Attractive Business Woman Looking Into The Camera

The online world can be a lonely place. Publisher and audience can be on opposite sides of the world. Can psychology and behaviour bridge the gap to secure internet success?

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iPhone hanging on a string

My Iphone4, now some 4 months old, would not synchronise with iTunes anymore. I stared at the screen in horror. As any user of Apple products out there knows, you can choose not to synchronise with iTunes, but…

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You can be present on the internet in person as yourself or make up a fake name a or even assume a completely different identity, an internet alter ego, as in: www.fakenamegenerator.com. Authors have done it for years.

Whilst I write this as myself on my own blog www.customersarecool.com, I have in the past assumed my internet alter ego to remain anonymous and to safeguard those parts of my life I consider my own.

One of my friends has a very clear view on this – you should always use your own identity and you should always be able to stand for what you say. And why wouldn’t you? Smokescreens and mirrors come to mind. Something to hide.

I don’t really think it’s that. I think some people choose an alter ego because they wonder whether or not the message they bring is likely to meet with any preconceived ideas about who they are: “Will what I say really be understood/liked/given the time of day coming from me?“

A new name, a new identity, even if it is only virtual, means you can start afresh, with a clean slate and new first impressions. We all know that reinventing ourselves with a fake identity probably isn’t a great long term strategy, because ultimately the virtual world and the real world will meet, merge and probably explode.

Or will they?

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Winning Ideas Drawing

Winning ideas are appealing and enchanting. But what is the secret recipe that generates a winning idea? 10 unique tips await you here.

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Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) – Easy Money Makers?

by Compton Browne on March 10, 2013

Coffee with notebook of a domainer

Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) – Easy Money Makers?
Next year, 2012, we will see the arrival of the new Top Level Domains (TLDs). For those of you who are still thinking in .com, us, .org, .net and the other established extensions, this may not sound interesting to you at all. Heck, I don’t even understand the impact of a whole bunch of new extensions yet. Do we really need more? Is this not just making things more complicated? “No mate, if you want to get to my site it’s www.domaindigger.nyc, not .com… oh hang on, no sorry, it’s a .paris….. no, wait, that’s diggingmachines.paris…” Are we not just adding extra variables to something already pretty distributed on the internet?
Well, don’t believe a word I say, people, when .co came along…

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What we might have missed

by Searlas d'Avis on March 2, 2013

Before our connected world was well and truly up and running, we missed many things.

We lived our lives in the (blissful) ignorance of what was happening to many of our friends and family. Simply because we had no choice. Communication took place by phone, letter, fax, email (in more recent years) or face to face. Media that take time and generally limit simulatenousness and – for want of a better word – “uptodateness”.

Until applications like Facebook came along. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook and Linkedin and other similar social networking platforms. But its existence is currently training us to keep in touch with many of our liaisons simultaneously and continuously.

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Red Phone Booth

Technology and science will never stop developing and transforming our lives. Every day we are confronted with news about progress made on the technology front, and how it will change our lives. But technology advances are not favoured by everyone. Some even fear it, and would rather crawl under a stone.

I have seen both extremes last week: a fifteen year old sms-ing at breack-neck-speed with one hand and one thumb and my fifty year old relative who is a hardcore ‘dumbphone’ user and will probably never move on.

The generation-gap plays …

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Challenge to say no

by Searlas d'Avis on November 17, 2012

Here I am at the lunch restaurant and for the first time I realise what has been bothering me when I pay. It’s that question: “would you like to have a receipt?”.

Why does that question bother me? It is perfectly normal and…

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Tired of receiving messages and items on your live feed that are not interesting to you at all?

Are you endlessly scrolling through the live feed on Facebook to find an update that interests you? Wondering why this happens?

It’s because we can only communicate one message to everyone. We cannot add context or relevance to our posts, because the leading social network platforms (Facebook, Linkedin etc) simply don’t provide the tools.

This means that bird watchers get hunting related messages and jazz fans get stamp collection updates. People with arachnophobia get tarantula photographs. A little exaggerated yes, but the point is that there is no targeted communication – messages cannot be tailored to different groups in the network audience.

This is an old fashioned problem in a new medium. The art of communication does not just require a good set of skills but the tools to segment the audience and to target communication accordingly.

But what if you cannot segment the audience? What if your audience is growing exponentially but you can only send one same message to everyone? The bigger the network, the bigger that problem gets. It will leave many users reluctant to send anything at all.

Enter the Google Circles: the name fuels the imagination. It is probably going to work something like this:

By creating personalised tags such as jazz, sports, travel, family, close friends, you segment your network in circles. The definition of a circle being one or more people in your network differentiated by one or more tags. Then you simply add these tags to each post or message. Google Circles will ensure that only those circles which have corresponding tags receive it.

This of course, is merely speculation.

The prospect however, is still fantastic news. We are finally thinking about how to deal with a future in which everyone is networked one way or another and in which networks become so large they need to be actively managed and selectively communicated to.

Herein lies the next frontier for social networking.

If Google Circles can take us there, I expect it will run rings around anything out there today.

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Cross my heart and hope to…. Spotify

by Searlas d'Avis on March 10, 2012

Spotify is a simple but very smart application to stream most music directly to your computer or phone. The name Spotify is a combination of the words ‘spot’ and ‘identify’: Spotify helps you spot and identify the favourite songs you forgot about, or maybe didn’t even know you had.

I have to say, I love Spotify and I am amazed that it actually exists. Looking back at the problems experienced by Napster, times have really moved on and Spotify has managed to break the mould, to go where nobody has been before, to prove that 2+2 is not always 4.

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