We’ve been busy implementing some new features that speed up BuzzStream, allow you to better manage/search your tags and show you a more in depth snapshot of your media outlets, influencers, links and link partners.
Again our customers have come up with some great ideas and we listened. All told this release is pretty deep and adds some solid punch to BuzzStream. Let’s take a look.
In the past you’ve only been able to view all of your tags as a lump sum across all of your projects. You told us that this can easily become bulky and overwhelming. Now you can easily view and apply your tags by breaking them down to particular projects or a specific user.
Advanced Filtering Updates
We also added “and/or” filtering to Tags, Custom Fields, Link type, Link Partner Type, Media Outlet Type. This addition gives you a powerful parameter to further distill your search results.
Media Outlet Twitter Metrics
Get an accurate and fast snapshot of the potential influence and reach of your media outlets Twitter metrics (Follower, Following and Updates).
Twitter OAuth Support
We’re now supporting OAuth for our Twitter integration. You can now keep track of Twitter conversations with your influencers without having to input your Twitter credentials into BuzzStream. Twitter handles this for us now. Just click on the Twitter icon under Settings > Configuration and you can link your Twitter profile to BuzzStream. If you have a BuzzStream account just click here to make the change!
Faster “Bulk” Actions
We’ve sped up the time it takes to apply bulk actions when moving or copying records across projects, deleting records, changing overall rating and editing tags. You should see a substantial improvement in the time it takes for these changes to apply when you are making changes in mass.
Other Quick Fixes and Changes
With one click your BuzzBox email address is exported as a VCard for easy importing into your email client or address book.
Easily Import Merged Person’s Names
No longer do you need to separate first and last names that live in the same cell of your spread sheet. Our import feature automatically separates those into two separate fields in your BuzzStream contact profile.
Hide Custom Fields
Use or don’t use all those Custom Fields you’ve created, it’s up to you. We’ve made it possible for you to enable or disable each you create depending your preference.
Import Now Supports Over 50 New Fields Including YouTube and MySpace
We beefed up our import options by adding over 50 new fields that you can import.
Urls in Custom Fields are Now Linkable
Do you have urls as part of a custom field? It’s no longer necessary to cut and paste those into your browser. We’ve made them clickable from within BuzzStream.
Easier-to-Read Task Notification Emails
We have cleaned them up a bit so you an quickly see what you need to do for the day and get to it.
Added “Notes” to Import
“Notes” are an important part of any imported record and now you can add one note to each record you import to BuzzStream.
We’ve spent that last couple of weeks taking a look under the hood updating and tweaking BuzzStream. We could offer up a long, banal list of changes but it would read like this, “Updated to Twitter 42j.1 OAuth and Streaming API” or “Resolved null pointer when hiding ResultsMonitor”. Yes, a bit confusing and no fun for anyone. That said we’ve distilled things down to two important updates.
Quick Search: Notes and Articles are now searchable.
There was a lot of information stored in those notes and articles you couldn’t query via Quick Search. All that info is now accessible for both PR/Social Media and Link Management but you need to know a few tricks to really dig deep.
1. Notes – To specifically search the Note field preface your search with “note:” followed by your search term.
2. Articles – To specifically search article headlines preface your search with “article:” followed by your search term.
We consistently invest time and resources making sure BuzzStream is in tip-top shape for our growing customer base. The last couple weeks has seen a big uptick in this area. Primarily we focused on improving list views. It sounds like a small change but it’s huge for customers who have a large number of contact records or users in the system. If that’s you, some noteworthy speed increases will be seen when opening up your list of contacts, changing pages, filtering and searching on lists of contacts. Any action that requires you to manipulate your contacts in mass will happen faster, thus saving you time.
Other Small Changes
- Added the ability to delete Tweets from contact record.
- Our import verification emails are more clearly formatted.
- We added a counter for contacts in pagination.
- Fixed a bug with text searching on the Media Outlet tab. It was preventing People from being returned in search results.
- Twitter metrics are now saving in the contact’s details.
