Aug12
Real Estate Redux
NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics NextStage was recently invited to analyze some residential real estate data from several US locations. Fascinating stuff in the US and I'm not sure how what we discovered plays a part anywhere else. Three things became obvious and we'll share them here as you may find them useful:
  1. Traditional middle income first home buyers (recently married, young, either has children or children on the way or planning to have children, ...) are no longer buying homes. They're either not having kids, urban renting (townhouses, etc), or the big one, electing to live at home with their parents. Buying a home is now seen as a step towards unnecessary debt, not as a step towards independence. Where is that "first home downpayment" money going? Either towards a lavish wedding or to developing a portfolio or (get ready for it) investing in real estate.
  2. The wealthy (low to mid upper income) are spending their money improving their homes rather than buying summer homes, vacation homes, winter lodges and the like. Time-sharing, which had gone out of favor for quite a while, is coming back in this income bracket. Money which would have gone to taking the entire family to Switzerland for a month long ski holiday is staying local and more often than not, staying right in their own backyard.
  3. The big one (as far as our analysis showed) was that many 20s and early 30yos are bypassing buying a traditional starter home. They're looking at the economy, the world, their jobs and educational financial burdens and deciding that the starter-home-then-upgrade route isn't an option. They're waiting until they're sure their marriage, work and family situation are stable then going directly into a home they'll keep until they retire if not longer. The market's too much in flux and nothing's offering the security it did in the 1950s-1990s, so they might as well get a home they believe will keep them happy and can grow a family in rather than one that may only last them five or so years.
Hope this is useful to you.

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

Sign up for The NextStage Irregular, our very irregular, definitely frequency-wise and probably topic-wise newsletter.

RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgYou can follow me and my research on Twitter. I don't twit often but when I do, it's with gusto!

Have you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It's a whoppin' good read.

Reading Virtual Minds Volume 2: Theory and ApplicationsAre you signed up to get my next book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume 2: Theory and Applications? It'll be a whoppin' good read.

Learn the latest regarding NextStage blog posts, conference sightings,
whitepapers, tools, presentations and more via The NextStage RSS feed Subscribe to NextStage's KnowledgeShop's RSS feed.

NextStage Evolution on Facebook Friends of NextStage LinkedIn Group

-

Jul23
Nothing New Under the Sun: Fighting and Switching is Nothing New
NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics One of our NextStageologists sent the Nokia Apple/Galaxy Fight/Switch parody with the note that it wasn't anything new. The Fight/Switch metaphor had been used back in the days of Mad Men and was probably in use long before that. The ad is below:

 

Compare the above to this ad from the 1960s:

 

Want to know what really tickles? The fight/switch metaphor is stated at the same point in each video; 48-50s in.

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

Sign up for the NextStage Irregular, our very irregular, definitely frequency-wise and probably topic-wise newsletter.

RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgHave you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It's a whoppin' good read.

And you can always follow me on Twitter. I don't twit often but when I do, it's with gusto!

Learn the latest regarding NextStage blog posts, conference sightings,
whitepapers, tools, presentations and more via The NextStage RSS feed Subscribe to NextStage's KnowledgeShop's RSS feed.

NextStage Evolution on Facebook Friends of NextStage LinkedIn Group

Apr20
Which NextStage 1 Minute MarketLift Is Right for You?
NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral MetricsNextStage recently entered the podcast business with a series of podcasts we're calling "NextStage 1 Minute MarketLifts". Each podcast is 1-2m long and we're covering everything from Branding to Social.

Here's listener favorites after the first month:

Schmoozing Basics - You're at a conference, convention, networking event and it's Meet and Greet time. You want to make a positive, lasting and rewarding impression on the people you meet but the follow-ups never seem to come in and you're not sure why. After all, you took your cues from everybody else and they seem to be doing okay.
Chances are they're doing just as well as you are, which means they're not getting any follow-ups, either...
...except for that one person over there. They've obviously been here before and people remember them, shake hands warmly and even smile when they say hello.
What's their secret?
There's no secret to making quick, good impressions that last a long time and generate business. Here's some basics for your next networking meeting.

Make Consumers Come Out At Night - The brain, like any other organ in the body, functions best when it has a good supply of healthy resources available for thinking, feeling, deciding, not to mention monitoring the rest of the body for signs of stress and fatigue.
Neuroscience has known for years that the brain functions along certain rhythms and that these rhythms play a major role in how well people think, evaluate information and make decisions.
At the end of the day, the brain's resources are nearing depletion and one of the reasons people can put off converting on a site is simply because they're tired. In fact, one reason we'll feel tired at the end of the day -- regardless of any physical exertion -- is because the brain's been working all day. The more the brain works the more it sends out a "get some rest" signal to the entire body.
Here's a simple trick or getting those end-of-day conversions and making consumers come out at night.

Presentation Basics and Avoiding Death-by-PowerPoint - There are several businesses that won't look at proposals, contracts, data or results unless its in PowerPoint. Yet there are few people who really enjoy sitting through a presentation, PowerPoint or otherwise.
But you can make your presentations into something people enjoy, willingly sit through and even look forward to. It's simple to do and something every marketer and business person understands.
And the best part is that it works for any kind of presentation, in any field and for any audience.

