cisler on Mon, 1 Mar 1999 20:45:54 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Captology

Captology is a word coined by BJ Fogg and Jason Tester who run the
Stanford University Persuasive Technology Lab in the Center for the Study
of Language and Information. The term comes from Computers as Persuasive
Technology, and they have been teaching courses in this since 1997. 

The site <> includes concept papers in html and .pdf, a
couple of newsletter that are quick reads, and a number of projects
undertaken by the students. In addition, there is a catalog of persuasive
computer products, many of which are in the realm of health and the

-"Baby Think it Over" a doll to prevent teen pregnancy
-"HygieneGuard" Employer bathroom surveillance technology
-"Scorecard" a web site that provide local pollution information.

This site show up again in their current newletter:



Current legislation in the U.S. is threatening to close a persuasive Web
site: This site allows people to identify polluters and
pollutants in their own neighborhoods. It also provides ways for taking
action against the offending polluters. 

However, the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies claim the information
on could be used by terrorist in planning attacks on
American cities. Yet environmental activists advocate people's right to
know about toxic chemicals in their communities. 

The results of this conflict could affect the future of public information
disclosure and web-based activism. 

[For more info, see ]


The site has links to collaborative groups if you want to get involved or
just see the kinds of technologies they have discovered or are discussing. 
Last November, they held a conference on the ethics of persuasive
technology, and the short report is online. 

This is well worth exploring. 

Steve Cisler
4415 Tilbury Drive, San Jose, CA 95130
(408) 379 9076
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