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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More People Using 'Ninja' As Their Job Title On LinkedIn

Posted By on Wed, May 12, 2010 at 2:30 PM


If you ever wondered what the spies at Facebook and LinkedIn have learned about their millions of users, here's your answer: An increasing number of people have job descriptions that include the word "ninja," open relationships don't work, and getting engaged turns women into unhappy bridezillas.

Yes, status updates and online resumes are the newest sociological tool. Both LinkedIn and Facebook have in-house researchers who analyze all the crap we post on their sites and try to make sense of it all. Here's what D.J. Patil, chief scientist for LinkedIn, told the Chronicle he's learned from people on his company's site:

From 2002 to 2007, there was an increase in job titles using the word "ninja" to designate a position requiring a high level of skill. "Evangelist" and "guru" were other titles that rose during the same period, although guru has since dropped in popularity.

But in 2008, "industrial design" and "environmental artist" became the fastest-rising titles. "These are the guys that designed the background scenery for Worlds of Warcraft and all those video games, because gaming was becoming so popular," Patil said.

So, in other words, Patil has learned that there are a lot of 50-year-old ninja virgins who are out of work.

Meanwhile, Cameron Marlow,  Facebook's in-house sociologist and research guru, reveals that the world's most popular social-media website is using its users' status updates to create a "Gross National Happiness Index." According to Marlow, here's what the Index shows:

  • Holidays like Christmas and Easter are the happiest days.
  • Michael Jackson's death made people sad
  • Open relationships don't work and decrease "positive feelings by 15 percent compared with single people"
  • Getting engaged makes women less happy. "Maybe this is the effect of having to plan a wedding," Marlow told the Chron

In case you were wondering -- and we know you were -- Marlow says he doesn't see anyone's private information to do his research. But, if you're interested, we're sure he has some fantastic ideas on how to use Facebook to personalize your experience on Yelp and Pandora.   

Will Harper is managing ninja of SF Weekly.

Follow us on Twitter @TheSnitchSF

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