((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) January 22, 2001
This newsletter is sponsored by: IBM and BOT 2001 Seminar
You're on a mission to WebSphere 2001. WebSphere 2001 brings together industry experts as well as e-business & development visionaries to help you gain the insight needed to compete and differentiate your company in the marketplace. For more information, or to register, visit http://ibm.com/websphere/ws2001/register6 , or call (800) 959-8936. Register before February 12, 2001 and attend for $995 ? a $200 savings. Dates: March 12-15. Place: MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.
This week we take a look at the art and science of persuasion. Getting people to "yes" is what persuasion's all about. By shaping your communication, including your site, to follow the six principles outlined below, you can have an edge over your competition in whatever products or services you're selling.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. PRODUCTION GRAPHICS: Photoshop and PSP Channels: What, When and Why?
Master the image enhancing and special effects power of channels for stunning results. Tune into this tutorial to refine your image. By Wendy Peck.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. MOTHER OF PERL: Weblog 1.71: Voice-enable Your Site
Want to voice-enable your site? Try Weblog! Our newest version adds VoiceXML and Avantgo support. By Jonathan Eisenzopf.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. EXPLORING XML: Xparse-J 1.0
Need a small XML parser to embed in your Java applet? Have a look at Xparse-J, the smallest Java parser on the planet. By Michael Classen.
Netscape 6 and IE5.x are both based on the W3C's Document Object Model (DOM) but there are some differences. Learn how to find common ground to quilt DOM-based cross-browser scripts. By Dr. Yehuda Shiran.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. HTML WITH STYLE: HTTP for HTML Authors, Part I
Find out what happens behind the scenes when you put up a Web page as we explore HTTP, the protocol responsible for transporting your wonderful creations from the server to the browser. By Stephanos Piperoglou.
BOT 2001 Seminar* January 25th at The Fairmont, San Francisco Expert bot/intelligent agent developers, researchers and academics present the latest happenings and give specific information for cost effective solutions to improve business. A rare opportunity to network, share ideas, and put theory and research into practice. Register today - space is limited! http://seminars.internet.com/bot/sf01/registration.html
In the February, 2001 issue of "Scientific American" Dr. Robert Cialdini wrote an interesting article titled "The Science of Persuasion." Dr. Cialdini boiled his 30 years of research into social influence down to six factors that influence humans to comply with a request. They are: reciprocation, consistency, social validation, liking, authoring and scarcity. While different cultures favor some factors over others, these factors hold for all societies.
What's this have to do with the Web, you ask? Persuasion is used in nearly every transaction we make, including deciding on which Web site to visit, buy from, or subscribe to, so if you can make your Web site more persuasive than your competition, you've got an edge. "These six tendencies help govern our business dealings, our societal involvements and our personal relationships, knowledge of the rules of persuasion can truly be thought of as empowerment."
I thought it would be instructive to briefly explore these six factors as they relate to the Web. Many webmasters are already using some of these techniques subconsciously on their sites, to boost traffic. At the end, I'll show an example pitch using these techniques. Now, onto getting to "yes."
* Reciprocation - returning the favor
"All societies subscribe to a norm that obligates individuals to repay in kind what they have received." Receiving an unsolicited gift obligates you to give something back in return. The author found that when the Disabled American Veterans included free personalized address labels in solicitations, contribution response went from 18 to 35%. Give away free things and information on your Web site.
Reciprocity also applies to concessions that people make to one another. You may reject a large request, but if I retreat to a smaller one, you are now more likely to reciprocate with a concession of your own.
* Consistency - personal. The desire to be, and to appear consistent.
People are more likely to comply once they've made a public commitment. The researchers found that by first getting residents to sign a petition, contributions nearly doubled for the handicapped.
* Social Validation (of desired result)
It's been said that people are sheep as they tend to follow the group. "We decide what to do in a situation by looking to what others are doing. If many individuals have decided in favor of a particular idea, we are more likely to follow, because we perceive the idea to be more correct, more valid." Show how popular your site is by displaying your subscribers and unique visitors. 100,000 people can't be wrong.
People prefer to say yes to those they like. Like includes those they are familiar with, are good looking, or they share some connection with (Hey, I'm from Michigan too!). Why do you think Tupperware parties are conducted by a trusted friend? People tend to believe what friends say over strangers. Dr. Cialdini found that American Heart Association donations nearly doubled when good looking fundraisers came a-knocking.
