How Very Pinteresting

Blog written by Adam Britten, follow him on Twitter @AdamBritten or visi

Have you heard of Pinterest yet? It is without a doubt the “hot website” of the moment. TechCrunch recently reported that the site’s traffic has grown 2000% percent since June, and now receives more page views than Etsy. The site is in Beta, and only allowing new users in through invite, but you can request an invite from their homepage or from a friend with an account.

What exactly is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a virtual pin board of your interests. When you are on a website and see a picture you like, you “pin” it to one of your boards. These boards are organized into categories of your choice, like fashion, food, art, etc. Users can follow each other, as well. One great element of Pinterest is that you can follow one board from a user, or all of their boards. You control what you see on the site. Simply put, Pinterest is a lot of pretty pictures organized neatly.

Anyone can have fun on Pinterest, but the visual nature of the site lends itself well to people in particular fields. Those trying to find a job as a graphic designer can display their work for others to find. A student applying to a school’s fashion program can upload their sketches or designs to Pinterest and then send it as a supplement to their portfolio.

Brands on Pinterest

Any site with a growing number of users will attract attention from brands, and Pinterest is no exception. Companies are flocking to the hot site in an effort to get their products pinned. Again, the visual nature of the site is making it easier for some brands over others. One great example of a corporate page is from luxury retailer Bergdorf Goodman. They have boards organized by trend, like florals or lace. They have a board for designer Tom Ford, showing that they might expand into more designer-specific boards. They even have boards dedicated to individual colors, if you happen to look better in red.

Brands outside the fashion and design industries are also utilizing Pinterest, but they are doing more than pushing products. Klout, the social influence analytics company, uses their boards to give a behind-the-scenes look into their office. You can see what costumes their employees wore to the office Halloween party, or see a picture of the company’s two founders facing off against each other in a ping-pong match. (It appears as if Klout even works once in a while, as some of their photos show their engineers concentrated on a laptop screen.)

The future of Pinterest

Sure, Pinterest is growing now. It’s attracting a lot of attention and generating a lot of buzz. But as with other sites, excitement will level-off at some point. What can Pinterest do to maintain growth? One thought I have is that they should integrate with more visual networks. Currently, they only allow you to share your pins with Twitter or Facebook. If they partnered with Tumblr or Instagram, they would probably get more appropriate, involved users.

What are your thoughts on Pinterest? What can they do to grow?

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Why is gamification important and how to become a master?

Blog written by: Michelle Chen, follow her on Twitter: @pinshian

Gamification has been a popular term nowadays. From 2010 to 2016, the spent on gamification is expected to grow from $100 million to $2.8 billion (Los Angeles, 2011), and the average growth for gamification over the next two years is also said to be 150% (Bunchball, 2011). Indeed, almost everyone enjoys playing games, and if brands can make their campaigns a lot of fun, it will certainly appeal to more prospects who might potentially become future customers.

During the Internet Week Europe in London, I attended one of the workshops “Gamification and Game Design” organized by PlayGen. The key points are listed below:

When talking about gaming, AAA titles such as the famous “Call of Duty” or Fallout series might first come to our mind, but do you know that actually everything can be turned into a game? According to PlayGen, gamification is actually simply 10% game design plus 90% psychology, and the most important thing to motivate human behaviour. That’s why a simple game like “Angry Birds” without great graphics can achieve such a huge success.

In fact, many big brands have adopted gamification to communicate with consumers, like Microsoft’s Be Ribbon Hero, Adobe’s LevelUp for Photoshop, and Volkswagen’s Speed Camera Lottery.

Another example is website platform DevHub, which lets users earn points to add new elements to their site. The more content users explore, the more they get access to use in making tailored sites. As a result, users’ actions before logging out increased from 4 to 12, the percentage of people posting to their blogs increased from 7% to 15%, and purchases per active user also increased over a number of months.

So, how do we design a game that can engage consumers? The following steps might be helpful:

1. Define the motivation

The motivations can include free, instant gratification, loyalty, mastery, meaning, ownership, power, and winning (according to statistics, only 2% of people are not eager to win.)

2. Define the victory conditions

It can be goals & objectives, checkpoint, elimination, race, territory, and control for example.

3. Set the rules for your game

They can be difficulty, levels, reward, time, resource management, points, and turns

4. Make your game social

What’s more, some social elements can be added to your game with mechanism such as achievement, currency, customization, communal collaboration, gifting, leaderboard, social points, social status, and virtual goods.

Applying these tips, then you should be able to design an interesting game with any topics in mind. However, do avoid to use gamification in the wrong scenario, where efficiency and simplicity are needed. Besides, remember to keep content updated through the new user-centric social analysis. When necessary, the exit strategy is as important as entrance strategy.

Have you created your own game? Why not trying to design one now to see how addictive it can be? It’s time to level up!

Source: PlayGen


Is Facebook better than Twitter?

Blog written Angela Cheong Follow Angela on Twitter: @angelacfw

A couple of weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when I came across this question posed by a marketing professor: Is #Facebook better than #Twitter???

Instantly, I tweeted a reply: I think they are different. Each has their (its) own function.

His response: Yes!

Apart from the invisible pat on the back I gave myself, the question made me think about something I had always taken for granted. Debate has always raged on about which social media platform would be more effective in reaching the public and which platform would eventually rule the world. Personally, I’ve always thought that question was moot.

An info graphic by digital surgeons made a comparison on the statistics for Facebook and Twitter in 2010. At first glance, you would think that Facebook is definitely ahead of Twitter. It has 500 million total users as compared to Twitter’s 106 million users. 40% of Facebook users follow a brand as compared to Twitter’s 25%.

But wait… while 51% of Facebook followers will purchase that specific brand, 67% of Twitter followers will do so. 12% of Facebook followers tend to update their statuses every day, but 30% of Twitter followers post daily updates. What this would seem to imply is that while Facebook has more users, Twitter users are more engaged with both the platform and brands and also more likely to make a purchase.

While all these statistics prove interesting fodder for both detractors of Facebook or Twitter, they are in my opinion somewhat irrelevant. Facebook and Twitter operate in very different ways. While Facebook boosts a wide range of functions from chat, to video, to status updates and photo uploads, among many others, Twitter is basically a micro blogging platform. Facebook allows the individual to create their own personal social space online to have conversations and share their lives in a more intimate way. Twitter, on the other hand, allows the user a much wider reach, to share ideals or comments and simply to network.

One isn’t better than the other, they both exist to serve different social needs.