Web 2.0

Modern Old-fashioned Networking

There are very few situations where a social media profile will not be of use to your professional or private life. These days more and more people are jumping on the social media networking bandwagon. In fact, many teenagers who have grown up in the advent of social media don’t know any other form of networking. If you own a small business that’s kicking off a social media marketing campaign you shouldn’t underestimate the importance incorporating some old-fashioned, face-to-face networking. There are dozens of ways to connect that are just as good as “Social Media” on the web.

Here are some suggestions:
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Marketing On Facebook

Companies may actually be losing money when they block social networking sites like Facebook. Many companies block access to Facebook because they fear employees will waste time socializing, or share too much information about their company.

A recent global pole conducted by Sapphos estimates that about 50 percent of employees are blocked from or restricted in their Facebook use. MySpace, YouTube and LinkedIn are also commonly blocked.

These companies may believe they are gaining an edge on employee productivity, but what they’re actually doing is eliminating powerful marketing, advertising and recruiting mechanisms. Facebook is one of the most trafficked sites on the Web and smart companies are taking advantage of that. Social networking can easily segue into social marketing with the right techniques.
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LinkedIn Isn’t Just ‘Pulling Your Chain’

The current job market sucks. Even the most educated and skilled workers are having a tough time finding work. The unemployment rate is the highest it’s been in five years and is expected to get even higher in the coming months.

In September, 6.1% of Americans were without jobs. This month the rate will likely top 7%. The forecast doesn’t get any better in 2009, when economists predict the rate to peak at over 10%.

Those out of work are frantic to find new employment, and those currently employed are preparing themselves for a time when they’re not so fortunate. At a time when many companies are cutting costs and axing jobs, “professional” networking sites, like LinkedIn, are cashing in.

LinkedIn, a social-networking website for the business community, has experienced a 25% increase in signups since the economy crashed late last summer. Since mid-September, the site has seen about 1 million new members every two weeks.
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The Facebook ‘Relationship Status’ Symbol

It’s not real until it’s on Facebook. At least that’s the case for nearly four million daily users of the popular social networking site. When does dating become a relationship? And, after a breakup, when should you reveal your status as single to let others know you are available?

Facebook and MySpace have become part of our daily lives. If we’re not busy accepting friends requests, we’re making them, and if we’re not doing that we’re uploading new photos and videos to show others. We may check our FB accounts 5-10 times a day, even while we’re at work. Most bosses won’t even notice because they’re busy checking their own.
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iePlexus Company Profiles

Fingers CrossedWith the adoption of Web 2.0, no longer can a company rely solely on their own marketing to establish an online profile and create company legitimacy and credibility. The read/write web has enabled anyone with an internet connection and a keyboard to become part of the conversation, and the reader is left with the daunting task of sorting through the fiction and non-fiction to arrive at an intelligent conclusion. Needless to say, this affords anyone with an opinion the opportunity to express it, regardless of whether it is beneficial to the web community in general.

The bottom line continues to be caution. Certainly there are benefits to having anyone and everyone weigh in on a subject, increasing the collective intelligence of the web and sorting the massive flux of information. But is there anything to stop misinformation and lies, besides one’s moral obligations? (more…)

Business Blogs and Beyond

Business Week Beyond BlogsIn 2005, Business Week premiered one of the defining articles for business owners and their place online. “Blogs Will Change Your Business” was the title, and the article made many waves in the industry as one of the first from mainstream media to truly acknowledge the power and impact of blogging on business. Since then, thousands of articles in thousands of publications have showcased how the evolution of media and the web has made a fundamental impact on how we do business, not just online, but in virtually every corner of our culture.

The original article had a realistic and objective view of how a business could benefit from a blog. From creating an online identity and building credibility, to market testing and customer interaction, business blogs served more purposes than could be covered in one article. Business Week also stressed the importance of clearing away the clutter – although the numbers for this kind of media were staggering, not everything was worth reading. (more…)

Social Media in Plain English

The folks over at Common Craft have put together a new video that explains social media titled “Social Media in Plain English”. This one features a town that has a serious love of ice cream and the how the residents embrace the fundamentals of social media to everyone’s benefit. You might remember Common Craft from their video explanations of Social Bookmarking and Social Networking. They’ve also covered topics like RSS, Blogs, Podcasting and even Zombies.

The videos themselves are great explanations of complex topics. I’ve heard the “I get it now!” exclamation many times after directing a friend or colleague to one of these videos. Admittedly so, Web 2.0 has introduced a new landscape of terminology and applications that will take a little while for complete adoption by the typical user community, so I think these videos provide a great translation medium. Take a look:

What is Web 2.0?

When it comes to internet marketing, Web 2.0 has redefined the rules. Every fundamental aspect of owning an online business now must incorporate this concept to ensure the potential for positive results. The days of building a site and optimizing it for search engine results are over; there’s someone else who already did that and is moving forward with the next step in their campaign. To win the race, we’ve got to outthink our competitor and outperform them online. To accomplish that, we have to understand the newest concepts in marketing and embrace them as our own. Enter Web 2.0, the natural evolvement of the web and the information within it.

That being said, let’s take a step back. What is Web 2.0? What does it mean and how does it affect marketing and e-commerce? Unfortunately, a concise definition of Web 2.0 has yet to be realized, mostly because it’s an idea that’s still being debated. Wikipedia is the most comprehensive source out there, but it leaves something out in terms of what impact it has had and why it’s important to us.  Let’s start by attempting a simple, understandable definition for our purposes.

What is Web 2.0?

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New Study: Social Media Important In Buying Decision

Online BuyingMost businesses are just starting to figure out how to get their feet wet with social media. From managing an attractive, trustworthy identity in social networking sites to getting their product and company information posted in social bookmarking sites, this part of a marketing campaign usually takes a back seat to what businesses consider the more immediate concerns, statistics like traffic, sales and conversions. But a new study shows that consumers are using social media more than ever to do research on a company and their reputation before buying, and businesses better start listening, responding and improving if they want to compete in a Web 2.0 marketplace.
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Embracing Web 2.0 Marketing

Web 2.0 ButtonWith the constant expansion and evolution of the web, new trends develop almost daily. The new buzz is all about Web 2.0, a concept that is quoted often, but doesn’t have a concrete definition. For those of us who dive into the internet in our daily lives, it’s something we can’t avoid, even if everyone explains it a little differently. For our purposes, Web 2.0 is the advancement of the web, the progression from single, isolated websites to a vast expansion of connected applications and services. Websites like Flickr, MySpace, Digg and LinkedIn embody the idea and fundamentals of Web 2.0 – they’re not just websites, but communities; networks of users collaborating for the end goal of improving and categorizing the endless amount of information on the web. We now have the opportunity to use the internet as a platform for connection, and the concept of Web 2.0 enables that. Keep in mind this isn’t limited to social-oriented websites, business and application based sites are just as affected, and they’re embracing the new changes for the potential they hold.
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