Sunday, February 26, 2012

What's your ideal Virtual World?

The Virtual World, is a place to browse unexplored and new domains, visual and participate in imaginary communities and do business in a virtual marketplace with real customers and colleagues. 

Sims, a virtual reality simulator, was created back in 2000. As a little kid you were able to create your ideal virtual reality, from choosing the perfect house to creating your ideal husband/ wife and family. If you had a crush on Brad Pitt, you were able to create a character that looked exactly like him and make you as the spouse; along with making a huge house with a pool, tennis court and the biggest backyard you could ever think of and so much more. If you had the secret code “rosebud”, you could enhance your daily income to meet your actual needs, instead of what the game gave you. This game allowed kids of all ages to see a virtual reality that would continue to change the way to which they saw the world as they grew up, and experience interactions with other people starting from a young age. The life of the virtual would is expanding into something huge, and will have an impact on its users that will change their lives.

It has allowed us to simulate situations, from a young age, that only you could wish would happen. The virtual world has created a close nit community that will continue to expand. These worlds allow its users to create something that is completely unique to them. Since Sims, there are many other virtual realities that have allowed its users to simulate real life situations. From Second Life to World of Warcraft, these games are vastly diverse yet attract a distinctive type of person. Sims has also created numerous versions on this game, constantly updating and There will continue to be a distinct change in the virtual world, allowing it to expand into something that the whole world will soon be involved in. Business in the virtual world is still new, but it is this reality that will continue to develop relationships with customers, meet other avatars, and meet new people within this developing community.

If you were able to create an ideal life in the virtual world, what would it be?
What are some ways the virtual world has changed your life?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Can a Person’s Facebook Profile Predict Job Performance?

Last week, several mainstream media networks reported a new research finding about Facebook --- it can predict job candidates’ performance at work. What is this study about?  

The study recruited three raters (1 professor + 2 students) to evaluate the Facebook profiles of 56 college students with jobs. Six months later, these raters’ reports were compared with the employee evaluations conducted by the actual supervisors. The study found a strong correlation between those two sets of evaluations in “conscientiousness,” “agreeability” and “intellectual curiosity.”

In addition, profiles of “students who traveled, had more friends, and showed a wide range of hobbies and interests” received more favorable evaluations. Raters did not rate against students who posted partying pictures. Instead, raters perceived students with partying photos as “extroverted and friendly.”

I think this is an interesting study even though I have some concerns about the research design and the generalizability issue of the study. My question is can we draw a conclusion that Facebook profiles can predict job performance? The relationship exists when Facebook profiles are correlated with Facebook users’ personality and then when certain personality traits are correlated with job performance, as suggested by Dr. Don Kluemper (the principle investigator of this project at Northern Illinois University). It seems to me that certain “personality traits” are the true indicators of job performance. Facebook just provides a platform for job candidates to “show case” their true personality.

To think deeper, what do those research findings mean to HR managers and job seekers?

For HR managers, would it be better to just ask candidates to complete a personality test/assessment rather than checking their Facebook profiles? First of all, not everyone use Facebook or make their Facebook profiles public. Second, companies are taking a risk of screening candidates with their Facebook profiles because of the rich demographic information revealed on Facebook. If personality test and Facebook profile can yield similar results, why bother to take the risk?

For job seekers, it is important to know the job search tactics on social media. One must understand the mechanism of social media and use it for his/her advantage. What do you think?


The Wall Street Journal Video

The Fox News Video

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Big Brother Is Watching Us on Social Media: Is It Good or Bad?

Many people are aware of the fact that there is no such thing of “privacy” on the internet and that social media can significantly speed up the process of publicizing content. Indeed, somebody is watching us 24/7 on the internet, but is it a good thing or a bad thing?

According to this CNN News video, the Department of Homeland Security wants to attain information such as “terrorist attack,” “tornado,” and “home land security” from social networking sites. The information is currently collected by a third party agent called for a price of $11 million.

There are scientists making predictions by analyzing the keywords appeared in search engines and/or on social networking sites. For example, if people in a certain geographic location start searching “fluid syndromes” on Google, Yahoo, or Bing, that could be an indication of an outbreak of fluid or a fluid-related disease. There are also researchers trying to predict the “mood” of the world by analyzing people’s tweets (e.g. a happy vs. an unhappy day).

It seems that the big brother can benefit from the “big picture” or the emerging themes found on the internet. Personally, I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. The privacy issues, however, arise when people worry about whether their personal interactions online are also being watched.

In general, do you think the big brother is doing a good thing or a bad thing to the society? To what degree should people be watched? What are your suggestions for protecting internet users’ privacy while at the same time, making data available for scientific research?

