Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ownersite adds Twitter support for quicker entry of fuel records

A lot of technology and website trends have come and gone since we launched Ownersite back in 2001. We have incorporated some of the more useful ones, like a mobile interface (including a specific iPhone version) and this blog, for example. But we had held off on creating a Twitter interface until now. Some of the more useful fuel logging sites/social networks (like MyMileMarker, FuelFrog & FuelClinic come to mind) have had this kind of functionality for a while, but our users had not requested it until recently. I am happy to announce that we now have it and I must say that it really is a time saver. I may be a bit "old-school" but by using OutTwit (Outlook Twitter client) I can enter my fuel records in seconds, without having to login to my Ownersite account (mobile or otherwise). I believe this functionality may convince some Ownersite users that are not logging fuel economy to start doing so. More information can be found here. Can we say that we are Web 2.0 compliant now?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ownersite for your Health?

I heard an ad on the radio this morning (while listening to Neil Boortz) for MedsFile.com and I think it sounds like a great idea. In short, MedsFile.com is a web-based application to store your personal health record, including your medications, medical history, etc. I would equate it to Google Health, which launched with tremendous hype, but I don't personally think it has lived up to its initial hype.

What makes it different (other than what I consider a more attractive interface), based on what I can see on their website, they are independent and not affiliated with any particular insurance company or pharmaceutical company and their revenue model is based on subscriptions, like Ownersite and Home Ownersite, and not riddled with advertisements.

Why did I post this when it has nothing to do with cars or homes? Well, I guess when it comes down to it, the biggest personal asset you can manage is your health and this looks like a great product to do that. I wish these guys the best of luck with MedsFile.com.

(disclaimer: none necessary, I am not affiliated with this company in any way)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Home Ownersite, Disaster Planning & Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce

It is going to be a big weekend for us, as we are slated to participate in the 2nd Annual Jefferson Parish Hurricane Preparedness Expo at the Alario Center. We were asked to participate by RP Risk Advisors, a highly respected consulting firm in the business continuity and disaster recovery space, to talk about Home Ownersite and round out their message on the consumer side. We feel very honored and are excited about the opportunity to present, and to meet some folks down in the New Orleans area, one of our favorite parts of this great land. We feel we can offer these folks a great solution to one of the most important components of disaster planning, a comprehensive, off-site, home inventory.

Here is the press release from RP Risk Advisors:

Jefferson Parish Press Release RPRA FINAL 111708

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ownersite, Home Ownersite and Personal Asset Management

I admit it, I am one of those people that logs in every day to check my bank account for cleared checks, see what charges have posted to the old AMEX card and how the family investments currently stand. Based on the increased use (and trust for) online banking and personal finance tools, I suspect I am not alone. Desktop software products like Quicken have been around for years to satiate the desire to know what your money is doing (I even had my free copy of Microsoft Money 1.0 back in the day) and now thanks to powerful web-based products like Mint, you can go online and do something very similar. In my opinion, having that kind of focus on personal finances is important in this era of increased dependence on credit.

But what if families applied the same principals they apply to their money, credit and retirement accounts to most expensive items they are likely to ever purchase, their homes and their vehicles? Corporate America has recognized the importance of applying this kind of focus for years to protect and value their assets, with fleet management software and asset tracking tools, but little focus has been placed on doing something similar at the consumer level. That is, until now.

With Ownersite and Home Ownersite, we are starting to get people to think more critically about the overall importance and value of their vehicles and their homes, a paradigm shift that we refer to as "personal asset management."

We all know that a vehicle immediately loses value when driven off the lot, yet we still continue to make payments on it for several years. How can we maintain as much value as possible, while at the same time keep it in peak operating condition. Ultimately, it is incumbent upon the owner to have maintenance performed, but Ownersite reminds its users of when and why, provides an online repository to store service information and ultimately makes it simple to share that history (and receipts) with a potential buyer online come resale time. Fuel economy tracking, trip logging and comprehensive reporting tools help manage the ownership life cycle.

For most of us, our home is the most expensive thing we will ever own, but few of us take the care to document all the important contents within the home. In the event of a flood, fire or break-in that makes recovering a challenging process. Thanks to Home Ownersite, it is easy to document, and ultimately share with your insurance agent, what was taken or destroyed and get on with your life as quickly as possible. But inventory is just one component of Home Ownersite, with task reminders (change those smoke detector batteries!), an online journal, photo and file store, mortgage and tax document repositories and much more, the product is intended for the complete ownership life cycle of your home.

And what if you are a renter or own multiple properties? It is important to keep track of all the assets in your life, wherever they are, especially if they are out of sight most of the time.

