Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg
Follow-the-leader. We all do it, both individually and corporately.
What I want to communicate through this post can be pretty much summarized in the following quote form this article regarding how Microsoft used the Farmville application on Facebook to more than triple it's fan-base on that property:
“Even as advertisers rush to Farmville for a virtual land grab, it’s critical to remember that the campaign worked in part because Bing was first to try it. There is great value in being the first company to test an advertising strategy in any social medium; if [another new application] becomes cluttered with more product placements, users will turn away. In a word, we trust our friends who show us cool things; we don’t trust the friends who are always trying to sell us something.”
It is so popular for people to see a great idea online and to go and copy it hoping for the same or similar results. This is especially true of ministries. But, while “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” (Charles Caleb Colton), it doesn't typically reflect well on the copy-cat.
In fact, it looks lazy, uninspired and contrived. None of these being values that we hold high in any relationship, so why would it be any different online?