Talking tech since 2003

Welcome to Bits & Bytes episode 4! Today is January 25 2015 and I am your host Jeff Weisbein! It’s just me today, but don’t worry, I still have a good show for you!

I’m going to be talking about two different things today. The first is about my new company, KYA and the second is about Apple. That being said, I’m just going to dive in.

Take a listen! Of course, you can leave feedback here in the comments or tweet at me on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Bits & Bytes on iTunes!


Episode 4 Show Notes

KYA Update

I mentioned we were working on a major update to KYA in the first episode of Bits & Bytes, today I’m super excited to say part one of the two part update will be ready for public use this coming week. With part two coming shortly thereafter.

So what’s in part one of the update?

– Redefined engagement tracking. KYA now looks at page views, unique page views, Shouts, comments, average time on page, page scrolling, the percentage of users who click to another page on the site, and whether they are a new or returning visitor to calculate its new engagement score. In addition to the site being given an engagement score, every article is assigned its own engagement score.

– In-depth article analytics and insights. We provide access to each metric tracked on a per article basis and you can now compare up to four articles at a time to see which content is performing best.

– We also added a search feature to make finding and comparing content even easier.

As much as I want to discuss part two of the update, I’m going to save that discussion for a later date.

Now that this major update is almost done, we’re at a very important point in the company’s life. Now we need to be able to get publishers to signup and use KYA on their sites. We spent a lot of time and money developing the MVP and subsequently talking to publishers about it and getting their feedback. Having used that feedback to build this update, I’m really hopeful that publishers will be interested and want to signup.

Am I nervous? A little. We didn’t have much luck getting publishers onboard with the initial version of KYA, the MVP if you will. But really, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that doesn’t make the product a failure. Far from it. When you have trouble getting traction with an MVP, you take the feedback and use it. Modify the product based on the feedback, add the things it is missing and improve it. Then trot it back out there for the world to see (again).

You can’t just give-up at that stage of the game, it’s way too early.

Right now, I think I’m honestly more anxious than anything. I want this to work. I spent a ton of time on this company and product over the past 9-10 months. I believe in the product, I think it’s very very good.

I think the hardest thing over the next few weeks will be getting people to pay attention to what we’ve built. It will be hard but not impossible. One by one I hope to hit my first milestone: 10 subscribers. Its not a huge number, but it doesn’t have to be. Start small and build from there, before you can get to 1 million you still need all the numbers before it and each one counts.

Suddenly Apple is “boring”

I read this article on engadget by Aaron Souppouris the other day and with each sentence I read I groaned. Basically, he’s saying how Apple is boring and playing it safe. And by playing it safe isn’t wowing people anymore. Here are a few of my favorite excerpts:

“Its latest project, the Apple Watch, sure looks like a smartwatch, and it might be very successful, but is it doing anything totally unique? Is it really exciting? No.”

Seriously? The Apple Watch appears to be light years ahead of any other smartwatch out there. Plus, it doesn’t look like a child designed it.

“An operating system that runs universal apps across PC, tablet, phone and Xbox One.”

I feel like this actually won’t be as functional as it seems. Yes, it sounds nice in theory but will likely result in bloated apps and terrible UI design. Besides what’s wrong with a two app approach? One geared for mobile (phone/tablet) and one for the desktop? Nothing.

“A voice assistant for your PC that seems like a prequel to Scarlett Johansson’s AI in Her.”

Please. Cortana is nice, but she’s no AI. And what’s to stop Apple for putting Siri in the Mac? It’s been rumored for quite some time.

“HoloLens. I mean, HoloLens! Microsoft is promising to make the distant dream of functional AR a reality very soon.”

“Very soon,”? I doubt it. Microsoft, as shown in the video depicting HoloLens has no idea how people will use it. Yes, it’s cool, very cool, but its not totally unique either. Oculus Rift? Besides I just don’t see it being used in half of the scenarios they play out in the video.

“Microsoft just showed the world some crazy exciting stuff. Holographic computing might not be all it’s chalked up to be. HoloLens might never take off. Maybe people don’t want to talk to their computers. We’ll see. But Microsoft is trying to excite … If you’re a huge tech company, you should be trying to do that every day. Apple might be trying, but it’s not succeeding.”

I just don’t get this entire paragraph, especially the last part. I feel like Apple excites even more people with every event they announce and product they put on sale. Just look at the sales figures. That being said, Apple may not have shown off anything as “exciting” as HoloLens to date, that doesn’t mean they aren’t working on tech like that. You would have to be a complete fool to think that they aren’t. I mean the company spent over $4 billion on R&D in 2014.

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