Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Social Media Week

I've been seeing all the hype about social media week, so I used it as incentive to encourage my son to get down to business on creating his blog. I'm happy to say that the ploy worked.

When Junior signed up for several projects with his church group last fall, I was gungho to help out in any way I could. I volunteered to be a coach for the scrapbooking group. Likewise, the children's book and poetry categories - no one can call this mom a slacker. He  knew he could count on my help with his service project, too. I've always encouraged my kids to serve others in creative ways. Unfortunately, I had to pass as a coach for his photography project, because for the life of me I cannot figure out a camera.

But when he decided to sign up for the Build Your Own Webpage project, I knew we were in trouble. Apparently, I'm not the only one in our group who is intimidated by the idea, because no one was willing to tackle the project and volunteer as a leader. Several of us attempted to persuade him to go for a Power Point, but he wouldn't be swayed.

Fortunately, some of the projects allow for adult help. Depending on the complexity, help can run from verbal cues, assistance with spelling and grammar, or physical supervision if the kids are doing something dangerous such as cleaning up trash along a busy highway. (Dad volunteered to help with that one.)

I should have fully realized the problems I would face when I read that Webpage Design allowed for a much higher level of adult assistance than any of the other projects. I soon discovered the reasons. After days and days of browsing and reading on the internet, and several unsuccessful trips to the local library, I realized I would never figure out how to make a simple - ha, webpage. To make matters worse, my son appeared to have totally lost interest in fulfilling his obligation to make the webpage now that he was committed.

Well, mom is not often a quitter, so I told him sternly that the upcoming weekend would be devoted to making his webpage. Then the weekend came and I chickened out. Then I allowed guilt to consume me and I finally got down to business.

Surprisingly, once he got started, my son became engrossed in the process. He spent hours searching for a profile picture - he was very specific and knew exactly what he wanted. Then I figured out enough to show him how to pick out a template and background colors. Soon he was telling me to go find something else to do, he had it covered. He was importing pictures and gadgets, and rearranging the page, and I felt like a third thumb.

Then he decided he wanted music on his webpage. I spent hours on the phone with Author Cornell Deville, who is a genius, by the way, following his instructions on how to transfer a playlist onto a blog. It turned out to be a very simple process, but my ineptitude kept getting in the way of things, and I couldn't figure it out.

So now he has a blog, which I made sure, before even beginning the process, would be accepted as a webpage for the project competition. Unfortunately, he received lots of comments on his first post, and now it looks as though he wants to use it like a Facebook account to banter back and forth with those who have left comments. The next hurdle will be to get him to continue making new posts on a regular basis.

It's great to watch your child grow and take pride in a job well done. It's also great to harbor hopes that said child may continue in your footsteps and follow a path that is daunting, often misunderstood, but always rewarding in the end.

Hope everyone has a blessed day.


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