Alexa in Canada
200 Ways to Use Alexa with Bradley Metrock and Katherine Prescott
In this episode, Teri welcomes Bradley Metrock of Score Publishing and Katherine Prescott of VoiceBrew, to talk about their incredible work in the voice space.
Welcome, Bradley and Katherine!
Bradley is the CEO of Score Publishing and the VoiceFirst.FM network while Katherine is the Founder/Editor of VoiceBrew.
Bradley recently wrote a book about some of the things that we can do with our Echo devices, and Katherine wrote the forward for the book. Their work in the voicefirst world is geared towards helping regular non-techie people learn how to use Alexa and voice technology.
- It’s a daily email newsletter that helps people get the most out of Alexa. They also publish comprehensive guides on their website covering almost all of Alexa’s key features.
- They now have over 25,000 email subscribers.
Brad’s Alexa Book
- Brad wanted to write an Alexa instruction manual because he saw a need for it, and it eventually morphed into the book called “More Than Just Weather and Music: 200 Ways to Use Alexa”
- The book showcases the breadth of use for Alexa covering areas like healthcare, coronary, banking, publishing, and automotive.
- The way most people use voice technology today is similar to how most people used the internet in the 90s. They are only asking Alexa what the weather is or to play some music. This is because they don’t know what skills or commands to use.
Narrowing Down to 200 Ways to Use Alexa
- Narrowing the list down for Bradley and his team was tough. He had skills developers asking him where their skill was in the book if he hadn’t put it among the 200.
- They focused more on the quality of the skills and only included those that had positive reviews (based on their quality) in the skills store. They mainly looked at whether the recent reviews were good, but also checked if the recent bad reviews were based on the quality of the skill, if not, the skill would qualify for the list.
- Brad also wanted to include skills that are good but haven’t gained visibility among users. They include Daddy Saturday which compliments a book titled “Daddy Saturday”, Where the Beef? and The Reuters flash briefing.
- The 200 ways to use Alexa include 175 Alexa skills and 25 Alexa built in functions.
- Katherine’s favorite kids’ skills were included in the list. They include Kids Court, Chompers, and Choose Your Own Adventure.
- Brad asked Katherine to write the forward for the book because VoiceBrew’s brand orientation is aligned with what the book is about.
The Need for Skills Discoverability
- When Brad got into publishing, he discovered the iBooks software by Apple which people were using to create interactive content. A lot of people were creating incredible multimedia, driven and interactive content, but they were having a huge discoverability problem.
- Eventually the whole ecosystem died because post-Jobs Apple didn’t know what to do with it. Brad sees a lot of parallels with Alexa in that regard, and therefor believes it’s very necessary to create the Alexa skills lists for enhanced discoverability.
- Katherine believes discoverability is challenging for voicefirst experiences because with voice, content is pulled by users as opposed to how content is pushed to them by social media platforms. She advises that Alexa skills creators should think about what distribution strategies they will use in order to ensure that their skills are highly discoverable.
List of resources mentioned in this episode
- The Comprehensive Flash Briefing Formula Course
- VocalID Website
- VoiceBrew Website
- Katherine on Twitter
Other useful resources:
- Voice in Canada: The Flash Briefing
- Complete List of Alexa Commands
- Alexa-Enabled and Controlled Devices in Canada
- Teri Fisher on Twitter
- Alexa in Canada on Twitter
- Alexa in Canada Facebook Page
- Alexa in Canada Community Group on Facebook
- Alexa in Canada on Instagram
- Please leave a review on iTunes
- Shopping on Amazon.ca