We frequently hear from regular readers / commenters and enjoy the opportunity to learn "what's new" for your business. Recently we heard from a few 'friends of the site' who have newly published an interesting article; or launched a new blog; or have a viewpoint on issues important to small business owners. It's always worth the time and effort to check out what people have to say. So here is a thumbnail on a couple new sites and items of interest: Matthew Bandyk, reporter for US News and World Report, is writing a new blog called Risky Business. Matthew spotlights issues of importance to the small biz owner and also his fav blog picks of the day. In a recent post he touched on the super trendy topic of social networking and whether Twitter is worth the investment in time. At first skeptical, Matthew shares one example where Twitter is connecting with customers and making a difference. Twitter definitely involves a time commitment .... But if you have a business heavily connected to the online social world, with customers who would use or be impressed by the feedback you're getting at Twitter, that commitment might be worth making to shore up your brand and make potential customers feel more at ease. Marc Michaelson of Glowan Consulting Group is getting ready to launch a blog focusing on leadership but in the meantime had a manifesto published at Change This entitled The L3 Leadership State of Being. The "L3" stands for 3 leadership attributes, including Leading self, Leading others and Cultivating a Great Place to work. This 34-page document offers a holistic approach to leadership. One of the things that struck me as valuable was the fact that in the "leading self" section, Marc includes a leader's entire life which leads to life/work balance. Interesting stuff. I look forward to the blog launch that will hopefully provide regular updates on leadership. Emarketing 4 Business is also a relatively new blog focusing on basic questions a new small business owner might pose. One of the questions struck me as particularly valuable in light of the fact that we may be conducting more business over the phone vs. face-to-face due to rising gas prices. The post Is Your Phone Voice Running off Customers asks the reader to consider the fact that how they sound over the phone may be hurting the impression they leave with callers. Andrea advises calling a friend who will be honest, to learn how you sound over the phone: Take the time to find out how your voice is coming across on the phone and make any modifications you need to. I'd like to end with a tip of the hat to Brent Leary whose guest article on Social Customer Relationship Management was recently included in the WebEx community newsletter. Brent's company, CRM-Essentials, focuses on providing CRM solutions and Brent writes a CRM Blog. Brent is also one of our Small Business Experts. Congrats, Brent on the exposure! We are always grateful for those who visit and join in the conversation here at Small Business Trends. Thanks so much for sharing your important announcements with us.