Business Exchange : Business Week’s Social Network

September 2nd, 2009 |

About

Tinu Abayomi-Paul is a retiring website promotion specialist and author. She serves on the Network Solutions Social Web Advisory board and has written several tactical and strategic guides to creating and leveraging influence online, content and web visibility. You can get a free excerpt of her latest guide at her flagship site, the Free Traffic Tips blog.

BusinessWeek’s Business Exchange – What It Is, And Why I’m Loving It

bx

Look for this box on the BusinessWeek homepage

I’m going to start out here with a plea for forgiveness.

This article isn’t directly about Twitter, or LinkedIn or any of the popular social media/networking sites that stay in the news – please don’t be mad at me.

Hey- I said don’t throw garbage at your screen yet! BusinessWeek’s Business Exchange (BX) indirectly makes use of Twitter and LinkedIn in ways I think you’ll find quite helpful.

So simma down nah.

What It Is

BX is BusinessWeek’s social network/bookmarking hybrid. With the amount of information you can quickly find, it’s unique positioning and its ease of use, I’m really surprised people aren’t talking about it much, much more.

On the other hand, I haven’t been talking about it either for a very specific reason that we’ll get to in a minute.

Of course it’s also because everyone is talking about Facebook and Twitter.

I know I always am.

Anyway… let’s take a look at who will benefit from using BX.

Who It’s For

If you’re a business owner, C-level executive, an entrepreneur or someone who works closely with entrepreneurs, or have any business-slanted interest in the technology that surrounds any of those thing, BusinessWeek’s Business Exchange is definitely for you. Marketers, Social Media Enthusiasts and Search Engine Experts come to mind immediately.

Why It’s Useful

  1. Great source of business-related information, especially in the area that crosses technology. You are often getting contributions from people you won’t see as much on Twitter or StumbleUpon.
  2. It’s easy to jump right in if you’re on LinkedIn – you have the option of linking your account so you don’t have to fill out your profile yet again. You can also import contacts from there.
  3. As Rohit said when he wrote about Business Exchange last November, “It doesn’t compete with something else.” It is truly a unique type of site, accomplishing a simple mission.

Why I Almost Didn’t Tell Anyone

It’s such a great source of information that I found posts there that weren’t on several of the other social sites I use.

I know because I submitted many of my BX finds to them. 🙂

And maybe that’s why people aren’t talking about it – having some of that information give you a competitive edge, whether it’s from finding fresh submissions for other sites, or just being more informed about topics you care about.

I see it as my job to give my customers and clients a competitive edge so I see it differently – sharing is my opportunity to put them in front of a resource they’ll like and use.

But, I admit, I had a moment of hesitation in creating this post. I thought to myself , “what if this article is actually accepted, and read, and becomes popular, and then everyone knows about it and I won’t look like a hero for sharing?”

Because in my spare time, I’m kind of a jerk.

I kid with you. The proper term is “princess”.

Things That Make Me Want to Hug the Screen

BX respects my time. If I only have time to save existing posts and share tidbits, that’s fine, and it’s easy to do. I don’t feel the same type of ackwardness I do when I don’t talk on Twitter for a while and then suddenly have a bunch of things to say.

And unlike Facebook’s Like feature, it’s very easy to find stuff I saved but didn’t take other actions on. When I go to my activity section, I can even choose to filter for stuff I saved without commenting on, or by topic, or a myriad of other ways.

Oh! I didn’t even talk about Topics!

The entire site is divided into several topics that you can browse by, which is sort of like Digg, but in a way that makes it easier to switch back and forth.

So if all you want to consume that day is Social Media Marketing, or Social Networking, you can do that.  You can also suggest topics, as well as save the ones you like to spend time in to your profile, so they’re easier to find when you come back.

And, it’s integrated very smoothly with Twitter. If you check a box after your “reaction” (140 character comments you can make on an existing story) , or with your submission, it will tweet what you’re sharing to Twitter. And instead of taking up useful space declaring itself, you only see that the post came from Business Exchange in the application area. (Where it normally says “web” if you post on the Twitter site.)

I also really dug seeing who the top contributors in each category are.

Things That Make Me Want to Stab It

In a single browser session, if I go back to Twitter, to all my Google Apps, to Yahoo, many sites, the site remembers me when I get back. I’m already logged in and I can get right to it.

Which has spoiled me, I admit, because when I drop by BX, I have to log in again, whether I check the “remember me” box or not. Every. Time. Of course, that could just be that it times out before I get back to the tab.

Which I still think is bogus, but then again, my blood type is “so picky”.

I’m also not a huge fan of the toolbar at the top that’s forced on me when I go to visit a BX submission.

Listen, I know how to do a new tab if I don’t want to leave a site, m’kay? I understand why, but it’s annoying that I have to then close that box at the top before I hit the su.pr button. It’s not as if that toolbar serves any purpose that’s advantageous to me.

I can use StumbleUpon’s su.pr to see who’s clicking things and…

Wait, that’s another article. Suffice it to say for now that I forgive BX because hey, they’re still in Beta. And perhaps there’s a setting that overrides it – if you find it, please comment.

Final Thoughts

BusinessWeek’s Business Exchange isn’t just another social networking or social bookmarking site. It’s doing something different. And it’s doing it so well that this may be the reason it isn’t discussed more – some of us greedy folks are keeping the fun all to ourselves.

Come join us.

Or at least me.

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Tinu Abayomi-Paul