Xiaomi’s Redmi 4 successor, aka the Redmi 5, may be on its way to the market — in China, to begin with — sooner than one would have imagined. Official product shots and full specs of the alleged Redmi 5 have now found their way on to the Internet leaving nothing to the imagination. If that wasn’t enough, even their supposed pricing is now out in the open.As per the images shared on social media website Weibo, the Redmi 5 will come with a full-metal body and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. It will sport a 5-inch 1080p display which will be a first for any Xiaomi phone selling under Rs 10,000. It will broadly be available in two variants: one with Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 and 3GB RAM and another with Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 and 4GB RAM. While the Snapdragon 625 version will further have 16GB and 32GB storage options, the Snapdragon 630 powered Redmi 5 will reportedly be available in 64GB storage option only. All the versions will support expandable storage.Furthermore, the Redmi 5 will offer a 16-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The dual-SIM phone will run Android Nougat-based MIUI 9 and come with a 3,680mAh battery with fast charging.In terms of pricing, the Redmi 5 will reportedly start at 859 CNY (which roughly translates to Rs 8,139) for the 3GB RAM/16GB storage version and go all the way to 1,099 CNY (which roughly translates to Rs 10,413) for the 4GB RAM/64GB storage version. The 3GB RAM/32GB storage version will reportedly be priced at 1,039 CNY (which roughly translates to Rs 9,844).advertisementXiaomi may also be silently working on a Redmi 4A successor, aka the Redmi 5A, which may launch alongside the Redmi Note 5. An image doing the rounds of the Internet recently showed off what was said to be a retail box, or rather, retail boxes of the alleged Redmi 5A.The Redmi 4A is currently the most affordable smartphone in the company’s Redmi-range in India and can be considered as a toned-down version of the Redmi 3S Prime, or for that matter, an even more affordable Redmi 3S. In India, the phone sells for Rs 5,999. The Redmi 5A is expected to be on similar lines.Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi 4 review: Redmi 3S Prime HD remaster
Originally published Sep 10, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Is that a lame title — “Common Headline Writing Myths We Should All Stop Believing”?I could have tried something with a lot more sizzle and punch, right? Like these …OMG! I Just Discovered Why I’m Losing Traffic! Wait Until You See Them!I Won’t Be Able To Sleep For Weeks! The Freaky Reasons Why I’m Losing Traffic! Mind: Blown! This Guy Knew Something Was Wrong With His Traffic. Wait Until You Find Out What He Discovered!Can This Be Real? The Secrets That I Just Realized About My Traffic! My Life Will Never Be The Same!You’ve seen titles like that. You’ve clicked them. And you’ve wondered, should I be writing titles like this?This style of headline (combined with a few well-placed pictures) is popularized by viral sites to generate huge amounts of traffic. Who wouldn’t want to click on videos of Coke in toilet bowls, men hugging lions, and babies sticking their hands in dog’s mouths?Though headlines like these have been popularlized, they often perpetuate some of the most deadly headline creation myths. I’m going to take you on a tour of just a few of them, and hopefully caution you against some of the traffic-killing side effects that they may have. Debunking Common Headline Writing MythsMyth #1: Always write curiosity gap headlines.Truth: Overusing curiosity gap titles can ruin your credibility.One of the most successful headline styles has been the “curiosity gap” headline, also known as the “emotional intrigue” headline. The information gap theory of curiosity states that people are driven by the desire to gain some new knowledge or information. When a headline can successfully create such a gap in a user’s knowledge, it pulls them in with an intense feeling of curiosity.The idea was explained by George Loewenstein in his monograph, “The Psychology of Curiosity” published by the American Psychological Association. FastCoDesign explained the theory succinctly:First, a situation reveals a painful gap in our knowledge (that’s the headline), and then we feel an urge to fill this gap and ease that pain (that’s the click). The downside of the information- or curiosity-gap theory is that it can degrade credibility if the content doesn’t deliver on what the headline promises. A headline is the reader’s first opportunity to determine credibility. If a headline does not immediately establish integrity, then the content is less likely to be trusted. (And being trusted is what makes people actually read your article — which is what you wanted them to do in the first place.)Do clickbait headlines work? Absolutely. Are they okay for some sites or articles? Sure. Does that mean you should use them in every piece of your content marketing? Maybe not.In other words, mind the gap.Myth #2: Write salacious or sensational headlines.Truth: Sensational titles can alienate your readers. There’s a ton of clickable