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    26 Replies Latest reply on May 28, 2008 12:24 PM by Danifer

    Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?

    dazzler Wayfarer

      Hello. I have a question and I am really not trying to be funny.

       


      My employer recently shared this smallbusiness online community web site with us and during the week because I have my own side-business as a jewelry designer, with a web site, I took a peek as a small business owner. I think many different people ask some great questions and many people offer some great advise. And I am learning some new thngs and feeling part of the small business community.

       


      But, here is my question. It seems as I participated this week in some forum topics that eventually many people wanted to know what my web site link was. I am really shy about this because I've always been told to safeguard your private information. I am afraid that once you put your link out here, vultures will prey on it and start calling and emailing you to sell a product or service. I can't even begin to tell you how much SPAM I already get in my emails and the annoying calls that are not related to my jewelry and client orders.

      Is it o.k. to feel like I do? Am I being silly? I would love to gain new business and exposure for sure but not at the expense of going public here and then some jump on the opportunity to get in your business affairs and try to offer to upgrade your web site and sell you advertising and harshly critique.

      Stumped about which way to go.....
        • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
          LUCKIEST Guide
          What a great question and I guess that is why there are horse races.
          You can bet on your favorite horse, but you don't know who is going to win.
          We live in a new age of technology and it is changing daily.
          Spam is a new tool and everybody is using it.
          Some emails and web sites have filters. A good filter will keep the spam away.
          As far as gaining new business and exposure try the SCORE web site at "www.score.org"
          It is FREE and SCORE has 26 online courses including DEVELOPING A BUSINESS PLAN
          BUILDING AND PROMOTING YOUR BUSINESS AND BUILDING A WEB SITE.
          The price is right, Good luck, LUCKIEST
            • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
              dazzler Wayfarer
              Hello, Luckiest. See - - this is what I am talking about. It seems you have something to "sell". You reply to almost every post and want to invite people to come to your web site?
                • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                  digifut.com Newbie
                  You got a point here Dazzler, some people here uses this platform as an advertising oportunity, myself use it as a way to exchange opinions, estrategies and tips, because this community was made for small business, so if we all try to help eachother it will also help our own business.

                  I don't think it is harmful to give your site addy here, after all we all have one website.

                  Try to first know the company or user that asks for your website address and when you feel he is trustly give it away, otherwise just ignore it.
                  • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                    LUCKIEST Guide
                    Dazzler, WRONG - -WRONG - - WRONG I have NOTHING to Sell and I DO NOT have a web site.
                    SORRY you do not understand, LUCKIEST
                    • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                      Green1 Adventurer
                      My initial thought when reading the posts for this topic, 'Why would I join a Small Business Community forum if I want to remain anonymous?' I am in business to make a living so therefore my business information is available to anyone who wants it. Of course I want people to go to my website but nobody is obligated to do so.

                      I pay a fair amount to Marketing firms to distribute my business and website, etc. via email. I believe this is the best value for my money. I do not get the same results when advertising in newspapers for example. The last amount I purchased was distributtion to 5 million people in North America. At one time or another these people have given an indication they are open to receiving literature on environmental products.

                      I do not use the websites, names or emails from forums such as this to drum up sales nor do I contact anyone pertaining to my business. With this said, there is a high probability that someone in this forum will receive, via email, my business website due to the mass mailings I purchase for NA. When I receive unwanted email I hit delete fairly quick and go about my day.
                  • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                    DomainDiva Ranger
                    As a consumer of jewelry, I asked for your website so I could peruse and possibly buy. I am always looking for new things to wear with my austere shark suits. Unusual jewelry makes sure that I get remembered even when I am wearing a black suit.

                    My website is posted on my profile. Anyone is free to take a look and I have already had a question about what my product was.

                    Someone somewhere is always going to try and sell you something.Just do what I do: SAY NO!!!! I just delete the spam and go on....

                    Question is: do you really want the business? If so get that web address out there...personally I can't wait to see whats out there..AND ya'll need to check out NatOnlines' site as well.
                    • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                      Lighthouse24 Ranger

                      When someone posts a question, I always read the profile before responding, and if there's a website listed, I visit it. It helps me provide a more specific and (I hope) useful response. If there's no background information there to go on, I may skip the question or wait until more responses are added to help define it.

                      The privacy/spamming point you bring up is a good one. Reminds me of dating -- we go to a lot of trouble to attract the attention of someone wonderful, and then lament over having attracted someone creepy as well. Opening ourselves to the possibility of something good almost always means exposing ourselves to the risk of something bad. I think there are many better ways to gather website identities and information en masse (if that is someone's motive) than picking through the members of this community -- so I think the rewards outweigh the risks.

                      Well then, you may ask, why don't I have a website listed in MY profile?

