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Internet Psychology from Graham Jones

Internet Psychology from Graham Jones

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Published by Graham Jones
Welcome to another weekly digest of material from my website grahamjones.co.uk.
Welcome to another weekly digest of material from my website grahamjones.co.uk.

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Published by: Graham Jones on Dec 22, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Internet Psychology fromGraham Jones
Welcome to another weekly digest of material from mywebsitegrahamjones.co.uk .Enjoy. 
What will happen to your websitewhen the world ends?
Look, I am writing this as quickly as I can because there are onlythree and a half hours before the world ends. I hope you get to readthis in time.In case it has passed you by, there are millions of people whoseriously think that today is the last day of this planet. Accordingto some interpretations of theMayan prophecythe world will beplunged into darkness for four hours today, 21st December 2012,before the Earth eventually disappears.Astronomers and physicists, however, disagree. They reckon wehave another 4 billion years before the planet finally succumbs tothe power of a hotter sun and is eventually sucked into the black hole caused by our star’s demise.But remember, that too is a prediction based on the “evidence”available to these scientists. The Mayan prediction is merelyanother attempt to understand our existence based on the“evidence” available at the time it was written. We have no way of knowing whether either of them are right. After all, if we were tocome back in 4 billion years time we may well findour descendantsall laughing at our prediction of the end of the world.Psychologically this is easy to explain. Humans struggle withknowing that life is a terminal event. We find it hard tocomprehend that the “nothing” we did not experience before ourbirth was actually something for other people. And we find ithard to comprehend that when we finish our mortal existence thatother people will live on and enjoy life. Combine the thoughts onpersonal mortality with our desire to work out why we are hereand you have potent mix for any number of explanations that helpus cope with the knowledge that we are mere temporary beings.Indeed, religions of all kinds have at their heart some kind of explanation for life which satisfies our struggle to cope with ourlack of understanding for our existence.The Mayan Prophecy – and indeed the predictions of astronomers– are merely devices to help us cope with our lack of understandingof human existence.But – many people will ask – what if they are right? What if theworld is going to end today..? Well, if it does, bye, it’s been niceknowing you. But of course we have no real way of knowing.Except one thing for certain that we do know is the world WILLend for each of us. One day you will die – that is a certainty – andyour world will end.So what will happen to your web presence when your world ends?You will still be there in the blogs you have written, in the websitesyou have created and in the social networks in which you havebeen active. Do you want your online presence to die when youpass away? Do you want your web presence to carry on as somekind of legacy? Who will shut-down your accounts so that theycannot be hacked or negative postings be made in your absencethat you cannot do anything about?We all need to consider what will happen to our web life whenour own world ends. The world of the web will continue when youdepart this planet – as much as you might not like to think aboutthat fact. So what will you do now to plan for your web presenceor lack of it when your world ends?Related posts1.The Tweeting Pope has a lesson for your business2.Ryder Cup victory shows you what you need for onlinesuccess3.You can forget social media if you want to make moneyonline
The Tweeting Pope has a lessonfor your business
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI is more engaging than JustinBieber. Even though The Pope has only 1.25m followers onTwitter, compared with Mr Bieber’s almost 32m, His Holinessappears to say things which people are more interested in. JustinBieber’s most re-tweeted missive was repeated by only 0.7% of hisfollowers, says theNew York Daily News, whereas The Pope isre-tweeted by around 5% of his followers. So why the difference?Part of the explanation is about what these two do outside of Twitter. If you are a Roman Catholic, then The Pope is a prominentfeature in your life. You also get to hear about The Pope on aregular basis when at church. For the Justin Bieber fans the popstar is less prominent. You may play his music regularly, but otherthan his regular Tweets he is not “in your face” so much in the“real world”. To the Justin Bieber fan he is much more virtualthan the Pope is to Roman Catholics. In other words, The Popehas a much greater “real world” presence and influence than JustinBiebermight have.It is a lesson to all of us. Whatever we do online it connects to whatwe do in the “real world”. If we don’t have enough of a real worldpresence our online activities appear to have less impact. BesidesThe Pope and Justin Bieber there are other examples too whichdemonstrate the real world impact. For instance, the recentGoogleZeitgeistshowed that in 2012 the most popular searches in almostevery category were for things we were engaged with in the “realworld”. It suggests that if your business has little or no real worldpresence or impact your online influence is less than it might be.Goodness, even Amazon has a “real world” presence with loadsof PR and its boxes and logo appearing on almost every deliveryvan in Britain and piled up in receptions of offices throughout thecountry. You can hardly move for this ubiquitous logo in the realworld – and they are a completely online company.There are though completely online businesses, such as LinkedIn,which do very well online but with only 200m users are not inthe same league as Facebook, which is “in your f ace” every daywith media coverage in the “real world” you cannot miss. WhilstLinkedIn is without doubt a huge success, millions of people in theUK have never heard of it; they’ve all heard of The Pope.The Pope on Twitter is a reminder that if you want your onlinebusiness to achieve its maximum, then you need a significant realworld presence. Online success and being present in the “realworld” go hand in glove. Oh – and so does creating a deeplycommitted following. Religions generally get more engagementon Twitter than pop stars – that’s down to the commitmentpeople have. With religious beliefs people tend to be much morecommitted than they are to a pop star who may be a passing phase.So not only does your business need to be real world to achieveonline success, it also needs to be seen as fundamental and vitalto yourcustomers.Related posts1.Connect your website to the real world2.Justin Bieber reveals what your website needs3.Twitter can manipulate your behaviour
