Communicating Your Message Using Web 2.0: A guide for development communicators


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What is Web 2.0 and how can it be of use to those working in international development communications? This e-tutorial gives a basic introduction to Web 2.0 and its potential. It contains examples of how development communicators have used web 2.0, and provides examples of appropriate web 2.0 tools and services.Each slide in this PowerPoint e-tutorial is supported by notes that are intended to be read in conjunction with the slides.

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  • Please note that each slide in this Powerpoint e-tutorial is supported by notes which are intended to be read in conjunction with the slides.
  • Web technology is shifting in a way that enables greater online communication, collaboration and community. With the transition to Web 2.0, the user creates and has more control over the content. Web 2.0 enables, among other things, the ‘harnessing [of] collective intelligence,’ the ‘architecture of participation,’ ‘rich user experiences’ and ‘remixable data source[s]’. (Tim O’Reilly, 2005) Some well known Web 2.0 tools include Wikipedia, an online encylopedia that has been created through online collaboration of thousands of users, and iTunes, a site where you can share music and other forms of audio recordings. Most Web 2.0 tools are free to use. Most are easy to use by those who are ‘non-technical’.
  • Development organisations are investing in web-based systems and tools to communicate and collaborate; to create, exchange, share, and disseminate development content; and to share knowledge and information.   People (who aren’t web experts) can more easily generate content from their own knowledge and experience; they can share it in different media; they can select and subscribe to knowledge of others, they can re-combine this knowledge into their own personal services. Different forms of communication and information sharing can be easily and openly instigated and integrated across the web. User-generated content and the economy of scale/ network multiplier effect can lead to valuable connections between related users and content. Potentially, they create the opportunity to develop networks sustainably with very little resources.
  • Domestic Workers Blog, Brazil Researchers from the IDS Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Consortium have used blogs to contribute to the advancement of the National Federation of Domestic Workers (FENATRAD) and to the empowering of domestic workers in other countries covered by the Consortium, by re-tracing the pathways covered in the organising of domestic workers in Brazil and their struggles. Notorious for its low wages, and lack of social benefits, domestic work remains as one of the major occupations for women in Latin America. However, as a result of the organization of domestic workers and their collective actions, legislation was passed to extend labor benefits such as paid vacations, maternity leave and retirement benefits to these workers, with significant improvements in their work conditions. In addition, FENATRAD, the National Federation of Domestic Workers, is engaged in the development of different programs to value domestic employment, as a means of promoting the enlargement of union ranks throughout the country. The blog was primarily set up to share information about the outcomes of the research and the details of domestic workers legislation. It is fed by the interns of the project, Sintia Araujo and Rogério Barros and their co-ordinator Terezinha Goncalves, with news and discussion about relevant events that come up in the domestic workers' arena. The aim is to pass the blog on to FENATRAD (The National Federation of Domestic Workers) at the end of the research period, so that it can be used as a resource and a method of communication with a broader audience and they can have their own space online. The Empowering Domestic Work project is led by Terezinha Gonçalvez, at the Latin American Hub, Brazil at NEIM (Nucleus of Interdisciplinary Studies on Women), in partnership with the IDS Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Research Programme Consortium.
  • Communications Staff in the Steps Centre use a mixture of Web 2.0 applications in thier communications work – video (YouTube and; audio; RSS feeds; blog (Blogger and Wordpress); Twitter; Slideshare; Flickr – with some of these taking precedence according to the aims of the activity.   Videos on our YouTube channel have been viewed 1,000 times. They use the channel to promote clips of seminars, and Vox Pop interviews, helping to bring their messages to life and to wider audiences. The chair of their Advisory Board made a video in Kenya that was shown at the London Steps Centre launch and posted online. It has subsequently been watched by 100s of people.   There have been 15,000 views of the Steps Centre Flickr photos – organisations with related interests often ask to use their photos The most popular of the presentations on the Slideshare site has been viewed 1,200 times. All have 100’s of viewers – much wider audiences than if they were hidden away on the Steps Centre website.   Some communications activity they did around a new Avian Flu paper, based on blogging, resulted in a 63 per cent increase in visitors and 13 per cent increase in hits to their website during the week of activity. The paper was cited by more than 100 different media outlets, networks and bloggers in the week of activity and had immediate impact with their target audience of policymakers. UNSIC (UN System Influenza Coordination) team all had news of our paper on their Blackberries as they stepped off the plane in Egypt en route to a major avian flu conference.
