Posts tagged ‘Web 2.0’

To 2.0 or not 2.0? That is the Government’s Question

**This article I wrote was originally published at ReadWriteWeb on September 10, 2008. And P.S., I still don’t have the internet, but the install is scheduled for Wednesday…hence the blogging delay. Thank you for your understanding!

And we’ve got the answer. Three of them actually: Listen, learn, and let go.

Let’s face it, Web 2.0 is a buzzword. And when it comes to government, change, and innovation, we have to reach beyond buzzwords. Surprising to some, the government isn’t too far beyond.

The other week Mark Drapeau, Government 2.0 columnist for Mashable, suggested that the government is currently in a state of 1.4, at least when it comes to Twitter.* I would agree, however, as my lovely professors back in grad school taught me to say, “it depends.”

Government is doing some amazing social media initiatives to better serve their constituents, and why not – social media is all about increasing the democratization of communications. The government serves its people, and thus, it’s a perfect match.

We government-familiar types know of the greatness that is CDC – from their virtual world explorations in Whyville and SecondLife, to their numerous podcasts, e-cards, MySpace page and blog, and their CDC-TV channel, they are leading the way. But there’s more.

The EPA has its own cause on Facebook for its EnergySTAR program to stop global warming. The U.S. Intelligence Agency has it’s own data-sharing and social network-esque called Intellipedia. TSA uses its blog Evolution of Security as instrumental to its customer service abilities. Not to mention, there are currently 7 head directors and decision makers with their own blog. But, I will admit that some areas in government just need some more coaching.

If you are within government or outside of government, here are three helpful strategies to be the social media maven for your agency: Listen. Learn. And Let go.

These three strategies are listed in no particular order as they all circle one another. Think back when you learned how to ride a bike. You did not let go of the training wheels, until you have learned how to ride the bike. But, you couldn’t learn how to ride the bike, until you listened to the instructions. Same deal.

Listening

The more you learn about the space, the more comfortable you will become. This will involving listening to webinars and speakers on the topic. For starters, the CDC is having a live web dialogue on September 18th with an expert panel to talk about how government health agencies can integrate social media practices into their initiatives. There are currently 217 people signed up!

Listening also involves learning how to search, and how to search effectively. Largely, learning how to navigate the RSS feeder. I know it looks intimidating. I was at first too. But, it’s called Real Simple Syndication for a reason, because it really can be simple. Check out Google Reader or Bloglines or email me, and we can work together.

Learning

While listening, you will learn. It’s inevitable. I have best found that learning is maximized when you live with what Geoff Livingston said best in one of Buzz Bin blog posts, “You cannot underestimate the value of remaining teachable.” Attending speakers, applying your knowledge and participating in the space as an individual all help facilitate learning.

For example, Sec. Mike Leavitt and a group of world leaders came together in 2007 to create the Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog. Through this short-term blog, conversations and discussions were shared leading up to an offline Leadership Forum. Taking the lessons learned from this experience, Sec. Leavitt launched his own blog on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in August 2007.

Letting Go

As your listening and learning combines, eventually, you will feel more comfortable in letting go. And letting go can include baby steps. Like, the case of Sec. Leavitt, you can build upon past activities. Do gather the statistics. Do highlight other case studies.

• Perhaps, instead of creating your own social network, it begins with placing a web badge or banner about your initiative on a social network.
• Perhaps, instead of creating a Twitter account feed, you conduct Twitter searches for your government agency’s name and important keywords.
• Perhaps, instead of creating your own blog, first do a guest entry on an already established blog.
• Perhaps, when pitching new information or publications to traditional news outlets, see if that media organization has a relevant blog column or social media reporter and share your information with him or her.

The ideas are endless, which is why being relevant is core. Let’s not be doing things for the sake of doing them. Let’s connect in meaningful ways. The tools may be new, but the importance of relationship-building and support remain constant. I’m excited to have the opportunity to highlight in this Government 2.0 column ways our government is being innovative as we all listen, learn and let go together.

*Context and attribution corrected.

