To be brutally honest, I feel that I am being dragged into social networking. I’m much more comfortable working on R&D, a work flow process or graphical interfaces. But I am excited about this new venue and am looking forward to using it to share new features and processes and help you grow your businesses profitably.

Whether we like it or not, business is changing. The Internet has made the world very small – an understatement for sure. Something can become “viral” in just a few hours and make or break a company over night. Major brands are disappearing and this new playing field favors the company that has its finger on the pulse of the community it serves.

My wife asked me to pick up some chili from Wendy’s on my way home from work tonight. I noticed that the bag had an unusual website printed in a very large font:www.tellwendys.com. I doubt that Wendy’s really wanted people who were happy to call and pat them on the back. They wanted people who have problems and are angry about their service to vent with them and not with the rest of the world. They know that they need to take a proactive stance and solve problems while they are still small.

Companies have learned sometimes the hard way, that customers are demanding more personalized services and they have begun to monitor social networks to aid them in protecting their good name and to do damage control. There is also an opportunity to encourage loyalty and good will. The traditional marketing strategies are no longer providing a good ROI. Change has come.

Social networking sites have emerged as powerful influences on how businesses are perceived. So far, few businesses have leveraged sources such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as an important part of their marketing strategy. Consumers are expecting much more information and Social Networking sites encourage them to ask their peers for references before they purchase. It has helped consumers and businesses “friend” each other.

Please offer suggestions and comments on how you do things. Of course, my focus will be on helping our current customers learn how to get the most out of the system that they already are paying for. However, I believe that any business will be able to benefit by understanding the principles that have caused our applications to evolve. We are humbled by the confidence you have placed in our service. Let’s begin the journey.

 

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