Tag Archives: Buzzr

Paul Smith’s College Launches on Buzzr Higher Education Edition

Congratulations to Paul Smith’s College on their new website, created with the Buzzr Higher Education edition. You can seeit here.

The orignal design was created by mStoner.com, our partner in Buzzr Higher Ed. mStoner is the national leader in website design and strategy in the Higher Education market. We have an exclusive deal with mStoner to partner on websites for small colleges.

The Buzzr Higher Ed platform allows mStoner to offer small colleges their services at a fraction of the million dollar price tag typical for large university websites.

The sleek design was created by mStoner and is a beautifule example of the type of sophisticated website that can be created with Buzzr.

The Paul Smith’s College website introduces a host of new features, including content hierarchy, which allows the administrator to specify which pages and which widgets the content should appear on.

We’ll follow up soon with a longer blog post describing new features of the platform and the Paul Smith’s College website in particular.

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Costa Rica’s Largest Media Company Launches Buzzr White Label Environment — Fussio.com

For many months now, we’ve been working with Nacion, the largest media company in Costa Rica, to build them a new Spanish language platform to use for their new small company website and digital products business. The business launches October 15, 2012, under the brand name Fussio.

A team of in-house designers, project managers and sales people has been assembled and Buzzr also spent a week on premises training existing staff. Buzzr has bi-lingual trainers and developers, as well as an office in Argentina. Fussio got a head start with several pre-launch sites, including: jimba.net, lucianoretana.com, jceducaciondental, macawlodge.com, retoescuelasegura.com, jumptogocr.com , motopartescr.com

Here are a couple of screenshots from live websites:

Since Nacion’s initial target market includes the tourism industry, many websites will be offered in both Spanish and English. Nacion commissioned Buzzr to design and build ten new Spanish-language Quickstarts, for one-click rollouts of websites with specific vertical features. Quickstarts include restaurants, hotels, spas, professionals (e.g. dentists), and general contractors (e.g. builders of vacation properties.) Many new styles – interchangeable with any Quickstart – were also debuted.

As a result of our collaboration, Buzzr’s User Interface  is now available in both Spanish and English. The user interface was translated entirely into Spanish for the Fussio project. Here’s an image of one page from the administrative interface:

Spanish Language Website Builder

Here is the homepage of one of three restaurant Quickstarts:

restaurant website template

And here is the homepage of a Spa/Hotel Quickstart:

Spa Tenplate Website

If you’re interested in discussing Buzzr’s white label products, please contact Ed Sussman at ed@buzzr.com or call us at (917) 410-1490.

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October 19, 2012 · 3:02 pm

Announcing Buzzr Higher Education Edition with mStoner, Worldwide Leader in Academic Digital Consultants and Strategists

Buzzr has partnered with mStoner, the world leader in creating websites and digital strategies for higher education, to create the Buzzr Higher Education Edition. mStoner is offering the product to schools with a lower budget than is typically needed for major university sites, which can take 9 to 12 months to build.

We’re also offering a multi-site product for colleges and universities that want to make it easier, faster and much more inexpensive to roll out large numbers of websites for the university community. e.g. Faculty member websites, student organization websites.

The following blog post, with more details, was written by Bill Mclaughlin, the COO of mStoner, and originally appeared on the mStoner website:

mStoner + Buzzr = Hosted, Easy-to-Use, Drupal-Based CMS for HED

Our bread and butter project over the last ten years has been a campus-wide website redesign and implementation. Along the way, we’ve completed more projects like this than any other company in the world.

Within this type of project we provide end-to-end services, starting with an institution-wide web strategy, creative design, and configuration and customization of a web content management system (CMS). We never let our technical implementation constrain our strategy or creative process and, as a result, each project involves a high level of customization and an enterprise-wide CMS (we recommend Hannon Hill Cascade Server, Sitecore CMS, OmniUpdate OU Campus, Drupal, or TerminalFOUR Site Manager to our clients, depending upon their needs, and also explore other CMSs in certain cases).

We love these projects: each one is unique and challenging and we don’t see them going away in the future. But they take at least nine to twelve months and they’re expensive. And, after doing this work for more than a decade, we’ve noted a number of trends and market demands from our clients around their CMS needs:

  • Many institutions that we talk with do not need a highly customized CMS implementation and often cannot afford or sustain one. Yet they benefit from the same level of strategic and creative consulting that we offer in a typical full-scale redesign.
  • Drupal is a great CMS platform (by far the best open source option), well suited for higher education, and with significant and growing market share.
  • BUT: Drupal doesn’t have a user-friendly back end, making it difficult for non-technical people to use.

In sum: A lot of our clients really need a simple, straight-forward version of Drupal with a simple back end. We looked for a solution and we even tried to build one ourselves. But we couldn’t find the time to do it right.

Enter Buzzr.

