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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
Comfort
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.
Style
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.
 
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