Going to Mix07 – how about you?

I’ve never been one for trade show or tech conferences, but I’m trying the opposite thing this year, starting with Mix07. I’m going for a host a reasons – rave reviews from people I know of Mix06, looking for micro-ISVs and others to interview for The MicroISV Show, a keen desire to see what people have been up to with WPF and Silverlight.

How about you? Are you going to Mix07? If so, comment here or at BOS and maybe we can get some sort of microISV thing going; you might also want to add yourself to David Winer’s list.

Nick Bradbury been there and done that

This week’s The MicroISV Show podcast on Channel 9 features one of my personal heroes: Nick Bradbury. Nick’s the guy behind HomeSite, TopStyle and FeedDemon. Nick probably doesn’t remember, but he was kind to answer my email to him years ago regarding a good source of for icons – just another aspiring micro-ISV he’s helped through the years.

Nick’s micro-ISV, Bradbury Software was acquired by NewsGator in 2005; so in a way, Nick’s come full circle. For what it’s like running a highly successful micro-ISV to what it’s like rejoining the corporate world, have a listen to this week’s The MicroISV Show.

Independent Innovators have a new resource

I’ve gotten to know Michael Lehman pretty well the past year or so, so when he launched Independent Innovators today, I was pretty excited.

The world is changing. Micro-ISVs are selling world class software. Indie bands are firing their predatory record labels. People are escaping their cubicles. And Michael, well here’s his mission:

“On this blog and podcast I plan to explore this exciting new world by highlighting successful Independent Innovators, interviewing companies and consultants who are helping Independent Innovators to take advantage of the wave of opportunity and regularly talk about the nuts-and-bolts of how to do this yourself.”

So, please visit Independent Innovators and join the movement!

[tags]micro-ISV, Independent Innovators[/tags]

Top 50 ways of selling more software:

By Dave Collins
Founder, Shareware Promotions

Lists are popular. We all like reading them, and quite rightly so.

My particular list is infinitely more useful than most. If you follow my advice, I can help you to sell more software. Really.

Disclaimer: This isn’t an exhaustive list of everything that you can or should do to sell more software. It’s a collection of 50 items that I think are important. Are there others? Definitely. But the top 60 just didn’t do it for me. And the thought of compiling the top 100 made me want to cry.

Useless yet fascinating facts: Within the top 50 list, the word “don’t” was used 18 times, “you” 48 times, and “marketing” 4 times. Draw your own conclusions.

