dinsdag 17 mei 2011

More followers on Twitter and more connections on Facebook… higher salary?

Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, mobile phones and other social media conquer the recruitment market nowadays. Employers are increasingly using social media for the recruitment of employees.  Advertisement in a newspapers and even posting a vacancy online (Monsterboard) is outdated according to Recruitment consultants.  A recruitment consultant is responsible for attracting candidates and matching them to temporary or permanent positions jobs with client companies.  According to the leading recruitment consultants the future is in social media.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and mobile phones will dominate in the future.
Imagine you are an employer and you have a vacancy for a communication manager near Eindhoven. Social media can easy filter all the candidates that fit the profile. The employer buys advertisement space on the particular social media site and the site will automatically filter possible candidates. For example, just graduated communication students or communication managers near Eindhoven. Only this people will see the banner (advertisement) on their profile. You can select potential candidates on age, education, Geographic’s or even hobbies and interests.
Google already links advertisement automatically to specific keywords, LinkedIn matches the whole profiles.  Furthermore, advertisement by Google, Facebook and LinkedIn are paid per click, this is efficient because only people who are interested will click on the banner. According to Andy Headworth of Sironsa Consulting in England, it is only since December 2010 that companies see social media sites as a serious recruitment channel.  It exists already three years, but this trends often seem to blow over. In case of the social media trend is seems not to blow over, it is just getting bigger. In fact is grows so fast that companies now realize that social media is not going away any time soon, at least temporarily.
LinkedIn- the only social media site with the goal to be a recruiter has developed a special application that allows the employer to search through the network of the current employees (within the company). This is called “Social referral”  also known as social reference.  Employers make the vacancy and LinkedIn provides the best matching profiles. The benefits of “Social referral” are evident, the quality of the candidate is very high, because he has already endured a selection.
According to Geert Jan Waasdorp founder of Group Intelligence, research and consultancy work in communication, “social networks” are networks of the same-minded people. With a company of 25 people, a employer has soon a social referral from 8-9000 people.  The number of followers on Twitter and the number of connections on Facebook, Hyves or LinkedIn can often literally in a higher salary. If you’re important online it adds a certain value to the company. Like anything else online it is all about personal branding. A photograph, membership and even the type of media on which you can be found can make or break your image. A recruiter is using social media to get a opinion and first impression of you.
Many people think; “people should take me as I am” but you better think twice about how you present yourself online.

The latest novelty is recruitment “augmented reality” on the mobile phone. The phenomenon can be described as a computer animation which covers the real object. Something (text or images) are projected over the actual image. This is already happening on television, for example in football when lines indicate which path the ball has traveled. The same thing can be used on your mobile phone. You can download an application which you can scan your environment just by looking through the lens of your phone camera. If you are looking at a particular building through the camera of your phone, not only the building is shown but also available vacancies (or anything else). Or when you are scanning a product in the supermarket, some details about the product is shown covering the real package. This application is still new and not developed properly. Yet, there are great opportunities, and will totally change the recruitment market in the coming years.
The current 15 and 20 year olds have never heard of the website Monsterboard, but they have grown up with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

woensdag 11 mei 2011

Miscommunication by stereotyping

Although we know that the use of stereotypes is not correct it is still a common phenomenon. Stereotyping is still widely used by individuals, organizations, media and politics. In some cases complete groups are systematically been put down. 
The term stereotype is composed of two ancient Greek terms- Stereos, which is a Greek prefix that means rigid and solid, and typos, which means letter, type and character (Kubler, 1941). Stereotypes can also be defined as “pictures in our heads”. Stereotyping is an automatic assumption that people make. People assume that different (relatively) homogeneous groups significantly differ from other groups. It is not only about external features such as, origin, clothes or looks. People are also tending to add behavioral characteristics to it. By creating a stereotype group we assume that every person who joins this group immediately takes over certain behavior.  
Stereotyping and prejudices can cause a lot of miscommunication. A common problem within organizations is that stereotyping is often unrecognized, invisible and unspoken, but could have a very big impact. This kind of stereotyping is often expressed in so called ‘Micro- inequities’. This term stands for sarcastic comments and non-social behaviors (often unconsciously) towards others who are in some way different. Within one second, we estimate a person, young, old, smart, stupid, attractive, not attractive, and interesting or not.  For example, femininity is a valuable positive attribute in nursing or teaching occupations, but not in traditionally male-dominated occupations, such as engineering or sciences.
We think that we know how the other person works, but of course this is a big mistake.  By judging others we limit our communication with these generalities.  We cannot directly judge behavior without understanding where it comes from. 
“Every judgment that you make, says as much about yourself as it says about the other person”.
Why we use stereotypes
As I said before stereotyping is an automatic assumption that people make. Also known as ‘biases’ in our brains.  A cognitive bias is the human tendency to make systematic ‘thinking’ errors based on cognitive factors rather than evidence. Cognitive biases are a common outcome of human thought, and often drastically skew the reliability of legal evidence.  This may sound difficult but it comes down to the following;
People use ‘heuristics’ to give direction to their thoughts. Heuristic refers to experience- based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovering. We use heuristic methods to speed up different processes in our minds to find a good solution (identifying, interpreting and analyzing). It makes our daily lives much more easy because we do not have to investigate (and think about) everything over and over again.  For example, once you decided that fruit and bread are healthy thinks to eat for breakfast, you will not wonder every single morning again if bread and fruit are really that healthy for you. Or why these products are good for you and what the ingredients are, right?  If you do that, every day you’d be hours late for work.
We make our own routines and rules, these rules work well under most circumstances, such as the breakfast example, but in certain cases, this leads to systematic errors in our brains. In case of stereotyping this ‘heuristics’ could work against us.  

