Parrikar says will strive to make Goa plastic-free by 2018, despite delay due to illness

first_imgGoa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said that his mission to make Goa plastic free by 2018 was delayed because of his illness. Speaking at the State-organised annual Revolution Day event at Azad Maidan in the city on Monday, he said that the government would take strong steps to achieve the target. “We will take strong steps to ensure that Goa is plastic free by 2018. The delay was because of my illness, but I want to tell people that these things need to happen,” Mr. Parrikar said at his first official public function after his return from the United States last week after medical treatment of over three months. Mr. Parrikar had made a promise to make Goa plastic-free by 2018 at the Goa Revolution Day function last year. Goa Revolution Day is celebrated on June 18 to recognise the clarion call for a fight against colonial Portuguese rule given by freedom fighter Ram Manohar Lohia. Goa was ruled by the Portuguese for 451 years, before the State was liberated by the Indian armed forces in 1961. Expressing concern over plastic litter, Mr. Parrikar said that even educated people litter because they lack knowledge, and added that he would also strive to make Goa a knowledge-rich society. “Educated people throw plastic and dirt in the Mandovi river. When educated people do this, lack of knowledge is the reason.We are educated, but we do not have knowledge. Let us not have mere education, but knowledge too in Goa. Education gives us information, knowledge takes you beyond it,” Mr. Parrikar said in his brief speech at Azad Maidan.last_img read more

Hardik Patel may not be able to contest poll

first_imgIn a setback to the Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel, who recently joined the Congress and was keen on contesting the Lok Sabha election, the Gujarat High Court rejected his plea seeking a stay on his conviction in the 2015 Mehsana riots case.As per the Representation of the People Act, 1951, he won’t be able to contest the coming general election due to his conviction.Justice Uraizee of the Gujarat High Court observed in his order that Mr. Patel had several criminal cases and 17 FIRs registered against him in various places despite an undertaking.Govt opposes pleaThe State government vehemently opposed his plea contending that “a lawbreaker cannot become a lawmaker” because Mr. Patel had consistently broken the laws during and after the Patidar quota agitation in 2015 and afterwards.In July 2018, the sessions court at Visnagar sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment for rioting and arson in Visnagar town during the 2015 stir that originated in north Gujarat but rapidly spread to Patidar dominated pockets across the State.The High Court granted him bail and suspended his sentence in August 2018, but his conviction was not stayed by the court.last_img read more

ScienceShot: Females Sport Penises in Genital-Swapped Insects

first_imgEcologists spelunking in a Brazilian cave have found a new variety of insect with an unusual sex life. Females of the newly discovered genus Neotrogla, 3-mm-long flylike insects, boast large, penislike structures called gynosomes (inset). Although other animals such as seahorses take on reversed gender roles, species in the new genus are the first to be found with swapped genital structures. During copulation—which lasts 40 to 70 hours—the female mounts the male from behind (as seen in the above photo), thrusting her gynosome into the male’s vaginalike opening. Once inside, the female uses spines on the gynosome to latch on to the potentially reluctant male. The lady’s grasp is so strong that when the researchers tried to separate a fornicating pair, the male’s abdomen was ripped from its body without breaking the genital link. During breeding, the male transfers a large amount of nutritious ejaculate via the gynosome to the female, the researchers report online today in Current Biology. The team suggests that in the resource-scarce cave system, this nutritious seminal gift causes females to compete for sustained breeding. Over time, the scientists believe this female-initiated intercourse could have led the insects to evolve reversed genitals. Still unclear is whether the females worry about the size of their gynosome.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Viswanathan Anand, Geet Sethi opposed to govt focusing on select Olympic sports

first_imgThe Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) ambitious vision document predicting 10 plus medals at Rio, across multiple disciplines fell flat after India managed just two medals, four short of what was achieved in London.Preliminary reactions from SAI suggest they would now focus on select disciplines, possibly as little as four for the next four years and that’s where majority of the funding would go towards.But Indian sports champions Viswanathan Anand and Geet Sethi are of the opinion that the government would be better off staying away from such a move. “Up to a point focus on disciplines is right. But we don’t know what we are good at. We can always surprise ourselves. There always has been an athlete who has been a first.”It should be a 50-50 policy perhaps with 50 per cent on focused sports. For government it’s important to think of sports as healthy activity for the country as well. And it’s role has to be neutral, else question of how they came to these decisions comes along. I don’t think government should go deeply into that,”  one of India’s greatest, Anand tells India Today.The sentiment was shared by eight time World billiards champion Geet Sethi. “For the government, they have to spread, can’t focus on just five sports or so,” he observed.But he believed it’s a policy that could be used by private bodies like Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ). “All research in worldwide examples is if you focus deep and hard on few disciplines the propensity of winning more medals is more there. Countries focus on disciplines where there are multiple medal winning opportunities like shooting and athletics. Same time you can’t neglect outstanding talent like Dipa Karmakar and Aditi Ashok, disciplines where we have not done well in past. For OGQ, we need to spot these talents as well,” he opined.advertisementBoth sportsmen best in what they did welcomed the Prime Minister’s move to set up a task force with the next three Olympics in mind. In fact if the PM was looking for ideas on composition of this task force, Anand and Sethi had plenty.”It’s brilliant, almost an order from the PM. It was much needed. We have someone like Abhinav Bindra who has won a gold. I would love to see him and someone like Rajyavardhan Rathore who is in the government in the task force. Also some good bureaucrats. Look to use experience and medal winners from Olympic sport and mix with those of experience of administration and governance and you can have a great task force who can map out path ahead. I agree we have to look at three Olympics from now and a vision that needs to be perused. Its a no brainer that we have the people,” he said.Anand had his take as well on the make up of the task force. “It’s a question of bringing in the right people. There can be various perspectives in every aspect. In the making of a sportsman there can be role of coaches, parents, classmates. Its important to bring people from all walks of life. That’s the key. It can be a brilliant idea and if done properly can be a huge boost,” he said.Sethi also asked for an overall introspection for Indian sport. The OGQ plans to have its first board meeting on Thursday to review Rio performance and one of Sethi’s first suggestions is to have more mental conditioning experts to help Indian sportsmen win the battle of the mind at a stage that matters.last_img read more

Serena Williams reveals why women players ‘love’ Andy Murray

first_imgSeven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams has said that all women players “love” Andy Murray as he has always “spoken up for women’s issues”.World No. 1 Murray, whose title defence came to end at the hands of America’s Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, was asked for his thoughts on the latter who was described by a reporter “as the first American to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since 2009”.The Brit corrected him by replying “male player”, as Williams alone has won 12 Grand Slams in that period.”First male player,” he shot back.Andy Murray may have lost, but nothing got past him post-match…#Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/Uniks77WKu- Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 13, 2017Williams, who is winner of record 23 Grand Slam singles, hailed Murray as a great champion of women’s sport.”There should not be a woman athlete or tennis player who is not totally supportive of Andy Murray,” Williams was quoted as saying by Sport24.”He has spoken up for women’s rights and issues especially in tennis forever. He’s done it again. That’s who he is and that’s the thing we love about him. He has done so much for us on the tour. We love Andy Murray,” she added.The 35-year-old announced in April that she will miss the remainder of the season as she will give birth to her first baby in the autumn.last_img read more

Virender Sehwag to clash against old rivals on a cricket pitch in St. Moritz

first_imgFormer India batsman Virender Sehwag will have a new challenge at hand next year as he gears up for the inaugural Ice Cricket event in St. Moritz, Swtitzerland.Sehwag will be joined by a host of other cricket stars such as Shahid Afridi, Graeme Smith, Mohammad Kaif, Shoaib Akhtar, Mahela Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga, Michael Hussey, Jacques Kallis, Daniel Vettori, Nathan McCullum, Grant Elliot, Monty Panesar and Owais Shah.The T20 matches will take place on February 8 and 9 on a matting pitch.”I don’t know what to expect but I am really excited to play in a beautiful part of the world. I hope the event is a huge success,” said former South Africa captain Smith.On playing against his contemporaries, Smith added: “There are lot of brilliant cricketers involved. I have played against all these guys in international cricket. It will be nice to spend some quality time with them and put up a good show with the cricket.”Organisers VJ Sports have claimed that the event has the approval of International Cricket Council (ICC).Players will use the traditional cricketing gear including the red-ball but will wear sports shoes instead of spikes.The weather is expected to be nice and sunny during the day but the temperatures can dip to as low as -20 degree celsius. The matches will be played on a matting pitch.Afridi is the only player among the retired stars who has been regularly playing competitive cricket in various T20 leagues around the world.Smith, Sehwag, Jayawardene, Akhtar and Kallis last featured in Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne’s Masters Champions League in February 2016.advertisementlast_img read more

