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By (January 25, 2009) (,)

I liked the Fogg reading. I thought he was very easy to understand and his examples were extremely helpful since they referred to many websites I am familiar with. I thought it was interesting when he spoke about how the anonymity of the computer could work to persuade users in a chat room, as an unknown entity is less intimidating to share personal info with than someone the user actually knows. I’d never thought about it that way. I also thought the HCl versus CMC was fascinating as well as the functional triad, especially the section on computers as social actors and Fogg’s own experiment involving groups of users who were affected and motivated by praise from the computers and would respond politely and helpfully when the computer asked them for information. Talbot discusses this too, when he writes about user awareness of his own assumptions and the debate between people “respond[ing] more and more to digital machines as if they were people” and the temptation to make the persuasion “invisible.”

In my own work, I have a website for my band Pin Me Down which has a blog component. I find that my hits and song plays increase significantly, when my blogs engage with my audience- when I mention listeners by name or post pictures of listeners or mentions people that post comments on the site. Now I can see this as a form of persuasion using praise from me (the creator – with a persuasive intent to increase my audience, song plays and sell music) toward the site’s visitors/listeners, to which they are surprised and flattered by the personal attention and respond positively.

– Fogg didn’t touch on macrosuasion in his macro and micro section and I’d like to hear more about the macro side, as he spends a lot of time on the micro side (I’m sure we will next week).


Last year, I opened a bank account at Washington Mutual but, in October, the bank went under due to the collapsing financial market so I pulled most of my money out. WaMu is really strict about overdrafts… they charge something like 5$ a day if an account is empty or in the red, so I made sure to avoid that situation by keeping 30$ in it, keeping the account open. This week I received a paper letter from the bank saying that WaMu was bought by Chase bank and that my account was overdrawn and that they’d “restricted” it until further notice. They sent an email about it too, but I knew it was impossible. I thought it was a ploy by Chase to get me to sign up with them, so I ignored it. On Sat night at 10PM, I get a text message sent from a computer to my phone about my account’s “overdraft” and that I should call a phone number immediately. I called today and it was an animated service supposedly from the bank which asked for my card number, pin, and expiration date. It said it would re-instate my card but gave me absolutely no information about what was actually going on. I am paranoid that the whole episode was a scam by Chase or a foreign party (maybe a phishing company), to get my account number and pin. As a result, I called customer service and closed my account. Scary stuff. This real-life event reminds me of Fogg’s writing about computer persistence – the computer’s repeated messages (email, post, and text) affected me and got me to take action and provoked me in ways that a human sales rep call couldn’t. In addition, I thought it was interesting that Chase used 3 modalities to persuade me – a letter, email and text message to my cell phone. I am not happy I fell for it!

January 25, 2009

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