Two Signals That Community Troubles Are On Their Way - Part 1 - Businesses and groups can't constantly police social networks and sometimes trouble arises before it's recognized as such.
One specific type of trouble can be thought of as Dissension in the Ranks. All social networks, brand or otherwise, will have disagreements move through them. Unchecked some disagreements can lead to splintering with the two (or more) daughter groups as rivals, pulling an organization's attention back and forth and eventually disenfranchising followers from the organization or brand itself.
But disagreements are actually necessary for social systems to remain healthy and grow. Fortunately, it's possible to recognize one major danger signal that disagreements are escalating from friendly to heated to group threatening to network fracturing.
Even more fortunately, this danger sign is based on simple language use.

Are You Guilty of Mullerian Design - Designers love to go site hopping to see what other designers are doing, figure out what tools their using and, let's face it, see if there's anything worth stealing to make their own work better.
But before you copy a design, layout, widget or whatever watch out for Müllerian gotchas. Sometimes the best looking sites aren't the best loved by visitors and copying from them can cause RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) failures without being aware of what's happened.
Here are some simple steps to avoid this problem.

New MarketLift podcasts are added weekly and there's something for everybody, we thinks, so come on and give a listen.

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

 

Sign up for the NextStage Irregular, our very irregular, definitely frequency-wise and probably topic-wise newsletter.

RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgHave you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It's a whoppin' good read.

And you can always follow me on Twitter. I don't twit often but when I do, it's with gusto!

Learn the latest regarding NextStage blog posts, conference sightings,
whitepapers, tools, presentations and more via The NextStage RSS feed Subscribe to NextStage's KnowledgeShop's RSS feed.

NextStage Evolution on Facebook Friends of NextStage LinkedIn Group

 

Apr 1
What's in Your Wallet? - What Your Business Cards Say About You
NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral MetricsDo you have 1 minute, 37 seconds and 99¢ to learn how to market yourself better?

NextStage's 1 Minute MarketLift podcast, "What's in Your Wallet? - What Your Business Cards Say About You" can do just that in just that amount of time. Here's how "What's in Your Wallet? - What Your Business Cards Say About You" came about:

A friend's company (three offices, international client base, F100s to solopreneurs) was rebranding and part of the rebranding effort involved redesigning their business cards. They'd gotten it down to six styles and asked NextStage to take it from there.

Before looking at their final six we asked, "What's the one thing you want people to think when they see your card? What's the one impression you want them to have?"

Their answer was "You can trust us". The podcast explains how to take any business card and have trust be the take-away.

NextStage 1 Minute MarketLift PodcastsHave a listen to NextStage's 1 Minute MarketLift podcast, "What's in Your Wallet? - What Your Business Cards Say About You"and let us know what you think. Buy Now

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

 

Sign up for the NextStage Irregular, our very irregular, definitely frequency-wise and probably topic-wise newsletter.

RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgHave you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It's a whoppin' good read.

And you can always follow me on Twitter. I don't twit often but when I do, it's with gusto!

Learn the latest regarding NextStage blog posts, conference sightings,
whitepapers, tools, presentations and more via The NextStage RSS feed Subscribe to NextStage's KnowledgeShop's RSS feed.

NextStage Evolution on Facebook Friends of NextStage LinkedIn Group

Mar26
What's Your Favorite NextStage 1 Minute MarketLift?
NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral MetricsNextStage 1 Minute MarketLifts are 1-2m long podcasts on a variety of subjects such as Marketing, Branding, Personal Development, Social and more. Each podcast is based on NextStage research and training that's being used in business. How might NextStage 1 Minute MarketLifts help your business and marketing efforts? Here's what listeners are saying:

NextStage Evolution 1 Minute MarketLift Podcasts"Want to make a significant impact on your business in a minute or two? The NextStage Evolution 1 Minute MarketLifts podcasts hit the mark! I love how Joseph delivers actionable neuromarketing insights in this "quick tip" format on a variety of topics. They are easy to listen to, easy to understand, and highly effective. I subscribe, and I highly recommend anyone in digital marketing do so as well." - Toronto, ON

NextStage Evolution 1 Minute MarketLift Podcasts"People say they don't have time for long articles, but everyone has time for these. NextStage 1 Minute MarketLifts are deep content distilled into a small package. Think of all of NextStage's research and knowledge in 1-2 minute bites and you've got it. They don't just get to the point, they ARE the point!" - Portland, OR

NextStage Evolution 1 Minute MarketLift Podcasts"Snapshots of what is possible when human cognition meets machine. The inventor of Evolution Technology, Joseph Carrabis, delivers insight in crisp sound bites!" - Toronto, ON

 

NextStage Evolution 1 Minute MarketLift Podcasts"NextStage 1 Minute MarketLifts are a gift. Each podcast is a 1 Minute Masters' class and NextStage makes learning easy and obvious. Thanks NextStage!" - Boston, MA

New MarketLift podcasts are added weekly and there's something for everybody, we thinks, so come on and give a listen.

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

 

Sign up for the NextStage Irregular, our very irregular, definitely frequency-wise and probably topic-wise newsletter.

RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgHave you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It's a whoppin' good read.

And you can always follow me on Twitter. I don't twit often but when I do, it's with gusto!

Learn the latest regarding NextStage blog posts, conference sightings,
whitepapers, tools, presentations and more via The NextStage RSS feed Subscribe to NextStage's KnowledgeShop's RSS feed.

