Digital Guyana

Posts Tagged ‘flickr

WordCamp 2009

In the first of the two sessions on blogging we introduced the students to WordPress, explaining that it’s a very popular, free blogging service that comes with several useful features including:

  • A visual editor similar to Microsoft Word (with WordPress handling much of the HTML required)
  • A professional look
  • Flexibility to add static pages as well as blog posts
  • RSS feeds

We also explained some of the basics of search engine optimisation, showing why blogs are effect tools for making content more easily discoverable via search engines.

We introduced the students to various bits of blog-related jargon, including:

  • blog – a type of website where the most recent content typically appears at the top of the page
  • post – the name given to an individual article/piece of content on a blog
  • embedding – taking content hosted on another website and displaying it on your own
  • link – an element on a website (often a bit of text or an image) that, when clicked upon, will send the reader to another website
  • permalink – whereas the blog itself will have a domain name, each individual post will have it’s own unique URL, allowing people to link directly to that post, rather than sending people to a page that will change as soon as new content is published
  • ping – a notification, sent to various directories, that a new blog post has been published
  • comments – on most blogs, after each post, readers are able to leave feedback via the comments box
  • trackback – an automated comment that will appear if someone links to an individual blog post from their own blog post
  • sidebar – the strip down the side of the blog which may contain
  • blogroll – a list of links to related and/or relevant websites/blogs that is often found in the sidebar
  • RSS – a clever bit of technology that puts blog posts in a machine-readable format. Allows people to subscribe to the blog so they receive new updates without needing to return to the blog itself
  • uploading – adding a piece of content (photo, audio, video or document to a website from your computer

After signing up to WordPress.com, the students logged into their new blogs’ dashboard and clicked on ‘Visit site’ to see the website that had been created.

We then talked the students through the process of deleting the ‘Hello world’ post and then writing their own first blog post. These were published so that the student could see them on their blogs.

In the next exercise we asked the students to write another blog post, this time including links to other websites (in some classes they linked to each others’ blogs in order to demonstrate trackbacks).

For the students’ third blog posts the students included an image, taken from Flickr.

In some classes, where time allowed, we introduced the students to the various themes available, letting them pick one they preferred.

Having several students all logging in to WordPress at the same time put a certain strain on the internet connection, meaning that these steps took slightly longer than they would if someone was following on their own at home (for example).

(Pic is WordCamp 09 by seanosh)

Every Wednesday after finishing our workshops me and the guys have walked back to our flats in Kitty via the National Park to get our weekly sporting fix. Nope, not cricket. Ultimate Frisbee.

For the last while (no one’s sure how long exactly) overseas volunteers from orgs including VSO and Peace Corps have gathered each week to play this high-octane game until the sun goes down over Georgetown’s sea wall. More recently, numbers have been swelled by local kids Ronaldo, Nicholas and Chris, who have picked up the sport with impressive ease.

I’ve always enjoyed chucking a Frisbee in the park with a few mates – who doesn’t? – but was deeply suspicious of a sport that came with the prefix ‘ultimate’ (in fact, the sport is now just called Ultimate after legal action from the Wham-O company who own the trademark for Frisbee). How wrong I was.

After just a few minutes of dodging flailing elbows, getting some serious airtime and chasing the plastic (that’s not Ultimate lingo by the way, I just made that up) I was hooked. The rules are a combination of American Football and netball (you can’t run when you have the frisbee), but it’s far superior to either of those sports. What’s more, like football, all you need is the ball (or in this case, frisbee), a stretch of grass and a few people to play.

As you can see from my video above, our standard of play is hardly world beating. But then we can claim local conditions as a major extenuating factor. Early morning deluges (we’re coming to the end of the rainy season here) mean that as well as keeping your eyes on the spinning disc that’s rapidly homing in on you, you better make sure you don’t wander – or slip on your arse – into one of the numerous muddy pools of water.

As well as the video, you can check out these pictures I’ve posted on Flickr. And while you’re on the site, have a look at our Digital Guyana group (or click on the sidebar on the right) where we’ve been adding all kinds of pics from our trip.