Testing Web Apps for your Small Biz: Summary from July 21, 2009

With all the new software out there to keep track of different parts of your small business, how do you know which to test and which to pass?

Scott Blitstein (@scoblitz) who is a small business owner (eSeMBe) and a writer for the very much loved Web Worker Daily, answered our questions this week about web apps and new technology.

Want to participate or have a small business question that other small biz owners can answer?

  • Next buzz-up is Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 from 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM Eastern Time. Join us – We’re here to facilitate the conversation between small business owners.
  • Know small businesses that need help? Let them know when this chat happens, help them get started on Twitter and let’s talk!
  • Instructions for participating are at http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Below is a summary of the most recent discussion. To see the full conversation, go to: http://bit.ly/E7Int

sbbuzz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for next 2 hours of small biz talking about technology. Join us!http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions

sbbuzz: Rules: 1)NO pitching till end 2)Be nice 3)Stay ON TOPIC! 4)Send ?s for group to me w/o hashtag 5)Use #sbbuzz in all messages 6)Have fun!

sbbuzz: To start off we have introductions: 1 message about you and your business and whatever else we need to know. #sbbuzz

  • lindadessau: Intro for #sbbuzz: I help coaches and other small biz owners write content that will build relationships, trust, credibility and sales.
  • merylevans: @desireescales I see sbbuzz afoot! Land ho! Glad to see #scoblitz is the star tonight. He’ll have a lot of insight. No pressure! #sbbuzz
  • KathiJolliffe: #sbbuzz: Kathi from TMS Americas, a small, virtual, international org development consulting firm. Looking forward to tonight!
  • deneki: Andrew from Seattle, fly fishing lodge guy and new @ideaanglers contributor! Hi everybody. #sbbuzznrohrbach: Neal here, CCO of Idea Anglers, Co-founded with @bradfordshimp #sbbuzz
  • chelpixie: I’m Chel to you Earthlings. I keep people untangled and organized! (Personal assistant and project manager) #sbbuzz
  • lutherlowe: #sbbuzz I’m the Mgr of Local Biz Outreach for Yelp.com, the leading social media platform for connecting people with great local businesses.
  • merylevans: The usual intro: Content maven from Plano, TX behind http://www.meryl.net who plays with words for a livin’ and hangs out as @merylkevans #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: Hi fellow small biz chatters. Nice to be back after a week off. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Scott Blitstein of eSeMBe – your web app go-to guy for the evening. #sbbuzz
  • mriggen: I’m Michelle Riggen-Ransom from BatchBlue Software and I enjoy Yelp.com : ) We make software for small businesses. #sbbuzz
  • pmohara: #sbbuzz intro: Pamela here. I keep the engines running at @batchblue and the bees buzzing at @sbbuzz
  • chelpixie: @scoblitz is my hero. He tells me about new softwares to play with. #sbbuzz
  • selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Susan here of Selah Synergy, strategist with inspiration for businesses and entrepreneurs. #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI: I have had my own consulting biz for 25+ yrs. Current = Architectural Design but still mentor small biz & tech start-ups #sbbuzz #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Jacqueline Business Solution Analyst @ Business Pipeline helping to manage, run and growth businesses nationwide. #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: Desiree Scales here. #sbbuzz regular specializing in social media (doesn’t everyone?), web design and internet marketing.
  • perfectquarters: He all, I Jacqueline, New York Real Estate Broker with a full service real estate firm servicing all five boroughs #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @chelpixie /blush… #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: FYI, 1st hour is open discussion; 2nd hour is chat w/@scoblitz re: finding good web applications. DM me w/questions for either. #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: And on to Q1 What was your Twitter tipping point? What convinced you to engage on Twitter? #sbbuzzsalbright: I’m new to small biz and want the insight. #sbbuzz

