Posts tagged Beta
As you know may or may not know, Google’s advertising platform contains the GDN (global display network). Within that network, Google gave us the ability to take the insights from paid search clicks and remarket to them. This was through the DoubleClick bid manager. It was in beta and is now available to all DoubleClick Search [...]
View full post on Search Engine Journal
Beta testing can be a bitch – especially when you’re working with complex business technology that doesn’t make sense for consumers. It can be incredibly difficult to find good test subjects with enough of a knowledge base to give you intelligent feedback on these kinds of sophisticated products.
That’s exactly the issue facing Pertino as it prepared to launch its cloud-based network launch last fall.
Where To Find Qualified Beta Testers?
Pertino’s concept was to build a cloud-based global network, requiring no specialized hardware or virtual private networks. The company envisioned a network affordable enough for small and midsize (SMB) companies with the security and performance of an enterprise network.
How the heck do you beta test a product like that?
Pertino CEO Craig Elliott turned to the Spiceworks.com community of more than 2.4 million IT professionals, centered around the company’s free, ad-supported IT management tools for SMBs.
Elliott and many Pertino employees were already Spiceworks members, and they started with a 20-company private beta program that grew into “a community-exclusive public beta” involving 250 “Spiceheads.”
Spiceworks’ co-founder Jay Hallberg says three to four years ago the Spiceworks team was “dreaming big that someday we’d have a company launch within Spiceworks.” Pertino turned out to be that company.
Beta Testing Feedback Is Essential
While the usual point of beta testing is to find out if your product is good enough to launch, most initial offerings end up requiring signficant tweaks. “If you’re not thoroughly embarrassed by the first product you release,” Elliott says, “you’ve overthought it, and you’ve come to market too late.”
Beta testing in Spiceworks enabled knowledgeable IT professionals to actually use the product and offer Pertino “incredible, first-hand feedback and insights,” says Elliott.
Todd Krautkremer, Pertino’s VP of marketing, explains that, “Since so many members of the Spiceworks community work IT at small and mid-sized businesses, it was a way to treat SMBs as consumers… The Spiceheads provided feedback in real time [that] shaved months off what the normal development timeline would be.” Beta testing in Spiceworld gave Pertino “validation and the ability to go back to the drawing board based on the feedback,” Krautkremer adds. If you can’t make it in the Spiceworks community, how can you succeed in the broader market?
Pertino didn’t worry about launching its “private” beta to such a large community. “”In the world of open-source tech,” says Krautkremer, “to rest your laurels on defensible IP is not a recipe for success.” Patents can’t protect you.
Instead, seizing the market as early as possible is the best way to become a dominant leader, says Krautkremer. It’s not necessarily being first to market,” Krautkremer continues, “MySpace was there before Facebook.” To win, your idea has to be novel and simple, and you have to pursue it aggressively.
So far, that approach is working for Pertino. The company publicly launched its product in February: “6,000 people downloaded it on day one,” Krautkremer says, and more than 300 Pertino networks were built.
Beta Test Tips
Sharing what he learned from the Spiceworks beta, Krautkremer offers tech companies 4 quick tips:
- Use the freemium model: make it easy for potential customers to try your product.
- Keep it simple: “Click, click, done wins. Click, click, click, done loses.”
- Eat your own dogfood: use and test your own product.
- Get to market first and then grow fast.
Oh, and find qualified beta testers to provide useful feedback before you make your product publicly available.
View full post on ReadWrite
80% Off Pro Online SEO Software in Beta: WebMeUp Announces Special Early … – Seattle Post Intelligencer
80% Off Pro Online SEO Software in Beta: WebMeUp Announces Special Early …
Seattle Post Intelligencer
Customers who apply WEBMEUP20 coupon in their billing details will get WebMeUp Standard for as low as $19.95/mo – not just for the first month, but for every month until they decide to unsubscribe. The app is now in Beta, and WEBMEUP20 coupon is …
View full post on SEO – Google News
For adventurous Evernote users on Macs, the beta version of Evernote 5 became available on Thursday. It’s quite different – in mostly good ways. Here’s how to install it and take it for a spin.
You’ll first notice the changes in the sidebar, which, if you’re like me, is almost always the starting point. There are now big, colorful icons, which was jarring to me at first, but my fear subsided quickly.
