Blogging Lesssons from Farmville

I always enjoy when a hot new internet trend sneaks up on me from my ‘less net-savvy’ friends. I’d seen various mentions of some crazy game called FarmVille for several months but figured it was some stupid game built for the proles. Then one evening I come home from work and Ron is sitting in front of his computer, still in his pajamas staring at this:

There’s even a servants entrance in the north-east corner.

He had been sucked into FarmVille.

Here’s how Farmville works:

Farmville is a game you play ‘inside’ your Facebook account. You’re given have a small plot of green land to grow vegetables and raise farm animals. Each plant has it’s own growth rate from 2 hrs to several days, then you harvest the crops, sell them for cash and buy more goodies like fruit trees, animals, villas, etc.

Keep Them Coming Back

Here’s the evil part: If you don’t login hand let your crops go, they wither and die. This keeps you logging in to check. You start to plan your day around your faux-farm. “If I plant the strawberries before I go to the gym this morning then by the time I’m at work I can harvest them and be able to start a plot of eggplant for tomorrow.” You keep checking in and you start to plan your day around when you can check in on the farm and plant and harvest. Yeah, I know. It’s sick!

How often do you post to your blog? Can you stats show you often often repeat visitors return?

Show Up, Be Helpful

Sometimes when I go to my Farmville farm I get an alert that one of my Facebook friends that’s playing Farmville needs help on their farm.

I click through and help them clear brances or leaves or pull weeds. I get a little bonus in fake cash. It’s a bit like checking your favorite blogs and leaving comments when their commenters have questions.

How often do you post comments on other blogs? Do you see any traffic increase from those blogs to your own?

Your Blog is a Farm

While you’re waiting for things to grow on your fake farm, you can arrange trees and animals and fences and barns as you see fit. You can also check out your friends’s farms to see how they are arranging things. My co-worker Ginevra has gone with a pink motif: pink barn, pink hay bales, pink fences. Ron’s going for a Margaret Mitchell style plantation. I’m mostly growing high-yield crops so I can get a barn and other buildings installed.

What widgets, elements and ideas do you get from the blogs of your friends? Your colleagues? Your competitors? What about completely random bloggers that you’ve never met before?






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