  1. Google AdWords. Invest the time, learn how to tame it or get someone to do it for you.
  2. Search Engine Optimisation. If you don’t think SEO is worthwhile, then you probably shouldn’t bother reading the rest of this list.
  3. Press Releases. Don’t just go for the free options. PRWeb is a good option if you can write a good release, and companies like DP Directory – http://www.dpdirectory.com – are very good value if you can’t.
  4. Blog and RSS feed. If you have something to sell then you should have something to say. But don’t (i) just talk about your dog and favourite Star Trek episodes and/or (ii) only post once every two months. Marcus’ Macro Blog gets the balance right – http://www.mjtnet.com/blog/ – and FeedForAll makes creating an RSS feed simplicity. http://www.feedforall.com.
  5. Social bookmarking. Learn what it is and how to tap into it. It works.
  6. Blitz the software sites. There are a choice of reputable services out there that can do this for you. Doing it yourself is no longer necessary.
  7. Online demo. If your application looks good in action then show people. Watching a good demo can be as good as installing a trial version, without the headache. But do it right. Listening to a slow-talking muffled voice over the sound of someone hammering away at his keyboard is painful. BB FlashBack is a good choice – http://www.bbsoftware.co.uk.
  8. Pushing it in front of the right eyeballs. Droning on about your app to your grandmother is futile and a little cruel. Making sure that the people who could use and buy it know about is a better idea.
  9. Set yourself up as a friendly expert. Forums, notice boards, discussion lists, blogs, panels at conferences and print publications all give you the chance to show people how much you know. We’ve been using this approach for years, and are happy to testify how well it can work. What, you thought I was just a nice guy?? http://www.davetalks.com.
  10. Targeted discounts. Depending on your markets, people really like time limited “special offers”. If they’ve already heard about your product and were interested, this can be a good means of boosting your sales.
  11. Set the right price. Low pricing is one of the more common mistakes in the online software industry. Experiment and track.
  12. Have a fresh set of eyes look at your software. There is no way that you can possibly look at your own software objectively; you are blind to how it looks, feels and works. Have other people look at your software for you – without your hovering over their shoulder telling them what to click and how cool it looks. http://software-evaluation.info.
  13. Use your time more efficiently. Are 20+ postings a day in the ASP newsgroups really more important than developing your product, website or marketing? If you have time to spend hours in the newsgroups and forums each day, you’re either incredibly wealthy and successful, have a lot of spare time on your hands, or have developed procrastination into a fine art form. Be honest with yourself.
  14. Accept that you can’t do everything yourself. Look into outsourcing or taking someone on. It’s not as big a hurdle as it might at first appear.
  15. Know your strengths and build on them. Are you a golden sales person, a marketing wizard or a code guru?
  16. Always know what your competition are doing. Software makes doing so very easy, and you should be aware of what they’re up to.
  17. Be the first to know when the winds of change blow through your industry. Don’t wait for your customers to educate you.
  18. Expand into new markets. Unless you have the most targeted of niche applications (Excel plugin for UK-based Organic Egg Farmers in the South of England who only export to Germany) then there are almost certainly a whole range of brand new markets just waiting for you to dip your toes in. Find them.
  19. Know what your website visitors are doing. Repeat after me: Log Analysis is Essential.
  20. Learn to prioritise your work. And don’t do so by reading 15 books about time management. Software like Action Outline makes setting and managing your priorities very easy. http://www.actionoutline.com
  21. Have a fresh set of eyes look at your website. You’re far too used to seeing it, and are probably missing the obvious. http://sharewarepromotions.com/website_review.html
  22. Use technology to save you time – tools like Macro Scheduler and Type Pilot can save you literally hours every week. http://www.mjtnet.com/ and http://www.colorpilot.com/typepilot.html.
  23. Diversify. The more products you have, the more sales opportunities you open, and the more you cover yourself for the future
  24. Strike the right balance between a trial version that’s too restrictive and one that’s too generous. Don’t give your software away, but don’t nag them into uninstalling either.
  25. Look into partnering. Learn to recognise partners who are worthwhile and the black holes of time and effort.
  26. Software bundles. Easy to setup, nothing to lose.
  27. Plan. If you drift from day to day, responding to whatever happens upon you, you may want to either get your head looked at or do a little planning. Stay in control.
  28. Learn how to upsell. Once your potential customers have jumped over the “I don’t like parting with cash” barrier, they are usually receptive to buying the better version and/or other products at a discount. With one hand on their credit card and the other on their mouse, seize the opportunity.
  29. Be seen, be sold. Never miss an opportunity to get your name and/or product in front of people. Within reason.
  30. Be prepared to spend money. If you’re looking for a marketing company but are only prepared to spend $100 a week, you’ll get what you pay for. Those who pay peanuts get monkeys.
  31. Newsgroup/forum signatures are not just a means of filling space. They are useful. And they work. See rule 9.
  32. Be prepared to try everything once. Again, within reason. Every form of advertising or promotion carries a risk. If you don’t try you’ll never know.
  33. Set yourself sales goals with action items to make sure they happen. You may have more control over your sales than you realise. Don’t wait for them to come to you.
  34. Set aside time for planning every week. Never let the business run your days for you.
  35. Invest in time. A part-time assistant to deal with admin can prove to be an effective means of freeing up some time that can be put to better use. And let’s face it, who has ever said “Man, I miss the paperwork”?
  36. Walk away from your business once in a while. Make sure you occasionally realign your priorities, and remind yourself why you work hard.
  37. Tap into experts. Whether it’s a local business advisor, a friend with a good business head, a mentor or a marketing guru. Hint: If a person describes themselves as a guru of anything, then they’re probably not.
  38. Read books that are good for your business. Anyone who will give you new ideas and inspire you (with more than “the world IS my oyster” type of rubbish) is worth reading. And when you’ve bought them don’t just leave them on the bookshelf – that’s my particular specialised sin!
  39. Don’t read self help books. They only help the authors and publishers. If you need to gain more confidence, become more attractive, feel more successful and make more money, follow every one of these top 50 pointers.
  40. Keep up to date with new technology. Don’t ask your customers what an RSS feed is, or whether your software works on their Vista system.
  41. Be flexible with accepting payments. Purchase orders, American Express, PayPal & Debit Cards should all be there next to Visa.
  42. Don’t be stingy with your software. Don’t give editors a 90 day trial version, and don’t battle for days with the person who wants a $19.99 refund. See rule 20.
  43. Remember that there is a world outside the borders of the US. And most of us are friendly.
  44. Insure your company. If you rely on your internet connection, then having a second (low cost) ADSL connection with a different provider on a second phone line might make the difference between being able to work or tear your hair out for a week. Imagine your connection goes down tomorrow for 4 days. It happened to our company last year. $20 a month is very cheap price to pay for peace of mind.
  45. Speak the language of your customers. Know what makes them tick. Techies and veterans of Windows 3.x hate the Windows XP child-friendly look. Your parents would hate the power and flexibility of Windows NT. Give your customers what they want and are looking for.
  46. Make sure your website looks up to date. Retro isn’t cute, and jagged pixels don’t create confidence. Animated animals that bounce across from side to side, fluorescent green backgrounds and midi music all cause pain. To your visitors as well as your sales.
  47. Learn how to write properly. If you can’t, or don’t have the time, then get someone else to do it for you. If English is your second language, I know it isn’t fair. Such is life. Becky Lash from Epic Trends has a well-deserved excellent reputation. http://www.epictrends.com/
  48. Reassure your visitors and potential customers. Show them how established you are. Show them your money back guarantee. Reassure them with how secure their transaction will be.
  49. Keep it brief. If your website makes me scroll my mouse for five minutes to get to the bottom of the page then I never will.
  50. Keep in touch. Make sure that when your website visitors want to contact you they can do so with ease. Every visitor is a potential sale.
  51. Always provide more than is expected. Anyone who complains that my top 50 list contains 51 items should follow the advice of rule 36. Fast.

