Social Media Marketing

Ze Frank is better at Social Game Design than Business


Born Hosea Jan Frank, popularly known as Ze Frank, is regarded as an internet cult hero who likes to express himself through his creative efforts online.   He cut his teeth during the Internet boom of the late 90’s and is best known for his first creation of the ‘online birthday invitation – how to dance properly’, which became a viral sensation. On the back of this his personal website soon generated millions of visitors and became a haven for random netizens to share their thoughts, works and other ideas.

Ze Frank is without doubt a creative thinker who is fascinated with the process of participation and what makes content spread. He believes that real life is happening in virtual places everyday and being social online is hard work. As an experiment in audience participation he even created his own one year online show called “the show with Ze Frank” (similar to the Philip DeFranco show). He even called on his fans to write the show through online collaboration.

Without sounding like Tony Robbins, Ze Frank has truly paved a way for real emotional connections to happen online, in the midst of a cluttered cyber world. Ze Frank landed a $500,0000 investment to experiment in social games design.  He has now turned his attention to gamification and game mechanics.  His first project is called Star.Me, which provides rewards and positive feedback for ‘good’ work.

After reviewing the website and experimenting with the service we believe this is not a good star project. It seems surprisingly poorly thought out with no real substance for someone of Ze Franks calibre. The target market is not clear either — is it school children? surely not professionals? The website is like a college project and we can’t see how this is going to make any money. Assuming he wants to make money, hich he obviously does as he has compared it to Zynga. TechCrunch journalist Alexia Tsotsis correctly points out in this article couldn’t be further from Zynga. This is why we think Ze Frank’s is better at social ame design than business. He will need to up his business game in the next project if he is going to make a return for his investors.

p.s. To finish please checkout out Ze Franks “Communications Course” which is genius. All designers can identify with annoying clients. Check out Ze’s solution to this age old problem.


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