value in sensational headlines, but they also come with a long-term traffic-stopping effect. But let me drive back to a crucial starting point in headline creation — is this right for your audience? Perhaps it is. But perhaps, like many writers have experienced, the only benefit of a headline that drips with voyeuristic appeal is a few extra clickthroughs and then a fistful of lost traffic. As soon as people get to your site and realize that the link has been a ploy to get more traffic, they’ll bounce — possibly forever.Myth #3: Embrace shocking headlines.Truth: Shocking headlines can reduce your perceived value to existing readers. Is there value to shocking headlines? There may be some limited traffic uptick, but such headlines don’t often provide true value.We love to be shocked. Surprising experiences release a surge of dopamine into our system — the feel-good neurotransmitter. With this kind of experience, shock value headlines are appealing on a surface level.On another level, however, they are empty and unfulfilling. Here’s why:Shocking headlines lack depth. The headline gets us, but is there content to back it up? Only rarely.Shocking headlines feel desperate. In the vast quantity of information on the Internet, it’s hard to get clicks, shares, and reads. We have to stretch to get to a high degree of shock. And when we do that, it’s obvious and unappealing.Shocking headlines are void of quality. Shocking tabloid-like headlines often lead to articles that are built upon opinion or rumor rather than reliable fact. This is a dangerous place to be as a content marketer.Moz’s Isla McKetta nailed it when she wrote:For me, reading headlines on BuzzFeed and Upworthy and their ilk is like talking to the guy at the party with all those super wild anecdotes. He’s entertaining, but I don’t believe a word he says, soon wish he would shut up, and can’t remember his name five seconds later. Maybe I don’t believe in clickability as much as I thought …So where does this lead us? If we reject the myths of popular headline creation, then what do we do? Can we write a perfect headline?How to Write the Perfect HeadlineI’m convinced that there is no such thing as the perfect headline. Searching for the perfect headline is like finding the perfect cloud. What defines a perfect cloud? What if it’s gone by the time I look? Why is that one perfect, and not the one that it morphs into two minutes later?Headlines follow trends. They adjust to the nuances of cultural interest. They vary within a changing subcultural milieu. Most importantly, the ideal headline depends 100% on the particular audience to which it is addressed.Here is what you can do to write btter headlines.Think about what your readers want.Your goal is not just to write a headline that builds up tons of clicks. Instead, you want a headline that speaks to the interests and needs of your readership. What if the New York Times, for example, started featuring articles about mind-blowing pictures of baby seals swimming in bathtubs with babies, or some other silly style of headline? I think that would probably not be the type of headline that their readership is interested in. Similarly Macrumors could hardly get away with an article about Biggest Collection of Most Hilarious Cat Videos of All Time.Don’t just think about how a headline will attract more traffic — think about if it’s attracting more of the right traffic. Sustain credibility.Your authority and reputation as an author is on the line when you create a headline. That headline will be attached to your name for the forever of the Internet. What does that headline say about your credibility? Can you be trusted by your audience to provide relevant news and trustworthy information? Barry Schwartz (the psychologist, not the SEO) is probably never going to write an article like this:Why not? Because Barry Schwartz is a respected author, a professor, and a leader in decision psychology. So don’t just focus on how a headline could bring in more of your readers — think about how it helps shape their perception of you.Deliver value.Value is more important than clickability. Articles that deliver on the promise of the headline and help solve problems are the kind of articles that will give long term significance to your readers.The problem with a lot of the clickbait articles is that they don’t hold up their end of the bargain — after a user clicks on the title, they find themselves staring at an article that was way over-hyped. In the end, don’t spend your time chasing the perfect headline in order to garner more clicks. Instead, focus on crafting a headline that will bring you more readers (not clickers), sustain your credibility, and bring value to your audience.Image credit: MondayDots Blog Headlines Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
