I first saw mockups of this product a few months ago from LiveWorld, and it seemed impressive, but unlike embedding chat, comments, forums, or blogs directly into the webpage, this is an ‘overlay’ that is quietly positioned at the bottom of any webpage.
What use cases could warrant this overlay experience versus an embed? Existing large websites with an inflexible CMS system that makes UI changes difficult. Companies that want to experiment with social on their websites but aren’t ready to dive in. Lastly, websites with heavy interactive marketing or content where community should take a back seat to what’s being shown. Expect to see competitors of Liveworld to develop their own versions of Livebar, allowing lightweight deployments of community features. Also, expect this to be a great ‘sampler product’ for LiveWorld to demonstrate community to hesitant brands –much like the easy to deploy OpinionLab tools.
Looking forward, whether companies like it or not, the future holds that websites will be social, and it means that customer opinions (good and bad) will circumvent their marketing content. The LiveWorld folks also have launched a community site, where you can interact with them further.
I’m conducting a Wave report on this community platform, and it’s become very clear to me that the technology is a commodity (that’s why there are around 100 vendors) and what really is going to count is strategy, service, support, and knowhow.
Status Update 2: The Forrseter Wave Report What Facebook Connect means to brands Thinking Long Term: Google’s New Browser ‘Chrome’ Forrester Report: Online Community Best Practices