Social Intelligence Corp: Can it keep you from hiring a psychopath?

Last year a young and pretty female former co-worker at the Office of Senator Richard Gordon got in touch with me through Facebook chat.  Although I initially savored the idea that the conversation was going to be somewhat purely social, talk eventually turned to one particular facet of everyone’s life online: Will prospective employers Google her and use the information they find to decide on whether or not to hire her?

Being somewhat the office’s second default expert on all things online, I said “Yes. Of course.”

If someone else had asked me the same question before Facebook became one of the biggest social networking sites on the planet, my answer would have been “No. Not unless you’ve been involved in a crime or scandal that was published on an online newspaper, blog or forum.”  The reason for this is that online newspapers, blogs, and forums used to be the most likely ones to turn up a person’s name.  Moreover, the more common reason for a person’s name to turn up on Google search would be either because they’ve been very good or very, very bad.

These days, anyone who has ever Googled themselves will know that their Facebook profile (along with LinkedIn, Twitter, Google profile, etcetera) will invariably turn up in the first ten search results.  This can be both a boon and a bane, most especially now after a company got the nod of the US Federal Trade Commission to screen job applicants based on their Facebook and Twitter postings. [Read more…]

Facebook Statistics on Social Baker: Congo registers highest growth in six months

The Dominican Republic of Congo tops the list of Facebook user growth in terms of percentage of new users.  A whopping 682 percent.

Waiting for Facebook to reach 1 billion users is just about as interesting as watching someone else play a video game or reading someone’s Facebook status about someone playing a game.  It does absolutely nothing for me.

While the aggregate number of Facebook users seem substantial, it’s actually the component numbers in the tally that makes for an interesting browse.

Yesterday, while skimming through dozens of pages on Facebook user statistics, I came across Social Bakers list of countries on Facebook and started looking at movements in Facebook user stats over different periods of time.  Now, before I go further, let me say that I do not know how accurate Social Bakers stats are and I was merely looking for interesting upward or downward movements.

First, looking at growth in Facebook users by country over a period of six months, it is surprising to note a couple of things.


The Dominican Republic of Congo tops the list of Facebook user growth in terms of percentage of new users. A whopping 682 percent. (Source: Social Bakers)

[Read more…]

Facebook advocacy gains ground: Armand Nocum’s Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library (KRIS)

Armand Nocum's Kristiyano Islam Peace Library

Armand Nocum's Kristiyano Islam Peace Library

With more than 26 million users, the Philippines is the 7th largest country in terms of Facebook users according to Social Bakers.

While most people here use it to keep in touch with friends and family or play games, Facebook has become more than a diversion for at least one long time friend.

Armand Nocum, an acclaimed Filipino journalist who is now a legal public relations consultant, is making waves on Facebook that will hopefully help bring peace to his home island Mindanao.

Armand is the founder of the Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library (Kris), a non-government literacy advocacy group, that recently built at least one library in Zambonga City and another in Quezon City.  Apart from libraries, the advocacy group also funded scholarships, donated books, and organized medical missions.

[Read more…]

Hopes for a One Billion Facebook users fading?

Epic Unfriend: Have 8 million Facebook users in US, Canada, and Europe pushed the deactivate button?

Epic Unfriend: Have 8 million Facebook users in US, Canada, and Europe pushed the deactivate button?

Facebook lost nearly 8 million active users in May this year and posted lower new user registrations in May, leading to speculations that the social networking giant’s target of reaching 1 billion users by February might take a bit longer.

Notwithstanding that Goldman partners put a stamp of approval on the $50 billion valuation for Facebook early this year, being the biggest and most active social networking site on the planet could provide strong support for appraisals of share prices should Facebook push through with an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2012.  That is if Facebook actually opens up more of its financial documents and trumps the vital signs of LinkedIn.

Apart from dreams of pouring over the Great Fire Wall of China like a tsunami and continuing to find new user growth in late adapter countries, there is the idea that Facebook’s ubiquitous presence through social media stream integration and comments on sites will continue to propel its growth in years to come.

