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The Startup Online Reality Series

Back in 2002, I helped to launch AOL for Small Business, a segmented version of AOL. I later took over as General Manager and at our height were the #1 small business destination on the web with 2.4 million unique visitors, 51 million pageviews and our own custom welcome screen that supported 1.8 million paying subscribers, equivalent to over $25 million in monthly subscriber revenue.

Not too shabby.

Of course, small business is not glamorous, so I tried to come up with something that would wow our users. That became The Startup Online Reality Series. Not your regular reality series, where we voted people of the island, but the very first online reality series where we followed four small businesses in their first year of business. It was a blend of insightful articles written by Geoff Williams, blogs by the owners and nifty videos produced by Steve Gibson.

It turns out two of those videos are still online, starting with New World Salsa from Vermont…

And Miss Celie’s Bed & Breakfast/Spa…

By season 2, we were pretty well established, even getting some nice press from…

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