Understand new communication tools

Many communicators in higher education are still asking very basic questions about new communication technologies including blogs, news feeds, tagging, and social networking. At least that’s the impression I get at the EWA conference this week.
And there’s some misunderstanding about what the new communication tools are for. For example, one communicator asked about setting up a password protected blog or a password protected RSS feed, so they could control their message. Well, sorry, but phrases like password protection and controlling the message cannot logically be uttered in the same sentence as terms like RSS feeds and blogs. They start from different basic assumptions. But that’s just me.
And technology aside, I’m hearing some weird ideas about basic communication philosophy in a Web 2.0 world. One attendee at an afternoon session today wanted to know whether RSS feeds were a good way to ‘force feed’ information to reporters. I have to admit I’ve never heard a reporter say she wanted to be force fed anything.
So it’s good that Mindshare’s Colin Moffett was here at EWA this afternoon to provide some pointers on taking advantage of the new internet.
Being creative means cutting through the clutter, he said, and then demonstrated some ways Mindshare does that for clients, including American Rivers and Strong American Schools.
Moffett showed how communicators are using video clips, social media environments including Second Life, Facebook, and MySpace, using social tagging and bookmarking with tools including Delicious.com, and using search technology offered by services like Technorati and Google Alerts.
Be viral, he said. Make your content portable and digestible.

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