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Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007 at 8:30 am

Can “w00t” Provide Wikipedia with Directions?

By Bryan Eisenberg
December 12th, 2007

woot!Merriam Webster just announced “w00t” as the online word of the year 2007.

According to The New York Times,

”W00t,” a hybrid of letters and numbers used by gamers as an exclamation of happiness or triumph, topped all other terms in the Springfield-based dictionary publisher’s online poll for the word that best sums up 2007.

Merriam-Webster’s president, John Morse, said ”w00t” was an ideal choice because it blends whimsy and new technology.

”It shows a really interesting thing that’s going on in language. It’s a term that’s arrived only because we’re now communicating electronically with each other,” Morse said.

Gamers commonly substitute numbers and symbols for the letters they resemble, Morse says, creating what they call ”l33t speak” — that’s ”leet” when spoken, short for ”elite” to the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, Amit points out that Wikipedia members proposed deleting the W00t page from the Wikipedia database on December 12, claiming the term hasn’t yet reached general usage.

Hmm… I bet it won’t be deleted now. Then again, the whims of Wikipedia’s editors aren’t subject to anything beyond their whims. I also wonder what impact this might have on people searching for “woot” and “Woot.com,” since it’s now the #1 search result.

Each day, Woot.com has a new featured item for sale. One new thing per day. If you don’t buy it now, better luck next time.

I visit Woot.com each morning just because of their excellent copywriting — you can get great words and great deals. Today, they’re selling a touchscreen GPS. Maybe the folks from Wikipedia should get one; it could help steer them on a better path.

W00t!

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Comments (6)

  1. Timely… likewise noticed both the Daily WOOT and the Websters thing this morning as well. Would be interesting to hear what the WOOT boys (and girls) have experienced as a result of their new-found celebrity status. Somehow, I suspect they’ll have something snarky to say about it at some point. Don’t impress me as the kind of folks overly impressed by this sort of (albeit backdoor) recognition.

    Sitting here at Wizards of Web, would be interested in hearing your analysis sometime of the WOOT experience. Seems well suited to Spontaneous and Humanistics– there are few web experiences more spontaneous than a “Woot-Off”…

    but wonder about Competitive and Methodicals. Thought the VIBRANT (if somewhat demented) forums and user community seem to be well peppered with all four types.

    Are they covering Competitive/Methodicals via those forums?

    Again, just interested in your perspective on their model and execution.

  2. Never Really Noticed Woot.com before. Thanks for the heads up. It is definitely an example of great copywriting.

  3. You’re right about Woot’s copywriting, Bryan. I also check it regularly and wonder when they’ll run out of meaningless hilarity. I’ve got my family hooked on shopping from there too.

    Unfortunately, they don’t ship to Canada yet, so we make regular trips across the border to pick up our loot.

    Kurt, I’d caution about making too many generalizations based on those four categories. They can be helpful for communicating product features, but can also be dangerous if applied too liberally. Don’t overlook the inclination of all four groups to appreciate good humour and a great price.

    I’d bet that the majority of woot’s visitors are actually Methodicals (based on a partially tongue-in-cheek assumption of their target market profile of internet savvy techies and programmers that tend to be awake at midnight).

    Chris

  4. NO!! You can also check copyscape.com and it’s the same thing

  5. I too had not seen w00t.com before. I will start checking it daily to see the examples of great copywriting.

  6. You’re right about Woot’s copywriting, Bryan. I also check it regularly and wonder when they’ll run out of meaningless hilarity. I’ve got my family hooked on shopping from there too.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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