  • mriggen: @sbbuzz Going to SXSW in 2008 and wanting to find out where the cool kids were hanging out. I blame @adarowski! #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: I met @salonmaire at a conference & she told me about it, walked me thru it & I saw the light & never turned back. #sbbuzz
  • chelpixie: Q1 the ability to communicate with lots of people who are intelligent and interesting all at once in the same place. #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: @sbbuzz Good question. Twitter was background noise for a long time. Unsure what finally got me here, prob. a bunch of things. #sbbuzz
  • lutherlowe: Q1 Twitter is a great way to monitor buzz/press on @Yelp. Personally, it was Clive Thompson’s 7/07 Wired piece http: //bit.ly/10FZEA #sbbuzz
  • AndrewNim: #sbbuzz @andrewnim here, smb it consulting in NZ longtime fan of the bee.
  • desireescales: Q1: #sbbuzz is my answer, best thing going on Twitter. I never saw this one coming but I’ve met the coolest people here!
  • deneki: Q1: My friend @npost pitched me on it pretty hard. #sbbuzz
  • lindadessau: Q1 On Twitter I’ve deepened relationships with colleagues, met clients, gotten work – and all of a sudden I have 2,000+ followers! #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q1: I met @salonmaire at a conference & she told me about it, walked me thru it & I saw the light & never turned back #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: Also the boys and girls at #retechsouthwere pretty big Twitter inspirations. #sbbuz
  • nrohrbach: Q1: what engaged me to get on twitter was the article I read in @IncMagazine about Evan Williams, and the inspiration it provoked #sbbuzz
  • lindadessau: Q1 But the real fun started when I discovered #sbbuzz (I mean it!)
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q1: I blame @adarowski as well, that and Pownce shutting down. So glad I did though. #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI: Q1: Just research to start, find out what was going on : -) Read article by Guy K on biz & twitter….. #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: I agree. Without #sbbuzz Twitter wouldn’t be nearly as valuable for me. #sbbuzz
  • mriggen:@sbbuzz Q1 I can still understand why people who don’t use Twitter kind of think we’re all crazy, though : ) #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q1: I found the immediate interaction on twitter to be fun and engaging. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz:@lutherlowe please, I don’t usually pay too much attention to follower numbers but that one is giving me the creeps. #sbbuzz
  • lindadessau: RT @mriggen: @sbbuzzQ1 I can still understand why people who don’t use Twitter kind of think we’re all crazy, though : ) #sbbuzz
  • mriggen:@lutherlowe Be careful! You don’t know who you are dealing with 😉 ! #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: RT @lutherlowe: Q1 Twitter is a great way to monitor buzz/press on @Yelp. Personally, it was Clive Thompson’s http: //bit.ly/10FZEA#sbbuzz
  • merylevans: @scoblitz Amen! Even folks with 5k+ numbers aren’t necessarily worth listening to. Takes more than #s now. #sbbuzz
  • bhnyc: @sbbuzz I’m a NYC CPA and entrepreneur currently working on a start-up biz #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: Actually, I’m just here until everyone figures out how big MySpace is going to be… #sbbuzz
  • lindadessau: Just noticed TweetChat has a retweet button now – that’s new, isn’t it? #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: @bradfordshimp Uh, I think I hear crickets on that one. What’s MySpace? KIDDING! #sbbuzz
  • bhnyc: Q1: The exposure to new ideas+people who I would never come into contact with otherwise was my “tipping point” to engage on twitter #sbbuzz
  • perfectquarters: Q1: A friend told me about twitter and I started tweeting. I love sharing real estate information with anyone who will listen or not #sbbuzz
  • merylevans: Q1 Gosh, I wish I could remember what compelled me to finally try Twitter. I knew about it a while before leaping into it. #sbbuzz
  • pmohara: @lindadessau that’s how I goofed my intro- playing w/new buttons in TweetDeck. Perhaps DURING the chat is not right time to play : ) #sbbuzz
  • merylevans: @CASUDI I was like most people … “Who cares what I am doing right this minute?” Took me time to see beyond that. #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Q2 from an #sbbuzz friend: what should you do if you are passed over for a promotion because you are too good at your current job?

