Looking at the businesslink.gov.uk website, and with experience of working on developing the London version in the past, I came up with one positive way to link up the great factual content on the site with the needs of business owners – a live chat facility for the ‘Starting Up’ section. Specifically in this proposal of mine ‘Live Support’, as used in many e-commerce sites. It’s perhaps one small way of meeting some of the criticisms voiced today on Alex Bellinger’s blog Small Biz Pod at Businesslink in general, and his earlier post on the possible impact of Web 2.0 on Businesslink:
“Business Link advisers need to be facilitators and nodes on the network, not gatekeepers. They need to be keeping communication and mutual support between businesses running smoothly.
“They need to know people, rather than have their computer say no. They need to blog about their local business scene. They need to be creating communities on Facebook. Perhaps they need to be greater in number. Perhaps they should be seconded from real businesses on short term contracts.
“Whatever Business Link becomes it needs to be more than an advice funnel down which anyone interested in business is forced to be added to a total number designed to justify the spend to tax payers.”PS: I’ve added a comment on the same Small Biz Pod on the wonders of WordFrame for SMEs today, 3 March 2008.