Has Free Advice Increased in Value?
Has Free Advice increased in Value?
To answer that question you would have to consider the source of the advice. If the source has a perceived value then the advice has value as well.
In the past free advice was rooted in the adage, “you get what you pay for.” Indicating that advice was nothing more than opinion and had little or no value.
In today’s Internet world – that adage isn’t as true as it was in the past. Many internet sites offer advice from professionals to peers, route advice from professionals to professionals and in some cases, professionals are managing the sites themselves. Take PbxInfo.com for example.
On an average day at PbxInfo.com, two dedicated servers in Northern Virginia heat up and present over a 1,000 page views by eight am and close out the day with over 79,000 page views. Why all the visits to the site? What are the visitors looking for? The answer, simply put, is advice and information.
Once a small community of niche professionals, PbxInfo.com has developed into a culture that welcomes, shares, and contributes knowledge about every facet of telecommunications, telecommunication manufactures and isn’t stopping there.
It has continually grown to include Portal sites, where one login account allows members to move from portal to portal and ask questions about systems, read archived posts, read articles, or view telecom related white papers.
With so much offered, it’s no wonder PbxInfo.com has steadily grown from a small community of 10 to 20 registered users in the last quarter of 1998 to over 15,000 registered telecommunication professionals this year
Rick Cruz, the founder and owner of PbxInfo.com LLC, has a vision in mind of what PbxInfo.com will become. His vision is a One-Stop shop for telecommunication students, technicians and managers alike.
PbxInfo’s 360-degree model is designed to assist telecommunications professionals in every phase of a telecommunications project.
PbxInfo’s System Comparison allows for system research,
PbxInfo’s Buy-Sell program allows for RFQ’s and RFP’s to be developed and introduces buyers to sellers,
PbxInfo’s MarketPlace allows buyers to find used or refurbished systems and equipment vendors to post items for sell,
The forums allows system owners/technicians to ask questions about programming and features of a particular system or general telecom questions,
The portals break system manufactures into Avaya, Cisco, and Nortel.
And finally the Job Portal allows job seekers and employers to communicate.
The power of the site can be measured in the straightforward comment of one of its administrators, Charles Carter (President of www.CS2Communications.com), “If you hire a tech that has a pbxinfo account or if your existing tech creates an account, it is equivalent to having a tech with 15 thousand telecom friends. If your tech doesn’t know the answer, one of his friends will – that’s powerful, that’s power in numbers and that’s value.”
Another aspect of PbxInfo.com is that it doesn’t bombard its users with advertisement after advertisement. The site breaks even on the books by accepting donations from its users. Although it has an advertising marketing strategy, it’s non-obtrusive to the visitors and members.
The marketing strategy follows a concept that many surfers would find refreshing; “If a member is looking for cheap headsets and sees an ad to the left for ‘Cheap Headsets’ then the member will click and be more likely to buy. If a member is looking for information about a system and a pop-up about ‘Cheap Headsets’ takes over their screen – that is just frustrating. The site is here to assist our members, not frustrate them.”
Maybe that’s why the site has been so successful – it is focused on information/advice and the delivery/access to that advice beyond everything else. Rick, at this very moment, is managing several projects to make navigation of the site even easier.
What does Rick see for the future? “I see this site becoming the premiere telecommunications website on the internet. We’ve had over 29 Million hits during the last 4 quarters and I have just finished a campaign that might double that number over the next four quarters.”
It’s obvious that PbxInfo’s advice, while free, is awashed in value. Maybe it’s time for a new adage with respect to free advice. I’ll offer one; “free advice is worth a million – if it’s right.”
Article by Charles Carter