quinta-feira, 13 de setembro de 2007

1.8. Categories of tools

A) Discussion Forums – Lists

Discussion Forums are virtual spaces that allow groups of people to converse on topics of their choice. Forums rely on the presence of a moderator who is usually the person who established and therefore “owns” the group. The forum owner decides the purpose of the group and invites other people to join in the discussion.

Popular places for these forums are Yahoo, Google and MSN? Many Universities and non-government organisations also host forums. They permit the creation of groups or communities, closed or open to the public, according to the choice of the owner. Lists or forums are basic tools and with few of the functionality of social networking sites. Generally they offer a discussion forum with options for surveys, databases and opportunity to post interesting articles or publications for the other members interest.

No Profile:

In groups like this, little may be known about who else is in the group. People may only be identified by email without a more complete identification, even a real name. That factor limits tremendously the interaction between the partners. It may at first feel like speaking in a dark room without the ability to see the faces of the participants. Some groups allow users to fill in a profile, but very often these are not completed.


Forums tend to have specific objectives and to be confined to a topic area defined originally by the owner, but extended by the members as they make posts.

Interesting content:

Some forums excel by providing for everybody a solid bibliography about the subject in question. They function like a repository of knowledge and methodologies for the subject matter of the forum. The ability to search past posts by topic is a valuable feature, particularly because many well qualified specialists may be members and have stated their opinion freely for all those who choose to be interested.

Some of these groups may be described as “communities of practice”.

draft by Octavio Pitaluga net weight 6/22/07

B) Social Communities

Social Communities are intended primarily for sharing personal and family information with others – particularly with those defined as “friends”. You would expect few business contacts in that kind of environment. The more popular social networks in the present market are: Orkut, Gazzag, Clubão, Friendster, Tribe, Hi5, Multiply and MySpace. They tend to be rich in pictures, offering space to place photo albums, music and text.

On these sites we be able to get an idea of the lifestyle of that person and their more special moments, often with family members.

Reunion of old friends:

There are many existing communities that can be searched to re-discover a network of old friends. It is possible renew the contact with people who we have not maintained contact with for a long time.


Searching the networks of friends and the friends of friends, is a relatively easy way to find available persons for a new relationship. There are many sites that now specialize in matching people for dating and relationship development. For a fee someone will make a special effort to search the available profiles to suggest suitable matches.

On your personal page you reveal some aspects of your personality and your preferences.
Visitors to your profile can ask for direct contact or for more information.


There is a big potential for entertainment in these communities if they were developed more. For example, a partnership with financial institutions would permit the sale of events via your own platform with electronic payment.

Sleep Walking:

The administrators of many social networking platforms still do not understand the real value of a community of around 10 million people. It is possible to create value inside the community as the members recognize the opportunity. But some of the questions we have are still not answered by the market. Therefore, we see opportunity but the business model is still uncertain.

Absence of controls:

Unfortunately, all systems that are excessively open and without clear ethics, strongly communicated and without corresponding moderation tends to self destruct. Some communities that are sinning in this sense are destroying their value. We believe that a business network management team would be able to bring big results more quickly.

draft by Octavio Pitaluga net weight 6/22/07

C) Business Directories

Business Directories are a powerful tool that stores the self designed profiles of executives, entrepreneurs, investors and head-hunters. Like a "virtual yellow pages", a directory permits the people to be connected among themselves, but without facilitating the interaction between the members. (In contrast to Facebook, which is a social network where lots of effort is made th help people engage with each other.) At present, the main actors in that setting are LinkedIn, Spoke and ZeroDegrees. All are international tools.


LinkedIn is the present leader of this market, with more of 12 million users including 246.000 + Brazilians. However, the big majority of Brazilians are still asleep and havn't yet used LinkedIn to expand their business network. We see a big potential of better utilization of LinkedIn.

