Category Archives: reblog

I’m sure that I’m about to use irony correctly. Fred Pryor infomercial, er seminars.

Filed under Bad CS, reblog, Work

How to Communicate with Tact & Professionalism —

I’ve been in a training seminar two days this weeks with the below goal in mind.

“Become a polished, persuasive communicator and express your thoughts and ideas with clarity and diplomacy”

The diplomacy part likely occurred during my single restroom break,three minutes long, on the second day.

While I’ll address the material covered by the class in a future post I have concerns with the intrusiveness of marketing within the curriculum.

Anyone that’s read Professor Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials),or Rushkoff’s Coercion may have been amused, as I was, that a seminar designed to teach you more effective methods of persuasive communication seemed to be using similar techniques to sell future conferences, audiobooks and training subscriptions.

I have no problem with selling during the breaks, displays within the room ,fliers in the course material. What I’d like is for them to restrict this solely to those areas.  In what  could be considered a mildly coercive environment the ethics of  this practice are questionable. Cheaper dictionaries refer to coercion only in terms of physical force and I can see my usage of this term being confusing in that light.I’m referring to an environment that is engineered to trigger as many of the six principles of influence within the first few hours.

  • Social proof.(people come forward to buy in breaks)
  • Scarcity.  (have to order by end of seminar)
  • Authority (The obvious one:)
  • liking. (Dr was likable, really good at what he does)
  • Commitment and consistency ( writing in the prices, and additions to the advert in the same format the rest of the class takes)
  • Reciprocation(Starts out with hey, schedule runs to 1630 but can get you out by 1600, next day 1530) To many that’s doing them a favor)

I can live with all the above, I may even be misinterpreting the above weapons of persuasion. Twenty minutes were taken up with Evelyn Wood’s speed reading course,and many other products,in the time preceding lunch on day one which to me seemed rather inconsistent with the stated goals. 

Looks like I’m not the only one with this concern.

  I seriously recommend both books to anyone that engages in commerce , eg every adult, in the USA.


Shazam at the good old hockey game while performing as a cellular wizard

Filed under Culture-internet, reblog

We’re all wizards now.    A C Clarke’s often cited,paraphrased or mangle quote is appropriate for many of the daily tasks we take for granted.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’ 1972 A. C. Clarke Lost Worlds

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve found that walk up magic and showing people how to get the most out of a cell phone leads to the same reaction. ( the latter is far less likely to get you  burned as a witch in some of our undeveloped  3g areas)

 Shazam is one of those apps that is cooler than a cold man’s  cold bits  during an Alaskan  Mr Ice Pants festival.   For the last  few months  I’ve been trying to find out the names of a couple of songs that are played  at the  good old hockey game. Both tracks  have no music ,  have really short hooks and one could safely classify them as being graduates from the " bleep bleep thump"  school.

I’d sat with an iPhone in my pocket  game after game while forgetting I had the means to do so with me. Loaded the shazam app from the stadium wifi,  awaited the song to come on and set it to capture.  This is not an easy capture.  That’s a PA  with  cheering and pervasive  clapping   but Shazam was  able to determine most of the songs under these conditions.    Just load, lift and listen and it does the rest on your iPhone or Android device and you can save it for later, or buy it  now.   My god a  business model on the mobile web what a wondrous age we live in!


That’s still not the interesting part.  Why did it take so long to put this 2+2  together?   Turns out it was an ambiguity that I could live with but my  wife always  kept asking about.. "what song’s that"   is a problem that’s harder to live with.

Locating the good apps quickly then  finding out what is, and isn’t useful , could be a second career,  a really badly remunerated  second career.   So best make it a hobbyto find out what your friends regularly overlook  when relating to the net  and   with your  best Carnac the magnificient impression  hold the phone  to your head and proceed to  amaze.

Why spend the time?  Most of the coolest apps  work when   you have an audience,  heck  in that  stadium of 11,000 people only  2 were logged in on the  two presence services I use. In general  I feel like a "boy and his iPod dog" wandering the  desert , Phoenix  looks pretty much looks like  distopic sci fi anyway so it’s not too hard to play along.