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ON: Widgets – Not just a toys anymore

gravatar
 · 
February 9, 2007
 · 
2 min read

Picture_1_25

Some of the best data on the growth of social networks is coming out
of the widget startups.
People put widgets on their various social
network user pages, and traffic is referred back to the widget
companies. Other than policy changes
that can have a significant impact on widget usage, it is the best
traffic data available outside of the social networks themselves.

What I’m hearing from some of those widget companies is that San Francisco-based Hi5,
already a big network and rumored to be quite profitable, is surging. Traffic is up 15% month over month, and Hi5 looks like it’s second
only to MySpace at this point. They are clearly bigger than all the second tier
social networks - Piczo, Bebo, Tagged, etc.”

The available third party data is mostly agreeing. Hi5 has a large
presence in the U.S., but the bulk of its usage is in other countries.
That may explain why Comscore, which puts them at the 79th largest
website based on 23 million worldwide unique visitors in December (just
ahead of Facebook, which is no. 83 overall), shows a declining U.S.
audience. U.S. uniques declined to 3 million in December, down from a
high of just over 4 million in July 2006. Hi5 claims to have 50 million
registered users, which sounds about right given the 23 million monthly
unique visitor number.

Alexa shows significant growth as well, although Compete has a different story, more closely mirroring Comscore’s U.S. data.

