Eyeing the ongoing, phenomenal success of trailblazing social networking sites MySpace and Facebook, catalogers are creating their own online communities where they glean valuable feedback from customer posts. “It’s a good time to become a niche online community and do it right,” says Don Philabaum, CEO of Internet Strategies Group, an online consulting firm. “You have millions of people who’ve learned the value of being a part of an online community, and they’ll bring experience, enthusiasm, content — and their network — to your online community.” Blogs, discussion boards and other forms of interactive media are the most cost-effective customer feedback mechanisms around, according

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