Tag Archives: Facebook

Where on the Internet is Jeremiah Stanghini – June 2016

One of the first few posts I wrote when I first started writing was a collection of the different places I could be found on the internet. That post was more than five (!) years ago. The other day, I happened to come across that post almost by accident and actually, even though I wrote two ‘updates’ to that post, it turns out that I wrote a second post almost a year and a half after that. In looking at those posts, I thought it might be fun to write an update to the series.

Even though I’ve already written an updated post to the first post, I thought I’d still look back on some of the places I used to frequent in that very first post five years ago.

Five years ago, it looks like I had planned on developing a presence on YouTube:

I have a channel on YouTube where I upload videos of presentations. You’ll also find videos that I “like” on YouTube along with videos that I have commented on.

As it happens, there really isn’t much more to my YouTube profile than links back to other places you can find me. I do have some things on YouTube, but that’s only if you’re a student in one of my classes (and have access to the lectures I’ve uploaded).

Similarly, I used to do a lot of writing for Squidoo. It’s been so long since I’d visited any of the things I’d written for that site that it’s not even called Squidoo (!) anymore — HubPages acquired them.

I also let my BodyTalk certification lapse, as my career went in a different direction.

It looks like I used to be a frequent commenter at other sites. In particular, I had profiles with IntenseDebate and Disqus (two popular commenting services). It looks like I haven’t had a comment with either of those two services in more than 2 years (almost 3.5 years with IntenseDebate).

Lastly, I highlighted two Toronto sports blogs that I used to be an active member of: Bluebird Banter and Pension Plan Puppets. If I check-in on my comment history for both those sites, it won’t even let me discern when I last made a post (as it’s been that long).

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If I look at the second post I wrote (in late 2012), the only carryover from the first post (of places I’m no longer that active) is the two commenting services: IntenseDebate and Disqus.

Now, let’s look at some of the places that I still frequent (in one way or another).

In that first post, I talked about writing posts (I’m nearly up to 600 on here). I also highlighted my LinkedIn profile (it’s up to date!), and my Twitter account (I like to share articles that I think people will find useful).

In the second post, I added two other places: Facebook and Quora. At the time, I used to be a frequent contributor to Facebook. Like Twitter, I liked to share articles that I thought people would find useful. I also liked to share pictures I found on the Internet that were either beautiful or provided a different perspective. Somewhere along the way, Facebook changed its algorithms and the people who “liked/followed” your page were no longer receiving all your updates. As a result, I stopped actively contributing in that environment. However, whenever I publish a new post, a link to that post is automatically uploaded to Facebook.

As for the second place — Quora — at the time, I did spend some time trying to build a presence on Quora. I wrote more than 60 answers, but it looks like I haven’t written anything for Quora in almost 3 years. I didn’t realize this until writing this post, but it looks like there are a number of answers that I’ve written for Quora that have more views than some of the things that I’ve written for this website.

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So, in the last 3+ years, how have my internet frequenting habits changed? Well, the best place to find me is still here on this site. Twitter and LinkedIn are also places that I continue to update. Two new places: Business2Community and Research Blogging. Business 2 Community is one of the top business blogs and Research Blogging is a community and collection of posts written about academic research.

The Problem With Facebook: Young People Really Are Social Networking Elsewhere

Remember yesterday when I was talking about Facebook’s “young person” problem? It turns out, there’s actually data to back this up. It turns out, there was actually an article in TIME that I didn’t realize had data when I was writing my post yesterday:

According to iStrategy, Facebook has 4,292,080 fewer high-school aged users and 6,948,848 college-aged users than it did in 2011.

That amounts to more than 11 million users gone in the past 3 years. While Facebook has more than 1 billion people, so 11 million might not seem like much, but is it a trend? That is, should this be something that the folks over at Facebook should be worried about. Well, there’s a handy graphic that can also be found in the TIME article, (but it comes from iStrategy):

Two of the cells I want to draw your attention to are already conveniently highlighted in red: the ages 13-17 and 18-24. If you’ll notice, both of these age groups are experiencing negative growth. Of particular noteworthiness is the 13-17 age group, which is down 25% over the last 3 years. Again, as I said earlier, Facebook’s user base is rather large right now, so it might not have that big of an effect anytime soon, but it is something to watch out for.

