Monday, August 15, 2011

What next

I'm in Mumbai overseeing a rather large EthOS study. And above are a selection of my own snaps (there are more if you want to see them).

When I attended the Atlanta mobile research conference last month, I met a very bright chap who had just sold his 4th company for $68m. I saw potential investor dollar signs but played it cool. He turned out to be a down to earth and friendly font of wisdom.

"You need to no just add functionality as you build it"

I looked perplexed.

"Fixes should be pushed instantly, but you should time new functionality and PR it. Perhaps at 3 monthly intervals. That way people will know what you have done and why."

It made sense. A lot of sense.

Then he continued to tell me about how important it was to keep two financial records for our company. One for ourselves, and the other for potential investors. And he explained what he meant in some detail. Too much to share here.  In the end I forgot to steer him onto the subject of investment.

As soon as I touched down in London, I set about creating a todo list of new functionality (already thought through with clients and our Digital Director) and very importantly the ordering of it (my decision).

Fast forward back to Mumbai, four days ago. I was in a meeting with Dina Mehta (India's top commercial anthropologist and someone I whose work I have followed for years).

"Siamack, you know how respondents select themes and tags and add them to their entries?"

"Erm, yes."

"How can I create my own tags and themes and add them to the entries? I also want to ad notes and make them searchable."

Showing her my todo list: "Well, we will start work on it in 3 weeks once we have built different entry views and auto filtering."

"But I need it now for this project. Three weeks will be too late!"

I took a deep breath and called my digital director. And 'grounded theory' functionality will be added in a few days.

Below is the definitive list of functionality to be added in phase 1:

Export project - allow an entire project to be exported. At the moment it has to be done manually.
Grounded theory functionality - a new layer of tagging and notes which can be peer reviewed to add rigour
Project summary and respondent view with workspace level comments - see how individual respondents are doing in an instant across all of the project themes
Blogging - use entries to blog
Timeline view - drag and drop entries onto timeline and view/comment without having to watch entry after entry
Save a filter search to a workspace - all future entries matching your filters will drop automatically into your workspace
Reply to comments by replying to emails - when a comment is posted, respondents receive a push notification on their device and an email with a link which will send them directly to the entry with a comment. Problem is that people are replying to the email and not using the link! Which means I get hundreds of emails that I have to forward to project owners!
Configurable and hidden tags - to allow filtering be gender, age, type of user, etc.

Note we have two more phases. And you can see them by joining the EthOS user group. And feel free to share ideas and suggestions. But it will take more than a glare for me to change the ordering of these. Dina is a very special case!



  1. Me ... an ogre?? Hehe! Just stumbled upon this post Siamack. Glad to help push the boundaries - thanks for the responsiveness. Good luck and hope to use EthOS on other projects too.

  2. A pleasure! Assume you have seen coding feature? Still adding to it but it works a treat!

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