Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History, 4th edition

It’s with great pleasure and a little pride that we announce Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History, 4th EDITION.

Reading Virtual Minds V1: Science and History, 4th edThat “4th EDITION” part is important. We know lots of people are waiting for Reading Virtual Minds Volume II: Experience and Expectation and it’s next in the queue.

But until then…

Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History, 4th EDITION is about 100 pages longer than the previous editions and about 10$US cheaper. Why? Because Reading Virtual Minds Volume II: Experience and Expectation is next in the queue.

Some Notes About This Book

I’m actually writing Reading Virtual Minds Volume II: Experience and Expectation right now. In the process of doing that, we realized we needed to add an index to this book. We also wanted to make a full color ebook version available to NextStage Members (it’s a download on the Member welcome page. And if you’re not already a member, what are you waiting for?)

In the process of making a full color version, we realized we’d misplaced some of the original slides and, of course, the charting software had changed since we originally published this volume (same information, different charting system). Also Susan and Jennifer “The Editress” Day wanted the images standardized as much as possible.

We included an Appendix B – Proofs (starting on page 187) for the curious and updated Appendix C – Further Readings (starting on page 236). We migrated a blog used for reference purposes so there may be more or less reference sources and modified some sections with more recent information.

So this edition has a few more pages and a few different pages. It may have an extra quote or two floating around.

You also need to know that Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History is a “Let’s explore the possibilities” book, not a “How to do it” book. As such, it deals with how NextStage did it (not to mention things that happened along the way). It does not explain how you can do it. This book’s purpose is to open a new territory to you and give you some basic tools for exploration.

There are no magic bullets, quick fixes, simple demonstrations, et cetera, that will turn you into jedis, gurus, kings, queens, samurai, rock stars, mavens, heroes, thought leaders, so on and so forth.

How to Do It starts with Volume II: Experience and Expectation and continues through future volumes in this series. We’ve included a Volume II: Experience and Expectation preview with a How to Do It example on page 302 so you can take a peek if that’s your interest.

That noted, I’m quite sure that you won’t get the full benefit of future volumes without reading this one because unless you’ve read this one you won’t understand the territory you’re exploring in those future volumes.

Reading Virtual Minds V1: Science and History, 4th edThat’s Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History, 4th EDITION. It’s so good and so good for you! Buy a copy or two today!

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Panalysis’ Rod Jacka Said It

[Note: this post is from Oct ’07. We’re backfilling again for Joseph’s references in Reading Virtual Minds Volume II: Experience and Expectation]

Panalysis‘ Rod Jacka noticed that I referenced his email to me in Back from eMetrics Dec ’07 and invited me to both attribute the quote to him and provide the full quote.

I’ll gladly attribute the quote to him (and a G’Day, Mate! back to you, Rod).

What I will do is expand a bit on what Rod learned and is commenting on in his email to me. First, I’m not going to say A/B-Multivariate-Taguchi testing is a waste of time or money. Second, I will note that every time I do a quick analysis of a company’s website I get the same reactions; “…we just did some A/B-multivariate-Taguchi testing and everything you said is what we found out we had to do.” This has happened at IMedia summits, eMetrics summits and countless times with clients.

What’s it all about? It’s very simple, really. It’s all about knowing how the human brain is wired and how it’s going to respond to information in its environment. This is the key to it all and what NextStage has been researching, publishing about and helping clients with for almost seven years now. A web page and more recently multi-media (what NextStage calls “multi-modal”. see Get the attention you’re already paying for (page 2 of 4)) environments are nothing more than demonstrations of what the brain-mind has been dealing with for several millions of evolutionary history. This history exists and won’t be replaced any time soon so make use of it.

Think of it as “Those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it.” My guess is they’re repeating it by spending tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on A/B-multivariate-Taguchi methods.

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The Complete “TS Eliot, Ezekiel, Beehives and Mighty Mouse – Why ‘Whispering to Be Heard’?” Arc

Note: More historical posts in prep for Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History, 4th edition. Here is the complete “TS Eliot, Ezekiel, Beehives and Mighty Mouse – Why ‘Whispering to Be Heard’?” arc for your enjoyment

TS Eliot, Ezekiel, Beehives and Mighty Mouse – Why “Whispering to Be Heard”?

I wrote in SNCR NewComm Forum Day 2 – TS Eliot, Ezekiel, Beehives and Mighty Mouse that I would share how that presentation went and explain how TS Eliot, Ezekiel, Beehives and Mighty Mouse are linked, and I don’t mean through LinkedIn.

