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Social networks, social media, online communities, etc.

Bigger Brain = Social Media Success

Hiring a social media manager or a salesperson? Maybe you should have the finalists’ brains scanned in an fMRI.

A larger orbital prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with decision-making and cognitive processing, has been shown to correlate with greater social skills, according to a study by a team of UK researchers. Among the scientists was Robin Dunbar, who pioneered the idea that the average human is limited to a social circle of about 150 people (see Your Brain’s Twitter Limit: 150 Real Friends), a constant now known as the Dunbar number. […]

By |August 14th, 2012|

Pubcon Discount, See Cialdini (and me)

Pubcon 2012 (Las Vegas, October 16 – 18, 2012), the big gathering of digital marketers and web site operators of all kinds, has a persuasion theme this year! Primary keynote speaker will be Robert Cialdini, author of the […]

By |August 2nd, 2012|

Can Mountain Dew Make You Smarter than Pinot Noir?

When can a Mountain Dew make you smarter than a glass of a nice Pinot Noir? Well, beyond the short-term cognitive boost from the caffeine-rich soft drink, being seen holding a glass of wine can reduce your intelligence – not in real terms, but in the eyes of others. As I posted on Forbes.com the other day in Proof: Alcohol Makes You (Look) Dumb, even a stone-cold sober person holding a glass of wine suffers an apparent IQ drop. […]

By |August 1st, 2012|

Marketing Lessons from Nigerian Scammers

Email scam artists often include references to Nigeria in their emails, despite the fact that these efforts are often called "Nigerian scams." Microsoft research shows that this approach may increase the profitability of the scams.

By |June 21st, 2012|

Why Business is Different Now

People toss around the terms "thought leader" and "social media expert" lightly these days, but Brian Solis is one of the few people who actually lives up to those names. In The End of Business as Usual, Solis shows how the widespread use of social media is fundamentally changing the business environment.

By |June 6th, 2012|

Our Brains Make Facebook Worth $90 Billion

Those of us involved in social media know that people love to talk about themselves. They seemingly enjoy sharing the trivial, the personal, and occasionally the weird, details of their lives. Sometimes they overshare – as a longtime online community builder, I’ve found that “poster’s remorse” is common – people post something too personal and later regret doing so. So why do people share so much? New research from Harvard shows, in simple terms, that talking about yourself makes your brain feel good. […]

By |May 10th, 2012|

The Easiest Way Ever to Boost Your Productivity

Do you find chunks of your day consumed by less than productive activities? Updating Twitter? Checking Facebook? Clicking on those fascinating links posted by your friends? Checking sports scores or stock prices? Catching up on the latest hilarity from DamnYouAutoCorrect? None of these are bad things, but when you have important tasks to complete these non-essential activities can kill your productivity. It turns out there’s a quick visualization you can perform that will make you more likely to focus on your mission-critical tasks. […]

By |April 23rd, 2012|

Juice Your Marketing with Dopamine

Dopamine-driven marketing sounds scary, but it’s more common than one might expect. Dopamine is a key element in the brain’s reward system, and when marketers trigger that system they can reinforce behavior and create positive associations. Ads that make consumers solve a simple puzzle can have this effect (see Puzzling Billboards, Schick Commercial’s Aha! Moment, and Puzzles Boost Brand Recognition, for example.) The dopamine kicker can also be generated using one of the hotter trends in marketing (and other forms of behavior modification): gamification. […]

By |April 10th, 2012|

Love/Hate: Why Disliked Brands Prosper

Something brand owners strive for is that elusive magic of being loved by consumers. Brands like Apple, Google, Southwest Airlines, and others have earned enduring positive regard among consumers, and those companies outdo their peers in part because of the brand equity they have built. But what about brands people don’t like? Oddly, some of those survive quite nicely and even prosper. […]

By |April 5th, 2012|

What Guy Kawasaki Knows About Google+, and You Don’t

Book Review: What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us by Guy Kawasaki

Google+ seemed to get off to a running start, but more recently has been termed a “ghost town” by some pundits. Experience with the service suggests less than robust usage by consumers, despite the large number of registered users. When my Why Jersey Shore Drops the National IQ post went mildly viral last week, it quickly garnered more than a thousand Facebook likes, but a mere five +1s. Does this mean Google+ is headed the way of Friendster and MySpace? […]

By |March 26th, 2012|