Buzzr, in partnership with Lullabot, a leader in Drupal training and implementation, developed software to optimize Drupal as a content management platform. Essentially, Buzzr enables non-technical users to manage their sites more effectively through a simple and elegant user interface using drag-and-drop tools. It can also support multiple sites on a single Drupal instance with shared users. Buzzr includes a QuickStart tool that makes creating new sites possible in a few clicks.

But what we like best about Buzzr is that there is absolutely no lock-in! Buzzr customers can opt-out at any time, export their site, and have it up and running as a “regular” Drupal site in short order.

We are excited to announce a partnership with Buzzr to build a Higher Ed Edition of the Buzzr platform. This partnership will marry Buzzr’s product development and deep Drupal expertise with mStoner’s years of experience in building highly functional and usable websites for colleges and universities.

For the right institutions, Buzzr offers something that these solutions do not. “We love that Buzzr can make it cheaper and easier for an institution to accomplish its mission,” said Ed Sussman, CEO of Buzzr. “What’s more, we think Buzzr’s slick user interface takes what was a chore – maintaining a website – and makes it more fun.”

The Buzzr Higher Ed Edition will be hosted at Rackspace and fully supported by mStoner on an ongoing basis in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. mStoner designs will be built into the platform. We anticipate setting up pre-built feature tiers as well as tiered ongoing support plans.

For larger, more complex institutions who may already have a custom top-level site (especially a custom Drupal site), we see a role for Buzzr Higher Ed Edition as a user-friendly solution for managing the myriad unit-level sites on campus. These smaller sites are typically managed by occasional, non-technical CMS users who would greatly benefit from the Buzzr user interface. For the institution, Buzzr’s multi-site capability keeps these sites on-brand and enables them to be managed from a single, institution-specific platform.

Buzzr Higher Ed Edition is complementary to our existing services (not a threat to them). We remain 100% committed to helping our clients find the best-fit CMS platform for their unique needs and we will continue to partner with our friends at Hannon Hill, OmniUpdate, Sitecore and TerminalFOUR to deliver feature-rich, customized sites and CMS. Likewise, we will continue to build and support custom Drupal sites.

We are very excited about this opportunity as it will expand our ability to service the higher education market with our marketing and communications expertise. Be on the lookout for for future blog posts with updates on our progress.

Please comment on this post, we’d love to hear your thoughts. And please contact Mallory Wood if you are interested in learning more about Buzzr Higher Ed Edition.

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October 19, 2012 · 3:00 pm

New Green Products Digital Publisher Rolls Out Site wth Buzzr.com

EnergySipp.com co-founders Geoff Lynch and Carmela Rea wanted a Drupal-powered website to run their new digital publishing company. But they didn’t want to invest the tens of thousands of dollars (or more) that Drupal development firms typically charge to set up a professional publishing website.

Geoff and Carmela came to Buzzr. my company, and talked us through their vision. They wanted someone else to handle the technology, so he cold focus on publishing compelling information about money-saving green products, from smart cars to light bulbs. And he wanted to be able to publish his website day-to-day without the need for an in-house developer.

By using Buzzr and our Build It For Me services, Geoff and Carmela got the benefit of our highly experienced design and Drupal team, working on a streamlined, hosted social publishing platform tailored specifically for regular people who would find straight Drupal too intimidating. Geoff has a Gold Edition package, which means he was able to work with us to integrate additional features not already available on Buzzr.com’s standard feature set (now made up 195 modules.)

In the case of EnergySipp, Geoff and Carmela needed display advertising. We’ve started him off with a new feature for running Google Ad Sense display ads. We’ll roll out that feature to the rest of Buzzr.com in the spring. But it’s available to our Build It For Me customers right now.

Our guess is Geoff spent about 1/20th of what he’d have been charged to set up an equivalent site using a regular development firm creating a website from scratch, integrating and customizing dozens of modules one at a time. Instead, we used the Buzzr system of one-click deployment Quickstarts tailored for specific verticals, already packaged up with hundreds of features. We’re still able to create a completely custom layout and design, and turn features on and off with a couple of clicks.

Even with the site launched, Buzzr is staying in the picture. Our Gold Edition service includes performance monitoring, feature upgrades, training and personal support.

Check out the site at http://energysipp.com

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How Ace Hardware Stores Started Using Buzzr.com

Switch from Drupal Shaves Weeks Off Time to Market

(January 25, 2012) FootSteps Marketing, whose bricks and mortar retail client-base generate $180 million in annual revenue, announced that it selected the Buzzr Enterprise Edition as its exclusive platform for creating and maintaining the next generation of online marketing websites.

Since moving this fall from Drupal to Buzzr, average time to create a new website has shrunk from three weeks to less than three days. And, FSM has been able to train its retail store clients to update sites without assistance from FSM, previously impossible when using the much more complex Drupal platform.

