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Craigslist – find a roomate, a date, and a free couch

I tend to find myself scavenging craigslist, during my favorite classes.  Humanities classes for instance, or perhaps even business management, where the one time my facial expression changes is when I find that breakthrough deal.   I’ve bought Red Sox playoff tickets, washing machines, bikes, and even week long stays in resorts on islands.  Craigslist is the ultimate online meeting place.  Where fees are unheard of, and users browse, and Web 2.0 is something that’s gone by unnoticed.

Craigslist’s ability to stay relevant has been a testament to its loyal user base.  Valuation of the company is often difficult to pinpoint, and despite requests to sell out, its original owners maintain control.  Unlike ebay, where fees strip profit margins, Craigslist, does an excellent job of organizing by region and bringing buyers and sellers together.

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Internet Entrepreneurship & Building a Brand

It struck me today that one of the most successful brands I’ve ever seen, has been built by a college drop out, and I’m not talking Gates or Zuckerburg. I’m talking Johnny Cupcakes.

http://www.johnnycupcakes.com/blog/

This New England native has built a brand with a cult following and rather than “selling out” for the quick pay day, he continues to build a company I admire more everyday. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him at his Newbury Street shop in Boston on a couple of occasions and you’d never guess you were bumping into the owner of the store.

Basically he sells T-shirts with cupcakes on them. Basically as he describes it, “I got off my bum and went for it”. You don’t need to have a million dollar idea you simply need to have the passion and desire to execute. His exclusive boutique has the feel of a bakery and t-shirts are limited edition. Take a glance around his website and you’ll see why this kid has succeeded. Great lesson in Internet Entrepreneurship, if you like his stuff, buy something through the online store!

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3 Keys to Networking and Branding

1. Just start – Whether it’s StumbleUpon account, introducing yourself to a colleague for lunch, or creating a blog you’ve got to start somewhere. Why wait till tomorrow, when you can begin today? Networks and brands take time to build. Remember, a great reputation is the most difficult thing to build and maintain, and always the first thing to be lost. One way to sacrifice your reputation is by sacrificing your message.

2. Stick with a consistent message – The presidential race this year has been a perfect example of utilizing a consistent message. Mitt Romney tailored his approach on a state by state basis, promising each state what they wanted to hear. McCain, took his blunt approach to each state, telling Michigan that the Automotive Industry was on the way out, and sticking by the war – looks who’s consistent message has risen to the top of the ballot. Obama’s optimistic message of change has resonated everywhere he’s set foot, and he’s established himself as the premier political “brand”. Obamanation is gripping, and his audiences can depend on hearing his message of change. More articulately, change we can believe in. Whether or not you like his political stances, his campaign has a feverish excitement that turns heads, the same way an excellent marketing campaign would. Sticking with a consistent message and pounding it home is favorable with viewers and readers everywhere. Find a subject you’re passionate about and start writing today. Don’t change your approach to please one person. There’s always somebody who will disagree.

3. Get your name out there – Link and link and link. Promote yourself without shame, and do what you can to strengthen your reader base. Take time to comment on other people’s accounts, maintain your consistent message and continue to get yourself out there. Introducing yourself both in real life and online can be an intimidating experience. By the time you click submit or shake that hand you won’t regret it.

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Careers

Continuing on the career trend, I clicked on a Facebook ad which redirected me here. Sounds a lot like what we were brainstorming about.

http://www.weapplyforyou.com/Student.html

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One Life Too Many

What if our current life was a test run, and Second Life became reality as we know it? We’d scramble to establish our avatars, buy cell phones that have no purpose, and wait for Mitt Romney to launch another run at President.

It might not be a healthy approach, but it’s a marketers dream. Product Placement anyone? Take a look around Second Life and you’ll see some big name investors, Time Warner, Pepsi, etcetera. Ebay has even gotten into the mix, helping out with land auctions, and corporations are scrambling to establish their position in second life.

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