Welcome and initial thoughts

Welcome to the first installment of Social Media for Entrepreneurs, a blog I have started as part of a Massey University social media paper.

I want to jump right into this, so for some background reading on myself check out the About me page.

So, what can you expect when you visit my little slice of the Web?

Well, primarily I’ll be reflecting on the topics we cover in our lectures. This means you might see me look for real world examples of Hugh MacLeod’s porous membrane for instance. So far I’ve managed to find an entire forum full of great examples with Reddit’s IAmA (I Am A… Ask me Anything) forum. A recent post there was from our own former prime minister Helen Clark, answering questions and seeking feedback from citizens of the world with regard to her role as United Nations Development Program Administrator. What a great way to ensure your internal and external conversations are aligned.

While studying the texts, lecture notes and extra readings I’ll also be thinking about how to apply the knowledge to the field of entrepreneurship, which is of particular interest to me and is my chosen major study area. There is no doubt we are currently experiencing the ‘perfect storm’ for new Web 2.0 based enterprises to flourish. With the economic and technological barriers to market entry reduced, the prevalence of mobile web access and the current trend for ‘bottom-up’ user-driven adoption of social software in the workplace, there has arguably never been a better time to launch a service-based business than today. Perfect example? Kickstarter.com – launched in 2009, Kickstarter saw a problem in the marketplace – funding for new (particularly small) creative ventures was hard to come by – and developed a simple website which offered a solution: take advantage of the current trends for crowdsourcing and microtransactions to obtain initial funding from the consumers themselves. Kickstarter themselves take a 5% cut of the proceeds raised, and with over US$500 million pledged so far, that’s a decent chunk of the pie. Kickstarter’s business model demonstrates particularly good use of Niall Cook’s four C’s of social software –  Communication between project creators and their customers/backers via the website and social media tools such as Facebook integration; Cooperation through the sharing of project ideas and development plans with backers, enabling them to cooperate in return in the form of a pledge; Collaboration by enabling backers to provide input at the pre-launch phase of the projects; Connection via classification of projects into categories and the ability to link directly to a project from other places on the web.

Lastly, I want to use this blog to get some thoughts from you, the reader, on where you see social media fitting into business, particularly new business. Is social media only relevant to web-based enterprises? Is there such a thing as a non-web-based enterprise any more? Do you interact with any organisations via social media? Like any Facebook pages, follow any Twitter feeds? If so, who, and why?

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