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TV director almost killed by Facebook Friend

A couple of days ago, a Filipino TV show actor-director was stabbed ten times by someone he had met on Facebook and invited to sleep in his home.  Ricardo “Ricky” Rivero, 39 years old, was allegedly stabbed by Hans Ivan Ruiz, 22, whom Rivero met over Facebook five months ago.  Ruiz denies stabbing Rivero but a report from responding police say that when they arrived at the scene, they saw Ruiz clutching the actor-director’s bag, which contained a laptop, two cell phones and several personal items.

Usually, those accused of a crime will deny committing it, but what is strange about Ruiz’s denial are the details.  Here is an excerpt from a news report.

Ruiz maintained that he had no clue as to how Rivero sustained the stab wounds but said that it happened while he slept beside the actor-director. “We were sleeping when he started yelling, ‘Don’t stab me!’” he said.

Ruiz said that he saw a knife beside Rivero but did not know where it came from. “He thought I was the one who hurt him. I also thought he was going to kill me so we struggled over the knife,” he added.

*** *** ***

In his statement, Ruiz said that he offered to take the actor-director to the hospital, although police said Rivero drove himself to the hospital.

Now before people in mainstream news media over react and start pointing at Facebook as an inherently dangerous site to visit, here are some things to consider.

On the surface of it, it seems Facebook use was merely incidental to the commission of this crime.  The TV director might as well have met his alleged attacker through any other social networking site and invited him over to his house where the crime was committed. (Facebook would perhaps be more central if it involves swindling people out of their money and other types of fraud, certain types of coercion, identity theft, libel, and other such crimes.)

As to the idea of whether Facebook can become an enabler and hunting ground for criminal psychopaths, the idea is a bit trickier to prove.  I think even for a trained psychologist, it’s really difficult to say just on the basis of a news report whether psychopathic behavior had anything to do with the stabbing of the TV director by his Facebook friend.  Even given the fact that the newspaper account describes a number of characteristics of psychopathic personality and behavior, no real assessment can be made until the suspect is given proper evaluation.

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Will Point of Sale/Social Network Integration make us say goodbye to “Social Media Experts”

image from

The diamond water paradox ought to be revised.  These days a couple hundred shares of stock in Google or perhaps Facebook next year, can be worth more than a good sized diamond and may in certain ways be as essential as the water we need to continue living.

Of course, we haven’t reached the point where you’d actually have to log-in to your Twitter or Facebook account to buy a bottle of water at a convenience store.

image from

Then again, there may actually be companies that are planning to integrate or have actually integrated Point of Sale systems (a.k.a cash registers) with either social networking websites.  The idea behind this is that when you purchase something from these companies, your purchase shows up as an update on your social network and that will perhaps, for a time, have an impact on the “conversations” you think you may be having with the world.  It’s kind of like Foursquare in a way but more directly tied up with actual purchases.

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Would it really matter if Facebook reaches 1 billion users by 2012?

One Billion Facebook Users in 2012 could mean a $100 Billion IPO Valuation

One Billion Facebook Users in 2012 could mean a $100 Billion IPO Valuation

Of course, for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, it would mean the world and then some.

Perhaps the most important thing for Zuckerberg would be that he was right about his prediction.  When Facebook reached 500 million users last July, Zuckerberg said that it would be impossible for Facebook not to reach 1 billion users.

That’s roughly equivalent to 16 to 20 percent of the world’s population.  But that is not to say that there really are 1 billion Facebook users with one Facebook account each or that all of the 1 billion accounts are actually actively being used in a meaningful way.

Still, what if each Facebook user was actually worth $10 each?

[Read more…]

Using Ovi App Wizard to turn your blog into an app

Ovi app wizard beta

Despite reporting a hefty drop in sales because of stiff competition in the smartphone market, Nokia is still the world’s largest cellphone maker by volume.

With more than a third of cell phones in the world being Nokia and a sizable chunk of those units being enabled for mobile internet, it would stand to reason that there could still be a huge audience for blogs that remains untapped.

But downloading blogs on what is essentially still a cellphone could lead to a number of frustrating consequences.  With either the phone’s browser failing to download the site correctly or not being able to download the site in a readable form.

The solution to tapping this roaming audience of mobile internet users is to create a mobile app.

[Read more…]