A quick lesson in the importance of consistency of meaning in terms you use on your site. Doing things like this skews the meaning of those gestures by the user and therefore makes them (and to some degree, the site itself) less valuable.
I heard an announcement on the gdgt podcast today (an old podcast, but I just heard it now, so no grief about “old news” please) about a promo they are running where users can try to win a blackberry phone from a pool of phones (two models) they are giving away.
It’s a fine enough idea for a contest, but the problem is that the way you enter the contest is to log on to the site (gdgt) and add one (or both) of the devices to your “want” list. I see this as a mistake, since (as a user) your lists of devices on that site (“Have”, “Want”, etc.) form the core part of what the site is about.
Having people indicate that they “want” one or both of these phones (in order to enter the contest to win them) seems like a major mistake, because lots of people will indicate that they “want” the phones even though it isn’t actually a true measure of whether they really “want” it, relative to the criteria they’re using for marking other things on the site as “wanted”. By doing this, it is (IMHO) polluting the meaning of a term that seems like it should be very important within their system.
The counter argument is that if you don’t really want it then don’t enter the contest, but that is a bit silly as well. There are wide variations of what want could mean; the important thing is to keep that meaning consistent (for a given user) for their use of the site. As an illustration, I don’t “want” either of those phones. I definitely wouldn’t plan to buy them now or in the future (one possible interpretation of “want”), and I don’t even think I’d pick them up if I had enough cash to make the cost irrelevant (another possible definition), although I would gladly accept one for free (the only definition that applies in the case of the contest).
What do you think?