You can hide any of these icons that you don’t use. I, for instance, don’t browse by tag often, nor do I visit Evernote’s Trunk, so I right-clicked and hid both of those.
You can also expand them, so you can get your drop-down list of notebooks, if you so desire. I’m used to seeing all my stacks at once and then drilling down by notebook, so I’m going to keep it expanded for now. I might change my mind.
There’s also a new section called Atlas, which displays your location-tagged notes on maps automatically. It’s a nice feature if you use the location data to organize your notes.
At the top of the sidebar, there’s a section for shortcuts, which is hugely handy. You can add notes, notebooks, saved searches or tags there. Drag them from the second panel, which is for browsing. Then you can quickly access your most used stuff. Underneath shortcuts, you can also have an automatically updated section for recent notes.
The new browsing panel scared me at first, too, because I don’t like the big card view of notes. Fortunately, there are many display options in the drop-down menu on the top-right side of the panel, so I switched back to the “snippet view” that looks just like the old version, only with better colors and textures.
The actual note editor is still familiar, but there are some tweaks to make it more useful. You can view a note in full-screen mode, without the rest of the app, for distraction-free writing. You can edit the note’s location data. You can also quickly convert a note to plain text, which is a relief to the Markdown nerd in me.
There are other improvements like better search suggestions, more keyboard shortcuts, and easier collaboration, but most of the changes in the new version are just about better visual organization of the same information. Check out Evernote’s What’s New page for the complete feature list. If you’re a committed Evernote fan, I recommend trying the beta. If you’re new to Evernote, this version may be the easiest one to get started with – though you may want to wait for the full public release before diving in.
How To Update To The New Beta Version
Remember: Beta software is beta. You use it at your own risk. You might lose some notes or data. If that makes you nervous, wait for the public release.
Before you update, sync all your notes and make sure there are no errors. If you use Local Notebooks, you’ll lose them if you try the beta, so don’t. If you don’t know what Local Notebooks are, you’re good.
To try the beta, you can’t be on the Mac App Store version of Evernote. Download the beta version from Evernote.com and replace the version in your Applications folder with it (don’t worry). Then go to the Software Update tab (not the Sync tab, even though that’s what Evernote’s blog post says), and check the box that says, “Update to Beta versions when available.” You’ll then be prompted to download the beta.
View full post on ReadWrite
Google announced the Apache HTTP server module they released to help webmasters speed up their sites about two years ago is now out of beta. Google said that after eighteen releases they are now “taking off the Beta label” off mod_pagespeed, an open-source Apache HTTP server module that…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Remarketing is a proven tactic for increasing performance. Paid search is a highly effective and efficient marketing channel. Google is now combining both in so marketers can reach the best users, right when they are most interested in acting.
View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest
Big fan of TED talks? Think you can do something stellar if only you had an API with RESTful access to the TED library and its data? Now through May 16, the TED folks are issuing up to 50 API keys to developers “whose vision and plan we believe will set the standard for new ways to power ideas worth spreading through the TEDapi program.” You might even get to show off your app at TEDGlobal 2012.
The selection criteria is made up of five categories, from “awesomeness” to “strategic.” Basically, the TED folks are looking for apps that are much like their talks. They want to see original apps that are high-quality and likely to catch on. As the site says, “extra points for using open source code” in building the app.
The APIs will provide access to XML or JSON-formatted responses that includes the TED library and its metadata, like the languages, speakers, ratings, tags for the talks, and so forth. See the API page to get an idea what you’d be working with.
The 50-person limit is temporary as part of a test drive, but if you’re wanting to make a splash with a TED app, getting in early would be a good way to do it. Good luck, and if you have an app to show off, let us know about it!
View full post on ReadWriteWeb
The next version of Chrome will help older computers catch up with rapidly accelerating Web-based graphics. The upcoming Chrome release will improve the performance of hardware-accelerated 2D animations using Canvas, which include many Web-based games and other graphically-intensive sites.
It will also let systems with older GPUs use SwiftShader for 3D graphics instead of WebGL, which older GPUs can’t handle. It won’t look quite as good, but users with older systems will still get more 3D content than they currently can. The new Chrome beta with these features is available today.
