The Two Modes of Delivering Relevance: Value Ad & Net-New


Yesterday with much excitement I dove headfirst into two new
tools. Glue from AdaptiveBlue and LinkedIn Apps. Both provide for the distribution of relevant content into social media — or if you prefer, the distribution of relevant social media into content.

Glue is a FireFox extension that provides social context to
content while LI Apps easily creates apps from a number of content sources to
put on your LI profile (assuming the early glitches have been worked out… How ya like me now?).

Installing them one right after the other, I could not help
myself in comparing them since ostensibly they both have the same purpose (as all
syndicated content) – optimize the user experience by providing value in the
discovery and delivery of information. What is interesting is that while the ultimate goal is the
same for both services, they are using opposite ends of the content/user spectrum to achieve it.

LinkedIn Apps uses content I created that should be relevant
to others based on their context.
(Note: there are a few
collaborative apps as well)

Glue uses content others
that should be relevant to me
based on my context

Another way to look at this — with LinkedIn Apps I become
something of a social advertiser. As a Glue user (and of course as a content
contributor) I become something of a social publisher. The irony is that Glue
is playing the transactional web and LI lives in the social web. I find that
juxtaposition fascinating.

What I realized today and what drew me to even blog this is that the services highlight
ideas I’ve started to explore in recent work. Namely, that there are two modes of delivering relevance and each needs to be optimized toward different user goals for performance.

Two Modes of
Delivering Relevance

1) Value Added Relevance: The content is a helpful &
useful part of an experience or primary goal

2) Net-New Relevance: The content is interesting enough to
change the behavior or cause latent goals to emerge

Let’s look at Glue and LI Apps in the context of these modes.

Value Added: My
linked in profile page is there for the purpose of discovery — learning about
me. Apps provide added content that makes that experience much more
informative. Another cool thing is that when I’m on my LI and my goal is to
learn about other people, apps is there for me as well providing updates on my
network. LI Apps provides Value Added Relevance.

Net-New: In the
transactional web consideration stage is aligned with discovery goals. Glue
sits on the transactional web to “connect with friends around the things you
visit” blending social navigation with semantic navigation to deliver discovery via contextual relevance. Semantic web is all about
correlations so it makes sense to incorporate social into these taxonomies. While
is Glue is adding relevance to the primary goal of the user, the goal of Glue is for latent goals to emerge via social connections. Thus, Glue seeks to provide Net-New

Further Definition

Net-New Relevance is about creating awareness. To be
successful at it timing is critical. The more down-funnel you deliver Net-New
the more you are fighting against the goals of the user so it is at top of funnel experiences where you can optimize (being
helpful and useful to the user) by presenting this information.

Value Added Relevance can also create awareness. However,
the primary benefit is to help someone complete a goal. Ideally this
information presents itself between the current context & the user and
increases in value the closer someone is towards completing their goal.

Heads up

One product I like very much in this “semantic discovery”
space is SemantiNet’s headup . CEO Tal Keinan was on a panel I moderated at Jupiter’s Web 3.0 conference a few weeks ago and I had the opportunity to walk through headup with him.  Like Glue, headup is a FF extension only
it runs on top of Microsoft’s Silverlight. Headup is keyword driven. The tool works more like a faceted
search result to provide Value Added Relevance and uses a built-in social
utility to deliver Net-New Relevance as well. 

Both Glue and Headup are worth
checking out and likely each will find its audience depending on how you like
to use the web. LinkedIn Apps is essential to use. 

Keep in mind these awesome services are only baby steps in the move from
a web of pages to a web of objects. Still, they provide a window on how useful and interesting that web will become
through optimizing the delivery of information about the things that are
relevant to us.

We are just getting started here folks. I promise you, one day the web will be so fucking relevant
you will crave irrelevance! And it will be there for you to click on.



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One response to “The Two Modes of Delivering Relevance: Value Ad & Net-New”

  1. Steffan Antonas Avatar

    Great post. In particular this is right on the money –
    “While is Glue is adding relevance to the primary goal of the user, the goal of Glue is social connections. Thus, Glue seeks to provide Net-New Relevance.”
    The twitter integration around commenting on things, I find, enhances the social connection – especially as I have Glue set to autopost to Twitter and Twitter set to autopost to my Facebook wall. One small action as I browse in my own context sparks discussion in a variety of places, and starting a conversation in context this way (with a link to the object) has a gathering effect wherever I am on the web that is unique to Glue and adds meaning and value to the discussion.


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