What’s the Value of a Handshake?

A version of this post originally appeared on Handshake 2.0:

If I exchange handshakes with 1000 people in one year, 100 of which result in deals with an average revenue of $1000 each–for a total handshake revenue of $100,000–the value of each original handshake is $100.

Is it?

When Jim Flowers, director of business accelerator VT KnowledgeWorks, asked me to research the value proposition of my new VT KnowledgeWorks company, Handshake Media, Inc.–of which Handshake 2.0 is one venture–that’s the kind of precision for which I strived with products and services as potentially–and intangibly–as valuable as handshakes.

Handshake 2.0 offers low-cost blog services–blog mentions, blog entries, blog posts, blog sponsorship, blog advertising–to businesses who don’t have the time or resources to create and maintain their own blogs.

What’s the value of a blog post?

What a handshake and a blog post have in common is their potentially priceless value.  At business networking functions, we meet and greet to get to know each other and to discover whether or not we may be of mutual value.  A handshake “meets” in person.  A blog post “meets” online.

A handshake and a blog post also have in common their potential to be of no value.  Some handshakes are forgotten.  Some blog posts are unread.

A difference is their longevity.

A handshake occurs in the moment, makes a first impression, then ends.

A blog entry occurs in the moment of its posting–and keeps occurring.  It’s archived and can be found by search on its original posting site.  It’s archived and can be found by search on search engines.

What they also have in common is their dependence on showing up.  If I don’t show up at a networking meeting, I won’t get that potentially priceless handshake.  With Google’s "particular love for blogs"–favoring current news in blog posts over old news in static Web pages–if I don’t create a blog post–or have someone create it for me or mention me in theirs–my company may not show up in search results.

A blog post is a Web 2.0 handshake.  A Handshake 2.0.

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