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Cover image for Memex — Grant Report #4: Interim Report March '21

Memex — Grant Report #4: Interim Report March '21

blackforestboi profile image Oliver Sauter Updated on ・4 min read

About the Project

Memex.Social enables people to better collaborate in doing online research and get paid for curating quality content.
In one product you('ll) have:

  • Reddit's collaborative curation of web content
  • Google Doc's (collaborative) highlights on every website & PDF
  • Pocket's ease of saving and highlighting content

It's extending the open-source bookmarking and annotation browser extension Memex.

Project Update

At this point we have fulfilled the basic specs we set out to launch until the end of the funding period:
Enabling people to share & follow collections of pages and annotations and pay curators with the WebMonetization standard.

We are now continuing to work on our stretch goal:
Enabling co-curating and co-annotating collections.

Original Objectives & Progress

Screenshot 2021-02-26 at 12.18.48

1) The ability to share & discuss lists of pages & annotations

Demo: https://memex.social/c/oiLz5UIXw9JXermqZmXW
Status: Launched in Beta
Changes: No changes

2) The ability to follow curators with their lists and a basic feed

Demo Video: https://share.descript.com/embed/YjmcKMYRduP
Status: Launched in Beta
Changes: We re-scoped this deliverable slightly because we underestimated the complexity of building the follow-collections & annotation system, and got user feedback on the importance of collaborative collections before being able to follow users.

a) You can for now only follow individual collection updates, not a user and all of their updates.
b) We made the update feed more central and allow for direct interaction (like responding to annotations) instead of needing to go to a collection

3) The ability to pay curators with the Web Monetisation standard

Demo Video: https://share.descript.com/view/gdQo69Ghd3C
Status: Launched in Beta
Changes: No changes

4) Refactoring the Dashboard to be ready for faster iterations and updating the general UI .

Demo Video: https://share.descript.com/view/Kc7OC9KqGgd
Status: Launch next week

5) Extending the content type PDFs

You can now also annotate PDFs with Memex, extending an important content type that opens a range of new uses cases from academic or entrepreneurial
Demo Video: https://share.descript.com/view/9SVd69EhmY3
Status: Launching in Beta next week
EDIT 04. March '21: Released in Beta

Screenshot 2021-03-04 at 13.42.36

6) A research document outlining the next roadmap and further integration potential with the Web Monetisation Standard

Status:

  1. Report 1: 6 Strategies to Monetize Content
  2. Report 2: ~Oustanding~

Key activities

Our key activities are as planned doing user research and product development for Memex.Social. In the past 4 months we had about 50 one-on-one user interviews to go through the mockups and detailed requirements for the sharing/following features.

In the process we also improved our product management workflows. For example, we removed our 2 week sprint cadence in favour of defining smaller, agile deliverables. We got very inspired by Sahil Lavingia's posts about their work at Gumroad.

Communications and marketing

Our marketing activity so far is to:

This approach resulted in us gaining back the users we lost after cutting the full-text history search. Influencer growth and peer-introduction growth is also how virtually every PKM tool in the last 20 years gained initial traction. We're planning to continue on that path.

As a next step we will onboard communities and research groups to using Memex.Social's collaboration features. To the most active users we offer a discounted 200€ 5-year believer plan that kicks in once Memex.Social is out of Beta, like Roam did and raised over 5million USD in 2 months. We don't expect that kind of hype but if we only get 2000 people to do that we have 400.000€ in extra funding.

What’s next?

We delivered on our base goals for the grant period and now work on our stretch goals:

1) Co-Curating collections

Enabling users to create shared spaces for curating and annotating content. This will be key for use cases of collaborative work in teams and communities.
View of collaborative collection
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Generate invite link
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2) Viewing and replying to annotations of collections you follow or co-curate

With this, users can see the annotations of other people when browsing around, and reply to the threads there.

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What community support would benefit your project?

We're looking for people who collect and discuss content with teams, friends and communities.
If your current best tool is Google Docs or Slack to do so, happy to jump on a 15min call to onboard you and ask you a couple of questions.

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