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Start-Up Watch COD: Tynt shines a light on invisible sharing

Thanks to the ad:tech blog for publishing this first.

If you visit a web page, there are any number of companies interested in using that information to predict your future behavior and map your interests. Sometimes the information they collect will be extremely revealing about what you like. Sometimes it won’t.

But content you share is far more likely to be the stuff you care about. According to a fascinating new start-up called Tynt, the most common way content is shared is actually cut and paste. Yes, really. People grab a paragraph and stick it on their blogs. Or post it for Facebook or Tumblr. All that sharing was largely under the radar until Tynt.

Another cut and paste use is for search. You are reading an article on something, and grab a phrase and paste it into the Google Toolbar. Off you go. Meanwhile the site you are on has lost you. Without knowing what you pasted, they have no visibility into what their readers care most about. Or, they might have missed out on telling you about their great content on the specific subject you Googled. Ergo, the site has lost potential revenue.

How many cut and pastes are we talking about? Consider SFGate, the online property of the SF Chronicle. Tynt reports that SFGate’s readership cuts and pastes approximately HALF A MILLION TIMES a month.

Tynt Publisher Tools enable websites to track what is being copied and pasted. The free-for-pubs service is easy to deploy – the site simply adds a small script to its pages. There are four components:

Tynt SEO: Whenever a user cuts text and pastes it, Tynt tracks the content and adds a link to the story to the paste. Here, I’ll simply show you. I am going to cut a sentence out of SFGate, and paste it here.

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Bay Area tech firms Google Inc. and Twitter Inc. have quickly joined forces to launch a “speak-to-tweet” service to give anti-government protesters inside Egypt a way to get around the worsening shutdown of Internet access in that country.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/techchron/detail?entry_id=82144#ixzz1D7YoTNZx

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SFGate will benefit from your visits AND get an SEO boost by this link.

Tynt Keywords: Publishers get reports about what words are driving visits and searches/departures from their sites. The reports give a nice graphical view of the topics that people care about most.

Tynt Content: This portion of the service tells you which pages/articles/posts are driving the most cutting and pasting, and what topics were driving the activity.

Tynt Social: It reports on which social channels are driving the most virality for your content. Sites can use this to guide their social strategy.

Here’s their 1-2-3-4 video:

Tynt will obviously have oodles of information about audience interests as a result of all this. Their web site reports that already more than 600,000 sides have integrated Tynt. The monetization opps for all this info are potentially very yummy.

As advertisers and marketers search for better ways to target and tailor messages, Tynt is adding a bold new category to what is available. They have not yet announced how they will monetize the info, but I would be stunned if ad targeting didn’t end up being a part of this. It could also help in dynamic site optimization and audience analytics. To name just three examples.

As Tynt becomes clearer about how they will be merchandising this data, I expect that marketers and advertisers will be anxious to test and deploy efforts using it. It’s really an untapped well of potential value. And there aren’t a lot of those left anymore.

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