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What’s New With the Bespoken Proxy (bst) and CLI Tools

Hello, everybody.

Some time ago in the far away land of 2016 we released the Bespoken CLI to help you develop Alexa skills locally, making testing and debugging far easier and faster. Well, since then a number of helpful improvements have been made to the Bespoken Proxy bst proxy; the command line interface is more user friendly than ever before.

Now that it’s been over a year since the launch, I’d like to show you how to get started using bst proxy all over again – as well as show you the many improvements that have been made along the way.

For those new to the Bespoken CLI, here’s a quick summary of what it is and how it works.

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Voice Is Eating The World

We create software for monitoring and testing voice apps. We consider our job to be a humble but necessary one, and for people that enjoy troubleshooting and automation, one that is filled with many sublime pleasures.

But sometimes, we feel the need to step back, take a look around, and make an extremely bold proclamation. Today is just such a day – so sit down, put down any potentially stain-inflicting liquids, and brace yourself! Because we have news for you – even if you aren’t excited about the subtle pleasures of well-instrumented systems, you should be excited about a voice.

Voice represents a revolution that is going to make the mobile install-base (2B+) seem quaint. That’s right – for voice devices, two billion is not the ceiling – it’s the floor.

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11 New Bespoken Dashboard Features From Our Users – We’re All Ears

Customer feedback is crucial for every software company, and over the past few months our team has been busy gathering thoughts and listening to our users as they navigate the voice app development space. If you’re an active member of the Alexa Slack community, it’s likely our own founder and CEO, John Kelvie, has asked you a few questions directly.

Thanks to our hundreds of users, we’d like to share the following Bespoken Dashboard features that were inspired by real users.

Want to track progress of an issue or see if one was already implemented? To hold us accountable, check in with the activity on Github, and keep the feedback coming.

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How to Think About Voice App Performance and Why It’s Important Now

There are frequent discussions in voice technology circles about voice app performance. The definition of performance in these conversations usually drifts toward user experience – how effective is the app is at fulfilling a user’s intent and the rate of re-engagement or retention. These are all important metrics.

However, we hear far less about traditional measures of application performance such as availability, error rates, average response time, request rates, and other key metrics. Neglecting these also has a substantial negative impact user experience and engagement in both the short and long-term.

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Build an Alexa Skill with Bespoken in Boulder, Austin, and Lima

As voice developers and software engineers, we live and breathe voice-first technology every day. And with the recent onslaught of voice powered hardware and software announcements from Amazon and Google, the industry will be hard to ignore even with non-developers.

We know most of you interact with us via the BST command line interface, the Bespoken dashboard, or maybe in the Alexa Slack group or @bespokenio on Twitter. While we are grateful for our numerous digital interactions, we remain dedicated to the unique needs of voice developers. That’s why we’re spending the last two weeks of October presenting at three meetups.

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The Future of Voice On The Voicebot Podcast

In episode 6 of The Voicebot Podcast, our very own founder and CEO John Kelvie joins Bret Kinsella, editor of voicebot.ai for a conversation about voice apps, voice diagnostics, and the future of voice.

As longtime acquaintances working in similar spaces for over a decade, listen in on this candid and intriguing recording between two industry experts.

Highlights include:

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Hello, It’s Me – Bespoken

Welcome to the new look of Bespoken. We still offer the same tools, but now they are not part of the name.

Today, the Bespoken brand goes animal style. As in, we are excited to reveal a new logo and website featuring our favorite digital creature, the Bespoken Llama.

To celebrate, we are giving away two Amazon Echo Shows to two lucky users that sign-up before Sept 30. Sign-up for the Bespoken dashboard, integrate our SDK in 5-minutes, and complete a short survey – and you’ll automatically be entered into a drawing to win. See complete rules and guidelines.

Take a peek at the new site, and update your browser bookmarks to bespoken.io. Current users, log in to your Bespoken dashboard at apps.bespoken.io/dashboard.

You may be wondering what inspired the colorful new look and the cute llama with the fluffy tail. Well, let me share the short story of our rebrand.

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Bespoken Recognized on the Alexa Agencies and Tools Page

Today, Amazon released the Alexa Agencies and Tools page with a list of organizations that build skills as well as tools for developers building Alexa skills. We are thrilled to be included in the list with the other great tools and skill creators.

As skill creators ourselves, we wanted a way to share the tools we were building to help with skill creation with the community. We put out our proxy tool, which allows Alexa to interact directly with code running on your machine, and Bespoken Tools was born.

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