Incentivizing Sharing

As we all know, sharing is at the center of how we discover new and interesting things.  Our friends say “Hey, you need to check this out.”  Because you trust that person,  you check it out.

Here at Clearspring, we’re always looking at new ways that we can help to speed up the process of sharing, viral spread, and discovery of new content.  This includes finding ways to incentivize sharing.

Well, one way this had worked really well is through contests.   Because Clearspring has a really rad analytics platform, we can track when and how a widget gets shared around the Web.  If you can bind a widget installation to a person, you can tell which users are driving the most shares.

Then… just give a prize to whomever drives the most shares of a widget and you’ve got a recipe for something that has the potential to go crazy viral.

This is exactly what was done for the widget for Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction’s NIN|JA tour widget.  Register on the widget, share it with your friends, and you could win tickets to see them along with a bunch of other prizes.

[clearspring_widget title=”NINJA 2009 Tour Widget and Contest” wid=”49bf3f176d7d6417″ pid=”49d1158aa7b160f3″ width=”400″ height=”500″ domain=””]

My Viget Engage Blog Interview on “Getting Started with Widgets”

Think you guys might dig this.  After an Ad Age article on widgets, my very rad friend and Viget Labs Digital Strategist Ryan Moede, asked if I’d do a blog interview with him on “Getting Started with Widgets.” I think it’s pretty cool.  Check it out and drop a comment on his blog.

Grab the NY Times Election Results Widget

One of our engineers at Clearspring took the NY Times Election Tracker and widgetized it.  You can now grab it and put it wherever you want.  Enjoy!!!

[clearspring_widget title=”NY Times Election Results Widget” wid=”491068851a740b4b” pid=”4910792af498cf08″ width=”270″ height=”653″ domain=””]

Clearspring Releases an Updated Share Menu & Regains Worldwide Widget Dominance

[clearspring_widget title=”Widget” wid=”48f75b83f11873c6″ pid=”49071bbab9b35707″ width=”540″ height=”324″ domain=””]

I think today should be the official “Hug a Clearspring Engineer Day!”  Today,  we made two really awesome announcements.

We’ve released an updated share menu. It’s been redesigned and looks dead sexy.  It’s smart.  It’ll figure out where you like to share and populate those destinations to the top.  It’s super customizable.  It’s also worldly.  The new menu will detect and support a bunch of languages.

Tons of high fives and hugs to our engineering and product team.  They rock.  They’ve been heads down working on this for so long now.  We’re all super pumped about it.

BTW – If you’re a user like me, they’ve super improved that whole interaction process.  When you publish a widget, it no longer goes straight live to the world.  It goes to a draft and the menu will give you the option to open the draft in a new window.  😀

Also… Clearspring has announced that according to September ComScore numbers we’re retaken the lead as the biggest widget distribution platform. “Clearspring logged 254 million unique visitors worldwide in September, easily outdistancing its nearest competitor by 93 million visitors.”  We “experienced a 59 percent increase in worldwide usage of its sharing service between August and September.”

So start sharing content online with Clearspring.  Try out the new menu and let me know what you think –

Both McCain and Obama Use Clearspring :-)

At Clearspring, we just noticed recently that both John McCain and Barack Obama have widgets that use Clearspring’s Launchpad.

We’re glad that Clearspring can be something that brings both candidates together. 🙂

We recently found something that they both have in common. Both John McCain and Barack Obama use Clearspring’s Launchpad as the widget platform to syndicate the widgets for their Presidential campaigns. (The widgets are to the right and below.)

So… make sure that when November 4th roles around that you get out and vote and in the meantime make lots and lots of Clearspring widgets.

Clearspring CEO Hooman Radfar on “Clearspring + AddThis = Universal Sharing”

So… as you all know, this morning, Clearspring announced its acquistion of AddThis.  Well our CEO Hooman Radfar has just recently published a blog post about it, which I think is worth reading.

Here’s an excerpt…

Our vision is to create an open sharing platform connecting publishers, advertisers, and developers. This platform will enable a true first on the web – enabling users to leverage any web-based service from within the context of any application, anywhere. As we move towards this vision, Clearspring will continue deliver the best widget distribution and monetization services possible and AddThis will continue it’s run towards the goal of becoming the most ubiquitous sharing tool for publishers. Shortly, however, you will start to see the beginnings of this vision come to life.

Clearspring Acquires AddThis

Big news today at Clearspring HQ.  We’ve acquired the bookmark and content sharing service AddThis, the button thats frickin’ all over the Web.  Together, we make the most comprehensive set of sharing services on the Web.  We’re all really pumped.

Venture Beat did a really nice write up.  Here’s an excerpt:

Clearspring, the widget creation platform, has acquired AddThis, the bookmarking and sharing button, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition moves Clearspring closer to becoming a service that allows any users to share content from any website.

AddThis will initially remain its own service. Through the acquisition, Clearspring reports that the two services combined will be reach approximately 200 million users and 300,000 publishers.

Also… check out the story on Digg.

If you have any questions, thoughts, or concerns, don’t hesitate to drop me a line –

Read Clearspring’s Widget White Paper

Ever wonder what a widget is and why you should care?  Well, I was lead writer on a white paper that we wrote here at Clearspring on that very topic. I just announced it on the Clearspring blog.

We were recently discussing different tools we could give to the people to help them understand widgets and the value proposition of Clearspring. We decided to write up a quick white paper. It’s entitled “What’s a Widget and Why Is it Important? (PDF)

I’d encourage you to download it, read it, and send me comments. Let me know what you think. E-mail me at

Rad Content + Shareability = Recipe for Virality

Over the weekend, we saw something really neat.  Saturday Night Live did an amazingly funny skit about Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.  They made it available online in a Flash player that was widgetized and made shareable through Clearspring’s Launchpad widget platform.  With all this, what do you get?  You get what CNN has called a “a global Internet sensation.”