http://www.hairy-mail.com/social/message.swf

ON: Widgets – Not just a toys anymore via @jpenabickley
Tagged: Alexa · Bebo · Compete · ComScore · hairy mail · hi5 · myspace · Piczo · rich media · Tagged · widgets
Comments
I would frame the conversation a bit differently. Up until now social networking widgets have been objects that live on existing social networking websites. Brands (e.g. major media) can offer their content within those widgets, but the only purpose of those widgets (from a brand perspective) is to allow a kind of syndication/exposure of their content on portal sites owned and controlled by others (e.g. MySpace). That will continue to be a valid purpose, and (as Joanna points out) good tracking will show if there’s a reasonable ROI. But the future of social media widgets will be to provide brands much more functionality AT THEIR OWN WEBSITES, in addition to syndication value at major social networking websites. These widgets can play media, but they also allow users to click into a deeper page experience. Widgets will increasingly be windows (or wormholes) into a more interesting experience associated with the media residing in those widgets. The action happening in widgets, themselves, is relatively minimal because most are pretty small (with click-thrus and other interactive functionality often disabled by the large social network sites). The value these “deep widgets” will bring to a brand’s own website will be, most importantly, community functionality, but also customizable video players, multimedia discussion boards, video blogs. Deep widgets allow brands to place all these elements within specific contexts on their websites (e.g. soccer discussion board widget next to a story about World Cup Soccer). [Full disclosure: my company, KickApps, provides such “deep widgets”.] Placing such widgets on their own websites allows brands to transform their old school destination websites into what I call “Open Portals”. What distinguishes an Open Portal from a destination website is that an Open Portal invites users to take lots of stuff (friends, media, interests, ideas) into the site when they arrive…and leave with a bunch of cool widgets (containing stuff from that Open Portal) when it’s time to go (for posting on other sites). So if I’m a brand, for me the question moving forward is, how can social media widgets help MY SITE build community in addition to studying how widgets might bring my brand value on other websites.
http://communityincontext.typepad.com/blog/
If the client is asking on possible impressions you may need to take a step back and develop their understanding of social media, consumer behavior and word of mouth activity on the web.
If you are seeding the widgets in communities in which the widget offer a relevant channel for them to get special access to content, sweepstakes and relevant news and or coupons you can begin to develop a number based upon the available community information.
But it is very important to explain that we cannot measure widgets with the same standards we do online display advertising. It should be looked at in a hybrid world of loyalty and rich media engagement.
When you take the CRM models you can only constitute the engagement behavior as piece of free media that your Most Valuable Customers, those with the highest LTV, are the fire starters for your brand. (think of them as the person on the train with a passion or virus who sneezes, it is that germ that spreads to three others and repeats the spread through other communities until you have a rampant virus)
Making sure that you are tracking posts, streams and entries to your widget is key to developing a metric that can prove ROI over the widgets life on the web.
Kelly Craig
measurement is the easy part, but when a client asks in the begging “how many impressions may I possibly get?” how might you answer?
I would frame the conversation a bit differently. Up until now social networking widgets have been objects that live on existing social networking websites. Brands (e.g. major media) can offer their content within those widgets, but the only purpose of those widgets (from a brand perspective) is to allow a kind of syndication/exposure of their content on portal sites owned and controlled by others (e.g. MySpace). That will continue to be a valid purpose, and (as Joanna points out) good tracking will show if there’s a reasonable ROI. But the future of social media widgets will be to provide brands much more functionality AT THEIR OWN WEBSITES, in addition to syndication value at major social networking websites. These widgets can play media, but they also allow users to click into a deeper page experience. Widgets will increasingly be windows (or wormholes) into a more interesting experience associated with the media residing in those widgets. The action happening in widgets, themselves, is relatively minimal because most are pretty small (with click-thrus and other interactive functionality often disabled by the large social network sites). The value these “deep widgets” will bring to a brand’s own website will be, most importantly, community functionality, but also customizable video players, multimedia discussion boards, video blogs. Deep widgets allow brands to place all these elements within specific contexts on their websites (e.g. soccer discussion board widget next to a story about World Cup Soccer). [Full disclosure: my company, KickApps, provides such “deep widgets”.] Placing such widgets on their own websites allows brands to transform their old school destination websites into what I call “Open Portals”. What distinguishes an Open Portal from a destination website is that an Open Portal invites users to take lots of stuff (friends, media, interests, ideas) into the site when they arrive…and leave with a bunch of cool widgets (containing stuff from that Open Portal) when it’s time to go (for posting on other sites). So if I’m a brand, for me the question moving forward is, how can social media widgets help MY SITE build community in addition to studying how widgets might bring my brand value on other websites.
http://communityincontext.typepad.com/blog/
I would frame the conversation a bit differently. Up until now social networking widgets have been objects that live on existing social networking websites. Brands (e.g. major media) can offer their content within those widgets, but the only purpose of those widgets (from a brand perspective) is to allow a kind of syndication/exposure of their content on portal sites owned and controlled by others (e.g. MySpace). That will continue to be a valid purpose, and (as Joanna points out) good tracking will show if there’s a reasonable ROI. But the future of social media widgets will be to provide brands much more functionality AT THEIR OWN WEBSITES, in addition to syndication value at major social networking websites. These widgets can play media, but they also allow users to click into a deeper page experience. Widgets will increasingly be windows (or wormholes) into a more interesting experience associated with the media residing in those widgets. The action happening in widgets, themselves, is relatively minimal because most are pretty small (with click-thrus and other interactive functionality often disabled by the large social network sites). The value these “deep widgets” will bring to a brand’s own website will be, most importantly, community functionality, but also customizable video players, multimedia discussion boards, video blogs. Deep widgets allow brands to place all these elements within specific contexts on their websites (e.g. soccer discussion board widget next to a story about World Cup Soccer). [Full disclosure: my company, KickApps, provides such “deep widgets”.] Placing such widgets on their own websites allows brands to transform their old school destination websites into what I call “Open Portals”. What distinguishes an Open Portal from a destination website is that an Open Portal invites users to take lots of stuff (friends, media, interests, ideas) into the site when they arrive…and leave with a bunch of cool widgets (containing stuff from that Open Portal) when it’s time to go (for posting on other sites). So if I’m a brand, for me the question moving forward is, how can social media widgets help MY SITE build community in addition to studying how widgets might bring my brand value on other websites.
http://communityincontext.typepad.com/blog/
If the client is asking on possible impressions you may need to take a step back and develop their understanding of social media, consumer behavior and word of mouth activity on the web.
If you are seeding the widgets in communities in which the widget offer a relevant channel for them to get special access to content, sweepstakes and relevant news and or coupons you can begin to develop a number based upon the available community information.
But it is very important to explain that we cannot measure widgets with the same standards we do online display advertising. It should be looked at in a hybrid world of loyalty and rich media engagement.
When you take the CRM models you can only constitute the engagement behavior as piece of free media that your Most Valuable Customers, those with the highest LTV, are the fire starters for your brand. (think of them as the person on the train with a passion or virus who sneezes, it is that germ that spreads to three others and repeats the spread through other communities until you have a rampant virus)
Making sure that you are tracking posts, streams and entries to your widget is key to developing a metric that can prove ROI over the widgets life on the web.
If the client is asking on possible impressions you may need to take a step back and develop their understanding of social media, consumer behavior and word of mouth activity on the web.
If you are seeding the widgets in communities in which the widget offer a relevant channel for them to get special access to content, sweepstakes and relevant news and or coupons you can begin to develop a number based upon the available community information.
But it is very important to explain that we cannot measure widgets with the same standards we do online display advertising. It should be looked at in a hybrid world of loyalty and rich media engagement.
When you take the CRM models you can only constitute the engagement behavior as piece of free media that your Most Valuable Customers, those with the highest LTV, are the fire starters for your brand. (think of them as the person on the train with a passion or virus who sneezes, it is that germ that spreads to three others and repeats the spread through other communities until you have a rampant virus)
Making sure that you are tracking posts, streams and entries to your widget is key to developing a metric that can prove ROI over the widgets life on the web.
Kelly Craig
measurement is the easy part, but when a client asks in the begging “how many impressions may I possibly get?” how might you answer?
Kelly Craig
measurement is the easy part, but when a client asks in the begging “how many impressions may I possibly get?” how might you answer?

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