Our customers steer the ship at BuzzStream and that keeps the daily evolution of our product going. We add “newness” all the time and it is the our customer’s feedback and ideas that drive us to make BuzzStream the best fit for you! We dropped a few nice features this time around, so let’s get to it.
In our last release we added Link Type and Link Partner Type fields. This offered a modicum of customization that we needed to build on. Now you can add custom fields to Link Partners, Links (for Link Management) , People and Media (for PR & Social Media). You can easily add custom fields by clicking on “Settings” and going to the “Configuration” tab. Below is a quick run through.
1. On the “Configuration” tab click “Create your first customer field…” under either Link, Link Partner, People or Media.
2. Choose a field name, field type and choices (available in either check box, drop down or text). Click “save”.
3. Your new custom field will show up in 3 places.
The Configuration tab:
The Link, Link Partner, People or Media record:
We know you’ve got contacts and link partners in all kinds of formats that you need to import. This can be laborious and time consuming process. Let us do the heavy lifting by setting up custom import templates in your account. You send us a spreadsheet and we’ll map that information to the proper fields in BuzzStream, even your new Custom Fields! Once the template is locked and loaded you can select it from the import screen and upload your info.
BuzzMarker: Contact Info Highlighting
Seconds add up to hours when pulling together contact info from the web. Our developer Tobias came up with a cool fix to ease the pain by highlighting all potential contact info on a page that you BuzzMark. A simple but smart time saver we hope you like. ATTN! Delete and reinstall your BuzzMarker to use this feature. Click here to reinstall!
Link Performance Reporting
Slice and dice your link reporting in a multitude of ways and see your reports as tables, charts or both. Need to know the number of new links a user has landed in a certain link partner type? We’ve got you covered. How about seeing the average page rank for each user’s links per partner type across a date range? Yep, we can do that to.
Need to take that data to go? You can export all that data into either PDF, Word, Excel or HTML. We’ve had a lot of requests for this and delivered the particular features you said you’d find most useful. No fluff, just actionable data. This is our first take on reporting with Social Media and PR reports on the way! We want to know what you think and what else you’d like see from it.
We always receive great feedback from our customers and the in the last couple weeks you’ve given us some great ideas. We love it as your ideas play a huge role in the feature additions and updates we make; so please, keep them coming. A majority of our recent updates revolve around organizing, labeling, reporting and assigning. Let’s dig in
Quick Search Filters for Links & Link Partners
We love anything that makes a process faster for you. Sorting through your link relationships can be a bit tedious so we’ve added a couple Quick Search filters to ease things along. To use them just click on Filters and you’ll see Quick Search at the top of the drop down. We’ll be adding more search filters in the near future. If you have some that you’d like to see, let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ad New Users to Projects
Small changes can equal big differences and we’re glad that this was pointed out. It’s tough for a new user to work on a project when one is not assigned. Now from the get-go, you can assign new users to a project while setting up their profile. The first time they log in they will already have projects assigned and can get cranking on projects.
Added Link Type and Link Partner Type
Categorizing your links can be a big help, especially with large campaigns. To ease the pain we added two customizable fields allowing you to add “types” to both the Link and Link Partner. Name them what you will, it’s up to you. These “types” will show up in Buzzmarker, link partner records, links and filters. The big plus is once we add reporting (coming in a couple weeks!) you will be able to break down link building performance by type (blog/media mention, social bookmark, guest post, affiliate link, general directory, blog comment, etc.).
Here’s how you do it:
1. Click on “Settings”
2. Click on “Configuration” tab
3. Click on “New Link Partner Type” or “New Link Type” (not shown)
4. Enter in link “Type” and click Save
You’ve gone through all the trouble to set up a bunch of filters and they go up in smoke once you have logged out or leave a page. Yes, very annoying, so we fixed it. If you leave a page or happen to log out you can return with all your filters in place. An added bonus is you can now see what your current filter is with out jumping into your filter preferences.
Backlink Checker Update with Email Reporting
It’s been easy to get the current state of your link but the reporting has been a bit light. You told us you needed help identifying changes to the actual links and wanted those changes sent to your inbox. We are happy to meet the need. We’ve beefed up the Backlink Checker and added some simple email reports that give you an accurate snap shot of any crucial changes to your links.
