However, since Phuketwan became the focus of a criminal defamation action - and more importantly quickly won the universal backing of the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders and many other esteemed organisations - our self-esteem has improved.
With Phuket and Thailand now being mentioned in reports around the world that detail the unjust charge and praise Phuketwan for the quality of its reporting, we realise the importance of the task we perform.
And so, with considerable pride in our achievements, we name Phuketwan as the Phuketwan Phuket Business of the Year 2013.
The odd thing is that unlike other winners and rival businesses, we are not actually interested in competing with rivals or making money.
That makes us a most unusual business, especially on Phuket.
Our desire is to see Phuket prosper, and to see the island change for the better as it prospers. Surprisingly there are people who can't grasp that altruism brings its own satisfaction, and that, when all is said and done, money doesn't really matter all that much.
The 10,000 readers who visit Phuketwan most days of the week have mostly come to understand that what we're about is reporting what's happening on Phuket and in Thailand with speed and accuracy, that we care about truth and justice, and that we are keen to give the deprived a better chance at life.
In a crisis, people turn to us to find out what's happening. And when Phuket is being attacked by outside media who don't understand what's going on, it's most often Phuketwan that sets the record straight.
Congratulations to us. Well done, Phuketwan The island's news outlet with the international humanitarian outlook is the Phuket Business of the Year 2013.
Previous winners of Phuket Business of the Year have included those other Phuket icons, Simon Cabaret, SuperCheap, Centara, Marriott and the Big Buddha.