Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Internet

About 50 years ago, the US was developing a communication system that would survive a nuclear attack. A centralized command system would be vulnerable as a nuclear attack would handicap all equipment within the range of detonation. Destroying the central node would destroy all forms of communication. A decentralize system would offer the early system of a scale-free network, and the ideal system would be a mesh like network, redundant enough that if some nodes go down, alternative paths would maintain the connections.

Who would have thought that this network described would be like the Internet.

Understanding the topology of the Internet is a prerequisite for designing tools and services that offer a fast and reliable communication infrastructure. Though human made, the Internet is not centrally designed. Structurally, the Internet is closer to an ecosystem than a machine. Understanding the Internet hence would not just be mathematical or an engineering problem; a tangled tale of convergence of a massive scale gave birth to this jumbled information mass for historians and computer scientists to unravel.

It is important to know the Internet topology to design better tools and services. The current Internet protocols were developed with a small network and 1970s technology. As the network grow and new applications emerged, these protocols often fall short of our desires. Today, the Internet is almost exclusively used for the World Wide Web and e-mail. Had the original creators foreseen this, they would have designed a very different infrastructure, resulting in a much smoother experience. Instead we are locked in a technology that adapts only with great difficulty to the booming diversity and demand imposed by the increasingly creative use of the Internet.

Even as biologists unravel the science and codes behind our DNA, neither computer scientists nor sociologists know how this large-scale structure emerged and change until we put the pieces together in this fast evolving system.


The Web.

In the early days of the Internet, there were many webpages, and they were only often linked by a webring. But to find things effectively, you would need to find a very connected hub and search for information you need. Then robots started crawling and visiting Webpages, reading and indexing millions of Webpages. This was the beginning of piecing together a fragmented Web, the beginning of the search engine.

The topology of the Web limits our ability to see everything out there. The World Wide Web is a scale-free network, dominated by hubs and nodes with a large number of links, but also coexists with numerous small-scale structures that severely limit how much we can explore simply by clicking our way along the links.

Even with the world's best search engine, there are still many webpages that will not show up due to the Internet's topology. The Web can be best described as fragmented continents with occasional tubes and connections to other continents and islands. There are places you can go on a continent and sometimes going down that path does not lead you back.

The Internet grows faster than ever. Everyday, new pages are created, pictures, videos and other files uploaded. Our life is increasingly dominated by the Web with the explosion of Social Media, and it has pretty much changed our views on privacy and sharing our slice of life with others. It is a revolution in information access, a new way of life that previous generation have not enjoyed. As it continues to evolve, the question is, what do we have to lose in the meantime?

--Robin Low

Monday, January 25, 2010

Transmission of ideas, fads and diseases

As we learn from the previous posts, real networks are scale-free networks, and there is much similarities between different scale free networks, however, by studying some of them, we could model the others.

Before adopting any innovation, we normally ask ourselves several questions: Should I spend time evaluating the new product? Should I spend money on it? How would I know it would work for me as promised? As there were little guarantee that the extra benefits would be worth it, the first adopters still took the risks, and this group are called the innovators.

All of us know some innovators. They are the first ones who buy the Android Phones, and drive the new hybrid cars. They are the teens who pick up on new trends before they become mainstream, the artists and intellectuals who nurture ideas well before they reach the rest of us through books, movies and magazines. If the hubs resist a product, they form such an impedance that even the best innovations fail, however if the hubs accept it, they influence a large number of people. These hubs or -- opinion leaders are nearly changing everything we know regarding the spread of ideas, innovations, and virtues.

Threshold model

To explain the disappearance of some fads and virtues, and the spread of others, the threshold model is developed. The speed at which the likelihood that it will be adopted by a person introduced to it is not the only factor that determine whether or not people will adopt it. There is a threshold -- a critical number of people that is required to adopt it before the innovation spreads, and the number of people adopting it will increase exponentially until everybody who could use it does.

Understanding this phenomena is an important conceptual advance in understanding spreading and diffusions. Epidemiologists work with it when they model the probability that a new infection will run into an epidemic, as the AIDS virus did. Marketing textbooks talk about it when estimating the likelihood a product will make it in the marketplace or understand why some never do. Sociologists use it to explain the spread of birth control practices among women.

