Happy Anniversary LI Entrepreneurs.com

June 19, 2009

LI Entrepreneurs.com launched one year ago today. The site had no ambition other than to provide a virtual hub to network and exchange ideas. We’re now 100 members and growing.

It’s been a year of tremendous economic challenges across the globe and here on Long Island, perhaps the most demanding environment in decades. And yet we persist, and continue to chase our dreams fuelled by entrepreneurial spirit – and lots of caffeine.

So let’s celebrate our brotherhood. Because if there is someone who knows what challenges you confront on a daily basis, it’s the good people of LI Entrepreneurs.com. Local business owners empowering each other is the essence of this group. As we kick off a new year on this social network, please contribute to the conversation and bring newcomers into the fold.

+ Talk shop with a colleague? Ask that person to join.

+ Is there a debate or issue out there you have an interest in? Post a blog and get the conversation going online.

+ Know of an event that might be helpful? Add it to the calendar.

LI Entrepreneurs.com should be a resource. Use it and we’ll all prosper. Knowledge is power.

Blog originally posted at LI Entrepreneurs.com

Add Twitter To Your Tool Box

March 10, 2009

Chances are you’ve heard about Twitter by now. It’s the latest, greatest social networking tool, a mini blog of 140 characters or less. It’s gotten the most practical use so far by media organizations breaking news or filing real-time updates from anywhere this side of a sports arena to a court room.

But its applications are nearly limitless. I added Twitter to high school sports web sites in the fall and got my first taste of its immediacy when a key player broke his leg during a football game. The item was on the web while he was still lying on the ground.

Game rained out? The message was Twittered, which broadcast to anyone who added the feed to their moble device. Imagine the lucky parent who got this zapped to their phone instead of showing up at an empty field.

I’ve recently discovered that Twitter has also hit Washington in a big way. Both Houses are on Twitter and plenty of legislators too. I belong to the feed of my local representative, Steve Israel. He does an amazing job of posting regularly. Senator John McCain has been Tweeting Top 10 earmarks for weeks now. Great stuff!

Looking for entrepreneurial wisdom? Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh is a regular Twitterer with a big following.

Wanna get closer to your favorite celeb? I’m following daily updates from Shaq. Eli Manning is represented too.

The bottom line is people are just beginning to scratch the surface with Twitter. If you run a social business, what better way to stay connected to your customers? Even if you’re not, the social media craze is not going away. Find a way to tap into it today.

As owner of an online media company and a former Newsday reporter, I find the scope of innovation on the net remarkable. And I know it can be daunting too. If you need any help trying to move forward, give me a shout. Better yet, Twitter me @jmolinet.

Blog originally posted at LI Entrepreneurs.com

The Problem With Social Networks

January 7, 2009

I’m a big fan of social networks. I’ve even developed Facebook apps and used Twitter to deliver news. The Internet has made the ability to communicate over multiple platforms an exciting time for grass roots journalism.

But for big media companies, this is not good. It’s judgement day.

In case no one has noticed the sky is falling! Classifieds are gone and the current economic climate has forced everyone to reevaluate how they spend ad dollars. Seriously bad news for newspapers — headline in 80-point helvetica bold. The free flow of information on the web has served one purpose in the case of newspapers — to steal a product that costs money and manpower to create.

How do you right this imbalance? My suggestion is to turn the clock back to 1995 and start charging for access.

Media organizations need to own their content and develop their own audience — independent of the Facebooks of the world. And lock down their content.

By the way, in my opinion, another problem with chasing these social networks? It puts more and more burden on reporters to update blogs, Twitter, etc. It takes time away from going out and reporting a story or working the phones. Oh, and don’t forget to post a web-only story ASAP and then edit video you shot while writing the story for the daily paper. Even Matt Drudge would choke on all that…

Blog originally posted at Wired Journalists

Journey To Cutting Edge

June 19, 2008

I started Long Island Entrepreneurs in hopes of finding like-minded business owners to share the latest trends with and possibly network. After 11 years as a newspaper reporter, I left to start my own business last fall. While I’m knowledgable and skilled in online media, publishing and web design, this last year has served as a crash course in the fundamentals of business. That’s been both thrilling and challenging at the same time.

I’ve found social networks and industry-related blogs a great source of information and inspiration. The hope is we can gain the same critical mass here. I’m certainly happy to talk about the missteps and right moves I’ve made over the last year. So let’s get the conversation started. Long Island entrepreneurs unite!

Blog originally posted at LI Entrepreneurs.com