Click NY: competitive commenting

Tom Ajello of Poke New York raised an intriguing idea here at Click New York: that commenting online has become a competitive activity

Tom Ajello of Poke New York (check out their live agency webcam here) raised an intriguing idea here at Click New York: that commenting online has become a competitive activity

So you know how people will comment ferociously on YouTube, then end up arguing with one another over whether or not Coldplay sucks, that activity is increasingly becoming competitive. People go on YouTube spoiling for a fight, looking to emerge victorious over their fellow commenters. Commenting has become a game and people are playing to win.

Look at how people delight in being the first to post a comment on, say, a newspaper story online. And now that papers like The Guardian provide data on commenters such as how many posts they’ve made or how many of their comments have been recommended, we can all compare one to the other and soon find the identity of the most prolific – the champion commenters.

Likewise, people have begun to talk about “winning” Facebook. Getting more friends than anyone else. I know that even here, at CR, there’s some healthy competition over whose stories get the most comments here on the blog.

So the whole aspect of social media is becoming competitive – something that is being exploited by Tengaged, an online game based on Big Brother: “Tengaged allows you to play a less invasive version of Big Brother with other people online. Each game involves ten people and lasts seven days, each day one member of the group getting voted off starting from day 2. People are nominated for eviction based on the comments that they submit to the group and their amount of activity participating in the game on a regular basis.”

Expect savvy brands to start exploiting this soon too – in a way, Crispin already touched on it with Whopper Sacrifice.

Ajello also made the point that one of the few constants in digital work right now is a gaming aspect, however that plays out. Some kind of game or competition holds a fundamental appeal to us as humans. He pointed out that some things work as games even though we may not have thought of them as such eg Weight Watchers. Ajello pointed out that Weight Watchers actually shares many of the characteristics of role playing games – transformation (in this case into a thinner version of yourself); winning points; specialist tools and competition between participants.

So losing weight, instead of being a daily grind, becomes a series of small, intriguing challenges.

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