Category: Uncategorized

The (animated) art of persuasion

Robert Cialdini literally wrote the book on sales techniques. And while that’s not a section of the bookshop short of titles, his classic ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’ differed primarily in the fact that it was all based on Cialdini actually leaving his desk and going out selling. Not abstractly theorising, or only considering sales in terms of big brand marketing campaigns, but the sharp end of sales – he took a job as a used car salesman, he went door-to-door selling double-glazing… not glamorous, but absolutely fascinating nonetheless.

The results of all this research are highlighted in this video (and in his excellent book, if you’d like more detail…).

The really fascinating thing here is that it is not really a book about sales. It’s a book about persuading others. And everyone in the communications or media industry is in the business of persuading others. In fact, everyone in life is in the business of persuading others, whether in their working lives or their personal life (there are plenty of examples in the book of negotiating with small children, which will make parents realise just how true this is).

Cialdini’s examples are concrete and easily applicable to daily life, and once you’ve learned them you’ll be amazed at how often you see them being used. It may also make you a bit less susceptible when it comes to buying your next car…


The Biblio-mat: Mechanical serendipity in a digital age

Well, this is just beautiful.

A book shop in Toronto has installed this big, physical vending machine to give customers a random book. It’s a noisy, clunky, mechanical-whirring thing, and all the better for it.

It also nicely steps around all the challenges of choosing new sources of inspiration in these digital times – services as varied as GoodReads, StumbleUpon, Twitter or Amazon are all very cleverly recommending new content for our pleasure, but basing that on our existing preferences or purchases. (As pointed out by Eli Pariser in his excellent Filter Bubble book and TED talk). The Biblio-mat just takes your $2, and gives you a completely random book for your perusal. You may hate it, you may love it, but chances are you won’t have seen it before.

It’s a GoodReads that never learns anything new, and all the better for it.


New Evernote for iOS on its way

Have to admit I’m very excited about this – a brand new redesign for Evernote, the note taking app that I’m completely addicted to. (Admittedly, this is not much of a topic for a first post, but it gives me an opportunity to test how this works..!).

Evernote’s completely platform-neutral approach (they’re on every platform I can think of, plus have a really good web version), they’ve really become a part of my life. And managing to synchronise my notes across both home and work has been hugely helpful. I’ve also recently bought the Evernote Moleskine notebook, which is beautiful but as yet hasn’t proved to be as useful as I’d hoped. That may be because my notes are usually illegible scrawls rather than the beautiful diagrams and illustrations they use in the marketing video.

Anyway, an interesting app to look forward to, and a post to kick off the blog properly!