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By April Y. Pennington

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When Lilia Phleger Benjamin decided to start her own PRbusiness, the digitElle Group, in 2000, she wanted to find mentorsbut was short on time. So instead of heading out the door tonetworking events, the Encinitas, California, entrepreneur loggedon to the Internet, searching for online support groups.

"It was the best and fastest way to network," saysPhleger Benjamin. "I found it was just as effective and moreconvenient than [offline groups]." E-mail discussion listshelped her get in touch with experienced and knowledgeableprofessionals, and online groups such as helpedPhleger Benjamin learn more about her industry.

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