This week I returned from speaking on a panel at Forrester Consumer Forum. 700 executives from manufacturers and retailers attended the conference in Chicago, which was entirely focused on Social Technologies. Our advisor, Ze Frank, also spoke on a keynote panel to discuss the future of media (hint: it’s ‘bottoms up’). Yesterday I returned from Silicon Valley, meeting with several Web 2.0 companies and partners. These meetings are helpful for me to bridge the Web world of social networking to the needs of online retailers, and vision new capabilities into our roadmap. Where do social networking and retailing mix? How do manufacturers and metrics-driven online retailers drive measurable results and relevancy in these new spaces?

We started answering that question today with the launch of our newest feature, called ShareThis(tm). It is a FREE feature for our clients allowing their shoppers and customers to share a review, profile or product to their favorite social networking or bookmarking site. And because we’re already hosted in their site, we can turn this live within days without IT involvement.

Dow Jones covered the launch, including commentary from Dell. Here’s a snippet from the article:

The feature enables a person who is, say, excited about the Dell monitor he just bought to share the news by posting on his Facebook profile a link to a review that he or someone else wrote. The post, which can also include an image of the monitor or the Dell logo and brief comment from him, will show up on his profile mini feed and in the news feed his Facebook friends see. Bazaarvoice says no money will change hands; shoppers won't be paid for posting reviews and Facebook won't get fees.

"It's making (consumers) an advocate" for brands on sites where the audiences are highly desirable to marketers, yet tend to be skeptical of online marketing, says Greg Sterling, of Oakland, Calif., consulting firm Sterling Market Intelligence. "It's trying to leverage a more trusted environment" and a form of marketing — word-of-mouth — that is particularly trusted by consumers.

It is also an effort to engage people who online-marketers have come to call "influencers" — people who through their expertise and efforts to share that expertise in online forums have gained outsized influence over other consumers. Sites like Facebook, and Digg are places where these people, and other less-active Web users, love to express themselves and have access to large numbers of other people.

"Now, for the first time ever, whenever (consumers) see a product they like, they can post it as a representation of who they are and what they like," says Sam Decker, chief marketing officer at Bazaarvoice.

I couldn’t have said it better myself! :-)

You can see it live on these sample product pages from Dell, Toshiba and Jewelry Television.

We have future plans for this functionality, plus other ideas on social network integration with user generated content. Drop me a note if you’re interested in discussing them (sam at

If you’re a client interested in adding this to your site, it just takes a call or email to your Community Manager…otherwise you’ll be hearing from them! :-) Remember, it's free! I mean FREE!

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