Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Conduit Knitting Communities With Customizable ToolbarsI just got off the phone with Reena Jadhav, Conduit's CMO. The topic of the hour was of course her company and how they're actually growing quite rapidlly in the free, customizable toolbar space.
I must admit that the only reason I decided to schedule something with them was because their PR firm used TechCrunch as an example of an influential blog that was actually using their toolbar to promote the TechCrunch conference. However, I must look into this a bit further since Arrington isn't promoting the CrunchBar anywhere that I can see and the only reference to it and conduit that I could find was from a Google search. Here's the snippet Google had...
Our sponsor Conduit will be providing a custom toolbar for everyone attending and connecting virtually to the party. It is called CRUNCHbar, ...
Ah, mystery solved, Conduit is a product level sponsor of the TechCrunch New York event. I guess that means product placements can actually be used as endorsements, more on that later.
After getting a fairly thorough walk through of the product I can see why they have over (woops - numbers will be released November 6th) active users, most of which are actively using the toolbars. I'm still not completely sold on the idea of using a toolbar to build community but I can definitely see the value this brings to the table. My issue with it is that it's another thing to download, kind of like a plug in for Firefox. On the plus side, they're taking some big steps to deal with privacy and not report on any individual user level stats for the custom toolbar creators.
I'm not the foremost authority on the toolbar market (I've never tried to build one on my own and never will) but I can appreciate the simplicity with which Conduit has made creating a custom toolbar to engage your community uber easy. Conduit is to toolbars what blogger is to content management systems. It's that easy and you get stats to boot.
I think we should definitely keep an eye on them in the next 6 months to see if they can line up some key partnerships in the streaming and online video
space as well as other content partnerships cause that's what will take then to the next level, IMHO.
By Jason Dowdell at 03:09 PM | Comments (1)