Agent Viru

first_imgSunday, February 13, 10.35 p.m., Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreI was standing near the team bus, waiting for the Indian team to emerge from the dressing room. They had just thumped Australia in the warm-up game and I expected a bunch of beaming faces to board the bus. In a few minutes, the players started strolling out, excited at the prospect of a night-out. But the captain and the coach looked grim. Behind them was my man, Agent Viru. Our eyes met and a half-nod prompted me to stealthily walk closer to him. “Kya hua Viru,” I asked. He said something in English which, putting mildly, was somewhat incoherent. “There’s something black in the pulses,” he repeated under his breath. Just before boarding the bus, he turned around, and with his fingers, signalled me the number 7.Monday, February 14, 7.00 a.m., ITC Gardenia Hotel, BangaloreI saw Viru cringing at the sight of a bowl of cornflakes when I joined him at his table in the morning. He updated me on the situation. Apparently, Kirsten Kaku and Dhoni Babu were locked up till late night worrying about what had happened in the warm-up game. “What could be wrong?” I asked. After all, India’s batting had performed true to form, Munaf Patel had bowled fast and got dispatched faster, and Ashish Nehra had misfielded in ways more comical than his facial expressions. But Piyush Chawla and Sreesanth had bowled India to victory. “That is the problem,” Viru said, “how come the Australians made Sree look like Gillespie and Piyush Warne?” The Indian think tank is exploring the possibility of this being an Australian conspiracy to get these two in India’s playing XI. “That’s what I don’t understand yaar,” Viru said, “if you pick a lucky mascot, why play him?” “Lucky mascot?” I probed. And then, Agent Viru showed me a hitherto unknown facet of India’s selection process. Chairman Cheeka clashed with the captain over the 14th member of the squad, someone who wouldn’t play a game but would bring a lucky charm. Parthiv Patel, waterboy in the 2003 World Cup, and Piyush Chawla, benchwarmer in the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup, were the two top contenders. “If you play Piyush, it defeats the purpose,” Viru said, “in that case, they might as well have picked Joginder Sharma. At least, we could laugh at him.”advertisementMonday, February 14, 4.15 p.m., Bangalore AirportJust before boarding the flight to Chennai, Dhoni called Praveen Kumar to wish him on Valentine’s Day. An emotional Praveen broke down. “How could you do this to me?” he asked. “I compared you with Obama and you call me just street smart? Kamse kam Mulayam Singh toh bolna tha na.”Tuesday, February 15, 8.00 p,m., Chola Sheraton Hotel, ChennaiSelect players joined the coaching staff in the coach’s suite to discuss the first game against Bangladesh. Within 15 minutes, walked out a nonchalant Viru. “They don’t even know which team we are playing against,” he told me at the elevator. “They are talking about Abdur Razzak. Don’t they know he plays for Pakistan?” I reminded him of the Bangladeshi left-handed bowler by the same name. “Right handed, left handed, whatever handed he may be, the ball is going out,” he said before entering his room where a plate of aloo parathas waited for him.- The writer was formerly known as the Fake IPL Player. He will observe the 2011 World Cup through Agent Viru’s eyes.last_img read more

Why Working From Home Is Not For You

first_imgWorking at home may seem like a dream come true, but for many people it turns out to be a nightmare. Despite the allure of rolling out of bed and going across the hall to work, if you don’t have the right temperament, working at home could derail your career.“Sure, you can wear what you want and start when you like, but losing the structure provided by a regular office job can be detrimental to success,” Andrew Rosen, founder and editor of the career advice blog “Work-from-home jobs are best suited for people who hold themselves accountable and have good self-awareness.”Telecommuting or working from home is growing in popularity and provides benefits for both employers and those that work for them. Companies are embracing it partly because they see it as a perk they can use to recruit and retain good workers. Employees are drawn to it because it can mean less time commuting, less money spent on office attire and more flexibility. Freelancing is also becoming more commonplace since the economy has forced many laid off workers to reevaluate how they work. With freelancing, there’s more flexibility in the hours you work compared to working at home for a company, but you still need to have the same personality traits.“People who do it well are entrepreneurial,” says Gary Swart, chief executive at oDesk, the online work site. “They work well independently.”If you crave companionship at work, aren’t self-motivated and need a lot of hand holding from higher ups then you may not be suited for a work at home job. When you work at home, a lot of the communications is via email and instant messenger so you need to be comfortable with those means of communications.“A person who works from home should be someone who understands how to structure their time and knows how to communicate effectively,” says Rosen.  “Since many stay-at-home jobs require regular email/text/phone communication, these jobs are best suited for people who are able to write/speak in a clear and concise manner.”A person that is ideal for a stay at home job is also one that isn’t easily distracted. Whether it’s a mail delivery, a barking dog or an unexpected visitor, if you can’t tune out those everyday distractions, chances are you won’t get much work done. “Working from home requires a certain type of rigidity that allows you to focus on the task at hand and back-burner home items for a later date,” says Rosen.According to Kathleen Downs, a recruiting manager at Robert Half International, one of the keys to working successfully at home is to make sure you maintain communications with your boss and co-workers on a regular basis. The last thing you want to happen is have your boss think you are slacking off or worse not complete an assignment because you weren’t sure what was expected.“You have to maintain regular communications with the person you report to and definitely plan to do business with your manager and colleagues in person when possible,” says Downs. “You have to really understand what your manager expects and deliver on it.”In addition to keeping the communication line open, working at home requires you to treat part of your home as the office. That means having an established work area and one that is distraction free. “You have to have a workplace and it can’t be sitting in front of the T.V.,” says Downs. “You have to go to your workplace and put in the time exactly as you would in the office.” For some people, the whole idea of working in their pajamas all day is what’s appealing about working at home, but for others the ritual of getting up,  getting dressed and walking across the hall is what’s needed to get in to work mode. One isn’t better than the other. What matters is that you are focused and ready to work when you start.Setting and sticking to your hours is another important ingredient to working at home successfully. According to Swart of oDesk, even freelancers need to establish their work hours ahead of time and make sure to stick to them even if work starts at midnight.“You have to set your hours and keep them. You almost have to treat it as if you are in the office,” he says. “When working from home you have to maintain a level of self-discipline that often doesn’t come naturally.”last_img read more