Upload of mail addresses:

We recommend that the user builds an email address book to include everybody they contact. We also recommend that you upload to LinkedIn the emails of all your known contacts and, even, some of those people who are still not known. The tool will compare email addresses, and indicate the presence of those people who are members of LinkedIn. That will facilitate sending invitations to people you know requesting direct contact. This is a great help in the expansion of your business network.

Expansion of your reach:

In the virtual world it's much easier to connect with professionals based elsewhere in the world. If you take the time to build your international network, there will be many hidden opportunities among those connections. You can builds routes to access the people of most interest. Occasionally, luck will reward us and we will discover that our partners in business close to us are already connected with new professionals with whom our future business growth depends.

Who knows who:

By searching the visible network of your connections, it is possible to uncover who knows who and request the contact on the basis of a reference. Between the Brazilians, that should the main method of encouraging acceptance of a contact via LinkedIn. Brazilians can help each other to grow their networks if we understand why that is important.

RH x Head-hunters:

Human Resources professionals still show a reluctant presence on these platforms. Head-hunters on the other hand are strongly represented and very active.

Jobs Finding:

In the majority of the successful cases head-hunters or employers have discovered talented new staff by searching the profiles of ordinary members. There is also a specialist are for job postings.

Capital Finance:

Internationally, we hear stories of people who have found investors through the LinkedIn platform.


The LinkedIn platform offers the opportunity to ask your network questions.

In a survey, LinkedIn members were asked, “What was the main decision criterion when connecting or rejecting an invitation from someone on LinkedIn.

The following graphic represents the opinion of 303 people, the majority based in the England. People were instructed to only choose ONE response.

Introduction by a person known to me 23%
I have have met that person previously22%
Have worked with or done business with before 14%

Polite and personalized introduction 26%
Number of contacts 9%
Number of testimonies 2%
We belong to the same organization 5%

In the experience of the author, there are some differences to the above data in practice. In the chart above 59% suggest that previous contact was important to making a decision to connect or not. [23% + 22% + 14% ] We tried to test that idea, and found it false.

This work produced the following data:

1. You can increase in the rate of acceptance of invitations by making the invitation personal, and by offering something useful to your new contact. In comparison with standard invitations acceptance rose 20% (90% versus 70%).

2. About 50% of the new contacts were kind enough to thank us for the contact and showed an interest in knowing more about the business we are in and were looking for win/win opportunities.

3. Some said they were impressed by the broad number of contacts and testimonies in our profiles.

4. Around 10% of the persons that rejected the invitation confirmed that they only connect in LinkedIn with people that they have personally met before, or to people who have been introduced by a person who they know well.


We conclude that despite the survey result above, most people are happy to connect to people they don't know .Despite of the importance of the prior personal contact and of the representations made by dependable persons, it looks like a polite invitation to connect which is personalized really does make a noticeable difference.

Understanding that simple fact improves your awareness of the value of a virtual connection with a person who has a profile on LinkedIn.

D) Business Communities

Online Business Communities are primarily meeting places for social activity first and business activity afterwards. The leaders in the present market are:Xing, successBC, Soflow and Ryze. In Brazil, we have the [ Community Defeat and the Club of the Salesperson.]

Complementary to Business Directories:

To some extent we be able to map the same contacts via the business directories and in business communities. We will find that the way we interact with the members of various communities is colored by the sort of leadership and discussion being offered in those communities.

Complete Profile:

Each member writes his or her own professional profile. These profiles can be very long and detailed, making it possible to have a very complete professional background that can be searched by a search engine. This should make you findable.

Readable Profile:

Making a personal profile readable is a different problem. Someone reading your profile wants to know in a few sentences in plain language why they should pay attention to you. But they don't want to read 10 or more pages of detail. Offer a short, succinct, and readable summary.

Permission to contact:

The ability to contact people is always permission based. If you request contact with someone they have every right to refuse your approach. To avoid annoying people we should only make invitations to people where we have researched who they are and there is some win/win potential in the contact that you can make clear.


