Key tech players create non-profit AI alliance

first_imgHow Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Tags:#AI#Amazon#artificial intelligence#Deep Mind#Elon Musk#Facebook#Google#IBM#Machine Learning#Microsoft Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck Related Posts center_img Tech giants Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Google’s DeepMind, Facebook have joined forces to create a non-profit alliance called Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society that will work to advance public understanding of artificial intelligence technologies (AI) and formulate best practices on the challenges and opportunities within the field.Academics, non-profits, and specialists in policy and ethics will be invited to join the Board of the organization.The objective of the partnership is to address opportunities and challenges with AI technologies to benefit people and society. Together, the organization’s members will conduct research, recommend best practices, and publish research under an open license in fr areas such as ethics, fairness, and inclusivity; transparency, privacy, and interoperability; collaboration between people and AI systems; and the trustworthiness, reliability, and robustness of the technology.The organization’s founding members will each contribute financial and research resources to the partnership and will share leadership with independent third-parties, including academics, user group advocates, and industry domain experts. There will be equal representation of corporate and non-corporate members on the board of this new organization.Eric Horvitz, Technical Fellow & Managing Director, Microsoft Research said:“We’re excited about this historic collaboration on AI and its influences on people and society. We see great value ahead with harnessing AI advances in numerous areas, including health, education, transportation, public welfare, and personal empowerment. We’re extremely pleased with how early discussions among colleagues blossomed into a promising long-term collaboration. Beyond folks in industry, we’re thrilled to have other stakeholders at the table, including colleagues in ethics, law, policy, and the public at large. We look forward to working arm-in-arm on best practices and on such important topics as ethics, privacy, transparency, bias, inclusiveness, and safety.”Who’s in…and who’s outInterestingly it does not intend to lobby government or other policymaking bodies, yet members will presumably include legal professionals. After all, it’s likely that there will be significant challenges to the rule of law, at least in the developed world, as AI advances into all echelons of society and policy in a broad range of areas from health care to military analytics. The law in general has traditionally struggled to maintain pace with the rapid advancements of technological innovation.Notably absent are Apple and Open AI, the non-profit research think tank created by Elon Musk in 2015, though it’s possible they will be late additions. It’s foreseeable that as AI develops as the next industrial revolution, preceded by IoT, that a number of watchdog organizations will develop to respond to the challenges of AI particularly in regard to changes to the workforce in some sectors and the social challenges like robotic ethics. The next few years will be a time of fascinating research and discussions for all. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Cate Lawrencelast_img read more

Manny Pacquiao throws shade at Floyd Mayweather with his New Year’s resolution

first_imgStephen Curry, Golden State Warriors torch Phoenix Suns TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next (L-R): CEO of Mayweather Promotions Leonard Ellerbe, WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, and Top Rank Founder and CEO Bob Arum pose during a news conference at the KA Theatre at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 29, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather and Pacquiao will face each other in a unification bout on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI / AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKIMANILA, Philippines—Years have already changed but the rivalry between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather has not.After Mayweather destroyed Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in exhibition-boxing match in Japan on New Year’s Eve, Manny Pacquiao couldn’t let it pass.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño LATEST STORIES Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READcenter_img Pacquiao threw shade at Mayweather’s latest conquest with a new year’s resolution.READ: Floyd Mayweather clobbers Japanese kickboxer for TKO win FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion“Here is an early New Year’s resolution. To continue to only fight experienced opponents who are my size or bigger,” tweeted boxing’s only eight-division champion who’s busy training for his WBA World welterweight title defense against Adrien Broner.Clearly, Pacquiao wasn’t talking about himself. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Pacquiao’s tweet was meant for Mayweather and a retweet that featured a video of a goat knocking down a kid captioned “The Mayweather/Tenshin fight is the funniest thing I’ve seen” immediately followed up Pacman’s tweet.READ: Manny Pacquiao teases Floyd Mayweather rematch Mayweather, Pacquiao, and Broner are all welterweights while Nasukawa, who’s fighting in his first boxing match, weighs 121 lbs and is lighter by 26 lbs than the three boxers.Needless to say, it was a fighting farce between Mayweather and Nasukawa.Mayweather, a five-division World champion, floored Nasukawa thrice in the opening round prompting the Japanese fighter’s corner to throw in the towel.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid View commentslast_img read more

RCB clinched a one-run win over Kings XI to keep their IPL campaign alive

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15 Qualities That Will Get You Hired

first_imgAre you the perfect job applicant? When recruiting, there are certain traits employers look for in the ideal job seeker. While we are not born with every desired trait, it is imperative we gain these attributes as we continue in our career and subsequently during our next job search.You should remember that no job applicant is perfect, though each and every one should strive for consistent improvement. With that being said, recruiters, hiring managers and human resource professionals will prioritize hiring job seekers who can be described as having the following 15 traits:1. Leadership oriented. Companies like recruiting job seekers who have a future with their organization. Most facets of leadership are learned and thus the most efficient organizations want to mold progressive thinkers rather than have stagnant employees. They want each individual to have room to progress and in time be able to formulate their own winning teams.2. Resilient. Resilient applicants are amongst the most sought after by hiring managers. These are the individuals who view their problems in an optimistic manner and don’t view hurdles as insurmountable, pervasive and their fault. They can fail and, after a brief demoralization get right back on their feet and continue producing for the company.3. Candid. Individuals who are candid are among the best communicators around the office. They display a direct, clear manner of speaking which in turn fosters winning and helps eliminate bureaucracy. Moreover, this method of expression promotes new ideas, encourages fast action and engages more people in the conversation.4. Competitive. Highly successful companies believe in differentiating their top performers from the average employees. These firms recognize the worth of making clear distinctions regarding the output individuals produce when compared to that of their peers. They understand that the people who fare best in the office are those who want to succeed and who are consistently formulating creative, compelling and logical methods to beat competing firms.5. In control. Hiring managers consider successful people to be in control of their careers. The more knowledgeable employers actively seek out individuals who don’t let outside forces dictate their potential; they recruit employees who don’t fear normal setbacks. Among other things, in control translates to being able to keep calm and perform during times of heightened stress.6. Friendly. Prior to recruiting, hiring managers seek out individuals who are easy to deal with and can be successfully managed by current staff. Moreover, when employers like you, they are more apt to give you an offer. When staffing new applicants, those who fit in with the current corporate culture are the most seriously considered.7. Ambitious. Ambitious employees are those who continually drive towards a better way of doing things. They embrace challenges and are able to overcome hurdles. These people are never satisfied with the status quo and drive for better solutions, thus making an organization more competitive.8. Ability to adapt. Staffing professionals seek job applicants who can change with the business environment. While many people love familiarity and patterns, the best understand that if you want to stay in the game (let alone win), change is a necessary aspect of business.9. Creative. The most successful companies thrive because of innovation and a consistent improvement on current internal processes. They are consistently looking for those who can not only work autonomously, but who also can formulate fresh ways to complete old tasks.10. Competent. Managers today are overly worked and have little time to oversee day to day activities. Thus, recruiting employees who can get the job done without being micromanaged are a significant priority these days. Competent job seekers can derive a return on investment for their employer while requiring minimal handholding from the leadership team.11. Passionate. Although all employees are driven by monetary gain, the most sought after people are the ones who enjoy the work as much as they do the reward. Without passion, employees will utilize only a fraction of their intelligence, achieve only a percentage of what they are able to and will inevitably burn-out. Moreover, they will fail to positively impact both their lives and the lives of their co-workers, clients, managers as well as the firm’s leadership team.12. Trustworthy. Without integrity, the other 14 qualities listed mean nothing. To be successful, companies need to have a culture that thrives on honesty and doing what is best for both the client and shareholders. Once trust is broken within a corporation, the rest of the positive aspects slowly unravel.13. Decisive. Companies love hiring employees who can make tough decisions. These are the people who can quickly and efficiently analyze options, potential outcomes and pitfalls of a situation and make a firm call. They are the opposite of “wishy-washy.” HR managers know that indecisiveness can keep organizations from reaching a desired output and, thus actively recruit what former GE CEO Jack Welch refers to as “edge.”14. Team oriented. Hiring people who “buy into the system” is of the utmost importance when recruiting. They can work effectively in situations that require the cooperation of others, clearly fit into the confines of the firm’s corporate culture and bring a dynamic to meetings that welcomes debate and, ultimately, solves problems.15. Goal oriented. Employers want to hire job seekers who always escalate their goals, though who still enjoy the journey along the way. They understand that money, power, status and possessions mean little without true passion for their job and, when recruiting seek people who feel the same way.In the EndIn conjunction with the above, intelligence, vision, confidence, knowledge and persuasiveness are additional qualities employers seek out. While hiring mangers, HR representatives and recruiters don’t need 100% of these traits present when staffing, the closer you are to 99%, the better your odds become at receiving a job offer. –Originally posted on Personal Branding Blog by Ken Sundheimlast_img read more

