April 09, 2007

Online social networking classes will aid businesses

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Businesses and organizations are constantly in search of new ways to market their services or products and as Internet use proliferates, online social networking is becoming increasingly popular. The Southern Illinois Entrepreneurship Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, The Dot World Group and WSILTV3 are sponsoring Online Regional Social Networking classes beginning Tuesday, April 10.

Six classes will meet at the Illinois Small Business Development Center, located in SIUC's Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road, Carbondale. Organizers will schedule additional classes in the near future.

The two-hour classes are set for:

• April 10: 9-11:30 a.m., 6-8:30 p.m.

• April 11: 9:30 a.m.-noon

• April 12: 1-3:30 p.m.

• April 17: 6-8:30 p.m.

• April 19: 9-11:30 a.m.

Class registration is $100 payable before class begins. The fee covers up to two people within the same business or organization, and they will share a computer. A 20-percent discount applies for not-for profit groups. The hands-on classes allow participants to build their own spot within the SIL Social Network as they study the concept, how to prepare the proper way, and make it all happen to maximize their marketing advantage. Jim Zimmerman will teach the classes, which have an enrollment limit of 12 people.

"It's a good way for a small business to have a Web presence, even if they don't have a Web site, and there's no host fee for online networking," said Robyn Laur Russell, Small Business Development Center director. "If they have a Web site, they can link it together."

For more information or registration details, call the center at 618/536-2424 or look online at www.discoversil.com or www.southernillinois.biz.