The nights that were …

Since last Thursday (16th June, 2011), we have spent a couple of nights at our office, working all night. As we draw closer to our next (read BIG) release, there was a consensus within the team to give things that extra push. And so we did. I am proud of the passion and commitment that all of us displayed to get there. But, as always, we had to face some challenges. Not related to building the product mind you, I am talking about operational challenges! Sounds silly? Read further …

The premises out of which we operate goes haunted at 10pm. We have done numerous night-outs in the past and over a period of time learned things the hard way. If you operate out of Shagun Arcade (Goregaon East, Mumbai) or plan to shift here, we have a _what_not_to_do_during_nightouts list ready for you –

  1. Don’t go to the washroom w/o your mobile phone because you may never find the way back to your office.
  2. Don’t plan to leave around midnight. No way, because you are at the mercy of a pricey security guard who locks the main entrance and sits outside with the keys. He is happiest person on this planet – he enjoys the soundest sleep ever recorded in the history of mankind.
  3. Don’t run out of your stocks – beers, tea, cigarettes …, whatever is needed to keep you up all night. You’ll make several failed attempts to move out of the premises to buy these before you realize the importance of maintaining a stockpile.

We got experimental with all sort of teas – green, lemon and masala, to keep us motivated (pic above). And it helped, so much so that we have finally released surveys! Woohoo! Yes, you heard that right. The much awaited feature is now live on our site and is currently being tested. We’ll make it available for you in another 2/3 days. A blog post coming soon w/ an announcement.

Stay tuned. We love you!

WebEngage featured in MIT’s technology review magazine

We got a surprise package this morning – a courier from Cybermedia, the company behind MIT’s Technology Review magazine initiative. Wondering why we received it in the first place, we opened the package to find that a May, 2011 edition of the magazine is enclosed. We anxiously scanned through its pages and were pleasantly surprised to find WebEngage featured in the “To Market” section. A mashup of the scanned images from the magazine underneath –

As quoted in the magazine:

Easy Way To Gain Feedback
Now it is easier for website owners to gain regular feedback from their visitors and readers. WebEngage, from Webklipper Technologies, is a customer engagement tool that allows website owners get feedback from visitors of their website. Users can categorize the feedback as problem, suggestion, question or likes. With the feedback the visitors can optionally attach an automated screen-grab of the web page they are referring to. The tool also enables website owners to conduct short, targeted surveys on their website. The integration of WebEngage and the website happens via a widget that can be installed on the publisher’s website. With the widget website owners get a dashboard to manage and configure all their content.

Wow! Quite a feat for the baby we have been babysitting for over 45 days now. Thanks Technology Review. We are humbled. We’ll give you more reasons to write about us in future.

For the uninitiated (on WebEngage), this blog post might be a good read – http://avlesh.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/the-supersonic-jet-called-webengage-come-onboard/

Stay tuned. We love you!

Server outage – apologies and takeaways

We are growing fast. Faster than we actually thought we would. We hit memory limits on 2 of our servers (WebEngage production server and Screen-capture service server) because of which no new processes could be created. The site remained unreachable this morning. Ankit and myself spent over an hour trying to restore things back to normal. And I am pleased to inform you that we are back.

The feedback tab and klipping functionalities would not have responded in the last hour or so. We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you and your site visitors. You can claim your complementary mug of beer from our office if you are a WebEngage publisher ­čÖé

However, we have grown better with this experience. There will be round-the-clock monitoring via our health check scripts to detect and fix such outages quickly. Moreover, there is a massive scale up provisioned on our server infrastructure sometime soon. Once that happens, such outages will become history.

Stay tuned. We love you!

Mass acceptance of WebEngage – thank you early adopters!

It might sound too good to be true, here’s a long story cut short – just within 17 days of our private beta launch, we are now being piloted by 68 websites and blogs (at the time of writing this post).

A big mighty thank you to our early adopters! We love you. Webklipper loves you. WebEngage loves you.

Have a look at our feedback tool functional on these websites – pluggd.in, paytm.com, chaupati.in, justunfollow.com, redbrickhousing.com, bookcab.in, paperplane.net, iamstarting.com, managementparadise.com,┬ámytvdb.com, myhollytv.com, twi5.com, youthkiawaaz.com, flick2know.com, mostfit.in … ah the list is big enough to accommodate all our beta users here. Add to these, the love showered by a whole bunch of personal website owners and bloggers who added WebEngage to their corresponding sites/blogs.