WTF Is the Future of Business? Brian Solis Has an Answer

first_img Originally published Aug 3, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Have you ever wondered what the future of business will look like? Maybe you figured it’s going to be something like business in the past: buy stuff, sell stuff, try to make a profit by selling stuff for more than it cost you to make it, building a better mousetrap, winning friends and influencing people, crossing the chasm, riding the long tail to the tipping point with the other outliers, going from good to great, and dealing with cheese that keeps moving around.The future of business won’t be like that. The future of business is all about dazzling people with amazing customer experiences, says Brian Solis, whose new book, What’s the Future of Business? Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences, has a cover with the letters “WTF” in huge block letters — a hint, perhaps, that this is not going to be some ordinary business book, but rather a radical manifesto about change, innovation, and disruption. It’s business with a dash of irreverence and punk rock thrown in, a little sneer that says, Look, people, the world has changed, there’s this thing called social media, have you heard of it? In this new world, the marketing of products becomes as important as the products themselves. Marketers are the ones who create experiences. Which means suddenly marketers stand at center stage, instead of off in the wings. Suddenly all eyes are on you. Are you ready for your close-up? Read this book and you will be.The Influencers’ InfluencerWho is this Brian Solis? Folks at HubSpot know him as a pal who will be speaking at our INBOUND conference this August alongside Arianna Huffington, Seth Godin, and Nate Silver. But according to the book jacket, Solis is “globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in new media,” as well as a “digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist.” He’s an influencer’s influencer, whose blog, BrianSolis.com, is considered a must-read for marketers. Solis is a rare web intellectual, a guy who can melt your brain on Twitter but can also think and write convincingly in chunks of more than 140 characters. At INBOUND, Brian will talk about how the pace of innovation has sped up and impacted the pace of change within business overall, and probably expand upon the ideas presented in his book.His Bold IdeasBut what is the book about? It has one big takeaway. Companies are on a journey of transformation. We’re living in an age of digital Darwinism where you must innovate or die, all because consumers are more empowered than ever with the internet at their disposal.And in this new age, Solis argues that we shouldn’t segment these consumers by age — Generation X, Generation Y, Generation Z, Boomers, and Matures. Instead, we should use “Generation C,” in which the C stands for Connected. Generation C serves as umbrella to describe consumers who are active on the internet and social media, regardless of age. “Gen C is not an age group — it is a way of life,” he proclaims.In this worldview, the binary is between those who are Connected and those who are Not Connected. The chief distinction is that, “To Gen C, experience is everything. What they feel about your products and services now and over time is shared through these connected networks.” The challenge for brands is to design the experience that those people will have, and “design the journey that they will embark on.”Too many companies are using social media but still not really talking to customers — and that’s partly why they fail to deliver a complete experience, Solis asserts. Presumably these companies deserve points for trying, and it’s nice that they’ve hired someone to run their Twitter feed, but they’re not making the most of the medium. To paraphrase the late great Steve Jobs: You’re doing it wrong. Solis shows you how to do it right.What’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences is an ambitious and ultimately optimistic look at the challenges companies face as they adapt to a digital world, a world where empowered and ever more demanding consumers bring to each transaction a new set of expectations. It’s not just a how-to book, though plenty of advice is offered. Rather it is a call to arms, a call to action, a wake-up call to brands in every industry, a book that will help anyone in marketing do a better job of surfing the storm of change that surrounds us. A must read.Also, don’t forget to come see Brian Solis speak at the INBOUND conference Aug. 19–22 in good old Boston.Image credit: Brian Solis Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Marketing Trendslast_img read more

5 Smart Ways Marketers Can Prepare for Unexpected Changes

first_img Originally published Aug 5, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Let’s face it: 2016 (so far) has brought about a number of shocks, surprises, and setbacks for businesses — from stock market instability to events like Brexit. And as a result, it’s likely that many people are likely feeling a little less certain about their strategies than they did a year ago.Now, I’m not suggesting this heralds the return of the wartime CEO, but a lack of certainty always forces business leaders and marketers to look at ways they can add more predictability to their organisations. They want to increase operational efficiency so no spend goes to waste, but also balance this by investing in sales and growth.Thankfully there’s an existing playbook marketers can follow to help navigate uncertainty. Below you’ll find five smart ways that marketers can think ahead during times of transition and change.5 Smart Ways Marketers Can Prepare for Unexpected Changes1) Double down on testing.If your competitors are tightening their belts and scaling back marketing investments, use this to your advantage by doubling down on testing. The most effective marketing leaders encourage a culture of testing within their teams and run experiments to A/B test and optimise activity at every stage of the marketing funnel. Doing this helps to improve the operational efficiency across the board.Using a marginal gains approach you can and should run a number of small tests to see which variants — from website copy to landing page design — perform better. At HubSpot, the conversion rate optimization (CRO) team continually runs tests to improve upon our existing efforts and identify new solutions for the future. A few recent examples include:The historical blog optimization project which increased organic search views of old blog posts by an average of 106%A series of technical SEO updates which increased organic traffic by over 50% in just one month.And the best part? We didn’t need to invest in the creation of new content.Others may see uncertainty as a reason to pause or cut investments, but you should consider it an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of what moves the needle on your marketing efforts.If you’re looking for A/B testing inspiration, work your way through these conversion optimization case studies or check out this handy A/B testing checklist.2) Focus on the value in your value proposition.In uncertain times, many organisations look to curb spending on nonessential items. This makes clearly communicating the value your product creates to prospects and clients more important than ever.Developing your product’s value proposition is both part art and science. You need to craft compelling copy, but also test different versions to see which works best. While it can be tempting to focus on product features, always bring it back to the job to be done and what the end-user values most, such as helping them do something faster or better, or by enabling the user to make more money.Amazon is well known for making developers draft a product’s hypothetical press release and FAQ announcement before even a line of code is written. This helps the company to fully define the product’s value proposition and how it will be pitched to customers.Here are three examples of very different businesses that effectively communicate their value proposition to give you a better sense of how to approach this:StripeStripe spells out exactly what its product is, who it is aimed at, and the value it generates. Ecommerce and online payments are notoriously complex industries with high barriers to entry, but Stripe shows how it enables developers to quickly and easily get businesses set up to send and receive money online.Tortuga BackpacksThe value proposition communicated by Tortuga Backpacks is that its backpacks make traveling easier. This is important to its target persona — urban travelers who value convenience and want to avoid checking their luggage — which adds cost and an unwanted visit to the luggage carousel.UnbounceThe value proposition here has two clear strands. First up, Unbounce mentions that marketers can use its product to build, publish, and A/B test landing pages — activities that help marketers generate results that create value for their business. Secondly, marketers can achieve this without the help of IT, which highlights how the product saves both time and money.How do you position your products and services? We recommend partnering with your product and sales leaders to define your product’s “must have” value proposition.Want to see some more examples of effective value propositions? Take a look at this post, or this one from IMPACT Branding & Design.3) Invest in predictable lead generation.All businesses need to sell their products or services so they can generate revenue to grow and invest in the future. But in order to sell effectively and hit quota each month, sales organisations need a pipeline of leads.To that end, marketing teams run programs that create a consistent pipeline of high volume, quality leads. But what’s the most effective way to generate leads and customers?For one, investing in the creation of content such as ebooks, webinars, whitepapers, blog posts and more, will help your business attract qualified traffic to your website. This is because content has a compounding impact that increases in value over time, whereas many traditional tactics are quick to lose steam.Some organisations adopt a blended approach where they use inbound marketing for the majority of their lead generation activity, and occasionally top up their marketing funnel with PPC advertising.How you approach it will be determined by the unique demands of your organisation, however, the important thing is that there are numbers to prove that the inbound methodology works. Just check out this HubSpot ROI Report. In short: the businesses best placed to ride out any uncertainty have a pipeline of quality leads that is consistently topped up, as well as a marketing team that knows the right levers to pull to increase lead flow. Investing in predictable lead generation is what leads to predictable sales and revenue growth.4) Explore new and emerging markets.If a market becomes less attractive to do business in, then you should rightly look at alternatives.Entering new markets doesn’t necessarily mean building a bricks and mortar store or opening a shiny new office. You can take the first steps by creating a local market website and launching marketing activity specifically targeted at that market. This nimble and “digital first” approach will enable you to test your hypothesis on whether or not a new market is right for your business at that time.Tools like Google’s Global Market Finder can show you online search volume as a proxy for potential customer demand for products and services. This coupled with the location data of your customers and leads will help you make more informed decisions about customer demand and where to plan future investments.Why is this important? Organisations that understand high potential markets can more easily move to overcome changes in the business environment, such as currency fluctuations or economic uncertainty. Strategic marketing leaders know not only where the customers of today are, but more importantly where the customers of tomorrow will be.5) Make marketing a profit centre.With marketing becoming more data-driven and trackable, there’s growing consensus that marketing should be viewed as a profit, rather than cost centre. Much marketing activity now directly drives revenue, so it stands to reason that it should be considered an investment in future growth instead of an expense.When marketing is viewed as a driver of growth, the idea of an annual marketing budget seems at best outdated and at worst a threat to the bottom line. But the reality is many business leaders still see marketing as a discretionary cost that can be topped up or cut each year.You can take the first steps to making marketing a profit centre within your business by identifying spend which directly drives measurable revenue and looking at the ROI of this activity. If a particular marketing activity generates sales within an acceptable acquisition cost, marketing leaders should have the flexibility to invest more heavily (or perhaps infinitely) in this activity, rather than be constrained by budget.Positioning marketing as a profit centre is a bold move, but uncertain times calls for new and innovative thinking. Importantly, this approach gives marketing leaders the opportunity to move from functional experts to full business partners and drive growth for the organisation.In uncertain times, some businesses see a threat and look to consolidate, while others spy an opportunity to move quickly and gain an advantage over the competition. Admittedly, this is something of an oversimplification, but the best way to approach the challenge posed by uncertainty is by focusing on both today and the future. This means striking the elusive balance of increasing operational efficiency to reduce costs, while also investing in the future growth of the business by continuing to spend on marketing, sales, and research and development.This approach — although easier said than done — can help you lay the groundwork for future success in more certain times. And while the tips we’ve suggested are by no means a one-size-fits-all solution, the important thing is that you and your team start thinking about these things sooner rather than later.How does your business plan for change or uncertainty? Share your best tips below. Topics: Marketing Analytics Don’t forget to share this post! 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The Art of Managing a Flexible Schedule

