Syndication Hedges Against Changes in User Behavior

Steve Rubel had an interesting post discussing the temporal nature of online communities.

Historically, online communities have perpetually come and go. The Internet Archive amber is littered with fossilized communities that once dominated, much the way the T-Rex roamed during the Mesozoic era. These include former stalwarts such as Angelfire, The Well,, GeoCities…Only a handful of community sites over the last dozen years have had staying power.

The fickle nature of users is a great reason for publishers and advertisers to establish effective syndication strategies. By syndicating content and services via channels such as widgets, they can reach their audiences – wherever they may be. Moreover, by leveraging widgets in conjunction with an effective analytics strategy they can not only hedge against changes in user behavior, but also understand shifts in destination usage as they occur.

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hoomanradfar Written by:

  • Hooman … nice post. Interesting take on widgets and user retention. I completely agree.

    I, and I'm sure you do too, think of widgets as ads. The more that are out there, the more a client can "hedge against user behavior." One thing you mentioned also, is how widgets "can reach their audiences – wherever they may be."

    Exactly … and this is what I'm in the business of doing! I'm with an online advertising firm called FetchBack. We do retargeting. If your not familiar, check us out … but retargeting allows advertisers to literally be in front of people wherever they go on the Internet.

    I've thought about reaching out to people who are in the business of widgets, but you're the first. I know blog posts aren't necessarily to best place to do business development, but I'd love to talk about some ideas I have about integrating our services in with what you do.


  • I agree that widgets can be treated as advertisements. Widgets can also simply be extensions to a digital publishers strategy. As such, widgets can be monetized as well. It really is a function of the purpose of the creator. Do you view the widget as a banner, or a micro-website? Thanks for stopping by.

  • I completely agree with Steve that widgets are a hedge against change in crowd behavior and content demographics. I've often argued in my blog that the old fashioned "ad network" is dead, as it presumes that you can stream users througha channel of content the way shoppers pour through turnstiles at a mall.

  • Absolutely … I like your blog. I think if done right they should be a microsite, but I guess that depends on what the goals of the creator are too. If it were me though, I would try to encourage some sort of engagement metric.

    I'm also curious about your pricing structure. I'd love to have you guys create a widget for one of my clients, and not only could you distribute them, but we could serve them also. Hmm …