Commitment and Consistency (Weapons of Influence, part 2 of 3)

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Consistency and Commitment are usually good things, but what about when underhanded marketers or other persuaders get us to subtly commit ourselves before we know what they’re after and then play on our desire to be consistent with our commitments? This is used against us every day. (Part 2 of 3 in the series on Weapons of Influence).

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.

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.

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 […]

Are you my friend? Social norms versus market norms

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We are motivated to do good, even great, things for friendship (social norms) and we expect to pay for commercial goods (market norms), but when we mix these, bad things happen in our social lives and for companies that get this wrong.