Reciprocation (Weapons of Influence, part 1 of 3)

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Robert Cialdini’s book Influence discusses several “Weapons of Inflence”. This first part examines the power of reciprocation — our need to give back to someone who has given something to us — and how this is used to influence us every day in our buying decisions and in other areas. Parts 2 and 3 will look at social proof and comment and consistency.

Word 2007 Annoyances

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Word 2007 has a slick new interface. I like it. Now if only it weren’t broken! Here’s a list of the things that, off the top of my head, appear broken in Word 2007.

The Problem with Rewards in Return for Testimonials

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I love Smartwool. I’m actually wearing a Smartwool shirt and Smartwool socks right now. If Smartwool wanted me to write a testimonial, all they would have to do is ask, to say “Hey, we want some killer testimonials for our website, will you help us out?” That’s not what they did.

Tom Friedman on Scientific American Podcast

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Scientific American has a great podcast, especially for those of us who believe in whacky theories like evolution, climate change and gravity. Tom Friedman has some great perspectives on why dealing with climate change is a good bet, even if the theory is wrong. To the doubters, he argues that our national security depends on […]

Secure Surfing on Public Networks

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I sometimes find myself on public hotspots at a hotel or airport or what have you. And sometimes, the reason I’m online is because I have to pay a bill or do some other sort of business. I know that on an open network, I’m putting myself at risk and it always makes me really […]

Finding Gmail Messages with No Label

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Finding all your unlabeled Gmail messages can be a chore. If you find yourself wanting to do that regularly, here’s how to build a bookmark for your link bar so you can have single-click access to all Gmail messages without a label.

Teaching Kids to Ski with the Tom Sawyer Method

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A successful child ski lesson has at least three components: safety, fun and skills acquisition. In that order. When a parent entrusts us with a child, they have a reasonable expectation that we will take reasonable safety precautions. There are dangers inherent in skiing, of course, but we still place a first priority on safety. […]

Gmail delete and go to next message issue

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Short version: create a label (like ‘aaDelete’), enable keyboard shortcuts, use ‘l’, then label the message aaDelete, then ‘k’ to go to the next message. When you’re all done, select all messages labelled delete and then delete them. It’s sort of like a second Trash can since Google won’t make the first one work right.

Hot Chocolate for Search Marketers

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Some friends went rock climbing in Siuriana, Spain and brought back some hot chocolate for us. I don’t think they know what SEO stands for and I have no idea what it is in Spanish, but it made me think that this hot chocolate company should have an outstanding website.

The High Cost of Free

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The most foolish things I’ve done in my life have been for neither love nor money, but simply for free ice cream. One spring, when I was about ten years old, in return for an ice cream cone, I swam out to the ice in Lake Champlain, only about 25 feet, but in water cold […]