Friday, November 23, 2007

Denial, Deception And Elicitation In Web 2.0

A couple of interesting posts have come my way over the last several days where the authors are talking about classic intelligence skills without acknowledging their connection to intelligence. I am not saying that I expected these authors to point out the connection and am certainly not surprised that they didn't make the connection. I think it is interesting to note nonetheless.

The first such article is the "Secret Strategies Behind Many Viral Videos" published at TechCrunch. The article makes the claim that videos, at a time when 10's of thousands of videos are posted each day, do not go viral by themselves -- they get help and lots of it from guys like the author, Dan Ackerman Greenberg. This "help" includes but is not limited to paying bloggers to post the video, using fake headlines and initiating "comment wars" with yourself through the use of multiple fake accounts. The whole article reads like a web 2.0 version of a chapter from The Art Of War.

Closely related (at least in some respects) is another article over on WiseBread that talks about how to "cold-read" like a psychic. The author, Paul Michael, outlines the many tricks that so-called psychics use to cold-read a person. Cold-reading is when a psychic uses his or her understanding of the unconscious signals a person is sending -- body language or the way they talk -- to understand what that person is thinking or the kind of situation they are in. Some of these "secrets" are the kinds of tricks that spies use to elicit information (some are obviously only appropriate for staged settings). The best single compendium of elicitation techniques is contained in John Nolan's Confidential but the article here points out some that could be used in the field as well.

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