“We put other people in boxes to make our own thoughts easier”

As said earlier we use heuristic methods to speed up different processes in our minds, minimizing the energy used in day to day life. If you want to communicate with another person you need to think outside of these boxes and stereotypes.  You have to put yourself in the position of the other person.  Because stereotypes and prejudices are based on misinformation, for a long period researchers thought that the problem could be fixed by right education. But it is proven that this is not true, also high educated people use and think in stereotypes (Lazarsfeld, 1940).
Stereotyping and prejudices will always be a part in our day to day life and will cause a lot of miscommunication.
With taking a bit of extra energy, we maybe can judge a book by its contents and not its cover.

woensdag 27 april 2011

Distance and Miscommunication

“ The role of distance in online romantic relations”

This week I want to discuss a very interesting question, something I personally would like to understand much better than I do now.  This question is about “the role of distance in romantic relations”.  Last week I attended a lecture on this subject, after which I started to investigate more about it.
Many couples face periods of separation, whether long or short it is possibly one of the greatest challenges. In today’s highly mobile world, there are a lot of communication possibilities and if both partners are willing to expend a little effort distance should not be a problem. Communication between people who are separated from each other can take place through different channels.  However, there are some aspects that need to be taken into account.
Without the reassurance of physical touch or quality time, it’s easy for couples to grow apart and forget all the reasons why they began the relationship in the first place. Communication is a key part of any relationship, and when long distance is involved it becomes even more important. One thing that couples who are separated by distance miss are the daily going- on things in life. Sending an email that mentions the small things as well as the bigger things can help to connect more to each other’s lives.  But why is it still so hard to stay involved in each other’s life? And what are the hazards?

Role of distance

When we are writing love letters and nowadays e-mails to our loved ones, there is a very long period between sending and receiving the message. Also, returning a response could take some time.  People are often in different emotional states, it is scientifically proved that people make different choices in different emotional conditions. A research of Loewenstein et al in 2001, showed for example that people in a happy state are reluctant to gamble.  Another research of Mackie and worth in 1989 showed that people in depressed mood do deeper processing.  For example, anger appraisals of certainty, and individual control where fear appraisals of uncertainty, and situational control.  If there is a long period between sending and receiving messages, emotions and moods within the sender and receiver can change.  Imagine sending an e-mail to your loved one, after fighting with your boss about a disagreement or after a long day of stress about an exam.  The tone of the e-mail would differ from the one you send in a very happy emotional state.  This can lead to misunderstandings. On the other hand it is very difficult to transfer emotions to the other person.  We use facial expressions to transfer our feelings; happiness by smiling, sadness by crying or anger by contracts our eyebrows.  Communication channels such as telephone, sms and e-mail cannot transfer facial expressions. Skype on the other hand allow people to see and hear each other, but still in a minimal context. 

Different context
Context plays an important role in human communication. The meanings of words depend on the context.  For example, if the weather is really bad and someone says ‘Nice weather today’ most of the people know that this statement is sarcastic.  Anyone who has difficulty taking into account the context may interpret the language completely different.  Even more difficult than the observable context (such as words) is the unobservable context.  Unobservable communication is not only what we say, but also the things we do not say.  In other words, what is not said but is meant (implicit context) and the things we add with our imagination. This is called ‘concealed ‘meanings.  Communication is a complex subject and we must not only understand the words or phrases. We also have to take in account the (social) world and intentions behind the words and the intentions hidden behind the words.  Without that context, communication is often quite incomprehensible and confusing.  If two people are separated from each other it is hard to imagine the social context of the other person.  Because of this, it is hard to transfer ‘concealed’ meanings in the right way.