Show your users how much other users like your site.
People believe symbols of authority. Uniforms, credentials, and experience all give the appearance of authority, which people tend to believe. Show the expertise of your writers, say that you are the authority on your subject, and back it up with awards and glowing user comments.
Perceived scarcity (via time, space, and/or availability) raises the perceived value of items and opportunities. That's why marketers trumpet the unique benefits or one-of-a-kind character of their offerings. Available for a limited time only! That's why one-word domain names are worth so much, they are scarce.
Offer exclusive, timely information on your site.
These six principles influence humans the most when it comes to saying "yes." It's all about perceived value. Dr. Cialdini says that from an evolutionary point of view, "each of the behaviors appears to have been selected for in animals, such as ourselves, that must find the best way to survive while living in social groups. It usually makes sense to repay favors, behave consistently, follow the lead of similar others, favor the requests of those we like, heed legitimate authorities and value scarce resources. Consequently, influence agents who use these principles honestly do us a favor." However, these principles can also be misused, and the knowledge of them will make you a more savvy developer and consumer. Let's look at how we could use these techniques on WebReference.
Dear loyal subscriber,
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WebReference is the only place on the Web where you can get the
benefits of reading high quality tutorials by the likes of Robert
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Our readers like us, and we like them. That's why over 120,000
nice people like you subscribe. Are we charging you for this? Of
course not, this is the Web. As you know, the unspoken agreement
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many? Ok, just send it to 3. But wait, don't e-mail them yet. Because
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Hurry, supplies are limited, and this is a one-time offer. Now
e-mail those friends and help WebReference.com grow to 1 million
subscribers. Did I mention what a lovely outfit you have on
Dear loyal subscriber,
Our readers like us, and we like them. That's why over 120,000 nice people like you subscribe. Are we charging you for this? Of course not, this is the Web. As you know, the unspoken agreement on the Web is free content in exchange for your help promoting our site. Can you think of any reason why you wouldn't want to send this newsletter to 10 of your friends? ... Well, is that too many? Ok, just send it to 3. But wait, don't e-mail them yet. Because you're one of our most loyal readers, and I genuinely like you, we're going to throw in, at no extra charge, these free exclusive links on this little-known topic.
Hurry, supplies are limited, and this is a one-time offer. Now e-mail those friends and help WebReference.com grow to 1 million subscribers. Did I mention what a lovely outfit you have on today?
Thanks to my friend, Bob Peyser, for his helpful input on this story.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 7. OTHER VOICES: Design & Usability, Intro to the CSS3 Working Draft, ISAPI Perl and CGI/Perl
>Design & Usability
Learn how to make your Web site more usable with thumbnails, breadcrumbs, menus and more. http://www.designsbymark.com/designtips/ Designs by Mark
>Intro to the CSS3 Working Draft
Find out what the W3C plans for the next version of cascading style sheets. This document lists all the modules in the future Cascading Style Sheets Level 3 (CSS3) specification. http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/WD-css3-roadmap-20010119/ W3C.org, 010119
>ISAPI Perl and CGI/Perl
Are your Perl CGI scripts running a little slowly? This tutorial talks about the advantages of ISAPI over CGI and how to use ISAPI with both Unix and Windows machines. http://webcompare.internet.com/isapiperl/ WebCompare.com
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 8. NET NEWS: Openhack III bowed but not broken, Microsoft loses execs, shifts to Xbox, Yahoo, Microsoft traffic 'hijacked'
>Openhack III bowed but not broken
It's been a week of open hacking; is Argus' Pitbull keeping out hacker attacks? http://www.zdnet.com/eweek/stories/general/0,11011,2676675,00.html ZDNet, 010122
>Microsoft loses execs, shifts to Xbox
First it was the CTO, then the top marketer behind Windows 2000. Find out what's happening at Microsoft. http://www.zdnet.com/eweek/stories/general/0,11011,2675084,00.html ZDNet, 010122
>Yahoo, Microsoft traffic 'hijacked'
For two hours on Saturday traffic bound for Microsoft and Yahoo was routed to MyDomains.com; a hacker is allegedly to blame. http://www.msnbc.com/news/519306.asp MSNBC, 010121
That's it for this week, see you next time.
Andrew King Managing Editor, WebReference.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexander Rylance Assistant Editor, WebReference.com email@example.com
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