Competitive Narcissism: A Marketing Lesson Reply

The lessons in the following quote go far beyond the uses of social media.  Food for thought on many levels.

The Story of Echo and Narcissus

The challenge of advertising on social media now reminds me of the Greek myth of Echo and Narcissus. Echo was a nymph who had been cursed with an affliction: She couldn’t speak except to repeat what others said to her. One day, she fell in love with Narcissus and hid in the woods waiting for him to notice her. When he called out to some friends, she called back, and he asked her to show herself. Unfortunately for Echo, he rejected her immediately upon seeing her (at which point she ran off, gradually wasting away until only her voice remained—the mountain’s echo). Narcissus continued to attract other wood nymphs, all of whom he briefly entertained before 2011-02-narcissism_tcm7-107172scorning and rejecting them too. Nobody matched his beauty, and so he though no one was worthy of his affection. Eventually, though, Narcissus did fall in love—with his own reflection in a pool of water.

What is social media, really, if not a modern-day equivalent of the reflecting pool where Narcissus saw himself? When people share on social media, aren’t their posts specifically designed to demonstrate to others how wonderful they are and how much fun they are having—to show that they matter? Selfies are perhaps the most obvious example of this trend. As Echo mistook the call from Narcissus to be an indication of interest, marketers mistake “likes” as indications of meaningful interest. But they’ve found themselves similarly rejected as the “likes” fail to translate to more profits.”

via Competitive Narcissism: A Marketing Lesson.

Are your New Year Resolutions Really Worth the Effort? Research Says…. Reply

calvin-and-hobbes-resolutionsBeing the first full week of January, I am guessing many of us are making some effort to act on good intentions and follow through with our new year resolution(s).  But, can we really change? Can we build new habits?

To begin answering this question, I turned to Science of Us and found some interesting articles.  First, let’s look at personality.  As we try to change, can our personality change?  Here is what Science of Us wrote.

[William] James is the groundbreaking Harvard psychologist whose 1890 text The Principles of Psychology is thought to be the first time modern psychology observed the idea that personality settles down, or stabilizes, in adulthood. “In most of us, by the age of thirty, the character has set like plaster, and will never soften again,” reads one of its most quoted lines.

In the century since James wrote these words, a bulk of empirical evidence has proven him right — to a point. As Little likes to phrase it, it’s more like our personalities are “half-plastered” by the time we enter our fourth decade: Yes, much of the way we behave is influenced by our core personality traits, which, research has shown, have a rather strong genetic component and therefore are pretty stable throughout our lives. And most research, not to mention common sense, suggests that though we change a lot in adolescence and our early twenties, these changes slow down once we enter adulthood But, Little argues, we can also choose to act against our natures. Our basic personality traits don’t really change. But that doesn’t mean we can’t change and behave in ways that are opposite to our true selves, when the situation calls for it.

via How Much Can You Really Change After 30? — Science of Us.

OK, so the core of our personality does not really change, but we can manage our behaviors and even build new habits that may seem in some ways counter to our personality.  So, how hard is it to build these new habits?  Once again, over to Science of Us.

In the spirit of the “New Year, New You” season, here is a gentle reminder about habit formation as it applies to resolutions: Contrary to the colloquial wisdom and despite what certain apps and books would have you believe, it does not really take 21 days to form a new habit. So that shiny new behavior you’re trying to adopt — eating breakfast every morning, going to the gym after work, or whatever — probably won’t have really set in by the 21st of January, and there’s no need to despair if it hasn’t. Instead, at least according to one interesting piece of recent research (which, by the way, I’ve written about before), it could be tough going until March: It takes 66 days, on average, to form a new habit.

Incidentally, the health behavior that was toughest for people to do automatically was exercise; that’s not entirely surprising, as it’s a more complex action than drinking water with a meal. Overall, these findings are a reminder to be a little patient with yourself if sticking to your New Year’s resolution is feeling a little harder than you initially thought it would.

via Your Resolution Won’t Become a Habit Till March — Science of Us.

So, it’s going to take a little discipline.  My resolution has a lot to do with running, and that will not be as easy as going to bed 30 minutes earlier each night.  But on the bright side, at least the research suggests that such is possible if I can be disciplined and stick with it.

This Week in Asia: How Global EdTech is Being Shaped by APAC Markets Reply

I was surprised to learn what a big role Asian markets are playing in the design, testing, and further development of EdTech.  Upon reading the stats, which I share in this week’s podcast, the surprise faded away.  The decision to test and develop EdTech makes perfect sense in these markets.  Hit the play button, below, to find out why Asia offers the perfect test markets.

This Week in Asia: AirAsia’s Chief Responds – Reply

AirAsia-India-c10828This week in Asia, I pick up on some emerging trends in SE Asia related to eCommerce, and also litigation in Indonesia related to offending others online.  But of course the big news was the AirAsia jet crash.  Please excuse my voice this week as I was coming off the flu when I recorded.

