Marketing BVCMS.

May 29, 2010 at 3:59 PM
Edited Jun 13, 2010 at 10:12 PM

BVCMS is an amazing application - but awareness of this application is fairly low. I'd like to make a number of suggestions for marketing BVCMS. Most of these are relatively minor and easy to implement. I'm more than happy to assist in the implementation:

To Do:

  1. Do away with creating accounts manually to view the demo site. Instead setup a few accounts demonstrating different roles and post the usernames and passwords. It takes too much effort for the casual viewer to get a demo account created (this was one of the first complaints I received from a friend concerning BVCMS).
  2. Update wording through the site to reflect the current market terminology of ChMS rather than CMS - since CMS is too generic. Also include a fair smattering of other buzz words such as ERP and CRM - since a ChMS is essentially a CRM/ERP system specifically built for churches.
  3. Enter into cross-marketing arrangements (e.g. share links/logos) with other christian open source projects. Here are a few potential contacts:
    1. openLP
    2. churchDB
  4. Introduce bvcms to various high-level organizations which can spread awareness, invest funds or developers:
    1. Rick Warren / Saddleback Church / Pastors.com.
    2. LifeChurch.tv.
    3. John Piper / Desiring God.

Completed:

Items with a * before them indicate things which you can join us in doing to create more buzz around bvcms.

  1. *Create a Facebook page. Facebook pages are a great and viral way to create awareness of your product/project. Each person who likes the product causes hundreds of others (their friends) to see this and when there is a Facebook page for a product/project individuals can tag the product (BVCMS) in their status updates - creating even more hype. (Like the Facebook page and mention it in your status updates to help us increase awareness)
  2. We need to make a "release" for the downloads on CodePlex. When you don't have a "release" you don't show up in the CodePlex directory that well - b/c CodePlex assumes that lacking a "release" indicates a immature project.
  3. *Thumbs up on StumbleUpon for BVCMS.com. (You can thumbs up BVCMS on StumbleUpon as well).
  4. *Thumbs up on Zakta, tagged, and review written. (You can thumbs up / tag / review BVCMS on Zakta as well).
  5. Submitted BVCMS to HotScripts for listing under ASP.NET/CMS.


Okay...I'll add more as I think of them. =)

Dave.

May 29, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Dave, you are a Godsend.

I'm not familiar with ERP and only vaguely familiar with CRM. And regarding ChMS, I didn't get the memo on that one until it was too late :-) I think you are right on with all of this. I have not been doing any active marketing thus far. But CodePlex has plenty of Google juice and I have gotten a lot of hits as a result.

I now have 14 Churches using the system including Bellevue. All hosted on bvcms.com. I use the host header (faithbaptist.bvcms.com for example) as a switch to their own database. I know eventually I need to either put all this in some sort of Cloud service or at least some service that has a replication mirroring setup for disaster recovery. Four of the churches other than Bellevue are large 1000-5000 members. 

Thanks for your help!

Jun 1, 2010 at 4:12 AM

Dave

   Glad I can be of assistance. I'm glad to see we already have a release out there and the facebook page up and running - both of those are big steps imho.

   Would the churches that utilize bvcms be willing to let us add a page to BVCMS.com stating that they utilize bvcms? People feel a lot more comfortable using a product they know others are utilizing as well.

   When it comes to DR, I'd suggest maybe using a service like Amazon Web Services (AWS). You could have the "images" ready to go but not actually power them on (get charged for compute cycles) until there is an actual outage situation.

Dave.

Jun 1, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Great idea RE the churches. Karen and I will start to put that together.

Disaster Recovery is a topic that comes up from time to time. Problem is what to do about the gap between the last backup and when you bring up an alternate server. Go into "read only" mode? Problem is merging the two databases back together when the disaster is over if you allow writes.

Also, they way bvcms.com works, is I use a host header to determine which database to hookup their session to when they login. I guess that would work on the AWS EC2 instance. Other problem is that *.bvcms.com uses a wildcard SSL certificate. Not sure how to get that protection on EC2.

I think the best way is going to be SQL Server 2008 Replication services using data mirroring. Going to be expensive but surely the churches will opt to pay for that at some point.

Another alternative is to use Azure App Fabric with SQL Server hosting too. Azure will have the redundancy built-in.

Jun 11, 2010 at 6:04 AM

I added some more marketing items I've completed to the list. Also, concerning DR - one of the questions is whether you want to have live failover or if you are looking for just a DR scenario. If the latter, this is much easier to accomplish. For example, you could use Red-Gate's SQL Backup to perform database dumps and then FTP them off-site (I think it might even include the functionality built-in). On the higher-tech end of things you could have the entire site including the databases constantly replicate to backup servers offsite. Mozy Pro is my preferred service, but they are a bit pricey. iBackup has some nice plans that specifically support MSSQL at reasonable prices, etc. There are also a number of backup applications that interact with AWS and seamlessly can perform backups. In the past I've used JungleDisk.

Depending how much data there is to backup it might be worthwhile to backup using Red-Gate first and then offload to a backup site...databases can grow pretty big and usually the MSSQL storage isn't cheap. Red-Gate will compress the backups by around 80%, provide object level recovery, and do it faster than native SQL backups - so its a win-win-win situation. :) [Now I sound like a Red-Gate salesman] There is also another application out there that does complete website/db backups for pretty cheap...but I can't remember its name off-hand.

Dave.