Friday, September 28, 2007

Generate gClick Creates Contextualized Business Information on the Fly

One of the key product introductions that raised some dust at this year's Infocommerce conference was Generate's new gClick service, which was also introduced simultaneously at the DEMO07 conference by Generate CEO Tom Aley. gClick on one level is a prety simple content contextualization tool: click on a gClick link embedded in a page or Browser bar and Generate's gClick service will extract events, people and company names from a displayed page and return in a popup page content from Generate's business information database that relates to those extracted entities. gClick content includes not only straight profiles but also hooks into Generate's opt-in relationship mapping service to accelerate introductions to key figures.

Tom indicated that Generate is going to launch an enterprise version of the tool next week, but he already had his media-flavor pitch down pretty pat: generate high-value page inventory on demand, brand the link tool privately or co-brand it - a good amount of curb appeal to those with business-oriented content, including Generate's announced gClick partners Hearst's magazines and newspapers, Bizjournals, Media News Group and Philly.com.

The option to do a page-embedded include link to gClick similar to Sphere or Stumbleupon as well as the ability to use a browser toolbar is a smart move, enabling partners to move on a relationship without having to figure out screen real estate issues. This is one of the downside of widgets for many publishers: there's only so much screen real estate, all of it precious, and since most embeddable content can't be analyzed by search engines it's not content that will help crawlers to sense the added depth in a page. So the lighter the footprint, the easier it is to move quickly, as evidenced by Sphere's rapid propagation. None of this is rocket science, but it's science that's finally beginning to move markets for contextual content at an astounding pace.

Just as Google has snatched up valuable context for content via its search results, mapping tools and mashing technologies Generate is making a first-mover claim for on-demand contextual business information that may help it to move rapidly past traditional aggregators used to building context around business information using licensed content in their own databases. Instead of relying on taxonomies or other semantic tools the gClick approach enables any page of content to provide the semantics necessary to contextualize business information on demand. It's a clever move, one that can highlight the strengths of Generate's business information wherever audiences are focusing automatically.

This "searchless search" capability with near-zero setup allows virtual aggregation of all kinds of content - and therefore opportunities for all kinds of database providers to consider how to partner with media and enterprise companies to gain a foothold for high-value content in places where traditional licensing deals can no longer make swift headway. The proof of this play will be in the quality of the content as much as the context, but for now consider the dealmaking of Generate combined with a clever use of its text mining capabilities a nifty little coup that's well-timed for a publishing market in search of more value in publishing with as little direct investment as possible.
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