Positive reviews must come first
You cannot really move very far online these days before you finda “star rating” or a list of reviews. Whether you are thinking youwant to buy something or you looking at the profile of someoneyou might want to connect with, you will soon find reviews,comments and ratings. But how much impact do they have – anddo you need them for the products and services you are supplying?It seems that reviews do indeed have an impact, but crucially itis the order of the reviews that matter. According to anew study,if youhave positive reviews first their impact lingers – even if subsequent reviews are negative. It looks as though early positiveratings outweigh subsequent negative ones.But conversely, if the early reviews or ratings are negative and thesubsequent ones are positive, then people are more forgiving andtend to give you the benefit if the doubt.What this means in reality is that you need to ensure your reviewsare listed from the most positive to the most negative, rather thanin date order. When people see positive reviews first, they tend tothink positively about what is on offer.However, if you are buying from the web, rather than selling, youneed to look carefully at the presentation of reviews. Are you being“tricked” into thinking more positively by the order of the reviewsand comments? There is a danger we can automatically fall into thetrap of thinking good things, when we ought to be more analyticalabout what we are seeing.Ultimately reviews can help us if we are buying orif we are selling– but if we want to try to sell more than the order of the reviews andratings has an influence. You might want to take that into accountwhen you set up your website review system.Related posts1.Perfect grammar can lose you sales online2.Drinking coffee could boost your use of the web3.You want your customers to lie to you – really?
Now is the time to ditch someonline friends
How many friends do you have on Facebook? Do you haveloads of followers on Twitter? And what about those LinkedInconnections – do you have hundreds and hundreds? There is aconstant reminder of how many friends and contacts you have inevery social network you join. Indeed, there often appears to be acompetitive element to it, with the “I have more friends than you”mentality.There is a fairly constant argument as to whether you should gofor quantity or quality. Should you have thousands of connectionswho you know hardly at all, or just a few dozen who you know agreat deal about?You can find evidence to support both sides of the argument of course. The people who argue that quantity is important can citeserendipitous examples of things that could never have happenedunless there had been some kind of weak connection. Yet thepeople who favour quality can point out the depth of relationshipsand the long-term benefits they bring.However,new researchsuggests that the arguments over quantityor quality of social networks is not as simple as you might think.According to researchers from the University of Virginia oursocial networks are linked to the prevailing economic conditions. Itseems that the best social networking strategy in times of economicboom are to go for quantity. But when we are in the economicdoldrums, then a quality social network appears to work best forus.This makes sense because when times are tough we canconcentrate on getting support from those who know us best. Butwhen the economy is positive we can benefit from those chancehappenings which can arise from a wider social network.So as we struggle through this long economic downturn it mightbe a good time to start slimming down your social networks andseek quality rather than quantity. It could be just the boost yourbusiness needs.Related posts1.The Current State of Social Networks2.Social networking is all about information sharing3.Twitter users prefer information to being social
Why the UK leads the way inonline shopping
It’s official…! British people are the leading online shoppers in theworld…! According to areport from OFCOMeach of us spendsan average of £1,083 a year online, almost £250 more than ournearest rivals, the Australians. Whichever way you cut the data,we are the shopping kings of the Internet.But the question is…why? What is it about Britons that makesus so attached to online shopping? It can’t be the convenienceof it, because it is just as convenient for anywhere else in theworld. Indeed with the enormous travel distances in American andAustralia you might have thought they’d prefer to do more Internetshopping than us.There are two features of shopping in the UK however which standout as peculiarly British. Much retail in the UK is awash withabysmal customer service. True, independent local stores do goout of their way to please customers, but the average High Streetin Britain is just that – average. And there is another peculiarlyBritish thing about shopping in the UK – prices. The word “ripoff” were invented for us it seems.Online two things stand out – lower prices and improved servicelevels. Admittedly online there is still some shoddy service, butthe low attention spans and the highly competitive nature of e-commerce mean that we can move from shop to shop with muchmore ease than we can in the real world. As a result, online retailershave to respond to survive. And thanks to price comparisons andour knowledge that in general the Internet is cheaper than the realworld then online retailers have to give keen prices.So why do we flock to the Internet in Britain? Because in generalwe get better service and lower prices than in the High Street.Whenever I talk to retailers they are keen to understand how theycan make their online presence as close as possible to their bricks-and-mortar stores. But I think they need to flip that thinking. Theirreal world shops would do so much better if they made bricks andmortar stores operate much more like the Internet – with betterservice and better prices.Related posts1.Web page simplicity could increase sales2.How stupid can you be as a retailer?3.Retailers are bound to do better online

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