Avoid the engagement trap.
While building ClearGears, we’ve learned that the definition of user engagement has to be flexible. If we measure engagement by how often people log into ClearGears and click around, then we have a tough road ahead. But if we measure engagement by the value people place on the data we provide, then our path is clear. The chart above lists some of the applications I use every day, and my level of engagement with each. What I find is that I highly value all the tools on the right side, regardless of whether they are high or low-engagement tools.

We’ve learned that the less often users need to log in to ClearGears, the more they appreciate it. They want to collect data passively over time.levitra

We’re moving from Checking In to Getting Checked Out.
We’re quickly stepping into a new phase in the online world. We’re going from “Checking In” on Foursquare to being passively “Checked Out” by tools like Klout. Klout measures a person’s social influence by tracking how many people retweet or respond to their posts across a variety of social networks. The more people respond, the higher their Klout score. Visiting Klout is a low-engagement activity. There’s very little one can actually do there besides seeing one’s score. And that’s exactly why Klout will be successful… it passively gathers tons of useful data.

ClearGears will follow a similar path. Instead of trying to be another Facebook – an app that people often leave open all day long – we’ll be more like Klout. ClearGears will gather data through email, and users will rarely need to log in.

Don’t assume you have to build a high-engagement site.
Building a high-engagement site is risky and is a winner-take-all strategy. If users truly use your site all day, they’ll use it at the expense of Gmail and Facebook, and that’s a tall order. Here’s the risk: if they get tired of using your site, your business will fail. To prevent users from tiring of your site, you’ll need either lots of activities within it or millions of other users engaging within it. Facebook has both… Is your team able to build that kind of engagement? Is it even necessary to provide value?