Let's be honest, some of us check the balance of our 401k every day, but we don't rely on our 401k to drive our kids to school or provide our family shelter. Thankfully, more and more people are understanding the importance of applying this mentality to their homes and vehicles, as evidenced by the number of products out there competing with Ownersite Technologies on the desktop, for PDA's and online.

Online banking has now become ubiquitous. Web-based tools to track our personal finances are gaining popularity every day. Our goal since 2001 is to educate consumers on the importance and value of "personal asset management" with Ownersite and Home Ownersite.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ownersite Recognized as "Top Tool" on Mashable

Even though Ownersite has been around since 2000, growing and improving every day, it still receives little ongoing recognition (with the exception of the always incredible Autoblog and the review noted below from Gear Diary) in the "Web 2.0" world. In part, this is likely due to our subscription-based revenue model in a world where so many people feel that if it's online, it should be free. Of course, the fact that we've been online and growing (and expanding our product line) for more than eight years, while others have tried and failed, I would say that the model works pretty well.

Anyway, with that in mind, I was overjoyed by the recognition and a resulting jump in traffic last week from a couple of very useful blog posts on Mashable. Many thanks go out to Sean Aune for including Ownersite in his collection of resources: 18 Tools to Track Car and Fuel Maintenance and 200+ Tools for Surviving the Economic Crisis.

Thanks, Sean!

Let's Take a Tour, Learn More About Home Ownersite

Home Ownersite provides a tremendous amount of functionality beyond the useful home inventory component. Because of this, it can be difficult to "sell" visitors on why they should consider subscribing. Now that we have our new product tour online at http://home.ownersite.com/TourMenu.cfm, visitors should be able to get a much better understanding of the "big picture" value of the product. We even included special tips for each section to help new and existing subscribers get even more value from the application. Since the tour went online about a week ago, we have received tremendous feedback and the free trial rates have reflected that feedback.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

More Care & Ownership Tips From Home Ownersite

Our relatively new Car Care and Home Care sections are important components to the mission of Ownersite and Home Ownersite, respectively. Each section contains dozens of highly researched and informative articles on a variety of topics that pertain to the ownership life cycle of big-ticket personal assets. All of the articles are not just available to subscribers, but to any visitor to the sites. In fact, the articles are also available for re-use for our affiliates.

This morning we just added two new sections to the Home Ownersite Home Care section, Home Safety & Reliability and Home Value & Resales. Articles in these sections include:

  • Tending to the Most Vulnerable: Child-Proofing Your Home
  • Dampening Home Fire Hazards Through Careful Maintenance
  • Lock and Stock: Protecting Your Home and Valuables From Theft
  • Maintenance Ups the Reliability Factor of Your Home
  • Lifeguard Alert! Keeping Your Family Safe in and Around the Swimming Pool
  • Weathering External Factors Through an Offensive and Defensive Home Maintenance Strategy
  • Making Your Home Last: Maintaining Its Life for Your Pleasure
  • Understanding Home Value and How It’s Calculated
  • Supersizing Your Home: Is This the Opportune Market to Trade Up?
  • Increasing the Value of Your Home
  • Cleaning, Staging and Prepping: How to Get Your House Ready to Sell

We hope these article prove helpful for not only our subscribers, but to any home owner looking to get more out of their property.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Multi-tasking...a guiding principle behind Ownersite's products.

Much like Food Network's Alton Brown, we are big fans of "multi-taskers."

When we set out to develop Ownersite, our intention was not to merely build the best fuel log or the most useful reminder system, but to look at the entire life cycle of vehicle ownership and provide a comprehensive suite of tools to enhance it. The result is Ownersite. While it's possible that no two subscribers approach the use of Ownersite in the same way, it is likely that each any every subscriber finds functionality to get a better handle on their respective vehicles.

We approached the initial launch of Home Ownersite in the same exact way. Ownersite Technologies is not a developer of "personal finance" products (the industry already has Quicken on the desktop and Mint on the web), rather we see ourselves as developers of "personal asset management" tools, not for our subscribers money, rather for the most expensive items they will likely purchase with that money.

With all of that in mind, I am excited to announce even more functionality forHome Ownersite. In the past two weeks we have rolled out a Journal module and an Insurance module. Home Ownersite is more useful than ever as a repository for all aspect of home ownership, from a complete and sharable home inventory product, a log of maintenance, repair & renovations to a centralized location to store details on tax records, mortgage(s) and insurance.

In addition to all this, we have also expanded the Home Care articles section of the main website with even more educational content, with even more to come in the coming days.

