In This Chapter
• Learning to give information away
• How to be popular on mailing lists
• Learning from discussion boards
• The scoop on weblogs and weblog comments
• Figuring out what�s happening in Usenet groups
Instant messaging, "IM" for short, is a simple technology that lets you directly communicate with someone else on the Internet. Chatting happens by sending lines of text back and forth, so it hasn't taken long for shortcuts and cryptic acronyms to invade the world of IM. The most important of these for our purposes is TANSTAAFL, which stands for "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch."
In many ways, this chapter is all about that truth, that there is no such thing as a free lunch when you're growing your business online. Retail shop owners know this intuitively, that you can build the most beautiful store in town, but if no-one knows about it, you'll go out of business before you start earning a profit.
Offering your knowledge to the online world is good because you're giving back to your community and helping people learn more about your industry and profession. But philanthropy doesn't grow a business and doesn't pay the mortgage, so there's got to be another reason to devote some of your precious time sharing your expertise with the community. Becoming seen as an expert establishes your business online and can drive significant traffic to your website.
Note: Passion and enthusiasm are infectious. To be an expert, be excited and upbeat about your product and your industry segment in all your communications!
There are lots of ways you can share your expertise with the online community, the worst of which can produce the opposite effect to what you desire, making you a pariah in the community. Obviously it's critical to know the best strategy and stay far away from the worst.
Inside The Book