5 Ways to Tell You’re a Workplace Bully & How to Stop Right Now

first_imgIn the few short weeks since the beginning of January, here are just two of the headlines that have appeared in respected business publications: “Is Your Boss a Psychopath?” and “A Survivor’s Guide to Bullies, Backstabbers and Bastards.” Words like “toxic, destructive, revenge, screaming, crying, and storming” fill the paragraphs. Books on the subject include “Snakes in Suits” and “Sociopaths at Work.” And of course there are the films, “The Devil Wears Prada” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which depict these not-so-fictional antisocial behaviors that are epidemic in today’s workplace. There is a plethora of information about what to do if you work for one of these tyrants, but how about if you are the workplace bully inflicting all this pain and suffering?This blog post is for you.Answer these five questions to determine if you are a bully.Have you yelled at someone today and on most days?Do you slam doors when you are angry?Have you publicly humiliated and demoralized co-workers by calling them morons, idiots, and other disparaging epithets?Do you throw things, stamp your feet, and pound your fist on the table to make your point?Do you make fun of co-workers with mean-spirited insults?Recent stats: Thirty-five percent of the American workforce has been bullied. Seven out 10 employees leave their jobs because of a bully.If three out of five answers were “Yes,” here are five reasons to alter your behavior right now.Because you lead by intimidation and fear, most everyone is afraid of speaking with you at all, never mind telling you important truths about your business. There is a lot that you are not being told about what is going on. No one seeks to be the dead messenger.Co-workers who are respected and valued produce better work, are loyal, and go above and beyond when problems arise. The converse is true for colleagues who are disrespected, demeaned, and not acknowledged for the experience and talents that they were hired for in the first place. Your colleagues may be physically there, but not really there. The term is “presenteeism.”Your co-workers may be at their desks but many of them are busy looking for the exit – and they are doing it on the company dime.Perhaps you are bullying only one person? It is true that bullying takes the biggest toll on the victim but the witnesses of bullying also pay a high price, and they too will also look to quit. Have you heard of survivor’s guilt?Costs for employee sick time, litigation, and replacing staff are skyrocketing. The word has gone around about how you treat people, so new staffers receive “combat pay” just to take the job. Plus, bottom line profits are directly impacted by the job satisfaction levels of employees.  Bullying is very expensive.Convinced to turn things around? Here are five things to do about it.Hire a counselor or coach who specializes in bullying behaviors.Have one on ones with your most valuable co-workers and give them permission to tell you the truth. Really. Take notes.Apologize to those you have hurt. Sincerity counts.Speak with your HR department to set realistic and actionable policies regarding bullying. Involve your co-workers in the creation of these policies and then work with HR to post them on your website.Encourage your co-workers to openly communicate with you as often as needed. Emphasize that they will not receive retribution.The bad news is that you have been a bully. The good news is that you made it to the end of this blog post in the hopes of finding the reasons to make a change. If you are still in doubt about whether you are a bully, just ask your co-workers. Their eyes will say it all.last_img read more

Jack Dorsey Named Twitter CEO; Employees Approve

first_imgToday Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced he will permanently lead the company once again as CEO. Dorsey has been acting as interim CEO for the past three months after former CEO Dick Costolo stepped down amidst frustration from Wall Street with his leadership.In the short time that Dorsey served as interim CEO, he has gained support from employees. In fact, Dorsey received an impressive 100% CEO approval rating from Twitter employees who had shared their opinions on Glassdoor (rating based on 37 reviews, as of 10/5/15).After founding Twitter in 2006, Dorsey left the company in 2009 to found Square, the popular mobile payment app. As of now, he also remains the CEO of Square with a 97% approval rate, according to Square employees (based on 117 reviews, as of 10/5/15).Below are some of the recent company reviews Twitter employees left on Glassdoor prior to Dorsey’s move from interim CEO to permanent CEO. While many employees praise Dorsey for his transparent and motivational leadership, others have noted the impact of lackluster senior leadership within the company. “After Dick C.’s departure, management seems to have really rallied around one another, which is my view is 100 percent attributable to Jack’s leadership and moral authority.” – Twitter Director (San Francisco, CA)  “The hardest part is actually fighting the media’s portrayal of Twitter, our MAU, and our leadership. I feel like they’re trying to undermine a good thing, but ultimately, the open communication within the company helps dispel the lies.” – Twitter Solutions Engineer (San Francisco, CA)“I have watched Twitter flap for over a year with little progress, and now, understandably, investors are becoming angry. Costolo served as a scapegoat for Wall Street, but the truth is that he was very capable, and will be difficulty to replace.” –Twitter Software Engineer (San Francisco, CA)“Residual chaos from the early days (Ev and Jack management). Some really terrible bad apples still in the company.” – Twitter Employee (location, n/a)“Would like to see Jack have a much more public presence, he’s a cool guy and can do a lot to promote Twitter.” – Twitter Data Scientist (San Francisco, CA)“Figure out the CEO situation, but make sure it’s someone that can keep employees motivated as well as Jack Dorsey. An internal source may be preferable to an external source in that respect.” – Twitter Software Engineer (San Francisco, CA)For comparison, below are insights from Square employees about Dorsey and the senior leadership team:“Jack’s passion for helping businesses and changing commerce. It can be very inspiring.” – Square Employee (location, n/a)“Jack’s leadership is inspiring. I trust him to have clear intention for the business, but also care what’s happening inside the company. I feel like I can approach him and question how decisions were made, or why we do things the way we do.” – Square Employee (location, n/a)“Executive team leadership is disorganized and lacks the vision and innovation that made this company what it is. They are running Square as if it was Google and they can’t seem to understand they are two totally different types of companies.” – Square Employee (San Francisco, CA)“Immature leadership has been an ongoing theme for my entire tenure. It’s been a problem at every level of leadership from executive on down at some point or another. On the other hand – I think this is to be expected of a company this age and size, and is usually course-corrected eventually.” – Square Software Engineer (San Francisco, CA)It’s also important to note that well over the majority of Twitter employees (77%) and Square employees (84%) believe business will improve in the next six months (as of 10/5/15).What do you think about Dorsey as a leader of both Twitter and Square?Do you work at Twitter or Square? Share a company review.last_img read more