This simple paradigm dominated our treatment of diffusion problem. If we wanted to estimate the probability that an innovation would spread, we needed only to know its spreading rate and the critical threshold it faced. Nobody questioned this paradigm, but we have learnt that some viruses and innovations are oblivious to it.

Of the hundred of social links each of us have, only a few are intimate enough to transmit a sexual disease. Therefore AIDS advances on a very sparse subnet of our highly interlinked social web. With the relatively low contagiousness, you should find the epidemic should have died out by now. Despite the odds, however, AIDS has already infected 50 million people, and the numbers continue to rise. To understand the spread of the disease better, one would need a map of the sex web, but this is simply impossible. Hardly anyone would give out the names of everybody with whom they had sex with in the past.

Despite the fact that there are several effective treatments for AIDS, there are still lots of people infected worldwide. The crisis faced by Africa is most severe. The problem is not only that most African countries cannot pay for the drug. Even if they drug prices were to drop, these nations lack the infrastructure to distribute and administer the treatment.

The early spread of AIDS were attributed by mainly homosexual sex, today heterosexual sex is the leading means of transmission. As we've learnt that hubs play a key role in spreading AIDS, as long as resource is finite, we should treat the hubs, before the others, but the problem is often not as simple as many other factors play a role. Doubtless, many hubs will go undiscovered and a few nonhubs will make the list. Furthermore, any selective process will raise an ethical question: "Are we rewarding the promiscuous?" Are we ready to offer drugs to the more connected poor prostitute than to the wealthier but sexually less connected middle class?

Currently, the world spends US$350 million on AIDS vaccine research and more than US$3 billion on AIDS drugs in America and Europe.

Though networks can be modeled after well documented spread of diseases, there are still many unpredictable differences and factors which are hard to model in the real world. The concept is similar and it can help us understand the diffusions through hubs, and know is half the battle won.

-- Robin Low

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Topology, Robustness and Vulnerability of Networks.

Breaking down of Networks

Node failure can easily break a network into isolated, non-communicating fragments. The 1996 blackout in the US highlighted the underlying vulnerabilities of the interconnectivity of the electrical network, and how a single disturbance can be detected thousands of miles away. There is a question asked, how many routers must we remove from the Internet to break it into isolated computers that cannot connect and communicate with each other?

As the Internet, the World Wide Web, the cell and social networks are known to be scale-free, it could be said that a significant number of nodes can be randomly removed from it without its breaking apart.

So what is the source of the topological robustness? The few highly connected nodes -- the hubs that keep these networks together is one of the main causes of this robustness. If failure of nodes have equal chances, small nodes are far more likely to be dismantled as there are so many more of them.

The accidental removal of a hub will not be fatal either, since the large hubs will maintain the network's integrity. Topological robustness is thus rooted in the structural unevenness of scale free networks: Failures disproportionately affects small nodes.

It is possible to take down networks, hackers can target and attack the hubs, taking large hubs down can cause networks to be slow as traffic now needs to flow to other hubs, and may eventually make the network fail.

The removal of the most connected nodes may however disintegrate these seemingly robust networks. In understanding the complex system, simulations have shown that one can remove many nodes from a key cellular network without the risk of killing the organism. If however, a drug or an illness shuts down the genes encoding the most connected proteins, the cell will not survive. If the highly connected keystone species are removed, the ecosystem dramatically collapses.

As seen in Social Media, Rockstars of Social Media are hubs. When they start to get on MySpace, they can bring a lot of following and crowd to join MySpace. They are opinion leaders, and when they think it is unsafe and they leave MySpace, there is also a large Exodus of members.

The price of topological robustness, however, is extreme exposure to attacks. Taking out hierarchy of highly connected nodes will break any system. It is bad news for our economic establishment as the failure of the financial giant, Freddie Mac and Fannie May would ripple and cause a widespread recession worldwide. On the Internet, this exploit allows hackers to design strategies that will take down the whole infrastructure.

Research has shown that topology, robustness and vulnerability cannot be totally separated from each other.

-- Robin Low

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Networking Fundamentals & Network Modeling

Hub and Connectors

Connectors are an extremely important component of our social network. They create trends and fashions, make important deals, spread fads, or help launch a new business. Connectors are nodes with an anomalously large number of links.

The Internet is the Ultimate freedom of speech. When your views are published, it will be available instantaneously available to anyone around the world with an Internet connection. With the billions of webpages on the web, the question is -- will anybody notice it?

