Category Archives: Reading Notes- Survival Guide

Reading Notes

Another book we will be reading this semester is titled “A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization,” by Deltina Hay. It gives “Strategies, Tactics, and Tools for Succeeding in the Social Web.”

Chapter 1- The introductory chapter discusses 3 things to keep in mind when making your social media plan:

  1. Interactivity-commenting on blogs, giving ideas to others on social media websites
  2. Sharing– linking images, videos, websites to friends online
  3. Collaboration-using bookmarking sites and contributing to feeds

By commenting on blogs, sharing photos and videos, and working with other programs, you can optimize your presence and networking abilities on the Internet. The chapter also discusses badges, which are essentially images and links that you can add to your pages in order to make them more “linkable to other sites.

Chapter 2– This chapter discusses the importance of adding tags and keywords. By using phrases and ideas that are related to a blog post, picture, article, or anything you are working with online, you can make it more visible to others by providing tags. It can make them pop up on Google or other search engines before others and therefore, gain more popularity and views.

By adding personal information to your social media profiles, you can increase the chance for finding others and others finding you online. This will create the opportunity for making more connections and making your blog or website more friendly!

Chapter 3– The main thing I learned from this chapter was what “RSS” meant: Really Simple Syndication. Which is ironic, because I was assuming it had some elaborate meaning. By using an RSS feed, you generate content, make the “feed” available, and then anyone who subscribes can read it. By using tags, categories, links, and tracebacks, you can make your feed incredibly functional online.

The author discusses using programs like FeedBurner to manage your feeds, promote them, troubleshoot them, etc. Your feed is not going to grow without care, just like a flower without water.

Chapter 4– By personalizing your blog with creative details, you can make it more appealing and fun to update. Headers are at the top of the blog, and can be a sentence or statement about the blog and what readers can expect from reading on. It can be anything catchy or expressive that will catch attention and prompt people to want to follow. A footer, on the other hand, is less personal and contains the important copyrights and credit to the designers of the webpage. Do not remove this or you may have problems!

Adding a sidebar to your blog is a way to make it easy to navigate and organize. You can include things like widgets, categories, tags, calendars, archives, etc. The sky is the limit to the appearance of your blog!

Chapter 5– This chapter discusses podcasts, which are “a series of audio or video files that is distributed over the internet and can be syndicated and subscribed to.” The author gives these tips to making the best podcast possible:

  • Many audio and video search engines use speech recognition software to identify keep terms within podcasts.
  • You add the metadata for each podcast episode when you save it as an MP3 file.  Repeat key terms from the actual spoken episode in this metadata.  Metadata describes other data. It provides information about a certain item’s content.
  • The page where each podcast episode resides is called its landing page.  Its advisable to repeat key terms from the podcast here also.

Like a podcast, a webcast is an online broadcast of information, which can be about any topic and usually consists of a series of videos or updates. YouTube tends to be the most popular website for creating weekly or daily webcasts.

Chapter 6– Being involved in a social network can be one of the most rewarding and important activities you can engage in. It allows you to connect with millions of others, whether for a personal or business reason, and stay updated in their daily lives. Some popular social networking sites include:

  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

They are free and relatively easy ways to get active online and connect. Facebook tends to be the most popular, while sites like Twitter are considered more “micro-blogs” because they only allow you to post a limited amount of information at a time. LinkedIn is more of a professional profile that can be helpful with sending resumes and experience to employers.

Chapter 7– Along with social networking, you can use social bookmarks to keep track of your favorite websites for others to view. Not only is this helpful to the individual, it can be very useful for students working on projects to send websites to classmates. The most popular website for social bookmarking is Delicious. It is free and doesn’t take long to add a long list of your favorite websites.

Crowd-sourcing is a way to allow users to determine the popularity of websites, news-sources, and blogs through voting. Sites such as Technorati, Digg, and StumbleUpon all offer these services. They are different from social bookmarks because they share information and facts, rather than opinions and favorites.

