We all know that by participating in local organizations and being active in our communities we are often greeted with the perk of new business opportunities. However, you may not be aware of the business communities that are being developed and thriving online. These networks allow you to locate business opportunities as well as find companies that may be able to serve your business-to-business needs.
Using these virtual networking tools you can connect with extremely talented and professional people, but don't just sit back waiting for others to come to you. You have to make an effort in building your online network, this means reaching out and building relationships with those that you have something in common with. You will be amazed at how quickly you will begin to get to know others.
Here are a few of my favorite social networks:
LinkedIn has become my favorite online social network for business purposes. It's easy to view profiles, get connected, and even recruit potential new hires. There is also a recommendation feature that allows you to see what others say about an individual.
Facebook isn't just for kids anymore. The demographic of this social network continues to broaden. I've found that I love the features and the different applications that are available. It also carries with it a certain level of privacy that I have not seen in the other networks. With 600 million searches and more than 30 billion page views a month can you afford not to be part of this network?
I'm still not fond of MySpace. It continues to carry that juvenile feel for me, but I have some readers that say MySpace works for them. Don't discount it - it's working for some perhaps it can work for you as well.
Large database of users, casual and more of a social atmosphere. A little difficult to navigate, but overall it's a great place to hang your hat. Take a few moments browse the networks and look for others that you have something in common with. Who knows you may just find your neighbor lurking around there.
Orkut is owned and developed by the mega search engine Google, I have to say at first this network carried with it a lot of excitement, unfortunately I became uninterested when I started getting email messages from people I didn't even know. While the communities are nicely developed I find that I spend more time in the previously mentioned networks.
However, don't let my opinion sway you - this network may just have what you are looking for.