Can you say “blog arc”?

The title of the presentation was “Whispering to Be Heard: The Art and Science of Buzz Marketing”. I had some wonderful comments about this presentation, lots of good thoughts and feedback, so I’m sharing it here in several posts.

We’re going to discuss

  • TS Eliot,
  • Ezekiel discovering that the limit of his knowledge isn’t the limit of what is knowable,
  • How to have fun with beehives and the people inside them
  • and Mighty Mouse

And of course, all of this will have that distinctive, irrepressible NextStage flair…

But first, “Why ‘Whispering to Be Heard’?”

If you really want to be heard then you need to whisper because if you talk softly then some very specific things happen:

  • the only ones paying attention will be those truly interested
  • and they will show their interest
  • and tell others of their interest.
  • Also, you also immediately create a sense of intimacy, urgency and community (very important in buzz marketing and social media in general).

You just need to be sure you reward their interest with good quality and experience.

Next, TS Eliot does Information Mechanics!

TS Eliot, Ezekiel, Beehives and Mighty Mouse – TS Eliot does Information Mechanics

TS Eliot wrote

Where is the Wisdom we have lost in Knowledge? Where is the Knowledge we have lost in Information?

In 1997 I wrote a paper, “Semantic Information Mechanics”.

How many of you ever heard of it? I’m guessing the reason few of you heard of it, let alone read it, was because it was filled with stuff like this.

(You could imagine the tweets that go around about that slide)

Lose that Wisdom-Knowledge-Information thing, did ya?

I wrote something a little more accessible, Yes, You Can Predict Viral Marketing, in 2006. It listed the basic elements you need to know before you start a viral or WOM campaign in order to insure success:

  • How many individuals does the campaign need to start with (seed)?
  • How fast will the campaign spread (propagation factor)?
  • How will the campaign spread (vectors)?
  • How large a group is required to sustain the propagation (viral burden)?
  • What is the campaign’s goal (maintenance factor)?
  • How large a group is required to sustain the campaign once the goal is achieved (threshold point)?
  • At what point is the campaign too successful (saturation point)?

We followed that up a year later with some other research that we published in 3 Rules for Creating Buzz:

  • Do you want a mobile or static audience to get a message out quickly? (You’ll need to read the article to understand why this is a trick question)
  • Start with a general message
  • Change the message every X hours or Y miles

I should probably let you know that we’re always doing research, we’re always updating our research. And because our technology is based on very long and in depth studies of how humans think and respond to what’s going on around them, and because it’s both an adaptive and learning intelligence, it will often see trends well in advance of what we can see.

People follow less and less online conversations as they grow older until about age 55

What it discovered this time was that people, especially people over the age of 28, are self-regulating the amount of information they interact with in a day. Two direct comments we recorded during this research included “I don’t have time to follow 20 blogs” and “I don’t have time to be on half a dozen social networks”.

What we learned was that blogs and related information sources people thought relevant, important to their lives declines with age. This is true with blogs, newsletters, places to shop.

What did increase?

We discovered that people 28yo+ will often put an information governor on their intake, often trusting as little as 2 information sources. They may give time to others but they’re only able to redact to 2-5.

Thus TS Eliot, in stating that we’ve lost wisdom via knowledge via information, was ahead of his time. I’m pretty sure semantic information mechanics — which this is — wasn’t known of, at least not a formal discipline, in his time.

Next up, Ezekiel hits his wall.

TS Eliot, Ezekiel, Beehives and Mighty Mouse – Ezekiel Hits His Wall

So we learn from TS Eliot that the limit of our Knowledge isn’t the limit of our Information. Yet people continue to seek out new information sources while simultaneously throttling down the number of information sources they’ll give their time and attention to.

Like the pilgrim who discovers there’s more information beyond what he knew existed, we begin to wonder (at least you begin to wonder these things if you work at NextStage) “What are we searching for?”

It turns out there’s a limit, a ceiling if you will, to the amount of information people are able to respond to at any given point in time. This is based on the brain’s design more than anything else.

You don’t throw out 10 million years of evolutionary adaptation because your species has been sitting in front of computers for the past ten years.

The answer to this has to do with an understanding of how language influences belief. Some call this the “Information” Age. Is that because there’s more information in our environment than there ever was before or because the method of information interaction has changed from sought to delivered?

