Monster.com Takes The Gold In “Clash Of The Career Sites”

The Q3 Bug Battle is now one for the history books. As you might recall, our brave community of testers spent a week in August competing to find bugs in four of the major career sites. After pre-announcing the winners last week, we’re finally ready to de-classify the official results. You can download the complete Bug Battle report (PDF), but here are a few top-line findings:

  • Indeed had the least reported bugs (139), followed by Monster (169), CareerBuilder (171), and then SimplyHired (189).
  • While Monster placed first and Indeed placed last in every survey category, CareerBuilder and SimplyHired were deadlocked in the survey portion of the contest, each receiving favorable rankings in three out of six categories.
  • More than half of the testers (55%) chose ‘job search accuracy’ (ability to browse relevant jobs by job title, keyword, location, category, etc.) as the most important criteria when evaluating career applications.
  • When asked if concerned about the privacy and safety of personal information stored on job websites, an overwhelming 82 percent of respondents answered “yes.”

Check out the story on TheNextWeb! The $4,000 in prize money was spread out across a total of 24 testers. Here are few of the notable recipients:

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Weekend Update: Bug Battle, Bug of the Month

Today is Friday the 13th – a date that’s become widely known for superstition and mediocre horror movies. But while some remain paralyzed by friggatriskaidekaphobia (it’s a word, look it up), our tester community remains undeterred, as they continue to participate in the uTest Bug Battle and our ‘Bug of the Month’ contest. How are they going so far? Glad you asked. Here’s an update on both.

First, the Bug Battle: There are now less than three days left in the current bug-hunting competition, which is comparing four of the most popular job sites (Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed and SimplyHired). The testing phase of the competition ends Monday, August 16 at Noon ET. So far, more than 350 testers have reported 500+ bugs, but there are still plenty of chances to log some bugs and capture your share of the $4,000 in prize money. Sign in and get started!

The ‘Bug of the Month’ contest is also off to a terrific start. A quick glance at our Facebook page shows that more than 20 people have submitted bugs, garnering 200+ “likes” in the process. As with the Bug Battle, you have nothing to lose (and you could win an iPod Touch!) so go ahead and submit your own ‘Bug of the Month’ candidates.

Good luck and have a great weekend.

uTest “Bug of the Month” Contest Crashes Onto The Scene

By now, readers of our blog and newsletters are aware of our interest obsession with all species of software bugs. Whether it’s a funny error message, a fatal security flaw, or a glitch that prevents raw sewage from being treated, we’re always happy to hear about the “showstoppers” encountered by everyday users.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to launch a monthly contest titled….wait for it….Bug of the Month! Here are the basics:

And here’s how you play:

  • Step One: “Like” uTest on Facebook
  • Step Two: Find your favorite bug or error message (funny/scary/annoying) from any piece of software – websites, mobile apps, printers, etc.
  • Step Three: Upload your screenshot or video to uTest’s Facebook wall
  • Step Four: Tell your friends, family and colleagues to “Like” your bug

Whoever gets the most “Likes” by the end of the month wins the iPod touch. Easy enough?

Remember, this isn’t like the Bug Battle – you DO NOT have to report these bugs through the uTest platform, you DO NOT have to document the type/frequency/severity, and you DO NOT have to be the person who originally discovered the bug.  This is a public contest and the most popular bug wins!

So if you’ve seen a software bug that you feel is worthy of this honor, visit our Facebook page and get started.

How I Won the uTest Bug Battle (and how you can too!)

Wondering how you can stand out from the crowd in this quarter’s Bug Battle? Santhosh Tuppad – a “Gold” tester and three-time Bug Battle winner – has some tips to help you claim your share of the prize money, including advice on logging bugs, bug-hunting strategies, submitting positive feedback and more.

For more on Santhosh, read his Tester Spotlight or his recent guest blog post. For more on the current Bug Battle, start here.

*******

I have participated in three uTest Bug Battles so far. In this blog post, I will share with you my experiences from the Q2 competition this past May, and how I was able to win first place. This will include the types of things I concentrated on, my strategy, and how others can give themselves a better chance to succeed in the Bug Battle, as well as in the greater uTest community. Let’s get started!

