Guest Blogger: Rob Wilson

Rob with family

I’m bringing back a familiar face to the blog, Rob Wilson.  He’s become one of my favorite people to get to know this year. See how we met in this previous blog. Rob is part of a duo that heads up Devology in the United Kingdom.  You can read more about him in the about section below.  This man has a delightful British accent and is enthusiastic about software development and customer service.

DON’T MISS THE DEAL HE IS OFFERING FOR HIS PRODUCT SOCIAL SCHEDULER…I highly endorse it! 🙂

What social media platforms are you on? And how do you use social media?

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and just about hanging in there with Google+ and Ello.

What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?

This is harder to answer, I would have said ‘Twitter’, but I don’t get people engaging with me with meaningful results other than the post being ‘liked’ and at best ‘re-tweeted’.  (***FOLLOW***) I see more comments in Facebook and it’s the comments that I’m really after, so I can learn what people want and adjust my product.  On that note, I’d say the WordPress blog offers me the most value, maybe it’s not traditionally a ‘social network’, but it does enable people to follow/subscribe to your feed and so to me it does offer social-like features.  LinkedIn sometimes gives me the results I want, especially if I am asking questions pertaining to someones specialist area; I asked some schools about their use of expensive information-systems used to keep staff and parents up-to-date, the feedback was interesting and full of facts.  As for Instagram and Pinterest, I can sink too much unproductive time in those if I’m not careful, so I tend to schedule posts to them and not look too often!  Google+ I really don’t get, likewise I want Ello to work, but the latter seemed far more complicated than necessary and they don’t offer an ‘API’ – which means as a developer I can’t integrate with it.

Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.

I was surprised how fine-grained the targeting of adverts (American translation: advertising) can be on Facebook and Twitter, for example, find me all the teachers in the ages 20-30 in East Sussex in the UK, now let me send a sponsored advert to just them.  Now why don’t businesses use Facebook instead of direct-mail (leaflet drops etc), surely it’s more effective to spend money on the exact audience, rather than distributing leaflets to thousands of homes where you might get 3% of people reading them and only 1% of those might be interested.  I personally feel that if you include video in your advert, target your demographics carefully, you will arrive in peoples feeds with amazing effectiveness.

The biggest surprise is with Instagram, what the heck… What do you mean I can’t upload a photo from the website?!  I can only upload the photos from mobile devices?  That’s weird.  But weirder still is that they don’t allow application developers (that’s me) to send photos either.  That’s very, very unusual. It’s also a pain in the neck, it currently means that I can’t schedule photos to go to Instagram, without bizarre workarounds (that we are working on in Social Scheduler), for example, you are allowed to send photos from a mobile app that launches the Instagram app to send the photo.  This means our servers need to wake up your phone, send a push notification along the lines of “Social Scheduler wants to send a message to Instagram…”, you open Social Scheduler and then it displays the photo(s) due to be sent, you then (for each one) must release it to the Instagram App.  Crazy, huh?

I’d love to welcome you to Social Scheduler, the good news is that this week we have added a free tariff (American translation this is a freebie folks!) so you can schedule to three accounts up to 30 days in advance.  It’s a great way to judge whether you like the tool.  If you do sign up, I’d love to know what features you’re looking for, you can contact me directly at rob@devology.co.uk

About Rob

I am Rob Wilson, a husband, father and director and co-founder of Devology Ltd, a software development company in Great Britain (in the United Kingdom).  I work with the only other director (also co-founder) Michael Glazebrook almost every evening over Skype.  He’s lucky enough to also be my cousin!

I’m a software engineer, also known as software developer / programmer, but when you’ve been doing it for 30 years and have learned a lot about the right-way to do things, you tend to qualify for the label ‘Engineer’.

For the previous 25+ years I was developing software at a defence company (General Dynamics) for the Harrier Jump Jet, F16 and F18 fighter reconnaissance subsystems, I joined when I was around 15 on a youth-training-scheme (YTS) and then after 18 years I felt that I was getting too comfortable and moved on to another company, to write commercial software at Macro 4, I worked on a tool that monitored how fast a program was running and would highlight issues in other peoples code, it was a great team, but unfortunately I was getting burned-out with 3 hour daily commutes, so I joined NBTrader, to write stock trading software.  It’s whilst I was there that I learned how to write server-side software (the things that run websites) and how to write desktop applications.  After around 3 years, I moved onto the web-development side of things (web applications, not web pages), this was a really interesting challenge and it’s only recently I can say that I’m enjoying it!

I now work for myself, with the principal aim of writing a suite of software products.  Our first one is called Social Scheduler, it enables you to schedule your messages to multiple social networks (such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest, more are coming).  Our focus has been on keeping things simple, our feedback from customers shows that we might be winning!  We have a lot of great features that we intend to add, the difficulty is adding them in the right order, to be more effective at gaining new customers, to help the cash coming into the company. Right now, we are adding our own referral system, so that our best customers can make money referring the product to someone they know, because they love the product and wish to share it, rather than an affiliate system – who are in it for the money and will push the product to anyone.

Michael and I have a back catalogue of 30 products that we could write, however we have a short-list of 3 that are very attractive.  This week I’ve also found a possible 4th product that dovetails nicely with Social Scheduler.

Unfortunately, we aren’t big enough yet to fund both of us working at Devology, sometimes it’s a struggle to fund one developer (myself), so we do software consultancy and development for other companies too.  Right now we are helping a company in Hove (near Brighton), UK to deliver a very powerful lone-working tool, on iPhone and Android, it also has an administration user interface on the web.  What they love about working with us, is that we can rapidly react to their requirements and can develop the full stack (mobile, web, servers, databases).