Want a New Job? Be a Team Player

first_imgThink about it: when was the last time you saw a job description that didn’t call for a team player? It’s probably been awhile. After all, hiring managers are looking for someone to join a team, not just a company.Teamwork capabilities don’t just attract hiring managers, they boost your hireability — and in more ways than one. When it comes to landing your dream job, there’s only so much you can do on your own. You need to take advantage of the career advancement opportunities your peers and coworkers can provide.Here are four ways aiding your peers can aid you in your job search:1. Sharpen your teamwork capabilities.Being able to work with others toward a common goal may seem like an innate ability, but it takes some effort to be able to work successfully within a team environment. Not everyone is equally capable of communicating ideas, trusting others, or giving credit where credit is due — which is why so many people cringed at the mention of “group project” in school.It takes practice to work and succeed as a team. The best way to develop teamwork skills is simply to work with others. Not only does helping your peers improve your collaboration skills, but also it gives you tangible teamwork experience that you can mention during your next job interview.2. Learn something new. For many of us, our various jobs and roles tend to fall into a routine. You may work on the same type of tasks or toward the same set of goals day in and day out, which gives you only so many opportunities to learn something new. One such opportunity is working with others. Volunteering to help your colleagues is a great way to gain new perspectives, knowledge, and skills.And you don’t have to work with someone in another department or line of work to learn something new. Working alongside someone who does exactly what you do can give you an entirely new perspective on something with which you’re already familiar.3. Gain potential references.The more people you work and interact with, the more people you have who can accurately vouch for your skills and capabilities. And, considering the vast majority of employers (80 percent) actually contact references and take their words into consideration when evaluating potential employees, according to a survey by CareerBuilder, you’ll need all the positive references you can get.In fact, the same survey found that 70 percent of job seekers provide three or more references when they apply to a job. So, keep in mind when opportunities arise to lend a helping hand to your peers or coworkers that doing so can help boost their opinion (and reference) of you.4. Secure new opportunities.Taking time out of your day to help your peers with their tasks isn’t just appreciated, it’s remembered. And, when the time comes to search for a new job, your peers may feel more inclined to share new opportunities with you. They’ll remember how willing you were to help them and will jump at the chance not just to return the favor, but to work with you again.As the saying goes, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” While securing new job opportunities shouldn’t be your main motivation in helping your peers and co-workers, it definitely makes assisting others that much sweeter.What are some other ways helping others can help you during your job search?last_img read more

Lessons From 360i’s Marketing Leadership Summit: Content Power

first_imgOverall, Vikram Somaya summed up “Content Knowledge” perfectly, “Data is like water. It surrounds us, it is incredibly hard to use all of it without a whole lot of processing, and most of us can’t survive a day without it.” When we leverage this “data” or in other words content power, marketers are empowered to lead, innovate, and learn. Everyone knows the saying, “Knowledge Is Power” and marketers in particular know this notion could not be truer. Whether it is behavioral audience insights that inspire the next brand campaign or historical content performance that helps strengthen a pitch, the continued and increasing availability of data and knowledge allows us to produce measurably better work. At this year’s 360i Marketing Leadership Summit experts from across industries defined this knowledge as “Content Power”, available resources or shared knowledge, that when leveraged correctly, can turn a brand into more than just a business proposition. Content Power can be used to foster authority, inspire creativity, and drive results.Knowledge Fosters Authority In the midst of what is arguably the most interesting presidential campaign in American history, we heard from New York Times Magazine journalists, Emily Bazelon and Jake Silverstein, who discussed how leadership is being redefined this campaign season. Throughout history, the American public has generally accepted that presidential candidates say factual statements and their word can be trusted when addressing the smallest and largest public issues. However, both 2016 candidates have proven these assumptions to be untrue, making the media stand as a larger authority than ever before.This authority shift to media is a result of what Bazleon and Silverstein referred to as the “Democratization of Sources.” They explained that there is an oversaturation of information and opinions, yet no gatekeeper for what is true. This new landscape has caused candidates to stray from usual campaign tactics and for voters to press for answers on every possible opinion.Despite the positional and personal power both Trump and Clinton possess, voters have looked to the media as the ultimate authority and jurisdiction in this campaign. This role for the media was born of its collective knowledge regarding the current state of the United States, the history of each of the candidates and their ability to serve up well-researched and sometimes unbiased facts. Understanding their position of power, journalists are using tactics to debunk some of the candidate’s falsities and exaggerating tendencies. Bazelon used the example of Megyn Kelly’s debate strategy in which she pressed Trump immediately to respond to his false statements by playing recordings of his own statements and CNN’s on-air annotations to Trump’s speeches with facts. These “risky” or “edgy” tactics have also been driving the media into an even more respected leadership position this election. Voters are finding trust in the media during this election and establishing themselves as the primary authority because as Bazleon declared, “we live in a world where in which we think the marketplace of ideas is paramount” and that is exactly what the media is currently providing for the American public.Knowledge Inspires Creativity On a lighter note, the audience of brand executives also heard from marketing experts like Jason Levine, VP of North America Biscuits at Mondelez International and Stacy Minero, Director of Content Planning & Creative Agencies at Twitter who taught us that knowledge inspires creativity. Levine spoke of Oreo’s Wonderfilled Campaign. A campaign inspired by audience insights that revealed consumers wanted to do more than just taste Oreo flavors, but to they wanted to experience Oreo flavors. So, when Oreo announced their Choco Chip Cookie flavor they connected the flavor to the feeling of childhood wonderment and home with an experiential pop-up Wonder Vault in Los Angeles.Similarly, Minero spoke to how Bose designed participation with their Super Bowl campaign, Fan Tracks. Having the knowledge that personalized content releases dopamine within a person, Bose promoted their new line of headphones by transforming fan tweets into customized pieces of content. Though Bose only created about a dozen pieces of customized content, the possibility of getting a personalized video designed campaign participation and in turn drove awareness and engagement. Overall, the more data and insights marketers have on their target audience, the better informed their strategy can be to inspire relevant and effective creativity.Knowing Drives Results Lastly, Vikram Somaya, SVP Global Data Officer at ESPN discussed the emotional side of data found in ESPN’s HEART engine, a tool that helps the publisher speak to users in real-time with messages that matter. HEART allows ESPN to understand emotional decision making by aggregating team and game data, present and historical geo-location data, interest data, biological data, and data on the level of anticipation fans have while viewing a game. Organizing this data and segmenting it into various different audiences, allows ESPN to understand more about that specific audience’s reaction and the kind of marketing message that would be the most effective in that moment.After thousands of data segmentations and algorithms, ESPN found that their methodology for ad placement works. Leveraging moments that matter in sports, either positive or negative motivates people to react to the messages served. Reactions include clicking, buying, or engaging—all reactions advertisers are vying for daily. More specifically, ESPN found that if you talk to people during a positive game time moment, they are 29% more likely to go through the full conversion funnel. As apparent in this statistic, the analyzed data ESPN has on their digital audience is directly impacting the return on investment for their advertisers.last_img read more

6 Leftover Halloween Candy Recipes

first_imgThe average person may see anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 ads in a single day. From binge-watching your favorite shows to checking the pile of coupons in your mailbox, advertisers have inundated our lives. Most of the ads we see… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,You may not find it on an official calendar anywhere, but Friendsgiving is a newer holiday that has gained popularity in recent years. Much like Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving is a time to gather around the table with loved ones in the… Full Story,My birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Not much of a football fan? Don’t know what all the cheesehead hat-wearing and face paint-smearing is all about? Skip hanging out at the local sports bar or sitting in the stands at a game, and put on your entrepreneurial… Full Story,Living paycheck to paycheck can feel like an endless scramble. Rent is due on the first but your paycheck won’t clear until the second. On top of everything, you need to pay for groceries, a bus ticket, and utilities before… Full Story,Decision fatigue is the decline in energy and focus you experience after making too many decisions. This mental drain causes your brain to abandon your willpower in order to seek more immediate rewards, which leads to poor decision making and… Full Story,If you ask a random person on the street what they do, chances are they have a lot of slashes and hyphens in their job titles. In this day and age, if you don’t have multiple sources of income… Full Story,Do you consider yourself a financially responsible young adult? Personally, I like to think that my finances are mostly in order. Rent, student loans, car payments—everything big is blocked off nicely. If the math works out right, I have a… Full Story,In the financial world, nothing evokes feelings of terror quite like the word “bankruptcy”. It’s become synonymous with a complete and utter collapse of one’s finances – a black hole that’s almost impossible to climb out of. When you declare… Full Storylast_img read more

