If you are an association or corporate marketer who has decided that 2009 will be your organization’s year to join in the conversation taking place on the web, we suggest putting your toe in the water before diving into the deep end. But definitely get wet. Here are five resolutions to get you started:
1. If you haven’t already, set up accounts on these services: YouTube.com, Flickr, Twitter, GMail, FaceBook and LinkedIn. In later posts, we’ll be discussing each one in-depth, but for now, just make sure you have registered a username that is consistent across all of those services. Also, in later posts, we’ll provide you with about 15 other services to register on.
2. Purchase a digital camera small enough for a pocket or a bag: We’ll get very specific in a later post about which cameras to consider. But for now, just make sure you have a small digital camera that is always within arm’s reach. We have a saying here: “The best camera is the one you have when the picture appears.” The more bulky a camera is, the less likely you are to have it with you. Notice we didn’t say, “take some photos and upload them to Flickr.” At first, just resolve to carry a camera around with you.
3. Discover a wiki other than Wikipedia: We love Wikipedia, but unfortunately, it is so popular that many people think the term “wiki” means Wikipedia and therefore they miss out on the tens of thousands of other collaborative resources developed on a wiki format. Most wikis share some things in common, but they can differ drastically as well. Here are a couple of fun ones to explore: WikiHow, a collection of how-to articles and videos, and our favorite, SmallBusiness.com.
4. Write a review on Amazon.com: At some point, you’ve got to start viewing the web as something you don’t just read, but write to as well. We could suggest commenting on a blog or posting a “tweet” to Twitter, but around here, we believe the most meaningful content comes from your passions. If you love a book or song, write a few sentences why. You’ll feel like a champion when you hit that submit button. Promise.
5. Learn to search the World Live Web: One of the major challenges of explaining conversational media and the tools of social media is the notion that the Web is a “place” where people live and not a “medium” that people read and watch. We’ll be posting at length about “listening” to the web, but here are a couple of suggestions:
- Set up a Google Alert of weblogs for a keyword or phrase important to you.
- Go to the URL search.twitter.com and enter a search term, perhaps the name of a sports team or a unique word related to a topic you follow. When the search results page appears, leave the window open and it will be updated continuously as others add “tweets” that include that word. (Note: You’ll see a notification letting you know how many new tweets have been made, but you must manually hit “refresh” for the new ones to be displayed.
Subscribe to this blog, or visit often, as we’ll be sharing with you ways in which you can most effectively add your voice to the conversation.