Q&A: The Future of Kl.am, A Short URL site for Social Media Stats

May 8, 2009
2009-0508-klam-logoKl.am is the short url site from Raven SEO that specializes in tracking individual links across the Web and even digests the information that is derived directly from Twitter itself (as shown in the screenshots below). Think of it as a more ambitious bit.ly-like site that aims to track stats from social media in addition to the web. Specialist/Social Princess Alison Groves answered some questions to help clarify the service and how it plans to grow in the future…

Q: For the sake of ignorance, what specific pieces of information can kl.am capture without signing up for an account?

A: Although creating an account provides you with more options, you can still get a lot of features without it. For example, every kl.am link that’s made has a public stats page. That page displays how many people have clicked on the link, all of the websites that used the link, and how many people used the link in a Twitter post (or tweet!)

Q: What are they able to track if they sign up?

A: They can track the same information, but with an account, you can keep track of all the links you make. You can also edit existing links to add things like Campaign Variables for Google Analytic.

Q: How long will the link tracking campaigns be accessible to users?

A: As long as our servers don’t blow up. In all seriousness, they’ll be accessible forever.

Q: Why differentiate kl.am from the principle Raven tools?

A: Kl.am was just something we did for fun one day, mainly so we could control all of the aspects of a URL shortener that we’d want to. Kl.am is just a taste really of what Raven can do. If you enjoy digging into the information kl.am outputs, then you’ll love all of the bells and whistles built into Raven, especially the new Social Mention tool. And we don’t mean to brag, but it is one precious character shorter than bit.ly.

Q: Do the two sets of tools compliment each other?

A: Absolutely. The stats that you get in kl.am are just the tip of the iceberg as far as Raven is concerned. A successful internet marketing campaign doesn’t just stop with tracking your links across social media sites. While that is an awesome place to start, you need the whole package to really make the most out of your site or campaign.

Q: Kl.am scans twitter and spits out every tweet containing the short url that’s being tracked. Will kl.am offer relevant stats about other social media networks/services in the future?

A: Why yes it will! We don’t want to spill the beans too much right now, but believe us when we say we’ve got ideas. We all know that everyone is looking to report ROI on social media and justify it in their business, and we realize how important that is. Kl.am is just under two months old, and we have so much more room to grow.

… And how might kl.am expand its reach of other social media sites to get relevant tracking info?

We’re not quite ready to share that yet, but when we do roll that out, we know everyone will be just as fired up about using it as we were with creating it.

Q: You mentioned that Sitening can build a short url tracking service for virtually anything… What kind of sites or businesses might benefit the most from using short url tracking?

A: Virtually any business can benefit from short url tracking. Newspapers, TV networks, record labels, content portals, and any other sort of brand can use it in a myriad of ways, whether that is just to make that link to ROI on social media, to generate ad revenue (you’re excited now aren’t you?!), or to just keep tabs on traffic and trends across their content. There are also additional value-added features that can be added to kl.am that can extend a website’s exposure and reach. We’ll be introducing those features, and the clients that are using them, very soon.

Q: How different would the information tracking be for each individual site you worked with?

A: First off we could white label any shortened URL for any client, so it could be branded for their own specific needs, which already opens up a world of opportunity. From there, we would just assess the needs of the individual client and build the entire service specifically for their needs.

Q: Both the NY Times and TechCrunch are now either using or testing their own short url service… What additional degree of control does a site have over tracking (statistics and usage) if it uses it’s own specific short url domain?

A: Like I said above, we can customize whatever the needs of the client are for the specific project, so not only can we give you the amount and kind of tracking that is a perfect fit for you, it can also be branded. Win win!