Â

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Dave Collins is the CEO of SharewarePromotions http://www.sharewarepromotions.com, a well established UK-based software marketing company. Dave specialises in Google AdWords, Log Analysis, Online Marketing and Delegation.

[Editor Note: Dave Collins, noted UK micro-ISV marketing expert, is sharing his considerable expertise on marketing, SEO, Google AdWords and more on Fridays at MyMicroISV. Thanks Dave!]

[tags] Dave Collins, micro-ISVs, marketing[/tags]

Conversation Marketing

I was checking my Google blog radar this morning when I came across an absolute gem of a read: Ian Lurie’s Common Sense Internet Strategies at his blog, Conversation Marketing. Ian’s an experienced Internet marketing consultant whose book (available free online or for $19.95 as a book) is one of the absolute best things I’ve ever read on how to permission-based, customer-centric online marketing can really work.

Ian’s approach – Conversation Marketing – is built on six basic ideas:

  • Know the Room. Understand your audience. Base your campaign on that understanding.
  • Dress Appropriately. Use the right design. Not the ‘cool’ one.
  • Sound Smart. Good content, smart architecture, and good code speak to your visitors.
  • Make a Connection. Opt-in e-mail, RSS and other tools continue the conversation.
  • Observe & Adjust. Analytics provide feedback and guidance for ongoing campaign adjustments.
  • Brag Modestly. Someone else should say how important you are

I strongly recommend, commend and suggest you give this a read. And I would not be surprised if you engaged Ian if your sales did not soar through the roof too.

