Google is announcing today Google Analytics supporting Flash content. This is a very big deal. Widgets and flash based content is everywhere and soon it will be the preferred navigation method for most content.
Catch and Release Strategy to Ecosystem Development
I am very impressed lately by Google’s commitment to open source. Specifically, I love their strategy of what I call the ‘Catch and Release’ strategy for developing their ecosystem of developers and partners.
They are certainly doing a lot of land grabbing, but they are releasing their innovations and improvements as open source. This strategy for ecosystem development is much different than Microsoft’s old model (closed ecosystem embrace and extend). Google is earning credibility in a new way by enabling key technology and then by releasing code for open collaboration and development – Catch and Release.
They are betting on the Internet Operating System. If more people use the web then Google wins. Here again with Flash (like Andriod, Chrome, and dozens of other projects inside the Googleplex) Google’s innovation is the ‘catch’ and their ecosystem developer strategy is the ‘release’.
Tracking Flash – The Next User Interface That Needs Search and Navigation
Now it’s simple for Flash content developers to answer questions like:
* How many people have watched my video?
* Are we developing the right creative that attracts new users?
* How effective is my content at getting people to take action?
Google is providing tracking libraries for both Flash and Flex which can be downloaded as a ZIP file here. The libraries include:
* Flash visual component
* Flash AS3 library
* Flex MXML component
* Flex AS3 library
And you can learn more about how to use them through this developer documentation.
Open source is the way! Google is delivering on innovation and code for developers. Google is providing the entire AS3 code base under the Apache 2 License as Open Source, available here.
If you are a developer and want to improve the code’s functionality, you can contribute to the code base. Or, if you are a company that is running a content platform, you can seamlessly integrate the Flash tracking codebase into your existing architecture.