Joe Fiveash, President of Vertical Acuity: Relieving Blogger Content Woes

Bloggers are well aware that creating content can be a very demanding and even costly task. Writers block, nothing new and interesting to inspire you, the time involved to conduct proper research and create something useful to your readers and the cost involved to employ freelance writers. These are familiar obstacles to bloggers. The good news is that there is an easy and affordable solution available and in this interview, Joe Fiveash, President of Vertical Acuity joins Brent Leary to share it.

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Joe Fiveash, President of Vertical AcuitySmall Business Trends: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Joe Fiveash: I started in the Internet world in 1994 and in one weekend, went from being a lawyer to being the first sales guy for an Internet company called Landmark Communications that used to own The Weather Channel until it was sold.

Small Business Trends: Wow!  So now you help people leverage content to build a presence in getting people to notice them.  Can you talk a little bit about that?

Joe Fiveash: I worked at The Weather Channel.  I ran the interactive site of weather for about six or seven years and did a lot of deals to get our content out and a lot of deals to get other peoples content into our site – but it was hard. They were manual, there were plan rides, negotiations, contracts, and it was very difficult.

The platform we’ve built allows websites to partner with each other on top of our web platform.  So if Boston.com wants to get Inc. content into their site, all they have to do is click a button.  So long as Inc. said yes.  Then the content starts flowing in.

Scribit, which is a product we launched last week, allows company websites to bring in content from all over the web to display on their site to share through social media channels. When they share it and somebody clicks on it, they come back to the customer’s website to read the article, because that is where the article is published.

Small Business Trends: So this is a service where a small business could sign up and start leveraging the content from major content?

Joe Fiveash: That is exactly right. What if I wake up every morning and say:

“I was supposed to put something on my web site.  I was supposed to tweet something.  I was supposed to put something on Facebook. . .and I do not have anything to say.”

What we do is give you an interface where you can go search millions of articles, grab some great stuff, put it on your website, Tweet it and put on your Facebook page.

Small Business Trends: You have made business arrangements with the content providers.  So if a small business becomes a Scribit customer, they are able to basically pick and choose what type of content they want to place on their website, without having to worry about any issues?

Joe Fiveash: That is exactly right. It is fully licensed content. If you are a financial planner and you want content from Income Magazine, Forbes, Motley Fool, and Business Insider on your site, you can’t really call them and do a deal with them. They are not set up to do that.  But through Scribit, we have done those deals and now we can pass those deals on to our customers.

Small Business Trends: How quickly can a small business get content onto their website?

Joe Fiveash: It takes about 15 minutes.  It is a self-service product. If you go to Scribit.com and sign up for the 30-day free trial – you do not put in a credit card – you get to configure the widgets that display the content going onto your site.

There is a Wysiwig editor that lets you make those widgets look exactly the way you want them to look and we push out a piece of code that you put on your site.  Then you’re done. I watched it done right after we launched it in ten 10 minutes.

Once the article is on their site, then they can tweet links and put links to that content on Facebook.  The same way you put links to things anywhere.  Except now they are coming back to your site to read this article.

Small Business Trends: Have you been able to measure the impact this kind of service has had on some of your customers?

Joe Fiveash: I can be on Google Analytics and I can watch visitors come to my site when I tweet something. I can see the visitors go up on Google Analytics so, that is exactly what we are trying to produce.

Small Business Trends: Is this is for companies of any size?

Joe Fiveash: That is exactly right. Anybody that wants to use content as part of their marketing strategy. We think this is an important missing piece in the content marketing ecosystem.

If you want to be interactive with the people that are following you and your fans, and the people that are coming to your website, it is really hard and expensive to produce that much content. That is where we see us fitting in as coming on top of that original content to provide interesting and timely, topical stuff.

Small Business Trends: So this is a way to enhance what you can do personally with some great content from around the Web?

Joe Fiveash: That is right.  Then the starter package, once you do the free trial, is $50 per month.  That gives you access to all of the content in the database. There are millions or articles so when you think of the cost of producing one article versus having access to this buffet of articles, we think it is a very efficient way to get access to a lot of very good content.

Small Business Trends: Where can we lean more about your service?

Joe Fiveash: Go to Scribit.com.

This interview is part of our One on One series of conversations with some of the most thought-provoking entrepreneurs, authors and experts in business today. This interview has been edited for publication. To hear audio of the full interview, click the right arrow on the gray player below. You can also see more interviews in our interview series.

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Brent Leary


Brent Leary Brent Leary is a Partner at CRM Essentials and organizer of the Social Business Atlanta conference. Brent serves on the advisory board of The University of Toronto CRM Center of Excellence, writes the Social CRM column for Inc.com's technology site, and blogs at Brent's Social CRM Blog.

5 Reactions

  1. Brent: You conduct very interesting interviews. Is it available on iTunes now?

    • Thanks Martin! And I will get the iTunes feed up and running shortly. Been traveling six out of the last eight weeks (including right now on the plane to San Francisco) which has me all tied up. But will definitely get this going,

      Thanks again!
      Brent

  2. Martin Lindeskog

    Brent: Have a safe trip! I am in no hurry! ;) I look forward to listen to your podcast. Right now, I am outside on a walk, listen to a podcast on the economics of food.

    All the Best,

    Martin

  3. Martin Lindeskog

    Thanks Brent! Have a great time in SF! I look forward to learn more about Scribit.

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