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If you're responsible for the direction of your online strategies for your company or organization, you've probably been asked by your colleagues to take a look at a social network.

If you're new to the Facebook phenomenon, this will serve as a guide for you to get started, link to resources to help, and provide an overview as a web decision maker.

But first, what is Facebook?

Facebook is an identity, community, and application platform that provides the web strategist many opportunities to connect with online communities.

If you've not already figured it out, the corporate website is becoming less relevant, and web marketing (and support) has spread off your domain and Google results. You also know that prospects trust the opinions of existing customers (who are "like them") far more than marketers, and Facebook lets these communities of practice assemble. Your brand is decentralized—embrace!

Opportunities

Communities of practice are forming with Facebook. Users with similiar interests are starting to link and connect to each other. Facebook recently opened its platform up to all users (it used to be for colleges only) and also opened its application platform up for anyone to create widgets or mini-applications within their platform.

For the marketer, the opportunity to extend to these areas are ripe: Join or build a community, deploy an application (widget), invest in advertising, gather intelligence from profiles, and extend one's network.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Jeremiah Owyang

Jeremiah Owyang is a Web strategist, speaker, and blogger/videoblogger focused on how companies use the Web to connect with customers. He is active on Twitter and can be followed at jowyang; if you follow him, he'll follow you back.