Blogging for and about Youth Work and Young People

Posts tagged ‘mediasnackers’

One Year On

We have just had our youth service conference and it dawned on me that a year ago at the 2008 conference I was so inspired by DKs presentation from Mediasnackers that I decided to start blogging…..and what an adventure it’s been! Today I was at a meeting when someone asked me if I was the  ‘billybean’ writing this blog (which they would have known if they’d checked out the about page!) I admitted that I was although I have to say that for some reason or other  I am still somewhat embarrassed when I admit to blogging. I”m not quite sure why….sometimes I think people think that you have to be a bit odd or computery to blog, or perhaps you’ve got no friends etc. Naturally only a part of this is true!!:)

Courtesy of stuart~'sMy blogging adventure has been a wide ranging and fascinating one and has really opened up my eyes to a whole new resource that I can use in developing youth services here in West Sussex. I mentioned how it had impacted on me in this post here six months ago. I get frustrated on a daily basis that I am not more computer literate as I love the designs and looks of other blogs and wish I could add more ‘bells and whistles’  (Mikes, Tims and Jons are just some examples) but I guess the key thing isn’t so much the design as what you’re writing.

More than writing though is (more…)

China Update 4 – They’re Off!!

bejingcityprop (51)Well, the day I thought would never arrive finally has…….as I speak there are 12 young people and 3 youth work staff from West Sussex on a coach starting their adventure to China!

Wow! I’m amazed that we’ve managed to get everything in place. On Tuesday we had our last staff meeting. We went over the final details, checking visas, emergency contacts (which is me now that I can’t go) sorting out the final IT needs (we’re hoping that a dongle is going to work out there, it’s difficult with limited info coming out of China but if not we’re hoping that there should be internet facilities available in some of the areas they are visiting.) We also went through a few scenarios of what ifs so that the staff could pre – prepare. With all ready I think yesterday was a frantic catch up for them of all that was outstanding (judging by the email in my inbox) and that’s it – they’re off.

Having been inspired to keep blogs and use IT software (thanks Mediasnackers) we have spent time with the group using animoto, and other video to encourage them to explore their own identity and share some of their lives and culture – here are 2 that I thought you might enjoy:-

The group are are aiming to keep a record of the exchange on line. If you would like to keep up to date with their adventures we are adventuring into blogging as a group and they will hopefully be sending updates to their blog  – West Sussex Youth Exchange – China 2008 do visit and have a look! 

Social Media Strategy developments

As I’ve detailed before I’m responsible for developing our Social Media strategy. To kick start this the social media staff group (made up of colleagues from across the service) had some training from Mediasnackers. Following that we have had a few discussions but due to pressure of time we haven’t been able to move as quickly on this as I would have hoped. 

Courtesy of Dave Press

Courtesy of Dave Press

However a couple of colleagues went to the UKyouthonline unconference and have developed some more ideas and finally we’re now able to support and finance this group meeting up once every 6 weeks to both talk, share, develop and practice online social networking, social media skills and explore the free tools available. I think this will be a real asset to our work and starts to get youth workers skilled up and versed in using the various tools out there and understanding how they could / might affect their work.

I’m really pleased that we’ve got this far, especially as this is only a part of our regular work.  I’m now looking forward to pulling together a lot of the information that we’ve collected to put together our own strategy and to look at how we can maximise opportunities for young people. Watch this space!

Social Media Training with MediaSnackers

Wow! What a great and informative few days we had last week. A group of 10 of us from across the county got together for 2 days of training by MediaSnackers, I’ll talk a bit more about it in a moment but why write when you can see a more dynamic version so…..

Thanks DK and team!!!!

As you can see we were enthralled! The training gave us a good overview of lots of different sites that we could use both between ourselves as professionals as well as with young people and demystified alot of the technology (I even understand all about my RSS feeds now, something I’d managed to sort of pick up but isn’t it so much quicker when someone shows you how?!?!)

I think one of the real ‘in your face’ aspects of the training was that with very limited hardware (a few cameras and some mobile phones) and a little know how you can actually quickly design some great looking, funky sites, create polls and share lots of information. Having the chance to explore Bebo was quite eye opening to all of us as it was really easy and as Tim Davies  mentions on the Youth and Social Networking Research Project Blog  it’s amazing how much you can learn in such a short space of time. Tims’ also developed a one pager on how to get started on Bebo but really the best way to work out what it can do is to go and have a go yourself, try it out! With so many young people interested and using the site it has to be easy!

The training really brought home to us how little we think and use the internet in developing our work and just made us realise how much more we needed to get to grips with the technology. However for me the fundamental questions still need to be answered, how are we best going to use this, and developing technology to do or support our youthwork? And on we go towards our social media strategy!!!!

I know I shouldn’t…..

….be obsessed by stats but I do find them intriguing. For example today is my most visited day…..and I wonder is this because I know that a colleague has been talking to others about this blog and what I’m trying out or is it because I know that DK over at MediaSnackers has been talking about some of their work (and their 2nd birthday….congratulations) and has posted some info about this or is it just a quirk of nature?!?!?! 🙂

It’s also really interesting to see what links get clicked on most and what posts get the most visits which in turn lead to lots of questions about who is interested in these links and why!

But hey….that’s not the immediacy of youth work and what I’m getting up to. More about that shortly!



Podcasting and other blogging info!

A while back Mediasnackers were about to launch a campaign to inspire uk statutory youth workers to blog,  little knowing that they had previously inspired me at one of their presentations. DK has been very supportive of my blogging experiences and at the end of last week in the spirit of developing and learning I undertook my first ever involvement in a podcast for Mediasnackers! You can hear it here! 

A bit of a nerve wracking experience for me but quite a fascinating one. As a not very up to speed blogger I was amazed that I could be sitting here in West Sussex and talking to DK in Wales and that it could all be recorded easily enough and put on line. In retrospect I shouldn’t be that amazed as I have, in a past life, given a number of radio interviews and heard them on air and I guess the technology isn’t that much different. However it is something that we could make much more use of with young people in West Sussex. If the County Council can do it and share it on their website we must have the hardware somewhere and hopefully it shouldn’t be too hard to use some of this expertise! 🙂

In starting blogging I’ve discovered (more…)

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