Tutorhub featured by the BBC

Tutorhub, our new website designed to make finding homework help a darn sight easier, has just been featured on BBC Radio Bristol’s drive-time show, hosted by Ben Prator.

Spreading the word is always a challenge for new businesses, so I was very pleased when I received the call on Friday from the BBC in Bristol. They had heard about the website and asked me to come in and tell their radio listeners all about it.

The BBC were very interested in the issues of finding homework help and getting support from tutors. They were curious about the technology we were using and how quickly homework questions would be answered.

What was strange was entering the BBC West newsroom and seeing all of the journo’s and weathermen at work. Rather surreal, like something from a dream.

The interview went well though I think. If you want to listen to the interview, click Tutorhub Radio Bristol 13 Nov 2010.

What next for Tutorhub?

We have been working on Tutorhub for some months now. We expect the website to change dramatically over the coming months.

It’s fair to say that it has taken longer than we would have expected, but understandable considering our decision to focus on chat technology using XMPP – which is also used by Facebook chat.

We have a laser-like focus now on controlled growth in customer numbers and adapting the customer offer so that it fits what people really want. We will be holding more parent and tutor market research sessions – getting credible primary research on our web app. When we have ‘nailed it’ then will be time to ‘scale it’.

Measuring what happens on the website is really important – and I have started using Webtrends in preference to Google Analytics. Early signs are that this will be a really useful tool, and worth the investment – even though the dev team find it a pain. We are also completing a website scorecard, so that we can measure things such as feedback ratings. Getting the management information right at the outset is important.

To date, just about all of our resources have been focused on the development challenge – but from now the main challenge is commercial. We have recruited an intern to help with the communications and marketing, and this marks the start of building a commercial team. Our technology remains very important, and we have a series of planned developments in progress.

We have already received our first subscribing customer but are keeping the website low key until the week commencing 1st November when we start advertising on Google. We will also kick-off a wider PR and news campaign then.

Exciting times!