We use to seek information because it meant our survival. We needed to know if there were predators out there, be they dangerous animals or thieves and the brain-mind still has that wiring. It isn’t about to give it up, it simply puts it to different use.

And like our ancestors who learned to pay attention to only certain movements in the grass and certain shadows in the darkness we’re learning to pay attention to only certain sources of information.

So what are the three primary things we are searching for in our information sources?

What Are We Searching For?

  • Truth – I don’t have to agree, I have to believe
  • Meaning – Explain it so I can understand it
  • Wisdom – I won’t have to work as hard to survive

We’re looking for the ceiling, the arrow, the direction, the truth. We know we may not like it, and we want to know it anyway.

There’s so much information out there we want to know that someone can be trusted, to be our friend and guide even when we don’t like what they share.

In short, we’re looking for our shamans, our priest-kings, our heroes and guides. Those of you who are familiar with my background, training and education may appreciate how amusing this was when we discovered it.

Then what?

The Moody Blues' On the Threshold of a Dream

Once someone has gotten me to the edge of information I need to have it explained to me. Like The Moody Blues‘ “In the Beginning”, “I’m more than that, I know that I am”, and as Frankl and Maslow wrote and as every cognitive scientist and psycholinguist is discovering, humans will search for meaning until they find it. They will apply meaning from their own experience if no other meaning is supplied to them.

And what do we realize about lifting the veil from our own eyes?

That all our information and all our knowledge may not be meet for the challenges ahead. We seek the wisdom to apply the information, the wisdom to understand the meaning.

And this brings us right back to TS Eliot’s

Where is the Wisdom we have lost in Knowledge? Where is the Knowledge we have lost in Information?

Next up, Beehive the icebox, there’s a sheet of glass.

TS Eliot, Ezekiel, Beehives and Mighty Mouse – Beehive the Icebox, There’s a Sheet of Glass

How is social media “social” when the majority of people aren’t participating? Is it “ego media” if people only watch? Is it performance art?

Most people spend their lives seeking identity and they surround themselves with things that reinforce what they believe their identity to be. They do it via clubs, personal branding, any number of things. Their own sense of identity, of who and what they are, is influenced by and influences everything they do. This is the “If I am a thief then you must steal” syndrome so popular in 12-step communities.

Put differently, Sally Field’s character in Soapdish will always go to the Mall with Whoopi Goldberg’s character so that Whoopi can get the crowd to “notice” Sally Field.

People who were at my Boston SNCR Awards Gala presentation know this as Holmeses and Watsons.

We all want to know we’re part of the group, we just want to be sure everybody in the group knows who we are. No matter who we are and what our individual histories are, there is this amazing dualism in our neural coding that — much like flight or fight — keeps us moving between anonymity and recognition. The prey creature in us wants to be unseen and unknown while the predator in us wants to be recognized and identified. So while we’ll be a part of this:

What we really seek and strive for is to be part of something like this because being either predator or prey is hard work. Doesn’t matter if you’re in a large crowd and are anonymous or in a small society and well known. The only safety and solace is to be part of a community, a semi-small circle of friends (about 60-75 is tops) where the balance between anonymity and recognition can be easily managed and maintained.

Prediction #1

I think vendors in the blog awareness world might call this “You’re known by the comments you keep”.

What we’ve learned and what I’ll share is that buzz marketing, word of mouth marketing, viral marketing, whatever you want to call it, will evolve to a very sophisticated “smart mob” environment, a “Hive” mind mentality.

How many people have actually tracked their buzz efforts? How many have actually observed and monitored how rapidly and how far their buzz travels, through whom, how fast, who’re the best carriers, …?

These little charts that look like petri dish cultures gone mad? These are actual charts of the spread of a viral message, each little drop signifies a cluster of 100 people “infected” with a message and spreading it on. There’s a reason it’s called “viral”, you know.

One thing these little charts are showing that is obvious only when you know what to look at is the fact that the message literally spread in one direction only; the direction of “infection” parallels the travel paths of those infected.

The clustering of the “infection” is also dependent on where the most highly infected (ie, the ones most likely to pass your message on) spend the majority of their day. NextStage has someone very knowledgeable in virology on its team and all of this information was anticipated then proven in various trials. Why other groups doing viral marketing aren’t employing these types of people I don’t know.

Spreading Your Message

You want the message to spread and there are two basic ways to do it with hive mentalities. First, you can have everyone come to your site. The benefit is that you control the message. The detriment is that there will be limits on how many people participate, how long your message stays in public awareness and how far your message can travel.