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September 15, 2008 at 3:03 am 3 comments

Social Media Highlight: Ning is Great, but waiting for Relevance

Next up in the Social Media Highlight Series, where I sign-up for a certain social media site/app/platform, use it for a couple of weeks and offer a reflection on my thoughts and experience, is the social network Ning.

Ning LogoAbout: Ning was co-founded by Netscape founder Marc Andressen and onetime Goldman Sachs banker Gina Binachini in 2004. It’s software enables anyone to create their own social network based around any idea, topic or mission. There are Ning groups about hobbies, gourmet food, geographic locations, causes and more. Interestingly, 50 Cent has his own Ning with over 100,000 members. Ning was recently estimated to be worth half a billion dollars with 237,000 current networks and growing at 1000 a day!

NingUse: Ning allows for any user to create his or her own social network. The service is free, and you don’t have to know how to code. Ning is currently all the buzz and is said to have a bright future as more and more capabilities are added onto to service. Currently, Ning can incorporate video, music, discussion forums, google maps, flickr, web badges, and ways to cross promote with Myspace and Facebook.

Demographics: Anyone and Everyone. NING features a diverse group of users that run the gamut in uses and interests. However, according to Quantcast, Ning is especially popular with African-Americans, who make up 75% of Ning’s users. With age, Ning is most popular among users 18-34, followed by users 35-49.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 wings

Rationale:

  • Good:
    • Ning has a lot of potential and is doing a great and innovative service that no one else really provides except for CrowdVine. However, Ning was first, and usually the first gets more brand recognition because it’s well, the first. However, I think CrowdVine has a great promotional strategy of separating it’s call to action for users around groups and events, whereas Ning’s call is primarily more individual based (e.g. “You can create your own network”).
    • Also, Ning is nice because you don’t have to be a developer to use it, there’s numerous groups, it is more niche and interest based than say Facebook of MySpace, and it’s growing.
    • And, if you purchase your Ning page, you don’t have to display ads and more security features can be added.
  • Bad:
    • Though its big and its growing, I didn’t find much on Ning that I thought was relevant to myself. Thus, for the everyday user, it could be too niche-focused. Perhaps I will become more interested when I attend a conference that has a Ning page. I did find the 29-Day Giving Page on Ning which I enjoy, so its not that bad.
    • You have to do some digging once on Ning to find something that grabs you, or, you have to be pointed to use Ning by a certain group.
    • And, when you do want to join, you have to go through a lot of steps.
    • You can join multiple social networks, but then, that’s can become a lot of managing different profiles and group communities.

Social Marketing and Ning:

  • Marketing4Change is one step ahead with their Ning, aka their own social networking site, dedicated to social marketing. You can join them here.
  • There are groups for library 2.0 and numerous groups for those involved in government and health communications.
  • My own ID is SocialButterfly. I like the idea behind Ning. I’m just waiting for when it becomes uber-relevant for something I need. Like, if we would want to create a “Social Marketing Network” and then get everyone to join, that would be awesome. I even saved the Ning name “Fly 4 Change,” just in case. However, not all of us social marketers are connected online…so, I figured it be me and a few of the trustees that I already stay in touch with through blogging, Twitters, email, facebook, etc.

What do you think? How would you rate Ning?


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June 22, 2008 at 9:18 pm 3 comments

Are You a Change-Agent? User-Experience Inspires Environmental Change

Timberland + Changents provide an innovative platform, strategy and user experience for change

What do a bus, a canary, an artist, a rocker and a college grad have in common? Getting green. and inspiring others to follow suit.

Today, Timberland, the outdoor company, and Changents unveiled a new online experience where individuals can be catalysts for change by teaming up with environmental “Change Agents” from around the world to advance the green revolution.

Engage ::

Watch broadcasts of firsthand experiences from the field through blogs, videos, photo albums, Flickr streams, phoned-in podcasts, Twitter dispatches and more.

