Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Oh, what a tangled Web 2.0 we weave ...

posted by Andy Leff
Quick! When I say Web, you say 2.0. Web! [2.0!]

Web! [2.0!]

Web! [2.0!]

You got it! ... Or do you?

Web 2.0 is all about community, collaboration, and social networking. This is all fine and well if you understand how to use it to your advantage. And that's what I'm here for, folks.

Many business owners ask me how they can become part of these online communities. Most believe it's hard to get involved in community-based networks, and even harder to use them. This is a myth. These things are so easy to use, even a diaper-donning baby can have great success with them. (Well, you get the point.)

For those who don’t know what social networking is, let me take a moment to clarify. It’s the new buzzword for what used to be called word-of-mouth advertising (WOM). The buzzword was created so that some guy could rake in millions by making something people already did sound brand-new -- a total crock, but who am I to argue with a great business plan?

In order to understand how to use social networks to grow your business and spread the word online, we have to first define what networks will give you the most bang for your buck. And by buck I mean time put into networking, since most of the sites are free.

Consider the big three: Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace. These sites are the most well-known social networking sites. Facebook caters to the college- and high school-based audience.

LinkedIn is a resume-trading site that's fairly complex and difficult to navigate. It's the only network of the three that was intended for any type of business use. But there really isn’t much else to do on it besides share resumes with friends and coworkers.

And then there's MySpace. Anyone can join it. And even though it's not business-oriented, it is the most viable option for businesses right now because of its open policies.

The real work starts from here, so buckle your boots. I'll have more social networking tools and tips soon!

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