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The Efficacy Of Technology-Enabled Tactics

Richard Millington
Richard Millington

Founder of FeverBee

Poker gaming machines moved quickly from one hand at a time to three, then to 50, then to 100.


Gamblers quickly became fatigued with their current level and sort the next, high, adrenaline rush (I strongly recommend reading Addicted by Design by Natascha Dow Schull (or watch her HabitSummit talk here).

This tilts poker game designers to create ever-more intense games. It forces them to create an ever bigger adrenaline

When Copyblogger (and buzzfeed) popularized question headlines and number-driven posts (6 ways to…) they spread rapidly. Now we’re experiencing fatigue of these.

Not long ago, The Daily Mail discovered that writing really long headlines attracted more clicks. This secret spread to all newspapers. Soon, we’ll become bored of this too.

This is the recurring cycle. First a new technology makes a new tactic viable (processing power, analytics, cloud computing search engines etc…). People discover and succeed with the tactic. Everyone uses the tactic. The audience becomes fatigued with the tactic. The tactic’s efficacy declines.

For example, adding a photo to tweets and Facebook posts increases clicks (you’re taking up more space). This works until everyone adds photos to every tweet and Facebook post. Then the efficacy of the tactic fades.

I would argue that new technology-enabled tactics are unlikely to have anything longer than a short-term boost in your community. Avoid them. Focus on the hard working of building the sense of community. This will always pay off more over the long-term.


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