By Jill McCubbin

Meeting up with local businesspeople at the Chamber of Commerce or an industry association event for hors d’oeuvres is great word-of-mouth marketing. Corporate blogging is Web-of-mouth marketing — with no dietary or dress codes, and it’s global.

James Gaskin in his Business Technology Newsletter for Network World writes about word-of-mouth networking using both physical and virtual methods to connect with new leads and peers. James knows that “networking” to many business owners still means “Chamber of Commerce” meetings – a good thing - yet networking has grown up. Online networking is growing like wildfire with the advent of the blogosphere.

John Nardini, writing for Entrepreneur.com calls it Word-of-mouse marketing. He writes,

“If you have a great new product, an innovative idea or an exciting marketing strategy, you can be sure your blog readers will pass it along via e-mail to others who will pass it along, too. Soon, your marketing message has reached hundreds if not thousands or millions of people.”

 

Another example of how a blog network drives business networking further than before: Rick Spence’s 5th of February, 2007, post to his Canadian Entrepreneur blog describes how his original story published in the National Post “developed a life of its own”. In the course of the interview between Rick and Shaheel Hooda of CodeBaby, the discussion morphed into a “step-by-step guide to one entrepreneur’s education in business”. When Rick blogged about this story, he pulled out the best six lessons learned – for those people who might not have time to read newspapers, but who hook into the online network as often as they’d like.

A blog has global reach and is easy to digest – which media is more accessible?

Global Networking Technology Put To Use To Revitalize Local Business Grid

As some Trojan Mouse readers know, market2world’s waterfall offices in Almonte, Canada, are a 20-30 minute drive from Ottawa-Gatineau’s 1,803 high tech company cluster and about the same distance from the civil service towers of Ottawa.

With both tech and government sectors growing, millions of square feet of retail space have risen out of fields around Almonte to seduce people off the highways before they get a chance to do business and shop locally. To combat the hollowing out of our absolutely priceless heritage downtown, market2world’s latest client, the Mississippi Mills Chamber of Commerce, recently initiated the Mainstreets Association of Almonte and (neighbouring) Pakenham (MAAP).

MAAP’s mission is similar to The Main Street movement found all across the United States. “Main Street” communities transform their historic downtown areas into vibrant centers of commerce and community from the grassroots up. MAAP hired market2world communications to help our local business community embrace the blogosphere and community-based online networking.

market2world won the assignment based on selecting VOX, a revolutionary blogging platform to create a “virtual mainstreet” with various levels of networking ability. VOX is owned by Six Apart, a company that has had a major role in building the global blogosphere with products such as Movable Type and TypePad.

About market2world’s introductory seminar on Vox Software and getting community businesses represented on the internet map, says Elizabeth Swarbrick, MAAP Chairperson,

“The VOX software service will allow any proprietor to perform Web site updates without technical staff or HTML knowledge, and connect to other community-minded businesses for co-operative marketing. People today use the Internet to locate anything from auto repair shops to renovators, so we really see this seminar as an opportunity to draw a lot of new business activity to Mississippi Mills.”

 

Visit the Trojan Mouse for more on the powers of business blogging and networking. I’ll keep you posted on MAAP’s use of VOX – we’re excited by VOX’s stone-simple interface that entices business people to blog, and its ability to abolish the technology and expense hurdles associated with creating business Web sites.

(Jill McCubbin is a Communications Strategist with market2world communications inc., Canada's Web 2.0 tech product launch and public relations agency.)

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