Ownersite has grown and improved over the years thanks to the feedback of our dedicated subscribers. We believe that Home Ownersite will grow and improve in the same way.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Helping home owners better prepare for disasters

When we first started developing Home Ownersite, we knew that the primary component that would draw subscribers was the inventory capability. The idea of keeping a home inventory is something that naturally resonates with consumers that want to be prepared in the event of a natural disaster.

As we looked at the market further, we realized that there is so much more to being prepared for a disaster for home owners than just the inventory. Corporate America has embraced risk mitigation through disaster planning for years, so we sought to find a company that helps the Fortune 500 decrease their risk to bring similar concepts to the consumer. What we found, and who we decided to work with, is the highly respected RP Risk Advisors.

There are already printed and static resources that advise on how to prepare for a flood, fire, hurricane, tornado, etc (we even link to them in Home Ownersite's Resources section), but no true interactive, online resource that takes into account your unique risk level based on a number of factors. Working with RP, we have started developing the first online, interactive resource for home owners to prepare for a disaster.

We are very excited to bring our subscribers this functionality, which should be rolled out in early 2009, so keep watching this space (or your Home Ownersite account) for more information. The press release is embedded below.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Introducing more helpful resources from Ownersite, our new Car Care section

With the launch of our new Car Care section, we think Ownersite will become an even more useful resource for vehicle owners, whether they subscribe to Ownersite or not. To visit this new section, click on the Car Care link up above.

The Car Care section contains about 20 articles (with plans to grow) covering many aspects of vehicle ownership, from basic everyday car care tips, to advice on saving fuel, increasing the value of your vehicle or even selling your vehicles. We believe these articles keep with the overall theme of Ownersite, to help increase the safety, reliability and value of our customers vehicle.

We would love your feedback on this new section. Some may have noticed that it originally included advertisements, but we decided to do away with those, again in keeping with our ad-free theme for the application.

Note that this is not the same content that is contained within the Ownersite application from the Car Care Council, rather it is yet another independent perspective on how to enhance vehicle ownership.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Announcing The Launch of Home Ownersite

Over the years, we have heard from so many subscribers that they would love to have something similar to Ownersite, only for their homes rather than their cars. Almost a year in the making, I am very excited to announce the launched of our second product in the "personal asset management" category, Home Ownersite.

The desire to build this product rests with the fact that a home is the most expensive investment most people will ever make. With that in mind, we wanted to build upon the success (and functionality) of Ownersite with something that would hold broad appeal to homeowners, and at the same time enable the important information sharing that comes along with Ownersite. I plan to talk more about what Home Ownersite is in the near future, but the official launch is now underway!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Incredible review of Ownersite on Gear Diary

Judie Lipsett just posted her very thorough and informative review of Ownersite on her blog, Gear Diary. I had the opportunity to meet Judie a couple months ago at a Ford media event and I can tell you that she is definitely a car person, something that shows through in the review. Thank you very much for the kind words, Judie!

Friday, February 1, 2008

The new Ownersite product demonstration is live!

I am very excited to announce that the new animated demo of Ownersite is up and running! To view the demo, click here or click on the image below and a new window will open up.

We have been looking to replace the outdated "tour" of the site with something more modern and compelling, and this definitely fits the bill. It should give new visitors to the site a much better idea of the benefits of an Ownersite subscription without having to page through text and screenshots. There was a lot of content to cover in a very limited time, so we had to leave a few things out, but the majority of the important points are there.

Many thanks to the good folks at Autodemo for making the process quick and easy. I think the final product speaks for itself. Enjoy!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Welcome to the first entry in our blog!

It took a while, but Ownersite Technologies has finally decided to enter the world of corporate blogging. I am not exactly sure what took us so long, but maybe the fact that I have been around and making my living from this whole Internet thing for well over 12 years now caused my trepidation. I've seen a lot of changes, mostly along the lines of "what's old is new again" going from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. The same principals hold true when building a business. You have to have a legitimate business model. That never changed.

What has changed is that blogging is now considered mainstream in corporate America. The Web 2.0 folks have been saying the for a while now. And, hey, GM does it, though I imagine the corporate lawyers are scrutinizing every post, so it has reached the most structured of organizations. So, now we too, have decided to do it.

I plan to use this blog to post thoughts about the industry, announce minor (non press-worthy) changes and enhancements to Ownersite (and other related and exciting applications soon to be announced), as well as muse on topics of interest.

We'd love your feedback, but please keep it professional and productive. Oh, and we ask that you do not use the blog comment form for support issues. Thanks and we hope you enjoy this!