Brain Buster The Marketeer

What is Utterz?

So I was called out on twitter this weekend. I posted:

Sorry, I can’t see any value in utterz… anyone…. anyone…”.

All I’ve seen are posts in Twitter that link to the Utterz recordings. In true new media style I got a twitter back from the founder!

simedia @themshow fan of your blog. how can we improve utterz to provide the value you’re seeking?

And I’m stuck. As I refuse to be someone who just complains about things on the web, I’ve painted myself into a corner and have to put up or shut up. The good news is that I was at a conference at MIT for the weekend on software development (yes, I know, the non-stop excitement of the new media rockstar lifestyle), so I did have time to set up an account, take the tour and test drive.

My initial befuddlement was viewing Utterz as some kind of twitter add-on, a MyChingo variation (which is called Mochilla now maybe? I can’t keep this stuff straight, I’m just a simple caveman…).

After a short run I’m thinking it’s a Twitter replacement – a similar tool for the content producer, but with greater functionality. The question then becomes how will these two brands compete? One thing is obvious, that Mitch Joel hit on earlier this week – there’s a lot of funky things going on with cell phones becoming more powerful multimedia devices and it’s time to start playing around to see what kind of trouble we can get into.

If you’ve done anything cool on this front your comments would be appreciated.

9 replies on “What is Utterz?”

I think the problem that Utterz has is the same problem that Twitter had at the outset (and still has to a degree); it explains what you can do with it but it doesn’t explain why you would want to. Unlike with Twitter, I’ve yet to discover (or have someone explain to me) the why. And I’m not inclined to sign up for yet another service until I understand why and how I would use it; I’ve got enough logins and passwords to keep track of as it is.

Hey John! At the Boston Media Makers meeting yesterday, Simeon for Utterz gave us a demo and although I am not much of a mobile blogger, I saw the value right away, versus that of Twitter. Utterz allows me to post video, pix, text, and audio into ONE post , sync it within a 10 minute window, as well as upload from a web browser if I wanted to. I am actually dreaming up using a combo of Utterz and Boingo and some keen cell phones (nokia was recommended) for our students to take overseas in April on their Germany/Paris Facing History trip. We will be able to capture and blog more of the “raw” moments and reactions we have while learning about and experiencing the history of the Holocaust. Utterz will have an international number in 3-4 months (or so they say!). I posted some tests on my blog…of course I am still, like you, in need of pouring more time into both apps to discover their value. Do you recommend any cell phones for mobile media postings? Cheers!

Okay, here’s the thing. Mister Penn is right and Lisa is kind of right. And Sim is a super great guy, so it’s hard to be mean.

Utterz is another touchpoint for creating social conversation. Personal media. It’s a way to have conversations. It’s seesmic without the visual. It’s mobile, though, and more flexible, and ultimately, it’s part of something larger.

Mobatalk, was the other answer. Mochila is something else. : )

I used Utterz a lot over the last week. #1 thing I heard when I got back to text blogging: Welcome back.

So even though I blogged TONS of audio, I got no real recognition for that audio by my audience. Not sure why.

Re: Chris Brogan’s comment:

You probably didn’t get recognition for it because people didn’t sign up for audio when they subscribed to your blog. If they were expecting audio, they’d probably subscribe to a podcast version and listen when it’s convenient for them. When I’m reading blogs, I’m usually at a computer with the sound off and can’t listen to audio or watch video. Similarly, when I see Utterz or Seesmic or TwitterGram posts in Twitter, I ignore them, because I’m not usually in a position to consume that content when I’m reading through Twitter. I think that subscribers have an expectation of what type of content they’re going to get from you when they subscribe; anything that you give them that deviates from that could be construed as a value-add, but, for a lot of people, more often than not, it ends up being noise.

