- Defining Social Media Concepts
- Advantages Of Using Social Media Tools
- Other Blogging Tools
- Overview Of Publishing Podcasts
- Social Media Resources
- Related Accessibility Resources
- Questions and Answers, Demonstrations
Social media use the “wisdom of crowds” to connect information in a collaborative manner. Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, message boards, weblogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. Technologies such as blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, group creation and voice over IP, to name a few. Examples of social media applications are Google (reference, social networking), Wikipedia (reference), MySpace (social networking), Facebook (social networking), Last.fm (personal music), YouTube (social networking and video sharing), Second Life (virtual reality), and Flickr (photo sharing).
In social media, its important to make your message engaging, relevant, and to make the end user an equal participant in the communication process. Pitfalls to be avoided include:
- Content should not be similar to old style brochures, press releases, etc.
- Content should be “real,” your readers will know if your content is exclusively writtten by your PR department
- Social media is often a communication paradyme shift especially for organizations used to closely controlled communication styles and tools and mechanisms of the past. E.g. Does your organization think like a web 1.0 or web 2.0 entity?
- Do not overemphasize selling your product or service, see video below
- Anyone can create content, become media makers
- Low barrier to entry
- Ease of use, accessibility, and versatility of the tools
- Facilitates diverse and niche information sharing and colaboration
- Rapid delivery of information with audience interaction
- Importance of getting the AT story, message, and users out in the blogging world
How we know the message is not quite out there?
Google Blog Search On CSUN Conference
If the AT user and professional community do not more proactively get involved in the blogosphere, we will be left with comments like this (which are not that uncommon) being written about accessibility issues:
Does The iPhone Shaft The Blind
is a versatile tool largely used for microblogging short posts of 140 characters or less. Users can interact with Twitter via web, SMS mobile phone messages, or via instant messaging programs such as AOL Instant Messenger or Google Talk. Through third party plug ins, users can also interact with Twitter via email. Twitter also can be integrated in to Facebook, WordPress, and many other new media platforms and technologies.
Twitter Resources and Tools
Youtube Video, Twitter In Plain English
Twitter Mail is a service that allows Twitter interaction via email instead of or in addition to interaction over the web.
http://www.twittersearch.com allows you to search recent Twitter posts. Twitter posts generally also appear in Google and other search engines.
Example Uses and Implimentations
ACB Radio Main Menu Show and Podcast
Mika Pyyhkala micro blog
Chris Brogan micro blog
Darrell Schandro micro blog
Use of Twitterfeed to monitor syndicated content in Twitter
Woot.com Advertisements Via Twitter
CNN via Twitter
Today Show links via Twitter.
GCAL is a Twitter bot that facilitates updating Google Calendar via any Twitter input mechanism, web, cell phone SMS, or instant messaging.
is another leading social networking platform and tool. Originally designed to serve college students, the site has expanded and now hosts networks based on geography, organizations, as well as schools.
The core of a Facebook account is a user profile, and users can add a variety of applications to enhance and expand the core Facebook functionality. There are also applications that can syncranize status updates between Twitter & Facebook for users on both services.
Jeff Pulver is a leading Facebook evangelist, and highlights the use of this platform for both business and social networking. Mr. Pulver now routinely uses Facebook instead of more conventional business web 1.0 tools like email. Jeff’s blog also covers the social media technology space in detail.
Facebook now has an audio captcha, but it may not work with Internet Explorer 7. If this is an issue, the user should install Firefox and then will be able to use the audio captcha. While much of Facebook is accessible, certain functions like drag and drop, and adjusting slider settings may not work with screen readers.
There is a sign up form for Facebook directly on the home page linked above.
WordPress is a leading blogging tool, and to a lesser extent, could be used as a content management system (CMS).
Wordpress allows users to quikcly publish web pages, blogs, and other material with little or know experience in HTML coding. Furthermore, once published, the material is made avaialble in an RSS feed which enables readers to subscribe in a variety of applications in order to receive updates from the content publisher. Subscription pushes the content to the user, where as having to manually check web pages requires a pull of information from the user.
There are two ways to use WordPress:
offers a hosted solution with free and paid membership plans. Alternatively, users can download a free copy of WordPress from
and install the software in a web hosting account or on a web server. This approach provides a much more robust yet largely simple ability to customize the web site and WordPress software.
As a user grows with WordPress there are a number of plugins that can be added for increased functionality and connection to other web services. WordPress plugins also facilitate integration of Twitter content.
Most WordPress functions are accessible to screen reader users.