NextStage Evolution on Facebook Friends of NextStage LinkedIn Group

 

Sep23
My God These Pages Suck! (A Rant re PBS, Comcast and Selecting TV-Internet-Phone Providers in general)
NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics It is a wonderfully cool, near autumn, mid-September, southern New Hampshire Sunday morning as I'm writing this. The sun is bright, the coffee is strong, Billy Joel's Greatest Hits Volume II is playing on the stereo.

We recently received notice from Comcast that our TV service will no longer include two of the local PBS affiliates.

If you know anything about me, you know not carrying any PBS is a crime against god and nature. No more Masterpiece Mystery (let's not get into how WGBH has so butchered the Masterpiece and Mystery franchises in the past few years. Whither Cadfael? Whither Nostromo? You give me Sherlock? And not Jeremy Brett but some post adolescent schmutnuck? Not to mention that you feel a need to bleep certain words. (Really? I mean, Really?).

And while I'm here, can we please stop taking two weeks out of every month for fundraising?

No, you don't get to tell me that's an exaggeration. Two weeks out of every month is my take on it. If it's my take on it, it's my perception and because all perceptions are valid and nobody's an island, there are lots of people with the same take on it. Maybe if you stopped doing it you'd stop losing contributors?), no more Nature, no more Moyers&Company, no more Frontline, no more American Masters and you get the idea. No more excellent unedited, commercial free class movies on the local PBS affiliate's sister station, ...

Oh, the humanity.

But losing channels is nothing new. We've been at the same location since 1988 and seen our tv selections steadily and sometimes not slowly wither away.

We lost TheWeatherChannel long ago. We lost SciFi before it started showing WWE and became SyFy. We lost TBS, AMC, A&E, BBC, BBCA (The BBC stations, who sometimes use the tagline "We Speak English", are now part of the local Comcast's Hispanic package. Ah yeah), Bravo (long before it lost all value except for The Actors' Studio. We don't even know if that's still on), FX, ... We lost our Montreal station -- at least I can't find it -- and I did watch it just to keep up my ear for French. Hallmark is gone. We use to watch it for movies occasionally. Discovery is gone. It left shortly after it was taken over by Disney and began Disneyfying the science programs ("The iguanodon carefully cared for her children, nurturing and protecting them under her watchful eye for years after they hatched, all of which is demonstrated by the iguanodon tracks surrounding the nest while not stepping into it." No, there are no tracks in the nest because iguanodons don't eat whatever's between their feet or under them. "Her name was Lisa." No doubt you discovered this when you found the receipts for her tattoo.

NO! IT'S NOT SUPPOSE TO MAKE ANY SENSE! THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT!

).

And with each downgrade, we got a price upgrade.

More fun, every once in a while and when we're bored, we'll start at channel 2 and go up, one channel at a time, to see what we now have and have now lost.

We have CMT, but not always. No idea what gods are rewarding and punishing us on that one, but there you go.

We have lots of various shopping networks for things no sane person would purchase at the supposedly rock-bottom prices offered. We have lots of sports channels showing a variety of uninteresting (to us) sports.

We have some VH1 channels but not all. We have lots of Reggae, HipHop, Punk, Electronica, Rap, Christian, Country and Children's music stations. One Jazz, no Blues and a few Rock&Roll stations. We saw MTV's first video -- MTV was free, by the way -- as newlyweds working at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. We recently celebrated out 28th anniversary and no longer get MTV. Which is okay. They don't show many videos anymore and the ones they do show are for music that doesn't interest me.

But I can get a date, a workout or be preached to in five different languages (just not the one language I want) whenever I want.

And did I tell you about our "On Demand" selections? One is "Free Movies On-Demand" but only about half of the movies are free because you need to subscribe to the network (FX, USA, TBS, ...) showing the movie.

What does FREE mean these days? And even if you do subscribe to the host network, you're not getting the complete movie, unedited and in its original format. You're getting it in whatever format the host network thinks is most appropriate.

Sometimes I want to write those disclaimer messages you see at the start of edited movies. I'd write something like "We've removed every third scene in each act, any word that contains the letter "e", all characters that don't fit our concept of 'beautiful people' and any thirty second sequence lacking at least one totally unbelievable, denies all the laws of physics and has no relevance to the story line special-effects. Please enjoy your movie."

And the movies you do know you're suppose to pay for? That 10,000 movie selection thing? You really expect me to pay $2.99 for "Fertilize the Blaspheming Bombshell" or "A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell" or ...?

But I digress.

My apologies.

I just had to clear my psychic throat as it were. Now to my real complaint on this wonderfully cool, near autumn Sunday morning here in southern New Hampshire. The sun still bright, the coffee still strong and now KD Lang balladeering on the stereo.

Because we're fed up with paying more and getting less, today we took to that purveyor of all knowledge, the internet, to look for alternatives. I started by looking for tv system provider reviews in the Nashua, NH, area.

I don't know how Google does its rankings. I looked at three pages of tv system provider sites. About a third weren't in Nashua, NH. One was in Spain. I'm just a-bettin' they won't want my business. I'm a-guessin' their cable don't quite stretch that far.

I spent an hour trying variations on the "tv" "provider" "nashua, nh" theme. I tried alternative search engines.

