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sapFor all of our readers out there, we are marking a milestone of our 500th post here at Solutions Are Power and it has been an awesome 16 months of growing, learning and listening. We hope we have provided you valuable and timely information along with some humor thrown in for good measure. We plan on continuing our mission to help your small business grow and succeed online as well as offline.

I wanted to take the opportunity to thank Shashi Bellamkonda, our Social Media Swami, and the man responsible for launching this social media “road trip” and evangelizing both internally and externally to people growing it into the award-winning social media destination for small businesses on the Internet.

In typical TV Show fashion we are going to take a look at the last 500 posts and highlight all those who have contributed in our version of “flashbacks” while sparing you from the cheesy music and soft camera lense fades. We will then look forward about our refined mission, our expanding team and what you should expect from us for the next 500 posts.

So let’s turn on the way back machine and begin….

Best of Shashi Bellamkonda – “The Swami”

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Who doesn’t know the Swami? Or in the case of the picture to the left, the Cowboy. He got that hat at SXSW and he now has two names. He has been the driving force with helping Network Solutions dive into the social media pool. Under his leadership we have grown into a family of blogs covering numerous small business related topics. Our presence on twitter as @netsolcares has helped transform our reputation management program so much that he won the 2008 Excellence in New Communications Award.

Here are some of his best posts from the last year:

10 Reasons to Use Facebook for Business

How Small Businesses Can Use Social Media

How I became a Social Media Swami at Network Solutions

Aesops Fables and Corporate Blogs

A Hard Sell? Social Media and Your Boss – Part 2 Becoming an Expert

Best of Connie Bensen – “Queen of Community”


Connie joined the team in July as the first community manager and wrote tons of great stuff until her departure in October. She has moved on to work with other companies to help build their communities. Her presence is missed but we still have her awesome content.

Here are a few of her greatest hits:

Building Your Business Online Series (6 Parts)

Building Your Brand Series (5 Parts)

10 Reasons to Choose Network Solutions to Register Your Domain Name

Use Social Networking to Grow Your Small Business

Does Your Business Need a Community?

Best of Steve Fisher – “Part Pinky, Part Brain”

I joined the team back in June as a writer to add content to this growing blog. Prior to that I was writing VentureFiles for about four years which focused on small business and raising funding from the entrepreneur’s perspective.

In November I “leveled up” and became the Social Media and Community Manager under the guidance and mentorship of “The Swami”. Over that time we have increased the size of our team, launched new blogs, brought in tons of guest contributors and done Social Media training courses for groups here at Network Solutions. I have had some great experiences meeting extremely talented small business owners and have had the opportunity to interview many great entrepreneurs. Most are customers of Network Solutions and it is always great to reach out to those who might become customers in the future.

Here are my favorite posts over the last year:

The Business Plan Series (15 Parts)

The Marketing Plan Series (15 Parts)

Rules for Entrepreneurs – Rule #1: Make Sure Your Business Card Doesn’t Get Thrown Out

Getting Productive in 2009 – Spending a Year with GTD

Thoughts on Coworking: What is it and is it for you?

Best of Jill Foster – “Our Most Passionate Blogger”

Not to be confused with the character on Young and the Restless, Jill signed on in November to contribute as a writer to Solutions Are Power and a few months ago we launched a new blog in our growing family of blogs. This blog focused on Women Entrepreneurs Growing their Businesses is appropriately called Women Grow Business. She has written awesome content on both Solutions Are Power and Women Grow Business.

Here is some her best stuff from Solutions Are Power:

Web 2.0 in mostly plain English: a workshop take down

Obama’s White House: forecasts & challenges for digital America

Ego surfs and action plans: your roadmap to transparency

Best of Joe Loong – “King of the Subject Line”

Joe knows how to write a catchy subject line. So much that most of his posts stay in the top read posts. You might call that search engine bait but we call it good content. Joe joined around the same time as Jill and has written some really informative and timely stories as well as providing great coverage of our local events.

Here are a few of his golden “SEO bait” posts:

Fake Your Way to Being a Social Media Expert: Strategies for Keeping Up

Stupid Link Tricks: A Daisy Chain of URL Shorteners

5 Stories of Twittering Gone Bad

Using Bacon and Social Media to Promote Your Business

How to Write Catchy, Clicky Blog Headlines

Looking to the Future

As we begin our journey writing our next 500 posts, we have two new bloggers that will be gracing our pages in the next week. They are Ken Yeung and Michael Dougherty.

Ken Yeung – “Mr. Everywhere”

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Ken is someone I have known for about three years and while he was here in DC he was always the guy with a camera taking really awesome photos that showed up on his Flickr feed. I saw him at almost every event and I called him “Mr. Everywhere”. Now that he is living in San Francisco, I consider him our new West Coast blogger and correspondent. Most importantly he is a great writer and brings a new perspective along with new topics that this blog has been looking to expand into for a while.

He has a great marketing background and will be writing about online marketing, and because he is on the west coast, covering events in that region to expand beyond the many DC events you have read about.

Michael Dougherty – “Wicked Java”

mike_twitterMike AKA “WickedJava” is a long time entrepreneur, marketing expert and social media guru. He has worked on the marketing agency side as well as in corporate marketing departments for large and small firms. His perspective for small business owners on navigating the online and offline worlds of branding, print, web design and social media has been a missing element here and one frequently requested by readers.

In his other life, Mike is also a budding film Director and accomplished screenwriter. In the interest of full disclosure, we are both co-founders of a non-profit film production company called Big Damn Fan Films that is about to begin principal photography on Browncoats:Redemption, a project that is based on the Firefly/Serenity universe created by Joss Whedon. The project will raise money for five select charities and will be released in Fall of 2010.

Our experiences using Social Media and Marketing might be a topic of discussion once in a while but only in the interest of lessons learned that we can pass on to our small business/future entrepreneur readership.

We are excited to have these two new team members on board and the future is looking extremely bright.

The Future Looks Bright

Thanks for coming to the blog, being a regular reader and growing with us. If you found us for the first time with this post, please subscribe because we are only getting started. We are committed to bringing you relevant, informative and CCC content we hope helps you grow your business. We are partners with you in this journey and if there is any topic you want to hear about, please let us know in the comments.

See you at post #1000…

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