Thursday, October 14, 2004

First Steps on Ryze

Ryze is a very friendly and very effective social and business network. But most of the people who join don't go on to become participating members. Here are some really bad numbers that I want to change. These numbers are based on a small sample, but they are indicative of a problem new members have.

74 people join Ryze. 30 never join any networks and 30 more only join a few networks. Of the other 14 about half never generate more than 4 or 5 friends. Of the 74, only 8 became well established on Ryze. So I ask why? The simple answer is that it seems too hard. So I ask, Why?

One problem has become clear to me only after being active here for three years. When you first join you have some idea why joining Ryze might be useful. Then perhaps immediately you strike a barrier, something you've never done before. It seems too hard. So you do nothing. OR The reason you joined, maybe to sell your product, is made difficult on Ryze because the rules prevent (or at least limit) sending spam to people, and advertising AT them doesn't work either. If this is you: don't rush off too soon. There is much more here of value, far more valuable than all the sales you might make. The opportunity to discover new directions and a new life for yourself. That opportunity is real, but the discovery depends on what you do.

My research on the things successful people do comes up with these 4 simple things.

1. Complete your Ryze Page, simple plain text is OK, you don't need to write, HTML.
2. Join at least TEN networks and read enough of the mail to get to know some of the people who write.
3. Drop a personal message to some of these people or make entries in their Guestbook's. Tell them you like what they write.
4. Ask some of these people to become your friends.

There is nothing too hard about any of that. Join, show and interest in other people, tell them you are interested. Be an interesting real person yourself, let people see what interests you.

Complete your Ryze Page: I suggest you load a small picture of yourself, or of something you love. In addition in plain text write a few words about yourself and add half a dozen quotes that you like. Half a page is fine. Fill in the "Have" and "Wants" fields. Finally if you wish, and I suggest you do, make your guestbook public.

Join TEN Networks: Just put your interests into the search engine on the networks page. You'll soon find at least ten to join. In the beginning as you join the networks leave the mail notification turned on. Back in your mail system create a file for "Ryze Mail" and when the first letters begin to arrive make a filter to sent that mail directly to the "Ryze Mail" box, rather than into your own "In-box". Finally, one or two of the networks you have joined might turn out to be "high traffic networks". 20 or more letters a day for instance. Go to your Network Page, "Edit Networks" and turn off the mail from those high, traffic networks. (But remember to look in most days and see what mail is there.) Ten networks should be easy to manage. If you want to join more, by all means do so.

Read the Mail and Respond: Try to read at least some Ryze Mail every day. Of course you don't need to read it all. Try to find the interesting stuff. When you find something you really like, tell the author. Go to the author's guestbook, or leave a personal message. If you feel very confident you can even write to the network, but if you do that try to say something that adds to the debate. (Don't say something like, "I agree." That wastes far too much of the valuable time people never have enough of.)

Ask people to be your friend: It's simple really. First you get to know people in the networks. When you know them, it's no big deal to agree to be friends.

There in four simple easy to do steps is a "how to get started on Ryze" that everyone can do. I wish you well. Remember you join a business network like Ryze so that you can learn from other people. When you join a Ryze network, it's like taking up a position on a crossroad. You get to see all the passing traffic. That traffic allows you to learn. You can learn by just lurking, but you'll pay far more attention and be much more engaged if you begin to make posts yourself. Where learning is occurring there will be innovation, and that innovation is the key to your future. Make a start now, join some networks and find out what other people are saying.

The Innovation Network