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The more you give, the more you get (part II)

I left out a number of important things in my “the more you give, the more you get” post about the web.

The thing is, the “give” has to be easy and the “get” has to be great.

Web applications that force the user to spend loads of time before the eventual (hopeful) payoff don’t work for me. That’s why I mentioned last.fm first in my post. It’s easy to give them my data. And they give back something great.

I’ve also become a big fan of gdgt and i check in a few times a week these days. It’s perfect for lovers of gadgets (like me). gdgt fits this give/get model very nicely. You can go to gdgt and have a compelling user experience without registering. But it becomes even more powerful when you signup, create and *update* your profile. And it’s so easy to give them my data. Find products and then add them to your own, had or want list. That’s it. (here’s mine).

That being said, there are a number of other services that get a lot of data from me in a smooth and easy way but haven’t returned the favor like last.fm & GDGT.

For example, Amazon gets a lot of transactional data from me but it hasn’t been able to connect me with good product recommendations or other users. Netflix gets a bunch of data from me but I think there recommendation service isn’t as good as it could be. My credit card gets a lot of data from me but hasn’t given me new services or a better experience yet. The company that brings me pay television services to our set top box has great data from me but the user experience hasn’t changed in years.

I encourage folks to make the give part really easy and if possible even fun. Then hopefully the service can return the favor.