Expert Advice On Business Networking And Tips On Developing Your Networking Skills

Interview with Jeff Reifman Founder of NewsCloud.com

In 1991, Jeff joined Microsoft as a Group Program Manager where he helped launch MSNBC.com. Since then he has been involved in a number of successful ventures. Most recently Jeff founded NewsCloud.com.

Josh: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it is important?

Jeff Reifman: I’m probably not the best person to answer this as NewsCloud has been a solo project for the most part. Startup gurus say you should always have a co-founder but I haven’t been so lucky.

I think networking is important in business as it is in life. It’s important for people to know about what you’re doing and why you are passionate about it. That passion will be contagious and it will build word of mouth for your project or company.

I think working by myself has both helped and hurt NewsCloud – and I am now looking at expanding the effort with more funding and people.

Josh: Can you share an idea or two that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?

Jeff Reifman: Recently I had an evening pizza party at my house where I invited about 5 friends in the journalism and technology fields to talk about NewsCloud. We toured the Web site and just talked about what they liked and didn’t like … what they felt were the problems with media today and how online media could improve the situation. The discussion turned out to be fun and everybody asked me when we could do it again.

I also just entered NewsCloud in the Netsquared innovation conference. 20 projects will be chosen to attend a conference with other entrepreneurs/social startup leaders. Throw your hat into the ring.

Josh: Can you share some of the ways you use the internet for business networking?

Jeff Reifman: I recently closed my LinkedIn, MySpace and Friendster accounts. I felt there was something shallow about all of them that I wanted to take some space from. I was tired of getting emails from people who wanted to be “in my LinkedIn network” … and never felt that I should be using an online search to “tap my LinkedIn network”.

I publish a personal/political/technology blog at Idealog.us. I ask my friends to follow that to keep up on what I’m doing. I also publish a citizen media blog at http://blog.newscloud.com. Blogs are great ways for people googling for your expertise to find you.

I also use PHPList to send out regular emails to friends and colleagues about specific upcoming features, events, etc.

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