[tags]Conversation Marketing, micro-ISVs, micro-ISV[/tags]

Avoid the top three web mistakes.

By Dave Collins
Founder, Shareware Promotions

Having carried out countless website reviews – some of them live at the various software conferences – we have seen more than our fair share of websites selling software. After a while, patterns have emerged, and it is clear that there are certain mistakes that website owners make time and time again. To help you avoid following in their footsteps, we’ve decided to write about the three index page mistakes we see most often.

Mistake Number One – Not focusing on your customer.

Let’s be blunt: people don’t come to your site to read about you or your plans and aspirations. They come because they need something, and they hope you’ll provide it. They want to hear how you can help them – and the easiest way to do this is to address them directly on the index page. There are two main rules: try to avoid the passive voice, and avoid using the term “we”. Instead, talk to your customers by addressing them with “you”.

Compare these three examples of realistic introductory sentences:

“FunkyTool 3.3 has been developed with ease of use being a top priority.”

“We offer a full range of productivity solutions and time management software. Our first priority is customer satisfaction.”

“Organize your notes, tasks and schedules – save time, and make your life easier and more productive!”

The first example uses the passive voice, and while there’s nothing technically wrong with it, it is a bit dull and bland and probably won’t catch anyone’s attention. The second example is the biggest no-no – at this point, visitors don’t care about you and your priorities, they simply want to find out what your software does. Clearly, the third example is the most immediately appealing as well as the easiest to understand.

It’s simple, really: just leave pompous self-importance and technical details behind, and talk directly to your customers as if they were in the room with you and you only had ten seconds to convince them to buy your software. Simple!

Mistake Number Two – Too many links.

We see this all the time, especially on sites that started out as a one-man business. A website grows, and rather than rethinking the navigation and making things easier for visitors, you simply add a link. And a second one. And a third. Take a look at your index page, and count the links. All the links, including that one to news about the latest update, the little one to the award you got three years ago, the old purple download button that your forgot to remove, and the link to SETI that no longer works. All of them.

With main navigation and footer links included, around 20-40 links is acceptable – but only if most of them are repeated several times. More than 25 unique links is usually a very bad idea, and more than 60 (which we have seen!) should qualify as link assault.

While it is a good idea to provide your visitors with information, too much choice at this early stage will only confuse them. Trim your links down, and leave the ones that really matter. Provide your visitors with a clear path to the pages you want them to focus on, and they will no longer stray over to the ones that you yourself have forgotten about.

Mistake Number Three – Lack of a consistent look.

Your index page is like a shop window. It’s the first thing people see, and so it is your only chance to make a first impression. Now, imagine you’re standing in front of the window of an electronics shop, thinking about going in. The left side of the window looks great, with a wide range of tempting gadgets artfully laid out looking shiny and new. In the middle of the window you notice a big smear on the glass, and there’s a camera with some Christmas glitter on it even though it’s the height of summer. Odd. On the right side, things seem a bit haphazard, and there’s dust and some breadcrumbs in the corner. Disconcerted, you leave the store without entering.

You know this would never be acceptable in a shop window, so why do you think it’s not a problem on your index page? Making your index page look better doesn’t have to cost you anything, either. In fact, the one thing we constantly advocate is completely free: consistency. Deciding on a look and sticking to it can make all the difference in the world.

If you have acquired new graphics for your site, don’t just add them: get rid of the old ones first! There’s no better way to lessen the impact of snazzy new screenshots and slick new buttons than by placing them next to the banner your cousin made in 1998. Be consistent in your colour scheme, too. If you’re using cerulean blue in the header graphic, don’t use indigo at the bottom and ultramarine for the links. The same thing goes for fonts – if you’re desperate to make a sloppy impression, go ahead and use Verdana in the top two paragraphs and Times New Roman in the third.

