We’re hoping this blog will give you a bit of an insight into what we do here at Channel View, so here’s what I’ve been up to. Yesterday I went to a thought-provoking training day titled “Web 2.0 Online Communities and Social Media”, which left me feeling something between daunted and excited by the future. Despite having grown up with computers (I’ve had an email account since I was 10), I have to confess I didn’t even know what Web 2.0 was before the day began. It turns out it’s a term for the current internet generation, where much of the content is uploaded by users themselves, just like I’m doing now. Under the umbrella of Web 2.0 come the many social networking tools, such as facebook, twitter, blogs and so on. Of course these tools provide many opportunities for us as publishers to let people know about our books, and we don’t need to be experts on HTML coding in order to do so.
Tools like twitter and blogs enable us to build up our own community of people interested in what we publish and within the community we might hope that interesting discussions can flourish. One of the more interesting ideas that the course tutor talked of was one which I think he attributed to Clay Shirky. The theory is that getting from an audience of 100 to 1000 is the hardest part. This is because a group of 100 people is like a family and followers are likely to get to know each other. A group of over 1000 is more like a stadium event; each person is there for himself, but has the feeling of being part of something. Getting from 100 to 1000 is thus hard because the community may not be quite sure which direction the group is going in, divisions may occur within the community and some people prefer to leave than wait around in the void.
I’m not sure how relevant the theory is to us, but it’s nice to see that our twitter page sits comfortably in the family end of the scale, something we’re proud of. That said, we’re keen to get news out to as many people as possible about our books, and tapping into online communities of linguists, tourism academics and translators amongst others is certainly going to be something we’ll be looking at in the future. So, if you’d like to follow us on twitter, join us here: www.twitter.com/channel_view