People who use social networking sites, or who go to networking events may wish to read some research from two American professors. Their study published in the Academy of Management Review suggests that you should work on the people who dislike you.

The study shows that within one social networking group the success of individuals was related to the number of “dislikes” they had, rather than the number of people who liked them. You may have lots of people who like you, but that doesn’t help you succeed as much as having few people who dislike you.

What you need, it appears is a much larger preponderance of likers to dislikers. So, if you start getting negative comments either whispered about you or appearing on social networking sites, or in comments in your blog, your likelihood of getting what you want to achieve is lessened.

Today we have seen even more negative publicity about Facebook itself. Top name advertisers have withdrawn their promotions from Facebook because their adverts appeared in material linked to the BNP. Only last week Facebook found itself being threatened with court action for allegedly stealing the whole idea for the site. Negative publicity like this just makes it harder for Facebook to attract new users, even though there are millions of people who love the site.

So ensuring your online activities go well is not about getting people to like you. It’s more about preventing people from disliking you and therefore generating negative publicity and comments about you.

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