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  • Steven Woda

Daily Roundup for 2008-02-25

Alibaba Group, the Chinese Internet company part-owned by Yahoo Inc., has hired advisers to help it negotiate for expanded management independence in the event its U.S. partner is acquired by Microsoft Corp., a person familiar with the situation said.

eMarketer predicts that online retailers in the US will ring up over $100 billion more in sales in 2012 than they did in 2007. Sales growth will come mainly from consumers who are shifting their spending from traditional retail stores to the Internet.

Two little words — “social networking” — have become a giant buzzphrase over the past couple of years, what with the worldwide march of Facebook and headline-ready stories about Web-assisted suicides. So what’s the net effect of social networking?

In the early days of blogging you could go to the Technorati Blog Index, enter some identifying terms for a particular niche topic and discover what the top blogs were in the field. Identifying top niche blogs is invaluable knowledge for anyone wanting to enter, study or market to people in a particular field. It’s one of the fastest and most effective ways to learn the lay of the land and get involved in the community of successful artists, real estate agents or 4-H club leaders using social media. I’ve been seeing a lot of demand for this information lately so I thought I’d write up some quick pros and cons of the options I’m familiar with. Perhaps you’ll add some of your own favorite methods in comments.

For well over a decade now, the Web, the Internet on which it rides, and the various software devices and programs that make it work have been evolving so rapidly, creating so many business opportunities and challenges that many small and midsize businesses have had their hands full just hanging on. The good news: Things aren’t going to slow down. The challenging news: Things really aren’t going to slow down.

The essence of the Web for business is the same as the essence of every business undertaking: communication, content, transaction, resolution, and mutual benefit. For some time now, and from now on, content will be the most essential element. Whether it’s a product description or catalog entry, a price and specifications negotiation, an e-mail dialogue, a Web-based consultancy or Web-marketed hard goods, the ability of your business to deliver the appropriate content to the appropriate recipients is now the name of the business game. It’s the same as it’s always been — only, as the Web evolves, it’s becoming different.

Thanks to the constant coordination and communication that the next Web affords, you might be less worried about violating regulations — as long as your smartware maintains your content’s privacy. Whatever form, shape, or nature Web 3.0 and subsequent evolutions assume, it’s more than a safe bet that the threat community will rise to the challenges.

Buying things online is becoming a common experience for US Internet users. And addressing consumers’ security concerns could make online buying even more common. Those are the main findings of the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s latest online shopping study, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates in August and September 2007. Pew found that two-thirds of online Americans have purchased a product online at least once.

I often get asked questions about how I manage the fact people who you don’t always know may want to connect to you on LinkedIn and then may want to be connected to your own personal network.

Google yourself. If you’re a salesperson, your prospects already do. If you’re looking for a job, your prospective employers already do. If you’ve got a job, your co-workers already do. What do they see? Do you know? If you don’t like it, you can fix it.

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