  • helpbusinesses: Q2: I’d start my own business LOL and I think I did. #sbbuzz
  • selahsynergy: Q2 Prepare your resume. #sbbuzz
  • bhnyc: On tipping point – wonder if the utility of twitter will decrease as more spammers/ fakers join – inverse network effect? #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: @sbbuzz Q2 Write a long blithering blog post about it. Blithering optional. #sbbuzz
  • merylevans: Q2 Surefire way to put someone down in the dumps. Better look elsewhere or start a business like @helpbusinesses says. #sbbuzz
  • lindadessau: Q2 I read in the Science of Getting Rich that we should all strive to be bigger than our current place. #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q2: I truly do not get why smart people don’t get the promotions they deserve. That thinking is crazy to me truly. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q2: Find another company to work for, one that values its employees. #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: Q2 – But seriously, have a talk with the boss, one that involves the companies direction and yours, and which discusses a pay raise. #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI: Q2: Start your own business! #sbbuzz
  • nrohrbach: Q2: don’t back down, continue to do your best at the position you’re in, I believe in employment karma #sbbuzz
  • merylevans: @scoblitz That’s hard to do in this economy with shortages. Employers have upper hand, so takes deep research to see employer value #sbbuzz
  • mriggen: @sbbuzz Q2 Agree with @helpbusinesses – start your own company! Now is a great time to be a freelancer or consultant. #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI: RT @nrohrbach: Q2: dont back down, continue to do your best at the position youre in, I believe in employment karma #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: Q2: I don’t qualify. I’m the CEO so I give myself a promotion every day. Hardy har har #sbbuzz
  • lindadessau: RT @nrohrbach: Q2: dont back down, continue to do your best at the position you’re in, I believe in employment karma #sbbuzz
  • chelpixie: Q2 I’d definitely talk with your boss first and foremost and if you are truly unhappy prepare to move on. #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q2: @merylevans @scoblitz you can go over the competition. If your employer does not value you maybe the competition will. #sbbuzz
  • chelpixie: (unhappy in your current position) #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q2: Excellent employee always have options & employers who do not realize that are crazy poor economy or not #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @merylevans agreed – knee jerk response, but it does show an inherent problem with the culture in that company. #sbbuzz
  • pmohara: Q2 Your employer should help you grow. If they don’t respect you then they aren’t going very far either. #sbbuzz
  • perfectquarters: Q2: Good real estate agents are always switching camp. You have to pay them well otherwise they will leave #sbbuzz
  • perfectquarters: Q2: I just cannot see why anyone would not promo or pay a their top employee well #sbbuzz bhnyc:Q2: Either you’re not as good as you think, or you need to find another employer (or start-up). Not sure if talking to boss w/help #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: Q2 – From the owner’s perspective, it might make sense to keep you working in your skill area – but considerations should be made. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @pmohara exactly – if you do the one job that well, just imagine what you can do given the right encouragement and opportunity! #sbbuzz
  • lutherlowe: Q2 Tough one… Work for Yelp?http: //www.yelp.com/jobs : ) I’ve found Doostang to be a great job site, too. No Monster-like spam. #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Q3 How much information about your revenue or # of customers should you share w/press, potential partners, etc.? #sbbuzz

