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Recently, I have been conducting some research on what items surrounding a person say about that person’s personality and then I was delighted to see a fascinating study on a related issue addressing people’s likes from Facebook.  In essence, the study research what predictive information can be gleened from a person’s “like” of something.

The researchers only evaluated items that had “likes” from more than 100 people.  The researchers used data from over 58,000 people as subjects.  The results were fascinating.

For example, likes of Sarah Palin, Indiana Jones, Swimming, and Pride and Prejudice were most predictive of the personality trait that the person was satisfied with life.  On the other hand, if the person liked “Gorillaz” “Hawthorne Heights” or Stewie Griffin, they were likely to be disatisfied.  In addition, if a person liked “Foursquare” or “Kaplan University”, they were more likely to be conscientious and well organized.  On the other hand, if they liked “Wes Anderson,” “Anime,” or “Join if Ur Fat,” then the person was more likely to be spontaneous.

Another way of looking at the likes would be in conjuction with each other.  If a person liked “The Godfather,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Plato,” and “Cheerleading,” that person would most likely be a high IQ, satisfied, liberal/artistic and extraverted person.

The ramifications of this research are vast.  This could be used in jury selection, in interrogation, and job interviews to say the least.

If you would like to know your own personality, you can test it at http://www.youarewhatyoulike.com

By Steven G. Mehta

Steve Mehta

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By Steven G. Mehta

Just recently I was having a discussion with some people regarding the different types of content on Facebook.  I was getting inundated with requests to support specific political candidates.  At that time, we also discussed the inane chit chat that often makes up Facebook.  Some people commented that they don’t want to know about Johnny’s pet cat and others said that such comments are what makes Facebook so good.  Well some recent research suggests that those comments and the superficial nature of some contacts on Facebook may be more worthwhile some people think.

A recent report compiled by Håkan Selg, a doctoral candidate at the Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University, suggests that the people that have numerous superficial contacts may in fact have developed a highly useful network that make use of the ostensibly meaningless comments and updates.

“The portrait, comments, and updates provide constant reminders of the existence of ‘friends.’ The content is not all that important, but the effect is that we perceive our Facebook friends as closer than other acquaintances who are not on Facebook,” says Håkan Selg.

The report also revealed that social media has started first as a social tool, and later as a business tool.  As such, individuals who have a large social network have an advantage in the business world because those contacts are highly sought after.

In addition, the social media allows individuals who don’t have the huge resources and capital to access information and tools that will assist them in all aspects of life including getting jobs, housing, or, developing new contacts.

“A realistic effect of social media is that many costs of running operations will decline in the long run. This will probably enable more people to start their own businesses in the future, thus successively altering working life,” says Håkan Selg.

The consequences for this media are still unclear.  But as a lawyer and mediator it does suggest that the time that you spend making small trivial comments as well as reading such comments can help make you closer to the community; and if your business connections are in your community, then you would hopefully become closer to your business network.

It is important to understand, however, that even with research, too many trivial and inane comments may in fact turn people off.  According to one Facebook user, “I want to keep up with people.  I don’t care that they grew another crop in Farmville.  That is a complete waste of time.  Or if they send too many updates in one day, I just shut them out.”  As such, it is important to consider if your comments are too numerous or if your posts could be a turn off to your business acquaintances.

Story Source:

Uppsala Universitet (2010, October 19). ‘Drivel’ on Facebook more valuable than we think. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/10/101018074410.htm

I would like to invite you to join me for a cyber seminar that I am presenting for the State Bar of California.

Here are the details:

Navigating Facebook, LinkedIn, and Social Media For the Law Practice
Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time – Solo and Small Firm Section

Everyone has heard of Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Learn how these social media can increase client communications, client satisfaction, better communications and enhance your practice. Use these tools to find experts and how it can be used as an investigatory tool for your practice; and how to protect your clients using this form of media.

1 Hour MCLE credit, with speaker Steve Mehta.

I look forward to participating with you.

To register, click here

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