In order to be read, you have to be visible. On the web, the measure of visibility is the number of links. The more incoming links pointing to your webpage, the more visible it is. The average Webpage only has about five to seven links, each pointing to one of the billion pages out there. The likelihood that a typical document is linked to your Webpage is practically zero.

Just as in Society a few connections know an unusually large number of people, and the Internet is dominated by a few highly connected nodes, or hubs. These hubs, such as Yahoo! and Google are extremely visible. In a collective manner, we somehow create hubs, Websites to which everyone links. Compared to these hubs, everyone is invisible. Some pages linked to one or two documents do not exist and even search engines are biased against them, ignoring them as they crawl the web looking for the hottest new sites.

Hubs dominate the structure of all networks which they are present, making them look like small worlds. With unusually large number of links to large number of nodes, hubs create short paths between any two nodes in the system. From the perspective of the hub, the world is tiny. (For Google, reaching webpages are often two to three clicks away)

The 80/20 Rule

Pareto's Law or principle, known also as the 80/20 rule, has been turned into the Murphy's Law of management: 80 percent of profits are produced by 20 percent of the employees, 80 percent of the problems are produced by 20 percent of the consumers, 80 percent of the decisions are made during 20 percent of the meeting time, and so on. Similarly, we can use it to describe the phenomenon that 80 percent of the links connect to 20 percent of the Webpages.

The Rich get Richer

The initial network model start on two simple and often disregarded assumptions; the number of nodes is fixed and remain unchanged throughout the network's life, all nodes are equivalent. With the discovery of hubs, and the power laws that describe them, we need to abandon these assumptions.

On the World Wide Web, even for searches on Google with the keyword "news", there are 100,000,000 hits. How do we pick one? The random network models tell us to select randomly, however no one ever does this. Without giving much thought we may pick or and unconsciously, we prefer to link hubs. The better known they are, the links point to them. The more links they attract, the easier it is to find them on the Web as we are more familiar with them. We all have this unconscious bias, linking with higher probability to the nodes we know, which are inevitably the more connected nodes of the Web. We prefer hubs.

Preferential attachment rules in many different networks. In Hollywood, the producer whose job is to make the movie profitable know that stars sell movies. Thus casting is determined by two competing factors: the match between the actor and the role, and the actor's popularity. The more movie the actor has made, the higher the probability he gets casted by the producer.

Winner Takes All

Nodes compete for connections because links represent survival in an interconnected world. In most cases, this competition is overt, as when companies compete for consumers, actors strive for opportunities to perform, people vie for social links. In a winner takes all scenario, competition leads to a scale free topology. Most real networks belong to this category, and the winner shares the spotlight with continuous hierarchy of hubs. Networks are competitive systems that fight fiercely for links. Like it or not, we are all part of a complex competitive game.

.... To be Continued

-- Robin Low

Friday, January 22, 2010

Networking Phoenomena

In order to understand the Social Networking better, I decide to check with some academics and read a book recommended by my friend Charlie Wong, "Linked, by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi"

When discussing network theories, one name came up once and again -- Paul Erdős. Paul Erdős is a genius who wrote more than 1500 mathematics paper, more than any other mathematician in history. In fact, Erdős was one of the most prolific publishers of papers in mathematical history, second only to Leonhard Euler.

The first networking relevance this brings is -- The Erdős number

His friends created the Erdős number as a humorous tribute; Erdős alone was assigned the Erdős number of 0 (for being himself), while his immediate collaborators could claim an Erdős number of 1, their collaborators have Erdős number at most 2, and so on. Approximately 200,000 mathematicians have an assigned Erdős number, and some have estimated that 90 percent of the world's active mathematicians have an Erdős number smaller than 8.

Alfréd Rényi joint papers with Paul Erdős, introducing the Erdős–Rényi model of random graphs. In 1959, a complex network was described as random. But Erdős agreed that real networks must have organizing principles that distinguish them from the random network introduced, though the ideas dominated on network modeling.

The next idea is "Six Degrees of Separation"

Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth.

Today, with air travel and the connectedness of the Internet, people are more connected than ever before. Even when when 2 people are continents apart, it would not be hard today to somehow find a way to connect these people. Six degrees is the product of our modern society -- a result of our insistence on keeping in touch.

