ComScore Tracking Effects of Marketing in Conversational Media Sites

(via Online Media Daily)

Apparel, food and beverage and low-cost product categories are better received by consumers visiting blogs than other types of marketers, according to Chicago-based comScore’s new product that measures consumer consumption of marketing through blog and social network conversations. “More serious categories such as insurance, financial services and pharmaceuticals do not engage blog visitors as well,” says Andrew Lipsman, senior analyst at comScore.

“The intensity of usage with conversational media sites is unique to the Internet,” Lipsman adds, with heavy visitors to conversational media sites in particular exhibiting certain niche online behaviors that can be underrepresented in a general consumer panel.

That fact inspired creation of the new tool to measure the intensity and predict the velocity and magnitude of its growth. Federated Media Publishing, the Sausalito, Calif.-based advertising platform for blogs, lent comScore its expertise on the consumer population that visits blogs, contributes commentary to blogs and social networks, and offers advertisers a stickier relationship.

What it means: more and more people are interested in conversational media as a way to market products/services but are not sure about the effectiveness of branded advertising alongside conversations. It’s therefore very appropriate that Comscore starts providing some data to support ad buys around this new media environment.

SES San Jose: Stuart McKelvey on Local Search

Found on WebProNews, a video interview with Stuart McKelvey, President and CEO of TMP Directional Marketing. He’s at SES San Jose to present the results of a recent local search study done with ComScore.

SES San Jose

Highlights of the interview:

  • Offline local searches are mostly centered on service-based companies
  • Online local searches have a more product-centric purpose
  • Consumers are searching for businesses located within 1 to 20 miles of their home
  • Close to the transaction, 40% of consumers are still shopping around and can be influenced
  • 30% of consumers want to transact offline
  • 20% wanted to talk to someone before closing the transaction

How to Build a Great Facebook App (Highlights from FacebookCamp Toronto)

As I mentioned yesterday, I attended FacebookCamp in Toronto on Tuesday night. It was well attended (over 400 people) and the room was about 50% tech-oriented and 50% business-oriented. Roy Pereira, one of the organizers seen below on the right (the other host is Andrew Cherwenka), told the crowd the objective was to encourage more Toronto-based developers and companies to use the Facebook application platform and further Toronto’s global presence in technology.

roy and andrew at FacebookCamp in Toronto

We then jumped straight into action with a very informative presentation by Meagan Marks from Facebook. Called “Best Practices around Product Design and Viral Marketing”, it offered multiple data points about the size of Facebook in Canada and some tips & tricks on how to leverage the site. The Facebook team asked that we do not videotape the presentation which made me thing their live presentations are walled gardens as well… 🙂

Meagan Marks at FacebookCamp in Toronto

Data highlights:

  • Worldwide: 33M active users (people coming to the site at least once a month), 150,000 new users are added each day.
  • 90,000 application developers, 1700 applications with more 100 users.
  • #6 network in Canada with 11.3M unique visitors in June 2007 according to Comscore (close to 50% reach). Facebook claims they also have 8.5 billion page views per month.
  • They have 3.3M active users. 68% are daily users and 61% are out of college,
  • 75% of active users have an application installed.
  • 10% of all application developers are based in Canada and Toronto is one of the top 10 largest developer communities

Marketing highlights:

  • Facebook is all about identity, information and social context. It’s about connections between people, it’s powered by valuable social connections, and enhanced by network effects.
  • How do you get high growth, high users applications? By having deep integration in all channels: the newsfeed, the product directory, the profile page but there are other places where you can hook your app.
  • Profile integration: there are many places where you can embed your app including in the left navigation, under the user picture, in the upper right or in the middle of the page.
  • The best way to leverage the profile box is to show recent interactions, recently added content, social relevancy (who), the temporal aspect (what happened today and yesterday). The content is all about expression, not consumption.
  • News feed optimization (NFO): increase the relevancy of what’s pushed through the newsfeed ( for example, what the user did and the relationship with their friends) and utilize call-to-action buttons.
  • Additional integration points: the message, the profile actions, the wall, and the share button
  • An interesting marketing idea was to find other developers who have built complimentary apps to cross-promote your own app.

She also mentioned that Facebook was already seeing new business opportunities emerging from developers. Among them, she mentioned virtual currencies (ex: munny in Fluff friends), Ad networks, APIs on top API (for example, the Super Wall API).

She suggested app developers use the following metrics to measure success:

  1. Vitality metrics: installed base, outgoing impressions, conversion rate
  2. Engagement metrics: repeat sessions, canvas page views. She showed the following formula: installed users x impressions/installed users x acquisitions/impressions = new users acquired (see the following picture here from the Global Nerdy site)

Joey deVilla has an amazing summary of that session as well on GlobalNerdy.com, with even more details.

