Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Cigarettes and Alcohol

We tend to avoid the issue in this industry. We call things 'sticky' or 'engaging', when what we are really trying to do is invent stuff that is utterly addictive. So music really helped (see every kids' cereal ad ever). Now 'advertising' can be applications that make people's lives easier, we should be trying to create things that you really can't live without, things that compete with the best applications that aren't 'advertising'. This got me thinking about how applications become addictive. Facebook is a bit like alcohol: it facilitates social interaction, its all really good fun, but you don't want to spend all your time there after you finish Uni. First reactions to Twitter tend to be more like those of a first cigaratte; people don't see what all the fuss is about. It takes a bit of practicing to understand why people do it, and by the time you've put that effort in, you realise that you can't live without it. Not because it does anything flashy - it isn't a Saturday night site, it's a quick break from work for 5 minutes site. Break after break after break. I'm not suggesting that we should build another Twitter, rather that thinking small, building little things brilliantly, is the lesson that I'm learning as I explore Twitter.


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