Changes to the page it is linking
Changes to nofolllow/dofollow status
Changes to anchor text
Changes to the number of outbound links on the pages
New links that were added since the last check, including critical info you need to evaluate it (PageRank, #of links on the page, presence of “flagged words,” whether it’s a dofollow or nofollow link)
Links that you’d previously received that have changed (also includes the details of what changed)
Links that have been removed since you last ran a backlink check
Your feedback keeps us going so please don’t hesitate to comment below or send suggestions straight to email@example.com. Thanks for helping us make BuzzStream into the tool that you need it be. Check out new updates and features we’ll be adding in the coming weeks.
Easier Import Utility: Making it a breeze to import your own links
Contact Info Highlighting: When the Buzzmarker finds contact info, we’ll highlight the place on the web page where we found it.
It’s about that time. Time to lay out what we’ve been up to since our last post. It’s been a while; we know it and it’s no OK with us. Why the blackout? A ton of new customers, continued product enhancements and infrastructure upgrades have had everyone juggling fire. We don’t like burns so unfortunately the blog has taken a back seat. Now that the acrobatics are over, we’ve got a bunch to share. Let’s get to it.
Speed of the Link Buzzmarker
If you’re using BuzzStream for Link Management, you’ll see huge improvements in the time it takes for the Link Buzzmarker to scan the page. This will make your link research and link documentation efforts much more efficient. I was testing sites last night that had been taking 10-15 seconds to load and they’re now loading in 2 to 3 seconds. We’ll make similar improvements to the Media Buzzmarker in a future release. This will be a continuous process…the end goal is to get it to where there’s virtually no wait time when you click the Buzzmarker.
One of our most frequent requests from people who have been using the product for a long time is that tags quickly become unmanageable once you have a lot of contacts or a lot of people using the product. We’ve taken the first step to addressing this by adding tag management capabilities. Now you can select multiple contacts and add, edit or delete contacts for those contacts. So suppose one person was using the tag “social media” and another person was using “social_media,”you can now fix this by filtering on the tag you want to remove, selecting all the contacts, removing the one tag and adding the other.
Enhancements to Tasks
We continue to extend our Task Management capabilities so that you can better track and manage your influencer outreach efforts and your link management activities. Here’s a list of the things we added since our last Release blog post:
The ability to add a task while Buzzmarking a contact
E-mail notifications of your daily agenda as well as notifications when tasks are assigned to you by someone else
The ability to add follow-up tasks when you’re adding notes, editing links, etc (for example, after adding the note “Talked to John about the product review,” you can create a follow-up task titled “Send screenshots” that’s associated with the note)
Task filtering on the Dashboard – this will enable you to see tasks associated with a specific project, tasks that are due at a certain time, and tasks that are assigned to someone on your team.
In addition to Tag Management, we’ve added a number of other operations that can be conducted on multiple contacts at once. This is particularly useful when you’re working with a large number of contacts. Our bulk operations currently include:
Select specific contacts to copy or move to a different project: you no longer have to move/copy all of the Link Partners that are in the current filter…now you can specifically select the ones that you want to copy or move.
Ability to change the “assigned to” field for multiple Link Partners at once
Ability to change “relationship stage” for multiple Link Partners at once
Improvements to Search
We implemented Lucene as our search technology, which will give us much more power for searching. In the near-term, this means you can now search on any term in the fields we look at. In the long-term, it’ll mean that we’ll be able to search across much larger data sets. This will become much more important as we enhance our influencer monitoring capabilities (i.e., you’ll be able to do things like look for any of your influencers who have written about a certain topic in the last X weeks).
We added a number of large customers last week and we’re optimizing to make sure that performance keeps up. We’re addressing this both with code optimizations and by adding more hardware. Things seem to be humming, but please let us know if you see any issues.