Costing too much money?

I found a very funny and interesting article at
www.scienceblogs.com some economist speculating about ‘why long distance relationships fail’. Mr. Cowen wrote, “People in long- distance relationships may spend more money than local lovebirds”.  How is that possible? The answer lies in the Alchian- Allen theorie developed in 1964 by economist Armen Alchian and William R. Allen, this theorem states that adding a per unit charge to the price of two substitute goods increases the relative consumption of the higher price good. In other words, you don’t take a long trip unless you are going to make it worth your while! Very few people in a long- distance relationship are going to fly across the world just to hang out in sweatpants with their lover.

“If your boyfriend or girlfriend who lives, 3,000 miles away is worth dating, it better be high-quality because you might as well have no boy- girlfriend than a low-quality boy- girlfriend who lives 3,000 miles away”

Gender differences in long- distance relationships

Interestingly, commitment to long distance relationships varies by gender. Several studies have found that women exhibit and express more commitment to their relationships than their male partners. When studying long distance relationships, Dellman-Jenkins et al found in 1994 that women make more maintenance efforts such as, phone calls etc. Also, Schebel et al found in 1992 that women report more effort in long distance relationships. Overall, studies on both long distance and non- long distance relationships have found that women show more commitment to and more effort in maintaining their dating relationships than men did in the same study.

Whether the problem is the context, role of emotions, money or gender differences communication is in my opinion the key part of any relationship and as I said before when long distance is involved it becomes even more important. It may cost more effort and information exchange about topics that might not seem important but this is necessary for the relationship to succeed. ....
Thank you for reading by blog this week… I hope you enjoyed it and please don’t be afraid to give your opinion…

dinsdag 12 april 2011

Social Media Overload

One of the hottest trends in marketing right now is social media marketing. Business of all sizes and from all industries are on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, niche social networking sites, blogs…name it.
Me like many others realized that while social media has some undeniable benefits, it can also be a bit overwhelming at times. If you went all out and created profiles on numerous websites and started a growing blog, you already know just how much time it can take to manage everything.
Sometimes we forget that there’s more than Facebook and Twitter.  New social media services rising up all the time. These fast- growing social network services are perhaps not the most popular networks in absolute numbers, but the use of these social network services takes surprising increase.
Last Tuesday, marketing agency “ Ignite Social Media”  published some interesting facts  about the use of social networks. Despite the fact that the interest in social networking stayed equal the last two years there are some striking differences in the popularity statistics.   The following social network sites are some of the fast growing ones.
Tumblr can be seen as an extended version of Twitter. Both services have one thing in common, that is that they are both existing out off micro blogs. The differences is the fact that there is no limitation in characters. On the other hand can text contain, moving images, audio, quotes and links in a ‘tumble blog’ .  It is a collection of blog pages with a social element, because users can follow each other’s posts in their own dashboard.  Also, certain topics and themes with a hashtag (#) can be sorted. Although the service (Tumblr) has been declared dead by critics during the last five years, the site became unusually popular in the last years. Popular sites are those of the newspaper New York Times and Huffington Post.

David Karp and Marco Arment are the two developers of Tumblr, they started it in 2007. In March 2011 3,8 billion messages were sent by users of Tumblr  and nearly 15 million blogs were written.  Also by famous people such as, Leonard Cohen, John Legend, Katy Perry and Justine Bateman

Weibo is a Chinese micro blogging site similar to Twitter. However, this Chinese micro blog service is not a concurrent of Twitter but more a replacer. This because, Twitter is forbidden in Asian countries. Although Weibo seems the same service as Twitter, they are different to each other.  It is not a secret that micro blogs with more than  100 million members are been censored. Also, the service contains a lot of advertisement because it is possible to create accounts for groups and events.

Weibo is launched by Sina Corporation (China’s biggest web portal) in August 2009.  It has more than 100 million users and millions of posts per day, and is adding 10 million new users per month. The company also said it now has more than 60,000 verified accounts, consisting of celebrities, sports stars and others VIPs. Futhermore, Sina said that more than 5,000 companies and 2,700 media organizations in China are currently using Weibo.
Reddit is an American social news site where users add and change their own messages. Reddit is a source of what’s new and popular online. Users can vote on links that they like or dislike. Also, users can filter with an account on the news flow released, so they will see personalized messages. Reddit is a popular medium for movies and striking images. 

