Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Fresh Coat of Paint...

Since my last post, we've been working overtime to add a host of new features to the site. As usual, everything we've added is designed to help you grow your network and market your business. However this time around, what I'm really excited about are some of the cosmetic changes we've made to the network such as 1) a re-design of our homepage and 2) a darkening of our navigation (and logo), and 3) a new tour. I don't know... to me, the network seems much more eye-popping and consistent. I'll let you be the judge.

When running an Internet business, there's always the urge to enhance the appearance of a website with the latest and greatest design elements, particularly when you're heads down in it for 10 hours per day everyday. Yet, what I've found is that it becomes risky to do so as more and more people become familiar and comfortable with the existing design. For that reason, we've always errored on the side of caution when it comes to graphic design. I can't tell you how many Interent companies I've watched make drastic changes to their website, only to watch their customers become alienated and confused.
Here's my philosophy...
Make changes only when new features and design add clear value - and never at the expense of the overall user experience

As far as functionality, here's are a few new features we've recently added that are being very well received:

1. Directory of Networks - we've created a database of over 5,000 associations, affiliations, business organizations and non-profts pages. These pages offer an excellent opportunity for our members to increase their visibility across our network by offering yet another searchable way for people in and outside of Fast Pitch! to find them. The Fast Pitch! Network directory is already the largest of it's kind on the Internet, and will ultimately become the "Google" for searching associations. Each network page links to the organizations website and features their logo. Most importantly, all of our members who are associated with these organization are featured. For an example CLICK HERE
2. Invite Your Contacts - we've drastically improved your ability to quickly invite people you already know to join you on Fast Pitch! by allowing you to access all of your contacts from other networks such as LinkedIn and multiple email platforms like Gmail and Yahoo! Since adding this feature, well over 1 million new invitations have been sent on behalf of our members looking to invite their current friends and colleagues to join FP. To see how it works CLICK HERE

3. Virtual Tradeshow / Featured Expert - in previous posts, I've already mentioned the launch of our LIVE CHAT Virtual Tradeshows (which by the way, are growing more and more popular every Thursday). As a new twist to the Virtual Tradeshows we're now Featuring an Expert which gives our members the opportunity to chat one-on-one with some of the biggest names in business. Upcoming guests already include Ivan Misner of BNI (the largest business networking organization in the world) and author/speaker Bob Burg (Endless Referrals). For more information about becoming a Featured Expert on an upcoming Virtual Tradeshow CLICK HERE

4. Inbox - we've enhanced the functionality of the Fast Pitch! inbox to allow you to more easily manage all of your incoming and outgoing messages. Messages are divided up according to the type of message (Invitation to Connect vs. Press Announcements, etc.).

5. Google Ranking - as an upgraded member, we now provide you with real-time statstics regarding your placement on Google based on a variety of keywords. As you know, as a Fast Pitch! member we continually optimize and submit your account (profile, press, etc.) to the largest search engines in the world in order to help you grow your footprint across the Internet

6. Web Links - as an upgraded member you can now add multiple web links to your profile. This is important as it provides you with the ability to receive a high quality 'linkback' from Fast Pitch! for each URL you are trying to promote. Part of how Google determines website rankings is based on how many (quality) websites you are linked from.

7. Your Network - you can now quickly see which members of your network are currently online. This gives you the ability to CHAT LIVE with each of them. Additionally, the network page has been re-organized in order to provide you with an improved visual representation of your network.

Let us know what you think!
Good Luck


Anonymous Edwin Duterte said...

LOVE the features! I've been using them since you've put them up and my network is growing because of it.

I've been telling all of my contacts to network on Fast Pitch!

Great job.

Edwin Duterte

8:07 PM  

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