This is where the pilgrim’s wall meets the beehive.

Trust, Meaning and Wisdom are lost if you fail to provide guidance beyond the wall, yet every member of a functioning beehive — or any functioning society for that matter — knows their role in that society. Trust, Meaning and Wisdom exist and the hive functions as a whole. It simply doesn’t let any bees out of the hive and eventually dies for any number of reasons.

Or you can simply put your message out there. This is the bee coming back to the hive and dancing their little tookas off because its discovered your message about an incredibly rich field of flowers. All the bees go, lots of pollenation, lots of honey, new hives form, some go on to greatness and some just go on to other great things.

Totally different dynamics, completely different parameters same amount of risk for completely different reasons. However, you’ll never lose trust, meaning or wisdom because you’re not in control of it to begin with and you can’t lose what you’ve never had. The bees are taking the risk with the flowers.

But the big payoff is that you’ll also learn from your audience. Your offering matures as does your audience to the point where you need each other. Very good. Symbiosis, you have to love it.

This symbiotic relationship is SmartMob behavior at its best. Our current thinking is that SmartMob methods will become the most effective marketing because it is an immediate, highly specific, highly targeted and quickly rewarded call to action.

This is extremely important because people are searching for help understanding all the information in their environment. And few things will get their attention better than a reward right now for something they did right now, something directed at them, something specific they can get done and something they can do without a lot of planning.

Next up, Mighty Mouse.

TS Eliot, Ezekiel, Beehives and Mighty Mouse – Mighty Mouse

The new goal of advertising and marketing will be helping consumers brand themselves.

Anybody want to hear about the big computer company that turned bloggers around one more time? (everybody was citing Dell in their presentations)

Herding cats is possible. There’s lots of case studies and the methodology is well documented and easily understandable.

Anybody guess how to do it?

What’s the best way to herd cats? Get a very well trained mouse.


  • People seek meaning in their lives and one of the ways they get that meaning is by self-branding, creating an identity for themselves based on what they have around them.
  • Lee Iacocca said “People want economy and they’ll pay any price to get it.” I offer “People want simplicity and they’ll pay any price to get it.”
  • You can start a conversation and you must be prepared for the consequences.
  • But always always always it’s easier to control a conversation you start than one you enter.

And finally,

Invest in Mice.

Links for this post:

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SNCR NewComm Forum Day 2 – TS Eliot, Ezekiel, Beehives and Mighty Mouse

Note: Adding more historical posts due to added content in Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History, 4th edition. Okay, what do TS Eliot, Ezekiel, Beehives and Mighty Mouse have in common, let alone what do they have to do with the SNCR NewComm Forum?

Glad you asked.

TS Eliot, Ezekiel, Beehives and Mighty Mouse are the four main points of my presentation later today, Whispering to be Heard: The Art and Science of Buzz Marketing.

Viral, WOM, Buzz marketing. There are rules to this stuff? What do you mean, you can predict how well a campaign will work before you start it? And there are only certain products and services that work well with viral campaigns? How come we didn’t know this before we started?

Joseph Carrabis will present highlights of NextStage’s two-plus years of research into viral and WOM marketing and messaging. Elements of NextStage’s research has appeared in 3 Rules for Creating Buzz, Yes, You Can Predict Viral Marketing, Why Some Viral Marketing Doesn’t Work, Social Networks and Viral Marketing and most recently as the premiere installment in the AllBusiness podcast series speaking on The Importance of Viral Marketing.

NextStage’s research is relevant for any group interested in propagating information through today’s and tomorrow’s media channels. Included in Carrabis’ presentation will be:

  • Shaping a viral message for maximum travel and maximum life
  • What social networking features keep what audience on a site
  • Are web users becoming savvy enough to recognize and therefore ignore a viral campaign?

Joseph welcomes attendees to email him questions ahead of time so he can incorporate answers into his presentation.

Makes you wish you were here, doesn’t it? I’ll let you know how it goes.

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The Complete “What is an A6 or A11 or V6 or V21, etc. decision style?” Arc (Originally “Do McCain, Biden, Palin and Obama Think the Way We Do? (Part…)”

Note: this content was originally a four part arc.

Do McCain, Biden, Palin and Obama Think the Way We Do? (Part 1)

I suspect this post is going to cover a lot of ground.