The Holiday Season. It’s a season of giving. A season of eating, drinking, and being merry. And, most importantly of all, it’s a season of buying biomorphic robots, sleeved blankets, and sexually suggestive fitness equipment.Don’t worry, all of those references will make sense soon … I think. But the main point here is that each and every holiday season, we’re presented with a fresh array of “must-have” products, from toys and trinkets to consumer electronics.Now, some of these products go on to become store shelf staples, returning each and every holiday season while gaining (or at least, maintaining) market share. Other products never take off, and are pulled from store shelves before they ever get any real market penetration.And then, we have the fads: products that drive people bonkers for a holiday season or two before seeming to disappear completely.I’m sure you can recall at least a few of these fads from the 1990s: the golden era of holiday toy fads. There was Tamagotchi, Beanie Babies, Furby, Power Rangers … the list goes on and on.For the purposes of this post, however, I’ll be looking at the next generation of holiday product fads: product fads from the 2000s. And I’ll be using Google Trends to illustrate how interest in particular products has changed over time.Let’s get to it!RoboSapienIt walks. It talks. It grabs stuff. It throws stuff. Heck, it can even do kung fu!Yes, my friends, I’m talking about everyone’s favorite biomorphic robot toy, the RoboSapien. Never heard of it? Welp, that’s because after its 2004 heyday — which saw 2 million units sold — the RoboSapien sort of took a nosedive.Check out the Google Trends chart below to see how interest in the RoboSapien peaked in December of 2004, before gradually declining.Interestingly, RoboSapien was used as an example in a free, online business and marketing book. And I think this book can help shed some light on what happened.The problem? Too. much. hype.“Robosapien was also getting lots of free publicity. Stories appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world, including the New York Times, The Times of London, TIME magazine, and National Parenting magazine,” the book notes.“Commentators on The Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, ABC News, and FOX News remarked on it; it was even the talk of the prestigious New York Toys Fair. It garnered numerous awards, and experts predicted that it would be a hot item for the holidays.”Those experts, of course, were right. RoboSapien was indeed a hot item for the 2004 holiday season, and interest flickered again in the 2005 and 2006 holiday seasons … before tapering off for good.SnuggieIt’s a blanket. It’s a bathrobe. It’s not supposed to be worn instead of actual clothes, but hey, I didn’t read the instructions!Oh, the Snuggie. The most popular “sleeved blanket” (that’s the generic term, no joke — I looked it up) of all time.The Google Trends analysis of interest in “Snuggie” tells the story of the sleeved blanket fad perfectly.First, we see an initial spike in the 2008 holiday season when the Snuggie is launched. By the 2009 holiday season — that massive spike you see — the Snuggie is a cultural phenomenon, and is the target of many-a-late night talk show host.So, why does interest in the Snuggie eventually peter out? My answer: market saturation.Everybody and their dog has a freakin’ Snuggie. I have one. And I have no clue where it is.According the Huffington Post, it only took until 2010 for 25 million Americans to have Snuggies. That’s about 1 in 12 Americans. And of course, that number has only grown.You can see in the Google Trends chart that while interest is considerably lower compared to its 2009 heyday, Snuggies are still getting mini-spikes in interest every holiday season.Shake WeightImage credit: Herrea“Call it this year’s Snuggie.”That’s the opening line of a 2010 CNBC article about the Shake Weight: the almost too-suggestive-and-weird-to-be-true oscillating dumbbell that racked up more than $40 million in sales in 2010.You can see in the Google Trends chart that interest in Shake Weight peaked during the 2010 holiday season (specifically in December). But after that, there was a fairly steep decline.Of course, we can also see that search interest in Shake Weight hasn’t fizzled out completely. Why is that? For starters, it’s still so darn funny, people are still talking about it and cracking jokes about it. There are still also plenty of people out there debating the Shake Weight’s effectiveness. Does it really tone your arms, or is its sole purpose to make people uncomfortable?I’ll leave that question to the experts.Xbox vs. PlayStationMicrosoft’s Xbox vs. Sony’s PlayStation: It’s the Red Sox / Yankees rivalry of the video game console world.In terms of search interest (comparing the search term “Xbox” with the search term “PlayStation”), Xbox is the clear winner. But keeping with the holiday theme, the more important thing to notice is when spikes in interest in those two search terms happen. And, of course, the answer is during the holiday season — specifically December.Now, if we drill down and look at the individual Xbox and PlayStation consoles that are competing with each other for interest, we can notice a cool trend. As interest in the next generation of consoles rises, interest in the older generation drops (which makes total sense — consumers are moving on to the latest innovation, the better version). In the chart below, you can see interest in the Xbox console (blue) and PlayStation 2 console (red) declining, while interest