Is Happiness Declining? Twitter Analysis Says It Is

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

From what celebrities are doing at any given minute to the little things that irk ordinary people, there’s a lot to learn from Twitter.

Researchers at the University of Vermont used the social media service to learn about people’s happiness and, through an analysis of billions of words used in millions of tweets, determined that societal happiness is on the decline.

Over a period of three years, scientists gathered 46 billion words found in tweets by 63 million users around the world and, with the help of a web site, determined the “happiness” of the 10,000 most common words in the English language. ”Laughter,” for instance, got an 8.5 on a scale of one to nine, and “food” came in at 7.44. “Truck” was a better-than-average 5.48. “Greed” registered a 3.06; “terrorist,” 1.30.

“We see that after a gradual upward trend that ran from January to April 2009, the overall time series has shown a gradual downward trend, accelerating somewhat over the first half of 2011,” wrote the researchers, led by Peter Dodds, a scientist in the University of Vermont’s department of mathematics and statistics. The study is published online in PLoS ONE.

During 2009 and 2010, the happiest days, based on the number of positive words used, were Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and other holidays.

“All of these observations are sensible, and reflect a strong (though not universal) degree of social synchrony,” the authors wrote.

The non-annual event that was the most positive day was April 29, 2011, the day Prince William and Kate Middleton were married. Tweets on this day were full of positive words such as “wedding,” “beautiful” and “kiss.”

“Negative days typically arise from unexpected societal trauma due for example to a natural disaster or death of a celebrity,” according to the study.

The day the world learned of the death of Osama bin Laden ranked as the day of the lowest level of happiness, judging by the frequency of negative words like “dead,” “death” and “killed.”

The Chilean earthquake in February 2010 also ranked low in happiness, as did the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the October 2010 slew of storms in the U.S. Declines in happiness were also evident after news of the U.S. economic bailout and the spread of the swine flu.

The researchers also found that happiness peaks over the weekend and dips on Mondays and Tuesdays.

But they also say while their study is an interesting look at how people feel on a given day or after a specific event, the findings don’t necessarily reflect people’s overall happiness.

“There is an important psychological distinction between an individual’s current, experiential happiness and their longer term, reflective evaluation of their life,” they wrote.

This article source from : ABCNews
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Google Adds New Features to Google Plus Pages

If you’re continuing to have some growing pains with Google +’s Pages which were newly released last month, you may get some peace of mind to know that Google is listening to your grumbling yesterday Google announced their release of new Google + Pages features based on feedback from users.

Multiple Administrators for Google+ Pages (Up to 50)

Finally, more than one person can be in charge of making changes to your business’s Google+ page. You can now add up to 50 managers who have the ability to login and manage your +Page by publishing posts, responding to comments, adding photos, etc.

With Google being so forthright about the growing influence of social influence on search results, you’ll certainly want a team of people keeping your +Page in order rather than designating it solely to the intern.

Notification Settings

The new notification settings allow Page owners to see what actions are happening on their +Page.

In addition, you’re able to customize the notifications depending on how detailed you want those notifications to be. You can also adjust where the notification emails are sent and how you’d like to be notified.

+1 and Circle Count, Together at Last

The distinction between +1s and the Circle Count has been a bit confusing. Previously, people could add your business +Page to their Circle, +1 your Google+ Page, and +1 you on the web, with each number being displayed differently on your +Page. I know, confusing, right?

Well, Google is trying to simplify it a bit by now making the bold count on your page a combined number of your +1s on Google+, your +1s across the web, and the number of people who have added you to a Circle.

This allows that prominent bold number to more accurately display the number of people recommending you and following you, even if some people added you to a Circle but forgot to +1, or vice versa.

Those are the big changes for + Business Pages, but there are a couple more new features being released that will benefit all Google+ users.

Adjust Volume of Circle Stream

Google has introduced a handy way to adjust the number of posts you’ll see from a particular Circle. Maybe you’re sick of hearing about Aunt Ethel and Grandma’s Scrabble matches but want to hear more from your Co-Workers. Google+’s little slider bar has you covered.

New and Improved Photo Experience

Google+ has been said to be a growing playground for photographers looking to showcase and get feedback on their work. Encouraging this venue for snapshots, Google has cleaned up and improved their Google+ photo viewing experience with Lightbox.

Lightbox includes improved design and navigation, as well as a new photo-tagging system that Google calls “fun and fluid.”

Hopefully these new features will make the New Year a little easier for everyone using Google+.

