Tuesday, October 14, 2008

DAY 1: Small businesses harness social media

DAY ONE: The San Diego Small Business Meetup Group

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The noise in the room was almost deafening as I sat in a room full of San Diego's small business leaders exchanging ideas and sharing information.

On Monday night, about 40 small business leaders packed into a room at the Best Western Seven Seas in Mission Valley for the San Diego Small Business Meetup Group. The goal was to "speed network" -- a more professional form of speed dating.

I had to shout to let the person across from me hear what I was saying. The air was electrified with ideas of how to fight back against a slowing economy and decreased consumer spending.

This group was formed through the social networking site Meetup.com, which allows people from all over the world to develop communities online about shared interests and then meetup face-to-face in groups. 

As the economic slowdown goes global this week, Meetup.com is one of several social networking sites San Diego business leaders are harnessing to fight back against a slowing economy.

Doug Means, director of BNI in San Diego, started the group to help facilitate San Diego's small business leaders to share information. (Check back later this week for a Q&A with Doug.)

Social network sites are increasingly being used by small businesses in San Diego because they are a free and innovative way to collaborate with other businesses, says Jay Neilsen of Right Turn Web site Development in Poway. 

The San Diego Small Business Meetup Group has nearly 450 members of business leaders looking to expand business and share ideas.  

That's 450 members that have the opportunity to network during a time when budgets are tight.

Later today, I'm meeting up with Meetup member Carlo Desierto from Myccmpro.com to hear his class on optimizing the Internet for small businesses. 

Check back later for more on my conversations with small business leaders.

1 comment:

The Cougar Caller said...

Interesting start to the trip. If you have a chance, a stop by at a local chamber of commerce might connect you with a couple of valuable people/resource in this exploration of the economy.