I discovered that Angie's list requires a signin/signup/fee before it tells you anything (they accept no business funding so this is understandable. But how come they never tell you that in their advertisements? Or is it in the 3pt print at the bottom of the screen or page?).

I also discovered that lots of sites claiming to let you know the best offers in your area all redirect to the same sourcing engine. It's kind of like discovering Geico, Progressive, etc., all base their quotes on the same behind-the-scenes tool's findings and the only thing that changes the figures is whatever company paid the most for being on top for the time period in which you searched.

And the missing links and dead pages? Let's not even go there. I mean, you can't, because they're either missing links or dead pages.

Or the pages on major provider sites that don't load or hang or crash browsers (I'm using FireFox 15 or so). Comcast won the "Pages that Wouldn't Load", by the way.

I did get one or two pages of reviews...sponsored by the system providers, something like "Shitz2BU rates Comcast 14.5 out of 15 Customer Satisfaction Points". Do some back checking and fact checking and you'll discover all the reviews including the slightly negative one were generated by a company hired by the system providers to provide reviews, not people like yourself looking for something better, something that actually offers you what you want when you want it.

I mean, that's the internet's promise, isn't it? Everything you could ever want when you want it?

That's what everyone was promised, right? The internet would be an endless 25x8x2036 information stream directly into your home or anywhere else on the planet any time, any where, any when you wanted it?

Isn't that what you were promised? Isn't it? Huh? Huh? Huh?

But here, in what one would think is a totally reasonable search, I discover the foxes are not only guarding the chicken coop, they're whoring the chickens. It's an information stream, yes, and the stream is so polluted that you drink from it at your own risk.

And the pages that do work and do load?

CableTVSucks-1.jpgHow would you like to go through 81 pages of crap until you get to page 82 of who knows how many more only to discover that words used in your search do not a logical phrase make? And it doesn't matter if you use quotes to specify specific groupings, search engines will find what they think you want or what's best for you. Regardless of what you undeniably know you want.

CableTVSucks-2.jpgOther gems (not simply a one-of, there were many like this...of course, any marketers reading this will stop at "there were many like this" and spend feverish nights coming up with even more irritating methodologies to invade your day) were sites that started talking, singing or otherwise making noise at you for no real reason. I mean, the noiseful blather never had anything to do with what I was searching for.

Not to mention that they interrupted Billy Joel, KD Lang and most recently Elton John's Greatest Hits (putting together this post didn't take up much of Elton John, by the way, to give you an idea of how long I was being pummeled by insipid, completely worthless and for my purposes meaningless search engine results and web pages).

But were there no pages of value, Joseph?

CableTVSucks-3.jpgWell, no. There weren't. That's why I'm writing this.

Many of the pages returned from searches were so amazingly complex -- and I'm not counting the myriad ads, not all of which were relevant to what I was looking for -- with so many offers for so many things yet so few that I was interested in...

And marketers are wondering why there's no brand allegiance anymore?

And for the record, Susan told me to write this after the first hour of my commenting on how useless Google, other search engines, meta-search engines, and company web sites were.

Okay, I've cleared my psychic throat. Yes, this is a rant. I don't do them often because I'm a firm believer that nobody wakes up in the morning and says to themselves first thing, "Today, I'm going to be an a-hole."

I swear, I'm a firm believer in that. I need -- need! -- to believe that everybody's out there doing the best they can with the resources they have available to them, hence don't put down someone else's best efforts.

I do believe people are doing their best. I do I do I do!I need to believe that. I do. I do I do I do!

But I got to tell you, after wasting an hour and a half searching that make Frankl's Search for Meaning look like a calming walk in the woods, I'm no longer so convinced.

I really have to wonder...Are there really, truly a-holes out there?

And did they all end up in online marketing design?

Or is everyone who puts up a tv channel provider web page an idiot?

Tough choices. Tough call. Impossible probabilities.

And don't forget, don't attribute to malice what can be easily explained by ignorance.

But I repeat myself...

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

Sign up for the NextStage Irregular, our very irregular, definitely frequency-wise and probably topic-wise newsletter.

RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgHave you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It's a whoppin' good read.

And you can always follow me on Twitter. I don't twit often but when I do, it's with gusto!

Learn the latest regarding NextStage blog posts, conference sightings,
whitepapers, tools, presentations and more via The NextStage RSS feed Subscribe to NextStage's KnowledgeShop's RSS feed.

NextStage Evolution on Facebook Friends of NextStage LinkedIn Group

-

Aug21
A Twittering (and Related Social Platforms) Update Part 3 - Following No One
NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics This is the third post in a six part blog-arc about some recent research NextStage has done regarding Twitter and several other social platforms.

These posts will cover

  1. Followers
  2. Watches
  3. "You don't follow anybody"
  4. Twitter v LinkedIn v Facebook v FourSquare v Pinterest v ...
  5. Private v Public Personae
  6. "You rarely point to someone else's writing"

This post deals with something people complain about from time to time, the fact that...

I Don't Follow Anyone

...and therefore I'm antisocial. This is a demonstration of either such wonderfully flawed logic as to itself offer an explanation of same or such a limited world-view as to be saddening.

Twitter et al are becoming more and more marketing platforms and few marketers (in my opinion) understand the psycho-sociology behind them enough to use them properly as a marketing platforms (did you read the take-away in this arc's previous post?). Followers and twits (now do you know why I call them "twits" instead of "tweets"?) are for sale. Lots of companies (and some individuals) routinely purchase them as part of their marketing campaigns when products launch, rebranding occurs, etc. etc.

