Posts Tagged ‘updates’

In this linked video, F3 Technologies, Inc.’s officers give a range of updates on F3 the company, on its individual software platforms — including expanded revenue models — and even on a new product that we aim to roll out in the next few months, Website Tournament. We look forward to posting more videos like these occasionally. Please feel free to share them via e-mail, social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and especially via your own channel on FargoTube.

Homeowner associations, property managers and churches can now create online communities in Interaction Community Systems with just a few clicks, thanks to a major update to ICS that live earlier this week.

We expect the automation to encourage more groups to create communities and begin using ICS. Moreover, this frees up time for F3 Technologies staff to focus on expanding the reach of all of our platforms, for example FargoTube and its potential to help musicians and other artists to develop their careers.

We included a few more details in the press release we put out this morning.

The update has been in development for several months and in intensive testing for a couple of weeks. We’ve added several new features along the way. All of this amounts big benefits — for ICS users, potential users, and for F3 Technologies.

F3 makes a point of continually revising and updating all three of its major platforms. Most recently, that has meant adding several new features to Interaction Community Systems. ICS now has everything from accounting and babysitting requests to recipe lists and video galleries. You can see several user views in this screenshot gallery.

We’re also adding new tools that allow professionals to manage multiple communities simply and efficiently. You can see these and other features of ICS’s management platform here.

An F3 investor asked me whether we’ve finished streamlining the processes of creating a community on Interaction Community Systems and uploading content to FargoTube.  The answer is “no,” but we’re getting close, and we expect both updates to go live in mid-October.

The gist of the Interaction update is that homeowners associations, property managers, churches and other membership-based groups can set up their online communities without having to call us. A community representative enters its information — including members’ names, addresses, and e-mail addresses — and can start using Interaction almost immediately. The representative also provides credit-card information, though we don’t charge during an initial 30-day trial period.

The new process will save us staff time, and we believe most clients will find it much more convenient, though they’re still welcome to call us if and when they need assistance.

The FargoTube update goes beyond the streamlining of content acquisition, but I’ll discuss only that one aspect here and now:

The new interface will walk the content owner through the process step by step. It will focus on the content, rather than the social network built around that content. Content owners will still have the option to create social networks — known as “fan sites” — around their content, either immediately or later, and we strongly encourage that because it helps to make FargoTube a unique experience for fans. But we also want to keep the content owner from feeling overwhelmed at the beginning.

The site’s new organization will also encourage users to check out videos that they might not have discovered otherwise, for example by displaying links to the fan sites of artists in the same genre as what the user has been viewing.

In the meantime, a new module to go live within a few days will allow content owners to set up online stores to sell t-shirts, coffee mugs and other paraphernalia.

Turning heads

Posted: August 31, 2010 by chrisbagley in F3 Technologies, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

You may have noticed this morning’s news about the investor-relations firm we just hired, SmallCap Support Services. You may have also realized that SmallCap’s work is part of F3’s stepped-up efforts to attract more public attention to our software solutions, including our newly launched FargoTube video and entertainment service, enhancements to Interaction Community Systems, and the new Interactive Defense System municipal communications platform we launched in partnership with Noble Heroes, Inc.

We’re not just strengthening our publicity efforts; we’re focusing them and specializing them. Steve Haag has 10 years of senior-level experience in investor relations and several years of experience in marketing. He’ll be involved with the writing of most of our press releases, help to develop our communications strategy, and take over much of our direct communications with investors.

As a former business reporter and blogger for newspapers, I will focus my efforts on this blog, on attracting the interest of journalists and tech writers, and on F3’s outreach through social media such as Twitter, Digg and StumbleUpon. I’ll continue to write and co-write press releases.

I’ve been gratified to notice that F3’s various new initiatives are drawing increased attention to the company. Several press releases in August were posted, tweeted and retweeted by quite a few people, noticeably more often than just a couple of months ago. Several of you continue to post links to F3’s blog posts and press releases on InvestorsHub and other internet message boards. And traffic on this blog reached new heights again in August.

I expect that all of these trends will continue as we continue to refine our software, seal new business relationships, and expand our publicity efforts.

You may have noticed that two of our three main services are getting major updates this month, first FargoTube and then Interaction Community Systems. Both of these updates, plus several pieces of news we plan to announce via press release in the next two weeks, are specifically designed to drive faster growth for our services.

Up to now, and probably for the next couple of months, our business-development team has put a lot of effort into recruiting new partners, particularly for FargoTube and Interactive Defense because they are groundbreaking services that require a lot of explanation.

The focus of the each of the two updates has been to streamline the registration process for new partners (client communities in the case of Interaction and Interactive Defense and revenue-sharing partners in the case of FargoTube). The updates will make it easier for F3 to bring on larger numbers of customers and revenue partners with each passing week, while requiring the company to spend less staff time acquiring each individual customer or revenue partner.

At the same time, we’re launching a three-pronged marketing campaign, with paid targeted advertising buys on Google, Facebook and MySpace. Those ads could go live as soon as Monday. More details on the campaign once it’s underway.

