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It’s All About Love-In not Lock-in

Participating on the Net today requires a new mantra.  You need to focus on Love-in not Lock-in:

  • Love-in is about delighting a user such that they choose to come back.  It’s about exceeding expectations.  A poster my high school friend had in her room jumps to mind: “If you love something set it free.  If it comes back to you it’s yours.  If not, it was never meant to be.” ( I think there was a unicorn on that poster).
  • Lock-in is about keeping users on your site.  In MBA-lingo, it’s about introducing switching costs. 

Google is all about love-in.  They want you to jump off the site as quickly as possible and when you’re ready, they hope you come back.  Lock-in is part of the portal mindset and as such, Yahoo still struggles with it.  The new MyYahoo (which rocks) shows that this is changing but to totally embrace love-in, they’d let me pick my favorite search engine.

Open markets require a love-in mindset.  Retailers, by aggressively working with search engines, acknowledge a consumers’ desire for choice.  Their mission is to find ways to delight users such that they choose to come back, perhaps next time directly to their site.  Vertical search engines also need to embrace love-in by quickly and impartially delivering users to the right retailer.  We must understand our role as a first-stop and not attempt to act like a destination site.

2 Responses to “It’s All About Love-In not Lock-in”

  1. August 24th, 2005 at 11:29 am

    Alex Walker says:

    An interesting comparison (despite the cheesy jargon and the referencing of Google as an example) in external linking strategies.

    The ‘Love-in’ concept, as you call it, is in my opinion important for the growth of a website. I always disliked the old-fashioned term ‘stickiness’ and the desire to maintain longer user sessions. Surely by linking to authoritative material, a site’s ‘authority’ value with a user increases, and hence increases (a) frequency of visits and (b) word-of-mouth referrals. I think this assumption is echoed in the current Google search algorithm that credits sites that have good external linkage to on-topic content.

    Good luck with your project, you have a postive attitude towards web publishing and I hope you suceed.

  2. June 22nd, 2009 at 2:31 am

    freddy says:

    Really interesting concept. I’ve been very much impressed with your project. All the best for that.

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