Recession-Proof Industries

first_imgStarting a small business is a risky proposition even in the best of times. If you’re thinking about starting one but are worried about how it will fare during a downturn, you might want to consider an industry that can be described as “recession-proof.”These industries cater to ongoing demand. If a business provides goods or services fitting this profile, its odds of weathering economic storms are better than those that don’t. This is why medical and diagnostic laboratories saw 8.22 percent gains in 2009, a brutal year in the recession in which many businesses had a hard time staying in the black.Data provided by the financial information firm Sageworks illustrate which industries have proven themselves recession-proof between 2006 and 2011. Sageworks also provided the insight of analyst Libby Bierman to explain why these industries posted gains in difficult times.The following industries not only survived the recession, but thrived. They are listed alphabetically.Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping and Payroll Services2010-11 (Combined average): 5.70%Best year: 2006 (11.14%)Worst year: 2009 (3.50%)Just like death and disease, taxes don’t go away just because the economy is bad. In fact, a bad economy is all the more reason for taxpayers to consult an accountant, particularly one who’s skilled in getting refunds for clients.“We know taxes are unavoidable even during a recession, and most of us need help from an accountant to submit them correctly,” Bierman said. “Accountants’ revenue growth during the recession may have also stemmed from clients who needed their advice to make do with less.”Beer, Wine, and Distilled Alcoholic Beverages Merchant Wholesalers2010-11 (Combined average): 3.22%Best year: 2007 (6.62%)Worst year: 2010-11 (3.22%)A Friday night of bar-hopping can easily cost $50 to $100, depending on where it takes place. This type of expenditure may have become harder to justify during a recession, but that doesn’t mean that anyone actually will cut their drinking habits.“This industry didn’t see much impact during the recession at all,” Bierman said. “It may have been that, even during the recession, consumers continued to purchase alcohol at roughly the same rate as before.”Child Care2010-11 (Combined average): 6.19%Best year: 2007 (9.23%)Worst year: 2009 (3.15%)When the recession was at its worst, the newly laid-off could console themselves with one small ray of sunshine — they now had more time to spend with their children. However, those who managed to remain employed had to keep sending their little ones to day care, and the industry stayed afloat as a result. “For parents who held onto jobs during 2008 and 2009, child care services were a necessity,” Bierman said.Computer Systems Design and Related Services2010-11 (Combined average): 17.58%Best year: 2006 (20.73%)Worst year: 2009 (6.03%)This industry includes companies that design, build, or implement software and hardware. It experienced double-digit gains between 2006 and 2011, with the exception of 2009, a bad year across the board for most. Still, its comparatively poor 2009 gain was much better than many other industries could manage.“With the push for automation and the internet over the past decade, it’s no wonder this industry had more than double-digit-growth most years and even stayed positive during the recession,” Bierman said.Death Services2010-11 (Combined average): 2.84%Best year: 2008 (7.10%)Worst year: 2009 (1.36%)One of the most famous quotes attributed to Benjamin Franklin is: “Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Any business based on such a certainty is virtually guaranteed to weather a recession, and the death-care industry did well accordingly.2009 was the worst year for the industry, which Bierman believes came down to simple austerity on the part of the bereaved. “Consumers may have tended towards less expensive funerals during the recession, but there wasn’t a problem with demand for death-care services even in 2009,” she said.Dental Care2010-11 (Combined average): 2.98%Best year: 2007 (6.37%)Worst year: 2009 (1.60%)Few people express enthusiasm for visits to the dentist. Nonetheless, dentists’ offices did well during the recession, for the simple reason that gum surgeries, fillings and root canals simply won’t wait for the market to improve.“In good and bad economies, consumers will get cavities and require dental care,” Bierman said. “A toothache can only be tolerated for so long, even if money is tight.”Nursing Care2010-11 (Combined average): 4.28%Best year: 2007 (6.12%)Worst year: 2010-11 (4.28%)Nursing-care facilities didn’t see much of a fluctuation in their gains between their lowest point in the 2010-2011 period and their highest point in 2007. This demonstrates that even during hard times, they will always be needed.“The growth of the nursing-care facilities industry, even during the recession, is most likely the result of our aging U.S. demographic,” Bierman said. “Demand wasn’t and isn’t going down soon.”Outpatient care centers and the home health-care-services industry also did well. In the 2010-2011 period, they posted gains of 7.54 percent and 12.10 percent, respectively.Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists, and Audiologists2010-11 (Combined average): 6.70%Best year: 2009 (12.57%)Worst year: 2010-11 (6.70%)Every industry on Sageworks’ list was similar in that all of them posted their worst gains in 2009. However, the offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists were an exception, and 2009 was the best year for this industry.“Revenues for this industry are very dependent upon health insurance payouts,” Bierman explained. “These offices wouldn’t have felt the effects of the recession as severely or as quickly as industries with more elastic demand.”Physicians2010-11 (Combined average): 4.65%Best year: 2007 (7.71%)Worst year: 2010-11 (4.65%)Physicians’ offices are similar to dentists’ offices and nursing-care facilities in that they provide an essential service that won’t wait for the economy to improve. “Similar to the other healthcare industries on the list, offices of physicians stayed in the black during 2009 because healthcare isn’t a purchase that consumers can easily delay or reject,” Bierman said. “Sickness doesn’t disappear during recessions.”Specialty Food Stores2010-11 (Combined average): 4.92%Best year: 2007 (7.44%)Worst year: 2009 (1.32%)Specialty food stores focus on one type of food, and include meat markets, fruit and vegetable markets and even higher-end organic businesses. One would expect this to be exactly the type of enterprise that would suffer during a recession, but surprisingly, this wasn’t the case.“This one is a bit of an anomaly,” Bierman said. “You would expect that specialty food stores are more expensive than general grocers and, therefore, less attractive to consumers during a recession. But our data shows that sales for specialty food stores continued to grow during 2009 albeit slower than in 2008 or 2010. Some habits — including some food habits — may have just been too difficult to break.”“Recession-Proof Industries” was provided by Post navigation Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Relatedlast_img read more

Easy Ways to Automate Your Life

first_img Post navigation While we don’t yet have flying cars that collapse to the size of a suitcase, pneumatic tubes that transport us from room to room or machines that automatically bathe and clothe us in the morning, every day we’re getting closer to living in a Jetsons-esque future. Thanks to today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to put mundane aspects of your life on autopilot, so you can spend less time stressing out about your tasks and more time doing what you love.Here are a few easy ways to free up your schedule and start living in the future by having your tasks take care of themselves.Cook Up Tech RecipesIn a world where many of us carry computers in our pockets and have accounts with dozens of online services, it only makes sense to have these different technologies talk to each other. That’s where IFTTT comes in. An abbreviation for “if this, then that,” IFTTT is a free, easy-to-use service that lets users create “recipes” involving different digital triggers (“this”) and outcomes (“that”). IFTTT supports more than 300 channels (think Instagram, Spotify, Gmail, etc.) and can be used in millions of ways to make life easier. Here are some examples of recipes you can create:Instantly save your “Liked” Instagram photos to a Dropbox folder.Receive a text message whenever your favorite sports team scores.Trigger your air conditioner to turn on when the outside temperature hits 80 degrees, or make your lamp emit purple light when it starts to rain. (RIP, Prince.)This is just the tip of the iceberg. Spend some time playing around with IFTTT and you’ll be amazed by how you can automate your life.Ditch Your Dining DecisionsWhy worry about what to make for dinner, when there’s a free tool that suggests meals based on your unique dietary goals? Eat This Much is a mobile app and online service that provides users with customized meal plans to help them live healthier, happier lives. Simply punch in your desired caloric intake and how many meals you eat each day, and the service delivers a daily diet with step-by-step recipes that align with your eating aspirations. Here are some other perks:The service can offer suggestions tailored for those with food allergies or who want to avoid eating meat or processed foods.Eat This Much automatically generates shopping lists each week, so you know exactly what to pick up on your next trip to the store.The app can be personalized to fit your budget.In addition to keeping you from experiencing anxiety about what to eat, ETM also prevents you from making less-than-ideal decisions about your diet. Sign up for a free account and see what a difference it could make in your life.Ship, Don’t ShopBetween driving to the supermarket, fighting for a parking spot, wandering aimlessly down aisles and standing in line to fork over your money, going to the grocery store can be a drag, right? This is especially true if you buy the same stuff month after month. Rather than wasting your time shopping for everyday household goods, eliminate this errand from your life by having consumables delivered to your home on your desired schedule. Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program can free up hours of your life by shipping vitamins, coffee, paper towels and hundreds of other items to your door on whatever day suits you best. Here are a few other perks:Save 15% off Amazon’s already competitive prices.Score free shipping on every Subscribe and Save order.There’s no need to be an Amazon Prime member, and you can cancel at any time.Setting up your monthly delivery is a breeze. Simply select the products you typically pick up at the store, enter the quantity you’d like delivered and choose the day that’s best for you. Give it a shot and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.Automate Your Life and Say “So Long” to StressLife gets busy. With meetings, phone calls with clients and the roll of the dice that is traffic and red lights on the way home, getting to those everyday tasks can seem just a little much at the end of the day. But this is 2016. And it’s a brave new world of magical technology here to help us out!As our technology grows increasingly sophisticated yet simpler to use, we can benefit from less stress and more peace of mind. And remember, when it comes to managing your money, Mint makes it easy to leave your worries behind by allowing you to manage your finances wherever you are. Our tools not only save you time, but by ensuring that you never miss a payment, you’ll save on late fees, too. Download our free app today, and start living your best life.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Relatedlast_img read more

