Here’s a few words on what we are aiming at with Felix, from a technology perspective.

We want Felix to be a gravity field for audiences.  We want to be this thing for publishers and media companies first, then B2B brands, then B2C brands (both of whom are also now big publishers of content, in a Red Bull-like way).

We’ve started with publishers because that means we can prove our product out at the sharp end of things. For publishers, content is the product. When we deliver great results in this industry, we prove that we can do it everywhere else. As mentioned, next comes B2B: gravity fields for landing page optimisation (with built-in web lead forms, for example). Then e-commerce: gravity fields for product research and comparisons (with shopping carts and reviews built-in).

And so on… all for £500 a month. 

The rest of our site describes our thinking and positioning around the notion of an ‘audience gravity field.’  This post speaks more to the technology side of things, ahead of a few more posts that we’ll share soon about our public development roadmap.

We hear a lot of talk today about AI.  Starting with the publishing industry, a recent Reuters report states that 78% of publications will be investing in AI this year ‘to help meet future challenges’ – across the following three categories: 

1) Using ML to personalise content and create better recommendations for audiences; 

2) Automating more stories and videos (so called robo-journalism); 

3) Providing tools to help augment and support journalists who are dealing with information overload.

We think all of these applications are smart, but feel that the killer category is missing.

In our eyes, the main application of AI in content-related or content-dependent fields is at the UX and UI level.  And this is what we are doing with Felix from a technology perspective.  We’re applying algorithms to the way that people interact with content on sites, apps and services.  In other words, our technology mission is to use automation to make the discovery of content more fun, helpful and beautiful. (And we also say that if your application of AI and algorithms isn’t visual, then you’re missing a trick.)

Here’s our logic…

Most content UIs are heavily standardised – bound by the conventions of chronological listings and standard article templates… and most of them are dull. We think that today’s ‘status quo user interface’ is largely responsible for poor audience engagement rates and dwindling monetisation opportunities – especially in publishing. 

At the same time, we recognise that changing the status quo isn’t easy.  Modernisation requires new investment in design and development projects at a time when money is tight; or the adoption of new modules from CMS vendors, which frankly never seem to materialise. 

Both routes are slow and both can be costly. 

On the other hand, today’s most successful platforms and content ecosystems – Facebook, Pinterest, Spotify, Apple, etc – are tearing up the UI rulebook with their new-fangled discovery features and aggregation services. And it’s this kind of stuff that’s the future of content-driven UI and UX. 

So, our money in on publishers and brands wanting a shortcut to becoming more like the successful platforms of this world

Hence, at a technology level, Felix’s future is as a UX-automation platform; one that enables content-driven organisations to quickly deploy and provision brilliant, innovative and modern (audience engagement) interfaces with a minimum of investment or new code.

These new Felix interfaces will aim to do two disruptive things. Firstly they will deliver better (more relevant) content experiences, thanks to our AI-enabled Discovery Engine. Secondly, they will deliver a comprehensive, session-generating UX that’s streets ahead of anything that a standard CMS can deliver out of the box. 

The technology trend that we will exploit is detailed in the diagram below.

In short, as devices and UXs proliferate – introducing new standards and environments each year (mobile, tablet, wearable, voice, car, more) – backend editorial production becomes more and more decoupled from a set of device- and UX-dedicated product teams at the front end.  Felix operates in this space, as it continues to open up.  

Our path is commercially interesting for two main reasons. Firstly, we will have a compelling ROI story during our first phase of life: a Felix AI-driven content experience can turn one advertising dollar into two. Secondly, we will deal in eye candy. We can’t wait for our designers to deliver the next half a dozen UXs for people to select ‘off the rack.’ This feels really exciting for every customer that we talk to.

Check back soon for more on this topic.  Like I say, we’ll be sharing our roadmap publicly here on the blog…