Continuing to explore the themes in our white paper, What in the World Is Web 2.0, this second installment of our podcast explores the impact on public relations and marketing, plus some tips from the front lines.
Web 1.0, was Niagara Falls—a torrent of information. Web 2.0, by contrast, is a global water-pistol shootout. Rather than being deluged by the flow, participants in Web 2.0 can become part of communities that enable a tremendous amount of personal interchange. Our white paper, What in the World Is Web 2.0, examines how blogs, social sites and related developments are impacting news outlets and public relations, offering advice for communicators. Listen to part one of our podcast here and please tell us your thoughts.
First the Library of Congress adds some photos to Flickr, and then the Transportation Security Administration starts a blog. One week later, the TSA has listened to the comments and has ended an ad hoc policy that required passengers to remove electronics from carry-on bags.
Talk about putting the users in control! This is a great example of how a blog can improve goodwill and feedback for a company or a government entity.
In an entry posted at Evolution of Security yesterday, TSA reveals that it has put a permanent end to the highly invasive practice of requiring travelers to remove all electronics from carry-on bags—a security measure that recently inconvenienced many travelers, including several Ars staffers who were flying out of San Francisco International Airport. "After some calls to our airports, we learned that this exercise was set up by local TSA offices and was not part of any grand plan across the country," the blog entry says. "These practices were stopped on Monday afternoon and Blackberrys, cords and iPods began to flow through checkpoints like the booze was flowing on Bourbon Street Tuesday night. (Fat Tuesday of course)."
I can only wonder what would happen if the IRS had a blog.
Tonja Deegan’s post about the Library of Congress’ turning to the Flickr community as a way of helping identify missing information about its photos struck me as a particularly interesting Web 2.0-ish take on the way we’ve been finding missing information for quite some time.
Photos of missing children have been posted on milk cartons now for decades. Missing inmates can still find their pix on post office bulletin boards. Portraits of missing pets regularly bloom on telephone poles in America’s neighborhoods. But technology now is prompting us to extend this technique to objects and opportunities that we never would have considered before.
In 2006, for example, NASA diverted the cameras of its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to look for the missing Mars Global Surveyor probe that mysteriously lost touch with its human controllers after nine years of reporting from its orbit around the red planet.
If you miss any TV series—dating all the way back to the 1950s right through the current, writer-hampered season—you can see many of them these days on hulu.com. It’s a Web site that offers “content from two leading broadcast networks (Fox and NBC), over 15 cable networks (Bravo, E! Entertainment, FX, Sci Fi, USA, and more), four of the largest studios (Fox, MGM, Sony and Universal), and a broad array of independent, web-centric content providers,” according to its launch release.
While space probes and Alfred Hitchcock Presents may be quite valuable, each in its own way, Web 2.0 also is enabling us to visualize missing items that we never really intended to look for in the first place. Last month, NPR interviewed one Jennifer Gooch, a woman in Pittsburgh who has set up a Web site within Flickr called onecoldhand.com to help reunite people with their missing gloves that they’ve dropped along the way, all around the city. She and her cohorts have traveled around, picking up single gloves that people have apparently lost, photographing them and then displaying the photos on the Web site. Anyone who e-mails in a picture of the mate will receive the missing match from Ms. Gooch. It’s pretty much a match.com for mittens.
So providing a helping hand in gathering photo-related information may not be that new, but it certainly has become entertaining, thanks to the innovative minds of the hulus, Gooches, rocket scientists and librarians who populate Web 2.0 with equal prowess and photographic memories.