Updates after the Trial Weekend

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This past Saturday and Sunday were the first days where we really tried to push knowledge of our site out to a significant audience. The results are encouraging in some ways, and the good news is we believe we learned a lot about tweaks we needed to make. We placed simple links to our quilts in various profiles and pages on student.com, myspace, getsatisfaction.com, facebook, and a quite a few other sites. We’ve actually seen a fair amount of traffic from these links. Unfortunately, we only got a few signins. After analyzing our Google Analytics (which, by the way, are amazing) and considering the quantity of signups, we concluded that the pages are a bit too cryptic in several areas. One area where this applies is in our outside links section, which looks similar to what I’ve copied below:

Our Quilt

AOL djangosites.org quiltid Satisfaction Twitter WordPress.com

powered by quiltid

There are 6 links encoded in our quilt at this point – represented by 6 favicons (one being a grey box because the site does not use a favicon). While the version here is not functional, on our site if you click on the first (AOL) favicon, the link will take you to http://profiles.aim.com/quiltid. We haven’t done much with this profile as yet, but we have it by virtue of the fact that we “own” the AIM ID quiltid. This is a “verify-able” link since AOL uses open id (if you “own” a URL, we encourage you to verify it on our site). The second favicon is DjangoSites – our site is implemented using Django and we’re pretty proud of that so we wanted the Django community to know we’re out there. The third is our link to our own site, which we also own – http://quiltid.quiltid.com and that’s our favicon. The next 3 are a bit more useful for purposes of this discussion. The fourth is a http://getsatisfaction.com/quiltid link and favicon for their site. This is the support forum we are using for our site. We believe in their premise as well as their promise, and we’re looking forward to a long working relationship with them. The next one is for twitter at http://twitter.com/quiltid. Joel, our lead developer (I prefer VP of Technology, but he prefers a bit more humility…) is using this to provide update bites. You can subscribe to an RSS feed for that and probably keep up with what’s going on development-wise with our site pretty well. The sixth is a link to this blog – https://quiltid.wordpress.com.

Unfortunately, if you are not familiar with what our site does/can do for you, then of course you wouldn’t know this (!). That’s one assumption that bit us. Our quiltid quilt tells you where (and who) we are on the web just like your quilt will when you build it on our site. What we did to fix this was to add some text immediately below our signin with openid link to provide you with links to this blog and our support forum. The next thing we realized is that there were people clicking through to the signin page, but when you got there, there was nothing to describe the openid process and what to do. We’ve added some descriptive text there that we hope will serve the purpose. One thing we haven’t noted that I want to make clear here is that when you sign in with openid for the first time, you are also creating your account, a verified link (by definition since you own that link or you couldn’t sign in with it), and you are adding your first favicon to your quilt.I won’t bore you any more this evening 😉 , but I would like to encourage you again to either comment on this blog or go to our support forum and ask us questions – we’re really quite anxious to have a dialog with you if it will help you use our site.

All the best!

Steve Watts, President

Watts Lab, Inc.

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