This is a sponsored review. Platinax went through broker ReviewMe to ask if I would review the Platinax small business / entrepreneur web site. I agreed for a few reasons. First, I recognize Brian Turner from a few SEO forums, and my recollection is he’s a positive guy who often speaks directly, which I like (even if he doesn’t include johnon.com in his blogroll). Second, I feel qualified to review an entrepreneur / small business resource site because I am a decidely small time entrepreneur, having started several successful companies that I very deliberately chose to keep small despite growth opportunity. I like small, and I have worked with big (Fortune 50, NASDAQ/NYSE listed) many times.
Platinax has a directory and blog and forum, and the front page summarizes what is going on. It’s a business directory plus blog plus syndicated news on small business. I think the potential is in the forums.
Funny thing about forums… once they are well managed technically, the forum value varies with the visitor. If the forum includes the right people, it and can be a very valuable resource for some but not others. I wasn’t aware of Platinax before, but I recognizes a few names from my webmaster travels. They keep it very open, sort of the opposite of so many of the cliquish forums. If you’re intimidated by sites like ThreadWatch and DP, and don’t like the idea of subscribing to single business forums like the MOZ blog, you might find Platinax a safe place to establish yourself as a voice. The make-money-fast stuff is quickly identified for what it is, and eradicated with just enough snarkiness to keep things entertaining. It’s a UK site, but out of Scotland which might explain the slightly different snarkiness (more polite? Less aggressive?) than UK forum stuff like I see on ThreadWatch.
Platinax is definitely less sophisticated than many SEO forums, which would make it attractive to small business owners who are not looking to become full-time Internet marketers. I’d call it “small business friendly”. With sections on all the typical online business topics (marketing, PPC, SEO, legal, organizational issues) it covers the bases, and the current participation seems very positive and practical. It definitely needs participation to grow. As I read through some threads, I wished there were more active posts and questions because it feels like a very positive environment that’s underutilized.
There’s value in the Platinax forums for small business owners because guys like Brian take more advanced information on other sites and bring it into the forum, where they also make themselves available to support a discussion. For that reason I’d recommend it if you are a small business working online, and looking for a community experience. I’d also recommend it if you are a wanna be consultant with some decent experience under your belt. You can join and establish your persona helping the community without the crowds you find on the bigger forums.