// To Catch A “Catfish”er //

A study done by S. Hong, E. Tandoc, etc. named “The Real You? The Role of Visual Cues and Comment Congruence in Perceptions of Social Attractiveness from Facebook Profiles” that was published in the journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking sampled 104 profiles and designed an experiment that tested the congruence of self-presentation versus other-generated comments on your Facebook profile. The study found that it is much harder to manipulate social cues by others on your own profile page. What they mean is that you can’t control how someone else interacts with you (or your profile) in regards to what type of comments they leave, what pictures they like. These other-generated comments are a factor that can cause people to judge your page not only by what you post but how others post or interact with you as well.

If you’ve been connected to the tv and social media in the past couple months, I am sure you are familiar with the term “Catfish” (Wikipedia catfish tv show link) made popular by Nev Schulman’s unfortunate encounter with who he thought was his Facebook lover  but was actually a 40 year old’s fake profile. This has been a lot of heat about Facebook profiles and whether we should rely on peoples’ appearance and personality on it as an accurate representation of their “real” identity.

Since we have full control of what is posted on our Facebook profiles, it is only human nature to try to spotlight the positives and attractive sides of our lives. Rarely do you see a profile picture of someone having a rough day. But, like the study shows, how others interact on your profile also reflects your “real identity” and can be a way to determine how accurate the attractiveness and personality of each profile really is. If the comments by others aren’t congruent to the attractiveness level of the profile picture, they relate this to being a red flag for a misleading profile.

I would find it interesting to see what social ques are present when someone like me (who has has their facebook wall disabled) is analyzed. I see Facebook as a place where even though I have a public profile, my purpose is more for the messaging and to keep in contact with family in Brasil rather than to post and highlight what is going on in my life to others. I haven’t posted a Facebook status in a very long time though I do have my relationship status posted since my boyfriend does use Facebook a lot more often than me and posts there daily, I did it for him. What would that say about me? Would it be flagged as misleading since I have disabled others the ability to interact with me publicly or does this make me a more reserved person?

// ChaCha: Mass Collaboration for Mass Laziness //

Online search engines such as Google have allowed us to easily access information that is available to us on the web since way back in my middle school days when everyone thought Jeeves was a genius. But one company that allowed anyone with a mobile device to ask a question via text message and get a human response in real time. This company goes by the name Cha Cha.


(picture from ChaCha.com)

ChaCha uses mass collaboration to answer these questions by paying various “guides” from .03 to .20 cents per question answered depending on the type of question being answered. [source]

There are four different types of guides that ChaCha hires. The first is called the Vetter whose duty is to match the questions with the best answers, the Expeditor whose duty is to answer questions real time. The Generalists are the know-it-alls and the Transcriber deals with the phone calls.

While in 2006, the mobile device market was not predominantly occupied by data plans and iPhones, ChaCha was a great way to get a curious question answered while you didn’t have access to a computer. Nowadays, most mobile plans include unlimited data and a web browser set to a search engine as the home page.

But what does this mean for ChaCha? Instead of allowing the industry to kill the text question service, it created apps for iPhone and Androids. But what kinds of negative impact does this easy to use service have on society? Welcome to being lazy. Google as well as other search engines make answers to just about anything you could ask readily avaliable with the click of a finger. Well maybe two click, but all you have to do is skim through the searches. With Cha cha, users don’t have to worry about doing the searching, they are allocating it to someone else.

My brother is actually a “Generalist” guide for ChaCha because he enjoys answering questions on his spare time. Prior to web browsers permitting users to search for questions themselves I can understand why ChaCha was a great tool to have but now, it’s a luxury. A lazy one at that.

// Blog Post #2: LinkedIn or DefinitelyOut//

We are now in a digital era where information is readily available on just about anything ranging from puppies to the European financial crisis in the click of a button. But what does that mean for the job search process?  Job hunting is something a majority of the population goes through or has gone through (unless you are an extremely lucky heir to a multimillion dollar company or you live in Candyland, but that is the exception not the rule).

