Social Media Initiative Launches New Curriculum and Online Portal for California SMBs

Sacramento, California (PRESS RELEASE – May 7, 2011) – While some confusion and resistance may exist about the business applications of social media tools, there’s mounting evidence that proves it’s a worthwhile investment in both time and energy. Eric Qualman, author of the blockbuster Socialnomics, sites over 50 examples as to how businesses can generate substantial return-on-investment (ROI) using these low cost strategies.

To support this growing trend, the California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Program’s New Media & Entertainment Initiative has launched a workshop series and online community aimed at assisting small and mid-size California companies in becoming more competitive and profitable through the use of interactive internet applications, social media, and mobile technologies. The Interactive Internet & Mobile Applications for Business (iima4biz) curriculum and the 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,” shared State Director Steve Wright, New Media & Entertainment Initiative.  “The workshop and online community are designed to help businesses become savvy consumers of interactive web-based applications and mobile technology and help them 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 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 to register for updates.

About The New Media & Entertainment Initiative

The New Media & Entertainment Initiative (NMEI) focuses on workforce training in multimedia, entertainment, interactive web and new media skills, and is part of a statewide network funded through the California Community College’s Economic and Workforce Development (CCCEWD) program.

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