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Old 09-08-2006, 20:25   #16
jaybirdOOO
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i dropped outa school so next comes 3742873648276482364826348726348623 right?
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Old 09-08-2006, 22:13   #17
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69

666

1337

YAY i have all the good posts
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Old 09-09-2006, 09:29   #18
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17..............
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Give credit where credit is due.

On the other hand, it's a retard vs a whiner: No matter who wins, they both lose in life.
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Old 09-10-2006, 08:44   #19
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i can only count up to ten can we start again? 1?
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:06   #20
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19 robin hood is traitor he joined br
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toko View Post
Give credit where credit is due.

On the other hand, it's a retard vs a whiner: No matter who wins, they both lose in life.
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:35   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Didiplouf
19 robin hood is traitor he joined br

i r no traitor i was always wiv br man yes or no? but u thought i wasnt cuz i dont defend them here n i laugh at the fun ppl make of them i was with IS when they were ally of brs after they become enemies i havent come gw anymore

20
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Old 09-11-2006, 04:07   #22
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10,000
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Old 09-11-2006, 08:19   #23
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100,000 Congratz! You have already leveled
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Old 09-11-2006, 13:09   #24
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68+1?
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Old 09-11-2006, 18:24   #25
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24
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Originally Posted by Toko View Post
Give credit where credit is due.

On the other hand, it's a retard vs a whiner: No matter who wins, they both lose in life.
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:15   #26
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25

And Mayfire u should be ashamed a mod spamming thats just not acceptable
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Old 09-13-2006, 11:04   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mayfaire
68+1?
secks.!
_/=!
\=/\
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Old 09-13-2006, 21:46   #28
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LOL
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Old 09-15-2006, 17:14   #29
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When you want to get--and especially keep--someone's attention, what's your competition? What else could they choose to focus on at any given moment? The belief that we have 100% conscious control over what we pay attention to is a myth. The belief that users can and will choose to pay attention to our message/ad/docs/product/lesson, etc. is a mistake. So what can we do to up the odds of getting and keeping attention?

I just returned from two weekends of intense horse/human training, including the annual Parelli conference, and you'll just have to suffer through several posts in which I map everything into some all-I-needed-to-know-I-learned-from-my-horse principle. Starting with this post. At the first clinic, master trainer David Lichman said of our horse-human relationships:

"The secret is to be more provocative and interesting than anything else in their environment."
If we want our users (members, guests, students, potential customers, kids, co-workers, etc.) to pay attention, we have to be provocative. We can moan all we want about how the responsible person should pay attention to what's important rather than what's compelling. But it's not about responsibility or maturity. It's not even about interest. It's about the brain.

Remember, the brain and the conscious mind don't always see neuron-to-neuron. The brain pays attention to survival of the species. No matter what the mind wants! If you want the mind's attention, you can't ignore the brain. In other words, you can't assume that users will pay attention to what you say even when they're genuinely interested. Unless, that is, you throw a bone to the brain as well. Or trick it.

So this isn't about having to bribe people into paying attention by sexing things up with graphics, sound, or shock. This is about helping the mind and the brain agree on what's worth paying attention to. And if you want it to be you, then you better be the most provocative and interesting thing in their environment.

With horses, there's not as much competition. There's no HorseBox 360 or PonyMail. No Horse 2.0. No PonyMeme. Yet it's still a battle to be more compelling than the grass, the wind, a plastic bag, other horses (especially), playing the whoever-moves-their-feet-first-loses game with me, etc. And as smart and complex as my [fabulous Icelandic] horses are, they're still way easier to interest than a human.


Being Provocative

Provocation is in the eye of the provoked, obviously, so there's no clear formula. But there's plenty we can try, depending on the circumstances, including:

* Be Visual
Pictures are more important to the brain than words, and unless you've already got their attention and are a good enough writer to paint pictures in their head, you'll do better with visuals. The more stimulating the better. Even graphs and charts are a huge help... it doesn't have to be pictures of naked women (although that would work, of course. Just try to get past a rack of men's magazines (without the "protective covers") without at least a glance. Your brain can't help it, so let yourself off the hook ; )

* Be Different--Break Patterns and Expectations
As long as we're doing what everyone else is doing (or what we have always done), the brain can relax and think, "Nothing new here... whew... what a relief, that means I can now go back to scanning for something that is". Ways to be different include doing the opposite of what you normally do, or doing something expected in a different domain, but which is wildly unique in yours.

* Be Daring
You know the story on this one--being safe is often incompatible with being provocative.

