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The Value of Building An Internet Community

By Lois M. Jeary
Posted Monday, November 8, 2004

Synopsis: The internet is a constantly changing, evolving entity. Understanding new laws, new regulations and even new technology is vital to your success. Unless you are prepared to embrace these changes, you may be left behind.

We see thousands of people adopting the internet and its offerings every day. Some will just want to browse from site to site to see what's there. Many have started using the internet to do their shopping for both home and business. Others are simply looking for a way to keep in touch with friends and family. A select group of these individuals will see the advantages of creating a home-based business using the internet as their platform.

It is rare though that you will find an individual who can 'wear all the hats' required to run a successful business in today's world. There is a huge amount of information that requires consideration when starting your business, not the least of which is a sound business plan.

Self-starters require talents that range anywhere from being an accountant, a web designer to a graphic artist. Then there is a need for copywriting skills, management and delegation ability, technical know how, legal knowledge and perhaps software development. And let's not forget about marketing. That's a full plate for anyone, particularly if you are just getting started.

With a bricks 'n mortar style business, corporations can hire the talent they need when they need it. For the small, home-based business that is just starting out, this can present problems. And this is where building a community or network of responsible people can be a real boost for you and your business.

You and I have had a chance to connect with other ethical and responsible people who also run an online business. We've had the chance to learn from our mistakes and adjust to the changes taking place on the internet on a regular basis. Now think of all the newbies who are just starting their internet adventure today.

Experienced marketers have had some trouble understanding the FTC regulations as well as the new CAN-SPAM law which went into effect on January 1st, 2004. The law came into effect on January 1st, however, the FTC has until September, 2004 to 'fine tune' the regulations.

Now we are facing more new challenges with email. Personally, I've been very disillusioned with email delivery for about a year and a half and I know I'm not alone. That's why you have seen more publishers switching to rss feeds or weblogs. You're going to see more publishers adopting a weblog-type format. Others will send a note telling you where the latest online edition is located. The big thing lacking here is interaction. Think back to why you started publishing an ezine in the first place. Didn't you love getting feedback from your subscribers? That's what made it fun and worthwhile.

With all the changes taking place, we are losing that essential contact with our readers. Of course we need to make money, but that isn't the whole picture. Subscribers, your customers, are also becoming numb to the reasons behind all the changes taking place. How many times have you asked them to resubscribe? How many did you lose each time? Inboxes have become so congested with unsolicted email, it has become next to impossible to find the information they have requested.

We need to provide a safe place for our readers so that we can get back to providing good content as well as share products and services that will benefit their business as well as yours.

A perfect example is the Quikonnex Service created by Jim Gray and Carolyn Peltier (http://quikonnex.com/109). Here publishers and members of the community can work together. They can share resources and help each other build their businesses. Quikonnex also offers the latest in private messaging (QMTP) which virtually eliminates the need for email to stay in touch with fellow publishers and members.

Quikonnex is a media-rich content management system that beats any service currently out there. You can use Quikonnex to publish your ezine even if you don't currently have a website or tie it in with your site if you do. The Quikonnex Forum contains a wealth of information. Publishers and members can share tools, ideas, suggestions or tips that help them in their day to day business - it's all about people helping people. What a refreshing change.

For those of you who are hesitant about downloading programs, the creators of Quikonnex built their own cross-platform, cross- browser reader called QuikView that makes subscribing to a channel a breeze no matter what browser or operating system you currently use. If you don't mind downloading a reader, they provide a customized version of the Awasu reader. And it's all backed up with support.

Don't let the changes taking place on the internet paralyze you into inaction. And don't be afraid to make a change that will benefit you as well as your readers. We all have tools that we use in our daily business. If that tool becomes less effective, it's time to replace it. Just because you started publishing using email as your method of delivery doesn't mean you have to keep doing it that way.

I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't met some of the amazing and resourceful people who have become my mentors and friends. My way of saying 'thank you' to them, is to help others along the way. Imagine how powerful, how positive our internet experience would be if we all helped each other succeed.

About the Author
Lois Jeary publishes KIT (Keeping In Touch) through her Home4Success channel which features straight forward articles, helpful hints and suggestions, interaction with subscribers and more. Join today: (http://home4success.com/go/to.cgi?l=quik) Helping you build a successful home-based business one step at a time. View the Home4Success Channel here: (http://quikonnex.com/channel/page/home4success/109/4)
lois@home4success.com