Sphere Blog

March 15, 2008

Sphere vs. The Competition

Filed under: Competition,Entrepreneurship,Sphere Tools — Josh Guttman @ 10:13 pm

People often ask us how Sphere’s products and technology fare versus our competition. While we believe that the results (namely our footprint) speak for themselves, it’s worth discussing some of the key differentiators between Sphere and other similar services out there:

  • Behavioral vs ContextualSphere contextual matching will generate higher quality results on content more consistently than behavioral analysis. Several well-funded companies are competing for a piece of our market’s mind-share by offering related content powered by behavioral analysis. In other words, people who read this article also read this one, so we believe there is a relationship between them and you might also want to read it. This technology is very cool and we love it when it comes to e-commerce and the like. When I buy a digital camera, it’s helpful to see the memory cards that other consumers most often purchased. When it comes to content, however, we think it’s much more difficult to establish reliable relationships between, often, very disparate articles. We also understand that click-through rates generated by these services on content are typically significantly lower than those generated by Sphere’s contextually related content approach, and we think this confirms our hypothesis.
  • Dynamic Results Guarantee Freshness – Sphere’s related content results are generated dynamically in Java-Script every time the page loads. This guarantees that we’ll provide the reader with the absolute freshest content. If I’m reading an article and a blogger and/or journalist published a contextually relevant piece within the past hour, this is something that I’d like to see and thankfully, Sphere will provide. Getting back to the point above, behavioral relationships typically takes time to establish, which prevents me from seeing the freshest results, from the source I’m on or elsewhere.
  • Breadth of Related Content – Our technology is super-flexible and this means we can generate related content results from a multitude of different formats and sources – including articles, videos, photos and podcasts. When you integrate Sphere with your site, we can generate related content from your own articles or videos, as well as from external sources including blogs, videos and podcasts. Since we maintain one of the largest indices of the blogosphere, segmented by topics, and already work with many large video providers, this all happens very quickly.
  • Simplicity of Integration – Speaking of speed and quickness, this is the icing on the cake. Several of our competitors require significant excavation and retooling of publishers’ CMS and website. Instead of offloading the work on our partners, we do all the heavy lifting at Sphere, including the indexing and configuration. When it’s all complete, we deliver some slick code wrapped in a red bow with instructions for implementation. That’s it – signed, sealed and delivered. Our typical implementation from start to finish happens in just a few days!!

If you’re a site owner or publisher and any of this gets you excited, send us an email by clicking the “contact us” link at the top right of our site.

August 4, 2007

New Community Contributed Tools

Filed under: Sphere Tools — sphere @ 12:39 am

sphere-logo.pngWe at Sphere are very excited about the tools the blogging community has built around our little service. We’ve created a page for community-contributed tools here. We’d like to thank (more…)

July 2, 2006

thanks for the nudge – new Firefox search plugin

Filed under: Sphere Tools — sphere @ 9:43 pm

We’ve heard from a number of our users that they’d like a Firefox Plugin. So we’ve made one. We actually made this available several weeks ago but forgot to let you know (typical start-up!). Anyway, this search plugin for Firefox lets you search Sphere right from your Firefox search box.

You can add the Sphere Search plugin to your Firefox search bar from our tools page. And please keep the feedback coming!

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