Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A simple introduction to social networking (and some more up and coming sites)

The year is 2007 and the most popular meeting place on earth is the World Wide Web! Just what does this mean? Quite simply that there are millions and millions of internet users that are connecting to each other online and creating “virtual meeting places”. Whether you are a chess enthusiast or an avid cook, whether you collect rare insects or are devoted to keeping up with the latest fashion trends, or even if you simply enjoy being in touch with people around the world, there is a virtual gathering place for almost every interest and taste.

For an affiliate, the potential contained in these social networks is enormous. With their rate of growth, the possibility of gaining new customers and establishing relationships with potential partners within specific verticals is endless. A large number of networking sites make it easy to find users that are interested in similar topics, which means a marketer can find profiles and networks of users suited for their particular vertical(s) with relative ease. Growth and profits derived from social networks start with a proper understanding of these social portals.


  • Start by getting to know the biggest and most popular networks.
  • As you get more comfortable, identify social networks within your vertical(s).
  • Become an avid participant in the area(s) you have identified.
  • Beware of the hard sell.
  • Have a creative site that has original content and is in tune with the target audience.

It is advisable to spend a good amount of time perusing some of the bigger existing social networks. This will allow you to understand the inner workings of these sites and to get to know their specific lingo – key factors in getting you comfortable enough to become an avid participant. LinkedIn, a profile-based website, is one of the fastest growing networking sites for professionals. An affiliate can benefit from LinkedIn by creating their own profile which highlights their main portals and the programs they have worked with successfully in the past. Using a service like LinkedIn allows affiliates to reach not only affiliate and marketing managers, but can also help establish relationships with other sites with which they may want to partner or provide co-registration services.

The hottest social network sites:

Digg ~
Myspace ~
LinkedIn ~
Del.Icio.Us ~ ~ ~
Yahoo 360 ~

Growing social network sites:

RepVine ~
Netscape ~
MyBlogLog ~
Magnolia ~

For the intrepid affiliate that is on the continuous search for new and innovative opportunities, tapping into social networks is a great strategy. After all, the internet is all about relationships – building relationships, expanding the boundaries of existing relationships and creating communities where the relationship sky is limitless.

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