How I Built My First Alexa Flash Briefing Skill | Alexa Skill Developers
  • How I Built My First Alexa Flash Briefing Skill

    Just Getting Started Building Alexa Flash Briefings

    8 Minute Read

How I Built My First Alexa Flash Briefing Skill

By: Paul Hickey, Founder and Lead Strategist

I have no idea if this is going to really work.

This is usually close to the first thing I’m thinking when I learn something new and try implementing it for the first time.

I just built my first Alexa Flash Briefing Skill – named Data Driven Daily Tip – and submitted it to the Alexa Skills Store, and I have no idea what it’s going to sound like.

Here’s why – I decided to submit it with an RSS feed from my Anchor.fm podcast, instead of creating my own JSON feed.

You see, creating an Alexa Flash Briefing Skill is not that hard, but there is one slightly tricky part, creating your feed. I’ll get to that in a second.

The first thing you need to do is create an Amazon Developer Account, which is free.

1. Create an Amazon Developer Account here.

2. Once you’ve registered,

  • Log in to the developer console.
  • Click the Create Skill button.
  • Enter the Skill name for your skill. This name appears to customers in the Alexa App. Make sure this name does not imply sponsorship by Amazon, or infringe on the copyright, trademark and publicity rights of a third party.
  • In the Default language drop-down, choose the language for your skill. A Flash Briefing skill targets a single language and you cannot change the language once you select it. In addition, a skill preamble, error message, descriptions and content should be in the language selected for the skill.
  • Select the Flash Briefing pre-built model, then click Create skill. The Flash Briefing model is predefined and English-speaking customers would get their flash briefing by saying phrases like the following:
  • “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?”
  • “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

At this point, it’s already kind of fun, but as you can see, it “Feed,” you have a decision to make. You can’t just upload audio MP3 files, like I show in this screenshot.

3. You have to either create your own JSON feed, using Amazon Web Services S3 hosting (a great article here explains how to do it).

or,

4. Create your own RSS feed. Because creating your own JSON feed can be highly technical, I decided to cheat a little bit, and use my own Anchor.fm Podcast RSS feed to submit as my Alexa Flash Briefing Skill RSS Feed, since really, I want the Data Driven Daily Tip Flash Briefing to be essentially the same audio repurposed from my Podcast.

Here’s how I found my Anchor.fm RSS feed.

5. Once your Feed is saved, you can submit your Skill to the Alexa Skills Store.

Here is what the screenshots of the submission process look like!

So if this doesn’t get approved, or doesn’t sound the way I want it to in the store, I’ll make some adjustments. My first one will likely be to revert back to creating my own JSON feed, but I’ll probably need some technical help from my team with the coding part. The audio file hosting part is super simple.

Another idea is to use a tool like Storyline, which I signed up for and submitted a Skill, but it gave me an error when it tried to upload it to the Alexa Skill Store.

Thanks for reading, watching and listening, and have a great day!

KEEP MARKETING!

Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.

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