  • helpbusinesses: Q3: It really depends on the circumstances of the questions & how responding will benefit you. #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: Q3: Number of customers is fine, revenue is another issue. I let people do the math but anyone can find that info on the web anyway. #sbbuzz
  • lindadessau: Q3 Ooooo great question and I can’t wait to hear the wisdom of the group! #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q3: That information should be dished out on a as need basis. City contract they need to know so you provide it. #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI: Q3: About my current high profile clients = ZERO #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: Q3 – You have to think of potential harm. Usually, its not as bad as you think & being open can do you some good. #sbbuzz
  • nrohrbach: Q3: yeah, the press is going to find out whatever they want #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q3: Actually dealt with that today. #sbbuzz
  • lutherlowe: Q3 Must ask yourself: Who can I trust? I often deploy the term “FrieND-A” : ) #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: Q3 – Sitting on information, trying to hide it and fudge it, doesn’t usually do you any good anyway. #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: If a company pays its taxes, anyone can figure customers evenue out. I think it does depend on who’s asking and why. #sbbuzz
  • lindadessau: RT @lutherlowe: Q3 Must ask yourself: Who can I trust? I often deploy the term “FrieND-A” : ) #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: Its all about transparency now and not holding your cards so close to your chest. Transparency is winning the game of business. #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: People don’t trust companies who have secrets. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q3: I think it depends on circumstances and reason for sharing. There could be benefits or bragging rights, or … #sbbuzz
  • merylevans: Q3 Interesting question considering stolen Twitter docs given to Techcrunch, and TC published revenue info. #sbbuzz
  • nrohrbach: Q3: and you’re not prepared for partners if you’re not prepared to share #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: @desireescales I like transparency. I like openness even better. #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: @desireescales I don’t think providing that info to transparency in some cases honestly. That’s a board statement #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI: @desireescales I agree about transparency but giving out confidential client info = NEVER #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: @CASUDI Those are two completely different things, customer information versus number of customers. #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: @merylevans Regarding that, if a company published all of its information as a matter of course, how would that change the company? #sbbuzz
  • rongraham1: @sbbuzz, right now, on Q3, nobody cares. So I’ll cross that bridge if/when I come to it. LOL #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q3: or for presenting self appropriately and honestly, particularly with potential partners. #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: RT @nrohrbach: Q3: and you’re not prepared for partners if you’re not prepared to share #sbbuzz
  • lutherlowe: @bradfordshimp @desireescales Merge the word “friend” with the word “NDA” (non-disclosure agreement). Informal promise 2 zip lips : ) #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q3: Number of customer is not big deal to share on any day with anyone but revenue is not for everyone to know #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI: Q3: Sharing appropriate info with partners is different then sharing with the press: -) #sbbuz
  • rongraham1: I will say this about # of customers. If one customer asks, I’ll say “we have others. But right now, you’re the one who matters.” #sbbuzz
  • mriggen: @sbbuzz Q3 We just say we don’t have quite as many users as @freshbooks, which is true. Someday! #sbbuzz
  • perfectquarters: Q3: In real estate we share the amt of sales w/our potential sellers so they will give us their listing & the nbr of customers too #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp:@rongraham1 Like it. Or you could say, “we have one customer at a time” #sbbuzz
  • perfectquarters: Q3: Some large firms erase the amount of sale & just reveal it unit was sold so you only see their volume #sbbuzz
  • pmohara: Q3: Be honest. A prospect asked how we compare to Microsoft. Said we’re significantly smaller & that’s why we serve small biz better #sbbuzz
  • rongraham1: @bradfordshimp, I could even say your line with a completely straight face. We are, after all, each of us only one person. : -) #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Q4 from @bradfordshimp What are the biggest hurdles to starting a new business, other than money? #sbbuz

