I am a big fan of blogging about ode.

I believe in the right to be transparent about the development and not to be too “stealth” about the whole thing. It helps create conversations where there would ordinarily be no conversations at all.

I know for a fact that it has sparked some really interesting debate with those who have stumbled across it. It has also opened doors with a number of industry players who like what we have to say and they are intrigued enough to get involved, which is great.

We’re using our blog as a communication method to show what we are like as a team, our philosophy, our ambition and our commercial progress. I believe it gives more than any bland marketing website could give.

But yesterday I found out that the blog almost put off a potential supplier we really wanted to talk to. She didn’t explicitly not like the blog per say, but she didn’t “get it” (or at least “get what ode was about just from the blog”). I guess this must be a common pitfall of a commercial blog. In essence it’s fairly random and not a very straightforward way of delivering a clear message.

I think perhaps the supplier in question is used to pure marketing websites that say in no uncertain terms “We do A, B and C”. No ambiguity. No mixed messages. No wading through posts full of exposition about teddy bears and Google toilets.

In retrospect I can understand why this running commentary didn’t give her the comfort zone she needed. But not to worry. We will (eventually) build a “proper”marketing website with FAQs, Screenshots, marketing blurb etc. Maybe a platform blog can’t exist without one?

So until then I’m taking this opportunity to present some simple facts:

  1. ode is a website/platform that will allow educators to download or rent individual bits of learning content that other people have made. You buy it, we take our cut, the rest goes back to the content owner.
  2. We are a team of experienced elearning folks who are having the time of their lives creating what we hope will be the next big digital educational platform. We’re based in Oxford, UK and invested in/incubated originally by Harcourt, who are now Pearson of course.
  3. ode is being built now and we will be at BETT to show off progress so far and gather interested beta users and hopefully more content and platform partners.
  4. This is what we look like…


Back row from left: Dik Knights (Senior Content Architect), Stephane Ferenga (Digital Content Manager), Chris Bradford (Head of ode/Co-founder), Anthony Glass (Project Manager), James Christie (User Centered Design Consultant), Steve Jones (Rights Assistant).

Front row from left: Samir Sipraga (Senior Web Developer), Tony Pinchbeck (Software Developer), Ed Wong (Product Manager/Co-founder), Maria Newton (Testing/QA) , John Smith (Lead Developer).

Not forgetting Garrett Coakley who just started as a Web developer and Eylan Ezekiel as our Business Development Manager.

But to finish on a good note…Eylan met with said content supplier who after an in depth conversation is now apparently very excited by ode and the opportunities it presents. So sometimes you simply have to talk to people to cut out the noise!