Widget Analytics – Measuring the widgets in the wild

Helping web analysts navigate the measurement and tracking of widgets.

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Posts Tagged ‘widgetanalytics’

U23D Widget Easter Egg – boost your widget analytics by unlocking content!

Posted by widgetgirl on February 4, 2008

U23D widget

As a die-hard U2 fan, I just about lost my mind when National Geographic gave me the scoop on the Easter egg hidden inside of the U23D widget that they launched a few weeks ago. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what an “Easter egg” is, it is a secret compartment or “jewel” if you will that is hidden inside of a widget (or anything else for that matter….but we just talk about widgets here).

Tell me, tell me, tell me….OK! The key to getting to the Easter egg is as follows:

  1. Go to the following link: http://www.clearspring.com/widgets/47572cded2ffd3c3/47572cded2ffd3c3
  2. Mouse over the widget to the “U23D” logo in the upper left hand corner of the widget.
  3. Click and hold your mouse over the logo for 3 seconds.
  4. Release and a box will pop up that requests a password – the password is “u23d”
  5. Voila – zee egg will open!
  6. Grab the widget for your own profile page, start page or blog by clicking on the menu to the right of the widget (and please do this if you are still grappling with “What the heck is a widget?” or “How does one actually share viral content?”).

So what is in the Easter egg?


  • A red-carpet Sundance video interview with U2 bassist Adam Clayton
  • A photo gallery of shots from the film
  • Other content that will be updated periodically over the next few weeks.

This is like crack for U2 fans!!!! And for me writing about widgets and widget analytics – I actually get paid to do this! I wouldn’t be doing my job though if we didn’t break down the measurement aspects of this widget and what has (and will) continue to lead to it’s success. So here are the highlights from this:

  • Great brand – who doesn’t love U2?
  • Great brand – who doesn’t know National Geographic?
  • Excellent content – video clips promoting the movie,
  • Compelling reason to keep this widget around – unlocking of new content (Easter egg) and updated content.

The exciting metrics to analyze on this widget (if I were the analyst 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 the widget). One of the ways that we analyze widgets around here at Clearspring is also looking at the “days-to-double” or how quickly the content is spreading.  So if there are 5 seed placements of the widget and within one day the widget is grabbed five times, we would say that it took one day to double the number of placements of the widget.  Obviously this number tapers off as the widget spreads, but it is a great benchmark for understand how quickly 1000 placements turns into 2000 placements, etc.

This widget has been promoted through ads, on the NatGeo site, in U2 email newsletters (multi-year subscriber here) and various other spots around the Internet. Strategic seeding and promotion in addition to the killer content is what makes a blockbuster widget…and this one is well on it’s way.

Go National Geographic (and U2 – but especially Bono) for crafting an awesome widget! You NatGeo folks are right down the street from Clearspring’s Headquarters….but Bono, let me know if you want to discuss personally. I’ll be in Ireland the week of June 30th and would love to catch up for a Guiness and discuss your widget’s success!

Posted in widget analytics | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Widget Analytics Meets Widget Audience Measurement – Metrics Insider Post

Posted by widgetgirl on January 14, 2008

This past Friday I had the opportunity to write the Metrics Insider email newsletter column again. The inspiration for this article came from a Business Week article that focused on comScore’s relaunch of the “Widget Metrix Report.”


Widget Analytics Meets Widget Audience Measurement

Posted January 11th, 2008 by Jodi McDermottThis week Business Week ran an article called “What’s a Widget Worth?” The article focused on the fact that social networks are exploding in growth, but that the software development community contributing to fuel this growth is not getting a piece of the revenue that their applications and widgets are helping to support. At the forefront of the article was the announcement that comScore is revamping its widget usage data report to offer more comprehensive coverage. They will begin to account for widgets built with JavaScript (in addition to Flash), which will open up the capability to measure widgets on one of the hottest social networks on the Web, Facebook.

ComScore’s attention to tracking Web widgets is a big step towards the adoption of widget monetization. Advertisers relying on third-party audience measurement firms to validate audience and engagement have been waiting for the inclusion of widgets to provide justification to their social network marketing strategies. While some advertisers have already been testing the market with widget monetization, the validation of this market by a firm like comScore will help boost its growth and the maturation of the measurement tools and platforms needed to support these business models.

The advertising channels that have recently emerged to support the monetization of widgets boil down to two areas:

1. Widgets as ads – Content creators can ad-serve their widget where the entire widget is the ad. We’ve seen large media companies and movie studios ad-serve widgets to promote their offerings. Based on the ad buy, ad-served widgets can accelerate the spread of the widget from the ad position to a more permanent placement on the visitor’s social network site, blog or start page. This permanence associated with a person or an organization builds brand affinity and extends the audience reach beyond the impression.

2. In-widget ad networks – Advertising within widgets where the ad is adjacent to the content is where in-widget networks fit in. Advertisers can purchase dedicated positions within the widget or allow their ads to rotate across widgets within the network. Current examples include: Fox TV’s “Futurama” widget running an ad from Virgin Mobile and a celebrity gossip widget on X17online.com that includes an ad to promote TLC’s Miss America reality show.

Both types of advertising have just emerged and are starting to gain ground as advertisers enter the world of social networking. Brands with large ad budgets utilize audience measurement tools to build their media plans — publishers build their widget inventory and advertisers evaluate that inventory through these third-party reports.

But what does this mean for the developer community that is creating games and content widgets that are not associated with well-known brands? In-widget ad networks will allow independent developers to get in the game, too, by monetizing their widgets from advertisers who opt into in-widget ad networks. For example, a developer launching an application as a widget that gains critical mass across the Web could create an ad position into which other advertisers could buy. We’ve seen this with Google AdSense, where advertisers can opt into content networks and publishers can incorporate search listings into their site for a share of the revenue.

Just as Web analytics allows the deep dive of how specific online campaigns or Web sites are performing, widget analytics follows in lock step, but adds the next layer of analysis, showing how your content is spreading from site to site. ComScore started reporting on widgets last June in its first Widget Metrix Report. It is exciting to see its evolution of refining its data analysis methodology to account for the technology hurdles that challenge the measurement of distributed content. The combination of widget analytics for the practitioner and the strong entrance from syndicated research illustrates a maturation of the Web 2.0 space with respect to measurement and monetization.

How are you handling widget analytics and audience measurement? I would be very interested to read your comments on how your organization is managing measurement in the wild.

Check out the full post and other posts similar at the Metrics Insider blog on MediaPost.com.

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