Its funny how things tend to come along in bunches. I was talking to Dave (who is doing his PhD on some complicated marketing thingamebob that has stuff to do with online games) about termination costs on Saturday night. We have the best, more interesting conversations, you see. We were talking about the methods that companies use to increase the termination costs of their products, especially online products to hold onto customers.
This week, Facebook changed its interface again. It moved a few bits around and altered the way that some things worked and there is an extra click here or there. Those people addicted to the various online games that are played on Facebook will have known this was coming because they have been altering how the games interact with the site over the last couple of months, probably due to load issues.
And, like every other time that this has happened, there has been an uproar of people bemoaning the changes that have been made. They are accusing Facebook of changes for changes sake, terrible design choices, ignoring the needs of the user and above all else returning them to the deluge of 'Bobby has just planted some Elephant Corn in FarmTownVille' messages. (Although why, for the life of me, the people that play the games simply don't ignore the offers to post these messages, I do not know.)
And I pondered this for a while, reading the vitriol that the users were pouring onto the newsfeeds and I thought 'Why not just stop using it then?'
And then I remembered - termination costs.
I think a lot can be said about us that we can hate a product (well, for this week anyway, until we all get used to the changes and they become the norm, until the next change comes along) so much that we set up a group to attack that self-same product and yet we simply cannot bring ourselves to cease the usage of that product.
Them's damned high termination costs.