Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Munchkins Want Advice from Monsters? Not!

I was sipping my morning “wake-cup” of coffee over the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle this weekend when I came across an article by staff writer John Batteiger referencing web sites useful to small business. Great, I thought, I’d love more of those valuable resources. Silly me.

Although I think this is an example of a reporter not doing his research and glossing over an important subject, I can’t even begin to comprehend the absurd references provided by that reporter! The SBA, the FTC, the Yahoo Small Business Information section, which although they each have some small part to play in helping the little guy, don’t provide a great resource for small business information beyond their own meager references to other web sites.

I’ve faced this oddity for three years now while trying to gain links across the web for the WebSite101 Small Business Ecommerce Tutorial I provide online. Nobody wants to listen to those of us that practice what we preach each day and go daily to maintain the house payments and bills by earing our living online. Everyone wants to hear what the Monsters have to say about being a little guy! David doesn’t want to BE Goliath, David Wants To SLAY Goliath! Hello! Anyone home?

I dashed off a letter to that reporter which I’ve included below and realized that my own readers could benefit from hearing this stuff as well. So I’ve attached my note to that reporter below.

John,

(You’ll note that I’ve sent copies of this letter to each of the sites I referenced here, who I’m sure will have thoughts of their own to contribute.)

I’m fascinated at how folks consistently look to Goliaths to learn how to be an effective David! When I saw your article today at:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/ 10/14/BU222086.DTL

I thought I might see some links to things such as

http://www.freeagentnation.com a book by Daniel H. Pink (he relies on praise from the big boys in his reviews but did confide to me that he’d consider quotes from little guys like me.) My raves about his book are online at:

http://www.WebSite101.com/arch/archive100.html

The Chronicle is quoted on *his* site in an article by your colleague George Raine, but you don’t return the favor?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/ 09/02/BU147439.DTL&type=business

Come on John, if you were about to go out on your own, would you rely on the sources you quote in your story and wade deeply through the mire of that bureaucratic gobbledygook to get to the occassional gem? How about sources like

http://www.workz.com where I am proud to be a columnist in their guest expert section on Small Business Ecommerce at:

http://www.workz.com/content/1679.asp

How about true home business based sites like

http://www.ahbbo.com (short for “A Home Based Business Online” run by Elena Fawkner).

How about truly valuable stuff for independent professionals at sites like

http://www.learningfountain.com

run by Paul Siegel where valuable community among freelancers helps all become better business owners?

One of your listed sources is http://ecommerce.About.com

Where I used to have a link to my website until they began the requirements of the new http://lunanetwork.about.com/ which requires that linked sites cross promote About.com and that partners must serve a minimum of 150,000 pageviews a month from their own sites. Now you must be a Goliath to be listed by Goliaths.

The same happened at the former small business section of about.com where the entire category was dropped and merged with the ecommerce section, which then dropped all of the Davids from their Goliath-only links list!

Now we see all over the web how Goliaths are courting business from Davids as they suddenly realize that we make up almost 50% of the US economy. Oh really? What a surprise! Big business falters after absorbing all of each other’s money, then begins luring smaller fish when they’ve eaten all the big ones. I did a piece on that as well at:

http://website101.com/arch/archive96.html

I have a much better list. Here’s a few additional sites for you to review so you can gain a true understanding of what the little guy truly needs to survive as a small business.

http://www.ideacafe.com
http://www.guru.com
http://www.elance.com
http://www.allbusiness.com
http://www.website101.com

I’m not too proud to list my own site.

Mike Banks Valentine operates SEOptimism, Offering SEO training of
in-house content managers http://seoptimism.com/SEO_Staff_Training.htm
as well as the Small Business Ecommerce Tutorial at
http://WebSite101.com and blogs about SEO at http://RealitySEO.com
where this article appears with live links to SMO stories, buttons, blog posts and examples.

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