How To Have A Budget-Friendly Baby Shower

first_img Post navigation Is it baby season? Maybe there’s something in the water, I’ve been planning a LOT OF baby showers recently. In fact, I even helped plan my own a few months ago. When I was a young girl, I dreamed of two things: the perfect wedding (thanks, Michael) and the most Pinterest-y, all cutesy baby shower for my little one. It’s so easy to browse on Pinterest and play “this or that” on the cake, decorations and party favors, but once you’re done, fees add up. Cue stress even before the baby pops out.  If you’re at a stage in life where you’re planning a baby shower, you’ll soon find out that it can get pricey if you don’t keep budget in mind.But don’t worry, you don’t have to make it rain for a baby shower and it doesn’t need to be expensive. There are ways to cut back on your budget without looking like you’re cutting corners. Here’s how to plan a baby shower on a budget but still create an amazing baby shower for the mom-to-be.LocationHaving it at homeA baby shower doesn’t have to be at a grand hotel or spacious banquet venue. It could also happen right at your home. You’ll be saving around $200-$1000 on venue costs t if you decide not to rent out space.Pro tip: If you’re having your baby shower in the spring or summer, holding it outdoors like your backyard would be a plus. There is always an option of making it into a baby shower with an outdoor barbeque or even a pool if you want a more relaxed baby shower with the mom to be’s family and friends.Having it at a nearby parkA nearby park is always a go-to for most outdoor parties including children’s birthday parties, graduation parties, and of course… baby showers. You can have the mom-to-be’s guests bring their little ones so they can run around in the grassy areas and playing on the playground while you entertain older guests.The best part? You can invite as many guests as you want.DecorationsShopping from the dollar storeThe dollar store is not at the top of mind when shopping for baby shower decorations, but with $1 a piece, you can’t go wrong with it.A lot of the basic decorating essentials like strimmers, glitter, paper plates, goodie bags, cupcake paper wrappers can be found in the dollar store, so definitely skip these items when you’re shopping for the more customized decorative items and get them at the dollar store.A festive yet on-the budget set of decoration would range to about $20-30 at the dollar store, depending on the number of supplies you purchase and how big your venue is.Pro tip: Purchase items that are reusable and could be easily stored. This could save you a lot of money for the future (i.e. planning baby shower number two for a friend or family member).DIYWhen it comes to DIY, you will have two best friends: Michael’s and Pinterest.DIY decorations can always add an extra touch to any baby shower while the guests become very appreciative of the effort put behind every baby bottle centerpiece. It also shows how dedicated and how much work has been put in the baby shower, making it special and worthwhile for the mom-to-be.Michael’s has great deals when it comes to craft materials, especially their consistent 20% entire purchase or 40-60% off one-item coupons that could be found in your email inbox. Aside from the DIY decor, they also have a section for baking! Keep reading for the ‘food and drinks’ section.Pinterest never runs out of ideas and creative ways to spice up any event. From baby bottles centerpieces made from folded blankets to pacifier-looking cake pops, the website is your one-stop destination for all things DIY and ideas.You’re looking at around $50-75 of Michael’s and Pinterest inspired DIY decor depending on the sale items and coupons you accumulated during your trip.FoodDessert tableIf there is one thing you would want to splurge on (the most), it would be the baby shower dessert table, this includes the cake, sweets and all things sugary. It’s the centerpiece that everyone shares and posts on their Instagram and becomes proof that they were present at the baby shower (and your hard work has paid off).You can get a custom cake enough to feed about 40 people for around $150-$300, depending on how much customization and design that goes onto the cake.Aside from cake, make your dessert table work a double purpose by being too pretty to eat but pretty enough to go on their Instagram feed. Have your guests help themselves from your aesthetic candy bar while enjoying a good sugar rush.Time of the eventIt may sound silly, but the timing of your event can play a role in much food and what type of food you will be serving. Ideally, if you’re trying to cut back on main course dishes, host your baby shower after lunch. Doing it this way will have the assumption that your guests would already have eaten lunch before arriving at your baby shower. Other Baby Shower HacksGo PaperlessWhile it’s nice to have a physical copy of the baby shower invitation, paper copies of these could also add up. Creating a Facebook or electronic invite or e-vite online could save you around $20-$50 on printing costs. It’s also easier, faster, and more efficient to get the word out if you’re inviting your guests online.If your guests aren’t tech savvy, don’t worry! You can also shoot them a text or call. This is also a more casual way to invite them without the pressures of hitting the ‘interest’ or ‘going’ button on Facebook event invites.Guest Participation in the GamesYou can always request guests to come up with shower games and bring the props and material items with them. Guests will be more invested in the baby shower while saving yourself a couple of dollars on party game items. They could even help facilitate the entertainment portion of the baby shower and help you host and MC for the day.There you have it! You’re all set to plan out a budget baby shower for the expectant mom. Do you have any tips for us? Comment below.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHow to Financially Survive the First Year: Tips for Budgeting for a New BabyJuly 31, 2019In “Family Finances”Having a Baby? These Are Just Some of the ExpensesApril 17, 2019In “Family Finances”Living Expenses: What Are They and How Do I Budget for Them?March 27, 2019In “Budgeting” last_img read more

How Many Calories Are In Egg Whites?

first_img5 grams Whole Egg 0.5 mcg Vitamin D 0 IU 72 4 grams 2 grams 17 Saturated Fat Fat Vitamin A 1 mcg 0 mcg Caloriescenter_img Folate (DFE) 270 IU Egg White Vitamin B12 41 IU 0 mcg 0 grams Egg white scrambles and omelets have long dominated the “healthy” or “fit” portion of restaurant and fast food menus. (We’re looking at you, Egg White Delight McMuffin.)Admittedly, they do have a lot going in their favor. Egg whites have no fat and are a banging source of fill-you-up protein, supplying 3.6 of the whole egg’s six grams.Another perk: a specific peptide (which is a building block of protein) within the egg white has been shown in preliminary research to help lower blood pressure.As for how many calories are in egg whites? Just 17, as opposed to 72 calories per whole, large egg. Meaning you can eat a lot of them for tons of filling protein, without going overboard on your calories.However, as you can see from the below, egg whites don’t contain much besides protein: 0 grams 6 grams Protein 24 mcg So what’s healthier—egg whites or whole eggs?It’s the egg yolk that contains the fat and most of the calories, sure—but that’s where you’ll find 10 percent of your recommended vitamin D intake, 12 percent of your recommended folate intake, and nearly 20 percent of your recommended vitamin A needs. That’s a lot of bang for your caloric buck.“I say eat the whole egg. An egg white isn’t healthier than a whole egg,” says Amy Goodson, R.D., a sports dietitian in Dallas, Texas. She explains that while people used to fear the cholesterol content in the yolk, “the truth is that eating cholesterol does not raise blood levels of cholesterol. The nutrient benefits of the whole egg are far more valuable,” she says.There may be one time you want to go white only: “If you’re really trying to cut back on your calories, you can eat the egg white,” she adds—although she stresses that you will also miss out on key vitamins and minerals.But the whole egg is pretty good for weight loss, too. If you’re worried about the additional calories or fat, know that some studies show that eating two eggs for breakfast as part of a healthy diet can help you shed pounds.“The protein and fat content will keep your blood sugar stabilized and you feeling satisfied in the hours after consumption,” adds Goodson.Count that as a major win for whole eggs.Sourcelast_img read more

Why 2018 Is the Year for Business to Step Up Climate Action

first_imgThis will be a pivotal year for climate action, with the rules and new implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement due to be finalized by negotiators at the end of 2018. Countries will also be meeting to take stock of their national climate plans, in a year-long process that should culminate with a clear set of signals from governments – together with businesses, cities and states – that they will strengthen their national commitments by 2020 and drive the large-scale change we need.The private sector has a unique opportunity to help shape these national climate strategies, and inform a clear policy direction from governments, which will help businesses invest with more confidence in the low-carbon economy. Companies should speak up between now and the next UN climate summit in December to make the case that climate risk and financial risk are inextricably linked, just as effective climate action and prosperity can – and must – go hand in hand.Business leaders can also make their corporate climate goals relevant to countries’ climate goals, as outlined in the Global Action Playbook 2018 developed by the UN Global Compact and World Resources Institute. When companies explain how cutting their emissions provides economic and social benefits, they are encouraging smarter government policies and heightened ambition. And the more companies and institutions engage in constructive dialogue around policy actions, the easier it will be for countries to meet and exceed their commitments.What happens this year will show which leaders truly understand the high stakes inherent in climate action – and the giant opportunities presented by the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable and more prosperous future. This article was originally posted on the World Economic Forum.Big numbers can drive change, so here’s a huge one: 800,000. That’s how many years it’s been since Earth’s atmosphere was as loaded with carbon dioxide as it is now. The steep rise in this heat-trapping gas underlines the need for a globally sustainable economy if we want to avoid the costliest impacts of climate change this century.New policies and market trends show that a low-carbon transition, as envisioned in the 2015 Paris Agreement, is accelerating around the world – but not fast enough. National climate commitments made by countries under the Paris pact will only get us about a third of the way to the emissions reductions needed to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. To get the rest of the way, accelerated short-term action and enhanced longer-term national ambition will be required, according to the UN’s 2017 Emissions Gap report. Business has a critical role to play in achieving the scale of decarbonization needed. In fact, some large companies with global supply chains account for greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of entire countries: Mars, Incorporated has a carbon footprint similar in scale to Panama’s. With this scale comes responsibility. By being more innovative and efficient, and working with suppliers and local economies, companies are finding ways to cut carbon and costs.Between now and 2030, the world will spend $90 trillion on infrastructure. How those investments are directed will make all the difference. These expenditures can make cities, energy, agriculture and other sectors more sustainable, or they can lock in backward-looking technologies that add even more carbon to the atmosphere and drive the global temperature even higher. Now is the time for industry to transform its role in creating a more sustainable world. Companies that prioritize clean technology, like renewables, and avoid investing in high-carbon infrastructure are not only being environmentally responsible, they are also future-proofing their growth by factoring in long-term risk and positioning themselves as winners of the low-carbon economy.So investing in sustainable operations is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. At Mars, we are already seeing the financial benefits of falling renewable energy prices and the long-term cost savings of clean technology. In addition, companies that embrace sustainability are demonstrating they take their accountabilities seriously, which is relevant to critical partners like customers, governments and NGOs, as well as current and future employees.While national leadership remains paramount, businesses are essential partners for governments as they work to achieve their climate targets. For instance, companies and investors have registered more than 2,600 commitments ranging from 100 percent renewable energy purchasing to dramatic emission reductions under the NAZCA (Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action) global platform established by the UNFCCC. Over 650 companies with a total market capitalization of over $15 trillion are taking bold climate action through the We Mean Business coalition’s Take Action campaign. And in the vanguard are companies that have committed to setting their own targets based on the best science aimed at keeping global temperature rise under 2 degrees C. Since December 2015, the number of businesses in the Science Based Targets initiative has more than tripled to 338 companies, including brands such as Mars, Hewlett Packard, PepsiCo, Carlsberg, Fujitsu, GlaxoSmithKline, Nestlé, Pfizer, Walmart and Xerox.last_img read more

