SND Test Drive Team: Part 1

Building the next generation of technology for Social News Desk is more like a marathon than a sprint. We’ve been working hard for more than 18 months on leading edge software that will

Building the next generation of technology for Social News Desk is more like a marathon than a sprint. We’ve been working hard for more than 18 months on leading edge software that will delight our users. And as we enter the final few laps of the race, we’re bringing in the ‘SND Test Drive Team’ to kick the tires and make sure we’re ready to blast across the finish line. In this blog series, SND’s Director of Client Strategy, Sarah Loyd embeds with the Team so you too can come along for the ride!

Revving the Engines

The SND Test Drive Team is a group of Social News Desk’s most diligent users, all hand-picked to help SND put the finishing touches on the new software. Recently, Aaron King, SND’s VP of Product Engineering, took the group on a tour of the latest features built into the new SND Dashboard. King says that the new dashboard will have many of the familiar functions of the current dashboard, but with a cleaner look and feel. “We’ve made it easier for you to organize your work, drag and drop columns and make it feel like a modern application.”

2.0 dashboard

Some of the SND Test Drive Team members shared initial reactions to the look of the new SND Dashboard. With drag-and-drop capability, improved viewing of scheduled posts and speed improvements, users should be able to work smarter – not harder.

2.0 scheduled posts

With user interactions becoming more important to build relationships with fans and followers, King showed that the new SND Dashboard is focusing more on these interactions as well. “Performance overall is much closer to real-time. New messages come in quickly and interactions update right away,” King said. He also showcased some of the new interaction features, including threaded comments and individual replies.

Several of our Test Drive Team members were excited about the upgraded search capabilities, including a simple Advanced Search interface that makes it easy to create a custom Twitter search and view trending topics for both Facebook and Twitter.

The updated post interface got a lot of attention today, as King highlighted the new account grouping feature. Users will be able to group accounts based on daypart, talent, region, or subject area – or any other grouping they might choose – to make it simple to get content quickly to select accounts.

SND Test Drive Team member David Randall, Digital News Director for KOAA, says he’s most excited to be able to track analytics for all content on his station’s social accounts. Unlike the current SND platform, the new SND Dashboard tracks all posts, even those made outside of SND. “That’s a big deal for us,” Randall said, “It may even allow us to stop using other analytics products for social media.”

2.0 post manager

Social News Desk Founder and CEO Kim Wilson closed the first call by letting the SND Test Drive Team know they’d have direct access to King and the engineering team. “It’s important to me that you are talking directly with our engineers. We want you to tell them how it should work, what you need it to do, what will make your job easier and ultimately we want to know what we can build that will make you the most successful,” Wilson said.

The SND Test Drive Team is just getting started, and we’ll have more updates on their progress as they get rolling with the first beta tests of the new SND Dashboard. “Since I’ve got a huge interest in social media and digital marketing, I’m excited to be one of the first to try out SND 2.0 and all of its new features,” said Rachel Page, Social Media Manager for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.


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