in the next generation Xbox 360 (yellow) and PlayStation 3 (green) increasing, eventually overtaking their predecessors.In this next chart, we’re taking the Xbox 360 (blue) and the PlayStation 3 (red), and comparing them to the next generation of consoles: the Xbox One (yellow) and the PlayStation 4 (green). As you can see, interest in the next generation is on the rise.In a sense, Microsoft and Sony are manufacturing mini-fads. They want interest in their new consoles to (eventually) fizzle out so consumers can start getting excited about their even newer consoles.And so far, the strategy has paid off. Sony and Microsoft haven’t sold millions of consoles, they haven’t sold tens of millions of consoles … they’ve sold hundreds of millions. And they’re able to do that by continually coming out with newer — and presumably, better — iterations of their products. The Return of Tickle Me ElmoIn 1996, Tyco Toys took a beloved Muppet character, turned him into a cyborg, and convinced children across the country to tickle him. Then, the cyborg-with-stuffing would laugh at these children.Needless to say, it was a huge success! In addition to Tyco seeing its sales increase from $70 million to $350 million in 1996 thanks to Tickle Me Elmo, an entire secondary market (a.k.a. “black market”) developed around the toy during the 1996 holiday season. There was so much demand, desperate parents were willing to pay well above market price for this plush little bugger. Of course, Google wasn’t around in 1996, so we can’t use Google Trends to analyze Tickle Me Elmo’s search interest during this craze. But for the sake of science, I plugged “Tickle Me Elmo” into Google Trends anyway. And lo and behold, there was a massive spike during the 2006 holiday season.What’s up with that? Turns out, Tyco released a new version of Tickle Me Elmo in 2006 to celebrate the toy’s 10th anniversary. But as you can see in the Google Trends chart, the celebration didn’t last very long. ZuneAlright, alright. I hear you. The Zune probably doesn’t deserve to be on this list since it wasn’t a holiday product fad. It could be more accurately described as a non-seasonal, total product disaster.For those unfamiliar with the Zune, it was Microsoft’s 2006 response to Apple’s iPod, which had made its debut five years earlier. You can see in the Google Trends chart below that interest in “Zune” peaked with its 2006 release, and spiked again during 2007’s holiday season (which coincides with Microsoft’s release of its second generation Zune). Now, to be fair, the Zune wasn’t a total disaster. According to tech journalist Farhad Manjoo, its development actually went on to help Microsoft in the long run.And, at the end of the day, the Zune’s lack of adoption — and sales — wasn’t due to it being a crappy product; And it wasn’t due to a lack of marketing (Wikipedia has a pretty good write-up on all the tactics they used). Manjoo has the answer:“Microsoft’s player is just as good as an iPod — it performed all of that device’s main functions pretty well. But there’s no way in which it’s better than an iPod. And that’s why it was doomed.”Silly BandzNow this is an interesting case; And not because it was a holiday fad in 2010, but because it was so bad that it fizzled out before it even got to become a holiday fad in 2010.Silly Bandz. They were those elastic, bracelet things. That were shaped liked animals … and other stuff.Look, I’m not gonna lie to you here: These things were stupid. Silly Bandz was perhaps the worst hybrid toy-jewelry-office supplies product to ever come to market. And it only took millions of units sold before everyone caught on.And then, blammo! See that steep, steep decline? That starts just after August of 2010. While interest (and sales) in Silly Bandz was soaring in the spring and summer of 2010 (the peak of the fad) it declined drastically before the 2010 holiday season.“Don’t tell Santa, but the national infatuation with Silly Bandz and other shaped, silicone bands that were America’s hottest fad in 2010, seems to have snapped,” reads a USA Today article from December 2010.“With Christmas days away, many retailers say they have cut way back on the number of bands they carry and some have stopped selling them altogether.”Silly Bandz suffered from market saturation; incredibly rapid market saturation. But it make sense: Silly Bandz were cheap, and you could buy them in packs of 24. After a few purchases, a kid would have more Silly Bandz than they’d know what to do with.(Note: if you have any innovative ideas around how I … I mean my friend, uh, Jimmy can use my … I mean his stockpile of Silly Bandz, please write them in the comments section below.) Originally published Dec 8, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Case Studies 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
