In the last few weeks several things happened, which helped me see first hand the power of social media for a small business owner, when it is used properly.

The first  – My good friend, and social media mentor, Kyle Lacy challenged me to come up with a list of my favorite bloggers to match his list. While his focused on Indiana bloggers, my list included my favorite bloggers from around the country.

While it was fun to spend a weekend reading, and comparing blogs, and even adding a few to my feed, the real impact came after the release.   As people discovered they were on the list they came, made comments, created links on their on websites with links back to mine.

The result?  Traffic to my website doubled as did comments. For the first time, I really felt Business Notes from Roundpeg was a conversation, and not a monologue. Several conversations continued off line as I connected with some of the local bloggers at a Rainmaker event.

One of the writers i included on my list was Michael Fruchter.  I discovered him on FriendFeed, and follow both his blog and his guest columns in Louis Gray’s blog. And Michael gave me my another lesson in the power of connections when he included me on his list of 10 people to follow in December.

Within hours of the release of his post, my email was flooded with updates of new folks following me on FriendFeed.  Wow, does he have clout.   ( Actually the updates came before I knew i was listed, and I had no idea why, until someone else sent me the link).   The best part was not the number of new followers, but the really interesting conversations in which I became engaged, mostly on Twitter, but FriendFeed as well.

The real lesson : Writing may be a solitary act, but blogging isn’t. The best blogs are interesting becuse they include the voices and influnces of others.

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