first_img Topics: Time Management Ah, autonomy. Isn’t it grand? No defined time when you have to arrive at the office. No guilt over having to leave early for your kid’s recital. And if you’re not feeling well or the roads are bad, no problem — just work from home.But is it ever really that simple? After all, other things become more salient when you’re working from home, like that pile of laundry that needs to get done, or a plethora of mindless daytime TV viewing options. That’s one issue with autonomy — it’s entirely up to you to get your stuff done. You have to set your own deadlines and hold yourself accountable to deliverables, because no one is looking over your shoulder. Perhaps it’s just a mixed blessing. According to the National Workplace Flexibility Study, 98% of managers who implement a flexible work schedule see no negative drawbacks. Rather, they see results like better communication, interaction, and productivity. So, it’s not that simple — managing a flexible schedule requires a strong balance of managerial trust and personal accountability.But what does the latter look like? How can you still manage to get stuff done with the boundaries that many of us became accustomed to before we had this kind of autonomy? As it turns out, it’s more than possible — and we’ve got a few tips.(P.S. – Speaking of flexibility, we just launched our annual Year in Review, detailing a year of flexibility in our people, product, and place around the world. Check it out here.)The Art of Managing a Flexible Schedule1) Maintain a RoutineHere at HubSpot, our culture promotes a healthy dose of employee autonomy and flexibility. So when it came time to evaluate the best methods for managing a flexible schedule, my colleagues seemed like a good resource.Chelsea Hunersen, our social media marketing manager, emphasized the importance of having consistent daily habits. “Start every day at the same time, with the same routine, even if you have to do different things after that,” she explained. “For example, I start each day reading for 30 minutes.”People often allude to the benefit of having a routine, but little has been done to explain why it’s so good for us. According to psychologist Wendy Wood, there’s a reason why we form habits — “We find patterns of behavior that allow us to reach goals.” Maintaining a daily routine helps us to establish a foundation that helps us achieve productive goals, like getting our work done or started by a certain time. So even though my manager doesn’t have any specific parameters for what it means to get to work “on time,” I established my own and have a routine planned around it. That way, I can hold myself accountable to making sure I have enough time to get all of my tasks done, even without a schedule dictated by my employer.2) Treat It Like A “Real” Work DayHere’s another place where the benefits of a routine come in. As noted above, we form habits that will help us accomplish a goal — good or bad. When you have a flexible work schedule, treating it like anything other than a “real” work day can throw you off-course and cause you to send yourself the message that your deadlines don’t matter as much.So in addition to starting every day with the same routine, says Thinkgrowth.org Editor Janessa Lantz, treat every day with equal importance, even if your schedule varies.“If you’re working from home on a regular basis, it’s good to get into a habit of showering and getting dressed,” she says. “You’re really just doing it for yourself, and I’m not even sure that it makes you more productive, but it does provide some parameters that say, ‘work day has begun!’”As silly as it may sound, sending yourself these signals can accomplish a lot for your outlook and approach to your work. In fact, researchers have found that dressing formally correlates with a person’s ability to engage in abstract thought — that’s especially good for marketers and other creative professionals. That’s not to say you should sport full evening attire when you’re working from home, but you should still follow the steps that you would with a structured work schedule. You’ll probably find that it shifts your state of mind in a way that prepares you for and signals the work day ahead.3) Have a Hard Stop on the WorkdayBy that same account, you also need to know when to call it quits. Having an unconventional work schedule, especially a remote one, can often leave people without ambient signals — like people going home — that the work day is over.Just as getting dressed in the morning sends the internal message, “The work day has begun,” says Lantz, you also “put your pajamas to communicate, ‘work day is over!’ Otherwise, you will forget what time and eventually day it is, and that’s scary.”When working remotely, I’ve been known to keep plugging away long after dark when I’m really absorbed with my work. And with no other signal than the dog whining to be fed, I don’t have any parameters to indicate that it’s time for me to turn off my laptop and focus on my non-work life.So how do you implement a hard stop to the work day without set hours dictated by your employer? Well, one easy solution is to set an alarm. Just as you have one to wake you up, you can also use it to wind down. Set it for a time that allows you a few minutes to wrap up whatever you’re working on, so you don’t have to stop abruptly in the middle of a task.Also, remind yourself that a huge advantage to a flexible work schedule in the first place is the extra time it affords for your life outside of work. That could be why companies allowing this flexibility report an 11% decrease in the number of employees who feel obligated to work on nights and weekends, and an 8% decrease in those who think they’re expected to be available 24 hours each day. It’s designed to help you take care of yourself and your family — so use it accordingly.4) Use Your Calendar as a To-Do ListWhen you’re granted a high amount of autonomy, it’s also easy to lose track of the amount of time you spend on a single task. When your hours aren’t dictated by your employer, it can be easy to think, “Oh, I have plenty of time to work on this,” only to look at the clock and realize that the day is almost over. Trust me — I’ve been there.That’s why Hunersen suggests using your calendar as a to-do list. By creating calendar invites for the tasks you need to accomplish each day, you’re achieving two things:Being reminded of your tasks, especially if you schedule them with an alert.Managing your own time and dictating the amount of time you can allot to each task.We also suggest scheduling breaks and the aforementioned “hard stop” in the same way. I’ve written before about how I use this technique. It’s called “time blocking,” which means I put appointments in my calendar for practically everything — work projects, exercise, and even shutting down my electronics before bed. Do I always stick to that exact schedule? Of course not. But by having it right in front of me, it reinforces that those are things I need to do.5) Keep the Lines of Communication OpenIt’s been said that one of the biggest barriers to more employers providing a flexible work schedule is the hesitancy of management. Many believe that if they can’t actually see their employees, they’re not actually working.And even if that’s not the case, it doesn’t hurt to maintain good communication with your boss, even if you’re not in the same physical location. Keep her updated on your progress and deliverables — that will help to establish trust, and provide the reassurance that you’re not watching hours of Netflix when you should be working.That said, if you do need to pause at any point in the day for non-work obligations, like a doctor’s appointment, plan ahead for it, and let your manager ahead of time that you’ll be offline. And when you’re away from your desk for other activities, make sure you’re still reachable — even with a flexible schedule, it’s probably not a good idea to disappear for two hours to run errands and leave your team unable to contact you in case of emergency.6) Understand How Screwed You’ll Be If You Put Things Off“Procrastination” is a word that I’d be happy to never see or write again. But that won’t happen, because it’s such an epidemic that there’s now an entire academic research center dedicated to it.As we’ve covered in the tips above, when you have a flexible work schedule, it can be easy to feel somewhat immune to time. And without pre-established hours, thoughts like, “Sure, I can finish this project on Sunday,” start to occur naturally.It’s what the Procrastination Research Group calls “self-defeating behavior,” and yet, about 90% of us do it at least once a day. But not giving into the temptation to put things off, especially in a somewhat unique professional situation, is a challenge. It requires a lot of willpower, but it’s not impossible.First, remind yourself — again — about the purpose of this flexibility. It’s designed to allow you more time beyond nights and weekends to dedicate to self-care and family. So, do you really want to write that monthly report on a Sunday afternoon? If you’d really prefer to have a few extra hours on a Wednesday instead, go for it. But be honest with yourself, and genuinely evaluate how you want to allocate your free time.Also, ask yourself how often things really go according to plan. Between now and Sunday, for example, what are the chances that something is going to come up or get pushed aside, putting even more responsibilities on your to-do list? As I mentioned before, even when I use time blocking to schedule my week down to the minute, other things always come up. Therefore, when I put things off, I inevitably end up — for lack of a better word — screwed.So before you decide to procrastinate, carefully consider your priorities. Try not to give in — unless you’re putting something off for a remarkable obligation or event, you’ll probably be glad you didn’t.Flex Those Productivity MusclesIt’s true — you can still get stuff done with autonomy and flexibility. Managers and employees, take note: It can be accomplished, often to the benefit of you both.But as we’ve seen, without the right approach and protocols, it’s not something that can be perfectly executed. It requires mindfulness, communication, and the ability to prioritize strategically. That doesn’t mean it can’t or shouldn’t be granted. It just means that it requires good judgment.So if you don’t already have a flexible work schedule — but you want one — here’s some helpful information to present to your manager when making the case for this setup. Address her potential concerns and outline how you’ll mitigate them. And if you’re one of the lucky ones who already has this kind of autonomy, now you can even better use it to your advantage.How do you manage a flexible schedule? Let us know in the comments. Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Feb 22, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

