Thursday, January 04, 2007

Lesson One – Learning About Social Media from Your Desk

I’ve talked with several of my public relations colleagues who say they’ve been meaning to learn about social media (blogs, podcasts, social networking, etc.). They just haven’t found the time yet.

When something is important, you make time for it. And one thing I have learned this last year is that this is really important to our profession.

The purpose of this PRSA San Antonio Byline blog from the beginning was to help PR professionals learn about this new world. We are now going to step it up a notch. While there are many other places you can go for a crash course or to learn from real experts, we are going to provide bite-size activities to help folk who are interested learn over time without having to drop all their other work.

Please join in. No one has to know. But I hope you will share ideas, discoveries and questions along the way.

1. Explore Newsfeeds and Webfeeds

Our first step is to learn about RSS (aka, newsfeeds and webfeeds). RSS is the technical term for what has made all this social media stuff even possible. RSS is the indoor plumbing of Web 2.0. There is a lot of engineering behind indoor plumbing, but you don’t have to understand it to get a glass of water. You control whether the water comes out of kitchen faucet or the shower. And you don’t have to go to the source when you want hot water instead of cold.

The same is true with RSS. Headlines, etc., come to you. You don’t have to remember to check 100 individual web sites any more.

So here’s your first assignment: Set up either a Yahoo personal page or a Google personal page. And select at least three RSS feeds to watch over the course of this month.

There are several resources to help you learn about RSS. The first one I am going to suggest is that you listen to a certain episode (Learning about RSS) of the New Comm Road podcast by Bryan Person because it also walks you through setting up a Yahoo personal page. It’s only 20 minutes. Even if you have an iPod or mpg player, I recommend that you listen to this podcast from your desk so you can go through the steps while you listen. If you’d rather create a Google page, the steps are very similar.

The next step will be to select some RSS feeds to monitor. You can start with the feed from this blog. Click on the orange button at the right. Then click on the My Yahoo button or the Add to Google button. I’ll have more RSS suggestions and resources in my upcoming posts.

That’s it for today. Let me know how it’s going.

1 comment:

Kami Huyse, APR said...

Here is a great link to a video that shows you how to subscribe to a feed, good stuff: