This is not another ‘pinterest for cats’ but instead something more like ‘Credit Card payment processing for developers’(ie stripe.com). Either way I find myself today trying to spread on the SnowShoe Stamp to the world. One of the many tools I have adapted for my PR arsonal is HARO or HelpAReporterOut.com. They send you a couple emails a day with requests from reporters about certain topics. You can then chose to respond as you wish and hopefully the reporters and the sources both benefit.

The site looks like it was designed in 1995 but it servers a solid purpos. Now being a developer I immediately start thinking how it would be nice if I could pull this data and use it in my own app. So I go ahead and googled “helpareporter.com api” to try and find their API’s. I am somewhat(but not too) surprised to see that they do not have an API. That sucks… but it means there is opportunity for someone else to do it better.

Opportunity:

Make it easy to use: HARO still uses email to communicate(what is it 1995). There is little if any UX/UI thought put into their site. A couple times of day you get emails that are moderately difficult to navigate that often get stuck in your spam box.


A little touch of UX will go a long way.


Crowdsource innovation:

Chrome browser plugin for sources that pops up a little alert when they browse to a page that matches keywords found in a reporter’s query.


Chrome browser plugin for reporters that pop up a little alert when they browse to a site registered to a source. Thus giving the reporter the necessary contact information for the source that owns the page they are viewing.


A mobile site/app(duh)

 

Challenges:

Critical Mass: HARO already has a critical mass of users, specifically reporters. I would assume that getting users is easier. Getting reporters is probably tougher.


Spam, lots of spam: I am also assuming that spam is a huge issue. I suppose we could add captcha and some algorithm to rate potential sources. But see even a spamy-ness rating system is an innovation that would be key in differentiating this new service from its predecessor.


Credibility: This kind of circles around as a barrier to hitting that initial challenge of gaining critical mass. I am assuming if you could get some early adopters that are big names in the blogosphere or news you could get over this with some ease. Offer them an advisor roll with some equity as an incentive to use the service and talk about it.


These are just some ideas. I would think about tackling it myself but I have no time to execute on this so I am giving this idea out to the masses. Do with it what you will. Keep me in on the loop if you decide to run with it. I would love to follow along.