Reddit is owned by Conde Nast Digital, a company of Advance Magazine publisher Inc. The site was launched in 2005.
Stumble Umpon is a social search engine that allows users share interesting web pages. The user can make a separate account or login with your Facebook login information. Based on your interest you selected yourself, you get articles, photos and videos based on your interests. Also, you can leave comments to these posts and the funniest or most interesting links can be linked to your network.
StumbleUpon was founded in November 2001 by Garret Camp, Geoff Smith, Justin LaFrance and Eric Boyd during post- graduate school in Canada.

Its up to you if you want to join some of the described social media sites...I think for me it is to early!

Thank you for reading again..


dinsdag 29 maart 2011

Friendships and relationships through Social Media

Nowadays we are using social media tools all the time, our communication take place through email, instant messaging, and other electronic ways.  In addition to what we express verbally (face- to- face), there are many other facets to communication that make up a comprehensive message. Some 93% of what we are thinking is said non- verbally.  When we think of non- verbal communication, we think of body language, hand gestures of facial expressions. But what happens in online conversations if 93% of what we are thinking is said non- verbally, how are we going to detect this thoughts? And is it possible to form new friendships or relationships?  In science, there are two conflicting perspectives about computer mediated communication called  ' Lost'  and ' Liberated' .

The first perspective ‘Lost’ assumes that communication through computers lacks many aspects of traditional communications, such as physical presence, social, nonverbal and contextual cues.  Also they say, social relationships are superficial, not personal and often hostile, group formation is an illusion and there is little information available to misunderstandings and ambiguities. The bottom line is that computer mediated communication through datingsites, social networksites, e-mail and other forms are anti-social.

The second perspective ‘Liberated’ assumes that communication through computer makes relationships free (liberated) from physical proximity and therefore offers many opportunities for new, real and interpersonal relationships. Computer mediated communication is therefore true relational and the lack of physical presence actually offers opportunities.   In other words, computer mediated communication is social.
Everyone will have a different point of view about these two perspectives and you will have yours. With this in mind I wrote a piece for one of my courses about communication and online friendships.  The main question was;

“Is it possible to form a close friendship or relationsships through online communication?”

Based on several existing theories, I believe that it is possible to form close friendships or relationships through online communication. I believe that the internet can be a good starting point for the emergence of a friendship or a relationship. For example, forums where members communicate with each other about shared interests. According to Berger and Calabrese (two researchers in this field) people find each other nicer in online meetings compared to offline meetings. Because people have limited information about the other person they will search for information to make a first impression. More information about the other person makes him or her more predictable. More information leads to a more secure en comfortable feeling. Another research by two scientists (Chan en Cheng) shows that offline friendships are deeper, more understanding and more intimate compared to online friendships. But on the other hand, the quality of friendships improved for both online and offline friendships as the relationship lasts. However, a theory of Walther (1992) argues that it is possible to form online interpersonal relationships but is takes more time compared to face-to-face relationships. Also, studies of Park en Roberts (1998) demonstrated that individuals within online friendships use other tools for communication over time, such as telephone, letters and even inter- personal communication.

In conclusion
The internet in my opinion could be a good starting point for establishing friendships, because people find other people nicer in online meetings. Offline friendships are deeper compared to online friendships, but the quality of both “offline” and “online” friendships improve after time expires. Because people after time expire, use other communication tools to maintain the friendship. There is an offline friendship born out of an online meeting.

Thank you for reading my blog this week!
See you next time...

vrijdag 11 maart 2011

Learn about my generation

Generation Y (also known as the Millennials) is a term used for people born in de mid- 1980 and later. Some people within this generation are still teenagers others are around their thirty’s . I am born in 1987 and somewhere in the middle of this generation ‘Y’.  They say, people in this generation (twenty and thirty- something) have a number of striking characteristics. First of all, they feel that freedom and self-determination are really valuable. They do not want to be limited in their choices so they keep all options open. On the other hand, next to this freedom, the current twenty and thirty- something person wants to bond, connect and settle more often. Also, self development must contribute to the society. It seems to be that freedom and solidarity are no opposites for my generation.  Because of this freedom, many young adults do not know what they really want. For example, there are a large number of study and career opportunities. It is not uncommon for this generation to be stuck in their own choices.  People within generation Y are in their 20’s and are just entering the workforce, they are the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce. This new generation is beginning to interfere in business and government. Within organizations a generation switch is taking place. This process can be positive to the economic and social health of organizations.  One problem is that this new generation takes over existing and old routines within the company. Young people know where new approaches are needed, but their knowledge and strengths are often underestimated. Too often they adapt to and are absorbed by existing cultures within the company.

