Saurabh chatted with Rohit Sardana from IncubateIND earlier in June 2021.
This conversation is for you if you find any of these questions interesting:
- How Scalenut started as a Remote Workplace
- How the team is trying to define the Future of Work in the Content Industry
- What does it take to effectively match content creators on projects across industries
- How is Artificial Intelligence changing the content industry
- How can content creators use these tools to deliver better services\
You can listen to this conversation on Anchor above, or read along for the transcript.
Rohit: First things first. What is Scalenut? And what is your role in Scalenut?
Saurabh: Let’s rewind all the way back to last year when Scalenut started amidst the Covid pandemic.
Since its inception, the company has been in remote mode, and most of the employees haven’t even seen each other.
Me, Gaurav, and Mayank, the three co-founders of Scalenut, with a combined industry experience of 40 years between us, tried to address one of the most prominent business problems brought about by the pandemic.
We noticed that flexible work conditions became the need of the hour. Everything was pointing towards a work-from-home friendly culture. However, this ecosystem was very unorganized, and companies found it extremely difficult to find, sort, and hire talent.
They’d have to explore various platforms, go through tons of profiles, bargain prices with freelancers, whatnot. We started Scalenut to free business owners from all these woes.
Scalenut is a managed marketplace for freelancing services, primarily focused on content and designing.
Our initial goal was to be category agnostic, with multiple categories included in our service offerings.
But once we started providing content services and realized how prevalent an issue it is, we decided to focus our energies on it only.
About me, I head the product side of things. It’s what I’ve been doing throughout my career. You can even call me a digital evangelist of sorts. Everything you see on Scalenut has gone through me, one way or another.
How content is created on Scalenut?
Rohit: Great! I personally feel that a marketplace is certainly required, given that the gig economy is here to stay.
Saurabh, I’d like to know how difficult it is for you to understand the DNA of an organization. What are the various processes you go through before content production starts? And how big a role does tech play in all of this?
Saurabh: Yeah, that’s a great question.
So, at one end, we have all these freelancers from different backgrounds and varied expertise.
Then on the other end, we have all these companies from different niches, different sizes, multiple product categories, and starkly varying content requirements.
To match the right freelancers with the right organizations is the fundamental challenge for a marketplace like Scalenut..
We dedicated a lot of our initial bandwidth into figuring out the different data points or the set of questions we need to ask companies to convey all their requirements and expectations to the freelancers in the crispest manner.
And now, when a prospect visits our website, which is based on a self-serve model, all they need to do is answer a few simple questions that draw the entire picture for the freelancers and us.
So when someone puts in a request, a content brief is generated based on the answers and some work put in from our side. The writers then start with content production.
The first draft goes through editors. We have editors from various fields who understand sectors for which they edit the content. Then we also use various digital quality tests to assess the tonality, check for plagiarism, etc.
So by the time the content piece reaches the client, it has gone through various quality checks and has been tested against all the possible criteria to ensure its success.
We continuously strive to trim all the loose ends. At the end of the day, you also cannot deny the fact that content is subjective. What I love in terms of content might not be that impressive for you. So, yes, it’s always challenging, but we are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to solve the problem better
More on matching creators with clients
Rohit: So my next question is also around tech. Let’s suppose someone from a health or educational business comes to you. How do you use technology to map their needs against the perfect freelancer for them?
Saurabh: We can look at it two ways.
One is from the client’s side, who is putting in the request for content and the other perspective is that of a freelancer.
Let’s discuss freelancers first.
We, at Scalenut, focus highly on quality and adhere to the best standards. We accept only 2% of freelancers from all the applications we get.
We then sort our writers based on their writing capabilities, tonalities, expertise, experiences, educational background, etc.
Then we also invest heavily on editors. So, for instance, if there’s a medical content piece, we’ll have a doctor on board to edit it.
From a client’s perspective, we never allow them to be vague.
They can never be like, “I need a blog on so and so topics.” We ask them questions like, who is the target audience, what your keywords are, what kind of tone you need, etc.
If they don’t know about keywords, then they research the good keywords for their sector on our platform.
This information, combined with our internal briefs, reaches our vetted writers.
We also equip the writers with various AI capabilities.
It’s another one of our beliefs that AI is going to disrupt the content writing space. With everyone talking about AI interventions like GPT and OpenAI, the increasing role of AI in content creation seems inevitable.
So we provide our writers with these AI tools as well as quality check issues. They can mitigate plagiarism, check for SEO friendliness, correct tonality, etc.
All of it is available right on our platform.
Artificial Intelligence and Content
Rohit: AI is definitely being touted as the next big thing in content creation. Could you give us a few real-life examples of AI being used for content creation?
Saurabh: Sure. And before we get into those, I’d like to mention the best possible way AI helps a writer, in my opinion. It helps them get out of writer’s block.
So when we created GenerateAI using GPT back in 2020, what I found most impressive about it is that it never lets you run out of ideas.
With a click of a button, it’ll give you some amazing writing ideas, and you can get as many of them as you want.
AI applications in continent creation?
The first one would be social media posts.
Businesses want to readily generate content for social channels, and they use these AI engines to fulfill their needs.
Product descriptions and blog ideas are the other two areas where you can see the use of AI.
Let’s say a company is launching hair oil and needs some catchy descriptions. Within a few clicks, they’ll have multiple excellent descriptions.
Rohit: Saurabh, could you quickly explain what GenerateAI and QualityX are and how they are helping brands that you’re working with?
Saurabh: GenerateAI is an AI-powered short-form content generator.
For instance, I work in the content services industry, and I want to write blogs and articles around our offerings.
So, I can simply choose the Blog Ideas option from the 15 content options on GenerateAI and mention ‘content strategies’ in the sub-section.
And there you go; there will be more than ten different ideas at my disposal right away.
And there’s no limit to it. You can always create more ideas.
GenerateAI is built on a top GPT 3 engine, which is an offering of OpenAI. Elon Musk is one of the founders of OpenAI.
QualityX is a combination of multiple tools that writers use. It’s a one-stop solution for checking grammar, plagiarism, tone, SEO friendliness, etc.
QualityX examines more than 30 parameters and provides you with a comprehensive report for the content. In a matter of seconds, the content has a quality score out of 100, which helps you judge its likelihood of success.
It’s an exceptionally helpful tool for creators and companies.
Rohit: Should journalists or writers be worried that you have these offerings? Because you are doing a great job of empowering businesses to generate content on their own. We often hear about AI being tested to create content for magazines and newspapers anyway.
Saurabh: It’s a great question, and I get it more often than you’d think.
I believe there will be a lot of disruption in the short term. Companies would scramble to get their hands on such tools, given their exceptionally high input and competitive pricing.
But then everyone would have it in some time. And then again, the human touch will become the key differentiator between content pieces.
AI has its limitations.
It might not be able to understand sarcasm or get that brand tone you need.
However, what it is good at is collating ideas. It can process massive amounts of data and bring the most unique ideas and perspectives to the table.
I believe AI is great at providing assistance.
How can AI affect writers?
Suppose you reach out to a writer with a 1000-word article requirement. The writer will then usually take two days and charge you around 2000 bucks for the job.
Now, if the writer is equipped with a tool like GenerateAI, it’ll take them not more than half an hour to create a similar content piece. Five minutes spent on the tool and then perhaps another 20-25 minutes on editing and minor adjustments.
Now they might charge only 1000 bucks for the job, but the increased TAT and productivity will benefit the writer only. The hourly rate for writers would go up, and companies can benefit from the higher production rate.
Overall, I’m very optimistic about this tool and how it can assist writers. I don’t see it replacing journalists and writers at all.
In the long run, humans are always going to be the differentiating factor.
Rohit: I agree! And I think that this is the right approach.
Thank you so much for your time, Saurabh. And let’s try to chat more often.
Saurabh: Yeah, Rohit. Lovely talking to you. Let’s do this again sometime. Thank you!