Ask Farnoosh: Getting a new car without the new loan

first_imgHave a question for Farnoosh? You can submit your questions via Twitter @Farnoosh, Facebook or email at Farnoosh Torabi is America’s leading personal finance authority hooked on helping Americans live their richest, happiest lives. From her early days reporting for Money Magazine to now hosting a primetime series on CNBC and writing monthly for O, The Oprah Magazine, she’s become our favorite go-to money expert and friend.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Post navigation I want to purchase a car but avoid taking out loans. Would it be better to take money out of my emergency savings or my investment account?-AshleyHi Ashley,If you can remove money out of your emergency or “rainy day” savings account and retain a four to six-month reserve to cover your living expenses in case of a financial setback, then I think that is the better account to tap. [Just be sure to replenish savings as soon as possible.]My guess is that the money in your investment account has been benefiting from a higher rate of return and that is where your cash can potentially grow the most over the long run. To that end, it’s better to stay the course and keep your money invested for as long as you can.If using your emergency funds for this car will significantly reduce savings, then my advice is to find ways to spend as little as you need on this vehicle.Research sites like Edmunds and Consumer Reports can help narrow down your list based on various ratings like sticker price, mileage, safety and customer satisfaction.By the way, if you do plan to finance the purchase and take out a loan, a smart rule of thumb is to allocate no more than 20% of your monthly take-home pay towards payments. That’s the maximum and (in my book) includes maintenance and gas. It’s much better if you can keep the overall expense to 12 to 15% (or less) of your after-tax income. So, if you earn $50,000 a year, figure spending an average $600 a month on car payments.From there, consider these additional ways to stay on budget and curb your purchase costs:Price Compare From HomeCoincidentally, my husband and I will soon be shopping for a new car ourselves, too, but before we step foot in any dealership we’ll come super prepared with price comparisons in hand directly from their sales managers.These days you can do most, if not all, of your pricing research prior to stepping foot at a dealer showroom. Once you pick your preferred vehicle, you can virtually compare prices in real time from the comfort of your home and without the hassle of going back and forth on location with a salesperson. Print out your results and come in armed to negotiate.This not only reduces the amount of time spent putting on your poker face with the sales team, it allows you to enter price talks accurately informed. And knowing you’ve done some homework and compared prices around town (with evidence in hand) will hopefully encourage the sales teams to meet your needs.Every dealership typically provides contact information for their Internet Sales Manager on their website. Matt Jones, Consumer Advice Editor at Edmunds recommends emailing at least three dealerships to ask about their current inventory and best price.Go [Certified] Pre-OwnedYou’ll almost always save a pretty penny by purchasing a used vehicle (unless we’re talking a rare antique). And while individuals and dealers are always selling used cars, a safer (albeit pricier) way to buy used may be to opt for a certified pre-owned (CPO) car from a dealer.  In fact close to 90 percent of those who say they would consider buying a used car would pay more for a CPO vehicle.Auto dealers are typically required to spruce up CPO vehicles from the inside and out prior to selling. According to Edmunds a certified pre-owned vehicle “is generally defined as a used vehicle that has undergone a minimum 100-point inspection in which any mechanical and body issues are addressed.”They also tend to come with a longer manufacturer’s warranty and better benefits like free maintenance and roadside assistance, as compared to standard used vehicles.Now, depending on the make and model of the car you want, finding a certified pre-owned vehicle at a local dealership could prove challenging. In that case, it helps if you’re willing to travel further to snag a pre-owned deal. Cast a wide net and you may locate more results. My husband and I, in fact, discovered we have many more options for CPO cars at suburban dealers around New York City, versus in Manhattan.Strike Sooner Than LaterWith the end of the year approaching, this is historically the best time of year to drive off with a bargain [assuming you are in the market for a car!] 2016 inventory levels are still strong, while 2017 models have made their way to showrooms. This means dealerships are eager to unload current-year vehicles, as it costs them money to have the older models take up real estate on their lots.Just keep in mind that if you have your heart set on a particular color and build, your 2016 model options may be limited the longer you wait to buy. But if you’re not too picky, have fun haggling!last_img read more

This is what you should eat for a good night’s sleep

first_imgIf you struggle to get to sleep of a night, then fear not, because help is at hand.Alongside the age-old advice of avoiding your phone, taking a bath, reading a book or spraying lavender on your pillow, comes new rules on what you should eat before bedtime.Sleep expert Sammy Margo, author of The Good Sleep Guide, told the Mail Online that certain foods hold the power to help us sleep better, while eating the wrong ones, can actually be detrimental to our sleep cycle.Margo has identified five foods that we should be eating before bed to get the best night’s sleep ever.1. Bananas – for their high levels of magnesium (that thing that relaxes muscles), serotonin and melatonin.2. Almonds – for their high levels of magnesium and tryptophan.3. Honey – for stimulating the release of melatonin and shutting off orexin, the chemical that keeps us alert.4. Oats – rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids, which all promote melatonin.5. Turkey – we’ve all experienced a turkey coma or two and that’s because of its high levels of tryptophan.So far, so good, but what should be avoiding before bedtime? ‘While particular foods and drinks may feel warming, those that are spicy, caffeinated, or high in fat and protein can play havoc with our sleep,’ Margo told the Mail Online.These are the five to avoid…1. Alcohol – bad news, even one glass can stop you falling into a deep sleep, meaning you’ll wake up repeatedly.2. Cheese – there’s a reason why people say it gives you odd dreams, and that would be down to its high levels of amino acid and tyramine, which makes the brain more alert.3. Spicy food – high levels of capsaicin make it hard for your body to regulate temperature.4. Fatty food – these are hard to digest and more likely to cause heartburn, making you uncomfortable.5. Coffee – this one is pretty obvious, but caffeine can stay in your system for up to ten hours, so it’s best to stop drinking after lunchtime.Still, no one mentioned chocolate, right?Sourcelast_img read more

Can We Drink Water While We Eat?

