hands clappingIt’s official. Vancouver, WA-based internet hosting provider, Dotster, has announced the winners of their “Next Big Small Business” Contest and LikeTheDew.com swept third place.

Dotster’s contest sought to find businesses “using the Internet to turn their personal passion into successful small business ventures, and for standing out as some of Dotster’s most promising small business customers.” Contestants submitted essays to make it to the Top 20 finalists before being invited to submit videos that described how they have used their websites to grow their businesses.

Dotster’s selection of LikeTheDew as one of the “Next Big Small Businesses” is really good news. Here’s the not as good news: There’s no dough for the Dew for a third place finish — just some promotion that we expect will bring many new readers to the site. We still appreciate the applause and are clapping with our empty hands. Mostly we’re clapping for the wonderful writers and journalists whose stories, essays and reviews make it possible for LikeTheDew to be, well, like the dew: refreshing and pure, condensed and formed during long nights. The drops of moisture are pure sweat equity.

Turning dew into dollars:
Like most businesses in America today, LikeTheDew has designs on one day generating revenue that will be shared with the authors. Scale, defined in site visits, will eventually create value for sponsors. However, it is not a simple task to create methods that will be pleasant for the reader, unobtrusive and dignified, while still reaping benefit of valued and relevant relationships for future partners. We value our writers and our readers too much to forgo the quiet and inherent independence enjoyed by this platform and this community for good storytelling, news and opinion, and free speech. We have been very good at keeping expenses down (donated servers and volunteers keep our expenses at about $1.50 per month, give or take a few beers). We expect we will soon find the right formula (comment or send your ideas to: [email protected]). We will reach the dew point.

Congratulations to the first and second place winners, who are making money with their sites (we suspect some extra points in the contest scoring for this). Here’s our video submission followed by the full news release from Dotster via Reuters.

Dotster Announces Winners of the Next BIG Small Business Contest

VANCOUVER, WA, Aug 20 (MARKET WIRE) — Dotster, Inc., a leading provider of Internet business services, today announced the three winners of its Next BIG Small Business contest: Bike Tires Direct, The Ad Diner, and Like The Dew. Dotster recognizes each of these companies for using the Internet to turn their personal passion into successful small business ventures, and for standing out as some of Dotster’s most promising small business customers. Winners were chosen based upon videos they submitted that described how they have used their websites to grow their businesses.

“Many great small businesses participated in our contest and it was a tough choice to select only three winners from our finalist submissions,” said Clint Page, CEO of Dotster. “We are pleased to honor these exceptional customers. They each exemplify the idea that, in business, the combination of passion, necessity and the market reach provided by a well-run online presence can drive great success.”

First Place: Bike Tires Direct. Started in Lou Doctor’s garage in Portland, Ore., Bike Tires Direct is now a large, online cycling retailer with revenue exceeding $1 million. “The business, like so many great companies, started in my garage and is rooted in my passion for cycling,” said Lou Doctor, founder. “My sons started selling my extra cycling gear on eBay, and then, with the help of Dotster, we started a website that has driven business growth over the past seven years.”

Second Place: The Ad Diner. Founded based on the need for small business to have access to affordable, high-quality advertising, The Ad Diner enables businesses to buy pre-existing advertising that is customized for use in their local market. Meanwhile, advertising agencies and freelancers can earn royalty payments when they resell their work on The Ad Diner website.

Third Place: Like The Dew. Started as a passion project, LikeTheDew.com fills a coverage gap with a refreshing take on political news and Southern culture while helping to promote the work of displaced traditional print journalists and freelancers. It’s an all-volunteer journal that will be exploring non-traditional revenue sources to share with its regular authors.

To view all the finalist video submissions, please visit: http://www.dotster.com/nextbigsmb/.

About Dotster, Inc.
Dotster is a leading full-service provider of essential resources for businesses to get online and grow online. It has helped more than one million businesses and individuals establish their web presence, build their websites, and drive revenue. Dotster offers its customers a complete set of services including the ability to get online with a domain name and email address; build a major web presence with web hosting and custom website design; generate traffic with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), website promotion and social media platforms; and reduce IT costs with VPS hosting.

For more information, please visit www.dotster.com or call (360) 449-5900.

Embedded Video Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=529692

Media contact:
Alyson Angelo
(503) 471-6859

Copyright 2009, Market Wire, All rights reserved.

Terri Evans

Terri Evans

Terri Evans is 25+year marketing communications professional, a partner at LeslieEvansCreative and Bcauz marketing (cause-related). She has been a food columnist for Atlanta Intown and Atlanta Buckhead newspapers, and a contributing writer for Georgia Magazine, the Atlanta Business Chronicle and other publications. Evans was also a finalist in a Southern Living cooking competition. She is (and has long been) at work on a novel set in the South (of Georgia) and the South (of France). She's always cookin' up somethin'.