Who is Integrated Strategies?

November 6, 2007

Advanced Web 2.0

Yesterday I discussed how to set yourself up to take advantage of blogs and their content. Today we'll shift gears just a little bit and discuss some of the other tools out there for finding the information you need. There are sites out there in the world that have a mission of finding the popular and interesting articles in the world. The most common of these sites are digg.com, del.icio.us, reddit.com and stumbleupon.com. These sites collect stories tagged by users as popular or interesting. They sort out the good from the bad for you.

At the end of many blog posts (and even news articles now) are links asking you to "Digg This" or "Stumble It" or "Share this post." These sites provide a unique service where they find "the best of the internet" so that you don't have to go looking for it. Over time they have developed a large enough following that their communities find and review their content for them. They essentially are just aggregators of stories. If your small business has been lucky enough to be mentioned in one of the articles headlined there you've probably seen the traffic spike it can cause.

Aggregators are another useful tool for finding information. If you are looking for ways to actually use Web 2.0 technology to help your company you may want to look at Social Networking. Social Networking is simply a website that allows individuals and companies to create a profile of who they are, what they do and what they are looking to accomplish. These sites provide a place to post pictures, videos and discuss very current events. You've probably heard of the most popular two: Myspace and Facebook. There are many stories out there about how businesses have created pages on these two pages and been very successful at attracting both talent and new clients. It's amazing how far reaching these sites are. Myspace is the 6th most visited page on the internet. Facebook is the 7th. That's a lot of potential eyes for what you are offering.

For the more business oriented social network, look no farther than LinkedIn.com. Linked In connects professionals to other professionals. Instead of worrying about keeping all of your business cards with you at all times, just keep your bookmark to linked in. It outlines your network of contacts to 3 degrees of connections. Through this site you can ask questions to the open boards, recruit new employees or find businesses to help with problems you need solved. The site is gaining so much traction that many people are beginning to put their Linked In profile web address on their business cards.

I'm seeing more and more of the tasks that businesses do on a day-to-day basis moving to the internet. Microsoft and Google are leading the charge to put everything they possibly can onto the internet. Google offers an entire MS Office style suite of products online and is even currently scanning in millions upon millions of books to create a searchable online library. E-commerce is a growing industry while brick and mortar stores continue to either grow slowly or die out entirely. Selling your product or service over the internet is the wave of the future. If doctors can perform surgery over the internet then almost anyone can sell their product online.

Most importantly to many businesses is online advertising. It seems to be everywhere. Most webpages you visit probably have some level of advertisements. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and many, many other companies offer online advertising tools. If you want to just test the water, simply sign-up for a program offered through one of the big three and see if it helps your business at all. If it does then it might be worthwhile to sit down with an expert and put together a true online advertising platform and plan.

There are all kinds of ways to take advantage of the internet to advance your company and advertise yourself. The number of roads that any person can travel are unlimited. Don't be afraid of learning the internet. Most everything you will want to use has been simplified more than you will believe. The internet is a very user friendly place for the most part, jump right on in and make yourself at home.

----There are all kinds of additional tools that I haven't mentioned just because talking about them all is quite a hefty task on its own. Look around and find the tools that work best for you.

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