Usability Improvements and Bug Fixes
In addition to these new features, we also made a number of usability improvements and fixed some remaining bugs. Here’s the list:
The Quick Search box now clears when you click “Clear Filters”
For monitoring, the “Manage” tab is only available to Administrators
Fixed a bug that was preventing retrieval of Twitter metrics when you’d click “Update Metrics”
Links to external websites now open in a new tab (instead of a new window)
Fixed a bug that was making some social profile URLs unclickable (e.g., some facebook URL formats)
When you click outside the Projects drop-down, it now closes automatically
When you finish an Import, the “Cancel” button now changes to “Close”
Increased the character limit for the “About” fields on People, Media Outlets and Link Partners
Fixed a set of user interface bugs on Internet Explorer. These include:
Cursor wouldn’t turn into a pointer when you hovered over the Delete icon
“Link out” icons were getting cut off on some pages
Text in “Recently Viewed” section of the Dashboard was getting cut off
Lots of tasty goodness in our near-term roadmap as well…some of the things we’re working on:
Reporting: our highest priority for our next major release
Filter memory: BuzzStream will remember your filter. So, for example, suppose you’ve filtered your list to only show contacts assigned to you. If you go to a different page or log out, the next time you return to the list, you’ll only see those contacts (this is a first step towards Saved Filters).
Highlighting contact info found by the Buzzmarker: When you Buzzmark a page, we’ll highlight the section of the web page where any contact info is found. This will reduce the time required for research.
Complete upgrade of the Backlink Checker e-mail in the Link Management product
It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at BuzzStream. We’ve had two releases go out with a bunch of new features as well as a number of usability enhancements and bug fixes. We’re most excited about two things we’ve added: 1) revisions to the dashboard, and 2) the introduction of task management.
Here’s a full list of what we released:
Our goal at BuzzStream is to provide tools that help you build and manage your online relationships more effectively, without forcing to change your workflow. To help with this, we’ve added task management. Now, as your working on a contact record in BuzzStream, you can add a To Do for that person, media outlet or link partner. The Dashboard provides you with a single view of all of the activities that you and your team are working on.
Task lists on the Dashboard:
This is our first iteration of Tasks and we’ll be extending the capabilities over the next two releases. Some of the things we’ll be adding very soon:
the ability to add a task while Buzzmarking a contact
BuzzStream will send you e-mail notifications of your daily agenda as well as notifications when tasks are assigned to you by someone else
the ability to add follow-up tasks when you’re adding notes, editing links, etc (for example, after adding the note “Talked to John about the product review,” you can create a follow-up task titled “Send screenshots” that’s associated with the note)
Task filtering on the Dashboard – this will enable you to see tasks associated with a specific project, tasks that are due at a certain time, and tasks that are assigned to someone on your team
We’ve completely overhauled the Dashboard to make it a more useful starting point when you enter BuzzStream. The changes we made include:
Layout -We’ve completely changed the layout to improve usability. The changes will also give us the framework we need to plug in our upcoming reporting capabilities
Recent contacts – Added a list of the ten contact records you accessed most recently so that you can jump right back into your previous work when you sign into BuzzStream
Task list – Added the Task List to help you keep track of your team’s activities
Activity history formatting – We changed the format of items in the Activity History to improve usability
Ability to see all activity history – Added pagination to the Activity History so that you can view your complete history (previously you could only see the 50 most recent activities)
For those of you who are familiar with the old Dashboard, you’ll also notice that we took out the “New Links” chart. We’ll be replacing this with a set of new charts when we add reporting.
Usability Improvements and Bug Fixes
In addition to these new features, we also made a number of usability improvements and fixed some remaining bugs. Here’s the list:
Resolved a bug in our social media monitoring tool that was showing duplicate results for video content
To create lists, you can now filter by date ranges (rather than just filtering by “before” or “after”).