Small World

Small worlds are generic property of networks in general. Our ability to connect is reduced through distance and discovering acquaintances with strangers on worldwide trips reminds us that some people on the other side of the planet are often closer along the social network than our neighbors next door. A small-world network is a type of mathematical graph in which most nodes are not neighbors of one another, but most nodes can be reached from every other by a small number of hops or steps. A small world network, where nodes represent people and edges connect people that know each other, captures the small world phenomenon of strangers being linked by a mutual acquaintance.

Everyone has strong ties and weak ties. Weak ties play a crucial role in our ability to communicate with the outside world. Often our close friends can offer little help in finding a job as they move in the same circles and are exposed to the same information. To get new information, we need to activate our weaker ties.

The weak ties or acquaintances are our bridge to the outside world, since by frequenting different places, they obtain their information from different sources than our immediate friends.


Humans tend cluster intuitively. We have an inborn desire to form cliques and clusters that offer familiarity, safety and intimacy. The discovery that clustering is ubiquitous has rapidly elevated it from a unique feature of society to a generic property of complex networks and posed the first serious challenge to view that real networks are fundamentally random.

I've got more information and papers to read and catch up and will post more in the next few days.

-- Robin

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Personal branding on Facebook

You need to remember, your profile can be search on the Internet and whatever you say will not really be private information. This can be a bane and a boon at the same time. With Facebook now, you may be seen as a thought leader as you share your views.

Joining different groups, sharing ideas and networking on Facebook also brings a lot of opportunities, but your Facebook profile need to be kept “professional” if you are interested to do professional networking or you have professional contacts on your Facebook profile.

Do you need a separate Facebook account for work?

I know of many people with 2 separate Facebook accounts, one for work, and another for private use. I personally feel it rather redundant, however, for some people, it may seem necessary when you feel a strong need to connect to some friends.

However, if you manage your settings correctly, you do not need to have 2 separate accounts.

1) Privacy Settings

Follow the below tips and protect your profile.

a) Personal Info. – it is important to fill up your personal information so that your old friends can connect with you and know it the “real you”
i. Avoid inputting your home address to avoid unnecessary dangers like stalking.
ii. If you don’t want to be called by everyone, make sure you set the privacy settings under “Only friends”, so only people on your friend list can view your phone number.
iii. Set “Photos and Videos of Me” to “Only Me” as you can never tell what photos your friends will tag you in. (Your friends can still see your photo albums.)

2) Add only friends you know.

Though you may play Facebook games and meet a lot of new friends, some of these “Friends” may be spammers, and if you need to add them, add these friends to the “Limited Profile” list on your friend list.

i. Create a “Limited Profile” List. (Under Friends -> Create List)
ii. Add people you don’t know personally into the “Limited Profile” List
iii. Set privacy settings on your Facebook Profile to exclude people you don’t know that well, and hide some information from these people.
(Settings – Privacy Settings – Edit to “Hide this from” -> Limited Profile)
i.e. You can allow friends to comment on your posts, and prevent people from “Limited profile” List to do so.

3) If you play Facebook games, prevent these games from posting on your profile.

You do not want people to see that you are playing games during office hours and you do not have any other Facebook activities besides playing games. (If you want to use it for personal branding)

4) Think before you post.

This may be harder that it seems, as it is common for people to post what they think. However if your manager or professional contacts are your “friends” on Facebook, and think before you post, lest you may regret what you post later.

-- Robin Low

Friday, January 15, 2010

Simple Tips to get LinkedIn Started

The following are the few tips that will encourage more connections and networking opportunities on LinkedIn

1) Like your resume, update your LinkedIn profile with your latest information.

2) Add a photo of you in your profile.

3) Search for friends on LinkedIn. You can search them by name or sign in with your email and LinkedIn will find friends in your email list.

4) Add your company profile, blog and twitter account.

5) Add applications that you are already using so that it can automatically publish updates to your LinkedIn profile when you add updates.

6) Recommend friends and colleagues.

7) Join groups you are interested in and are passionate about.

-- Robin Low

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How to get someone to take off pants?

Social Media of course!

Recently, (on January 10th, 2009) Improv Everywhere organized New York’s 8th Annual No Pants. Over 1200 people turned up for this Flash Mob event.

In Boston, the event No Pants day hit the Red-line on Jan 11, 2010 and about 100+ people, including my roommate participated and had lots of fun.

