Recently I attended an all day Saturday session at WeekendU called “Internet Power – Average to Power User in One Day”. The university is founded by Dmitry Shapiro (a little more on him below) and this is how WeekendU describes this particular class:

Taught by Dmitry Shapiro, an Internet Pioneer and digital innovator, will teach anyone the techniques, shortcuts and tools that allow the Digitally Proficient to get ahead.

So, what does this have to do with online marketing? The answer quite bluntly is everything. A large part of the class is focused on a philosophy that your computer and the internet are tremendously powerful tools that are at your disposal, and by knowing how to utilize these tools to their fullest you’ll be more efficient and also have access to considerably more information. Time is money. Information is power.

The class covers a fairly wide swath but some of the key areas:

  • Google – how to use search more effectively in order to be more efficient in finding the information you need
  • Your Computer – tools to help you and your computer work in concert
  • Email Usage – how to carve time out of your day
  • Web Browser Tools – that’s right, you can optimize your web browser to be a more effective vehicle for your business or person
  • Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – both in terms of usage and personal profile development
  • RSS (Really Simple Syndication) – creating personalized streams of information

Dmitry does a masterful job of walking the class through all of these concepts, and also of answering any questions that class might have. Further, he introduces a ton of shortcuts which can greatly streamline your day. In addition upon leaving the class you get a much greater appreciation for how technology can work for you, allowing your digital efforts to be that much stronger. You’ll also have a very good grasp on how to tailor information to be more relevant to you, and the particular needs of your operation.

Dmitry’s enthusiasm for both the material and the class are abundantly displayed and when I recently had an opportunity to follow up with him for this article I asked him why after spending some much time in the business world, did he WeekendU together?

DS: I teach these classes because of a need to give back to the community. Digital proficiency is THE most important set of skills that have led to my success, and I believe that all people should poses these skills to move us forward in business and continued understanding of the world around us.

It was also interesting to note Dmitry’s pride in the results he’s delivered to the students of the class.

DS: As I meet students that have taken the classes months ago, they often use the phrase ‘it has fundamentally changed my life.’ I completely understand what they mean, and it is the thing that keeps me driven to continue teaching.

The Google tutorials alone are a must, but combined with all the other elements of this class, I don’t think I can put a strong enough recommendation on attending this class if your business in any way relies on being digital.

As I understand it the classes have a somewhat irregular schedule, but you can go to their site to find out more about their schedule.

About WeekendU: Weekend University is a new kind of educational institution focused on practical in-person and online digital skills education. Weekend University was founded by experienced technology and entrepreneurs who want to see thousands of individuals be more successful through greater Digital Proficiency.

About Dmitry Shapiro: Dmitry Shapiro has spent the last 15 years developing his Digital Proficiency and has developed the core course material at WeekendU. Dmitry founded Veoh Networks, one of the largest online video services, where he currently serves as CEO. He is an active advisor and angel investor to Internet based start ups. Prior to Veoh, Dmitry founded Akonix Systems which focused on web security systems on corporate networks. Dmitry’s companies have raised over $100 million in capital.