  • merylevans: Q4 Administration. Some people want to focus on core business and have no idea what to do w/ set up, books, etc. #sbbuzz
  • nrohrbach: Q4: Establishing your brand. Brand =Reputation, hard to have a reputation out the gate. #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: Q4: Biggest hurdle to starting a new business: FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real (Just go for it folks!) #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q4: I find helping business owners to get the right team in place can be challenging b/c they don’t want to delegate #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI: Q4: Time and focus #sbbuzz
  • rongraham1: @sbbuzz, on Q4, all other needs pale next to money. But for the sake of argument, let’s say an understanding of what we’re doing. #sbbuzz
  • lindadessau: RT @desireescales: Q4: Biggest hurdle to starting a new business: FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real (Just go for it folks!) Yes! #sbbuzz
  • AndrewNim: @sbbuzz Q4 Getting your name out and referrals. #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI: Q4: By time I mean time management #sbbuzz
  • lindadessau: @helpbusinesses Yeah, we learn to do it all ourselves b/c money is tight, then we can’t let go when it’s time to grow. #sbbuzz
  • virtuallyideal1: Q4. Biggest hurdle.Knowing who to trust. There are a lot of people out there selling everything. #sbbuzz
  • lutherlowe: q4 #sbbuzz Building a great reputation – early.
  • helpbusinesses: Q4: Also I find getting them to focus on an exact plan can de difficult too. Planning is key to success #sbbuzz
  • bhnyc: Q4: For ppl with good corp careers – fear of giving up status and income which comes with Fortune500 gig #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: I would say that gap between the dream and the reality is difficult to navigate – first customers, team members, product, etc. #sbbuzz
  • merylevans: Q4 I think it helps to start a business while you still have a full-time job. That way you can build up some income before quitting. #sbbuzz
  • AndrewNim: @desireescales I love that Thats a whole post for Idea anglers right there. #sbbuzz
  • mriggen: @sbbuzz Q4 Balancing work & life is hard as small biz owner. But we always say we wouldn’t want it any other way. #sbbuzz
  • nrohrbach: @merylevans right, especially if you have a family to support, harder to get loans today than it was a couple years ago #sbbuzz
  • merylevans: @nrohrbach Worked well for me. By the time I left corp, biz had full-time work. Loans: try bartering and private lenders. #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI:Q4: I’ve done the balancing act for years, with supportive business & personal partners. key word is supportive #sbbuzz

pmohara: Q5 When on vacation, how connected do you stay to the office/customers? How do you catch up?#sbbuzz

  • lindadessau: Q5 I’m cringing thinking of past vacations and piles of emails – need to get someone else to check it next time & keep it at bay. #sbbuzz
  • AndrewNim: @pmohara Thats not a vacation, You need to disconnect some time. #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: Q5: Just got back from vaca. I checked email and messages twice a day. Had someone with email down, fixed it and they were gtful. #sbbuzz
  • rongraham1: @sbbuzz, on Q5, I’m afraid I don’t understand what you folks mean by that word “vacation.” Is that Spanish? #sbbuzz
  • sbbuzz: Q5 When on vacation, how connected do you stay to the office/customers? How do you catch up?#sbbuzz <oops!>
  • CASUDI: Q5: Too much so, our clients expect it. However I love what I do….. @pmohara #sbbuzz
  • nrohrbach: Q5: I keep an eye on emails for fires that need to be put out, might read or take notes for biz, but try to stay off the laptop #sbbuzz
  • chelpixie:Q5 last vacation I actually disconnected almost completely for 3 days, it was a good, refreshing thing. (Usually I have the phone) #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q5: I let go when I go on vacation. Nothing is not that important for me not to relax or anyone else for that matter #sbbuzz
  • chelpixie: Q5 taking breaks is invaluable. With the way social media world works (24/7), it’s tough. #sbbuzz
  • mriggen: @rongraham1 I think it is what kids do when they are in school, between spring and fall? #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q5: We are all important as we make ourselves. The world will turn with or without us, your business or not. #sbbuzz
  • lutherlowe:#sbbuzz If you’re a local SMB, put an announcement on your Yelp page announcing your absence and keep an eye on your traffic biz.yelp.com
  • helpbusinesses: Q5: Have a one man show business you can still going on vacation without plugging in. Customer will respect your time. Set limits #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: I prepare clients for our vacations and let them know when we’ll be gone way in advance. Thy appreciate it. #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: @lindadessau You really have to know how to set things up for everything to work & have balance. #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Now we’ll be directing ?s to our guest @scoblitz (we’ll pretend he’s a guest), Tech Go To Guy & writer for @webworkerdaily Hi Scott! #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Q6 @scoblitz Should you look for software to fill a need, or try new applications for ideas on better ways to run your business? #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Q6 (cont’d) – iow the old “which comes first, the need or the solution” question. #sbbuzz