How to Build a Great Facebook App (Highlights from FacebookCamp Toronto)

As I mentioned yesterday, I attended FacebookCamp in Toronto on Tuesday night. It was well attended (over 400 people) and the room was about 50% tech-oriented and 50% business-oriented. Roy Pereira, one of the organizers seen below on the right (the other host is Andrew Cherwenka), told the crowd the objective was to encourage more Toronto-based developers and companies to use the Facebook application platform and further Toronto’s global presence in technology.

roy and andrew at FacebookCamp in Toronto

We then jumped straight into action with a very informative presentation by Meagan Marks from Facebook. Called “Best Practices around Product Design and Viral Marketing”, it offered multiple data points about the size of Facebook in Canada and some tips & tricks on how to leverage the site. The Facebook team asked that we do not videotape the presentation which made me thing their live presentations are walled gardens as well… 🙂

Meagan Marks at FacebookCamp in Toronto

Data highlights:

  • Worldwide: 33M active users (people coming to the site at least once a month), 150,000 new users are added each day.
  • 90,000 application developers, 1700 applications with more 100 users.
  • #6 network in Canada with 11.3M unique visitors in June 2007 according to Comscore (close to 50% reach). Facebook claims they also have 8.5 billion page views per month.
  • They have 3.3M active users. 68% are daily users and 61% are out of college,
  • 75% of active users have an application installed.
  • 10% of all application developers are based in Canada and Toronto is one of the top 10 largest developer communities

Marketing highlights:

  • Facebook is all about identity, information and social context. It’s about connections between people, it’s powered by valuable social connections, and enhanced by network effects.
  • How do you get high growth, high users applications? By having deep integration in all channels: the newsfeed, the product directory, the profile page but there are other places where you can hook your app.
  • Profile integration: there are many places where you can embed your app including in the left navigation, under the user picture, in the upper right or in the middle of the page.
  • The best way to leverage the profile box is to show recent interactions, recently added content, social relevancy (who), the temporal aspect (what happened today and yesterday). The content is all about expression, not consumption.
  • News feed optimization (NFO): increase the relevancy of what’s pushed through the newsfeed ( for example, what the user did and the relationship with their friends) and utilize call-to-action buttons.
  • Additional integration points: the message, the profile actions, the wall, and the share button
  • An interesting marketing idea was to find other developers who have built complimentary apps to cross-promote your own app.

She also mentioned that Facebook was already seeing new business opportunities emerging from developers. Among them, she mentioned virtual currencies (ex: munny in Fluff friends), Ad networks, APIs on top API (for example, the Super Wall API).

She suggested app developers use the following metrics to measure success:

  1. Vitality metrics: installed base, outgoing impressions, conversion rate
  2. Engagement metrics: repeat sessions, canvas page views. She showed the following formula: installed users x impressions/installed users x acquisitions/impressions = new users acquired (see the following picture here from the Global Nerdy site)

Joey deVilla has an amazing summary of that session as well on GlobalNerdy.com, with even more details.

Reports from WidgetCon 2007

Yes, there is such a thing as a widget conference! I’m not there but some bloggers and one article from Online Media Daily have some insights about it:

As opt-in distribution networks popular among young consumers, widgets are on the rise, according to the analysts and agency types who gathered Wednesday in New York for the first WidgetCon. “This space is just showing some incredible month-over-month growth,” said Linda Boland Abraham, executive vice president, comScore. “If I were a widget maker, I’d be touting the young demographic that widgets are reaching.” In North America, more than 81 million consumers–or a full 40.3% of all online consumers–were exposed to Web widgets in April, according to a widget tracking service recently launched by comScore. For now, its Widget Metrix service only tracks widgets–mainly photo and video-streaming players–that can be embedded on Web pages like blogs and social networking pages, rather than desktop widgets. (Notably, it is not tracking YouTube’s video players.)

Joanna Pena-Bickley adds: “The widget is facilitating the evolution through giving us a mechanism for portable content, commerce, community and transactions in consumers lives.”

Daniela Capistrano says: “I do not believe that widgets will completely replace websites as some might believe, but I do believe they will change the way that all content is published, promoted, and shared.”

Jeremy Pepper thought that “NYC is about monetization. San Francisco is about community. Or, NY is about style and SF is about substance – either would work. And, at this conference, no one seems to care about the community. I came to this on my vacation, so just stayed for the two key panels – and walked away with the realization that while advertising and marketing (the majority of the people at the conference) are in deep in widgets, they are the last people that should be touching this space. Why? They don’t communicate – they push content, and don’t seem to care about community. ”

What it means: Widget(s) have enormous potential as a content/brand/business model distribution vehicle. When working on their design, make sure you think about the user value you’re offering. Think feature, not advertising, and let it go. If you build a large network of widget users but you’re not monetizing in the short term, don’t worry about it. It’s a great problem to have!

Citysearch buys InsiderPages for an Undisclosed Price

VentureBeat has the news:

Citysearch, the division of IAC focuses on local reviews of restaurants and other services, has acquired the struggling local review start-up, Insider Pages.

The purchase (amount undisclosed) comes at a time of increasing competition in the race to deliver a compelling local search services. Citysearch’s parent, IAC, has already bolstered its local search offerings, namely with Ask City, a property that packages everything from local search to local maps, reviews, and ticket services.

