Blogging and advertising is excellent, as a tool, but to combine these skills with a spirit of community and be available for random connection is by far the most powerful way of using the Internet, says Penny Power, founder of the business network Ecademy. Corporates should not view the internet as a one way street, it must go both ways, Penny is convienced. Nothing can be achieved without first giving connections and sharing your knowledge with others. For the future, Penny would like all the networks to agree a Single User Name and Password.
Penny, the Internet and especially the new format of interactive sites (Web 2.0) have changed the lives of many: They write articles and blogs, watch and upload movies on YouTube, they become flash mobs. Some experts speak about a power shift – less power for the huge and rich organisations, more power for individuals and small groups. How do you feel about this?
The ability to build your brand on Ecademy is fantastic for entrepreneurs and owners of business’. The critical factor is to ensure people build their brand through relationships with others, building their trust, being known for the integrity and for the passion they have for what they do. Blogging and advertising is excellent, as a tool, but to combine these skills with a spirit of community and be available for random connection is by far the most powerful way of using the Internet.
As far as Corporate Business is concerned they are missing a big trick! If they advertised on a Social Network and also joined it and participated by running Clubs and ‘talking to members’ can you imagine the feedback, good will and branding they would achieve from this. Corporates should not view the internet as a one way street, it must go both ways.
Also social life has changed since then. You are the founder of a social network. What are the strengths and limits of a web-based social network?
The strengths are the efficiency of time, the ability to know a large number of people across the globe over a relatively short period of time. The random connections that open your world and inspire you, the feeling of friendship that reduces isolation and increases self belief and self esteem. The ability to be found on Google in the Number One position through Blogging and having a Profile. All in all, the advantages are huge, if time is allocated and invested in it. To give is to receive. Nothing can be achieved without first giving connections and sharing your knowledge with others.
The limits are that offline contact is also important, we have over 400 events each month, globally, and it is important that members do meet one another and become friends off line too.
How to do see the future of social networks?
You will be keynote speaker at the 2nd European Futurists Conference Lucerne. What will we learn from you?
My belief is that we all need to create Attraction. Be like a Magnet that draws opportunities toward you. Top entrepreneurs across the world have built a reputation that means they no longer have to go out seeking, people approach them. I will talk about building attraction and about how the Internet and an increase in Human Consciousness is changing the world for the good.
In 1998 Penny Power came up with the idea of Ecademy a Social Business Network to connect business people for learning, career and business development. Glenn Watkins joined Penny right at the beginning becoming Chief Executive in 2001. Glenn built the business whilst Thomas Power took over as the front person for Ecademy. Penny spent time bringing up the children, remaining in the background of Ecademy, but always watching and contacting members. In 2005, when her children were 13, 11 and 8, Penny returned to the forefront of Ecademy, hosting the monthly London meetings and heading an Asian tour meeting Ecademy members in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta and Bali. Penny still combines her work life with her family life – the children are very involved in the business and know many of the members, and they also travelled with Penny during her 2005 tour.
Penny has also been developing her thinking around Emotional Wealth with a view to helping more Ecademy members discover their true passion and to communicate it effectively to achieve real network value.
Her keynote at the 2nd European Futurists Conference, Nov. 23, 2006:
The Future of Social Network