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CLIENT:

WHAT CONSUMES ME
PROJECT TITLE:

INSPIRATION ENGINE
DATE:

NOVEMBER, 2011
OUR MISSION IS TO BUILD THE
DEFINITIVE INSPIRATION
ENGINE FOR THE CREATIVE
COMMUNITY.


                              2
WHAT IS AN
INSPIRATION ENGINE?
YO U D ID N ’ T J U ST PU L L T H A T O UT O F Y OU R AS S D I D Y O U?



An inspiration engine puts beauty and brilliance in form
and functionality that aid work, not just distraction.

An inspiration engine is full of content, but delivered in a
way that is highly relevant, useful, addictive, and
actionable.

An inspiration engine doesn’t just support reading, it
supports doing. It helps to unleash more creativity upon
the world.

It isn’t your typical blog, or even content aggregator, it’s
something more – something functional.

What follows is a high-level, foolishly ambitious plan to
build the creative community’s most insanely loved site
on the web.




                                                                          3
CONTENT


  FUNCTIONALITY




AN INSPIRATION ENGINE IS
ULTIMATELY AN INNOVATIVE
PACKAGING OF THE TWO.
                             4
CONTENT STRATEGY
STOCKS AND FLOWS




                   5
What is Flow Content?                                           RE T AIL     AR T      FANDOM
A F LO O D OF B EAUT Y, INSPIRATION, AN D NO VE L TY
                                                                EN TE RT AINME NT       ME DIA
Flow content represents your typical daily stream of novel
content on sites like Buzzfeed or PSFK, often aggregated        AUTOM OTIVE         FOUND IMAGE S

from other sources. Flow content will be the bulk of day-
                                                                FASHION        AR CHITE CT UR E
to-day content on the site published by a handful of
editors, ranging from topics far and wide.                      FOOD        L IT ER ATURE      GAM ES


Challenges inherent in Flow Content:                            L UXUR Y     W EB CULTUR E


• The social currency of this content is usually short-lived    JOURN ALISM         STATISTICS

   (mostly determined by novelty among peers) and the
                                                                TECHNOL OGY          DATA
   lifespan on most sites ends once it’s fallen off the
   homepage
                                                                W ORK       PRODU CTIVITY

• Sites that compete on flow content typically need to           BUSINE SS       PL ANNING
   publish early and often, our challenge is to be as fast or
   faster than other aggregator sites and to publish often      W EB       COM PLE XITY
   on a broad range of creative topics
                                                                MU SIC       DES IGN        STRA TE GY

• We don’t want to simply amass this content and let it
                                                                HAC KIN G      AND M ORE
   languish in our archives, we have to find ways to make it
   useful to readers far beyond its publish date

                                                                                                         6
Publishing Flow Content                                          SOCIAL FEEDS
C R EA TIN G AN ADDIC TIVE READING E X PE R I E N CE             AND BLOG RSS

• First, we need to find a handful of editors that will
   publish to the site multiple times a day, and we need to                         S
   use Percolate’s analysis of feed sources to measure                              O
   whether our initial editors have enough topical variety                          C
   to avoid homogenous sharing                                PERCOLATE             I
                                                                                    A
                                                              USED BY EACH EDITOR   L
• Percolate will help our editors in making sharing more
                                                                                    S
   frictionless                                                       W             H
                                                                      O             A
                                                                      R             R
• We need a way to stop duplicate content from being                  D             I
   posted                                                             P             N
                                                                      R             G
                                                                      E
• We need to preserve that content’s original categories/
                                                                      S             D
   tags so we can minimize the work we have to do to                  S             A
   identify content                                                                 T
                                                                                    A
• We need a design to handle that incoming content and
   best show off video/image content
                                                              WHATCONSUMESME
                                                                COMMUNITY
• We need to track how shared the original content is to
   value it for our readers

                                                                                        7
BuzzFeed Does Flow   • First and foremost, BuzzFeed publishes a
Better Than Most       huge amount of fresh content each day,
                       this is a must if we’re to be successful

                     • They’ve created a category system voted
                       on by the community, in a vernacular that’s
                       driven by reaction, not content category
                       (e.g. LOL, cute, win, etc.), we should
                       explore categories like this for our flow
                       content (awe, service, wha?)

