Over the past months, Biznik has been improving and developing in big ways. What is Biznik? The tagline is "business networking that doesn't suck" - but don't think this is just a cutesy site for an alternative in networking -- it is much more.
Simply by joining Biznik as a member (for free) you can immediately benefit by Google Search once you set up your profile. Set up as a "Houston Hat Maker" and soon, in Google, you may be pop up first in that search.
What is great, though, is that this untapped resource will allow you to set up face-to-face meetings with other entrepreneurs (indie biz owners is the preferred term at Biznik) and you can host a meeting on any topic, charge a fee if you'd like, or host it for free to get critical mass. Biznik even includes video on the site to show you how to use many of the features.
I love this community and recently became a paying member, after lurking for free for quite a few months. Check it out, and see how it can help you meet other local business owners to support local business, business referrals, and even new friendships.