Your INFLUENCE is now trackable: Google applies for patent, Traackr already on beta


Google has a applied for a patent on technology for ranking the most influential people on social networking sites like MySpace & Facebook. This takes into account number of people you know, your friends of friends, frequency of interaction, number of referral,how strongly they value your opinion, and the list goes on & on.

To Summarize the technology:

More connected & active you are – more influential you become – more influential you become – more attractive you become to the advertisers

“Google search displays Web pages with the highest influence—it makes complete sense for them to extend this to online communities and people,” says Jeremiah Owyang, an analyst at Forrester Research (FORR).

This technology sounds interesting, but I don’t think this is great enough! It is again a step towards exploiting consumer data for revenue generation & online domination. I as a marketer would absolutely adore this information because it will help me connect my brand message with relevant audience. But, as a common consumer I feel cheated… It’s like, I upload videos, photos, and other content every week, creating mountains of inventory that the sites can sell to advertisers—and the sites don’t have to pay a dime for any of it. it’s my profile, my content, my friends, my life & a marketer is making money out of it! not done right?

Traackr a start-up company from Boston acknowledges the the plight & has come up with a revolutionary concept that gives the generators of all this user-generated content a way to monitor how influential, and therefore how valuable, their content is becoming—and, someday, to make some money on it.

“We think there’s a market for influence, but it has not emerged yet because there is no currency for it; no one knows what it’s worth,” explains Traackr’s co-founder, Pierre-Loïc Assayag. “If you happen to be one of the power users on YouTube and Google is making tons of money on you through contextual advertising, or if you’re a book reviewer on Amazon and your review inspires 10,000 people to buy a particular book, you should be getting a cut. At Traackr, we are going to tell you that you are worth x amount compared to other users—and you can use that as a negotiating angle.”

This Boston-based company scans Web pages and aggregates data about how people interact with each other online. For instance, Traackr generates statistics about how many comments their YouTube videos generate, their number of social network connections and the number of views pictures on sites like Flickr receive. The data is then normalized and assigned a value relative to other Traackr users.

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How do I start Guide?

1. go to www.traackr.com
2. create a personal account on the public beta version of the site
3. link your existing  video sharing accounts, photo-sharing accounts, your music profile, etc. (At the moment this list is limited to YouTube, Flickr, Revver, Dailymotion, MySpace, Vox, and Last.fm.)
Thats it! sit back & wait fro  your “popularity” & “buzz” scores!

Now comes Traackr’s turn

4. Traackr goes to those sites & sucks all the information about your content
5. Traackr comes back & distills the information into different scores!
6. you get your “popularity” & “buzz” score displayed on the site in form of Percentiles.

(for better understanding)
Percentile: If your popularity rating is 48 (which is where mine settled after I linked my Traackr account to my Flickr photostream), that means your stuff gets more page views than 48 percent of other Traackr users. Or fewer pages views than 52 percent
Popularity: no. of people see your stuff
Buzz: no. of reactions you get to what you published)

As per the Co-founder  the company is working on rolling out two additional measures – reach (measure of how often your content is passed on) & perceived quality (a measure of quality)

Sounds much like what Google isn’t? exactly!  we’re seeing this huge explosion of vendors that provide social media monitoring solutions. But most interesting thing for me is the potential another big problem pertaining to social media- Generate Revenue! According to an article in Forbes.com “Turning the influential power of users into a free market may just create the economic model companies specializing in it desperately need to survive. And it’s a model people are unlikely to ignore.”

Everything said & done… one thing to understand is that the current version of Traackr will drastically evolve as time passes. I believe if these models by Google, Traackr & other vendors are successful advertising on social media will be much more relevant & profitable to both the advertiser, the business related to the social media.

But I ask myself, will a consumer ever get paid to be cool or influential on social medium? Will they earn money for their influential power & hard work they put to create & share the content?  will be online platform always be business centric? I guess,  as time passes & as new business models evolve around us we will be more competent to answer this. But one thing I can surely say…This is time to make social networks advertising more relevant & profitable!

Future will be fun! once people start realizing their worth (influence) on online social medium there is going to be a revolution – where people will demand compensation. And may be COLLABORATION will be the name of the game!

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