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Beyond the Fat Wire

Monday, March 14, 2005

Creating Passionate Users

What do passionate people do?
  • do research on the thing
  • tell other people
  • spend money on "stupid" things
  • get all the accessories
  • get all the fan things
  • convert others
  • seek out community
  • adopt a lifestyle
  • try to learn more all the time

Benefits to you when your users are passionate
  • loyalty and retention
  • want more of what you have
    • When "The Da Vinci Code" hit big, suddenly all of Dan Brown's books were bestsellers
  • more interest in the higher end
  • Bigger Wake
    • all the add-ins, plug-ins, third-party accessories that go with your product (when you try to shut down that wake so you can own it yourself, the smaller the wake will finally be)

Things that inspire passion (making people irrationally passionate)
  • xbox
  • Mini Cooper
  • iPod
  • The Sims
  • geek gadgets
  • operating systems
  • horses
  • cooking
  • bands
  • dancing
  • (basically, anything)

What will be the benefits of passion for "my thing" (library intranet)?
  • Loyalty and Retention
    • staff use the site
    • staff who said they would never use it, use the site
    • staff make the site their browser home page

  • Want more of what you have
    • ask for additional apps/components

  • More interest in the high end
    • comfort with technology

  • Bigger wake
    • people think of their own apps

What are the attributes / characteristics of a thing that makes people passionate?
  • there is gear -- stuff to buy
  • ways to spend money
  • you know what a being an expert at that thing looks like -- a concept of an expert level
  • there is a community of users
  • there is a wake (third party items)
  • myth, legend, stories, famous people -- these have developed about the thing
  • there are collectibles (the eBay effect)
  • *** there is a lot to learn about the thing ***
    • there is challenge, complexity
    • there is some snob appeal
    • there is the opportunity for continuous learning and growing
    • there is extensibility

What can we do to develop Continous growth? (help them learn, develop expert level, get them excited about continuing to grow and improve)
  • it doesn't have to be about the product itself, directly
    • if your product is trash bags, then you might have a site with environmental tips, activities, community, etc
      • people send in video of their local clean-up projects
        • the site becomes a great tutorial site for producing digital video, even though the real product is plastic trash bags

Also... we need to know how to get past users' "crap filter"
  • sexy
  • surprise
  • novelty
  • shocking
  • scary
  • pleasureable
  • faces -- the brain responds to the human face (see "Mind Hacks")

(and now, the morning break)

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