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Ryze Ryze is a business social networking site with a special focus on the entrepreneur. This is a free and paid social networking website designed to link business professionals, particularly new entrepreneurs. The site claims to have over 500,000 members in 200 countries, with over 1,000 external organizations hosting sub-networks on the site. Both paid and unpaid membership levels are offered. Founded in late 2001 by Adrian Scott in San Francisco, it was one of the first of a new generation of social networking services, and was a heavy influence on Friendster, founded by early Ryze member Jonathan Abrams in 2002.

Ryze vs. LinkedIn

  1. History

    While Ryze calls itself “the original social network for business, - its historical lead is small. Adrian Scott, Ryze CEO and Napster co-founder, established Ryze in 2002 and reported profitability by 2004. LinkedIn - a product of Reid Hoffman, who created the site in his living room - launched soon after in May of 2003. From inception, Scott characterized Ryze as focusing on "soft" interaction; in 2004, he told "The New York Times," "it's the whole golf and business thing...people connect as people, not just as business entities." LinkedIn's referral mechanisms, in contrast, focus more on the individual as a businessperson.

  1. The numbers

    Quantity matters when it comes to business networking; the bigger your network, the better your chances of making a fruitful connection. As of January 2013, Ryze reports a total of 600,000 members across more than 200 countries. As of the same date, LinkedIn - which dubs itself "the largest professional network on the Internet" - also claims users in more than 200 countries. However, the site boasts more than 100 million members, according to 2011 data. Alexa, a Web traffic tracking company, ranks LinkedIn as the 14th most popular site on the Internet, as of January 2013. In comparison, Ryze clocks in at number 77,887.
  1. Features

    Both Ryze and LinkedIn offer free business-oriented social networking profiles that emphasize making connections with other businesspeople. Both sites feature user profiles with resume and contact information and photos, person-to-person messaging, job classifieds and business information resources. While LinkedIn is inclusive - anybody can create a profile - and offers virtually immediate access after signing up, Ryze focuses on selectivity; you must apply for membership, and the site approves only one free member and one paid gold member per day.
  2. Paid accounts

    Just as they both offer free business networking services, Ryze and LinkedIn also offer additional features for a fee. For $9.95 per month, as of 2013 prices, Ryze gives you access to advanced search capabilities and enables you to create user groups focused on industry networks in specific locations. LinkedIn offers numerous Premium plans, ranging in name from "Business" to "Executive" level and in price from $19.95 to $74.95 a month, as of 2013. Exclusive features for paid members include the ability to see who has viewed your profile, advanced search filters and expanded messaging options.

Individuals can use Ryze to help build up a personal network and find new jobs, while companies can use Ryze to create a business community. So called because it helps individuals 'rise up' through networking, Ryze was founded in 2001 and was one of the first social networks. Ryze is great for the young professional, the entrepreneur, or the business owner that wants to create a networking community for their employees.

Getting started on Ryze

  1. Create a free membership account on Ryze - Start out with the free membership until you get your feet wet and know the benefits of upgrading (creating your own network, more advanced features).
  2. Find an interesting Network - You can click on the Networks tab and view a random list of Networks or you can search on a topic of interest to you.
  3. Join a Network - Each network has a home page with basic information about the group, the latest posts on the Message Board, and a link to the Member's Directory. You can join up to 60 networks with the free membership, but I recommend starting with one or two.
  4. Read BEFORE you post - You will need to read some of the posts on a specific Network to get a feel for the people there. I highly recommend you join The Virtual Handshake Network and read the posting guidelines.

Even though Ryze is considered a business networking site, people do not want to hear all about you all the time. Read (listen) first. Then offer specific, related advice to the person who posts. You will get much farther in your networking if you think of others first!

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