So, this came up earlier…
What if there were an item one could only unlock by sharing the app through FB, Twitter, or email?
I can think of two recent examples where this has been tried and in both cases, I can promise the developers I will *never* push that “share” button to get whatever shiny lies at the end of the rainbow. In one case, it’s a whole game mode locked off in a demo that requires a share before it’s unlocked (not on an iThing either!) and in the other, it’s in an otherwise superb game and one that I’ve had no qualms recommending. No qualms except for the fact I’m uncomfortable with how it interrupts my play to ask me to advertise it and as much as being asked to tweet annoys me, it annoys me more to robotweet a game.
Matt Gemmell calls it a “sleazy promotion” and I’m inclined to agree with that. I agree with it because I actually value the people in my social network, I value my time and I value my integrity.
Let me put it this way. If I were standing in the queue at Boots, ready to buy myself some moisturiser (because my skin must remain tender and soft, sort of like the Andrex Puppy if the Andrex Puppy was losing his hair and grew a beard) and the lady at the counter said that I could have some hand lotion if I rang 5 of my friends, I would consider this a massive imposition. I would think it frankly fucking rude to be even asked this. Were I told that I could have some hand lotion if I recommended Boots to everyone in the queue behind me, the same.
I see no reason why I shouldn’t treat a social network the same.
Developers, don’t try and bribe me into being your marketing. It leads me to one of two conclusions:
1) You’re desperate. This is me being very kind now and assuming that you’re clutching at marketing straws. In which case, please – stop now. Just don’t do it. You can be better than that.
2) You think so little of me that I’m just a vessel for your marketing. At which point, I just think you’re a fucking dick.
That one share, that one tweet, that sits alongside the people who ring me after I’ve visited their store to ask for 5 minutes to discover how I find my experience there, it sits alongside the people who want 5 minutes of my time to insist that I really must have taken out PPI even though I’ve done no such thing, alongside the people who want me to fill in a survey when I first visit their site asking how my experience was (it’ll only take 5 minutes), alongside the people who send me a survey through the mail that’ll only take 5 minutes of my time after I’ve paid my bill.
Or like a certain UK company that insists its staff push web surveys on all and sundry, harassing them and their customers alike. Alongside the myriad of applications that want me to post to Twitter, alongside every marketing cunt who thinks I should click “like” on a Facebook I don’t have to see an “exclusive screenshot” or some other bollocks that just wastes my fucking time. All of which just want me to help with their marketing or to help them. It’s not just a tweet or a share, it’s one imposition amongst many.
It might just be 5 minutes to you, it might just be a tweet or a like or a share to you, but to me, it’s my time, my life and my existence that you’re trying to eat into. It’s asking me to disrespect every single follower I have in exchange for something worthless and I value people more than I value your tat.
I’m a person who will happily spread the word about a game or service I love. I will recommend things happily on Twitter without hesitation. I do so as often as I can because I believe that good things deserve to be shared. I also do so, hopefully, knowing that people recognise that I only recommend things I would genuinely recommend. And for this, I don’t need a shiny trinket for tweeting. I don’t need someone abusing my time to do that. I’ll do it because I think something is worthwhile.
Don’t bribe me. Make a good thing. Be nice. Don’t be a Zynga. I won’t have any qualms about sharing something then. Because I won’t think it’s been made by a fucknut.