It’s going to start with a response to reader Dwight Homer’s question “What is an A6 or A11 or V6 or V21, etc. decision style?” in his Did Americans Always Think This Way? (Responding to WindKiller’s comment on “What McCain said about Obama and Palin to Hillary and Biden”) comment [[(Alas, the post remains but the comment is gone)]]. From there we’re going to analyze some interviews and the debates to get an idea of how the candidates think. This is a follow up to something Tex and WindKiller have been asking about and hinting at in their comments on “Hillary is piloting the space shuttle and Sarah Palin is riding a bicycle” and Designing a Political Language Engine (WindKiller’s PWB comment) and What’s Happening Up North? respectively [[(As before, the posts remain and the comments are no more. From this we learn that nothing lasts forever, what could be found one day is lost on another, and what is remembered depends on what bills are paid…)]].

First, Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting.

Second, and starting with Mr. Homer’s question…

A6, A11 and so on are classifications NextStage uses to designate decision, learning, cognition, etc., styles. They are shorthand notation for some very long and very detailed explanations of what triggers different reactions and responses in different individuals and groups of individuals and why these individuals and groups act and will act. Very briefly, these classifications are shorthand notations for

  • how people think,
  • how they behave,
  • how they demonstrate that behavior and
  • what motivates their behavior.

For example, the A6 definition includes:

  1. are more emotive than most

  2. become emotional during conversations
  3. are more apt to make decisions when there’s some emotional values involved
  4. are more apt to learn something when the lesson appeals to the emotions
  5. tend to focus on what’s in front of them work-wise
  6. tend to live “in the day”
  7. base decisions on positive influences
  8. are good listeners
  9. don’t rely on future rewards much if at all
  10. tend to ignore past successes and failures
  11. make a final decision based on whether or not they can see an immediate advantage to the decision
  12. are swayed when allowed to take part in activities
  13. tend to have a positive outlook on life

An A11 definition includes:

  1. base their decisions on whether or not their recent past contained any negative aspects

  2. learn most readily when the lesson references a recent past, negative event
  3. often experience negative memories which are triggered by some sound (a voice, a word or phrase, music, etc)

  4. often experience visual memories which bring up painful past experiences
  5. tend to be loners or dissociative with others
  6. willingly avoid social situations
  7. base decisions on avoiding pain or discomfort

  8. learn most rapidly when the lesson has a threat (real or imagined) of pain or discomfort
  9. are strongly influenced by references to past failures and associated uncomfortable memories
  10. rarely make references to past, present or future successes

  11. are not influenced by references to past, present or future successes
  12. ignore making decisions or engaging in activities which are guided towards present and future pleasures/successes

  13. ignore advice and/or counsel which directs their attention to present or future pleasure/successes

These notation bear their legacy as most of them are named after different brain regions.

Before the break I mentioned that these classifications are shorthand notations for

  • how people think (Cognitive),
  • how they behave (Behavioral),
  • how they demonstrate that behavior (/effective)and
  • what motivates their behavior (Motivational).

A further shorthand notation for these is {C,B/e,M} matrix or {Cognitive, Behavioral/effective, Motivational} matrix (there are some links to richer explanations at the end of this post).

Sometimes similar themes appear in different notations. Let me offer that it’s not that they show up, it’s where they show up. The order in which a item appears is an indication of how great a role that item plays in that individual or group’s learning, decision making, memorization, etc., style.

What goes into a NextStage {C,B/e,M} matrix is both a summation and synthesis of information that’s been in the literature (linguistic, psychology, sociology, anthropology, neuroscience, and lots of subdisciplines) for the past 20-150 years. I believe the term “{C,B/e,M} matrix” originated with NextStage although the much of the science behind it didn’t.

Adjusting the sieve

How many different ways do people think? That depends greatly on how fine a sieve you want in place when you answer (much of this is detailed in Reading Virtual Minds). You can correctly state that most native English speaking countries (with the exception of Australia) promote three different ways of thinking. Do you want to involve southern Europe excluding the eastern Mediterranean? Then you have four. Include northern Europe and you have between five and seven. Go to eastern Asia and you still have five to seven but they’re a completely different five to seven than in Europe as a whole.

What makes this a powerful (to us) concept is that we’ve learned certain types of individuals fit into certain groups extremely well. For example, what makes an individual a good researcher (ahem)? What makes someone an excellent business leader (say C level of a large business)? Are different qualities necessary to be an excellent business leader of a small business? Is one an A32 and another a B17?

