sticky content

a.k.a. stickiness

Information or features on a Web site that gives users a compelling reason to revisit it frequently. Stickiness is also gauged by the amount of time spent at a Web site over a given period of time. This is often maximized by getting the user to leave some information behind on the site, such as a personal profile, an investment portfolio, a resume, a list of preferred cities for weather reports, personal horoscopes, birthday reminders, and the like.

The concept is this: Once a user has taken the time to enter personal information on that site, he or she is more likely to stick around and reuse the site instead of switching to another site that provides similar services. The mindset of industry execs is that the more information a customer leaves with your company, the greater the hold you have on that customer. Financial services Web sites are a good example of sticky content: Once customers type in an enormous amount of information (often including a credit card number), they are less likely to use another company's Web site, in order to avoid having to reenter all the information again. It's a perceived value for both parties: Customers release this kind of information in order to streamline a process, making access to the same, everyday info-based activity faster. Companies get repeat business and loyalty.

To have your computer (or a commonly used Web site) remember your info and access it whenever you go there is one of the many excellent uses of Internet technology that makes doing business in the online world so unique. At the same time, it's a PITA to fill out form after form after form, so pick your sites carefully. Sticky content is an important factor in the birth of the portal.

See also : portal  
NetLingo Classification: Online Jargon