Search this site
Other stuff

All banner artwork by Brady Johnson, college student and (semi-) starving artist.

My latest books:


        Available now

       Available Now

Available now 

My book Machines are the easy part; people are the hard part is now available as a free download at Lulu.

 The Blue Skunk Page on Facebook


EdTech Update




« Home media ecology | Main | Lessons from the mouse »

Making Nancy's message sticky

sampcf8a202317cc4638.jpgJohn Pederson offers up the challenge to make the ideas about filtering and Internet safety Nancy Willard writes about "sticky."

Chip and Dan Heath in Made to Stick; Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die (Random House, 2007) suggest that "sticky ideas" have some common characteristics and that all of us can make our ideas stickier. Sticky ideas:

  • are simple
  • have elements of the unexpected
  • are concrete
  • come from a credible source
  • contain an emotional appeal.
  • use stories to make an impact.

(For those of you who would like to review the concept of stickiness, see this post.)

Can we make Nancy's ideas "stickier?" Off the top of my head... 

  • are simple

The dangers from predators on social networking sites has been overblown, resulting in adult hysteria and Internet overblocking.

  • have elements of the unexpected

More female teens solicit sex online than dirty old men.

Cyberbullying is causing kids more harm than sexual predators.

Middle School and High School girls were about twice as likely as boys to display cyber-bullying behaviors in the form of email, text, and chat. <> 

  • are concrete

Iin 2005 there were only 100 known cases of child exploitation related to social-networking sites nationwide and that there was “not a single case related to MySpace where someone has been abducted." “Predators & cyberbullies: Reality check,”

  • come from a credible source
A study conducted by the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School (JAMA, 2002) examined how well seven Internet filters blocked health information for teens at settings from least restrictive to very restrictive.  They found that at the least restrictive setting only 1.4% of the health information sites were blocked and 87% of the pornography sites were blocked. At the most restrictive setting, 24% of the health information sites were blocked with still only 91% of the pornography sites blocked. "Does Pornography-Blocking Software Block Access to Health Information on the Internet." JAMA, Dec 11, 2002. <>

  • contain an emotional appeal.

 “What a person can accomplish with an outdated machine in a public library with mandatory filtering software and no opportunity for storage or transmission pales in comparison to what person can accomplish with a home computer with unfettered Internet access, high bandwidth, and continuous connectivity… The school system’s inability to close this participation gap has negative consequences for everyone involved.” Henry Jenkins, Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture <>

  • use stories to make an impact.

David Knight's life at school has been hell. He was teased, taunted and punched for years. But the final blow was the humiliation he suffered every time he logged onto the internet. Someone had set up an abusive website about him that made life unbearable. <>

I rather jokingly suggested we have a contest to see if who could write the "stickiest" bit about this topic. Scott McLeod at Dangerously Irrelevant said he'd promote the idea as well.

Submit your "sticky" idea here and win a free copy of Machines Are the Easy Part; People Are the Hard Part. (I'll let Nancy be the judge of the best idea!) You will need to include your email address when you add your comment - addresses aren't published on the blog itself.

Contest closes November 1 so stick with it!

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (2)

First, Made to Stick is an awesome book. Just as influential in my teaching as the World is Flat. I messed around and turned the book into a slide show aimed at teachers applying the Heath brothers ideas but altering them for the classroom:
Not exactly a finished piece of work but...

After a few parent workshops, this is what I came up before you read this please realize that after each statement I did give serious info to back it up. Keep in mind that I don't think this would work with all audiences and only for certain speakers.

Allowing your kids to use 2.0 tools will allow your kid to get a job and move out of your house so you are not serving them breakfast at 1:00 in the afternoon when they are 35 years old.

What you kid gets on their report card does not matter.

(Depending on the audience, career choices change) What would happen if an engineer, a veterinarian, a small business owner, or an newspaper reporter did not have access to a computer? or if they had to sign up for one three weeks in advance to use it for 45 minutes.
Still looking for a better get the ahhh but I don't know how sticky this is.

Shift Happens-- Fisch Video

This one might sound funny, but I put a tom of passion into the presentation, my emotions fill the room, and I think that if people see that if this sane person teaching my kids is this emotional about this stuff, then I should consider it. I care deeply = you care deeply.

I tell multiple stories about class activities. The ones that always go over the best are the ones that involve collaboration with places far away, kids getting responses from people in the workforce that 2.0 tools have brought us into direct communication with, stories about how the tools were used spontaneously with groups of students.

October 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Bogush

opps...under emotional I would not put Tom in my passion...but I put in a ton of passion

October 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Bogush

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>