Do we live on the web? Are we addicted to social media? Recently I was reading an article in Wired Magazine about “addictive” marketing. We all know about old school addictive marketing—cigarettes, beer, weed (Yes, pot was legal at one time in the entire U.S. If you don’t believe me—Google it.) But this article was about wildly successful psychological “hooks” employed to get users to figuratively have to come back to the site. I just didn’t believe this entirely until I started playing the Trivia Crack App with my son over our holiday break. We’d put it down for a while but then I’d sneak a peek when nothing special was going on…my son acted in the same manner. Eventually, all three of my sons and my husband were “trivia cracking” and I found myself telling relatives and friends at our holiday get-togethers about this cool App. How did that happen? Was I addicted? I was even getting others on-board too—did that make me a dealer?
The irony of all this is that I am a media professor. Wouldn’t I be the least susceptible to these marketing ploys—I had the inside track on this stuff? Later, I reviewed the flow chart that Wired consistently places on the last page of their publications. It was titled, “Which New, New Media Service is Right for Me?” The flow chart essentially tracked which new, new media sites were likely landings for which type of audiences. It was eye-opening because at least four of the media sites were unfamiliar to me but more surprisingly, these sites were unfamiliar to my 18-24 year old students. You may think then these sites weren’t successful but immediately my students wanted to get the URLs so they could check them out. Addictive marketing, perhaps, but at that point, eerily I really felt like a dealer…
The Verge: http://www.theverge.com/