The Projects dropdown and the “Assigned To” dropdown are now sorted alphabetically
Fixed a bug that was causing e-mails for monitoring results to be sent out multiple times per day
Fixed a bug in Monitoring that was causing “Filter by PageRank” to miss some items that met the filter criteria
Changed our credit card authorization when someone signs up to only authorize a $0.01 purchase (so that funds for debit card users wouldn’t be held)
Fixed an IE 7 bug that was preventing the auto-suggest dropdown menus in the Buzzmarker from working
Cleaned up the font in the Projects dropdown to make it consistent with the rest of the application
Changes to BuzzStream for Link Management
Added a field called “Date Link Found by BuzzStream” that’s populated when the backlink checker finds a link on the page. We’ve also added this to the filters, so you can identify all of the links you’ve added in a certain date range.
Fixed a scroll bar issue in Internet Explorer on the Link Partners list page
When looking at a Link Partner contact, you can now hover over a link to see the full link
Changes to BuzzStream for PR and Social Media
For the “Media Outlet Type” field, we expanded ”traditional media” to make it more granular (e.g., newspaper, radio, trade publication, magazine, etc.). You can also filter on these types when building outreach lists. These new types have also been added to the Import Template.
Modified “Add a Person” to allow you to add the job title without having to scroll down the page
From a person’s contact record, you can now edit or delete associated media outlets (without going to the Media Outlet page)
Fixed a bug that made it impossible to edit a person’s job title with a media outlet
Many marketers have noted that PR, blogger relations, and social media engagement can have a positive impact on SEO. Primarily they point out that links are a by-product of success. Adam Singer at TopRank Blog writes, “Links earned from PR…can be a major boost in both rankings and referral traffic.” But what if you have an online business and organic search is worth thousands (or millions) of dollars per month, and links are the most valuable output of a public relations campaign?
So I thought we’d turn the the PR-SEO question on its head and ask, “what would a PR, blogger relations, and social media engagement campaign look like if your client or company perceived links and organic rankings as the primary benefit?” How would that change our strategy and tactics? How can we tweak our PR outreach campaigns to maximize links? Here are six ways that increased link value would affect a PR outreach strategy:
Increased emphasis on link authority when creating a media list. When prioritizing your outreach efforts, you should consider online “authority” in addition to relevance and audience. Factors like site age, inbound links, mozRank (a more precise measure of authority than PageRank), etc. are all signals (or proxies for signals) that matter to Google, and should matter to you too. For example, GigaOm (331k uv/mo) may have 3x more traffic than InternetNews.com (139k uv/mo) according to Compete.com, but based on link building value, they are roughly similar:
Think relevance in addition to audience. Coverage (and a link) from an authoritative niche blog with medium authority can often be more valuable than a link from USA Today. This is because Google pays attention to semantic relevance of the sites who link to you, and the stronger the semantic link, the more it reinforces the relevance of your site to a particular concept (read: keyword). While it may be fun for your mom to see an article about your gnome decorating site in USA Today, it doesn’t help Google understand that your site is relevant to gnomes as much as a blog post in AllGnomes.com.
Prioritize media that give links and who keep their content online. Eric Ward (BuzzStream Advisor) and I were recently discussing whether Google is smart enough (yet) to identify a reference to a website in a news story, even if it’s unlinked (e.g. YourSite.com versus YourSite.com). The sad fact is, many news organizations will mention a company without linking to them, and many archive their news within a few days of posting (both of these things happened to me at my last company with an A-1 story in the Wall Street Journal). It’s important to consider how often a media property links to the companies they cover, and whether they keep their news online or move it to paid archives after a few weeks before expending the effort to include them in your media relations efforts.
Create linkable resources on your website that are easy for journalists to post. This is something that’s often overlooked in a campaign– if you build a relationship with a journalist interested in covering your story, then you want to make it easy for them to link to a resource on your website that were specifically created to support the news story. The best way to do this is to create a page for each campaign that would provide a logical next step for readers. You should design the target page to have a short URL like http://company.com/HolidayTips and include a prominent link to it on your homepage in case journalists want to link there and direct readers to your news.
Pitches should incorporate references to your company’s website within the body of the pitch. Too often the website is mentioned only in the boilerplate of a pitch, as an afterthought to the story. If your pitch doesn’t incorporate the website, the stories you do attract likely will not either.