There you have them – the three most common mistakes we see. Easy to rectify, and even easier to avoid in the first place. Have a good, honest look at your own index page and see if you’re guilty of any of them. You’d be surprised by the difference a few small changes can make!

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Dave Collins is the CEO of SharewarePromotions http://www.sharewarepromotions.com, a well established UK-based software marketing company. Dave specialises in Google AdWords, Log Analysis, Online Marketing and Delegation.

[Editor Note: Dave Collins, noted UK micro-ISV marketing expert, is sharing his considerable expertise on marketing, SEO, Google AdWords and more on Fridays at MyMicroISV. Thanks Dave!]

[tags] Dave Collins, micro-ISVs, web site mistakes[/tags]

Weekly Site Review – E-junkie

This week’s micro-ISV volunteer for my Weekly Site Review post is Robin Kohli, founder of Tucson, Arizona-based E-junkie.

E-junkie is a micro-ISV and provides a service to micro-ISVs who want to streamline their ecommerce processing and followup. Specifically, E-junkie sells a shopping cart service that works with a variety of payment processors (PayPal, Google, ClickBank, Authorize.net) without delving into each processor’s API and with a variety of useful features like storage and delivery of electronic products, registration code delivery at the time of purchase, automatic follow up email, shipping/postage/sales tax/VAT calculation, affiliate program discounts and more.

That’s quite a monthful, isn’t it? J We’ll get to that in a moment, but here’s how E-junkie scored out (1 is great, 5 means it really, really needs work):

What

Score

First Actionable Task

USP

5

Write one and boil your features down to one understandable message.

Benefits/Features

2

Sidebar of main features works, but main text does not.

Visuals

5

Kill the Logo! Existing process graphic is confusing – strongly in need of a screencast.

Testimonials

3

Rewrite home page to use the great testimonials you have and do some sort of expandable client gallery.

Credibility Markers

4

Get some third party markers going, add a 30-day money back guarantee and a privacy policy.

Tech Support

4

One giant FAQ/instructions list does not cut it.

Blog

5

Either kill Community or give it the attention it needs.

Overall Average:

4.3

This site needs a lot of work to be worthy of what looks like a really cool product.

USP

(The USP – Unique Selling Proposition – is the most important part of your site. It’s your first foot forward, you first impression and the basis for all else on your micro-ISV product’s site rolled into one.)

E-junkie lack of a clear, concise, understandable USP is in my opinion the biggest thing working against it. Here’s what a prospective customer sees when they arrive at E-junkie for the first time:


What’s the USP? “We help you sell online” doesn’t cut it. Someone else saying “since we started to use it, our sales have increased” makes no sense yet – it? What is it?

The USP sets up the story, gives the prospective customer an anchor of understanding what all these features, boxes and stuff mean. For example,

“E-junkie’s advanced ecommerce cart makes it easy for micro and small businesses to start selling in minutes. Unlike other ecommerce cart services, E-junkie doesn’t take your customers away from your web site, doesn’t require a programmer, doesn’t restrict you to one payment vendor and doesn’t run out of features you might need.”

The above is still a bit wordy, but it makes clear what the cart service does, who will get the most out of it and why it’s better – for those micro and small businesses who want to sell now. Orientate. Relate. Differentiate.

The lack of a USP is bad, but there’s something even worse. The eyes in presumably the E-junkie logo. They stare at you. Then they blink. Then they go back to staring at you. Then they blink. I kid you not. They are decidedly creepy after a while – a short while. To say they detract from the marketing message is a gross understatement.

Benefits/Features

This is a mixed bag. On one hand we have this as the main feature:

We provide you shopping cart and buy now buttons to let you sell downloads and tangible goods on your website, eBay, MySpace, Google Base, Yahoo stores and other websites using PayPal, Google Checkout, Authorize.Net, 2CheckOut and ClickBank.”

