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By (January 25, 2009) ()


After understanding Fogg’s personal definition of Persuasive Technology (his inclusion of only computerized systems, persuasion as intention-only, etc), three main focuses came to my intention in Fogg’s writing.  Firstly, of Fogg’s six advantages of Persuasive Technology over human pursuaders, the two items that stood out as being  problematic were anonymity and ubiquity.  I believe these are the two main focuses that other technologists are looking at with regards to ethical use.  I immediately thought of Adam Greenfield’s icons created for ubiquitous computing in his book Everyware.  This realization that the smaller, cheaper, and more networked technology gets, the more hidden and potentially hazardous technology can become, is something that may not fully be comprehended for decades, but is at the crux of decisions designers and developers of technology must make.

Secondly, when Fogg discusses the use of microuasion, I believe he is insightful in realizing the differences between broadscope and narrowscope persuasion techniques, but goes a step too far in making two definitive, and far too limiting, categories.  I think persuasion, especially when done with such intentionality, is much more nuanced – something that could perhaps be noted on a sliding scale.

Lastly, I found the functional triad extremely helpful – especially in his two suggestions of using it in research and the design of persuasion interactions themselves.  Having a framework to work within and diagnostically critique a given situation is something I find very helpful and worthwhile for future projects.


Honestly, I don’t believe Talbott does much to add to this  conversation, but simply states its current state and remarks that there are good and bad points to both sides of the coin. He obviously has only come to a conclusion for himself that there isn’t an easy answer and the problems and the implementation of their solutions should be handled with care.

This statement was unsettling to me as well – I believe his assumption noted as fact (that the whole purpose of information technologies is to embody human contrivings) shows he is building his argument on pre-defined “facts” that he fails to explain.

“As information tech­nologies become ever more sophisticated reflections of our own intelligence, it seems fair to say that our thoughts and assump­tions get built into them in increasingly powerful ways. Their whole purpose, after all, is to embody our own contrivings.”

Jean-Francois Lyotard:

I enjoy how this fable creates itself by adding to itself.  Its ability to create self-reflection through a fictional historical account (mixed with non-fiction).

January 25, 2009

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