                       

                      1. I haven't posted any questions.

                       

                      2. I'm not here to promote my businesses.
                      • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                        WEBillions Adventurer
                        If you are not ready to go public, your website should be password protected. There is always to possibility of someone find your website by search. Put up what you can on a front page (where you can log in to develop). This will allow others to see what you are planning while you are working on it. See www.WEBillions.com as an example of this strategy.
                        • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                          Biz Online Adventurer
                          Great question, dazzler!
                          First, about forums in general. There are information seekers, slick-haired car salesmen, experts, and the whole lot, which makes a public forum exist. If you post your site, invariably you will be contacted by some forum and non-forum members to offer their services. I post my website in my profile, so if someone wants to contact me, they may do so. But I do not go through the profiles seeking business, as I think this is "forum etiquette". - Maybe I should optimize that term!

                          As for safeguarding your private information: That's a choice you make. I belong to several SEO and web-related forums, and I'm completely transparent, or public. But on some political and investor related sites, I'm anonymous. That point is chosing to be public for good reasons; i.e. sell a product, have someone review your site, improve site traffic, etc.

                           

                          As for spam, most email addresses are not protected on websites, and there are a couple old and easy methods to "hide" your email address. First, make your email address an image, not text. Spambots will not be able to read the image or graphic. The other method is to hide your email with a character mixer. User's would see, for instance, "email us", but the link would be going to your email address. In HTML code, the email address in this case would look like a string too long for the email harvestor/ spambot to read. I've used a service called addressmunger.com for years with no spam. (I don't work for them and can only speak to my results).

                           

                          So, you join a community to share experiences, and going public is not going to get you more spam or threaten your privacy. As for harsh critiques, some websites really need it, if the reviewer knows what works and what doesn't. I think a critique, from a forum etiquette standpoint, should be asked for by the poster or implies they need help. So the choice is yours. Your still part of the community either way, and it is all about sharing.

                          Good luck with your choice, and welcome to the club!
                          Cliff
                          • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                            NatOnline Tracker
                            Why should I be afraid to share my website link?

                            I would like to help new site owners because it is a long road to be successful , and if my website can give some ideas, yes go ahead and come to visit our site.

                            I am not here to sell but to share experiences, and to seek advises ;-)
                            • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                              WhiteBrow Wayfarer
                              I think it's a great opportunity to get exposure for your business. At any time you can update your profile. So, you can add in more information about your business as you start to feel more comfortable or remove it, if you start getting random calls or random emails. Just remember to share only your "business information" or whatever you'd want advertised in the public yellow pages, etc.
                              • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                                puzzleman Tracker

                                You stated that you were in business. If that is true, you should be telling everyone you meet in person, on the phone or on the web about it. You never which contact or combination of contacts will result in making the sale. It happened with me with Lands End. They saw my site, visited me at a trade show and then we talked on the phone and email.

                                As far as posting here, I am not trying to sell my products to my friends here, however if someone would like to purchase my products for their children or their clients children, I will take their money. If they don't buy from me, I do not have a lesser impression of them. My products do not fit all people all the time.

                                • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                                  NetworkGuru Wayfarer
                                  dazzler,

                                  I'm just going to talk about me here...

                                  If I were receiving Spam and unsolicited calls from other online members of this community, I would report them to the SBOC webmasters. I personally signed up to get information, and in return, help others that may be needing my help. I did not signup to send or receive Spam, nor solicit or be solicited.

                                  Just my thoughts and opinion.
                                  • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                                    NatOnline Tracker
                                    I am not afraid to share my e-commerce link for many reasons.

                                    If my site design can help and give inspiration to members, tha'ts great to share.

                                    If some members are in need of my products, why not to promote my e-commerce.

                                    As far as I am concern spamming unfortunately is the part of being public, it could happen everywhere, and I don't read unsolicited emails, that goes directly to the trash if I don't know where that come from.

                                    I am hard on telemarketers, so beware if some try to call me !http://smallbusinessonlinecommunity.bankofamerica.com/images/emoticons/wink.gif!
                                    • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                                      CEO Space Scout
                                      No, I am not afraid to share my web site or information here.

                                      I am new to this forum but so far, I've found it professional and helpful.

                                      Also, of the people who have contacted me for information, I've found them honesty looking for help
                                      and professional. I haven't had any problems with spam.

                                      I am also on other forums and I usually read the forum for some days before I join and post and then I decide based on my feelings if I should be public or not with my information.

                                      I would not be afraid to post my web site at all though.
                                        • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                                          SanDiegoTech Wayfarer
                                          Ummmm, why don't you check out http://www.score.org/ before you bash Luckiest...he is non-profit counselor that donates his time. SCORE a very helpful and knowledgable group of seasoned pros.

                                          -

                                          SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

                                          SCORE has 389 chapters in locations throughout the United States and its territories, with 10,500 volunteers nationwide. Both working and retired executives and business owners donate time and expertise as business counselors. SCORE was founded in 1964.
                                              • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                                                CEO Space Scout
                                                San Diego Tech,

                                                Oh, I see, I think you are just hitting the reply key of the last post regardless of who it is, so it said in response to CEO Space and you must have meant someone else.
                                                  • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                                                    SanDiegoTech Wayfarer
                                                    I'm very lazy...it was in response to dazzler's #2 post.