How to Run an Instagram Contest: A 10-Step Guide

first_imgEmail. Extend the invitation to participate to your email subscribers by sending over a quick and friendly email to announce the offer. 9) Monitor submissions.Monitoring both your promotional efforts and the level of participation during your contest is essential for meeting your goals and creating a plan to follow up on your contest.Make sure to determine what metrics you’d like to use and how you’ll keep track of them. Here are some metrics to consider using:Number of submissions – Total number of posts submitted in compliance with your terms and conditions.Likes per submission – Helps you keep track of potential winners if your contest is decided by vote.Number of participants – If users can submit more than one submission, how many unique participants contributed to your contest?Top participants – Who shared the most content during your campaign? Keeping track of this helps you better engage with your biggest fans.Total Likes – Measures the total number of Likes on all submissions in your contest.Total reach – Captures the number of followers of your participants at the time of submission. Meant to show you the potential reach of your campaign.Follower growth during contest – Measure how much your following increased during the contest’s time period.If your current audience is relatively small, and you don’t expect more than 30 submissions to your contest, you may decide to monitor your contest manually. To do this, assign someone the task of keeping track of submissions each day. At the end of the contest, someone will have to go through each submission and measure and write down the results from each submission.If you’re monitoring your contest manually, try using a tool like Tagboard or Google Alerts to keep track of when your hashtag is being mentioned online, making it easier to track submissions. (HubSpot customers: You can set up a custom Stream in your Social Monitoring tool to keep tabs on a specific hashtag. Learn more here.)If you’re expecting well over 30 submissions, however, you can imagine how difficult monitoring your submissions might be. If that’s the case, you may want to explore an Instagram-specific tool such as Iconosquare.10) Follow up accordingly.Once the contest is over, you can’t forget to follow up on the rules you set in the first place. Keep your terms and conditions in mind when reviewing the submissions to ensure that you’re being 100% fair in your evaluation.Again, this is why establishing your terms and conditions early on is so important, as it will provide you with an documented plan for selecting, contacting, and awarding the winner.Once you’ve selected and notified the winner, don’t forget to make the announcement publicly. Here’s an example of how to do so from D Magazine’s #StayCoolDallas contest:Ready to Run a Contest?Now that you know everything it takes to run a successful, engaging Instagram contest, go put your knowledge to work for your brand.Not only will you end up engaging and expanding your audience, but you’ll also end up with great new content you can use to inspire future content and contests.What tips do you have for running a successful Instagram contest? Share them in the comments below. Don’t forget to share this post! Social media. What better place to launch a social media contest than on social media? Direct your existing followers to the contest by including a shortened link in your bio and referencing that link in your promotional posts. With 400 million monthly active users and more than 80 million posts per day, Instagram has established itself as an obvious platform for brands looking to expand their reach and engage with their audience.Figuring out how to launch a successful Instagram contest, however, is much less obvious. Sure, it sounds like an effective strategy for stirring up conversation — it capitalizes on user generated content (UGC) and typically requires very little commitment for participants. But where do you start? And how can you be sure that you’re covering all the bases?Download 25 Free Business Instagram Templates.To help give you some direction, we put together a detailed list of steps to run through when planning an engaging Instagram contest. From setting goals to monitoring submissions, we’ve covered all of the basics below — and we’ve included some inspirational examples along the way. Check it out …Disclaimer: This blog post includes some information on legal issues surrounding internet marketing, but legal information is not the same as legal advice — applying the law to a specific circumstance. We’ve conducted research to better ensure that our information is accurate and useful, but we insist that you talk to a lawyer if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is accurate. In a nutshell, you may not rely on this information as legal advice, nor as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular legal understanding, and you should instead see this post’s info as for entertainment purposes only.How to Run an Instagram Contest: A 10-Step Guide1) Plan objectives and goals.Before you dive into an Instagram marketing contest, it’s important to plan it out first. The key to running a successful contest is to have a purpose — one that aligns with the interests and behaviors of your target audience.Whether you’re looking to grow your brand presence on Instagram or build out your list of followers, it’s important that you set a specific goal so that you’re not left wondering whether or not you were successful in the end.To help narrow your focus, think about the audience you’re trying to reach: What kinds of posts do they like seeing on your account? What kinds of posts do they enjoy posting on their own feeds? How do they behave on the platform? If you’re looking to drum up a lot of engagement, you should aim to center your goals and purpose around content that your audience actually wants to post and engage with.Don’t forget to establish a time frame and budget for your contest, as determining these logistical details upfront will help you design a more effective contest.2) Create an entry method.Although the most effective and engaging Instagram contests are those that actually prompt your audience to post their own photos, there are number of different ways brands can create contests on Instagram. Because of this, it’s important to establish and emphasize what it takes for your audience to actually enter the contest.Here are some ideas for how your audience might enter your contest:Have your audience post a photo or a video to Instagram with a specific hashtag and a specific theme.Have your audience solely follow you or do so in addition to creating a post.Have your audience tag your brand in their post.Have your audience Like or comment on one of your posts.Make sure you establish what the guidelines are for entering the contest, and make that clear on your promotional materials. Maybe your contest is centered around a hashtag that doesn’t include your brand name. If you still want your brand to be tagged to gain recognition, you have to make that clear in your rules.3) Find the perfect hashtag.A good hashtag is a key to any engaging Instagram contest. Without it, there’s no link between the contest and the content being generated. In other words, hashtags help create brand and/or contest recognition by serving as a mechanism for sharing and driving participation.Trouble is, creating the perfect hashtag can be tricky. If your contest is going to have a timeframe (and it should), you want to create a hashtag that you’re not going to want to use over and over again. Not to mention, there are tons of hashtags being created each day, making it difficult to land on something unique and catchy.To help you come up with the best fit, consider these contest hashtag guidelines:Short: Create a hashtag that sticks in people’s minds. The more readable and identifiable your hashtag is, the better it is for your contest.Relevant: Make sure you’re creating a hashtag that is very clearly related back to your brand name, product, or services. If you settle on a generic, crowded hashtag such as #ThrowbackThursday, it’s likely that you’ll have a hard time figuring out who your participants actually are.Memorable: Users are likely to see promotions for your contest prior to actually posting the content. This means your hashtag needs to be memorable enough for users to think about it once and remember to act sometime later. Try to make your hashtag catchy, easy to search, and easy to write. Avoid weird spellings and confusing word choices.Universal: Think about your audience. Does everyone speak the same language or use similar words? If you have an international audience, make sure you’re careful about using slang words or region-specific terms that might confuse people.Rare: Do a search before you choose a hashtag. Are there lots of users using your ideal hashtag for some other purposes? If so, you may want to head back to the drawing board.An example of an effective, engaging hashtag:Earlier this year, Mint.com, an online personal budgeting and financial management company, hosted their #MyMintMoment contest.The contest was well-designed for a number of reasons, one of which is its hashtag. The hashtag — #MyMintMoment — is simple, short, memorable, and easy to understand. It stayed on-brand and had a clear theme.The goal of the contest was to get users to post about the things they were saving for. Participants posted pictures of tattoos, vacations, weddings, children, cars — you name it.This is a great example of an effective hashtag, but it’s also a great example of how UGC can be used to drive marketing decisions. Think about it: Mint asked participants to share posts about things they were saving for. Sounds like an easy way to gain insight surrounding the unique motives and interests that fuel the usage of their service, doesn’t it?4) Clearly define a theme.Because most Instagram contests are UGC-based, it’s important to pick a theme so your users know what kinds of pictures and videos to post.Ideally, you want to a pick a theme that aligns with your market, product, or services. But you can also take advantage of holidays, seasons, and events that align with your product or brand.An example of an effective theme:Last summer, D Magazine, a city and lifestyle magazine based in Dallas, used the Texas summer heat to create an effective #StayCoolDallas contest. The contest encouraged participants to submit photos of ways to stay cool in the Dallas heat. Submissions included everything from cold drinks at favorite bars and restaurants to fun summer activities.This contest and hashtag worked particularly well because of the double meaning of the word “cool” — which ultimately left room for participants to get creative with their interpretations. This is a great example of how to make engagement super easy.While the hashtag wasn’t totally brand-specific, the theme was very much in line with their brand and passion for all things Dallas. And as a result of the contest, they were left with a ton of new material to get ideas for their next issue.5) Decide how winners will be chosen.Part of a well-designed contest is informing your participants of how the winner will be chosen. Most contests are determined based on one of two ways: a vote or a jury. Let’s explore how each option works …Voting:A great way to boost the virality of your contest is to have participants compete for the most Likes. If the prize is valuable enough, your participants will likely share their posts with their friends across channels in order to get as many Likes as possible.This strategy helps maximize your audience’s reach. At the same time, it can be detrimental to your contest, as you run into issues with folks using “Like bots” to gain artificial Likes. To avoid any complications here, you’ll want to put forth very specific rules that address the use of these types of workarounds. Jury:For the sake of quality and overall fairness, the jury method is the clear winner. With the jury method, you select a group of experts to decide upon a winner, rather than relying on a voting system.There are pros and cons to votes or juries, but no matter the way you choose, make sure to clearly state your method so your users know what they’re vying for. Many brands choose to have a mixed-method approach and use a combination of voting and jury to determine the winner.6) Choose an appropriate award.When determining what the award for you contest should be, you need to consider your target audience, your budgetary constraints, and how aggressive your goals are.Remember that by asking your audience to participate in the contest, you’re asking them to take action on something. As with any effort like this, you’ll need the value of the prize to outweigh the cost and energy required to enter the contest. While people might gloss over an opportunity to win a free t-shirt, it’s likely that they’d be willing to jump through a few hoops for something like a free trip.While your prize should match the entry action, it should also align with the interests of your target audience. Ask yourself: What might my target audience like to have? Your list of answers for this — budget not considered — might be huge. Sure, everyone wants that free trip we mentioned earlier, but that’s not the point. The goal is to find a prize that’s both valuable and relevant to your brand.Gift cards, free services, coupons, giveaways, and product goodie bags are all common prizes that brands use for contests, but we’re always in favor of getting creative, too.Example of a creative contest prize:One of our favorite examples of contest prizes was Sperry’s Photo Real Design Contest. Sperry encouraged users to post “epic photos” that represented an “odyssey.”Participants then submitted photos of all kinds of things — nature shots, colorful art, real people, etc. — to be judged based on creativity and the number of Likes it received. The winner that was chosen received a unique pair of Sperry shoes featuring their photo. Talk about a creative prize, right? Not to mention, it served as a great example of how brands can use contests to inspire real product ideas.7) Create terms & conditions.Don’t forget that when you create a competition with a prize, you must follow legal guidelines. The laws that will apply to you depend on where you’re based and who you allow to enter your contest, so you should consult your lawyer for help drafting your terms and conditions. Creating a terms & conditions page is a must.Here are some common terms people include:The name and contact details of the promoting brandThe dates of the contestThe rules of who can enter (such as age and employee restrictions)The guidelines for how people enterThe guidelines for how a winner is chosenThe date and way winners will be announcedThe date and way the winner will be informedThe time period the winner has to respond and claim their prizeThe specific of the prize (including number of prizes, description of prizes, and any caveats)The details of how the prize will be deliveredAcknowledge that the promotion isn’t sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram or any other social media used throughout the contest.Note: Check out Instagram’s Promotion guidelines and make sure to comply with their rules.8) Promote like crazy.Now that you’ve got a solid plan in place, it’s time to promote the heck out of your contest.Where’s the best place to start spreading the word? The possibilities are seemingly endless, but here are a few ideas to inspire your promotion efforts:Your blog. Write a post on your site detailing the contest, and use it as a launch point for your contest’s landing page.center_img Topics: Social Media Campaigns Originally published Jul 16, 2018 8:00:00 PM, updated November 29 2017last_img read more

