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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.
Enjoy.
Welcome to another weekly digest of material from my website grahamjones.co.uk.
Enjoy.

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Published by: Graham Jones on Oct 15, 2011
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02/02/2013

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Internet Psychology fromGraham Jones
Welcome to another weekly digest of material from mywebsitegrahamjones.co.uk .Enjoy. 
 You must tell your friends their website is rubbish
Source:http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/grahamjones/~3/OU2sT1mj_zI/you-must-tell-your-friends-their-website-is-rubbish.html
What do you say when your partner asks “does my bum look big inthis”? Do you think, well, actually, yes, it does make your butt look enormous and then say “That’s the perfect colour for you darling.”Or do you risk tears and tantrums by saying, “Sorry dear, but itmakes you look twice as fat as you really are – and you are alreadyseveral pounds heavier than you ought to be.” Whoops….!When we are asked questions we take a view as to whether ornot we should give an honest answer. Sometimes, we reckon anhonest answer is not the best thing, so we give a polite, non-committal answer. The problem, according tonew research fromthe University of Toulousein France, is that being polite actuallyleads to even more misunderstandings. And the situation is worsethan we think it is. We tend to give polite answers when the stakesare high, when we are likely to have some kind of problem if wetell the truth. However, the research shows that when the stakesare highest, the person asking the question is even more likely tobe confused by any answer. In other words, when we are askedpotentially problematic questions our answers make it even morelikely that we actually compound the problem.Of course, you may not often be asked the perennial “bigbum” question. More often you’ll be asked by friends and work colleagues to comment on their newwebsite, their blog or the waythey have redesigned theirFacebook page. And what do you say?“Oh I love the colours”, or “I think the template you have chosen isperfect for you” or perhaps “It’s fantastic, well done”. But all thetime you are thinking that the navigation is pants, that the layoutis confusing and that the headlines are just boring, boring, boring.But do you tell your friend that the website they have slaved overfor weeks on end is terrible? Do you heck. You simply politelyanswer at a tangent to the real question. That then confuses yourfriend and they have no idea as to what you are talking about,potentially making them producean even worsewebsite.So, what can you do about it? The answer issimple:tell the truth. If you think the website is dreadful, say so. If you think the navigationis about as clear as mud, say so. To do anything else would actuallybe more negative for your friend because you would be allowingthem to continue to produce a dreary, poor website. You may haveheard the saying that you “have to be cruel to be kind”. And whenyou are saying negative things it does sound to YOU as though youare being cruel. But as this research shows us, you are not beingcruel – indeed the clarity of your message makes the recipientgrateful, not feel as though they are being treated unkindly in anyway.If yourfriends ask you to comment on their website – tell them thetruth. It will not hurt – it will help.
Related articles
Expert Advice: How to Start a Website Redesign(hubspot.com)5 Simple Tips for Better Business Websites(mashable.com)
Are you as popular as Katie Priceonline?
Source:http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/grahamjones/~3/uTkhi1YvQK8/are-you-as-popular-as-katie-price-online.html
The former topless model, turned pop star, turned reality TV star,turned business woman, turned novelistKatie Price(aka Jordan)is nowabout to become a lectureratOxford University. Well, OK it is only a one-off lecture, but nonetheless she is going to speak at theOxford Union– a rare opportunity she shares withWinston
 
