These steps represent a starting point. Getting used to the tools of the Advertising 2.0 trade are a prerequisite to formulating strategies that employ them.
Step One: If you haven't already, start using an RSS reader. If you're not sure what RSS is just review our newsletter RSS: When the Web Comes to You. Google Reader is my favorite and is becoming very popular, but there are other options reviewed in that newsletter.
Step Two: Subscribe to some feeds. Start with ours! Just click the RSS logo link () and add the feed URL to your reader. Other blogs I would recommend subscribing to to keep up on Web 2.0 trends include Advertising Age - Digital (RSS feed: http://adage.com/rss-feed?section_id=32), Business 2.0 (RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogs/business2), John Battelle's Searchblog (RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/JohnBattellesSearchblog), marktd (RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/marktd), and The Long Tail (RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheLongTail). Of course there are many more and you'll want to explore a bit and add feeds in areas of your (and your client's) interests.
Step Three: Open up a bookmarking aggregation account. As you read feeds you'll want to bookmark relevant articles for future reference. With so much content out there, your browser's bookmarking tools won't hold up. Besides, online bookmarking tools add the ability to add your own tags (descriptions) to each bookmark to help categorize the information you find into helpful groups for future reference. I use Diigo and del.icio.us. Del.icio.us is the most popular but Diigo not only allows tagging but also annotation where I can add my own sticky notes right on the parts of a web page I'm bookmarking. I've embedded my tags to the right or you can see my bookmarks at del.icio.us/ericholter. These tools will help you manage all the streaming information that will be coming through the feeds. You can simply bookmark and tag information for review when you need it.
Step Four: Consider starting a blog. It's easy to start a blog. Just go to TypePad or WordPress and open a free account. Having a blog can become very important to being engaged in the Web 2.0/Advertising 2.0 world. More importantly, start thinking about contributing to blogs. One of the most fascinating aspects of Web 2.0 content is that its richness grows as people participate. An article about online branding only grows in its helpfulness as others contribute their thoughts and insights. One reason for starting a blog is so that as you may engage in the blogs of others you can join blogging communities and expand upon the thoughts of others on your own blog. In fact, go ahead and get started right here. Use the comments section below to add your thoughts about this article. If you start a blog, include its address in your comment and your ideas will be connected with mine.
That's enough for now. In the coming months I'll add newsletters that provide more practical steps to take on your way to becoming Advertising 2.0 compatible.