The Power of the Web
The Internet is an amazing web of interactions and connections. You might not realize just how amazing it is until you make your first real connection that turns into a great friendship OR you have to communicate with someone who is at a distance and it becomes one of your only methods of communication.
There are many ways to keep in touch with a person who is many miles or even an ocean away. You can skype, email, and IM, but what if these options are difficult at times because of a less than perfect Internet connection?
Here in the U.S. we have many different options available for high speed Internet access, but we still don't break the top ten. We hold the 17th position with an average Internet speed of 3.9 mbps according to the the first quarter 2009 Akamai Technologies' State of the Internet report. China's speed lags far behind at a snail's pace of 833 kbps and India's speed is 772 kbps.
Imagine communicating with someone in another country whose time outs on the Internet outweighs their time online. Imagine this person is your best friend, relative or partner? Instead of wringing your hands in dismay, you can create a web storybook, so when that person can come into range your story is there to share and you haven't missed a beat.
I created a web 2.0 story recently for the purpose of connecting with a friend from a distance and I wanted to share the process,
How to Make a Web 2.0 Story
Step 1. The Binding- I chose a blog as my platform. So easy to record journal moments, audio and video on a blog. Also, the benefit is being able to have the other person comment back on your posts when they can, which makes for great conversation as you know. Much better than email.
I used the blogger platform because it's free, it's easy to use even for a non-blogging recipient, AND you can create a blog on the blogger platform that is private and NOT indexed by Google. You choose your readers and they have to log in to access the blog.
Step 2. The Design. I wanted a suitable template above and beyond what Blogger offers, so I did an extensive web search and scoured sites for free blogger templates. I found an awesome site full of beautiful designs as I am not a graphic designer but can appreciate art so I chose a template from Pyzam.com. Oh free. Did I say free? Yup, free.
Step 3. The Content. It's all about you on this web story. No writing for the search engines, keyword research, linking strategy...this is writing and journaling in pure form. Expression. Tag your posts so they build a nice archive for the reader(s) to refer to.
The really nice thing about blogger is the ability to easily add multimedia to it's platform. Here a new song or see a new movie you love. Share a simple clip of it by using YouTube on your blog. So easy to embed by adding a snippet of html code- COPY....go to your blog- PASTE.
You can also create probably the EASIEST mobile blog ever using the blogger platform. So pictures of a great sunrise or sunset, the kids, a new restaurant you went to, or a thought you had while taking a walk can easily be transferred in that moment of time to your blog making it easy to share your days with the person you miss.
You take the picture, write some text and send it to email@example.com and you're done. A K.I.S.S. friendly solution.
Step 4. The Great Touches. Sometimes just hearing someones voice is a comfort and gives the most personal of touches. This was a bit tricky when I first set it up, because i was looking to find a platform that would allow me to record private messages. I have used Utterli before and love it's ease of use, but those recordings show up in a public time-line.
For truly easiest to use try Vocaroo.com. You just click the button to record and providing you have microphone you record, then press stop and this FREE application will give you the html code you need for your blog.
If you are looking for a better voice quality, consider a podcasting platform. You can upload and have the mp3 hosted with a free account at boxnet.com. This platform will give you an html code to paste into your blog posts and you are ready for your blog reader to listen. Soooo simple.
Step 5. The Joie De Vivre. Have fun with your storybook. Journaling is a great release, writing a story can be just as fulfilling and telling your story to a significant is absolutely special.
How can you use it?
- To share life with a child who has gone to college or a child who lives in another state/country.
- To share life with a husband, boyfriend, or life partner who is traveling.
- To share life with a friend who is long distance.
Don't wait until the person is long distance to share something special....you can share a story near or far.
Journal your life to share with yourself, archive your moments, and declutter your mind.
BE A VALUABLE RESOURCE
How can you use this idea in a professional capacity? Hmmm.....how about share it? Your clients and prospects are people to and would probably appreciate this random act of kindness that has nothing to do with real estate but EVERYTHING to do with living and a lifestyle.
So go ahead and share...tell people how to connect from a distance and make a web 2.0 story.