ON24 issued a press release today announcing that their Insight24 "business to business rich media network" now contains over 5000 recordings from over 160 companies. They also introduced a new look and feel to the site.
I spoke with Tom Masotto, ON24's vice president of business development, about the new features and growth of the site. He said the company wanted the service to be less like a traditional column listing of search results and more "Web 2.0". They have gone to a pictorial layout, with large thumbnail images giving a graphic representation of each available recording. Hover your mouse over a thumbnail and you get a popup detail box about the recording.
Categorization is important to Insight24, and the site features several ways to group and browse recordings. You can look at a global collection of all listings or focus on a business category or a providing company. Within any of those views, you can click on tabs to see the most recent, most popular, or featured events. I asked about the "featured" category and Tom confirmed that this is a sponsored listing area that acts as a revenue generator for ON24. Companies typically have events featured as part of a larger collection of services associated with lead generation and promotion.
The website also displays "tag clouds" on the home page, letting users get a quick visual representation of the content within the system. Unlike most tag clouds I have seen, the sizes of the terms do not correspond to popularity and click counts, but instead show the relative number of entries associated with that term. That is not explained anywhere on the site that I could find.
Tom also told me there were some internal changes that are not visible, but have an important benefit. ON24 changed the URL structure of the listings on the site, making them more exposed and palatable to organic search engines such as Google. So there is a higher probability that a listed event will get picked up and displayed on a generic web search.
Insight24 is tightly linked with the concept of lead generation, and that is what ON24 uses as a competitive differentiation point. Instead of sending visitors to each event's custom-designed registration page, Insight24 has visitors register and log in once. They can then watch any number of events, with their registration information automatically passed through to the providing company. Tom mentioned that ON24 hosted over 12,000 webcasts last year and about half of them were for lead generation purposes. Since recorded ON24 content is easily pulled into the Inisght24 listing structure, they have a large base of lead generation recordings to start with.
Insight24 is also working on expanding its reach through syndicating the content. ON24 has announced partnerships with IT.com and ITToolbox.com, which give visitors search access to the Insight24 content. The press release says their syndication network reaches over eight million B2B and IT monthly users.
The recent growth in websites focused on webcast search, syndication, and organization is an indication that companies are finally becoming more aware that webinars are valuable business assets that need to be properly marshaled and exploited. I'm very encouraged by the activity and attention that sites like Insight24 are getting.