The Many Challenges of Widgets

Before you invest time and money in a widget strategy, you better know the challenges. This applies to VCs, Web Strategists, Developers, and even Social network companies An Objective View In this blog, I strive to provide a balanced viewpoint of both the benefits and challenges of a web strategy, it’s easy for us to become over-hyped and then fall right into the pit of over exuberance. (See other posts tagged Challenge) I’m moderating quite a few panels with widget developers (last week at Stanford, next week at Graphing Social, and in a few weeks at Ad:Tech) so I’ll be using many of these challenges to hold the vendors to their claims. First, a few parameters: Update: This list of … Continue readingThe Many Challenges of Widgets

Video: How the Web Strategist should approach Widgets, with Ro Choy of RockYou (4:30)

Click To Play In my role, I get briefed by companies that I cover in my space (social networks, widgets, and related products). If I feel the speaker is strong, and can deliver a succinct message that’s helpful to my audience, I’ll do a video. Ro Choy of RockYou (warning: auto playing music) clearly meets these requirements. If you’re not familiar, RockYou is one of the leaders in what I call the widget network category. They create hundreds of widgets that were initially launched on blogs, then moved to Facebook, and will now be deployed on other social networks that allow development (Bebo, MySpace, etc). Between RockYou and their competitor Slide, they account for 8/10 top applications on Facebook (as … Continue readingVideo: How the Web Strategist should approach Widgets, with Ro Choy of RockYou (4:30)

FirstTake: The Web Strategist should watch –but wait– for the MySpace Developer Platform

(Left: I met and interviewed MySpace’s team Will and Jim) I just got back from the brand spanking new SF MySpace office, an event tonight that was catered to the new developer platform which they announced today. This post isn’t aimed at developers, but at the Web Strategist (web decision maker) here’s what you need to know: MySpace opens third party developer platform MySpace announced a developer platform so third party developers can create applications on top of their existing commmunity. This is released on time, and is a competitive move to Facebook’s application platform. I’ve published stats and demographics about MySpace (and Facebook here). Over the next 30 days, developers will get to play in the ‘Sandbox’ (the theme … Continue readingFirstTake: The Web Strategist should watch –but wait– for the MySpace Developer Platform

Case Study: How Sony Leveraged A Popular “Vampire” Facebook Widget To Reach It’s Community

A Widget Case Study Yesterday, I gave a teleconference on Facebook as a ready-made marketing program. I gave a few examples of success, and the audience was hungry for success metrics and numbers. One of the case examples was about rebranding an application/widget in this case, Rock You’s vampire application. Sony rebrands popular Vampires Widget with 30 Days Night, upcoming Vampire movie Vampires, which you may already know as the RPG where members bite each other to receive points (and duel) was already popular with over 3 million installs in Facebook. Sony pictures, the parent company of the very scary 30 Days Night vampire horror film rebranded the existing application, and launched a sweepstakes contest to generate registrations and glean … Continue readingCase Study: How Sony Leveraged A Popular “Vampire” Facebook Widget To Reach It’s Community

What Growth In Widget Networks Means To The Web Strategist

Why Web Strategists should consider widgets Expect widgets to act like a network, the span over many different containers like social networks, websites, and blogs. Since widgets are opt-in by the publisher or social network member, it’s a great way to track who’s actually interested in the content. As a result, the opportunity for more sophisticated marketing and advertising moves from carpet bombing to opt-in nearly GPS radar-like accuracy. First, understand the distributed web strategy Need to get up to speed on this, start with my primer on web marketing is distributed, not on two domains alone, followed up by a former CMOs perspective on the distributed web. Getting users to come to your corporate website is not the only … Continue readingWhat Growth In Widget Networks Means To The Web Strategist

List of companies that measure widget measurement or metrics

I’m watching more closely the movement within the widget industry, it’s growing quickly, and we expect 2008 to have some serious growth from this market. Expect widget advertising networks to appear this year, and as a result, the need to measure and watch this distributed industry is important. Here’s a list of companies that measure widget network growth. How is widget measurement different than traditional web analytics? Widgets spread (velocity = distance/time) over networks, and are distributed. Users will embed them, interact with them and share with them with others. Also, you can identify unique nodes where applications have spread, these are influencer nodes, and should be treated with extra care. When deploying your widget, since it’s managed by a … Continue readingList of companies that measure widget measurement or metrics

Learnings from the Widget Roundtable

Dave McClure (who helps teach the Stanford Facebook class, and runs the Graphing Social Patterns conference), Justin Smith (of Inside Facebook), Rodney Rumford (of FaceReviews), and myself brainstormed last night trying to understand the current state and direction of the emerging widget industry. The widget universe is vast with a lot of variation. So although the initial goals was to try to categorize the widgets into clean buckets, and we found that to be an impossible task. Widgets can often have multiple attributes, so instead we focused on attributes and characteristics, rather than groupings. We developed a couple of models, (none that are perfected) but noticed a few ways to look at the attributes: Levels of Data Interaction Highest | … Continue readingLearnings from the Widget Roundtable

Widget Roundtable: Categorizing the Industry

[Viral Marketing doesn’t work, tell everyone you know] Left: Dave McClure is being Ironic. According to Flickr, this is my MOST popular photograph, even more popular than my photo that got on digg and received 200,000 views. Problems Currently, there are over 13,000 widgets on Facebook, and we should expect that number to increase exponentially as companies like MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, LinkedIn, and all other networks become containers for widgets to grow on top of them. Goals Help users, marketers, developers, and the industry better understand the widget industry. Help define where widgets are heading, what are trends, and what to plan for next. What we’re going to do Sadly, there’s no way to accurately describe widgets, measure them consistently, … Continue readingWidget Roundtable: Categorizing the Industry

Video, Evolution of the Internet: Analog to Digital, Portals, and Social Networks (5:00)

Click To Play I met up with CEO Jennifer Cooper of Mixercast (Widget mashup platform) last week in San Mateo (where several new startups are starting to call home, one was YouTube). We chatted over wine about the different phases of the web, and she broke it down to three succinct levels. We both agreed that the future of web strategy is distributed, and brands will need to create small applications that can travel the web to wherever communities form. Keep in mind that widgets are only one component of your web marketing strategy, the full list is here. [As we evolve to each new phase on the web, one group gains prominance while the other becomes irrelevant, which side … Continue readingVideo, Evolution of the Internet: Analog to Digital, Portals, and Social Networks (5:00)