FindTheBest, the startup led by DoubleClick founder Kevin O’Connor, has built charts comparing everything from financial advisors to dog breeds to smartphones. And now that those charts can be embedded in blog posts, you might start seeing them a lot more often.
O’Connor’s aim, as he’s explained to me in the past, is to create the site where you can find the data you need to make a decision, presented in structured, easily understandable format. (FindTheBest is also trying to use that data to improve classified ads.) The company says it has created comparison widgets for more than 800 products and services.
Grace Nasri, the company’s managing editor, walked me through the widget-embedding process earlier this week. It was a short demo, because it’s really easy — you bring up the topic that you’re interested in, hit the “embed” button, then customize the size of the widget, as well as the specific products and data points that you want to include.
Here’s one reason to be excited: In its own small way, it combats the recent flood of crappy infographics. Most TechCrunch writers hate the infographics that show up in our inboxes— not because infographics have to be terrible, but because they’re often created by firms that are biased, have little expertise in the subject of the infographic, or both, so they pull random data from random sources to make their point. Plus, they’re often badly designed, taking up an enormous amount of space to illustrate something that could have been stated in a few bullet points.
FindTheBest widgets, on the other hand, come from a company whose entire purpose is to collect object data, and the blogger, not the infographic-maker, gets to decide what data will be relevant to their readers. So for example, if TechCrunch publishes a review of a new smartphone, it might be genuinely useful to you guys if we embed a widget showing how the phone’s features stack up against the competition. Bloggers can also benefit financially by adding a “buy now” button and collecting an affiliate fee. And FindTheBest is working with some sites (such as TechCrunch) to create pages featuring the startup’s data, and in those cases, bloggers can use the embedded widgets to drive traffic back to their own sites.
Additional features planned for the future include side-by-side comparisons and charts/graphs.