How Do I: create Alexa Skills

Earlier, I talked about how I use Amazon Alexa in my home.

This month, I launched my third Alexa Skill. You can add these to your [daily] “flash briefing” if interested.

An Alexa Skill is what Amazon calls a voice-enabled app to provide verbal content on demand.

Alexa Skills take little to no coding to create.

As a consumer or user of Amazon Alexa, an Alexa Skill can be found and enabled on alex.amazon.com as a part of Flash Briefing (think of it as a series such as a news feeds you customize to receive in audio form) or as a single on-demand app that informs you by hearing what says. News, sports scores, tips and weather updates are common content supplied as an Alexa Skill, but there are many more Skills available.

As an Alexa Skill creator/designer, anyone can go to developer.amazon.com/alexa to create and test an Alex Skill with little to no coding involved. There is a step by step instructions to:

You get to add what the user would request and receive.

If you want an even easier way to create an Alexa Skill that is less nerdy, take a look at getstoryline.com

Criteria and approval of an Alexa Skill is pretty easy within a day or so.

Here are the first three Alexa Skills I created which are available if you have an Alexa Device:

Another DAM Podcast

Blockchain Billions

User Adoption

These Alexa Skills are three of my most popular podcasts and if you enable them as part of your Flash Briefing, you will not miss any future episodes of these podcasts.

For more on marketing Alexa skills, take a look at alexabusinessmarketing.com

Start building a first voice app today.

 

 

Launching Blockchain Billions Podcast

blockchain billions podcast can be found at bcbpodcast.com and iTunes

While collaborating with a co-author, I started a new audio interview series talking with over 30 professionals working in the space of Blockchain from all over the world. A new interview will be released every week from December 2016 through July 2017. There will also be an eBook available with all the interview transcripts.

You can find this audio interview series on http://bcbpodcast.com and on iTunes.

Tools I Use: Transcription

Speech2Text

Over the past few years, I have found that converting speech to text has a lot of value.

Speech recorded or otherwise is not very searchable without a transcript.

In 2013, I ran a successful Kickstarter project to transcribe over 100 audio podcasts into written word and create an ebook out of these transcriptions.

In 2016, I created three other podcast series. As an experiment, I wanted to see which was more valuable. Audio alone or audio with transcripts. Guess which one was viewed more? Hint: the series with transcripts was viewed/listened to a lot more.

People value the transcripts. Enough to make an eBook out of them.

I have used a variety of tools for transcripts.

I tried Dragon Speak Naturally by Nuance a while back which is trained to your voice, but I kept forgetting I had it available to me. Now there is similar technology on my laptop (when connected to the web).

If you prefer to have your voice transcribed, most Apple, Chrome, and Windows-based computers now have the option of activating speech-to-text (aka dictation) where you turn on this feature (with a hotkey) and start talking as you watch your words appear on your page. If you can talk, your computer can write for you quite literally. Helps for brainstorming and writing any stream of consciousness. Some tools work better than others. Just don’t forget to edit the text later since we speak differently than we read.

When it comes to transcribing audio recordings, I used one online vendor for a successful Kickstarter project. This same vendor did a great job back then. However, after while they began to deliver slower (1 week+), less consistently and results were not as accurate as I had previously seen. This did not just happen once or twice. This caused me to look elsewhere within the free market for similar transcription services.

No transcripts are 100% accurate due to nuances in language and even audio recordings, so you need to check the transcripts received against the audio you sent. I do.

In 2016, I started to use Rev and now get transcripts for my audio recordings in less than 12 hours.

I also found a few contractors from Upwork who do transcription well but are much slower which is okay when it is not time sensitive, but you have to hunt for them because they get a lot of work from around the world.

UPDATE:

In 2018, I started using Temi to get transcripts from my audio recordings in a few minutes. Yes, transcripts in minutes, not hours. Faster and less expensive. Game changer! A 16-minute audio file gets transcribed in less than half that time thanks to machine-generated transcription which seems to improve every time I use it. Temi costs a fraction of the price of human-generated transcription. Accuracy is very close to human-generated transcription, however, I review every transcript I get back from humans or machines since there are specific words and context that most would miss if I did not.

Now back to creating more eBooks based on audio interviews recorded and transcribed.

Launching Rights.tech

RightsTech1400x1400.jpg

Since no one else has done this to my knowledge, I thought it would be interesting to launch a series of audio interviews with professionals talking about Rights Management. It is called Rights.tech

Questions  like “What is copyright?” and “How to register copyright?” has already been done by others. I am not interested in repeating it because that broken record has little success of audience engagement. The size of that issue is mentioned in several interviews. I was more interested in sharing the perspectives of professionals on the status of this market.

I reached out to the top professionals in the field of Rights Management globally about what they thought about the market.

Here are the 5 questions I asked everyone interviewed:

  1. Who are you and what do you do?
  2. What are the biggest challenges and successes you have seen with Rights Management?
  3. What is changing with Rights Management or needs to change?
  4. What advice would you like to share with people interested in Rights Management?
  5. Where can we find more information about Rights Management?

A few declined to be interviewed, but most welcomed it because this is an underserved market (IP and content licensing not so sexy) and it is complicated. I like niche markets for this reason.

Starting in May 2o16, Rights.tech will have new interviews throughout the summer with standards bodies, vendors,  licensees, licensors, consultants, create creators and associations with interests in Rights Management.

I reached out to a few conferences about this, but since I am leveling the playing field and I am one of the few consultants not in the pocket of any vendors (yes, I remain vendor neutral), do not expect to me to be headlining anywhere on the conference circuit. That is what consultants call ‘partnering’ or ‘preferred’ solution providers. I don’t prefer nor partner with any vendors because I am a vendor-neutral consultant.

How do I remain vendor neutral and interview Rights Management vendors at the same time?

No sales pitches allowed in the interviews. No money exchanged either way. Release all the vendor interviews on the same day. Everyone is interviewed based on who they are and what they do, however not who they work for. No favoritism. I bet most people did not know there were this many Rights Management vendors on the market today. There are others, but they declined to be interviewed.

Same with the standards bodies. There are too many of them. Not all were keen to be interviewed. Sadly, some were just too disorganized to be interviewed.

To listen to this series about Rights Management, visit Rights.tech

Email your questions about Rights Management