Problem with Facebook – On Facebook Everybody Loses

By Anupum Pant

I had to say this a couple of weeks back. But, now I think, I’ve gravely been irritated by Facebook to let it out. So here goes a post on how Facebook is repeatedly trying to make you confirm your own  pre-conceived notions and is basically making you an ignorant person everyday, is hurting page owners, and they are doing all of this to make short-term money for themselves. It is evil. That, is the problem with Facebook.

Almost every good thing you want to see is hidden from you on Facebook

Okay, let us start with my Facebook page. I know it is a small one, with just 446 likes (as of today). That said, I can tell you one thing for sure, I never forced any one of these people to like my page, nor have I ever advertised my page on Facebook to amass likes. All, or may be most of the people who like my page wished to clearly subscribe to my content and my views. Clearly, they wanted to be updated on the things I was posting. But Facebook tells me, that isn’t happening, unless I pay them the money.

Now take a minute to look at the screenshot below:

Facebook page insights
Look at the total reach.

See the first post in that list. Of all the 446 people who’ve subscribed to the page, this appeared on only 15 news feeds. Moreover, the chances are high that all of these 15 people must have not even scrolled down to see the loaded post. So, probably 10 of the 15 loads were just useless loads. 5 of them who actually saw the post, decided (probably subconsciously) to not engage – that is understandable. Even if all the 15 people did see this post, how is that fair? Continue reading Problem with Facebook – On Facebook Everybody Loses

Whatsapp Uses This Mind Trick for Effective Persuasion

By Anupum Pant

Okay, time and again I’ve urged you to subscribe to 59Seconds on YouTube – A relatively new channel where Richard Wiseman, a professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, talks about interesting psychological studies that actually matter. If you haven’t done it already, you’ve probably missed their new video where he talks about an effective persuasion trick that could help you sales and marketing guys perform better at work.

Note: I have no idea if they teach this in Business schools (because I’ve never been to one). If they do, you could skip to this article where I talk about another trick that could help you persuade better. I bet no one teaches that at school.

Simply put

The trick is called ‘Foot-in-the-door‘ technique. It is basically a technique that involves getting a person to say yes to a bigger request by first setting them up with a smaller request.

Here is how it works:

Suppose you need a large sign installed in the front-yard of a house. What do you do?

No, You don’t go to them and ask if you could place the sign there. Chances are high that they will say no  to that big request, says this study.

According to the research study, this is what works the best – Go and ask if you could put a tiny sign on their front yard – a little request. There is a great chance they will say, fine, how would that tiny sign affect me. A few days later, go back and ask if you could replace the tiny one with a bigger board – about 76% of the people would say yes.

How can you use it?

The best way is to observe and learn from examples. Look at how ‘Freemium‘ products and services use it. They’ll give you something for free – say the software Workflowy – An amazing piece of software. You’ll start using it. The chances are great that you’ll find it very useful, you’ll get addicted and will have a lot invested in it (not money, you will have a couple of notes stored in it). Now, the day you try to store the 251st note on it, you’ll be asked to extend services by putting in some money or by sharing it with your friends. Instead of taking pains to migrate to some other note-taking software, or sell it to others, you’ll pay that small amount and buy their pro pack.

Why do you think supermarkets give away samples for free? And why do you think they place 75% sale boards with a little ‘upto’ sign outside shops? Simply to – Get Your Foot in the Door.

This is the best. Why do you think Whatsapp installs for free?
The answer is, to get you in and make you invest in it (again, not money, time and effort), only to ask you for a dollar the next year. Who’d say no to that after they’ve made a huge network of useful contacts on it!

Now watch how Prof. Wiseman explains it. [Link]

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Myths on Facebook – Negative Calorie Foods

By Anupum Pant

I have never felt the necessity to pay attention to diet related news/facts till date (now I do).
So, never in my life had I read the phrase “negative calorie foods”, until yesterday, when a friend posted the following “WTF fact” on Facebook:

Celery has negative calories! It takes more calories to eat a piece of celery than the celery has in it.

BS! I cried, and like with everything I read on the internet, I was skeptical about this too. Hence, I decided to investigate. Here is what I found out.

Negative Calories in theory

Theoretically, it is indeed possible for edible items to be negative calorie foods. It works this way.

The body takes more calories to process a negative calorie food item than it (the food item) provides to the body. That basically means that you can sit all day, eat celery, fill your tummy and still keep losing weight. Sounds too good to be true. Exactly!

A Myth

It has been proved once and again that the number of calories your body burns while processing food is tiny when compared with the calories in that food item. So, scientists haven’t yet found a truly “negative calorie” food item.
For instance, a stalk of celery provides 6 calories to the body, but the body expends only half of a single calorie digesting it. That is +five and half calories. As expected, It isn’t negative. In fact, none of the foods advertised have been conclusively proved as actually negative calorie foods. Except one, which again, isn’t really food.

Ice cold water is the only known negative calorie thing you can ingest. It needs more amount of calories to get processed in the body than it give the body.  Most of this energy expended by the body goes into warming up the ice-cold water.

Celery is still good

However, that doesn’t mean celery is not a healthy food item. When compared to other greasy things you could ingest, celery of course is a good alternative (if you are looking to eat healthy). In terms of calorie intake, you’ll be doing great by eating a lot of celery to fill your stomach. But, positive calories mean that you’ll not lose weight unless you get moving. No wonder, virtually every dietitian has a load of celery mentioned in his/her diet plan.

Also, note that, while it is a good food, it isn’t something you could survive on. If you are thinking of trying an only-celery diet, you should know that you’ll be depriving your body of several necessary nutrients by trying that. Consult an informed nutritionist before trying a diet plan.

Finding an informed Nutritionist

To confirm if it is a good nutritionist you are talking to, you could probably test them by innocently inquiring if celery is a negative calorie food item or not. If he/she LOLs and tells you that it is a myth, it would be a good idea to go to them for diet plans.

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