Interview Part 3: Nathan Kontny’s Draft Revises Writing Collaboration

Greg Bates, July 3rd, 2013

In this third and final installment of our interview with Nathan Kontny, the founder of the new wordprocessing app Draft, we look at analytics and what comes next. In case you missed it, here is part two.

PW I can see the elimination-of-steps mantra at work at several junctures, including offering editing services. Is that why you help writers crunch the analytics instead of sending over to a place like Feedburner Stats or a blog analytics shop?

Nathan Kontny I would definitely like to explore what these other analytics tools do and bring in more data to Draft. I’m sad about Feedburner. I just assume it’s going to shut down really soon, and don’t even pay attention to what I can do with it.

The impetus for the analytics in Draft was a very personal need. I really wanted to know in one view what kind of variable might be influencing the popularity of my blog. Does profanity turn people off? What about the length of my posts? Are shorter posts better? What about the title length, any relationship there?

I haven’t seen tools with those specific variables being analyzed.

That’s a really interesting graph to me. Over many, many of my blog posts, the short titled and the really long titled ones do much better on Twitter.

I also really want to make it easier for people to get more traffic to their blogs. I see a bunch of friends who enjoy blogging, but they’ll publish a post at 7PM on a Friday night and then complain they don’t get any traffic. But if they just did a quick look at the sharing that happens on their blog, they might see a graph like this:

That’s tweets about my blog posts vs. day of the week and vs. time of day. If those blogs of my friends are anything like mine, 7PM on a Friday would be a horrible time for me to publish a blog post.

PW Lastly, what’s next?

NK I’ve got a very long to-do list of things I’m considering. I’d love to make book publishing easier. I have much more to do to make it easier for groups of people to use Draft routinely. And then there’s projects like this that got my attention recently.

A friend of mine is the founder of a company called Infiniteach. They’re focused on making things like iPad apps to help students with autism. They recently hired an intern with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) whose main goal in life is to be a book author. And they are about to start using Draft and my professional editing service to help him with his writing. I’d love to help a lot more folks like him accomplish this. What more can I do here? One idea that’s rattling in my head is to create a service to match up people trying to write better but have challenges stemming from disabilities like ASD with people who would like to give something back to the world by volunteering 15 minutes of each week reviewing their writing. It’s just a vague idea presently, but I want to spend more time on it.

PW Thanks, Nate.

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