The event is mainly organized through Social Media. On Facebook, there is a group "No Pants Day!" the Boston event is organized by BostonSOS, using Facebook event is rather successful in getting people to take their pants off on a cold winter day.

This event is fun, and with Social Media, even when the event is over, you can still meet people and see photos of the event, and share it with your friends. Most of these events are spread only using word of mouth, and Social Media. I believe this will be a new trend that will start to become more popular.

More information:

AP - No Pants Day in Boston, NY, Denver, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, and 1000 Other Cities Will Take Off Their Pants

'No Pants Day' Hits Phoenix Light Rail

-- Robin Low

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Reasons to Use LinkedIn

1. Connecting with Friends and Colleagues

LinkedIn allows you to connect with friends and colleagues, you can get and give recommendations and references. LinkedIn also lets you see the status updates and recommendations of your connections.

2. Keeping track of everyone

After connecting with friends and colleagues, you can keep track of them, check on their updates and check on the references for new hires and their connections.
3. Join groups and Find likeminded people

There are numerous groups in LinkedIn that allows people to network with others with the same interests or in the same industry. Whether it is an Alumni group to keep up with fellow Alumni or special interest groups to learn about photography, there are always people to connect with to discuss topics that are of interest.

4. Keep up with others in the industry

LinkedIn allows people in the same industry to connect to share knowledge and information.

5. Make business connections

LinkedIn is a perfect tool to make business connections and maintain relations. Besides meeting likeminded people on group forums, you can get recommendation from friends and the connections you make. These business connections can likely end up in sales or partnerships.

6. Resource Center

By joining groups and posting questions and answering other questions, LinkedIn is a great source of information.

7. Personal Branding

By providing insights, tips and answering question, you can demonstrate proficiency and be a thought leader. Adding a link to a blog in your signature can also publicize your blog and other webpages.

8. Recruitment

LinkedIn is a great place to find suitable candidates, besides sourcing from friends, colleagues and other connection; groups allow job posts as well. You can find suitable candidates, view their recommendations and references.

9. Participate or organize professional events

LinkedIn allows hosting of events for professionals in the same area to physically meet up as well. For professional networking, nothing beats face to face.

10. Find Venture Capitalists

There seems to be a willingness to help out others on the network, with the understanding/expectation that someday you might need help or a connection also. Even if you have no VCs in your immediate network, someone in your connection or group may have and can help with the connection.

11. Gain visibility

By just being out there discussing on forums, you inevitably can spread and generate interest in your business and the work that you do. As an entrepreneur or business owner, sharing ideas and information on what your company does, you can generate awareness and branding of your company.

12. Check out competitors

As you can promote your company, your competitors can do so as well. With LinkedIn, you can see your competitors’s teams, clients, references, plenty of information that is not readily available to you otherwise. You may also see where they’re coming from, or what they’ve been up to recently.

13. Conduct Market Research

Crowd sourcing for ideas and opinions on group forums is a good way to understand the trends in the marketplace. If you’re considering launching a new product, you can see what type of demand there is for this type of product. Do research on what companies are offering. Make use of the Q&A feature to post your questions.

14. Facilitate Introductions

You can become a connector for people by introducing someone you know to someone else in your network. This gives you greater credibility and improves your chances of actually getting introduced to others that may be helpful to your network.

15. Show recommendation

One of the most invaluable features of LinkedIn is its ability to show recommendations, which allows employed people to see if a potential supplier, partner, or employee is worth dealing with.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Internet Trends in 2010 to watch for

Whether it is for your personal use or the company you are working for, here are a few trends on the Internet that you should look out for:

#10: Web Sites
More people are getting connected, and if you still do not have a web presence, get a website now.

Advice: Invest in updating your website to leverage on web 2.0. Put little links to Twitter, Facebook and make your webpage more informative and attractive.

#9: Search engine optimization
With newer search engine updates along with Microsoft Bing and Google Wave, many old ways of search engine optimization become obsolete fast. In fact, the search engine algorithms are already beginning to pay more attention to date of publication, geo-location, mobile device browsers, past behavior and social media content. And with everyone saying that they are SEOs (Search engine optimization gurus), who should you trust?

Advice: Do not abandon your SEO strategy, if you hire one, constantly question them for what updates they have done, keywords they are using and search the various search engines to check rankings. Test keywords and update your SEO strategy constantly as situation changes.

