One of the challenges that web 2.0 sites have (and iTaggit also has run into) is tracking and quantifying ‘mashup’ activity. If the value proposition includes linking to other sites and providing cross-site benefits then it’s probably important to be measuring the amount of activity in this area. For example, we have an Amazon link which allows users to download info from Amazon on specific items and includes a BUY FROM AMAZON button. To understand how important and/or how well this works for users it would be important to be able to track how often the features are used. And, if the user abandons the activity, where and why. The problem is that with mash-ups and cross-site integration you can only use analytics to see what’s happening on YOUR site. What happens if there is something funky going on in the other site and a high percentage of users abandon the activity?
Additionally, as we add more features like the ‘What’s it Worth To You’ feature in partnership with WIW2U.com, we’ll need to start pruning off the mash-ups that are not effective or actively used. Once a user clicks on a feature we can count that, but does that mean the user completes the activity? Are they pleased with the results? We usually don’t know because at that point the user is ‘living’ on our partner’s site and infrastructure. They’ve gone through the teleporter and we won’t be able to see them again until they return to us. We’re spending time and energy trying to understand how to ‘close the loop’ on these cross-site activities. As we discover more things around this challenge I’ll share them here. If others have ideas or have been dealing with this issue I’d love to hear about it.