Upcoming Events

8 January 2009

I keep a note over on the side bar, but for you RSS folks, every now and then I like to mention those upcoming events where I'm speaking or delivering training.

Jan 28-30
ASTD TechKnowledge 2009, Las Vegas, NV

  • W102 Cool Tools: Spice Up Your Training with Web 2.0 Tools
    In this session, I'll introduce Flickr, Compfight search, and Creative Commons licensing. I'll show how to add Creative Commons licensing to your own Flickr images, as well as search for free – legal – images. I'll also briefly touch on free tools that are out there, including Ning, Blogger, and various wikis.
  • FR210TI: 140 Characters or Less: Microblogging in Learning
    Hands-on with Twitter! This Tech Intensive is a slightly smaller version of my Intro to Microblogging class. You'll learn why people twitter, how it is used in business, and how your peers are using it in learning. We'll set up your own Twitter account, get you tweeting, and even participate in a grouptweet account.

Feb 12, 9 am – 4 pm
What, Why, and How of Web 2.0

The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati offers classes to non-profit employees at a great value. I'm teaching this class (with a repeat in September). We'll touch on all the big Web 2.0 topics, including wikis, twitter, podcasts, and blogs. It's a great primer on all the exciting technology that's not only out there, but cheap and easy to implement for your non-profit.
Cost: $20 if you're a non-profit, $450 if you're not. Register online.

I hope to see you at one of the above events!

 | Posted by | Categories: Events |

Upcoming …

3 December 2008

This Friday I’m speaking on Blogging Tips and Tricks for the Cincinnati AMA (that’s Marketing Assoc not Management Assoc by the way) Non-Profit Special Interest Group.

It looks to be an intimate group of us, so we’d love to have you attend and join in the conversation. Those of you who have heard me present know that I hate to talk at you, but prefer to generate discussion. So even if you’re a seasoned blogger, we’d love to have your input!

Friday, December 5, 2008
7:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati
3805  Edwards Rd, Ste 500
Cincinnati, OH 45209
(Located at Rookwood Commons)

Members – Free!
Non-Members – $10

Register Online

See you bright and early Friday!

 | Posted by | Categories: Events |

Questioning Conference Tools

19 November 2008

I moderated an unconference this year at the Wine Bloggers Conference.  I rapidly followed that up with speaking at DevLearn, so I couldn’t make it to Elliot Masie’s Learning 2008 for the first time since the event started. Truly, the Wine Bloggers Conference was probably more fun, as far as that goes, but I still missed a lot of things about the Masie event.

I think I’ve compared and contrasted  these conferences before, but with a new ASTD technology for the upcoming TechKnowledge, I wanted to do it again.

I enjoy ASTD TechKnowledge, and every year it gets just a tiny bit more technical, which makes me happy. In the past, there was no real way to communicate with the speakers, beyond recording their email address at a session. Well, ASTD has now implemented their Speaker Feedback System. You enter the speaker’s first name, last name, and session number. You can then fill out the form and it sends an email to the speaker.

Now, more often than not, I’m a speaker at these events. I already have an inbox of 431 work related emails, not to mention my other email accounts. I am not overly thrilled that this is the tact that ASTD has taken. Sure, it opens up a dialogue with the speaker, which is more than we had before, but email does not open up that big of a dialogue. It’s one on one and does not include group discussion.

This brings me to Masie’s conferences. For every conference, Masie offers a Wiki. Each session has a wiki page, complete with speaker bio and session information. You don’t need to have knowledge of the speaker’s name or session number. You can search on what you’re interested in.

At Learning 2007, I spoke on Blogs. Had you searched the conference wiki for blogs, I would have popped up. It was topic-based search, which is amazingly useful. Not only that, but conversations about the topic could start on the wiki (anyone could participate) before the conference started and continue after the conference ended. As opposed to using handouts, I put all of my resources – most of which were hyperlinks – on the wiki. Folks thought this was brilliant. It’s so much easier to click than to type out a long, nonsensical hyperlink. And because it was a wiki, anyone and everyone could contribute to group discussion beforehand.

Alternatively (and just as easily), ASTD could build a community group on Ning where each session has its own discussion group. Again, this site could be chock full of information and build itself on group input and collaboration. Not only would this help the speakers with their presentations and audience, it would help the attendees by generating useful discussion.

ASTD already requires that speakers create tree-killing handouts that include job aids and workbooks. Now we’re getting direct email as well. Wouldn’t a wiki or discussion forum, where everyone could join into the conversation work better? ASTD also offers fantastic Learning Labs – basically unconferences – where people discuss what they’ve learned so far. These sessions have individual wikis. Imagine integrating these sessions into an overall wiki, where they were searchable and easy to find for everyone. 

Again, I really enjoy the ASTD conferences, and I particularly enjoy the people I meet there. I appreciate the opportunity to speak at TechKnowledge. But I would love to somehow work with them to tweak their conference tools. I love that they’re trying to get attendees and speakers more connected, but I feel like they’re missing out on the opportunity for great discussion.

UPDATE: Just heard from ASTD, and they don’t want a group discussion. This baffles me completely. Group learning, group discussion, INFORMAL LEARNING – that’s the future. Not email. They are also setting up a social network via LinkedIn, so I’m not sure how well that will work. My money is on the idea that they’ll use the built-in discussion group features in LinkedIn and call that ASTD Connect.

Also, they hadn’t thought of a Twitter backchannel. Of course, the great thing about that is we can set it up ourselves if need be. I can’t even describe the amazing DevLearn Twitter backchannel and how much it brought to the conference for me.