Marketing and “Knowing How They Think”

Clients use our designations to better understand how to market to different individuals and groups. For example, people doing extreme sports tend to think in certain ways. These ways of thinking permeate everything in their life, not just extreme sports. Our experience is that most marketers don’t have the tools or background to make use of distinct {C,B/e,M} matrices in their creative, nor do most businesses know how to adjust their marketing material to more precisely target (ie, get a larger portion of a target) audience. To that end, standard lifts using our methodology are documented in our case studies.

You’re Marketing. It’s in Your Blood and Wired into Your Brain

[[(sorry, we didn’t keep an image)]]

I don’t know if anybody’s told you, but marketing appeared long before humans were humans. Ever seen a peacock’s beautiful plumage? That’s marketing. Ever heard a lion roar? That’s marketing. The great ape beating its chest is marketing and we’ve learned from our evolutionary ancestors well. Ever wonder why you’re attracted to some people and not others?

bmw car ad.jpg

Sometimes the marketing is obvious. The woman wearing a revealing clothing (whatever that means. It’s different in every culture) is marketing, the man with the sports car (this is becoming prevalent as western cultural values become more and more ubiquitous) is marketing.

Marketing and advertising is so a part of our neural makeup that we do it without thinking and — more to the point of this discussion — use it without thinking. I could offer that we’re now about to get into something akin to horoscopes (“You get along well with Libras and Virgos”. In truth, some companies use our technology on what I call “matchmaker” sites) except that it’s much more like mRNA and DNA signalling (because that’s what we based this part of Evolution TechnologyTM (ET) on). We demonstrated and published ET’s abiliity to find job candidates that would immediately fit in and perform well in an existing group via these principles at a Boston KM Forum meeting in Aug 06.

What I mean by the above is that someone who’s (for example) an O12 will get along incredibly well with some other Os, some Vs and a few As. Have you ever had the experience of just meeting someone and feeling like you’ve known them all your life? Or maybe you’ve heard someone talking or lecturing and what they said, the things they shared and the pictures they showed gave you the impression they were speaking directly to you at this moment in your life?

Congratulations, your {C,B/e,M} matrix was vibrating at just the right frequency to be in harmony with that other person’s or that speaker’s (and yes, the math behind some of this is based on …oh, let’s face it, I’ve probably already gone too deep for most folks reading this).

So Politicians Can Win Elections by…

The logical outcome of this is that anybody who vibrates at the right frequency or has the {C,B/e,M} mRNA that binds to the largest population will be most trusted, most favored, so on and so forth.

Recent politicians who did this best included Presidents Clinton and Reagan.

My next blog post will investigate the personal communication styles of the 2008 Presidential candidates based on their recent interviews and debates.

Do McCain, Biden, Palin and Obama Think the Way We Do? (Part 2)

I suggested previously that politicians win elections by “vibrating at the right frequency”, ie, having a {C,B/e,M} that is most easily accepted and identified with by the largest percentage of the voting population. The colloquial concept of “vibrating at the right frequency” is well known in marketing and advertising; the use of people in ads and creative that your target audience can identify with. IE, you probably won’t see too many spindly academic types in driving pick-ups in truck commercials. Much more simply; count the number of people wearing eyeglasses driving pick-ups in truck commercials versus the number of people wearing eyeglasses in commercials for upscale cars. Why the difference? Eyeglasses indicate intellectual, managerial and executive capabilities. That’s not the traditional pick-up truck market. Want to hear marketing types going nuts? Listen in on conversations about whether or not actors in SUV commercials should be wearing glasses (see What do kids think about kids in eyeglasses? for more on this).

What this dips into and one of the ways NextStage makes use of these {C,B/e,M} matrices is in our Rich PersonaeTM. Rich PersonaeTM take the personae most clients come up with and imbue them with very real, very “mindful” reasons and motivations for their thoughts and deeds. You can find some links to information on NextStage’s Rich PersonaeTM at the end of this post. The most germane for this post might be Romney, Mitt Romney, Governor Romney, Social, Social Networks, Social Media, Video, Multimedia, TV, Advertising.


Websites, etc., work very hard at vibrating at the desired audience’s frequency. The reason for this is that it creates a trust relationship very rapidly. Politicians want you to trust them, hence analyzing how a political website vibrates is a good indication of who they think their audience is.


Because if you’ve been following along with this series of posts, they websites aren’t doing a very good job of vibrating at the frequency of the largest audience. A strong case could be make that they’re not vibrating at the right frequency of some kind of glommed audience (see What McCain said about Obama and Palin to Hillary and Biden).

