I’ve said this over and over again the past several years. It’s one of the addictive things that I want to rid from my life; but feel to do so would be business and professional suicide. While the ad nausea stream of cat photos and ridiculous selfies is almost more than I can stomach, I visit there much of the day looking for value to add to friend’s lives and the lives of those in the groups to which I belong. Sometimes I even rant about this thing or that. . . only to realize the only person who feels better at the end of the rant is me!
It’s called “social media”. And Facebook is one of the most popular of the brand; but certainly not the most respected. If you’re a professional seeking connections with other professionals or hoping to land a job, then LinkedIn may be your chosen path. Each social media brand has it’s particular niche and target market. Only Facebook seems to attract across a broad market, including the good, the bad and the ugly. Yes, that’s a harsh assessment; but trust me the label fits – especially at election time!
I love making connections! For personal and business enrichment. I like getting to know other’s and learning from them. And I especially love to think that I add a semblance of value to their lives as they do mine. The advent of social media has certainly made connecting much easier and expanded it beyond belief. Who would have thought we could become good friends with folks in foreign lands we would never have met except for social media.
A few short years ago, AWI (Affiliated Women International) had a small social network called “THE CONNECTION STATION”. Small in comparison to the big folks; but nevertheless women from across the globe who connected; became friends and added richness and value to each other’s lives.
But THE CONNECTION STATION didn’t have it all. it didn’t have the other side of our vision and mission. It didn’t have small boutique-type websites called “micro-sites”. And we wanted that because we knew such a combo would really add value to women’s lives. Especially women in business. And most especially women in businesses we call “micro” because we have few if any employees. We’re mostly solo-entrepreneurs or partners with another.
Why is that important? Why do away with a viable and successful, if not small, social network to pursue a higher calling that virtually no one else on the web is doing? Why not just settle for less . . .
Because to settle for less is not what we’re called to. And because there’s a sea of women across the globe who are looking for simplicity, efficiency and effectiveness.
They’re looking for a social network that values them as women AND as women in business. If they’re new to business and don’t have a website, then a boutique site is right for them. Right because it’s affordable and a great place to get our feet wet when it comes to a friendly helpful web presence safe from the nastiness that is all too often Facebook. Even women who have a full-blown site might want what internet guru’s call a “hot item”, i.e. a micro-site.
So what is a “micro-site: 1). A few pages to introduce yourself as a woman and the business passion you pursue, 2). A place to learn to blog and get recognized for doing so, 3). A place to market and sell some products or services if you choose. Bottom line; a place to get some recognition which is what it takes in a web world for which the term “over crowded” is a joke!
But we love to be connected. We’re wired that way. It’s the human condition and anyone who tells you differently is in denial or breathing her last. It’s why even the evil that I call “Facebook” is so popular. It connects us with old friends; helps us make new ones and those somewhere in between. It also permits us to make fools of ourselves if we choose; turn folks on or off depending and otherwise idle away our time posting things we hope connects somewhere, somehow with anyone who cares.
Hum, what if we could choose our social media friends because we share something in common. In fact, share many things in common; the least being our common gender. And our desire to build a successful business with the support of others seeking to do the same.
And in a safe environment where those who prey on us with unkind words can’t scale the wall of our community!
Let me give you an example from today at Facebook: . .
It’s Tuesday, March 8 and International Women’s Day. I posted same to a couple of groups to which i belong that contain men and women who either live in what is our hometown or have moved away but stay in touch via FB. First response was from an angry MALE who said nasty things about women. Forgetting of course, had it not been for a woman he would never have existed. . . and I momentarily joyfully entertained that thought, thinking I would post the same! I did not, but certainly enjoyed the savoring of the thought.
it was almost 10 years ago when in a flash, I knew what I was to pursue in remaining years. it took nearly all that time to bring both ends of it together. To find boutique site software and then social media software that would play together well. Not an easy task. . . but at last it appears to have happened.
Will I still use Facebook? Yes, because it truly is a necessary evil. But will we find ways to make AWI and Neighborhood Boutiques a better and better place for women in business to hang out, learn, grow, share and prosper – you bet!
Will we control it’s growth so it doesn’t become another over-crowded mishmash of billions of folks with whom we can’t connect even though the boast is “50 billion members served” – or something like that! By the way, did you ever thing about how you can’t begin to access all those members about which Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest brag?
Now what if you could connect and engage with every member of the AWI Neighborhood Boutiques community? The eventual 30,000 women in business who will populate our halls and corridors. . .
We’ve been at this “wedding” of social media with our boutique sites for a bit now. It’s taking a while longer than we anticipated. But I recall that things worth doing are worth doing well. I also recall that the truly valuable requires patience because it takes time.
So my hope is that you’ll read this; share it with other women in business you know and then spread the word abroad that something new, unique and without precedence is coming to the web. Very soon now!
You might even want to share it on that evil place we call Facebook!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
AWI Neighborhood Boutiques
The Neighborhood at Facebook
Neighborhood Boutiques at Facebook
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://affiliatedwomeninternational.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/linda-google-NB-profile-pic.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]I have a ‘fiery’ passion to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]
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