Social networking can also help businesses to grow. With 250 million people on Facebook and as many as two-thirds of all Internet users delving into social networking, businesses have found a relatively untapped medium for increasing the bottom line [source: McCarthy]. Some companies have created MySpace and Facebook pages in attempt to reach as many potential customers as possible. Dell, for instance, has an extensive Facebook page which includes its Social Media for Small Business social network. In other instances, users can become fans of companies on Facebook, or can join various networks affiliated with different businesses.
Along with creating social networking pages, companies continue to add community sections or other areas where visitors can participate in blogging on their Web sites. Blogging is an effective way for users to communicate and the end result is often a growth in Internet traffic. Blogging can even lead to permanent employment. Some companies have found talent through the blogging world and hired writers such as Jay Busbee, a NASCAR blogger who edits the "In The Marbles" blog for Yahoo Sports.
Media outlets are also using social networking to aid in the assimilation of breaking news stories. Twitter has proved to be an exceptional source for breaking news. In January, a Twitter user was the first to report the US Airways jet liner that crash landed in the Hudson River in New York. The Jakarta bombings in Indonesia first crossed the newswire thanks to Twitter and word of Michael Jackson's sudden death in June 2009 swept across the Internet, thanks to the microblogging service.
Now more than ever before, businesses rely on the World Wide Web. With the sheer number of Internet users who participate in social networking, it only makes sense for companies to jump on board and embrace the social networking revolution. You, too, can use social networking to get ahead in your career or small business. Just remember, it's not just your friends who are looking at your page.
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