November 21, 2007

Learning to Web 2.0 - but from teachers or other student?

As is probably evident from this blog's posts, I draw on a fairly eclectic mix of sources to inspire my views on strategic online branding. This is really no surprise given the potential impact on a decision's success of a wide range of skills. Not exclusively, these span business strategy, via whatever lable you happen to apply to your view of marketing, and a confusing array of technical applications.

Although traditionally my work has been in corporate and marketing communications, I'm getting a great deal of personal satisfaction out of learning about lots of new things that wouldn't previously have been in my responsibilities. Core skills need re-focusing for Web 2.0:

  • Although I've always written, now I'm learning a copywriter's art.
  • I've studied and practiced marketing for many years, now I'm learning from experts in internet marketing.
  • While 'news' and 'stories' are stock in trade, social media works very differently.
  • While I'm trained in 2-D communications (words, and to a lesser extent image), I'm working with a pretty unique group of people to create 3-D communications (adding sound and music).

Listening to one of my favourite podcasts this morning - For Immediate Release : The Hobson & Holz Report (#294) - I was interested in a comment about the value of social media tools and community as an integral part of training programmes (themselves inevitably flourishing also online). It made me think back to when I was a raw graduate, and as an account executive at a City of London agency, I'd leave on time on Monday evenings to go and lead PR student tutorials at a nearby university. Then, as now, the best way to learn is to teach.

One example to feed into FIR of where I find I'm seeing the benefits of building a community forum as an integral part of a well-developed online training programme is in's Brian Clark's new venture, Teaching Sells. Designed to help internet entrepreneurs to replicate such learning environments within their own niches, I have to say that I'm learning as much from the 'noisy minority' you find in any 'classroom' than I am from the great course resources.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can download a Free Report from Teaching Sells in the sidebar.

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