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By (January 25, 2009) (,)

1. ” The potential for using (or, unfortunately, abusing) such technology is enormous.”

I enjoyed the fact that the author ( in my opinion) at the same time that was trying to clarify the idea of persuasion was clear when assuming that it can go both sides – good use and bad use of persuasive technologies – but that he believe that interactive technologies can play a role.

I think we will talk about ethics later on this semester but in reading the text and the examples I start thinking about what defines a good or bad use of persuasive technology? How can this be defined? If it’s good because it was well implemented or if we define it in relation with the nature of the persuasion, with the intent? If it use persuasion to sell something is bad?  or if it’s has a social intention, is good? How do we rate what is good and what is bad?

We like when Amazon show us the related books when making a search on their website. We like to see what is available that is related to the subject/theme/book we are searching, even if the intent is to make us buy more books. But we don’t like what Google does in Gmail email accounts – reading the information that is inside our personal (or not) emails – and showing ads related with their content.

Why we don’t like it? because it is intrusive? At the same time it’s transparent. It doesn’t hide what is doing and it’s showing related information. Why this is bad and amazon is good? I’m not saying that this is the way I think but I’m interested in understanding how persuasive technologies could be judged, since there is somehow a blurry boundary and a big risk.

2.  Hulu.com

Hulu is a free online video service (media player) that offers the possibility to see TV shows online. The functionality of Hulu follows others similar websites that allows us to see free tv shows. You can see a episode of a TV program with the following constrains: not in real time, normally the episode is posted on day after it went on air; get ads (normally 30 sec spots) during the episode that interrupt the normal view of the show ( the same happens on tv but I guess not so frequently).

This week I noticed that when an ad is being played, on the side nav bar there is two buttons that allows us to give feedback about that ad. One says: Like this ad. The other says: I don’t like this ad.

In my opinion, what happens is that we are persuade to think that your opinion is important. And that is good that we can give feedback about what we are seeing but under that first impression, we start thinking that it’s just for commercial purposes.

When one of the buttons is clicked there is no feedback at all of you action. I think that this is what I ‘ll change. I guess that I was surprised in beginning – ohh…I can say something…of course I don’t like this ad, even if it’s a good ad – but then there was no praise or thanks for your opinion. Maybe next time I will not do it again but at the same time was less intrusive or it doesn’t disrupt so much what I was doing.

(Another thing that happens was there was a option in the beginning of the episode: do you want to see this trailer ( of a movie I guess) and see the episode for free or see the normal episode with ads? What happen is that I was suprise and trying to read it but after some sec. it skipped to the normal view but it made me think about what is better? see the trailer and then see the episode at once? maybe this is a good choice. But we are persuade that we hve a choice to choose – even if in both case we are not free of the ads world)


January 25, 2009


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