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MTV and Clearspring have announced a new distribution partnership today that will allow MTV to have their widgets shared via the Clearspring network. Today’s snnouncement comes a week after Clearspring refreshed their launchpad widget service. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
MTV will provide show- and media-related content in widget form and fans of the content can grab a widget and place it on their blog or social network page. MTV will also look to monetize the widgets as well.
By creating the set of widgets, MTV hopes to get tons of free advertising by getting users to distribute their ads for them.
Widget sharing service Clearspring has announced the launch of their latest version of Launchpad today. The new Launchpad allows for more customization than before including colors nad layout. Clearspring is now also supporting a variety of additional languages within their sharing feature.
The sharing menus within the widgets also prioritize the destinations based on each user’s history with other Clearspring widget interactions. The company has also launched "liquid sizing" which allows the sharing menu to morph to the right size automatically based on the size of the widget. Clearspring serves ads in the widgets on their free version.
The company has also pointed to new tracking analysis from comScore which shows them at 254 million unique visitors worldwide in September while I assume they are pointing to Gigya at 161 million visitors. comScore also notes that they had "reached" 101 million U.S. consumers for September. "Reached" is a tough word to use — I’d very much prefer to see actual interactions. Widget views are easy, interactions are a whole other ballgame. Part of the bump in numbers comes from Clearspring’s acquisition of AddThis.
SplashCast and Clearspring have announced plans to partner together to create a social advertising network targeted towards consumer brands. SplashCast provides content management services while Clearspring is a widget distribution service.
Here’s how this new relationship works: SplashCast customers will create content and Clearspring will help distribute it through their widget distribution network. Clearspring will also inject ads into the widgets and also provide tracking and analytics services back to SplashCast.
I’ve said many times that consumer brands need to engage widgets and social media to push their advertising dollars further than buying traditional online advertising. This partnership should help push this concept further.
During the panel that I moderated at Graphing Social Patterns this week, Jodi McDermott from Clearspring noted that companies can swap out what’s inside of a widget to extend the life of the widget. This is something everyone knows but is it something we’ve actually thought about from the publisher’s perspective?
Let’s assume that The Incredible Hulk movie purchases widget placements through a widget distributor. Fans of the Hulk install the fun widget on their Web sites and blogs. The movie is now out of theaters and the ad run is over. Can the widget distributor now stick anything they want into the slot? Do the Web sites have to approve the swap? At a minimum, should the Web site or blog publisher be notified of the change? The panelists believed that brands wouldn’t want to hurt their reputation with customers so they would never swap out the widget content with something controversial. While I agree with this, most brands are currently using a third-party to handle the widget management – can we trust these companies the same way?
The easy answer is to say that the publisher will see the changed content and remove the widget if needed. That’s easy to assume if the widget is installed site-wide. But if the widget has been installed on a specific content page, the publisher won’t see it until it’s potentially too late.
The IAB and other industry groups have begun to discuss standards for widgets and widget advertising. Should we begin to discuss standards for usage and widget lifetimes? When you install a widget, should there be a clear understanding of how the widget will be used, both today and in the future? I say yes.
Today was day 2 of Graphing Social Patterns East. I attended a majority of the sessions, moderated a panel and also met more awesome CN readers. I think Dave McClure did a great job in leading the overall conference. He was approachable all day, greeted many of the conference attendees and kept things moving basically on-time. One of the techniques Dave used was to play funny and viral videos between each session. Since the sessions were all in the same room, it was a great break between the sessions and lightened the mood quite a bit, especially with the miserable heat outside!
The one thing the conference seems to be missing is buzz, excitement and chatter. The media/press room was basically empty except for Adam Ostrow of Mashable. Maybe it’s the fact that all the sessions are in the same room but the conversations and typical high energy just seem to be missing here (maybe it’s the heat). It seems more like a training session atmosphere. Nothing like the photos and videos from the GSP on the West coast.
Kent Schoen – Facebook
Kent was supposed to lead a discussion about “Facebook Business and Marketing Solutions” but to me it felt more like, “Facebook Stats Showoff.” Kent noted that Facebook ads will always be unique and social in nature. Basically he explained that the benefit of buying ads on Facebook is that your ads will be seen by your friends and they can then interact with the ad and spread it to their friends, etc.
Here are some of the stats and updates he shared:
- Four times the invites sent on eVite are sent on Facebook monthly (16m vs 66m)
- Over 150,000 pages have been created and 85,000,000 fans have signed up to the available pages.
Hooman Radfar – Clearspring CEO
Hooman spoke about widgets in general during his discussion. I liked his definition of a “social application” = “widget plus a canvas plus the ability to push socially and virally.” One thing he said that I agree with is that analytics and tracking is the key for a successful social campaign. I see way too many companies investing in social media without any measurement. It’s like throwing money down the drain.
Hooman closed by speaking about cross-promotion of widgets and social applications and how it’s one of the keys for success. He explained that Slide and RockYou can launch a new widget or social app and receive immediate users because they can cross promote it into the apps that are already in use.
Tonight’s party was put on by the SocialTimes and SocialCash. Josh at ReadWriteWeb has some info on Social Cash today. The party was held at a very upscale sushi club (wtf?) and the crowd was hopping. The place was jam-packed and the conversation was good. I finally got to meet Chris Saad of the DataPortability project and Sean Ammirati of ReadWriteTalk and mSpoke.
As I was leaving, the folks at SocialCash handed me a bag – which looks similar to a “loot” bag I remember getting as a kid. Inside the bag was a t-shirt (who wants it, email me!), a credit card which apparently is used to cash out the rewards you earn on SocialCash. Also in the bag was $1 dollar bills – 100 of them!!! Damn. I am waiting for confirmation from SocialCash but I may have been given the “winning” bag with all of the loot inside. Somehow I am thinking each of the 100 bags were supposed to contain a $1 bill. I will update this post once I receive confirmation. Check out the photo below for confirmation.
See everyone tomorrow – don’t be a stranger – say hi and grab a CN sticker!
NY-based KickApps is announcing a new distribution partnership with widget network Clearspring today. Clearspring will begin to promote the KickApps Widget Studio and KickApps will push its members to use the suite of widget tools that Clearspring provides.
KickApps reports over 24,000 publishers on their network using widgets and comScore reports 47.5 million unique widget viewers in April 2008 on the Clearspring network. This deal benefits KickApps by extending distribution to the large member base on the Clearspring network.
Widgets are finally starting to take shape as a real online marketing vehicle. Over half of the sessions at Graphing Social Patterns this week are focused around widgets. Check out KickApps CEO Alex Blum’s article on the value of widgets.
Editor’s note: KickApps is a sponsor on our sister site, HTMLCenter.