Clay Shirky – Power of Social Media

This is a must-watch presentation (15 minutes) for anyone who wants to understand the power and potential for social transformation offered by social media. Shirky outlines the fundamental changes taking place in communications today and places them in a larger historical context. As he says, “What matters here isn’t technical capital, it’s social capital. These [social media] tools don’t get socially interesting until they get technologically boring,” i.e., until everyone knows about them and most people have access to and know how to use them.

Clay Shirky’s consulting focuses on the rising usefulness of decentralized technologies such as peer-to-peer, wireless networks, social software and open-source development. New technologies are enabling new kinds of cooperative structures to flourish as a way of getting things done in business, science, the arts and elsewhere, as an alternative to centralized and institutional structures, which he sees as self-limiting.

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The Meaning of Web 2.0

The video below by Mike Wesch conveys the meaning of “Web 2.0” in under five minutes. Thanks to Marc Schiller of RainPartners for the link.

What IT consultants like Marc Schiller and others have discovered is that one way to harness the power of Web 2.0 for marketing and communications is by using a state-of-the-art WordPress website. “Forget about information heirarchy”, Marc says. “Just create content. Tag it. Assign categories to it. Then let your WordPress theme structure the content in ways that make sense to your users.

Forget about information heirarchy. Just create content. Tag it. Assign categories to it. Then let your WordPress theme structure the content in ways that make sense to your users.”
– Marc Schiller

As the video points out, you don’t need to know HTML anymore to create and share content online. And “online” includes mobile devices!

Next generation websites and social network home pages will all have your preferences in mind. Their content will be structured based on your selections, choices, search and user history. Custom home pages like iGoogle are already doing this. Facebook is doing the same. WordPress websites have similar capabilities: every visitor to your site can have her own username and password; private pages will only display when users login. The bottom line is that you want your website to be as flexible and responsive to user interests and preferences as possible.

Traditional search engine optimization using “universal” keywords is going to be less and less relevant. But as long as you continue to make rich, useful content available online, things will be fine.

To learn more about how a state-of-the-art WordPress website can harness the power of Web 2.0 and connect you with friends, customers and colleagues, call McBuzz at (206) 962-9119.

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