Saturday, November 22, 2014

"My Crush Of The Day" Best Of Bikes #3

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why Facebook Is So Addictive


There are about 7 billion people on Earth.

Over 864 million of them check Facebook every day.

That's an awful lot of daily habits, and it's part of the reason Facebook is worth some $200 billion
So why is the social network so addictive?

Nir Eyal, a multiple-time entrepreneur and Stanford Graduate School of Business lecturer, has written a book that answers that high-stakes question. We recently spoke to him, and he had this to say about why Facebook is so addictive:

What Facebook wants to create an association with is every time you're bored, every time you have a few minutes. We know that, psychologically speaking, boredom is painful. Whenever you're feeling bored, whenever you have a few extra minutes, this is a salve for that itch. 

As its title promises, "Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products" reveals the psychological processes that occur when our favorite products become integrated into our daily routines.
We talked with Eyal about why habits are so crucial to doing effective business, why branding is unnecessary, and how Facebook became a part of our everyday lives.

Here's an edited transcript of our interview.

BUSINESS INSIDER: At the start of the book you write that "companies find that their economic value is a function of the strength of the habits they create." Why do you make this claim?

NIR EYAL: The cold truth is that the best products don't always win. Many times it's the products that have the ability to keep users coming back and using them without conscious thought and using them out of habit, are the ones that keep us coming back.

Let's say Google. Google is one of these products that I think is incredibly habit-forming, and it's the kind of product that shows this characteristic of something that we use with little or no conscious thought.

You don't even consider whether there's a better search engine out there for people who are habituated to Google, and the evidence is in head-to-head comparisons, when you strip out the branding, people can't tell the difference between Bing and Google. It's a 50/50 split. And yet Google dominates the market with something around 87% of the market share. So these habits because a huge competitive advantage, and one of those advantages is that they keep competition out.

BI: What's the difference between habit-forming products and something like brand loyalty?

NE: Don Draper-style advertising is really only available to the biggest brands out there. It's only commodity goods that use those kind of messages because they have to differentiate goods that are really hard to differentiate between — Shell gasoline versus Exxon, Coke versus Pepsi, Sprint versus T Mobile, it's all the same thing! The only way they can really differentiate is through brand.
But you don't see many commercials for the greatest tech companies in the last five to 10 years because they're creating these associations not through brand impressions, but through experiences — and experiences form habits.

BI: Let's use a case study. More than 864 million people use Facebook every day, and a full 30% of Americans get all of their news on Facebook. How has Facebook become a habit for so many people?

NE: I think the main hook is pretty simple. What Facebook wants to create an association with is every time you're bored, every time you have a few minutes. We know that, psychologically speaking, boredom is painful. Whenever you're feeling bored, whenever you have a few extra minutes, this is a salve for that itch.

Hooked_FrontCover_8 6Penguin Random House

The internal trigger is boredom, and the external trigger are these notifications — every time someone posts something and you get a little jewel icon on your phone that says check Facebook.

Eventually you don't need those, because we just start checking those out of habit, but at the beginning we just get triggers from those. The action is as simple as opening the app.
I can alleviate my boredom, I can scratch that itch, just by scrolling through my newsfeed.
What photos do people post? What are the comments going to say? How many likes do people get?

It's a slot machine with lots of variability of what I might find.

BI: How does the product keep you coming back?

NE: Through investment. Investment comes every time I like something or add a friend.
And by loading the next trigger. I'm loading the next trigger because when I send someone a message on Facebook, or I like something, or I comment on something, guess what Facebook gets to do?
They get to send me an external trigger, bringing me back, saying so and so replied to something that you were involved with. And you did it! You prompted that message; it's not Facebook spamming you. You posted a photo and someone liked it, come see it. Loading the next trigger is when they send you this external notification that you prompted and now you're passing through the hook once again, continuing through the same basic cycle. Forever and ever.

Written By Drake Baer

Not Everybody Will Like You

Not everybody we meet will like us and it is ok to move into acceptance rather than trying to make somebody like you.