I think that’s compounded by the fact that Utterz and TwitterGram, in particular, generally offer no context for the post, and therefore no motivation) for a subscriber to click through. On Twitter, for instance, most posts are only preceded with “I just uttered”. About what? Why should I care? If it said something like, “Here’s some audio I captured from a great hallway conversation at PodCamp” with a link, I might click through. But with no context, I’m probably not going to take the time to find out if it’s worth my while to listen or not.

Thanks for the comments guys, something’s still bugging me too. There is something that it could be used for and it’s itching at me like a splinter, I just can’t get to what it is…

Lisa – Thanks for the comments, the key is that you had it presented to you, all I saw were links in twitter. It’s taken me a lot longer to get to the place you started from. I’m no pro on multimedia phones, but everyone I’ve spoken with says the nokia is king of the hill, regardless of our friends in Cupertino, although Steve’s phone does have a rockin’ UI.

Dr. Penn is dead on as usual, expect more from him in our Marketing Over Coffee discussion this week

Dr. Brogan – good data points, I think your readers felt like me, not happy about having to go an extra click rather than read.

Steve – I hear ya’ on the passwords. And excellent point on context, the first Utter I heard was some lady cooking a turkey. Interesting but not a good use of my time. Not having them tagged makes them an audio grab bag, and I’m not about to reach in there.

I hope it’s ok if I jump in on the conversation as we are trying to be a transparent, open company. We are learning with you.

Our mission right now is to connect any mobile phone to any online presence in the simplest way possible. That includes voice, video, pictures and text. We are enhancing traditional blogging with mobile video, pictures and text that capture life, experiences and “you” in the most real way possible. Chris showed that in his post just before taking a dunk in the pool with his daughter. That’s something you can’t capture again.

To address a couple of the direct concerns:

– We are tag based site. We need to display the tags better, but each tag has it’s own RSS and our architecture was built with tag organization at it’s center.

– Today we will release utterz “connections” that allow people to individually direct mobile content to various sites, including multiple blogs on the same platform and even facebook from their cell without running a client or application. The most important part, is this comes with a phone, SMS and web interface that allows you to tag, title, post, and much more, your individual utterz from your cell.

– Text is important for context! That’s why we are switching our Twitter posts around to include titles first, not our catch phrase. It’s also why everyone should title, add text, and tag their utterz to enhance the user experience when it’s posted to their blog and of course, get the google love.

– Utterz channels will open soon and be a combination self organized and tag organized topics for discussions, if you need some prompting!

We want your feedback! We’ve got a very flexible platform that can change or improve in the ways our users want. If you want a new means to connect your mobile to your blog that we are not providing, shout it out! Otherwise, come check out Utterz Connections later today.

Thank you all for your time and helping us make Utterz what you want.

Simeon – Very glad to have you on board, this is melting my brain a little and you’ve been thinking hard about this so I’m glad to hear your views.

Are you saying that the utterz connections allow you to post to twitter, my blog and a 3rd site all at the same time?

The tagging stuff sounds good, it’s just early stage?

Hi John – Thanks so much! Happy to hear it’s still eating at you a bit! I think it’s because there is a lot of power under our hood that we’re trying to roll out in consumable bites.

I forgot to add the link to Chris Brogan’s post I referred to, now if we can get him adding a title and some tags from his cell, I think this would be an even more meaningful experience! &

For connections, yes! That’s exactly what it means. In fact, you could have 2 WordPress blogs, 3 Blogger blogs, a Live Journal, a Twitter, a Tumblr and a Facebook account and selectively post to individual sites, or all of them, right from your cell. We are adding more platforms to be supported by our connections all the time.

The tagging is actually at the core of what we’ve built, we’ve just done a poor job of expressing it, in my opinion. Channels will be organized around tags as well as content delivery in general in the future. So, for instance, you will one day soon be able to select which topics/tags you want to hear or contribute to by txt message, then call in and hear all things tagged your selection, then be able to add to the conversation, again, all from your cell phone. That example is just the tip of the iceberg!

Happy Uttering!

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