Laureen Hudson is the technical editor and online community advocate for java.sun.com and developers.sun.com at Sun Microsystems, and a freelance editor for Hunt Press. She served ICAN as Publications Director, editing Cesarean Voices, publishing the ICAN eNews, co-managing the relaunch of the website, and being the primary cheering section for the Clarion. She’s also the brand-new co-publisher (with Melissa Collins) of Free Birth! (formerly New Nativity II). She’s a blogger, a website manager, and an enthusiastic geek enabler.
Laureen has spoken before capacity crowds at engineering conferences, gatherings, and hackfests on the topics of new media, communications, and publication models. She’s also recently started taking similar material, combining that with her passion for birth advocacy, and presenting at conferences like Trust Birth (where her talk, “Reclaiming Women’s Voices Through Multimedia” got high marks from attendees).
Laureen has a BS degree in Environmental Studies, and all but a thesis of an MS in the same thing, with an emphasis in coastal policy interpretation, which of course then had nothing to do with the rest of what she’s done with her life, other than to teach her a lot about grassroots advocacy work, closed-doors politics, and doublespeak. She’s a scuba instructor, a beginning sailor, a traveler, and an obsessive researcher, who’s chiefly focused on, and delighted with, her husband Jason, her sons Rowan and Kestrel, and daughter Aurora. They live on a 47′ catamaran, s/v Excellent Adventure, in the San Francisco Bay.
Conscious Woman Online
This is a series of sessions for those looking to bring traffic to their sites, get their name out, enhance their online presence, and understand the goings-on in cyberspace. Each session is approximately 60 minutes in length.
Cost: $7.50 per session.
Continuing Education Units available for some professionals. Certificates of Completion (optional) : $7.50 per session (completion of post-session questionnaire required). Click here for more information.
A Guided Tour to Online Communities. What’s the internet? What are online communities? Why do we care? Fundamental human behavior does not change over time; we are the same human beings, with the same basic needs, that we have always been. We want to come together, to share human experience. But because we’re scattered, isolated, and no longer in supportive extended-family groups, the Internet has become our tribe. In this session, Laureen Hudson covers the basics, and gives you a firm grounding in the realities of the internet; what it is, what it isn’t, where it came from, where it’s going, and the needs it serves. She then moves on to online communities, explaining why they exist, some of the controversies with them and advantages to them. We then take a tour around the major offerings such as Blogs, Internet Groups (yahoo, google, etc.), Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tribe, Discussion Forums , and discuss why you might or might not want to participate – all with an eye towards advocacy and building your business base.
Creating An Online Presence. What is identity? What is reputation? How do you use them in creating your presence? Now that you know what online communities are, let’s explore the fundamentals of social networking. It’s not enough to just have accounts everywhere; you need to have a voice that is unique to you, that gives value to your readers. The way you present yourself online can serve as a sterling reference or as a shocking warning, depending on how you do it. Let go beyond old school marketing and give some real thought to how you want to represent yourself, using your voice and authenticity as currency. Once you have your identity set up, the next step is audience. Setting up a profile isn’t enough – you need to engage commitment and participation. Who needs to hear what you have to say? How can you make sure they’re hearing you? In this session, Laureen demonstrates how this is all connected, how to identify yourself online, and how to build an audience through traffic, feed readers, trackback etiquette, search, signature files and blog carnivals.
Create Your Blog. Social Networking sites like Facebook are the parking lots in the driver’s ed of online communities. Once you’ve figured out how to operate there, you’re ready to start venturing out on your own, and you do that by blogging. This session focuses on blogging platforms (e.g., Blogger, WordPress, Typepad) pros, cons and tips, what belongs in the right and left columns, how to write a good post (length, voice, referencing), and how to track “good” once you get there (through Google Analytics, Feedburner, etc.).
Search! One of the most misunderstood aspects of the internet, search functionality is far from constant; it’s an ever-changing panoply of theory, algorithm, and magic. But rather than spend our time brushing up on our applied mathematics skills, this session focuses on terminology and how to use that to explore the really meaty bits of search, including SEO, metatagging, and web gardening. We use a case study to explore how all this really works, and then finish with an examination of strategies for following your own growth in the search rankings. At the end of this session, you’ll understand how search engines work , web gardening, mighty metatagging, pinging services, search engine optimization, how to keep up with this stuff and more. A case study will be featured on Dr. Amy, and how we shoot ourselves in the collective feet by visiting and commenting on her website.