Tracked.com Gets More Social

I posted about our portfolio company Tracked.com a few weeks ago. In that post, I said:

Tracked.com is social. Users have a profile in the service and can send
messages to each other in the service (and via twitter and facebook
very shortly). Objects in the service (news, quotes, charts, public
filings, companies, people) can be sent around like links in twitter
and facebook.

That "very shortly" is now. Tracked released a bunch of social features last night which are live on the website.

Here are the ones I think are important to talk about:

All news items have a share link on them now. Here's the comScore recent news list. Note the share icons on the far right.

Tracked share links 

When you share a story in the service, you have the option to share it only inside Tracked or with Twitter (and Facebook soon). Here's the UI for that. Send to Twitter is not checked by default and you need to connect to twitter via ouath in the Tracked settings to get this functionality.

Send to twitter 

I used this feature this morning to share a story about our portfolio company Zynga. Here's the tweet:

Tracked tweet 

You'll note that there are two bit.ly links in that tweet. The first is to the Business Week story I tweeted out. The second is to the conversation page in Tracked about the share which looks like this:

Tracked convo 

And of course, all of this activity shows up in your Tracked news feed:

Tracked news feed

One additional neat feature is you can send a tweet to @tracked that will get posted to your Tracked profile messages. I did that just now and it works great.

So that's the gist of how this stuff works. I'd love everyone who is interested in this stuff to give it a spin and let me know what you think.

And to remind all of you about Tracked and what it is all about, I've put up a new widget on the upper right sidebar. This Tracked widget shows the companies and people I am tracking and if there are any new stories on them. You can click on the company or person's name and stay in the widget or you can click on the number of stories and be taken to Tracked.com in a new browser tab. I'd also like to know what you think of the widget.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. Niyi

    Well done Tracked. The widget works pretty well. In the spirit of being more social, may I suggest that users should be able to communicate with each other on Tracked.com. An integration with Disqus will probably make this happen faster.Even cooler if messages appear and can be posted through the widget.

    1. fredwilson

      you can message with each other on tracked. you just need a profile and thenyou can do it.

      1. loupaglia

        Niyi: you can do that by using the “send message” button. From there you can post to your profile, send directly to a contact or also post to a group which is neat functionality.

        1. Niyi

          Here is what I think.As an extension to the News tab, perhaps a widget could exist that allows users to post questions and comments on any Tracked company. There is a similar feature on Yahoo! Finance.Essentially one would be integrating each company’s News page with Disqus. Am I making sense or is there an existing feature that achieves the same effect?

        2. ShanaC

          Where is that. Ui problems????. Creating Watchlists and organizing them seems easy. Anything more than that is very hard.

  2. Matt Hunter

    I like the idea, but I don’t like the implementation. It won’t let me view the thread because we aren’t connected on the site. Is this by design?I also don’t like that it forces you to have an account to see a thread.

    1. fredwilson

      The implmentation of the tweet? If so, it should have sent you right to this post. That’s a bug

      1. Matt Hunter

        Test where it navigates you to by logging out of Tracked then clicking the link in the tweet.

        1. fredwilson

          Will do. That tweet should have a link to my post first. It got mashed. Not good. Its a bug

  3. Niyi

    Thanks for the pointers. I’ve just signed up and tested it. It works pretty well.I wasn’t sure of what to make of Tracked when it was announced initially but the more I use it, the more it grows on me. Thumbs up.

    1. fredwilson

      I like thumbs up!They are doing sprints to roll out new features/functionality now and you’ll see the service expand a lot in the next few months

  4. kidmercury

    i think the widget is fantastic. honestly one of the best widgets i’ve ever seen. so much functionality, actually useful, effortless to use. i wonder who’s going to embed it though (aside from investors and other insiders).after clicking around a bit i just realized the fantastic SEO potential for tracked. imdb style. nice.

    1. fredwilson

      seo and smo ftw

      1. kidmercury

        lol, all they need are fredbucks and cartoon avatars, and they’re set!

  5. Nicholas Barone

    The widget is really slick, and I like that the interface mimics ideas that have become common place in the UI of successful mobile phone apps.One little bug in the widget seems to be that the Tracked links at the bottom and top of the widget load the index page of the site within the iFrame on your site instead of forwarding over to tracked.com

    1. fredwilson

      Good catch. I’ll alert tracked although they will certainly be monitoring this thread

  6. Vladimir Vukicevic

    I understand that Tracked is a different service than Yahoo Finance – but it will probably be compared to Yahoo Finance for the foreseeable future.I also know that Yahoo Finance is one of the first five websites I visit in the morning. It’s not perfect but it is the perfect combination of simplicity and utility. I don’t do the same for Tracked yet.Maybe you could get a group of Yahoo Finance users in a room to talk about what it would take to switch to Tracked. Since right now, I don’t see the compelling reason to switch.

