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"News illustrated"

1. Meaning

What we do: a topic-based online news & content aggregator (RSS, etc) where each link is represented by an image or instantly playable video.

What it means: saving you 1 or 2 of each 10 minutes you spend reading news online. And reducing your eye fatigue.

  

2. Questions

There is a lot of online content, that people would like to read on a timely basis. Out of professional, hobbyist or just a temporary interest.

So, what?

They subscribe to lists – emails start to arrive, they subscribe to news feeds – RSS alerts start to pop-up, they switch to an aggregator site – screens of text are to be read to filter in the needed links.

So, what?

"A picture is worth a thousand words"

So, what?

Why not make an aggregator that shows visual content from the linked materials? A picture or a video that you can instantly watch, without even going to the other page...

 

Rationale: looking at a picture of Lady GaGa will definitely rule the link out if you're searching news about your favorite Heavy Metal band.

And you will probably process in you mind a screen with 10 – 20 illustrated links and decide if there is anything interesting there, for the same time you can read "Lady GaGa just..." in your mind.

  

3. Mantra

"News Illustrated"

Of course, any criticism and suggestions on this are more than welcome!

  

4.  Initial version  

We have a working alpha, where we're able to properly extract visual information from about 85% of the pages we hit. This includes parsing social meta tags, and the page source itself.

We estimate we're about 10 - 20 man-days away from a public beta.

  

5.  24-rule of business planning

We were somewhat close to this, without actually calling it this way – we decided to just go for a visual alternative of any online/email text-based news aggregator, just to do a concept proof.

And we did it.

  

6. M.A.T.T.

Milestones:

  1. Alpha version – collect and show the links from a list of feeds – done.
  2. Beta version – add basic user related functionality – to be done (up to 10 workdays).
  3. Public beta version – go in real time mode and advertise to first users/reviewers – (up to 10 more workdays).

Assumptions:

  1. We'll be liked :-)!
  2. The hardware we can provide without any expenses will sustain the initial load of the public beta.
  3. There will be no need (and expenditures) for content creation or editing, only manual work will be to add news feeds
  4. There will be no need (and expenditures) on content moderation, we'll add user feedback functionality and logic to moderate contents.
  5. We'll be able to make profit from advertising (ad-words and alternatives).
  6. We'll be able to make profit from paid extra functionality.

Tasks:

  1. Finish the Beta and Public beta versions.
  2. Establish final hardware load requirements metrics and from it, pricing.
  3. Decide who to advertise to and initiate contact with them.
  4. Start a social media posting routines.

Tests:

  1. We need to test the hardware load
  2. We need to test the life cycle of content aggregation

 

7.  Pre-mortem

A. The available hardware is not enough to run a viable beta version.

  1. run another optimization over the code.
  2. data from different sources are processed for different time, add source ranging, include in the beta mostly sources with lower processing time.

B. No one from “the 50 bloggers” responds (where the heck is “Bulgaria”, anyway??). This is a perfectly valid scenario that we've already seen in our work. 

  1. try somehow different approach, probably not sending any information to them, but just asking if they will be interested to receive it + a snapshot of what their blog looks like on our platform
  2. start really earlier with them

If still no results from the bloggers, fall back to the wonderful results of our exceptional social posting service and SEO expertise. This is really a machine-oriented strategy, but it may come to that...

C, We just miss the deadline, as we have to do something else, that we're paid for

Well, we'll just have to live with it.

And please, excuse us, if this happens – you'll be able to get information about this project at any time at [email protected].

 

8.  The “Wow” again

We show your news and blog posts links as images and playable media. We save you time locating what you are interested in and we save you eye pain!

  

9. The one minute explanation

What we do: We aggregate content feeds and present the results via an online service, where each link is shown as a relevant picture or instantly playable media.

The content is categorized and searchable, by topics and/or by keywords and key phrases (“Apollo 13” and “STS-135” are threatened as phrases). 

How we make money: We (plan to) make money by showing graphic online ads. If the service survives, we can research to possibility of introducing paid extras to the users or switching to pure freemium model.

  

10. The art of socializing

Here we have something to share.

We have an in-house platform to do this, automatically posting and re-posting content to multiple social networks, using predefined scheduling. No Excel tables or sticky notes needed.

Two things come out of this:

  1. We may need to add some one to manage this process or we may end up automating it by using the most interesting (most clicked) links from our aggregated content.
  2. We may consider making this platform a public service – your comments are welcome on this matter.

The platform can post to multiple social networks, mostly using services' APIs, and without APIs, risking to get banned (IP based ban) on over-usage (never happened so far).

  

11. The pitch deck

Downloadable here (with black background):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1Q4istiFkHtVS1fYjNFcWlzRG8/edit?usp=sharing

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

 

 

12. Thank you for reading!

It will be fantastic to get your comments and ideas!

All the best!
Ilia.

 

P.S. Please, "Like" this project if you like it! 

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