In the past, job applications were tedious and finger aching (literally) writing down every past job experience you’ve had but now we live in a time where an application is as easy as uploading a file and clicking submit. After the rise of Facebook and other social media, we were introduced to a highly popular “professional” networking tool by the name of LinkedIn. While asking around if my peers did or didn’t have a LinkedIn I noticed 2 trends. First, they either did or didn’t have one and felt as if it wasn’t important and second, most of those that did have one, hadn’t completed their profile. Many business classes here at the University of Maryland teach you how vital a LinkedIn profile is to job searching these days but what many students have failed to realize is how employers view an incomplete profile. But as I learned from my job search strategies course last semester, an incomplete profile can sometimes be even worse than not having one at all because it suggests you don’t put in effort and can’t finish simple tasks. But on to the controversial part, your profile picture. What kind of picture should you use? Should you even upload a picture at all? Resumes don’t have headshots, so do recruiters actually look at your picture?

TheLadders , a professional job search site, completed a study on job recruiter’s behavior on sites such as LinkedIn. After the study they used a heat map to illustrate the places a recruiter looks on your profile as well as the amount of time they spend on each attribute. To my surprise, these recruiters spent 19% of the time they were on a candidate’s page looking at his or her picture.

Shocking right? This seems to be an issue to me because a picture is a very easy way to discriminate someone. If recruiters are spending more time on the picture than anything else, it may lead to looks overlooking talent and experience. 

This makes me rethink how technology is affecting society and whether it is a good or bad tool for job searching and reevaluate the power of LinkedIn or whether an apperance can validate you as DefinitelyOut of the job search. 

// Blog Post #1: Crowdsourcing//

Prior to the program we were asked to attend for my JOUR298F class on how social media are affecting society and the business world, I had no idea what crowdsourcing meant. Just by looking at the word, I knew it had to do with using a “crowd” as a source or point of reference for something but couldn’t think up in what type of situation or process it may be used. The field that I am currently interning in definitely uses social media as a marketing tool to help spread the word about sporting events and especially fan interaction on twitter but I had never realized that these same social media tools and platforms could be used as disaster relief and emergency response platforms. I can definitely say I was blinded by the marketing craze related to social media and even though I have read about various uses of social media never have I heard of this humanitarianistic purpose. This made me want to fully engage and understand the topic being discussed.

One thing that I found very interesting was the use of Informacam that had GPS capabilities in order to prove that the videos taken in this “eye witness mode” weren’t manipulated and could be used as a means of proving the specific location of a picture or video.  Though I find this very important, while being in the computer science field for a year of study, I also know that as quickly as it was for someone to create a program that encrypts the gps coordinates into a picture or video, someone could outsmart that same feature and be able to manipulate the information to change such encryptions.

I really enjoyed seeing the visual of the twitter retweets and trending topics related to the earthquakethat hit Japan and it shows the true power of social media and crowdsourcing. One thing that I see as an issue with crowdsourcing for information in places that aren’t as technologically advanced as the United States. For example, in my small town in Brasil, Quebrangulo where I am from, there is barely any internet still. And the internet that IS available is dial up not a wireless connection. Two years ago, there was a massive flood in the two main rivers that run across the small town and the majority of the houses are lined against the river got destroyed causing over 60% of the people that live there to be homeless and to this day are still homeless. Though crowdsourcing is a great idea it is hard to see it being put into action when there are these “gaps’ and places where technology hasn’t reached yet.

// That feeling…//

when you see people around the world wearing UnderArmour.

I got a rush of happiness and the biggest smile on my face when I saw a guy wearing an UnderArmour hat in Milan today !

In Feb.2010, I told Kevin Plank my top ambition which was to someday work for UnderArmour. After the game, he told me that my enthusiasm is fit for UA. Enthusiasm is a key quality for an Ultimate Intern at an innovative company like UnderArmour.

In Feb.2010, I told Kevin Plank my top ambition which was to someday work for UnderArmour. After the game, he told me that my enthusiasm is fit for UA. Enthusiasm is a key quality for an Ultimate Intern at an innovative company like UnderArmour.

// Being an Aries…//

Means that

1) I’m super competitive

2) I like being in challenging situations

3) I’m adventurous

4) I’m impulsive

5) I get bored easily

6) I love leading the way

You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have
the courage - pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically - to
say no to other things. And the way to do that is by having a
bigger yes burning inside.
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