In the article, the author also points out that part of the reason people advertise with Facebook isn’t necessarily for the volume of its users, but because of all the information that it has on its users making microtargeting that much more effective. Maybe this information is enough to overcome the decline in new users, who knows. As I said yesterday, if I were part of Facebook’s team, I would be worried about the continued decline in my user base — especially because it’s the younger folks who are leaving. Why?

Pretty soon, these young folks are going to be reaching those prime marketing age groups (18-34) and if they’re already not using Facebook, that could be bad news. In fact, if they’re not using Facebook, they’re probably using some other social network to communicate and that is where the marketing dollars are going to go. I suppose only time will tell.

The Problem With Facebook: Is It Really Out of Room to Grow?

I rarely read the front page of YouTube, but today when I typed in YouTube to my address bar (with the intention of finding some music to listen to while I worked), one of the videos I saw on the front page was titled “The Problem With Facebook.” Truth be told, I thought it was a video by MinutePhysics and thought that there was going to be some scientific explanation of Facebook’s problems, but it turns out the video was by 2veritasium. (I guess MinutePhysics may have liked the video, so that’s why I saw their name or maybe they had just come out with another video, who knows.)

Anyway, if you have Facebook (or had Facebook) or know anything about Facebook, I’d say it’s worth the 6 and a half minutes to watch it:

I’m not sure what the fellow’s name is, but it reminds me of when George Takei went on a bit of a rant about Facebook not letting him reach all of his fans on Facebook. At the time, I think I still had a Facebook profile (rather than the page I have now) and I thought that was strange that your posts weren’t reaching all of your friends — by design.

The fellow in this video makes that same point, but he does it in a more thorough way than I remember Takei doing it (which is not to say Takei didn’t do it), and he also juxtaposes Facebook with YouTube. He makes a rather compelling argument, but something I don’t think he highlights is that he kind of has a vested interest in YouTube being more successful — his videos are hosted on YouTube! Now, this doesn’t really take anything away from the argument — it’s sound — but I think it’s worth noting.

Throughout the video, he talks about the incentives. I wonder what Michael Sandel would say about the incentives in this situation. Would he say that the incentives have been perverted? It’s tough to say because Facebook is trying to make money and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but I wonder if maybe they’ve strayed a bit too far from the original purpose of the site.

There’s one last thing I want to highlight from the video — in part — because it dovetails nicely with something that I’ve been trumpeting on here for awhile. He argues that Facebook has already maxed out, with regard to the amount of time people spend on the site per day (approximately 30 minutes) and that Facebook has already reached just about everyone in the developing world. When it comes to online video, however, he argues that there is still lots of room to grow based on the fact that people still don’t watch that much of it when compared to television. I might not put it in those words exactly, but I think he’s on the right track.

If even the President of the United States knows that Facebook is becoming or already is unpopular with young folks, I have to think that the smart people over at Facebook know this, too. As they’ve got a fiduciary duty to their shareholders, I’m sure they’ve been hard at work trying to figure out just how they’re going to capture more value — translation: how they are going to make more money.

Who knows… maybe Facebook will soon go the way of the social networks that have gone before it. Remember MySpace?

Facebook is a Poor Predictor of Performance of Job Applicants

A few months ago, I planned on writing more posts about academic research. I wrote one about spending your bonus on others making you happier (than if you’d spent it on yourself), but haven’t got around to it since. My intentions were good as anyone can see from looking at the list of tweets I’ve favourited over the last 100 days. Just about all the tweets I’ve “bookmarked” to read are academic in nature.

I came across an academic article the other day that seemed quite interesting and reminded me of much of what you hear when you’re in university: be careful what you put online! Even after you’ve graduated, you often hear that your employer (or potential employer) will be watching to see what you put online, so be careful what you put on Facebook. We’re told that it can have an adverse effect on our ability to be hired (or maintain our current employment).

This particular study tried to address a gaping hole in empirical research. That is, the popular press often talk about how important it is to have a pared down social media profile, but there hasn’t been much research studying the effects of potential employers using social media profiles in screening candidates. Before we take a look at some of the results, I wanted to share three important points from the article:

First, as discussed, SM [Social Media] platforms such as Facebook are designed to network with friends and family rather than to measure job-relevant attributes. Indeed, most SM information pertains to applicants’ outside-of-work interests and activities, which may have little bearing on work behavior. This factor, in and of itself, may be enough to suggest that criterion- related validity for SM assessments may be low. [Emphasis added]

The researchers raise an important point that — no doubt — you’ve seen elsewhere. Most people use Facebook in order to connect with friends & family and as a result, it may not be the best measure of how one would function at work.