Let them purchase all they want. Unless that purchase includes recognizably genuine phatic content -- mundane chatter from individuals who are psychologically vested in the product, brand, service, offering, ... -- it's worthless.

Being boring and dull, my needs are equally mundane. I'm not interested in adverts even if they are in 140 or fewer characters.

But I do follow people, simply not on Twitter. I correspond regularly via email, Skype, phone, etc, with a fair number of people. That fair number, regardless of medium, is typically around 70. Why 70? Read They're Following Me! (More on Twitter) for the answer. What am I doing with 375 or so followers? I'm providing them with Watches so that tribe size remains manageable, frustrations (followers and my own) are minimized and people only have to read what they want.

My regular use of channels alternative to Twitter amounts to following them and in what I believe is a much more intimate, much more personal way than Twitter, and specifically to an earlier point, in a way that greatly approximates how much I value everybody's time. If I don't know you, if I'm not somehow vested in your life, I don't really care to know what you're doing every fifteen minutes of your life. If I do know you and I am vested, I'll be in touch in ways that let you know you are genuinely important to me.

Is this what NextStage suggests to clients regarding social policy? Heck no! What, do you think we're nuts or something?

But can you understand that our (pretty much everyone here at NextStage has the same attitude) thoughts on how, when and where to interrupt people's lives with social information makes us killers at helping clients interrupt consumers lives in ways that stick positively?

No? Then I must ask "How are your social efforts doing, really?"

I rarely refuse interactions, be they phone or Skype. I'm known for not responding quickly to emails yet I am known for definitely responding. One correspondent also wrote that he had to get use to the idea that I actually read everything in an email, not just skimmed and not just certain parts.

My emails often start with

Howdy,
(catching up on emails)
Comments within:
My responses to a specific item come right after that item, much more like a discussion and much easier to follow as no one has to go digging for threads.

I do follow people and do so by occasionally looking up their streams for "interesting to me" items. There are two things happening there: 1) I determine what to look at (like walking down bookstacks in a library) and 2) I determine the schedule (I'm not interrupted).

The majority of Twitter streams don't interest me because they're either irrelevant to my day or embarrassingly unsubstantiated opinion. Some of what's on Twitter is phatic but it's from people I don't know hence, with no investment in them as friends, why do I care about their phatickly boring day? It's just as boring as mine, I'm sure, and sometimes mine is mind-numbing (what we in the NextStage offices call "brainpoo") and if mine is numbing enough why would I want to further subject myself to someone else's insipidities by encouraging theirs?

Or perhaps it's true and I am anti-social.

Sometimes I find something I want to pass on to my followers and do so via a ReadWatch. It doesn't happen often. It happens so seldom, in fact, that one can rightly determine something really has to impress me before I'll intrude on other people's times and spaces. The last time I posted a ReadWatch the author wrote to thank me for recognizably increasing their traffic. I was flattered because the increase was several multiples of my number of followers at the time.

So I do follow people, simply not obviously so, and I follow my friends in a way that allows them to keep their relationship to me private if they so desire.

A Link Does Not a Friend Make

From the above we can conclude that I have a definition of "friendship" different from the current social-marketing norm (see what a friend wrote about my friendship on my USC profile. Someone read that and wrote that they hoped their friends thought as well of them. I offered that it depended on how they valued friends. Go figure).

These concepts of friendship and time also explain my reluctance to refer people through online social networks. Unless NextStage has actually worked with someone or some company or I consider you a friend, I won't perform an introduction or offer a referral. A link does not a friend make and while some I do business with have become friends not everyone I do business with is a friend. Also, I know enough psycho-social behavioral dynamics to know that, for the majority of people, how one treats one in business is how they'll treat you outside of business, ergo there is, to me, a difference between those I count as friends and those I know in business. Sometimes the differences are only revealed over time.

The lesson here is, if you want something from me, don't act as if you're my friend if you don't really know me. Just ask me for what you want. You're much more likely to get it as my BS tolerance is extremely low. Example: a brand management company sent an email to our R&D group asking how to contact me. This impressed the heck out of me as my email address is easy to find with a few minutes search engine work. Eois got the email and wrote back asking what they wanted (nobody here recognized the company or the writer). They were interested in our research and how I do research. Eois wrote back that he could answer their questions, what research were they interested in?

At this point the writer owned up that they wanted to sell me something.

Eois' BS tolerance is higher than mine but that's why he gets paid the big bucks. State your goal up front when contacting us. We really don't want you to be all phaticky if we don't know you.

<RANDOMTHOUGHT>
NextStage's BlueSky (BS) MeterYou know, there might be a market for a BJ Meter, similar to NextStage's BlueSky (BS) Meter except it's more tuned to the types of BS that come from fawning and sycophantery when the goal is to make a sale. Imagine not being sure of someone's intent, passing their blather through a tool and knowing for certain all their praise is in hopes of getting something from you and preferably a dollar!

What'd'you think? Would there be a market for such stuff?
</RANDOMTHOUGHT>

Next up, Twitter v LinkedIn v Facebook v FourSquare v Pinterest v ...

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

Sign up for the NextStage Irregular, our very irregular, definitely frequency-wise and probably topic-wise newsletter.

RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgHave you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It's a whoppin' good read.

And you can always follow me on Twitter. I don't twit often but when I do, it's with gusto!

Learn the latest regarding NextStage blog posts, conference sightings,
whitepapers, tools, presentations and more via The NextStage RSS feed Subscribe to NextStage's KnowledgeShop's RSS feed.

NextStage Evolution on Facebook Friends of NextStage LinkedIn Group

-

Aug14
A Twittering (and Related Social Platforms) Update Part 2 - Watches
NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics This is the second post in a six part blog-arc about some recent research NextStage has done regarding Twitter and several other social platforms.

These posts will cover

  1. Followers
  2. Watches
  3. "You don't follow anybody"
  4. Twitter v LinkedIn v Facebook v FourSquare v Pinterest v ...
  5. Private v Public Personae
  6. "You rarely point to someone else's writing"
Onto it, then, shall we?

Watches

My twitterings start with guideposts that take the form "xWatch": MundaneWatch, MascotWatch, ThanksWatch, ResearchWatch, MemberWatch, BlogWatch, ReadWatch, PresoWatch and others as they occur to me or the need arises. These Watches were introduced in They're Following Me! (More on Twitter) and are based on what I wrote at the end of A Twitter Social Contract:

So here's my Twitter Social Contract; I won't twit unless I truly believe the information might be useful to you, which of course means whatever I twit will have use to me.
Some people may question the usefulness of a Mundane- or Mascot-Watches, except we learned in A Twittering (and Related Social Platforms) Update Part 1 - Followers that some followers find them more interesting than all else I may twit. Based on responses (and most people are still more comfortable interacting with me via email, phone or Skype, something that's been true since I started publishing online in 2005), Mundane- and Mascot-Watches being my most popular twits is true.

Mundane- and Mascot-Watches being the most popular isn't surprising. These are my forms of phatic information (something I cover in detail in Reading Virtual Minds Volume II: Theory and Application). Psycho- and socio-linguists recognize phatic information as "low quality, high discovery" communication, something I wrote about in Usability Studies 101: The X Funnel :

The conversation doesn't have any revealing information, or does it? There's very little of psychological interest being communicated and there's a great deal of emotional interest being communicated. Specifically, our two strangers are exchanging a great deal of "Can I trust you?" "Are you somebody I want to get to know better?" "How open can I be with this person?" information without ever using those words.

This part of the conversation is low quality but high discovery. The topics are low level but the purpose is very high level; to find out if another meeting will occur and to foreshadow what might occur at that meeting.

Low quality, high discovery, phatic information is what allows society to move along smoothly. It allows us to know the social hierarchy in groups without having to ask "Who's in charge here?" or "Who reports to who here?", what jokes we can tell to whom and about what, so on and so forth. Business deals may be signed in the boardroom but they are made in the bar, the gym, at cookouts, company gatherings, during hallway conversations, breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings. The boardroom conversation is "What is going to get done by whom when" but it won't occur without the gym, cookout, etc. "Can we and how far can we trust each other as people?" conversation.

Let me give you an example of phatic information gone awry.

Long ago and far away, I had a serious relationship with a particular woman. She took me home to meet her family. At one point and after a wonderful dinner conversation with her, her parents and two older brothers, her father invited me downstairs for a game of pool and cigars.

I don't know much about pool. I know more about mechanics and ballistics, things that pool is based on. At that time I didn't smoke cigars so refused when one was offered.

First social cue missed - acceptance of a token to establish similarity.

I beat one brother in a close game. I was perfecting my calculations and skill during this game.

Her dad handily beat her other brother. It was no where near a close game.

I now played her dad while her brothers watched. All three were puffing on cigars. I made shot after shot after shot, not paying much attention to them, focusing on each shot and making ballistic calculations. I do remember that their puffing became more pronounced as I finished run after run after run.

At the end of the third game, my eyes still on the table, I said, "Rack them up again?"

The coldness of her father's "No" made me look up. The three of them were staring at me from the other side of the table, father in the center, brother on either side, all three with a cue in their hands, white-knuckle grips on the shafts, bumpers on the floor and tips up around face level so they stared at me over the green of the tips.

They could have been wearing six-guns and saying "Get out of town." The message was that clear.

Second social cue missed - recognition and acceptance of social hierarchy.

One brother stayed downstairs to clean up, the other brother and father marched me upstairs where the evening slid into a miasma of innuendo about my ethnicity, heritage, education, language skills, clothing, financial prowess and so on. The woman later told me that her parents didn't like me and wouldn't accept me into their family.

Lucky me, yes?

Compare that with my interactions with Susan's (wife, partner, All Things Bright and Beautiful) father. During one visit to her parents' home I noticed he was working on a presentation paper (he was Sr. VP, R&D for an international firm, and a PE) and asked if I could read it. Sure, go ahead. I made some corrections to his formulae and gave it back to him. "I think my suggestions will save time and development costs. Let me know what you think."

He invited me down to his offices and opened several doors for me, often hiring me to review their work. My favorite anecdote about him is that, during my first visit to his offices, he asked what I'd charge for my consultations. Sitting across from his desk, him in silhouette and my back to the door, amazed by the panoramic view of a nearby lake from his top floor, corner office, I bid ridiculously low due to ignorance of the market.

