Intersocial: Unleashing the Power of Social Networking for Enhancing Regional SMEs

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In recent years, we have witnessed an unprecedented growth of social networking. The ever-increasing list of such networks include content sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr, social networking platforms such as Facebook and Myspace, blogs, web forums, social bookmarking sites such as Delicius and massive online message exchange such as Twitter.

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The INTER-SOCIAL project aims at exploring social networking to enhance the competitiveness of SMEs in the region. Social networks offer new means and forums for world-wide product promotion as well as huge repositories of data for advanced market analysis and trend identification. In particular, the project aims at promoting advanced new technologies as related to the use of social networking to both (a) improve the web presence of SMEs and (b) use information provided by such sites for targeting advertisement and adaptive service provision.

The project has developed and deployed appropriate innovation devices (mechanisms, policies, software tools) to provide the following outputs: the deployment of social web locally adapted appropriately for specific SMEs, monitoring, archiving and analyzing social data, targeted online advertisement and product promotion through social networks and pilot use, move SMEs to highly efficient and effortless e-commerce. Further outputs include scientific publications and presentations, a web page and publications in popular press. Regarding educational and training activities, specific outputs of the project are two seminars where emphasis has been made to attract scientists, practitioners and professionals for the advertizing indusry and one course that was jointly developed by the academic partners.

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Such activities are very relevant to the geographical regions targeted by the project, since they provide effective means for internationalization, require no specific infrastructure other than Internet access, are environmental friendly and are oriented towards the service provider sector.

The project has increased the use of technology in local SMEs, since new innovation devices have been added to their operation to improve their marketing policies. 

The project offers the means to regional SMEs to enhance their international character by reaching clients at a word-wide scale. It addresses one of the specific problems in the region that of the concentration of economic activities in urban areas, since it enables even those SMEs located in the country side to be in the centre of international activities through their active participation in social networks.

INTER-SOCIAL has brought together partners with complementary expertise on collaborative environments (UNIBA), distributed data management (UOI), human computer interaction (UPATRAS) and cultural heritage preservation (APCE) from Apulia, Epirus and Western Greece.

Priority Axis 1: Strengthening competitiveness and innovation

Specific Objective 1.2: Promoting cross-border advanced new technologies

A project financed by the European Territorial Cooperation Operational Programme “Greece-Italy” 2007-2013.