In social media engagement, use SEO-friendly URL shorteners (like kl.am that employ 301 redirects) when posting links to your website. The reason is that if someone uses the short link to link to your site, you will only get “credit” for the link (in the eyes of Google) if it triggers a 301 redirect to your site.
You know when you’re on a long road trip and after about 500 miles of driving 70 miles per hour, you pull off, fill your tank, and wash all the bugs off your windshield? Well today’s release was the equivalent of a major window washing for BuzzStream. So many bugs squashed. So many things we’ve wanted to fix for months are finally getting fixed. So in that spirit, here’s the full list of features and bug fixes that went out today.
Redesigned welcome flow. We realized that a lot of users got lost when they signed up for their BuzzStream account, so we’ve streamlined the process. Existing users can return to the welcome flow by clicking here: http://app.buzzstream.com/welcome
Added feature to import users’ contacts from their existing spreadsheet for free. As part of the new welcome flow, you can send us your existing contacts spreadsheet and we’ll import it for you (just visit the welcome link above). You can also do it yourself by following these instructions for PR contacts or Website contacts. We normally charge $199 for data import, so this is a huge benefit to customers.
When viewing Monitoring, you now have to choose which search you wish to view, which improves server performance.
Redesign of the layout of the Monitoring results page.
Updated some error messages to make them more useful.
Fix bug with Monitoring that would cause the user to wait 30+ seconds to delete a monitoring search.
Fixed bug in Monitoring that was causing some items to have a rating of zero or unknown.
Fixed bug in welcome message that caused the login link to be unusable.
Fixed bug in email fields that would trigger an error on very long email addresses.
Fixed bug in Settings on the Users tab that caused the scrollbar to disappear.
Fixed bug in the password reset process.
Fixed bug in Monitoring where search terms would not delete.
Fixed bug editing a Project’s Brand associations.
Fixed bug adding a new User to an existing account.
Fixed bug in viewing Monitoring results assigned to “No Folder”
Fixed over 50 miscellaneous Java exceptions related to a database issue.
Miscellaneous UI and backend server performance improvements.
Fixed several typos.
BuzzStream for PR & Social Media
More improvement to the byline identification rules in the BuzzMarker.
Modified Import format to not require so that Media Outlet URL is no longer required.
When adding a new Person contact, media outlets are now sorted by name.
Updated options in the Media BuzzMarker to enable users to select media outlet types: Blog, Traditional Media, Trade Publication, Forum, Shopping Guide, Other.
Fixed bug when viewing a Person where clicking “update metrics” would not refresh the Twitter metrics.
Fixed bug that occurs if you use the Media BuzzMarker to BuzzMark an article that already exists.
Fixed bug that occurs after you add a new Person and assign them to a Media Outlet; after you hit save, the Media Outlet doesn’t appear on the Person’s profile page until you exit and re-enter the page.
Fixed BuzzMarker so that it identifies more byline variations.
Fixed bug in adding a new Person to an existing Media Outlet where an error screen was shown when a space was included in the name.
Fixed bug in adding a new Person to an existing Media Outlet that already has an existing Person connected to it.
BuzzStream for Link Building
Improved the time it takes to open the Links tab with 10,000+ links loaded.
Removed the PageRank field from the add/edit Link page since it’s non-editable.
Modified the Link Export so that it includes the date a link was found by the Backlink Checker.
Fixed bug on the Link Partner details page where long names would wrap oddly.
Fixed bug in Backlink Checker where it found a link that doesn’t actually exist.
Fixed bug in the BuzzMarker when it identifies existing links on a page, the first link is deleted if the user deletes ANY link.
Fixed bug in the BuzzMarker when saving a Link where the payment date would somehow be saved as null and trigger an error.
Fixed bug in BuzzMarker to handle 503 errors and timeouts caused by 3rd party sites.
Fixed bug in BuzzMarker that would occur when the site name (title tags) were identical to an existing Link Partner.
Fixed bug with the Filter pop-up where opening a drop-down at the bottom of the list forces your view back to the top of the Filters pop-up.
Fixed bug deleting a Person’s association with a Media Outlet.