                     • The content is presented with social
                       context, how popular it is, how it is being
                       spread, there’s lots of social proof to why
                       you should pay attention

                     • Content is an opportunity for performance,
                       and Buzzfeed asks for reactions,
                       responses, and contributions that are
                       community rated

                     • The design balances easy scanning and
                       yet entices the user to click on stories




                                                                     8
Stock Content
                                                  L ON G E R F OR M B RI L L IA N C E W OR T H B O OK MAR KI N G F OR L AT E R



                                                  Stock content represents long-reads or deep dives on
                                                  specific questions or topics. There is usually some
SE EKI N G W R I T E R S T H A T AR E A( N):      topicality, but the value in the article goes far beyond its
                                                  reflection on current events. Our job is to court writers (like
I C O NO C L AS T W I T H A F OLLOWI NG
                                                  HuffPo) that will occasionally provide valuable stock
E NTE R T AI NE R A N D E D U CAT OR              content, writers that represent a wide spectrum of
                                                  opinions and industries.
LO N G F O RM T H I N K E R T HAN C A N E NTICE
E V EN T HE M O S T S H O R T FOR M R E ADE R
                                                  Challenges inherent to Stock content:
R A B B I T H O L E D I V E R A N D TOU R GUIDE
                                                  • In a site dominated by Flow content, Stock can be easily
P U LP I T P R E A C H E R A N D C OMM UNITY         overlooked, our design must break Stock content out of
O R G A NI Z ER
                                                     the time-based deluge of Flow

                                                  • We need to provide a valuable incentive to Stock
                                                     content writers to put their content on our platform
                                                     instead of their own (a larger audience is a good start)

                                                  • The design of Stock content article pages must entice
                                                     the reader to dive deep and break out of the short-
                                                     attention span we may have rewarded with Flow
                                                     content
                                                                                                                                 9
Publishing Stock Content
C R E AT I N G L O N G- T E R M V AL U E , B O O KM AR KS , SH A R I N G , AN D RE - V IS IT S



• Our Stock writers need their bios/photos on the site
    and our first writers need to be of the caliber to attract
    other writers

• Our article pages must be the most legible and
    engaging experience on the web

• We need to drive the use of comments to foster a true
    dialog with our writers, to make their content even
    more valuable

• We need to work with our writers to identify innovative
    editorial ideas (e.g. tap two writers to do an open
    debate on a controversial topic, give them each a day
    to craft their responses, make it last a week and let
    people vote on arguments - call it “Head to Head”)

• We could give Stock writers access to our editors to
    pitch ideas and get immediate feedback



                                                                                                 10
AWorkingLibrary.com
One of the Most Readable Sites on the Web




                                            11
AtRoundtable.com
Creating New Models of Conversation




                                      12
FUNCTIONALITY STRATEGY
CREATING UTILITY
AND ADDICTION




                         13
WE NEED INNOVATIVE
FUNCTIONALITY THAT WILL
ELEVATE THE SITE BEYOND A
BLOG OR CONTENT PORTAL.


                            14
FUNCTIONALITY THAT PUTS
OUR WEALTH OF CONTENT TO
WORK, CREATING VALUE
BEYOND DISTRACTION.


                           15
INTRODUCING:
THE INSPIRATION BOARD



                        16
The Inspiration Board
Q U ICKLY ASSEMBLIN G AND SHARING I N SPI R ATI O N



• Purpose: to make our content archive actionable and         COMPFIGHT
   our site more valuable

• Desired Outcome: The next innovative product idea
   facilitated by our tool, inspired by our content, and           MEETS
   made by people in our community

• Use Case: a user is working on a project developing
   mobile tools for health care patients, she opens our       MINDMEISTER
   tool, searches “mobile health care” and is given a
   stream of content we think is related to those terms
   (she sorts the content by popularity and social filters),
   based on the content she drags into her workspace we            MEETS
   can suggest even more accurate content. She then
   visually clusters content based on her needs, adding
   content we may be missing by giving a URL (we then
   add it to our content archive), and she adds notes to      GOOGLE MODERATOR
   pieces of content. She then invites her co-workers in to
   her workspace and they begin asynchronously ideating
   based on the content in front of them and are able to
   vote and comment on each other’s ideas
                                                                                 17
IN ADDITION TO UTILITY, WE
SHOULD EXPERIMENT WITH
SMALL MECHANISMS THAT
REFLECT AND REWARD
PARTICIPATION.

