No one likes standing in line for things, but here’s a funny thought process I went through at the Calgary Stampede this past summer while walking through the food truck area and happening upon a disproportionately large queue.
“Wow that’s a long line-up for (I forget what it was… I think it had seaweed on it)”
“I’d hate to be standing in that line-up.”
(Walking a few paces–eyeing the food truck menu).
“Must be good though!”
“I think I’ll try it.”
And so I got in line.
It’s funny how something as off-putting as a line-up can actually draw people in. In fact, I’ve often wondered if restaurants use this to their advantage–any time I’ve visited the Chill Winston, a cool pub in Vancouver’s Gas Town, I’ve always waited outside in a crowd beside a hostess whose exchange rate on actual wait time versus estimated wait time is at least 4 to 1. The resulting crowd ends up being very effective marketing, intentional or not.
I think it makes for an interesting illustration when it comes to the web. You can’t really ‘see’ all of the other people who have used the website you’re surfing–until we add social media. Page discussion, social tags displaying how many people have shared it–these reveal online crowds. I think the principle of increased traffic proportional to increased interest holds true here. Best of all, no one has to wait in any lineups!