Facebook and Personality Types: Two New Studies

With more than 600 million users worldwide, Facebook is having a marked effect on our social interactions and sense of self. It is no surprise that academics are rushing to understand this impact. Two recent studies look at the way various personality types impact Facebook use. This is a rich vein of inquiry, as it is well-established that personality is an important variable in on-line behavior. As more and more of our lives move online, it seems worth considering how this is playing out.Study 1: Facebook, Extraverts and IntrovertsWho uses Facebook? An investigation into the relationship between the Big Five, shyness, narcissism, loneliness and Facebook usage by Tracii Ryan and Sopia Xenos, studied 1400+ Australian internet users between the ages of 18 and 44 and came to some interesting conclusions.The study began by splitting the sample into Facebook users and nonusers. They found that Facebook nonusers tend to be shyer, more conscientious and socially lonely than Facebook users. These people have smaller social networks and therefore have less incentive to join Facebook. What is worrisome here is that as more of our social engagement moves online, those who choose not to engage because they are shy could be further socially marginalized.Facebook users – the vast majority of the sample studied — scored higher on the characteristics of extroversion and narcissism than non-users. This finding was in keeping with earlier work that views social networking as a form of social extension. Facebook clearly serves as an excellent platform for self-promotion. Not surprisingly, the extraverts on Facebook tended to be heavy users of Photos and Status Updates as well as the various communications tools such as Chat.Not all Facebook users are extraverts and narcissists. There are also shy and socially anxious types that use the site regularly. In fact, it is this group that are the heaviest users in terms of hours burned. Neurotic or socially anxious types tend to have a strong preference for using the Wall feature, which is a mode of asynchronous communication. Asynchronous communication enables these types to take more time to think through, edit and compose their responses and thus lower the risk of saying something they fear they will regret later. Lonely Facebook users tend primarily to have “family loneliness,” meaning that they do not feel deeply connected to those they share their lives with. These types also have a strong preference for the more passive features of the system such as groups, games and fan pages. Lonely users tend to lurk for hours without strongly participating, an activity that could lead to further loneliness and a growing sense that everyone but them is happy and engaged. This ” anti-social network” effect has been getting some press as of late. If you are lonely and socially anxious, participation on Facebook can exacerbate those feelings.Study 2: Social Networking, Deep Thinking and InnovativenessA study released last month (Less effortful thinking leads to more social networking? The associations between the use of social network sites and personality traits by Bu Zhong, Marie Hardin and Tao Sun) examined the link between social network use and two key personality traits – cognition and innovativeness – in a group of college students at a North American university. The researchers measured cognition using an established scale called Need for Cognition (NFC) that determines whether you are the kind of person who really enjoys thinking hard and deep about issues (high NFC) or whether you enjoy skimming the surface (low NFC). High NFC types do lots of research and are attracted to in-depth information. Low NFC people are more drawn to information that evokes moods and emotions that they can infer conclusions from.The study revealed that high NFC students spend less time on social media and tend to add fewer friends to their networks while their low NFC peers tended to be heavy users of social media. The type of content that is typically shared on Facebook in this age group, which is full of rich peripheral cues, tends to appeal more to low NFC individuals. However, the authors readily acknowledge that neither high nor low types are particularly motivated to process social media information deeply. Social networking activity is not particularly cognitively challenging. Therefore, the authors caution, we shouldn’t necessarily conclude that students who spend a lot of time on social media are not interested in effortful thinking. They just aren’t interested in doing it on Facebook.Students who were heavy social media users, and who self-reported as low NFC, were also much higher in the other trait the authors studied — ICT innovativeness. The authors define ICT innovativeness as the desire to be early adopters of new media and devices. In other words, low NFC students are generally pretty deeply engaged in the on-line environment as consumers of tools and technologies. This trait has real value in a world where everyone, regardless of their NFC, spends increasingly large amounts of time online.Both skill sets – the deep thinker and the curious adopter — will be needed in the future. This study points to the fact that based on our “need for cognition” we have a tendency to fall into one camp or another. One of the really interesting questions that the study does not address is how our social relationships will be affected as we begin to self-sort into distinct pockets of activity online as a result of the way we prefer to engage with the world.Does any of this ring true for you?

Why Is My Online Business Failing?