HubSpot TV – Lose Control of Your Marketing

first_img http @ app Headlines karenrubin . : Photos are another version of content, add yours to Online Inbound Marketing University Use the data you have carefully Online (content would be very similar, if not an exact copy of our main website) using keyword rich “But the healthiest of the Big Three wants to generate buzz for the car among ” Marketing Takeaway Facebook will be driving next year, and Ford is targeting the Fiesta squarely at them” tv Ford Motor Company Why Ford is Winning on the Social Web : If you are planning on using your customers data, make sure you are honest and open and transparent about it. .com 53% growth in the amount of time people spend watching Webinar online Marketing Takeaway Online InboundMarketing and Twitter accounts Ford created for the campaign.” : New community where you can post questions, learn about inbound marketing, meet others, find and post jobs, or sign up . Sounds silly, right?” have Problems Effectively Marketing Themselves but Aren’t Using Social Media? Fiesta Movement Campaign Facebook anonymized webinar kylejames users have chosen for their photos, videos, and/or status updates.” hubspot millennials Originally published May 24, 2009 4:32:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 Want to learn more about how you can use inbound marketing to grow your business? Marketing Takeaway Facebook internet , The GMblogs Marketing Takeaway 2 Facebook Application SMB Marketing Is About Telling Your Story “Small businesses are not as successful as they would like to be in effectively marketing themselves to grow their business beyond their current size.” “The same study also found that only 12 percent of small businesses are engaging in social media. Restated: Only 12 percent of small businesses are taking advantage of a targeted, absolutely free way to market their business online : Be willing to let go of your message and lose control. Marketing Takeaway Duplicate Content Video and Mobile Video Watching is UP! millennials The Official Unofficial Creative Commons Data from Its Users Remember to subscribe in . There are no links from the SMBs , install the Creative Commons : Be careful where you put your data and read the Terms and Conditions you sign when you sign up. Ad Growth users can now place a Creative Commons license badge on their Creative Commons for Ad Growthcenter_img : Be engaging, multi media is in, easy to do and growing. Facebook How to interact on Twitter – @ ” “A partner is recommending that we creating a number of branded Video Usage Up 53 Percent in ‘09 :// Find unique ways to make and distribute content and then lose control! video iTunes YouTube itunes : If ad revenue is your business model, you might want to think about some alternative business models. Forum Fodder Anonymized HubSpot “Ford recently handed 100 Fiestas to 100 people selected from 4,000 applicants. These “agents” (that’s what Ford calls them) get to use the cars for six months in exchange for completing monthly “missions” with different themes. They’ll share their experiences through Chart Shows Dramatic Decline in Intro urls Report: Mint Considers Selling : Episode #41 – May 22, 2009 to learn how to turn your website into an Flickr Marketing Takeaway profile pages. The badge explains the has ~20,000 followers on Twitter, (May 15th, 2009) Facebook YouTube : If you are part of the 88% of small business not using social media, what are you waiting for! Generation: data about the service’s users” : If you are paying for traffic, start thinking about optimizing you site for organic search. type of license Doing it Right Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Closing . and let people use them. http Online From Matt: Authority minisites Marketing Takeaway 52% growth in the number of people watching video on their phones Chart Shows Dramatic Decline in Marketing Takeaway ! marketing machine. :// , Missed last week’s episode? Scott Monty (Episode Length: 19 minutes, 37 seconds) TV – This Brand is My Brand with Chris Brogan pointing back to the main site. What are the pros & cons?” : Rethinking Marketing ,” those born between 1979 and 1996. Some 70 million Download the free has ~5,100 and Chrysler has just over 800. Marketing Tip of the Week – Ford Bets the Fiesta on Social Networking Mint, a personal finance aggregator, is “considering selling Facebook minisitelast_img read more

3 Tips From @tommytrc: Grow Personally to Succeed Professionally

first_img Who do you know and/or appreciate for their strong personal brand? There are plenty of excuses not to try, but social media is an experiment. You don’t know what does work until you find out what doesn’t work. 3) Be yourself. Branding Here are Tommy’s three steps to building a personal brand: Free Inbound Marketing University Online Training Program Originally published Aug 25, 2009 7:13:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Download HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing University online training program In the video below, Tommy talks about what building a The number of tools available can be overwhelming. Pick one or two, learn them, and move on. You’re not going to tackle the whole world overnight. Don’t be a fake person or a robot. If people fall in love with you on a personal level, they are certainly going to want to do business with you on a professional level. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack personal brand 2) Just do it. . The program drills into each component of inbound marketing and prepares you for the Inbound Marketing certification exam. 13 free webinar classes and notesheets 1) Start slow. means to him, and how being yourself online can help your business. Who wants to do business with people they don’t like? Topics: IMU includes Thomas Clifford, or @ tommytrc, is a personable guy who loves creating videos for his kids, blogging, and building relationships on Twitter as the top Twitterer in Wisconsin. He’s given talks on how to ” Be a Social Media Rock Star,” inspiring audiences to develop strong relationships in social media.  Tommy is a great example of someone who has used his personality to create a strong online (and offline) network. He holds nothing back, even sharing the the birth of his son with his online network by live-tweeting. last_img read more

Facebook Now Offers Sponsored Stories

first_img Marketing Takeaway has added a Facebook page admins should see a new “promote” option below each of their fan page stories. Facebook using its self-service ad platform, Sponsored Stories. Facebook’s self-service advertising platform has traditionally allowed businesses to promote their fan pages and to create and display ads on Facebook. Sponsored Stories takes advertising on Facebook a step further. This new ad unit allows page admins to pay for additional distribution of page stories as well as user updates that mention them in Facebook’s ad space. Promoting organic content instead of ads could help your offers get more attention on Facebook’s advertising platform. Test Sponsored Stories to see how the cost-per-lead compares with other paid programs. With the launch of Sponsored Stories, Facebook is directly competing with Twitter’s new Promoted Tweets advertising platform. It seems like paying for extra reach of organic social media content is a trend that is catching on. Once you have edited the ad and set the right pricing and targeting choices for your business, your promoted story is ready to go. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack After clicking on the “promote” link, Facebook opens a pop-up window to explain ad targeting options. At this point, you are going to want to click the “Edit Ad” button so that you can select targeting options before placing the order for the ad. Originally published Feb 9, 2011 1:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Will you test Facebook’s new Sponsored Stories feature? new option for marketers After viewing this window, click “Create Ad.” This will take you to a new screen that will allow you to review and edit your ad. Topics: Facebook Marketing How To Use Facebook Sponsored Storieslast_img read more

How to Use Analytics to Achieve Your Next Blog Article’s Goals

first_img Review Analytics From Past Blog Articles: . But what about using analytics strategically to achieve the goals A similar process can be applied to other metrics such as inbound links or page views. Additionally, if your goal is to, say, generate a lot of conversions on a CTA (for example, to promote that ebook you recently published), evaluate past blog articles and hone in on those that generated a high conversion rate. What can you learn? Marketing Analytics Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Mar 2, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 When you sit down to write a blog article, first think about what you’re trying to accomplish with that specific post. Sure, you ultimately want to engage your audience and provide useful information, but try to think more granularly. Is there a new feature in your products or services to which you’d like to draw attention? Did you just publish a new ebook that you want people to download? Before you start writing, think about the results you want to achieve with that article, and focus on those results. If you’re able to pick up on specific patterns, trends, similarities, and lessons you think would help achieve the goal of your blog article, apply them! Use the insight you’ve gleaned when crafting your new blog article, and see if it improves your article’s ability to generate the results you’re going for! Using Blog Analytics to Achieve an Article’s Goals brainstorming new ideas for blog topics How else have you used blog analytics to improve your company’s blog? Apply What You’ve Learned: Tip for HubSpot Customers: Using HubSpot’s 3.center_img This is where the data comes in. Let’s say you want to write about an interesting industry topic, and you want to generate a lot discussion from your article. If your goal is to attract a lot of comments, look through your blog analytics and pinpoint articles that have generated a lot of comments in the past. Now compare them: Can you notice anything about these articles that helped contribute to a spike in comments? Maybe they were written in a certain style or presented the topic in a different way. Try to pick up on similarities or patterns. We already know that blog analytics can be helpful in evaluating the performance of your blog, both overall and in individual blog articles, as well as in 1. 2. of a particular blog article? , filter the data by clicking on a particular column (e.g. Click on the ‘Comments’ column to sort articles by the most — or fewest — comments.). Photo Credit: Kathryn Decker-Krauth Topics: Blog Analytics Define Your Goal: Strategic bloggers know how to effectively use their business blogs to achieve specific goals. Maybe they want to promote a program, get people to click on a call-to-action (CTA) for a particular offer, or perhaps raise awareness about a certain industry topic. Each blog article should be crafted in a way that helps the blogger to achieve a goal, and blog analytics can provide valuable insight to help accomplish that.last_img read more

