If you just came back from a year’s vacation in the Crab Nebula, perhaps you haven’t heard of Twitter. It’s a social-messaging service that lets you stay hyperconnected by incessantly sending and receiving micro-updates to and from friends, family — and complete strangers. So if you just had a “yum-e latte!” you can write a text to that effect on your phone and tell everyone on your Twitter list. This vital information will also be posted on your Twitter webpage, where people can read it and bask in the radiant glow of your happy and successful life. Or hate you. Their choice.
But is Twitter useful for anything? Till now we thought not, because…well, we really don’t care if someone we don’t know (or do know) just enjoyed a latte. We have better things to do. Like “watchin TV” or “bleachin d shower curtain” or “goin 2 d pub. LOL!” Turns out, though, that there are some serious enterprise uses for Twitter and a growing number of entrepreneurs are using it to promote themselves. Check out the Little Biz blog at Search Engine Watch, which has helpful details on the Twitter tools you can use to tell the world about your business. Or your yum-e latte. Wotev.
Facebook for small biz. It’s not hip like Twitter but the SBA just launched its own social-networking service for small businesses. It goes by the clunky name of Business.gov Community. It’s a place where people share information and experiences related to starting and running a business. The technology is more Steelcase than Aeron Chair but there’s plenty to learn if you spend a little time to connect and converse with others in your field.
A not-so-social networker. SBA press office director Mike Stamler is building a reputation as a less-than-social fellow. Rather than befriend members of the press and encourage them to write good things about the SBA, Stamler monitors the news and berates anyone with negative things to say about the SBA. We’ve been on the receiving end a couple times ourselves. (It’s not what you’d call constructive criticism.) Now Stamler is going to court with his arch-enemy Lloyd Chapman, president of the American Small Business League and longtime critic of the SBA’s small-business contracting program. Chapman is suing the SBA for withholding records related to its contracting program and for libel, claiming Stamler has mounted a campaign to smear the ASBL in the media. Exhibit A: Stamler’s expletive-laced e-mail to the Long Island Business Journal, which dared to quote the ASBL in a story. The LIBJ wondered if maybe Stamler had too many lattes that morning. But Stamler says he doesn’t drink coffee. Hmmm. He just doesn’t seem like a chai tea kind of guy.