* Change Things Regularly
This is about continually breaking your own patterns. Consistently shaking things up whether it's look and feel of your website to the product itself. (Obviously the definition of "regularly" and "things" varies dramatically depending on the type of product or service. MySpace can change daily to the delight of its core audience, while a financial app better keep its UI stable for a much longer time and find something else to change regularly (like the website, tutorial style, or online forums).

* Inspire Curiosity
Humans often find puzzles and even questions irresistible. Just try to walk by a TV playing a quiz show and not think about the answer to the question you heard walking by. How many times have you watched to the end of a movie you didn't particularly like, just because you had to find out how the story ends? Our legacy brains love curiosity because it usually means more learning. (FYI - my horse finds orange traffic cones irresistible)

* Pose a Challenge
The level and nature of the challenge work only if they're within boundaries that work for your audience, of course. Ask me to solve a calculus problem and I'll keep on walking. Ask my co-author Bert, and he'll find it impossible to do anything else but work on it.

* Be Controversial and Committed
Take a stand. Mediocrity is not a formula for holding attention.

* Be Fun
Remember, brains love fun because fun=play, and play=practicing-to-survive. (And as we've said many times here, fun does not have to mean funny. Chess can be fun but isn't funny. Except when I play.)

* Be Stimulating. Be Exciting. Be Seductive
Keep in mind that seduction does not have to mean sexual. A good storyteller can seduce me into sticking with the story. A good teacher can seduce me into learning. A good software app can seduce me into getting better and better.

* Help them have Hi-Res Experiences
This gets back to the notion of being-better-is-better. The more your users know and can do, the higher resolution experience they have. Whatever you can do to give them more expertise will help keep them interested in wanting to know and do more. But they need to be up the skill curve a ways before this really kicks in, so we must do whatever we can to help get new users past the rough spots (i.e. the "suck threshold").

* ???
Your turn. What are your ideas for how we (or you) can be more provocative? Who's doing a good job? Who is not?


(Note: I'm currently in the middle of a difficult multi-country work trip in Europe, so I'm having a tough time getting online. I apologize for not responding to your comments here recently, but they're HUGELY motivating for me, so... thanks : )

Posted by Kathy Sierra on September 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBack (1)

Why "duh"... isn't.


Critics of this blog love to say, "Duh!" or "Thanks for stating the obvious." My response is, "While the idea is dead obvious--the problem is that we don't do the obvious." When I hear comments like, "You wasted all that space to say, "Care about your customers", I wonder why we don't. Or rather, I wonder why we all say we care about them, yet our actions reflect a more selfish view. When it comes to our users/customers...

I don't think they think what we think they think.

It's similar to all those other statistics you hear about, like that way more than 50% of the population rate themselves "Above Average" in everything from looks to smarts. We think our customers generally love us, although of course we're not perfect, but then... who is? Sure we have a few issues, but we're working on it. And besides, we're so much better than the competition.

When we first came out with the Head First books, and talked about brain-friendly learning principles, people said, "Duh. There's nothing new here." And we said, "Of course not. We didn't invent anything. We just applied it. And if implementing these principles were truly "duh" (which they should be), then everyone would be doing some variation of it, and readers/learners would not be struggling to learn tough technical topics.

If helping your users kick ass were truly "duh", then our users wouldn't feel frustrated, confused, angry, stupid, humiliated, or furious. If writing good user manuals were truly "duh", then there'd be no acronym for RTFM.

This is no different from any other part of our lives, of course. Eating healthy is a "duh." Exercising five times a week is a "duh." Saving money is a "duh." Keeping our kids off TV is a "duh." Flossing is definitely "duh." Managing stress is a "duh." Greeting your significant other and kids with a smile and full attention is a "duh." Empowering our employees is a "duh." Changing the oil is a "duh." Being on time is a "duh." And I might as well end this paragraph with a totally lame cliche:
There's a big difference between saying, "Eat an apple a day" and actually eating the apple.

If "duh" is so damn obvious, why aren't we DOING it? (I say "we" because I'm just as guilty) More importantly, why do we drastically overestimate the extent to which we are doing "duh" things?

There are too many reasons to list, and many I hope you'll add, but a few highlights include:

Downplaying the importance
Denial (we think we are)
Inertia
Fear of change
Too risky
If the competition isn't doing it, why should we?
Ego (making a change means admitting you weren't doing something right)
etc....
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Old 09-15-2006, 17:16   #30
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no one want to participate to this game :s 26!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Give credit where credit is due.

On the other hand, it's a retard vs a whiner: No matter who wins, they both lose in life.
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