21st September 2006

A colleague wanted to join a local business group in his neighborhood, and heard about the Portland Business Alliance He looked them up online, and then mistakenly joined the Portland Area Business Association instead, and then he sent me a link to his member listing.

The first thing I noticed was that his link was on a PR0 page. Too bad for him, I thought, but the second thing I noticed was that this wasn’t the PBA’s website.

I poked through the site, and was amazed that I hadn’t even heard of it! So…being the seo-curious guy I am, I looked at their source code, where I read their meta-description tag:

PABA is the business organization for gays and lesbians and their friends in the Portland, Oregon, metro area. Features Business
Directory and Community Links.

Now don’t make a big deal out of this, because i’m not saying there’s anything there’s anything WRONG with PABA, just that it seems odd that they don’t mention that on their website!

I was a small computer store owner for years in east Portland Oregon, and have benefitted from joining several local business associations. To this day I remain an active marketing commitee member of the East Portland Chamber of Commerce and think everyone should be active in their community.
The way these things work, is that you network and meet new people that may need your services, and vidce versa. you can call me homophobic if you want to, but I’m just thinking that it might help to know this groups niche going in!

After shelling out his membership fee for PABA, he actually drove around the downtown Portland industrial district looking for the address of the PABA evening membership mixer that happened to be going on, but he couldn’t find it. Too bad…the story could be even funnier if he had…

What reason might the Portland Area Business Alliance have for NOT telling people that they’re actually the “gay” Portland Business Alliance. Are they hoping to have people accidentally sign up like my friend did? How many people are too embarrassed to ask for their money back because they’re afraid they’ll be accused of bigotry? Maybe PABA members just enjoy a good laugh when people stumble into their meetings by mistake.

So, if you’re a local business owner, the moral of the story is to continue to join local groups and participate in local charities to help market your services and your products…just have an SEO friend review the website first!

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    2 Responses to Join a Local Business Group…But View their Source Code First

    1. glh says:

      Either read the appropriately titled “About us” section, or take note of any of the organizations featured in the right hand column of the main page and the constant words “gay and lesbian” should have tipped off your colleague. This organization is both a glbt org and a business org so both missions are given space on their site. I don’t know how this could have been more clear. From their mission statement: “Portland Area Business Association exists to promote business and offer support to its membership, which is made up of Gays, Lesbians and their friends and associates in business.” Thanks

    2. Scott says:

      Point well taken, and examination of the “About Us” page at
      http://www.paba.com/information.asp does pretty clearly mention “gay and lesbian” in the third sentence, as does the mission statement.

      However, you have to admit that it could easliy be missed compared to sites like these…

      http://www.gsdba.org/
      http://www.aglcc.org/
      http://www.glbasb.com/
      http://www.gaybusiness.com.au/sglba/
      http://www.glba.org/

      and dozens of others where they actually feature the orientation aspect, instead of even mildly burying it.

      Anyway, no disrespect intended, I assure you, and thanks for posting!

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