Simple, Sensible and Effective Suggestions for Improving Facebook

Facebook is a great utility with lots of great features, but there are also quite a few not so great features which aren’t hard to fix, and some features not present which shouldn’t be hard to add. This is my list, in no particular order. I’d love to hear from you for your ideas, or which ideas listed here that you’d like to see the most. Who knows? Maybe Facebook staff may actually listen to user feedback! 🙂

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Some Thoughts and Statistics on the New Seaport Farmers’ Market in Halifax

The new Seaport Farmers’ Market in Halifax is almost in full swing now. It is now open 3 days a week, Fri-Sun, and much longer each day than the half day before at the old market that was open just once per week Sat morning. The future intent is for the new market to be open 6 days a week, though the farmers will only be there for 3. The other 3 days will only have craft sellers. It’s a nice big space and I love it, although I hear the busking musicians are disgruntled due to the open space leaving all of them to be heard so they have to compete to get above each other (The Coast, Sep 9 2010). Hey, I like the music and appreciate its contribution to the ambiance of a farmers’ market, but it’s a new farmers’ market building, not a concert hall.

I love the additional selection and larger stands, though I have to curb myself on the cooked food. It smells and tastes great, but just see how much raw food you can get for the same amount of money on a cooked plate, and you’ll not only see the value of labour to your food costs, but also where many of those cents to your food dollar that’s not going to the farmers end up going. Going there with someone who might expect you to buy something, which includes yourself, is also going to be costly with all the potential little craft trinkets you can buy for significant others, kids, etc. It’s great to see all the stuff, but is hard to resist. So far, I have bought nothing other than raw food from the farmers.

I’ll leave with some statistics about the farmers’ market scene in Nova Scotia and the Seaport Farmers’ Market, from various sources like The Coast paper and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

  • 40 Nova Scotia Farmers’ Markets Sep 2010, few opened all week
  • New farmers’ market is in an R-2000 building (NRCan designation) that uses 85% less energy and 50% less water than old market
    R2000-standard PDF
  • New farmers’ market is twice the size of old market (which is still open) at 4,000 sq feet
  • 10,000+ visitors per Saturday (August figures, but is still as crowded as far as I can tell)
  • Total vendors increased by at least 50% between new and old markets opening, though not all are food vendors
  • NS Community Supported Agriculture farms (CSAs) and farmers’ market bring in about $90M a year (and growing) to farmers (includes prepared foods, possibly crafts, so can’t just take it against farm gate)

“Study” on Facebook Narcissism and Insecurity not REAL Research

A hot story has been circulating for a few days now regarding a study done by undergraduate student Soraya Mehdizadeh of York University about how more active users of Facebook are more narcissistic and insecure than the rest of us. Problem is there’s nothing good enough about it to be called either a “study” or “research”.

The media is also to blame. I’m not sure whether to call the editors who allowed it on their popular news sources “stupid” for running the story like it’s legitimate news, or “smart but immoral” for putting it out knowing stuff like that sells, even if there’s no substance to it.

The greatest shame, though, has to go to the “journal” of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking for publishing it as if it were worthy of being called “academic” quality (study PDF). York University should be just as disgraced for letting that pass its standard for “academic research”, push it for publication and then blabber about it as if they had some meaningful research on their hands.

An above average high school student could have done a better job on such a project! Soroya basically did a bad high school project, if you ask me.

Think of that as a challenge for you high schoolers out there looking for a good Science Fair or other project to do. It’s a project that should be fun and engaging if you’re a Facebook fan, and there should be at least a few of you out there who qualify. Then social network together to pool results and get a decent sample size… which Soroya never even came close. And fix some flaws critiqued here.

Here are a few tragic fatal flaws of that “study”.

Lack of sample size with just 100 subjects

For a site with 500 million users, all Soroya can show for it is 100 users? I know it was an undergraduate thesis, but people used to have to work for their thesis, you know? Also, in the electronic media for this day and age, you’d think she could get more than 100 people to do some tests! If you were going to target 100, call it a term project and leave it at that! Don’t go screaming you’ve got a study on your hands and seek attention.