So I analyzed the debates

Thinking that the candidates would communicate differently in the debates, we analyzed the videos of the debates. What did we find?

Well, strangely enough (at least to me). Biden, McCain, Obama nor Palin were vibrating to the tune of the largest audience or even the largest audience glom.

In fact, I was shocked to learn that Biden, McCain, Obama, Palin, Lehrer and Ifill were all communicating with an A13 style. They were having a heck of a time being understood and understanding each other but what about the rest of us? I mean, during the exact time periods that the debates were going on, were the majority of people thinking and making decisions in an A13 style? At one point in time 14% of the BizMediaScience audience was A13 (see Do You Know How to Persuade, Influence and Convince Your Visitors? (NextStage Evolution’s Evolution Technology, Web Analytics, Behavioral Analytics and Marketing Analytics Reports for the BizMediaScience Blog) Again).

Right now (as I write this) the A13 personality comprises only 5.21% of BizMediaScience audience. I am reaching a more varied audience though. I was only reaching 12 personality types when I wrote Do You Know How to Persuade, Influence and Convince Your Visitors? (NextStage Evolution’s Evolution Technology, Web Analytics, Behavioral Analytics and Marketing Analytics Reports for the BizMediaScience Blog) Again, now I’m reaching 34!

So what is an A13 Personality?

  1. These people strongly prefer to be taught via negative reinforcement
  2. They make final decisions based on the immediate outcomes, they aren’t persuaded by appeals to long range goals
  3. They look to those emotionally close to them for guidance and leadership
  4. They base their decisions on the negative aspect of arguments

Well, wow. I especially like #2. To heck with long term and down-the-road consequences of our decisions, legislation, et cetera.

How much of the viewing public was vibrating at this frequency during the debates?

You’ll be shocked (at least I was mildly amused) to learn that the personality types prevalent during the first McCain-Obama debate on 25 Sept 08 were the same as in the graph above. However, things changed during the Biden-Palin debate on 2 Oct 08 as shown in the chart below.

What caused this shift in popular thought processes from 25 Sept to 2 Oct 08? This is more than a shift of a few points in the existing personality styles. Old styles are gone, new styles are taking their place, there were 7 and now there are 6. Hmm. The ranks are tightening, me thinks.

McCain-Obama, Biden-Palin US Decision Pattern Differences 080925-1002

The linking element of the decision/personality styles extant on 2 Oct 08 is simple; things are looking bad. Anyone want to take a guess why the nation as a whole would be thinking things aren’t looking too good at this point in time?

Do McCain, Biden, Palin and Obama Think the Way We Do? (Part 3)

Some quick notes before I get into the meat of this post:

This post will be covering

Here we go…

The Palin-Gibson Interviews

Charles Gibson was using an A13 communication style during the 11 Sept 08 interview. You may remember from the above that Biden, McCain, Obama, Palin, Lehrer and Ifill all used A13 methodologies during the debates so perhaps Charles Gibson’s use of A13 had more to do with experience and training than anything else (could it be that A13 is the best communication methodology for people reaching out to a television audience? Food for thought and research, that).

Governor Palin, about a month before the VP debates, was using a K13 communication style. This style’s key elements are:

  • These people prefer to experience things first-hand
  • They base decisions on immediate experience and tend to be negative in nature
  • They tend to ignore positive-based information as either unreal or unsubstantiated
  • They are attracted to and will focus on demonstrations of problems or difficulties

During the 12 Sept 08 interview Charles Gibson switched to an A9 style and Governor Palin went to an A5. The A9 style can be likened to a more conversational, more intimate form of the A13 style. A5 has

  • These people are strongly emotive and can become emotional during conversations
  • They are more apt to make decisions when they’re based on absolutes (right/wrong, good/bad)
  • They tend to have a negative outlook on life and dwell on past failures
  • They are very hands on

Thus in both interviews Governor Palin prefers to do things herself (the “first hand” and “hands on” aspects) although she didn’t demonstrate as strong a in the second interview as she did in the first, and she prefers to see the negatives rather than the positives (again with a slight shift in the second interview).

The “…make decisions when they’re based on absolutes (right/wrong, good/bad)” element is often found in individuals with definite religious beliefs.