At the time of writing, on an average, over 150 feedback and replies are being exchanged daily via our platform. E-commerce/transactional sites account for most of the feedback/queries submitted online.

Majority of the feedback submitted online are “questions” or “problems”.

People have fallen in love with our automatic screenshot taking abilities in the feedback widget (refer the image below). We have been showered with a lot of questions w.r.t how has this been done so cleanly and unobtrusively. Wish the answer were simple. However, there is some good news to share – we’ll very soon be announcing a REST based API for our developer fanboys to use this service (for FREE!) for generating screenshots by posting a HTML markup or a “gettable URL”. Tell us in advance if you wish to access this service.

webengage-with-screenshot-feature

The love for this tool has been intense, almost to the extent of being hilarious at times! Have a look a these snippets of “feedback” submitted on some of our partner websites –

Hello sir. your feed back system is awesome. what is price for entire php and java code of feedback system. thank you. Only contact me in two days.

Hello, sir . I am a student of enggneeering. I am very interested in PHP developing . I am new to Php . when i came to your site , i was impressed with your feedback system . Can you send me the php code of your feedback system . Thank you.

We fell off our chairs at once and got back to work the next moment.

A word on surveys: Surveys would be the gem in our offering – something that, we believe, could drive a lot of engagement on your website. We have received exceptional response from our feedback offering. We’ll continue to deliver at par with your expectations and make sure that you fall in love with our surveys esp the knobs and controls we intend to give you for taking charge of how, when and what to ask to a particular visitor on your site. Stay hooked … we’ll be back soon with an announcement.

This is THE time to be a beta invitee: We love our early adopters – all of em. A whole bunch of goodies including extended free trial periods, discounted pricing etc are in store for websites piloting us on or before the 31st of July, 2011. WebEngage will continue to be in private beta until then. Give us a shot, we won’t disappoint you. Promise! Get your beta invite now.

Stay tuned. We love you!

[Announcement] Amazing feedback and awesome surveys for publishers

We are excited to announce the beta launch date of a product which is very close to our hearts. We are working on a powerful survey-cum-feedback tool for websites. Get your dose of nicotine here – http://webklipper.com/publishers

This will be a widget for websites and the integration bit would be a light weight Javascript. The widget sitting on your website would serve two purposes –

  1. Let your users send you feedback via a fixed feedback button (extreme left or right) on your website.
  2. Let you, as site owner, conduct sweet contextual surveys from your sites’ visitors.

The feedback can be of any type – love, bug, suggestion or question. The ultra cool thing we are doing here is allowing users to attach a screenshot of the current page (or a part of it) – it will come in handy for bug reporting.

There’s a lot we are doing on the “contextual survey” part of this widget. Here’s an example for you – if a visitor to my site came via “Google” after searching for “weekend getaways in Mumbai” and has “spent more than 60 seconds” on my sites’ “tour plan page”, pop a simple survey asking if the user needs any assistance. The value in quotes are parameters you, as a publisher, can tweak. And there’s a long list of such variables to choose from.

And wait, as if this weren’t enough – we have a nice power packed dashboard for publishers. You can manage all your surveys and feedback from this single interface. Sounds interesting? Add yourself to the beta invitee list here (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Stay tuned and keep the feedback coming. We love you!

Webklipper version 1.5 – what’s new?

The all new Webklipper is now rolled out. Give it a spin here – http://webklipper.com

With this release, WK is now an improved and much better archival and annotation tool than ever before. Underneath is a list of enhancements we have done to the product –

  1. Easy klip creation – we have made creating klips a piece of cake. Have a look at this – http://webklipper.com/u/create-klip. Unlike the previous approach of _one_text_box_does_it_all, we have moved to a better and intuitive interface.
  2. Rich notes introduced – WYSIWYG based rich notes are now included in our offering. Create yours here – http://webklipper.com/u/create-klip/note. Annotation capabilities on a note klip remain the same as web klips.
  3. A better homepage – over a period of time, we noticed that a lot of visitors to our site would never go beyond the homepage. Very few first time visitors ended up trying the product. In our quest to address this issue we revamped the entire page making it highly illustrative and actionable. Shameless publicity, in the form of press and awards, also got added to this page.
  4. Other cosmetic changesknow who we are, read our user guide and no-spam guarantee or contact us.

Next items on our list are –

  1. Webklipper for groups – the ultimate knowledge management tool for teams and SME’s.
  2. Simple organization of klips via folders, tags etc.
  3. Privacy settings for each klip.

Stay tuned and keep the feedback coming. We love you!