Different quality criteria bugs

Bug Battles are organized to help uTest understand who is skilled and to whom they can assign more projects or invite to the projects. So, this is a good opportunity for those testers who are new, as well as who are old. Unfortunately, most of them do not understand what the Bug Battle is about – they just understand that “Hunting bugs and reporting them would make them win.”

So, in Bug Battles I report bugs on different quality criteria like:

  1. Usability
  2. Functionality
  3. Severity
  4. Performance [ Out of scope for Bug Battle ]

The above list goes on. I do not report 20 usability issues but 20 issues across different quality criteria. By doing this, it gives a good visibility to the Project Managers of uTest and helps them in understanding the credibility of a uTester. So, Project Managers add them to their list to invite these testers to projects.

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Have I Got a Job For You! Q3 uTest Bug Battle

Riddle: Some people have them, others are looking for them and every politician running for office has a plan to create them by the millions. What are they?

Answer: Jobs of course! With the official unemployment rate hovering around 10% here in the states, discussions of economic recovery eventually come down to jobs. While the pundits argue on the best way to create more,  the unemployed are left to scour the internet for quality employment opportunities.

But where do they look exactly? Which are the best job-searching sites out there? Which are the easiest to navigate? Which ones have the most robust feature set? Which ones have the best iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps? Most important of all: Which ones have the most bugs?

To answer these questions, we’ve decided to make job sites the subject of this quarter’s uTest Bug Battle competition. There were many good ones to choose from, but we ended up going with the big guys: Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed and SimplyHired.

The Bug Battle gets started this Friday, August 6 at noon (ET). Testers will be given ten days (until Monday, August 16 at noon) to search these applications for the most compelling bugs, and to report them through our online platform. We’ll be dishing out nearly $4,000 in prize money for Top Tester, Best Bug, Best Survey Feedback, Best Mobile Bug and a bunch of other categories.

More details on this Bug Battle – as well the rules, prizes and deadlines –can be found in this uTest Forums thread. Of course, we’ll be providing frequent updates via our blog, forums and newsletters.

Special note: This competition is available ONLY to members of the uTest community. Not a member yet? Find out more about the benefits of joining uTest.

Just “Checking-In” — Are We Taking LBS Privacy & Security Risks Seriously?

The impact of check-in services, like Foursquare, on personal privacy and security is yet again making top headlines. If you remember our most recent bug battle (The Check-In Challenge), more than 80% of respondents responded “Yes” when asked if they were concerned about how location-based services (LBS) could impact their personal privacy and safety. And 49% chose “privacy/security concerns” as the top reason they don’t use check-in services more often.

Yesterday, the security company WebRoot came out with a study discovering similar results. After surveying 1,500+ social network users with geolocation-ready mobile devices, WebRoot found that more than half (55%) of respondents fear the loss of security and privacy, and 45% are very concerned about letting potential burglars know when they’re away from home (ah yes, the now shut down PleaseRobMe experiment comes to mind).

What’s most interesting to us is that 39% of those surveyed by Webroot said they use geolocation services, but take a look at the number of people that have fallen prey to social network cyber-criminals:

  • Nearly a quarter of respondents (22.4 percent) were victims of a phishing attempt to steal their social network password.
  • About one in six (16 percent) reported a malware infection in the past year that originated from a social networking site.
  • One in nine reported at least one of their social network accounts had been compromised or hijacked.

Even in the face of these risks, many consumers admitted to engaging in risky behaviors:

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Who’s The Check-In Challenge Champion — Foursquare, Gowalla or Brightkite?

If you’ve visited any tech news sites in the past year, you may have noticed that location-based services are the hottest frontier in 2010. And if that newsflash isn’t exactly news to you, then you may have wondered which check-in service is tops. Well, we did too. So we decided to put the top three players to the test. And thus was born our 2nd quarter Bug Battle.

For this quarter’s competition/study, we decided to turn our testing community loose to compare and rank Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite — the top three check-in services that have a global footprint.

The high-level results were impressive: 300+ testers from more than 35 countries around the world reported nearly 900 bugs in the web & mobile apps of these three companies. You can get complete details in the Bug Battle report, but here are some of the noteworthy results:

  • Foursquare had the least reported bugs (177), followed by Gowalla (316) and Brightkite (377).
  • Foursquare was ranked #1 in ease-of-use, social media integration and connectivity with friends, while Gowalla took  top honors in the important category of location accuracy.
  • Very importantly, 80% of participants said they are concerned about how check-in services could impact their privacy/safety.
  • 49% of all respondents chose “privacy & security concerns” as the top reason they do not use check-in services more.

