Not web 2.0 enough. When we launched SmartCompany two years ago, this was a persistent criticism among many compliments. So what! Most of our readers were not web 2.0 either. And there was not much point in trying to giddy up a one way conversation. So we were happy to wear the web 1.3 mantle that some wit hung on the site.
How that has changed. In the last six months we have seen an uptake in the number of readers who want to express their opinions on stories, continue conversations on forums, seek advice from experts, post their events and generally interact with other members of the SmartCommunity.
What’s driving this? Business owners are seeing great success in using their own websites to get business. The cost of sales is coming down as more business is arriving at the website door from Google. So now business owners are being a lot more aggressive in driving people to their websites. And they are using social networking tools to do so.
Business owners and marketers are spreading the word about their company through becoming thought leaders, postings on forums, using Twitter and linking to other prominent sites. They are building sturdy websites that hold the right information so the deal can basically get closed online.
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But like any growing community, they need a hub, a place to talk, converse, swap tips and business cards.
SmartCompany will continue to be Australia’s premier news and information site for small and medium business owners and managers, with more than 130,000 uniques a month and an email alert that goes out to 14,000 SME owners.
Industry sections: Every day our industry sections are updated with news, trends, ideas, features, entrepreneur case studies, relevant industry blogs and answers to questions from our readers. So when you come to SmartCompany, don’t forget to catch up with what’s new in your industry and what your competitors are doing. If you have something to contribute to the industry section send it to [email protected]
Hot topics: Often there is a topic that hits the news and our readers want more detail. It could be anything from the latest news on top domain names to options in search engine marketing. So when you write to us and you feel a story has legs, suggest it could be a hot topic. Again send your email to [email protected] Check our hot topics regularly and you will find them here.
Forums: Come and talk to entrepreneurs, experts and each other in our forums. You will need to register (it only takes a minute) but this is a great opporunity to talk to the fast-growing SmartCompany community.
Ask an adviser: Aunty B has threatened to resign unless other advisers come on board and help her answer the many questions she gets from business owners – and on occasion their staff. If you want a question answered on any business matter, send it into [email protected] or [email protected]. If you would like to be an adviser, contact editor James Thomson at [email protected].
New blogs: Boss Lady will be a daily update written by an entrepreneur (me) for entrepreneurs (you). I will look at what is affecting our world, share the tips and gossip I pick up around the traps and pass on useful advice as well as warnings.
SmartCompany editor James Thomson will also be updating his daily Entrepreneur Watch. As you might know, James was the former editor of the BRW Rich 200. His knowledge on wealthy entrepreneurs is unrivalled. Come and read his daily updates on which entrepreneurs are doing what.
Thought leader: A thought leader is a company or entrepreneur that wants to be a leader in their industry through profiling their innovative products and/or services that will appeal to the SME marketplace. This is a sponsored section. Thought Leaders appears on every page of the site and takes the reader through to a micro site on SmartCompany. There are only four Thought Leader spaces available. If you are interested in being a thought leader, contact Campbell Corser at [email protected].
Events: SmartCompany regularly conducts seminars and our principals and contributors frequently talk at events. SmartCompany also hosts regular webinars. Both seminars and webinars can be sponsored and if you are interested, please contact Campbell Corser at [email protected].
Lastly a huge thank you to Campbell Corser, our business development manager and editor James Thomson for leading the redevelopment of the site. The great design is by Chong Weng Ho, who did the original site. And the site was built on time and on budget (and at a fifth of the cost of our original site) by Pieter Coetzee and Ben Horner.
Now we are using open source software, it is easy to add additions to the site, so tell us what you want – and what you think. Send your comments to [email protected].