Social Media Fatigue?

Do I suffer from Social Media Fatigue? Returning back from holiday I looked at a number of new followers on Twitter and they are all companies. They are following me to sell me stuff but I cannot imagine  they will ever make a sale. How is it possible to be interested in the lives of more that 500 followers, where does one find the time to read all these tweets? It is common knowledge that people on Facebook want to depict themselves as uber-happy and successful. Sharing a location on foursquare has not brought me any value but only costed me time. Not to mention the nice integration between social media platforms causing the same small post to appear in a number of timelines at once. In the end there are some tweets, wall posts or others that add value but ask yourself:

Is the percentage of consumed social media information that add value higher than 1%?

Why not direct your energy away from social media and towards a rewarding goal?

I like to believe that if we would have directed all the the human energy used at Social Media worldwide, we might have realized at least one of the Millennium Goals of the United Nations.


Why relevancy has been and always will be important

Today I read a nice post by Sander Duivestein on Frankwatching titled “The Future of Information: realtime becomes right time”. Providing information at the right time has always been more important than realtime information. Relevancy is the third barrier to information productivity and organizations are coming closer to this barrier. These organizations have made information available (barrier #1) and accessible (barrier #2).

Sander argues that time and attention are scarce goods and that today technology is aware of our context. Well the first argument has been the case since the beginning of time itself. No matter how hard we try there will only be 24 hours in a day of which we can be engaged for maybe 10 to 12 hours maximum. The same can be said for attention. Our brain can focus on one activity or a number of activities. When we are focussed on one activity we ignore everything else. When we focus on a number of activities the quality of all activities will decline. The more activities we try to do the less quality we will produce. The Monkey Business Illusion offers great insight in attention.


The second argument is that technology is finally aware of our context. Of course the world is not black and white and technology was already partly aware of our context, personalization has been part of technology for a number of years. What has changed is that technology is moving tot a 1 on 1 personalization and is combining all available input. This enables algorithms to assess what a person is doing each time of the day. The most promising initiatives at the moment, Siri and Google Now & Glass, are all aimed at the consumer market. Is there a need for an initiative in the consumer market or will consumerization of IT take these consumer initiatives to the office?

For a feel of the power of Google Now and Glass, take a look!

Google Glass


Google Now



Looking inside your brain

David Rock shared a post from science daily about a video showing the traffic inside a single neuron. Scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) used a new imaging technique to show the movement of proteins inside the cell. Proteins are used in the communication between neurons and therefore play an important role in our brain. I guess this is a nice example of the way the study of the brain is progressing and enabling us to know more and more about the most complex organ in our body.


Neuroscience Publications

Pre-order our new EIM book now!

eimAmazon started the pre-order process of our new EIM book, with the nice subtitle ‘When information becomes inspiration’. The launchdate is set on friday 3o november 2012. In this book, edited by my colleague Paul Baan and written by a number of my smart colleagues, I made a number of small contributions including a chapter on Neuroscience.

Content Management Neuroscience Presentations

Presentation on the impact of Neuroscience on UX

July 5th I delivered a presentation on the impact of Neuroscience on User Experience (UX).

[slideshare id=14043059&w=427&h=356&sc=no]

Neuro en ux from Robbert Homburg
Neuroscience Reviews

My Message inside your Brain 3

Yesterday I visited the International Conference on Neuromarketing, My Message inside your brain. This was the third time this conference was held. The goal was to provide the latest insights from the field and academic research.


During the conference three techniques were covered: fMRI, EEG, facial coding and IAT. There are a number of differences in these techniques, the foremost is cost. fMRI is the “holy grail” but also the most costly where as IAT is the most cheap. All these thechniques try to uncover our brain activity and thereby our emotions of the automated brain, but all based on a different assumption. fMRI tracks bloodflow in the brain, EEG tracks electrical activity in the brain, facial coding identifies micro emotions in our face and IAT tries to reveal our implicit assumptions.

Why do we need these techniques

People make only a small amount of rational decisions, the estimates are around 5% or the difference between a cubic meter and the milky way. There seems to be no correlation between what people say they will buy or do (a conscious decision) and what they actually buy or do (a unconscious decision). This means a questionnaire with you clients if they want to but your product is useless because that does not give you insight in the actual behavior. A conscious buying decision only occurs when the choice is simple, that means a small number of choices and very clear differences between the choices. In our world today these choices are practically extinct. During the conference we got a number of studies that could predict actual succes (the bigest blockbuster movies in the US or an Effie) based on a 30 person trial with either fMRI or EEG. This means the researchers can link specific brain activity during a commercial to the actual succes of a product. If my brain reacts in a specific way to an add, the chances are a lot bigger that I will buy this product.


The speaker that stood out most was Margriet Sistkoorn. Her presentation on emotions and the brain worked around Threat, Reward and Wisdom as the three basics of the brain and played a number of tricks on our brains to make us humble about our own ability to control our brain.

There were speakers from three cognitive neuro labs in the Netherlands: University of Amsterdam (Victor Lamme & Andries van der Leij), Erasmus University (Willem Verbeke & Ale Smids) and Tilburg University (Margriet Sitskoorn).  And speakers of four commercial neuromarketing agencies: Neuro Intelligence Group (Roland Dietvorst), Neurensics (Walter Limpens), IPM (Aartie Rambaran Mishre) and NeuroLeadershipInstitute (David Rock).

