Building awareness around a brand (especially a new brand) is difficult. Over the past few weeks I've been getting out into the education community (the online community that is) and have connected with bloggers and individuals who I think would be great additions to our Beta testing group.
You see, when we launch http://coursefeeds.com
we plan to do so in measured steps (so we can tweak the system to best fit the needs of our users). Working with a small, engaged user base that we choose should be easier than opening the flood gates (though the reservoir may be empty). The plan is to gather a few individuals who are interested in the product to be first adopters, start the conversation with them, then let them have the keys to the proverbial castle at launch. This way we can target our feedback and seek the most honest evaluations of our web app.
These are the steps that we took so far:
--Create a list of bloggers that often suggest and try out new products (like Larry Ferlazzo
and Richard Byrne
--we've submitted press releases to a bunch of education focused online journals/magazines (like eschoolnews.com, edutopia and others)
--we've submitted press releases to news wires and sites like KillerStartups
--and I've blogged here (which I've found to be very valuable).
To date I've emailed a lot of bloggers and have used my personal learning network to invite beta testers, but we still are seeking a few more entries (could be that my email ended up in spam or was disregarded, or just that people weren't interested). So I'll invite anyone here to join the beta if your interesting in using a simple learning platform that's a wee bit more social than Moodle or BlackBoard.
If you'd like to spread the word to your friends and colleagues as well, it'd be great to have another 25-50 individuals sign up with their interest.
More information is available at http://blog.coursefeeds.com
For a vendor, it's often a long-shot to get a presentation unless you're focusing specifically on the use of a technology otherwise available to teachers and students (Working for a Moodle hosting company, presenting on Moodle and how to get it for free got me 10 or so invites around the state to present). So for Coursefeeds I focused on how I believed our product was different and how a social activity stream could be applied to educational settings. We'll see.