It is not necessarily a pleasant experience, but there will be times in our lives when we come across people who do not like us. As we know, like attracts like, so usually when they don’t like us it is because they are not like us. Rather than taking it personally, we can let them be who they are, accepting that each of us is allowed to have different perspectives and opinions. When we give others that freedom, we claim it for ourselves as well, releasing ourselves from the need for their approval so we can devote our energy toward more rewarding pursuits.

While approval from others is a nice feeling, when we come to depend on it we may lose our way on our own path. There are those who will not like us no matter what we do, but that doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with us. Each of us has our own filters built from our experiences over time. They may see in us something that is merely a projection of their understanding, but we have no control over the interpretations of others. The best we can do is to hope that the role we play in the script of their lives is helpful to them, and follow our own inner guidance with integrity.

As we reap the benefits of walking our perfect paths, we grow to appreciate the feeling of fully being ourselves. The need to have everyone like us will be replaced by the exhilaration of discovering that we are attracting like-minded individuals into our lives—people who like us because they understand and appreciate the truth of who we are. We free ourselves from trying to twist into shapes that will fit the spaces provided by others’ limited understanding and gain a new sense of freedom, allowing us to expand into becoming exactly who we’re meant to be. And in doing what we know to be right for us, we show others that they can do it too. Cocreating our lives with the universe and its energy of pure potential, we transcend limitations and empower ourselves to shine our unique light, fully and freely. 

Ride hard live free... It is your life alone

Pat "Doc" Savage

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Permission to Be Real

When we present ourselves to the world without a mask and keep it real, we offer the same opportunity for others to do the same.

Most of us are familiar with the idea of keeping it real and have an intuitive sense about what that means. People who keep it real don’t hide behind a mask to keep themselves safe from their fear of how they might be perceived. They don’t present a false self in order to appear more perfect, more powerful, or more independent. People who keep it real present themselves as they truly are, the good parts and the parts most of us would rather hide, sharing their full selves with the people who are lucky enough to know them.

Being real in this way is not an easy thing to do as we live in a culture that often shows us images of physical and material perfection. As a result, we all want to look younger, thinner, wealthier, and more successful. We are rewarded externally when we succeed at this masquerade, but people who are real remind us that, internally, we suffer. Whenever we feel that who we are is not enough and that we need to be bigger, better, or more exciting, we send a message to ourselves that we are not enough. Meanwhile, people who are not trying to be something more than they are walk into a room and bring a feeling of ease, humor, and warmth with them. They acknowledge their wrinkles and laugh at their personal eccentricities without putting themselves down.

People like this inspire us to let go of our own defenses and relax for a moment in the truth of who we really are. In their presence, we feel safe enough to take off our masks and experience the freedom of not hiding behind a barrier. Those of us who were lucky enough to have a parent who was able to keep it real may find it easier to be that way ourselves. The rest of us may have to work a little harder to let go of our pretenses and share the beauty and humor of our real selves. Our reward for taking such a risk is that as we do, we will attract and inspire others, giving them the permission to be real too.

Keep it real! Breath a the time too!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

In Awe Of Beauty

All we have to do is look for beauty, and she is there all around us at any given moment.

Beauty speaks to us in soft whispers or bold declarations. She calls on us to gaze in awe at her splendor. We are enticed by beauty. We adore her, idolize her, and even court her. Beauty seduces all of our senses. Beauty’s seduction can be as obvious as the striking good looks of a man or woman or as subtle as the charms of a shaggy dog with loving brown eyes. We find beauty in the wonders of nature. Beauty offers us a symphony of colors with every sunrise and sunset and reveals to us her brash power through a storm at sea. Beauty teases us through the shy smile of a child and delights us via the brilliant flashes of fireworks. Beauty sometimes piques all of our senses at once, appealing to our taste buds, as well as our eyes and nose, when she appears in the form of a deliciously baked cake. Beauty calms us with floral scents and excites our aural lust through the passionate sounds made by an orchestra.

