Dennis is a blog and RSS pioneer. So I am surprised with his statement that “The best way to present and maintain a positive Internet presence is to have a good website.” Not true.
The best way to maintain a positive and effective Internet presence is by entering into the Internet discussion to network with others in your target audience. Blogs and RSS are networking tools. A Website is as useless as my running shoes in networking so as to maintain a positive and effective Internet presence.
Microsoft had websites for years. So did Google, Yahoo, Dell and Sun Microsystems. They all have blogs now. The reason is to have an effective Internet presence. Microsoft could not afford to be labeled ‘the evil empire’ forever. Dell, which started a blog this week, couldn’t take being slammed on customer service issues across the Internet. Dell needed a voice to enter the discussion, to talk with, and network with people about Dell’s service. Couldn’t be done with a Web site.
Google started employee blogs after getting slammed on the blogosphere on privacy issues. Without an effective Internet presence, Google used a press conference. It failed and a story very negative to Google ended up in the WSJ at the end of the week.
Law firms and professional service firms network to get work. To network, you need to listen, engage in the discussion, and pass on information others may use in referencing you. Networking takes place more effectively on the net than offline. That networking ain’t going to happen with a website. A website’s got no ears. A website’s got no mouth. You need those things to network.
Networking on the net is done via the following:
- Find the discussion via a search for Blogs and Blog discussion – Google and Technorati searches
- Listen to the discussion – use of an aggregator to receive RSS feeds
- Engage in the Internet discussion – comment on another’s blog or post on your own, preferably responding to what you’ve heard
- Empower others to reference you as a reliable and trusted authority – share good content on your blog that will be cited elsewhere on the net
No where in networking did I mention a website. And it’s networking online that’s the best way to present and maintain a positive Internet presence.
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