We’re continuing our recent streak of updates and refinements to our websites as part of our transition into high-growth mode. As the enhanced version of FargoTube goes live this week – with capabilities for music and images – our developers will be finishing up with an major update to Interaction Community Systems, our management and social-networking platform for HOAs and other member associations, with the goal of putting into service it within a couple of weeks.

Perhaps the most important Interaction update: We are automating Interaction’s sign-up process, allowing us to acquire more client associations while spending less staff time on the process. A new client will be able to create an Interaction community and begin to use the system within a few minutes, either as a fully paying customer or on a 30-day free-trial basis.

We’re making similar improvements to FargoTube and Interactive Defense System in the course of this year, and for the same reason: F3 is shifting into high gear. Interaction has grown to 20,000+ registered users in recent months, thanks to the series of refinements we’ve already made and thanks to F3’s expanded sales force. We expect Interaction’s database to grow to 22,000 or so when we import the membership lists of client HOAs that have signed on in the last few days. As our client associations grow in number and sophistication, we are ensuring that Interaction also grows in sophistication. Updates to Interaction over the next few months will enhance users’ ability to manage events, facilities, and maintenance in their associations.

The August update will include streamlined processes in Interaction’s accounting module, which allows communities to collect dues and donations and to manage payments. Users will soon find it easier to journalize transactions and create invoice templates, for example. Many of the accounting improvements reflect the expertise of Senior Vice President for Business Development Stephanie Miller, who is a CPA and graduate-level accounting professor. The updated Interaction also gives each community several new options for its system’s interface, and allows admins to manage all of the design features, including log-in page, system interface, e-mail module and visual elements — in a single Design Center. And each community will now be able to apply a single visual theme throughout its system, across all communication points.

We’ll let you know when the updated Interaction goes live. We encourage you to test it out for yourselves, to see why Interaction will expand its reach. We’re confident that many of you will see its value for your own HOAs and other member associations.

Our developers are making the last few tweaks to FargoTube Version 2.2 in time for an updated version to go live next week. The update will include several significant usability enhancements and a couple of major new features. We’ll also be launching a broader online advertising and marketing campaign, for example through Google, MySpace and Facebook, once the update is available at  This will be our first time marketing the FargoTube platform on a mass scale.  Accordingly, we expect an influx of digital content added in coming weeks and months.

An especially important update is the new technology that F3 developed to prevent illegal copying of videos that content owners upload to FargoTube. Most streaming videos on the internet can be easily downloaded as digital files, through third-party capture programs such as RealPlayer with a plug-in. FargoTube prevents such copying, in keeping with our mission of putting creators back in control of their works. “The content owners and artists can rest, knowing their content is secure,” CEO Frank Connor said.

The owners of “tubes” — the social networks built around video and other entertainment — will still be able to offer their videos and other media in the form of downloadable files. We plan to make them able to prevent illegal sharing of those files by the end of the year. We expect this protection to be crucial for attracting new partners because fear of copyright infringement has kept many content owners from fully embracing the Internet.

As we’ve promised in a couple of recent press releases and blog posts, artists will now be able to upload music files and high resolution still photos to their tubes, and offer that content free or for a charge. Music will be streamed in mp4 format and offered for download in the mp3 and mp4 formats that are compatible with the vast majority of digital music players. We believe FargoTube’s music capability will complement the core video service and allow it to compete more effectively against the likes of iTunes and MySpace Music

Here’s a screen shot of the new page from our staging server: 

The music files are especially important for FargoTube as our sales team continues to make inroads in “Music City USA” — Nashville. FargoTube recently signed its first major partner, Strange Celebrity Entertainment, LLC, a country music label (Click here for more information on our sales trip to Nashville this week).

The other major feature to debut next week is FargoTube’s fourth revenue model, the “Contributor Tube,” which is aimed partly at film and art schools. This model allows instructors to sign up their students for the tube, where they can upload films, graphic designs, photos and other artwork. Students will typically pay for this access along with their tuition. In turn, they’ll be able to promote and sell their creations from the tube, much as other content owners sell their videos and video access through FargoTube.

Other new features include:

  • buttons that allow users to post their favorite videos to their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. We expect this to make FargoTube more fun for users and to introduce FargoTube to potential new user;
  • as many as 20 new themes that owners can use to customize their tubes;
  • a categorization system for tubes. Though a substantial number of FargoTube users will come to the service as fans of a particular video instructor, musician, or other entertainer, the categories will help both new and existing FargoTube users to find their favorite content on our site.
  • Tube owners can now categorize their content — their music, for example, by artist and album.
  • Tube owners can manage multiple tubes more easily, thanks to new buttons that let them click from one tube directly to another
  • We’re going to have lots of news about FargoTube and Interaction Community Systems next week, so stay tuned. The short version: We’ve made major progress on several partnerships for FargoTube and one major partnership for Interaction.

    In the meantime, you may have noticed that we’re continuing to refine our corporate presence online. Our new website went live at the beginning of the week, we’ve added a few new tools to this WordPress blog, and we’ve polished up our Twitter page with the logos of our three major services. The tweets are only going to get better from here, so we’d love for you to retweet them to your own followers.