TrendTracking: Library Resources, Small Biz RSS Feeds, More

Welcome to the fifth edition of TrendTracking, a weekly place for small businesses to see and be seen.

  • James J. Hill Reference Library: I’ve been a big fan of the James J. Hill Library for some time. It is one of the largest business reference libraries in the United States, and they offer a unique Internet-only subscription. Now they’ve made it even better, adding a less-expensive membership category designed specifically for small businesses, called Standard Membership. Don’t miss the 6-minute Flash video describing membership benefits — you will be hooked once you watch it.
  • NEOBabble is a civic commentary blog by Chas Rich that resides at, an Advance Internet site and the online home of the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper. We reviewed Chas’s original blog, Sardonic Views, as part of the PowerBlog Review series (it was number 14). Chas writes one heck of a blog, and now it is even being recognized alongside the likes of the New York Times. His blog NEOBabble has been named a finalist in the national Online Journalism Awards. Congratulations to Chas and also to the Editor of, Denise Polverine. This recognition of blogs alongside traditional media sites is a significant trend.
  • Emily Chang’s eHub is a “constantly updated list of web applications, services, resources, blogs or sites with a focus on next generation web (web 2.0), social software, blogging, Ajax, Ruby on Rails, location mapping, open source, folksonomy, design and digital media sharing.” OK, if you don’t know what half of this stuff means, you are not alone. Some of these are cutting bleeding edge technologies. But if you want to learn about these things, Emily Chang’s eHub is a great place to start.
  • Small Firm Business: Small law firms account for over 90% of law firms in the United States. Monica Bay, who is Editorial Director of Small Firm Business, announces at her blog, The Common Scold, an award for small law firms. Go here for the entry form for the 2005 Best Practices Awards. Deadline is October 28.
  • Spinfluencer: Eric Schwartzman, the Chairman of iPressroom, has started a podcast series, “On the Record…Online” which resides at his blog, Spinfluencer. His first 18th podcast is an interview of Ron Bloom, CEO of the Ron Bloom’s interview is very interesting because he explains why podcasts are so popular with listeners and how podcasting is evolving as a business. Bloom discusses that Internet audio advertising will be 3% – 4% of total advertising within the next 5 to 10 years.
  • AlanebyDay: This is a blog being used to chronicle the startup process in a new business. It describes itself this way: “Alane By Day is the real-time narrative of the step-by-step creation of Alane’s architecture practice in just 82 days. We’re using the blog format so everyone can see how it’s done. If you’re starting a business, this blog will help you; if you’ve already started a business, you can help this blog.” As I write this it is Day 18.
  • Reflections of a Biz Driven Life: I have been wanting to call out Wilson Ng’s site for some time now. Wilson is a successful CEO in the Phillipines who was named the 2004 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Wilson’s blog is a wealth of business insights and motivational reflections. He tells me he now has a network of at least 7 sites. In the interests of space, I will simply mention his blog here and then write a separate post later pointing out in detail the great things he is doing.
  • NFIB: Hold the presses! Rex Hammock informs me this evening that the NFIB now offers RSS feeds. The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) is a member and advocacy organization for small business in the United States. The NFIB offers excellent research, surveys, tools and other important information for business owners and anyone who follows the small business market. You can subscribe to separate feeds for different kinds of information, so that you only need to receive in your newsreader the kind of information you want to see. Nice job, NFIB.
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Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO 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.

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