Larry BraunerFacebook has started rolling out another round of changes. Have you noticed the new “Likes” box on the left side panel of your Facebook profile?

The latest round of changes will cause major headaches for sophisticated users who must restructure their skillfully branded Facebook landing pages, while for less sophisticated users, these changes will do little more than raise some eyebrows.

I fall into the latter group of less sophisticated users. I have an analytic and technical background. However, I opt for simple business and social media marketing solutions, as they’re easier to understand and are often more robust.

Now, About Your Left Side Pane

FacebookFacebook is phasing out application boxes that can currently appear on the left side pane of your profile, and Facebook has diminished your usable page width within your custom tabs from 720 to 520 pixels on both your Facebook profile and Facebook page.

By phasing out application boxes, Facebook gains use your left side pane for new purposes, and by decreasing usable page width, the freed-up horizontal space enables Facebook to display the new left side pane from within all tabs, not just the standard Facebook tabs.

Clearly, the left side pane will be an important aspect of the newest version of the Facebook user interface.

Say Goodbye to the Facebook Markup Language

There will be a change in the way Facebook custom tabs are programmed. FBML will be grandfathered-in but will be replaced by a newer technology. According to Inside Facebook, the change will take effect by the end of the year, so if you plan to create new FBML tabs, keep that in mind.

My parting advice: Keep everything as simple as possible and don’t put all your social media eggs into one basket.

Subscribe to my blog and “like” my Facebook page. Your comments are welcome. :-)

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Larry BraunerThis is a quick update on the Ning transition from free Ning networks to all paid networks. The deadline for upgrading free Ning networks had been set to August 20th, but Ning announced today that the deadline for choosing a price plan for your network is now extended until the 30th.

Ning Social NetworksYou might be able to use the additional time to devise a better Plan B. I plan to use the time to migrate more members from my old Ning networks to my new improved Ning network.

This my new Ning network, and I invite you to connect and network with me there:

Small Business Networking (Ning network for entrepreneurs and small businesses wherever they might be. Sign up there for the free social media marketing training.)

    You don’t need your own business to participate in my new Ning network.

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    Larry BraunerI received a free review copy of the newly published book, The Skinny on Networking: Maximizing the Power of Numbers by success coach Jim Randel. However, every opinion expressed in this article is completely my own.

    Not Your Typical Business Networking Book

    The Skinny on Networking is not like other business networking books I’ve read. The Skinny on Networking is unique in at least five ways:

    1. The Skinny on Networking is written as a short entertaining story, and all of the book’s characters (including author Jim Randel) are adorable (skinny) stick figures.
    2. While The Skinny on Networking is a how-to book, its mission is to illuminate basic business networking principles rather than to serve as a comprehensive business networking guide.
    3. You can read The Skinny on Networking in about an hour and obtain a quick business networking overview. Then, each subsequent rereading will help deepen your appreciation of business networking concepts and plant them more firmly in your mind.
    4. The Skinny on Networking draws from the works and expertise of such business networking masters as Harvey Mackay and Ivan R. Misner, who are frequently quoted.
    5. The Skinny on Networking explores both offline and online business networking and the connection between the two.

    The Skinny on Networking Story

    The Skinny on Networking by Jim RandelThe main characters in The Skinny on Networking are Billy, a high school history teacher who’d much prefer to teach music at a college, his wife Beth, a lawyer hoping to find new clients despite her shyness, and Jim Randel, their savvy business networking coach.

    Jim teaches networking to Billy and Beth and helps them step-by-step to overcome obstacles and advance in their careers.

    Business Networking Concepts

    The Skinny on Networking develops and illustrates the application of many business networking concepts, which include the power of numbers, diversifying contacts, maintaining a long-term perspective, creating and using social capital, and the importance of reciprocity.

    My favorite is social capital, “the strength of a relationship you have with another person,” as defined by Jim, who adds, “You create social capital by building on a relationship.”

    In the past, I’ve thought of social capital as accumulated goodwill.  The social capital you have determines what you can reasonably expect to request from another person without damaging your relationship.

    The Skinny on The Skinny on Networking

    If you’re looking to achieve greater business networking success and open to new networking ideas, I strongly recommend that you read The Skinny on Networking: Maximizing the Power of Numbers by Jim Randel.

    I look forward to networking with you on my new Ning business network, Small Business Networking.

    Hope to see you there. :-)

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    Larry BraunerAugust 20th is here, and all free Ning networks go dark at midnight. Do you have a Ning network that’s not upgraded or belong to one? Are your Ning networks closing tonight?

    Ning network creators can, depending on quantity, archive all or part of their content from within the moderator area.

    Ning Social NetworksI’m closing a bunch of Ning networks but have recently launched a new Ning network to replace them.

    My new Ning network, for which I have ambitious and exciting plans is Small Business Networking (a Ning network serving entrepreneurs and small businesses worldwide). Sign up for the free social media marketing training to be offered on-site.

      You don’t need a business to participate in either network. You can gather business information, share ideas, search for a new job or do whatever else might make sense to you.

      If your Ning network is closing, you’re looking for better ways to brand yourself, or you simply desire to develop new skills, come to Small Business Networking.

      See you there. :)

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      Larry BraunerUpdate: Read Ning’s response in the comments.

      Ning plans to close thousands of free social networking sites this week. I believe Ning has drawn a line in the sand and do not expect Ning to grant a reprieve.