Chapter 8– This chapter focuses on media communities.  They are websites that users can visit and post opinions and share advice with others on multimedia topics and items. It is a great way to connect based on common interests and hobbies. Some sites focus on sharing images, such as Flickr, and allow people a place to format and keep all of their photos online.

“Playlists” can be used to organize videos and show them to others. Before you create a specific playlist, you can create a draft version, or a “quicklist.” You can also add a badge to a website, which is essentially a small caption of another social website in the version of a widget.

Chapter 9Widgets and Badges are the focus of this chapter. By definition in the book…

“Widgets are snippets of code, usually displayed graphically, that can be used to syndicate content, for example RSS feeds, or to add interactive features that users can drop onto their own blogs or websites.

Badges are an icon or logo that has a link back to its source, which serves as a way of displaying one’s membership or presence in a community on the Social Web.”

They can be used to customize blogs and make them more personal. Widgets can display things such as the weather, a poll, a countdown, calendar, game, or countless other options. Including widgets makes blogs more interactive and can increase the number of follows to your page if they are fun and useful. A badge is essentially an image that represents a link to another website or page. Including badges increases the possiblity of someone visiting one of your other social networks.

Chapter 10 Social media newsrooms are places for businesses, teachers, or individuals to gain a lot of media coverage and tend to have lots of media and news releases on a daily basis. They shouldn’t replace original websites, but should be a place for people to visit in order to gain recent information and current news on a specific business or topic. You can do several things with a social media newsroom:

  1. View recent and past events
  2. Organize press releases, old and new
  3. Keep track of major media coverage
  4. Download photos, videos, podcasts, etc.
  5. Store personal information on employees

These newsrooms should be supplements to the original company webpage and should be updated daily in order to be useful to viewers. Keep things interactive and useful.

Chapter 11– I learned something useful in this chapter, which was what exactly a “wiki” is. Hawaiian for “fast,” the term describes websites that allow users to post and update information, no matter if it is true or not. Quite possibly the most popular “wiki” website is Wikipedia, which is a virtual online encyclopedia that contains lots of information, some useful and some just complete lies. People still flock to these websites despite their lack of credibility.

Users can create social pages, where they can discuss any topic they desire and talk about them with others who share similar interests. Another Internet sensation, 3-D worlds, give people the sense that they can have another life online. These websites create a “virtual community” that they can be a part of and interact with millions of others across the world.

Chapter 12– The author discusses 3 things to ask yourself when optimizing your website:

  • Can users interact with the content?
  • Can visitors share the content easily with others?
  • Does the site encourage collaboration?

Having a successful and effective website is all about interactivity and allowing feedback and commentary from others. If not, your website or blog will just be like an online reference or book. It will be boring and people will not want to read it. You can make the most out of your social media expereince by adding widgets, tags, RSS feeds, and bookmarks to make it more interesting.

Chapter 13– Much like using crowd-sourcing, social ranking is a way for users to see the relevancy of their pages and how searchable they are online. It is a great way to determine what you can improve and fix on your blog in order to make it more popular. You can also use a “lifestream,” which is like a blog, but contains streams and bits of information from other social networking sites instead of personalized information and posts. The author also talks about the concept of potential social networking distribution, which would allow users to carry around their virtual profile and identity throughout different websites and networks. This is an excellent idea because there are so many social networking sites, usernames, and passwords to keep track of!

Chapter 14– Before you jump into the social networking world, it is important to establish some goals or things you would like to achieve by using the Internet. By having a set of strategies and tactics, you can understand and implement exactly what you want, and hopefully get the kind of experience you want out of it. The book discusses the following:

  1. Increasing web traffic
  2. Driving sales or new business
  3. Monitoring brand awareness
  4. Improving customer relations
  5. Managing reputation
  6. Establishing credibility
  7. Creating buzz
  8. Improving public relations

No matter what you decide to use social media for, using the “survival guide” can help you along the way. Remembering to be original and interactive in your experience are key factors.

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