About Me

  • Adam Behringer

    Seattle, Washington USA

    Adam is the founder of BEEDOCS, an artisan software company that makes great timeline software for Mac OS X.

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Macworld Expo 2009

Monday, December 15, 2008

In addition to the work we have been doing on the website, we have also been doing a lot of prep work for MacWorld 2009. The booth has been designed and is now being manufactured, the t-shirts are being printed, etc… This will be our first major expo, so I am very excited.

Please stop by and say hello if you will be attending. Bee Docs will be at booth 3526-F in the “Digital Media & Multimedia” Pavilion in the North Hall.

If you would like a free expo pass to Macworld 2009, I have a few hundred to give away. Please contact me request one.

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New BeeDocs.com Website

Friday, December 12, 2008

I just launched a brand new version of the beedocs.com website. This is our fourth major site design in the history of the company and this one was nearly a year in the making. Thanks to Turnstyle for the graphic design. Thanks to all of the Bee Docs Timeline customers who shared their timelines.

The site has some new features for customers that I would like to point out:

  1. A consolidated movie library with our tutorial and demo videos.

  2. Bee Docs Timeline help documentation is now online, including several updated tutorials.

  3. As much as possible, all of the timelines that appear on the site were created by customers. However, there is room for more. If you have a great timeline that you would like to share for this purpose, please contact me.

  4. We now have hand-printed BEEDOCS shirts for sale.

  5. About Us page is updated and contains more ways to contact me.

  6. Education discounts and site licenses are now available.

  7. Movies have all been transcribed. This should be particularly helpful for those who would like to use a translation service.

  8. Movies are now optimized for iPhone viewing.

  9. Pages automatically optimize themselves for printing.

This update also completes our brand transition from “Bee Documents” to “Bee Docs.”

For those of you who are interested in the business and marketing side of things, I would like to tell you about the ways that I have refined my strategy based on my experiences over the past year.

The previous website had two specific messages that is was designed to communicate. The first was “timelines created with Bee Docs Timeline are beautiful” and the second was “timelines created with Bee Docs Timeline are quick and easy to create.” I wrote these down before beginning the design and wrote a lot marketing copy along those lines.

A wise friend saw the site and advised that I show these messages instead of telling them. Based on that advice, I stripped out most of the text and came up with the design that featured six timeline charts, each with a short movie showing the timeline being created in a few minutes or less.

I believe this design successfully communicated the two messages, unfortunately these were the wrong messages. The messages that Bee Docs Timeline creates beautiful charts and is easy-to-use were a result of comparing Bee Docs Timeline to other timeline charting products. Two observations have influenced my change of strategy.

Observation #1: I have sold Bee Docs Timeline to approximately 0.03% of the active Mac OS X user base. That means that I have sold a license to about one out of every 4,000 Mac OS X users. I’m guessing this is a good number compared to the competition. However, it is obviously not huge slice of the pie.

Observation #2: When I show Bee Docs Timeline to family and friends or other people who are not necessarily shopping for timeline software the most frequent thing I hear is, “That looks like really cool software, too bad I do not have any need for timelines.” In other words, “Why the heck would I want to make a timeline?”

My conclusion from these two observations is that I should not waste any more time trying to convince people that Bee Docs Timeline is the best timeline software. Rather, I should focus my marketing efforts evangelizing the usefulness of timelines in general. I want to convert a big chunk of the other 99.97% rather than focus on the ones that are already convinced then need a timeline creation tool.

So here are the top three messages that I specified for the new site design. I kept these in front of me when I was designing the site architecture, layout, imagery, and text copy. I asked Turnstyle to focus on these when they were doing the graphic design.

  1. Answer the question: Why are timelines relevant to me?

  2. Diverse, interesting, and successful people use Bee Docs Timeline

  3. Timelines made with Bee Docs Timeline are beautiful (had to keep that one in there)

Hopefully at least the first message will sink in for visitors to the website, even if they only spend a few seconds on the site!

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WWII Timeline - Class Project

Friday, December 05, 2008

Professor Geoffrey Gekiere teaches at the Collège Paul Éluard in Châtillon France. His students made this beautiful video of major historical events of World War II using Bee Docs Timeline 3D.

timeline movie of major WWII historical events

I encourage you to watch the entire video, even if you do not speak French. I find it both interesting and emotionally engaging to have 12 different students narrate the major events of the war combined with historical photographs, maps, and sound clips. The 3D timeline provides a nice structure to the presentation.

Congratulations to Professor Gekiere and the students who participated in the project. It is my honor to provide a tool that can be used by creative people to bring meaning and understanding to our history.

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Timeline Resume

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

With the dismal economic situation, people are finding new and clever ways to market themselves when looking for jobs.

JR Harrell from the Denver Colorado area is using Bee Docs Timeline to create a timeline resume that sums up his 15 year IT career in 3 minutes and 18 seconds which he posted as a CNN iReport.

I really like how JR used the speech synthesis in Mac OS X to narrate his timeline.

If you have an interesting timeline that you would like to share, please send me an e-mail at Adam at BeeDocs dot com. Thanks!

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