Since we launched our new experimental service - Marketer's Desktop Resource Center - a week ago today, more than 500 of you have downloaded it. And everybody's been emailing me with feedback like crazy. (Thanks.)
Here are the newest lessons I've learned from the whole thing:
Lesson #1. Offer RSS as an alternative
The vast majority of you wanted to know, "Is this RSS? If it's not, why don't you offer RSS?" Well, it's not RSS. It's a downloadable application like Weatherbug only it's completely dedicated to MarketingSherpa content.
RSS doesn't allow us to give you a useful toolbar, permanent links, or graphics (I have big plans). All users get is the story headline with a link. Plus you can't measure RSS (easily at least), and we estimate fewer than 500,000 people have RSS readers installed. (Compared to tens of millions using downloads like ours.)
But, obviously many of those 500,000 are our readers. So Holly Hicks in our production department is working on starting an RSS feed for you in the next week. I'll include a link in my Blog when it comes out.
Lesson #2. Corporate IT departments are cracking down
A bunch of marketers working for large companies wrote in that they had to ask their IT department's permission before downloading anything.
The IT guy doesn't know our brand name or trust us when we promise not to send pop-ads, or banners, or spy on users, or suck up their bandwidth unnecessarily. So, now we need to add extra tech facts to our FAQ on the download page to help user wanna-bes overcome their IT department's suspicions.
Lesson #3. Twice daily pings are too many!
While everyone liked getting updates automatically, just as twice daily email would be too frequent, twice-daily "pings" were annoying.
The problem is we have new stories about twice a day, and I don't want folks to complain because they missed something. So, now we're working with Arcavista (our tech provider) to create a preferences form where users can say, "Only ping me when you have a story on a topic I'm particularly interested in."
The update will take a few weeks (you know what tech dev is like), and in the meantime, I'm mulling over ping frequency fixes.
Lesson #4. Make it big enough to clearly read
I told the designers to make our application about as big as Weatherbug because I like the size and it's got that cool "gizmo" factor. I was wrong.
Enough of you wrote in to say that you find the small size harder to read, that for our next update the designers will go bigger. Live and learn.Useful links related to this Blog:
-> Part I of this Experiment Diary explaining how we came up with the new service in reaction to filter frustration, and 4 lessons I learned while developing it:
-> Web page where you can see a picture of the service and decide if you want to get your own complimentary copy: