Do you need to make people behave better in your shared system, game or social media application? Are you an HR person or manager that want to improve people’s behavior at work? Are you a copy writer or ad person who wants to encourage people to volunteer, donate or otherwise perform some good behavior?

Some of the most interesting things happening in 2013 was around recommender engines. Amazon.com won an Emmy for their video recommender and Netflix algorithms got mainstream coverage with every mention of the movie Sharknado. Also, Arjan Haring presented some interesting thoughts about social proof in framing of recommendations. Another interesting trend is more insights into the effects of user generated content like reviews and online comments. Sinan Aral demonstrated how reviewers are shaped by social contagion and the trend of shutting off comments is (thankfully) growing. On the less exciting side, last year I hoped for more insights into online loyalty and stickiness this year, but little surfaced in that regards. The only thing I noticed was an article by[…]

If you want to achieve anything bigger than yourself, you need others to play along. Even if people management isn’t your calling, knowing how to lead people is a hugely useful skill for anyone who wants to achieve something. Having tried, failed and succeeded in leading development teams in various ways, I want to share these three concepts that has been very useful. I’ve always been on lookout for literature on leadership that fits 3 simple criteria: 1) Not based in ideology. 2) Some backing in data and research. 3) Directly applicable, not grand ideas or personal development plans. So far I’ve found three great concepts to master that I’ve found very useful: the SCARF model, Level 5 leadership and[…]

I’m just going to leave this here.  When moving to Amsterdam, I put together a quick scraping and spidering script to get a list of the most frequently used words in Dutch to practice learning Dutch and building my vocabulary.  The thinking being that by using the most high frequent words, I would learn the language in a demand driven fashion – and learn what matters first!  It’s got a few bells and whistles like Google translation links and context examples.  I figure I’d share it, since it comes up once in a while. The Perl code as a Github gist. Here’s the top 100 words in Dutch.  Run the script to get a larger sample. I want to develop[…]

Understanding consumer psychology and online behavior has become essential and mainstream knowledge for e-commerce development in 2012.  While some of us might regret that the cat is out of the bag, it also means a lot of smart people are figuring out a lot of smart things.  Below are what I found to be the most insightful and actionable articles in 2012. There’s two things mostly missing: Recommender systems are still exclusively the domain of data crunching and algorithms, while I’d like to see more on inspiration and getting people out of the filter bubble. The other thing I haven’t seen much of in 2012 is any interesting work on stickiness and loyalty. If you follow my twitter feed, you’ve seen[…]