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By (January 25, 2009) ()

I didn’t get out much this week apparently, nor did I try new things – I don’t recall trying any new devices, sites or software that were really trying to persuade. My computer did try to persuade me to back up; both the system itself (Apple’s Time Machine) and my photo software (Adobe’s Lightroom). In each, a dialog (most likely designed/specified by user experience designers at the companies) popped up with a reminder that I hadn’t backed up for a while, and that I should do it now.  So it’s an example of a “suggestion technology” – trying to intervene at a time when I should be backing up, acting probably more as a tool than a social actor (making the target behavior easier to do, and leading into the process), and the reminders are “microsuasion” towards the overall goal of backing up. However, in this case, the technology failed at overcoming my laziness – I would have had to go and get my external hard drive, hook it up and wait for the backup to run. I dismissed the reminder without backing up. These reminders are a relatively recent innovation. Apple, to its credit, has been trying to make it easier to backup – their Time Capsule product is intended to work in the background over wi-fi, which would have eliminated my problem. The barrier in that case is the cost and time to setup Time Capsule.  Another solution, which I think others have developed, is to have the backup work wirelessly, sending the data over the internet to a server at another location (there are issues with security and privacy, and speed, to work through with this solution, though).

January 25, 2009

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