In short, nothing. But for startups and microISVs looking for help from their peers with their web sites, it has some distinct disadvantages; disadvantages I think I can improve upon in StartupToDo.com. Take an example:

bospost

As of now there are 5 responses to Ted’s post – about average – and they’re good responses. But, in my opinion, itcost more time for these BOS regulars to post their reviews that it should have, it’s hard to quantify the responses, and since Google Never Forgets, doing this sort of peer site review in public is less than optimal.

I think the approach StatupToDo.com will support is better for the requester, better for others who graciously provide help. It starts with a member creating a Review Request – pretty straightforward: your URL, the period the Review Request will be open, your message to potential reviewers. Here’s what the preview looks like as you fill in the Review Request:

sitereviewA

Open Review Requests are default listed by the number of reviews the requester has done, so the more you participate, the higher your listing. Another member of the StartupToDo.com community can review you site in a couple of minutes via an Ajax-enabled form with 12 questions you answer just by clicking the rating:

sitereview

These aren’t 12 questions at random – I believe these 12 questions get to the heart of how effectively your site is selling your software or service.

Finally, you can see the results of your Site Review – quantitatively and qualitatively:
stdsite review results

I – as does everyone else who’s gotten great feedback over the years at the Business of Software forum – really appreciate the time and effort other microISVs and startups put into providing this very valuable feedback. I hope my approach in StartupToDo.com (launching soon, visit this page if you’d like a short email when it launches) takes most of the risk, friction and frustration out of the process.

7 Comments

  1. Hi Bob,
    What a fantastic resource. In fact I would be a bit stronger about the BoS forum; the noise to content ratio is perhaps what you would expect from a public (and hence trollable) forum. Although there are many strong contributors they are generally few in number compared to the less constructive others.
    Now your site on the other hand – I really like. It looks quick and easy to complete, is non-threatening and looks like it would get the main points covered. I’m really interested to see how this site itself goes 🙂
    Just a suggestion, but why not “dogfood” your own service and get people to rate your site? 🙂
    Cheers,
    Mike

  2. Bob Walsh Reply

    Thanks Mike – I’ll be putting in a review request too: hopefully it won’t hurt too much! 🙂

  3. OK, Bob. That’s impressive.
    I clicked into this article from RSS expecting to see an apologetic explanation for BOS. This however is very positive. Well done. Excellent idea. Impressive resource!

  4. Anhoneymouse Reply

    You’re missing the biggest problem with the BOS forum: It now requires you to log in in order to participate. I couldn’t even LOOK at StartupToDo.com without creating an account. No thanks.

  5. Bob Walsh Reply

    Anhoneymouse – I don’t see logging in at BOS as a problem, since you can log in with any name/email you choose. The advantage is you have to own you words – no gratutious trashing of other people. StartupToDo.com will also require a login name of your choosing not to mention charging you :).

  6. Thank you very much for the kind suggestion — and use my BOS post as a sample here. 🙂 So can I assume my website is already submitted by you for review?
    Cheers,
    Ted Ko

  7. PIOBEROOPMEDO Reply

    This look interesting,so far.
    If it’s not just all bots here, let me know. I’m looking to network
    Oh, and yes I’m a real person LOL.
    Later,

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