The psychology behind Internet users and how your website affects them

Scorchin

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The psychology behind Internet users and how your website affects them

The psychology behind Internet users and how your website affects them


Everybody on this site is here to enhance their knowledge on building the perfect community site, whether it be one which has proactive users that constantly take part in related discussions, through to those who want a spot on http://www.big-boards.com/ (who doesn't!). My article is more aimed towards the former.

Lately it seems that the Internet is flooded with SEO techniques and ways to trick google into having the highest possible page rank. This is great and all, but there's no point having a high ranked site when your content isn't keeping those users who visited your site there.

I'll be discussing the psychology behind how users view a website and the different ways you can make your site more active. This can range from encouraging discussion; turning users into your very own set of moderators who abide by your rules and notify others when wrong; to simply making users register upon visiting.

Interested yet? Then read on.

How groups act and how to "control" them

Groups ranging in size from two or three people to millions within a community are being made at different bulletin boards around the Internet. A whole range of psychology theory can be applied to these situations - such as issues covering leadership, alliances and communication patterns to name a few.

One large issue that many community admins face is controlling the amount of off topic chat. Usually forums are created to gather like minded individuals to discuss a given topic, but sometimes members may talk around a topic into something completely unrelated. One site of interest is http://www.digg.com which leads to any of its front page links becoming amongst the highest viewed sites on the Internet for a period of time. Great! ill just post a link to my site and watch all the users flow in! Sorry, its not that simple as digg only shows links to sites which are technology related. How? It controls this by allowing its members to vote on whether the linked site is related to digg's users or not.

The psychology behind this covers influencing conformity. There are two types of conformity: Normative Influence and Informational influence. The first is more relevant to controlling off topic discussion and covers peer pressure. The reasons include; fear of rejection, wanting approval, simply to be...

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