Back a Change Agent by assuming the roles of:

  • “Fan” (a shout-out of support),
  • “First Responder” (being on-call if their Change Agent gets in a pinch),
  • “Buzz Builder” (promoting a Change Agent’s stories and Action Requests through viral sharing),
  • “Angel” (helping fill their Change Agent’s piggy bank) and
  • “Advocate” (influence policy makers with respect to a Change Agent’s cause)

Plug in to ‘Earthkeepers,’ where you can follow and interact with 5 extraordinary Change Agents, dubbed, “Earthkeeper Heroes.

  • Big Green Bus (12 Dartmouth students travel the country this summer in a tricked-out school bus converted to run on waste vegetable oil);
  • The Canary Project (an artist couple convey the story of human-induced climate change and potential solutions through media, events and artwork);
  • Agent 350 (a recent college grad and his scrappy team sprint to build a global, online/offline climate action movement from scratch);
  • Reverb (a group of rock and roll road warriors green summer concert tours for Dave Matthews, John Mayer and Maroon 5/Counting Crows while engaging fans around environmental sustainability);
  • POWERleaper (A 23-year old designtrepeneur created a blueprint for urban flooring systems that generates electricity from human foot traffic).

Become an Earthkeeper Hero yourself! Nominate yourself or others to compete for a chance to join the ranks of this amazing group.

About ::

Changents.com is an entertainment-driven Internet destination that connects innovators of social and environmental change – Change Agents – with a global network of people who want to help them. In 2007, Changents was founded by two social entrepreneurs, Alex Hofmann and Deron Triff, who set out to engage a digitally-connected, socially-conscious generation on its own terms.

“We started Changents to give a new generation of social and environmental problem-solvers the tools they need to build teams of active followers and help them become ‘rock stars’ of change through the Internet,” said Changents Co-Founder and CEO Deron Triff.”


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June 17, 2008 at 2:50 am Leave a comment

Is Everything Going 2.0?

Is everything going 2.0?

Health, Science, Museum, Birding, Philanthropy, Reputation, Enterprise, Food and more! Feel free to add to the list.

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  • Museum 2.0 is a blog itself by Nina Simon that talks about how Web 2.0 can be applied in museum design. Nina paints her vision for the revitlization for museums and future possibilities here, and in her video.
  • Health 2.0: SocialButterfly’s own post sparked by recently released research studies, regarding the developments in the growing Health 2.0 field, offering numerous examples and resources.
  • Science 2.0: SocialButterfly’s own post on Science 2.0, including a mini-case study on the OpenWetWare project, voicing both concerns and future possibilities.
  • Birding 2.0: Michelle Riggen-Ransom as Social Media for Social Change wrote a great piece on Birding 2.0, about how Science 2.0 and technological developments are advancing great hobbies such as bird watching in the bird watching community.
  • Reputation 2.0: Jeff McCord looks at the importance of one’s online reputation when entering the trenches of the job search in his post titled, Reputation 2.0.

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Other topics I Googled with a ‘2.0’ added that found results include Love 2.0, Crafts 2.0, Education 2.0, Music 2.0, Church 2.0 …What others can you find?

May 7, 2008 at 4:29 am 2 comments

A Look At Science 2.0, including OpenWetWare Case Study

Last week, I published a post on Health 2.0, based on a couple research studies that were recently released.

Also last week, another report was published by the Scientific American Magazine that looked at the concept of Science 2.0, titled “Is Open-Access Science the future?

About

Before this article was published, the author put the draft version of the article in a wiki, and encouraged readers’ comments and edits…to help formulate the articles final version.

In this article, the author looks at the increasing use of social media within marketing, journalism, and politics – and how it can spread to the field of science, as more researchers increase their use of web 2.0 tools within their research. Some critics think that this new process to scientific discovery curbs the traditional institutional lines and poses danger. Advocates see Science 2.0 as a way to increase openness and collaboration across studies – furthering progress

Science 2.0

Science 2.0 refers to the growing movement of integrating social media into the scientific process and its promotion. Science 2.0 is a component of the broader Open Science movement according to the author of the article, M. Mitchell Waldrop. This Open Science Movement includes other topics such as open-access scientific publishing and open-data practices.