                                                    No harm intended Kathy.
                                                      • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                                                        CEO Space Scout
                                                        Yes, that is what I thought after I saw the other post you posted to yourself.

                                                        No harm done.
                                                          • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                                                            mpoweringu Wayfarer
                                                            dazzler -

                                                            Well, this has just turned into a crazy, messy discussion, but some good things have been said! I understand your fear and better yet, MANY of us small business owners understand your frustration about people contacting you and attempting to "sell" you something! I remember the first month after I registered my own business for my business license... I started getting call after call after call and mailer after mailer after mailer! Unfortunately, some things about your business will never stay private! That is the nature of being in business for yourself! As stated, people will want to know who they're dealing with, so if you're not ready to face them and let the "cat out of the bag" then I would recommend holding off (as you have been) until you feel comfortable moving forward.

                                                            As stated before, here are some things to both think about and possibly do to help you control when things are made "public"...

                                                            1. As mentioned, if you have a web site and you're not ready to make it public, password protecting it is the best way to be sure no one stumbles upon it and no search engines index your web pages. IMPORTANT: If you have not specifically coded your web site to not be indexed by search engines, and it is NOT password protected, then eventually it will end up in the search engines and it will be publically searchable. Domain registrars publish a list of "recently registered" domain names and your domain will definitely be in the list unless you purchased a "private registration" (which usually costs more, so you would know if that is what you have.)
                                                            2. Be sure to not give away the domain URL and/or post it in any forum, profile (such as your member profile on this site,) or other web site anywhere on the Internet. If you publish this information on another site, it is likely that that web page it exists on has been indexed by search engines, and people will find your domain URL address.
                                                            3. Be careful what email address you use when communicating with people! If you use an email address associated with this web site that you do not want public... guess what... the domain URL is right there for anyone to see and they can go to your web site! Instead use an alternative one or a free email address from services like Yahoo!, Google, and Hotmail. It is true that if you post your email address on a website, that the majority of the time it is not protected from SPAM bots (little computer programs designed to scower all web sites grabbing email addresses based on some code tags or even formatted text!)
                                                            Now, here are some things to think about if you have the desire to grow your business (meaning grow sales.)
                                                            1. You are going to HAVE TO share your web site address. The saying of "build it and they will come" no longer applies. You have to promote your web site address to get potential customers to come and visit it and possibly buy. This ALSO means that potential people who want to "sell something" to you will find it and will contact you. As mentioned before, just tell them "I'm not interested," and if it is a telemarketer, ask them to remove you from their calling list. You will not be able to escape these people and will simply have to learn to deal with them, BUT... be careful, not everyone is trying to "sell" you something, but may be trying to help you. For instance, LUCKIEST is with SCORE (which stands for SERVICE CORPS OF RETIRED EXECUTIVES.) So what are they? They are a non-profit partnered with the United States Small Business Administration to offer FREE help and advice to small business owners such as yourself! So LUCKIEST was not trying to sell you anything, but was trying to direct you to a resource that may help you. So as mentioned, check out as much as possible who is trying to "help/sell" you and then you can decide if you want to contact them or follow their advice.
                                                            2. If you offer a product or service that you think would benefit me, don't you think you would want to let me know? If you do think so, that means I will expect to learn a little about you and your company... so be ready to share! No one likes to be kept in the dark and no one would ever work with someone that kept them in the dark about who they were! It's all about relationships, building trust, and being honest!
                                                            I could probably think of more, but I'm a bit tired! Hopefully some of this helped. In the end, you have to decide when you are ready to open up and let the world know who you are so your business can grow and be successful. If you continue to hide it and "keep the walls" up, in turn, keeping everyone out... you can be sure your business will not last long!

                                                            I have no fear in sharing my web site address! I want people to find me! Does that mean I may get some emails and calls from people I do not care to do business with? SURE! But... I will not know that until they contact me! What looks like an annoying phone call could be an awesome opportunity in discguise!

                                                            I say hello world! Here's my web address: www.mpoweringu.com Contact me if you would like!
                                                    • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                                                      CEO Space Scout
                                                      I think you must have me confused with someone else.

                                                      What are you talking about? I haven't bashed anyone.

                                                      What do you mean "bash Luckiest"?

                                                      I know what SCORE is and have referred people there and to the SBA resources.
                                                  • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                                                    www2sshoescom Wayfarer

                                                    I will never be afraid of putting my web site link & info. with public, no matter I am a seller, or a buyer, or neither.
                                                    Yes, there are a lot of articles putting here with purposes of advertising, but most of them are aimed at information-exchanging.
                                                    Anyway, it never get in my way. I could choose go away, and pause myself to have a look. It just depends whether or not I need this information.
                                                    • Re: Are you afraid to share your web site link & info. with the public, here?
                                                      Danifer Wayfarer
                                                      I'm not afraid to share my web site on any forum. Rather than not give out your web site address, why don't you just go through your web site and remove the information you don't want publicly available?