On Tuesday, August 27, 2013, OLC attended the NYC Entrepreneurial Journalism and Media’s Summer Demo Night For NYC Media Startups event. There were five presenters: Spokenlayer, OpBandit, Informerly, The LoDown and Playfull.us.
Informerly brings social news to professionals. Ranjan Roy plans to start with ecommerce. “People email articles to one another,” he said. “And that’s the best way to stay on top of the industry. With Informerly, users choose links and vote on what rises to the top.” Informerly is like LinkedIn and Reddit combined. Roy believes that technology is part of Informerlys soluton.”It looks like a standard news site, but it’s what is going on behind the scenes that’s important.” His target audience is people who are consumerfacing and executives. Roy talked about the democratization of distribution, that good content rises to the top and knowing that getting professionals to be engaged is difficult.
He talked about the 90-9-1 rule, that a lot are creating, and the few are consuming passively. Roy is trying to create a trade publication and the best way to go about it is by experts in our networks.
Blaine Sheldon and Brian Muller presented OpBandit, a product that increases engagement with responsive content. OpBandit helps editors drive good content to readers. “Editors are faced with a lot of choices,” Sheldon said. “Which pitch will capture the user’s attention? What will promote the story? How do you select the content to feature on the site? OpBandit allows editors to create multiple versions and it will find the right version to use automatically.” A dashboard shows data in real-time and image optimization allows related images to be shown and help editors format pieces quickly.
Will Mayo presented Spokenlayer. “Information and context are representatives of sound,” he said. “The content is all on mute. What w do is take content and narrate it so people can listen to great content instead of reading it.” Mayo cited statistics that 1 in 5 people stream audio from their smartphones in their cars. “Spokenlayer provides written content as audio. The human voice is powerful.” According to Mayo, 62.1% of people listen to the end of the content, which proves just how engaging the human voice is. With sound and audio, people are used to it—especially representative of radio and radio ads not being disruptive to the content they are listening to. Spokenlayer is a post-production model, which means that producers don’t have to add extra code to the website.
Trayven Rice and Ed Litvak co-founded The Lo-Down, a hyper-local website devoted to covering the Lower East Side. It was founded in 2009 and covers everything from local news to nightlife. The homepage of The Lo-Down is updated 5 to 10 times daily and there is now a print mag that is published monthly. Having a print magazine cuts from the digital clutter and it builds brand awareness, while lending some semblance of credibility.
Stephanie Lowe presented Playfull.Us—specifically, Feetprints, a game that inspires chance encounters through stories that users map and create together. Her kickstarter can be found here.