Web 'sob stories' move internet expert to act

SASHA BORISSENKO
Last updated 13:00 20/03/2014
Johny O'Donnell
ALDEN WILLIAMS/Fairfax NZ
NET SAVVY: Internet consultant Johny O'Donnell outside the Bridge Street Collective.

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A Nelsonian business coach is attempting to educate businesses about the world of the internet.

Generation Y coach, Johny O'Donnell is back in his hometown and will be conducting seminars at Bridge Street Collective this week in a bid to free business owners from the exploitative world of online marketing.

After working for an online marketing company for a number of years Mr O'Donnell noticed a huge disconnect between people who paid for web designers to conduct their online marketing content and the actual understanding of that content.

"My main message around the seminars is that online marketing is a gravy train for opportunistic [web designers] but an open wound for most business owners struggling to navigate the online world.

"For a lot of people who have a dream to own their own business, they do not know how to navigate or understand what to do online so they pay huge amounts to web designers.

"What they do not realise is that often web designers will have the copyright so that you might be paying for a website that could be outdated in a short space of time that you have no ownership over.

"Because technology is changing and improving so rapidly, you need to constantly update the programmes so there is a huge margin of potential exploitation."

A car salesman metaphor could be used to describe the growing number of web designers who were exploiting the system, he said.

"They might be keen to show you shiny things but they do not want you to know how to fix it yourself or how to look under the bonnet."

He wanted to solve this problem by teaching people how to do this work themselves, he said.

Now based in Dunedin, Mr O'Donnell has made it his mission to educate business owners on the merits of learning how to master the internet.

"It comes down to having a social conscience for me. I have become really frustrated at hearing so many sob stories."

He also gets a kick out of empowering people. "I like to see people getting that control and ownership back."

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- The Nelson Mail

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