Fun Networking Group

October 25, 2008

I arrived at Rookies in Huntington on Thursday evening not knowing what to expect. It was my first meeting with the Huntington Chamber of Commerce’s Under 30 group. I’ve been a member of the Chamber for nearly a year. I’ve found the general networking sessions useful.

But this was a little different. The Under 30 group, which is a misnomer because half the members are over 30, is really about connecting new and young entrepreneurs. (As an aside, they want to come up with a better, more fitting name. Young Entrepreneurs makes sense. Apparently there’s already a Chamber group for high school students with that name. So if you have a good idea, suggest it.)

What made this networking session, open to non-members for a $10 cover, different was the atmosphere. It was more vibrant. People were more relaxed. And one member gets to spotlight what they are doing with a short presentation to the group. Did I mention the beer and wings were free? All and all a solid event.

Blog originally posted at LI

Financial Crisis Ripple Effect

October 10, 2008

As an entrepreneur running a startup online publishing company, I look a the bloodletting on Wall Street — and my IRAs and stocks — and wonder what effects this will have on the advertising climate moving forward. For me the losses are paper. It’s as if it’s not even real. Not yet anyway.

But my concern is how the financial crunch might impact our industry as a whole. The industry was already well into a time of transition and falling revenues. So are even tougher times ahead? Will companies stop advertising? Will people stop taking out classifieds or buying photos from our web sites? Maybe even stop subscribing to the daily paper (I know this already happened) or monthly magazine to cut costs?

No one seems to be looking ahead. We’re all rubberneckers driving by a car wreck. But I can’t help but wonder — fear — what’s next.

What are your thoughts or observations?

Blog originally posted at Wired Journalists

The Business of Search

October 9, 2008

Just got back from the Search Expo at the Javits Center on Tuesday. The event took up just one corner of the of the convention hall. But the 50-plus exhibitors there seemingly had a unified theme — namely that your busainess needs to have its own Internet marketing campaign and that monitoring SEO and SEM are as important as paying the utility bill each month.

There’s a lot of competition for your ad dollars and how to use them. That’s a good thing. If you have a product and aren’t selling it with the aid of an Internet ad campaign — what are you waiting for?

In fact, there’s an arguement going around that a strategic SEM (Search Engine Marketing) campaign makes spending regular money on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a moot point. That’s because many people try to fake their way to the top of the search rankings. It’s far simpler to buy an ad on the first page.

I will say that most small businesses don’t have web sites properly configured for SEO. In that instance, spending some money for one-time search engine optimization is a smart investment. Many firms can do the job. (Gratuitous sales pitch) My company, Build N Click, offers a $300 SEO package. If you want to talk, drop me an email:

But the point of the Search Expo was to sound a warning. If you aren’t investing in online advertising, you better have your web site positioned for maximum results. Neither is a luxury anymore.

Blog originally posted at LI