Blogging for and about Youth Work and Young People

….of blogging!

I’ve been reflecting on my blogging journey so far and wondering how this is helping me, or not, in the day job.

PROS

1. Information:- I have to say I’m fascinated by what I can find out in the blogosphere and the amount of different information that I can find. It’s definately stretching my understanding of the internet and how it is used. In fact I’ve just recently discovered del.icio.us which I’m really excited about as I can now carry all those websites that I’ve bookmarked with me wherever I go. (Great for when you’re hot desking as we do with such a large county to travel around.)

2. Reflection:-It’s been helpful being able to have the opportunity to think more on aspects of my work. Through writing about them I have to really try and get to grips with what I’m thinking about a certain area and my own views on it. It also helps me to focus on these topics and formulate my ideas which leads me on to number ….

3. Sharing:- these ideas with others and hearing what they have to say about them. I know the community is small at the moment but I live in hope that we will expand (and we are slowly) and the dialogue I’ve already had with different people has triggered more thoughts and ideas I didn’t even know I had!

CONS

1. Time:- even when I’m at my desk reading or working something out it takes time to think and blogging is no exception! Finding the time to write is difficult and sometimes it’s hard to justify why I’m writing on here. However I know that if I am to develop my practice and learn more then I do need to spend time on my own personal development and have to ‘allow’ myself that space, it’s just when there are a lot of competing demands I’m not always sure that this is the best use of my time.

2. Distractions:- (this kinda fits with the one above). As much as I By KiwiMikexfind the information and leads on here and others blogs fascinating I think that sometimes it’s distracting and in no time at all I have spent around an hour on the computer, been to China, the States, Australia and become bemused yet again by the amount of Christian Youth work information that is out there compared to the statutory stuff and this leads to my head becoming….

3. Overloaded! Sometimes there is just so much there that it can seem like a big vast ocean. The knack is trying to narrow down the information and ideas into useable, concrete things that I can then develop or look at using within my current work.

Well, these are few of my musings for this evening. Any suggestions as to how to manage the cons would be welcome and any other thoughts on what you get out of blogging would be interesting!

 

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Comments on: "The pros and the cons….." (3)

  1. I’m sure everyone that blogs agrees with those ‘cons’!

    For me the time I save in using the web mostly justifies those times when you find yourself clicking a few too many links.

    In terms of saving time my tips are….. I use igoogle as my ‘dashboard’ – from there I can see my emails, keep up to date with facebook, read RSS feeds, view my calendar and access my todo list (I use something called Remember the Milk as a todo list).

    I mostly use Firefox as my browser and that has a good delicious plugin which makes life easy for filing away links to catch up with another time.

    I have all of my emails managed through gmail (you can set that up in settings) and (a little strangely) if you change the language to US you can use coloured labels which makes managing all the different emails very easy (and by using filters).

    And then finally I use a laptop so I can do less important stuff while out or looking after the kids or watching TV etc. and I have my mobile phone set up to receive gmail + manage our blog etc. etc.

    When I go on holiday I’ll be taking no laptop and no phone! (for the first time ever)

    Apologies in advance if some of that takes up even more of your time! (I recommend rememberthemilk.com though)

  2. Never having been a big fan of blogging I can appreciate all the cons you list here. And as a former full-time christian youth worker i can testify to there being so much information out on the net which has to be sifted for the good stuff.

    There are benefits, and I have enjoyed being able to lurk and see your reflections on developments in youth work. The biggest advantage of having the know-how is that we can then connect into the young people’s world of bebo-ing or facebook or msn without looking too foolish. There are tremendous opportunities in terms of participation and encouraging young people to peer support each other. We just need to be realistic about the effort to maintain, support and develop these tools.

    It’s been a long time since I developed a training course but I recall the effort necessary for delivering material was something like 20:1 – or roughly 20 hours work for 1 hours material. The development of web magazines, youth spaces and all those sorts of tools will require just as much effort – if not more – from all of us as practitioners. Even if we encourage young people to take these roles on I would still consider that we need to moderate and oversee development as well as drop in and encourage.

    I have just started on the long road of getting young people at my centre to develop a bebo page – with some heavy input from me. It will be months of patient changes, additions, bloggin, polls, pictures and more to develop the community for this set of web information. Some of this I will do, some I will drive a project team forward, and some will happen all by itself. If we’re serious about using these sorts of social media tools then we have to be prepared to invest the time – both personally and professionally – to make them work.

  3. My most useful tool for managing the huge amount of content on the web is Google Reader.

    By subscribing to lots of blogs (including this one) and labelling them (Youth Work, Youth Ministry, Social, Tech, Etc) I am able to organise and filter content easily. Then I can quickly scan through the list and read any that look interesting, star them as important, share them with others or simply come back to them later.

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