— blending the mix

Web 2.0 – its not about the applications its about how you speak to people

 In my previous post about monetisation of perviously free websites, I took flickr as a case in question.

Most people can happily use their allowance, but the time will come that they have SO many pictures on there, that they will find it hard to leave.

But, flickr is way ahead of the game in more than just creating a wonderful product. The way they communicate is HUMAN and i done in a way which is rarely seen. I FEEL part of the community and that is half the battle.

is another case in question. even the simplest things make a difference. Check out the home page URL:

http://www.skype.com/helloagain.html

How friendly is THAT? OK, not necessarily the most dramatic illustration but look how else the talk to you:

“sharing good, not sharing bad, spread the love, sharing is good”

are all engaging phrases that engage for the fact they they sound like they come from someone you are familiar with, someone who knows you and who sounds like they understand you. They talk in conversational tone.

Likewise here:

“all updated every couple of minutes”

The value of the RSS feed item is not affected, but the fact they use partially coloquial language to explain what they mean makes you warm to them all the more.

[tag]Flickr[/tag] does an equally great job, giving-out arguably more personality than [tag]Skype[/tag]:

When was the last time a website greeted you with “Aloha”?

Holy smokes! Surely a website can’t communicate with its customers in this way? What about The Queen’s English? What about grammar rules? What rules?

2 of the biggest and most successful applications in the world are using commonly-spoken language to engage its customers. What is one of the main reasons blogs are so popular? Because they are not full of the usual stuffy grammatically and politically correct language.

In my early days of copywriting for a UK mail order company, a Frenchman (I know!) gave me some great advice –

write to the customer as if you are talking to them face to face in a way in which they understand.

Now, the fact that not many of you will have made it to the end of this post makes me wonder if I haven’t listened to my own advice, but the advice still rings true – speak to your customers like they are your friend, in a respectful way and you have yourself and engaged customer!

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