You’d be forgiven if you think that everyone talks about nothing but social media these days, with Facebook and Twitter grabbing most of the headlines.

Internet behemoth Google has made unsuccessful attempts to dip its toes in these crowded waters before, but without much success. Have you heard of Google Buzz?

Well, a few weeks ago Google announced its latest social bombshell – the new “+1” service. This competes directly with Facebook’s “Like” button as recognition that content is relevant to, or ‘liked’ by an individual. Although it is still an experimental service at the moment, it is already becoming more and more common on sites throughout the web.

If you are on a site that you like and there’s a Google “+1” button on it, so long as you’re logged into your Google account, clicking on the button will share your page recommendation with the contacts in your Google address book, Google Reader and Buzz accounts. Sharing on Twitter is expected to follow sometime soon, but whether it will be integrated into Facebook remains to be seen.

So, when one of your contacts searches for something and a site that you’ve +1’d is in their search results, they’ll see a message to that effect. As Google delivers most of the traffic that many websites receive, you can see the incentive to start adding those buttons to pages. Just how successful +1 turns out to be, only time will tell.

So, there’s yet another new tool to add to the box. Trying to keep up to date with all the developments going on can be challenging to say the least. And I don’t just mean the internet, but also in business in general.

For many, being in business can actually be quite lonely much of the time. Sharing your own knowledge with others and, in turn, hearing of their experiences can be invaluable. Locally, there are many ways of meeting and getting to know other like-minded business people.

Fusion Linking, funded by Scottish Enterprise, hosts various events, many of them free, in the south of Scotland to help create a more innovative, ambitious and entrepreneurial culture. The Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce has a thriving community of local businesses, and also runs a diary of well-attended events. Membership is good value with members encouraged to offer special chamber-only offers. Attending events is not only a way to learn something, but they are also a great way to network and make new contacts. Who knows, maybe I’ll see you along at an upcoming event sometime soon.

Until next time, good business.

z Andrew McEwan of The Web Workshop in Morebattle ( designs websites, builds brands, produces videos, and markets businesses in the Borders and beyond.