The Definition of Closed-Loop Analytics [In Under 100 Words]

first_img Originally published Nov 16, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: The first time I heard “closed-loop analytics” I thought … “Uh oh, is that something I’m supposed to know?”Luckily, it’s aptly named, so it’ll be easy to give a succinct definition.Ever wonder what path your customers took to close? Closed-loop analytics tells you.Closed-loop analytics lends insight into the entire customer lifecycle — from the time they first interact with you, to the time they become a customer. It helps tremendously with Sales and Marketing alignment, because you can actually see what activities are most likely to yield a customer — “closing the loop” on your marketing efforts.Whatd’ya think of the off-brand Fruit Loop image? Too corny? Sales and Marketing Metricslast_img read more

How I Easily Got 25% More Views on My LinkedIn Profile

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Jan 14, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Just because HubSpot values humility doesn’t mean we’re not a competitive bunch. Three months ago, CEO Brian Halligan, Marketing VP Kipp Bodnar, and I bantered about our relative rank on LinkedIn’s “Most-Viewed Members at HubSpot” list. At #17, I — predictably — brought up the rear.Mercifully, Kipp helped me cobble together a plan for climbing the ranks. We started by comparing our dashboards and performing a quick gap analysis to get a better sense of the opportunities I was missing. LinkedIn’s handy 90-day “charts” feature (found on the “Who’s viewed your profile” page) made it easy understand the sources (e.g., LinkedIn Search, People Similar to You) and keywords (e.g., Job description, Skills) that drive profile traffic.Quickly I discovered that there were three “clogged paths” to my profile.People Similar to You: Kipp was generating 3x as many profile views from people similar to him than I was generating from profiles similar to mine.Skills: Over the past 90 days, not one person had found my profile via my Skills. None. Zippo. Keywords: Keywords that led visitors to Kipp’s profile were 250% more diverse than mine. In other words, if someone searched for a profile containing a particular term, it was 2.5x more likely that the term led to Kipp’s profile than to mine.This entire process took only a few minutes — again, thanks to LinkedIn’s remarkable work in data science.Download our complete LinkedIn guide here for more tips on how to use LinkedIn for professional networking.Next up, I took action. I did this quickly. After all, lunch was approaching. (And I was looking for a boast, not a job). So in just under a half-hour, here’s what I did.What I Did to Increase Profile Views1) Normalized my title.Time: 1 minute.When I looked at “People similar to” HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe, I saw a list that was heavily concentrated with CMO titles. Perhaps this is because LinkedIn’s formula weighs title heavily, although I don’t know that for sure. In the event that it does, I modified my title from the unconventional “VP of Content” to the slightly more common “VP of Marketing (Content).”2) Inserted keywords into my Name field.Time: 1 minute.Admittedly, it looks a little weird when people do this, but since Keywords was a clogged path to my profile, I figured I would try. I added “Content Marketing & Startups” after my name, surfacing those keywords to the highest level of my profile.Correction: A LinkedIn rep and a commenter were kind enough to point out that this technique isn’t exactly consistent with LinkedIn’s User Agreement. At HubSpot we like to “move fast and break things.” Looks like I broke this one. Don’t do it.3) Added keywords to my Professional Headline.Time: 2 minutes.I’d previously listed my current employer and the names of the companies I advise in the headline that appears directly beneath my name. But to optimize for keywords, I replaced the company names with the functions I perform, specifically, “Content Marketing Leader, B2B Blogger, Marketing Speaker, Startup Advisor.”4) Optimized my Summary.Time: 10 minutes.I’d been bungling the Summary section of my profile. Before this exercise, my Summary contained a list of awards I’d earned. But who’s searching for awards on LinkedIn? Nobody. So I spent a little time and re-wrote this section as a keyword-dense narrative, broken into sections for readability. (I then moved the list of awards to the actual Awards section.)5) Expanded my Skills entries.Time: 3 minutes.I hadn’t updated the Skills section to keep pace with my career. I gave this section a thorough refresh, hitting LinkedIn’s 50 skill limit.6) Syndicated blog posts.Time: 7 minutes.I syndicated one blog post I’d written for HubSpot (basically just copied/pasted body and added a brief, “This post originally appeared on …” introduction). Over time, I syndicated two more.7) Changed Profile Viewing Setting from ‘Anonymous’ to ‘Public.’Time: 1 minute.This is so minor it’s almost trivial, but to facilitate reciprocal visits, now when I visit a profile, that member can see that it was me who visited them. Maybe some will visit me in return.8) Added my LinkedIn account to my email signature & Twitter profile.Time: 2 minutes.Another minor change, but a few minors can add up to a major. Note Facebook doesn’t include a field for LinkedIn profile URL. (Or if it does, I couldn’t find it.)While I was in profile clean-up mode, I edited descriptions of past jobs to adhere to the action/results format, which is generally considered a best practice. I also put in examples of my work by adding SlideShares and links to publications to current and previous jobs. But these changes were general enhancements, not made to optimize for visits, so I’m not adding the time to our clock.The ResultsGiven the minor time investment of just under half an hour, I wasn’t sure what sort of results I could expect. After all, it wasn’t like I had a major event to announce, like a job change, promotion, or graduation. I basically was trying to nip and tuck my way to more views. Well, it turns out a little nipping and tucking can make as big of an impact on LinkedIn as it can in Hollywood. Let’s have a look.In the 90 days prior to the optimization project (image below), my profile had been viewed 759 times. Most of the visits (56) were made by salespeople, presumably to sell me something. If I were looking for a job, I wouldn’t consider these to be high value visitors.Following the exercise, my profile received 956 views over the same span of time (there’s a slight date overlap in the study), an increase of more than 25%:Moreover, the profile of visitors rebalanced from salespeople to executives (50 viewers had a CEO or Executive Director title). If I were searching for a job, I would consider these visitors to be immensely valuable. Looking at the date label on the chart below, it’s clear that views hit a low during the holiday season, suggesting that the overall growth would have been even greater had the test been run during a different time of year.Zooming in a little closer, we can see that Kipp and I were able to move the right levers in my profile:Visits from Skills increased from 0 to 37. Additionally, 14% of people found my profile via “People similar to you.” Finally, keyword diversity was achieved: 953 different keywords led a viewer to my profile, resulting in 177 viewers discovering me via LinkedIn search.Of course, if you are an active job seeker, this exercise may not be enough to land you your dream gig. But LinkedIn is a hotbed of connections for recruiting, social selling, business development and, of course, content sharing and discovery. The more traffic your profile gets, the better chance you have of creating a flywheel effect for the messages you want to spread.And to make your LinkedIn profile even more appealing to potential employers, become a certified inbound marketing professional with HubSpot’s free marketing certification. Get started here.  LinkedIn Marketinglast_img read more

