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Syndication - MarketingRev - Tech News for Marketers

Archive for the 'Syndication' Category

October 28th

Nuconomy: Site Analytics for the Social Web?


Measuring the Social Web has long been a royal pain, what with Flash, AJAX, RSS feeds, and other slivers of content mashed and remixed into a trail that even Sherlock Holmes might have trouble parsing. NuConomy, an ambitious Site Analytics startup launched in 2006, aims to restore some analytical rigor to the Social Web. TechCrunch and others have blogged it already but it merits a look.  The company opened up for public use today a suite of free analytics tools. If they can deliver on what they promise, then Nuconomy could set a new standard in Web analytics and offer a killer challenge for Google Analytics, not to mention Omniture and others. Here’s a rundown of what it promises, which is a lot. (P.S. – typo on the F.A.Q.. page, marketing team)

-proactive analytics automates the tedious chores of slicing and dicing data and building customized reports.
-promises an “intelligent” data mining engine to continually monitor every aspect of site traffic and user behaviors and automatically highlight the most important things to make businesses better. (data can be retrieved onsite or via email/RSS feed)
-promises to catch formerly elusive but critical data like changes in commenting trends for a particular segment of viewers, etc
-says that companies without dedicated site analyst geeks can now fire its analyst geeks and be unfraid (sorry, analysts)
-claims its metrics measure the social elements of digital media, including Flash, AJAX, and Silverlight applications, along with page views, uniques, and other traditional analytics
-combines and packages multiple flavors of insights into real world behavior on the web (comments, ratings, video plays, sharing links, purchases)
-allows “publishers, advertisers, and business executives to finally see the people behind the numbers (???) and measure the engagement, or lack thereof, in order to cultivate relationships and brand interactions, optimize social media programs, and better monetize ads and e-commerce offerings.” A mouthful but it means mo’ money.
-Builds rich behavioral profiles, or interest maps, for each user by tracking site-level activity for individuals (would be interested in hearing more about how they plan to do this)– such as who is posting comments on bikes or sharing music recommendations with friends.
-This level of detail gives publishers a deeper understanding of user behavior so they can optimize their sites and marketing messages for different audience segments, even different individuals (I find this hard to believe – I regularly move between four computers – how would it work?)
-“features a two-way API that dynamically changes sites based on current metrics and insights, including the ability to show ads or push specific content relevant to a user’s interests.”
-easy to use with plug-ins for tracking users and traffic in WordPress, Movable Type, Community Server, and dasBlog
-partners include Technorati, Microsoft, Six Apart, Pioneer, Kaltura, and Federated Media. (heckuva partner list).
-register for free.

Video analytics and actions spurred by ineractions with widgets are other things NuConomy is offering. It’s a whole lotta package for free. If anyone out there is using it and already has an opinion, feel free to post.

Category: Analytics, Optimization, Personalization, Syndication, social media | 3 Comments »

October 28th

SimpleFeed V3: Marketing Via RSS Made Easy

Christopher Kenton

Back in 2004, RSS was The Next Big Thing. The pundits breathlessly speculated on how it would change the Web, with everyone subscribing to content rather than browsing. But adoption wasn’t the hockey-stick the pundits expected, and the hype over RSS subsided into the background. But out of the spotlight, RSS has continued to grow, and companies like SimpleFeed have continued to innovate new and useful ways to leverage RSS as a powerful marketing platform. Recently SimpleFeed announced Version 3, a ground-up re-engineering of the SimpleFeed application, a powerhouse of RSS functionality used by companies as diverse as Sears, SanDisk and Electronic Arts to let prospects and customers pick their own stream of information, from product updates to coupons and promotions.

RSS (Real Simple Syndication] makes the delivery of all kinds of content easy over the Web, enabling users to subscribe to blogs, videos, music, news, even product sales and coupons, and have that content delivered directly to their desktops. From a marketing perspective, RSS provides a critical alternative to email and Web marketing. Since it is a subscription medium, RSS is more tuned to customer’s interests, making it more relevant, less intrusive, and the resulting metrics more reliable.

SimpleFeed helps marketers leverage RSS by making it easy to publish feeds that consumers can subscribe to for timely information and offers they want. SimpleFeed makes it easy to:

  • Customize the look of each feed to retain brand image
  • Individually code each subscription so behavior can be followed even without an identity
  • Access metrics so that subscriptions and click-throughs can be monitored
  • Dovetail with broader Web analytics tools so cross-channel campaigns can be managed and tracked

V3 adds some new and powerful innovations. The most interesting is the development of Search-Based Feeds. On many business sites, users rely on the on-site search engine to find relevant information. SimpleFeed V3 allows companies to provide RSS feeds for search results–so if users want to subscribe to any new information or updates on the same topic as their search query, they can receive alerts automatically. In essence, this allows users to go beyond the pre-defined RSS feeds companies normally provide to create their own customized feeds based on what the details of their search. V3 also includes enhanced analytics and tools to publish information to formats other than RSS, allowing content to be automatically published to other applications.