YouTube Algorithm: The Constantly Updated Guide to YouTube’s Updates & Changes

first_img Topics: Since marketers are at the mercy of algorithms on nearly every publishing channel, knowing how each of these unique algorithms work is crucial to attracting and maintaining an audience. Luckily, while some channels are rather reserved about the secrets of their algorithms, YouTube, the most popular video platform, has been remarkably transparent.In 2016, YouTube published a research paper that provides a high-level overview of their recommendation system’s architecture, and they also launched a course for creators about getting discovered on their platform.Naturally, we wanted to read the paper and take the course to help you understand exactly how to boost your rankings on YouTube. Read on to learn what we discovered and how you can bolster your presence on the video platform.Download a Free 30-Day Planner for Your Business YouTube Channel.How does the YouTube algorithm work?YouTube’s algorithm serves the most relevant, personalized videos to their users on five different sections of their platform: search, home, suggested videos, trending, and subscriptions. By helping users find the videos they’re most likely to watch and enjoy, YouTube can keep viewers on the platform for as long as possible and get them to visit their site regularly.To figure out which videos and channels that users are most likely to enjoy watching, YouTube “follows” their audience, which means they track their users’ engagement with each video they watch. More specifically, they pay attention to which videos each user watches, what they don’t watch, how much time they spend watching each video, their likes and dislikes, and their “not interested in” feedback.Since their algorithm rewards engagement instead of vanity metrics like views and clicks, YouTube incentivizes creators to produce videos that they’re audience actually enjoys watching, discouraging them from trying to game the system.But YouTube’s algorithm also uses different signals and metrics to rank and recommend videos on each section of their platform. With this in mind, let’s go over how the algorithm decides to serve content to users on their search, home, suggested videos, trending, and subscriptions section.SearchThe two biggest factors that affect your videos’ search rankings are its keywords and relevance. When ranking videos in search, YouTube will consider how well your titles, descriptions, and content match each users’ queries. They’ll also consider how many videos users’ have watched from your channel and the last time they watched other videos surrounding the same topic as your video.Home & Suggested VideosNo two users will have the same experience on YouTube — they want to serve the most relevant, personalized recommendations to each of their viewers. To do this, they first analyze users’ activity history and find hundreds of videos that could be relevant to them.Then, they rank these videos by how well each video has engaged and satisfied similar users, how often each viewer watches videos from each channel or other videos surrounding the same topic, and how many times YouTube has already shown each video to users.YouTube has also noticed users tend to watch more content when they receive recommendations from a variety of channels, so they like the diversify their suggested videos feed and users’ homepages.TrendingThe trending page is a feed of new and popular videos in a user’s specific country. YouTube wants to balance popularity with novelty when they rank videos in this section, so they heavily consider view count and rate of view growth for each video they rank.SubscriptionsYouTube has a subscriptions page where users can view all the recently uploaded videos from the channels they subscribe to. But this page isn’t the only benefit channels get when they acquire a ton of subscribers.To determine rankings on their platform, YouTube uses a metric called view velocity, which measures the number of subscribers who watch your video right after it’s published. And the higher your video’s view velocity, the higher your videos will rank. YouTube also accounts for the number of active subscribers you have when they rank your videos.How to Optimize Your Videos for YouTube’s AlgorithmTo rank on YouTube, the first thing to consider is optimizing your videos and channel for popular search queries. To do this, place relevant keywords in your videos’ titles, tags, descriptions, SRT files (which are transcriptions), video files, and thumbnail files.You should also check out the most popular queries guiding viewers to your videos, which you can find in YouTube’s Search Report. If these queries are slightly different than your video’s topic, consider updating your video to fill these content gaps and add the keywords to your metadata. If there’s a stark difference, consider making new videos about these popular queries.The next thing to consider when ranking on YouTube is optimizing your videos and channel for engagement. To generate engagement, though, you first need to attract users’ attention. And one of the best ways to instantly grab users’ attention is by creating vibrant thumbnails for each of your videos.Thumbnails, the small, clickable snapshots that viewers see when they search for videos on YouTube, can be just as important as a video’s title. They preview your video and entice viewers to click through. The brain is also programmed to respond to striking visuals, and this can help you differentiate yourself on a platform clogged with standard thumbnails all screaming for attention.To create a striking thumbnail, consider including a talking head. People are naturally drawn to human faces because it’s an ingrained survival mechanism to help us quickly gauge someone’s emotions and determine if they’re a threat or friend. Research Gate also discovered that Instagram photos with faces are 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more likely to receive comments. Additionally, consider contrasting the colors of your thumbnail’s foreground and background to really make it pop.Once you’ve attracted users’ attention, you can engage them by creating a bingeable series or show. You can also create playlists about a certain topic that start off with the videos that have the highest audience retention rate. This will increase the odds that users will watch most of the videos in your playlists, boosting your channel and videos’ watch time.Another way to refine your overall video strategy is measuring your videos’ performance against engagement metrics, like watch time, average watch percentage, average view duration, audience retention, and average session duration. If you can figure out which topics and videos generate the most engagement, and you solely focus on creating those types of content, you’ll be able to shoot up YouTube’s search results page and suggested videos feed. Youtube Marketing Originally published Aug 12, 2019 3:20:00 PM, updated October 30 2019 Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

BWF rankings: PV Sindhu drops to world no. 6, Parupalli Kashyap jumps to 25th spot

first_imgWorld champion PV Sindhu slipped a place to the sixth spot after a poor run in the last two weeks but former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap continued his good run, breaking into the top 25 in the latest BWF ranking on Tuesday.Olympic silver medallist Sindhu, who made early exits at the China Open and Korea Open, dropped to world no 6 spot after five months and the former world no 2 shuttler will look to make amends at the Denmark Open and French Open.Former world no 6, Kashyap was rewarded for his creditable semifinal finish at last week’s Korea Open Super 500 event as he improved five places to reach the world no 25 spots.”I am feeling good. I need to maintain fitness and keep working hard. Maybe, now top 20 by year-end can be possible,” Kashyap told PTI.Saina Nehwal remained static at world no 8 spot despite her opening-round loss at Korea, where she had to battle a stomach ailment.Among other Indians, Kidambi Srikanth, B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma improved a place each to occupy the world no 9, 12 and 17th spots respectively.Thailand Open winners Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty remained at the 12th spot in men’s doubles, while Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, who had finished runners-up at the Maldives, gained a spot to reach 19th position.Also Read | Clearly, he’s a few steps ahead: Parupalli Kashyap on losing to Kento Momota in Korea Open semifinalsAlso See:last_img read more

NC delegation meets Farooq, Omar Abdullah in Srinagar

first_imgA 15-member National Conference (NC) delegation on Sunday met party president Farooq Abdullah and leader Omar Abdullah in Srinagar.As the delegation reached his residence, Farooq Abdullah and his wife Molly came out to greet his party members. The octogenarian smiled as he flashed a victory sign to the cameras — his first public appearance since being detained under the Public Safety Act. Farooq Abdullah and his wife Molly. (Photo: ANI)Later, the NC delegation also clicked photos with Farooq Abdullah and his wife. #WATCH National Conference (NC) leaders Hasnain Masoodi and Akbar Lone meet former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah and his wife Molly Abdullah at their residence in Srinagar pic.twitter.com/G842irK9NJANI (@ANI) October 6, 2019The security was beefed around the venue. DELEGATION MEETS OMAR ABDULLAH The delegation led by Jammu’s provincial chief of the party Davinder Singh Rana met former chief Minister Omar Abdullah at Hari Nivas for little over 30 minutes.This was the first meeting of Omar with a party delegation after he was detained on August 5, a day when the Centre announced abrogation of special status to the state under Article 370.Omar, who was sporting a beard, was seen clicking a selfie with party leaders.The delegation then drove to Farooq Abdullah’s residence.WHAT HAPPENED IN MEETEmerging after the meeting, Rana told reporters that for any political process to begin, the leaders of the party need to be released.There is “anguish about developments particularly about lockdown of the people and we, as a party, appeal that the political process to start and democracy to revive in Jammu and Kashmir political detenues anywhere and everywhere, whether from mainstream political parties or otherwise who have no criminal record, may be released to initiate the process and the hearts and minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir are won,” he said.He said the party, which has a legacy, history and a chequered track record, was of unanimous view that it would continue to strive for the welfare of the people and shall continue to work for communal harmony, brotherhood, togetherness and keep the secular fabric of the state shining.Coming out of the meeting Devender Singh Rana said, “We are happy that they are both well and in high spirits, of course they are pained by the developments in the state. If the political process has to start then mainstream leaders have to be released.”Devender Rana,National Conference after meeting Farooq and Omar Abdullah: We are happy that they are both well and in high spirits, of course they are pained by the developments in the state. If the political process has to start then mainstream leaders have to be released. pic.twitter.com/KC9PLeneLDANI (@ANI) October 6, 2019NC SAYS NO TO CIVIC POLLSOn a question about the party’s participation in block development committee elections, Rana said, “See there is a complete lockdown. If the political process has to start then these members have to be released.Rana said, “After restrictions on political leaders in Jammu were removed, we held a meeting in which it was decided that we will approach governor (S P Malik) to seek his permission to have an audience with the president and the vice president of the party”.Asked about the party’s stand on the upcoming Block Development Council (BDC) elections, Rana said for any political process to start in the state, the mainstream political leaders should be released first.In case of NC, even if we want to contest the BDC elections, the 380 panchayats that exist, the mandate has to be signed by the party president who has been unfortunately detained under the PSA, he said.The NC leader said the party’s working committee would decide on the future course of action whenever the party leaders including the NC president and vice-president would be released.Let them be released, then the working committee of the party will meet and discuss and then we will formulate a strategy for the future, Rana said when questioned about the party’s future strategy.GOVERNOR ALLOWS MEETRana had sought permission from Governor Satya Pal Malik in this regard.National Conference spokesperson Madan Mantoo said the decision to meet the Abdullahs was taken at an emergent meeting of senior functionaries and district presidents of the Jammu Province two days ago, soon after restrictions on the movement of Jammu-based National Conference leaders were lifted.Eighty-one-year-old Farooq Abdullah is under house arrest at his Srinagar residence while his son Omar is detained at a state guest house.After the Central government decided to revoke the special constitutional status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) under Article 370, two months ago, the region was placed under a communications blockade and several mainstream political leaders, including the father-son duo and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti were put under house arrest.READ | NC delegation to finally meet Farooq, Omar Abdullah todayREAD | Kashmiri leaders will be released one by one, says J&K governor’s adviserREAD | SC refuses to further entertain plea for producing Farooq AbdullahWATCH | NC delegation meets detained leader Farooq Abdullah in Srinagarlast_img read more

