Interesting Discussion About Linkbait Games

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The concept of linkbait exploded during the Las Vegas PubCon, thanks in large part to the drinkbait game. While it’s true there were a number of sessions devoted to concept, seeing it in action in the form of game based on getting your picture taken hammered the whole idea home.

However, how would you react if someone else debuted a similar game at the next big conference, essentially stealing the buzz you created and perhaps cheapening the idea? What if this person is someone you may have worked with in the past? If you are like most people, the idea is not very becoming, especially if your idea was original enough to become a point of reference for the very concept you were exploring.

Welcome to the young world of linkbait games.

The original game being referenced is called DrinkBait, which is an offshoot of the SEO Drinking Contest developed by Nathaniel Broughton. Chris Hooley came up with the idea of buying individual drinks (the kind in the shot bottles) for those on the drinking contest list and then taking a picture with them (Check out our video interview with Chris and Nathaniel). In short, Chris’ idea was a major success and everybody was talking about it after he pulled it off.

Fast forward to the Chicago SES and we find out that Liana Evans (Hooley used to write for her blog) is conducting another linkbait exercise that’s awfully similar to the one Chris conducted at Vegas – a game called hatbait. The idea behind hatbait is to get your picture taken wearing a certain hat. The purpose is duplicate the same kind of buzz Hooley started in Vegas, albeit using a different prop… and this is where things go sour.

Hooley blogged a response about the hatbait game and needless to say his reaction wasn’t the greatest. In fact, the title of Hooley’s post should be an indicator of how much he was bothered by Evans’ action – Hatbait Killed Me. His post went on to explain he felt understandably betrayed because he told Evans a number of details concerning DrinkBait as well as future exploits. He felt these discussions were confidential, not ideas that could be capitalized upon.

Over at SEOMoz, Rand Fishkin posted an intriguing idea about this incident, essentially asking could Hooley have protected his idea in an intellectual property sense. During the ensuing discussion, both Evans and Hooley posted responses detailing each other’s position, which generated even more response posts.

Despite the discussions, Rand’s question still lingers – is there anything Chris could’ve done to protect his ideas or is he a victim of the look and feel defense (PDF) that confounded Adobe’s efforts against Macromedia Fireworks for so long… that is until they bought them.

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Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

Interesting Discussion About Linkbait Games
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