Case Study

The article points to a success project named OpenWetWare at MIT, which:

OpenWetWare is an effort to promote the sharing of information, know-how, and wisdom among researchers and groups who are working in biology & biological engineering. OWW provides a place for labs, individuals, and groups to organize their own information and collaborate with others easily and efficiently.”

OpenWetWare now hosts more than 15 labs, 6100 web pages and is edited by 3000 registered users. To learn more, gain access, or get involved, you can contact the project at admin@openwetware.org or join here.

Concerns

Due to the content of this budding use of technology, in that it is labeled ‘science’ brings many concerns to critics minds. These include:

  • Privacy Concerns
  • Authorship and Copyright
  • Looking ‘unprofessional’
  • Undermining the field of ‘science’
  • Trust-worthiness of information and hackers

Future

Despite concerns, advocates see Science 2.0 as still in its launching point. Future ideas for implementing Science 2.0 include:

  • Collaborate for scientific articles and ideas
  • online lab journals
  • Developing internet-friendly lab equipment
  • Virtual scientific conferences
  • Virtual Labs
  • Updated Lab ‘feeds’
  • Data-Sharing
  • Truth-Based Social Marketing
  • For more information regarding these ideas and more visit here.

More

  • Duncan Hull wrote up an insightful blog post about science 2.0 by interviewing scientist and researcher Dave DeRoure. DeRoure mapped out what he thinks is a widening gap between scientists and the web infrastruture. You can read the post here.
  • For those who like reading how trends relate, the Columbia Journalism Review wrote up a great article about web 2.0 and its evolution to Journalism 2.0 and Science 2.0, and how the two concepts relate. The author demonstrates how concerns towards the two fields are similar and the implications this has for science journalism 2.0.

What are your thoughts on Science 2.0?? A ‘yay’ or a ‘nay’ …share with us your thoughts

May 5, 2008 at 1:04 am 2 comments

Defining Health 2.0

According to a January 2008 study titled How America Searches, Health and Wellness:

  • In the past 12 months, 59% of adults reference the internet to find or access health and wellness information.
  • 67% of adult searchers use general search engines as an online tool or resource for health information and only 7% referred to online drug advertisements.
  • 36% of adult searchers use online health information to see what other consumers say about a medication or treatment

Because of statistics like those above, the concept of ‘Health 2.0’ has increased its usage and importance. Simply, Health 2.0 = the merging of social media into healthcare. However, others see the movement of Health 2.0 as something much wider and farther reaching. Even Google image searching shows a variety of more complex definitions. I’d be interested to see how you all define it for yourselves or for your practice.

Examples of Health 2.0

Websites

  • Carol.com , started in 2006, is the marketplace for care, allowing hospitals and providers to ‘bid’ for consumers’ care
  • Vitals.com, allows patients to review their current doctor’s or a potential doctor’s reviews and ratings
  • DoubleCheckMD, allows consumers to check for potential drug interactions quickly and easily
  • American Well , creates a healthcare marketplace where consumers and physicians come together online to acquire and provide convenient and immediate healthcare services

Wikis

  • Wikipedia
  • FluWiki
  • WiserWiki, a medical and healthcare information wiki edited exclusively by physicians
  • Clinfo Wiki, a wiki devoted to clinical informatics
  • Ask Dr. Wiki, allows those with a medical background to publish review articles, clinical notes, pearls and/or medical images to the wiki. The main focus has been on Cardiology and Electrophysiology, but they have expanded to other areas.

Blogs

  • DiabetesMine, a blog all about diabetes
  • HealthMatters (Healthline), a collection of weblogs by professionals, covering different aspects of health, wellness, treatments, and recent advances
  • WebMD, provides health and health-related information

Social Networks

Video-Sharing

  • ICYou, the source of healthcare videos and videos related to health information
  • Cleveland Clinic on Google Video
  • TauMed, a virtual health community where one can search and share information on a variety of health topics

Online Forums

Podcasts

Caution

Health 2.0 researchers warn that patients should be cautious about posting personal health-related information through unsecured social media as health insurance providers could gain access to this information, as well as potential employers.

