Training and Outreach

Another aspect of Burma Online was to offer free introductory training for organisations and groups to run their own websites themselves.

Web design, at least in basic forms, is much simpler than people generally believe. The hard part is not using the software or constructing the pages – what really takes the work is having something to say, targeting your audience, collecting your information and keeping it updated. When planning a website the information should come first and the design last, not the other way around. As it is the content that is important, it matters more that pages load quickly and are easy to read than that they win any awards for innovative design. The simpler the pages are the easier they are for people within the organisation to learn how to use and for others – including those with slow connections – to access.

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To get groups started, basic training was offered in various locations around the Thai-Burma border. As every website was unique the training was individually tailored and delivered as a collaborative process with very small groups, at either their own organisational offices or other places considered safe.

Training and web planning involved thinking about what it was the website was actually for, who would read it, what is really important. This was then followed by an introductory session using web design and graphic software.  Organisations and individuals were then free to run the sites, and control their own online presence, without additional assistance.