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Online skills from scratch

Jamillah Knowles | 12:00 UK time, Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Hello Outriders!

Indeed this week, hopefully hello to some new Outriders. This week on the podcast there are some reminders for old hands and a few handy tips for those new to using a computer and getting online. Surely it's a waste of your fancy online skills not to help others who would like to do some exploring with us, so the links on this page and discussions on this week's edition should provide some neat starting points.


First up - web security and a fellow who thinks that getting social online during working hours could be damaging to business. Chris Vallance spoke with Ira Winkler - he's like the James Bond of networked computing and he's very good at spotting the weaknesses in security and reminding us why it's important to be mindful of what we say online.



Hard lessons learned, there, it's time to move on to the basics of getting your confidence up and unleashing new minds on the web. The BBC has launched its First Click campaign - getting people used to computers for the first time and helping to understand the odd words and weird phrases we all take for granted as we roam around the digital space. Karen Gregory is the campaign project executive in BBC Learning, running First Click and she explained how the courses work.



So, once you have mastered your mouse and conquered the log in processes, you might want to get some practice in for getting your voice heard. We have a soft spot for bloggers here on Outriders and it's not as hard as you think to put something together. Of course being at your computer alone and writing things to post in space can feel a bit lonely, but luckily there are many communities online where you can learn and share and benefit from a little support. Nablopomo - national blog posting month has its main month in November, but the members are so passionate and helpful, that you can pretty much drop in anytime to join in. Eden M Kennedy runs Nablopomo and she told me all about why it's such a fun idea.



If you are still stuck for something to write and a blank screen and flashing cursor are taunting you - never fear. There are plenty of ideas to get you going. One outline is Elephant Words, run by Nicolas Papaconstantinou. Essentially it is a writing site, where people get together in a group. Each week one of them posts an image and then they have a week to write something inspired by that picture. It's a system that has sparked some beautiful writing if you want to just read and enjoy, but it's also a great way to get your mind sparking on things you might want to say for yourself.

Well, with all of that encouragement, I hope to be talking to brand new bloggers and web explorers very soon and I hope that those people who have not been too comfortable trying to get online also find their pace and style to join us all on the internet.

If you see something that you think we should explore, or if you have created something yourself, be sure and let us know so that we can talk about it on Outriders. Drop me a line at bbc dot co dot uk, Tweet at us any time and we'll catch up on your messages when we can, or search for Outriders on Facebook where you can find some posts and tips about forthcoming programs.



Until next week!

~ Jamillah



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