The Palin-Couric Interviews

As goes Gibson so goes the Couric. Katy Couric’s communication style on 24 Sept 08 was A13. Unlike Charles Gibson, Ms. Couric stayed with an A13 style for the 25 Sept 08 interview.

Governor Palin’s communication styles for these two interviews was A13 followed by A5, thus Governor Palin once again in the second interview demonstrated a tendency towards absolutist views.

Gender Communications

One thing we learned in our studies of the 2004 election cycle (see NSE Case Study – Using NextStage’s TargetTrack in Political Campaigns, Predicting Election Outcomes Via NextStage’s TargetTrack and Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History Chapter 4 “Anecdotes of Learning: Politics Aren’t HorseRaces Any More”. We also offer our complete 2004, 2008 and 2012 Campaign Analyses for $25kUS each. Contact NextStage if you’re interested) was that communication styles — especially when they’re not capturing a large audience — are sometimes not as important as understandability, gender communications, education level and other demographic factors.

That recognized, Charles Gibson was reaching pretty much an even mix of males and females in the two interviews; 51/49 M/F on 11 Sept 08 and 53/47 M/F on 12 Sept 08. Likewise, Katy Couric reached 52/48 M/F on 24 Sept 08 and 48/52 M/F on 25 Sept 08. I would credit this to their training and experience as reporters and being on the anchor desk.

Governor Palin’s performances were 39/61, 42/58, 49/51 then back to 39/61 on the four days in question. Whatever was going on or being discussed on 11 and 25 Sept 08, Governor Palin intentionally or otherwise wanted to be sure women would take or be on her side.

Me, Politics, Adam Zand’s Really Big Shoe, How Obama’s and McCain’s sites have changed when we weren’t looking

Note: This section had a great deal of front matter dealing with Adam Zand interviewing J for a podcast on politics. We’re cutting that and going straight for the post’s jugular…

And now, How Obama’s and McCain’s sites have changes when we weren’t looking.

The sites, they are a’changin’

The last time I commented on the actual campaign websites was in Designing a Political Language Engine (WindKiller’s PWB comment) and What’s Happening Up North?. What’s happened since then?

Oh…just a little.

Here’s how Senators McCain’s and Obama’s website has changed their communication styles over time:

Date McCain Obama
(splash, main) where appropriate
10 Feb 07 V16 V15
6 Mar 07 K9 V15
22 Mar 07 V16 V15
24 Jun 07 V15 V12, K15
13 Aug 08 V16 K8, K1
25 Aug 08 V15 K8, K1
27 Aug 08 V16 V11, A8
29 Aug 08 (pre Palin announcement) V15 A7, V8
29 Aug 08 (post Palin announcement) V15 A7, V8
2 Sep 08 V15 V16, V8
3 Sep 08 V15 V16, A8
4 Sep 08 K16 K11, A16
10 Sep 08 K16 K11, K8
18 Sep 08 V16 K11, V8
23 Sep 08 V15 K15, K8
28 Oct 08 K15 V15, A8
30 Oct 08 V9 V15, A8

Forget what the Vs and As and Ks mean, just notice how often they’re changing. My guess is they’ll continue to change daily as the election gets closer. Senator McCain’s website’s relative communicative stability over the time period detailed is (I believe) a kind of equation that looks like

Candidate + Audience + Message = 1

What I mean by this is that for the longest time Candidate McCain pretty much gave one message to his audience. There were minor shifts and alterations, and pretty much it was one message. Now things are tighter and Candidate McCain is changing his message and his messaging as the days grow shorter and his campaign works to find the magic bullet that will stop the Obama machine.

Senator Obama’s website comes in two parts, splash and main with splash being variations of the join/learn page shown here [[(sorry, we don’t have a copy of that image)]]. The variations here show something that (I’ve heard) the Obama campaign does very well; respond rapidly to changes in its audience base.

Some readers might take that as “Obama changes his story as it suits him” and that’s not what I’m suggesting. How the message is delivered (the images, words, …) changes as their audience shifts. What the message is stays (I’m guessing) the same.

I will offer that if the site is an echo of the man, then Senator Obama has the ability to rapidly and easily change his approach to problem solving.

Again, I’m neither implying nor stating that Senator Obama changes his opinions on things (he may, I don’t know). I’m suggesting that if (IF!) his site is a product of his beliefs and methods then he has the ability to change how he solves problems when he recognizes that a present strategy isn’t working. The problem doesn’t change nor does the desire to solve it, only the methodology changes. This is what all that {C, B/e, M} stuff was about above and et al.

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