Announcing Notist

As you might have noticed, I speak at quite a few conferences. For each event I create a page on this site linking to the slides, code and some other resources. I pull those together on my speaking page, which lists my upcoming and past events.

I created the pages on this site using our product Perch Runway and the Collections feature, in order that I don’t have to completely duplicate content I link talks and events and then add the specific things for each event. Other things that I do after speaking at an event is collect tweets, Instagram posts, photos and write-ups, plus the conference video if it is published. This process takes a long time however, and even when I collect them – they often don’t make it onto my site.

What if the whole process of creating individual talk pages and speaker portfolios could be made easier? That’s what Drew and I are trying to do with Notist, a product which we are announcing today and will be inviting people to beta test very soon.

What will Notist do for you?

Before the event you set up a page for a brand new talk, or copying details from an existing one as a starting point. That will give you a nice short URL to pop onto your slides. You can set that to go live at on the day of the event, ready for people to access your slides and other content.

After the event any social media posts that seem to relate to your talk will be pulled into a list in order that you can select and display the ones you think represent your talk well. You’ll also be able to post video of your talk, link out to write-ups and reviews. We’ll never post anything to your profile that you haven’t approved, of course!

Once we have your upcoming and past events, and all your selected media from them, we’ll use that to display a list of past and upcoming events. You’ll also be able to create a profile using the best of that collection – somewhere to point people to in order to promote yourself as a speaker.

There are lots of interesting things we can do around this idea, but we’ll be starting with the basics and building it out based on what our first speakers would find most useful.

Trusting your data to yet another third party

We’ve all been burned by services we love and rely on suddenly vanishing. Drew and I are very keen on enabling people to own their own content – our main product is a self-hosted CMS. We’re all about giving people tools to do that. However it is also very convenient to log into a site someone else maintains and just add your content.

We’ve considered this from the start, and built right into the software will be three ways you can ensure your content lives on, even if we go away.

  1. You’ll be able to export your data in a useful format.
  2. You’ll be able to add a CNAME of your own at Notist, so your data will be hosted on Notist but displayed on your domain. If we were to go away you could repoint that domain and set up your own site with your listings with the exported data.
  3. We’ll have an API, so you can republish data from Notist on your site.

We really hope we won’t go away of course, and we will be charging for some features in order that we have a sensible business model from the outset. Given that Perch is now over 8 years old, we know more than a little about creating a sustainable business on the web.

Think this sounds interesting?

Sign up over at Notist! We’re accepting GitHub signups at the moment, mostly because we know our initial audience are likely to be the tech speakers we already know. We’re intending to also add LinkedIn and other methods in future.

You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We’ve got some fun ideas around this whole speaking thing that we will enjoy sharing with you as we get ready to launch Notist!

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