Email is Dead! (with apologies to Nietsche)

Alternate Title: What the Heck is Web 2.0?!?

After the opening keynote speaker at the BCRA Conference, I went to a Marketing session entitled “Branding Your Institution in Today’s Marketplace.” David DeMuynck from Capilano’s marketing department was the presenter.

He caught my attention immediately when he said, “Email is dead!”
I thought, “Oh great – I’ve only been using it for 12 years and I’ve killed it already?!?” But apparently it wasn’t just me. He evidenced this by saying up to 30% of workplace emails are never even opened, never mind the ones that are opened, skimmed, and ignored.

David’s presentation was a refreshing one. I’ve heard enough marketing hype to be highly skeptical of marketing and branding. But David seemed to understand that, and he wasn’t about to say that we live in a brave new world that is not the world of your mother. He actually believes that very little has fundamentally changed, but some of the changes in the web-world have some good potential, provided they are harnessed and used appropriately.

He started with this great video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpEnFwiqdx8

I’ve been using Twitter for several months now, but not really certain why. I just feel like it’s important. One of my friends who’s an IT Director said to me when he found out I was using Twitter, “How Web 2.0 of you.” It was the first time I’d ever heard of Web 2.0 and had no idea what that meant, that is, until I attended this session.

David said, what is Web 2.0? It is not an application or a version of software. It is about what people are doing with the Internet.

Surfing the web is about discovery.

Searching the web is about purpose.

Collaborating makes the web “my-media” or “my web”

WEB 1.0 (eyes & ears)
Mass media
Our website
Create exposure
Spokespersons
Claims
One way “broadcast” style

WEB 2.0 (eyes, ears & hands)
My Media
Youtube and Twitter
Create conversations
Real people (& lots of us)
Truth (wisdom of the crowd), eg, TripAdvisor.com
Creating together, dialogue

He showed an example of web 2.0 style marketing with a “Free Hugs” campaign website, including a video that is quite moving. http://www.freehugscampaign.org/

The old days of marketing: “If you have a good experience, you’ll tell 3 people. If you have a bad experience, you’ll tell 10 people.”

Web 2.0 marketing: “If you have a good or bad experience, you’ll tell a million people!”

So give people something good to talk about.

We can no longer control our brand/image, so have must be an active participant, creating conversations to steer it.

Millenials choosing post-secondary trust their parents the most in helping make that decision. But, if the parents have been out of post-secondary for 20 years, how can we influence them? We must create opportunities for collaboration with students and parents. “Truth is what you say, but trust is the reason to believe what you say.” So we must allow collaboration with our brand to help build trust in it and in what we say and do.

What hasn’t changed about the Web 2.0 world? People still do business with people they like.

What has changed? People want to be involved with the people they do business with and shape the business themselves.

Is this another example of creating God in our own image? I don’t know – you decide.

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