A shaman of the Internet

Mikal Belicove believes that 'sharing knowledge is power' in the Information Age. He has co-written a guide to Facebook.

September 16, 2010|By Cindy Frazier,
  • Mikal Belicove, a columnist, is helping people navigate social media with his book, "The Complete Idiots Guide to Facebook."
Mikal Belicove, a columnist, is helping people navigate… (DON LEACH, Coastline…)

Mikal Belicove is on the cutting edge of social media. He's way out there, blogging, tweeting, Facebooking and generally having a great time playing around in cyberspace. And he makes a good living at it.

Belicove calls himself an "information-sharing junkie." But he could also be called a shaman of the Internet.

As he says: "The old paradigm was 'knowledge is power.' The new paradigm is 'sharing knowledge is power.' "

Belicove is also a "ghost blogger," a new form of ghost writer. He blogs anonymously for major corporations, writing daily news and tidbits to post on their websites to keep readers, or rather customers, engaged and interested in their products.

Working from his ocean-view Laguna Beach apartment, the low-key scribe also writes a column for Entrepreneur magazine, and consults for Fortune 500 companies trying to catch up in the digital age. In particular, he tries to help them tap into the 400 million or more users of Facebook, which has become the gold standard of social media.


"Facebook appeals to people and to programmers," Belicove said. "It's an open program. People use it. That's where everybody is, where everybody has gone. They are all gathering in this one location."

Why Facebook, when there are a number of other social media sites, like MySpace and LinkedIn?

"Facebook has usability dialed in. It's clean and simple," Belicove said. In addition, while MySpace, for instance, allows users to create their own "space" with music, photos and other postings, it is much more static than the dynamic, constantly changing environment of Facebook. LinkedIn is useful as a way to keep tabs on professional colleagues, but it isn't the place to visit with friends or meet new people and exchange everything from snapshots of the family dog or a beautiful sunset to a margarita recipe.

In short, Facebook is a fun place to hang out with friends and strangers, the proverbial water-cooler or watering hole of the Internet.

Capitalizing on his expertise, Belicove has co-authored "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Facebook" with Joe Kraynak, a freelance writer who has co-written many informative books on various topics in the "Idiot's Guide" and "For Dummies" series.

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