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article imageInterview with Nick Kellet, co-founder of Listly Special

By Cendrine Marrouat     Aug 22, 2012 in Technology
Nick Kellet is a professional content curator and the creator of GiftTRAP, a virtual gift-exchange game. In this exclusive interview, he will tell us more about Listly.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Nick, thank you for answering my questions. Is there a particular event that triggered your desire to create Listly?
Nick Kellet: I was writing a book on innovation, researching case studies, when I the idea for list making hit. So I went looking and found Listly and a bunch of other similar apps. I liked it's simplicity, but most of all I liked Shyam Subramanyan. I could see huge potential and we connected.
There's so much free text on the web. Lists are just that. They aren't structured data and as such their utility is greatly diminished. Listly's goal is to make lists useful, ubiquitous and fun.
CM: When and how did you meet Shyam Subramanyan?
NK: We first exchanged DMs on Twitter in November 2011. We spent a month emailing and skyping and then met and shook hands on a deal last December - a unique form of Internet co-founder dating!
CM: What makes Listly different from other content curation platforms like Pinterest, or StumbleUpon?
NK: Two things: community and generosity.
Listly is all about community, about connecting people with a shared passion. Listly is about people helping people curate great content.
The three apps you mention are all pass through services, which end up being self-centred experiences.
• Share my links = Stumbleupon
• RePin Links to My Board = Pinterest
• Curate Links and funnel people to a site via a news-sheet =
They all want you to pass via their site. All valid, just different. In contrast, Listly wants the traffic to go directly to your blog. Listly has a huge SEO component. We focus on embedding live content inside your posts and on cultivating community, aggregating opinion and building engagement. Listly blends utility, fun and passion.
As a crowdsourcing platform Listly has a big generosity component. It's all about the community and helping other people with their lists.
Listly list
Listly list
Nick Kellet
CM: Who is the average user of the site, and how do they leverage
NK: We have two distinct profiles: Creators and Consumers
Consumers love to read, vote and contribute to lists. It's no coincidence that 30% of all blog posts use a List Post Format. Bloggers know Lists Posts get more eyeballs. Lists prove we're smart (we expect to know stuff on lists) and lists make us smarter (by filling in the gaps in our knowledge). Lists always give you a positive experience.
List creators are typically Bloggers, but people also create lists for personal consumption. Business users also use it to test, validate or flesh out ideas.
People are getting familiar with crowdsourcing. They are learning it's not a scary or complex process. Crowdsourcing can he highly rewarding and it connects you with a community of like minded folk. That's the real value. The emotional connection.
CM: Have you noticed any unique use of lists? If so, could you give a couple of examples?
NK: My favourite examples are always embedded lists.
"Adelaide Tweeters" - I love this list because it demonstrated the ability to spread an idea locally via social media - I'd always assumed Social Media spread ideas far and wide. I thought it was an awesome way to leverage Listly and to foster local community.
I love the "Naked Marketing Resource List" by Danny Iny, which he's been using to promote his eBook. This list has been embedded in 24 different blogs! It's been viewed 21,000 times! Click thumbs up on the "Featured Item" and you'll see we've integrated this list to AWeber to help Danny build his email list. That's pretty cool.
And I like this one from Denise Wakeman as a great way to crowd-source content.
CM: In a world dominated by more and more visual content, where do you think Listly is headed? Any new trend you see taking shape in the next couple of years?
NK: We take the visual trend very seriously. Compared to Pinterest, we have very deep rich media support. Playing of all sorts of rich media directly inside a list is highly visual and highly valuable.
Playing a Prezi in you list or a Slideshare, a podcast or an Infographic. We remove the need to have any deep knowledge of embedding. The approach to embedding each of these content types is unique and that's a complexity bloggers don't need.
As to coming trends:
• Embedded content
• Curation (as a lower cost form of Creation)
• Collection Making (eg Pinterest).
Listly is at the convergence of these trends.
CM: Is there something you would like to add?
NK: The only way to experience and truly get Listly is to jump in and participate. Become a consumer and read, vote and add to other people's lists. Become a creator and build and embed your own lists.
We all understand and use lists every day in our life. Listly simply makes those lists more accessible, more social and more shareable.
The magic happens when you create a list your are passionate about. That's when other people participate because they care too.
People experience Listly and really take note of the metrics for their list. When they see how many times their list is viewed, that's when they really begin to value Listly's ability to amplify their brand.
We already drive more traffic to blogs than to Listly. If you are driving traffic to Facebook and not your blog, I'm sure you'll pay a hefty premium for this decision.
To start using Listly, visit
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