  • RSS feeds IDS has for some time been supplying RSS feeds, which allow parts of a website to be made available to other websites or individual subscribers. Content from the source site appears on your own website or in your newsreader (software that allows you to pick up and organise RSS content). When the content on the source site is updated, it is also automatically updated on your website or in your newsreader. The latest Outlook can also allow RSS feeds to be sent direct to your email inbox. Benefits of RSS feeds For the user: subscribers can be updated automatically with the latest content from the websites you have chosen to monitor. This means you should spend less time surfing the internet as the content comes to you rather than you having to go to find it yourself. Unlike subscribing to e-mail newsletters, there is no need to provide your email address, which means RSS is more private and secure and cannot be used as a spam channel. For the provider: Web feeds enable publishers to syndicate content automatically, thus saving time and improving service efficiency.
  • Authoring Systems Wikis and blogs are authoring systems. In wikis, the content is iterative in the sense that the people undo and redo each other's work (See for example, Wikipedia). In blogs, content is cumulative in that posts and comments of individuals are accumulated over time (See for example, Blogger). Tags Tagging is used prevalently on social bookmarking sites. Users bookmark their favourite webpages using tags. Other online users can then search an share bookmarks. (See for example, Delicious.) Mashups Flickr is an image storage site that allows users to organize their collection of images and share them. Through the use of its Application Programming Interface (API), the content can be used by other sites to create a mashup. Flickrvision is an example of a mashup made using Flickr's API. These features can provide opportunities for working in new ways For example: Producing a newsletter using RSS Feeds Working on a document online collaboratively using a wiki Storing your links using tags Seeing what is new by signing up to receive RSS Feeds
  • Some Web 2.0 applications now allow you to share your messages via mobile phone. For example Twitter (a micro-blogging website) can be updated via SMS messages and can send you updates via SMS. This is a growing trend in Web 2.0 and it may, in the future, be possible to connect via Web 2.0 and mobile phone technology to more people in the South who have to traditional forms of internet access.
  • The advantages of using a social bookmarking system are: You can save and view bookmarks from any computer with internet access anywhere in the world. Information is tagged by humans as opposed to other automated methods and is thus more meaningful. People can find and bookmark web pages that have not yet been noticed or indexed by web spiders. A social bookmarking system can rank a resource based on how many times it has been bookmarked by users, which may be a more useful metric for end users than systems that rank resources based on the number of external links pointing to it. This also means that a research paper that is bookmarked in a social bookmarking website will generally have a higher search engine ranking. It can be useful as a way to access a consolidated set of bookmarks from various computers, organise large numbers of bookmarks, and share bookmarks with contacts.
  • You can use any number or combination of web 2.0 tools to communicate your message depending on who you are targeting. RSS feeding the buzz For IDS outputs, an RSS feed automatically updates social network sites such as Facebook and the Eldis Community website (news items only). Netvibes and Google Reader are two RSS reader site examples where IDS feeds can be seen. News websites may have subscribed to our RSS service therefore transmitting our communications. We use RSS in addition to traditional methods of e-communications such as email newsletters. Multimedia Channels To support communications, multimedia allows us to communicate in more than words. Mulitmedia websites that IDS engages with include: and YouTube for videos, Flickr for photos, iTunes for podcasts, and SlideShare for PowerPoint presentations. In addition we post short audio recordings on our own website. Feedback and Discussions Eldis Community offers a service whereby you can leave comments about IDS news items. Dgroups also offer social spaces to share ideas and discuss development issues. Blogs Blogs are often used as a personal platform to publish your own thoughts. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Instead of, or as well as having your own blog, you can find other blogs and converse with the bloggers writing them, leave comments or share your own work. Twitter Twitter acts as social network, a mini-blog and web mood monitor. Shout out a message of what you’re doing etc, share an opinion or insight, invite anyone to a site – followers will listen and may even ‘retweet’ the message. Twitter now has a search facility so you can check what’s being discussed. Wikis Wikipedia is the most well known wiki but other exist for more specialist subjects. They can be useful for collaboration and sharing knowledge. Social Bookmarking IDS uses Delicious to bookmark our favourite websites and webpages. M & E the buzz IDS uses Google Alerts, a free notification service for keywords you would normally use to search the internet. You can set up a daily email feed and monitor who’s talking about what, for example ‘agriculture’. Delicious can be used to monitor the popularity of web pages.