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Churchill, theDalai LamaandMother Theresa. Behind the scenes, though, Katrina is a devoted mother to her children, including adisabled son as well as being a victim of both cancer and sexualabuse as a child. She has had her fair share of life. Whatever youthink of our Katie, there is no doubt that everywhere she goes sheattractsattention.Somepeople might think that her past has made her seek outpopularity. The notion of the “need for popularity” is welldocumented in the psychological literature. But whether or notKatie Price actually has some kind of drive for popularity, shewouldnot be alone if she did have it. Indeed, it seems that weall have a need for popularity to some degree or another. It isparticularly prevalent in our teenage years, when we are seekingboyfriends and girlfriends; we have this desperate desire it seemsto want to be popular. Indeed, the teenage angst many youngsterssuffer may well be down to perceived low levels of popularity.But newresearch on social networking sitessuggests that theneed for popularity persists way beyond our teens. This studyconfirms that the number one reason we use social networksis to fulfil our internal desire for popularity. So the constantcontest for “how many friends have you got” is not some kindof childish competition, it is actually a deep rooted psychologicalneed. Similarly, if you are worried about yourKlout Scoreoryour number of Twitter followers it is because you are seekingpopularity.And therein lies the problem for using social media. Because itseems we are driven by popularity, if we don’t get it we give upusing social media – probably just at the time it was about to beable to prove to us that we are indeed popular. If you only have ahandful of Twitter followers you give up because you feel a lack of popularity. Yet, strangely, if you continued to use Twitter you’dend up being more popular.The need for popularity in social networks also reveals whybusinesses often find it hard to “get” social media. If the ownersof the business are seeing social media as a “business” thing ratherthan a personal one, there is no connection with their inner “needfor popularity”. The result is a lack of connection – what is thepurpose of social media? It is more evidence, if you like, that socialmedia IS personal. And that means it has to be used by individualswithin your business, not by the business. Otherwise your staff have no drive to make the most from the social networks; it has toconnect with their need for popularity.And will Katie Price be popular at the Oxford Union?I expectthey’ll be packed to the rafters…!
Related articles
Katie Price to speak at Oxford University Union(mirror.co.uk)Katie Price’s corporate journey(guardian.co.uk)
Three psychological reasons whyGoogle Plus is not working aswell as it could
Source:http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/grahamjones/~3/N-H8qDOwhxQ/three-psychological-reasons-why-google-plus-is-not-working-as-well-as-it-could.html
Googleis full of engineers – computer geeks, code-writers andmathematicians all live happily inside the Google buildings aroundthe world. To them, some of the aspects of using Google that wefind complex, they think are really easy. I sometimes wonder if they think people around the world are really quite dumb. After all,who in their right mind would fail to use the advanced search toolswithin Google and the “Boolean” language it contains to perform asimple search? For the Google geeks, boolean searching is second-nature– but for my mum it’s a case of “booly who?”.A month ago the engineers at Google released it’s latestsocialnetwork system Google Plus. Prior to this, the social system wasopen only to invited guests. But clearly Google thought it wasready for theworld and so they let us all in on the secret. Andboy, oh boy, did we respond…! Google Plus became the fastestgrowing social service online ever, period. The growth curve wentalmost straight up. But according to new research fromChitika,the usage of Google Plus has plummetedfaster than it grew. Wewent, we saw, we departed, it seems.Obviously, some of the rise is just curiosity; inevitably there wouldbe some downfall. But the numbers of people now using GooglePlus is lower than before they went public, according to this newstudy.Lack of noveltyOne of the principal psychological drivers we focus on is novelty.If something is new, we are interested. But we only maintain ourinterest if it truly is new. Humans are primed to seek out novelty;it is what kept us alive when we were hunter-gatherers. New foodwas the freshest food and the healthiest, least likely to poison us.So our brains developed the desire to seek out new things. Whenthey are not as new, we get bored. Google Plus is not new – itoffers almost the same asFacebook andTwitter, with only a little twist, such as “hangouts”.Lack of simplicityHuman beings also need to operate their brains at the simplestlevel. It is a survival mechanism because our brains actuallyconsume a major slice of our daily calorie intake. To preservecalories for the rest of our body, our brains are geared tofindingthe simplest solution to things. Google Plus is not simple. It is builtby engineers for engineers, it seems. You almost need aPhDtotruly work out how to use hangouts. Is it any wonder that the bulk of users of Google Plus are young men in the technology sector?Lack of focusHuman beings like to know what ONE thing they can achieve withsomething. A car gets us from A to B. A plane takes us on longdistances easily. Amazon gets us the books we want. Google Plus?Well it kind of does some of the things that Facebook does, butalso the things that Twitter does, with a smattering of Skypeaswell. In other words, we do not really know the ONE thing whichGoogle Plus provides.The result is that Google Plus appears a hotchpotch of things, onlyserving to confuse us. It is neither new, nor simple, nor focused.Result? People walk away.And that would not be a first for Google in the social networkingarena. Most people walked away from Google Buzz and GoogleWave – two previous social ideas from Google. And what wastheir problem? You guessed it, lack of simplicity, lack of novelty
 
