Playing Games

Happy New Year Everyone!

I thought I’d wander from my recounting of Summer escapades to a more useful post on understanding social networking and the power of Internet marketing.

For years I’ve taught people how to be more comfortable with computers, and my advice tends to be: play games. Kids know this instinctively. If something is a toy, you use it, you don’t worry about breaking it. Of course, then there are my children who should be break testers for toy companies…but anyway. Playing games gives people an instant boost in confidence when working with a computer.

When I start throwing out terms like Internet marketing and social networking, newbies get a little nervous. Those are scary terms for something many of them are already doing. But if they aren’t, how can they start?

I suggest they go fishing. Or, go watch the grass grow. There, I just used the power of Internet marketing. Okay, so I don’t get any money if you click on one of those links…but each of them will give me an in-game prize if you join up with me in the game. Both of those are on Facebook and I should warn you that both are extremely fun and addictive.

Side note: I like Facebook over the other network options for most of my clients, but there are reasons for people to prefer other social networks. It all depends on who you are, what your personal image is, and who you want to reach.

Back on track — if a person is uncomfortable with social networking and they want to play those games, what will happen? First they’ll learn that the game is kind of amusing, but a lot more fun if they get a few friends involved. They’ll analyze their friends and think of who might be interested. Okay, so some people will bug all of their friends…but they’ll probably learn pretty quickly who is amused and who is annoyed. Hint: annoyed people won’t play.

Ah….but that sounds a lot like determining who to send a newsletter to, doesn’t it? No one wants to annoy a potential customer.  How do you find customers who are interested? How do you find people interested in playing games with you? Thinking and creativity will ensue as you play the games and think on these lines.

I love Fish Wrangler for a symbol of Internet success. The programmer does not say how much he makes from the game. I know they’ve had to upgrade the servers a number of times and keeping them up and running is a challenge. Every time I log in — 24 hours a day — there are between 15,000 and 25,000 people playing. The developer quit his day job to work on the game. He’s always adding to it. It shows in the quality of the game…but in the back of my mind, I wonder…just how much HAS he made on that game?? If even a tenth of the people who play (1/10 being an old random statistic I was taught when I learned marketing early on in life — 1 in 10 will buy…) pay for the privilege of going faster in the game (you can play for free), then that’d be…conservatively 5000 people paying, maybe? If they contribute a couple of dollars a month…oh, yeah. He’s doing fine.

Want to learn how to do well in Internet marketing? Play games. Watch what those folks are doing. What do they do that makes you want to give them money? What makes you want to invite your friends? Engage the creative mind while you play the games…and see what ideas you come up with.

And I haven’t even talked about affiliate marketing…but that’s a post for another day. I need to go harvest my crops….

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