Using Web 2.0 solutions for your Website
Version 0.1 October 2009 - Download PDF
When pioneering internet technologies allowed people to connect over geographical distances it signaled a sea change in communications. Websites and email soon became the standard way to share and exchange information and know-how. More recently Web 2.0 technologies have gone a step further to empowering people in their use of communication channels. This Pathway introduces the concept of Web 2.0 and how you can use these technologies for your website. The links in the text will take you to resources providing more information and guidance.
What do you need to know?
What is Web 2.0?
According to Wikipedia “Web 2.0 refers to the second generation of web development and web design that facilitates information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web. The advent of Web 2.0 led to the development and evolution of web-based communities, hosted services, and web applications. Examples include social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, mashups and folksonomies.” So Web 2.0 gives you a variety of techniques, tools and services which provide more informal ways of communicating on the Web with a large user base.
Why you should consider Web 2.0 solutions
Web 2.0 technologies can be used to enhance your website’s presence, making it more than just a repository for your organization’s research outputs. Use your website to:
· Share your web content with website visitors. Make it easy for them to subscribe to newsfeeds (RSS technology, see: www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/internet/archives/page9195.cfm) so they are alerted whenever you post new content on your website.
· Install a blogging option for your website. Blogging (http://ictkm.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/blogging-for-impact/) is a good way for researchers to promote their work and in turn increase the profile of your organization.
· Use digital videos and audio podcasts to tell your story. Make them short and interesting. (http://ictkm.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/put-it-out-there-tools-for-photo-video-and-slideshow-sharing/)
· Provide website links that support your work with social bookmarking sites. Allow people access to your resource lists so they can use and share them with others.
· Build support for your organization and form strategic alliances. There are many ways you can engage with people using social networking sites (http://ictkm.wordpress.com/2009/05/06/social-networks-friend-or-foe/). Social networks grow extensively and have the potential to increase your website traffic.
· Establish your expertise and create a following. Blogs reach out to people more immediately than a research paper might. Examples of websites with blogs:
Collaborate with Colleagues/Partners
· Wikis let you collaborate with your colleagues at a fraction of the time and cost associated with face-to-face meetings (http://ictkm.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/wikis-sites-docs-and-pads-the-many-flavours-of-collaborative-writing/). Collaborative sharing sites also come with security options that allow secure knowledge sharing.
What do you need to do?
Define the purpose of your website
By using the Web 2.0 technologies available your website has the potential to reach out to a large audience base. No longer just a repository of information, websites can leverage these new technologies and engage people to build long term support. Decide exactly what you want your website to do and which tools you need to do it.
Identify your target audience
You may want to reach out to several different groups with your website, including your partners, investors and the general public. You should target both techniques and content to reach them.
Decide on content
Depending on the information you want to disseminate, use tools like blogs, social bookmarks and podcasts to engage your audience. Many of these technologies/tools are easy to test out.
· Start small. Find a Web 2.0 solution for an existing problem.
· Establish goals, use short time frames.
· Recruit a test-group and monitor their progress.
· Experiment with other tools if one does not work for your organization.
· ICT-KM Social Media Blog series (http://ictkm.wordpress.com/2009/07/02/and-then-there-were-ten/) Blogs on using social media tools in research and development organizations.
· What is Web 2.0 (http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html)