Monday, September 10, 2012

Visible local sites have trouble with fundraising; small businesses find that Twitter can affect their "online reputation"


A story by David Carr in the Business Day section of the New York Times on Monday,  in his column “The Media Equation”, titled “Innovation in journalism goes begging for support”, tells the story of Homicide Watch DC, a site that attracted hundreds of thousands of readers but could not easily attract more funding. It is run by a married couple that says it cannot maintain the site indefinitely without money, and is trying to raise money from Kickstarter.

The link is here

“Homicide DC” however is up right now and says it is accepting applications for reporting internships, here

The Washington Post today has a story by Mohana Ravindranath, p A9, “The tweets of a dissatisfied customer: social media used for complaints: Small businesses face a new PR challenge”, link here.  It’s easy for people to search Twitter for a site’s “dirty laundry”, and Twitter users with thousands of followers can inflict real damage to “online reputation”.   This issue is somewhat distinct from sites that allow consumers to rate businesses (like Angie’s List).  The link is here.
  
On March 12, I reported on a show by Anderson Cooper showing how such a service can be abused.

While I do discuss my customer service experiences with large companies (like Microsoft, Apple and Comcast), and while I do "review" media products (books, movies, TV shows), I don't get into rating or reviewing small businesses by name, partly because of my own concerns about online reputation, which I cover so often.   

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