Responding to expresso’s forum comments

Hi expresso

Thanks for your comments in our forum.

We really appreciate your comments, it’s wonderful for us to have such excellent and raw feedback. Keep it coming! We’re beginning to pick up contacts in very large organizations (who have figured out the value of trackng bloggers) and we’re also being approached by a company doing due-diligence on us.

Things are happening in the reBlogger-sphere!

But you made some good points… so it’s confession time. reBlogger is obviously the first product of it’s kind and we’ve been building it for 18 months and running it on our own websites, one of which has 15k unique visitors per day: TopXML. We’e very fortunate to have users like Tony John and yourself who give us frank, honest and useful suggestions about how to improve RB.

But because reBlogger is so ground breakingly new, it’s very difficult for us to know just how people plan to use it. So we’ve had to build the bridge over the river while we’re actually walking on the bridge – does that analogy make sense?

What I’m saying is that we’re building it as fast as we can and the more feedback we get, the more we can figure out what the priority is to build next. We have improvements and features for MANY years and versions to come… we just need to figure out what people need more… improvements (like performance) or more features? I think the demand is for both. So we’ve decided to work on improvements for a time, then switch to features for a time, then back to improvements – and so on. You’ll be happy to know we’re working on improvements right now.

Of course, you’re not interested in our “problems” you just want to know when you’re going to get a more usable product.

We are about to launch a minor update which has:

  • an improved or more robust install – based on your suggestions about what confuses you and what details are missing
  • a simpler install which removes the need for keywords before it begins to run
  • improved scalability for massive installations
  • improved robustness (debugging etc.)
  • improved fetching based on Tony John’s suggestions

Then in the next iteration of development, focussed on features we will be building some o the things you mentioned like calendars and gadgets. We’re also working on very easy drag and drop redesign of the look and feel, draggable reordering, search and much much more.

So I hope you’ll accept this as

  • an apology for what is not working as smoothly as it could
  • a request for you to continue sending us raw and honest feedback
  • a promise that great and wonderful things are coming in time

It’s not possible for me to put a date on when these things will arrive because we prioritize fixing things and responding to customer problems as higher than building new features. But reBlogger is stabilizing very well – after all it’s almost 18 months old – and so we can begin to build new features more and more now. The next version (RB 4.0) will be simply stunning, a work of beauty.

The irony is that we don’t want too many customers right now because we need to keep coding rather than doing too much support. But sales would bring revenue and that would help us grow. But growing takes time. I think this is a problem all self-funded startups face, the chicken or the egg.

I hope this post has encouraged you to purchase RB as it is and stick with us as we grow.

Thanks,
Mark Wilson.

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