(Image courtesy of Cherry on top)
If you have been with The Penguin Network over the last two weeks in the lead up to our big launch, you may have noticed mention of SBSE. So today I thought I would share with you how it all began. SBSE grew out of a fabulous group on Facebook called I run asmall business. Irasb has been an enormous help over the last year, not only to myself but to over 11,000 other small businesses. It had also become a great tool for meeting fellow small business, (and growing business) owners, some of which I now happily call my buddies.
Alongside some of these great people I have met, we have developed a group called SBSE: or more formally, Small Business Support & Experiments. SBSE began as an experiments group that aimed to find out how to beat the algorithms that Facebook has in place, - also called an 'EdgeRank'. You may have seen this written about often if you follow small uk businesses on Facebook, if not, you can find a brief summary here. The algorithm decides, on your behalf, what posts you might want to see, and which you might not like to see. It chooses which of your friends stories will be the most interesting to you. It looks at the feedback the posts and photos get, and decides whether to show it to you or not. Many of us with small businesses who use facebook think that if you like a page, you will want to see all the updates, and not be told by a computer programme which ones to see. So our experimental group is working out the best way for us all to extend our business reach to help our customers keep ontop of our news.
We began using the hashtag #sbse to help find each other on twitter, and we have a facebook group that helps us stay in touch, I am pleased to say that this group of 30 businesses has developed into a place of support for each other, and not just for business, but for general fun and friendly banter. I imagine it to be a like a virtual office that we all work in, and they are the people I stop for coffee breaks with! Essential if you are lone home worker like me!!!
I have found that the support for my page a tremendous help- - being in touch with businesses that are familiar with my business is a tool which helps create a sense of happy security on my posts and pictures, and we have generally found that it has encouraged other page supporters to comment or like images. Not to mention that I get to see all the lovely things my friends are making, services they are offering, and even new places to stay when we book our holidays!
(Image courtesy of Driven by Design)
The Penguin Network organically grew out of this group. After an evening of madness talking about penguins within the SBSE group and all over Facbook in fact!.... they soon appeared on our twitter accounts .....<(") ....... the hash tag #followthepenguin began to surface, and from this, The Penguin Network has been born!! Supported by all the SBSE team, it is run with 18 admins, all helping to manage the site and keep it up to date and current. Within SBSE is the talented Jo Ballantine, who owns at Driven by design! She has been designing our banners, and we are mid launch, with a whole load of momentum behind us.
The Penguin Network will hopefully be a little different to the usual sharing and hiking pages that you can find on Facebook. TPN is growing rapidly into a networking community that people can use to share work, knowledge ideas and support, and generally have fun. Equally different is that it is not just for crafts people, it is for all those running a business, which makes sharing everyone’s skills and ideas so interesting.
(Image courtesy of Driven by Design)