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4.6 out of 5 stars73
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 7 January 2013
Short Review:

A broad and useful introduction to several areas of psychology. Lively, engaging writing style. An easy-read.

Weak at proving that the ideas offered (the book is full of 'Make This Work For You' suggestions) would made a difference i.e. a lack of evidence.


If you don't know much about psychology, web marketing and web design principles, then it's a good intro. Unfortunately - in my humble opinion - I don't think it's as revolutionary as some of the other reviews imply.

Longer Review:

I love psychology. I have a degree in it, post-grad qualifications and more psychology books than I have items of clothing.

OK. The bit about my clothing is an exaggeration. But my love of psychology and all things, 'influence and persuasion' especially, isn't. I also work in digital marketing and have done so for about 100 years (or so it feels).

You can imagine my excitement - glee in fact - at reading the synopsis of 'Webs of Influence'. I couldn't think of a better combination of two of my fave subjects - psychology and the InterWeb. Ace!

As soon as I got the book, I read it eagerly from cover to cover. And I like it. Sort of. Ish.

The Good

It's got lots of solid, psychology information in it. There's stuff in there that I did know, knew a little about and stuff I'd not come across before. Believe me, I could read this type of material again and again. Any book that covers this ground is a winner with me :)

It's just when the book tries to tie the psychology into web design and online marketing that I feel it book doesn't quite work. Or, perhaps more accurately, the premise of the book doesn't work. Because I have to say that this is a lovely book to read. The writing is chatty, simple and without too much jargon. At 234 pages, it won't take you long to read it. There's also a useful Notes section with references to other follow-up material.

The Not So Good

For me, a lot of the ideas presented in the book are either flimsy, don't necessarily link to the psychology being described or are rather banal pieces of marketing advice that can be found elsewhere. For example (edited quote from the book):

"Stand out from the crowd...a smart solution is to add real value to your products and services (offer something your competitors don't) and reflect this in the price." Really? Never thought of that.

I know, I know. I shouldn't mock.

I'm not the one who's made the huge effort of writing a book (something I admire in anyone). It's just that I wanted this to be a niche book on the Psychology of Online Persuasion and not one with average marketing advice.

The other thing I wanted to see in the book - longed to see in fact - were 'Before and After' case studies.

My argument is, if these techniques are so powerful, it would be great to test them on a real website. It's not that I don't think that many, if not all, of the ideas in the book aren't decent. It's just that I've learned from painful experience that in digital marketing never to rely upon gut instinct alone. Especially when you've got some amazing testing tools available.

For example, I would have like to have seen case studies where A/B or MVT tests were run to determine whether, for example,

"...requiring customers to 'tweet this link' to unlock the product they're wishing to download' (p191)

...either improved sign-ups and conversions or increased the website visitor bounce rate? As anyone in digital marketing knows, this would be a pretty simple test to set up and would add weight to the arguments made.

OK - with so many ideas presented, not all of them could be tested. It's just that in digital you really can 'put your money where your mouth is'.

Final Thought and Recommendation:

Buy the book. It's a decent read. Just don't expect that without applying some serious and time consuming research you'll necessarily revolutionise your online marketing.
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on 24 November 2015
There is only one downside to Nathalie Nahai’s book, "Webs of Influence" and that is that you will likely find yourself singing “The red car and the blue car had a race” from the 1989 Milky Way advert for a couple of weeks…

Aside from that, this punchy, easy to digest, informative (yes, this book will make you sound smart!) and actionable book is a must for any marketing/digital/social professional.

There will be ideas and techniques in here which any seasoned professional ‘should’ be familiar with – and much to learn with some great case studies! But the real beauty of this books is the intricate weaving of Nathalie’s psychology, neuroscience and behavioural background to make these ideas and techniques more compelling and scientific.

For a while I’ve felt that digital and social is on the crossroads of success and failure. We can carry on doing what we’re doing, but a cover-to-cover read of this book will give you greater depth and knowledge to drive your digital marketing and social media to success. A really worthwhile read.
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on 30 September 2015
Webs Of Influence by Nathalie Nathai has fantastic insights on how our mind works when we are exposed to branding, colour, conversion rate, user experience and the general make up of a website.

This book turned on a massive light bulb in my head and took me down a path I’m still following.

I've just bought a second copy for my new content and social marketer. ツ
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on 26 October 2015
As a digital marketer I'm always looking to keep up to date with the latest knowledge in the digital domain. I read Nathalie's book from cover to cover, it was interesting throughout, particularly as it alluded to several critical insights that I can use in my digital work. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in digital marketing.
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on 17 November 2015
Great book if you want to learn more about how humans perceives information and how we are prioritise them on the importance scale depending on our current needs and desire
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on 19 July 2015
Brilliant book for marketing students, includes section on international markets which is really helpful and going to be great for my dissertation. Would recommend
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on 22 June 2015
This is an important book about online persuasion. Having read it once, I 'm planning on a second read so I can absorb everything it's has to teach.
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on 18 July 2015
Like anybody in the Internet biz , the holy grail is to be able to influence with your content, this book is full of great information.
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on 28 May 2013
Nathalie Nahai's goal in Webs of Influence is to provide insights into how we can improve our online presence. Her book takes you through all the necessary background to how psychology can be used to great effect to boost online success.

Whilst Web Psychology is a comparatively new field, the author has managed to use the latest available research and data to support her theories and provide hands-on advice in a very practical and engaging way. The book is a very easy (and thoroughly enjoyable!) read and should be kept close at hand for all web marketeers and online professionals to refer to, and draw inspiration from in their online ventures.
I particularly liked the last 2 sentences on the last page (p. 234):

"We will always exploit technology to meet our human desires. Whoever understands these desires and the drivers behind them will hold the key to online influence."
This is precisely what Nathalie Nahai delivers in her book: the key to achieve this.
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on 8 April 2013
This book is great as it's a good read whether you're a total novice to psychology or a seasoned expert. It's easy and light to read (just one of many instances of Nathalie practicing what she preaches) and yet it contains a number of useful studies and brand examples which are like gold dust for the more experienced behavioural economist.
What really set this book apart for me was it's use of psychological principles in its own execution - concreteness, fluency and emotion are all used to great effect.
I would have liked there to have been more coverage of empirical studies investigating the use of heuristics online (e.g. social proof makes people x% more likely to sign up to a newsletter), but having looked myself, it seems this research may not even exist yet. This is an exciting field which is only going to grow, and Nathalie has done a great job of spearheading it.
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