The companies released a Case Study today that reviews the project.

Typical clients sites created with Buzzr Enterprise Edition include TerrysAce.com, HappyCooker.ca, ChoiceBuildingSupply.com and StewartHardware.com.

The Buzzr platform, heavily customized to meet the needs of FSM, will serve as the lynchpin of the company’s strategy to expand its service offerings the retail mass market, beyond its position as the elite provider of online marketing for independent Ace Hardware stores.

The critical feature adopted by FSM is the Buzzr Quickstart system, a method of cloning starter websites with a single click. FSM has adopted four Quickstarts, two for Ace Hardware stores and two for general retailers. The Quickstarts represent typical user cases for FSM. Cloned sites are then customized per client, using the many hundreds of features offered by Buzzr.

In addition, Buzzr created and integrated two major custom features for FSM: 1) online coupon building and distribution, including limited time specials and 2) multi-store listings and location positioning on a single map.

“Our customers need many special features on their websites. So we initially chose a very powerful open source CMS – Drupal – but its complexity was slowing down site building and overwhelming clients attempting to do content updates,” says Pat Curry, President of FootSteps Marketing. “After we switched to Buzzr, we were able shave weeks off of site building. Even better, our clients can readily handle updates.”

Buzzr Enterprise Edition is a Software as a Service (“SaaS) for multi-site website creation and management, offered as a white label solution for resellers. The product is a radically streamlined version Drupal, with a proprietary drag & drop user interface, and integrates more than 100 critical modules to create a method for the rapid implementation of websites.
BEE is a private label replica of the http://Buzzr.com self-service website building platform, and can be customized to include any of the 10,000+ Drupal open source modules. It also includes a multi-site administrative control panel, a sophisticated content management system, a point & click design suite, and a close integration with social media.

“I’m really excited we were able to handle the demands of FootSteps, a highly sophisticated client.” says Ed Sussman, CEO of Buzzr . “The large majority of our work at Buzzr is directed toward our enterprise clients. I think our highly personalized services made all the difference in the case of FootSteps.”

About Buzzr.com: Started in 2008 as a partnership between elite Drupal consulting firm Lullabot, and Ed Sussman, the former president of business websites for Inc. and Fast Company, Buzzr is designed to bridge the gap between sophisticated social content management platforms and ordinary website builders. The flagship product, Buzzr Enterprise Edition is a Software as a Service multi-site CMS and design platform that offers both Drupal back-end tools for professionals and an easy-to-use front-end interface for ordinary users. More than 100,000 websites have been built with tools created by the Buzzr team.

Contact: Ed Sussman, ed@buzzr.com or 212-867-4680.

About FootSteps Marketing : FootSteps Marketing (“FSM”) started as the largest provider of websites to independent Ace Hardware stores in the United States. Its dozens of clients generate $180 million in annual revenue. Founded by five large Ace Hardware dealers, and online marketing expert Patrick Curry, FSM recently expanded its mission to include providing online marketing for all types of independent brick and mortar retailers. Its strategy is to transcend its origins as a specialty web design shop and become a mass market provider of online marketing services.

FootStepsMarketing.com

Contact Patrick Curry, pat@footstepsmarketing.com or 970-510-5233

For those unable to open the PDF of the case study, partial text is reproduced below.

FootSteps Marketing

Organization Background
_____________________________________

FootSteps Marketing (“FSM”) started as the largest provider of websites to independent Ace Hardware stores in the United States. Its dozens of clients generate $180 million in annual revenue. Founded by five large Ace Hardware dealers, and online marketing expert Patrick Curry, FSM recently expanded its mission to include providing online marketing for all types of independent brick and mortar retailers. Its strategy is to transcend its origins as a specialty web design shop and become a mass market provider of online marketing services.

Objective
____________________________________

FSM’s objective was to: 1) dramatically reduce the average build-time of three weeks to create client websites; 2) enable customers to easily handle content updates, and other website administrative tasks, without daily help from FSM; 3) lower the required skill level necessary to create and run websites; 4) maintain advanced SEO features and, sophisticated content management, such as customizing a constantly changing roster of online coupons.

FSM’s typical client generates more than $1 million in annual revenue. None have in-house expertise in online marketing, so clients require substantial guidance and support. This is FSM’s niche. FSM site building packages range from $3,000 to $6,000 (offered with monthly payment options) and support ranges from $195/mo to $595/mo. At this price point, expectations are very high. Instead of static brochure sites, FSM gained a client following by creating websites with constantly updated content to make the site attractive for repeat visitors. For example, FSM sites offer weekly coupons that could be created and viewed online, then e-mailed or printed out.

To meet these complex demands, FSM chose to create its websites with Drupal, probably the most robust content management on the market. With more than 10,000 modules and 15,000 active developers who are part of the “open source” Drupal project, it has been used to create thousands of leading enterprise websites with intense content management demands, including WhiteHouse.gov, Economist.com, and Grammy.com.