                             18
WE HATE THE G WORD.
BUT. IF AN ACTION CAN
MAKE THE USER EXPERIENCE
BETTER AND OUR SITE MORE
VALUABLE TO THE USER, WE
SHOULD MAKE THAT ACTION
ADDICTIVE AND REWARDING.
                           19
Making Reading Addictive
T O ID ENT IFY AND RE WARD O UR M OS T AC TI VE VI S I TO R S



• Behaviors the site should track and reward for readers:
    reading pieces of content, commenting, rating other
    comments, sharing content in social media, we should
    tick up points in the corner of the site and nudge users
    to register to claim the points they’ve already accrued

• Feedback: give the user better content, show users
    what topics they read most, how liked their comments
    are, and a leaderboard of readers and commenters per
    topic

• Rewards: the ability to send in links to the editors,
    visibility on the site, specialist recognition (content or
    comments), the ability to be invited to be a community
    manager, editor, or a stock content author

• Future Vision: create community blogs that users have
    to earn a right to use that editors can scan and decide
    what to elevate to homepage/category level placement



                                                                 20
Making Publishing Addictive
TO I D E N T I F Y AN D R E W AR D O UR M O S T A C T IV E E D IT O R S & W RI T ER S



• Behaviors the site should track for Editors/Writers:
    amount of content published per time period, number
    of saves of that content, number of shares, number of
    comments, overall score of comments per article

• Feedback: all of the above, show which categories are
    being under nourished by fresh content (nudge the
    editor to hunt down/share more of it), chart frequency
    of content with frequency of visits, track comment
    frequency on stock content with frequency of visits
    (nudge writers to stay more active)

• Rewards: identify favorite editors/writers per content
    category, elevate editors to writers based on
    community popularity




                                                                                        21
WARNING FOR THE
FUTURE: POINTS ARE ALL
FUN AND GAMES UNTIL THEY
CREATE UNINTENDED
CONSEQUENCES AND
DISTRACT US FROM OUR
ORIGINAL MISSION.
                           22
A QUICK NOD TO BUSINESS STRATEGY
REINFORCING
THE NETWORK




                                   23
Ways to Pay for the Site
Without Serving Ads
TH OU S H AL T N OT H A RM T H E US E R ’ S E X PE R I E N CE



• Kickstart each phase of the site


• Charge for the Inspiration Board once it’s a viable
    platform, limit free access to 1-2 boards or introduce
    premium features, charge for the tablet experience as
    it’s likely to be the most effective and engaging use

• Package the Stock content semi-annually and sell as
    eBook

• Job board


• Host paid meet-ups, workshops, or full bore
    conferences centered around unleashing creativity

• Make our revenue needs transparent and create
    donation goals to keep the site ad-free or invite readers
    to suggest monetization strategies




                                                                24
We Must Respect and Reward
The Sites That Keep Us Fed
B EI N G GO OD W EB CITIZENS AND N OT S PA R K L Y W E B VAMPI R E S



• Above all, we have an obligation to the sites that
   supply our Flow content to not reproduce their content
   in its entirety and to send our readers their way for the
   full story

• We should also have the ability to block content from a
   specific source if that site owner requests it

• We should create a list of the top sites we link to and
   make that visible and transparent, we should also think
   of ways to promote those site owners (on-site
   interviews, bios), we could even show which sites are
   climbing the charts

• We should never be satisfied with how we reward our
   favorite sites, we can always do more or be more
   creative in how we show our appreciation




                                                                       25
Building a Shared Destiny
I N TH E W I L D , O B S CE N E EV E N T W E T U R N A PR OF I T



• We believe that participation should be rewarded in
    kind, with that in mind, we’d like to investigate a
    Worker’s Co-Op business model, where everyone earns
    a say and a stake in the future of the business

• We need to consider levels of participation, the effort
    required, the value created, and the stake and say that
    warrants

