Six of the Best: All fun and games? edition ~ Brand Mix

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Six of the Best: All fun and games? edition

Photo: So funning! by Wm Jas on Flickr

Are you a cool duck and so funning? Let's see:

1) Incoming! Seth Godin
Seth talks here about our addiction to incoming messages, whether they be email, Facebook feeds or tweets. As he says: "When, for some random reason, they ebb and you have a really light few hours--admit it, you check more often." When what started off as a fun habit starts to become a compulsion, eating hours from the day, he suggest that maybe it's time to take charge instead of becoming a willing victim.

2) Tweet Now, Revolt Later: Slate/ Tweeting as play: Murketing
So, are social networking sites fun but potentially habit-forming distractions or do they serve a higher and more useful purpose? A much higher purpose, according to Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter. He says that Twitter is: "a triumph of humanity... a tool for times of revolution and strife, a service that can break news, bring down tyrants, and salve the wounds of the forsaken." (Perhaps a little OTT?) Whereas Rob Walker, on Murketing, says it's all play, not that there's anything wrong with that.

3) Be There or Be Square: The Rise of Location-based Social Networking: Knowlege@Wharton
Foursquare is undeniably about play. Its points, merit badges and mayorships are designed to engage users and get them to check in and share their locations with others. But, in this case, this somewhat pointless, yet compulsive, exercise has design for future purpose. Once there's critical mass, the potential for location-based marketing is endless. Those playing the game now are laying down the groundwork for what's to come.

4) The Fun Theory: Volkswagen (via Smart Mobs)
How about using fun for good? This VW initiative: "Is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better." Here is the 2009 Award Winner:

5) CauseWorld
Even gooderer than VW is CauseWorld, one of many organizations figuring out how to use social networking to raise money for good causes. CauseWorld is a mobile application that lets you help the world by checking in at stores and earning "karmas" that can be used to support a cause of your choice. P&G, Citi and Kraft Foods are the sponsors picking up the donation bill.

6) Laughing Your Way To The Bank: HBR
Rosabeth Moss Kanter makes the pitch for fun at work. As she says: "A sense of humor is an under-rated tool for entrepreneurs, innovators, and change agents. And that's no joke." New ideas come from thinking about possibilities: "That seem absurd, even ludicrous, at first." Humor, which is all about: "Playing with ideas, challenging assumptions, and poking fun at tradition" creates the right kind of enviroment for such ideas to emerge.

That's it! Back soon with more stories from the world of brand strategy. More thoughts and comments also available on Twitter (@martinjbishop).

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