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Welcome to the e-learning lesson on Web 2.0 resources. This tutorial will review four tools that are available for little or no cost. They're easy to use and provide ways to collaborate, share information, and manage volunteers online. Each tool has unique features that can help you harness the power of the web and expand your reach to a broader audience.

At the end of this lesson you will be able to:

  • Explain how web 2.0 tools can help you in day-to-day job tasks.
  • Identify five different types of tools that can help carry out your mission.
  • Compare and contrast various web 2.0 tools based on benefits and drawbacks.

This lesson will explore the benefits of Web 2.0 tools.

The term "Web 2.0" is used to define web tools that facilitate interactive information sharing and collaboration through user-centered design on the World Wide Web. These web-based platforms offer streamlined solutions for managing, sorting, and sharing information across your entire organization. They provide viable alternatives to "offline" resource sharing, which too often includes digging through papers, old emails, or photocopied notes. The web eliminates the clutter and creates a centralized place to share resources and ideas.

The web allows you and your staff to easily preserve and collaborate in a central location.

Why use the Internet to collaborate? Using a web-based platform to share resources can save you time and energy. When you’re training new staff or volunteers, working with people across distances, or revising documents, a web tool offers a centralized place to store and organize information. Web tools can also help you preserve document versions, manage knowledge across your organization, and network with your staff and volunteers.

The web offers expanded reach and recruitment to find volunteers.

The web is a great tool for finding volunteers because you can reach many people for a very low cost with low staff-time investment. The web can also expand your reach. If you’re currently doing most of your volunteer recruitment in-person, only so many businesses will let you in the door. The Internet gives you access to audiences you couldn’t reach otherwise.

Additionally, you can easily find people who live in a certain zip code if you need volunteers who live in the community you serve. You can also target demographic qualities, such as age and gender, if you’re seeking a diverse volunteer base. Finally, you can use the web to engage your current volunteers. Task them with setting up and running these products, or use a tool to plan events to educate or recognize your current volunteers.