan the kinds of topics we would like to explore in 2011-12. The committee is chaired by Liz Stratton. Gail Burkholz, John Tholking and Kathy Reed were also in attendance.

Shortly into our discussion, we realized that the four of us have different skill sets. If the four of us had such different comfort levels, what about our members? For many of us, this is a brave new world -- one we want to learn about if only we had the opportunity. On the other hand, there are certainly those among us who feel very comfortable with certain technological applications that they could share with the rest of us. We seek those people!

I had an experience recently with a cousin who wanted to take copious notes regarding our shared family history.  I kept telling him that there was no need to do that because all of the information was already on my blog.  About the tenth time I referred to the blog he asked, "What is a blog?"  I realized then that what we assume is a "common understanding" in this world of technology often is not.  So I thought I would take the opportunity to give a brief introduction to what a "blog" is and how it is different from a "wiki."  A very creative person  addressed this issue by using the old black and white film of a Kennedy/Nixon debate.

As a user of both blogs and wikis, there is a lot of overlap. The design of this particular blog enables multiple "writers" to contribute.  You really can't "mess it up", so I encourage you to send an email and get on board.  If there is anything we learned at our meeting yesterday, it is that all of us have a different piece.  What a powerful group we could be if we all share our area of expertise!

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