Neuro Information Sciences

What is there to learn for information management from neuro sciences. Well a lot! We at Incentro believe that the last step in making information more productive is that information should be interpretable. Neuroscience can help us figure out what types of information, channels or contexts work best to help the unconscious brain make decisions or store information for later use.

PS thanks wikipedia for the image


Dick Swaab at EIM2012 on Brains and Information

Yesterday at EIM2012 the honorable mister Dick Swaab gave a presentation on the Brain and its impact on our character and our behaviour. His message was that we cannot change very much about who we are because this is formed in our brains during pregnancy (he appealed for a ban on smoking, drinking and drug use during pregnancy) and just after birth.

But what does this mean for information processing. I can imagine we actually cannot change very much in our capabilities for information processing. The only real way is to add neurotransmitters, for instance oxitocin to increase trust and reduce fea, to change the way we process information and make decisions.

We can be more aware about the way we present information to our brain. Our senses are wired to our brain differently and our eye’s perform best, this means that listening is slower to supply information to our brain than reading. So an audio book is a great way to ‘read’ a book in your car but will take a lot longer and possibly the listener has a lesser recall.

Another way is for the sender to prime a reader better or avoid priming. For instance in the way we present options. The first option always prime your response to the second and so on. A response to a question primes the answers of others. The sender of information can think of ways to prime the receiver in word choice, options and context in which the information is received. The receiver would want to avoid priming as much as possible the make a more conscious decision.

Evoking the conscious/rational mind to process information instead of the subconscious or system 2 over system 1 if you have read Daniel Kahnemann. Our rational thoughts are lazy and remain dormant as long as possible but can be enabled. One trick is to make text a little fuzzy and therefor harder to read. This requires more attention and turns on your ratio!

Conclusion is that our brains cannot be changed for information processing but the context of information and the information itself can be presented in a smarter way to enable better processing. This requires more understanding of the way our brains work by sender and receiver of information to start using these insights!


Great TED video by Daniel Tammet: Different ways of knowing

For me this video is about the power of association in the brain!


Three Forms of Transparency


I think there are three forms of transparency: forced, active and passive. The first, forced transparency, is well know because of cases like Enron and Wikileaks. Legislatorsand society force organizations to be open about the way they operate. Organizations are forced to be accountable and more importantly to do the right thing. In to many cases organizations were doing wrong and nobody could see until it was to late. People have lost their lifesavings or a in dept for the rest of their lives no matter how hard they work because of the lack of transparency by some organizations.

The second form is active transparency were companies open up to supplies and customers to directly create value. Logistics companies offer a permanent view on their process to track and trace deliveries. Car manufacturers offer their customers the possibility to change features of a car while it is build. A parts manufacturer has direct access into inventory levels of their customer to know how much and when they need to ship new parts. An insurance agent can get quotes from insurance companies in realtime to advise their clients better.

The third form of transparency is passive. An organizations can only create value indirect with this form and does not play an active role. Consumers around the globe are rating all sorts of products and services on the internet. They rate the quality of a medical doctor or a book, they rate a company or a movie. If there is no platform (ie a comparison site or a forum) to do so, it is very easy to create one or just go to Facebook. These ratings are made whether an organization likes it or not. Potential customers make choices based on these ratings. Not the organization itself is transparant but the perceived environment of the organization.

What do you think?


De weg naar het informatie paradijs

De afgelopen periode heb ik het boek het informatie paradijs van Guus Pijpers gelezen. Dit boek geeft op een hele pragmatsiche wijze handvatten om de weg naar het informatie paradijs te vinden en wanneer je het paradijs gevonden hebt hoe je in het paradijs jouw weg kan vinden.

Guus maakt op een hele makkelijke en toegankelijke manier duidelijk dat informatie in deze economie onontkoombaar is. Er is steeds meer informatie dus de vraag hoe we de juiste informatie tot ons kunnen nemen wordt steeds relevanter. De lezer krijgt ten eerst inzicht in wat informatie precies is en dat vorm en inhoud van informatie minstens net zo belangrijk zijn. Met behulp van een aantal vragen krijgt de lezer inzicht in zijn eigen informatie behoeftes en gebruik. Het blijkt dat de gemiddelde mens veel op zoek is naar informatie en hij weet daarbij eigenlijk niet waarom hij of zij dit doet. Heel veel informatie die wij lezen heeft nauwelijks echte waarde. Guus geeft vervolgens een aantal manieren om informatie te negeren en beter tot je te nemen. Daarnaast krijgt de lezer ook veel praktische voorbeelden hoe hij informatie beter kan communiceren. Dit alles wordt duidelijk gemaakt met een groot aantal praktische voorbeelden, onder andere uit de gezondheidszorg.

Het boek leest erg prettig en je krijgt het gevoel dat je Guus het boek hoort vertellen. Persoonlijk vond ik dit heel prettig maar ik kan me voorstellen dat niet iedereen dit even prettig vindt. Het boek is te bestellen op