Why does it take so long to write?

How can I spend longer writing a post about The Ten Commandments than it takes to watch the movie itself?

You know, its a lot like work, this blogging stuff.

Which is why I was distressed to see the RSS feed / "import a note" thingy on Facebook truncate my post with an unhappy . . . .

Hmm... , says I.

Poking around a bit, I've decided I can't decide where the fault lies. I'm importing into Facebook from Multiply.com - both services that tend to be a little temperamental. It's a picture-heavy post. Is that the problem? Who knows?

And what to do?

The Facebook notes application accepts only limited html coding (as far as I can tell). A simple cut-and-paste from Multiply (or blogger) into notes removes all the formating, much like pasting into Windows notepad. In fact, the notes application isn't much more robust than notepad. It is, in short, a poor blogging tool.

And yet. And yet.

Facebook is my learners' webtool of choice. They want social networking and - to my dismay - silly applications. If I'm going to coax them to write and publish online, Facebook is where it will have to happen (see my earlier reflections on this here).

That means I need to find out how to make Facebook work - or how to work Facebook - so that they don't have to struggle through a faulty webtool while also struggling with standard English.

Probably I need to stop using blogger as my mental template for how to post. After all, I've watched Jean write in notepad, copy into Facebook, spell check, add an image or two, and create a swell post.

Maybe I need to get her to write another one so I can remember how its done.

P.s.; another challenge with the Fb notes import function is discussed by Chuqui here.

P.p.s.; I'm trying on different "what I'm reading" book thingies in Fb in hopes one will be easy and pleasant enough to offer yet another reading-writing opportunity for learners. Will keep you updated.


adagiago said...

wenedll, for a similar purpose - familiarising my students with social networking - i have created a site at www.ning.com

we are not using it yet, because i am testing it out myself, to see how hard it might be to use.

i completely agree - of course - with your comments about NOT wanting the students to struggle with user UNfriendly software, at the same time as they are struggling with English, or with spelling or with sentence structure...

personally i find facebook something of a challenge - i suppose i could go so far as to say that i don't like it - as software. it is beyong MY understanding, and i regard myself as fairly computer-literate. so i wouldn't encourage my students to go there.

ning creates the capacity for a private group to liaise with each other, in their own PRIVATE 'facebook'-style experience.

i will send you an invitation to join my ning, called SouthWest Learners. Then, IF you can manage to join, you can check out our site - which has no content as yet, because the 2 prospective guinea-pig-members who i sent it to, haven't managed to work out how to join yet! NOT a good sign, i realise -but...

please have a look when i send the invite. maybe YOU can alert me to what THEIR problem is?

Wendell said...

Yeah... ning.com I've poked around in there a little bit. Hmmm... Yes, please do send that invite?

Of course, there are no end of social networking sites. The problem is to have one that's real-world functional.

Signing people up to multiply.com didn't work because it was artificial: nobody would have joined if I hadn't made... er, urged them. Yahoo!360, tied to a popular email system and search engine (among other tools like "answers". "photos", etc.) was more tempting for learners. (*sigh* It really did work for most of them.)

But Fb is a service they are joining on their own. So, as little as I like it, I need to use it to scaffold their learning.

Frankly, I've seen nothing that beats Goggle blogger - or Wordpress - for sheer ease of use. But, these aren't SNS. Which means, I guess, no wall or newsfeed.

ballet girl said...

vaguely related: i thought you might be interested in this link, which my manager's manager shared with me today:

unfortunately, at least at this point, we can't access it at our site, because of the organisation's filters (designed to stop people wasting time...)

Wendell said...

Yeah! Thanks for the link. Don't know what to think about that "time wasting" business seems a bit grim.

Oh, those public libraries... they're always wasting learners' time.