Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How do we find thiings anymore?

We are thinking about how social our kids books should be. Are we standing on the verge of the great social fatigue? Does everything have to be social? What is the best way to differentiate between the young reader and the parent and finally how important is this in building a brand.

In creating digital content, we are strive to make the best product we can make. We hope our eBook/app will engage a large number of happy readers and be something that people would like to recommend to others. Here is the tricky part. How and why do people recommend content to each other because everyone knows search is broken when it comes to finding new content.

You can't just search for "music I like" or an "Interesting book to read." The 64 Billion dollar question is really, how do we find new things.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wow, can't believe its been awhile since I posted something. We've been extremely busy both with production and biz dev activities but that is beginning to ease up a bit. 

February marks the end our first year and it brings both an opportunity for reflection and a chance to recalibrate our vision and direction. We are having a lot of conversations about the complexity of getting our digital content discovered. This is something everyone is the app business is talking about. There are a lot of challenges to successfully marketing digital content.

In the conversation this morning we broke it down in to two basic statements: 
1) There is the complexity of the app store environment and the marketing "surfaces" available. 
2) There are a range of considerations on the product / consumer side that affect content performance and purchase decisions. 

With over a million apps on the app store, everyone agrees discovery is near impossible. Putting a new app in the app store is like hanging a star in the middle of the Milky Way. You can only see it if you know where to look. Even then, it gets lost in the twinkle. Apple's decision to buy Crush is a potential solution but we are through the looking glass in terms of really understanding the impact that digital content has in the lives of consumers. How often do I actually watch the recommendations on the Netflix, if I am not at least familiar with the title; almost never. The truth is we have a deeply emotional relationship with our content. Digital content is like a comfort food. We have to know it's our kind of comfort before we buy it. 

 The Second area of challenges we identified covers the relationship between the product, the form factor and the consumer. There are enough facets in this consideration to make an entire book out of but for the purpose of brevity we'll focus on the relationship between our product and the consumer. We had a very big vision when we began to plan out our product. In January of 2011 we looked out towards what we knew was coming and then we tried to look beyond that. 

Our vision has always been to create a high quality family friendly experience and for the most part I think we have delivered on that. The struggle for us has been how do we build the audience and engage the community at the product experience level. How much effort should we put into creating a "social UI" component in our product, when we are essentially building something for a child to enjoy.

Over the next few weeks, we will be putting energy into this and I look forward to sharing what we discover.