Qwidget Presentation

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A summary of a presentation I gave to the Center for Policy on Emerging Technology.

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Qwidget Presentation

  1. 1. A case study in global conversations March 26, 2009 Michael DiBenedetto mike@qwidget.com
  2. 2. In 2006, we began producing a documentary about three Iraqi university students.
  3. 3. The footage became a web series called Hometown Baghdad. It debuted on Salon.com on March 19th, 2007.
  4. 4. It was an instant hit.
  5. 5. Viewers from Iraq and the rest of the world bonded in our blog’s comments.
  6. 6. One fan even traveled to Jordan to meet one of the documentary’s Iraqi subjects.
  7. 7. The sad reality was that only 0.53% of our video views resulted in a viewer leaving a comment and thus joining the international dialogues hosted on our site.
  8. 8. It was as if we gathered millions of people interested in Iraq, put them in a theater…
  9. 9. …and turned out the lights so they wouldn’t interact. A big missed opportunity.
  10. 10. We realized that every media property with an international audience presents an opportunity for its fans to connect in global dialogues that can open eyes and open minds…and increase engagement, traffic and site revenue.
  11. 11. 0.12%  33% However, nearly all publishers on the web miss this opportunity by using engagement features like comments that fail to attract more than a fraction of their audience. Some studies suggest that .12% of web users submit 1/3 of all comments.
  12. 12. As a result, there are a number of products that aim to encourage more conversations around web content by improving commenting features.
  13. 13. However, most web users still avoid comment sections. Are we all anti-social? Or is there another reason?
  14. 14. Commenting is Chaotic • Overlapping conversations create visual clutter and meaningless chatter. • There is no easy, quick entry point for a user to engage without thinking deeply about it. • Comment sections are dominated by a few voices that drown out others.
  15. 15. % of Page Views Resulting in Poll Answers and Comments 40% 36.99% 35.96% 30% 20% Polls Comments 10.17% 10% 0.76% 0.38% 0.05% 0% Gizmodo Jezebel Gawker While commenting remains rare, users are likely to answer a poll.
  16. 16. This makes intuitive sense. Most people don’t approach strangers and barge in on conversations. But we feel comfortable chatting when someone asks us a simple question.
  17. 17. To serve our needs and those of all other web sites, we created the Qwidget. A tool that lets publishers prompt users to engage by asking a simple opinion question.
  18. 18. When an answer is clicked, the Qwidget expands, prompting users to explain their opinion in 200 characters. They can also quickly send private replies to each other’s answers.
  19. 19. Different websites can ask the same questions, which enables their different audiences to interact with each other, creating the possibility of cross-site, web wide dialogue.
  20. 20. March 26, 2009 Michael DiBenedetto mike@qwidget.com The Qwidget is the first tool taking this approach to connect global audiences based on the content they consume online.

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