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and lack of focus. You would think for a company full of highlyintelligent people, Google would have worked that out. Or is it toosimple and straightforward for geeky engineers?
Related articles
Google+ Traffic Falls 60% After Public Launch [REPORT](mashable.com)Google Plus Traffic Drops, 1269% Gains Erased(readwriteweb.com)Failure to Launch: Google+ Growth Spurt Short Lived(insights.chitika.com)Google+ Traffic Drop of the Day(geeks.thedailywh.at)
Why is so much internetmarketing completenonsense?
Source:http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/grahamjones/~3/-HONpeFsHkk/why-is-so-much-internet-marketing-complete-nonsense.html
So, just why didDr Liam Foxapologise if his friend AdamWerrity has done nothing wrong by meeting him in theMinistryof Defence, or accompanying him on overseas trips? Why indeed?Already, you are probably suspicious. I have asked the question insuch a way that yourmindis “framed”. You are already associatingnegativity with Dr Liam Fox, before you have had a chance toconsider things. The result is that you think about those things inthat spotlight of negativity, ultimately biasing your thoughts.Imagine instead if I had just said: “What did Dr Liam Foxapologise about?” It amounts to the same thing, but this time it isa direct question, with no potential for a “framing effect“.Sales people use framing questions all the time. “What colourwould you like it in?” It frames your mind into having decidedtobuy, now all you have to do is choose the colour. Whereas if thesales person takes things logically with “Would you like to buyone?”, then there’s a chance they’ll never get to the “what colourwould you like” question.So, look at the question which is the title of this blog post..! Itassumes there is completenonsense in much internet marketingand frames your mind into already believing that there is indeedsuch nonsense around. Hence all you do is start considering thatnonsense. In other words, just by choosing the right kindof question you can get your audience to start thinking in the directionyou want them to – of course they may analyse the question andsay “hey, thatassumes there is nonsense about”.However,new research showswe can frame people’s thinking even using hypothetical questions – but we mustn’t say theyare hypothetical. According to the study from theUniversity of  Alberta, USA, if we ask ahypothetical questionAND say it is hypothetical we do not bias the thinking people engage in. But if we ask a hypothetical question without revealing it is hypotheticalwe could indeed change someone’s mind.For example, if you were to say “hypothetically, if you did wantsix copies of my book, who would you give them to?” then you arerevealing it is a hypothetical question and according to this newstudy you would not bias people into thinking about a potentialpurchase. But if you simply removed the word “hypothetically”and said “if you did want six copies of my book, who would yougive them to”it is still a hypothetical question, but one which doesbias the listener in favour of purchase. In other words hypotheticalquestions can be used to frame your customers minds, even thoughthe hypothetical nature would suggest otherwise.On your website it means that you can use hypothetical questionsto nudge people ever close towards a sale. Painting a scenario,which although false, could create enough hypothetical thinkingto allow people to be more biased towards buying whatever it isyou are selling.So. all those internet marketing sites saying you too could be onan island hideaway, with your yacht in the marina and your AstonMartin outside your villa…it is all hypothetical, but it frames yourmind such that you are more likely to buy. They may be completenonsense web pages, but those internet marketing websites are notso daft as they seem at first.
 Your website relieson social pressure
Source:http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/grahamjones/~3/ULarKJgnaGw/your- website-relies-on-social-pressure.html
Teenagers simply “have to” get involved in sending “sext”messages – the mobile phone messages that reveal their sexualactivity and which also may include nude imagery. Anew studyshows that if they don’t “sext” they feel left out. In other words,they do it because “everyone” is doing it.Meanwhile, over at the US Congress, we find politicians ina similar dilemma. Should theyTweet or not? It seems thatonly when others around them are Tweeting – when they feelencouraged to Tweet as a result – do they actually engage in usingTwitter.In bothinstances the same thing is happening – social acceptance.We do things to make ourselves socially acceptable to the restof our peers. If most of themengage in a particular activity we willdo the same, just to get ourselves accepted. Whatever you call it– peer pressure, social pressure – it all amounts to the same thing.We are like sheep.And therein lies a secret for your online business. If you can get areasonable slice of your visitors to do the same thing, the rest of them will follow. So, you need to show what other people are doingon your website – particularly if you sell products. Amazon alreadydoes it with their “people who bought this also bought this”. Thenthere are the sites which show you what the popular pages are onthe site, or what other people are reading or viewing – the BBCdoes this, for instance.But whatever approach you take, showing your visitors what otherpeople get up to is likely to encourage more of your visitors to dothe same. And if you are selling products, that can only help yourbottom line. Social pressure works; we could use it more oftenonline.

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