If you were to open a brick and mortar retail store, would you simply ask a realtor for a storefront and be given one for free? Would the city give you utilities at no cost? Would thousands of people walk into your store every month without an advertising budget or even any planning?Yet this is exactly how most people looking to make money online approach an online business. And it isn’t completely their fault. For years shady marketers have claimed we can make thousands a month doing next to nothing. In reality, they are trying to make quick and easy sales from their internet marketing products by manipulating our hope.But this doesn’t mean an online business is just as expensive as an offline business; in fact it is quite a bit less and has far more potential reach. When you think of how many customers you can reach with an offline retail business, it is only those within driving distance. And most people aren’t willing or able to make a commute across town which limits your reach even more.An online business can reach anyone across the world and a sale can be made any time of day or night. No employees are required to complete a transaction meaning zero labor costs.So with these endless possibilities, why is it that a great percentage of people fail to make any money online?I believe the primary reason people fail to make money online is because they treat an online business as a fantasy and do not treat it like a real business. A brick and mortar business requires costs; lease, interior design, utilities, inventory, advertising, and these costs are carefully budgeted.Traffic generation is also researched and planned. Nearly all banks won’t approve a business loan without a business plan which includes extensive demographic research. Offline business owners know who their target customers are and how to reach them. They choose locations that benefit from foot traffic. They are prepared.If we want to succeed with an online business we must understand that an internet business does not do away with the normal costs of operating a successful business, it simply has inexpensive equivalents.- A domain. Registering a domain is the equivalent of choosing a location for your business. The better your location, the greater chance of gaining foot traffic.- A Website. Think of your website as your storefront. You need a place for your customers to come into, and they need to be able to find it appealing and easy to find what they need and check out.- Hosting. A web hosting plan can be compared to your utilities. If you don’t pay the phone bill a customer will not be able to reach you.- Advertising. How many businesses do you know of that have no listing in the phone book, budget no advertising, and stay in business? None. So why would it be any different to run your online business this way?Running an online business is very inexpensive. Most hosting plans combine domain registration (an est. $7-$15 one-time yearly fee), hosting (est. $3.95-9.95 a month), and a website all into one plan leaving advertising as your only primary cost.So even though the cost of an online business is incredibly low, we must still treat it like we would any other business. Do proper research to know who your audience is and how to offer them the greatest value. Design your websites with the customer in mind. And be willing to invest in advertising, and your continued training.There are no miracle techniques or secrets to making thousands of dollars without doing anything in return. But an online business remains the best way to make money with the least amount of expense.

The Importance Of Telecommunications Consultants

Telecommunications consultants are particularly vital to a company. They give expert advice on matters to do with telecommunication devices in the company. Such a professional advises companies on the best devices for their telecommunication needs.The machines used in the field of information technology change very quickly. Companies need to keep abreast with the latest trends. Consulting in this field of work can be very lucrative.There is no single company today that does not employ the use of computers, fax machines, and even telephones. This means that there is a large client base for consultants. It is possible to work for different companies at the same time. An individual does not have to be a full time employee of a company in order to provide consulting services. This line of work gives the individual a great level of flexibility. He or she just needs to know how to manage their time when working for more than one company at a time.Providing such consultancy services require a loyal clientele. The fact that one does not work for a particular company means that they are not on the payroll of any of them. The company can easily get other professionals to offer the same service. In order to have a loyal client base, the individual has to put more effort. He or she must be very efficient in their work. Satisfying the customer every time they give a job is the only way of ensuring that clients remain loyal.A loyal customer will more often than not recommend the consultant to other potential customers. This simply means translates to more money for the professional. In order to avoid the uncertainties of working as an individual, one can choose to work for a consulting firm.Most companies prefer to outsource for consultancy services from consulting firms as opposed to individuals. This is because there is a greater assurance that they will get value for their money from such firms. Choosing to work for such a firm increases the chances of getting consultancy jobs. It also gives one the assurance of having a paycheck to look forward to at the end of the month or week.It is however important for an individual to affiliate him or herself with a reputable consulting firm. There are firms that are notorious for the provision of substandard consultancy services. Working for such a firm is committing career suicide. One is better off working by themselves. Professionals who opt to work on their own need to consider the location where they intend to ply their trade.Telecommunications consultants need to be located in areas where technological advancement is high. It is pointless to choose to work in a remote village where the level of technological advancement is very low. If there are no people using the telecommunications devices, there are no people to provide the consultancy services to. One must know where the trade will flourish and where it will not. Overall, it is a great way of earning a living especially for technology enthusiasts.