Second, the sheer volume of SM information also may inhibit decision makers from drawing valid inferences. . . This large amount of information may put demands on decision makers’ ability to process all the potential cues and to determine what information (if any) is relevant and what is not. This situation may cause decision makers to rely on biases and cognitive heuristics may reduce validity. [Emphasis added]

I’ve written extensively about cognitive biases. The researchers mention of the volume of information regarding social media makes me wonder how long before organizations are using Big Data to try and analyze all the social media data in painting a portrait of a candidate.

Finally, inaccurate information may undermine the criterion-related validity of SM assessments. For example, the desire to be perceived as socially desirable may lead applicants to embellish or fabricate information they post on SM, such as experience, qualifications, and achievements. Furthermore, because other people can post information about applicants on SM platforms (e.g., Facebook), applicants do not have complete control of their information. As such, applicants may be unduly “penalized” for what others post. In fact, one study found that comments posted by others on one’s Facebook profile had a greater effect on observers’ impressions than did one’s own comments (Walther, Van Der Heide, Kim, Westerman, & Tong, 2008).

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In this study, the researchers had recruiters rate Facebook profiles of potential job candidates and then followed up with those job candidates after they’d secured employment. As you might expect from where this post has led, the evaluations the recruiters gave of the potential job candidates based on their Facebook profiles were unrelated to the ratings issued by supervisors on a number of factors: job performance, turnover intentions, and actual turnover. Moreover, these predictions based on Facebook profiles aren’t more useful than other, more common methods: cognitive ability, personality, self-efficacy, or even GPA. What’s more, they found that Facebook ratings were higher for females (vs. males) and that ratings were higher for White candidates (vs. Black and/or Hispanic candidates).

I understand that many managers think more data will help them make better decisions, but as has been demonstrated in this article, when it comes to job candidates, maybe checking their Facebook profiles could lead managers to make the wrong decisions.

ResearchBlogging.orgChad H. Van Iddekinge, Stephen E. Lanivich, Philip L. Roth, & Elliott Junco (2013). Social Media for Selection? Validity and Adverse Impact Potential of a Facebook-Based Assessment Journal of Management DOI: 10.1177/0149206313515524

Why Posting Duplicate Content to Social Media is a Good Idea

When I first connected my website to my Twitter account, I worried about reposting the same link. That is, when I tweeted, I didn’t necessarily want to be sharing something that I had already sent out. I figured if people had already seen what I had said, they wouldn’t need to see it again, right? Well, that might just not be the case.

Yesterday, I came across a creative answer to a question on Quora that I’m going to share below. A quick lead-in: the question asks about bizarre (and small) social experiments  that lead people to the opposite conclusion of their hypothesis. There are some great answers on the question, but this one in particular, applies to sharing content on the web:

We all get countless happy birthday message from acquaintances (veritable strangers) on Facebook.

Out of personal and professional curiosity, I decided to perform an experiment with 2 parameters:

1. I edited my “Facebook” birthday to the current day every day
2. I did this every day until not one person wished me happy birthday

A few people — mostly my closest friends — immediately noticed, but for the few first days, the volume of birthday messages hardly diminished day-to-day.

After a couple of weeks, I started getting a few people who were in on the “joke” wishing me happy birthday every day, along with a handful of “stop it, this isn’t funny” messages.

A few weeks later, a few people just went ahead and un-friended me (on Facebook only … I think).  But more interestingly, a couple people who had just recently wished me happy birthday, did so again.  And did so very sincerely!  They had merely forgotten.  More on that in a bit.

A couple months into it, the messages were still coming in (genuinely), but were down to just a couple or a single every day — along with the requisite friend who wished me HB every chance he got.

Finally, after just 103 days, I got no new happy birthday messages.

The span crossed 3 “major” holidays: Christmas, New Years, and Valentine’s Day.  My favorite messages were the “I had no idea your birthday was on Christmas!” types from pretty close friends.

The “wasn’t it just your birthday? Oh well, hope it’s a good one!” types were fun as well.

What to take away from this? I occasionally coach/teach people how to use social tools for marketing/whatever and one important lesson is that not everyone sees every message every day, so you shouldn’t be afraid of posting duplicate content, especially if it’s an important message or one that resonates well with a big audience.

And when people occasionally express concern over that concept, I tell this story 🙂

Of course, this is just one small social experiment, but it is certainly something to keep in mind when you think twice about sharing that blog post on social media more than once.

