Friday, July 06, 2007

Excerpt from Dickinson Magazine - Summer 2007
"Tangled Up in the New 'Net"

Such social-networking sites have exploded in the last five years. They range from “placeblogging” sites, where neighbors share gossip about the latest mugging, the new playground or house on the block, to broader, more long-distance networks, such as YouTube, where people share videos; LinkedIn, which connects employers and job seekers; and MySpace and Facebook, where users can create personal profiles of themselves, including photos and a “friends list” of those allowed to visit and post on their sites.

Andy Kaplan ’79 is a longtime entrepreneur in social media who has been in the forefront of several technology waves, beginning in the early 1980s. As a financial analyst at HBO, he sent the first spreadsheet electronically through a modem—then considered nothing short of miraculous. Later he helped popularize many forms of mass distribution, such as blast faxes.

Now from Charlotte, N.C., he runs his own company, eWarrior, which equips businesses for the world of social media. He helps transform companies so that they can compete in the modern marketplace, where Web 2.0 is increasingly important, by advising them about a variety of Web-based strategies and tools for pricing, selling and promoting their products.

“There are so many tools that companies can use to their competitive advantage,” says Kaplan. “For example, they can meet ‘connectors’ through a large professional and personal network such as LinkedIn, send personalized phone and video messages instead of e-mail to their customers or promote their products through blogging.”

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