I am always very impressed by the level of engagement and determination of my engineering team. We have been working at this for two years now and they are working very hard to update our current features and developing new ones. Let me tell you about what they have been working on and as always do let us know if you feel that we are missing the marks in term of priorities or implementation.
Right now, we have three short-term projects: increase the amount of updates so our datasets is more complete and fresher, open our data so you can consume our data in your own environment and lastly, refine our activity stream to make it more manageable and visible to yourself and your community.
1) Increasing our amount of updates: Since December 2012, we have tripled the amount of updates on the site. We did so thanks to your contributions, which are at record high but also because we doubled the amount of content contributed automatically through our content partners and started to create our own content as well.
If you have been on the site lately, you may have seen Spoke enabled accounts such as Spoke Research and Spoke Intelligence. Those are real people paid by Spoke and contributing content on a regular basis. The content created by Spoke is very targeted and mostly in support of our partner programs.
As a result of those efforts, the proportion of contributions has evolved slightly from 50 content aggregated/50 content created in 2012 to 50 content aggregated/25 coming from community/25 created by Spoke in 2013.
2) Making our dataset open: as you know, our strategy is to be the hub of Business Information. People should be able to access and consume our information wherever they want, within their own environment or when they are performing their usual daily tasks. For this, we have two sets of tools: Widgets and APIs.
On the widget front, we have been releasing improvements to our existing widgets and will start to provide new targeted ones.
For our APIs, we are already working with few select beta partners to understand the details and the process of how to integrate with other sites. The easy part is to enable people to access our information. The extreme complex part is to let our partners update our information. Each partner has its own set of issues and it is difficult to come up with a one size fits all approach but we are slowly getting there.
We have extremely high hope for this program as partners should be contributing significantly to our datasets moving forward changing the total monthly amount of contributions as well as the mix of contributions.
3) Implementing our activity stream roadmap: we have released our activity stream in January and since then have been receiving a lot of feedback on it. Based on that feedback, we are implementing a detailed roadmap of features to implement. Very short term, you are going to see major improvements in the ability to manage your activity stream.
As always, do let us know if you want to see other approaches.