Here are some sample definitions of what constituted “online presence” through the Internet ages:
1998: Started an internet company
2000: Personal website
2003: Search engine optimized website
2005: Search engine citations, MySpace takes off
2007: Blog or MySpace page
2009: Blog + Twitter + Facebook + LinkedIn + relevant social networks
The 2009 Conclusion: Online Presence is not just the Blog, it is everywhere you can be found online
Note that up to 2007 or so, online presence required that traffic be centered and collected on one website – the blog/website. Now, online presence is distributed and loyal readers (now you can call them “followers”) no longer need to actually visit the website or blog site any more. They only visit when a link from Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn interests them, or when they need to find something they remember resided on your web/blogsite. This new branding concept makes it more important for readers to know how to access the channels (Twitter, RSS feeds, social syndication sites like Social Media Today) to find your content.
An example: For Twitter feed – based Breaking News sites like Breaking San Francisco News, it’s far more important to have the Twitter based presence Twitter.com/BreakingSFNews that brands the Breaking News site and constantly references itself to its followers. Then, when the reader / follower happens to be searching for breaking news on, say, local retailer sales or a quick traffic report, they instantly remember the Breaking News site as a good resource for this kind of information.