Hi, I’m Carl, and I’m a blogger — CarlNatale.com

Hi, I’m Carl, and I’m a blogger

The following text is part of the rough draft of what I said at presentation I gave on Social Media and Social Learning. My speech most likely deviated from this due to memory failings and last-minute editing.

Admitting you have a blog is the first step you know.

Not sure I’m going to recover. I’ve been doing it for a long time. It started with journalism. That’s right. I was a newspaper guy. Then I found the Internet. Or it found me. And it turned me into an online newspaper guy.

There’s a difference. Big difference.

Anyway, I’m a blogger. And that means I explain things. Things that I find useful and interesting. Things like remote learning.

But before I explain remote learning, I need to explain three things about me. Or my background.

First, journalism is like teaching. No matter how good you are, you can’t explain everything that needs explaining in one story or lesson. There’s always more.

Second, every journalistic job I have had involved remote collaboration. That meant I had to work with people in remote locations every day to make deadline. And this has taught me a lot about what I’m going to explain about remote learning.

Third, my job didn’t exist when I was in college. Not blogger. Not online newspaper guy. Journalism, yes that existed. Too bad I didn’t major in it though.

So that means everything I learned in the past 20 years was a result of on the job training or informal learning. And because I started putting newspapers online in 1997 when very few people were doing it, I had to teach myself a lot.

Let’s talk about that first. How I learned to get the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel online.

Like I said, it was 1997 and the Portland Press Herald had been online for almost two years. So they were able to teach me a lot about the technology of Internet publishing: HTML, servers, email lists.

Then they sent me back to Augusta to get my papers online. Here’s the problem. In Portland, it took two people each evening to publish about 15 newspaper stories online. On the weekends, they had two part-timers do the work.

I was one person who had to publish stories from two newspapers seven days a week. This basically was two problems.

First, how to handle weekends since I couldn’t work seven days a week.

Second, how can I get more work done than two people?

The answer was kind of obvious. We were working with computers. Why couldn’t they do the work? Problem was, no one had thought of a way to take newspaper content and publish it to the Web easily and efficiently.

But I heard about something called AppleScript. It was sort of like a programming language that let you create automations on a Mac. It was supposed to be easier than programing. But to someone who never wrote a computer program, it was daunting.

I didn’t know where to start. Neither did anyone I worked with.

Then I found an email list of people working with AppleScript. They were trading advice and scripts. After following and searching the archives, I found a script that did almost what I wanted to do.

That example was a gateway into how AppleScript worked. From there I was able to adapt existing scripts and learn how to write the automations that I needed.

I was able to turn Newspaper stories into web pages – while I slept. I was able to publish twice the content in two hours that two people produced in eight hours.

Next, I made it simple enough that someone who didn’t have my technical skills could upload the web site. The copy desk could assign the work to an editor on weekends.

Informal Learning vs. Formal Learning

Pretty good story. But how does it help you save time and money on training? Besides telling your staff to hit the Internet and figure it out for themselves.

What I did was use social media to learn a new skill. Yes, email is social media. Let me explain how I see social media and it will make more sense.

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