Fixed bug in saving a Link where the acquisition method gets “stuck” on Purchase, even if a different method was chosen.
Fixed bug in saving a Link where the message “not-null property references a null or transient value: com.conducive.data.pojo.Link.linkingFrom” appears.
Fixed bug that occurs during Link Partner import if there are existing Link Partners in the account that don’t belong to any Project.
We’ve got a release going live tonight, and we wanted to let our customers know what they can find in it.
Performance improvements. Our hamsters have been running fast to keep up with the growing usage of BuzzStream, and we’ve made a number of changes that we think will result in noticeable improvements in the time it takes to view your monitoring results, search and filter your contacts, delete monitoring searches, and even to just open and view a contact.
Fixed our Tweet BuzzMarker (a change in Twitter’s HTML caused it to throw an error).
Upgraded our Twitter DM and @reply retriever (it now does a better job ensuring we capture tweets when a user’s account is rate-limited).
Backlink checker provides visual notification of a link status change (i.e. from “not linking” to “linking”) and stores the information in the database for reporting (reports coming soon).
On our link partners detail screen, we added an icon that links directly to the external website (before you had to edit the link details to get to the actual link).
Fixed problem with our maintenance notice page caching for some users.
Fixed problem with pagination monitoring results disappearing from the screen for some users.
Fixed problem for users with projects turned on where after adding a media outlet, they can’t associate it with a new contact immediately.
Fixed application error in editing a media outlet when changing the ‘type’ field.
Fixed application error in project settings when the user re-adds a brand that was deleted.
Fixed display of mozRank in monitoring results under the “more info” link for a blog post.
Fixed display of PageRank after adding a new link.
Fixed link filter to enable filter-by payment currency.
Fixed application error when adding a person to a media outlet.
We’ll aim to do these posts each time we have a new release going out– which, currently, is every 2 weeks. Since this is the first time we’ve posted a detailed update about our maintenance release, we figured you might be curious about what else we’ve been working on in the past few of months.
November — BuzzMarker extracts social networks from Ligit & Retaggr widgets. Misc. sign-up flow changes.
October – Agency Support (projects). CSV import enhancements.
September – Monitoring performance enhancements.
August – Social media monitoring for mainstream news, blogs, Twitter, and more; sort results by influence; create an influencer’s contact from a result; add notes; assign activities to your team; export your monitoring results (with metrics) to Excel to create detailed coverage reports.
Hi all! This is going to be a long post, but we had a big release last week and there’s a lot to cover. We’ve added features that touch just about every part of the product and, on top of that, we finished a major infrastructure upgrade to improve performance. Here’s what’s new:
Support for projects has been a long time in the making and of all the things we added last week, this is the big one (with all due respect to Fred Sanford). So what is a project? A project provides a workspace where a designated group can work on a set of contacts, article, links, monitors, etc. An agency might designate a project for each of its clients. An in-house marketing group might set up a project for each product that they’re working on or for each agency that they’re working with. Access to a project is limited to the people who are assigned to it (unless you’re an admin). Here are some of the things that you can do when you’ve enabled projects that we’re excited about:
Share contacts between projects. You can have a single contact assigned to multiple projects, with different information in each of them. For example, you might have a Person contact named “Walt Mossberg” and a Link Partner contact named “dmoz” that’s assigned to two different projects – one called “Apple iPhone” and the other called “Google Wave.” The contact info and metrics will be carried with these two contacts in all projects, but all of the other information could be different. They can be assigned to different people and you can have different values for Relationship Stage and Rating. Walt Mossberg in Apple might have a set of articles attached that are about mobile wireless services, while the version in Google Wave might have e-mail and collaboration articles in it. Similarly, the dmoz Link Partner might have different links for each project and the backlink checker might find links in one of the projects but not in the other.
Copy contacts to new projects. For agencies, when they add a new client, they can easily filter their contacts to find the right influencers and link opportunities for them. Copying these contacts to a new project can be done in two clicks.
Copy to multiple projects from the buzzmarker. The buzzmarker also includes the ability to copy contacts to multiple projects. Quite valuable if you come across an influencer or link opportunity that’s well suited for multiple clients.
