Facebook boosts intelligence, claims British psychologist

It’s hard to know who to listen to when it comes to the effects, both beneficial and harmful, of using various Internet services.

While some have suggested that all forms of social networking sites may harm development and relationships, a British psychologist is bucking the trend by suggesting that the use of Facebook may boost memory recall.

Sterling University’s Dr Tracy Alloway said that users who spent more time using Facebook had a boost in intelligence, and may have the same positive effects as playing video war games or solving puzzles like Sudoku. [Read more…]

Drunk Pictures on Your Facebook Profile, Think Again


In a new survey on behalf of CareerBuilder.com, published by Market Watch, once more it has been proven that employers will check out your online profiles before deciding to hire you or not. Fourty-five percent of employers checked out applicants’ online profiles. The three main reasons why people were not hired after their profile was checked were:

  • Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information – 53 percent
  • Candidate posted content about them drinking or using drugs – 44 percent
  • Candidate bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients – 35 percent

But Social network profiles have helped candidates as well. Main reasons why someone was hired after checking there social profiles were following: [Read more…]

British MPs informing but not engaging with constituents: research

Perhaps vilifying the British government’s planned recruitment of a director of digital engagement, a recent study by the Hansard Society suggests that MPs are only using the Internet to inform their constituents rather than engaging with them.

The research suggests that, while 92% of MPs use email and 83% have a personal web site, just under a quarter use any form of social networking tools, and just one in ten blog. Many of these blogging MPs don’t enable reader comments. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning SEO: Here are 2 Quick Ways to Find Great Keywords


Hi, welcome to Sunday Morning SEO. This is a new guide about search engine optimisation, or SEO for short. If you want to improve your rankings and increase your search engine traffic, tune in on Sunday mornings. My name is Dee Barizo and I’ve had experience as a full-time search marketer. This morning we’ll look at keyword research.

Keyword research is one of the fundamental activities in SEO. Many bloggers consider this activity to be tedious, but here are two quick and easy ways to find traffic generating keywords for your posts.

To illustrate these methods, let’s pretend you’re a sports blogger. With the NBA All-Star Game coming up in one week, you plan on publishing a couple posts about it this week. You expect a lot of basketball fans to be searching Google for information about the game. Therefore, you want to figure out the keywords that they might use and insert those keywords in your content. [Read more…]

Make way for “Mom 3.0”: Blogging, vlogging, twittering parents tune into tech

Two-thirds of moms use five or more forms of technology every day to stay in touch with their families, consume and compose content, and manage their lives.

That’s according to recent research from BSM Media, published in “Mom 3.0: Marketing with Today’s Mothers by Leveraging New Media & Technology”.

The report predicts that video blogs (vlogs), podcasts, social networking and microblogging will increase in popularity over the coming year. [Read more…]

Blogs Influence Buyers More Than Social Networks Do, BuzzLogic Study Finds

Buzzlogic Logo

Buzzlogic LogoReaching for your wallet? You might just have read a blog article.

On Tuesday, BuzzLogic released a report called Harnessing the Power of Blogs which concludes that the blogosphere has more power than online social networks when it comes to shaping consumer buying decisions.

The report analyzes the results of a survey, conducted by JupiterResearch and sponsored by BuzzLogic, that asked 2,210 online consumers in the US about the ways in which different kinds of websites influenced their purchasing choices.

One conclusion of the survey: “Frequent” blog readers – that is, those who read blogs once or more each month – actually depend more on blogs to find other blog content than on any search engine.

Another interesting find: the number of people who read at least one blog a month has quadrupled since 2004. [Read more…]

Research: One in three American bloggers writes specifically about health

Nearly half of all US bloggers have written about a health-related topic at least once, and three in five of those write primarily on the subject, according to new research by Envision Solutions, a healthcare marketing communications consultant. According to my math, that’s almost one in three bloggers that claim health topics as a niche for their blog.

A few interesting statistics to come out of the report:

  • Numbers: Over 13 million Americans wrote at least one health-related post in the seven months between February and August 2008.
  • Diversity: Nearly three in five health bloggers are female, and nearly two in five are either African-American or Hispanic.
  • Age: Half of all health bloggers are aged between 18 and 34.
  • Motivation: A third of those surveyed said that they blogged to educate others, while one in five did so primarily to market themselves or their services. 10% were trying to advance a cause, and 7% were using the blog as some kind of self-help for their medical condition.

There seemed to be an increase in the commercialization of blogs, with 46% of healthcare marketing professionals claiming to have been contacted by the PR company for a product or service, up from 29% in 2006, while over a third said they had placed ads on their site, up from just over a quarter two years ago. [Read more…]

How Do You Turn a Spark of an Idea Into a Blog Post?

ideas plus what equals a blog post

ideas plus what equals a blog postRecently, I wrote a series of articles offering tips and suggestions on a variety of research resources to help bloggers blog better. I’ve also written up many sources for blog content ideas.

In the early days of web publishing, the Slashdot Effect could bring a site to its knees, as Slashdot was a source for inspiration and news. This was replaced by the Digg Effect and Technorati Tag, as people turned to these sites for sources of information. For the past few years, many have relied upon their feeds, Techmeme, Wired, and now Twitter as resources for getting answers as well as finding blog story ideas. What’s next?

The evolution of how writers find subjects to write about moving towards today’s web writer and blogger has always been one of fascinations. Where do stories come from? Where and how do you do your research? So many years doing this from pen and paper to typewriter to computer to web, and the questions are the same.

Are you asked where your inspiration for blogging comes from? What do you tell your friends and family when they ask?

The spark of an idea can come from anywhere, but the follow through to finished article or blog post is a mystery to so many. Share with us how you turn that spark into a blog post, and where you find your story ideas online.

What Are Your Blog Resources?

Starting next week on , I will be sharing my blog resources with my readers. Your blog resources are the sites you visit frequently that help you blog. They are the bookmarks in your browser. The feeds in your feed reader.

While preparing my huge list of blog resources, I made some interesting discoveries about how I blog, what I blog about, and what resources I return to regularly for inspiration and fact checking.

I’ve been blogging for 14 years and have accumulated a huge wealth of resources. Over the years, the list has changed as some sites have come and gone, or new and improved resources replaced them on my lists. Some have stayed on the list, which is also surprising, considering how fast things change on the web.
[Read more…]

Three Research Articles That Changed My View on Blogging

In the past two years I’ve read many thought provoking articles on blogging. Unfortunately many of these articles are hidden behind the great academic firewall. Researcher and blogger danah boyd explains how and why many academic articles are behind “heavy iron walls” in her blog post ‘open-access is the future: boycott locked-down academic journals.

While subscription fees may keep academic journals going it prevents interesting articles from circulating widely and circulation creates discussion. Fortunately there are also many great research articles out there in the open. I’d like to share three pieces that changed the way I think about blogs.

[Read more…]