Saturday, July 21, 2007

Making better

I had the fortune to talk with Craig from Craigslist via email the other day. I've always really admired how well that website works and I wanted to know how to make Mytutorlist just as good. Craig wrote back and simply told me that the secret to his success was to listen to suggestions, make changes, and to listen some more - to treat the users the same way that I would like to be treated. It was a simple bit of advice, but it occurred to me that I don't do enough listening.

I decided to do more listening this week. The first bit of advice came from Rob. Rob felt that Mytutorlist desperately needed a search feature. Now, there is database being built right now and searching won't be a problem once the database is ready, but I decided that it was important to listen to Rob's suggestion. Although it is very work-intensive to manually sort postings, I decided it was necessary to start now.

Mytutorlist tutor postings can now be sorted by 6 subjects, and 4 locations. I will be adding more search options soon.

The second thing Rob commented on was the curious feature of a used stuff section. He felt that if the site was named Mytutorlist, it should be about tutor listings. This made me think about whether Mytutorlist was actually serving its purpose. I decided to start a tutor directory section to make browsing easier for users (I pretended to be a student and I found it hard to browse for what I wanted). All listings in the tutor directory will run for one calendar year from Jan to Dec. I also decided that the tutor directory should be a paid service.

Now, there are many reasons why I decided that the tutor directory should be a paid service. One of the reasons is because Rob questioned the need for both ads and a donation option. The goal of is to become self-sufficient in costs. However, the site is currently not self-sufficient. I don't want to cover the site with advertisements or to ask for donations, so my option is to charge for some of the services. As Mytutorlist is currently not-for-profit, directory listing fees will go towards the costs of running the site and to purchasing advertising to help Mytutorlist get the word out about all the tutors posted with us.

We want to help you succeed, and we need to listen more to our users in order to become better for you. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve, please do email us.


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