Working with Web 2.0 – a presentation to the TERENA-PR working group

Today (28/09/07) I was supposed to be giving a presentation to the TERENA-PR working group in Lisbon about using Web 2.0 in our communications, marketing and PR work. However, due to plumbing problems in the flat above me leading to a waterfall in my kitchen I haven’t made the trip. Not one to let my work go to waste I thought I would add the (massive) presentation here and write a short commentary on what I would say (I don’t rehearse or write presentations in advance other than the slides – just a few notes to self and then I kind of wing it – can make for a lively presentation but makes this sort of thing a bit tougher!)

The presentation is split into two main areas really – the first is an overview of my take on web 2.0 including the tools I use and the main elements of the movement that I try to embrace (mainly the concepts of ‘market as conversation’ and freedom of information) and the second section focuses on more practical examples of how we at JISC have been trying to implement some of these ideas using the concept of the Amplified Conference again as the main example.

One of my favourite slides is the Web 1.0 vs Web 2.0 slide – these are just a handful of examples from a much larger list at http://joedrumgoogle.com/blog/2006/05/29/web-20-vs-web-10 – they were selected to back up the general points of the presentation but I think they make for an interesting overview.

Nothing very radical in the list of tools I use – I do use many other sites online that hover around Web 2.0 but they didn’t seem appropriate here (no not those kind of site! things like eBay, Amazon, TripAdvisor..) but I am generally prettty conservative with my usage. I try an awful lot of applications and sites in beta but find myself relying on the same few products (not mentioned here but becoming increasingly vital to my work life are Google calendar and Basecamp)

The Cluetrain Manifesto and Naked Conversations are that oddity in this world – books that drive the digital world. They were both hugely influential especially around the idea that marketing needed to become a two-way channel and more about the conversation than just a lecture (I think we at JISC are only very slowly grasping this concept!)

I think the idea of freeing your data is a vital element of Web 2.0 – the rise of use of RSS and APIs plus the slow take up of microformats allows users to consume your data in the manner that suits them best. This is a difficult sell for many old school managers though as it moves pageviews and eyeballs away from your site…this is something people will have to come to terms with though and especially for organisations like JISC it should not be an insurmountable issue.

My ideas on the Amplified Conference are already available on this blog so in conclusion here I’m just going to add some notes on how the JISC Comms team is looking into using Web 2.0 in general as I was going to pepper the presentation with examples as I went..

JISC Comms is embracing elements of Web 2.0 functionality and thinking as an extra communications channel. It is not being treated differently than other more traditional options in the planning process just another route to engaging with our community.

Currently our primary tools are Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts all of which are having some success at present. Areas we are looking to make use of in the future are slidecasts (animated powerpoints with audio commentary) and video podcasts

Our primary JISC blogs are hosted at http://jiscinvolve.org and are seen as a way of communicating with our audience in a more two-way manner – allowing comments on posts and also using the blogs as a forum to reply to issues in the community. Wikis are being used much more for collaboration around smaller, engaged communities ( i.e. events delegates, project teams etc) we have used free hosted services in the past (http://wikispaces.com and http://pbwiki.com) but have now moved on to our own installation of Confluence (a high end enterprise wiki) at http://wiki.jisc.ac.uk. Our podcasts have neen more successful than expected and are available at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/news/podcasts.aspx (and on iTunes and Odeo.com). The content of the podcasts has primarily been interviews with notable members of the community and JISC staff on a number of subjects. We are lucky to have a Multimedia Editor with a great deal of sound engineering experience so we are able to produce high quality production.

Slidecasts are potentially massively useful tool for the JISC community. An enormous amount of Powerpoint slides are produced every year and published on our website but without the context of the actual accompanying talk they are of limited value. Syncing a recording of the talk with the slides genuinely adds value particularly for the wider community who may not have attended the original presentation. Brian Kelly has been experimenting here – http://www.slideshare.net/lisbk/blogs-wikis-podcasting-and-all-that/

Video podcasts are already mainstream in the wider world of the web and offer much wider scope for integrating multiple sources of information into one short clip. With the rise of online video not only with things like YouTube but also more specialist sites like Blip.tv there is a growing demand for content in this format and we are currently experimenting with producing regular 10-15 minute ‘shows’ aimed at the JISC community.

OK thats all for now – not sure if this makes much sense but hopefully its a litle helpful to someone..The presentation is available on Slideshare http://www.slideshare.net/guest7981aa/working-with-web-20-terenapr
Its also available to download as a PDF here but be warned its 5 megs – sorry!

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