      I hope, now that Ning network creators are all paying customers, we’ll have a greater collective voice and more impact on the choices Ning makes.

      Ning Customer Service Issues

      Ning Social NetworksHowever, I saw complaints about Ning customer service on Twitter and Facebook, and with my Ning Sign-Up Glitch help ticket (00D8cCLt.5004BTxme) open since August 6, it seems to me that we’re off to an inauspicious start. Even though network creators have found a temporary work around, it does nevertheless behoove Ning to respond to us and address this type of problem.

      I assume that Ning is coping with a record number of inquiries due to its transition to new pricing, and that Ning’s customer service is backed up. Still, this situation doesn’t bode well, since an email to network creators explaining the situation would’ve demonstrated Ning’s transparency and bolstered our confidence in the company’s management.

      I myself recently launched a new Ning social networking site, and I stand behind Ning’s latest initiative. However, I ask you, isn’t it only fair that Ning should match the greater financial commitment of its network creators with a corresponding service commitment on its side?

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      Larry BraunerMembers of my two new business networking sites have started to implement their personal business networking strategies on each site. As a member of both, it’s fascinating to watch each site begin to develop a distinctive identity.

      NY Business Networking is regional in scope and therefore conducive to promoting offline events and arranging face-to-face meetings in the NYC Tri-State Area.

      Small Business Networking doesn’t have a geographical orientation and consequently seems better suited to blogging, on-site special interest groups and web-based instruction. I’m offering a free step-by-step social media training on this site, and you are welcome to enroll.

      Come sign up for either or both of my new business networking sites and join me at the grand opening party.

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      Larry BraunerThis is my final online event of the summer. I’m kicking my new business networking site with some fresh ideas, and you’re invited to the party.

      While I encourage you to join one my new site, you’ll also have to be a member of Facebook to participate in all the festivities.

      Here are six steps to follow (please read carefully):

      1. Start by joining Small Business Networking. If you can’t sign up, have a look at Ning Sign-Up Glitch Frustrates Users.
      2. Fill in your profile completely, including My Current Networking Objectives, which you’ll use when you introduce yourself at the event. Add a profile picture, avatar or logo. Picture are best, since people like to network with real people with real faces.
      3. Go to my Facebook business pagenot my profile page.
      4. Share the link to your new business profile. (If you join both sites, share one link one day and the other another day.) Include your current networking objectives in the comment area by pasting that information from your new business profile. (Enclose it in quotes if you like.) Press the share button, and your update will appear on my page.
      5. Now share that with your Facebook friends. Click on the share link, and write in the comment area why you joined a new site and ask your friends to connect with you there.
      6. Go back to my Facebook business page and visit with the other people who’ve posted there. You may want to add some of them as Facebook friends and friends on the new business site.

      New Business Networking Sites Grand Opening Party Watch for an announcement on Thursday about the party’s grand finale.

      If any of my instructions don’t make complete sense, I accept full responsibility. Sometimes (often?) I’m a bit too complicated. :(

      We can resolve any questions in the comment area of this blog post. See you at the party. Be there or be… :-P

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      Larry BraunerThe beta test of my new Ning business networking site has uncovered a troublesome glitch in the Ning sign- up system that makes it more difficult for new members to join.

      A new member trying to sign up gets a Ning error message rejecting the inputted password, even though the person has never even registered for the new site!

      What’s happening is that Ning recognizes the user’s email from when that person joined another Ning site at a time in the past, and now Ning expects the same password previously associated with that email.

      When new members can’t remember their old passwords, trouble begins, because every attempt to reset it will be unsuccessful. Registration hasn’t been completed, therefore the new site will be unable to reset the password. Catch-22!

      How to Deal with the Ning Problem

      Here are four ways to deal with the Ning glitch:

      1. Try very hard to remember or figure out your old password. You’ll be able to change it later.
      2. Try to register with an email address you’ve never ever used before on Ning.
      3. Reset your password at the Ning site. After resetting your password, ignore Ning’s invitation to set up a new site, and go directly to register for the site where you encountered the problem. Reset Your Ning Password ACCEPTED SOLUTION
      4. Wait who knows how long for Ning to fix the problem.

      My new business networking site is Small Business Networking, serving entrepreneurs and small businesses worldwide. You don’t need to have a business to join. You can join for getting business ideas, searching for a new job or whatever else might make sense.

      See you there, Ning permitting. :-P

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      Larry BraunerMy new free open business networking site, containing both offline-online and educational components, has opened using the Ning social and business networking platform. This networking site serves entrepreneurs and small businesses worldwide.

      Business NetworkingA unique aspect of this business site is that they’ll help connect offline networking groups, facilitating communication among group members and attracting new group members online.

      You do not need a business to join.

      Business Networking Site

      This is the new business networking site with its .Co domain name. Click on the links to join:

      Small Business Networking - http://www.SmallBusinessNetwork.Co

      Group owners will be site ambassadors and promote their groups and hopefully conduct business with complete transparency and integrity.

      You too can help spread the word about these new business networking sites, if you like. ;-)

      Most Popular Social and Business Networking Sites

      Also, I’m now frequently updating my blog post on the Most Popular Social and Business Networking Sites that has already been accessed more than 8,000 times since July 2009. If you have any suggestions for that article, please comment there.

      If you own a social or business networking site and would like to sponsor that blog post, you can contact me directly.

      I recommend that you subscribe to Online Social Networking and “Like” me on Facebook, so that we can stay connected. Comments are welcome, as well. :-)

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