  • These are examples of Web 2.0 tools that may be of interest to researchers. The next slide shows a more comprehensive list of web 2.0 tools that may be of interest to other development professionals such as practitioners, NGO staff, activists and network facilitators.
  • Books Google Book is a search engine tool just for publications. Projects AIDA and CARIS – show who’s funding what projects within development AiDA proclaims to be the largest online directory of development activities and can sort through projects by country, continent or donor/agency. · · Multimedia Video media and FlickR photos rank higher in Search Engines. Just adding a short video to your campaign or creating regular videos will transform the campaign.   Dialogue Some blogging sites (e.g. Blogger) allows users to email their blog entries as well as by mobile phone. is a development themed discussion group website . It targets those in Southern countries with low bandwidth connection.   Statistics and are both map based statistic tools useful for research on development. For instance you can track the life expectancy over the years by country and watch the graphs change over time. File sharing Some sites facilitate the sharing of large files which is useful for collaborative working.
  • References Tim O’Rielly, 2005, O’Reilly, T., 2005. What is Web 2.0. Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software, 30, p.2005. Chris Addison, 2008, ‘Research Web Tools’, Powerpoint Presentation to IDS Wikipedia, 2009 Web2share website, 2009
  • IDS has a web 2.0 strategy and has been experimenting with Web 2.0 for some time. The IDS Communication Team can provide support on request.
  • Communicating Your Message Using Web 2.0: A guide for development communicators

    1. 1. Communicating Your Message using Web 2.0: A guide for development communicators Carol Smithyes, 8 July 2009 Each slide in this PowerPoint e-tutorial is supported by notes that are intended to be read in conjunction with the slides.
    2. 2. About this Presentation <ul><li>What is Web 2.0 and how can it be of use to those working in international development communications? </li></ul><ul><li>This e-tutorial gives a basic introduction to Web 2.0 and its potential. It contains examples of how development communicators have used web 2.0, and provides examples of appropriate web 2.0 tools and services. </li></ul><ul><li>Each slide in this PowerPoint e-tutorial is supported by notes that are intended to be read in conjunction with the slides. </li></ul>
    3. 3. What is Web 2.0? <ul><li>‘ Web 2.0’ describes the changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and design that aim to enhance: </li></ul><ul><li>creativity </li></ul><ul><li>communications </li></ul><ul><li>secure information sharing </li></ul><ul><li>collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>and functionality of the web. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Why bother? <ul><li>Used effectively Web 2.0 tools can help to: </li></ul><ul><li>Share research to achieve a given aim </li></ul><ul><li>Reach new and existing audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Improve research/ brand visibility </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate immediately </li></ul><ul><li>Control your message </li></ul><ul><li>Find information </li></ul><ul><li>Share information and resources </li></ul><ul><li>Build communities and networks </li></ul><ul><li>Work collaboratively </li></ul><ul><li>Work more efficiently </li></ul>
    5. 5. Examples of Web 2.0 in practice and it’s potential <ul><li>How IDS and our partners are using Web 2.0: </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 4. Steps Centre on Slideshare : </li></ul><ul><li>increasing the reach of key messages around rural development and livestock </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 5. Domestic Workers Blog : empowering domestic workers around the world and supporting the development of the National Federation of Domestic Workers in Brazil. </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 6. IDS automated content ‘feed’s for subscribers </li></ul>
    6. 9. Web 2.0: Key Features <ul><li>Web 2.0 websites typically include some of the following features/techniques: </li></ul><ul><li>Authoring Systems </li></ul><ul><li>The ability to create constantly updating content that is interlinked. For example, by using wikis or blogs. </li></ul><ul><li>Tags </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content is categorised by creating tags that are simple, one-word descriptions that help with searching and avoid rigid, pre-made categories. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RSS Feeds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The use of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) technology to notify users of any updates or changes to content by sending e-mails to them. RSS Feeds can also be used to duplicate content on other sites across the web. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mashups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data from more than one source is aggregated into a single integrated tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>or webpage. </li></ul></ul>
