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8

Not so deep-down, I know that a wider perspective about where I spend my time is needed to grow Kinopio into a real boy.

Instead of taking the holidays off, I just worked half-days. I wanted to go into the new year bug free, to help mentally justify spending more time on marketing. I'm still working my way there, but now that I've had some time to think, raising awareness is still just one part of the puzzle.

Like a Porsche with a wheel missing, Kinopio is pretty nice but missing an important part of itself.

I've primarily focused on making Kinopio expressive, natural, and fun-feeling to get the thoughts out of your head and get to new places by connecting them and arranging them. I'm happy that this really seems to resonate with people besides me. What I'm still missing is something that keeps you coming back after you've done those things.

The utility of organizing thoughts, feelings, and information makes for a good thinking tool, but a tool that's not a required part of your job needs to do more to pull people back in.

I think this kind of thing may be 'something social', or 'something notification-y'. I have pieces of both, but:

  • People add cool spaces to Explore ... but other people don't know when to check Explore for new spaces, and I'm not doing much to make creators feel good that their spaces are being seen.

  • When you share or invite people to spaces, you don't know when something happens in those spaces. You're not actively encouraged to respond to others


Of course, there's socially-manipulative or anxiety-inducing ways to address these issues, so whatever I build should be:

  • Transparent. The user knows what's going on and what the impact of their actions will be
  • Not distracting. Socializing and deep work can be very different feelings. Connecting thoughts shouldn't become noisy for people who don't want that
  • Interesting and entertaining. Encouraging more people to make spaces with their friends, coworkers, and enemies :)
Strategy Letter: Closing the Loop
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So the number of requests I've had for 1:1 chats has really grown with the success of Kinopio. I love meeting Kinopio users and I don't like ghosting people because I hate when that happens to me – however it's becoming really hard to find the time and mental energy to talk to everyone 1:1. I feel somewhat shitty about that.

So I made this little policy that I'll send to everyone who messages me to chat:

  1. Are your questions addressed in my blog, or here on are.na/kinopio which includes a record of my design process and thinking

  2. If you have specific questions or feedback, can they be answered asynchronously? I really recommend the Kinopio forum, but if you write things out elsewhere I'd be happy to answer and respond.

  3. If you still want to chat 1:1, can you be specific about what you'd like to discuss? Having an agenda is an invaluable requirement.

Thank you for understanding!

1:1 chat requests
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