Many of Google’s recent browser-based updates have pushed the envelope on hardware performance. For example, in October, Google released 3D views in Google Maps that use WebGL, so lower-end GPUs can’t display them. Even some relatively new laptops can’t handle WebGL. The new SwiftShader capabilities in Chrome will bring some these 3D graphics to less capable systems.
Other recent Chrome releases contained advanced audio APIs and the ability to run native code inside the browser. Others focused on speeding up page loads by pre-caching pages. Chrome engineers are even building new image formats to push the Web forward. These uncompromising updates were moving pretty quickly for a while, so the next version of Chrome will let older computers catch up.
If you feel like testing Google’s browser capabilities as soon as they come out of the shop, jump in the Chrome beta channel.
View full post on ReadWriteWeb
When Google announced that the Chrome browser would become its own operating system and run on netbooks, the thought around the tech community was that eventually Google would have to merge Chrome with Android. After all, what is the point of supporting two disparate mobile operating systems? The convergence has not yet occurred but may have taken a step further today as Google announced Chrome for Android available on devices running version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Chrome for Android is a win for everybody. Except, of course, most users. As of Google’s latest Android platform numbers, only 1% of devices are running Ice Cream Sandwich. That will change as 2012 moves along with adoption accelerating from new device purchases and updates. Chrome for Android immediately becomes on of the go-to browsers on the platform, will be good for HTML5 development, reliability and security.
A Big Day For HTML5
The best thing that Chrome for Android brings to the table is robust HTML5 integration. The native Android browser is known to have mediocre HTML5 performance (pre-Ice Cream Sandwich) but Chrome for Android promises to make up what has been lacking.
That will include a hardware-accelerated canvas, overflow scroll support, HTML5 video specs support along with Indexed DB (for offline caching, presumably), WebWorkers and WebSockets.
The biggest advantage for mobile HTML5 though will be the ability to bring Chrome tools to the Android platform. If a developer knows how to work in Chromium, working in Chrome for Android will be a seamless transition. This is where the possible convergence of the Chrome and Android platforms will take place.
“Much of the code for Chrome for Android is already shared with Chromium and over the coming weeks, the Chromium team will be upstreaming many new components developed for Chrome for Android to Chromium, WebKit and other projects,” Arnaud Weber, Google’s engineering manager for Chrome, wrote in a blog post.
Chrome for Android has already been put through its initial HTML5 tests with a score of 343 (+10 bonus) on HTML5Test.com. The native ICS browser scored 256 (+3 bonus) which put it in the middle of the pack in terms of mobile browsers.
Enhancements For Users
Chrome for Android promises to be fast, simple and reliable. It pre-loads pages with the Chrome Omnibox (only when Wi-Fi is enabled) and predicts where and what you want to navigate to. It also brings a simple user interface to the Android browser environment, something that many users will be very grateful for after dealing with some of the more complicated UIs from third-party options like Opera, Dolphin HD and Skyfire.
The best aspect of Chrome for Android though will be the ability to sign in to your Chrome browser and have access to all of your bookmarks, tabs and browsing history from anywhere. If you leave your computer with open tabs, Chrome for Android will recognize those and open them for you. Chrome will also be able to track your browsing history to better provide search suggestions. Like many other mobile browsers with desktop presences, Chrome for Android will also be able to sync your bookmarks to your mobile device.
This 1% Problem
We are going to be perfectly honest. No writer at ReadWriteWeb has a device running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. So, we could not put the Chrome Beta through the paces (most RWWers use iPhones as well).
And there is the rub. Next to no one has Ice Cream Sandwich yet, outside a couple Galaxy Nexus users. This poses a problem, if a temporary one. Many existing Android devices are never going to get the ICS upgrade and the devices that have it pre-installed are still in early adopter/Android geek territory.
For many, the Chrome for Android is just an exciting announcement to shrug at since most will never see it on their current devices. Chrome for Android developers have plenty of time to roll out dynamic Web apps before the mass of Android users actually gets the browser. So, perhaps there is a positive side.
Excited for Chrome for Android? Will you develop for it? What about signing in to Chrome across all your devices? Let us know your reactions in the comments.
View full post on ReadWriteWeb