Friday, February 23, 2007

Fight Night 3: MerchantCircle vs. Roy Jones Jr.

fightSo recently at work we've been playing this game called Fight Night 3 on Play Station 2 (management's holding back on a PS3 or a wii, but we won't complain). Fortunately, our morale is great thanks to a number of recent mentions in the media about us. We've worked hard to make sure a business owner can easily navigate their way and manage their reputation on the web. And after 90,000 merchants signed on - it's great to know business owners realize the importance of having a presence on the web.

Just this last week, we've graced the sites of BusinessWeek, MSNBC, and USA TODAY, but just as importantly we've reached the analyst and players in the 'local' internet space with The Local Onliner and ScreenWerks. Perhaps the proudest accomplishment for us, is hitting home to people who actually run local businesses including Steve Mun, a real estate agent in Saratoga, CA, and marketing experts like Andy Beal.

You can even hear our co-founder Wayne Yamamoto in The Startup Studio podcast this week. All of the attention is great, but it means nothing if our merchants don't get new customers. And they are! Take for instance Beyond Atioxidant, Dodd Priority, or All American Gutter. With merchants like that in our corner, MerchantCircle can take out all comers - even Roy Jones Jr.fightnight4

Community Relations

Friday, February 16, 2007

Not Ready To Make Nice

Dixie ChicksThis isn't a blog post about the Dixie Chicks, more along the lines of will and determination to stay strong and keep doing what you love. It's a lot of those same traits that can be found in small business owners around the country - seemingly isolated, but in reality connected.

We live in a world of Big-Box retailers who, in their quest for global domination, inadvertently squeeze out a lot of the 'smaller' players. These 'small' players are whom this country was founded upon. In fact, even today, small business accounts for two-thirds of all new American jobs.

Say you want to be the next Dixie Chicks. You're probably going to have to get those coffee-stained teeth cleaned and whitened. Record a demo. Educate yourself. Then drop the pets off before heading to Clive Davis' office. And if you end up getting the boot from the assistant to the assistant, you're probably going to need an ego booster.

Fortunately, we have such great small businesses to go to. And without MerchantCircle, they wouldn't have had the chance to be found on the web. You see, MerchantCircle is their primary web presence. And fortunately for you and me, they're not ready to make nice for Big-Box Retailers.


Community Relations

Monday, February 12, 2007

MySpace Stalking, Bondage and My 5th Grade English Teacher

Myspace Stalker

When I first joined MySpace it was the result of an overzealous friend who insisted that she would create the account for me. As I continued to refuse, she proceeded to add all of our mutual friends as ‘friends’ on my new MySpace account. In a few short months, I went from standoffish to MySpace stalker.

Growing a community on the web these days is full of MySpace knock-offs; ‘It’s MySpace for college students,’ or ‘it’s MySpace for xenophobic anemic Republican doglovers’. A lot of the experts said, successful online communities are driven by the young. When we first started MerchantCircle, a lot of the critics said we were dealing with an older generation, that we couldn’t sign up merchants without an off-line sales force, and that we couldn’t do it without spending a lot of money. Well, guess what?

They were wrong.

Since we launched in June, more than 85,000 business owners have signed on – making us the FASTEST growing company in the ‘local’ online space. We’ve gone from making fun of the Yellow Pages for being outdated (see the bondage pic) to getting straight to the point.


One day, Yellow Pages will not exist. Customers will have instant access to the internet where they will search for the services and products they’ll buy before leaving the house. We’re the only site that’s already built your business listing and allows you to upload pictures, blog, build coupons and see all the reviews written about your business on the web – free of charge.

We continue to add more awesome, easy-to-use services that’s sure to make my 5th grade English teacher mad. My sentences about everything we do is becoming dangerously close to being a run-on. Oh well, rules are made to be broken and we’ve been proving the experts wrong for some time!


MerchantCircle Stalker

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

I like you; you like me?

borat It sure is nice getting recognition recently for what we've accomplished and the traction we're gaining as a one-stop-shop for business owners and their web presence. From Media Mall to VentureBeat, to the opinionated and the skeptical - MerchantCircle is now at 85,000 merchants signed-on with no end in sight.

From the hot lists to the special awards, it's an exciting time for us all. And the merchant community is reaping the rewards. Business is Sterling (so to speak), and luckily, we're in the right space at the right time.

Community Relations

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Show Me The Money

MoneyI just got back from New York where we accepted the award as Newcomer of the Year and one of the Top 100 Private Companies chosen by AlwaysOn Media. I spent a lot time meeting people and promptly forgetting their names - thank goodness for those name badges! And no. No one referred to me as Koko, but at work they still call me T-Bone. Anway, let me get to the point. We want to remember your name, but let me tell you why.

As our network has crossed nearly 85,000 merchants signed on, just like yourself, we realize many of our new merchants signing on are because of referrals from you and other business owners. Something along the lines of, "blah blah MerchantCircle is the best ever!!!" And "Who needs a website when MerchantCircle is free?!!?" And "Who is that sexy-sounding-writer Kevin, and is he single?"

Well, we want to reward you for inviting other merchants by paying you cash (check) for every business friend of yours who signs up. Besides that, you're inviting them to a network that helps to get their businesses found higher on Google and Yahoo. More customers, larger network, and Kevin's probably still single, but happy.

Community Relations

P.S. Check out the revamped Newsletter out on Monday, it's sure to knock at least one sock off.