Posted Sunday, March 9th, 2008 at 4:04 am under companies.

Another thought on Mahalo

super smash brothersBack in November I wrote some comments on Mahalo in an article titled The Mahalo-Wikipedia-Google love triangle.

I just read Jason‘s comment that they’re staying up late to make a Mahalo page on the Super Smash Bros Brawl Walkthrough.

That’s interesting.

Mahalo is supposed to be making things so easy that our grandparents can use it. But my grandparents are all dead, and they certainly wouldn’t be playing Super Smash Bros Brawl if they were alive.

Thinking about this, I was struck by another thought.

Who’s this page for? Why stay up til after midnight to buy and play a kids’ game and document it on Mahalo? Couldn’t it wait? What are those guys smoking up there in LA?

Then the penny dropped. Another penny. If you’re the first site on the web that’s got the Super Smash Bros Brawl walkthrough, kids are going to go to your page first thing tomorrow. And they’re not just going to your page, they’re going to Mahalo.

They’re also going to link to your page, and we all know what that means.

Meanwhile, the latte-sipping crowd who like the feel of Wikipedia being an online encyclopedia can look down their noses and have joint editing catfights over just what should be on the Wikipedia page.

If Mahalo keep it up, might they not look like the default cool destination for baby-chino-sipping teens and pre-teens to go to to find things about their popular culture? Just like you and I head to Wikipedia to look things up, might not kids make Mahalo their destination of choice to find current cultural stuff? Might not Wikipedia look to them as slow-moving, quaint and, dare I say it, even out of date as a print encyclopedia now looks to us grown ups?

I think I’m very slow on the uptake on this one. But I don’t spend much time thinking about Mahalo, so perhaps I can be excused. My kids are into Webkinz and of course there’s Webkinz stuff in Mahalo. My grandparents aren’t into that either.

Jason’s point, that Mahalo isn’t designed for geeks like us, is well taken. But I’ve only heard examples of how older folks want a simplified and more guided experience. Going for teens and pre-teens would be nice too. It might even be worth staying up after midnight for.

Obvious in retrospect, I guess, but I was slow to see it.

  • http://www.shoptimesaver.com michael

    great post very cool

  • http://www.shoptimesaver.com/ michael

    great post very cool

  • rustlem

    Jason Calacanis as Ronald MacDonald. I can see it! I can see it!

  • rustlem

    Jason Calacanis as Ronald MacDonald. I can see it! I can see it!