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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Feedback on www.flamenk.com

Hi guys,

I'd like to get some feedbacks on the website I'm working on - www.flamenk.com.

I developed an "article extractor from webpages" and a widget which can be included in web pages and that displays in a popup the article contained in the web page.

www.flamenk.com is a demo of such widget and explains how to  use it.
May you guys have a look at it and give a feedback? No one has seen it yet :)

Torindo Nesci Send private email
Sunday, July 07, 2013
It said I should upgrade to a browser that supports CSS, which I'm pretty sure FF22 does.
Scorpio Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
Hi Scorpio,

Thanks for your feedback. I can't understand how that could happen. however I tested it with FF21, I'm gonna test it with FF22 too.
Torindo Nesci Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
I'm not sure you're doing this best job of explaining what the product actually does. Is it like Instapaper but instead of being "personal" it allows me to transform regular web links?

That's an interesting idea although if it were me I'd be concerned about being in violation of a never ending number of websites ToS's. But then I have that concern about all readers that rewrite the html, including Apple's.

So my two big questions:

1. How do you plan to advertise it?

2. How do you plan to make money from it?
Jonathan Matthews Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
Hi Jonathan,

Given your comment I realise I made a horrid job in explaining what the product is and what it does.
The product is a button widget (like facebook, twitter button) which, when clicked, lunches a popup containing the article without ads and with the proper font size. You can see it just below the article title after you insert an article URL at www.flamenk.com.  The widget must be included in the page by the content creator. I came up with this  idea because often I come across blogs with interesting articles but almost unreadable (at least on my device) so that I leave the page without reading the full article.
I think I should change the home page as to make clear what the product is.

Now your questions:
1) contact directly a few bloggers (at least only at the beginning) explaining in very few words what the product is and how it can help them
2) for now I have no plans to make money. I want to get bloggers know it exists and figure out if bloggers/reader like it.
Torindo Nesci Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
Did you plan to monetize this? It looks like your main competition is http://www.readability.com/, which is free.
Nicholas Hebb Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
I'm confused.  The widget "must be included in the page by the content creator" and shows "a popup containing the article without ads."

If I smother my articles in ads then surely the last thing I want is to provide a way for people to suppress them?  Who is this service for?
Richie Hindle Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
For what it's worth, I liked the output it generated a lot. Nice clean formatting and good choice of fonts.
Andrew Gibson Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
Hi guys,

thanks for your comments, they are very helpful!

The service is supposed to help both content creator and readers.
The readers obviously have the most evident advantages.
However the content creators have their advantages too:
  1) The widget increases the probability that a user reads the article and therefore returns in the future for reading more. Ideally, this can measured.
  2) The widget adapts out of the box to all devices (desktop, tablet and mobile) so that the content creator doesn't have to be too much concerned about the user experience on all devices. For instance if a blog content is crap on my telephone I can still click on the widget button and read comfortably the article without leaving the page.

Regarding the comment "If I smother my articles in ads then surely the last thing I want is to provide a way for people to suppress them?".
that's the main concern which I think can be solved (or partially solved): the popup background can be left active and clickable so that the ads are not striped out and at the same time the user can enjoy the content.
Torindo Nesci Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
I think you need something like the above on the site to explain what the service does. Perhaps you could spin off Android and IOS apps that provide flamenk automatically based on a search?
Andrew Gibson Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
Even though I don't have enough time for developing iOS/Android Apps, I think that's a great idea which is worth taking into account seriously for future developments.

For now I better work on fixing the issues you guys highlighted.
Torindo Nesci Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
Something like this would explain it for me....

"Make sure all your external links are beautifully rendered and easy to read, even on phones and tablets."
Jonathan Matthews Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
btw, I got the error mentioned earlier...

"This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled."

... when using it on news.bbc.co.uk on Chrome 27 / Mac.
Jonathan Matthews Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
One addition that I think would be good is if you could generate a flamenk link to an article a bit like tinyurl that you could share.

For example, I found myself flamenking an article I was reading, simply because the original site had used the Time Roman font, that I find difficult to read on screen.
Andrew Gibson Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
1. http://flamenk.com doesn't work.

2. "Flamenk" ? Cute but you don't get to define new verbs unless you have 100+ million users, like twitter. Before then, use something descriptive. How a user to my website is supposed to know what "flamenk" button does?

3. There is no market for such tool.

You're trying to sell paintings to blind people.

By which I mean: if someone has a web page designed so badly that it needs your widget to make it readable, then they don't understand the value of your tool, by definition.

No one thinks "I know, I'll write an unreadable page and add someone else's button to make it readable".

If they were capable of understanding that their website is unreadable, they would just fix the design.

This is not to say that such tool isn't needed, because there are plenty of people with badly designed websites, but you can't sell your tool to people who made those badly designed websites.

Readability exists and is popular (I use it) because it allows me to fix the mistake that the author of the website did, without his consent or knowledge.

Your business plan apparently hinges on 2 things:
1. creator of the website has an epiphany ("shit, my web page sucks")
2. using your tool to fix it, instead of re-designing the website
Neither is likely.

I can see a "mobile" angle i.e. web sites with decent designs can still have non-decent mobile versions (I'm guilty here) but even then highly doubtful the benefit/pain of installing it is worth it (I wouldn't)

Your best bet is to make it a tool for end users, in the form of bookmarklet, exactly as Readable, but then you're competing with established brand and it's not even clear if Readable is profitable (transcoding web pages is resource intensive, so if you become popular, you'll have to buy more and more servers).
Krzysztof Kowalczyk Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
Hi Krzysztof,

why do you say that you wouldn't install the widget to improve the web site readability on mobile devices even though if you recognize it might be useful?

just trying to understand if that's something which can be addressed.
Torindo Nesci Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
1. The effort required to add something to my web pages, which at minimum requires editing said pages, is too much for the benefit I get from the button.

2. While I understand the benefit, I also understand the cost. I go to great lengths to design my pages for readability which means not putting extra stuff that distracts from the main content on the page (see e.g. http://blog.kowalczyk.info/article/4/How-I-ported-pigz-from-Unix-to-Windows.html).

I've experimented with various social buttons (tweet, like, g+) but while I understand the benefit they provide, I ended up removing them for the same reason: the cost of distractions, slower loading of pages. Wasn't worth it.

3. As I wrote before, I don't see how a person reading my website would know what "Flamenk" button does. Unless you get to be as big as Facebook or Twitter and imprint in most people its meaning, that'll remain to be the case, so you have a chicken and egg problem.

Changing it to something descriptive will help a bit but even then I don't see a word that is short and conveys what the button does.
Krzysztof Kowalczyk Send private email
Monday, July 08, 2013
So perhaps I was misunderstanding. I thought the idea was it would be used for external links only. i.e. I want to link to a page where the information is good but the design is bad & this will help.

Torindo, is Krzysztof right and this is for a webmaster to use on their own pages? If so I agree with his comments.
Jonathan Matthews Send private email
Tuesday, July 09, 2013

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