Need some motivation to exercise? Make a game out of it! This is a really interesting concept to me. Oftentimes, lack of motivation is what kills someone’s intentions to get in better shape. And games are a powerful motivator for many! When they’re well designed, they hit just the right spot in the reward center of the brain. Today, the same principles that B.F. Skinner used to get pigeons to keep pecking a key also keep people dropping coins into slot machines and performing repetitive tasks in online games. It’s nice to see that someone’s figured out a way to use it to get people to be more active and make money at it to boot.
Apparently the ‘next big thing’ in the ever-evolving arms race to advertise to you as much as possible is an Australian startup called Social Loot. The essence of this organization is that you can earn money by promoting products to your friends through their social media streams. I’m sure on the advertiser’s side it sounded wonderful – people with similar interests can be ‘brand advocates’ for the products they love, thereby forming a stronger connection and higher likelihood for a sale, while getting a bit of extra compensation for their opinions. Celebrities partake in this form of electronic product placement, so why not give the average Joe a chance to cash in on the same thing?
On the consumer side, that just sounds horrible – it’s really spam of the most invasive kind. While a lot of spam advertisements are easy to ignore because they aren’t targeted or are obviously an ad, communications promoted by the likes of Social Loot require a bit more energy to work out.
It’s all just really exhausting… continuing my thoughts from last time, I spent a lot more time with Pinterest this week to see how invasive the spam had gotten – and to my dismay some keyword searches were over 90% spam. I’ve had to alter my browsing behavior there – I have to look at comments, likes, and repins to determine the validity of a link, and even that is something I’m sure they’ll eventually start spoofing.
All this just makes it hard to sort through the good and bad data, and makes me not want to use whatever service that doesn’t use a robust spam filter. I have a feeling that Pinterest’s days of usefulness are numbered for me, and if any of my friends start telling me that Product X is really awesome through my email then their days with me might be numbered too.
Recently, I ran across this Fast Company article and video about kids’ reactions to cigarette packaging. The video embedded in the article is disturbing but also very powerful as a way to illustrate the point that design and branding matters – and it affects our kids and what they take interest in (good and bad) - http://bit.ly/IK39xl