As a follow-up to my podcast, here is a nice article from the NYT describing CEO Tony Fernandes’ response to the tragedy.  The link to the full article can be found at the bottom.

In addition to prayers for the victims, families, and loved ones, I would like to wish you all a happy new year.

Within hours, Mr. Fernandes was in Surabaya, the missing plane’s point of departure, speaking with families of the passengers and crew. On Tuesday evening, after the crash site had been found, he met with President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, who had arrived in Surabaya to visit the grieving families.

By Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Fernandes was in Pangkalan Bun, the coastal Indonesian town near where the wreckage of Flight 8501 was found and the center of recovery efforts. In delicate language, he spoke on Twitter about the “soul-destroying” experience of seeing the bodies and airplane parts that had been pulled from the water.

His approach to the crisis mirrors the hands-on philosophy that has helped him to turn what was, 13 years ago, a state-owned airline with millions of dollars in debt into Asia’s largest budget carrier.

via AirAsia’s Chief Responds Quickly and With Compassion –

Depression and Social Media – Major Depression Center – Everyday Health Reply

InternetHow does social media consumption impact your mental health?  A topic I would like to focus on in this year year–the relationship between social media use and mental health. In particular, I am become interested in the nature of the relationship between social media use and depression.  Here is a first article that raises some very interesting questions.  The link to the full article can be found below.

That negative cycle begins when you spend long periods of time on social media, time taken away from other activities that might encourage better emotional health, like exercising, meeting up with friends, and engaging in other activities that provide pleasure. In fact, according to the 2010 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, social media users who consume the highest amounts of content report a decrease in social bonding and an increase in loneliness.

Dr. Mihalas points out several possible negative outcomes from a dependence on social media:

It furthers the vicious cycle of sitting at home by yourself and being remote.

You become a victim of your own thoughts as you become less attuned to the outside world around you.

You might get steered into chat rooms with people who prompt negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions instead of engaging with people who are living a more positive, healthier lifestyle.

Additionally, an element of depression is that it can lead you to process information with a negative bias and have dysfunctional beliefs, says Natascha M. Santos, PsyD, a psychologist and an adjunct assistant professor at NYU and SUNY Old Westbury. Participating in social media through the lens of depression can enable this type of negative thinking and validate faulty beliefs. For instance, you might process photos, Tweets, and posts in a way that glamorizes the lives of others, which may or may not be what they seem, she says. This negative bias can lead you to minimize the positives of your own relationships when held up in comparison to relationships presented to you through a set of photos and carefully crafted status updates.

via Depression and Social Media – Major Depression Center – Everyday Health.

Find the Right Expert for Any Problem Reply

Pyramid-people_400A fantastic read on a Saturday morning.  In particular, this adds a systematic method to crowdsourcing efforts and a bit of research backing.  If you are interested in networks, crowds, or open innovation, then this one is for you.

There’s a growing awareness among R&D managers that tapping the expertise of people in distant, analogous fields can yield highly novel solutions to innovation problems. But finding these experts poses a significant challenge of its own. Who and where might they be? The prospect of searching for them can seem overwhelming.

via Find the Right Expert for Any Problem.

A Strong Corporate Identity Helps Companies Perform [HBR Reblog] Reply

The question about a company’s way to create value for customers is probably one of the most fundamental elements of strategy. Which makes it all the more surprising that few organizations are able to answer it with certainty and clarity. Companies’ purpose and mission statements often don’t help, being as vague as “we want to be the company of choice for our customers” or “we are committed to delivering the highest quality and widest selection to our customers.”

We know, however, that companies with a strong identity — the kind that is backed up by the ability to deliver their promise — tend to win. In a recent survey of 720 executives, companies that were seen as having a stronger identity outperformed others by 25% (in terms of average annual TSR between 2010 and 2013).

via The 3 Elements of a Strong Corporate Identity.

3 Myths About People and Change Reply

The greatest barrier to change is common sense.

I stumbled across this video on change which was pretty good.  While the context of this talk is societal change, the principles seem quite applicable to many walks of life.  So what are the 3 myths?  You can watch the full video below, but here is a teaser.

1.  Education alone will not bring about change.

2.  You need to change attitudes in order to change behavior.

3.  Watch the video…

‘Serial,’ Podcasting’s First Breakout Hit, Sets Stage for More – Reply

Podcasts have moved beyond being a nerd curio because all of the friction has been removed from the process, which used to require setting up RSS feeds or cutting and pasting web addresses into a browser. Now, with the advent of ever smarter smartphones, it has become one more push-button technology, allowing consumers to download an app and listen to audio programming at a time of their choosing. If that sounds familiar — Netflix, anyone? — it’s no surprise that it will have similar transformative effects on traditional providers of serious audio programming, which means public radio.

via ‘Serial,’ Podcasting’s First Breakout Hit, Sets Stage for More –