The following article is excerpted from Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media But Were Afraid to Ask by Hillary J.M. Topper
BusinessWeek Exchange is one of the most inventive, creative ideas to come along in a long time. It takes the idea of user in user-generated content and does something really interesting with it. It brings companies into the fold as users – presenting a unique and potentially controversial way of looking at contributed content. I believe we won’t see the full impact of what BusinessWeek Exchange - and others to come - will have for at least the next year and probably the next 2 to 3 years. I factor blog networks from Fast Company, Wired and the like into this, too.
They’re allowing CEOs (and other, usually C-level company people) to contribute to the dialogue as though they’re reporters under the guise of a blog. Again, authority and influence changes with the title of the person writing. That is, when and if the user - meaning reader - realizes it, which they inevitably will.
-- Jennifer Lindsay,
Director of Digital Services and Social Media Evangelist
BusinessWeek magazine has the right approach. Since they know the value of social networking, they created Business Exchange where business people can connect with one another. Interestingly, when logging into Business Exchange, visitors can also view the top news stories on BusinessWeek, the magazine. You can save news stories to your home page along with interesting relevant news articles. This makes the site quite useful and helps BusinessWeek build a loyal following.
Business Exchange is arranged by topics. Topics are sorted by functional areas such as Business Law, Small Business Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. There are also more specific or timely areas such as the fall of Lehman Brothers, the Federal Reserve bailout of Bear Stearns and even the latest business strategies of Starbucks.
Business Exchange lets you bookmark business news, blog articles, tools and additional online resources to share with others. You can bookmark just about any format of online content including videos, tools and white papers. Readers can also comment on news items submitted.
Upon registering Business Exchange you set up a profile. Those who belong to the social networking site, LinkedIn, can import their LinkedIn profile sparing duplicate efforts of filling out yet another profile.
My 2 Cents via the author
I like that this site suggests people that I may want to include in my network. Through this feature, I actually met a business owner in India, with whom I regularly correspond. My connections are networked to people who post interesting articles attached to their sites.
Business Exchange also has links to Twitter, which is very helpful, especially when I seek to connect with reporters or business development people to grow my business.
I like that the site offers news feeds to interesting articles and blog sites that prompt lively conversations. You can also post an article or a blog entry as well. There are only business people on this site and it is relatively easy to network with people who you may not otherwise meet.
The only problem I see with the site is that it doesn’t have many active participants. It would benefit the site to promote to business owners on Facebook, Plaxo, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Business Exchange is a great place to connect with other business leaders. My guess is that this site will become more active as business people discover it AND BusinessWeek promotes it.