Thanks for stopping by. My name is Scott Matthews, and I've been developing interactive sites, software, services, and strategies since 1991. This page is here to tell you a bit about me and my work, in a roughly reverse-chronological order. If you'd like to get in touch, I can be reached via:
Currently in beta, Flipjar encourages regular/repeat Web site visitors to "do things" that directly benefit their favorite sites. Typically, sites bury "call to action" links in sidebars or menus: first-time visitors don't care, and repeat visitors become desensitised. To see how Flipjar solves this problem, click this link a few times
Electro-Harmonix, a leading manufacturer of guitar sound equipment, needed new Web site/strategy. My solution was to apply social media concepts toward the marketing of physical gear. Over the first year daily traffic steadily increased, resulting in a 300% improvement and reversing the gradual downward trend of the previous few years.
“What's shocking is that other companies haven't used a similar approach. By integrating clips of regular people using their products and adding a blog to pull in traffic, these same principles could strengthen the bottom lines of a wide variety of manufacturers.” Read more » “Electro-Harmonix and social media: You’re doing it right.” Read more »
Community engagement resulted in all sorts of wonderful stuff. For example, this video by Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn is a ton of fun, and has now been viewed over three million times:
Bitty is a small-form Web browser designed for use within Web pages and other documents. I launched Bitty in 2005, and received US patent number 7,284,208
[NB: InformationWeek later reported: "We're seeing more than double the interaction rate of a traditional ad banner despite it's placement well below the fold."]
Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Wired:
Steve Rubel, Micro Persuasion:
“InformationWeek, a major tech trade publication, has launched an innovative advertising program for Microsoft using the Bitty Browser widget platform.
The program is totally breakthrough.
The sponsor gets to communicate their message in an innovative way, the reader is spared the hassle of linking off to another page and InformationWeek can measure the effectiveness of the campaign.”
I was invited to present Bitty to the Supernova and PC Forum technology conferences. Here I am (orange shirt) at PC Forum:
When I first set out to design Andromeda, the idea was to make it easy to play music over the Web. A few years later, with PHP and ASP versions for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, I'm happy to report that people seem to like it.
“A way-groovy app that allows you to stream your MP3 library over the Internet.”
“It doesn't get much simpler than Andromeda. If you have a basic Web site and are capable of copying MP3s and the Andromeda script (PHP or ASP) into a folder on your server, you can offer streaming or downloadable music on the Internet or within any LAN.”
“We're using Andromeda to distribute station promo audio enterprise-wide within Clear Channel. It's so simple to use that even I can figure it out. Our producers and programming staff love it....simple and powerful.”
Customers now include organizations like Greenpeace, Creative Artists Agency, US Air Force, Clear Channel, Salvation Army, as well as loads of independent musicians, voice-over artists, sermonists, and regular music fans.
Well, it may not seem like much to 2015 eyes, but here's what first turned me on to computers, way back in 1978:
10 FOR I = 1 TO 100
20 PRINT STR$(I) + " "
30 NEXT LOOP
At the time I was a 9-year-old with a somewhat unhealthy interest in typing out page after page of sequential numbers on the family typewriter. The discovery that a FOR LOOP could reproduce weeks of work in mere seconds was a total game changer.
I got my first personal computer, an Atari 800, in 1980. My most memorable project was writing a function in Atari BASIC that converted any number into a sequence of speech synthesizer phonemes (speech synths don't natively know how to pronounce numbers). My old Atari BASIC cartridge remains one of my most-treasured artifacts.
I graduated from Cornell in 1992 with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Cognitive Studies. As a senior I lucked into a job with the Interactive Multimedia Group where I developed tools for authoring rich-media documents and sharing them over a network.
Following Cornell I spent two years at Technovations, a small communications firm where I produced touchscreen kiosks and digital video for clients like Pfizer and Prudential.
On August 3, 1994 I discovered the Web. (And now, thanks to the Web, I can determine that exact date: it was the same day as Lollapalooza in Providence, RI, right after MacWorld Boston.) But the company wasn't interested, so I set out on my own.
As a self-employed Web-wonk in the mid '90s, I coded pages for Netscape, Time, and General Electric. Firstview, a fashion photo archive, drew international media attention (New York Times, People, Time, Le Monde). I also served as Director of Technology for Gen Art, a national nonprofit that promotes young artists, fashion designers and filmmakers.
In 1995 the MIT Media Lab awarded me first place (in what turns out to have been the first interactive juried art show) for my digital graffiti project, Curator, which was exhibited in several art galleries in Soho, NYC. It was kind of like a collective, shared Photoshop for gallery-goers. The prize was a digital camera, and I celebrated by making this pre-Google Map tour of Soho. Curator was also licensed to help launch a new line of Cannon printers.
I developed Incubator in 1997, which combined several ideas that were novel for the time: 1) it was a 'service' that I only had to build once, but could then license repeatedly, and 2) it enabled subscribers to log in and maintain their own catalogs through a Web interface.
I started collecting MP3s in the late '90s, and soon wanted a way to play them over the network. This lead to my work on Andromeda starting in 1999. I then became active in debates on file sharing and intellectual property, including: an article for Salon.com, Baudio a 'concept app' that was covered by Slashdot and LawMeme, some friendly sparring with Stanford law professor and "Free Culture" leader Larry Lessig, a few appearances on the nationally syndicated David Lawrence Show, a invitation to sit on a CMJ Music Marathon panel, and DRUMS, a rough sketch of a P2P panacea.
Bitty Browser was originally envisioned as a way to make it easy to embed Andromeda sites within other Web pages, but then I realized the concept of embedded browsing had many other applications. I was awarded US patent number 7,284,208 for my work on Bitty.
Over 2008/2009 I developed a new site/strategy for Electro-Harmonix, a leading manufacturer of guitar sound equipment. My solution was to apply "social media" concepts toward the marketing of physical products. For reaction, see Wired, TechCrunch.
Flipjar, currently in beta, is a Web-based platform that encourages regular/repeat Web site visitors to "do things" that directly benefit their favorite sites.
Andromeda is the android name of my partner in life, Amy Harmon. We met at the book launch party for "Extra Life
." Amy is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for the New York Times: most recently for her series on the cultural impact of new genetic technologies
(here's the award
), and previously as a member of the "How Race is Lived in America" series team (here's her contribution
I've cameoed in a few of Amy's travel stories — here's one about digital cameras and another about our trip to Tucson, where we stayed overnight at Kitt Peak National Observatory and took this picture of NGC 1042.
More recently, I've become interested in urban biking. I ride a custom Swift Folder, built by the original frame designer right here in Brooklyn, NYC.
On August 24, 2004 we welcomed our first little Andromite, Sasha Harmon Matthews, to the family. Bitty Browser is named in her honor. We all live happily ever after in New York City.