BusinessWeek has joined the social networking bandwagon with its own social network called Business Exchange. This social network is a bit different from the Facebooks and LinkedIns of the world though. Instead of being a place to make connections, poke people, compare movie preferences, and the like, Business Exchange is meant to be a place for members to share great business-related content, making it more of a social networking/bookmarking site than a true social network.
The first thing to note about Business Exchange is its professional tone. This isn’t the social network for high school kids. Instead, this is a social site for business professionals looking to connect and share information. Members share content they like online by bookmarking it into a wide variety of broad and niche topic categories such as Branding, Business Law, Business of Beer and more. Since the site is still new, users can even suggest topics to make the site even better.
You can set up your user profile to follow topics of interest to you, and you can search for other users and see what topics they follow. Unlike LinkedIn or Facebook or traditional social networks, you don’t make connections or friends on Business Exchange. That’s a feature that will hopefully be added at some point. However, you can comment on submitted content, which gives the site its social nature.
Of particular interest is the potential for brands to leverage Business Exchange. Already, there are topics dedicated to well-known brands such as Starbucks and Coca-Cola as well as topics related to current buzz news such as Lehman Brothers. BusinessWeek executives have Business Exchange profiles, and you can login to see what those execs are tracking. Imagine the potential for your brand advocates (both employees and customers) to use Business Exchange to start and grow brand conversations? Business Exchange also offers a great way to keep track of the online buzz about your brand among a professional group of business users.
What do you think? Will you join Business Exchange? Yes, it is yet another social site to add to the ever-growing list, but this one is a bit unique and could add real value to business professionals and brands. Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
Image: Susan Gunelius
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