I think everyone who’s been following Social Technology for the past decade knows that the tacking the 2.0 suffix onto something “progressive” went out of style somewhere between HTML 4.0 and XHTML, so the popular term “PR 2.0” probably isn’t the best way to describe the many exciting new PR methods that the profession is now well engaged in. Not only is PR 2.0 simply an imitative form of the equally hackneyed Web 2.0 term, it really doesn’t even begin to offer us a clear picture of what it implies, aside from the fact that PR might have fallen behind on it’s upgrade path awhile back.
So until the next major feature-set is announced, let’s just go with the current numbering scheme for now. Until something better comes along, using the term PR 2.1 might actually be more appropriate, or at least suggest a few of the minor bug fixes that can be made to what’s currently the best version of Public Relations available…
Too Many Voices…Not Enough Talking
The first projected bug-fix would stem from an important question. If PR can take a ‘progressive’ approach relations, is it ready to be considered a shared, 2-way process yet? Or is it still too entrenched in the classic ‘1-to-Many’ models still found in the old-school methods of Broadcasting and mainstream Print Media?
Progress is an idea that (online) Society is being increasingly expected to contribute to, in some way or another. Prompted with ideas like “User-Driven Content”, and ”Participatory Democracy”, and all of the latest forms of buzz around ”Social Media”, we the Netizens are expected to populate these ‘re-socialised’ networks, and help define and grow their value by how we employ all the available resources.
We’re supposed to believe that this progress is ongoing and that we will somehow ‘miss something’ if we’re not already fully participating in this process. We’re led to believe that this already aging Web2.0 model is fully functional using tools that were originally intended for looking up old Classmates, or University alumni in Facebook, or making “Friends” with fellow fans of our favourite bands in MySpace. These (now famously branded) tools and resources have long ago shed their original mandates and applied usage, but they are still being evolved of course. Now they’re possibly even being hampered in their development by the older Internet business models and ad-driven paradigms that originally supported them, and now seek to commercialize them in some newly applied version of “free” ?
Via the API’s of services like Twitter and Facebook, we’re seeing developers willing to apply increasingly surreptitious methods of gathering data about Users, in order to target commercial messages of all sorts….and of course to re-sell aggregated User data to other third party interests, according to their largely unread Terms and Conditions.
Perhaps this pushy preponderance for fostering a participative process in Social Media, is all just part of the same old market research goals that are now re-packaged in some thin new Flashy disguise (TM Adobe Systems Inc).
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