Late yesterday afternoon Dar es Salaam time, we finally posted the first posts at the ActionAid Tanzania blog.
It’s been a long journey. On Monday we started with that most basic of questions: “What is a blog?” Then, when we spoke about people adding comments and the comment-moderation process, that inevitably led to further discussions about how the organisation should handle the inevitable problems of abusive commenters, or people who posted material which put the organisation at risk.
We were on the road Tuesday through Friday — and I’ll have plenty to tell you about that in due course — but when we returned to the task on Saturday there were further discussions before the first posts could appear.
How did the fact that two staff members were blogging reconcile with a communications policy that says only the Country Director can speak for the organisation? A disclaimer! What would our first bloggers write about? Introduce themselves! Should we have a formal welcome from the Country Director, given that Tanzania is a more formal country than Australia? Yes!
And there were many questions which regular users of online forums in the West would take for granted. What are “tags”? What’s the difference between “tag” used to describe a folksonomy and a “tag” in HTML? What is HTML anyway? Should I even mention the word “avatar”?
We never did get time to set up RSS readers. I’ll handle that via email. Small steps, and focus on what’s needed immediately.
Explaining social media from the very beginning to intelligent and well-educated people who had not yet encountered it was a brilliant learning experience for me too. I will have more to say.