As middle aged ‘old economy’ businessmen, we used to think that the teccies talking about internet time being 6 or 7 times faster than real time was an exaggeration. We were wrong. Six months into the launch of smallbusinesscan, we are launching anther major upgrade. Some of us have been in the IT industry most of our adult lifes and we have a saying about software – launch early and launch often – but the internet takes this to a new level.
What makes this frightening and exciting at the same time is that we’re being told we won’t know what the site or the internet will look like next year because there’s ‘stuff’ happening such as apps and tablets and handhelds coming down the track which could fundamentally change the way with interact with the net (and each other)?
The upgrade to smallbusinesscan is trying to keep up with the useful technology, give users more tools to interact with the site and the information contained within, make it easier to network and make connections with other businesses, and of course fix the mistakes made by middle aged men who thought they were designers.
Oh yeah, and we began to see how powerful Google Analytics is. We’ve used it and other tools to learn how people coming onto smallbusinesscan interact with the site, how long you stay and what you look at and find useful. We also did some old fashioned market research and talked face to face with users of the site, what they like, what they don’t like, what they’d like more of.
And we put two 25 year olds in charge of the upgrade. So now smallbusinesscan is iPhone and other handhelds compatible. We have an integrated Twitter account. We’re on Facebook and YouTube. We’re Linkedin. Really linked in this time.
We’ve also changed the look and feel of the site: no more heavy graphics – great for the brochures, not so good on a site. No more entering a maze to find a cash flow calculator for a start up or an article on writing effective press releases – we’ve a new search engine and simplified the navigation by, amongst other things, pushing the library of articles, case studies and templates, videos and podcasts to the front of the front page.
We’ve also cleaned up the Insightsxchange forum. We haven’t interfered too much with this because that’s what most of you like: 40,000 visitors have contributed and helped or were helped by the ideas, insights, advice, war stories being shared in the forum.
What you’ll see in the new site will change. Some of the changes we don’t know about (we being the middle aged fogies that haven’t been told by the new kids on the block what they have up their sleeves yet). But we have road-mapped changes: The forum and the quantity of topics will be streamlined; people will be encouraged to register so that users can put a face on those offering good insights and so we can do more to help people promote their goods and services; we will also be looking at separating content into Blog and Learning – the former being topical and insightful, the latter allowing users to get on top of what they need to do to start and grow a business.
Hope you continue to find the site useful.