Friday, July 10, 2009

SMB Conference Call End of Life Announcement

Don't panic. It's not gone yet.

But I thought you should know that the SMB Conference Call will be going off the air in December. I figure we'll finish out this year with a bang and quit while we're ahead.

The SMB Conference Call was kicked off with Erick Simpson in January of 2008. So if we go through the end of 2009, that's two full years. We'll be right at 50 recorded shows. And that represents hundreds of hours of labor from dozens of people (including me, of course).

Our goal has been to educate, stimulate, and introduce the SMB community to an MSP-centric view of the world.

Our guests have not included "everyone" we would like to have included, but we certainly had our share of luminaries. If you peruse the archives for 2008 and archives for 2009 you'll find shows with

- Erick Simpson
- Matt Makowicz
- Harry Brelsford
- Mike Iem
- Arlin Sorensen
- David Schrag
- Zenith Infotech
- Jeff Middleton
- Naseem Saab
- Vlad Mazek
- Amy Luby
- Data Epp
- Stuart Selbst
- Mathew Dickerson
- Stuart Crawford
- Robert Crane
- Jim Locke
- Dave Sobel
- Robin Robins
- Eriq Neal
- Philip Elder
- Joe Panettieri
- Clint Gatewood
- Aaron Booker
- Amy Babinchak

and lots and lots of other people.

When I say we're going out with a bang and not a whimper, you better believe me. Our next guest is Arnie Bellini from ConnectWise. Arnie will join us live from the Microsoft Worldwide Partner conference in New Orleans, LA. Wed. July 15th. 9AM Pacific.

The next show after that will have Bob Godgart and Bob Vogel from Autotask. After that it's Harry Brelsford, George Sierchio . . . and on and on. The two shows in December will feature Vlad Mazek and Erick Simpson.

- - - - -

So, you ask, why end when we're going so strong?

Let me answer a question with a question: Did you ever watch the last pitiful season of a really great TV show and wish they would have cut it off a year earlier? I don't want that to happen to the SMB Conference Call.

I'm happy going out at the top and not wait until the recording technician is the only listener left.

Again, I say Fear Not!

Between now and "the end" I have to figure out what else to do.

I walk a narrow line with the content I provide. On one hand, I have never endorsed a product or been paid to endorse a product. On the other hand, you have to click past the book-buying opportunities to download the shows.

Believe it or not, there's also a problem that comes with popularity on the modern Internet: both the SMB Conference Call and Small Biz Thoughts blog have been syndicated to the point where I don't know how large the audience is. Fewer people listen live, but lots more download the shows. One blog post might only get a thousand hits, but it can also light up the phones for a company I mention.

I would love to have a forum with more audience participation, but I can't have 300 people talking at once.

As for topics . . . I'm lucky to be free of paid sponsors, so I can talk about whatever I want.

The SMB and MSP space is still going strong, and I want to keep helping those partners. But two other topics are itching at the back of my head.

First, there's Migration Strategies. The Internet is littered with SBS 2008 migration horror stories. I'll have a book out soon, and we've been packing in the crowds to hear about this topic. At the same time, Jeff Middleton and I have been talking more lately, and we're on tap to talk about Migration Strategies at SMB Nation.

Second, I'm moving to The Cloud, moving as many clients as I can, and feel a need to help people realize that vision of the future. That topic will be appealing to end users as well as technicians.

- - - - -

What shall I do next? I need your help.

I honestly don't have time to give MORE time to the community, so don't ask for a weekly show.

But what about a monthly program? And who should be on it? Should I have guests at all?

And how can I squeeze a few nickels out of the show? Would you pay to listen? How much?

If I had advertisers would you call me a slimy vendor monger and spit on me in the streets?

What do YOU the readers of this blog want to hear/see/read more of? How can I help you enjoy your business and be successful?

Please post comments here or email karlp

One final approach I have not considered: Just shut up and stop pushing my views on the rest of the SMB/MSP community. Hmmmmm.

Thanks for the feedback.


Books and Audio CDs on SBS, Virtualizatoin, SharePoint, and more.


  1. What's actually happening is that The SPAM Show is entering into a strategic agreement with SMB Conference Call. We feel it's in the best interest of our common listeners to have a choice, and it is a choice, whether to listen to our show or go play outside in the dirt.

    While we still want you to tune into the SMB Conference Call, you have to ask yourself if you will receive full value of it even when it's not broadcasting anything.

    Sounds familiar :)


  2. Where can I tune into this Spam Show if I'm not a Shockey Monkey subscriber?


  3. We are not going to be asking any more non-Shockey-Monkey subscribers to listen to our show. It's your choice not to be a Shockey Monkey subscriber but you just won't get the full value of the SPAM Show. We'll still ask you for your money and parade you to vendors and all, but you just have to ask yourself if it's worth it.


  4. "Just shut up and stop pushing my views on the rest of the SMB/MSP community. Hmmmmm."

    I deplore that idea! I get more help information between the blah,blah,blah comments in your blog than I do in a dozen other blogs that I check.

    No, keep your opinions (insights is a better word) coming. They are a lifeline for many of us.

  5. I will be sad to see the SMB Conference calls go. I love listening to them and do my best to get the live shows when I can.. I do however fully understand why you are pulling them..

    Perhaps we can find some volunteers (on this side of the pond) to take them over :-)

    Thanks for all you have done for the community Karl, its great to have a guy like you on our side.

  6. Karl - thanks for all you've done and continue to do for the community. I'm sad to see the SMB Conference Call go, but understand that all things need to evolve. I'm certain there will be a deeper void felt for all those who have enjoyed it but never participated, commented, blogged, etc. on it (remember that Poison song "Don't know what you've got 'till it's gone).

    Anyway, I know you'll come up with something equally beneficial to the community, and I look forward to taking part in it.

    Erick Steve Martin Simpson

  7. Will also be sorry to see the end of the Conf Calls, possible that a monthly show might draw even more listeners though.

    As others have said your thoughts are very gratefully received and always thought provoking. I've lost count of the amount of times your blog has kicked me into action on all aspects of my business.

    Your blog and books on their own are a fantastic contribution to the community, anything above that is a big bonus.


  8. Say it ain't so! :-)

    Gutted to hear you'll be discontinuing the SMB Conference Calls - with all sincerity, I can't tell you how much those calls have contributed to me as a business owner growing my business through the advice you've given and the introductions you've made.

    If you never do another Conference Call, the back-catalogue of calls should be required listening for anybody in the SMB Community looking to grow their business.

    But let's hope you can find the time and energy to keep the concept alive in some way. :-)

    For all those hours you've spent helping peers like myself, many thanks Karl!


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