NEW MEDIA TOOLS are methods of interactive communication that rely upon a computer or mobile device with Internet access. New media tools allow the creation, publication, modification and distribution of information using simple tools. Among the most popular tools used to share content are text messaging, blogs, social networks, podcasts and RSS feeds.
A blog (or Web log) is a Web site published on the Internet that allows information and ideas to be shared via regular entries (also known as posts). Blogs allow content – which feature text, images and links – to be shared and discussed. Blogs range from informal online journals to official organizational or news sources.
EXAMPLES: WordPress, Tumblr
WATCH: Common Craft’s Video “Blogs in Plain English”:
WiseGeek’s “How Can I Start My Own Blog”:
A mashup integrates data, presentation or functionality from several sources into one tool that creates a new service.
EXAMPLES: Yahoo Pipes, Dapper
Wireless devices and cellular phones are used in mobile communications to send, receive and view information. Users of mobile devices can access Web sites and download applications (or apps) to receive specific details and can use text messaging (or texting) to share information that includes text, video, audio and photos.
CTIA, an international nonprofit wireless association:
PHOTO SHARING SITES
Photo sharing sites enable users to upload, store, edit and share photos. In addition to the photos, users may include comments and descriptions.
EXAMPLES: Shutterfly, Flickr
Podcasts are digital audio or video file, typically part of a themed series, that can be downloaded from a Web site to your computer or other media players. Subscriptions are available through podcast directories and are typically free.
Real Simple Syndication (or RSS) feeds allow users to receive content from many Web sites – including breaking news, blog posts and podcasts. Users subscribe to feeds and receive updates through email or an RSS reader. This tool reverses the process of searching for new content and instead the new content is delivered to the reader.
Social bookmarking is a method of searching, storing and organizing Web sites. Saving links to these Web pages is called bookmarking. They are tagged with keywords for easy access and organization. The bookmarks may be kept private or shared.
EXAMPLES: delicious, diigo, digg and reddit
SOCIAL NETWORK SITES
Social networking sites enable users to share information with online communities by sending messages, uploading photos and videos, joining groups, and posting events.
EXAMPLES: Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn
Sending information via cellular and smart phones is called text messaging. The information can include text, photos, audio and video – and a single message may be sent to one or several phones.
Twitter allows users to interact with others in a social network by sharing information via short messages. Users send “tweets” no longer than 140 characters via computer of mobile phone. Users may follow one another’s tweets by signing up with Twitter.
VIDEO SHARING SITES
Uploading and sharing online videos is possible through video sharing sites. Users may also exchange comments and messages.
EXAMPLES: YouTube and Vimeo
WEBINARS, WEBCASTS AND WEB CONFERENCES
A webinar features a unidirectional flow of information from speaker to viewer is called a webinar. It is often possible for the viewer to provide feedback via telephone.
A webcast may be unidirectional or conversational. It is an Internet broadcast that uses the computer for viewing and telephone for interaction. Webcasts may be live or recorded
A more interactive tool is the web conference featuring real-time meetings on the Internet. Using personal computers, participants interact with others via the Internet.
These methods are recordable for convenient viewing.
EXAMPLES: WebEx, GoTo Webinar, and ReadyTalk.
The web widget is a small program a user can easily add to a Web site, blog or social network. Widgets enable users a range of possibilities that include embedding weather reports, advertisements, photo viewers, surveys, news headlines, etc. Widgets may be easily created or copied.
EXAMPLES: Clearspring, Gigya, Widgetbox and Sprout
A wiki is a Web site that allows collaboration by allowing users to edit the content.
EXAMPLES: Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia