The movement control order (MCO) saw a lot of people losing their jobs. The publishing industry was not spared. But what Sean Teoh, the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Monster Alliance Bhd (MOPress), realised was that while a lot of companies were moving to digital, publishing platforms were looking for content other than articles.
During the MCO period, it began work on updating the artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm on MOPress, simplifying its usage and allowing other types of content to be sold on its marketplace.
“For example, one creator did a post-event article and the content had to be posted one by one on other platforms. But the new AI algorithm understands this behaviour and can turn a write-up into the voice format, and from voice to video, which will allow the content to be posted on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Stories.
“This is something we are working on to be deployed for public use in future. We are now building and testing it internally and plan to launch it in six months,” Teoh shares.
He goes on to explain that previously, MOPress catered more for publishers but now it is targeting consumers with a focus on creators in general and not just writers.
“Our future plans are to include videos, voice, pictures and illustrations. We’re including visual storytelling so it’s [not] just for publishing anymore.
“Right now, I would say that the updated solution can be categorised as an avenue for creators to be part of the gig economy. The comic department of Utusan Malaysia, Rumah Kartun dan Komik Malaysia, has thousands of artists and creators under it and these are coming on board.”
MOPress is a content management system (CMS) designed for publishers. Its function is similar to that of website-hosting platforms such as WordPress and Wix, but with enhanced tools and features essential to a publisher. Within the platform is a content marketplace where publishers can purchase content from writers for their respective websites or put out assignments.
The company is also looking to make its content marketplace more accessible by developing plug-ins. For example, if a publisher is using WordPress as its CRM (customer relationship management), all it needs to do is to install a plug-in to access MOPress’ content marketplace.
MOPress has a gamification model for writers. There are four levels — newbie, silver, gold and professional. For writers to level up, they need to create good content and get publishers to buy it. The more views they manage to generate for a publisher’s website, the more publishers will purchase their work, and the easier it will be to level up.
The gamification model ensures that writers submit quality content and that good writers are paid well. It also determines the percentage MOPress takes from a writer’s fee. Teoh explains that at the newbie level, MOPress takes 30% but as the writer levels up, this can fall to as low as 10%.
Teoh says the company will be expanding its gamification model to include an academy, where writers will have the option of attending classes and earning badges once they have completed the courses. It launched a copywriting course during the MCO period.
“These badges also affect a creator’s reputation on the platform. While a lot of creators are experienced, we realised that there is a pool of people who are not and don't understand what is happening in the market,” Teoh explains.