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It’s Business as Usual for Social Networkers

Author: Bian Salins  |  Category: Networking
Published: October 3, 2008

The Internet has perhaps changed the way people communicate more than any other technology since Alexander Graham Bell first introduced the world to the humble telephone back in the late 19th century.

Indeed, whilst telephone technology has advanced greatly in the 130 or so years since, the same basic principle of one-on-one verbal communication from two remote locations has remained the same. However, the advent of the Internet era has connected billions of people the world over and enabled real-time verbal, visual and written communication, both in one-on-one and group situations. The casual observer could be forgiven for thinking that online networking was exclusively for teenagers and young people, given the popularity of the numerous social networking web sites, but this is not the case.

Whilst the Internet has indeed proved particularly popular with younger users, one of the biggest changes the World Wide Web has brought has actually been to the business world, as it has opened up many new doors for big businesses, small businesses and even entrepreneurial individuals.

Even during its early days, the Internet has allowed people to buy and sell from the comfort of their own living room, through ‘virtual’ online shops and auction sites, thereby enabling businesses and individuals to conduct business with each other with nothing more than a computer and an Internet connection.

Even though for many people ecommerce has progressed and become more sophisticated over the past ten or so years, it still can’t match the three-dimensional real world in terms of being able to see a product actually working and getting to know a business properly. In other words, the online retail world, for some people at least, has perhaps felt a little impersonal at times.

But this hasn’t stopped the online retail community going from strength to strength, with around 20% of all shopping now taking place via the Internet and this is expected to grow to around 50% of the total retail market by 2013.

What will help make the ecommerce world a match for the physical world in the long run will be through making the online retail experience more interactive, engaging and personal. And this has already started to happen. By combining the principles and technology behind social networking web sites with that of the more traditional ecommerce websites, the Internet business community is becoming a richer and far more rewarding retail experience.

For those who are simply looking to buy a product or service, using social media tools such as videos, blogs and podcasts will enable the consumer to learn far more about what exactly is on offer compared to the usual text/photograph combination. Furthermore, forums now exist that make it far easier to network with other like-minded individuals in online business community hubs.

So, it’s clear that the Internet has changed the way the whole world communicates with each other, not only on a social level, but on a business level too. By bringing together the principles and technologies of both the social networking and ecommerce worlds, it’s now possible to create a far more engaging and interactive business community. And that can only be a good thing for everyone concerned.

Bian Salins is the Managing Editor of BT Tradespace – an online community where businesses can advertise and sell products & services and everyone has the opportunity to shop, chat and share their opinion.

Author: Bian Salins

This author has published 14 articles so far.More info about the author is coming soon.

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