However, while FSM was able to build a growing roster of clients by leveraging Drupal’s extensive feature set, as it expanded it faced significant challenges: 1) Drupal is a very complex platform to use. It typically takes even experienced programmers months to master. Consequently, FSM had to hire expensive Drupal consultants and in-house programming talent. Even with these experts, creating new features, such as multi-store location maps, was difficult; 2) Drupal sites are very time consuming to build from scratch. Even simple sites can take weeks to build; 3) Drupal’s administrative interface is too complex for typical end users, such as hardware store managers, to be able to update and maintain their sites day-to-day.

After reviewing the market for alternatives, FSM approached Buzzr about the Buzzr Enterprise Edition. Buzzr is built on Drupal and its most important modules, but has been radically overhauled so that non-technical users can build and maintain sites using sleek drag & drop / point & click tools. Sites that took weeks can now be built in just days. FSM liked that Buzzr’s lead developers and co-owners are Lullabot, one of the world’s most elite Drupal consulting firms, whose clients include MarthaStewart.com, Sony Artists and The Grammys. Buzzr Enterprise Edition offers all of the several hundred site building features available on the branded self-service site, Buzzr.com, along with multi-site administrative controls to manage thousands of websites.

Clients can also secure additional modules from Drupal’s extensive library or request that Buzzr’s team engineer custom features. More complex features can be shielded from the view of clients who require a simpler administrative interface. Hosting, performance monitoring, security patches and regular feature upgrades are also included as part of the SaaS offering.

Approach
_____________________________

Buzzr began by installing a copy of platform on its servers and inserting the FSM logo to create a branded environment. FSM also chose a URL to serve as a browser-based access point.

Next, FSM and Buzzr isolated website user cases that represented typical clients for FSM. These included 1) single Ace Hardware stores (two variations); 2) multi-store locations sharing the same website; and 3) “houseware” retail stores not related to Ace hardware.

The teams then worked together to build a client website using Buzzr – for Terry’s Ace Hardware in Colorado – to serve as the model for the first
custom “Quickstart.” Quickstarts are starter sites that have packages of features, permissions, content, layout and design configured for a special use case. Quickstarts can be cloned with one click. Buzzr includes many pre-built Quickstarts for verticals (e.g. lawyer, doctor, restaurant) and clients can also request any website built with Buzzr be converted.

As part of the build, Buzzr was commissioned to program two new custom features: a new, comprehensive web coupon system and, a new multi-location mapping system. Several additional existing Drupal modules, especially around SEO, were integrated to extend functionality beyond the Buzzr feature set.

After TerryAce.com, two other newly created client sites were built solely by the FSM team, then converted into Buzzr Quickstarts. The FSM team was trained on back end multi-site administrative tasks, as well as new features, and a simpler interface was exposed to FSM’s clients. For the first time, clients were given access to their sites to do content updates, create coupons and monitor site activity.

Results
_______________________________

• Turnaround time on new sites reduced from about three weeks to three days.

• Average number of monthly site visitors tripled to 3500.

• Customer’s satisfaction greatly increased after providing them with self-service administrative tools.

• Typical clients sites are TerrysAce.com, HappyCooker.ca and ChoiceBuildingSupply.com

Going Forward
_______________________________

• FSM marketing outreach intensified to multiple national trade shows for non-hardware retailers, sporting goods and housewares stores.

• FSM is expanding into the >$1500 price range market for websites and plans to rely heavily on the large range of existing Buzzr Quickstarts (e.g. florist, general contractor, art gallery, etc.)

• FSM off loading more than a dozen new feature requests to Buzzr so it can focus on better serving clients

———————————————————————
For more info, contact info@Buzzr.com or call Ed Sussman 001-212-867-4680

Learn about our Multisite Editions at Buzzr.com

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Great Interview About Buzzr 2.0

Ryan Price of DrupalEasy.com sat down with me at DrupalCon for a talk about the release of Buzzr 2.0.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYKqxScC%5D

For those of you who don’t know, Drupal is an open source platform that developers use to create enterprise websites, like WhiteHouse.gov, TheEconomist.com and MarthaStewart.com.

Buzzr simplifies and streamlines Drupal with an entirely original interface. Drupal is a very complex developer tool that takes months to master, but with Buzzr, in just minutes, regular, non-techie people can build websites with the same great publishing power.

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Scoble Interview About Buzzr

Famed technology blogger Robert Scoble (whom I co-founded FastCompanyTV with in 2008) spoke to me about Buzzr.com, our super-robust platform for ordinary users to create and run great social media-rich websites.  We spoke at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference a couple of weeks ago. The interview is a broad overview of Buzzr, its capabilities and our intended place in the market.

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Filed under Buzzr, Drupal, Media, online communities, social networking