Social Networks 101: Using Personal Tools to Be Business Competitive

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YouTube

Personal use: YouTube is a video-sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. The site displays a wide variety of user-generated video content as well as movie clips, product demonstrations and commercials. Unregistered users can watch videos, while registered users can upload an unlimited number of videos.

Business 2.0 use:Businesses are posting humorous commercial videos to generate interest in products with great success. The more entertaining it is, the more people watch it. Business partners could create a YouTube-like channel for the purpose of educating and training.

Ask yourself:Could we enhance our marketing efforts as well as general communication by using YouTube?

Digg

Personal use: Digg is a social news website made for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the Internet by submitting and accessing links and stories. Voting stories “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” is the site's cornerstone function, respectively called digging and burying.

Business 2.0 use:Many organizations have found this to be a good way to track the most interesting advances in technology or the most useful business news. Large organizations can create their own internal version for sharing what employees consider to be the most useful information.

Ask yourself:Could we use Digg, or our own internal version, to get people to share their most interesting and valuable Web-based information with each other?

Delicious

Personal use:Delicious is a social-bookmarking Web service for storing, sharing and discovering Web bookmarks. It uses a non-hierarchical classification system in which users can tag each of their bookmarks with freely chosen index terms.

Business 2.0 use:Business users can share their most useful websites with co-workers or business partners. If a customer purchases a product, sellers could share relevant bookmarks that keep the customer coming back for more information and hopefully more products.

Ask yourself:Could we use Delicious to share important new websites faster within our organization or with our customers? 

Visual Communications

Personal use:visual communications, unlike traditional video conferencing, uses your desktop, laptop and, soon, your smart phone, to hold a quick, anytime, anywhere video conference with one or more people. Travelers who must be away from home are using their laptops in hotel rooms with broadband access and free software such as Skype and AIM to communicate with family and friends and enhance their personal connections.

Business 2.0 use: Businesses are discovering the power of visual communications to enhance the connection with their sales force, business partners and customers.

Ask yourself: Could we use visual communications to enhance communications internally and externally?

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