The picture was downloaded from Sangrea.Net

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Can You Show Me That Video Again? Video: Overnight Sensations

“Bieber Fever.” Everyone has heard of Justin Bieber right? Well, the only reason Justin Bieber is where he is today is simply because of one video sharing website, YouTube. Bieber was a YouTube sensation; he had millions of viewers who were drooling over him and all they wanted was more and more video. So, he listened to the raving viewers, got picked up by R&B star Usher’s manager, and the rest is history.
So, the point of this anecdote isn’t to show that we can all be overnight YouTube sensations like Justin Bieber, but rather to prove a point that there are tools out there that can be utilized to turn nothing into something. Video or “vlogs” (Video web LOG) is quickly becoming the number one way to reach an audience or potential consumers. The reason video is so captivating is the fact that the consumer can become emotionally attached in numerous different ways. You can engage an audience through body language, senses, and creativity. While audio only allows us to hear the message, video allows us to interact through facial expressions and body language, which helps the viewer trust the content as well as the deliverer.
We all have our favorite videos that we love to share with our inner circle, but the greatest success of videos is how they reach people in our outer circles. Once a video is searched, either on YouTube or on a blog, it is then shared or reposted by people who find an interest it. Then, it is passed on and on, and by the end of the day thousands and even millions of people have viewed it, commented on it and most likely shared it with a friend. Video has the capability of making connections with people and an everlasting impression; this is why we love to watch the same videos over and over, because they bring back those same feelings we felt the very first time we ever saw it.
The most critical part of any social media strategy is to understand completely how it can benefit both you and the audience. You can already see the impact video has on someone and how quickly it can be shared, but the hard part is deciding what to make your video about. The Hospitality Industry can benefit from video whether it is a hotel, restaurant, catering business or even a blogger with a passion for the field. Video can help transform an intangible service or product into something substantial that viewers can connect with on a different level. For instance, taking a virtual tour of a hotel before booking a room to get a feel of what the hotel is truly about; or updates on trends and new changes a restaurant is implementing such as going green and using sustainable products. Seeing rather than hearing goes a long way. It allows the viewer to see with their own eyes exactly what you want them to, rather than the viewer creating a false image in their mind.
YouTube is quickly becoming the second largest search engine on the Internet; will hotels and other hospitality industry services fall behind if they don’t start keeping up with the trend? Will video become the new way to communicate over audio and text?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tactics of Seeking Jobs on Social Media

Recently, HOSTEUR™ published a paper of mine entitled “Seeking Jobs on Social Media: Are You Ready?” (p. 13 – 17). The paper answers three research questions:

  1. What is social media?
  2. How do companies use social media in recruitment and selection?
  3. What can job seekers do in responding to companies’ social-media strategies in recruitment and selection?

People who follow my blog probably know the answers very well. In today’s discussion, I would like to summarize and quote some of the tactics I discussed in the paper. I would like to open up for comments because what you share may help a job seeker find a job.    

  • Understand employers’ expectations. Job seekers must know the characteristics or qualifications that recruiters seek in candidates.
  • Design an appropriate personal brand that fits in employers’ expectations and the job seeker’s career goal. Job seekers need to answer: “What do I want the recruiters or hiring managers to know about me?”
  • Join the professional organizations/groups on LinkedIn and participate in discussions. That means initiating intellectual conversations and answering other group members’ questions. It is very important that a job seekers shares useful information in the network.  
  • In addition to the popular social networking sites, create an account in other professional communities on the internet, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and (a community for small business). Why? They will help optimize the search engine results.
  • Use the same name and title on every social media site. This will help search engines identify and bring up the right profiles at once.
  • Cross-reference one another on a person’s social media profiles. The question is: “Do you have an information hub for all your profiles?” The hub could be blog, a personal website, a LinkedIn profile, etc. Let the recruiters and hiring managers to navigate the profiles from one to another.  
  • Build a network with industry experts, professors, co-workers, references, people who share the same interests, and people encountered in professional occasions. Whom we know matters!   
  • Before building a personal brand, search a person’s name on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. See what people talk about the person on the Internet and social networking sites. If there is an issue, fix it or even hire an agent to help clean up the negative content.
  • Build a strong personal brand on social media by frequently posting relevant comments or discussions that support the job seeker’s personal brand. Over time, the job seeker should be known as an expert in a specific domain.
  • Ask professionals who are familiar with the job seeker’s work for endorsement on social media. The recommendations can help a job seeker to validate and promote his/her personal brand.
  • Because very few employers want to hire a negative person or a questionable candidate, a job seeker must be very careful when posting negative comments (unless they are constructive), complaints, or those pictures/comments that do not project his/her personal brand.
  • Pay attention to the hidden messages conveyed on social media. Do you think your pictures indicate who you are? Pictures taken at the award ceremonies are always very helpful in supporting a resume or what is highlighted on the application letter. 
  • It is all right to show a candidate’s true personality in some ways. In some degree, job seeking is similar to dating. While companies are looking for candidates who fit in the organization’s culture and jobs, job seekers also want to find the jobs they like. If a candidate “pretends” to be somebody else and gets a job offer that does not match the candidate’s personality, s/he will very likely end up hating the job and leaving the company. Rather, a job seeker should target the positions or companies that match his/her personality and be true to oneself.
  • It is important that a job candidate uses a professional profile picture and keep their profiles public to some degree. If everything is “hidden” or “private,” how would a job seeker amplify the power of social media?
  • Be very careful of the questionable content posted on the internet. If that’s something you don’t even want your family to know, probably it is not a good idea to put the content on the internet.
  • It takes time, or even a very long time, before a person can establish a strong personal brand online. So, everyone should all start practicing now regardless if s/he is looking for job or not.


