Viewers from Iraq and the rest of the world
bonded in our blog’s comments.
One fan even traveled to Jordan to meet one of
the documentary’s Iraqi subjects.
The sad reality was that only
of our video views resulted in a viewer
leaving a comment and thus joining the
international dialogues hosted on our
It was as if we gathered millions of people
interested in Iraq, put them in a theater…
…and turned out the lights so they wouldn’t
interact. A big missed opportunity.
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
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.
As a result, there are a number of products that
aim to encourage more conversations around
web content by improving commenting features.
However, most web users still avoid comment
sections. Are we all anti-social? Or is there
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
• Comment sections are dominated by a few
voices that drown out others.
% of Page Views Resulting in Poll
Answers and Comments
Gizmodo Jezebel Gawker
While commenting remains rare, users are
likely to answer a poll.
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
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.
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.
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
March 26, 2009
The Qwidget is the first tool taking this
approach to connect global audiences based
on the content they consume online.