first_imgOn health food TV shows, they often say that it’s prohibited to eat and drink at the same time. Some experts explain that water dilutes our stomach acid. Others think that doing so makes us fat. And some people even think that water pushes undigested food out of the stomach! Can ordinary water be that harmful to us?We decided to finally find out the truth about drinking water while eating and what is simply a myth.What happens to food and water in the stomach?The digestion process starts exactly when we are thinking about our future meal: saliva is produced in the mouth. When we chew food, we mix it with saliva that contains the necessary enzymes for digestion. Then, the softened food gets into our stomachs where it gets mixed with the stomach acid. On average, the stomach needs 4 hours to digest food before turning it into liquid, or chyme. Chyme goes further into the intestine where it gives all the nutrients to the body.Water doesn’t stay in the stomach for a long time. It takes about 10 minutes to for the stomach to move 10 oz of water. So, if you drink while eating, water doesn’t form lakes in your stomach. It goes through the chewed food very quickly, moisturizes it and leaves the stomach quickly.Liquids don’t decrease acidity.Our body is a complicated but very well-tuned system. If the stomach “feels” that it can’t digest something, it produces more enzymes and increases the acidity of the liquid inside. Even if you drink a half a gallon of water, it won’t influence the acidity level. By the way, water gets into the stomach with food, too. For example, on average, an orange consists of 86% water.By the way, studies have shown that some food can decrease acidity levels in our stomachs, but it goes back to normal very quickly.Liquids don’t influence the speed of digestion.There are no studies that prove the misconception that liquid pushes solid food into the intestine before it’s fully digested. Scientists claim that liquid leaves the body faster than solid food but it doesn’t influence the speed of digestion.So, can we drink while eating?If you drink while eating, you won’t do any harm. On the contrary, water helps to soften solid food. But don’t drink before you swallow the food — there should be enough saliva in the food that contains the necessary enzymes.There are certain advantages to drinking while eating. Research shows that when a person makes short pauses to drink some water, it slows down the eating process. As a result, people eat less which is good.If you are used to drinking tea with food instead of water, there is nothing wrong with that either. Research shows that there is no difference in acidity levels after drinking tea or water.The temperature of the water you drink doesn’t influence the speed of digestion or the number of nutrients you receive. The stomach can heat up or cool down the food to the necessary level. However, scientists recommend drinking warm water that is cooled down to 150 °F.Sourcelast_img read more

Relationship Experts Explain 7 Ways A Baby Changes Your Relationship

first_imgAsk most parents, and they’ll say that having a baby is one of the most thrilling, joyous, and loving things a person can experience. It’s also incredibly hard work. In this article, we’ll discuss 7 ways that having a baby may change the relationship dynamic with your partner. (We’d love to read your comments, Moms and Dads!)…Let’s go!HERE’S HOW HAVING A BABY WITH YOUR PARTNER CHANGES YOUR RELATIONSHIP:1. THERE’S A TON OF ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITYMeeting the demands of a newborn can be overwhelming. All of a sudden, you realize that you’re entirely responsible for another human being. No easy task! While new parents may have an idea of what lies ahead, once the little bundle of joy shows up, Moms and Dads often are often taken aback by just how much responsibility comes with being a parent.Experts say that when both parents partake in baby care, intimacy strengthens. The challenge, they say, is getting new momma bears to loosen their grip long enough for daddy to share some of this workload. But this experience is vital: “It helps (the father) understand the challenges of meeting the needs of an infant,” says Gary Direnfeld, a social worker and marriage expert.2. YOU’LL PROBABLY HATE ONE ANOTHER AT TIMESTaking care of a baby is often an exhausting endeavor. When you’ve got two incredibly fatigued parents, that’s a recipe for some conflict.It’s important to understand that bickering and criticizing between new parents is entirely rational. However, conflict can frequently be averted by (a) coming to an agreement about shared responsibilities, and (b) having some basic knowledge of baby care.Perhaps the essential piece of regulating conflict with your partner is to understand that mistakes are inevitable, particularly if this is your first child. Once again, both parents would do well to learn about the basics of child care before the due date (knowing how a baby sleeps is a good starting point!)3. YOUR “ALONE TIME” IS PRETTY MUCH GONEAsk a new parent how he or she “fits in some alone time,” and they’ll probably clench their stomach in uninhibited laughter. “Alone time? Are you kidding me?” They’ll probably go on to explain that what now counts as “alone time” is often spent catching up on precious sleep. Because, you know, sleep deprivation.Throughout the first few months of a child’s life, they will constantly wake up, go to sleep, wake up, and go back to sleep. Oh, and most of their time sleeping is during the day. This cycle takes a heck of a toll on the ole’ circadian rhythm.4. DATE NIGHTS ARE BOTH MORE EXPENSIVE AND RAREWhile you do love spending time with your little one, you’ve gotta get out of the house at some point! The stark realization soon hits that you can’t just throw on some clothes and drive away. Enter, the “new parent dating dilemma.”First, you’ve got to be comfortable with the idea of someone watching your child (not easy). Second, you’ve got to find someone (a bit easier). Third, you’ve got to pay ‘em (okay, that sucks.) Oh, and since the babysitter is likely to be some school kid, they’ll need to be home in a few hours.“On second thought, how ‘bout a pizza and some Netflix?”5. SEX TAKES A BACKSEATThere are a number of reasons as to why sex takes a backseat. First, you’re utterly exhausted. Maybe your body doesn’t feel like it, or the baby starts crying when the time comes to spend togetherDr. Shannon Hardy, a sex educator and midwife, says “Your partner suddenly becomes sort of secondary.” She goes on to suggest alternate ways of being intimate – caressing, hugging, and kissing – that does not necessarily always lead to sex.For men, understanding that it takes their partner a few months to get back “in the mood” can help. Eventually, a biological equilibrium will be reached, and you’ll “carry on” per usual.6. MONEY TIGHTENS UPBabies are expensive. Per a study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), an average middle-income family spends roughly $12,000 on child-related expenses during the baby’s first year of life.The advice is somewhat common sense: plan for and stick with a “post-baby” budget. Consider saving a bit of money by cutting back on extras, like gifts and entertainment, and through purchasing expensive items (cribs, swing, etc.) secondhand. “The baby doesn’t know the difference!” one mother adds.7. AN UNPARALLELED SENSE OF JOYIf caring for a child is so hard, why do people keep having kids? For the same reasons that anyone does anything worthwhile: the benefits far outweigh the costs.Ask any good parent, and they’ll tell you that having a baby is the best thing to ever happen to them. Newborns bring about a sense of love, pride, and compassion that is almost inexplicable.Out of these shared feelings – and despite the challenges of raising a child – couples often experience a new, profound sense of intimacy. They may just have to wait awhile, is all!Sourcelast_img read more

Pruitt’s “Red Team-Blue Team” Exercise a Bad Fit for EPA Climate Science

first_imgIn addition to the published literature, comprehensive assessments on the state of climate science note the significant role that human activities have played in recent climate change and have underscored the urgency to act. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports, with over 830 experts from around the world involved in its writing, confirms this. And the IPCC is not alone: in 2009, a joint statement was made by more than a dozen major national scientific academies stated that “the need for urgent action to address climate change is now indisputable.” The United States’ very own National Climate Assessment, produced by more than 300 experts with review of federal agencies, a panel of the National Academy of Sciences and the public, found that recent warming is “primarily due to human activities.”No Need to Re-invent the WheelA review of climate science from the ground up is like re-inventing the wheel. There is little point to debate over something that has been confirmed and repeatedly reconfirmed.If the Trump administration wants to advance scientific understanding, how about boosting — or at the very least, not slashing — the budget for climate science research? Across the board the administration is rolling back progress and has proposed significant budget cuts to climate science and technology research, such as to climate research at EPA and its Office of Research and Development; NOAA’s satellite division; the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E), which funds research in energy technology development; and NASA Earth science missions, among others.The time for debate on the reality of human-caused climate change is at an end. The Trump administration needs to realize this unless it wants to keep the United States mired in the past, unprepared for a lower-carbon future. U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who spent much of his pre-EPA career suing the agency he now leads, has made no secret of his skepticism about the well-established role human activities play in recent global warming. His latest move would challenge scientific consensus on climate change through a “red team-blue team” exercise designed for crafting defense and intelligence strategies. The process of opposing red and blue teams — the consensus on one side with an equal number of opponents on the other — that Pruitt endorsed again last week might work well to encourage new ideas and test the strength of existing ideas. Indeed, it has been used by major companies in internal strategic exercises, but it is entirely inappropriate for science. It has no place in determining the science of a changing climate.Scientific understanding, unlike proposals for what to do about a given problem, is well established through the scientific method.Peer Review WorksIn calling for the “red team-blue team” exercise, Pruitt stated, “What the American people deserve, I think, is a true, legitimate, peer-reviewed, objective, transparent discussion about CO2 [carbon dioxide].”That’s right: even Pruitt acknowledged the importance of peer-reviewed science. To be accepted into a scholarly peer-reviewed journal, scientific papers, which form the basis of the scientific consensus, are independently reviewed and commented on by a range of experts in the same field. This is an essential part of ensuring the quality of published research. It subjects research findings and methods to others in the field for question, and papers are either rejected, edited or accepted. Many journals also allow other scientists to publish critical comments on published studies, and some journals also have an open peer review process where the public may be able to view review comments and authors’ replies or even comment themselves.If skeptics want their voices heard in scientific discourse, they should try to get their findings published in the peer-reviewed literature. They would then be assessed on their merits through peer review. Indeed a small handful of papers have made it through the peer-review process to be published in the scholarly literature.Giving Too Much Weight to a Skeptical MinorityThe overwhelming majority — 97 percent — of peer-reviewed papers in the literature support the consensus view that human activities have contributed to the majority of recent warming. Because a “vanishingly small proportion” of published research rejects the scientific consensus, giving equal, 50-50 weight to both the red and blue teams in the exercise would mislead the public into thinking there is a debate when there isn’t one. And the Trump administration is likely to stack the red team with fossil fuel industry interests, as it has done with its cabinet positions.last_img read more

