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Archive for October, 2008

So much of the entertainment industry is only promotions, promotions, and promotions. The new production of American Buffalo with Cedric the Entertainer and John Leguizamo has been using social networks like MySpace and Facebook to promote the show. [Check out the MySpace for American Buffalo.] I think they still missed the point of user interface promotions. The fans on these social networks can only show their support for the product through comments and friending. This isn’t a true user interface.

Kevin Davenport created BroadwaySpace to unite people over their musical theatre passion. He’s smart in that he can promote ticket discounts and utilize the network to spread press about new shows. But here we get a true user interface.  You see, user interface needs to motivate interaction (duh, right?). Davenport’s social network allows people to share their production videos, discuss new shows, and build connections with others. Lovely.

The American Buffalo page is just there to sell tickets. It’s fine to promote via social networks (and quite brilliant), but you can’t stop short. You must interact with people. For instance, give the MySpace people access to a special part of your website where they can talk about the show. Allow the Facebook people to add a David Mamet game application to their profiles (and let it display scores so they can challenge friends to beat them.) At the very least, the cast members should be vlogging.

Sure, people might beat boredom by watching your YouTube commercial or listening to Radio Ads (both are on the AB MySpace page…), but they only gain something when you interact with them. Never underestimate the power of user interface.

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