RSS company NewsGator Technologies and independent PR firm Edelman have created a new form of advertising based around topic-driven conversational communities, RSS, blogging, commenting and rating systems.
NewsGator and Edelman believe that “Hosted Conversations” will give brands better recognition as users engage in conversation around them. An expert on a particular topic will host each “community.” Each one will publish RSS feeds retrieved from various news sources, blogs and other media. Users participate in the conversation by commenting on the host’s blog posts or by blogging about and linking to the community on their own blogs.
“There is no shortage of information and opinion on virtually any topic online,” said Rick Murray, president of me2revolution, Edelman’s emerging technology task force, in a statement. “By aggregating all the feeds on a topic, and then manually reviewing and editing out all but the most substantive posts, the end result—a Hosted Conversation—delivers better information to the people interested in that topic faster than they could possibly do it through a typical feed or manual search—and then it allows them to join a discussion on that topic with our expert, and with people just like them.”
Sponsors buy ads on each Hosted Conversation in the form of branded interactive widgets. Each ad contains regularly updates RSS feeds from other sources (including those from NewsGator) that visitors to the Conversation can rate and comment on.
The Hosted Conversations service is available to Edelman clients on a topic-by-topic basis. NewsGator provides the technology behind the publication of RSS feeds, as well as the rating and commenting systems. Meanwhile, Edelman designs the ads, provides the content and monitors the discussion.
According to ClickZ, the first Hosted Conversation will launch in early 2007.