Monday, March 26, 2012

Spoke set for the next six months except maybe “one more thing”:)

When we started developing our new version of Spoke, our goal was to provide a platform that we would be all proud of.  And based on the feedback we are receiving, we got it done. I particularly like Rayna Remondini tweet: “How many directories is your company listed in? Always put quality over quantity when marketing your brand. #Spoke”. First, it is always nice when it comes from somebody who knows what she is doing but this has been our motto as a Firm for the last two years.  We have been adamant to never release a feature which was not ready even if it meant missing a deadline. We have been frustrated sometime to have to rework something that we thought was done and rework it multiple times until it works.

Even with this focus, we didn’t have it 100% correct and we still have some corner case that needs fixing so for the next few months, we are going to make very minor changes to the site and be very focused on those fixing as well as making sure that the system works at scale.

This said, we are very proud of what we have done so far and what we intend to keep building. It is of course based on a completely different metaphor: we are based on a publishing model.As we discussed in the past, Spoke is not a social network, nor a directory in the strictest sense. We are a publishing platform for business information and, as a publisher, we are very interested in promoting our content provider. Since we launched beginning of January, we have released several features:

The ability to promote your Spoke page on Spoke: when you claim your profile, anytime you add a link or information on Spoke, this information is credited to you by identifying you as the one having posted the information on the site and you receive a link that points to your Spoke profile. We do this while crediting the original author of the information as well but we want to reward for what you have done; 

The curator program: As you are contributing to the site, you are gaining stature and Spoke recognizes you with a curator status or an expert curator. Today, we have about 20 people who are either Expert Curators or Curators and close to 70 who are on their way to become Curator. We encourage you to become a member of this club which enables you to test new features and see what is next for Spoke.  Over time, we expect members of this club to take on more responsibility;

The industry voice program which promotes your content on our site as well as leverage the content you created on Spoke on your own website. In addition, we also released our first widget. Once you have created a profile on Spoke or if you want to leverage a profile from Spoke, you are free now to do so.

We have also given tools that let you find the information you want. Most important is the ability to follow a page and see in your activity stream what is happening on the page.

Now it is not because we say the scope will stay the same that we won’t have “one more thing” because we are all students of Steve Jobs in the company and we like this trick. We can’t tell you when it is going to show up but, based on initial feedback we are getting, people are going to like it.

Also, November is going to be our next timeline for new major set of features. At this point, you will have a good idea on what this site is all about and, hopefully, you will like it even more than you do now.

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