Scudder Publishing’s John Sodergreen is trying to create the CNBC of chat in order to attract chat-native energy-focused traders to his enelyst platform. “Enelyst” comes from a combination of energy and analyst.
Sodergreen claims enelyst is the “energy sector’s first and only moderated chat platform and secure communications distribution channel dedicated to three specific market sectors: oil, natural gas and power.”
The chat platform has nearly 1000 users, Sodergreen said, who regularly tune in for updates on natural gas, WTI, power and weather insights from analysts promoting their offerings by sharing their insights, just like on CNBC. Except this is chat.
Think of a regularly scheduled webinar, with the charts and graphs, but no voice. Only text. Only chat. And the bespoke enelyst platform looks like all the other popular chat platforms with similar functionalities.
“Chat is second nature for 20 and 30 year olds,” Sodergreen said in an interview with JLN.
While those of us in our 50s like me may struggle with chat, and prefer to call someone on the phone or email them, you can’t help but notice your children’s multiple group chats dinging all the time on their phones.
The younger generation definitely likes chat. Just like email, you can respond when you want. Just like email, you can send a message directly to one person, or handfuls, or dozens, or hundreds.
Sodergreen says the WTI and natural gas morning updates, scheduled before the supply numbers come out, attract about 500 young commercial traders to those shows.
The audience is energy traders, brokers, fund managers and analysts. The chat platform has regularly scheduled programs, or shows as Sodergreen called them. The platform is open 24/7, meaning it is a single place for people to share news and intel in the global marketplace outside of the regular programs.
Once Sodergreen establishes a large enough user base, he said he expects that critical mass of an audience will attract advertising opportunities to help support the platform. And firms can buy their own secure private channels from Sodergreen to reach their own customers who prefer a chat platform.
Sodergreen said there was already one firm that shows the enelyst chat on a big screen in their trading room instead of having CNBC on mute, as the enelyst-focused energy news, intel and collaboration works better for them.
Building a community is never an easy task, but Sodergreen seems to have the right platform to appeal to the chat-happy generation of traders. And if it works in energy, Sodergreen said there are other market sectors ready to be chatted up.