Monday, October 19, 2009

Social Networking Etiquette

Perhaps it's just that I have an old fashioned attitude to these things but recently certain people have begun to bug me, and it all revolves around LinkedIn. Now I really like LinkedIn, after years of subscribing I'd finally begun to get it in recent times, to the point where I find it pretty useful... BUT, recently the behaviour of a small minority of people has irked me. I'm happy to share my network with the people I connect with, because I'm pretty selective about who I connect with, but lately I see a trend of people wanting to connect to me (who I know BTW) who want to keep their network secret and yet are happy to have access to mine. Well, that's just wrong - in my book that's not networking it's data mining. I'm sure these people might have an explanation about still being able to get introductions or whatever, but that's not my point. My point is about shared trust. So, please, don't try to mine my contacts - you know who you are!!!

I might, of course, be wrong. In which case I'd be happy to hear anyone else's opinion on this.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Am I Being Brainwashed? (#TEDxNCL)

Interesting and thought provoking evening at TEDx in Newcastle yesterday (#TEDxNCL). Daniel Pink's video was very interesting, but I was most engaged by the two live speakers who talked about user experience design.

As a business and as a consumer, I can see the need for good design of the user experience. I stood in the bar with a group afterwards where we named umpteen elements of user experience on the web where things could drastically improve for the customer. In business, we all need to find better ways to engage with our users in order to find and retain more customers - and some of the examples of design given during the talks were truly impressive, making me think straight away about how to do things better.

But it also made me think about how I make my buying decisions. These days it seems that companies are using all sorts of subliminal methods to make me buy stuff. I talk on the phone or have face to face pretty regularly with someone who's doing NLP or some other Jedi thing on me. Now I find that the designers are at it as well.

Now, I'm all for buying quality, good value, products that satisfy a need or solve a problem but now I worry about where my need or my problem is coming from. Is it from me, or am I being manipulated beyond my control? I need to think seriously about developing some kind of mental resistance - in the meantime, I'm making a kitchen foil hat to keep those messages at bay and keeping a close eye on my bank balance.