A new platform from Appinions
offers the potential for publishers to aggregate ― and monetize ― conversations about a specific topic around the Web or on their own sites.
can use the applications to drive engagement and therefore revenue, said John Greenleaf, chief marketing officer of Appinions, formerly known as Jodange. The Economist
uses Appinion to power a “comment cloud,” displaying topics getting the most comments on the site. When readers click on a specific topic, the application displays comments and links to from a various stories around that topic.
“They wanted to give people an opportunity to get more engaged with their sites and spend more time with The Economist,” Greenleaf said in a phone interview. While the publisher isn't giving out specific metrics, Ron Diorio, vice president of product and community development at The Economist, said in a press release that user engagement for the application “exceeded our projected targets."
Not only can the application drive users to other articles, but it's content in itself. “This gives you a new and different way to view the news and any type of content,” Greenleaf said.
The application is especially useful for sites like The Economist where opinions are critical, Greenleaf said. A sports or entertainment publisher can also aggregate what's being said about a particular player or celebrity using Appinions Heads
Publishers can choose how much customization they want for their widget, whether to embed it directly or configure the API
into their site like The Economist. A set-up process
lets publishers choose features such as whether to aggregate from around the Web or just from their own sites.
Pricing for Appinions is based on the number of applications and volume. The company is also open to potential revenue-share arrangements for publishers that sell sponsorships on the application. Greenleaf sees opportunities for sponsorships around certain topics (e.g., an energy app sponsored by an oil company), and noted that The Economist has already sold premium advertising on its application. Sponsoring conversation is another way for publishers to extend beyond the banner to make online advertising more creative
Furthermore, opinions are becoming more valuable and, therefore, more important for publishers to understand, Greenleaf said. “We view opinions as really the new currency of the digital world,” he added.