Bigil becomes second most liked trailer on YouTube after SRK’s Zero

first_imgVijay is gearing up for the release of his forthcoming film, Bigil, which is all set to hit the theatres on Diwali. Directed by Atlee, the film is tipped to be an emotional sports drama starring Nayanthara, Jackie Shroff, Kathir, Indhuja Ravichandran and others in important roles.On October 12, the trailer of Bigil was released online and has been trending on top for two days now. At this point, Bigil’s trailer has become the second most liked trailer on YouTube with Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero topping the charts.Here’s the trailer of Bigil:Going by the numbers, Zero’s trailer has clocked in 1.9 million likes while Bigil is trailing behind with 1.8 million likes on YouTube. It is expected that Bigil might surpass Zero’s record in the coming days. This has made Vijay’s fans ecstatic.Here’s the trailer of Zero:Bigil’s trailer featuring Vijay and Nayanthara has garnered over 2 crore views in two days and the count is expected to increase in the coming days. The social media is flooded with wishes from celebrities in Kollywood, Bollywood and general audience who claim that they’re blown away by the visuals.Shah Rukh Khan, who watched the trailer of Bigil took to Twitter to reveal that the trailer looks like ‘Chak De on steroids.’ He wrote, “Wish my friends @Atlee_dir & #ThalapathyVijay & @arrahman all the best for this one. Like a Chake De On steroids!! (sic)”Wish my friends @Atlee_dir & #ThalapathyVijay & @arrahman all the best for this one. Like a Chake De On steroids!! https://t.co/pzvpQ3ImkoShah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) October 12, 2019Celebrities from Bollywood including Karan Johar and Varun Dhawan lauded the team of Bigil and conveyed their wishes. Karan Johar posted, “What an outstanding trailer this is Atlee!!!!!! Has BLOCKBUSTER written all over it!!!!! It’s going to MASSIVE!!!! Big congratulations to Thalapathy Vijay and the team!!! (sic)”What an outstanding trailer this is Atlee!!!!!! Has BLOCKBUSTER written all over it!!!!! It’s going to MASSIVE!!!! Big congratulations to Thalapathy Vijay and the team!!! https://t.co/uh0v3w5feBKaran Johar (@karanjohar) October 12, 2019Bigil will showcase Vijay in dual roles, as Rayappan (father) and Michael (son). While the father Vijay is a gangster in North Chennai, his son Michael is a football coach. Produced by AGS Entertainments, the film is said to be made on a huge budget of Rs 180 crore.ALSO SEE | Vijay’s Bigil trailer out, Shah Rukh Khan calls it Chak De on steroidsALSO SEE | Jackie Shroff on Bigil: Vijay is one of the finest actorsALSO WATCH | Cauvery water dispute: Tamil actors join protest demanding management boardlast_img read more

Alex Carey to lead Australia A for three-day tour match against Pakistan

first_imgUsman Khawaja has the chance to win back his place in Australia’s Test lineup after being named Tuesday in an Australia A team to play Pakistan in a three-day tour match next month.Khawaja, who was dropped after the third Ashes Test in England in August, has been named beside test hopefuls Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Will Pucovski and Nic Maddinson for the day-night match at Perth Stadium from Nov. 11.The match offers players a last chance to impress selectors before the first test against Pakistan which starts at Brisbane’s Gabba ground on Nov. 21.Khawaja made 122 runs at an average of 20.3 in the first three Tests of the Ashes series before being dropped for the fourth.He recovered some form in the domestic Marsh Cup one-day series this season with back-to-back centuries for Queensland against Victoria.Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann has been among those backing Khawaja’s recall, citing his excellent test record in Australia.”If you look at his record in Australia on its own it’s outstanding,” Lehmann told Fairfax Media. “He had to come back and make runs and he has done that in his first two games in the Marsh Cup, has made very good hundreds for Queensland.”Again, it will get down to (Sheffield) Shield performances I suppose but if you look at horses for courses in Australia, he has been very good.”Harris is the incumbent test opener and likely to retain his place but two places appear to remain open in the Australia batting lineup; another opener and No. 6. Mitch Marsh left the No. 6 spot vacant when he injured his hand punching a wall after his dismissal in a Shield match earlier this month.advertisementPucovski has a chance to seal the spot after narrowly missing out on a test debut against Sri Lanka last summer.Head, who was vice-captain during the Ashes series, has also batted at No. 6 but has yet to find form in the domestic first class competition. He was overlooked for the captaincy of the Australia A team in favor of wicketkeeper Alex Carey.Maddinson is seen as an outsider for test selection.”Will Pucovski and Nic Maddinson have started the season strongly for Victoria and we’re looking forward to giving them an opportunity to perform against a quality international team,” national selector Trevor Hohns said. “Both are exciting batsmen whom we’ve had our eye on for some time.”We will closely monitor performances in this match as well as the coming rounds of the Sheffield Shield before deciding upon our squad for the two-yest series against Pakistan.”___Australia XI: Alex Carey (captain), Marcus Harris, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Will Pucovski, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Sean Abbott, Riley Meredith.last_img read more

Avinash Sable expected to train in USA for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

first_img3000m steeplechase runner Avinash Sable’s exploits at the world stage was duly rewarded as he is all set to train in the USA from December onwards for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.The 24-year-old runner from Maharashtra who qualified for the Olympics at the World Championships in Doha last month is expected to join fellow mid-distance runner Jinson Johnson inColorado Springs, where the 1500m runner is currently training under the American Distance Project with coach Scott Simmons.Plans are currently underway for my training in the US and the visa process has already started. If things go the right way, I will be in the US for training as soon as next month, Avinash told Mail Today.Shifting his training base to Colorado Springs will also mean the athlete will part ways with his long-term coach Amrish Kumar, who trained the athlete along with other long and mid-distance runners at SAI national camp in Bengaluru.The track and field athlete, who was included in Target Olympic Podium Scheme last year, told the paper back in August this year that he wishes to train in the USA and will write to Sports Authority of India (SAI) for funds to train abroad once he qualifies for the Olympics.Avinash improved his national record twice to qualify for the Olympics. The runner clocked 8:21.37 seconds in the final race which breaching the qualifying mark of 8:22.00s in Doha.The steeplechaser then took part in the Military Games in Wuhan last month, where he failed to finish the final race after he injured his knee while hitting one of the hurdles.advertisementUpdating on the injury, Avinash said he has almost recovered from the injury and is already back on the track and is training currently at the national camp in Patiala.last_img read more

Choosing Donor Software: Things to Remember

first_imgSource: http://www.asmallchange.net/ Don’t have a Technology Plan? Now might be a good time to put one together. There are many resources available to assist you with this. Remember that this process will not just impact development – but other departments as well. A strong technology plan and strategy will ensure the best choice possible.Hire a consultant or find a technology savvy volunteer. If you don’t have the expertise on staff, then find someone. It is strongly recommended that you go through this process with someone on your side of the table that knows technology and your agency. I don’t like the “us versus them” attitude, but Sales Reps spend all of their time figuring out how to close the deal. That’s what they do.Remember that the software can help you with your development success – it cannot create it for you. In other words – if you do not have good fundraising “best practices” in place now, then even the best most expensive software in the world cannot help. Start at the basics and work your way up.Keep your eye out on happenings in the software industry through trade publications. The donor management software industry is under-going heavy consolidation, and unfortunately that means smaller companies get swallowed up, and their products disappear in favor of the big boy that bought them out.Can your agency pass “Stable and Secure” benchmarks? Will the software even run on your systems that are 8 years old and running Windows 98? What about security? Remember – you will often have credit card information and other important personal data – is it safe from hackers or snoops? If you are not sure about the security level of your network – go back and review “Step Two”.The bottom line is that although the process is long and arduous at times, hang in there! Use the resources that are available to you. Very little of the research you will do has not already been done elsewhere. The best strategy in this case is to have a strategy.In my estimation the best donor management package out there is the one that is being used, day in and day out, and getting the job done.last_img read more

