Saturday, December 18, 2010

Who Are The Biggest Fans Of Your Site? Find Out Using OneTrueFan


Scenario: You are the owner of a successful blog. You have attached Google Analytics to the site, which you review daily. All reports show that people are coming, reading, and then leaving, but you want to know more. The one thing this report does not give you is the identity of your readers. Who are these people? What are they reading? Who supports you the most? Today, I introduce a tool that may answer those very questions.

The tool is called OneTrueFan and I first learned about it from Louis Gray.

At first glance, I didn't know what to make of it. The toolbar (shown above), displays on each page I visit. There are random profile pictures from people I do not know. What am I supposed to do? How does it work? What's the point? Having played with OneTrueFan for a couple of months, I have now come to appreciate the value it brings.

What Is OneTrueFan?
In short, OneTrueFan is a browser extension (or add-on) that checks you into web pages. The toolbar rests at the bottom of each page. As seen in the image above, users can:

  • Share pages to Twitter, Facebook, and Delicious 
  • Check in
  • See other visitors to the site, which includes contact info, awards, and recent activity 
  • Identify the OneTrueFan of that page (via the leader board)
Note: OneTrueFan gives you total control over your check-ins and its toolbar. You can do things like automatically check in, delete history for a particular site, and hide/show the toolbar, and block check-ins for individual pages/sites.

How Does OneTrueFan Bring Value? 
During a recent blog post, Eric Marcoullier, CEO of OneTrueFan, shared the following statistics:

  • Less than one percent of readers comment on an article
  • More than 80% of a site’s traffic visits just one time and reads only one article
Based on these numbers, it is almost impossible to know who is coming to your site unless your willing to search a number of different places for links back to your content. This is where OneTrueFan seeks to excel. 

As of this post, people who check in using the OneTrueFan toolbar, or share links on Twitter, will get registered as a recent visitor on the page. The more active visitors, those who return often to read your content, can earn points and battle for the coveted OneTrueFan spot. Within the coming weeks, more people will register in the toolbar when visitors share links on Facebook, Tumblr, Posterous, and many other sites.

How Can You Get OneTrueFan?
There are two ways to get OneTrueFan:

  • Browser extension: allows you to check in and earn points for any page you check into
  • Widget: allows you to offer your site visitors an easy way to share and check in
For those using Blogger, there is a simple one-click process available.

Overall, I am excited to see OneTrueFan continuously updating its features and partnerships. For a while, few people were using the tool, which meant my page didn't have many new faces. Thanks to the widget any visitor can now check-in and once Facebook, Tumblr, Posterous, and other sites join the mix, we will really start rolling.

For those who use OneTrueFan, what are your thoughts? Have you found additional value in engaging with your regular visitors? What would you like to see in future iterations? Let's discuss in the comment section below.

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