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среда, 29 сентября 2010 г.

How to Keep a Friendship Platonic

 We are talking about a guy and a girl who never hooked up, ever. This is not about the premature stages of courting which starts in friendship. There are cases when a girl’s best friend happens to be a guy, or when a guy’s best friend happens to be a girl. Can a guy and a girl be friends and never hook up? Hmm… I do think it’s quite difficult to do but here are some thoughts to help you keep things in the friend zone. Appreciate the friendship you have. If you delve into romance, the two of you will never be the same towards each other. Only couples break up.

Know the difference between a girl friend and a girlfriend. Don’t touch your friend inappropriately. An unintentional caress might stir up emotions which is associated to intimacy. Keep your hands to yourself and don’t mislead the other by being careless of your actions.
Avoid situations which could lead you two into doing something you might regret later. Like getting drunk. Don’t test your friendship just for fun. Like all relationships, friendship should be founded on respect for each other.
There are a lot of reasons why a guy and a girl should be just friends. A guy and a girl can learn a great deal from each other. Guys learn how to listen because girls love to girl talk and discuss things, while girls can get inside information how men think, or why men do this and that, the whole Men are from Mars, women are from Venus kind of thing.

How ‘Surprise’ Helps Word-of-Mouth and Viral Marketing

Emotional engagement is the key to viral marketing success. People share their everyday experiences by communicating them to others in and outside of their network. This social sharing is more rampant when the individuals develop intense feelings like fear, disgust, sadness, joy, anger and surprise.
Of all these emotions, surprise is a necessary ingredient which encourages people to pass on information they come across. Now let’s look at what surprise is and its impact on viral marketing. As partial reference, I’ll use a study from the Journal of Economic Psychology, one that examines surprise and its relationship to word-of-mouth.

What is Surprise and What Causes it?

Many researchers consider surprise a neutral and short-lived emotion that is elicited by unexpected phenomena or what is known as a ‘‘schema discrepancy’’. A schema is a theory that each person has about the nature of situations, objects and reality. The disruption of this schema is what leads to the element of surprise:
In order to have a proper representation of reality, individuals continuously check whether their schema matches the inputs coming from the surrounding environment. This check is, however, relatively unconscious As soon as inputs diverge from the schema, surprise is elicited. Schema discrepancy is the one and only cognitive cause of surprise, but the latter may also be elicited by non-cognitive causes
In other words, surprise is an emotion that occurs when something breaks the habitual pattern of thoughts we have. Such a disruption may occur on a physiological level (e.g loud sounds) or it can be deeply mental (e.g. something that challenges your world view).
Surprise’s effects are immediate: An stronger focus of attention on the stimulus, a heightened consciousness, better retention of memory at the expense of other stimuli. All of which eventually result in curiosity and exploratory behavior. This arousal also intensifies subsequent reactions, the excitation from being surprised transfers over to other experiences.
After detecting the schema discrepancy, the individual will evaluate it: the emotion of surprise is often followed by a positive or negative emotion, what we normally call a pleasant surprise or anunpleasant surprise. An interesting point to note about surprise is that most people will assume that what is surprising to them will also be new/useful information for others.

Using Surprise to Generate Word-of-Mouth

Our everyday reactions to our environment is habitual. Going through the same shop in the mall, we select and purchase items with more or less neutral emotions. Buying a pair of shoes does not involve ’disruptive’ or ‘intense’ emotions. Nothing here encourages us to share this experience with others. But this can change if you add the element of surprise.
For example, if you’re offered an unexpected and attractive freebie (e.g. bottle of wine) along with the product, it short-circuits your schema and generates surprise. You’re now much more likely to talk about the pair of shoes you bought or your feelings about the boutique or brand.
The goal here is to think about ways to elicit positive surprise by enhancing the experiences of your audience in unexpected ways. Making them feel privy to an unique situation encourages them to share or recommend your idea/product/service/brand. What does this mean? Only that one needs to invest time on understanding your audience’s schemas.
Its important to note that surprise can be used as a tool in many ways. For instance, it can used in a stand-alone format, in the form of viral ad or online video with a single message or you can integrate it into your sales or fulfillment funnel. Think about each juncture when you interact with your customer and inculcate elements of surprise wherever necessary.
Surprise can be used in large scale million dollar, multi-media/multi-platform viral marketing campaigns (e.g. The Dark Knight) or in smaller, repeating gestures like birthday cards, freebies and other addons you can attach to the product/service. Viral campaigns are short-term and hence easier to sustain surprise, while other repeating initiatives may lose their power after the audience comes to expect specific behavior and hence, develop a new schema.
In the next post on viral marketing, I’ll like to look at various examples of ads and hopefully determine a generic formula that one can you use to elicit immediate word-of-mouth.

How to Choose a Pair of Shades/Sunglasses

 There are things that bug me and one of them would be seeing a person wearingsunglasses on a cloudy day. Hey, The Matrix is already a few years old and I don’t see any potential new cult classic so far to usher shades back (If Spartan loincloths become fashionable because of 300… never mind!).
Anyway, fashion is only one of the things you have to consider. Don’t be so vain with an “As long as I look good mentality.” Comfort and eye protection should be two of the more important important things that you should consider.

