Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Cyber Six-Pack, High Octane Boot Camp, and the Kelsey Study

In his post to the Community Engine, Bud Gibson mentioned a Kelsey Group/ConStat study that said that :

“70 percent of U.S. households now use the Internet as an information source
when shopping locally for products and services—an increase of 16 percent since
October 2003. This puts the Internet on par with newspapers as a local shopping
information resource, with the Internet likely to surpass the impact of
newspapers in the very near future.”

He then talks about setting up the High Octane Boot Camp for MBAers at U of Michigan to proactively change the way people search for local info ... let me say that again ... a class to proactively change the way people search for local information ... (are you getting chills?) ... Linking these classes to the Kelsey/ConStat study, the assumption is that we can teach business folks to better design their services so that people can find them locally on the Internet. As a 4-year old in my daughter’s pre-school class said the other day, “Tasty!”

And so we should do the same ... Sarah Handgraaf, one of our Web Content Developers has set up something similar for our library staff and patrons ... the Cyber Six-Pack is a series of (wait you’ll never guess ...) six mini training sessions on tools like Flickr, del.icio.us, RSS, blogging, etc ... stuff that is already part of the mainstream techno world, and which is now quickly catching on in the real world, and by extension, the library world. She and her boss, Erica Reynolds, figure that the best way to help patrons find the local information that they want and need is to train librarians and local service providers on how to extend the reach of their content through the stuff covered in the Cyber Six-Pack classes. Just like the super minds of GE always said, education and awareness are the best PR an organization can buy.

Sarah and Erica have only just begun with this approach, but I think that we’ll see their work pay off for local government, commerce, and of course individuals as we head into 2006.


Blogger Chris said...

What if you targeted this to small businesses and taught them how to leverage these tools so that people would find them locally?

2:46 AM  

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