Interview: Paul Stamatiou on Skribit, Blogging, & Startup Weekend

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skribitAs a Blogger, gauging through reader’s thoughts, suggestions and feedback ends up being a tedious, if not a nearly-impossible job. Every now and then, your best hope is to try to gauge your readers in more open and lively discussions to improve the quality and meaning of the posts. Adding on to that functionality is a new social software widget by a startup called Skribit. Skribit is an intelligent service which enables blog readers to provide site wide feedback. A brilliant idea and best-of-all it allows bloggers to collect real time feedback from their blog readers.

Skribit was borne at Andrew Hyde’s Startup Weekend in Atlanta and is essentially a brainchild of Paul Stamatiou.

In an e-mail discussion with Rev2, Paul Stamatiou spoke at length about Skribit, Startup Weekend, and more.

Driving the collective wisdom of blog readers, a life saver for bloggers, a social widget, a magic wizard for bloggers, are all the kind of things I’ve been hearing about Skribit. According to you, why is Skribit needed?

The key element of Skribit is that by using it, you’ll be able to produce better content for your blog by letting readers tell you what they want to read and having readers also rank those suggestions. I say that from the standpoint of a blogger, but Skribit naturally has a community of readers/suggesters that can use as a portal for tracking their suggestions and more importantly, viewing “what’s hoppin'” in the blogosphere. In my pitches for this idea during the first night of Startup Weekend Atlanta, I referred to Skribit’s homepage as potentially becoming a source for the news of tomorrow, sorted by categories and all of that. Over the next few weeks, we’ll see how much that concept becomes reality.

A blogger always had an option of writing a post to invite reader comments/thoughts/feedback. How is Skribit different in this case?

As a blogger myself, I always invite lively discussion and feedback by asking questions at the end of most of my posts. While this is a great tactic for attaining post-related feedback, Skribit aims to retrieve site-wide feedback and is done in a fashion that makes such suggestions more accessible to other readers as well as the blogger.

That is, suggestions in comments tend to be in the context of the article, regardless of any questions asked. Skribit is more for the wider topic area that the blogger draws from. The Skribit widget creates a lower barrier of entry for the reader to make a suggestion and therefore results in a better chance of having more readers, including infrequent ones, make suggestions.

Does it have any other uses, or is Skribit for bloggers only?screenshot skribit

At the moment, the scope of Skribit is focused around blogs but since it is a simple widget it can practically be embedded on any webpage. Once we fully test it with bloggers, we will evaluate our feedback and see where else Skribit should be applied.

What other features are do you plan to include in Skribit?

Right now, we’re focusing on building a stable product with a solid feature-set. You can definitely expect to see more from Skribit. Our Basecamp account is filled with great ideas for features.

How was your experience at Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend Atlanta was a phenomenal experience. I didn’t think that 60 people would be able to build something so focused and driven. Groups quickly formed for development, business development, marketing, design, usability and so on.

Each group pumped out amazing work in a short amount of time. Not only do we have a product but we have a plan of where to take this product in the near future. I want to give a big thanks to Andrew Hyde for coming up with the whole Startup Weekend concept and keeping everyone focused as well as Lance Weatherby for leading/setting up the event and finding our great venue.

Although it’s a little quick to ask, how has been the response from the community so far? Is this actually turning out to be the missing weapon in a blogger’s armory?

When we were initially coming up with the details for Skribit, we thought Skribit would either be virally huge or not be used at all. It looks like it is gearing up to be something big. I’m very eager to begin testing and receive quality feedback from real users. I installed the Skribit widget on my blog this morning and after only a few suggestions, Skribit already proved its worth.

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