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Monday, July 13, 2009

Digital Bangladesh: Are you and your business WEBFFYT ?

As the saying goes 'Charity starts from home', going digital should start with yourself and your business first. Ask yourself if you and your business have a digital presence in the internet or not, try the WEBFFYT scale and figure out how 'web fit' you and your company is and how each of these internet tools could increase your online presence.
Web:
Having a website has become pretty much ordinary. It can be safely assumed that if you have a business or are employed in a company, it surely has a website address and a web presence. However, if you are an individual you can always have a personal website with www.yourname.com but having a profile in http://www.linkedin.com/ seems to be doing just the same or even more ro create your professional brand in the internet.
Email:
Pretty much like web site, having one or more email addresses has become part of life now, no surprise there. There is no need to explain how and why emails are essential for communicating these days.
Blog:
Very few Bangladeshi companies have taken up the idea of setting up their corporate blogs, be it internal or external. Either they are yet to come to terms with it or they are reluctant to let go the control of the company actions and the consequent reactions to these as it takes place in the interactive environment of a blog. Mostly some newspapers have opened up their web spaces to have a blog to allow conversations with their readers but Bangladeshi businesses are still experimenting with the idea. Other than having a company blog, CEO blogs could also be set up and maintained so that ordinary consumers could interact directly with the head of departments and/or the top people of the company. Similarly individual blogs are also a great medium to express your own thoughts, interests, expertise and create a group of readers surrounding it. Its very strange that our Bangla blogging community is so vibrant, we have live blogs such as http://www.somewhereinblog.net/, http://www.sachalayatan.com/ etc. but neither we have bi-lingual (Bangla and English) websites of Bangladeshi companies nor we have even Bangla blogs to encourage interactions from those consumers who are more comfortable to express themselves in Bangla.
Facebook:
If you argue that the largest social networking site in the world is meant only to 'socialise', check out each other's photos and status messages, then think again. There is no harm that your company cannot be 'social' and interact to its customers through a group or a 'fan page' in http://www.facebook.com/. Many companies have started hosting house networks and social networks have become increasingly flixible so that you can 'commute with your communities' meaning you can merge your different friendlists from different social networking sites into one large mesh of followers and networks. Also keep in mind that this is free marketing in the internet.
Flickr:
Does your company have any image gallery in http://www.flickr.com/? Why not showcase your products, services, your expertise, interest in your own personalised flickr page? Pictures are worth thousand words and videos are worth million words, so nothing like a flickr profile and even better a channel in Youtube.
Youtube:
Does your business have a dedicated channel in http://www.youtube.com/? You could publish your TV adverts, other commercials, jingles, brand music videos, corporate event videos, etc. regularly into your Youtube channel. You could always host these in your own website but the kind of flexibility and analytics that is available with Youtube, its better you start using these free services to spread the 'word of mouse' for yourself and your business. Individually, if you are a teacher, a good public speaker, anchor, performer, you can always publish your own performances in your own Youtube channel and interact with your audience, friends, well-wishers etc.
Twitter:
The microblogging platform at http://www.twitter.com/ has crept up slowly but pretty successfully especially in developed world. Its a matter of time that the craze, like Facebook, hits Bangladesh. Personally I believe Twitter is ideal for breaking news, referring to other interesting websites etc. And Facebook is more on the social and personal front. Twitter is increasingly used by companies to release product information, event information, regular updates about the business etc. to the followers. As an individual, status feature of Facebook and Twitter should be used differently, as its perhaps OK to have complete strangers in your follower list, as long as they are resourceful. However its perhaps not the safest idea to have complete strangers as your 'friend' in Facebook, checking out your private photos and other messages.
The bottomline is, Digital Bangladesh starts from you and your business first, depending on how WEBFFYT you are.

3 comments:

umbreveolhar said...

I enjoyed very much visiting this blog, which is very good. Congratulations!

Regards,
Carlos Alberto Borges

http://umbreveolhar.blogs.sapo.pt

PORTUGAL

shaer said...

Hello Shehzaad

This is really a nobel initiative of yours. We, Bangladeshis need to be more tech savvy and utilize the power of web.

Being a startup we Code71 (http://www.code71.com, http://blog.code71.com) use all the means you mentioned.

There are more to add to the ways of web utilization. For example, to initiate thought leadership by forming discussion groups (e.g. we have one: http://groups.google.com/group/agilebd), partner with other companies and have your links posted on their websites and vice versa.

I would really love to see other companies using web, and coming up with better ideas and suggestions.

Shaer, Code71.

Shehzaad said...

@shaer..I found the code71 initiative very interesting. Thanks for visiting the Corporate Blog. Please note that this is a group blogging platform, so if you or your team are interested to blog on behalf of your sector/business, please let me know. Good luck.