This episode brings you into the atmosphere of the CeBIT Global Conference, where Neal Schaffer met Steven Zielke, who helped found the Rock the Blog event. But that’s not the only thing he’s founded: enter Blappsta, a new app that can turn your blog into its own native app. Neal is very excited about this app, and even more excited to share it with you. Blappsta provides yet another medium to access your readers in this increasingly mobile world, holding your hand through the registration, allowing you send push notifications, and above all, becoming the provider of your own app.
[02:13] Introduction of Podcast Guest, Steven Zielke
[02:25] What is Rock the Blog
[04:25] The Issue Steven Found and How He Developed the Tool
[06:45] Feedback on Blappsta
[09:12] Steven's Vision
[10:21] Blappsta Cost
[10:54] What Makes Blappsta Interesting
[11:39] Companies Steven Are Working With
[12:27] Becoming a Mobile Society
- And it's for you, it's something really nice because you have that direct communication to your loyal readers, you can push out to them and you instantly can can generate their reading onto your content. And for you, it doesn't matter is an app is a website, it shouldn't matter. It's your content that's relevant. So all we do is really giving another medium.
- Well, you've mentioned the most important part, that's notifications. And first of all, you have the notification on the on your fingertip. It's not us it's not the system or anything you can decide, I want to send a push notification.
- I mean, really, it's the the app world is, is changing in that respect. And then Google has laid a benchmark, again, trying indexing apps, and really tells us that they are interesting, interested in looking into the app and make it a part of their Google world. And that's, it's not about the technology app, it's about the content that lies in the app.
- But I think the potential of when you have mobile visitors of having the mobile visitors say with there's an app available, would you like to download it and have been able to send out notifications. This is what every every company wants is its were becoming a notification economy. And I think that's a really, really powerful aspect about this as well.
- If there's something that you need to get the word out to your employees. How do you do it? Well, there's nothing better than a notification on smartphone because we know everyone's eyeballing that.
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Welcome to maximize your social, actionable 10 minute advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now the host of maximize your social social media author, speaker, consultant, founder of maximize social business, the Social Media Center of Excellence and the social tools Summit, Neal Schaffer.Neal Schaffer:
Hey, everybody, this is Neal Schaffer and welcome to another episode of maximize your social. No, I am not at a discotheque, as I like to do wherever I travel in the world. And I haven't done this recently. So my apologies, I'm trying to bring you the, the environment and of where I speak, and the people who I get to meet at these speaking events. Today. I am in Hannover, Germany at the Seebeck global conferences where we just concluded the first rock the blog event and event for corporations for personal bloggers that covered everything from content marketing and social media strategy to legal issues, to affiliate marketing and personal branding. It was quite an event. And I'm here standing next to a gentleman who comes from the company that I believe was what you would call the platinum sponsor of this events, the inventor, the inventors of the event. Yes. And it is an interesting application. Many of you who listen to my podcast, probably have a blog, and it's probably on WordPress. And you probably are asking, like I always ask, What do I do with mobile? You know, there's plugins like WP touch that will and WordPress jetpack has it as well, that will make your website more responsive and a mobile device. It doesn't always work in all honesty. And if you're like me, I looked at my Google Analytics today. And it's like, well, 23% of my traffic comes from mobile. And, and maybe if it was a lot more better looking on a mobile device, it might be should be even higher, actually. So with that in mind, I was introduced to this amazing application today. And I'm standing next to the Can I call you the founder and CEO Yes, called blob stir. And I'll put the link in my blog when when you read about it. But if you're if you're dying to know about it, B L A P P S TA and before I go into the amazing insight that I found about the app today, I want to first introduce you to Steven Steven, the founder and CEO and really the the brain behind today's rock the blog event. Steven, welcome. Thank you, thank you tell us a little about rock, the blog, the concept.Steven Zielke:
Well rock the blog was just an idea we had last year to take sivut Take the format of CVID and give it a platform for bloggers. And we were really, really unsure if this would work. I mean, this is Germany, this is not International. This is not New York, this is not us. This is still Germany, but we have with seven international show. And the biggest show in that area. So we created that format. And we were really overwhelmed today about the number of people that showedNeal Schaffer:
up, really. And the engagement was great, too. It was really, really good engagement. WeSteven Zielke:
had 50 People from all over the country joining us we had about I'd say 600 700 People at the show here at the conference. So it was a big success for us. We're happy.Neal Schaffer:
And to give you a snapshot. CBT is the world's largest show on information technology. And it's much like Consumer Electronics Show probably 10 years ago, it probably peaked. And now you have you have more conferences, more people meet online, travel budgets are down. So rock the blog really is part of sort of recharging, giving see bits of New Energy. And I think information technology. And it's very appropriate for social media. I mean, I talked about that in my own speech here, the role that it can play in social media, and it hasn't been it really shouldSteven Zielke:
write and it what I found really interesting is I mean, we're, we're in this space of blogging, which is digital. And people communicate digital, and we make this conference and they all come here, they travel there in the train there in the car, to travel here to meet each other. So it's about the people in the end, it's about meeting people, even if you do your blog, or Instagram, your Facebook, whatever. In the end, it's about the people. And that's what's so great today.Neal Schaffer:
And the relationships that you make, because I mean, I am here at sea, but because of Ingo my friend who I met a year ago at Social Media Marketing World who invited me to do his podcast, and this is the ROI of that I've been invited here in Germany, it's been amazing. So a lot of stuff. In a I'll talk about my own feeling about it, cuz I already installed it on my WordPress site. So in a nutshell, what is what was the issue that you found? What did you develop? And how is it helping people?Steven Zielke:
So the issue was that I noticed that everybody has a blog. I mean, there are 153 million blogs out there, not even talking about which is good and which is bad. But there are lots of lots of people logging, and they never had the real mobile version of it. I mean, there's responsive website. But to get a native good native app is really difficult. And it's not just installing the plug in you have a native app. It's all a lot you have to do behind the scenes. And we are in app development company and we started developing two years ago with an app which we called lapstone, which everybody can get his own At bath, and without happy, he now enters the area of, of native app. So each blogger has his own app. It's not an aggregator. It's not something you share with somebody else, you get your own brand on the smartphone. And you can use all the gimmicks that are available to all the push notifications, the engagement possible loyal readers. And with Google changing its code now that it'll be also indexed, and searchable and findable. And that is a big, big thing in our eyes.Neal Schaffer:
If this sounds too good to be true, it really is true. And, you know, I do this podcast because I see iTunes as a huge search engine. If you have a podcast, you're in the engine, if you don't, you're not. And we all know that Google wants more mobile contents. And it seems to be that an application that's written in native, as you say, in iOS, or Android, would be better than just having an M dots, my website.com, that just as responsive. So basically, blap Stan, I'll give you my own little feedback here is a WordPress plugin. It's a WordPress plugin. And there's also a app that you put on your phone. So I installed the WordPress plug in, which is called blob stop, I went to the iTunes store and found the app, I literally took a screenshot of when you install the plug in and creates a QR code, which has your URL on it and maybe some other code. And you take a picture of that from your iPhone app of the same laptop. And within five seconds, there was a native app, it was in preview mode, but it was already rendering in native. And you know, I didn't have to do anything and the blog content look great. The photos are resized and there's space for header image, I get blobs is really big in Germany, people in the United States just don't know about right. What is blob stymying, it's become a necessity for bloggers, I'm going to tell us about the bloggers that you already have signed up, and what you've heard from them as to how their journey has been.Steven Zielke:
So currently, I mean, we're focused on Germany, because that's where we're from, we have round about six 700 apps out there, and we have about another over 1000 people signed up for it, we get lots of feedback. In fact, we've had a long time where we held back generating more apps because we had so much feedback, it's it's a lot of work catching up with it. And we're at a point now where the feedback is extraordinary. It is really something because it's so simple and so easy. It takes you one or two minutes. And after that that's important, you don't have more effort, it's not about something that you need to use a different channel through different social media channel, you have to do No, you have the same amount of work you had just writing a condom because that's what you can do. And it's also simple to create the app. And it's for you, it's something really nice because you have that direct communication to your loyal readers, you can push out to them and you instantly can can generate their reading onto your content. And for you, it doesn't matter is an app is a website, it shouldn't matter. It's your content that's relevant. So all we do is really giving another medium. That'sNeal Schaffer:
it's really brilliant. I mean, I installed the app installed the plug in and I have my contact going on on the previous screen and look great. I then went back into WordPress. And there's a lot of if you want to customize the CSS, if things don't look right, there's a few things you can do there might look right out of the box. And then I noticed that I can customize what the front screen looks like I can add other pages outside of my blog, I can say the uncategorized category that default the web, I don't want that to show. So it was really powerful, not a customized, but above and beyond that, you then register on blogspot.com. And it will handhold you through the registration process on both the Google Play Store and the iTunes store. Now you will need a few different graphics, you'll need to have descriptions of the app, you need to decide in categories, you need to be strategic about this. So it is Friday here in Germany. This is my homework for the weekend. I already have my designer that's designing the the images that will become the icon or what have you. So there's a little bit work you have to do. But I think the potential of when you have mobile visitors of having the mobile visitors say with there's an app available, would you like to download it and have been able to send out notifications. This is what every every company wants is its were becoming a notification economy. And I think that's a really, really powerful aspect about this as well. Can you tell us a little bit about your your vision going forward on that?Steven Zielke:
Well, you've mentioned the most important part, that's notifications. And first of all, you have the notification on the on your fingertip. It's not us it's not the system or anything you can decide, I want to send a push notification. Now, the next step we're taking is what we call intelligent push notifications. It's not up to you to decide if the reader wants to get it or not. He tells you by the way he uses the app if he is interested in getting a notification or not. And those are mechanisms we're building into that system. So we have tons of to do's on our list. We are a small startup company, really, really looking at expanding internationally, and we're working very hard on those functions. Really next generation was awesome. I'mNeal Schaffer:
going to continue blogging about my experience of lobster I know we just met. And I know you're going to be launching United States soon. And the social tools Summit in May is a little bit early. But I hope to see you there in the fall. And I hope that the readers will also try and install it, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. I've tried various mobile solutions, but they report this is for free. Now, if you're if you're a personal blogger, so while it's longer while it's free, take advantage of it now, right.Steven Zielke:
But even after that, it won't be costing a lot of money, we have to do something because we're just overwhelmed with people that want to get it. It's just too much. But it'll be under the let's say $9 A month kind of price range.Neal Schaffer:
So if I'm thinking, wow, my podcasts I want to access the iTunes store. What about the Google Play Store? What about the iTunes store? When people do searches for social media? We know that it's happening more and more. And there's more and more resourceful apps out there. Why don't we become the providers of those apps? And really, if you're a content marketer, why don't you have a smartphone app yet? Right?Steven Zielke:
Yeah, exactly. I mean, really, it's the the app world is, is changing in that respect. And then Google has laid a benchmark, again, trying indexing apps, and really tells us that they are interesting, interested in looking into the app and make it a part of their Google world. And that's, it's not about the technology app, it's about the content that lies in the app. And that's what makes this so interesting.Neal Schaffer:
So blob stuff is the content enabler or the technology enabler, it's your content, their technology, and it really does work seamlessly. So Steven, thank you. Any any final words? For those bloggers out there? You know, maybe you can end with the companies that you work with? I don't know if you can name names, but how they're using your technology in what they do for Flickr, blogging?Steven Zielke:
Yeah, in fact, we have some some big companies starting automotive Continental, our sending up for oppo now. So General Motors daughter. So there's some big companies that are known really, really interesting. And it'll be really interesting to see how the US reacts to the market on that is for Intel internal communication also. So this whole thing we've just talked about, think about it as an internal communication tool for your company internally, there's a huge potential thereNeal Schaffer:
for very interesting if there's something that you need to get the word out to your employees. How do you do it? Well, there's nothing better than a notification on smartphone because we know everyone's eyeballing that. Right? Right,Steven Zielke:
exactly. And even if it's just a Christmas greeting of the big boss, the CEO saying Merry Christmas to my people, that's how they use it. And you have the direct communication tool to the pocket of your employees and companies like that.Neal Schaffer:
So bloggers, the web, as we know, it is becoming old school. We're becoming a mobile society and more more an app society. So now it's time to get with it. And I hope you'll join me in trying out lobster and I look forward to reporting back more. And then Steven, I hope to see you in the United States inSteven Zielke:
Idaho. says half of my home I'm at half American iNeal Schaffer:
will i i am signing off from Hannover, Germany. I'm looking forward to seeing some more great soccer tomorrow. So until next time, wherever you are in the world, make it a great social Day. Bye Bye, everybody.Unknown:
Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate all of your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on the show or recommend content, please contact Neal Schaffer at Neal at maximize your social.com Please also make sure to check out Neil's new community, the Social Media Center of Excellence at social media ce o e.com. As well as Neil's first social media event, the social tools Summit, which will be in Boston on May 12. Thanks again and make it a social day.