The web is less and less about destinations, and more and more about services, connectors, and ubiquitous information. It started with RSS, and continues with Facebook Connect, and OpenSocial. In this new world the idea of driving a customer to a site to perform a function, and then keeping them there and coming back just seems more and more outdated. And yet, for most sites that's still the model. Sure, plenty of successful sites syndicate. But the two primary purposes are to grab eyeballs, or drive traffic to the site. And, right now, only content sites (YouTube especially) are able to do this effectively.
SO, what if a non-content site--say an e-commerce site like Amazon, or Zappos--embraced the syndication concept? What would that look like?
I've been thinking a lot about this. Imagining a series of nano-sites, built within the footprint of a standard IAB ad size--say the medium rectangle--with enhanced functionality. Product browse. Even check out. RIAs or Widgets basically.
These sites could be placed just like ads, living on blogs, news sites, etc. They could serve up mini selections of products based on the content of the site they are posted on--the adwords model--and could include enough functionality for someone to complete an interaction (browse, select, purchase) all without requiring the customer to leave the site.
Forget CPC, how about CPActualPurchase.
And, of course, the concept of Nano Sites applies to more models than just e-com. As already stated, YouTube is already doing exactly this with the embedded player.
So, what do you think? Can anyone else think of why this might or might not work?
I mocked up an example. Can't help but think it's a nifty little idea.