[13 March 2001] – Two of the most anticipated events in South Africa are the weekly Lotto draw and the Oscars. The former is awaited with almost religious eagerness every Saturday by millions of South Africans, the latter is the subject of dinner conversations for months before and after the event. Hoping to tap into the buzz of both, World Online (WOL)has set up a free Lotto Service and a site dedicated to the Oscars.
LottoManager.co.za sends those who register the weekly winning Lotto number, either by email or SMS. Users can also store and update their own numbers, in which case they will also be informed if and how much theyve won.
There is also a statistics section, where users can view the numbers that have been drawn, including a breakdown of the luckiest and unluckiest numbers that have been drawn.
To drive users to the site, WOL is offering a year of free lottery numbers to every thousandth registrant the prizes to be paid by WOL, not the National Lottery- as well as holding a bi-monthly draw for a Palm V.
WOL’s Oscar Watch 2001 can be found under the entertainment section of the main site. Users can vote for and view information on their favourite nominees, see stills from nominated films and enter a competition where you can win a chance to see the Oscars via live satellite feed at Cinema Prive.
WOL, one of the largest South African portals, seems to be establishing properties around the most popular current events in order to draw surfers its site. Indeed, content is what people come onto the Web for – and it dates quickly.
This makes the National Lottery a good choice for a site, given that its content renews itself weekly and the keen public interest. Events like the Oscars are good while they last, but need to be replaced with the next Big Event regularly.
The point is that up-to-date, topical content is imperative to the success of any online venture, especially those aimed at the consumer. And while self-renewing content is a pleasure, it cannot be relied upon. Content must be continuously generated and managed, not just created and forgotten.
Now WOL must just ensure it can create awareness of its content and ensure that users bring in more revenue than the cost of the content.