There was a recent post on OJB about the Daily Mail’s ‘feature’ that automatically adds a link and attribution to any text you copy – it turned out to be part of Tracer from Tynt.com, a service that lets you track how people are using content on your site.
I asked Derek from Tynt a few questions – and then I fed the whole lot into Xtranormal.com’s text to movie service. I would have tidied the interview up but I’ve left it verbatim underneath in case you can’t follow the video (which you can see in all its glory here – as this blog’s not quite wide enough to see the full picture!) …
ME: What have the most common use cases – and types of user – turned out to be in practice? Is it large publishers or small bloggers (or both?!?) And what are they using it for (to track, to get links etc)?
DEREK: With the thousands of different types of sites using Tynt Tracer today, the use cases are quite broad. There are a number of sites who take advantage primarily of our ‘plug and forget’ features of automatic attribution link generation which results in increased traffic and improved SEO. Other sites spend time in the areas that really highlight understanding what the users are engaging with. In this area they are looking for the types of content that the users engage with through the heatmap tool and keyword analysis. This can influence how upcoming stories are written or promoted. Increased advertising rates can also be garnered with the new statistics showing higher level of user engagement on some content.
ME: Have you seen any surprising / interesting uses of findings yet from it – EG around what’s being shared or copied (such as how your metrics reveal differences to other ones) Do you know of any ways that publishers have reacted to the metrics, such as by changing what they publish or promote on-site?
DEREK: There has been a great deal of surprising information. One travel site found extremely high levels of user engagement on hotel information – which lead to some interesting opportunities on how to better monetize these pages as a result. Other sites have found that certain types of quotes in the stories deepened user engagement and drove more traffic so they will look to include more of strong quotes in their articles. We are still interpreting the volumes of data that we have received, but it is very clear there are some never seen before trends that we will be able to tap into to help our users improve their operations significantly.
ME: I find the added link a bit annoying as a blogger and tweeter (but I could see I wouldn’t if I CCed into an email). What feedback from site users (as opposed to owners) have you had (I guess they might not know to tell you)?
DEREK: In general, the feedback we have from site users has been very positive. They appreciate having the source of their paste automatically added in. However, there will always be some users who don’t appreciate the behavior, and as the product is still in Beta, we are certainly open to user feedback. We have in the development queue an opt out feature that will not add attribution to users who select this option on that site.
ME: What (big) UK sites are using it? Do you have any contacts at any big ones (EG Daily Mail – or US ones if not) who would be willing to talk about what they’ve learned as a result of using this. It’s how they react to the data I’m really interested in – what actions they’ve taken in the light of what they’ve seen?
DEREK: As we are in Beta and have asked permission, we haven’t published a list of the major sites that are using Tynt Tracer. I can tell you that a large number of major publishers in both the UK and other locations are currently deploying or piloting Tynt Tracer. We hope to develop case studies with many of these on how they are using the data but at this point don’t have permission to share the list.
ME: And the big one – how are you making any money?
DEREK: In the beta stage, Tynt Tracer is completely free. We plan, post-beta, to still offer the current functions that you see today for free, but we will be testing a number of ‘premium’ features in the upcoming weeks which our customers can subscribe to if they see the value in doing so.