People who make references can be freely searched within the network. You can map who the contacts are and who made professional testimonials about the person of interest. You might also find that the people who made those testimonials have credibility, or as is too often the case that they are clear “jack-ups”.

Forums and blogs:

There are thousands of forums for discussion of the topics which interest you. You may also choose to maintain a blog in which you can sustain a detailed dialog on topics that interest you. Both these tools allow you to reinforce who you are and what concerns you. They also permit the community to know and recognize the unique professional qualities of each active member.


You may create clubs or groups based on topics of interest and recruit other people who are interested in online debates


When you organize an event in the real world, both offline and online contacts can be invited. As you invite the existing people in your day to day world, you can also invite them to join you online network. You can invite that part of your online network that lives in your region, and you can reach out into the local online world and invite people you know about but have still not met.

White Label:

Some organizations are acquiring “white label” rights on social network platforms. They choose to market themselves as a distinctly separate “brand”. The "white label" owner develops a clone of the main platform with distinct branding and features creating a community that is closed or semi-closed. The biggest objective is to make available exclusive private spaces for ones client or business partner and to promote clear communication options.

draft by Octavio Pitaluga net weight 6/22/07

E) Management of Contacts

Contact Management can be enhanced with free software from the Internet on the computer.

This can be integrated with your email programme permitting and facilitating the management of a broad base of contacts. The Plaxo is positioned as the leader in that market. More recently we have the launch of UNIK. We believe that tools of [and-CRM ] also facilitate the management of the contacts. We have experience with the ICS Online in that. · ????

Virtual Business Cards:

Your email system allows you to create a virtual business card. This permits the easy exchange of business cards and/or personal information with other people

Updating of facts with automatic notification:

When you make changes to you Plaxo address or information the service asks you if you want to notify all your contacts. If it's only a minor change, that's un-necessary. If you ask for you contacts to be notified the updating of the record of your changes,will be automatically be notified to all your contacts.

Signature in email:

You can pre-programme a signature in HTML to appear on you email. that can be modified to any moment through the bar installed in the email programme.

Birthday Cards:

You don't need to remember the birthday of the people you are connected to, the software allows birthday card sending since most the contacts have mentioned the date of their birthday in their personal information.


[by an anualidade modest, is possible to sincronização of the platform online with devices furniture and periodic updating of based on facts. ]

Corporate solutions:

There is still no dominant actor in this market.

draft by Octavio Pitaluga net weight 6/22/07

F) Communicators

Instant Communicators are free software (freeware) that can be downloaded from the Internet but, they require that another user to possess the same product for communication to occur. How much broadband capacity you have affects the quality of the communication. It is possible to open free international and long distance connections since in the communication is between computers.

IMs (Instant Messengers) : MSN, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ:

Functionalities offered include text chat, audio and some video with use of webcams.

Telephone technology VOIP: Skype, Google Talk, VOIP Cheap, Gismo and Ligme:
An alternative, to using Skype, is a telephone using an internet telephone of modest value.

Skype permits the communication between four users in the maximum prior agreement via a chat:window. [ something as hit the door virtually before of do the phone call. ]

Tools for Collaboration:

Unyte is coupled to Skype and permits remote collaboration with up to four persons [ without that for that the need of sending exist of the file in question.] The host opens Skype, Unyte and [ file it to be shared.] Through the chat window on Skype, after selection of the contact, the host sends a link. Upon clicking in the link, the Skype "client" will open a browser across than which will be able to see the file (s) in question. Skype offers you complete control over who can participate

Virtual/webconference Rooms:

These offer some more powerful as multiple functionalities webcams bigger security, unlimited number of users, privacy of application already integrated, white chart, survey, private conversation, engraving of the session and of the audio between other. Still without a leader of market despite of the diverse offerings

draft by Octavio Pitaluga net weight 6/22/07

Nenhum comentário: