One of my favorite bloggers (who still *ahem* hasnt installed Lijit on his blog) is Loic Le Meur the founder of Seesmic. As Loic built Seesmic, a short form video startup, he recorded a video blog about the struggles and triumps of building a startup. Every day.
At Lijit, we embrace transparency. Like so many other companies, we understand that the increased access that users have to a company’s founders and employees (for example, you can follow the following members of Lijit on Twitter:
- Todd, CEO
- Tara, Community Catalyst
- Micah, VP, Business Development
- Leslie, Senior Director of Product and Operations
- Daniel, Integration Engineer
- Mike, Designer
- and many others…including Lijit itself (yes the company itself tweets!)
But that is just one form of transparency. That is the transparency that speaks to what we are doing in building the product.
As publisher advocates, its important that we explain to publishers exactly what installing Lijit provides them in terms of functionality, and, more importantly, how we get that info, and what we do with the data.
As a Lijit publisher, you know that we provide a wonderful suite of stats around searches and searcher behavior. To provide those stats, we collect the following pieces of data around the search itself, the publisher, and the behavior associated with the query:
- Wijit views
- Wijit tag cloud clicks (side note: if you dont use the search cloud, you are missing out on 3-5x the total number of searches you could be getting. Im just saying…)
- Wijit searches
- Searches on a users profile page
- Search paging
- Search result clicks
- Site/result clicked
- Re-Search (side note: Yeah, me again. If you arent using this feature, you are almost suggesting to your readers to click the back button once they get to your site from a search engine. You like giving traffic back to the search engines do you? I didnt think so.)
- Re-Search result clicks
- Site visitor behavior across installed publishers
- Search(terms, clicks) behavior across installed publishers
- Account Demographic Info
- “Blacklist terms” – publisher selected “negative” terms
- Wijit data (is it installed? Its style, etc.)
- GEO data (collected through a provider)
- Trust and content relationships (content sources, blogroll, mybloglog, tags, etc.)
All of these data points are shown in our stats package, which a publisher can make public or keep private. For example, Brad Feld opens his stats to the public.
At Lijit, transparency is not a word we just throw around.
For us, our singlar belief in providing a service that helps publishers be better publishers means that there are no secrets. We gain nothing if we dont view our relationship to our publishers as a partnership. So, ask us, you might be surprised at the answer.
(As an example of this openness, I have started to leave my email address: micah [at] lijit [dot] com and my cell phone number (720) 231-7120 on FriendFeed and other places. Have a question? Call me. Drop me a line. I will always be open to helping and telling you how I will dominate the sushi eating contest.)