Web 2.0 Social Media Tools for Business
Blogs, RSS Feeds, Wiki, and Podcasts
The World Wide Web is all about sharing knowledge. Here are four new social media with Web 2.0 technologies that could recreate your business. These social media make communication an interactive dialogue. They change how business, communities and individuals communicate.
Blogs and Blogging
You've probably heard about blogs
, or web logs, the most popular of the new Web 2.0 social media. Blogs are candid, informal and personal diaries or journals for the rest of the world to read. You can write your blog on a free blogging website, like www.blog.com,
where your personal postings are saved in chronological order, most recent first.
Companies are using blogs as an undercover way to disseminate product information, to improve their image and to link to the company website. At the same time, disgruntled employees are using blogs to air their pet peeves in public. You can create your blog at sites like blogger.com and blogigo.com. Search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and MSN, love blogs and index them thoroughly.
You might suggest that your company add a private blog to its own website, where employees can easily share information with each other and manage tasks cooperatively.
: Just What is RSS?
Have you seen the tags that say XML
? RSS is another Web 2.0 social media tool. RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication and XML is the file format RSS uses. You can build your personal web page magazine from a selection of worldwide RSS feeds. No longer must you browse stale pages on the web looking for current news on your favorite topics. Instead, you select the topics or companies you want to follow on your magazine.
The RSS software called a RSS feed aggregator
, reads all the RSS feeds on the web for you and pulls in only the most recent headlines and page links to topics that interest you. Your browser will also help you subscribe to a feed, and keep track of it. Or, if you prefer, your own computer can run an aggregator just like it runs a browser. Whether you are interested in fractal research, triathlons or movie stars, you can use RSS to find out what's new in your field.
RSS is made possible because newspapers and webmasters worldwide keep a log file of new web pages, called an "RSS feed
", on their websites. The RSS log contains headlines and links to breaking news stories and other new pages they've posted to their site. Displaying the latest news headlines on your web site can really help give it the extra "stickiness" that will encourage users to return. After all, users can only read your president's bio so many times.
If you frequently post new content on your site, you might want to publish an RSS feed yourself to syndicate
the stories and drive in traffic. After you register your RSS feed, anyone with RSS aggregator software can find your company news, link to it and even display your company headlines on their own web page. How's that for marketing magic? Are you a believer?
What's not to love about Wiki?
Wiki is a Web 2.0 social media tool that promotes collaboration. Wiki allows you to type content into a web page directly from your browser. Wiki also allows anyone else to edit your page and change it. This is ideal for collaborative work. Best of all, a wiki site is a forum where people share ideas!
Wiki pages are "open edit
" web pages that anyone can use. "Open editing" is a simple and exciting concept that allows everyday users to create and edit any page in a Web site. All Wiki content is a work in progress. It changes as people come and go. Wiki encourages democratic use of the Web and invites nontechnical users to add their content.
In 1995, Ward Cunningham developed and named these "open edit" web pages. "Wiki wiki", which means "very fast" in Hawaiian, is the name of the shuttle bus service at the Honolulu Airport.
Wikis are a promising way to develop public knowledge bases. For example, wiki is being used to create an online electronic encyclopedia, the Wikipedia, which was launched in 2001 as a worldwide collaborative web encyclopedia of human knowledge. Anyone may contribute to Wikipedia, including you and me, and anyone can edit the contributions.
Would your company benefit from using a wiki? Some companies have latched onto wiki to manage client projects in-house. Wiki is the just the simplest database that could possibly work.
Behind the wiki page is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wiki also saves earlier versions of each page for review. Of course, there's a wiki Text Editing Guide for making your wiki words bold, etc., and you can include clickable hypertext links. You can even use PHP programming code in your wiki page. (Well, some people can!)
Podcasting is Do It Yourself Radio
Podcasting is another a Web 2.0 social media tool for communication. With podcasting, everyone can be a DJ or a broadcast commentator. Politicians are doing it. Amateurs are doing it. Churches are doing it. Indie grunge bands are doing it. Even TV stations are doing it. Anyone can create self-published, syndicated radio shows in MP3 format, and use the web to distribute them.
Browse the free podcasts at iTunes. Download your favorites podcasts to your computer and play them with Windows Media Player or Apple iTunes. You'll hear their uncensored, commercial-free ideas. Then add the podcasts to your iPod or other MP3 player for some fresh, original listening while you jog or drive.
If you want to send your voice or your music around the web to a group of like-minded friends, become a podcaster
. With a microphone and some free software, you can create your audio MP3 file. Post your MP3 file to your website; then create and post on your site an RSS feed. The podcasting directories will take it from there, keeping users up to date about new podcasts available on the web.
The Wrap Up of Social Media Tools
So to wrap up these social media Web 2.0 tools for business in a nutshell,
- Business can use RSS to locate the newest blogs, podcasts and web pages.
- Your business can use RSS to promote your blogs and podcasts.
- You can use blogs to advertise your podcast, and vice-versa,
- Your business can use wiki to promote your blog or get a conversation going with your podcast audience.
These are toools of the business communications for the twenty-first century. Ouch, Professor, may I be excused? My brain is full!
I wish you much success in life. I hope you have a very happy day.