Learning From The Legends: Quick Insights From Buffett and Gates

first_img Buffett on predicting success Buffett On Founders : Called himself lucky over-and-over again to be born in the US in this era where his natural gifts were well suited for our society. Made a comment that if born several hundred years earlier, he and Gates probably would have been some other animal’s lunch because they did not see well and could not climb trees well. Buffett On Ethics Buffett’s career advice Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Buffett on friends of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett at the University of Nebraska last week. I have not spent much time consuming Warren Buffett-isms over the years, but I was duly impressed with his wisdom, so while I was at it, I watched three other interviews of his with Charlie Rose. Here are some of the highlights: : I was surprised to hear how much they both talked about reading and how important reading was to their daily work. I read all the time and know many others that do so too, but I don’t hear people talking about how important reading is in their daily lives like these guys did. When asked if Gates could be a superhero, what power he’d want to have, he said he’d like to be able to be the fastest reader in the world and Buffett agreed. Originally published Oct 31, 2006 12:25:00 PM, updated July 11 2013 Buffett on most his important skill : Imagine that what you are doing every day is being scrutinized by a smart, skeptical reporter who is going to write an article about it every day on the cover of your local paper. If you ever think you actions would embarrass you or your company in front of your family, customers, peers, etc., don’t do it. Buffett on life : Asset allocation is done by me only, not by committee or vote, I make those decisions. A committee/vote would tend to bring our decisions toward the mean and make the likelihood of finding a unique opportunity lower. Gates on his schedule Buffett on Decisions : He quoted an interesting study he had seen that tried to correlate “things” (i.e. business school, grades, athletics, etc.) with future business success. The study found that the thing that most closely correlated with future success was the inverse of the age at which you started your first business (i.e. paper route, lemonade stand, painting co, other). : I only buy a business if I can buy the managers with it. It is okay if the managers love the money, but much more important is that they demonstrate a true love of what they are doing. After spending several hours listening to Warren Buffett over the last week, I became really impressed. I hope you enjoyed the highlights… — Brian Halligan. : Likes to keep it open and says “no” to as many meetings as possible. Reads 80% of the workday. When he goes home at night he either keeps reading or plays bridge. Schedules online bridge games on the weekends with Gates. I saw a great : He advises people to make decisions based on their “inner scorecard” and pay less attention to the “outer scorecard” (i.e. what other people think). He says if you follow an outer scorecard, your life will be a little hollow when you get to be his age. …He advises people to reverse engineer their lives from what they want to be when they are 70 and map the steps needed to get there from today. Buffett on the “ovarian lottery” : Jam packed every day with meetings. He goes home at night to have dinner and then gets caught up on emails. : His criteria are that he must fundamentally understand the business (often this means it is simple); the business must have an enduring competitive advantage; the business must have management he trusts, admires, and love what they do; and the business must be attractively priced. Buffett on baseball : It turns out Buffett is a huge sports fan, especially baseball. He is an especially big fan of Ted Williams’ book “The Science of Hitting” which is all about getting a pitcher in a position where he has to throw the batter a strike…He likens his investment decisions as “waiting for the right pitch.” : Ability to focus. I thought that it was interesting to hear in light of the attention deficity disorder going on in our culture. Buffet on investments interview Buffett on his schedule : Buffet says that “real” friends are a referendum on your life. …Buffett also seems to reject the platitudes around working with friends as it appears many of his closest friends are people who work in his business. Gates on Reading Vacation : Gates takes two weeks per year where he sequesters himself for a “reading vacation.” He takes books with him and papers/proposals written by employees from all over Microsoft. [Dharmesh and I have been talking about doing one of these for awhile, but haven’t got around to it yet] : It’s platitude, but do what you love sooner, rather than later. Don’t wait your whole life to do what you love like most people do. Buffett & Gates on Readinglast_img read more

