When we decided to road trip to Detroit and Chicago this summer, I had a great idea: get the kids to blog the trip. I had visions of the boys eagerly using my digital camera and Flip video camera to capture sights and sounds of our trip. After all, my 9-yr-old had really gotten in to using the Flip cam to make videos of hockey moves that he uploaded to YouTube and my younger one always got huge kicks making funny faces for the still camera.
So I created a blog on Blogger in five minutes, sent the link to friends and family to follow along and waited for the magic to happen…
Here’s what I learned:
Creating the blog using Blogger – Google owns Blogger so you can create a blog in seconds using your existing Google account. (If you don’t have a Google account it takes seconds to create one.) Blogger let’s you create a private blog that only friends and family can see – something that was important because the kids were taking pictures and videos of themselves that we didn’t want on the open internet.
Letting the kids take as many pictures as they want – Digital pics and cheap memory cards that hold lots of gigabytes mean you can let the kids go nuts and pick the best for posting.
Typing out the words for the kids – While they dictate – the point is to enjoy the blogging and they won’t if they’re struggling with the typing.
What didn’t work:
* The quality of the video captured by the digital camera was terrible. Use a real video camera.
* Getting no comments on the blog so the boys had no sense anyone was reading or cared about it but them and us.
* Posting irregularly instead of, say, every morning or evening.
What to do differently next time:
* Let them try it at home first.
* Post something every day, even if small.
* Get family to leave comments!
* Let them be like MTV vee jays – People like to be taken on video tours with guides (like Rick Mercer) and this is what I’ll let the kids do next time.
If you’ve had success with getting kids to blog please share your secrets.