I am reposting here some content I had written for Blogging Planet, so it can all be found in one place. I just spoke on this subject last Friday at the University of Sunderland in the UK at their Making the News conference, and, one again, it was well received (according to the evaluations). I think the network metaphor works very well for describing the participatory communications environment.
Ten Tools for Network Building
- Technology (trackbacks, RSS, tags, etc.)
- Knowledge (who is influential, who is trusted, who is controversial, etc.)
- Online social skills (ability to approach other people in appropriate ways)
- Participation/Collaboration (via comments, trackbacks, email, etc.)
- Reputation/Trust (what you have now, what is developed over time)
- Politics (an opinion or stated position)
- Permeable organizational boundaries
- Time management
- Flexibility (ability to make changes in all of the above as needed)
By focusing simply on content, you will see only a small piece of the puzzle and lose the full value of the effectiveness the other tools can have.