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The Future of Online Content: Audience Engagement

Posted on January 22, 2007

WWWAs you may have noticed I have started to work more pieces on media into Olson’s Observations as of late. This is of course due to the fact that I work at FeedBurner on the publisher services team and, thus, spend a lot of time thinking about online media metrics, distribution, promotion and monetization. That said, I am now going to start putting fingers to keyboard on more of those thoughts and more of what we’re thinking about at FeedBurner. Without further adieu here is the first post in the Future of Online Content series.

Where the Heck is My Content?

Content is becoming more and more distributed as time moves forward and the engine that is providing the backbone for all of the new distribution methods is, you guessed it, feeds! Whether it’s people consuming content in a newsreader, on a personalized homepage, or in a widget that appears on their desktop it’s all powered by feeds.

While the newsreader is not ubiquitous as of yet I think it is safe to say that a lot of people are using one and a lot more will be using feeds as they get into Internet Explorer 7. It is now time to start thinking about the future and the future is widgets (Couldn’t we have thought of a more fun name than that? Where are the marketing guys?).

Widgets are the next big thing and for good reason. They allow content to go almost anywhere and, for the most part, they are easy to implement and to use. We at FeedBurner saw the emergence of widgets coming which is why we have made it easy for FeedBurner users to create a widget of their feed content through Fox Interactive’s SpringWidgets platform. This widget can be easily placed on a desktop, MySpace page, Facebook page, website, e-mail, etc. and it’s all powered by the feed (watch for more widget options to come). Check my widget out.

So, that’s great and all but how do publishers know what the consumption of their widgets looks like? Right now there are some people building widget metrics packages but I think the real value comes in seeing your site stats, feed stats, widget stats, kooble stats (well, that last one was made up but it stands for whatever is next in the world of content distribution - koobles are gonna be big ya know!) in one place.

The total content distribution picture is what we at FeedBurner are working hard to provide you. Next up is widget stats and tighter integration between site and feed stats. This combination of stats will get publishers closer than ever before to a view of overall audience engagement. Sahhhhhweeeeeet!

Audience engagement will be key for publishers going forward. Whatever comes next, whether it is koobles or something else, we’re thinking of it now and we’ll have stats and products to help publishers take advantage of and track the new medium. I am very excited for 2007 since it will no doubt be a breakthrough year for distributed media, widgets and FeedBurner. Publish on!

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3 Comments so far
  1. Raoul January 23, 2007 9:09 am

    I had a somewhat similar idea about audience engagement a while back, albeit for the TV. I can’t believe I missed the point of interactive advertising for the Internet, where it’s much easier for it to work. And you’re right, doing this through feeds and widgets that use the feeds is the way to do it. Since FeedBurner means feeds (great branding effort on your part), it’ll be logical to do it through FeedBurner.

  2. […] channels’ stats together to produce an integrated view of your audience engagement (another post on that here). So stay tuned as there is a lot more to come. if(!window.feedburner_FANAdDisplayed && […]

  3. […] all of that audience engagement stuff I’ve been talking about lately? Well, we just made another step forward toward widget stats […]