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said on Tuesday he cannot envisage his side parting with France defender Raphael Varane but he could not give any guarantees about the future of winger Gareth Bale.French newspaper L’Equipe reported last month that World Cup winner Varane was looking to leave Madrid after eight seasons in the Spanish capital, in which he has won four Champions League crowns and two La Liga titles.Speaking at a news conference ahead of Real’s La Liga visit to Valencia on Wednesday, Zidane dismissed reports about Varane’s supposed departure.”I cannot imagine a future without Varane and I don’t want to. He’s a young player, he has been here for eight years and he is doing very well,” Zidane said.”I’m not going to comment on what is being said outside. The important thing is what the player tells me and for now he’s at the best club in the world, he’s won a lot of things and I think he is in a good place.”The future of Bale, the club’s record signing, is more uncertain as he was again subjected to boos from Real’s own supporters during Sunday’s 3-2 win over Huesca, in which he missed an opportunity to score from close range.Zidane admitted the supporters were not helping the Welshman but he refused to clarify if Bale would remain at the club next season.”I don’t know how it affects him but booing a player is never good, they also booed me but you have to accept it and every player who is here has the character to deal with it,” Zidane said.advertisement”We’ll decide the future of Gareth and other players at the end of the season, we’ve got nine games left and then we’ll see. I can confirm that we will have to make changes next season but now is not the time to talk about it.”Madrid are third in the La Liga standings with nine games left of the campaign, 12 points adrift of runaway leaders Barcelona. They are already out of the Champions League and Copa del Rey.Also Read | Zinedine Zidane to start second tenure at Real Madrid with La Liga match vs Celta VigoAlso Watch | What it was like to watch the El Clasico
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Career Development Originally published Jan 18, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 How many times a week do you hear the phrase, “Oh, you have to check out that blog post/podcast/book/TED Talk. It’s the best!”I’m a low-stakes betting person (not the billion-dollar-Powerball-jackpot type), but I’d put good money on the fact that you probably hear that a lot.The problem? You’re busy. You don’t have time to check out every single thing someone sends your way. You’ve got actual work to do and people to manage. If you’re going to make time for reading, watching, and listening, you want it to be relevant to what you’re currently working on. But, you don’t know whether something is worthwhile until you do it. Where do you see yourself in five years? Take our free quiz here to figure out the next step in your career.With this in mind, I polled the rest of HubSpot’s content team, pulled some recommendations from an internal wiki page by my colleagues Rebecca Corliss and Andrew Rodwin, and did a little old-fashioned digging of my own to find the best blog posts, books, TED Talks, and podcast for every stage of your career. While I’ve tried to bucket each of my recommendations by a stage of your career, it’s by no means meant to be restrictive. Borrow recommendations from other categories — you never know what you might learn. Want to jump to a certain category? Click one of the following links:Fresh Face to Your IndustryDeveloping Individual ContributorMid-Level ManagerAccomplished Individual ContributorExperienced ExecutiveFresh Face to Your Industry1) Book: So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love, Cal NewportWe’ve all heard the refrain, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” We’ve probably all questioned its validity, too. Cal Newport’s whole book is about questioning that saying. In his book, Cal uncovers how passion fuels hard work and success — and vice versa. For anyone who’s struggling to choose a career (or just wondering whether the career you chose is the right one for you), this book will give you the advice you’ve been craving.2) Blog Post: Any Post on Your CEO’s BlogYes, I know this isn’t a specific blog post, but I wanted to include this generic recommendation because I think it’s solid: Find where your CEO/CMO/COO/manager blogs — and read it. Not only will it prevent you from struggling to make small talk in the hallway, but it will also give you a window into how your boss (or your boss’ boss, or your boss’ boss’ boss) thinks. And the latter is especially important — especially as you’re hoping to move up at your company.If your CEO doesn’t blog yet, find another CEO/boss who you admire, and follow their writing. Need a suggestion for someone to follow? I’m biased, but my CEO wrote a very smart and interesting piece on our blog, ReadThink, recently. Check it out.3) Podcast: Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!When you’re getting started in your career, you spend a lot of time absorbing your domain knowledge. If you’re new to marketing, for example, you’ll probably read a ton of content on how to blog, how to create landing page, how to measure the effectiveness of your marketing, etc. And with only so much time in the day, you might ignore learning about current events. The thing is, knowing about the world around you can unlock creative ideas about your work … and you know, just make you a more informed person