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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
PowerBlog Review: Coyote Blog

Editor's note: I am delighted to present another in our weekly PowerBlog Reviews of business weblogs. This is the sixty-first in the series.

Today we are reviewing the Coyote Blog. The Coyote Blog's tagline is "Dispatches from a Small Business." The blog is written by Warren Meyer, a small business owner in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Warren is in the business of running recreation facilities (campgrounds and marinas) on government lands.

No, this blog is not about animals (even though a picture of a coyote appears on the blog). It's called "Coyote Blog" in honor of the state of Arizona, and as a reference to the cartoon character Wilie E. Coyote and that small business the cartoon made famous: Acme.

One of the beauties of a blog is that it lets the author give free reign to his interests. This blog very much reflects its author's interests, and Warren has a wide range of interests.

He says he got started blogging after buying his own business, when:

"...lots of people asked me to help them with buying a business of their own, and for help with small business issues, so I started the blog mainly to communicate some of my lessons learned. However, since I have the attention span of an 8-year old boy mainlining Hershey bars, my focus widened to politics and economics and sometimes sports and occasionally gadgets. In these areas, I blog for sanity. In college, I burned to change the world, and to argue with everyone who disagreed with me. And, given the political climate at universities, being a proponent of free markets gave me plenty of opportunities to argue. Now that I am older, arguing politics with everyone in sight is annoying, not to mention over-taxing. The blog has been about right, allowing me to vent my spleen from time to time without irritating my friends and family."
Despite the free-ranging nature of some of the topics, you'll find substantial business content. Warren strives to do one substantial post a day where he says something meaningful with value-add, as opposed to short posts simply pointing to other content elsewhere. He reports that his link rate from other sites went way up when he started the "substantive post" style of blogging.

Often business content on the Coyote Blog is presented in a larger societal, economic or even political context, giving it richer meaning. After all, it's hard to separate a business's financial health from taxes, burdensome governmental regulations, and similar conditions around it.

One very insightful series of posts I highly recommend is about buying a small business. It's an excellent 3-part series with real-life experiences and can be found starting here. Now, in a typical publication, when you read an article about buying a business, you get general information -- probably a broad overview. What Warren gives you is the kind of information no one ever tells you. Indeed, that's a hallmark of blogs generally -- getting information about people's experiences that is often hard to find anywhere else.

Warren is an avowed libertarian. I asked him to please shed some light on why it seems that every libertarian on the planet has a blog. Warren gives us the answer to this big mystery:
"...libertarians have never had a really good outlet for our opinions and it is a relief to have a channel to be able to express our views without distortion. ***One of the problems with communicating or branding libertarianism is that it is almost by definition an umbrella that covers a whole wide variety of stuff. Libertarians revel in differences and being different. Almost by definition, none of us have the same message, or even believe that we all should have the same message. Blogging is tailor made for us -- many diverse messages rather than one official one."
The Power: The Power of the Coyote Blog is the straight-shooting way its author comes right out and says what he means, without dancing around subjects. And the real-life business experiences he conveys are eminently helpful, providing information it is hard to get elsewhere.
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