RSS Reader and I Just Had a Spat

RSS Reader just dumped my 80+ Feeds for no apparent reason.  Good morning to me!…#$#@@!!

I guess I’m about to find out whose voice matters to me…

I thought it might be kind of neat to see who I re:added and when. 

Here is volume 1 (Thursday Jan 26, 2006 ~ 10:00 AM EST)::

1. 37 Signals –
2. Dion Hinchcliffe –
3. Web 2.0 Work Group (about 20 feeds) –
4. Mark Evans –

Here is Volume 2 (Thursday Jan 26, 2006 ~ 6:00 PM EST):

5. Seth Godin –
6. Rob Hyndman  –
7. Mathew Ingram –
8. David Crow –
9. One Degree –

Here is Volume 3 (Tuesday Jan 31, 2006 – 3:11 PM EST):

10. Rick Segal –
11. Peter Rip –
12. Paul Graham –

Demo Camp Tease

DemoCamp was great.

Saw some great presentations and enjoyed the opportunity to share some of what we have learned as we’ve built 2ndSite.

My schedule has been insane this week and I don’t see any daylight till late next week.  I’ll post more about Demo camp once I get up for sir, but in the meantime, check out Favorville.

This is a two person project by two nice and unassuming Toronto guys.  When I made this call my to Canadian web 2.0 entrepreneurs they posted and emailed me to ask if I would blog about them.  I went to their website and could not validate that they were Canadian – or for that matter, where they were from.  As a result, I thought they were web 2.0 spam and did not blog.

So, here’s my Web 2.0 tip of the day: don’t be ashamed of where you come from.  Tell the Story.  People like stories and they like to know where you came from.  And if you tell them they will have something to write about in their blog 😉

P.S. is well worth a look as well.  That’s’s handiwork.

Short Comings of Wikis

Levi and I are presenting 2ndSite at Demo Camp next week.  The date has been changed.  I had no idea untill someone emailed me (NOT one of the event organizers).

RSS and email lists manage something like a change of event date very efficiently.  Adding RSS to a Wiki so participants are aware when notifications/communications of this nature may be good idea.  I’ve not seen many wiki’s (I’m pretty new to them), so this may be one out there already.  Please let me know if there is.

Pricing Web Services: Step 1 – Three Buckets

In February 2005, 2ndSite went from Bronze-Silver-Gold (“three buckets”) package pricing to a total user customized pricing strategy.  What’s better?  Three buckets.

We switched because a handful of users complained about having to pay for things they weren’t using.  You cannot please everybody all the time, but we decided to try.  We switched to customizable pricing. Our new pricing did a lot of good for 2ndSite, but along the way we confused a lot people with the way we presented our pricing.

After spending time with Tom Wellner (2ndSite Advisor) over the holidays, we changed the pricing PAGE – but NOT pricing structure – on our website back to buckets.  The pricing can still be customized when you upgrade, but we chose two of our more popular packages and presented them as buckets.  Tom impressed upon me the importance of having your pricing in “three buckets” to make it SIMPLE.  Basically we had been trying to please everybody and therefore we were confusing people with our pricing plan. 

Again, what is better: buckets or custom pricing?  Buckets.  How do I know we learned this?  Since changing the pricing page on our site, our sign-ups/trails have increased 30%.  We had VERY good conversion rates prior to that.  This bump is great.  What’s amazing is our actual prices are identical, but just by presenting our pricing in three easy to understand buckets, conversions of first time visitors to trials have increased about 30%….that will affect our bottom line from here on in…Amazing the power of a single web page, no?  You know what I find weird?  The exact same number of people exit our website on the Pricing page as they did before.  Had the redesigned page not been the only site change, we never would have been able to be certain about the BUCKET FACTOR.  That is why we try to make on design change at a time and track the results.
I still have lots more to say about pricing.  I’ll get to it.  But step one is to think in buckets.  Thanks Tom.

I'm Tired of Beta

I wrote this November 23rd, 2005:

I’m tired of Beta.

Why do I have to visit sites that say Beta?  It’s like a badge, like “Hello My name is”.  Why not change it to “perpetual Beta” – That says to me that your company is going to keep working on it, not just use a catch phrase to spark interest, if that is not what you are planning to do, I’d rather see “Web 2.0 company” and I be happy with, “New”. Let’s bring back the old “New”. Arggh!.@_@!!!

Yesterday I listened to a podcast with Jason Fried. Turns out have quite a bit in common.  For starters:

1. We both studied finance in University
2. We are both self taught designer/developers
3. We both try to hire English majors
4. We’re both tired of Beta.

Jason has, and continues, to articulate his perspective on product development very effectively.  He communicates succinctly – like his designs.  People are listening.  He is almost handedly shifting the software development paradigm.  For example, we (at 2ndSite/Anicon) have never designed an application by focusing on the backend – frankly I would not know how.  Apparently this is how software development is taught.  I had no idea.  If you listen to Jason, he has taken this one small point and run with it.  The conviction he possesses is remarkable.  I tip my hat.

…seriously, I’ll get to pricing…

State of the Corporation – January 2006

So much is going on here, it’s hard to explain.

I gave my state of the corporation speech on Monday.  Things have never been better.  We are making decisions, making changes – great, big (yet not so big ) changes.  Our VISION has expanded, our STRATEGY has been clarified.  That might seem like an oxymoron – it’s not. 

Bigger. Clearer. More focused. I am excited.

With this post, I am getting back on the blogging horse.  Here’s a hint of things to come: before long it won’t be just my blog to which I am posting.

Great. Change.  Opportunity.  These three words capture where 2ndSite Inc. is in Jan 2006. 

Don’t believe the hype.  Feel the excitement. Stay tuned and I’ll give you the play by play. 

Next stop: change #1.  Pricing.