Try saying that sentence. Take a biiig breath. Fourteen nouns and a missing article do not make a feature.

On the other hand, there’s Lower your cart abandonment rate with our lightweight, pop-up free, installation free shopping cart that works in your site. Ah, that’s more like it. A benefit – fewer cart abandonment (losing sales, bad thing) – backed up by the features that give plausibility to the benefit: lightweight, popup free, installation free, works in my site. That’s a reasonable argument to advance – it’s not proven yet, but it’s going in the right direction.

My advice is leave the text of the sidebar of benefits alone (although separate it from the podcast box with some sort of headline like “What E-junkie does for you”) and replace the main text with simple a simple to understand narrative. It should connect to and further explain the (missing) USP, restate the big benefits and cover the other benefits of working with E-Junkie like a one charge with no hidden fees.

Visuals

The longer I was on E-junkie’s site, the creepier those staring/blinking eyes became. Logos are worse should be visually pleasant things to look at – and they should not look back at you!

You know what got my attention about this ecommerce cart? The cart demo when I finally found it. Here’s what you see when you add an item in the demo:



Cool. The cart pops up, but you are still on the site and you can pick which company you want to pay for. This I get. A screencast/video of someone buying something at an E-junkie-enabled store versus buying something without the E-junkie cart would powerfully sell this service. In fact, when I went to one of the two actual stores shown on the demo page that I could really see how E-junkie (despite the name) might be a good thing to go with.

Testimonials

E-junkie has a very nice page of happy customers and excellent testimonials – buried on its own page, with the blurb from Damon Williams, PayPal Developer Program overused on each and every page. I count 21 excellent testimonials – they were more informative than the main copy – that are at the bottom of this page. This is like flushing gold down the toilet.

I strongly suggest you get these testimonials to the home page where they belong. Not all 21 at once – either 3 or 4 with a more button, or some sort of gallery. And while you’re doing a gallery, some sort of expando gallery of your clients or self changing display would be good too.

Buying a software application requires X amount of trust, where X equals the number of dollars, euros or pounds you want from me. Wanting to be involved in the process of how I get paid requires a lot more trust. E-junkie needs to first use the testimonials it has better, then go get more (customer videos, audios would work well).

Credibility Markers

The PayPal badge on the home page and the quote (once) are nice, but I’d like to see a Better Business Bureau badge there, or some other third party business endorsement, such as a VeriSign Secured badge. The more, the better. For the same reason, E-junkie needs a phone number, physical address and a link to its privacy policy (which I could not find) on every page.

Tech Support

E-junkie seems to have its heart in the right place, although sentences like this: “please e-mail us at info@e-junkie.com or contact us here and we will help you out.” need some polishing. The big letdown is the help page – its one really long page (19 pagedowns~!) with lots of complicated-looking instructions. This information needs to be restructured so that if you are looking for an answer to a question you will not be overwhelmed by all the other answers to all the other questions available.

If you dig, really dig, you’ll find a forum – either this forum should get the attention it deserves or be put out of its misery.

Blog

There’s something that might be meant as a blog on the Community Tab:


A blog is a web page with categories, an RSS Feed and posts in reverse chronological order, right? Wrong. There is someone home at a blog, this “Community” blog has the lights on, but no one is minding the house. Too strong? Well, check out the bottom of this post and explain why an ecommerce site would want this post on it. And lose the Google ads while you are at it – they make no sense whatsoever on a company-sponsored blog.

Communities are a good, good thing. But they need leadership, attention and above all else moderation.

Overall

Overall, I think E-junkie has a sellable product that people – including micro-ISVs – would benefit by. Certainly, their client list and testimonials are very impressive. But they need to get their USP together, use their testimonials better and clean up some very dusty corners of their site if they want a micro-ISV site worthy of their product.

As a first doable set of steps, see the First Actionable Tasks at the top of this post.