• We need to reward the development partners willing to
    take a gamble on our vision as well, and find a
    relationship model that keeps them around and
    interested to evolve the site based on use

• We need to explore liability under this model,
    especially where copyright and intellectual property are
    concerned (success on the web usually comes with
    lawsuits)




                                                                   26
High Level Steps Forward
T O R EALIZ E THIS CRA ZY DREAM OF O U R S



• Recruit initial Editorial team and court Stock Writers


• Work with Percolate to build a test environment to
   evaluate content, design, and ease of use

• Find development partner(s) to scope/plan/phase/
   attack initial site and Inspiration Board product

• Investigate worker’s co-op model and explore
   compensation rates

• Raise any necessary capital to get teams moving, lean
   heavily on early supporters to pass the collection plate

• Focus on site mechanics, feedback mechanisms, and
   build processes/teams to iterate and adapt quickly to
   what users actually do




                                                              27
28
THANK YOU
 – BUD CADDELL –

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The Definitive Inspiration Engine for the Creative Community

  • 1. CLIENT: WHAT CONSUMES ME PROJECT TITLE: INSPIRATION ENGINE DATE: NOVEMBER, 2011
  • 2. OUR MISSION IS TO BUILD THE DEFINITIVE INSPIRATION ENGINE FOR THE CREATIVE COMMUNITY. 2
  • 3. WHAT IS AN INSPIRATION ENGINE? YO U D ID N ’ T J U ST PU L L T H A T O UT O F Y OU R AS S D I D Y O U? An inspiration engine puts beauty and brilliance in form and functionality that aid work, not just distraction. An inspiration engine is full of content, but delivered in a way that is highly relevant, useful, addictive, and actionable. An inspiration engine doesn’t just support reading, it supports doing. It helps to unleash more creativity upon the world. It isn’t your typical blog, or even content aggregator, it’s something more – something functional. What follows is a high-level, foolishly ambitious plan to build the creative community’s most insanely loved site on the web. 3
  • 4. CONTENT FUNCTIONALITY AN INSPIRATION ENGINE IS ULTIMATELY AN INNOVATIVE PACKAGING OF THE TWO. 4
  • 6. What is Flow Content? RE T AIL AR T FANDOM A F LO O D OF B EAUT Y, INSPIRATION, AN D NO VE L TY EN TE RT AINME NT ME DIA Flow content represents your typical daily stream of novel content on sites like Buzzfeed or PSFK, often aggregated AUTOM OTIVE FOUND IMAGE S from other sources. Flow content will be the bulk of day- FASHION AR CHITE CT UR E to-day content on the site published by a handful of editors, ranging from topics far and wide. FOOD L IT ER ATURE GAM ES Challenges inherent in Flow Content: L UXUR Y W EB CULTUR E • The social currency of this content is usually short-lived JOURN ALISM STATISTICS (mostly determined by novelty among peers) and the TECHNOL OGY DATA lifespan on most sites ends once it’s fallen off the homepage W ORK PRODU CTIVITY • Sites that compete on flow content typically need to BUSINE SS PL ANNING publish early and often, our challenge is to be as fast or faster than other aggregator sites and to publish often W EB COM PLE XITY on a broad range of creative topics MU SIC DES IGN STRA TE GY • We don’t want to simply amass this content and let it HAC KIN G AND M ORE languish in our archives, we have to find ways to make it useful to readers far beyond its publish date 6
  • 7. Publishing Flow Content SOCIAL FEEDS C R EA TIN G AN ADDIC TIVE READING E X PE R I E N CE AND BLOG RSS • First, we need to find a handful of editors that will publish to the site multiple times a day, and we need to S use Percolate’s analysis of feed sources to measure O whether our initial editors have enough topical variety C to avoid homogenous sharing PERCOLATE I A USED BY EACH EDITOR L • Percolate will help our editors in making sharing more S frictionless W H O A R R • We need a way to stop duplicate content from being D I posted P N R G E • We need to preserve that content’s original categories/ S D tags so we can minimize the work we have to do to S A identify content T A • We need a design to handle that incoming content and best show off video/image content WHATCONSUMESME COMMUNITY • We need to track how shared the original content is to value it for our readers 7
