Sunday, August 24, 2008

Web 2.0 - It's Just Not for Geeks!!!

I am really, really passionate about Web 2.0... and it shows!!! I really have to hold back when discussing (Preaching? Exhorting? Ranting?) it with others. I can sometimes feel my eyes take on a wild look and can hear myself start to raise my voice. Unfortunately, it's usually only after my target, er, person I'm talking with gets that scared look and starts to lean back that I realize I'm getting wound up again.

Web 2.0 - what is it????

A Brit by the name of Stephen Fry said of Web 2.0:

...It’s actually an idea that the reciprocity between the user and the provider is what's emphasized. In other words, genuine interactivity, if you like, simply because people can upload as well as download.

A great example of a Web 2.0 application is Wikipedia. For those who have been in a cave for the past few years, Wikipedia is a completely open online encyclopedia, one where ANYONE can edit ANY information on ANY page at ANY time. That is the power of it - if everyone in the world looks at a problem, then it will be quickly solved.

How it affects you

The trick is to use Web 2.0 applications (think tools or websites) in ways that will work for you and for your officers.

I use a website that allows me to put all my Stated Communications' agendas, officer's meeting agendas, Lodge calendar for the year, documents I have uploaded for all my officers to see and use, a blog (like this one) where I can create posts for all to see and all can discuss, online. Any of my officers can make a change to a calendar item, post something to the blog, or use it to blast an email out to everyone. FOR FREE. And it also sends me reminders to my mobile phone and email.

I feel that this saves a lot of time because rather than having face to face meetings at a particular place and time, I can have all my information online for everyone to see, use, and manipulate, at a time and place when they choose - at home at 2:00 AM, or wherever.

The application is called AirSet. Check it out.

With Airset, I have all my meeting agendas already created, using a basic template. Any officer can go in to the agenda and update it with information and even email it out to everyone when he's made his changes. When it's time for the meeting, I can print it off and take it with me. I like to create an agenda a few days before, say, an officers meeting and then email it out to everyone. Everyone then has a chance to see what we're going to talk about, who has been tasked with what, and has the chance to make changes, modifications, and suggestions.

I don't have time

This will save you time, because you can do a lot of the things you were already going to do anyway - create agendas, organize lodge events, task an officer with an event, etc. Only this time you're doing it in an environment where you can easily send it out to your officers and they can make changes and updates that the rest can see.

See the following short videos on Web 2.0 - I promise you they are all really interesting!

The Machine is Us/ing Us

RSS in Plain English

Wikis in Plain English

Blogs in Plain English

AirSet Part One

AirSet Part Two

I suggest seeing these in the order I listed them.

No comments: