Categories
Features Paid Content

Integrating with Vimeo

You can now integrate Socionity with Vimeo. You can bring the subscription you already own and start streaming videos on your own app using Vimeo.

This gives you two big advantages

  • There is no minimum price for your collections & videos any more
  • You get a competitive price. (See pricing section towards the bottom)
  • You get the full quality of the Vimeo Player

Getting a new Vimeo Subscription

If you do not already own a Vimeo subscription, you can sign up for one. Please note that you will need a paid subscription in order to use this feature. If you don’t have one already, you can choose one of the Vimeo Plans starting at $7 per month.

Make sure you read the TnC of Vimeo before you integrate with Socionity.

Before integrating Vimeo

You must have published your app

Make sure you hit publish on the dashboard, and note down your app domain.

In the above image, the app domain is “madhavansdemo2.nity.app”. Note this domain down. We’ll need it in the next step.

Upload the video to Vimeo

You must upload your videos to Vimeo.

Go to vimeo.com and upload your video.

Change the settings on the video

Open the video you just uploaded from the “Manage Videos” section and choose Privacy under General Tab.

Under “Who can watch?” choose “Hide this video from vimeo.com”

Under “Where can this be embedded?” choose “Specific domains” and enter the domain you had noted when you published the app and “build.socionity.com”

Now you are ready to add it to Socionity!

Adding Vimeo to Socionity

Step 1 : Log on to the app builder dashboard

Go to your dashboard and login with the appropriate credentials.

Step 2 : Add a collection

If you have a content tab, you can add a collection using the button on the bottom.

If you do not have a contents tab, you can choose “+ ADD A TAB” and select “Content & Courses”

Step 3 : Add content

First open the collection that you want to add the video to. To do so, tap edit contents.

Once inside the collection, hit “+ ADD CONTENT”

Once you hit add content, you’ll be required to select Vimeo from the set of options.

Step 4 : Connect Vimeo

If you haven’t already logged in, you’ll be asked to connect Vimeo.

Step 5 : Choose the video

Once you are logged in into vimeo, you will be shown all the videos available for embedding.

Tap the “+” icon next to the video you want to add.

Step 6 : Publish

That’s it. Choose if people should be able to see this “Before paying” or “After Paying”, and you’re done. Phew.

Pricing

Pro

$89 per month + Payment gateway charges + 0% Socionity Commission

Unlimited Users

Dedicated Account Manager

Free

No upfront cost + Payment gateway charges + 5% Socionity Commission per transaction

Upto 250 paying customers

For more information you can write to us at contact-at-socionity.com

Categories
Uncategorized

Release August 15

New designs. New ways to keep fans engaged.

New Designs

So far we had a one-size-fits-all design. We realized that doesn’t work. We now have new designs that will change itself to suit your content.

There are 3 categories that are launched, more coming soon.

Rich Content – More than 6 collections

If you have more than 6 collections, we have a theme that will give the customers a quick look at what is available in one glance. It looks pretty. It is funtional.

Before & After

It’s great. You can now break them into categories like “Recommended”, “Popular”, and “Noteworthy”. It helps build trust with people.

This new interface has been designed keeping in mind helping people make a decision quickly. More options there are more they are tempted to see all the options before buying. So this design makes it easier for them to make the comparisons and choose what they should buy.

Adding thumbnails to collections

To make the best of this change, you can add a thumbnail to the collections. Previously, you had to upload a banner image alone. Now you have an option to also upload a thumbnail that looks better on smaller screens.

To add a collection thumbnail :

  1. Tap on settings next to the collection who’s thumbnail you want to set

2. Select edit banner

3. Upload a thumbnail (below upload banner). The dimensions should be 300×400 px (vertical)

Value Content – between 2 to 4 collections

The above design looks bland and empty if you don’t have a rich variety of content collections. We respect the fact that you have fewer collections – probably meaning you have a narrower focus. We now have a design that’ll look great for you too.

Looks great and is functional. Users see the most important information in one glance.

  1. Banner – to give a sense of what to expect. Something to excite them
  2. Cost – how much will it cost them
  3. Reviews & ratings – how do others like it, how many others have bought it

Focused content – Just one collection

If you have just one collection, you’d have noticed that you must make an additional click to open the collection. That’s kind of redundant. We’ve gotten rid of it! When your users open the app, they can buy right away! No frills – just your content.

Your content will be available for purchase with no additional click.

A new Splash Screen

You can welcome your customers using a customized message. It’s a great way to build trust as soon as someone comes to the app.

To customize this, tap on the top left three lines (hamburger menu) and select “App Name and Logo”. There you’ll see an option to type in the welcome message and upload a signature.

A new onboarding

Your users will be given a short guide as soon as they open the app for the first time.

Stories!

Is it even an app that doesn’t have stories? It’s a great way to keep people engaged every single day. Who doesn’t love a quick update of photos? 🙂 It’s awesome.

To add stories, tap on the left menu -> Engagement -> Stories

Photo Feed

Very closely associated with the above, is a photo feed. You can now upload photos to create a feed of photos. People would love to see more photos you share. Share before – after photos, share upcoming trailers, share backstage photos – anything that helps people fall in love with the app.

To add photos, open a collection -> add content -> Select Photo -> Upload a photo and select “Before Buying”

It will automatically get converted to a photo feed.

Easy Installation

Installation has been pretty confusing because this is a new kind of an app. We’ve made it super simple now. One tap install on Android. Simple installation on iOS.

Clear Payments

Payments should be simple and intuitive. That’s what we’ve now done. Just a simple checkout flow. No frills, again. 🙂


We have a lot of new features coming up in the next few releases. We’ll keep you posted.

Categories
Opinion Technology

How does Apple reward it’s App reviewers?

I am a developer with a reach of a few hundred thousand people using my product. For me, some ideologies matter more than others. I’m a hacker and I find Apple’s regulations toxic. Here’s why.

Complaint

My complaint with Apple is not so much that our business had to take hard calls, as much as how Apple is deliberately denying at worst or delaying at best a free and open internet.

Hackers

I have not met a single developer in my life who has had their app approved into the AppStore in the first attempt. Even though the terms of use are publicly available, they’re unclear and subject to personal judgement. Even if they were crystal clear, I don’t think hackers even think in those direction. All a hacker cares about is whether they’re able to bring about some efficiency in the world. That’s all we care about. If we’re able to do that using an app. We’ll make that and launch it.

We’ll write elaborate build instructions on GitHub, but reading a review process documentation? What’s that? We don’t even have a system to do that. We have systems called test cases that will find the most obscure of the cases where the app might crash. But not one way to figure out whether it adheres to the policies. Like scientists and engineers, developers happen to lean left.

Detrimental

I feel Apple’s approach has been greatly detrimental to the progress of significant technologies in these recent years. It is unfortunate that great engineers are not able to advance their science just because a legal(?) team somewhere is not as fore-sighted as them.

Crypto Currencies have taken a significant hit because of Apple’s terms. I myself had tried launching a crypto product a few months back. I thought it was a cool idea. It was not even an app that was going to give me any monetary benefits. I just thought it’d be so awesome if we could use crypto currencies in this fascinating new way. Apple had some policy regarding Crypto Currencies which would deem my app inappropriate.

That said, lot of people have gotten scammed in crypto currencies. Apple’s apparently trying to save them. A great way to play safe is to play conservative.

Stakeholder

My fundamental problem is not in the policies itself. Though they’re a source of major concern too, but I really care about the right policies the by the right stake holders. I challenge Apple to show us how many developers they have on their App Review team. We have the same problem when Governments try to moderate AI research. Not that we developers somehow magically know what the right thing to do is, quite the contrary – but developers are as important a stakeholder in this as much as the end-consumer is. We need a free-flowing expression of art and a open-minded approach to scientific advancement. We might have scams on the way. But, as humanity, we’ll learn to deal with them.

This last part is not as much as a rant as it is a genuine question. I’m sure the app review team is a huge team. I’m sure there are hierarchies. How is the incentive structure defined for a team like this? I’m sure it would be hard. How does this team promote the right people? What behavior does it reward? What is the north-star metric to see if the teams are doing well? I really want to know. I want to know how a company builds such parts of it’s organization.


Disclaimer : The views are that of the Author, not the company.

Categories
Hiring Operations

I never made it through a coding interview

Recently my company hit a point at which I realized I have to make a hire. Things were burning and I wasn’t able to fix it all by myself.

I needed to hire people who would execute. Who can get shit done. I talked to a bunch of people and read around the internet to look for inspiration as to how others run their interviews.

Most companies, startups including, used the Google Interview. Hard algorithm questions, ticking clock complicated edge cases. When I tried to dug into why this was the case, I realized this was pioneered by Google. It was a great test back in the day when no-one else was asking such questions. It was a good test for your smartness. However, now candidates come prepared with a set of questions. When I asked, interviewers tell me they pick the questions from the same websites interviewees use to prepare. I never made it through these interviews, I never studied the questions on these websites out of sheer arrogance. But I think I’m a good fit for my company. I don’t want to shoo away people like me.

I formulated the following interview process. It’s far from perfect, but it’s given me something to start with.

Resume

For me the most interesting part of the resume is the dates along side the projects & products candidates have been a part of. Usually resumes have the 2 – 3 most interesting projects that she has been a part of. If the most interesting project is kind of long back, is a red flag.

I screen people by seeing how fast they have improved in their life, more than what interesting things they’ve done. I sort the projects by interestingness and see if the progression in date is the same as the progression in interestingness. Usually, a project that’s more than a couple of years old almost gets me to reject the candidate.

I really like to see the progress one has made from school to current profession. A bad score at school kind of helps because there’s more you’ve had to surpass to get where you are. You need to be a hustler to have a bad score at school and still make it to great places with great work. At the same time, a good score indicates discipline. Scores and GPAs are not deal breakers, but I do evaluate both resumes with a different lens.

Assignment

The first round of the interview is a take home assignment. The assignment is usually a task that’d take an hour or so.

