BJ Fogg at the University of Klagenfurt

Today the “Freunde der Informatik” (or the “Förderverein Technische Fakultät” as they call them starting today) at the University of Klagenfurt had invited to a talk given by BJ Fogg of Stanford University about Persuasive Technologies and quite a few people came. Definitely more than I had expected given the topic.

The talk was about persuasive technologies with a focus on web sites and facebook in particular. With facebook being English-only and the local situation with StudiVZ the examples were quite tailored for a US-audience, but they were still applicable for the rest of the world. I’m not really into the social aspects of all this, but some concepts definitely were quite interesting. Such as the way in which products can steer the customer to do certain things in a given order and how to trigger such behaviour.

He also presented a couple of short videos by his co-workers and students which was quite an entertaining way of keeping the whole presentation of getting dry. Just too bad one of these about stuffed animal Bongo getting nagged by his computer seems to have never reached the net :-/

Fogg also somehow failed to completely stick to the topics announced for this talk. One of the topics should have been credibility on the web, which somehow got cut :-( But apart from that … *shrugs* I knew that facebook was big over there, but 90% of the students?! I guess it’s just a matter of time, before a company with that much personal information about their users is going to do something evil with it.