Beauty can be cruel, and our pursuit of her can be in vain. We may go to the opera in anticipation of finding beauty there, and she may bore and disappoint us. Instead, beauty lavishes her attention on another suitor who may be more appreciative of her charms. Or, we may try to capture beauty’s essence in a photograph, painting, or sculpture, and still she is nowhere to be found. Beauty will forever inspire works of art, and she will always pose for her portrait, selecting the artist who is most worthy of her catching her likeness.

Depending on our personal tastes, beauty can be found in every color, flavor, scent, and texture. She lives among the poor, as well as the rich, and appears in the faces of the young and the old. She is at home in the city, as well as the country, decorating skylines as well as landscapes. She is the ultimate shape shifter. Beauty is a weather beaten barn beloved by one person and an awesome testament of naval craftsmanship revered by another. Beauty knows no bounds, and we can find her everywhere. All we have to do is look for beauty, and she is there. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Running Away versus Moving Forward

Facing Problems

Make sure you aren’t running away from your problems, always moving towards something.

There are times when change - moving to a new city or a new home, or changing careers - is the right thing at the right time. But there are also times when the urge for change is really just a desire to run away from problems that need to be faced rather than avoided. These are the kinds of problems that recur in our lives. For example, issues with coworkers that seem to arise at every job we take, or repeatedly getting into unhealthy relationships. A move might temporarily distract us, and even cure the problem for a time, simply by taking us out of the situation in which the problem fully manifested itself. However, the problem will eventually appear again in our new situation. 

One way to make sure you aren’t running away from your problems is to notice whether you are moving towards something that is exciting in its own right, as opposed to something that is appealing only because it is not where you are now. 

For example, if you are leaving a city because you feel you can’t afford it, you could be reinforcing poverty consciousness, and you might find that you are unable to make ends meet in your new city as well. It would ultimately be less of an effort to stay where you are and look more deeply into your beliefs about money. 

You may discover that as you address these issues, you are able to make more money simply by changing your mindset. You may still decide to move, but it will be an act with a positive intention behind it and not an escape, which could make all the difference. 

Any pain involved in facing our issues is well worth the effort in the end. When we face our problems instead of avoiding them, we free our energy and transform ourselves from people who run away into people who move enthusiastically forward. 

Pat "Doc" Savage

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Scientific Study Reveals “Conspiracy Theorists” Are The Most Sane Of All

I was so happy to finally see a study done on the psychology of conspiracy beliefs.  It goes through the importance of belief systems in the acceptance or rejection of ‘conspiracy theories.’

If you consider yourself awakened and seeking the truth – especially in government matters, people are quick to label you a crazy conspiracy theorist just so they can validate themselves.

In this study, a large group of commenters were examined on a news website, surrounding the topic of 9/11. Out of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist. Right away its evident more people are thinking critically about ‘conspiracies’ rather than just disputing them.

What they found was that conspiracist commenters were more likely to argue against the opposing interpretation and less likely to argue in favor of their own interpretation, while the opposite was true of conventionalist commenters.

In other words, the anti-conspiracy commenters we’re pushing on their own interpretations of the situation rather than focusing on what really happened.

The conspiracists were more likely to express mistrust and made more positive and fewer negative references.

They focused more on the points of what happened, rather than putting the other people down.

The data also indicated that conspiracists were largely unwilling to apply the “conspiracy theory” label to their own beliefs.

They realized that label carries a negative social stigma and there is no need to plaster on these labels when trying to decode the truth.

The most important part of this study found that the conventionalist arguments tended to be much more hostile. This is apparent all over the internet, people who are trying to spread truth and awareness usually aren’t mean about it.

When people refute these ideas, it seems to always be much more aggressive. They want to push their conventional mentality so they don’t have to broaden their minds.

People who want you to truly open your mind to new possibilities do it in a way that isn’t forceful and demanding.

Seeking truth happens on your own means so people who are labelled as conspiracy theorists are just trying to help awaken our world. Being considered a ‘conspiracy theorist’ is truly a noble thing.

You are pushing through the barriers of existing belief systems in order to make room for broader, more accepting beliefs. People are still very afraid and want to defend the old paradigm.

If anyone has ever invalidated your attempts to uncover the truth – keep going, it’s a brave and necessary act as our world raises it’s consciousness.