The Qwidget was created by Chat the Planet. We like to call ourselves a dialogue company because everything we do has the aim of creating conversations and relationships.
In 2002, we began producing a dialogue-based television show called Chat the Planet that aired in 18 countries in roughly 300 million homes. In 2007, we released the critically acclaimed and triple Webby Award winning web video series Hometown Baghdad. That production told the stories of three young Iraqi college students trying to survive in the most dangerous city on earth. In the comments of the Hometown Baghdad blog, a series of incredible conversations and friendships developed between our viewers from around the world and the Iraqi students from the series. There was something powerful about coming together and meeting each other through content. But we had a problem: only a small fraction of our viewers ever left a comment. The ones who did all reported how meaningful it was to come together through our site. But the rest remained silent.
In early 2008, we began building a better way to engage the audience for our next production. After a while, we realized that the tool we were creating wouldn’t only be useful to us, but it could help nearly every publisher on the web. That realization excited us.
The Qwidget is a service and a tool for websites to engage their audiences in conversations about their content. Find out more on the Feature Tour.
Web publishers around the world are missing an enormous opportunity. While audiences consume content on their sites, the vast majority leaves when it comes time to engage in the social and truly sticky aspects of the internet. For web publishers, this means lost revenue, lower audience engagement and less frequent repeat visits.
However, for the typical web user, the situation is no better. As we see it, there are things that make comment systems frustrating for casual users:
- Comment conversations are totally disorganized with no clear format or structure. There is no clear entry point for casual users
- Comment sections tend to be dominated either by trolls or power users who comment a LOT. Both situations signal to casual users that they don’t belong.
- There is no mechanism to connect conversations across articles, posts and sites. To have a conversation in comments, you usually need to constantly return to the same web page.
We built the Qwidget to make it easier and more rewarding for casual web users to have conversations on their favorite content sites. In the process, the twin pains of low engagement and lost revenue will be eased for web publishers of all sizes.
- Asks users for their opinions
- Makes starting conversations natural and easy
- Enables true cross-site dialogue
- Promotes your blog on other sites with a Qwidget
- Provides insight to your audience’s opinions
- Keeps your audience on your sitelonger.
For more on what the Qwidget does and how it can help you, check out the feature tour.
Get the Qwidget here. Install it on your blog. And next time you make post, add a question to your post and give your visitors something to talk about.
Us? New York City mostly.
The Qwidget? On sites of all kinds hopefully including yours.
*Right now, the Qwidget only works as a plugin on self-hosted Wordpress blogs. But it’ll work for other platforms soon. If you use Moveable Type, Typebad, Blogger or another blogging platform, please sign up here to be notified when we’re ready for your platform.