One question that I wanted to chip in my two cents on was, who owns facebook?
Most social media sites right now are free, but things change. There’s no question that going out and engaging with people on social networks is a key to driving traffic to your blog or website, or walk through your door, as the case may be. But the fact is, networks change. Companies get sold. The main thing from Newt’s talk tonight I’d take away, is that all of these networks are a great way to engage with people, but unless you can move a conversation into a relationship, you will be perpetually at the mercy of whoever is pulling the strings on your particular network’s failwhale; whether it’s twitter, linkedin, or facebook. I think the term I’ve heard bandied about is a landing page. Your blog is the best place to move your conversations to if you want to make the most of your social networking time and efforts.
The real-time aspect of getting opinions on a product line as you’re developing it will probably forever be in the domain of real time networks, but you don’t want to be in a position where you’re suddenly hand-editing a friends’ list to add them to a new network when your network decides it can’t support you for free anymore.
This is by no means an original thought. I’ve waded through a mountain of garbage to extract this gem.
A great example that impresses me is @NaplesScuba This is technically a forum, where users contribute their own content, rather than a blog; but it serves as a great example of creating a community of like-minded people sharing their passion.