For example, below is an internship job profile we recently used. We asked people to pick a profile design from dribbble.com and implement it in React.js

Complete disclosure : This is not a promotion for the job. This position is now closed.

I’m looking for how promptly the candidate responds. If you are confident about your skills, you’d be able to quickly judge where to fit this assignment in your schedule and get it done.

It also helps me weed out people who are just exploring. A lot of people I talk to tell me they interview at small startups as a practice for larger companies’ interviews. They’re a waste of my time. Having an assignment completed is a sign that you are really interested in actually working with us.

I don’t look for design patterns or quality of code. I just need to see that it works. If it works to a satisfactory level, you’ve cleared this round.

Interview

The last round is a round is a video call interview. 30 min to judge personality – to which I still don’t have a good model other than just looking for good vibes. I’d like to improve here and make it less dependent on the tweets I read just before the interview. How can I make this more objective, I’m still looking for ideas.

The other 30 min is a screen share where I give an extension to the assignment already submitted.

As preparation, I go through the resume’s skills sections to get a hold of what the candidate has already worked on in the past and I look at the code to see what she’s comfortable with. Then I pick a task that she hasn’t worked on before, but at the same time it is just on the periphery of something she’s already done.

For the coding interview, I ask for a screen share and ask the candidate to use Google for things she doesn’t know. If she doesn’t have to Google, I gradually make the problem harder. I need to see how she Googles. Is she a fast learner, can she navigate through stackoverflow, can she read official documentation quickly to get things to work? Lot of weight given to the quality of Google queries. The completion of the task is of lesser importance. But depending on the role I’m interviewing for I look if the candidate has an eye for details that are relevant for the position.

With this I’ve been able to hire with confidence for my company and for a few friends’ companies, and it’s been working out. Would love to hear how you hire, how I can improve. 🙂


We are a company that has been focusing on 1st principle thinking. We usually write about how to build a great business on the internet. If you’re building one, you should subscribe.

Categories
Uncategorized

Integrate Zoom with your Socionity Account

We are happy to finally bring to you a much asked for feature. You can now integrate Zoom with your Socionity and directly start meetings from your dashboard, without the to-and-fro of copy pasting links.

How to install

Log on to your Socionity account. If you do not have a Socionity account, you can request access here.

To start a meeting you must follow the following steps :

  1. Open the collection of your choice
  2. Tap on Add Content
  3. Select Zoom Meeting / Webinar

Login with Zoom

Once you add a Zoom Webinar / Meeting, you’ll be prompted to login with Zoom.

Create a new Meeting / Webinar

Start the Meeting / Webinar

That’s it! The notification will automatically be sent to the people who are a part of the collection this meeting/webinar is a part of.

You can then join the meeting on you your Zoom app by tapping on “Start Meeting” or “Start Webinar”

Usecases

  • If you want to create a meeting with your students and have a face to face classroom setting
  • If you want to provide one to one help and support to your customers
  • If you want to conduct a webinar where more than 50 people are likely to join in

Pre-requisites

  • You need a Zoom Account
  • If you want to conduct Webinars, you will need a Pro account
  • You will need to have access to Socionity Dashboard

Uninstalling

  1. Login to your Zoom Account and navigate to the Zoom App Marketplace.
  2. Click Manage > Installed Apps or search for the Socionity app.
  3. Click the Socionity app.
  4. Click Uninstall.

Customer Support

Should you need any help, you can always contact your Account Manager or contact us at contact@socionity.com

You will have an SLA of 24 hours. If you are on a Socionity Pro account, you’ll have an SLA of 1 hour. We will help you resolve any issues you have with respect to Zoom meetings/webinars or your dashboard in general.

Categories
Uncategorized

Release July 30

We’ve been building amazing new infrastructure that took longer than expected. We missed our July 15 update. We’ll make up for it here, i hope.

International

You can now charge people in their native currencies. You can set the price in your local currency and it will automatically be converted into their currency.

Pricing Parity

We don’t just use currency conversions to display the price in a foreign land. We use pricing parity to detect what should be the right price. We take into account the live currency conversion, the strength of the currency and what the average costs of related material is in their home country.

That means you don’t need to worry about setting a new price for each country. We’ll do the math and pay you in your local currency.

PayPal

We now integrate seamlessly with PayPal. All your customers from abroad can pay you in their local currency using their most loved payment mechanism. They can also pay using cards. And very soon more payment modes like Venmo which will get added.

Great Integrations

A lot of you have already been using various other tools like Zoom, Vimeo etc. And when you’ve already taken a Pro plan for those, it doesn’t make sense to pay for those features again.

We’ve now have a way for you to bring your existing Vimeo and Zoom subscriptions and add them to your own app.

Brand new pricing

When you bring your own Vimeo and Zoom subscriptions, you can move to our brand new pricing plan, where you pay us only a 7% transaction fees as against 30% before.

This is great for people who already have invested in such services and are looking for a way to put them all under one roof – your own app. Socionity will let you integrate with other services you’ve already purchased and let us take care of your app, payments, user management.