Let’s start by looking at a timeline of important developments on the road from Web 1.0 to today/ tomorrow…

I have just added this interesting statistic:

Apple’s iTunes Store has reached a huge milestone: 10 billion music downloads since opening on April 28, 2003. Back then there was about 200,000 songs to choose from. Today music isn’t all they sell; with the evolution of the iPod and the creation of new products such as the AppleTV, iPhone, iPod touch and soon the iPad the iTunes Store now delivers audiobooks, podcasts, TV shows, movies, apps and games. To celebrate the occasion Apple is giving the purchaser of the 10,000,000,000th song a $10,000 iTunes card.

Update: The 10 billionth song was “Guess Things Happen That Way” by Johnny Cash, purchased by Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Georgia.

Here are a couple of other ways we could look at the (hi)story of Web2.0.

You might ask how reliable either of them are…

And here’s an alternative history…

EPIC 2014 is a Flash movie released in November 2004 by Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson with original music by Aaron McLeran. (It) is presented from the viewpoint of a fictional “Museum of Media History” in the year 2014 (Source: Wikipedia, March 5, 2010)

Effective PR needs to understand audiences, so let’s look at some visualisations of who uses social networks. (It is worth adding DigitalBuzz to your RSS feeds etc).. We can then start thinking about how crowds work….

You will notice:

Some interesting stats from the chart:

13% of social crowds are Creators

19% of social crowds are Critics

34% of social crowds are Collectors & Joiners

33% of social crowds are Spectators

52% are just inactive

Such patterns have led Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, of Forrester Research, to create the Social Technographics ladder we have mentioned earlier.

Li and Bernoff’s book Groundswell (2008) is on your reading list – please read it, not least as it is at the heart of what we are going to discuss next!

“Groundswell “… is a spontaneous movement of people using online tools to connect, take charge of their own experience and get what they need…

“It’s global. It’s unstoppable.

“Simply put, the groundswell is a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other instead of companies. (2008:ix-x)”

Perhaps the most useful chapters for us are Five: Listening to the Groundswell and Six: Talking with the Groundswell. Normally, I stress the importance of listening in social media strategy, but let’s think first about talking. We often hear: “Let’s make a viral video!” and it is easy to find fun clips. But as Li and Bernoff observe:

“If your YouTube video doesn’t create a relationship, it’s just another way of shouting. “To be most effective, these videos must allow people to inetract. They should direct people to a social network, a blog, a community where they can form further relationships with each other or with the company. (2008:104)”

Can you think of ways in which the video you shot with Steve Noble last week, or video you might create in the next few weeks could help build relationships through your blog?

What if you were asked to create a blog for a client/ your organisation as part of a carefully thought-through communications strategy? Would these steps be useful?

1. Start by listening

2. Determine a goal for the blog

3. Estimate the ROI

4. Develop a plan

5. Rehearse

6. Develop an editorial process

7. Design the blog and its connection to your site

8. Develop a marketing plan so epopel can find the blog

9. Remember, blogging is more than writing

10. Final advice: be honest (2008: 115-117)

Will this work when the blog is promoting the Brand of You?