I’m back in Ukraine developing media. When something happens twice, it starts to look like a pattern. I hope it becomes one, because I love this crazy country. And, if you follow the right path, there can come a point when you realize that you are strangely and uniquely qualified for something like developing media in Ukraine. I can’t imagine there are a lot of us out there.
So, I am in Ukraine, working with Internews-Ukraine, on their MediaNext project, to teach journalists how to use Web 2.0 tools to expand their web presence and advance their New Media skills. There will be three sets of two-day trainings, the first in Kyiv, the second in Lviv, the third in Donetsk.
I am particularly excited about this Donetsk training. I’ve never been out East, even though I lived in Ukraine for over two years. And I feel that you haven’t been to Ukraine if you haven’t been out East, just like you haven’t been to America if you’ve never been to Alabama.
Since I’ve never been there, it makes sense for me to offer up some preconceptions and even prejudgments. Picture coal miners, factories, crumbling apartment buildings, bitter old ladies speaking in Russian, oligarchs, and the feeling that the fall of the Soviet Union wasn’t so long ago. At least, that’s what I’m picturing. I’m also picturing that people won’t be as friendly as they are in the West, especially when I start dropping some Ukrainian on them. Can’t wait. Especially since I get to ride some overnight trains to get there. That’s a whole blog post itself. Here’s hoping I remember.
These two days of training are focusing both on how to think about Web 2.0 tools and the basics of using them, with emphasis on how journalists can use them. Of course, as the American New Media Expert, I get to sling the American perspective. Day one, they get to learn the fundamentals of Web 2.0. Things like the ideas of two-way communication of content, sharing, linking, building online communities, and how all of this can be used to market oneself as a journalist.
Then, we get into tools themselves. Blogging, of course. Since LiveJournal is the number one blogging platform in Ukraine, we are focusing around LJ. I’d prefer showing WordPress, but that hasn’t caught on yet. And, for people just starting out with blogging, it makes sense to show them where most bloggers already are.
To be continued…
Author’s Note: This is part of a series of posts on my experiences doing New Media trainings with Internews-Ukraine in June 2009, as part of their MediaNext initiative, in partnership with European Journalism Centre. These views are my own, and do not reflect those of Internews-Ukraine or European Journalism Centre. Just so we’re clear on that.