Networking, what do you think of when you hear that word?
It’s funny how that one word can evoke so many different emotions I person, yet when used properly can be one of the most useful and beneficial tools on the planet today.
How do you think companies like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest become worth so much money in such a short period of time?
They are valuable not because of a product, they are valuable because of their ability to build networks all over the world. Their networks have become their greatest asset!
These once little startups have once again proved the power of networks, and with today’s technology you have the same power they have! Read the rest of this entry »
Social media networks have grown to be a major part of popular culture. People throughout the world use the largest sites to express short, random thoughts or to rant about various topics. Social media networks allow people to stay in touch with their friends or reconnect with people from the past. Other, slightly less popular social networks can be used for career building or professional networking purposes.
The online communities these days do not have to be trendy mainstream sites. There are also social networking sites for particular interests. For example, there are several social networks for writers. Pondrin.com is one of the networking sites dedicated to writers and their interests. Pondrin works by encouraging a system of feedback and encouragement among its members. The process is simple. A user earns points by commenting on other users’ blogs, stories, publications, and other works. The points can then be redeemed to allow the user to publish his or her own writing. Any type of writer is welcome. Users can write poetry, short stories, opinion pieces, academically inclined explanations of prominent news topics, or whatever else strikes their fancy. The front page shows links to the newest members, the most recent posts on blogs, and the latest publications in the creative writing area. The site also allows users to â€œfriend’ each other.Â Read the rest of this entry »
Ning, a community builder, is now phasing out their free version, leaving all the non-premium networks without a home. While relocating to another place may not be an issue for most people (small, non-serious niche sites), the ones who planned on making a business out of their site are pretty much left with two choices; build elsewhere or upgrade.
If you find yourself leaning towards the â€œbuild elsewhereâ€ option, you might want to take this lesson into consideration: Even free has a price. While itâ€™s a common sense lesson, I constantly run into people who forgo my advice to pay for something they can actually call their own, instead choosing to go the DIY route in search of free.
Free doesn't always equal freedom
I remember a client who wanted to purchase my domain name and servicesâ€¦ only to reverse their decision and use a Ning site instead. After trying for a year, their attempt at branding the site not only failed (the brand name competed against my former brand), but they underestimated the complexity of the net in general. They thought upgrading to premium features would help. They did not understand what they were getting into, causing confusion to both the owners and the members. Oh, and they lost a lot of money in the process.
Are free web apps and sites are the devil? This isnâ€™t always the case. I, myself, use free apps on a daily basis because I understand â€œthe cost of free.” The cost I’m referring to can be expressed in a simple equation:
(Ease of use + Ability to grow) â€“ Frustration with limits = The Cost of Free Read the rest of this entry »