    7. 10. Who can you reach using Web 2.0? <ul><li>Governments </li></ul><ul><li>Policymakers </li></ul><ul><li>Development practitioners (mainly in the West) </li></ul><ul><li>Donors </li></ul><ul><li>Academics </li></ul>Who can’t you reach? <ul><li>Citizens in the South with no internet access </li></ul><ul><li>Development communication experts (including the media) </li></ul><ul><li>Development students </li></ul><ul><li>New alliances? </li></ul>
    8. 11. Social Bookmarking What is it? And why should I bother? <ul><li>Another way for Internet users to store, share, organise, search, and manage favourite web pages. </li></ul><ul><li>Bookmark your favourite pages online, rather than on your computer’s hard drive. This means you can access your favourite pages from anywhere in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Stored links are usually described using keywords or tags. Tagging allows you to find people with similar interests and share links . </li></ul><ul><li>Many social bookmarking services provide an option for to subscribe to see new bookmarks as they are saved, shared, and tagged by other users. This is often done by RSS Feeds or email notification. </li></ul>
    9. 12. How to create an online buzz… See the ‘buzz’ grow News is discussed, shared, feedback received, new contacts and alliances made Create a News item on the IDS website Create your own blog – be the opinion leader Multimedia Channels Other Blogs/News sites Leave comments on discussion groups, news sites and wikis Email newsletters, or News that you’ve tagged and shared using Social Bookmarking Twitter your message, search for related conversations and potential allies
    10. 13. Examples of Web 2.0 Research Communications Tools <ul><li>Focuss - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>search engine for development – IDS content has already been submitted and is being picked up. It represents all the development institutes’ outputs and offers high quality search results. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>iGoogle - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>facility to create your own homepage where you can add all the RSS newsfeeds and any available web applications in one place. Instead of having to visit every website to view their news, users can just set up these feeds and simply scan for any updates. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>AiDA - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>is the largest online directory of development activities. This inventory offers a quick overview of who is doing what in international development, where they are doing it, and with what funds. Information may not reflect all activities or most recent activities. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scirus - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>like Google Scholar, is a scientific specialist search engine which can look through journals and academic papers online. </li></ul></ul>
    11. 14. Other useful Web 2.0 tools and services <ul><li>The following tools are popular with development professionals for finding and sharing information and networking. </li></ul><ul><li>Books and journals ( , , </li></ul><ul><li>Projects (, R4Dev website) </li></ul><ul><li>Refined search ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Translated search ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia, e.g. photos, video, audio (Flickr, iTunes slideshare, blip tv) </li></ul><ul><li>News ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Social networks (Facebook, Ning, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogue ( , blogger, twitter, Blogger , , Problogger , Typepad , Wordpress ) </li></ul><ul><li>Statistics </li></ul><ul><li>File sharing </li></ul>
    12. 15. Resources on Web 2.0 <ul><li>Tools for knowledge sharing and communication in development </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social Bookmarking in Plain English </li></ul><ul><ul><li> ?v=x66lV7GOcNU </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social Networking in Plain English </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blogs in Plain English </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Podcasting in Plain English </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wikis in Plain English </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
    13. 16. How can IDS help? <ul><li>Learn from our experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Share ideas with us </li></ul><ul><li>Advice on how to boost your search engine rankings </li></ul><ul><li>Feature your projects, news, events and papers on our websites </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring names on google news alerts </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate resource sharing via the IDS website and the Eldis community site </li></ul><ul><li>Join our blogging community </li></ul><ul><li>Share resources with us, e.g. photos, videos, and research papers </li></ul><ul><li>Support with training </li></ul>