How to Make Your B2B Content More Lovable: 9 Tips to Try

first_imgOne of my life missions has been to rescue B2B blogs from their backwater boring status and bring them to the forefront of awesomeness.Thankfully, I’m seeing the trend grow.More B2B blogs are nailing it and putting forth the level and quality of content that B2B readers truly crave … but there is still progress to be made.I’ve assembled this list of tips that can help you bring your B2B content up to the next level.9 Tips for Creating Content that B2B Readers Love1) Use jargon appropriately.Whenever you spend a lot of time in a particular niche, the jargon rubs off on you. If you’re in the military, you’re going to talk about BFO, CFB, BOHICA, BZ, EOD, JO, FTN, and everyone will know what you’re talking about. (I’m honestly not sure. I just pulled those off you’re into SEO, you expect to be able to use that acronym — SEO — and everyone knows what you’re talking about.Every industry has its jargon.Image CreditWhile overuse will muddy up your content, using jargon strategically can make people feel included, welcomed, respected, and appreciated for their knowledge.The first few paragraphs of this Moz article are all that you need to alert you to the fact that this is an insider’s piece. You can expect some jargon, and that’s okay.Keep in mind that jargon can be seen as pretentious, so make sure you’re using the right jargon, in the right way, for the right reason, and with the right readers.2) Go deep.B2B readers are proud of their knowledge, and rightly so. They have invested their lives, their education, their careers, and their time into acquiring professional skills.They love it when people speak to them on their level — a deep level.That’s why the B2B content that you produce should go deep. Take this expert excerpt from the Toptal blog:  The final step is to iterate N elements once again replacing the element by its code for each element: element[i] = code[i]. The complexity is O(N). The complexity of FastSMQT is O(N) + O(2^L) + O(L*(2^L)) + O(N) = O(2*N) + O((L + 1)*(2^L)) = O(N + L*(2^L)) .It’s gibberish to the average Joe, but it’s pure read-worthy gold to the software engineer.Bear in mind, you can’t get content this deep from most “freelance writers” you find on Craigslist. Sourcing B2B writers is one of the first and greatest challenges to generating great B2B content.3) Predict the future.B2B blogs will thrive when they are dealing with present hot topics and future predictions. Predictive blogs tend to generate viral sharing and excited feedback.Who wouldn’t want to know the future of their industry or the precursive power of daily trends?A well-researched, thorough, and to-the-point prophetic piece is the kind of content that will give you a strong ROI. The blog, Acxiom, has an example of this kind of post:This kind of content is especially popular around the New Year, when B2B readers are particularly interested in finding out what’s next.4) Get to the bottom line.Nearly every B2B reader shares an interest in the bottom line: revenue. When you can boil down the trade to this fundamental bedrock, then you’ve landed on a popular topic.It is possible to chase everything back to this one point. Whether it’s an abstruse coding trick, a marketing move, or some other niche technique, everything somehow goes back to the bottom line.This blog is a great example of getting down to brass tacks. (Or are those thumbtacks?)The Proppelr blog uses revenue-driven content to advance the following article. And the title tells all: B2B content can and should deal with a wide range of topics. Be sure to trace these topics back to a core concern: revenue.5) Be an expert.There’s an alarming trend in B2B content marketing. It’s becoming challenging to find experts in niche fields, especially experts who have the time and ability to create long-form content for content marketing purposes.According to a report from CMI, more B2B marketers say they are challenged with finding trained content marketing professionals this year (32%) than last year (10%).It makes sense. If you have an expert, you’re probably using that expert to do great things, not just to write about them.Toptal has managed to overcome this challenge. Their business model involves attracting and recruiting the finest engineers in the industry. Their marketing strategy includes getting these gurus to create content:Even if you don’t know what optimized successive mean quantization transform is, you at least know that this B2B blog is getting an expert to wax eloquent on the subject.6) Create case studies.Case studies are a linchpin of great content.Case studies aren’t just advertisements. They are revelations of data, information, technique processes, tutorials, and a bunch of goodness rolled up into a single piece of content.Most marketers use case studies for their glaringly obvious benefit — showcasing the skills and expertise of the business.Yet case studies have a broader effect. In addition to acquiring clients, case studies bring value to the industry as a whole. Industry members and participants can learn how things are done, the techniques used, and the processes followed to achieve a certain goal.Think With Google is a collection of case studies, each showcasing what a good case study looks like:Beginning with the title, the case study promises to tell a story and bring value. The bulleted section of the case study makes for easy, digestible reading:Even failure makes for a great case study, as per the following one on studies have immense value, and every B2B content marketing effort should contain them.7) Be ruthlessly tactical.The content has to make a difference.The best B2B blogs will always be those that answer the toughest questions, solve the thorniest problems, and show the clearest solutions.This article from Cardinal Path exemplifies the tactical approach: The writer explains exactly why he has written the whitepaper:  “‘But which one is best?’ — We get that a lot too….Our newest whitepaper, A Marketer’s Guide to Finding the Right Analytics Solution, provides an overview of the major analytics platforms and offer insights into ways you can optimize your solution.”There’s no need to keep your readers in the dark. A good B2B article should do the following:Address a problem. This should be a commonly-identified issue in your field. It’s something that your audience deals with.Sketch the problem for the reader. They’ve got to be able to relate to it — to say, “Yeah, I have that problem!”Solve the problem. This is the meat of the article.Such articles will be tactical to the bone. They explain clearly how to do, what to do, what it looks like — with data to back it all up. The more specific, detailed, and actionable you can be, the better.8) Bring forth the juicy data.Ah, data, how we love you.When a B2B blog publishes a solid mass of data, the data aficionados, bloggers, ponderers, thinkers, movers, and shakers pounce on it.The Content Marketing Institute is a purveyor of data. Their research-backed approach gives to their B2B audience exactly what they crave — lots and lots of data.The more statistics, pie charts, line graphs, and bar graphs you can pack into your article, the better.9) Just say it, prove it, and be done.Some writers obsess over style.How does it sound? Is my tone correct? What’s the best word in this particular sentence? How should I wrap up this paragraph? Should I use a question here, or is a declarative sentence better?I’m all about stylistic finesse. You don’t want your blog post to fall flat with a can-hardly-read-it style. On the other hand, you don’t want to obsess over it. Great B2B content simply says what it needs to say, proves it, and that’s it.If you have a flair for style, so be it. But don’t make stylistic perfection your goal.I’d argue that Invision has one of the leading design B2B blogs in the industry. Their content is typically packed with data and actionable information, but they don’t pursue a sizzling style.An article that contains the words iterative, prototyping, methodology, articulate, and hypothesis in the first couple of lines?It’s not exactly a man-bites-dog style.Let me make the point clear with an example. ViralNova is B2C:You don’t need this kind of content. You don’t need the “OMG!” approach or the cliff-hanging style for a B2B blog. Your goal isn’t to be Hemingway, let alone ViralNova. Your goal is to be as clear as possible.ConclusionThis article has focused on articles as the primary portal of B2B content. The reason for this focus is because of the lack of quality I’ve noticed in many B2B blogs.Keep in mind that B2B content can take myriad forms. For example, advanced and powerful webinars are an explosive source of producing high-value content with the extra advantage of generating direct leads.Whatever the style, medium, approach, or goal, keep these tips in mind.What trends, tips, or tactics do you have for creating killer B2B content? Let us know in the comments section below. Originally published Nov 2, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack B2B Content Marketing Topics:last_img read more

9 Smart Ways to Stay Motivated All Day

first_img Collaboration/Teamwork Topics: This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.Over a century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt delivered a now-famous address that immediately cemented its place in the Motivational Speech Hall of Fame.“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,” Roosevelt said. “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming.”Well … yeah. Roosevelt was right — decisions are made (and victories claimed) by those who show up. But maintaining that kind of resilience day in and day out is easier said than done. On days when you’ve been pummeled with one setback after another and have worked 12 hours straight with no end in sight, how do you keep going?You could quit. Or you could read on for nine ways to buck yourself up and work through it.9 Easy Exercises for Staying Motivated All Day1) Keep a running list of wins to refer back to when the going gets tough.HubSpot sales rep Greg Fung has a simple, ingenious way of keeping discouragement at bay. Fung keeps an Evernote list of all the sales deals he feels he’s unjustly lost — the “wrongs” — along with their value, and does the same with his sales wins and job-related “gifts.”“Keeping a record of where I’ve been ‘wronged’ actually helps me mentally release the negativity,” Fung says. “And more importantly, when I tally up the dollar amounts for both columns, I find that my ’rights’ far outweigh the ‘wrongs.’”2) Set the right mood with the right music.Our environment can have a huge impact on our moods, and while you can’t control the weather or the traffic, you can set the right tone with music. There’s real science behind the way we react to different types of music — for example, research suggests that video game soundtracks improve concentration, while nature sounds could enhance cognitive function. Check out these six specially-curated playlists that’ll put you in the right mood to tackle your day head-on.3) Pump yourself up with a motivational video.For some of us, a song just might not cut it — maybe you need a more direct message, or maybe you (like me) can quickly tune out music as background noise. Never fear. If you need a quick jolt of inspiration, any of these videos will get your blood flowing — Kayla Kozan has compiled 10 clips from psychologist Amy Cuddy, Steve Jobs, motivational speaker Eric Thomas, Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, and more.4) Set a morning routine.Your willpower is strongest in the morning, so start your days off right. Making a routine of the things you need (or want) to do each morning will make it easier to get through the rest of your day, because you’ll be starting every day having accomplished something. Buffer has compiled a list of uber-successful people’s morning routines (think Anna Wintour and Margaret Thatcher) — check them out for inspiration.5) Knock out a few quick wins in the first half hour of each day.This one requires reframing how you view a “win.” It doesn’t have to be a successful connect call — leaving a great voicemail or sending a good prospecting email are both small, yet significant, things you can celebrate.While you should always be working on improving your weak areas, there’s no reason to start your days discouraged. Prioritizing the things you’re great at allows you to start off your day strong and puts you in the right frame of mind to stay positive and focused.6) Start your most difficult task the day before.Oftentimes, the hardest part of completing a difficult project is simply to get started. When I write long blog posts like this one, I don’t try to complete it all in one fell swoop — even though I could, it’s not the way I prefer to work. The psychological burden of knowing I have to research, outline, write, and format a post all in one day causes me to procrastinate and dread starting.But I’ve found a system that circumvents this problem. I spend the last part of each day researching and outlining the posts I’m going to write the next day, so that when I head into the office each day to write I know I’m not starting from scratch. This technique accomplishes two things:Outlining requires less brainpower than writing. Outlining posts the day before keeps me productive at the end of my day, when my willpower is drained and it’s harder for me to focus.I can dive straight into the most challenging part of my day as soon as I sit down. This sets the tone for the rest of my day and keeps me moving forward instead of getting sidetracked or discouraged.If you have a big meeting you need to prepare for or a major project you have work on tomorrow, start it today or create a plan for how you’re going to tackle it. You’ll be amazed by how much more you accomplish when you do a little prep work.7) Do something every day that makes you happy.We don’t procrastinate because we’re lazy or have poor work ethic — generally, it’s because we’re unhappy. In Temptation: Finding Self-Control in an Age of Excess, journalist and public policy scholar Daniel Akst wrote that ultimately, “procrastination is a mood-management technique.”Build some simple joys into your routine. Take time out of your schedule every month to volunteer for a cause that matters to you, put on a favorite piece of music while you’re brushing your teeth, or do something as simple as packing a lunchtime treat for yourself in the morning.8) Reward yourself.In his landmark study, Ivan Pavlov trained a dog to salivate at the sound of a bell by ringing it every time he brought the dog food. While I certainly don’t mean to compare you to a dog, you can hack your brain the same way to great effect.“Research shows that rewards are responsible for three-quarters of why you do things,” neuroscience blogger Eric Barker writes. “So treat yourself whenever you complete something on your to-do list.”9) Use the “chameleon effect” to get inspired.1-800-GOT-JUNK? founder Brian Scudamore uses the chameleon effect to feed off the energy of a particularly focused or driven employee when he’s feeling distracted. Simply by sitting next to his more focused colleague, Scudamore is able to mentally reset and get himself back on track.Feeling down at work? Go find the most enthusiastic, motivated person you know — the one who bleeds your company colors, always seems to have a new side hustle, and actually follows through. Grab coffee with them and feed off their good energy.How do you motivate yourself? Let us know 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 SlackSlack Originally published Mar 12, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

