@sbbuzz is the brainchild of two small business owners Pamela O’Hara (@pmohara) and Michelle Riggen-Ransom (@mriggen). In 2006 Pamela , Michelle and Michelle’s husband Sean Ransom (@sransom) co-founded BatchBlue Software (@batchblue). As business owners , technology professionals and working parents, they have been working since to help small businesses use technology to build a more profitable and life-friendly business. @sbbuzz is an extension of that effort, and a fun way to learn from some other savvy business owners.
Like most great small business ideas, though, the challenge was in the resources for execution. Enter Co-founder number three, Michelle Wolverton (@chelpixie). Behind-the-scenes handywoman extraordinaire, Chel runs her own virtual assistance business where she specializes in her’s and her client’s social media savviness. A perfect fit for the #sbbuzzing crowd, Chel helps us keep our chats organized, posted and socially engaged.
The idea for an online Twitter chat such as @sbbuzz came from two inspirations:
- The need for this online dialogue was inspired by a project we like to call the “Dear Whitney” project. Whitney (@wald12) is a good friend of Michelle who owns her own retail floor design business. She wrote in asking for some help tackling the technology landscape. Whitney is a sharp, successful urban hipster business owner, so we knew that if she was struggling to find good technology advice, so many more business owners were too.
- And the format for #sbbuzz was inspired by the highly successful #journchat. Organized by PR professional Sarah Evans (@prsarahevans), journchat is an online Twitter chat between PR professionals, journalists and bloggers. Sarah is leading an industry-altering conversation as old media and new media professionals speak openly about their future. While the conversation there is fast-paced and frenzied, we do recommend small businesses interested in better understanding PR and media relationships read through the illuminating summaries.
Like most things in a small business owner’s life, we are just heading straight to the deep end with this project. Conceived over sandwiches on Monday, February 2nd, launched at the Small Business Technology Summit (see the Twitter stream from the conference at #nycsbts) on Tuesday, February 3rd and hosting the first Twitter chat on Tuesday, February 10th from 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM Eastern Time. We will continue to evolve as the community helps us find the right way.