 

It’s All About Perspective: The Blind Men and the Elephant

BQxiYHmCAAE9dmQA few days ago, I shared a photo on Facebook that epitomizes what I believe to be one of the hallmarks of life: perspective. I’ve included the photo in today’s post (you can see it there on the right). I can’t tell for sure because I don’t read Korean, but the photo appears to come from advertisement for house for sale (or for rent). In the first frame, we can see what appears to be a lovely shot of the house featuring a nice pool. In the second shot, a different angle of the house where — again — the pool is featured. In the last shot, the big reveal — the pool is not what it appeared to be in the first two frames.

Some may look at the surface-level lesson — someone could have been severely swindled had they not gone to see this place (if they were going to rent/buy). I prefer to look at in a broader sense: it’s all about perspective. Without considering all of these photos together, one would miss the perspective that the pool certainly isn’t anywhere near as large as it appears. There’s certainly a “swindler” streak to these three photos, so let’s at a story that you may or may not have heard before:

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a WALL!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho, what have we here,
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a SPEAR!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a SNAKE!”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he:
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a TREE!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a FAN!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a ROPE!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

That story is iconic of what it’s like to have an opinion. We’re all looking at things from our own perspective and believe that what we’re telling is the truest truth. I wrote about this very thing with regard to watching the news a couple of years ago. Depending on where we get our news, we’ll be listening to a different man who’s describing the elephant. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it’s important that we recognize that we may only be getting one perspective on the news (or elephant).

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This is one of the things that I’ve tried to do on this site. Two of the categories I write under: Fresh Perspective and Perspective. When I write posts for one of these two categories, I’m trying to shed light on the story like we get when we look at the story of the Blind Men and the Elephant. I’m trying to look at the story from the same perspective we have as the reader of the story. That is, we know that all of the men are right in some way, but that they can’t connect the dots because of where their perspective lies.

To give you a sampling…

Fresh Perspective

Just yesterday, I wrote a post about the plethora of weak characters in movies that are women, but aren’t men. A few weeks ago, a post about having less written tests and more oral tests in education. What about having young people run the country? Or a reexamination of the US and terrorism? Maybe we don’t need to workout at all?

Perspective

Is there a modern day version of writing yourself a $10,000,000 post-dated check? Does market economics tell us that we need to pay politicians more? Do you know how long the US has been dependent on oil? Do you think that your team made a blunder with that trade? What would the world have looked like without the “I Have A Dream” speech?

 

Wanna Be Productive? Avoid Email, Twitter, and Facebook First Thing in the Morning

Hello hello! It’s been almost two weeks since I last posted. I’ve been out-of-town for the last little while without reliable internet connectivity, so my posts were sparse. In fact, I think I only wrote the one about authenticity while I was gone. Well, you’re in for a treat. I’ve got at least a dozen new things to write about since I’ve been gone, one of which will be a series (I’m excited for it!)

Today, I want to talk about an aspect of productivity. I could be conflating things, but I think the first time I read about productivity, with respect to time of day, was in the 4-hour work week. The idea is that people are most productive (or can be the most productive) when they get to work in the morning — straight away. However, many of us, myself included, check email, Facebook, or twitter, before we get down to working on what we’ve got planned for the day. Ferriss (if I’m remember correctly) argued that this is the best way to harpoon your productivity.

So, he advocated not turning on those things until after you’ve done the “key” thing you wanted to get done that day. In fact, he has a whole specific thing about email that you might want to look into (only checking email twice, once, or less [!] a day). By staying away from these black holes of time, you’d be able to get at least that one thing you wanted to do that day and feel good about it.

I know that when I wake up in the morning, email/twitter are two things that I almost always check before I do anything else during the day. This is, in part, because twitter is the way that I get my news/learning, but also because — well — it can be a bit addictive. By checking twitter/email in the morning, I can sometimes get sucked into a problem/task or a series of articles. Before I know it, I’ve spent 60 minutes on things that I hadn’t necessarily planned. As a result, I sometimes don’t get to writing a post that day — and I’d like to write something (at least) once a day.

Let’s make a challenge of it, shall we?

Remember that meditation challenge I wrote about a few months ago? Let’s do the same thing with productivity! Let’s commit to doing the “key” thing before we get into other things (like email and twitter). Of course, I understand that some of you may not have the luxury of not checking your email (based on your jobs), but otherwise, let’s see if we can do it. You’ll be able to check on me because the one thing that I’m going to do before I check Twitter is write a post.