He looked at me, got up, walked around his desk and closed his office door. He then sat on the edge of his desk next to me, leaned over and said sotto voce what I would charge him for my time (it was more than double what I suggested). He then told me when I would raise my rates for him. Next he told me that he would introduce me to his opposite numbers at conferences and what I would charge them (more than quadruple what I was charging him). He explained that they would pay that because he would let them know how much I'd saved him.

Then he smiled and said that I would always charge him less than his competitors because he'd made all these introductions for me and started me in this line of work.

Finally he stood up, opened his office door, resumed his seat across his desk from me and said, "Want to get some lunch?"

Gosh, I miss him.

And did I mention that Susan and I have been together going on 34 years? We've had our ups and downs, sure. We're still together and now more than ever she's the love of my life.

A Bit Too Much Phatic For You?

From "Let me give you an example of phatic information gone awry." down to "A Bit Too Much Phatic For You?" is all phatic, low quality, high discovery information.

Maybe.

What it is is anecdotes. Anecdotes are one of the purest ways of conveying phatic information. They tend to detail social information about the protagonist (me, the storyteller) and often involve boons (as with Susan's father) or busts (as with the nameless woman's family). These tales of boons and busts are known worldwide as The Hero's Journey (Joseph Campbell's excellent book on this out of print or I'd provide a pointer).

But such anecdotes also go beyond pure phatic information because they're also examples of personal mythologies. The stories we tell about ourselves are Rashomonic even when we're the only person who knows them because our Core, Identity and Personality change them to suit each venue's needs and whatever {C,B/e,M}s we're working with at the time (audience, self, ...). Read through the two provided anecdotes carefully and several aspects of my persona, beliefs, identity, self-concept, social awareness and willingness to tolerate fools become obvious (enter what you learn as comments. Everybody's answers will be correct, just so you'll know).

Personal Mythologies in 140 Characters or Fewer

So while Twitter is teaching us all to use active voice and direct address, its also tchng us tht vwls & pnctatn r meangls

This is how language evolves over time. The only time a given language consolidates to a "standard" form is when it's written down and a large enough population understands what's written. More so when that writing method becomes more dominant, such as print and now, the 'net. The only reason a language consolidates is to increase audience. Very much like marketing, that.

But without language (more correctly, without semiotics), there'd be no marketing.

Back to Guideposts

Audience brings us all the way back to Twitter and my use of guideposts, the xWatches that preface my twits.

I do them for you, dear readers, so you'll know whether this 140 character message is as important to you as that 140 character message. As one reader told me, "You're self-categorizing your tweets and I appreciate that. So many of the things I read out there are a waste of my time. I can tell right at the start of yours if it's going to be worth my time or not."

Thank you, and you're welcome.

My xWatches are because I value your time and mine.

The First Take-Away of this Research

I'll admit this one is obvious after the fact.

Companies using Twitter for marketing have to understand that the best communications for 140 characters or less are phatic, high discovery, low quality messages. Consumers using Twitter don't want the Gospel According to P&G, Toyota or any other brand. What they want is the juice that'll interest, excite and engage them enough to go read your brand's gospel.

This holds for Pinterest, too, by the way.

Next up, why don't I follow anyone?

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

Sign up for the NextStage Irregular, our very irregular, definitely frequency-wise and probably topic-wise newsletter.

RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgHave you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It's a whoppin' good read.

And you can always follow me on Twitter. I don't twit often but when I do, it's with gusto!

Learn the latest regarding NextStage blog posts, conference sightings,
whitepapers, tools, presentations and more via The NextStage RSS feed Subscribe to NextStage's KnowledgeShop's RSS feed.

NextStage Evolution on Facebook Friends of NextStage LinkedIn Group

-

Aug 7
A Twittering (and Related Social Platforms) Update Part 1 - Followers
NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics I've written about my Twitter experiences and philosophy in A Twitter Social Contract, They're Following Me! (More on Twitter) and They're Still Following Me! And Now There's More of Them! (A Twitter Update). It's been a while and, as Twitter and several other social platforms have been part of several sociality experiments NextStage has conducted recently, it's time for an update.

This post is the first in a blog-arc (some people prefer the term series) of six separate posts. These posts will cover

  1. Followers
  2. Watches
  3. "You don't follow anybody"
  4. Twitter v LinkedIn v Facebook v FourSquare v Pinterest v ...
  5. Private v Public Personae
  6. "You rarely point to someone else's writing"
Part 4, "Twitter v LinkedIn v Facebook v FourSquare v Pinterest v ...", is where the real meat is, we thinks. The other five deal with issues that came up or questions we were asked during the research. I'll backfill the links as the separate posts are published. Also, Part 4 may appear on TriQuatroTriteCale as it's more researchy than the rest and, as I'm bouncing around traveling this month, why shouldn't my posts do the same?

We start with

Followers

As I write this (started it the end of June 2012) I have 374 followers. Yesterday, when I was writing the rough draft of this post, I had 375. I lost one due to death or illness, most definitely. It couldn't be due to -- as I often tell people -- the fact that I'm dull and boring.

Do you want more followers?

Well...sure...I mean...maybe...why?...Where would they all sit?...And then there's the dinner arrangements...And you know nobody wants to sit next to Pat...

Anyway, 374 (and as I publish this on 7 Aug 2012, 377!!!)! A better question (to me) is "How did I get that many?"