25 Ways to Increase Sales and Lead Generation

first_img Lead Generation Originally published Jan 5, 2011 11:30:00 AM, updated October 07 2019 How to Improve Lead GenerationImprove your landing page CTA’s through design, copy, and targeting best practices.Improve your landing pages by keeping things clear, simple, and compelling with your headlines, forms, and imagery.Improve your offers by making sure there is one for each phase of the buying cycle.Improve your entire campaign by testing against best practices. Look for statistically significant conversion rate changes. Topics:center_img Want to increase your company’s profitability from your website? Generating traffic is only half the battle. You can spend months focusing on doubling traffic to your website, but if you don’t have compelling offers, effective calls-to-action , and convincing lead nurturing campaigns, you won’t have a way to turn that traffic into leads and ultimately profits.  Here are 25 ways you can increase website conversions, not only to the point of becoming a lead, but to the point of becoming a qualified lead.Download Now: 28 Free CTA TemplatesHow to Improve your Calls-to-Action1. Improve Positioning of Your Calls-to-Action (CTA) Calls-to-action do best “above the fold” – the space of your webpage viewable to the user without having to scroll down.  According to heat map analysis , anything “below the fold” will only be viewed by 50% of people who view your page. Doubling impressions on your CTAs can significantly increase your website leads. 2. Be More Clear About What You’re OfferingBe crystal clear about what the offer is in your CTA. And be specific. If you’re giving away a free guide, say “ Download our FREE guide to X ”. If you’re hosting a free webinar, say “Register for our FREE webinar on X.” X should clearly convey a compelling benefit of receiving the offer. This is much more effective than “Download Now” or “Get a Free Article.” These simply aren’t specific enough.3. Use Images Rather Than Only Text so it Stands OutImages stand out on a webpage more than text does, and get a lot more attention, as proven by the heat map study . Additionally, using an image will allow you to show off the offer in a way you can’t necessarily convey using text alone.4. Use Colors that Contrast with Your Site Color SchemeYour web designer might kick and scream about this, but if your call-to-action blends in too much with your site design, it won’t stand out as much. You want as many eyeballs to land on that call-to-action as possible, so use contrasting colors to make the CTA stand out.5. Make your CTA a Hyperlink to the Corresponding Landing PageYou’d be surprised by how many times I’ve seen calls-to-action that aren’t links. Whether intentional or a matter of forgetfulness, the lack of a link will make it much harder for visitors to find out how to get the offer, and they’ll likely give up. So double, triple, and quadruple check to make sure all of your CTAs link to their corresponding landing pages.6. Place CTAs on the Most Relevant PagesCTAs shouldn’t be one size fits all. If your company offers various products or services, you may want to consider creating a different offer for each. Then you can place CTAs linking to each offer on the website pages that are most relevant to that offer.7. Add CTAs to Each Blog PostWhenever you create a new blog content, choose an offer that’s the most relevant to that blog post. Then add a call-to-action to the bottom of that blog post linking to the landing page for that offer. Informational offers such as ebooks, guides, and webinars do very well in this space, because people reading your blog would likely be eager to get more free information from you.How to Improve Landing Pages8. Match the Headline of the Landing Page to the Corresponding CTAKeep your messaging consistent on both your CTA and the headline of the landing page. If people click a link for a free offer and then find out there’s a catch on the landing page, you’ll instantly lose their trust. Similarly, if the headline reads differently than the CTA, it might lead to confusion, and the user might wonder if the CTA is linked to the wrong page.9. Be More Clear About What You’re OfferingThis is the biggest mistake I see in landing pages. People often try to be too clever or witty in the headline, and it’s not clear what the offer actually is. Again, if you’re giving away a free guide, say “Download our FREE Guide to Improving X”. Plain and simple.10. Improve the Positioning of the FormJust like you want to have your call-to-action above the fold, it’s ideal for the form to be above the fold as well. This way, there can’t be any confusion as to what’s expected from the viewer on this page: they need to fill out the form to get what you’re offering. 11. Keep the Form as Simple as Possible“Simple” does not always mean “short.” What you ask for on a form should match the information your sales team needs from your leads to make the sale. For top of the buying cycle folks at the beginning of their research process, name and email address might suffice. For more committed prospects at the bottom of the buying cycle, you might want to ask for some qualifiers like job title or city/state, and perhaps ask for a phone number. Just try not to ask for more than what’s necessary.12. Use Images to Show Off What You’re OfferingYour landing page doesn’t have a visual masterpiece, but it should show what your offer is all about. If your business is something a bit more abstract, just take a screenshot of your guide/whitepaper/eBook/etc. and add the image to your landing page. You can use freeware like Jing to easily capture and save screenshots.13. Keep the Text Concise and Easy to ScanBe brief and to the point; it’s the offer where you give the prospect more information. In addition to your headline, have a brief paragraph explaining what the offer is, followed by a few bullet points outlining what the offer consists of and what the benefits are.14. Emphasize the Benefits of the OfferMake it clear in your brief paragraph and/or bullet points what the benefits of the offer are. It’s more than just listing what the offer is comprised of; it takes a bit of spin. Instead of “Includes specifications of product XYZ,” say something like “Find out how XYZ can increase productivity 50%.” 15. Remove Links and Navigation to Maintain FocusWhen a prospect reaches your landing page, you’re just a few keystrokes away from getting their contact information. So don’t distract them with links that will take them further away from your goal of getting a lead. The thank you page, shown after a prospect fills out a form and becomes a lead, will give you the opportunity to return the navigation and links. 16. Create a Thank You Page that Keeps New Leads on the SiteWhen creating a thank you page, not only can you give back the navigation, but you can provide other links to keep the lead engaged. You can provide call to actions to the next step in the buying cycle, link them to your blog, encourage them to follow you on Twitter , ask them to subscribe to your newsletter, and more. You can do more with your thank you pages than just adding tracking code!How to Improve Offers17. Make Sure Your Offers are CompellingYour offer should answer the question: “What’s in it for me?” Things like pricing brochures, specs, and self-promotional videos are not compelling offers, because they do not answer that question. Informational items like whitepapers, guides, and webinars are compelling offers because they do. See the difference?18. Link Back to Your Site in Your OfferAlthough lead nurturing is a very powerful tool, provide a way for your leads to find you again besides through email; especially if they are more inclined to ignore email from people they don’t know. If they enjoyed your whitepaper (which is remarkable, so of course they did!), make it easy for them to remember where they got the whitepaper from by linking to your site on your cover page.19. Create Offers for Each Phase of the Buying CycleJust like your forms might vary for each phase of the buying cycle, your offers should as well. Someone at the top of the buying cycle may be more interested in an informational piece like a guide or ebook, whereas someone more committed at the bottom of the cycle might be more interested in a free trial or demo . You don’t need to pick and choose; create offers for each phase, and include a primary and secondary CTA to these offers on various pages throughout your site.How to Improve Lead Nurturing Campaigns20. Be More Clear About What You’re OfferingI’m being repetitive about this for a reason: I’ve seen this mistake made too many times, and it’s such an easy fix. Always be crystal clear about what you are offering. Keep your email short and sweet. Instead of prefacing your offer with two paragraphs about your company’s background, get to the point. What are the tips you want to share with your prospects? How can they benefit from subscribing to your blog? Why should they care what new offer you have on your site? 21. Include Links Back to Your SiteIt’s awfully hard to measure the success of your lead nurturing emails by the unsubscribe rate alone. Include links back to your site so that you can test variations, and measure what works and what doesn’t. These links don’t have to be CTAs leading to landing pages. You can link to more free information on your blog, encourage people to follow you on Twitter, etc.22. Keep the Text Concise and Easy to ScanPeople don’t want to read dense paragraphs of text in their email. Just like your landing pages, have a brief paragraph with a free bit of information, a few bullet points of tips or guide steps, and a link back to your site to find out more information. Save the actual bottom-of-the-cycle-offer CTA for one of your later lead nurturing emails, so it doesn’t seem like you’re trying to sell sell sell right out of the gate.23. Create an Attention-Grabbing Subject LineThe subject line is arguably the most important part of a lead nurturing campaign. Without an attention-grabbing title, people won’t open your email to read everything else you have to say. Clearly state how the recipient will benefit from reading your email. 24. Limit the Amount of Images in Your EmailsText-only lead nurturing emails are successful for a number of reasons. Not only do they reduce the risk of your email being sent directly to the SPAM folder, but emails seem more personal if they are written as though they could have been written for the individual reader, rather than a newsletter template that’s been sent to thousands of people. How to Improve Your Entire Campaign25. Measure, and TEST TEST TEST!Everything on your site can be tweaked and tested in order to improve conversion rates. After a CTA has been on your homepage for a month, vary the messaging or swap out an entirely new CTA and after another month, and measure which has performed best. If your offer CTA is in your 2nd lead nurturing email, move it to the 3rd and see if click-through rates increase. If landing page conversions are low, move the form above the fold and measure the results. Don’t be afraid to test different variations; you can always switch back if the old version worked better. It will be worth it when you’ve found a combination that increases your site conversions. What are some of the tweaks you’ve made to your website to increase conversions and sales ? Share your tips in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Your Mom Hates This Blog Post