Oh, wait. I think that’s narcissism!

Which professor let that be called research anyway??? Soroya did publicly admit the sample size was a weakness to the “study”, but that’s not a weakness. That doesn’t constitute a study in this case. If I did a study of 1, I could say the same thing. Of course, nobody would call it a study due to the sample size of just 1. So at how many do you call a study, and why? With that many users and statistically significant polls of merit needing around 1000 subjects, 100 subjects is still way too few to be enough data to call a study!

Soroya also had the audacity to talk about gender differences on a sample size of 50 or so people! Did she ever take statistics? And who vetted this to allow it???

All subjects were 18-25 years old

Since when did humans outside of 18-25 years old not qualify as “people”? You can’t draw a conclusion for “Facebook users” on this demographic alone. The media did that more than Soroya, but she implied it enough not to title the study “18-25 year old Facebook users” for a subject group. And were the 100 selected even representative of all 18-25 year olds? There must be literature to determine that “average” to compare to the test group narcissism and insecurity profile. Hey, maybe 18-25 year olds at York are just more narcissistic and insecure than the typical group and uses Facebook as a symptom of it!

You can make that call. 🙂

Causality… or lack thereof

So are more active Facebook users narcissistic and/or insecure? Or are narcissistic and/or insecure people use Facebook more actively? Does Soroya know the difference? In case she doesn’t, let me clarify. The first is what the media story and her so-called “study” suggests. So everyone who uses Facebook more actively are narcissistic and insecure. The second means only some of the people who use Facebook more actively are narcissistic and/or insecure, and that you can’t tell if they are by the level of their Facebook activity.

But that doesn’t sell or cause a stir or make anybody care as people could have told you that on their own instinct and be right. I’m not even sure if narcissistic and/or insecure people use Facebook a lot because you’d also have to look at the ones who don’t use Facebook and see what portion they make up, never mind those who don’t use it much.

Soroya’s pretentious “research” can’t prove any causality, but she comments on all kinds of causality.

If I had to bet on any connection between Facebook usage and narcissism and/or insecurity, though, I’d easily bet on the second reason. I’d bet narcissistic and/or insecure people use Facebook more actively, not that more active users are narcisstic.

Carefully constructed self-image???

Beyond the ridiculous conclusions drawn by Soroya on causality, she then dared to speculate on meanings of symptoms of narcissism and insecurity. For example, the more active users had carefully constructed images of themselves, to project their best features and hide their worst, or that their profile is nothing really like them. Um. Does Soroya even know anything about Facebook usage?

The active users are the ones who get caught for affairs, missing work, lying to their friends, or just plainly do other less than appropriate things. They’re the ones Facebook etiquette guides were written for, cause they’re so blind to what their actions says about them to know better!

Reasons for Facebook usage unaccounted for

Does Soroya have any idea if people in this subject use Facebook for the same reasons as other demographics by any division? I mean, seniors tend to flock to Facebook and social media to be better up to date and involved in the lives of their adolescent or older grandchildren. Is that narcissism or insecurity?

Or maybe it’s love and caring. But wait, that doesn’t sell.

Some musicians I know add friends like crazy not because they care, but because they can show potential promoters and labels a nice base of fan support. Is that narcissism or insecurity?

Or maybe it’s just good old fashioned business and public relations. But wait, that doesn’t sell, either.

Final thoughts

There are many more problems with Soroya’s “high school project”. I don’t need to bore you with more as I think I’ve discredited it enough to make it worthless. I’ll just throw in a few commentaries to conclude.

Who knew it was so easy to get 15 minutes of fame these days?

I wonder what Soroya thought of Canadians possibly being among narcissistic and insecure people in the world. We have 47.9%  of the population connected, a higher percentage than any nation with over 10 million people. We also have the 4th most users in the world (CTV, June 2, 2010), without anywhere near the 4th largest population in the world! Would she have said most of us use Facebook passively like we are on a lot of things? Sure we didn’t all sign up only to be passive, did we?

