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Docmetrics is a Canadian-based startup that launched back in May. The Docmetrics service allows PDF document creators to add reporting analytics to their documents. Docmetrics also offers a lead generation forms builder — we will focus on the analytics application.
In my previous life, we produced hundreds of PDF documents every month and having real analytics about usage would have been great. Knowing which documents were opened and by whom would have helped us as we planned for future document expansion. Docmetrics provides the following stats about PDF documents using their service: number of document opens, reading time, page reads and number of prints. The PDF document is not stored on Docmetrics so it can be housed just like any other PDF document.
There’s one issue that could make some trouble for Docmetrics’s clients. The person browsing the PDF document must click "OK" that they will allow dynamic content to run inside of the PDF document. While it’s easy for the original content publisher to add a note on the source location for the document about the click action, what happens when the document is posted on other sites? I would feel very wary of allowing this type of content when I have not been briefed as to what ths content is. In addition, this type of approval is not something commonly found on PDF documents so users might not be willing to say OK only because it’s not in the normal course of working with PDF documents.
Docmetrics looks like it could work well for corporate environments and for content publishers who produce large numbers of PDF documents. It is a bit troubling that they don’t display pricing information — only "starts at $99/month". It would also make sense to offer a PPV model where I can pay for one document so that when I publish an eBook I can track the usage. I’d like to see a pricing chart plus a feature comparison between the various pricing plans.
Lastly, how does Docmetrics deal with new online document services like Scribd and Docstoc. My guess is that the metrics are stripped out when the document is uploaded to one of these new services.
The concept behind Docmetrics is great and could have real potential over the long-term. They should be working on cutting deals with the large analytics suite providers (Omniture, Webtrends, etc.) and get their application embedded into the larger analytics tools as a premium upgrade. Now let’s see them create the same type of tracking for image files!