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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
PowerBlog Review: AllBusiness Blog Center
Read all the PowerBlog ReviewsEditor's note: We're pleased to bring you the sixty-ninth in our regular weekly series of PowerBlog Reviews of business weblogs. This week's review is being guest-blogged by Lynne Meyer. Lynne Meyer, APR, is president of A Way with Words.

All Business All The Time
By Lynne Meyer

AllBusiness.com ("Champions of Small Business") has taken a novel approach to blogging. Instead of starting a series of new blogs by professional writers (an approach taken by a number of traditional media sites) AllBusiness.com has gathered experienced small-business bloggers from all over the United States -- New York, Minnesota, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Florida, just to name a few -- into one central location called the AllBusiness Blog Center. As of this writing there are 14 blogs available at the Center.

Many of the blogs were pre-existing properties before being ported over to reside at the AllBusiness Blog Center. In fact, we've previously done PowerBlog Reviews on a number of these fine business blogs when they were stand-alone sites. Today, rather than reviewing any single blog, we are reviewing the Blog Center as a whole.

The AllBusiness Blog Center bills itself as "The best business blogs from around the Web." Peter Levinson, product manager for the Blog Center, describes how AllBusiness has taken the metablog concept to new heights, with the site serving as a clearinghouse of sorts for the blogs of several small business owners, designed to help other small business owners. Think one-stop shopping. Says Peter:
"AllBusiness has a number of professionals blogging on the topics of their expertise and sharing their ideas and experiences with other professionals. With these blogs at our site, we provide resources to help small and growing businesses start, manage, finance and expand their business."
Here you'll find a compendium of informational posts about a variety of business topics, including legal, marketing, management, sales, starting/running your own business and business news.

The bloggers make postings as often as they wish, and AllBusiness makes it easy and convenient for them to participate in the metablog site. There's a photo of each blogger, which is a nice touch with so many different bloggers included on one site. According to Peter:
"Each blogger gets his or her own blog and can build their own community around their topic. We make it easy and convenient for our bloggers because we support them with back-end management, marketing, traffic and other resources."
Being organized for the ease of readers should be an important element for every successful blog, and AllBusiness does this well by categorizing each of the blogs into a topical category, such as legal, marketing, management or sales. Some of the categories also have sub-categories. For example, marketing has two sub categories -- direct mail marketing and Internet marketing.

AllBusiness.com is a site designed specifically to serve small business owners. Says Peter, "AllBusiness contains forms and agreements, business guides, business directories, thousands of articles, expert advice and business blogs, along with solutions and services, all focused on the small business market."

Business guide subjects include starting a business, incorporation and tax and government. There are also all manner of business forms -- everything from forms for buying a business, to forms for hiring employees, to forms for websites such as a sample privacy policy. You'll also find a large number of RSS feeds by topic, not limited just to blogs but for various columns and advice.

AllBusiness.com appears to have a strong commitment to blogging. The Blog Center is nicely integrated into the AllBusiness site, with a dedicated menu item for "Business Blogs" appearing as one of the main navigation tabs on the home page and throughout the site, as well as down the left side. In addition, the Blog Center is showcased on the home page of AllBusiness, with rotating visibility given to a couple of the individual blogs and bloggers, too.

AllBusiness is at the forefront of integrating new media forms like blogs into their overall offerings. It will be interesting to come back a year from now and see how it all develops.

Take a one-stop shopping trip to the AllBusiness Blog Center.
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