16 Video Metrics Your Boss Actually Cares About

first_img Topics: Originally published Apr 16, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated March 29 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! Video Marketing Conventional wisdom tells us that views, especially three-seconds ones, are a vanity metric. But Facebook tracks them for a good reason.In 2016, they analyzed their users’ video consumption data and discovered that 45% of people who watch the first three seconds of a video will keep watching it for at least 30 seconds. Facebook’s study suggests that views are a good indicator of how well your video’s hook performed. But views also have drawbacks, like not being able to tell you who your audience is or whether your video resonates with your audience.Access videos, templates, and tips, to help you launch an effective video marketing strategy. That’s why we created this list of YouTube and Facebook video metrics that’ll shed light on the things your boss actually cares about, like how much your audience engages with your video, what video topics they crave, and how video affects your website’s performance. Read on to learn more.16 Video Metrics Your Boss Actually Cares About1. Watch TimeWatch time is the total amount of time viewers have spent watching your video. It measures how long your viewers engage with your video. YouTube accounts for watch time, not views, when they rank videos for search and feature videos in the related section, so you should try to engage your viewer with a compelling story for as long as possible.2. Average View DurationAverage view duration is the total watch time of your video divided by the total number of video plays, including replays. It measures how long your viewers watch your video, on average. Average view duration is a powerful metric because it reveals your audience’s video length preference. For instance, if your 45 second videos keep getting a 30 second average view duration, you might want to cut those videos down by 15 seconds.3. Average Completion RateAverage completion rate is the percent of each video your audience watches. This metric measures your video’s ability to hold attention. Facebook uses average completion rate to rank videos in users’ news feed, so it’s crucial for your Facebook videos to engage viewers from start to finish.4. Audience RetentionAudience retention shows you the percentage of your audience that keeps watching a video as it plays from beginning to end. Facebook and YouTube will display your video’s audience retention on a graph, like the one below:Image Credit: FacebookDrops in the retention curve help you understand when your audience stops watching your video. If there’s a sudden drop off at a certain point in your video, you should analyze what’s happening at that specific time. You’ll learn what’s causing viewers to bounce, like a certain part or previous parts of the video not piquing their interest.In addition to displaying your video’s audience retention, YouTube will display your video’s relative retention, which compares your video’s ability to retain viewers to all YouTube videos of similar length.5. Re-watchesRe-watches are the amount of times your audience watches your entire video or specific parts of your video again. If a lot of people are re-watching a certain part of your video, which the orange part of the graph below represents, they’re probably interested in the topic your video is covering during that moment. And by using re-watches to determine which topics resonate with your audience, you can refine your video strategy by making videos about these topics.Image Credit: Harvard Business Review6. Click-Through-RateClick-Through-Rate measures how well your video encourages viewers to take a desired action. If your CTR is low, consider altering your call-to-action’s placement in your video. Audience retention graphs show that most people don’t watch videos all the way through, so you could place your CTA at the beginning or middle of your video. Or you could also make your video more engaging, so more viewers reach the CTA at the end of your video. Leaving your CTA at the end could produce more clicks than moving it to the middle or beginning because viewers who watch your video all the way through are more likely to take an action than someone who just clicked play.7. EngagementAccording to Facebook, likes, comments, and shares are the best measure of how well a video resonated with your audience. Engagement is also one of the most important factors in boosting your video’s organic reach — if a video resonates well with part of your audience, then Facebook concludes that it’ll resonate with the rest of your audience.Engagement provides marketers with valuable qualitative data too. Comments can show you the emotional affect your video had on your viewers. Do they seem inspired? Or are they angry you covered a controversial topic? This data can help you decide which video topics to focus on in the future.Social shares can paint a clearer picture of your audience’s brand affinity and loyalty. This metric measures how much your audience values your content and brand. It also builds your brand’s credibility. Since people share content that confirms their ideal self-persona, people who share your video are willing to show their community that they trust and support your brand.Social sharing is also one of the best forms of word-of-mouth marketing. According to Facebook, 48% of all video watch time can be attributed to social sharing.8. Negative FeedbackOn Facebook, negative feedback is how often people hide your video, report it as inappropriate, or unlike your page after watching it. The videos with the highest amount of negative feedback can help you nix ineffective topics from your content mix.Image Credit: Facebook9. Subscriber and Fan GrowthYouTube’s subscriber report will show you which videos gain or lose subscribers, the geographic location of your gained or lost subscribers, and the dates that users subscribe or unsubscribe from your channel. This data is valuable because it can inform your video strategy tremendously. You’ll learn what topics resonate with your subscribers the most and where to target new subscribers.Subscribers are important to your channel because YouTube will send them notifications about your new videos and feature your videos on their homepage. This means they’ll see your videos more frequently, which will help you generate more views. Subscribers also tend to watch your videos longer than non subscribers, so the more subscribers you have, the more watch time your videos will collect, and the more likely they’ll rank on search and be featured in the related section.On Facebook, you can see how each of your videos influences your page’s fan growth. This’ll help you determine which video topics resonate with your viewers the most.10. Top Location & AudienceYour Facebook videos’ top location and audience will help you flesh out your personas and target more precisely when you want to boost your videos. This data helps you discover your most loyal, engaged Facebook audience.For instance, if your top audience is male, age 35-44, and your top location is Missouri, you can target this audience with future videos, which will grow your Facebook following and boost your videos’ engagement and organic reach.11. Peak Live ViewersPeak live viewers shows you when the highest number of viewers were watching your Facebook live video. If a video’s live peak is early, then drops off, the beginning of your video might not be that engaging, leading to your viewers’ drop off. This data will help you adjust accordingly for your next live video stream.Image Credit: Sprout Social12. ReactionsFacebook will display a distribution of your audience’s reactions during your live video streams. This lets you determine the emotions each part of your video evoked, revealing which topics evoke which emotions and leading you toward a more data-driven live video strategy.Image Credit: Sprout Social13. Play RatePlay rate is how many people play your video divided by the number of people who visit the page that hosts your video. If the page’s play rate is low, your video probably isn’t relevant to the topic of your page. A low play rate can also illuminate other problems with your marketing, like your copy not being able to entice visitors to watch your video, the video not being embedded in the right place on the page, or your visitors preferring text over videos when they learn.14. Bounce RateA webpage’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on it, but then leave without going to other pages. On your website, most videos should guide your visitors to click on a CTA or explore other pages, like a visitor watching a video on the product page and then navigating to the pricing page. If your videos make your prospects leave your website entirely, then they’re probably not engaging or enticing enough.15. Conversion RateYour video’s conversion rate measures how well your video persuaded viewers to convert into a lead or a customer. You should test whether videos increase or decrease your landing or product pages’ conversion rates. If they do, this means video does a better job of conveying information and evoking excitement in your prospects than text does.16. Who Watches Your VideoWhen you can track which contacts in your database are watching certain videos on your website, it gives you a lot of context on what their pain points are and how you can solve for them. Your marketing team can send them content related to the video topics they watch, and your sales team will know exactly how to help them. You can also move these contacts down your inbound funnel. If a prospect just watched a case study video, you can send them a product overview video the next day.last_img read more

