Social Media Tools
There are a variety of impactful social media tools available for media creators. Many of the tools are resources that people use daily such as blogs, texting and photo sharing websites. A media creator needs to have an understanding of how all the tools work, who the tools may target, and what type of content needs to be created for the tools in order to leverage the goals and gain a maximum impact.
The first tool to be examined is an RSS feed. An RSS feed stands for Real Simple Syndication (Aids.org, 2016). In this tool, one subscribes to a website and receives updates from that website, typically via email. The Aids.gov website suggests several websites to both gather RSS feeds and a tool that will allow one to receive RSS feeds via email from a given website.
NetVibes was one RSS feeder examined (NetVibes, 2016). This is a website that is useful to collate feeds. When first examined, this resource was not user friendly and navigation was not innate. A secondary source was found to explain how to use NetVibes and why to use NetVibes ( Esegulov, 2006). Esegulov’s article explains how one can make one start up page on NetVibes that contains all the news feeds from your favorite websites so one does not have to visit each website individually. After reading this article, it is apparent how this tool can be used to collate current feeds from multiple sites that may relate to a given topic on one page. Below is a screenshot from the homepage for NetVibes.
Another type of RSS tool that will be even more useful for an individual creating their own website is feedblitz (feedblitz.com, 2016). This is a tool that one can create an RSS feed to be pushed out from your website to emails. This is a paid resource, but for a creator that wants to get news stories out to consumer frequently, it would be a worthwhile spend. If one ones to leverage an RSS feed they need to be willing to have meaningful news items frequently to push to the public.
QR codes are another useful tool for media creators. The QR is a barcode that one can scan with a smartphone and will direct the user to a website, phone number or email (Aids.org, 2016). These QR codes can be useful to create a link to information on a poster, business card or on anther website. It is important to make sure this code links the user to a beneficial, actionable piece of information. An example would be a poster for web resource displayed at a conference with a QR code to link the conference attendee directly to the resource.
An example of a website where one can create free QR codes is Kywa (Kaywa.com, 2016). Below is a screenshot of this website. It is very easy to use and free to create a static code. For example, if one wants a QR code with a static link to a website, they simply enter in the desired website as noted below and this website creates a QR code with a link to the website. This website does charge to create other types of QR codes for items such as contact information and coupons.
A mashup is a third useful tool. A mashup combines data from more than one source into a single tool (Aids.gov). This resource is very beneficial is one has a website and they want to have a map embedded on their website. For example, if one creates a website for a store that has multiple locations, one can use a mashup tool to create a map on their website with all their store locations.
An example of a website that will help with the mashup, is Zeemaps 9zeemaps.com, 2016). This website is straightforward and one can manually add addresses, as in the screenshot below, or if there are many addresses to be listed, a spreadsheet with the addresses can be uploaded.
A creator of media that wants to get out important messages needs to be savvy and leverage all the resources available to them to get out messaging in the appropriate way to the appropriate people. People tend to rely too heavily on tools they are familiar with such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook but other tools can be useful to get different types of messages out tin unique formats.
Aids.org, (2016) New Media Resources Retrieved January 25, 2016 from https://www.aids.gov/using-new-media/tools/index.html
Esengulov, A. (2006) What Is NetVibes? Retrieved on January 26, 2016 from http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/netvibes-where-have-you-been-before/
Feedblitz (2016) Retrieved on January 25, 2016 http://www.feedblitz.com/build-better-blog-feedblitz-for-bloggers/
Mashable (2016) Retrieved on January 27, 2016 from http://mashable.com/2010/08/23/how-to-create-qr-codes/
NetVibes (2016) Retrieved on January 26, 2016 from http://www.netvibes.com/privatepage/1#News
Zeemaps (2016) Retrieved on January 26, 2016 from https://www.zeemaps.com/map?group=1823933&location=philadelphia%2C%20pa&add=1