    1. fredwilson

      That’s a great idea. For me, its the inclusion of all companies, both public and private, natively in the serviceI also like that people have a prominent place in the serviceBut we should do that

      1. Vladimir Vukicevic

        I agree that the social component and the private company inclusion do make it different – I’m not sure if they make it significantly better enough in order to break the Yahoo habit (for myself and others).I suspect that the 80/20 rule applies heavily here – in that 20% of services will satisfy 80% of customers’ needs. So if Tracked is targeting purely investors then both social and private inclusion don’t really fall within the 20% of must-have services. I assume that Tracked is trying to go beyond public market investors so it’s vital to figure out what those few key features are.I’m sure that you could get a focus group together pretty easily – especially if it’s an informal one.

        1. ShanaC

          Actually, another good idea is to get a group on Tracked to go and teach how to use it to track companies how to trade. Since it is so very social, you could create social groups around it. Or do specialty groups or something. Those who only talk about Chinese Telecom.Though I do think it will have to eventually expand into the larger trading arena, it is missing some critical data points, and more common exotics (The USDX?, why can’t I track that?, or corn?) Create little groups and market around them,…

      2. Dave Pinsen

        Fred,I’m going to second Vlad here. Yahoo! Finance is one of the first two or three sites I open up every day. The inclusion of private companies in Tracked is probably of more interest to you because you are in a position to invest in them as a venture capitalist. Most of us aren’t, so we are naturally more interested in what we can invest in. I’d be happy to participate in the Yahoo! Finance users focus group, if you decide to convene one.

  7. Mark Essel

    Looks like a must have multiple investor tool, and certainly a nice to have business tracking system for anyone else interested in timely biz news. Haven’t logged in for a couple of weeks, it would have to replace my Twitter, friendfeed, rss reader in some way to earn a block of my time. It’s close, but not sure yet.

  8. andyswan

    Cool and really a great widget.It’ll never be Yahoo Finance and surely that’s not what they’re trying to be (who needs another data/content dump?)…..but a “wannabe Google finance” is what I hear/see. And it’s a shame….If I was in charge of tracked, the first thing I’d do is turn the homepage into a landing page and get people to sign up before they do anything. The experience if you aren’t signed up is horrible (and likely causing bad first impressions), and the experience if you are signed up is really very good and pretty cool.I really think all they need is a page “Tracked lets you track the people and companies that matter to you and your business. Start tracking in 30 seconds….GO”.

    1. fredwilson

      Its a good point andy but I don’t instinctively like the idea of overty pressuring people to register on their first visitI think a better approach would be to make the not signed in experience better

      1. andyswan

        Agree that’s best long term plan…I guess my thinking was more “until you get there”.In any event my main point is “I’m glad I registered because now I get it and like it!”

  9. steveplace

    I don’t know if you can legally comment on this, but there’s been a lot of negative publicity towards Zynga as of late– would love to hear your thoughts.

    1. fredwilson

      I’ve commented on techcrunch and also this blog in several comment threadsI think everyone is focused on the wrong thing. Yes, offers that should not have been running were. Yes, Zynga was singled out for it and others were not. Yes, Zynga did the right thing by turning off all offers when it became clear that the offer networks couldn’t police the offers to Zynga’s satisfactionBut we are talking about offers which represent a very small part of Zynga’s revenuesWhat we should be talking about, and learning from, is the massive amount of virtual goods that are being bought in social games. Its a very big deal and all of this focus on offers is missing the big picture

      1. steveplace

        Thanks for the insight, Fred.I have in the past dealt with the shady underbelly of affiliate marketing (green tea, anyone?) so I know how email submits can offer a quick buck; but as you and Zynga have seen, while they offer fast cashflow and CTR, they cause a sharp drop in user loyalty and diminishes rev’s in the long term. Also, affiliate networks suck.With respect for virtual goods, I think it’s going to get very interesting for facebook soon. My prediction is that you will have the ability to tie in CC’s to your facebook profile, and there will become an ecommerce component of facebook– very valuable for online business.And on top of that, they’ve already deployed facebook connect– I feel that the move here is not easy access to comment posts; rather, since your facebook user has a credit card tied to it, it will become something very similar to paypal. Any company with the foresight to anticipate this move will have a tremendous advantage in the next 6 months, IMO.

  10. ShanaC

    UI Issue You sent out a message earlier about the Playfish acquisition. If you click on the link, I can’t read the thread of comments. If I click on you and your profile, I can. Huh? That’s weird. And not so smart…

  11. howardlindzon

    me likey the widget.

  12. .net hosting

    I do believe the most important is consistent, never give up with your idea, spread it up. Thanks for the post, good job

  13. andyswan

    Totally agree….it’s just a large value gap between “registered” and “visitor” right now….and I don’t think it does you guys justice. ¬†What you’ve created is awesome, but you’re not selling it right now.Just my opinion…keep up the good work!

  14. fredwilson

    You can friend me there if you’d like