Benefit exchange week finale: credibility

first_imgHere’s the last of my thoughts, pulled from my book, on benefit exchanges. Don’t forget: you can’t ask for action without them!If we make promises about our nonprofit, especially bold ones, we need to support them. We don’t need to quantify every reward or produce scientific evidence for every point we propose. We simply need to show that our benefit exchange is credible. In other words, we need to ensure that the action we ask for is feasible and the reward we offer is possible.Facts and figures are one approach to sounding reliable, but the problem is that they are quickly forgotten. Also, a lot of people don’t trust them. We need to make statistics as personal as possible so they will be remembered and believed. The average person won’t recall how many pounds of nitrates run off into a river or the concentration of E. coli in parts per million in an aquifer, but they will remember the poop in the tap water.A slew of psychological studies have shown that vivid personal stories are incredibly convincing, far more so than quantifiable statistics. I make many decisions about the products I buy, the books I read, and the places I go based on recommendations from people I respect. I think the person who offers the testimonial or stars in the success story we use is as important as the story itself. The right messengers lend great credibility to our claims. We should choose messengers who are known or respected by our audience or their immediate peers. We can also add credibility to our message by convincing our audience it can take action without too much effort and fuss. If an action seems like a big undertaking, that perception will undermine the idea that rewards are attainable. For this reason a lot of private-sector advertising has the word easy in it. It’s also why people love remote controls and drive-through windows. We don’t want to have to work too hard to get what we want.Another approach is showing our audience members that many people like them are taking the action. Social psychologists and marketing experts talk about the power of “social norms” or “social proof.” Social proof is the powerful idea that if we believe everyone is acting in a certain way, we’re likely to act that way too. We’re conformists by nature, and we take our cues about how to think and what to do from those around us.last_img read more

10 Common Objections to Social Media Adoption and How You Can Respond

first_imgIt can be hard to convince leadership that working with social media doesn’t mean they’ve been paying you to catch up with friends on Facebook. You’ve probably heard some of the objections. But there are ways you can respond. Here’s a list of common objections, along with suggestions for countering them:1. I suffer from information overload already.Possible replies:Try just skimming messages in some fora. You may need to look closely at every email you get but you don’t have to look at every Facebook friend’s update.The right tools for you will feel helpful in time. Experiment for awhile with new tools and stick with the ones that deliver you the most high-quality information, whether those tools are high-quantity or not. (Thanks to Aaron Hockley and Ruby Sinreich for these thoughts.)Check out tools like AideRSS and FeedHub — just two examples of services aiming to improve the signal-to-noise ratio.Times change and so do information paradigms. Get used to it. The amount of information you had access to 3 years ago was infinitely more than people at any other point in history and we’re in the middle of another huge leap right now.2. So much of what’s discussed online is meaningless. These forms of communication are shallow and make us dumber. We have real work to do!Possible replies:Much of it is not meaningless, but if you feel overwhelmed with meaninglessness, try subscribing to a search for keywords in a particular service and using that as your starting point for engagement.Having a presence and starting a conversation is rarely a bad thing. Bring quality conversation to a space and you’ll find others ready to engage. (Thanks to Banana Lee Fishbones, obviously a fan of open, non-anonymous public communication for this articulation.)Personal information can be very useful in understanding the context of more explicitly useful information.If learning how the market feels about your organization, engaging with your customers and driving traffic to your web work — all very realistic goals for social media engagement — aren’t work, then I don’t know what is. Even in the short term, strategic engagement with online social media will have a clear work pay-off.3. I don’t have the time to contribute and moderate. It looks like it takes a lot of time and energy.Possible replies:If you aren’t going to eat that lunch of yours, I’d be happy to, thanks.With practice, familiarity, and technology fine-tuned with a little experience, you’ll find the time required will decrease.You might consider this time spent on marketing or communication with your existing customer base. Perhaps there’s something else in that department that isn’t working well and could be replaced with online work.4. Our customers don’t use this stuff. The learning curve limits its usefulness to geeks.Possible replies:You might be surprised to learn how many of your customers do use these new tools already. Even more will do so in the future.The best designed tools are designed like good games: you can get small rewards right away and then learn more advanced skills to win bigger rewards. Among online services that are intended for general audiences, only poorly designed ones are too geeky.Many of these tools provide value vastly disproportionate to the literal number of people they reach. These are like high-value focus groups where you’ll gather information and preparation to engage with the rest of the world.Try asking someone near you to give you an in-person demonstration of one of these tools. You’ll find it much easier to learn once you’ve seen the right paths taken to show what it can do.5. Communicators [bloggers, tweeters] are so fickle, it’s better to stay unengaged than risk random brand damage. We don’t want hostile comments left about us on any forum we’ve legitimized.Possible replies:If you need to, you can require that any comments left on your own site be approved before they appear. This slows down the conversation but if it makes conversation possible for you, then do it.There are far fewer people who will take the time to say hostile things, even on the internet, than you might imagine.Engage. You’ll be appreciated more for it. People are going to say what they are going to say. You can either let any criticism go unanswered or you can be the bigger person/brand for responding well.Conversations are going to happen online. It’s better to be engaged than to have it happening behind your back. (As articulated by Rick Turoczy.)It’s OK, no one believes that anyone is perfect anymore. Swing for the fences sometimes. You might strike out, but sometimes you’ll hit a home run.Even if you’re not responding publicly, you should watch closely so you know what people are saying. Maybe you don’t have a blog, but subscribe to a blogsearch feed or alert for your company’s name. Maybe none of your people are on Twitter, but you can subscribe to a feed for a search via Terraminds.6. Traditional media and audiences are still bigger. We’ll do new stuff when they do.Possible replies:They already are, from blogging to online video to social networks to mobile to microblogging. Big, established brands are already doing all of it. They may be experimenting, but they will bring all their market dominance into the most useful social media sectors as soon as it suits them. Will that be too late for you? It might be.Traditional media audiences are also more passive. Online audiences can engage with, rebroadcast, and otherwise amplify your communication efforts.7. Upper management won’t support it/dedicate resources for it.Possible replies:A lot of technology adoption has for some time had to happen despite this reality. People adopt new tools on their own at work, without permission. They discover powerful ways to solve their problems and then they share them horizontally.Compared to other expenses, meaningful engagement with new online technology does not have huge costs.8. These startups can’t offer meaningful security. They may not even be around in a year. I’ll wait until Google or our enterprise software vendor starts offering this kind of functionality.Possible replies:The skills you build and the connections you make will remain with you, though. This is a paradigm shift underway more than it is about any particular tool.Chose your tools carefully. Expect data export as an option so you can back up or switch services whenever you need to. This isn’t widespread yet but the best tools allow it.9. There are so many tools that are similar. I can’t tell where to invest my time so I don’t use any of it at all.Possible replies:A little experimentation goes a long way.Try asking people in your field who have some experience what tools they are using.Try searching for keywords related to your work in various sites. You’ll find out that way which sites are best suited for you.10. That stuff’s fine for sexy brands, but we sell [insert boring B2B brand] and are known for stability more than chasing the flavor-of-the-month. We’re doing just fine with the tools we’ve got, thanks.Possible replies:Some of these things — RSS and wikis, for example — aren’t passing social fads: they are emerging best practices and the state-of-the-art.ROI is very hard to measure, but try allocating a little energy over time to experiment and see what kind of results you get. From connections between people and projects, to search-friendly inbound links, to early access to important information, the benefits of engaging in new social media go on and on.ConclusionsThere are no conclusions. This is just a conversation. Please feel free to add your thoughts in comments and check out the comments to read what others suggest as talking points when faced with these objections.Source: ReadWriteWeb @ http://readwriteweb.com/last_img read more