Widget Analytics – Measuring the widgets in the wild

Helping web analysts navigate the measurement and tracking of widgets.

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Archive for February 25th, 2008

Widget Grabs – The most popular metric in Widget Analytics?

Posted by widgetgirl on February 25, 2008

“Grabbing a widget is” a slogan used commonly in articles, columns and posts on sharing widgets. The term is used commonly around Clearspring as well, but it’s true definition is really the sum of new placements created for a widget. Widget placements, or “placements”, is a metric that describes the number of unique instances of a widget. It’s definition is essentially the intersection of a specific widget and it’s unique placement on a page. It breaks down as follows:

  1. Visitor views widget on a web site – this could be the page that it was “seeded” on (the initial placement of the widget as defined by the embed code generated by the widget-serving platform) or another site where the widget has been spread to.
  2. Visitor clicks on the “Grab” or “Get and Share” button on the widget. I use the term “button”, but it really means that the visitor is invoking the ability on the widget to get a copy of their own widget.
  3. Visitor completes the process of sharing the widget to another web site, social network or page. This may take the form of completing a “wizard-like” process of using the sharing services provided by the widget-serving platform – OR – it may be the result of copying a piece of embed code and physically pasting it on to another web site.
  4. Visitor views the newly created widget placement on the site it was shared to.

What does this result in? Well, it means that you just “grabbed” the widget.

Grab – verb

  1. to seize suddenly or quickly; snatch; clutch: He grabbed my widget.

People love these phrases – “grab my widget”, “he grabbed my widget”, “they grabbed the widget”….or any derivation thereof. This is why I am thinking we need to just take the term “placements” (which will still have it’s place in the Clearspring lexicon) and call them “Grabs” when it denotes a visitor performing an action to create a new placement of a widget. It is a verb, right? Once those placements (or Grabs) are being actively viewed by visitors, we can then defer back to just calling them “placements”.

My colleague Steve has been lobbying for this for a while and I am thinking that I totally agree (see Steve, you did finally wear me down). So if we rewrite the definition in widget terms (not Dictionary.com terms):

Grabs – metric and a verb

  1. to create a new instance of a widget via the widget-serving platform’s sharing services or pasting of embed code: The widget was grabbed “x” times.

This is a core metric to understanding widget effectiveness – the number of times a widget is viewed and grabbed (grab rate – ooh, there’s another good one), and how well you are converting visitors who just view the widget to visitors who grab the widget. Getting clarity around how widgets spread and how to quantify that spread is what the analytics team at Clearspring’s mission is. It isn’t always easy, but with much debate comes clarity….at least that’s the goal.

As for widgets, I ran across this cool Disney widget this week. You can “Puppify” your widget by uploading a pic of your own canine. Click on the link below to go check out this widget –> or click here and you’ll get there too.

Ok – President’s Day hiatus and my vacation to the valley is over…I’m back on my weekly schedule.


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