As a CEO, I am working to better understand the new communications frontier of “Social Networking”. We at Laughlin Associates have a Twitter page and a Facebook page. We are regularly updating our profiles on LinkedIn and trying to put some interesting (in our opinion) video up on  I haven’t yet conquered Plaxo or many of the other sites that are out there. There are lots of books available on social networking as well as webinars and hired guns ready to help you blaze a trail through the digital jungle. Even smallbusiness411 is part of this new medium. The reason that we are diving in head first is that we are clear that these digital platforms are now a “must do” for doing business. And while this all seems pretty new to many of us, I recently ran across something written in 1999 which makes clear that what feels so new right now is not so new at all. Take a look;

“Cluetrain Manifesto -1999

1. Markets are conversations.

2. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.

3. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.

4. Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.

5. People recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice.

6. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.

7. Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.

8. In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way.

9. These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.

10. As a result, markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organized. Participation in a networked market changes people fundamentally.

The Cluetrain Manifesto accurately predicted the societal and market changes we’re now seeing with the power of Facebook fan pages, blogging, Twitter and the millions of pages of discussion boards and blog comments powerfully indexed and available via Google and others. When we are interested in a product or service, we search, post, tweet, or blog about potential options and we rely on other humans – not the stale flat voice of corporate marketing – to guide us to the best one.”

In reading this piece, I am reminded that there are experts available to help us stay ahead of the curve if we just know where to look. Here at Laughlin we are trying to do just that for our clients by staying on top of changes in law, estate planning, exit planning and a host of nuts and bolts services that our clients are looking for. In an effort to support small business owners – you – we’d like to hear from you about additional ways we can help you and your business grow.  Please feel free to give me any ideas for things that would help you and we’ll address them here on this blog. I look forward to learning from you.

In the mean time, you can join me on Twitter @ aaronscottyoung, and connect with me on LinkedIn: