Archive for August 23rd, 2011

Brenda from Kubatana explaining to us how to use blogs and wikis

It  was  in 2005 that I attended  the Women’s Electronic Networking Training(WENT) organized by Association for Progressive Communication (APC) in Kampala. This was a time when I had just Isis-WICCE a women’s organization. The training focused on use of free and open source software (FOSS) by NGOs. The training had two tracks. One for the technical people  and the other one for non-techies. For non-techies where I was mainly  focused on blogs and wikis.

To me,  it was a very enriching experience. What first surprised me was the fact that I could see what transpired on the first day of the training on internet. I  read facilitators experiences and reflections on the first day and  asked myself   how have  they managed to put that information on internet so quickly. While at  University, I had learnt something about   website designing using HTML TAGS and it was cumbersome and it needed a lot of time and I kept wondering how they managed to publish content on line so first.

On the second day, we were introduced to blogging and specifically on how to use blogger. Things were not easy at first because it was the first time learning this. At the end of the training I managed to create a blog

I came from the training with the fire, enthusiasm and energy willing to learn more about blogs and I continuously consulted friends whom I met during the training.

Loyce after receiving her certificate of training

Blogging needs you to be a communicator and a writer, a skill which I lacked and my blogs  remained empty  for a while.  I also learnt how to use  wikis, by then facebook was not yet there. If it was there, then , the facilitators  would have talked about it.

In all this, I had a passion and commitment to learn the new tools and that is what kept me alert and wanting to learn more.

In 2006, I saw a call for facilitation on use of online networking andinformation sharing tools(wikis and Blogs) during a workshop organized by Kenya Library Association in Kampala on documenting the World Social Forum. I expressed the interest   and I was given an opportunity to facilitate. By then, I did not have very good knowledge about the   blogs and wikis so I had to do an extensive online research, consulted friends and in the process I ended up learning more. I did prepare and presented my session very well.

Having facilitated that, I was invited by UNICEF to facilitate the same session during a workshop for Resource Centre Managers and Information Officers in Kampala. This gave me more confidence and knowledge about the subject.

I have been struggling with learning how to be a good writer and communicator and in 2008, I participated in the Citizen Journalism Africa project where I acquired some basic skills in writing.

It was early this  year, while on my maternity leave that I reflected on creating a personal   and active blog where I can document my thoughts, experiences and stories about women I have interacted with as part of my work.  This made me realize how empty I was because of lack of a systematic record of  what I have done and here I was claiming to be a blogger.

Yes, I have created and managed blogs Loyce,  HIV ProjectTumbula Women but they were not consistent and others were project focused. I have also  contributing to several online information sharing platform like Frontline SMS I-Connect ,  WSFLibrary  and WorldPulse

I hope to maintain this because I have always loved writing and I admire what people have written.

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