What does it mean having a presence on the internet, can you buy a office and move your staff in. Well the answer to the question is yes. For internetholics it has been well known that you can buy virtual love to real estate on line. This can take several forms, Second life for example allows you to interact with an array of potential customers, build a virtual office, hire staff. You might well be thinking now this is great, this is just what I need, low overheads, no sloppy staff, work from wherever I choose. But there is a problem. While there are virtual millionaires on second life. Their virtual business supports a real life business and vice-a-versa.
So what does this mean, well there will be any number of businesses out there who have dipped there toe in the internet water to see what is on offer. If you really want to make that website pay for itself along with your internet connection and computers there are a number of things you will have to do.
First it is about getting as many links as possible pointing to your website. This is done by interacting and commenting in communities. Web 2.0 now offers users the chance to do traditional business but with new technology. The problem with this is that is not very well understood in general by people over 35. So the boss of your local taxi company, accountant etc does not really know what a blog is, or a virtual business etc. Now if they do not know, how can anyone expect it to be taken seriously in the company ranks. Of course you will have your office junior who will have a virtual girlfriend, do virtual sports, already spend a large percentage of his money on the internet and related hardware etc. While the rest of the your staff will struggle with an email attachment that the virus scanner has disallowed because it was told that it is possible for a photo to have a virus in it. Yes it is possible but in the whole of my 12 year IT career I have never come across it. Given that almost 50+ percent of photos on the internet are JPEGS. It is a threat but a low threat and one that we can live with. One cannot really compare it to the risk of not getting your work done for the client and the time it would involve to check every photo.
So a balanced sensible approached is needed for work and business security so it can work at an optimum. No longer can staff say “Oh I do not understand” when a web page fails to load and the message on the screen reads your internet connection is on available at this time due to maintenance work. Involving your company on the internet is fundamentally about involving your employees. We do seminars about web 2.0 but it has to come from the top down. I suggest that smaller companies get the youngest employees to tell them what they know about the internet. This will serve two purposes one you see just what the internet can do, and two you will have a starting point to building an online presence for your company.