All posts filed under “Internet economics

Swoopo: Irrational escalation of commitment

Swoopo: Irrational escalation of commitment

Swoopo, a new kind of “entertainment shopping” auction site, takes Martin Shubik’s classic Dollar Auction game to a whole new, automated, mass participation level. It’s an example of the escalation of commitment, or a sunk cost fallacy, where we increase our commitment (in this case […]

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Pretty Cuil Privacy

Pretty Cuil Privacy

New search engine Cuil has an interesting privacy policy (those links might not work right now due to the load). They’re apparently not going to track individual users’ searches at all, which, in comparison to Google’s behaviour, is quite a difference. As TechCrunch puts it: […]

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Apologies for the delay to this service

Apologies for the delay to this service

You’re owed an apology, dear reader, for the 2-month hiatus with the blog. It’s down to a variety of reasons compounding each other, and alternately forcing me to prioritise other pressing problems, then when I tried seizing the initiative again, frustrating me with technical issues […]

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Digital control round-up

Digital control round-up

Mac as a giant dongle At Coding Horror, Jeff Atwood makes an interesting point about Apple’s lock-in business model: It’s almost first party only– about as close as you can get to a console platform and still call yourself a computer… when you buy a […]

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Slanty design

Slanty design

The Main Reading Room, Library of Congress. Image from CIRLA. In this article from Communications of the ACM from January 2007, Russell Beale uses the term slanty design to describe “design that purposely reduces aspects of functionality or usability”: It originated from an apocryphal story […]

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The future of academic exposure?

The future of academic exposure?

A lot of research is published each year. Now that I’m a student again, I’ve got access (via Athens) to a vastly increased amount of academic journals, papers and so on. Far more than I could have done ‘legitimately’ without that Athens login, aside from […]

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Persuasion & control round-up

Persuasion & control round-up

New Scientist: Recruiting Smell for the Hard Sell Samsung’s coercive atmospherics strategy involves the smell of honeydew melon: THE AIR in Samsung’s flagship electronics store on the upper west side of Manhattan smells like honeydew melon. It is barely perceptible but, together with the soft, […]

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Bye-bye 9rules

Bye-bye 9rules

Around ten months ago, this site was accepted into 9rules, a diverse network of blogs which, at the time, had this aim: 9rules is a community of the best weblogs in the world on a variety of topics. We started 9rules to give passionate writers […]

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Friday quote: Fashion & convention

Friday quote: Fashion & convention

L.J.K. Setright, the late motoring writer and commentator, self-taught mechanical engineer and all-round Renaissance Man, once wrote: Fashion is a terrible fetter; convention, since it lasts longer, is even worse. This was in an issue of Car, when it was still any good. Setright wrote […]

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Coincidence?

Coincidence?

A few minutes ago I was playing a track in Winamp, with Gmail open in an Opera window, and on refreshing Gmail, the Google ‘web clip’ at the top of the inbox display contained the same phrase, ‘jet stream’, as the track. Is that merely […]

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Digital control round-up

Digital control round-up

Some developments in – and commentary on – digital architectures of control to end 2006: Peter Gutmann’s ‘A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection’ (via Bruce Schneier) looks very lucidly at the effects that Vista’s DRM and measures to ‘protect’ content will have – […]

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How much are bored eyeballs really worth?

How much are bored eyeballs really worth?

We’ve discussed deliberately splitting up articles to increase page views before – inspired by Jason Kottke – with some very insightful comments, but the technique used by the free file-hosting site Putfile goes way beyond simply inconveniencing the user. Most free hosting sites require multiple […]

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The secret

The secret

“The secret to getting ahead in the 21st century is capitalizing on people doing what they want to do, rather than trying to get them to do what you want to do.” (Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com, in a Wired article quoted at the Public Journalism […]

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Splitting up articles to increase page views

Splitting up articles to increase page views

Jason Kottke notes the now-near universal practice of splitting newspaper & magazine articles online into multiple pages: “…it’s some sort of “best practice” that we readers let them get away with so they can boost pageviews and advertising revenue at the expense of user experience, […]

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Jakob Nielsen: ‘Evil’ design

Jakob Nielsen: ‘Evil’ design

This Guardian article from last year includes Jakob Nielsen discussing what he calls ‘evil design’, specifically in reference to the web: “”Evil design is where they stop you from doing what you are trying to do, like putting an advert over the top of the […]

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