I appreciate the effort, but somehow feel like they are missing out on the important points. I often feel like ASTD, and I include my local chapter in this, facilitates Learning 1.0 and sort of looks at Learning 2.0 but shies away like a scared bunny.

What do you think? As a speaker, would you rather have attendees email you or participate in a pre-session discussion? How about as an attendee? Would you rather send an email or participate in an informal, online discussion? I ask because I’m fully willing to admit that I’m wrong on this. Let me know.

Disclaimer: This is my third year leading a session of some sort at TechKnowledge. I am the frustrated webmaster (and recently the VP of Technology) for our local chapter. I’ve tried repeatedly to get on the Planning Committee for TechKnowledge as well – apparently I don’t know the right people. I want to fix this – not complain about it on my blog – but they make it difficult.

The Twitter presentation I’m giving at DevLearn evolved from a rather free-form presentation I gave at Podcamp Ohio back in June. In the way of technology, a lot of what I said then has changed (Summize is now Search.Twitter.com, Jott is no longer free, and so on …).

When I present, I love to get the audience involved. I want your questions; I want your input: I want your suggestions. I do not want to just get up there and talk at you. It worked fairly well in this presentation, but I would have loved more additional input.

Of course, being that I was presenting and things always go wrong, we had no Internet access for the first half of the session, and I was soaked in the rain on my way into Podcamp that morning. I don’t recover well from being drenched. But, the session got some pretty good reviews and I look forward to returning to Podcamp Ohio next year.

The Podcamp video is 20 minutes long. This is only the first half of the presentation. You can also view the second half, which is where most of the conversation takes place. I promise, I come off much better live and in person.

 | Posted by | Categories: Events, Twitter, Web 2.0, Web/Tech |

Upcoming Presentations

7 October 2008

The Write Technology calendar is getting a bit full. Here’s our upcoming schedule of events and topics:

And looking forward a bit, I’ll be presenting at ASTD TechKnowledge 2009 in January in Las Vegas. I was supposed to present on using free Web 2.0 options to help optimize your training. However, ASTD contacted me last week and I’m now also presenting a 2-hour tech intensive on how to use microblogging in education. It goes against my rule of never presenting in a computer lab at a conference, but they needed the spot filled and I was pleased they thought of me. Yep, my ego led me to accept the option. Plus, I hope to be offering a regular 2-hour course on Twitter by then.

Hope to see you at one of our upcoming events!


Find Michelle Lentz here on Write Technology, on Twitter, Pownce, and FriendFeed.
You can also catch Michelle presenting on Twitter at the upcoming DevLearn ’08 in San Jose.

 | Posted by | Categories: Events |

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this class has been postponed as of 11/11/08.


Well, it’s official. Write Technology (that’s me) is offering a class on The Art of Blogging


Here’s the thing – there are a lot of people out there who have blogs, but they don’t know how to really use them.  You see, there’s a lot that goes into writing a blog. You need to know who your audience is, understand what they want, and find your own unique blogging style. This 4-hour seminar focuses on just that – content creation and everything that goes with it. The course is geared towards business blogging, both large and small, but anyone is welcome to attend.

We don’t just talk at you; the class is an engaging discussion to help you improve your blog.

1. What is a blog?
this portion of the class, we’ll define blogging, understanding what
makes blogs different from your average web site. We’ll discuss what
blogs you enjoy, and why. What makes you participate? We’ll talk about
the ROI of corporate blogging and review some successful corporate
2. Blogging Goals
At this point, we’ll
define goals for your blog. There are a few goals you should always
have. What else do you want to get from your blog? What are your ideas
for reaching these goals?
3. Blogging Voice
this section, we’ll define and understand your audience and your style.
What does your audience want to hear? How do they want to hear it?
We’ll work to understand subtle marketing on a blog and developing your
conversational style. We’ll also dive into sharing opinions on blogs,
and whether you want to share them with your readers.
4. Content
most important thing on a blog is content. We’ll talk about where to
find it and how much to research. We’ll discuss consistency, quantity,
and quality. Curious as to where to find images that you can legally
use on your blog? We’ll cover that too. Finally, we’ll review how to
deal with proprietary information and blogging about your company.
5. Blogging Etiquette
cover the 10 Commandments of Blogging, as well as other tips and
tricks, including page breaks, linkbacks, internal links, corrections,
and citations. We’ll also talk about comment moderation and dealing
with negative commenters and criticism.
6. Quick Tips for Growing Your Blog with New Media
finish the day with the phenomenon of talking to yourself, etiquette
for commenting on other blogs, understanding tagging, and some basic
SEO principles. We’ll also cover RSS feeds in more detail.


new comfort level and knowledge for maintaining your blog, participant
guide, access to a private class-only wiki for on-going discussion.

Cost & Payment:
course, regularly $199, is being offered at the introductory rate of
$179 through November 1. The rate returns to $199 on November 2, so
sign up soon!

Credit card accepted via Paypal. To pay with a check by mail or at the door, please contact events@write-tech.com.
Credit cards will not be accepted day-of.

Download a course outline.

November 18, 8 am – noon

Hamilton County Business Center
1776 Mentor Avenue
Suite 160
Cincinnati, OH 45212

How much?
The cost is $179 through November 1. After that, the price goes up to $199.
You can register online and pay via Paypal. Alternatively, you can contact me and we’ll arrange payment via cash or check. Credit card payments will not be accepted day-of and you must be pre-registered.

Anything else?
Make sure you tell your friends and colleagues. I’d love to see everyone there!


Find Michelle Lentz here on Write Technology, on Twitter, Pownce, and FriendFeed.
You can also catch Michelle presenting on Twitter at the upcoming DevLearn ’08 in San Jose.