I hope following me is worth it to those 377 (obviously it wasn't to #375 at the time). I asked several people why they follow me and most responses can be summed up to either "A lot of us follow you because, we feel if we don't, we'll miss out on something terribly important." or "I don't know why I'm following you so I did a little digging and found..." followed by a data trail of someone else pointing to something I'd written that my follower found interesting at some point in time and they simply haven't dropped me. (It's nice to know my followers are so black or white, though, don't you think?)

To the latter I sometimes follow up with "Do you pay a lot of attention to Twitter?" -- No.

My challenge with all such laudanums is that what I do that I find exciting others don't. Example: Over a year ago we had some research indicating what print media could do to remain a) advertising revenue based, b) vital and c) increase its dwindling audience. This was incredible stuff to me. The research was neat and clean and the findings to date were brilliant (and another researcher's, not mine).

Yet nobody was particularly interested in that research. Currently that research sits on a shelf waiting for someone to write it up.

I have had a few people write me that they like my MundaneWatches because MundaneWatches provide better insight into me (okay, they don't actually use the phrase "better insight" and that's what they mean...I think...), something I cover in a bit more detail in part 2 of this arc, Watches.

More people respond to Mundane- and Mascot-Watches than anything else I twit. To heck with the research, you play piano? And harpsichord? And you feed raccoons? That's neat!

Do you want fewer followers?

Hmm...it's nice to be liked...but I don't know most of the people following me...so if they all went away...hmm...wouldn't that be like it was before I'd even heard of Twitter? or LinkedIn? or ...

As with wanting more followers, wanting fewer has to do with what people are following me for.

This leads to the next post in this arc, Watches. More to...umm...follow.

Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

Sign up for the NextStage Irregular, our very irregular, definitely frequency-wise and probably topic-wise newsletter.

RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgHave you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It's a whoppin' good read.

And you can always follow me on Twitter. I don't twit often but when I do, it's with gusto!

Learn the latest regarding NextStage blog posts, conference sightings,
whitepapers, tools, presentations and more via The NextStage RSS feed Subscribe to NextStage's KnowledgeShop's RSS feed.

NextStage Evolution on Facebook Friends of NextStage LinkedIn Group

-

Dec10
"Asking for help does not come easily to me. But ask I must."
NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics I received an email from a friend and am posting it here. Please do what you can, folks, and with my thanks.

Even better, I'll provide a free 15 minute phone analysis of your site for all verified donations of 100$CN or more. We charge 400$US/hr for consulting and we can get a lot done in 15 minutes, so this could be quite valuable to those with an interest.


Asking for help does not come easily to me. But ask I must.

Over the next three days, my friends Frazier and Mark at Puck's Farm must raise $6,000 to keep the financial wolves at bay, the padlock off the door, and the hydro to the barn and house on. This is stop-gap measure to get us to our grand plan for bringing in young farmers to take over the farm, raise the animals, cultivate the fields, and assume the lease.

pucksfarm.jpgMeantime, animals must be fed, and there are bills that cannot be stalled any longer.

Please consider making a contribution to Puck's Farm between now and Monday. Make a direct bank transfer to pucks farm via "frazier (at) pucksfarm (dot) com or if you prefer you can donate through DUO.CA's PayPal account.

Time is tight -- by Thursday it may be too late.

Thanks in advance for your help and support. I appreciate it!

p.s. Please know that everything Mark and Frazier have has been put into the farm to keep it going to this point.

Please feel free to forward this request and/or share on social media.


Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.

Upcoming Trainings:

Upcoming Conferences:
  • F**k Privacy: Neuromarketing is the Web's Future at SXSW 2012
Come on by and say hello.

Sign up for the NextStage Irregular, our very irregular, definitely frequency-wise and probably topic-wise newsletter.

RVMsmallfrontcover.jpgHave you read my latest book, Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History? It's a whoppin' good read.

And you can always follow me on Twitter. I don't twit often but when I do, it's with gusto!

Learn the latest regarding NextStage blog posts, conference sightings,
whitepapers, tools, presentations and more via The NextStage RSS feed Subscribe to NextStage's KnowledgeShop's RSS feed.

NextStage Evolution on Facebook Friends of NextStage LinkedIn Group

Next Page

Advertise

sponsored ads



subscribe


Prefer Email?
Subscribe below-

Enter your Email:


Powered by FeedBlitz What's this?

Current News

Support This Blog

blogroll


My site was nominated for Best Business Blog!

 


Know More Media - Management / Operations

know more media network

View Network Map

Network Feed List (OPML)

Know More Media Network
Feed


we support unitus

PRWeb

Influencer



BizMediaScience is a member of the Know More Media network of business related blogs.

Here are some current headlines from some of our business publications:


Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 619

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 620

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 621

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 622

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 737

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 738

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 739

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 740

CallCenterScript

AdHurl

TheBizofKnowledge


Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 619

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 620

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 621

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 622

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 737

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 738

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 739

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 740


Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 619

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 620

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 621

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 622

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 737

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 738

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 739

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 740

HealthCareVox

BrainBasedBusiness


Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 619

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 620

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 621

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 622

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 737

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 738

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 739

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 740


Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 619

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 620

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 621

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 622

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 737

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 738

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 739

Warning: date() expects parameter 2 to be long, string given in /usr/www/users/chrisycm/kmm-network/includes/rss2html/rss2html.php on line 740