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  • Profile photo of nmw

    nmw 10:16:04 on 2016/06/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , anti-social rationality, business, , , , , , , , , , , , , offers, , , , , , search engine optimization, , , spam, spammer, spammers, spamming, , target market, , , ,   

    Spam Index, Shopping Catalog & Co. – An Introduction to Anti-Social Rationality 

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    Do you want to be the #1 top result on Google?

    No, thank you.

    To many people this reaction might seem odd.

    Let me backtrack a little. Yesterday I alerted yet another person of the fact that I can see they are using gmail.com as their email server (even though their email address shows merely their own domain name). I had initiated contact, and in the header information to their reply email – well, anyone can see this information, because it is in plain daylight, plain text, plain and simple – there was Google / Gmail. However, because most of the „users“ on the Internet are illiterate, many people think no one will ever notice that their correspondence is being shared with innumerable Fortune 500 companies and governments who are aligned with Google to harvest „insights“ from this data.

    My business contact was surprized, and broke off the contact. Of course Google knows who I am talking about, but I will nonethless respect this person’s privacy. If this information gets shared with other businesses (for example: competitors might pay money for such data, and simply add the cost to the price of their products and/or services), then it was not me, but rather the organization that is the world’s leading provider of industrial espionage software (aka Google).

    I am often disappointed and regret the widespread illiteracy. But at least I am not myself one of the suckers whose private information gets sold to the highest bidder.

    I think many people consider my complacency illusory and backwards. After all: If you want to show up on the Google website, wouldn’t you be happy to let them probe your interior, private and confidential business communications?

    No, not really – but thank you very much for the FREE OFFER! 😉

    I have many websites that rank very well (but no thanks to any sort of „special consideration“) on pretty much all search engines. Indeed, if there were a search engine they did not rank well on, then people would probably eventually avoid using it simply because the results on such a search engine would „suck“. Many years ago I sent Matt Cutts a „tweet“ showing him there was something wrong with Google and then they fixed it. You might be able to still find our exchange on twitter.com – but you would have to go back many years (I haven’t used twitter for… OMG, IDK how long).

    One thing you need to consider if you actually get a website to rank well on such so-called „search engines“ (BTW: many / most businesses which track „search engines“ are usually unable to define what is / isn’t a „search engine“), then you should be ready for spammers. If you are not ready, your site will be flooded with spam in a matter of minutes. Most of this spam is generated by robots, and robots work very fast. Being the top result on Google is an open invitation to having your inbox overflowing with love from a wide variety of „artificial intelligence“ machines. I, personally, have little or no interest in such robotic affection.

    I actually even have little interest in ranking highly on Google. In my opinion, the results are already so shoddy that I feel showing up on Google is sort of like showing up at a thug lineup. Most company websites where the company marketing team prides itself for its high ranking on Google are sending a very clear message to consumers: „We paid a lot of money to show up here, so if you buy from us you will probably need to pay a little more“. There is very little indication of quality or reliability from showing up on Google or Facebook or Youtube or whatever most people think of as a general „search engine“. At least Facebook seems to be honest about the need to pay money, but I really don’t think that would actually motivate me to waste it on reaching billions of people (and/or robots) with very limited literacy skills. Most such people (and/or computers) would probably not even understand (and/or act on) the most clearly written message anyways. They are usually primarily searching for a free lunch, flashing lights, bells and whistles – and I am not interested in offering anything like that. I am prepared to offer people and businesses affordable solutions, but I don’t want to be your slave.

  • Profile photo of nmw

    nmw 18:02:23 on 2016/01/11 Permalink
    Tags: business, , , Deutsch, , , , Englisch, , , habit, habits, , , , practice, , , , , translate, , ,   

    Rewarding Life May Be Counter-Productive When Rewards Undermine Habits 

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    A new friend of mine recently asked “how do you translate ‘rewarding’ into German?” I found it was fascinating that this was difficult to answer. We had been talking (and continue to talk) about how language and culture are closely linked to one another (something very well explicated by Ludwig Wittgenstein).

    I have also recently discovered the “Happier with Gretchen Rubin” podcast — in Episode #9 Gretchen and Elizabeth answer the following question:

    What’s the best way to strengthen good habits through rewards? Great question. [for the answer, listen @ ca. 18:30 – 24:40 ]

    A small spoiler-alert: Gretchen says it doesn’t work very well.

    I agree, and this is one reason why I am working on a blog post about this topic, too. Yet in my post it is not so much about rewarding good habits, but rather more about the use of rewards in business, according to economics / economic theory, putting theory into practice, optimization of daily life, all of a community’s lives,  etc. It’s actually quite difficult to wrap your head around, because my thinking calls into question some very fundamental issues — stuff that is very ingrained in the type of thinking used in most western economies. I will probably publish this @ Socio.BIZ, but I will also (hopefully) remember to leave a “trackback” link here.

