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November 03, 2006

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A big part of the excitement in those jingle contests, I think, (besides the chance to win a Leg Lamp, naturally) was the feeling of inclusion in a closed, exalted society -- the society of People In Print. In other words, users are writing about themselves.

The society of People in Print isn't a closed one any more, but companies still swing a LOT of traffic to their campaigns with their above-the-line and online advertising budgets. So a big part of the incentive to participate is still there: do something cool, and lots of people will see it. And attention is one of the currencies of the Internet.

Kenny's absolutely right that it has to be easy, and Christine is ABSOLUTELY DEAD-ON RIGHT about YouTube! Along with people confusing their forward slash with their backslash, misuse of the word "viral" is the thing that causes my teeth to gnash more than anything else. A "send to a friend" mailto: link DOES NOT CONSTITUTE VIRAL, people! :)

Yes, but every good actor needs a director. So if consumers want to perform in the ad, we need to help direct them to do their best work. NOSCRUF.ORG might have had more consumer entries if we made it easy for them to post them (like we did with Catch a G6)
The Kraft Recipe collection has millions of entries, but it took a while to find the right UI to make it easy to load up your recipe file. So, it's not enough to just accept that consumers want to generate content, we need to take more responsibility to make it easy, and we need to direct them so they contribute to the gestalt of a brand.

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