Participants and memans

People visiting your site come there in effect of an activity
. They have a goal and the web page is a tool in order to achieve that goal
. In that effect there are no “users”, because their only goal is to use your page. Not in order to solve a problem or achieve a goal, but just to push the buttons and read the texts

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“Users” don’t exist in a context, and therefore they don’t exist.

If I want to go to the movies, I visit the web page in order to find a movie or buy a ticket, my main goal is to watch a movie to pass time, have a romantic evening or just a boys night out

So where does the “user” come into the picture? And why does a large part of the web-industry keep referring to these non-existing visitors? I have no clue, maybe it’s just a lack of interest in investing in a better vocabulary?

Because there are solutions and they are right in front of our noses:

  • – When working on a specific project. Identify visitors as their role. In my example above it could be “movie enthusiast”, “boyfriend” or “action-movie-fanatic”. :o)
  • – When referring to a much broader audience I can see that it is difficult to specify role, as they would be to narrow, but terms as “participant” and my personal favorite “meman” does the job perfectly.
  • Participant: Any human participates with the world around him/her, this includes brands, people and web pages. They are a part of many eco-systems with which they interact and react to. A participant is also the main communicator of your brand.

    Meman: A meman is a self-centered human. As Seth Godin says it: Humans are self-centered and if you want their attention you must be sure they see a personal gain or value by participating


    So, there are no “users”, there are roles, participants and memans.