However, more entrants have arrived to nip traffic away from Citysearch, an early player that has seen its traffic stagnate in recent months. There’s Yelp, Judysbook and Backfence, for starters. Earlier today, we mentioned new competitor Outside.in, another company going after the local community news and events area. (…)

Insider Pages has about 600,000 user reviews, and they’ll be integrated into the Citysearch’s offering, she said. It has 2.5 million monthly unique readers, she said, based on Comscore and internal tracking numbers.

She would not say whether the purchase price was more than $10 million invested in the company by Sequoia Capital, Softbank and Idealab. She said there were multiple bidders, but that Insider Pages preferred Citysearch because it is complementary. Insider Pages is popular among suburban parents and homeowners, she said, giving it strength in the home, garden, health and plumber review areas. Citysearch is stronger in bars, arts and entertainment. Citysearch will absorb Insider Page employees in its San Francisco office.

Rev2 says it was sold for “for an estimated sum of $13 million.”

What it means: I’m surprised it was not acquired by a directory company as it would have been a great jumpstart for any user review strategy (becoming more and more important in any local search site). From the article above, it sounds like the acquisition will be complimentary based on different content & users. I know the Citysearch demographics well (Yellow Pages Group used to be the Citysearch licensee in Canada) but I don’t know enough about InsiderPages’ users to really comment on the complementarity.

Citysearch buys InsiderPages for an Undisclosed Price

VentureBeat has the news:

Citysearch, the division of IAC focuses on local reviews of restaurants and other services, has acquired the struggling local review start-up, Insider Pages.

The purchase (amount undisclosed) comes at a time of increasing competition in the race to deliver a compelling local search services. Citysearch’s parent, IAC, has already bolstered its local search offerings, namely with Ask City, a property that packages everything from local search to local maps, reviews, and ticket services.

However, more entrants have arrived to nip traffic away from Citysearch, an early player that has seen its traffic stagnate in recent months. There’s Yelp, Judysbook and Backfence, for starters. Earlier today, we mentioned new competitor Outside.in, another company going after the local community news and events area. (…)

Insider Pages has about 600,000 user reviews, and they’ll be integrated into the Citysearch’s offering, she said. It has 2.5 million monthly unique readers, she said, based on Comscore and internal tracking numbers.

She would not say whether the purchase price was more than $10 million invested in the company by Sequoia Capital, Softbank and Idealab. She said there were multiple bidders, but that Insider Pages preferred Citysearch because it is complementary. Insider Pages is popular among suburban parents and homeowners, she said, giving it strength in the home, garden, health and plumber review areas. Citysearch is stronger in bars, arts and entertainment. Citysearch will absorb Insider Page employees in its San Francisco office.

Rev2 says it was sold for “for an estimated sum of $13 million.”

What it means: I’m surprised it was not acquired by a directory company as it would have been a great jumpstart for any user review strategy (becoming more and more important in any local search site). From the article above, it sounds like the acquisition will be complimentary based on different content & users. I know the Citysearch demographics well (Yellow Pages Group used to be the Citysearch licensee in Canada) but I don’t know enough about InsiderPages’ users to really comment on the complementarity.

Pre-Teens (Tweens) and Social Networks

Just found this interesting tidbit on eMarketer:


Even preteens have social networks now. Sites like Club Penguin, Whyville.net, Habbo Hotel, Imbee.com and Nickelodeon’s Nicktropolis offer tweens a MySpace of their own. The sites offer either fantasy worlds (members at Club Penguin have tuxedoed birds as avatars) or more standard fare like blogging and music sharing. Club Penguin had four million unique visitors in January 2007, according to comScore Media Metrix.

Parents like the sites’ security (no random chat offers here), but they are still cautioned to monitor for cyber-bullying and the amount of time their childen spend playing online. There’s also the question of ads. Ad-free sites make money strictly through membership subscriptions and promotional tie-ins. Whyville and Disney Xtreme Digital (DXD) have plenty of third-party advertising, and DXD also has Disney branding in spades.

For more information on these sites:

Virtual penguin world: Social sites such as ClubPenguin allow kids to safely emulate teen trends.” (via KansasCity.com)

Why is Whyville a hit? It’s safe, fun” (via Seattle Times)

Safer cyber-playrooms” (DXD & Nicktropolis) (via USA Today)

Habbo Hotel’s entry in Wikipedia

Imbee Launches MySpace for Kids” via Mashable

What it means: always interesting to see a detailed list of competing sites, in this case, social networks for tweens.    

 

 

 

Meta-Praized: ComScore & Privacy, TV Networks Discuss YouTube Rival, Four Google Improvements, LiveDeal.com, Yahoo & FaceBook, Skype Reorg, BidNearby

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Meta-Praized: ComScore & Privacy, TV Networks Discuss YouTube Rival, Four Google Improvements, LiveDeal.com, Yahoo & FaceBook, Skype Reorg, BidNearby

Meta-Praized is a collection of links & stories we’ve “dugg” on Digg.com in the last 7 days. Feel free to add us as a friend: PraizedDotCom .