Future

Social Media combined with health information, patients and user-generated content can be used for:

  • User-generated health ratings for hospitals and doctors
  • Bridge the gap between doctor and patient
  • Bring communities together in new, innovative ways
  • Establishing patients as opinion leaders
  • Managing health and managing community health in new ways

For specific case studies and more information, view this report titled: The Wisdom of Patients: Health Care Meets Online Social Media prepared for the California Healthcare Foundation by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn.

Questions to Ponder

  • Is Health 2.0 helpful or harmful?
  • Is the content trustrworthy? Does it matter? Will consumers take the information at face value?
  • Why are patients labeled as consumers? What does this mean/say about how health 2.0 is being approached?
  • What are the ethical concerns?
  • What are the privacy concerns?

Can’t wait to read your insights in the comments. =)

April 30, 2008 at 3:12 am 9 comments

3 of the Latest Reasons Why I Love Twitter

Ok. I’m joining the bandwagon of bloggers who are posting their love for Twitter.

Twitter

Twitter is a micro-blogging social media site that asks the question, “What are you doing?” Users who have logged in and registered for the free service can then answer the question within 140 characters or within multiple updates. Twitter works by people agreeing to ‘follow’ a certain Twitter account. Once following this account, the person then gets the account’s updates.

Users

Twitter also seems to be used by an older demographic according to Quantcast.com, with 24% of its users being between the age of 25-34, followed by 22% of users being 35-44, with 69% having a college education or higher.

Currently, the use of Twitter is greater outside of the United States according to the makers of Twitter. See graph below.

Your browser may not support display of this image.

One advantage to Twitter is that it is gaining in its popularity and recognition of its advances into mobile technology as Twitter has applications for cellphones, PDAs, and with other social media such as blogs, social networking sites and instant messenger, many of which, are free.

Twitter Case Studies

@womenshealth and @Health provide Tweets providing information and health tips that link to their home page. For more case studies that highlight the extent of health uses for Twitter, see Nedra Weinreich’s great post, Twitter for Health.

Thus, here are my top 3, latest and greatest reasons why I love Twitter.

1. Get to know the “day in the life” of CEOs who tweet

As more companies create a Twitter account, @zappos, @Jetblue, @southwest, etc….not only do I enjoy the frequent competitions to give out giveaways to Twitter followers…but you get to know the everyday happenings of those with some pretty cool jobs.

From my observation, the company’s Twitter account is run by the CEO, President or another higher up. As this person updates their tweets, it shows me more about what goes on in the lives of those with great responsibility….something you can’t get any other way, even in a blog.

2. There’s so much Potential

Twitter is constantly expanding. Almost everyday I’m seeing a new use for Twitter or a new Twitter application. Just scanning the Twitter Wiki, there are over 50 cool Twitter applications for Twitter metrics, Twitter mobile applications, multi-platform apps, SecondLife Twitter apps, Twitter for Mac apps, Twitter for Windows apps…. It’s just amazing. And, this is only the beginning.

3. It never gets boring

Twitter and the Twitosphere never gets boring. Twitter, in its natures, Inspires creativity and innovation with what can you do with 140 characters…here are some of the uses I’ve found:

  • Linking to recent blog posts
  • Twittfeed acting as an automatic feed for your blog
  • Linking to favorite news articles
  • Creating a buzz around certain issues to address issues
  • as a fund-raising tool
  • to launch a contest (@zappos told ppl to Twitt their fav. quote to them and the winner would get free shoes!)
  • To meet people in a new area
  • find contacts for new business
  • announce events
  • Twitter questions, tips, facts or ask for help. I.E Question: When did Columbus sail the ocean blue? Help: What blog platform do you recommend?

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So, Join the conversation! =). You can follow me @socialbttrfly

April 18, 2008 at 10:54 pm 3 comments

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Meet Alexandra Rampy, aka SocialButterfly

I am a social marketing believer, blogger, practitioner, researcher and enthusiast. This site highlights the growing movement of social marketing. Learn more about social marketing and how to be your own socialbutterfly--> here.

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