History filtering by projects: For each contact, you can filter the communication history in two ways: 1) view all communications, and 2) view communications only for this project. This gives you the info about the project that you need in order to communicate effectively with the contact while still giving you the big picture view that you need in order to prevent communication snafus.
Here are two videos that provide an overview of projects…the first shows them being used for BuzzStream for PR and Social Media and the second show them for BuzzStream for Link Management.
Overview of Projects – BuzzStream for PR and Social Media
Overview of Projects – BuzzStream for Link Management
We invest a lot of time on our filtering capabilities because, once you have a large number of contacts in BuzzStream, the ability to slice and dice your contacts, monitors, links, article, etc for segmented outreach becomes really valuable. We added two new filters in the latest release:
Filter people and media outlets by metrics:on the People tab, you can filter by PageRank, unique visitors, etc. and it will find all people associated with media outlets that match the filter. You can also filter people by their twitter metrics. This is useful for segmenting outreach based on level of influence or reach.
Filter monitoring results by publication date: you can now sort your monitoring results by influence rating and then filter by publication date to quickly find content by the most influential people within a certain time period.
Usability and performance improvements to monitoring
Since we launched it into beta two months ago, the monitoring module has undergone a ton of work to make it more usable and to make it perform better. Some of the things that we’ve done:
Monitoring performance and reliability. We felt the bite of the TechCrunch effect after they posted about us and monitoring performance was just plain poor for the first two weeks. We’ve spent a significant amount of time squashing bugs, adding database indexes, improving our threading, etc., all to improve this. All of this has made a huge difference on performance. If you haven’t used the monitoring in a while, you’ll notice a big difference next time you log in.
Usability enhancements. We haven’t added any specific usability enhancement that’s a “wow” type of feature, but lots of little enhancements that should add up to a much better experience. Some of the changes:
Changed pagination to make it easier to navigate through results
Fixed a scrolling bug that would cause the screen to constantly scroll to the top as results were retrieved or whenever you clicked “Block.”
Header now shows the number of results for the search that’s selected.
Added mozRank and juice passing links to “Export Results” for a monitor
Added a “Name” field for RSS searches (so you know what the RSS feed is for when you view it in Results).
Cleaner navigation in the Results.
To improve performance, we also undertook a major upgrade of our server environment. The database is now running on it’s own server, we’ve improved our monitoring tools and we’re operating on much bigger servers. It was a hard-core upgrade, but it’s made a big difference.
What’s Coming Next
After two very big releases, we’re now going to focus on some bite-sized features. Some of the things we’re working on now:
Filter by communication history – i.e., show me all people who I’ve e-mailed with, tweeted, called, etc.
Adding article statistics to Export in monitoring: In the Monitoring module, we integrate with Backtype to provide article statistics like Number of tweets, Number of Comments, and Number of Digg Comments. We’re adding these to the Export file, which will make it easier for people to add this information to coverage reports that they provide to clients, management, etc.
“Quick add” for People/Media: When we first launched BuzzStream for PR and Social Media, we focused virtually all of our effort on making it easy to add contacts through the Buzzmarker. What suffered was the usability of adding people from within the app…right now, when you’re in the app and you’re trying to add a person and associate them with a media outlet, it’s approximately a 746 step process that would make Rube Goldberg proud. Spectacularly bad interaction design on my part, which we’re going to fix.
Adding mozRank and Juice Passing Links to the Buzzmarkers: we currently collect these SEOmoz stats in the Monitoring module, but we don’t include them in the Buzzmarker. This is being fixed.
Projects clean-up: there are still some bugs we need to clean up…things like drop-downs where the values in them aren’t sorted alphabetically, bugs in certain headers, etc.
Once we’re done with these, we’re going to tackle our next set of big features…we’ll start delivering these features in iterations over the next four to eight weeks.
If you have feedback, need help with bugs or just want help understanding how to use BuzzStream, don’t hesitate to contact me at paul (at symbol) buzzstream (d-o-t) com!