We all love how Netflix recommends movies and how Amazon gives us great recommendations for books we would enjoy reading right? Here at outbrain we are doing the same for blog and news content on the web. Information overload is real and growing as the amount of content on the web grows exponentially. We are committed to helping readers of blogs and news sites find the best content that is most relevant to them on a personal basis. This is very different than the commonly seen "related links" where everyone sees the same suggestions. Of course driving page views and new traffic to blogs and publisher sites are the so called benefits, but helping readers discover hidden gems is what drives us every day. Being bloggers ourselves we know the feeling of discovering great content and want to share this wonderful pleasure with the world.
By combining the collective intelligence of like-minded RSS/blog and news readers, we aim to save each outbrainer time by floating the content they would find most interesting. We don't see a need for you to read something that 100 people like you thought was a waste of time.
Our aim is to do this in an almost transparent way, in the places you're already consuming content, and without bugging you too much. Unlike most websites that want *more* of your attention, we're hoping that by using outbrain we'll be consuming net *less* of your attention.
We invite bloggers to install our one click widget and for publishers, rss readers and other news aggregators to contact us regarding easy integration of our rating and content recommendation service via an XML API.
We are excited to announce that beginning September 24th we will be launching an enhancement to our content recommendation service. Simply, this improvement will by default display the best recommendations possible from our network to your readers. This means that you may see recommendations on your blog from an outside source, which in the spirit of openness has several key benefits that we would like to share with you.
Great For Your Readers - First, your readers will have a better experience discovering new content from around the web *on your blog*. Enhancing your readers’ experience is a lighthouse value here at outbrain as we have built our entire system around delivering the best possible recommendations for the benefit of your readers. In doing so, great content recommendations may come from your blog itself, a major media company or from blogs of all sizes. So sit back and take credit for powering a service that will delight your readers with true content discovery.
Syndicate Your Content – With so many blogs now displaying the best possible recommendations, your posts may also be syndicated throughout our network. So in the same fashion that you may show a recommendation for external content, a link to your content may appear on someone else’s blog, driving new readers to your site. Hopefully new readers coming to your blog will like what they see and become long-term subscribers.
Getting Personal - This isn’t just about listing links, this is about personalizing the recommended content to each reader. Behind the widget that sits on your blog is an extensive system that aims to provide the best possible recommendation to each reader. Quality trumps quantity here at outbrain, so there may be times when you see only one recommended link, two recommended links, or none at all. This is ok with us because if we don’t have good confidence in the recommendations, we simply don’t show them.
Duncan Riley over at Inquisitr penned an opinion on choosing to display external links on your blog here and actually challenged the blogosphere regarding openness. Just yesterday Scott Karp over at Publishing 2.0 made the argument that linking out actually lifts reader engagement, and he has some interesting evidence to prove his point. We think Duncan & Scott got it right and look forward to this evolution of our service.
Of course, it’s your blog and always up to you. If you do not want outbrain to display the best recommendations for your readers, and want to limit the recommendations to your own content only, here are the easy steps to make the adjustment:
1. Log into your outbrain account*
2. Click ‘Manage Blogs’
3. Click ‘Settings’ next to the blog you want to change
4. Change the Recommendations setting from ‘Best Recommendations’ to either:
- ‘Limited Recommendations’ (restricts recommendations to links on your own site)
- ‘No Recommendations’ (turns off all recommendations)
*If you do not yet have an outbrain account, you’ll first need to register with us and verify ownership of your blog before altering its settings. You can do so by going to: http://www.outbrain.com/RegisterPage. And of course, if you need any help feel free to visit our support forum at http://getsatisfaction.com/outbrain or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.