  • 8. BuzzFeed Does Flow • First and foremost, BuzzFeed publishes a Better Than Most huge amount of fresh content each day, this is a must if we’re to be successful • They’ve created a category system voted on by the community, in a vernacular that’s driven by reaction, not content category (e.g. LOL, cute, win, etc.), we should explore categories like this for our flow content (awe, service, wha?) • The content is presented with social context, how popular it is, how it is being spread, there’s lots of social proof to why you should pay attention • Content is an opportunity for performance, and Buzzfeed asks for reactions, responses, and contributions that are community rated • The design balances easy scanning and yet entices the user to click on stories 8
  • 9. Stock Content L ON G E R F OR M B RI L L IA N C E W OR T H B O OK MAR KI N G F OR L AT E R Stock content represents long-reads or deep dives on specific questions or topics. There is usually some SE EKI N G W R I T E R S T H A T AR E A( N): topicality, but the value in the article goes far beyond its reflection on current events. Our job is to court writers (like I C O NO C L AS T W I T H A F OLLOWI NG HuffPo) that will occasionally provide valuable stock E NTE R T AI NE R A N D E D U CAT OR content, writers that represent a wide spectrum of opinions and industries. LO N G F O RM T H I N K E R T HAN C A N E NTICE E V EN T HE M O S T S H O R T FOR M R E ADE R Challenges inherent to Stock content: R A B B I T H O L E D I V E R A N D TOU R GUIDE • In a site dominated by Flow content, Stock can be easily P U LP I T P R E A C H E R A N D C OMM UNITY overlooked, our design must break Stock content out of O R G A NI Z ER the time-based deluge of Flow • We need to provide a valuable incentive to Stock content writers to put their content on our platform instead of their own (a larger audience is a good start) • The design of Stock content article pages must entice the reader to dive deep and break out of the short- attention span we may have rewarded with Flow content 9
  • 10. Publishing Stock Content C R E AT I N G L O N G- T E R M V AL U E , B O O KM AR KS , SH A R I N G , AN D RE - V IS IT S • Our Stock writers need their bios/photos on the site and our first writers need to be of the caliber to attract other writers • Our article pages must be the most legible and engaging experience on the web • We need to drive the use of comments to foster a true dialog with our writers, to make their content even more valuable • We need to work with our writers to identify innovative editorial ideas (e.g. tap two writers to do an open debate on a controversial topic, give them each a day to craft their responses, make it last a week and let people vote on arguments - call it “Head to Head”) • We could give Stock writers access to our editors to pitch ideas and get immediate feedback 10
  • 11. AWorkingLibrary.com One of the Most Readable Sites on the Web 11
  • 14. WE NEED INNOVATIVE FUNCTIONALITY THAT WILL ELEVATE THE SITE BEYOND A BLOG OR CONTENT PORTAL. 14
  • 15. FUNCTIONALITY THAT PUTS OUR WEALTH OF CONTENT TO WORK, CREATING VALUE BEYOND DISTRACTION. 15
  • 17. The Inspiration Board Q U ICKLY ASSEMBLIN G AND SHARING I N SPI R ATI O N • Purpose: to make our content archive actionable and COMPFIGHT our site more valuable • Desired Outcome: The next innovative product idea facilitated by our tool, inspired by our content, and MEETS made by people in our community • Use Case: a user is working on a project developing mobile tools for health care patients, she opens our MINDMEISTER tool, searches “mobile health care” and is given a stream of content we think is related to those terms (she sorts the content by popularity and social filters), based on the content she drags into her workspace we MEETS can suggest even more accurate content. She then visually clusters content based on her needs, adding content we may be missing by giving a URL (we then add it to our content archive), and she adds notes to GOOGLE MODERATOR pieces of content. She then invites her co-workers in to her workspace and they begin asynchronously ideating based on the content in front of them and are able to vote and comment on each other’s ideas 17
  • 18. IN ADDITION TO UTILITY, WE SHOULD EXPERIMENT WITH SMALL MECHANISMS THAT REFLECT AND REWARD PARTICIPATION. 18
  • 19. WE HATE THE G WORD. BUT. IF AN ACTION CAN MAKE THE USER EXPERIENCE BETTER AND OUR SITE MORE VALUABLE TO THE USER, WE SHOULD MAKE THAT ACTION ADDICTIVE AND REWARDING. 19