Source from : Business2community
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Apple iPad 3 Set To Launch In Spring 2012

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Apple is expected to launch the next generation of its tablet device line, the iPad 3 sometime in the spring of 2012. Digitimes, which cited unnamed sources in Apple’s component supply chain, reported that the iPad 3 would launch sometime in the next three to four months, with the specific timeframe between mid-March and mid-April being the likeliest to see the launch.

While iPad 2 production is still strong with about 14 to 15 million units expected to be produced in the December quarter of 2011, orders of the iPad 2 are expected to be decreased by about 10 million units to about 4-5 million units in the first quarter of 2012. Foxconn is expected to make anywhere between 9.5 to 9.7 million units of the third generation iPad over the first quarter of 2012 according to the report, with production set to rise in February.

The new iPad 3 is expected to be very slightly thicker than the iPad 2 so as to make way for the new high resolution Retina Display screen. Early reports had suggested that the launch date would be sometime in February, but given the expected release of Samsung’s new tablet at the Mobile World Congress in February, the newer reports suggesting a launch date between mid-March and mid-April appear to be more accurate. Samsung’s new tablet will also feature a Retina-topping display, and Samsung are said to be trying hard to beat Apple’s iPad 3 to the market with their early launch.

Another report in Digitimes noted that the manufacturing partners for Barnes and Noble’s tablet device, the Nook, have now produced and shipped a total of 1 million units over the course of just over a month. The Nook, which had been unveiled in early November and released shortly after that, has a 7-inch “Vivid View” screen that has been designed by LG and a dual core 1 GHz processor. It also features 16 GB of hard disk space and 1 GB RAM, and runs on the Android 2.3 operating system.

The report, which cited employees at component suppliers as its sources, said that over a million units had been sent to Barnes & Noble to date, and that Barnes & Noble had earlier had to increase the size of their orders after strong initial sales. It said that Barnes & Noble had initially asked for about 800,000 units through to the end of December, but had to increase their order on the back of strong sales.

Source from : Mobile Bloom
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Are Your Google AdSense Ads Really Worth It?

At PubCon Las Vegas back in early November, Google’s Matt Cutts warned “If you have ads obscuring your content, you might want to think about it. Do they (visitors to your site) see content or something else that’s distracting or annoying?” Many in the SEO industry had already assumed that ad heavy sites were being targeted by Panda, but this confirmed their suspicions. After Cutts’ announcement, many SEO and PPC professionals commented that this advice was a stark contrast to Google AdSense’s advice of “ads located above the fold tend to perform better than those below the fold.” So what is a lowly site owner to do?

In my opinion, if Google says that sites with too many ads above the fold are likely to be penalized, you should drop/move some of those AdSense ads. While having ads above the fold may increase their overall exposure and eventual click-through-rate, what good are those ads going to do if your site is buried in the depths of the SERPs where no one can find it?

Every site owner has the right to try and monetize their site as best as they can. However, you never want to sacrifice the overall usability and user-experience of your site just to make a couple extra bucks now! That is being penny wise, pound foolish with your SEO. Think about it, what has more long term value for your business and your site?

While acquiring a new customer takes a lot more effort and time than getting someone to click on an ad, the end gain is so much greater. Chances are whatever they purchase from your company is going to be worth more than a click on that ad. Plus, once they are your customer you have the opportunity to turn them into repeat customers and brand loyalists. An ad isn’t going to do that for you!

Personally, I don’t put any ads on my website because I don’t want to send my traffic away. After all the hard work you put into link building, why would you want to push your traffic off your site? Once someone is on my site I want them to stick around as long as possible so I can convince them to sign up for my SEO newsletter, fill out a lead form and potentially hire us as their SEO partners. To me, that is for more valuable for my business than getting a few extra dollars from AdSense every month.

What are your thoughts on AdSense ads and their placement on your site?

Source from : Business2Community
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Introducing Twitter Stories

Today we’re launching the first in a series of Twitter stories. Read about a single Tweet that helped save a bookstore from going out of business; an athlete who took a hundred of his followers out to a crab dinner; and, Japanese fishermen who use Twitter to sell their catch before returning to shore. Each story reminds us of the humanity behind Tweets that make the world smaller.

Tell us your story

Help us uncover more stories. Tell us how you or someone else have used Twitter in an interesting way. Submit your story by mentioning @twitterstories or by using the hashtag #twitterstories. Include a link to a photo or video that helps illustrate your story to the world. Each month we’ll curate a selection of profiles to share.

Follow @twitterstories to get the latest stories or check the site every month for a new collection.

Source from : TwitterBlog
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