Great article for the unbeliever or reluctant social media initiate. – Day 13 #30DBC

I found this while looking through some archived delicious bookmarks. I was on the hunt for social related tags, specifically as it pertains to social media, social interaction online and how business can leverage this as marketing tools.  It has been updated since I first read it.

I love some of the quotes, mainly because they remind me that I know what I'm talking about when I suggest that you need an online presence, well above and beyond what a website gives you.  Let me make it clear here in plain English. Make fun of, ridicule, let it be the butt of the joke, do whatever you wish about them, but you can't keep turning your head away from the phenomenon that is social media (blogs, twitter, facebook, stumbleupon, youtube, and many others.

Go ahead and bellyache about blogs. But you cannot afford to close your eyes to them, because they're simply the most explosive outbreak in the information world since the Internet itself. And they're going to shake up just about every business—including yours. It doesn't matter whether you're shipping paper clips, pork bellies, or videos of Britney in a bikini, blogs are a phenomenon that you cannot ignore, postpone, or delegate... ...blogs are not a business elective. They're a prerequisite...

As it regards to the userbase that may or may not read your blog. Since the article was published a while ago, we're also now talking about the Twitter account you don't have. Yeah, the same one your competitor snagged up after they saw you on the news. We're also talking about the facebook page you don't have so you can't be made a fan of anyone and so nobody that "facebooks" can connect with you. By the way, that's the same facebook page, a potential partner looked up a few minutes ago just to visit, or to find out more about the company... and unfortunately DIDN'T find. So when you read "blog" on the article remember that its more like the whole social media bunddle of stuff --blogs, twitter, facebook--

Let's assume that 99.9% are equally off point. What we didn't see in early 2005 was the advent of the spam blog. These blogs, produced automatically, are designed to show up in search results and to attract Google advertisements known as Adsense. Sifry estimates that fully 99% of the blog posts reaching search engines are spam. So what? That leaves some 40 new ones every day that could be talking about your business

Yes, you must cater to your market and keep your customers happy, that is undeniable and irrefutable, but you are pulling your own plug if you don't look to enter the new markets as they grow. Your customers are certainly adopting these new tools, why aren't you? Where's the facebook page your potential partner just missed? and how about the twitter page where you could get in touch 1 on 1 with one of your customers?

Hasn't that one of the big obstacles of ALL businesses since the beginning of time? The cost to produce materials to tell people about your business? This used to be prohivitively expensive. Printing, publishing, distribution, all that stuff used to be the guarded market of the publishing companies. But now, we have the web, instant, global, and virtually free. Its a shame that it is still not a priority for some businesses.

Sure, most blogs are painfully primitive. That's not the point. They represent power. Look at it this way: In the age of mass media, publications like ours print the news. Sources try to get quoted, but the decision is ours. Ditto with letters to the editor. Now instead of just speaking through us, they can blog. And if they master the ins and outs of this new art—like how to get other bloggers to link to them—they reach a huge audience.

Please read the article, you owe it to yourself. And you'll thank me later. After you are done reading, start. TODAY, now and get a twitter account. a facebook account and just hang on to them. Learn to use them before you actually use them, look at other businesses and see how they do it. When ready, jump in, just stop putting it off. You're missing out in valuable time.

And don't worry, I'm putting my money where my mouth is. You're going to see a bunch of changes around here. I'm taking a new direction in this blog and soon you'll see some significant changes. I'll also share some of the efforts I'm doing to promote my own little online adventures and experiments. I think I might even be moving to a new domain. I will also start showing you some of the things I do to make websites work. More on all that coming soon.