Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Super Tourists

When I first wrote the series of posts covering Tourists, Customers, Fans, and Super-Fans, I wasn't in the Virtual World business. Now that I am, I want to re-explore Tourists. Not just any Tourists, Super-Tourists!

Quick recap: I call the players who are using the free version of your product Tourists. They are checking it out, and maybe they'll pony up some cash and become customers. (Note: Tourist is the literal name of non-paying players in ourWorld. I don't know if that's coincidence or not. I came up with the term Tourist long before I ever heard of ourWorld.)

If you are a player with a free membership this is what you offer:
  • You might buy something and become a Customer.
  • You contribute and enhance the community, increasing the value of the game for Customers and Fans
  • You may refer other players to the game, so even if you never become a Customer, you may be responsible for someone who eventually does.
Note: A Tourist who doesn't do any of those things may be harmful to your game. Community contribution is subjective, and freeloading troublemakers can be an issue. Tourists who constantly use up the time of your support staff can also be an issue. I hate to cut anyone loose, just in case there is potential, but sometimes you have to.

Super Tourists are players who bring a lot to the table, besides their own money. They are as involved as a Super Fan, only without the check-book. They enhance the community by having a lot of friends and being fun to play with. They refer a lot of players to the site, many of whom become customers. For games where volunteers are needed, they're front and center. It's generally accepted that volunteers don't do it for the 'stuff', but for recognition. It may be that Super Tourists require more 'free stuff' than normal customers because their lack of spending limits their experience.

As I've recently posted, ourWorld has just started an assortment of reference features (click the avatar in the sidebar!) but we haven't started ID-ing Super Tourists yet. I'm not even sure how many (if any) there are. I'm going to look into it.



Anonymous said...

are there going to be referral links? just a plain link to ourworld through some kind of ID number or so, so that when people click on it and joins, they'll be "recruited" under the person's link's name?

AdamConus said...

Yes, there are referral links. Clicking on the Avatar image right there links the clicker to my account and I get a 10 Gem bonus if they join. I just got my first bonus from a referral today!

Each ourWorld player can find their own links on their "account" page.