  • mriggen: @scoblitz Hi Scott! Welcome! #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz I think identifying a need is critical, and then evaluating and choosing the right tool to fill it. #sbbuzz
  • desireescales: Q6: Both. I always look for apps to help me be more efficient and also love to try new ones out of sheer curiosity. #sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q6: You always have to look to improve production & execution of the business otherwise it will die. Heck that why we tweet #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz:@sbbuzz I hear I need “x” – no, let’s look at what you are trying to accomplish and then we can find the right solution. #sbbuzz
  • bhnyc: Q6: I find its both – if just filling needs, you miss potential opportunities to leverage new s/w – trying is exploring #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI: Q6: First the need ,then find the best solution to fill the need : -)#sbbuzz
  • helpbusinesses: Q6: fulfilling the need makes you money. But if you fill the need you have the solution. #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: @scoblitzVery true, the wrong solution can often pigeon hole you and hold you back from what you need to accomplish #sbbuzz
  • lindadessau: Q6 I still suffer from the BSO’s too often – nothing distracts me more than a shiny new web-based tool & I will work to find a use #sbbuzz
  • rongraham1: @scoblitz, on Q6, we’re only two guys. We sure as heck won’t follow a procedure *other* than what you suggest. LOL #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @desireescales testing and playing with apps can be fun (I love it) but you have to know what you are trying to accomplish. #sbbuzz
  • lutherlowe: #sbbuzz q6 I tell folks to mix it up. While the free stuff at biz.yelp.com is great, it isn’t the end-all-be-all.
  • bradfordshimp: I think a person who suggest apps to others has a duty to try out all the new and shiny ones! #sbbuzz
  • virtuallyideal1: For my business I fill need first, then look at other apps to suggest to clients for their needs. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @bhnyc that is part of the discovery process. #sbbuzz
  • leoraw: Q6 I make lists of possible solutions to possible future needs. Then when you need them, you need to go back thru lists. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @bradfordshimp that’s my job to test the shiny things! #sbbuzz
  • chelpixie: If you test and play with apps too much you end up losing time. Definitely a need before solution. #sbbuzz
  • selahsynergy: @scoblitz I agree that the vision comes 1st but tech trends can also inspire new visions. #sbbuzz
  • AndrewNim: Q6 #sbbuzz thats part of what I do, try them out for other people. Then suggest solutions for their real needs.
  • jackGodfrey: I find the application that fills the need, first. At other times I explore what is available and what is possible. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @chelpixie excellent point. There is a point of diminishing returns there. #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Q7 from @CASUDI – how do you find software if too busy, NO computer skills, no $ to hire, no family to help? #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Q8 from @bradfordshimp What is the coolest new app or software you have discovered in the last month or so? #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Q9 Any suggestions on test-driving web applications? How do you make sure it will fill the need? #sbbuzz