#8: Online Sales site / Affiliate links
With the growing trend of online sales and online businesses, companies which sells consumer products or data should consider the internet as a major source of sales.

Advice: (TEST) If you have a consumer product which you can sell online, setup an online sales site, possibly with affiliate links, your sales revenue and volume will increase greatly with word of mouth sales. Give it a try, and see if you get results.

#7: Mobile Marketing
mobile marketing is all about marketing to people through their mobile phones and smart-phone devices. Small businesses haven't had much of an opportunity to engage consumers on mobile devices, but 2010 has the potential to change that.

Demand is increasing dramatically for mobile applications and mobile web-browsing due to wider adoption of devices like the iPhone and the Google Android phone. As more people adopt these phones and features in 2010, look for small-business marketing services to start providing lower-cost mobile marketing solutions like text messaging, mobile e-mail marketing, mobile websites, mobile application development and location-based marketing.

Advice: (TEST) build a microsite and promote products through mobile marketing. There are also applications you should look for on mobile apps which may help. For example, if you have a restaurant or hotel, a mobile application "Four Square" may be an interesting application to list your business in there.

#6: E-mail Marketing
E-mail marketing will remain highly predictable in 2010 and may even become more powerful as e-mail service providers improve social media integration, search engine access to archived e-mails, auto-responders and new integrated applications. If you don't already use an e-mail service provider, invest in one in 2010. If you already use an e-mail service, invest in your e-mail list and in producing valuable content to nurture leads and attract repeat customers.

Advice: Use email marketing as the cost of email marketing is relatively low now. You can start your own list to get emails of your current customers to market your products to, or use someone with a relevant list. Spend more time and money in 2010 focused on keeping your e-mail list current when those consumers return to work and change e-mail addresses again.

#5: Personal branding
With the evolution of Social Media Superstars, some people become networks and incredible resource as they are "hyper-connected" If your company has bloggers or superstars on Twitters, why not use them to promote your products?

Advice: Get involved in Social Media. When you discover that some of your employees are already using it, get them to blog or tweet about the company, provide value and become a though leader in your industry. If you are working for a company, growing your influence and blogging for your company is a very good way to get the company noticed, and it also helps to get you influence and opportunities. In today's socially connected world, even though no jobs are permanent, your experience and your achievements can be made know through blogs and other deeds which you can leave online. Get a few personal branding books to learn what you could do to stand out from the crowd.

#4: Podcasting
Podcasting is getting popular, and getting more common. With more free podcast hosting sites, it is easy to start your own podcast.

Advice: (Test) Start a podcast for your company to talk about your products, or the industry in general. Give honest opinions and reviews, provide great value and make it worth it for people to follow you on your podcast.

#3: Online Video
YouTube is responsible of a big portion of Internet traffic. 300 millions videos viewed on YouTube daily? This is a number your cannot ignore.

Advice: (Test) Start a video for your company. If you have an opinion on how things are done, give it your two cents. Video speak louder than words, and if you have an interesting and informative video that has a call to action, who knows... it may be the next viral video. A restaurant giving off recipes on YouTube is worth a lot more than just a blog to say how it is done. Showing is definitely more compelling and will attract more attention. YouTube videos can also be embedded on Blogs and Facebook Pages.

#2: Blogging
As you may have already known, blogging is the backbone of Social Media, and it can be linked to your Facebook updates and Twitter.

Advice: Start a blog and invest time to blog. Blogging shows thought leadership, and the willingness to share information. There are many things to write about. Information on the industry, link blogs, top 10 reasons to do x or to choose Y. Regular blog updates will also attract loyal followers. As long as you provide value in your blogs, blogging is one of the key trends you should look out for and start in 2010 if you have not done so.

#1: Twitter
Twitter is growing to be a very powerful business tool. It helps business share, connect and research information on their customers and the current trend.

Advice: Start a Twitter account The following are some reasons. -> Link <- Twitter allows you to get updated news and information even if you do not tweet much. Twitter may soon be an important for of communication, and for some industry, it may be considered essential to have a twitter account.


Participate on Social Media. It does not matter if you are not on Twitter or blogging, people are going to still talk about your company and products. Though it is important to know about the good things people like about your company, it is more essential to find out about the bad. Finding out and resolving things become it become a crisis is one of the lessons in 2009.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Happy New Year

-- Robin Low