How Blogging Led to Meeting Michael Dell

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Vostro line of computers for small businesses by DellDell, the computer makers, just launched a new line of computers designed specifically for small businesses, called Vostro. (Yeah, Dell!)

Last week they held a town hall meeting in New York for the launch, featuring Dell CEO Michael Dell. Guess who got to be the emcee of the event? Ramon Ray of SmallBizTechnology.com.

I was excited to see Ramon introducing Michael Dell in the video of the event. Naturally, I had to ask Ramon how he came to be introducing Michael Dell.

The story he told me is one that speaks to the power of an entrepreneur being a Web publisher and working at it consistently and persistently.

In an email, Ramon told me this about how the master of ceremonies gig came about:

Well, I received an invitation from Dell’s PR team to attend the Dell launch of Vostro.

I asked if I could take a few minutes to interview Michael Dell, face to face, not just in the press briefing. I was told no — he did not have the time.

A few hours later, I get an email that evening asking me to call Dell PR. The next thing I know they ask if I could lead (yes emcee) the event!

So I spent about 15 minutes giving a few guidelines to the audience and also shared with the audience a study done by a small business research organization, before the web cast started. Then the web cast started and I spoke a few more words and introduced Michael Dell!

I do attribute this primarily to my blog. Of course just because one has “a” blog does not mean you’ll get to meet or be with some famous person. However, a blog with useful content, at the right time, seen by the right person can lead to some interesting opportunities for a blogger.

Ramon and I have talked several times about how inadequate the labels “blog” and “blogger” can be. Why? Only because they’re limiting words. They conjure up stereotypes that really do not fully describe what either he or I do with our online publications.

But I will say this: no matter what you call it — a blog or an online magazine or a website — having a Web publishing tool like blogging software has made it possible for individual entrepreneurs to gain a voice. And for those, who like Ramon, cover a topic regularly and have stuck with it over a period of years, it brings a level of credibility that would be hard to otherwise attain.

I’m sure it wasn’t the blog alone that led to Ramon’s emcee invitation. Rather, it was Ramon’s reputation for covering small business technology — gained over a period of years writing SmallBizTechnology.com week in and week out. Persistence pays off.

Meanwhile, watch the video of Dell’s Vostro launch event.

Even if you don’t have time to watch the entire video (it’s 51 minutes), try to catch part of it. It’s well worth your time.

9 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell - CEO


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of TweakYourBiz.com.

9 Reactions

  1. Anita – thank you for recognizing the role Ramon played in our Small Business “Town Hall” Meeting and Vostro launch event last week. It was Ramon’s influence, knowledge and commitment to small business that led to him emceeing the event, and he did a great job. Because customer feedback led to the creation of Vostro and we made the announcement to small business owners themselves, who better to emcee the event than a small business technology entrepreneur and expert. JJ Davis, Dell SMB Communications

  2. Hi Jennifer, yes Ramon is himself a small business owner and understands the small business mindset very well. That’s why he has such credibility. It was a really nice touch for Dell to ask him to emcee.

    Also, it would be nice to get the town hall video in an embeddable player so that it can be shared more widely. Michael Dell made some important points in the meeting (such as avoiding trial software bloat) and it would be good to have more people hear it in his own words.

    Best,
    Anita

  3. Anita, this was really impressive and so true that “persistence” truly does pay off. Thumbs Up! Ramon

  4. PERSISTENCE PAYS. I like this. I started blogging two years ago. And as this posts puts it, I have been building my reputation slowly by slowly. Blogging really opens up opportunities. A company that likes what I do has invited me to talk to some researchers and farmers on about science and technology communication. If you’re out there, and have a business, but you don’t blog, THINK TWICE. No excuse of busy schedules. Contract somebody to blog for you. Blogging is the surest way of building your business. You get to tell the public what your products are.

  5. Blogging is indeed effective for building credibility and reputation – but it’s also FUN. Start blogging about an interest, hobby, or your pets, and you never know what may come of it. And if you have an existing website, a blog can send additional traffic to your site.

  6. Anita:

    I think you are completely right that blog and blogger are not good words to describe what bloggers like you and Ramon do. There needs to be either a word or category for “professional bloggers” who are not amateurs – especially given the active debate going on right now about amateur blogs and blogging.

    I just took a quick look at the top 30 blogs listed by Edleman in a recent post they did on ranking blogs. By my rough estimate 14 are authored by what I would describe as small business people for whom blogging is substantial part of their business (which is how I think of your blog, for example). I also include small new media companies in this category (adrants for example), and 16 are written by people who are blogging as part of their jobs (Jonathan’s blog, for example). While only a few are written by traditional journalists, all are written by professionals and none are written by what I would describe as amateurs.

    While the Edelman list strikes me as overly tech focused and short changing the political and entertainment blogs, the vast majority of high traffic blogs in those categories are also written by professionals. Even Drudge at this point has to be considered a “professional blog”, although it didn’t start that way and not everyone would agree that the content is professional.

    My guess is if you looked at the top 500 blogs by traffic you would find that the vast majority – my guess is 90+ percent – are authored by professionals. I would also guess that the top 500 blogs get 90+% of total blog traffic.

    This is not to say that amateur blogs aren’t good things. I have a family blog that we use to update my 85 year old mother on the activities of her geographically distributed family. It is a great way to share stories and pictures, and a good example of a purely amateur blog that is very useful.

    However amatuer blogs are clearly very different in content and quality than blogs written by professionals, and it would be nice to have a different word to describe them.

    Steve

  7. Helped me lot thanks for such a informative article

  8. I’m not so sure about the “Vostro – yeah Dell!” feeling…

    http://slider.rack66.net/~mechanix/blog/index.php/urandom/dellvostro.txt lists some reasons. One thing that I did not even mention there is that a Vostro with equal or even slightly less spec’ed configuration, compared to the Dimension, came out about €50 more expensive, or about 4%.

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