The 11 Best Stats From Oklahoma State’s Win Over TCU

first_img5. Mason Rudolph was nearly perfectMason Rudolph’s QBR was 96.1 on Saturday. That was the fifth-best performance of the weekend and the 31st best individual QB performance of anybody all year. It’s hard to imagine somebody being much better than he was.6. In its last 52 home gamesOSU is 43-9 in its last 52 home games going back to 2008. It is 31-6 since 2010. Only Nebraska, OU (3x), Texas (3x), West Virginia and Kansas (!) have beaten OSU at home since 2008.7. Trevone Boykin, oopsBoykin came into Saturday having thrown five INTs in 297 attempts on the season. Then he threw four (the most he’s ever had in his career) on his next 57 attempts against Glenn Spencer’s unit.More on Boykin.Trevon Boykin’s Stillwater fate much like RGIII’s: 3 career games in Stillwater: 2 TD passes, 8 ints., 0-3 record. #okstate— Dave Hunziker (@Gopokesvoice) November 8, 2015 8. All the James Washington statsThere are many, but this is probably the most preposterous:From the Texas Tech game through the TCU game, Washington scored on four straight touches of 75 yards, 73 yards, 48 yards and 50 yards. Literally all he did was score four straight times he got the ball (246 yards total). Incredible.9. About that explosive offenseThis is straight from the OSU athletic dept.OSU has scored a total of 177 points (58+70+49) in its last three games, which is tied for the second-highest point total in a three-game stretch in school history.Wait, whaaaat?!The Cowboys scored 187 points in their first three games of the 2012 season (vs. Savannah State, Arizona and Louisiana) and had 177 during a span of three games in 2011 that included Baylor, Kansas State and Texas Tech.10. Grind it out on offense?Nope. The Cowboys’ longest scoring drive of the game lasted 1:13. The offense had scoring drives of 0:03, 0:26, 0:46, 0:49, 0:57 and 1:13.11. Put Chad Whitener on offenseWhitener had more picks in the TCU game than Kevin Peterson and Ashton Lampkin have on the year combined.#OKstate Mike Gundy (maybe) joking about LB Chad Whitener: “He’s got good hands. We should probably be using him on offense.”— Kyle Fredrickson (@kylefredrickson) November 8, 2015 What an afternoon in Stillwater. It’s hard to boil this game down to just 11 stats, but here are the ones I found most compelling.1. Mason Rudolph’s first 5 TD gameOnly Josh Fields (2003 SMU and 2002 Kansas) and Brandon Weeden (2010 Tulsa) Have had more in a game. Fields had the famous seven TD game against SMU and six against Kansas. Weeden had six against Tulsa. It felt like Rudolph could have had 10 if they’d let him ride until the end.2. TCU ran 110 plays. A hundred and ten!Only one team has run more this season (Colorado against UCLA last week which Matt Hinton noted was a FBS record).Colorado ran 114 plays vs. UCLA which (far as I can tell) is an FBS record for regulation. N’western ran 115 in 2010 Outback Bowl, in OT.— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) October 31, 2015TCU was five plays from running more plays than any team has ever run in a FBS game. Wow.TCU ran 57 more plays than OSU. This has happened two other times since 2000 in games featuring two FBS teams.— Dave Hudson (@okc_dave) November 8, 20153. OSU and AlabamaThe only two teams that have wins over AP top five teams this season? How about Alabama and Oklahoma State. That’s also the fifth time since 2008 that Oklahoma State has beaten a team in the AP top 10.4. Yards per play differentialOklahoma State, despite running 57 fewer plays than TCU, posted a tidy yards per play mark of 8.60. That’s some 2011 territory right there. TCU? Also pretty good at 6.03. Like Poke pointed out, though, it felt like they needed another 11 quarters to catch the Cowboys.Pick six. Tcu needs like 299 plays to score enough points to win— thinks we go 8-4 guy (@Pokelahoma) November 8, 2015center_img While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Players React to Win Over TCU Saturday

first_imgYESSIR!!! Pokes are 9-0! I love this team!!! #StillwaterStrong— Brad Lundblade (@BradLundblade) November 8, 2015AdChoices广告 9-?— Chris Lacy II (@Gifted_CLacy) November 8, 2015 Shoutout to the fans #loyal&true— Vincent Taylor (@BallOut_96) November 8, 2015 Can’t measure heart, determination, and want to that’s why the analyst didn’t pick us to win 9-?#RESPECTUS— Jordan Burton™ (@bighit20) November 8, 2015 a great day to be a cowboy ladies and gentlemen! #9-0— Colby Hegwood (@TheColbyHegwood) November 8, 2015 What a great birthday present! 9-0 baby!!!!!!— Emmanuel Ogbah (@EmanOgbah) November 8, 2015 9-0. Getting a lot of credit but really it was my punt team. They deserve it all #LetsRide#GoPokes— Zach The Punter (@ZachSinor29) November 8, 2015 Let’s shock the World then!! #GoPokes— Kirk Tucker ?? (@YouWannaBe_KPT) November 8, 2015 Love this family! Great win today baby! 9-0 #StillwaterStrong— Kevin Peterson (@Pistol_Peterson) November 8, 2015 Erryyooone’s excited about 9-0 – including the players. Here’s what they had to say after the game.center_img All the glory goes to God. Win or lose, I praise Him.— Tracery (@Trace_Clark) November 8, 2015 Night to be a Cowboy!!!!!!! ?? 9-0— Jimmy Bean (@j_bean92) November 8, 2015 Great TEAM win!!! 9-0 love my brothers man ??? #ThemBoyzUpToSomething— Ashton Lampkin (@OSU_DB6) November 8, 2015 you all so much for the love. Very blessed to hang the team that I go here at Oklahoma state! Next is Iowa st! Let’s be 1-0 !!— Chad Whitener (@MountChad) November 8, 2015 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Glad to be a Cowboy! 9-0 feels so good! Hard work is paying off, Oklahoma State ain’t nobody to mess with!! ✊??— Brandon Pertile (@BrandonPertile) November 8, 2015 Thank God, 9-? #GoPokes— The People’s Champ (@GyasiAkem) November 8, 2015 9-?— Vincent Taylor (@BallOut_96) November 8, 2015last_img read more

Gundy Won’t Name Backup QB, but QB3 Could be More Important

first_imgNothing has been decided, offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said Wednesday before the Spring Game, but the backup quarterback spot will be locked down, “sooner rather than later.”The obvious choice is redshirt junior Taylor Cornelius, who has been Mason Rudolph’s backup for two seasons and went 5-9 for 77 yards and a TD on Saturday in the Spring Game. But Yurcich said all of the throwers are coming along. He said it’s critical to name a No. 2 because the reps in practice need to be delegated.“It’s an ongoing battle right now,” Yurcich said. “A lot of competitiveness, and that’s fun to see those guys compete, but there’s a lot of learning to be had.”Rudolph said Cornelius, one of his best friends, is the veteran guy. Cornelius has played in four games, which is three more than the other three realistic candidates John Kolar, Keondre Wudtee and Jelani Woods have combined.“Really strong arm, pocket-passer, but he’s athletic enough to make plays on his feet,” Rudolph said of Cornelius. “Cerebral guy. Really smart. He came in the summer after me, so he’s been here a while. He really has a good feel for the offense.”Coach Mike Gundy has said that Woods will likely redshirt. Rudolph said he, too, is making strides but his head is still spinning at times. So that probably leaves Cornelius, Kolar and Wudtee. Kolar and Wudtee combined to go 2-8 with two interceptions in the Spring Game.Gundy said Rudolph’s reps have been cut significantly and given to Wudtee because they have a good understanding of where Cornelius is at. The good thing about those three and Rudolph is that they aren’t carbon copies of the same quarterback.Wudtee played football, basketball and ran track at Parkway High School in Bossier City, Louisiana. Kolar ran for more than 500 yards as a senior at Norman North. Cornelius racked up more than 9,000 passing yards in three seasons out of Bushland, Texas, with 88 touchdown passes. And Woods is 6-foot-7 with 235 pounds of weight on him.“In the spring you try to throw a lot at ’em and see what they can absorb, see where their boundaries at,” Yurcich said. “I think we’ve found that out with a lot of them, and now it’s kinda time to rein it in and really adjust our teaching to what we’ve learned about each individual.”Gundy said he hoped he could have named a backup by the end of the spring but can’t. Yurcich said there is no timetable for naming the backup. At the latest, a No. 2 will be named midway through fall camp, Gundy said.The other wrinkle here is that the backup QB might not play as much as the QB designated to play the J.W. Walsh role. That sounded on Saturday like it might be Wudtee (although he rushed three times for just -4 yards on Saturday).So you could have a scenario in which you have a QB1 (Rudolph), a QB2 (Cornelius) and a special-package short yardage QB who also serves as QB3 (Wudtee). There is still a lot to sort out, but Gundy sounded on Saturday like Cornelius is the man to beat at QB2.“I thought Taylor (Cornelius) played well,” said Gundy. “The defense was a little loaded on the orange. The two ends on the orange team were a lot more mature, put a lot of pressure on the black team. We had a hard time, black had a hard time controlling those guys, but I thought Taylor did a good job. The other guys that were inexperienced looked inexperienced to me. I thought number 14 did well.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more