In the 21st century, communication in the digital sphere is clearly essential and having staff trained in such space is essential. But how do you go about learning this new ‘digital literacy’?
In their article Digital literacy and digital literacies, Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel prove there are more facets to digital literacy than there are to print literacy. They say that to be ‘digitally literate’ in one area does not mean you have it be in another—for example, someone who can code may not be good with Excel; someone who can tweet like a pro may write unengaging and tedious articles or blog posts. Digital literacy describes the diverse ways that information presented using information technology. Furthermore because technology is constantly evolving there can never be any one-sized-fits-all approach to digital literacy because things are constantly changing.
Nevertheless there are some general guidelines for professionals wanting to develop their digital literacy. Regardless of how technology evolves, decisions around platform and audience will always be important. Some things that are important to consider are:
As Marshall Mcluhan put it, “The medium is the message.” The platform you choose is just as important as the message you put out. For example trying to articulate an extremely nuanced point on Twitter is extremely difficult due to how people use the platform. Understanding the way the platform shapes conservation is just as important as what you say.
And some tips that generally stand the test of time include:
For better or worse communication on the Internet is largely an attention economy. Your message will be competiting with countless other demands on the consumer’s attention. As such your message must both stand out among the crowd and also not take up too much of the person’s time.
Ethos CRS offers workshops to government and private sector organisations to improve email correspondence and writing for the web. Call us on 02 6247 2225 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.