Persuasion Tech 2010 – Copenhagen 7-9 June

9 06 2010

This conference was a gathering of academics researching in the persuasive technology field, presenting papers and ideas on Persuasive technology.

It was a small group of people, from Universities worldwide. It was an interesting experience.

The Opening Keynote was given by Dr. Jennifer J. Preece, professor of University of Maryland. This was an interesting talk which had the title ‘I persuade, they persuade it persuades!

The topic was mainly research on how people go from ‘Readers to Leaders’ in a social media-networking era, or how we can persuade people to become Leaders.

Facebook of course, was mentioned as an example mechanism/platform to persuade people to become more active in sharing and broadcasting ideas.

Some facts on Facebook for those who are not aware yet:
– 0.5 billion facebook visitors
– 2nd largest site after Google
– If it was a nation, it was the 3rd largest after China and India
– Americans spent an average of 6 hours
– Australians 7 hours and
– Spanish 4,5
This makes Facebook a powerful platform, and it is also kind a creepy to know that Facebook has so much information on people. Did you ever thought about it…., while Google is almost GOD, in a different way…

– 1 in 1000 are contributors
– 1 in 16000 are leaders

There are some good challenges here:
Harness online communities:
– Economic development
– Disaster relief -( eg Haiti, Katarina)
– Environment – eg Ecyclopedia of Life
– Health – eg Patients like me

But we need:
– Participation
– Leaders
– Motivate, persuade & build trust

The main topic of the papers presented were, health care, well being and creating awareness. And of course also BJ Fogg behavior grid was presented, and tested in practice by a university in Phoenix, by Susan Shepherd.
Jason Hreha and BJ Fogg presented the Behavior wizard, an online tool to help people who work on behavior change. The Behavior grid is 15 types of behavior. And helps to categories different behavior types. You find much more on this on the behavior grid website.

Another keynote I really appreciated was from MIT, medialab, covering technology for changing feelings by Professor Rosalind Picard. Professor Picard is managing the affective computing lab at MIT. She demonstrated how they developed a mechanism to measure/analyse facial expressions, and measure how people react and feel while doing certain tasks or have a certain behavior when confronted in specific situations, or getting to know products. This can be particularly interesting in testing products with consumers, but also within the healthcare this can be a step forward. Especially with autistic people, you can see how they react, and influence the reactions in some way, and make the autistic person more comfortable in certain situations. More info on the research you find here.