Snake Oil Wrestling
"Watch this video demo," said my boss, handing me a slip of paper with a URL scrawled on it, "and tell me what you think."
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help me express my objections.
Before you click on the link, I should warn you that there is a brief testimonial at the beginning of the clip from a co-author of "Chicken Soup for the Soul." I'd fast-forward through that if I were you. No one who bears any part of the blame for that can possibly say anything worth listening to.
Here are a few of the interesting points I noted:
1. The audience, at least the front part of it, is blocked out. I'm assuming that means someone near the front refused permission to appear in the video.
2. If you extend your arm out, thumbs down, the way this dude insists his volunteers do, and have someone push down on it, you'll notice that it's much weaker than if you turn it palm upward.
3. He always demonstrates his subject's strength first - never begins by making his "weakening" gesture.
4. (If you can make it this far into the video) The timing of the little testimonial box that pops up, covering up the shot of the audience trying his trick on each other, seems rather convenient.
5. The video is too small and low-resolution to be able to tell if there's a difference in the way he grips the wrist.
6. He addresses skepticism from the audience, but only on two specific points: "Do you think it's that I'm not pushing down as hard the second time?" "Do you think it's just the power of suggestion?"
Take a look at the products sold on his site, too. And I think it's interesting that he offers the service of helping you to design an effective website. Ummm...
Here you go. Have fun! And tell me what you think.