Eye Protection
The US FDA recommends getting a rating of 99-100% UV protection. Ultra-violet (UV) rays are sunlight components that causes eye disease. Sunglasses may also come in different tints and they do have purposes.
Gray - reduces brightness
Amber - reduces glare
Yellow - reduces haze
Green - produces high contrast
Red/Rose - produces high contrast with a blue background
Sunglasses may have different frames. Some have flexible resin frames that wrap around the side of your head. Some come in frames made of metals like aluminum or even titanium (which come pricey!). Some come in plastic.Weight is also a factor to look out for. The key is finding one that feels just right.
What’s hot and what’s not change quickly. Ever remember the time when aviator sunglasses were fancy because of Tom Cruise and Top Gun? Keep in mind yourpurpose for wearing sunglasses. You might want to explore specialty ones designed for outdoor sports, motorcycling, driving, or for everyday use.

вторник, 11 мая 2010 г.

So You Want to Take on Hollywood?

 So you want a star on the boulevard, huh? Well we can’t tell you how to be Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie (though lots of good money for plastic surgery might help), but we have some smart-pants ideas on how you can start acting like one. First, you have to have the look. What look? THE look. Face a mirror and find the teensiest resemblance of James Dean. If you found that angle, hold on to it because you’re halfway there. Now try an angry face, a sad face, and a happy face. Do you look convincing?
Body, fashion, and face. Get ready to be scintillating. Ever took a close look, nay, an examination and more like an analysis of those magazine pages of male models? Ask yourself this question: Why are they super hot? (ok, that sounded gay…) Hint: You may notice that all of them has clear skin, sexy smile and a fit bod! Noting these things, you now know where you need to work on. Body: check. Clothes: check. Face (that doesn’t look like Chewbacca): check.
While many might argue that acting skills would get you ahead of the pack, well… Case in point: Jessica Alba.
Act one: Be one. Being an actor does not stop with looking oh-so-good. Remember that acting first and foremost your chosen profession. That means alongside all the vanity, discipline is the top requirement. Your journey towards being an icon will be lost if you do more partying than working.
Take acting classes. Sure you believe you’re a born pro. But hey, you’ve got to start somewhere! And enrolling in an acting class will give you exposure and training which you can use later on to catapult your way to stardom. Plus, you never know who you might be sharing lines with. You might be discussing homework with the next Meryll Streep.

воскресенье, 7 февраля 2010 г.

Find Moments of Peace through Meditation

What do we all want most aside from all the material things we think we want? Every person no matter what status in life, knows that there is only one thing needed to achieve happiness in this life, and that would be being at peace with yourself and the world. If you had a good job, a happy marriage, and good health would you say you are in peace? Sometimes stability doesn’t equate to peace. Sometimes it could just be a few moments without worries. Try meditation.
There is a growing number of people who are finding meaning in religion or philosophy. Troubled people seek shelter and comfort in faith and understanding. As with many belief systems and philosophies, meditation is a key exercise. Some call it prayer, some call it silent time. Meditation helps by clearing your mind of the troubles and worries.
Meditation and relaxation. Close your eyes and make slow and deep breaths. Feel as the rush of air fill your lungs and be in one with this process. Breathe constantly, keeping your pace as natural as you can. Feel every exhale as well as inhale, as the carbon dioxide gets out of your body, being replaced by oxygen going through your nose, and carried out to all parts of your body. Be conscious of the warmth that is brought by the carbon dioxide on its way out of you.

среда, 3 февраля 2010 г.

How to Make Effective Business Phone Calls

Being good in your job requires a lot of hard work. It’s about submitting the most comprehensive report, shining during business meetings, being able to meet your deadlines, and having good presentation skills. Equally important as these competencies is your ability to conduct effective business phone calls.
Phone calls can be very useful tools in developing your business. It’s a communication process which can contribute a lot to your business if you know how to make every phone call work for your objectives.
Business phone calls should be according to a set schedule. If you feel like you just want to pick up your phone and dial your business partner’s number without looking at your watch or your calendar, think again.
Just like meetings, your phone calls have to respect the other party’s time. Calls that are either too early or too late are plain rude, and a business phone call when the person is on his day off is just as rude. If you’re making invites through phone calls for an organized event, make sure you’re calling during office hours. Avoid making business calls during lunchtime and weekends.
Prepare your database. Making phone calls should be the next step after you have completed your database. When you call for business, you should know the name and designation of the person you wish to talk to, and you have to know the name and nature of the company.
There have been instances where I have received business phone calls from people who don’t know who to talk to, who don’t have a clue what company they’re calling, and who aren’t ready about their phone call agenda. Don’t waste the other person’s time by stammering. Use your database as a reference so your phone calls will be brief, professional and successful.

четверг, 14 января 2010 г.

Web Raid: Download YouTube Videos Directly to PSP with ConvertTube

 It’s been a while since we’ve featured online tools here on LifeSpy. Since then, there have been a lot of cool online tools/services that can replace some of the most common freeware apps. No hassles in installation and accessible just about anywhere. So here we are, raiding the web again in the quest for some of the cool and nifty tools on the web.
This here’s ConvertTube. As the name implies, it lets you convert videos from YouTube. But if you’d say, “Hey, we’ve already got Vixy for that,” then at least here’s an alternative for you.
Like Vixy, ConvertTube lets you download YouTube videos (which are in FLV format) as MPG, MOV, 3GP, FLV, MP3 (audio only) and MP4. It does the conversion for you. Very straightforward with the address bar and the file format options. A click and you’re good to go.
While I’ve been a Vixy user ever since, I think ConvertTube’s a great alternative especially if you need the video as MPG. While Vixy converts the vid as AVI for Windows, ConvertTube creates MPGs. At least you get the tools for either one.
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