 Miscommunication between different generations within the Company

Awareness of the generation differences within the company can ovoid miscommunication for example between managers and employees. Take a look at the following example;
An experienced older manager presents his strategic vision to a group of young employees (generation Y). This distinct vision stimulates the group of young employees to think. Within a short period the group of young employees point out the exact weak part of the strategy. The manager is visibly disappointed and again he explains what he meant. With a persuasive strategy he seeks for support within the group, but this is not happening. The manager does not recognize the added value of this new group employees and they will fee useless. Eventually their attention drops away. 

This example illustrates the importance of awareness of the generation differences within a company.  To integrate this ‘generation switch’, a lot of time, awareness and cooperation is needed to succeed. If young managers and professionals learn from the day they enter the organization how to convert their knowledge into good work, a connection between cooperating and learning existing. This should be accompanied by the awareness of the value of each generation ‘old and young’. Integrating the new into the existing is the key point.

What to know about generation Y

Family- Centric: The fast- track has lost much of its appeal for Generation Y who is willing to trade high pay for fewer billable hours, flexible schedules and a better work/ life balance. While older generations may view this attitude as narcissistic or lacking commitment, discipline and drive, generation Y legal professionals have a different vision of workplace expectations and prioritize family over work.

Tech- Savvy: Generation Y grew up with technology and rely on it to perform their jobs better. Armed with Blackberrys, laptops, cellphones and other gadgets, Generation Y is plugged- in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This generation prefers to communicate through e-mail and text messaging rather than face- to- face contact and webinars and online technology to traditional lecture- based presentations.

Achievement- Oriented:Nurtured and pampered by parents who dit not want to make the same mistakes of the previous generations, Generation Y is confident, ambitious and achievement oriented. They have high expectations of their employers, seek out new challanges and are not afraid of question authority. Generation Y wants meaningful work and a solid learning curve.

Team Oriented:As children, Generation Y participated in team sports and play other group activities. They value teamwork and seek the input and affirmation of others. Part of a no-person-left-behind generation, generation Y is loyal, committed and wants to be included and involved.

Attention Craving:Generation Y craves attention in the forms of feedback and guidance. They appreciate being kept in the loop and seek frequent praise and reassurance. Generation Y may benefit greatly from mentors who can help guide and develop their young careers.

So, that's it for this week, thanks for visiting and reading my blog i hope you find it interesting. Next week their will be a new topic on miscommunication..

See you next time...


donderdag 10 maart 2011

Actie Koninklijke marine in Libie mislukt door miscommunicatie?

Maart 2011

De reddingsactie door drie Nederlandse militairen in Libië is mogelijk mislukt door onvoldoende inlichtingen vooraf, of doordat de hele operatie verraden is. Dat zegt defensie-expert Rob de Wijk. Als ze gedood zouden worden, dan was dat al gebeurd de afgelopen dagen.Bij de mislukte reddingsactie, bij de stad Sirte, kwamen drie Nederlandse militairen in handen van het Libische regime van Muammar Khaddafi. Een boordhelikopter vloog vanaf marinefregat Hr. Ms. Tromp naar de Libische stad om daar twee evacués op te pikken.Na de landing werd de bemanning overvallen door een gewapende groep regeringsgezinde Libiërs,Premier Rutte zegt op alle mogelijke niveau’s diplomatiek verkeer” te hebben met de Libische autoriteiten. Het is een verschrikkelijke kwestie. Verder kan ik er in het belang van de gevangen militairen in Libië geen mededelingen over doen.”

september 2010
Miscommunicatie leidde bijna tot drama boven Londen
In Londen is een vliegtuigdrama maar net vermeden. Een vliegtuig van Turkish Airlines met 232 passagiers aan boord kwam boven de olympische site van de stad op een haar na in botsing met een zakenvliegtuig. Dat blijkt uit een officieel rapport dat gisteren is vrijgegeven. Miscommunicatie en een menselijke fout lagen aan de basis van de 'bijna -botsing'.

Het incident speelde zich op 27 juli van vorig jaar af en leidde ertoe dat de luchtverkeerleiders nieuwe en strengere veiligheidsmaatregelen in gebruik hebben genomen om een drama boven de Britse hoofdstad te vermijden.

Het zakenvliegtuig, een Cessna Citation, met twee bemanningsleden en één passagier aan boord was net opgestegen van London City Airport, toen de piloot van de controletoren toestemming kreeg om te klimmen tot 3.000 voet. De piloot antwoordde dat hij zou klimmen tot 4.000 voet, maar die boodschap werd niet opgepikt door de controletoren.