High school students reading this, or Parents of them, try the challenge I had for high school students at the beginning. Seriously!

And where did Soroya get accepted into medical school? I won’t fault the school in case she didn’t tell them about this work to get in. For the love of God, Allah and the Buddha, I hope Soroya never be allowed to do research until she learns some more about what research is about! Just stick to areas in Med School one only has to memorize things or use one’s hands or something that doesn’t require research type of critical thinking!

But to end positively, congratulations for raising awareness on the Facebook usage issue, Soroya. I just wouldn’t have used sensationalism in the name of research to get credibility and attention.

By the way, Soroya, how did you fare on your own test?

Good luck in Med School. Just don’t tell the media which one accepted you for your school’s sake!

 

 

Other Facebook issue posts on my site:

The Prejudices and Privacy Perils of Facebook Quizzes

How to Get Rid of Your Facebook Past

25 Things For Facebook You Can’t Steal My ID With

25 Things You Gave on Facebook to Help Get Your ID Stolen

Una Guía de Netiqueta Práctica para Facebook

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.0

Transformers Wallpaper Collection 8 (1920 x 1080 pixels and other sizes)

Click here to see my new War for Cybertron video game wallpapers of the same size!

Click here for Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon wallpapers!

These are Transformers wallpapers I have found or made from graphics I found not originally made as wallpaper. Those I found I have modified in some way, often resizing and removing annoying fine print, though I have left names and/or links of original work. The quality and variety are terrific. Even if you didn’t care to have Transformer wallpapers, if you are a fan, many of these are definitely worth the click for full-sized look!

The Transformers wallpapers in this gallery are 1900 x 1080 pixels. Other size wallpapers can be found at the links below. The smaller sizes have many more options as big files can always be converted to smaller ones, but smaller ones can’t be made into much bigger ones than their original sizes.

Enjoy!

Get these wallpapers as 6″ x 4″ printable cards!

Please click here to see the Generation One (G1) Autobots and Decepticons counterpart to this gallery.

Make your own customized screen saver from these Transformers wallpapers.

Please click here to see all the Transformers products (Generation One and Movie) on this site, which include:

  • Avatars, buddy icons and Facebook profile pictures
  • Collectible Trading Cards (print like regular 6″ x 4″ photo)
  • Facebook tagging pictures
  • Posters (18″ x 24″)
  • Wallpapers of many sizes

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Transformers Wallpaper Collection 6 (1920 x 1200 pixels and other sizes)

Please click here for Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon wallpapers

These are Transformers wallpapers I have found or made from graphics I found not originally made as wallpaper. Those I found I have modified in some way, often resizing and removing annoying fine print, though I have left names and/or links of original work. The quality and variety are terrific. Even if you didn’t care to have Transformer wallpapers, if you are a fan, many of these are definitely worth the click for full-sized look!

The Transformers wallpapers in this gallery are 1900 x 1200 pixels. These are also good for some other monitor sizes, though, and the operating system on your computer should know how to scale them properly. There will be no distortion or warping of the images as the other sizes listed just below here are of the same proportion:

  • 1680 x 1050 pixels
  • 1440 x 900 pixels
  • 1280 x 800 pixels
  • 960 x 600 pixels

These wallpapers can be found in other proportions and sizes at the links below. The smaller sizes on the list have many more options as big files can always be converted to smaller ones, but smaller ones can’t be made into much bigger ones than their original sizes.

Enjoy!

Get these wallpapers as 6″ x 4″ printable cards!

Please click here to see the Generation One (G1) Autobots and Decepticons counterpart to this gallery.

Make your own customized screen saver from these Transformers wallpapers.

Please click here to see all the Transformers products (Generation One and Movie) on this site, which include:

  • Avatars, buddy icons and Facebook profile pictures
  • Collectible Trading Cards (print like regular 6″ x 4″ photo)
  • Facebook tagging pictures
  • Posters (18″ x 24″)
  • Wallpapers of many sizes