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Gaming Referrals

April 16, 2010

What do you do when a company asks who referred you?  Do you leave it blank?  Do you put down who actually refered you to the best of your knowledge?

Where is the sense in that?

the box you check here has POWER – power to influence the company and, if played right, the power to get them to benefit you or at least annoy you less.

Consider these possibilities:

You could put down “word of mouth” as a referal.  However, unless there is a name to go with it, this benefits absolutely no one.  Having a friend refer you, however, often means they pick up a little extra cash.  Which may make him grateful, but doesn’t promise anything more than that.

You could put down a magazine.  However this is a double edged sword.  It benefits the magazine by encouraging the business to buy more ads, but while this might lead to better content, it WILL lead to more ads in your magazine.

You could put down tv, but this often leads to the same dilemma as magazines face.  If, however, you are like me and take a lot of your shows and movies online, you have an alternative that stands head and shoulders above the rest of the options – Hulu.com.

If you say you were referred by Hulu.com, your company will put more money into it.  But putting money into Hulu.com guarantees what is only a vague hope for any other referral – something for you.  The reason is, when a company puts money into tv or magazines or something like that, they typically buy ads.  But when they put money into Hulu.com, they pay the company to put more shows on their system.  Now I know TV says it does the same thing, but have you noticed just how many ads it takes to bring you a single half hour show?  Often with Hulu.com, you can watch the entire show with only one or two commercial interruptions!

And they’re by the same company too, so each time they put money in, you get a new show – as opposed to tv where the station picks the shows and then puts the ad space up for sale – which encourages more and more ads until it seems more time on tv is dedicated to sales pitches than the shows you came for in the first place.

Now, I do have a bias.  I don’t have cable or satellite tv and, since the government made us all switch to digital, my regular tv is undependable (thanks a LOT FCC).  So throwing my consumer weight around for their benefit is in my benefit.  The analysis may work differently for you, but for me, whenever I am asked where I heard of their company, if Hulu.com is an option, it’s “where I heard it”.

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