BBC Manchester Blog Workshop 23 February, 2007 — Stuart Brown
Thursday 22nd February 2007
I attended the first BBC Manchester Blog Workshop on Thursday eve, partly out of curiosity and partly to see what sort of folk might turn up. With nary a clue of what to expect, I walked the short distance from my place of work to the BBC Manchester offices, arriving a short while before the start of the workshop at 6pm.
I was greeted by Richard Fair, co-host with Robin Hamman (Senior Producer for BBC Blogs). The time between 6pm and 6.30, the designated start time, was spent getting comfortable in the surround of the BBC bar. With cans of Foster's Lager at 50 pence, and the other selection of drinks similarly priced, one found it rather easy to get settled.
By 6.30, the turnout was a respectable 20 people - a mix of experienced webmasters, casual bloggers and curious newbies. What followed was a fairly casual walkthrough of some of the basics behind establishing, maintaining and promoting a blog - all fairly elementary but essential aspects of bloggery. I decided to keep quiet about my beastly hand-wrought PHP and MySQL platform, lest I scare some folk!
The overview of blogging platforms was quite comprehensive, covering TypePad, Movable Type and Blogger - with mentions given to a variety of other means of blogging. The walkthrough of establishing a blog via Google's blogger service was made apparent for those nervous taking their first blogging steps - as Robin set up a sample blog in about 2 minutes.
Services that can aid bloggers were also highlighted - including the conversation-tracking Technorati, photo sharing via Flickr, and a host of other services, such as the ubiquitous YouTube, StatCounter, and Last.fm amongst a whole host of others.
Needless to say, with so much material to cover, the hour and a half allocated ran by very quickly. There was time for a few questions and answers from some of the other bloggers, debating some of the finer points of the choice of blogging platform and the mechanics of monetisation (a topic which could have occupied the entire evening, no doubt).
So, to summarise - it was a nice introduction for those not accustomed to blogging, and for those of us who are, a great chance to meet other bloggers in the Manchester region and to compare notes. I'm looking forward to any future events (and I vow to take more & better photographs next time), and if you're located in the Manchester area with a penchant for blogs, I can recommend you keep your eye on the BBC Manchester blog and come along.