Agile Software Lessons From a Major Site Rebuild


Agile burndown chartFor those that have been paying attention, last Monday was a day of big changes for Business.com as it marked the release of our new data platform and contextual content delivery system that is unique in B2B digital media. On the surface, we have moved from a directory site to one which delivers high quality, functional content, resources, and tools to help executives throughout their buyer journey. Under the hood, the metamorphosis was even greater. On the data side of the equation, we built a proprietary big data platform which collects millions of customer interactions and intentions. This data drives everything from decisions on our content strategy to an automated progressive user experience on the website.

Oh and yeah, we also built a robust custom CMS which makes it easy for non-technical staff to create beautiful and unique looking pages of all content types. Read the full entry


How Well Are You Monitoring Your Business Website?


website monitoring


Online Marketing Tips for Your Business


Business.com has just launched a series of videos to help small businesses navigate the treacherous waters of online marketing and establish an effective social media strategy. Topics include search engine marketing (SEM), how to use advertising networks online, creating and using social media, pay per click advertising, and search engine optimization (SEO) basics. All presenters are experts in their field and help Business.com customers achieve their goals every day. Visit the Business.com Online Marketing Channel to view other helpful videos.


Verizon, Forbes Revamp Small Business Sites


Major business information publishers and service suppliers are more interested than ever in extending a helping hand to small business owners. On April 16, Verizon will officially announce a major makeover of the Verizon Small Business Center, focused on a new “Collaboration Center” that features a library of applications, hosted services, news, resources and professional networking. A few details:

  • In My Applications, users can access email, calendar items and the business applications they’ve selected.
  • Professional Networking lets you create a profile and exchange ideas with others in your industry and build business relationships.
  • The My News and Resources section lets you select from a menu of different types of small business-related content — news, technology, government regulation, etc.

Starting April 21, Verizon will also offer a free bi-weekly webinar series featuring small business experts covering a wide range of topics, from SEO and Twitter for small business, to improving productivity.

Forbes, meanwhile, has revamped its Small Business Exchange, looking to boost membership and participation. Brett Nelson, Entrepreneurs Editor at Forbes.com, lists key benefits of joining up at his site:

  • Ask questions and get answers from experts in key areas such as marketing, technology, finance and law.
  • Connect with other small business owners, search company profiles, send messages and expand your network.
  • Share your own expertise and track industry trends.
  • Browse the latest small business news and advice from Forbes.com.

New Site Helps Women Biz Owners Promote Each Other


Concert pianist Angela Jia Kim started Savor the Success with husband Marc Stedman

Concert pianist Angela Jia Kim started Savor the Success with husband Marc Stedman

As an un-female myself I can’t say for sure, but this new “boutique social network and PR co-op for female entrepreneurs and professionals” seems like a pretty savvy place to get low-cost PR tools and help, hook up with seminars and media events, and connect with like-minded women.

The site — Savor the Success — was launched last August to help women promote their companies online, do business with each other, network in person at local chapter events and learn good PR practices.  Though still young, Savor the Success has an aura of activity that signals an engaged group of users. You can see the list of members in a giant block of names listed on the website.

“Most of our members are small businesswomen,” says Savor the Success Co-Founder Angela Jia Kim, “and many of them have recently launched their companies after leaving prior jobs or as an additional source of income.  In this economic climate, they’re having to do more with less to get publicity for themselves and their businesses.”

“Premium” members ($49/month) get access to extras such as PR Booty Camps, Free Media Lists, Gift Basket Opportunities and more.


Managing Web Reputation


Internet reputation management, or IRM, is quickly shaping up as one of the hottest biz trends of ’09 and a vital tactic you need to take control of quickly. Basically, IRM means proactively tracking and managing your business reputation online. Anybody can say anything about your business online at any time, and websites from Angie’s List to Yelp, among hundreds more, actively solicit user reviews of products, services and businesses — including yours.

Gartner Research dubs IRM a hot web trend with major implications for small business. And it’s one of the rare areas where venture capital is still flowing. What Works has learned that RatePoint, an up-and-coming IRM firm, just pocketed another $10M in venture funding, led by MA-based Castile Ventures.

For other helpful solutions, check the Reputation Management section at Business.com, where business finds what it needs in over 65,000 categories.

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