first_img Make Your Audience Feel Cool YouTube Dead Space 2 This is the reasoning behind the latest When you are building a marketing campaign, think about the opportunities presented by multiple online channels. In this case, EA used asks Dead Space 2 to leave moms alone. So why are we writing about this campaign? The marketing concept behind this campaign is smart, simple, and powerful. Topics: Use Controversy to Generate Buzz Clearly, this campaign has caused a big controversy online, with many commentators questioning the ad’s ethics. “A mom’s disapproval has always been an accurate barometer of what is cool,” explains EA’s behind-the-scenes video. “So Dead Space 2 was put to the test.” By introducing a barometer of what is cool and what not — your mom hates cool things — the game creates a space for cool people to gather. The takeaway for marketers is that your company should create similar spaces that invite people and make them feel part of a cool community.   Bloggers Video Marketing , you can win a Dead Space 2 skinned Playstation 3. ad campaign called, Your Mom Hates This. The entertainment software company Electronic Arts Inc., has published Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Combine Video with Social Media to spread its videos and used social media to generate a conversation and create a contest. In a world where video viewing and social media usage is rapidly growing, leveraging these two channels in a united marketing effort can very likely lead to campaign success. .  Promoted Trends are phrases that you pay to appear at the top of Twitter trending topics. Promoted Trends are part of Twitter’s new advertisng platform that is still in beta and is slowly rolling out to advertisers. #mymomhatesdeadspace2 MSNBC Your mom hates it when you block her from Facebook. She hates it when you ask her for cash. Most of all, your mom hates it when you play the video game Dead Space 2, and that is why you should play it. Originally published Jan 20, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 a series of videos What are your thoughts about the campaign? Does it inspire you to try something different? showing real moms’ reactions to the violent game. The campaign spilled over onto Twitter with the Promoted Trend hashtag recognize the fact that this campaign is fueling the debate about the harm of mature games. All of these comments, however, spark genuine conversation and increase the visibility of Dead Space 2. As we know very well, a little controversy can generate a great deal of important dialogue and can help your brand enjoy much wider recognition. EA also added a contest to this video and Twitter campaign. If you tweet your mom’s reactions to clips from Dead Space 2 using the hashtag #yourmomhatesthislast_img read more

How to Build a Newsroom Inside Your Company

first_img Content Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack This is an excerpt from our new ebook, The CMO’s Guide to Brand Journalism. Download your free copy if you want to learn more about how to build a news organization, big or small, inside your company.Call it what you will: brand journalism, corporate journalism, corporate media. More and more companies are creating “journalistic” content. Some are even hiring journalists and camera crews, building studios, and launching dedicated news sites to cover themselves and their industries.Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, and Oracle all operate newsrooms. Maersk, the shipping company, has a news operation. So does Nissan, the Japanese automaker. LinkedIn has a managing editor. So does GE. Three big venture capital firms in Silicon Valley — Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Battery Ventures — have hired in-house journalists from the Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Forbes, respectively.It’s not just big companies. Kapost, a small startup in Boulder, CO., hired Jesse Noyes, a former Boston Herald reporter, to run its content marketing operation. I’m another example. I’m the former technology editor at Newsweek, and now I’m a blogger at HubSpot.If you’re the CEO or CMO of a mid-sized or large brand, you may have started thinking about building an in-house news operation of your own. To help you get there, we’ve created an ebook, The CMO’s Guide to Brand Journalism.The book will help you structure a team and figure out what obstacles you should expect to encounter and how to get over them. We also explain the structure of a newsroom, and how to map that structure to a corporate environment.Also provided is an explanation of four business models adopted by various companies. The four models are explained via case studies developed by interviewing journalists and executives at Microsoft, IBM, GE, Intel, Adobe, and other companies.We also include a section explaining the unique challenges that a small company faces when trying to build a news or publishing operation. Finally, there are a set of “best practices” that apply in mainstream media and make sense for corporate news operations, as well.Four ModelsThere are lots of ways to go about creating media inside a corporation. We’ll look at four models that are in use today. They are:Brand AwarenessYou’re publishing stories because you want people to know about your company. You’re not trying to generate sales directly from those articles. Examples: GE and IBM.Industry NewsYou write about your own company and your industry, creating coverage that supplements the work of mainstream media. Examples: Intel and Microsoft.Create and SponsorYou want to establish your company as a thought leader, so you create an independent site. Example: Adobe’s GenerationYou use content as a way to generate leads that can be converted into customers. Example: HubSpot.Best PracticesThere are some ways in which corporate journalism and traditional journalism should play by the same rules. Here are some best practices from the world of mainstream media that you can and should adopt in your corporate publishing operation:Be transparent. Be honest about who you are and why you’re publishing this article. Sometimes you can’t avoid having a conflict of interest. That’s fine, but you should disclose it.Don’t write ad copy. You can (and should) write about your company and your products. But there’s a way to do this that feels honest and legitimate.Tell the truth. Ethics are the cornerstone of what you’re doing. Just like a newspaper reporter, you should be seeking to tell the truth at all times.Have an opinion. People respond to content that comes with a point of view. Your point of view is what distinguishes you in the marketplace and defines you to customers.Admit mistakes. If you goof up, admit it. Express your regret, and apologize. You will be amazed what happens next. Fessing up makes people trust you more. It shows people that you are human — and honest.Get people to contribute to your blog. Seek out people I call “megaphones,” meaning they have a huge presence on social media. When they write for you, they will promote their article, and your brand will go along for the ride. If you can’t get them to write for you, the next best thing is to write about them.Be promiscuous. Promiscuity is a virtue, at least in the world of publishing. LinkedIn, Huffington Post, Forbes, and others have huge audiences of business-savvy people. Try to write for them, or get them to syndicate articles that have already appeared on your blog. Do the same with industry publications from your market space, and the local paper. Your goal is to be in as many places as possible.To learn more about building a newsroom inside your company, check out the form-free brand journalism guide. Originally published Mar 5, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics:last_img read more

Rafa Nadal pulls out of ATP Tour Finals, Novak Djokovic to end 2018 as world No.1

first_imgRafael Nadal has pulled out of next week’s ATP Tour Finals in London due to injury, so Novak Djokovic will end the year as world number one having returned to the top of the rankings on Monday.French Open champion Nadal announced that an abdominal muscle problem, which prevented him from playing in the Paris Masters last week, and ankle surgery had forced him to pull out of the season-ending event.”Unfortunately I had the abdominal problem in Paris last week and I also have an issue in the ankle joint that has to be removed in the operating room today,” the 17-times Grand Slam winner wrote on Twitter.”This way I hope to be in full condition for next season.”Novak Djokovic dethrones Rafael Nadal as world No.1, Simona Halep remains on topAmerican John Isner will take the 32-year-old’s place in London when the Finals get underway on Sunday. Kei Nishikori has also been drafted in to replace Argentine Juan Martin del Potro who pulled out due to a knee injury.Spaniard Nadal’s withdrawal in Paris meant Djokovic returned to the top of the world rankings. The Serbian will now become the first player since ATP rankings were introduced in 1973 to end the year at number one having started it outside the top 20.Karen Khachanov stuns Novak Djokovic to win Paris Masters”Reflecting on what I’ve been through in the last year, it’s quite a phenomenal achievement,” said Djokovic. “And, of course, I’m very, very happy and proud about it.advertisement”Five months ago, if you told me that, I would be I always believe in myself, but it was highly improbable at that time considering my ranking and the way I played and felt on the court.”Rafael Nadal to lose No. 1 rank after withdrawing from Paris MastersHaving missed the second half of the 2017 season because of his troublesome elbow, Djokovic returned at the start of this year but the injury flared up again at the Australian Open and he decided to have surgery on it.He was dumped out of the French Open as the 20th seed at the quarter-final stage before embarking on a fine run.Djokovic beat Nadal in a Wimbledon semi-final thriller before ending a two-year Grand Slam drought by defeating Kevin Anderson in the final.A few weeks later he beat Del Potro in the final to win the U.S. Open and last month claimed the Shanghai Masters title without dropping a set.”What Novak has achieved this season has to go down as one of the great sporting comebacks. It’s been a phenomenal return to form that would have been hard to imagine just six months ago,” ATP Executive Chairman and President Chris Kermode said.”He fully deserves his return to No.1 in the ATP Rankings and should be incredibly proud of his exceptional season.”Djokovic’s dominant run ended on Sunday when he was beaten 7-5 6-4 by Russian Kharen Khachanov in the Paris Masters final.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more