BT Tradespace is a project, launched a few weeks ago, which hadn’t come onto my radar until today. Currently in beta, it’s ‘a new service by BT to enable small businesses to create an online presence in minutes, with no technical knowledge needed, that they can use to promote themselves using blogging, podcasting, photos, and many other features.’
Translation: it comes across as a Myspace kind of thing, driven by Microsoft’s Sharepoint technology, with a bit of Digg thrown in. The heart of the service is the blogging component, labelled ‘News & views’ – presumably so as not to scare the non-tech audience away. There are components for photo sharing, events calendars, and ‘featured items’ – plus the ability to upload podcasts, which is surely beyond most of their target audience? Lots of RSS feeds everywhere too, which (of course) we like. Microsoft’s Virtual Earth mapping is built in, and you can have the site owner’s ‘business card’ sent to you by email or text message. There’s also the ability to make a free phone call to the site owner… but I haven’t investigated it yet.
I’ve actually had real trouble getting into it. Mostly, that was my foolish preference for Firefox; a quick switch to IE, and it all worked nicely. (Only to be expected from a Sharepoint-based system, I suppose.) But partly also because I know how these things work already, and I’m looking for the established – admittedly geeky – jargon. Still, everything seems to be there, albeit sometimes under a different name.
It’s an interesting project – still in its earliest days, with membership only just into three digits. But it costs nothing to sign up to… so why not give it a shot? Get in there quick, and grab yourname.bttradespace.com while you still can.