Kwok, Linchi (2011, Fall/Winter). Seeking jobs on social media, are you ready? HOSTEUR™, 20 (2): 13-17.

The picture was downloaded from 

Relevant discussions:

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Wonderful World of Microblogging

In today’s world, everyone always has something to say about what is going on around him or her, and wants everyone else to know it. Whether it is about what they ate for lunch, the job they are searching for, or the cute thing their daughter did that day, someone is always looking for a fast and easy way to share information like this with others. 
With this in mind, comes along the wonderful world of microblogging. Microblogging is a broadcast medium in the form of blogging. There are many different forms of this such as Twitter, Plurk, and Twixtr, out there in the world that everyone wants to become a part of and fast.
Microblogging’s most popular decendant is Twitter, which is an online social networking service that allows it members to share and read pists of up to 140 characters. These 140 characters together compose a tweet, which is a thought or piece of information one wishes to share with his or her followers. . 
Almost everyone is a part of twitter, it is one of the biggest things to happen to the internet since google. If you aren’t a part of it, you are definitely missing out, because once you start you immediately become a relgious twitter member. Twittter is a service that has gained worldwide popularity, with 300 million users as of 2011. It is a quick, easy, and fun way to receive information from people all over the world.
Twitter is a form of communication that’s extremely helpful to companies, teens, adults, and anyone who is interested is being able to receive information fast! However, after having spent a lot of time researching the microblogging phenomenon, specifically twitter, I began to question the continuous fad. Is Twittter a form of communication that is soon going to expel other forms of communication such as talking on the phone or actually having a conversation in person? Are people soon going to be speaking 140 characters or less? 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Social Networking: A group of friends or reaching out to new people?

As social media has become increasingly trendy the terminology has become a gray area. My discussion focuses on Facebook, LinkedIn and Social Networking. However it is my belief that there is a difference between social networking sites and social networks. If you ask me, I think that Facebook and LinkedIn are social networks. Most people use these websites to connect solely with people they know offline. There are some people that might connect with people they know online but it's usually after getting to know the person. I think that this is different from Social Networking. And this is also why I don't categorize Twitter, Tumblr and other similar sites with Facebook and LinkedIn.

Social Networks are different than social networking sites because on the latter you are not joining to connect with your friends. You might be connected to people you know "in real life" but your message is intended to go beyond your inner circle. Many people or brands use Twitter to broadcast messages that they want shared outside of their friends, the use it to interract with people across the globe, many of whom they do not know. Many people feel a little insecure when they receive a Facebook friend request or a LinkedIn request from someone they've never met, heard of or spoken to. People are much less likely to feel as squeamish when they are followed on Twitter or Tumblr by someone they don't know.

It is my opinion that you use social networks to foster and enhance your relationships whereas you use social networking to expand your connections.

In the service industry both social networks and social networking come in handy. Facebook and LinkedIn allow company followers to have access to exclusive content and feel as thoughthey are an insider. They can comment on stories, photos, discussion etc. and on these sites (specifically Facebook) people who don't know each other get the chance to interract if they have interest in the same brand. Liking a brand or company page on Facebook automatically bring people that don't know each other together on a common ground. And that's how Facebook throws its hat into the social networking game (by going beyond a social network). Twitter on the other hand allows people to connect with the brands and companies that they like but not with each other as easily. This is what makes them different. Twitter and similar sites allow for networking between the customer and the brand. The networking between fans is not as organic.

Why don't people see the difference between social networks and social networking sites? How can Hospitality brands and companies leverage these two different kinds of sites to foster their customer network and increase the conversation between their fans?