Widget Analytics – Measuring the widgets in the wild

Helping web analysts navigate the measurement and tracking of widgets.

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What is a placement?

Posted by widgetgirl on October 25, 2007

In my last post I discussed the concept of a Placement. A placement is the unique instance of a widget that has been placed on a web page. When a placement is created, a placement ID is assigned to identify that unique instance of a placement. When reporting on placements there are multiple ways to analyze them.

There is one metric I want to cover in this post – but three different dimensions to analyze that one metric over. This is a starting point and could easily spawn new metrics or additional interpretations of existing metrics.

Before we dive into definitions, let’s revisit how widgets can spread and what the nodes look like for spreading.

  1. A widget is seeded on mywebsite.com where visitors can come and grab the widget.
  2. When the widget is grabbed, mywebsite.com is given credit for sharing the widget.
  3. The visitor who grabbed the widget from mywebsite.com and puts it on theirwebsite.com has now created a new placement.

Each one of these scenarios presents three different ways to look at the website mywebsite.com.

  • Scenario 1:
    • Placement definition – The instance of a unique placement ID. A placement ID is assigned when a visitor invokes the sharing services on a widget and successfully shares the widget to a social network or grabs the embed code.
    • Placements metric definition – The count of unique Placement IDs.
    • In scenario number 1, mywebsite.com is a domain with a metric count of one placement.
  • Scenario 2:
    • Viral Hub (a categorization of domain) – A domain that has generated one or more placements.
    • Viral Hubs – The count of the placement IDs by domain that have generated at least one new placement.
    • In scenario number 2, mywebsite.com is a Viral Hub with a metric count of one placement.
  • Scenario 3:
    • Heritage (a categorization of domain) – The domain(s) from where a new placement originated.
    • In scenario number 3, theirwebsite.com has a metric count of one placement. And when we ask the question of “where did the placement on theirwebsite.com originate from”, we know that the heritage domain is mywebsite.com.

Confusing – a little bit. Where does this leave us?

mywebsite.com –> theirwebsite.com

theirwebsite.com <– mywebsite.com

Mywebsite.com generates a new widget placement to theirwebsite.com. Theirwebiste.com is now a new placement of a widget. Mywebsite.com is the domain where the placement on theirwebsite.com originated. Yes, it is one big vicious circle, but each scenario lends its own analytical value when analyzing how the widget is spreading. The next step is applying it to your own business.

Widget Optimization

Strategic Questions:

  • Where should I be seeding my widget so that it can become a viral hub and generate new placements?
  • Where has my widget been placed?
  • Which viral hubs are generating placements into specific sites (heritage)?
  • For non-seed placements , what new viral hubs are emerging?
  • How do I get future widgets out to non-seed placements that are strong viral hubs?
  • Should I build relationships or partnerships with non-seed placement viral hubs? What if they are individuals?

There are a lot of business questions to be asking when analyzing your widget strategy. There are three takeaways:

  1. Build your widget to be engaging and relevant to your audience.
  2. Seed your widget where it has the highest probability of being grabbed.
  3. Understand how your widget is spreading and focus on optimizing those distribution points.

Here is a link to my favorite widget of the week!

If you go to the bottom right side of the ivillage.com web site, you’ll see the “Daily Blabber” widget.  Click “grab it” and you can add it to your own site or profile page.

Catch you next week…..Jodi

4 Responses to “What is a placement?”

  1. […] What is a placement? […]

  2. […] the widget the most. The end goal being that whoever has the widget “grabbed” (new placements created from their placement) would win a private screening of the movie in their home […]

  3. […] biggest challenge I have seen thus far is dealing with how widget placements are created from canvas pages and galleries within Facebook, Netvibes, iGoogle and Friendster. Each […]

  4. […] at NatGeo) will be how quickly this widget spreads and where it goes. This includes the number of placements of the widget and from which web sites the widgets it being spread the most (successful grabs of […]

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