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Give users something to talk about


If you want people to talk, give them something to talk about. We all know that, but I love to see new examples. The picture above is from a scene in the television show My Name is Earl. But not everybody saw it. Only those with an HD TV had a picture wide enough (let alone enough) to see this image of the guy holding the sign by the copy machine that says, "High def rocks!"

Apparently other shows are now including content that is either intended only for those with HD, or simply isn't available to those watching television at non-HD resolution. While this isn't rewarding the majority of their viewers, it's certainly giving the group of passionate television watchers (someone willing to spend several thousand dollars to watch TV is... never mind) something worth talking about.

Be sure to read the comments at HD Beat. My favorite is this one:

"So to summarize, you guys spent 1 to 2 thousand dollars for the privilege of seeing a guy hold up a sign?"

But that one little effort from the producers made those viewers who did spend WAY too much for a television feel... special. Rewarded. There's a lot of power in the feeling of I know something you don't. If you have a chance to offer that to a group of users, do it.

So how are we doing that? Not very well, I'm afraid... but we try -- in our books, for example, there are little bits of continuing storyline and character interaction and easter eggs that make sense only if you've read several of our books. So only people who have three of our books would ever realize those surprises and "inside references" exist. These surprises aren't any more special than a guy holding up a sign -- they don't add real content value, but it's our way of giving some of our most dedicated readers a tiny potential treat (assuming they notice -- if it's too obvious, remember, then it might not have as much value).

Posted by Kathy on October 9, 2005 | Permalink


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"Only those with an HD TV had a picture wide enough (let alone enough) to see this image of the guy..."

No... HD is not the same as widescreen. And just because you have an HDTV doesn't mean you saw the program in HD (depends on your signal). So anyone who saw a widescreen broadcast could SEE the sign. But only those with an HDTV and an HDTV signal could READ the sign.

Posted by: anon | Nov 22, 2005 4:28:03 PM

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