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Is Your Software Good for Society?

August 15th, 2014

software-that-is-good-for-societyAccording to a recent Pew Research survey, the number of Internet users has grown from 14 percent in 1995, to 46 percent in 2000, to 66 percent in 2005, to 79 percent in 2010, to 87 percent in 2014.

Ninety percent of the people in the survey said that the Internet has been good for them personally. Only 76 percent of the people surveyed believe that the Internet has been good for society.

Software developers need to think a lot about the 24 percent of adult Americans who believe that the Internet has not been good for society. You need to ensure that the bad feelings that nearly one quarter of your prospects have about the web do not become bad feelings about your software.

Privacy and identity theft

A major component of people believing that the Internet has been bad for society is their concern about privacy and identity theft. They don’t want their children posting personal information on social media. They don’t want to give their credit card information to organizations located in countries that don’t have strong banking systems. If you’re offering a Facebook add-in, an application that processes credit card payments, or any software that might put private information at risk, you need to ensure that you’ve made the software as safe as possible. And your sales presentation has to make it clear that your program is safe to use.

Kids and the Internet

Anther major concern that people have about the Internet is the ability that kids have to gain access to material that is not age appropriate. If you’re offering photography, video, music, search, or any type of software that could raise concerns about kids gaining access to content that is not appropriate for them, then you need to ensure that you’ve included the proper parental management controls in your application. And you need to say so on your home page and product pages.

Nearly one quarter of adult Americans have concerns about the Internet. You need to make sure that your prospects are not worried about your software. Identify any potential problems that reasonable people might have about your software. Minimize these concerns as much as possible. And explain to prospects and customers what you’ve done.

– by Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Blog guy

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