I sometimes cringe when people ask me what my hobbies and/or passions are.  I must sound like a geek because my answer is that I love coding, my hobbies are therefore coding, to relax I code.  I know… I’m not ‘normal’, but I don’t look like a traditional geeky software developer – I have no beard and I have great looking kids – so I don’t care what other people think 😉  I think it stems from the fact that I can tell the computer what to do and it does it, if it does something wrong then I know it’s my fault; it’s black & white, it’s logical, unlike my beautiful wife.

Right now, I suppose I have a new hobby, podcasting.  I released the first Episode of our ‘Startup and Marketing Podcast’ on iTunes and a few other podcast sites, such as Stitch, so please subscribe if you want to hear about our marketing efforts!

Connect with Rob

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/devologyuk
Twitter – https://twitter.com/DevologyUk
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSnbaaz2SNx41OJRyu_8b7g
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/devologyuk/
Instagram – https://instagram.com/devologyuk/
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/devology-ltd
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+devologyuk/about
Company Website – http://devology.co.uk
Our Social Scheduler web app – http://socialscheduler.co.uk

Mary Lu Saylor

Connect with Mary Lu:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media and Personal Strategist with GrowGreatCompanies.com

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Social Media Is The Ultimate Connection Tool

I believe one of the great benefits of social media is the ability to interact with people all over the world. I have friends in New Zealand, Nicaragua, Uganda, as well as across the United States. This week I made a new friend that I want to tell you about.

(Make sure you read through the blog…there is a special deal for my readers at the end!)

Here’s How It Happened

One evening about a week ago, I thought I was minding my own business and I got a direct message through a Tweet.

direct message

I get offers from companies every now and then.  Sometimes I respond, sometimes I delete.  This really depends on the subject matter.  I wondered what a “Social Scheduler” web app was. But I think it was the cute little guy in the logo that made me want to click the link on my phone.

devology logo

When I got to the website all I could do was say WOW!  The website was sharp and classy.  As I journeyed through the documentation on the site, I was impressed with what this company, Devology was doing.  They were putting together a product that held interest for me…scheduling social media posts. Click here to see the video about their product.

web page

 

I think one other thing that really stood out was that they had this impressive timeline of their updates so far and what was coming. There aren’t too many companies that share what they are working on.

 

road map

The Connection

I had some questions about Social Scheduler and saw that they had a handy little place on the page to do this.

question box

I received a timely response from Rob Wilson, one of the co-owners of Devology answering my questions.  He used this opportunity to ask what programs I currently use to schedule posts and other ways I use social media.  He also offered me a discount to use his product and an opportunity to do a Skype call with him.  I readily agreed to the call because I was so intrigued with this product.  The catch to this is that Rob is in England so we had to be a little creative to fit mostly my schedule.  Rob was most accomodating!

I signed up and logged into Social Scheduler the night before the call.  Yes, I should have allowed a little bit more time but honestly, this was one of the easiest product to use.  Immediately, I linked my Facebook page along with business pages I work with.  Then Twitter.

Message in SS

 

Another thing I really like about this product is that you can see your posts in an organized fashion and even after they post, they are still there.  You can post live or even set the post to repeat.

 

scheduled page

 

Currently, these are the only platforms Devology offers.  Rob and his partner/cousin Michael Glazebrook are working on integrating more!

The Call

Talking with Rob via Skype was an absolute pleasure.  He is truly an entrepreneur that doesn’t want to hide behind the code and create products.  He wants to know what users want.  He asked me lots of questions about how I used different products.  I could tell that he was truly interested.  He was so engaged and listened….it was great!

Rob Wilson

I realized as we were talking that I wanted to help tell the story to those who read my blog.  Rob and Michael have loads of experience (see their website) in software development.  Rob said he was listening to a podcast one day about another product and had followed that company’s development.  He had tried out the app and found that it wasn’t intuitive and thought he might be able to make a better one.  Rob soon realized that companies like Hootsuite and SproutSocial had products on the market, but he wanted to make something better that wasn’t as expensive or complex, or both.

Rob said, “As a result, I decided to try and write my own, in combination with Michael Glazebrook, we both were working full-time and wanted a little extra ‘fun’ projects to work on.  My wish turned out true after being made redundant recently, so of course I’m now spending more time on Social Scheduler (more updates due in a couple of weeks) and some software consultancy and contracting work to boost the bank in the meantime.”

The Goal

Rob and Michael want to help simplify software.  As one who had waded through some complicated programs in my life, I say hallelujah!  Social Scheduler is their starting point.  I can’t wait to see how this continues to develop.  Rob told me, “We’d love to hear from other early-adopters who could give us feedback (good and bad) and to help guide our roadmap.”  My friends, this is the KEY in business, learning what your customers want!!!

SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR YOU

When I told Rob I wanted to write about this experience he offered a special deal for those of you would might be interested in trying out Social Scheduler.  How about this:  50% off for 6 months!! All you have to do is click here and create an account at the appropriate point put in this COUPON CODE: SocialMediaMaryLu50

I want to thank Rob for staying up super late to talk to me…it was 11pm his time and we talked over an hour.  I look forward to using Social Scheduler and being part of a collaboration team to see this program grow.

Connect with Devology through their webpage, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.

Closing Note

Seize opportunities to connect with people!  By stepping out you can learn more about the world and you can meet some pretty nice people along the way.  Our journey can become so much richer when we share our knowledge and talents!

Blessings to you,

Mary Lu

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with FindGreatCompanies.com