Screen Shots, Speed Bumps, and ProgressAugust 3, 2006
Screen Shots: As promised, I’m including some screen shots of the home pages for forsalebylocals.com and casacomprar.com. They are from a few weeks ago and may not be the same in the final versions but they’ll give a good idea of what we’ll look like. Needless to say, they are much better than our pre-launch pages and more indicative of where we are putting our efforts. Each site will be powered on the back end by the ForSaleByLocals(tm) web engine that will control the details of managing all of our content and supported languages.
Feedback is welcome and appreciated. Some things that you may want to know about the web engine include the following:
– Our web engine can support many sites in multiple languages. Every real estate site supported by the ForSaleByLocals(tm) web engine will have site information available in all of our supported languages – this includes the individual listings whether you are a registered member or not.
– We’ve built a double blind mail system that not only limits spam by omitting direct contact information but also has an option to interject accurate human translation into conversations upon request if you need it. This mail system is included in our free standard level membership.
– Advertising will be presented only to non-registered guests, will only be for real estate or related services, and will be language/location specific based on a user’s search and preferences. Individual agents, mortgage brokers, or other service providers will be able to affordably advertise their services when a guest user’s search results include their area.
– Shortly after launch, service providers will also be able to appear in a local directory that is included in search results when any user searches in their area. This service is free. Paid memberships will include a profile translated into every language that we support that will be part of the search results as well. If you want to be included in this directory at no cost, we have a simple form located on our tempory pre-launch pages in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
There is a lot more as well…RSS, tagging, and much more. We are pretty excited about the work that we’ve done and can’t wait to share it with you.
Speed bumps: Our internet service was spotty on Tuesday and completely out for the majority of Wednesday (yesterday). Startup reality sunk in a bit at this point – we had a heck of a time getting a quick service call from our ISP’s tech support. Our ISP’s technician finally arrived on Wednesday afternoon after we spent the morning basically having to prove that it wasn’t our wireless routers or some sort of user error on our part. It turns out that the technician needed to reboot the broadband bridge that supports our office so it definitely wasn’t our fault…..ugg…an entire day lost without being able to interact with the production environment. The team got a bit of work done that didnt require an internet connection but we lost a day and a half at a very critical point of time. Thankfully, we’ll be be dumping our ISP for the office at the end of this month….the service has been terrible. (Note that these issues only affect our connection from the office and in no way impact the connectivity of the production web servers.)
Progress: On the business side, we signed a formal contract and received a fairly broad license for incorporating online video and podcasts for a good sized real estate agency with property sales throughout a particular South American country. We’ll use this as a springboard to demonstrate the ideas that we have around incorporation of different media over the next few months and firm up the process for handling such media quickly. The license includes the ability to translate the videos into our supported languages among other things. We’ll start posting the videos shortly after the launch of our 3 principal sites. More about our ideas later.
On the technical side, the team continues to gel. They are young and eager. They’ve done a good job of digging into the work at hand and producing decent code. We’ve had some rewrites of certain areas and continue to have a number of bugs that we must still must fix before launch but, in all, the team has really stepped up since starting a few short months ago.