As the Alpha of One True Fan currently stands it is just a fun game – a little like Foursquare where you can become the “One True Fan” of websites based upon a number of factors. I say that having never used Foursquare or any kind of location based social network. For me locations are the web pages I visit :)
- Daily Visits
- Unique page views
- Promotion of a link by Twitter Delicious & Facebook (currently)
- The traffic you send by a specific channel
One True Fan Toolbar
The main interface for One True Fan currently is the toolbar.
Here you can see the toolbar on my screen just as I have become One True Fan of Techmeme – actually quite a hard challenge because Techmeme isn’t really a site with 100s of pages that you might normally browse.
You can gain more points by linking there, which I assume Louis has done a few times over the last couple of weeks as well as daily visits. I did manage to catch up though it is not something I could normally maintain as I don’t use Twitter.
The toolbar can get a little annoying – quite often I have forgotten to switch it off when taking screenshots, and for hardcore SEOs access to footer links can be impaired. Having to hide the toolbar on every page view when doing some work can be a pain, plus at times you are looking at lots of client sites which you might want to not permanently block, but turn off temporarily.
During the last month of alpha testing I even uninstalled the toolbar for a whole week due to these problems, and I know a few others have done the same. It is something that will hopefully be fixed soon.
One True Fan Profiles
The profiles provide a nice record of where you have been, which sites you have “captured” and which have fallen to your enemies or friends.
You can see I have been having a few small battles over various sites… well at least that is what some normal useage patterns can look like – I suppose if I was really “invested” in one of these sites then that would matter.
Being the One True Fan of Google will no doubt make a few readers LOL.
MyBlogLog Roots Empowering Marketers
3 years ago I explained why social media marketing sucks. I realise that monitoring of social media has improved a lot in the enterprise space over that time.
The team behind One True Fan are the original team members of MyBlogLog – all of them as far as I can tell. They have been off doing their own things for a few years. Eric was a co-founder of Gnip which is still doing well, but they are back to take another bite at the cherry.
MyBlogLog started off life as a tracking application – Eric wanted to see which links were popular on his blog. The widget came later as did the social graph, the collation of data etc.
I don’t think they have any plans with One True Fan to tackle content in quite the same way, though the questions I have asked have admitedly been focused on marketing features. I am a marketing geek after all.
Those still at Yahoo… please forgive me… I am going to refer to MyBlogLog in the past tense. There isn’t an indication what Yahoo will do with MyBlogLog.
One of the unique features of MyBlogLog was the ability of the widget to tell a site owner who was visiting. I am not referring to just looking at a widget, or an expanded list of the last 127 visitors that people played around with.
Big things are made about how Facebook is now expanding their special partnerships with a few sites to provide them with data about visitors before they have even logged in. MyBlogLog could do this 3 years ago, linked with lots of social graph information if a visitor included that on their profiles – you would also get a list of all their favorite blogs, and those in most cases were automatically added to after 5 or 10 visits.
You could also use the data to see what individuals were doing on your site, in some ways like expensive CRM systems such as Infusionsoft can tag people.
My friend Rob had a cool little tracking script that would log all the visitors to each page, so you could determine who were your biggest fans – I tested it for a little while. One day I was shocked to see one new visitor… a human not a bot read 52 pages of my blog in a single very long session – I think it was a Saturday and he just hung out reading.
You could also use the data to do all kinds of dynamic content targeting and data mining. In many ways Facebook are late to the game.
The problem is to actually use the MyBlogLog data there are some… issues
- You needed to be able to program and the API access had to be applied for on a per domain basis – not mass market.
- There were privacy concerns – if you started visibly profiling people and giving them rewards based on visits, and lots of people started doing it, there would have been a stink – this was the aftermath of the Facebook Beacon problems.
Tying similar technology into a toolbar of some kind makes sense because it is then installed specifically because people want their movement’s tracked to become the “One True Fan” or earn other rewards.
One True Fan Rewards
Things are a little vague on the rewards side – I have questioned Eric Marcoullier quite extensively about what will be possible, but you could really liken it more to a brain storming session than Eric explaining planned features.
There will be a way of delivering some kind of rewards – what criteria, how the delivery works etc we will have to leave for another day until things are a little more finalized. Things like coupon delivery in some way are a given, so are custom badges/patches.
- Number of referrals (by some 2 way API integration or goals)
- Driving traffic
- Visiting certain pages
- Attaining a certain number of points
- Being One True Fan
- Visiting a certain number of times
- Visiting a certain number of consecutive days
A social media tell-a-friend rewards system on steroids.
Apparently there is meant to be some widgets coming – I have no idea whether these might work with other platforms such as Facebook as an alternative for identity, but they are comimng all the same.
One True Fan Analytics Dashboard
One thing immediately “missing” is any kind of analytics, even as a toolbar user. If you are looking for click stats for links you share you are going to be disappointed for a while. You can get some idea from the number of points you gain.
Badgeville – also launched at Techcrunch Disrupt – seems to be a white label solution for each brand site – mybe I am biased but I think it is the wrong solution for 99.9% of websites. They are a “solutions” provider for large sites, which means I am sure they are also charging a lot of money for implementation.
Chirrps – this seems like Entrecard 2.0 – despite having launched it is nowhere near the same level of sophistication.
Comment Luv – it might seem strange, but any incentive to visit other blogs, even if it is a just the ability to leave a comment is competition – in some ways even being a dofollow blog is an incentive as well – they have a referral program so I used a referral link.
Contest Burner – currently off the market but it is a WordPress plugin to run your own incentivized contests, rewarding things like tweets, comments, email subscriptions etc.
I don’t look on MyBlogLog or Blogcatalog to be competitors, as there isn’t really any competition for attention. One True Fan you gain points for visiting websites and promoting them which is complementary to other blogging and social media activities.
For me it isn’t the game that excites me but the ability to identify those fans that are not immediately obvious.
I would be lying if I didn’t also appreciate the enhanced viral (incentivised) distribution of content.
Note: It is and Alpha version – for me, Beta starts around 90% feature complete for what should be there at public launch. Development is gong at an extremely rapid pace. Techcrunch reports $1.2M in the coffers but it was obvious there was going to be some significant investment with the number of early stage investors playing for the last few weeks.
I did a little test signup yesterday with a spare email account and received an email to signup within a few hours so signing up is worth doing – they are not going to keep you waiting forever.