I share a short tale about Susanne Amin, a Swedish lady who helps her husband run a little dive shop in Tioman Island. Suzanne had recently learnt, at the behest of a friend, how to get online and use the Net.
With help, she managed to get a Web site - tioman.50megs.com - for their dive operations off the ground. It was a labor of love with minimal publicity as Susanne was, and still is grappling with the task of hard coding Web pages.
But the special thing about Susanne is the service she renders. While most local Web sites would just plonk a feedback button without listing the contact person, Susanne took the time to reply to every email query on the island and its diving activities, and even about Malaysia in general.
Being the person that she is, Susanne tends to say things are they are. Genuine, candid, straightforward.
Her website visitors obviously liked what she had to say as most packed their bags to dive with Suzanne and her husband.
"They told me that they came to Tioman because I replied to their email - or was the first to do so," she said.
Putting a page on the Web works for Susanne as she is able to increase her shop's income at a time when Tioman is losing its appeal -- due no less to lack of promotional efforts and repercussions from some suspect entries in popular guidebooks.
The ripple that she has created with her little dot-com will surely attract suitors from oceans afar. But Susanne admits that she has a long way to go and much to learn.
Unlike the many dot-coms out there, Susanne did something right and continues to do so. She replies to e-mails faithfully, delivers value, and that value in return brings her sales.