So who cares? Well, the testers who reported the best web bugs, the best mobile bugs and provided the most insightful feedback (to be announced later this week) will take home nearly $4,000 in prize money. Who else cares? A lot of thought leaders and social media gurus found these results as fascinating as we did.  In fact, this Bug Battle was covered by a collection of A-list pundits:

Mashable: Which App Does Checkins Best? [STUDY]

VentureBeat: Location check-in services are riddled with bugs

GigaOm: Checking In on Location-based Services: Foursquare vs. Gowalla vs. Brightkite

TheNextWeb: Some Reasons More People Aren’t Using Check-in Services

ZDNet: Study reveals bug factor in Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite

GoMo News: Foursquare beats Gowalla and Brightkite in mobile check-in Battle

Mobile Entertainment: Foursquare comes up trumps in uTest survey

WebProNews: Privacy and Security Still Obstacles for Check-In Services

Identity Blog: Why location services have to be done right…

Storefront Backtalk: Check-in Services Glitches Allow Customer Impersonation

InfoWorld: Location services: The security risks of oversharing

If you’re interested in the location-based apps space, these are must-reads. These social media savants made some great insights into our raw results. We’re always happy to compile the real-world data and raw feedback from our community, but these are the people who interpret, analyze and help make sense of all this. Apologies if we missed anyone (please add any links to other posts or articles in the comments and we’ll update this post).

This was, by far, our biggest and baddest Bug Battle to date. So special thanks to our community of testers, our special guest judges, and those journalists and bloggers who helped translate these Bug Battle results into interesting, thought-provoking perspectives on what it all means and where this space is heading.

Have ideas for our Q3 Bug Battle?  Drop us a note and tell us which category we should test & compare next!

I Love The Smell Of Bug Battles In The Morning…

No bugs were harmed in the planning of this Bug Battle… but they will be — starting Friday at noon ET.  That’s right uTesters — it’s time for our 2nd quarter Bug Battle competition!

And this time, we’ll be checking out the top location-based check-in services: Foursquare vs. Gowalla vs. Brightkite.  We’ll be letting our community put these innovators to the test (their public-facing websites, their check-in services, their mobile apps and their integrations with Facebook and Twitter).

And after the testing phase is complete on Monday, May 24th, we’ll be sending a survey to all participating testers to compare the usability and feature set of these three leaders.

What’s in it for testers?  Well, bragging rights, sure.  But we’ll also be doling out nearly $4,000 in prize money to the testers who report the most severe/interesting bugs and provide the most insightful survey feedback.

So it’s time to do what you do best, uTesters!  Log into your uTest account and scour these apps for quality defects and report them in a clear, concise way.  And if you do it better than your peers, you could be named the Q2 Bug Battle winner and earn some big prize money for your time.

Q2 Bug Battle: Foursquare vs. Gowalla vs. Brightkite

Where are you going, where have you been? Yes it’s the title of a creepy short story, but it also happens to characterize the  fastest-growing segment of consumer applications.

Location-based apps like Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite – apps that let you check in, find hot spots and get rewarded with prizes & accolades – are attracting thousands of new users every day. Just how popular have they become? They’re sooo popular, even uTest CEO and co-founder Doron Reuveni has attained ‘Mayor’ status (see if you can guess where).

Why am I telling you all this? Because these  geo-based apps are the subject of our latest uTest Bug Battle. We figured that since Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite are all global in scope, that they would provide our global tester community with a challenge unlike any of our previous bug-hunting competitions.

The Bug Battle gets started this Friday, May 14 at Noon (ET). Testers will be given ten days to search these applications (both web and mobile) for the most compelling bugs, and to report them through our online platform. We’ll be dishing out nearly $4,000 in prize money for Top Tester, Best Bug, Best Survey Feedback, Best Mobile Bug and a bunch of other categories.

More details on this Bug Battle – as well the rules, prizes and deadlines –can be found in this uTest Forums thread. Of course, we’ll be providing frequent updates via our blog, forums and newsletters.

Special note: This competition is available ONLY to members of the uTest community. Not a member yet? Find out more about the benefits of joining uTest.