  • 20. Making Reading Addictive T O ID ENT IFY AND RE WARD O UR M OS T AC TI VE VI S I TO R S • Behaviors the site should track and reward for readers: reading pieces of content, commenting, rating other comments, sharing content in social media, we should tick up points in the corner of the site and nudge users to register to claim the points they’ve already accrued • Feedback: give the user better content, show users what topics they read most, how liked their comments are, and a leaderboard of readers and commenters per topic • Rewards: the ability to send in links to the editors, visibility on the site, specialist recognition (content or comments), the ability to be invited to be a community manager, editor, or a stock content author • Future Vision: create community blogs that users have to earn a right to use that editors can scan and decide what to elevate to homepage/category level placement 20
  • 21. Making Publishing Addictive TO I D E N T I F Y AN D R E W AR D O UR M O S T A C T IV E E D IT O R S & W RI T ER S • Behaviors the site should track for Editors/Writers: amount of content published per time period, number of saves of that content, number of shares, number of comments, overall score of comments per article • Feedback: all of the above, show which categories are being under nourished by fresh content (nudge the editor to hunt down/share more of it), chart frequency of content with frequency of visits, track comment frequency on stock content with frequency of visits (nudge writers to stay more active) • Rewards: identify favorite editors/writers per content category, elevate editors to writers based on community popularity 21
  • 22. WARNING FOR THE FUTURE: POINTS ARE ALL FUN AND GAMES UNTIL THEY CREATE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES AND DISTRACT US FROM OUR ORIGINAL MISSION. 22
  • 23. A QUICK NOD TO BUSINESS STRATEGY REINFORCING THE NETWORK 23
  • 24. Ways to Pay for the Site Without Serving Ads TH OU S H AL T N OT H A RM T H E US E R ’ S E X PE R I E N CE • Kickstart each phase of the site • Charge for the Inspiration Board once it’s a viable platform, limit free access to 1-2 boards or introduce premium features, charge for the tablet experience as it’s likely to be the most effective and engaging use • Package the Stock content semi-annually and sell as eBook • Job board • Host paid meet-ups, workshops, or full bore conferences centered around unleashing creativity • Make our revenue needs transparent and create donation goals to keep the site ad-free or invite readers to suggest monetization strategies 24
  • 25. We Must Respect and Reward The Sites That Keep Us Fed B EI N G GO OD W EB CITIZENS AND N OT S PA R K L Y W E B VAMPI R E S • Above all, we have an obligation to the sites that supply our Flow content to not reproduce their content in its entirety and to send our readers their way for the full story • We should also have the ability to block content from a specific source if that site owner requests it • We should create a list of the top sites we link to and make that visible and transparent, we should also think of ways to promote those site owners (on-site interviews, bios), we could even show which sites are climbing the charts • We should never be satisfied with how we reward our favorite sites, we can always do more or be more creative in how we show our appreciation 25
  • 26. Building a Shared Destiny I N TH E W I L D , O B S CE N E EV E N T W E T U R N A PR OF I T • We believe that participation should be rewarded in kind, with that in mind, we’d like to investigate a Worker’s Co-Op business model, where everyone earns a say and a stake in the future of the business • We need to consider levels of participation, the effort required, the value created, and the stake and say that warrants • We need to reward the development partners willing to take a gamble on our vision as well, and find a relationship model that keeps them around and interested to evolve the site based on use • We need to explore liability under this model, especially where copyright and intellectual property are concerned (success on the web usually comes with lawsuits) 26
  • 27. High Level Steps Forward T O R EALIZ E THIS CRA ZY DREAM OF O U R S • Recruit initial Editorial team and court Stock Writers • Work with Percolate to build a test environment to evaluate content, design, and ease of use • Find development partner(s) to scope/plan/phase/ attack initial site and Inspiration Board product • Investigate worker’s co-op model and explore compensation rates • Raise any necessary capital to get teams moving, lean heavily on early supporters to pass the collection plate • Focus on site mechanics, feedback mechanisms, and build processes/teams to iterate and adapt quickly to what users actually do 27
  • 28. 28
  • 29. THANK YOU – BUD CADDELL –