in general. That’s where the podcast Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! comes in. It’s a quiz-style show from NPR that helps you catch up on current events in a totally fun way.4) TED Talk: “The Power of Introverts,” Susan CainIt can be tempting to feel like you have to be gregarious to be successful in business, but that might not be the best way for you to get ahead. Turns out, introverts can be just as successful as extraverts. For a reminder that there’s no reason for you to contort your typical demeanor to fit into either end of the personality spectrum, I’d highly recommend watching the following TED Talk from Susan Cain.Developing Individual Contributor5) Book: Think Like a Leader, Act Like a Leader, Herminia IbarraThere’s no one way to be a great leader. Some people are loud extraverts, some set quiet examples for their team, and others may find some sort of middle ground. When you’re a little ways into your career and thinking about your next steps, you’re going to need to start developing your own leadership style. This book will come in handy to help you find a unique style that helps you succeed in your career.6) Blog Post: “Do You Have a Manager’s Mindset?”This time in your career is one where you might be asking yourself one question almost every day, “What’s next?” Many people will wonder if management is the next step. But how can you figure out whether you want to be a manager before you actually make the switch? While you certainly should chat with managers at your company, research roles and responsibilities, and do some soul-searching, I’d highly recommend starting with this article. It’ll give you a good overview of what life as a manager looks like. 7) Podcast: FreakanomicsAt this stage, you’ve learned a ton. You’ve got some years of experience under your belt. You’ve had some big wins. Maybe you’ve gotten knocked down once or twice, but you still retain that bouncy pep in your step you did right out of school. As you grow, you need to maintain that balance of humility and confidence. And what better way to fuel that than by listening to a podcast that’s all about challenging common assumptions? Freakanomics will make you think critically about what you believe, and challenge you to continue to think differently. 8) TED Talk: “5 Ways to Listen Better,” Julian TreasureListening is crucial to any stage of your growth, but it’s especially essential to this stage of your career. Though you’ve learned a ton so far, you still have a long career filled with learning (and listening) ahead of you. So use this TED talk to get some tips for making your listening skills better.Mid-Level Manager9) Book: Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, Simon SinekNot every boss is great. Some are okay. Some are just … bad. And when you’re the boss, you don’t want to be in the latter camps. You want to be the amazing manager, the one your team goes home and gushes about at the dinner table. If you want to make sure you’re on the right path to becoming an amazing boss, I’d recommend starting with this book. It gives you a great framework to build off, regardless of where you work.10) Blog Post: “What Amazing Bosses Do Differently”This blog post is a great complement to the book above. It’ll give you some solid advice for building and growing a team that people love to be on. Plus, it’s way shorter than a book, so you’ll have time to read this on your lunch break. 11) Podcast: StartupBefore Startup, I had a rule for the podcasts I listened to: None should be about business. I wanted to keep work at work, you know?But then I heard how great Startup was, and finally decided to listen to an episode. It is hands-down one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to. It’s open, honest, and frank about the struggles of building a team. And when you’re a new(ish) manager, it’ll be refreshing to commiserate with someone about these things (even if that someone is a host of a podcast and doesn’t know you’re commiserating with them). 12) TED Talk: “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” Amy CuddyUp until this point, your tangible work has probably shaped the majority of your success. That blog post that generated thousands of views, for example? That showed how well you understood your audience. But now, as a manager, your body language can have a big impact on how well your feedback is getting received. And because feedback is so crucial to your team’s growth (and thus, your success as a manager), you can’t afford to mess this up. So, use this TED Talk to get a lesson in adjusting your body language. Bonus: It can help you in non-management situations, too. Accomplished Individual Contributor13) Book: Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, Austin KleonSo, you’ve advanced up the career ladder and gotten lots of experience in your field. At this point, you’ve probably built some great habits that’ll help you uncover your next big ideas. But what if you’re struggling? What if you hit a creative rut, and need to get unstuck?This book can help. It’ll give you some great advice on being more creative, and hopefully get you on your way to tackling your next big