Back in a CEO Gig

Welcome Aboard Scott.

Back in a CEO Gig: “

After a few months of part-time work and getting the travel bug out of my system, I’m back to work full-time as CEO of Wireless Ink. DaveH and Jason have pursued the promise of mobile communities for years and built the right foundation to soar from. They’ve already attracted tens of thousands of users who are passionate about us and who will lead us down the right path as we grow.

Gratifyingly, Feedster angels are starting to sign up to this deal, even though I’m only now focusing on the fundraising aspect of it. Here’s the basics of the company description so far:

Wireless Ink Corp (aka WINKsite, http://winksite.com) ties mobile users back into the user-generated Internet and to each other. WINKsite makes it simple for publishers to connect with their users on the move, and easy for those users to find their peers — mobile or not — based on shared interests or locations. The result is rich, focused communities that span mobile and broadband experiences.
Mobile publishing has always been a choice between over-investment and user neglect. Creating new mobile sites remains more art than science; the price tag remains high and the talent rare. Automated web-to-mobile site converters, the only established alternative, are notoriously unreliable and make it clear to mobile users that the site owner regards them as second-class citizens, relegated to a separate information silo, and ostracized from web-based communities. Add the complexities of Web 2.0 features like real-time chat, tagging, event listings, and mapping, and the task is overwhelming.

What that means in practice is that we’ve already got 13,000 publishers to whose aggregated community members we serve over a half million pages (WAP and similar) a day. Most of the publishers are individual bloggers, but we also support BoingBoing, Make Magazine, and a couple of the Warner Music labels. WINKsite is a self-service system where anyone with a feed or a bunch of feeds can quickly build a mobile community environment that is fully integrated into the broadband Internet.

Connecting mobile communities into the broadband web (both 1.0 and 2.o) and aggregating them elegantly is what gets us out of bed every morning. Publishers come to us in order to serve a large portion of their users better — those users that want community resources are as mobile as they are. Those same people also spend time in traditional Internet environments, and we’re the right company to serve them in both places. Our tagging system nicely presents a ton of mobile information onto the web, but the mashed-up chat system is my favorite. From this Google Map, you can engage in live chats with mobile users all over the planet. And if you want all the Delhi, London, or San Francisco chats live on your blog, the web front ends are just Javascript segments that you can add wherever you like.

Let me know if you think it’s as fun as we think it is.

(Via Scott Rafer’s Mobile Chair.)

Back in a CEO Gig

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