The Power of Statistics & Dashboards (About.me as an example)


In May of 2008 I wrote that statistics - specifically around referrals and influencers - could be a sizeable business model for Twitter. Last week, About.me launched publicly. It's a gorgeous site creator that allows very simple page creation and automatically pulls in content from your social presences: ie Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Wordpress, etc. You can view mine at About.me/rspoon

Much can be written about this - SEO, self-branding, social aggregators, etc. But I want to return to the premise that my 2008 article about Twitter and statistics... because one of the great features of About.me is their "dashboard":

First, the dashboard gets users to return to the site... making it "sticky" in an environment that might not otherwise encourage daily usage (after all, the service automatically updates all of your presences!).

Second, it is addictive... in the same way that game mechanics make other sites sticky and why Twitter's follow count can be credited with some of their early growth.

Third, it encourages promotion. Want more views and visitors? Promote your About.me page via Twitter, Facebook and email (of course About.me makes that easy).

Fourth, it is really useful and interesting... and unique. There are statistics on visits, views, etc - but more interesting, there are stats on the number of status updates pulled in, your total reach, the @replies, etc. Powerful ways to unite the data around "influencers" and your About.me page will emerge over time.

So how can you apply similar mechanics and a "Dashboard" mentality to your experience?