Monday, March 30, 2009

Kontain Yourself

Introduce yourself and your project.
My name is Yaron Schoen, and I am a lead designer on visual team. Launched in November 2008, Kontain is a free social media platform offering users a destination to quickly, and easily share their digital life (thoughts, photos, videos and audio.) At it’s essence, Kontain is a mash-up of Blogger, Flickr, Youtube and, increasingly, Facebook.

What were the goals for the new site?
Kontain is a product of Fi. That being said, Fi was founded upon the principle of quality-over-quantity, with the overall objective of making the web a better place. Kontain is a manifestation of everything Fi has been building towards since 1999.

As a team, we are all active members in a variety of social platforms. While there are some tremendous experiences available today, we all feel there is room for improvement in the way we interact online. With Kontain, we are trying to provide an easy and more aesthetically pleasing way to upload, manage and share media. Our CEO, David Martin, had the idea for Kontain for ten years – and we finally had the opportunity to make it happen over the past two years. There are no true limits to our goals, so ultimately, I will say they are large and I will leave it at that for now.

Where did you guys get your inspiration for the new site?
The inspiration and concept of Kontain was the catalyst for Fi. David Martin always wanted to build one exceptional place online to house, experience, organize and share media. The pitch process to clients for Kontain ten years ago lead to a demand for client-side digital projects, and as a result, Fi was born. Kontain’s features, on a surface level, are nothing new. We are focusing on the small details throughout the experience, and in doing so, we feel there is a void in the space that Kontain does, and will continue to fill.

What story were you trying to tell with the new website? is not a story about Kontain, but rather the tale of each individual user. The idea is to let the user's content speak for itself; Kontain is merely the picture frame. We are continually improving the interface to complement and enhance the users story, not compete with it. While exploring Kontain, we want to provide the user with a media-rich viewing experience across a wide variety of subjects.

What technical, logistical or budgetary challenges were presented during the project?

Hi, my name is Jason Borbet, the Business Director for Kontain – I will take this one. First, there are always challenges with a project of this size and scope. Our tech team built the entire front and backend for As a fully hosted solution, we were able to really cut our teeth and drill into the mechanisms behind the web. Kontain has integrated partnerships for Content Distribution (Akamai), Transcoding and Application Hosting.

Logistically, on the business side, we had to create an entire organization for Kontain – Kontain LLC, Fi’s sister company. On the production side, we had to overcome the same obstacles you face with any large scale production – efficiently and effectively utilizing your resources in an agile, long term development plan. As for the financial challenges, besides fully funding Kontain ourselves, we now clearly understand how to manage and strategically negotiate with the parties required to sustain a large, fully-hosted UGC destination.

Effectively ramping up and creating a new entity, while simultaneously managing Fi’s work flow and goals was no small feat.

Is this site your main form of external communication?
Interesting question, I am going to interpret this as our main form of communication with the outside world. For Kontain LLC, is our primary point of communication. For Fi, we have, Fi’s Twitter Account, – then of course, as mundane as it sounds, emails. Holistically, represents our effort to communicate with the online world at large by delivering added-value contribution.

How valuable is the new site to the agency?
Kontain set the foundation for Fi, was subsequently created by Fi and is now a valuable company in its own right. Kontain offers two valuable points for Fi; 1. is a powerful proof-of-concept for Fi’s understanding of, and capabilities within, the social media space; 2. We learned about the mechanisms and foundations of the web, and we have now fostered powerful partnerships with the companies responsible for making the internet work.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations .. you guys have done an awesome job on the Kontain platfom .. It absolutely rocks!!

    Q: How will you manage the space requirements for thousands of people to store so much UGC over a lifetime?

    Q: How does agile work in a Design environemnt? Can you refer me to some good online info on the subject?