WordPress.com User Wanting to Try WordPress 3.0?

WordPress 3.0 features are appearing here at WordPress.com (yes, chaningway.org does live at WordPress.com). So are the posts in my series on 3.0, such as:

If you’d like to try out 3.0 itself without having to find hosting and install it yourself, there are a few spaces at WanderNote, a little WordPress site I run. You can head on over there to read about WanderNote and/or to sign up. You might be particularly interested if you use Evernote (3 million people do), or are considering doing so.

Conversion Rates and Funnels

The freemium model relies on enough users paying for premium services to meet the cost of servicing all users, including those who use take the free option. One of the key metrics for a freemium service is conversion rate from free to premium.

Toni Schneider notes that this rate is about 2% for WordPress.com, for Box.net, for Evernote, and for many other freemium services. He wonders if there is some kind of “2% rule” at work.

This reminded me of Funnel Analysis, as described in a Mashable guest post by Tim Trefren. Funnel analysis is about conversion rates, is a more general sense. A funnel is defined in terms of user actions, such as visiting a site, signing up for a service, becoming a premium/pay user, and so on.

Conversion rate, in this broader sense, is the percentage of users taking a particular action. Hence a firm’s funnel has multiple conversion rates/actions as it narrows. A freemium service using funnel analysis would probably define a payment action, marking the transition from a free user to a premium customer.

Tim is CEO of Mixpanel, a web analytics startup. (See Mixpanel for more about Funnel Analysis and the API.) Mixpanel itself uses the freemium model; I signed up for a free account.

Funnels can be transparent: a firm can publish its conversion rates. Funnels could be aggregated: Mixpanel could, with the cooperation of its client firms, publish aggregate data on various conversion rates. It could make it worth the clients’ while by, for example, offering early or deep looks at the aggregated data.

Cliqset Clips and Evernote Notes

Social memory integration sounds pretty impressive. But what does it mean? Leena Rao at TechCrunch uses the term to describe the recently-announced integration between Cliqset and Evernote.

Leena’s post made me get round to starting a Cliqset account and linking it to some of my web activity (e.g., this blog, Evernote, Flickr). Cliqset shows me the activity streams of those I follow.

The integration with Evernote allows me easily to make a note of an interesting item from one of those streams. I get a clipping of that item in the form of a note in my default Evernote notebook.

I am rather underwhelmed by this, even with my interest in Evernote, and despite the enthusiastic posts at TechCrunch, at the Evernote blog, and elsewhere.
Some of the reasons I’m unimpressed are minor (if I wanted to Cliq-clip to Evernote, I’d like to be able to specify the folder into which the clippings should go) or otherwise unimportant (I’m feeling grumpy today).

But there is a bigger reason: Twitter, the huge service with the little tweets. Many Cliqset streams consist mainly of tweets. Few tweets are clip-worthy (with very rare exceptions such as CEO resignation haiku). Tweets that make me want to clip are usually pointers to real content, rather than worthy content in their own right.

I see this as a problem, not just for “CliqNote,” but for Cliqset more generally. Many people use Twitter as the center of their social media universe: to capture their own activity streams, and to follow the streams of others. I wish it wasn’t so (for reasons that belong in a separate post), but I think it is – and that doesn’t leave much room for services like Cliqset.

The most prominent Cliqset-like service is FriendFeed. Indeed, Cliqset “aims to be a less clunky version of FriendFeed” (that’s Leena quoting Darren Bounds, president of Cliqset). Perhaps it too will be acquired, then neglected.

WanderNote Launches, Seeks Pioneers

Once I found Evernote on my Android to be an excellent notebook, I started thinking about publishing some of the notes and snapshots I take with it. Publishing made me think of WordPress.

WanderNote is a web service for publishing… you guessed it, content from Evernote. Here’s my WanderNote blog. And here’s the main WanderNote About page, with content also provided by me.

Some of that content is an invitation to contact me about becoming one of the elite band of WanderNote Pioneers. Take a look, have a think, let me know if you want to get in to this early beta.