Clout The Art and Science of Influental Web Content

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Et al. ” The Persuasion Handbook. Dillard, James Price and Pfau, Michael, editors. 2002. net/mbloomstein/ who-rocks-the-party 44 CLOUT: THE ART AND SCIENCE OF INFLUENTIAL WEB CONTENT Despite its practical value, rhetoric is a lost art. We don’t get to learn it in school, especially in the United States. Even worse, rhetoric is sometimes mistaken for a dark art. Politicians abuse it by making empty promises. Let’s move forward by looking back at what the ancient Greeks (and other smart rhetoricians) actually had in mind.

For instance, before releasing the iPhone with a touchscreen unfamiliar to most mobile phone users, Apple spent a lot of time showing people how to use it. How Long Do You Want Users to Commit? When people agree to donate $20 each month for a year, they’re making much more of a commitment than if they donate $20 one Saturday. The more commitment you ask of people, the greater your effort must be to influence their attitudes and actions. Stanford University psychologist BJ Fogg has identified useful tiers of commitment, which I’ve paraphrased here: Q Once: Asking for a single action or commitment, such as donating $20, no strings attached.

At the right time, your web content must call people to act. Finally, your content should guide people through the action itself. USE PRINCIPLES OF RHETORIC AND PSYCHOLOGY To influence, your web content has much work to do. Fortunately, help is here—rhetoric and psychology. This rich mix of art and science offers plenty of ideas for compelling content. To learn more about these principles, press on to Chapter 4. SUMMARY The better you know context—result, users, brand, timing, and forums— the better you can plan web content that influences the context.

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