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You might only just be overcoming your Facebook addiction, but social networking in the UK is already ten-years old this month.

Social networking may now be a buzz word, but the UK's longest running example was founded over a family lunch in February 1998 by mother of three, Penny Power. Ecademy the B2B Social Network celebrates its 10th anniversary on February 7th this year.

Penny and her husband are returning to the same restaurant for lunch, ten years after their idea of a business community on the net was conceived, long before the term social network existed or was properly defined.

Ecademy is one of the few net-based companies to survive the dotcom crash of 2000. "Back then everyone was chasing dotcom lottery tickets thinking they would be overnight millionaires," says Power. "There was talk of B2B Marketplaces but nothing ever materialised because everyone was obsessed with instant transactions rather than building a community of people and relationships."

"At Ecademy we focused on putting people first and grew organically through word of mouth, and by backing up the service with face-to-face local events across the country," says Power. "We avoided venture capital because we witnessed our friends and peers crash and burn after the dotcom crisis begun in March 2000, and started making profit after five years."

"Our next challenge," says Power "is globalising Ecademy to see a replica of Ecademy in the UK spreading to all parts of the worldwide business community."

Social Networking is emerging as a powerful commodity as large numbers of social networks like Facebook, MySpace and Linkedin expand.

After years of profitable business Ecademy has advice for social network companies. The key is to create a community, it says, not a just set of tools. Ecademy's own success has been achieved because of the personal involvement and guidance that all members provide one another with, online and offline.

Penny Power says: "The whole team led by Chief Executive, Glenn Watkins, worked hard to make sure Ecademy provided a platform of emotional support and wealth for members as well as a vehicle to generate financial wealth through commercial transactions. Networks driven only by money or transactions tend to fade away once the money dries up, we never set out to be a fad, and time has proved we were right".

Ecademy believes in relationships first, commerce second and is the UK leader in B2B Social Networking, continuing to expand around the globe reaching all the 222 countries defined by Google Analytics.

For further information contact: Penny Power – Ecademy Founder and Director

Phone +447771543478

Notes from Wikipedia:

Social networks connect people at low cost; this can be beneficial for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to expand their contact base. These networks often act as a customer relationship management tool for companies selling products and services. Companies can also use social networks for advertising in the form of banners and text ads, plus Search Engine Optimization (SEO) through links to Google . Since businesses operate globally, social networks can make it easier to keep in touch with contacts around the world. In many ways business networking on social networks has eclipsed the amount of networking that takes place on dedicated business networking websites.
Additional Invitations

Penny would like to invite members of the Press to Ecademy’s 10th Birthday Party in the evening of 21st February, in London – Penny and Thomas will be speaking about the 10 year journey of building Ecademy and their plans for the future, details of the event are here:

So far over 250 members have registered to attend this celebration.

Please contact Penny on to register or receive further details of the event

Additionally, Ecademy celebrated this 10 Year Birthday online with it’s members HERE,

The comments from members reflect the sentiments they have about being part of the community

Member of the Press can join Ecademy and have a Free network Pass, contact Penny for details of how to activate your pass.

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