  • scoblitz: @AndrewNim I know we’ve had good things to say about Socialtext on Web Worker Daily. #sbbuzz
  • PickleBarrelSF: just added twitwall…discovered it in the #sbbuzz chatroom http: //bit.ly/XdZzy
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q10 Having the need defined first helps that process for sure. Try it with a real situation or test case. #sbbuzz
  • virtuallyideal1:@scoblitz Thanks for the springpad app. Going to looking into it more later this evening. #sbbuzz
  • nrohrbach: Q9: it doesn’t hurt to contact the company if a demo didn’t show you all the features, I’ve gotten full trial versions that way too #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q9: Trust your first impressions, don’t work too hard trying to make it work if it just doesn’t feel right for your needs. #sbbuzz
  • leoraw: Q9 Now that I am working on two WordPress sites, I am constantly need to “test-drive” themes and plugins and code. #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI: Q9: I looked at something called The Drawing Rack, have not test driven it yet too $$$ and still looking. V. product specific. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q10: Having a checklist for comparison is also helpful when testing multiple apps concurrently. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz:@mriggen need to look at card.ly again – I’m a big dandyid fan. #sbbuzz
  • virtuallyideal1: RT @scoblitz Q9: Trust your 1st impressions, don’t work too hard trying to make it work if it just doesn’t feel right for your needs #sbbuzz
  • wvpmc: @leoraw any tools for comparing the features, ease of operation of different themes? #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @nrohrbach contacting the company has other benefits as well like testing support and general responsiveness. #sbbuzz
  • nrohrbach: @scoblitz and sometimes even discounts, the worst answer you can get is “sorry not at this time” #sbbuzz
  • lindadessau: @scoblitz What are some good general criteria for a checklist? #sbbuzz
  • mriggen: @scoblitz I like dandyid as well, but wasn’t the ? within last month 😉 ? #sbbuzz
  • leoraw: @wvpmc So far, I just install the different themes and try em. I like to add code, so if it’s2 difficult to do so, it’s not for me. #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI: Q10: Testing customer support a MUST #sbbuzz @scoblitz
  • scoblitz: @lindadessau things like pricing and such but really any specific features you are looking for. For me support is major requirement. #sbbuzz
  • leoraw: @wvpmc there’s one called Prodigy with another piece called Legacy which I would love to try. They want beta testers. #sbbuzz
  • rongraham1: @nrohrbach, your idea about contacting the company is good for more than software. They may gamble on us, for bigger things later. #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Q11 When should you involve your team in the software selection process? How do you make sure they will use it? #sbbuzz

  • lindadessau: @scoblitz Great – so the idea is to prepare a list of what’s important to YOU & compare each app to YOUR list (not just theirs). #sbbuzz
  • AndrewNim: @sbbuzz If you value them sure #sbbuzz
  • lindadessau: @sbbuzz: Q11 I would add when should you involve your CLIENTS in the software selection process and make sure THEY will use it! #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI: Q11: Selecting software is a team event, if all are going to use it ! In my case both partners. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @lindadessau absolutely – their feature list is what they think is important, not necessarily what you need. #sbbuzz
  • leoraw: @wvpmc My first WordPress site, my own blog, is created with my own theme. Faster and easier to upgrade using standard themes. #sbbuzz
  • nrohrbach: Q11: I involve the team in software selection after I test it and know I can afford it. Don’t want to get them excited if we can’t. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz I would involve them early, get their input on what they need, that should increase adoption if they are part of the process #sbbuzz
  • rongraham1: @leoraw, I have a theory that creating original themes isn’t much more difficult than modifying freebies. The skeleton is the same. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz but they don’t need to be involved in the details of every app and your initial testing and comparison. #sbbuzz
  • CASUDI: @lindadessau @sbbuzz: Q11: Excellent point. WE need to involve clients at times, as our Architectural design is cont. collaboration #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz:@sbbuzz Recommendations and evaluations can be shared and discussed but all need to know who is responsible for final decision. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @nrohrbach good point – I think they can and should help define the need though. #sbbuzz

sbbuzz: Thanks to @scoblitz for the great tips and insights! Such great information here. We’ll post it on the site soonhttp: //sbbuzz.biz #sbbuzz

scoblitz: @sbbuzz Thank you for having me – If you hadn’t noticed, I love talking about this stuff… #sbbuzz

chelpixie: Thank you @scoblitz! You can find me at http: //chelpixie.com if you want to know more about getting untangled and on track. #sbbuzz


1 Comment

Filed under small business, summary

One response to “Testing Web Apps for your Small Biz: Summary from July 21, 2009

  1. Thank you so much for having me as a guest for your sbbuzz chat, I had a great time. There were such great questions, I hope we were able to get to everyone.

    Feel free to connect with me via Twitter or on my web site if I can be of further assistance to anyone.


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