Straight from the drug dealers handbook

Learning from drug dealer

Recently there’s been a bunch of news pieces about the somewhat dodgy practices of silicon valley funded companies. I’ve found the language use really interesting, and if there was a drug dealers handbook (there might be a few of them to be honest?) they would be in there for sure; likely as case studies.

Free trial to hook new users

#1 – Free taster, hooked forever

While researching and writing my presentation for dating into the future, I found this which I knew was true but good to find the research to back up my assumption.

In a study on the brains of drug addicts, researchers found that the expectation of the drug caused more release of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine than the actual drug itself. Similarly, for those who may be expecting the next swipe on Tinder to lead to reward, serial swiping can start to look and feel a lot like addiction. Not surprisingly, in 2015 Tinder began to limit the amount of daily right swipes to around 100 for users who don’t buy into their premium service

 

Never get high on your own supply

#2 – Don’t get high on your own supply

Classic drug dealer 101 stuff, perfect words for how those involved in the business

Developers of platforms such as Facebook have admitted that they were designed to be addictive. Should we be following the executives’ example and going cold turkey – and is it even possible for mere mortals?

Lesson 2: Don't get high on your own supply

This instantly reminds me of so many films involving drug cutting including women in their underwear?

Does Cannabis Inherently Harm Young People's Developing Minds?

#3 – Get them while young

I was shocked to discover that tinder use to be open to under 18s. This is also going in my future of dating talk.

Dating app Tinder has announced that, beginning next week, they are raising the minimum age of users to 18.

Tinder spokesperson, Rosette Pambakian announced the changes in a statement: “On a platform that has facilitated over 11 billion connections, we have the responsibility of constantly assessing our different user experiences.”

“Consistent with this responsibility, we have decided to discontinue service for under 18 users. We believe this is the best policy moving forward. This change will take effect next week.

When the dating app was launched back in 2012 Tinder was separated into three age categories – under thirteens who were not permitted to use the service, 13 to 17-year-olds and over 18.

Of course since the restriction, others have stepped up to cater for the younger audience. Get them hooked early?

Lets not forget how much impact peer pressure can be in this situation too. Ask many people why they started to smoke while young…

The vulnerability of teens is intensified by the fact that as they move through the rite of passage that is their teenage years, the approval of their friends is increasing and eclipsing the value to them of parental approval.

Vape juice vaping

#4 – Sell the sizzle

or Always tell customers your drugs are the best make up stories about how good it is

Like most of these rules, they are super common across industries but its interesting to think about selling the sizzle. We tend to buy in to the utopian sizzle around these services and platforms without too much questioning. Then are surprised/shocked when we hear about negative behaviours; but think well that won’t happen to me or they were doing something wrong (victim blaming).

I love Tony Hunts idea of what would this all look like if it had warning like you get on cigarette packs? Mark Manson’s been say the smartphone is the new cigarettes, so I guess it makes a lot more sense.

Lawsuits, sell the data and get out!

#5 -Have a exit strategy

or plan escape routes if something goes bad aka Valley talk: pivot or sell

Remember the myspace sell off?

Myspace, once the world’s hottest internet firm, has been sold to an online ad company for around $35m, a fraction of the $100m its parent company was seeking for the ailing social network and billions less than its value five years ago.

or how about the on going story of Ashley Madison’s try to get back into our good books but not really changing at all…

The preferred website to find an affair, Ashley Madison, is teaching better infidelity through fitness in its latest campaign.

The leading married dating website launched its new year campaign advising cheaters that if not getting caught is one of their New Year’s resolutions, then staying fit should be too.

The campaign, titled ‘Morning Run,’ features a woman appearing to be out for a routine morning run. A voice over asks “Why am I out of bed before anyone else? Why do I run faster than I did yesterday?…I just don’t want to get caught.”

We see the woman running behind her chasing her down as she runs from her extramarital partner’s wife as the ad closes and the site’s tagline comes up – “Life is short. Have an affair.”

Ok its all a stretch and quite fun but there is some elements of truth in each rule and linking them to how different companies treat their users and how they think about the whole setup/game.

Panaroma barely scratches the surface

match.com - Make Love Happen

If there is something I would like to see regulated in some way, it would be online dating…

Panorama exposes the tricks of the UK’s online dating industry, worth millions of pounds a year. Reporter Fiona Walker investigates how some unscrupulous dating websites are preying on those looking for love and searching for their perfect partner. She reveals a world where millions of photos and private details are taken from social media sites without people’s consent and reused to set up fake profiles of imaginary potential partners to tempt the lovelorn. Celebrities, politicians and even children are among those whose personal information has been targeted. Whistleblowers reveal how they create fake profiles and adopt multiple personas to reel in those looking for love – all to boost profits.

And its about time….! Tainted Love: Secrets of the Dating Game (on BBC iplayer for 1 year)

BBC News and Panaroma did good but you’ve only just scratched the surface…

How about the bogus matching claims, The Major private data sharing including HIV and STD Statuses of Customers, The crazy amount of trolling on dating sites, The nasty online scams which come around all the time, Warning users that some members might actually be murders,  the catfishers and finally something which is too wrong I can’t even bring myself to describe how and what it is… 🙁

Once again… I say NEVER pay for online dating because these techniques are too common in the murky dark world of paid online dating…

Techmeme is pretty good to me

techmeme likes me

Been meaning to write about Techmeme for a while now, specially after Tom Morris's thoughts on Techmeme.

See for some reason Techmeme really likes my blog entries. I can't work out why, but I seem to get ranked pretty high along the likes of the mainstream press sometimes. Generally I do use Techmeme for catching up on the latest news, and although Tom is right about the business focus. Its reasonably ok and saves me flicking through tons of blogs about the same story, when I just want the headline stories. I rated it very high in Particls (Touchstone) for this exact reason.

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World Service cuts run deep

I wrote a nice long piece about the worldservice language services closures and Arabic TV. But somewhere along the line it got deleted by myself. I really need to invest in some decent Blogging software because using a Bookmarklet is not good when your writing a long entry. Anyhow, I'm not going to repeat or remember the entry. Plus it was timed just after the press officially found out about the cuts, while this obvioulsy isnt. Here's the main points of the day.

  • Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Kazakh, Polish, Slovak, Slovene and Thai language services will end by March 2006
  • There will be more investment in developing New Media
  • Increased funding for global FM distribution
  • Extra marketing for the other 33 languages services
  • Modernising bureaus in priority markets
  • Further exploring of TV service partnerships within other languages and countries

And here's the front of BBC news at 1pm today.

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Ajax powered BBC News RSS Reader

Nigal Crawley is looking for feedback on his BBC backstage prototype. Its a web client which will pull a RSS feed and display it as a neat little ticker type box. Just the kinda of thing our partners would love to see intergrated into there sites. I dropped Nigal a quick email asking if he's considered building a Widget out of it and if it would support multiple encodings and right to left languages like Persian and Arabic?

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