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Friday, February 20, 2004

Tools, Skills and other Communications Technology 
Uniserv Academy Talk (Part 5)

A basket of tools you'll need.

  • Blog. Obviously you need a blog to start. You've started with Blogger, but look at Type Pad. More features, but it costs a small amount.
  • RSS Reader. You should be set up with Bloglines. But also try MyYahoo. And for the desktop I like FeedDemon.
  • Google Tool Bar. This lets you blog from any site. Highly recommended for this and other reasons.
  • Wireless laptop (optional). Makes it much easier to blog meetings.

Good skills will improve your blog.

  • Writing. Not everyone can come up with a good headline all the time. Copy is important and part of the formula. And good grammar and spelling.
  • HTML (optional). You really don't need to know HTML, but the more you know the better you can layout your blog and add features. But content is still more important.
  • Journalism. This is different than writing. And different than blogging. But I find the best bloggers at least understand journalism. And interesting topic to talk to reporters about.

Blogs and other Communications Technology

  • email. Is email private? More private than a blog and so often more appropriate. Also one-to-one. But no archives.
  • discussion boards. The best require a good moderator and require a critical mass of users. Therefore very hard to start and lots of work. They also tend to loss focus. But some are now adding RSS feeds.
  • group blogs. MetaFilter proves it can work. Need critical mass to keep it going.
  • audio blogging. A real option, especially from a cell phone on the way home after a meeting.
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