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Social Networks

The rise of Social Networks, Blogs and RSS on the web has been driven by individuals feeling empowered to tell their story, communicate feelings, chronicle events or write anything that can think of. This is the age of self-publishing as never seen before and with it comes all the positives and negatives of personal opinion.

According to Metcalfe's law "the value of a network grows in proportion to the square of the number of users" which essentially means the larger the network the more connections/benefit the users get out of it. You may love the comments or hate them but with 27% of internet users in the US having been involved, either reading or writing a blog, companies that ignore the messages posted may be doing so at their peril. Blogs are a valuable source of research to understand what consumers are thinking about your brand, latest advertising campaign or products/services.

A web log (blog) is a shared online journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and interests. Blogs have become legitimate standard business practices and progressive marketers are building strategies around their use to influence a target audience. Many of these self developed forums are generating significant revenue streams for their creators. Teen networks such as have become destinations of choice for an increasingly connected youth culture. Witness the success of in creating large audience pull and drawing advertisers' media dollars through the public interest in 'A' list celebrities and fashion icons. Yahoo! is also including blogs to the search criteria within news, further highlighting the increased interest of consumer opinion, unique insights or footage of events. In addition to using blogs for research, as a feature to your site, they can increase traffic, membership and your SEO ranking.

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