With the emergence of social networking sites like Linked In, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter offering independent consultants, sole proprietors and 'talent for hire' the opportunity to promote their value proposition and connect with others; do you need a traditional website?

I'm not speaking of medium or large corporate companies who want a permanent destination on the web, but more so of the small practicionar who might not have the budget to fork over $5-$10K to have a professional looking site done up for them.

There are advantages in having a website and it certainly lends itself to more opportunities to create brand awareness, authority building and more opportunities for SEO and SEM tactics and strategies, yet I am wondering if those who have a traditional website where key messaging, contact details, blogs, podcats etc... sit within is really worth it?

It's an interesting thought. How has your website played out for you? Would you be where you are today without it? Would having profile pages on social networking sites and linking up your blogs to them be enough? Does having your own website enhance your business as a one-man or one-woman show? Is it necessary? What do you think?