Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chicktionary saves the day

Microsoft recently saw a bump in their searches (which is a measure used to define a share of the entire Search industry), but the way in which the increase was achieved seems...wait for it...fowl:
Another Internet metrics company, Compete, said the share of MSN and Windows Live searches jumped from 8.4% in May to 13.2% in June, an increase of 67%. While Nielsen/NetRatings will surely offer a third set of numbers, the trend is clear: Microsoft is finally seeing a change of fortune in the search industry.

Or is it? According to both comScore and Compete, Microsoft's turnaround is not due to improved quality or customer satisfaction with the service, but rather an online game called "Chicktionary." [HAHAHAHAHAHA!!] The chicken-themed game lets users re-arrange letters into words, and then launches a Web search for the word. A player may indirectly run dozens of searches in a single game.

Chicktionary is available on Microsoft's Live Search Club Web site, which offers other games such as a crossword puzzle called Flexicon, which also requires searches to be made for each word. Prizes are what's apparently attracting users to the site. For each game they play, visitors earn points that can be redeemed for software like Windows Vista and Zoo Tycoon 2, as well as shirts, song downloads, headphones and more.
I'm going to go with this prediction: this type of activity isn't sustainable, and next week, people will find something other to do during their lunch break or during lecture.

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