CoolHotNot (the company, CoolHotNot Corporation, and the web site, www.coolhotnot.com) are coming along extremely well.
We now have world-class talent committed to the company as equity partners:
Theo Mandel for usability and overall site design, Mark Ferrel for site development, Jeff Kahn for visual and creative design, Allen Stalvey for operations & communications, myself as CEO and Marketing, Bob Angell for Analytics, Testing, & Technical, Zylun for site programmers, Jared Whittle for Data Management, Eric Vernon, Esq. as Corporate Secretary and Legal Counsel, and Stevenson Smith, CPA, as Treasurer and accounting.
We have commitments from John C. Dvorak, Chris Pirillo, Jim Louderback, Steve Bass, Robin Raskin, Dave Graveline and Cheryl Currid to support the site by contributing and maintaining their Loved Lists, Wanted Lists, and their Letdown List – i.e. what’s cool, what’s hot, and what’s not.
Here’s a personal tip you’ll be glad you followed:
Enter the giveaway contest ( http://www.coolhotnot.com/featuredgiveaway ) to win cool stuff and be part of our “Early Adopters Club.” You’ll be glad you did – more coming later!
I was honored to be invited to give the keynote at the 2011 Association of PC Users Groups (APCUG) national conference in Cleveland, Ohio. I shared my perspectives, after 32 years in technology and attending almost 1,000 users group meetings and conferences, on what can be done about the decline in attendance and influence of users groups.
In essence, the influence on standard-setting and product sales formerly enjoyed by users groups has shifted to the Web and sites like C*NET and Engadget.
Yet those sites were designed, by and large, by geeks for geeks. They take a bit of a Web 1.0 approach in trying to identify which products are best and can be information overload, because they take the approach that you can never have enough information when picking a product. In the past few years, a number of sites have come along which attempt to address that weaknesses by aggregating reviews and product ratings.
CoolHotNot, on the other hand, adds the benefits of “reviewer/rater credibility measures, significant network effects (where the more people who use the tool, it becomes exponentially more valuable), gamification, and an enjoyable social experience where social networking becomes part of the value of the site.
Users groups, therefore, should refocus their efforts on providing benefits to their members that are enhanced by the “group” in users groups, namely group discounts, crowd-sourced product support and recommendations, social experience and entertainment, developing an online presence Google respects, and so on. Plus, they need to think about how to provide those benefits to those who don’t come to monthly meetings or aren’t prone to physically assemble.
So doing could easily result in a resurgence of the importance of users groups to vendors and members alike.
The slides can be found at http://www.slideshare.net/coolhotnot/apcug-2011-keynote
Last Wednesday, we launched. Don’t wait another second – go check out the site at http://www.CoolHotNot.com. We’re all proud of the site we’ve created – and it was truly a team effort born of a lot of hard work, inspiration, and discussion.
The reaction at CES was phenomenal. Almost every one of the 80+ companies we spoke to (mostly names you’d recognize) expressed their desire to work with us – most were eager to do so.
So I’ll be coordinating evaluations for the Tech Xperts Team, Allen Stalvey will be scheduling the Featured Products (and giveaways!), Aaron Fergusson will be experimenting with social media, and Jeff Kahn and Theo Mandel will be helping with everything and looking ahead and designing product pages, mobile apps, premium features, and other exciting new looks coming down the pike.
We’ve got a tiger by the tail! Now to keep up with it – wish us luck!
Working hard on getting HOMEmuvees.com up and running, using XSitePro 2 – what a great tool that is! A few bugs here and there, but it’s extensive functionality and amazing ease of use more than makes up for the bug inconvenience. Highly recommended – check it out at http://xrl.us/xsp2 . No need to send gushing gratitude e-mail to me for the tip.