‘Launching Soon’ – Helping Startups Build Online Identity Even before the Actual Launch

The process of brand building begins even before the actual website is launched. To have an eye-catching temporary ‘Launching Soon’ page can do a world of good for your online brand identity. It is the first step that lets you create initial buzz about your business and, therefore, it becomes imperative to have a dedicated ‘Launching Soon’ or ‘Coming Soon’ page in place. Needless to say that an aesthetic landing page embosses a long lasting and distinctive impression in the visitors’ psyche, ensuring a successful first step in climbing the long ladder.

Quick Introduction about ‘Launching Soon’

‘Launching Soon’ is a simple rails plugin that helps rails projects to manage a dedicated launching soon page before the actual launch date. The plugin also collects email from potential customers and can be integrated through an API to popular email marketing service providers like MailChimp & CampaignMonitor (to store customers email contacts). It lets you have a launch timer in place, and you can even have your company logo, about us section and much more. In a nutshell, all primary branding elements are present on your landing page (even before the launch of the official website). Exciting, isn’t it!

To hack over the excitement, ‘Launching Soon’ is an open source rails plugin which can be used by anyone & everyone to set up a fully customized and dedicated landing page in just a few minutes.

Why bother for a dedicated launch soon page?

Gone are the days when terrible yet oh so nostalgic ‘Under Construction’ animated GIF was appreciated by visitors. In its place, the use of more effective, functional and boiled down single ‘Coming Soon’ page is a cogent trend, capable of instantly satisfying the primary goals of the website owners.

For obvious reasons, there are other benefits of exerting efforts to have a great ‘Coming Soon’ page:

1.   Jumpstart your web presence – An effective landing page is the best way to ease the transition from going from naught to a full matured website launch.
2.    Engage with the visitors – Think from where you can benefit the most, a garish graphic which says coming soon or one page site that interacts with the visitors.
3.    Capture user data – This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of having a landing page. It lets you gather a database of genuinely interested users to whom you can send a newsletter notifying the release of your website. Big enough to help your site gain momentum.
4.    Search engine optimization – Getting a domain name booked is not enough. It is essential and imperative to have something substantial online immediately rather than wait for the final product.

With Launching Soon, it is possible to encompass all the above mentioned aspects without any rigorous development and design hassles. With a simple rails plug and play you would be up and running within minutes with your landing page, buzzing about your business and building an online identity. So, if you need a launching soon page then this is it…‘Launching Soon’ can be a near perfect solution.

Get the app code at:

https://github.com/vinsol/Launching-Soon

Note – Currently ‘Launching Soon’ works  with only rails 2.x. We are working on its compatibility with rails 3.x and would keep you posted with the updates.

 

My 8 predictions if IBM acquires Sun Microsystem

There are rumours on IBM aquiring Sun Microsystem for $6.5B. Is it going to change things around for people? I have some predictions

1.  IBM offering MySQL to smaller companies

IBM already  have DB2, Cloudscape, solidDB, Informix. But, most are targeted at enterprise customers. By purchasing MySql, IBM can use that as a step towards their database offering for smaller companies.

2. Nothing will happen to Java

Java is in the hands of the JCP.And we hope it will not change anything around there. But I am not sure about upcoming stuff like JavaFX and SWT. IBM likes java a lot but I dont think there will be IBM JAVA coming out.

3. Open Source will be more enterprisy

I expect a lot more open source marketing coming out of the merger. A lot more work for Sun community.  But , also, a much higher fee for services built over open source stacks. I don’t expect much from the company that invest in their own version of unix (AIX).

4. Some Sun Products may be Canned

Solaris; Netbeans; Glassfish; MySQL; Open Office;   I think there is a price to be paid especially in big mergers and consolidations where people who take decisions are least bothered about the users. IBM and Sun have got a lot of common products in their stacks. I expect some products get canned.

5. Cloud Computing is the next buzzword

It already is. But expect some more fuel. Sun recently announced Sun Cloud Services and Sun Cloud Compute Service .   With Amazon being the leader and other biggies like Google and Microsoft working on this, Sun Backed by IBM might come up with something more interesting especially with lot of open source projects they already have. Now you know one keyword which should be there in your resume – Cloud Computing.

6. Processor

Sun’s SPARC or IBM’s PowerPC ? Any Guesses ?

7. Application Server

I don’t like websphere. I hope it doesn’t become the default application software.

8.  Industries

IBM would like to have some control over financial services industry where Sun is pretty Strong.

Overall , I think Sun require IBM for cash-flow and reach for their OSS initiatives. After months of knocking on doors at HP and Dell , I think Sun might have found someone.

 

What every iphone developer ought to know about Google’s Android platform ?

I think Android is an undiscovered Gold mine for mobile app developers who want to build sustainable business.

1. Not just for smart phones : We are moving towards machines that will be somewhere between Smartphone, Netbook and PC. We have recently seen tremendous growth in netbooks. Freescale has announced that they are going to launch $100 netbooks based on Google’s Android operating system.

2. Android is Open Source - Let’s look at recent history of operating systems for desktops. We had Windows and then Linux and lately Ubuntu emerged and challenged the basic notion of people whose previous experience has been dealing mainly in proprietary product. We are going to see the same kind of polarity shift in mobile application with iphone being the major player with huge growth opportunity in open source system like Android.

3. Open Handset Alliance: There are 20+ members of Open Handset Alliance that are behind Android Operating System. HTC has just announced a keyboard-less phone based on Android. We should expect some more handsets coming out this year. I think its too early to assume that Android is  not so exciting or successful.

4.  Money – All the apps available in the Android Market have been free. This has prevented  developers from creating applications for the Android platform. Android Market is now accepting paid applications from US and UK developers. Unlike on the App Store for Apple’s iPhone, developers don’t need to get their products approved by Google or by service providers. With the Android Market, developers get 70 percent of revenue from each software purchase, with the remaining amount going to carriers . Google does not take a percentage but they use their own payment system , Google checkout.

I believe iphone is a great platform(and I love it) but we dont want to put all our eggs in one basket.

 

RubyOnRails Plugin: Auto Tags

Announcing the release of this tiny useful plugin AutoTags.
A couple of weeks ago I travelled to Mumbai in train which was a long 17hrs journey… and I utilized that by coding down the idea while travelling. So here it comes…

AutoTags, an open source project, is a plugin for RubyOnRails applications to automatically generate the relevant tags for the provided content. Its quite simple to use and provide easy integration with ActiveRecord. The plugin is very useful for social applications, community websites and all those networking applications where there is a scope of user generate content to be tagged. No more heck for the admin to sit and add the tags to the content or waiting for the users to add the tags to their content.

For installation and usage read here.

If you liked the plugin then please recommend me on workingwithrails.