  • Profile photo of nmw

    nmw 12:05:39 on 2015/03/25 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , business, , , , , increase, increasing, , , parents, promote, promoting, , promotions, quotation, quotations, quote, quoted, quotes, quoting, , talking, teach, teacher, teachers, turn, turn taking, turns, , wait, , worker,   

    People don’t listen, they just wait for their turn to talk 

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    I read this line, and it was attributed to someone named Chuck Palahniuk. I could not find any information actually connecting this quote to Chuck Palahniuk — besides many other people basically doing a “copy” and “paste” of this same quote with this same attribution. Since I don’t know who actually said it — since I cannot find a link to Chuck Palahniuk as the source of this quote,  I will simply listen to the words and then tell you what I think about them.

    I find the quote very interesting.

    Here is my take on it:

    As good parents, people teach their children to ignore advertisements. As good workers, they pay to promote and advertise attention towards increasing business activity.

    Yes: I realize I have just quoted myself. :)

  • Profile photo of nmw

    nmw 11:45:40 on 2015/01/21 Permalink
    Tags: business, , , , , , , , , , , usability, , , , , ,   

    People as Content: Virtual Content vs. “In Real Life” (IRL) Content 

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    Whenever we look through a kaleidoscope and make even the smallest of adjustments, the new picture that results can become very different from the one we were just looking at a moment ago (this is a favorite metaphor my mother sometimes likes to invoke). Here, I see a similarity with how even a small amount of feedback can jar the world in such a way that many of our long-held views can seem “new” (and hopefully also “improved” ;) ).

    My friend who raised the question in the previous post also gave much more feedback, including what might be called “positive” or “constrictive” criticism, suggestions and so on. Although I don’t see a clear line to what I want to write about now, I could see that many of the “positive” vs. “negative” value judgements we often make are not helpful in order to “move forward” — and this aspect is also something my friend mentioned directly.

    Regardless of how (or who) came up with this idea, I now feel I have made a significant observation with respect to a long-held truism that is bandied about all around any industry that has anything to do with the Internet: “the most important thing is content” — that’s what “theysay.

    When they say this, it is usually implied that they are referring to words on the page, graphic design, images, photos, logos, videos, audios, … any of a wide range of what is usually now collectively referred to as “media” (and note how this use of the term “media” is very different from the way Marshall McLuhan might have used the term — and this is yet another good example of why jargon matters [as I mentioned just a few days ago]). That may all be good and fine from the perspective of “search engine optimization” (SEO) … as I also mentioned just yesterday. So if you want to impress a machine, and if you want some newbie monkey to click on your link, then this is definitely the way to go.

    Note, however, that many of the peoplein real life” (IRL) have already moved on. They no longer spend time playing Google games, they no longer tinker and toy around with image tags, keyword density, … they have already given Google the “nofollow” card. That train has already left the station — if you are still trying to catch it, then you are trying to board an outdated technology (and I refer to all such outdated technologies collectively as “retard media”).

    Where have all the “IRL” people gone? For the past several years, they went to Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook. These days, they may very well “hang out” at websites like Pinterest, Instagram, and “instant messaging” services like Whatsapp. Increasingly, these are the same “suckers” who were willing to click on almost any link — now they are willing to install almost any app… and thereby be tracked by almost any data mining / business intelligence organization. Since they have not become more literate in the meantime, they are just as naive as they have been since pretty much the first days of the Internet.

    IRL people are more important than virtual content. Virtual content doesn’t pay the bills — IRL people do.

    Any good webdesigner will tell you what is the most important webdesign feature: White space. If you clutter a page with useless links and/or useless content, the user you are trying to reach with your multitasking messages will probably simply opt out and leave the page. If you look at most of the web 2.0 success stories, they will have this one thing in common: a lack of virtual content (on the page). All of the “ands, ifs or buts” are cleanly hidden in never-read documents named “user policy”, “terms of service” and so on.

    Knowledgeable people analyze such documents, but newbies generally don’t. They will be amazed when they figure out that they have been sold down the river, but by that time the people who created these “most successful” services will have already cashed out. Expect many more tombstones to join Geocities, Friendster, Myspace, and litter the web 2.0 graveyard in the not-too-distant future.

    Which companies will survive the second crash? I am not sure if any will, but I think those companies who put less emphasis on more content and more emphasis on real people with real qualifications will not only reduce their data transmission costs but also increase the likelihood of their own survival.

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