South of the James: The Cordial Cricket

Taking a brief respite from the confines of political wonkery, Conaway Haskins talks about the limits — or otherwise — of blogging:

These days, blogging in the political realm in on the verge of being cliched or at least passe. Everybody – campaigns, media companies, political parties, lobbyists and average Joes (plumbers and otherwise) – is hitting the blogosphere to drop news, give opinion, attack opponents or just mouth off. I’m not going to hate on them because, hell, political blogging has paid dividends for me (see: employment). But, if you look at the world wide web through the lens of political blogging, it’s easy to feel like you’ve come to the end of the “Internets.” Fortunately for web junkies, that’s oh so untrue.

A 3 year-old business, The Cordial Cricket opened up a few months ago in the heart of Chesterfield’s new urbanist Chester Village Green development. Part of the Festival Park section, owner Elizabeth Howard hesitantly packed up her Old Towne Petersburg shop (Paper With Style) and moved a few miles north to the larger, more modern confines of this vibrant suburban community. She rebranded the store as The Cordial Cricket (due to some pesky legal mumbo-jumbo) and hit the ground running.

In the interest of full disclosure, Elizabeth and her husband are friends of mine, and I’ve shared my views on the utility of business blogging to her.

Elizabeth totally gets the logic behind opening up her business to the possibilities of the ‘Net. Wanting to go beyond her in-store confines (local), she opened up an online sales site (global) that can reach anyone, anywhere. It’s easy for a business owner to simply use their web presence to peddle inventory seeing as how it’s a free country and all. But, there is value to be gained by going further, and from the looks of things, Elizabeth “gets it” as well. The Cordial Cricket family now has new addition – a business blog.

Not a bad way to build a reputation online. The hardest part is sticking with it for a time, even though the stats are low. Someone’s watching… and reading… and will one day tell their friends. And that’s advertising you can’t buy!

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