As a personal disclaimer, I met Mark Carlson, the CEO of SimpleFeed back when they were first launching, and I’ve stayed in touch ever since because I think they have a cool technology, and the right focus for a marketing application provider. They’re constantly innovating new tools and techniques to improve their product, and the features are always focused on empowering marketers. I’m impressed with how they’ve weathered the hype and post-hype cycles of market buzz, and maintained a steady pace of customer growth and product development. Congratulations on V3, guys.

Category: Syndication | 10 Comments »

March 7th

SimpleFeed Unlocks RSS Power for Marketers

Christopher Kenton

After hosting a videocast explaining the fundamentals of RSS in an interview with [tag]SimpleFeed[/tag]’s Mark Carlson, SimpleFeed deserves their own profile as one of the leading companies improving the utility and adoption of RSS as a marketing tool.

RSS makes the syndication of all kinds of content easy over the Web, enabling users to subscribe to blogs, videos, music, news, even product sales and coupons, and have that content delivered directly to their desktop. The attraction of RSS for consumers is they don’t have to trawl all over the Web for the stuff they like, and they can subscribe anonymously without fear of giving up personal data just because they want to view a video or blog post. But raw RSS provides significant challenges to marketers. If users can anonymously subscribe to content and unsubscribe on a whim, how can you gather information and metrics to refine your marketing programs and retain subscribers?

SimpleFeed solves many of the challenges of leveraging RSS for marketing. They have the ability to customize RSS feeds to retain brand image; they individually code each subscription so behavior can be followed even without an identity; they provide metrics so subscriptions and click-throughs can be monitored; and they dovetail with broader Web analytics tools so cross-channel campaigns can be managed and tracked.

RSS provides a significant alternative to email and Web marketing–one that an accelerating number of consumers embrace because it’s more relevant, less intrusive, and allows them to control their connection. SimpleFeed provides a suite of tools to help marketers make the most of this new channel, without limiting the benefits for consumers. They have targeted solutions for media publishing, financial services, ecommerce and Web marketing, and they’re constantly innovating new tools and techniques to improve RSS capabilities for marketers. For example, Mark mentioned in his interview the notion of secure RSS feeds in the future, which would open up a lot of new possibilities for RSS services and transactions.

The video below is a short demo showing the consumer experience of SimpleFeed’s templated RSS feeds in a desktop RSS news reader. The examples are Sears, Consumer Reports, and EMC.

[flv: 352 240]

On a personal note, and I guess a disclaimer: I’ve known SimpleFeed for a couple of years. I met them when they were leasing space in the same building, and I’ve been following their progress ever since. They’re a very sharp group of engineers with a strong understanding of marketing. I don’t have any business connection with SimpleFeed, but I do hope to use their technology with my agency in the future.

Category: Syndication | No Comments »

March 5th

Making Sense of RSS: What Marketers Should Know

Christopher Kenton

RSS is one of the most important Web technologies for marketers to understand. It’s a way to syndicate and distribute all kinds of content easily over the Internet, and with RSS readers embedded in just about every browser, as well as the new versions of Outlook and Windows, consumer adoption of RSS is accelerating. Users can choose their own content from any publishing source, and aggregate it for viewing in their own reader, on a device of their choosing, on their own terms. It’s no longer enough for marketers to know what it takes to drive traffic to their Web site. Marketers must learn the opportunities and challenges of leveraging RSS to syndicate their content and distibute it to viewers.

In this inaugural edition of MarketingRev videocasts, dubbed RevTube with sufficient irony, I sat down with Mark Carlson, CEO of [tag]SimpleFeed[/tag], to define the fundamentals of RSS, and what marketers need to know about this mission critical technology. SimpleFeed is at the forefront of helping marketers leverage RSS technology and we’ll profile them later in the week.

[flv: 352 240]

Category: Syndication | 12 Comments »

February 6th

ClipSyndicate Launches Video Clip Platform

Christopher Kenton

[tag]ClipSyndicate[/tag] announced the beta launch of their updated video publishing platform today, which enables the easy syndication of video content for Web site publishers and content providers. If you’re a video content provider, you can reach a larger audience of viewers through online syndication of your content, and if you’re a Web site publisher, you can draw from a large source of video content to host on your site.

ClipSyndicate stores and serves the video content, delivering to your site a thumbnail image, headline and link that pops open a ClipSyndicate player. It’s not quite as seemless a user experience as serving embedded video clips directly from your site, but it allows ClipSyndicate to serve advertising from their player, which is apparently the foundation of their revenue model. Pricing for Web Publishers includes a  “free service” in which you share in whatever ad revenue your traffic drives, or a “paid service” in which you can extend your own ad sales by selling advertising for the ClipSyndicate network.

One useful feature of the new ClipSyndicate platform is SmartChannel, which lets you save a set of video content search parameters that you can export to an RSS reader for automatic alerts on new content, or to publish straight to your site authomatically.

 You can sign up for the beta at the ClipSyndicate site.

Category: Syndication | 3 Comments »