Web publishers everywhere are looking for two major things: ideas that will get people to stay engaged on their site longer and ways to make more money. JustRivals.com may have solved that problem. The four-month-old site allows publishers to turn any topic into a “Rivalry” and embed a voting or polling mechanism within a given story.
So, let’s say I was writing a story about how Erik Deckers and I wrote No Bullshit Social Media and that we had a drawn-out discussion at one point about which of us was more handsome. I could go to JustRivals.com and in a matter of a minute (quite literally under 60-seconds) create a rivalry asking readers to vote. Who is more handsome? Me or Erik.
Now, when people read the story on my blog, (Or Elasticity’s blog, as it were), they become part of the story, too. They can help dynamically add their voice to the rivalry with their own vote.
Now, are voting or polling mechanisms new? No. Is the possibility someone would incorporate the voting and polling mechanism in a story versus a sidebar to help drive on-page engagement? No. What is new is the user experience. Creating this poll took me about 54 seconds. It’s published at JustRivals.com, but I can also grab an embed code and, of course, share it to my social channels, all with a few clicks.
And for publishers or bloggers with sizable audiences, JustRivals offers partnerships where the tool can be monetized through a number of methods including affiliate links, straight ad sales, revenue shares and more. (Though these are custom and require reaching out to the site’s executives to discuss. You can click the “Partner With Us” link on the site’s footer for more.)
Elasticity is working with JustRivals to help get the word out about the ease of use and availability of its platform and widget. Frankly, I’ve had a ton of fun just going to the JustRivals home page and voting for or sharing existing rivalries. You’ll see their users include the New York Mets, NASCAR, The New York Daily News and more. So big sites with large audiences are clued in to this being an effective engagement and monetization tool.
But it’s also just fun to create a rivalry, publish it to your social networks and see what happens. So far, I’ve had fun with Facebook vs. Twitter, Kentucky basketball fans vs. Alabama football fans and our lord and savior, Kanye West.
If you’re a blogger, give it a shot. Take the topic of your next post — maybe it’s all about the effectiveness of email marketing and you ask which is more effective, email or SEO — and turn it into a rivalry. Create a widget quickly, embed it and see if your site engagement (time on site, number of visits, etc.) doesn’t change. There’s a good chance it will.
Oh, and be relieved I just did whether or not Erik or I were more handsome. My first thought was to build out a 16-person bracket to pick social media’s biggest douchebag. I only didn’t because I was afraid I’d win. Heh.