This time around we were joined by our old classmate and founder of Out Of Step, Christin Malén Andreassen, and she baked us cupcakes in her brand new Bachelorette Pad!
We talked about how newspapers today are very similar and it seems difficult to stand out and offer something unique. In addition, social networks are in many ways replacing newspapers as the way we take in news. We don’t have the time or the patience to read long articles, and we are used to instant gratification from gameplaying. How can a newspaper evolve to take advantage of this instead of becoming a victim?
Our solution is a strategy best suited for a web newspaper offering a wide range of editorial content, from the latest news to in depth articles. But it could also be a new service that collects content from several different news/editorial sites.
The thought is to challenge readers to read more, and to read heavier articles, by making it into a game. Every article gives you “Intellectual” points according to topic and difficulty level. The points you collect can be used to buy related stuff like iPad magazines, eBooks etc.
How it works:
- You use Facebook Connect to quickly register, and to open for the opportunity to share
- You can access your version of the newspaper through your web browser or iPad/iPhone app
- The newspaper has a default layout, but it changes with use to accustom to your reading habits/interests. Based on the topics and level of difficulty of the articles you read, similar articles will always appear at the top.
- All previews of articles are marked with how many points they are “worth”
- You choose what article you want to read
- When you are finished reading, you answer a couple of control questions to get your points. You can also choose to answer extra credit questions for more points.
- In addition you can rate the article if you wish, which will be visible to other users.
To make it more fun, you can earn different badges e.g Expert on different topics (like The Middle East, The Financial Crisis, Hollywood Gossip etc). In addition you can reach different levels and work for a spot on the Highscore list. All of this is of course shareable on Facebook, Twitter, your blog whatever, so you can brag about your intellectuality or current events addiction.
Compare your reading habits and interests with your friends by installing a Facebook app that shows your reader compatability when visiting a friend’s profile (who also has installed the app), much like Last Fm does with music. In this way you learn more about what your friends actually read/are interested in, rather than what they say. And you can become better friends with new people and/or lose some old ones, all based on how elitist/narrowminded/prejudiced you want to be! Isn’t it great?
So what do you think?
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Next week at The Refinement Club: City life