+++

The Weekly Site Review is a regular feature of MyMicroISV.com. Please add your comments, rebuttals and opinions! If you’d like to volunteer your micro-ISV’s web site for a free public review, please email bobw@safarisoftware.com. Micro-ISV’s only need apply!

Technorati Tags: Micro-ISV, Weekly Site Review

Something’s going on with Office Live

In all the years I’ve been doing tech, I’ve been to exactly 1 Microsoft event (the intro of Microsoft Access) and that was in San Francisco. Next month, I’m going to Microsoft in Seattle for an event, entitled: “Office Live Review for Micro ISVs” on May 21, 2007 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. I’m paying my own way, flying (something I really don’t enjoy anymore), because something is going on with Office Live.

I’d not looked at Office Live until Michael brought it to my attention. I thought it was either Windows Live, or some sort of hamstrung online Office MS was testing in New Zealand or somesuch.

I was wrong.

There are some really interesting possibilities for micro-ISVs re Office Live.

I -think- what they’ve done whether they realize it or not is built a customizable generic online business platform for any micro-ISV, with some really interesting capabilities if you are doing a .NET (winforms or WPF) app.

I’m still digging into it, but after watching this video, I definitely want more information, face to face: http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=290705 .

Oh, and there’s another from a company called LiveOffice (no apparent connection to Microsoft, thanks Evan!) that with a service that micro-ISV’s can use that came to my attention today thanks to Chris Pirillo – free conference calls with up to 250 people dialing in (not a toll free number, but they offer that too): http://teleconference.liveoffice.com/

Chris and Ponzi did a good job of explaining how the teleconferencing thing at: http://chris.pirillo.com/2007/04/05/hot-wife-video/ (I know, hot wife video? – Chris named it the video, not me!).

Update: Michael Lehman has posted a writeup about the event at his blog: I especially like the sentence “Do you want to create an additional stream of income with a low technical barrier of entry?”

[tags]micro-ISV, Office Live[/tags]

A custom quality micro-ISV search of our own!

As I mentioned here, after listening last week to Dan Appleman talk on .NET Rocks! about the custom Google search he’s created for .NET programmers (the search is http://www.searchdotnet.com/; also see this post and this post), I’ve decided this is a tool worth putting some serious time into and making available here.

Spurred on by the creation of another custom Google Search in the last day or two (http://isvoogle.com/), I’ve created and will be maintaining/improving the Micro-ISV Custom Google Search. I’ve already added it to the sidebar here:

If you haven’t heard the buzz about Custom Google Search, it’s a way of creating a search of specified sites and blogs you think have quality information about the subject your micro-ISV is concerned with. I foresee this being a great tool for micro-ISVs: build a custom search about the problem your product/service solves, publicize it, maintain and improve it and help (and attract) your prospective customers.

My goal for Micro-ISV Custom Google Search is to make it the best possible search engine for micro-ISVs who want and need non-coding information about all the many facets of starting and successfully running their Internet-based self funded startup.

I could use your help.

What web sites, blogs and online publications do you turn to for micro-ISV information? Please comment them here and after I vet them, I will be adding them to the Micro-ISV Custom Google Search.

[tags]micro-ISV, microisvsearch, custom Google Searches, Dan Appleman[/tags]

Why the Weekly Site Review?

Simply put, so I get emails like this:

+++++++

Hey Bob!
Thanks for all your great input. I’ve considered your excellent input and have spend the past couple of weeks concentrating on giving a better user experience:

http://www.share-house.com.au/

The results? Amazing!

- FreeHouse was up running for 3 months and resulted in 34 Ads

- Share-House has been up for 3 days and has 36 Ads

That’s 36 ads in 3 days!

Once again – Your advice has been incredible!

Thanks,
Alfie John
http://www.share-house.com.au/

PS: If you want to do a bit of a plug on your show, I’m having a Linkback Contest :)

http://www.share-house.com.au/linkback-contest/

++++++

If you would like to have your micro-ISV site considered for the Weekly Site Review, please email me at bobw@safarisoftware.com.