Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Building Talent in New Media: Online Community and Workshops Building the Pipeline

"Mobile Internet usage will outpace desktop Internet usage by 2014, as consumers purchase more smart phones and smart devices, according to research Morgan Stanley's Internet Analyst Mary Meeker. America's youth are contributing to this upward trend with the average young person aged 8 through 18 years old now spending practically every waking minute - except for the time they are in school - using a smart phone, computer, television or other electronic device, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

"This rise in access to the Internet and its multimedia content subsequently increases the demand for a workforce with technology skills in the areas of multimedia, entertainment, interactive web development and new media. In an effort to identify and meet California's workforce and economic development needs in these high-demand occupations, the EWD's New Media & Entertainment Initiative (NMEI) launched a series of workshops along with an online community aimed at building workforce talent.

"The Interactive Internet & Mobile Applications for Business (iima4biz) curriculum and the Web4Biz.org community portal was developed in collaboration with ListenToSee, Inc., a technology consulting firm. "Our goal is to seek new ways to help businesses respond to Internet-based competition and filter through all the noise about social media," said NMEI State Director Steve Wright. "The workshop and online community are designed to help businesses become savvy consumers of interactive web-based applications and mobile technology and to help them appropriately apply these cost-effective strategies."

"iima4biz is an intensive, five-module workshop that includes 15 hours of course curriculum and collaborative exercises on implementing interactive web, social media, and mobile tools. The workshop is conducted in a small-group environment and encourages interactive discussion of ways that businesses can apply new Internet and mobile tools to increase operational efficiency, improve customer service, and supplement marketing efforts. Participants in the workshop become members of the Web4Biz.org online community, a non-commercial portal that offers a place to network with workshop alumni, model proposals, and access news on the latest trends and tools available for Internet and mobile technology.

"The first pilot workshops were held at the end of April 2011, with attendees from ten California businesses participating in open dialogues around their need to integrate new technologies into existing business practices. "I had no idea the depth of the social media situation," shared Paul Reilly, President of MasterGage, a Thousand Oaks based small manufacturer of precision tools. "It was an enlightening workshop and I am already making plans to implement some of the tools we discussed."

"Businesses or individuals wishing to participate in upcoming workshops should visit www.web4biz.org to register for updates. For more information about The New Media & Entertainment Initiative visit http://www.cccewd.net/NMEI."

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