idea.14) Blog Post: “Nobody Cares How Hard You Work” It can feel like the only way to make progress in your career is to put your head down and grind away at work. After all, hard work is the most important — and effective — way to get things done. Right?Not exactly. In this article, author Oliver Burkeman explains why hard work isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Reading it might inspire you to think differently about how you’re approaching your work — and make changes that’ll benefit both you and your team. 15) Podcast: Mystery ShowLet’s be honest: At this stage in your career, you need a little mystery in your life. This quirky podcast is made by the folks who are behind Startup, so you know it’s got to be good. The show uncovers answers to questions you didn’t even know you had (e.g. How tall is Jake Gyllenhaal?), and is entertaining to boot. The host has some awesome tactics for getting to the bottom of a story that just might come in handy in your work. At the very least, you’ll learn exactly how tall Jake is. 16) TED Talk: “Got a Wicked Problem? First, Tell Me How You Make Toast,” Tom WujecWhen you’re this advanced, you’re going to start running into problems no one has ever solved before. Everyone will look to you and assume you know how to do it. (Or, they’ll assume you can figure it out.)But maybe you’re worried you can’t tackle it. The problem is really big, after all. If you’ve ever had that twinge of doubt, this TED Talk will be the welcome antidote. Experienced Executive17) Book: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeownWhen you’re an executive, you get pulled in lots of different directions. Budgets! Hiring! Strategy! Seating plans! Happy hours! Just 15 minutes to pick your brain!The thing is, less can often be more. In this book, author Greg McKeown talks about the idea of removing the unimportant things in your life to be even more effective at what you do (and happier to boot). 18) Blog Post: “Radical Candor — The Surprising Secret to Being a Good Boss”As an executive, your job is to make sure your team stays on track to hit the goals and fulfill the vision you have set out. The way to make sure that happens? You’ve got to give great feedback. This post outlines an easy-to-understand framework for giving feedback that’s actually helpful to your team, regardless of how long they’ve been in business or what level they are in your company. This framework for radical candor can also be applied to you, so you can get even better feedback from your team. Win-win, if you ask me. 19) Podcast: The Growth ShowLast moment of bias, I promise. Here at HubSpot, we have a podcast that uncovers interesting stories and advice from every corner of the business world. One week, you can hear about how Mozilla’s CMO identifies the next big thing for his team to tackle, and the next, leadership advice from a classical musician-turned-engineer-turned-entrepreneur. Taking 30 minutes to learn from someone outside your industry can help you step up your game immensely. 20) TED Talk: “Why the Best Hire Might Not Have the Best Resume,” Regina HartleyWhile you may not be in the trenches every day, you are responsible for hiring people who are in the trenches every day. That’s a tough job. If you make the wrong call, you drag down your team. But if you make the right call, your team’s productivity and success can skyrocket. How do you make sure you’re hiring the right person? In this TED Talk, Regina Hartley argues that you should ignore their resume. Watch the video below to learn why you might want to rethink your hiring practices in favor of landing smart, talented people.What other books, blog posts, podcasts, and TED Talks would you recommend? Topics:
If your website takes longer than three seconds to load, you could be losing nearly half of your visitors, according to data from Akamai. It’s pretty simple: the faster the speed of your website, the happier your visitors will be. Optimizing page load time leads to noticable improvements in customer experience, conversion rates, and ultimately, your sales revenue.In fact, reducing your website’s page load time can have a surprisingly positive impact on your entire marketing and sales pipelines. Up to 79% of customers who are dissatisfied with a website’s performance say they’re less likely to buy from the same site again. But can big business issues actually be solved simply by shaving off a few milliseconds on your website’s page load time?Access Now: 22 SEO Myths to Leave Behind This YearTo see the real power of page load time, we at Skilled compiled 12 case studies from real companies in the infographic below. These examples illustrate the impact reducing page load time Take a look at the 12 case studies presented in the infographic below to learn more about the benefits of optimizing page load time. Topics: Conversion Rate Optimization Originally published Mar 23, 2017 5:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Don’t forget to share this post!
According to the latest Top Agency Trends Report from Agency Spotter, marketers and brands search for different services depending on the time of the year. Knowing which services to offer and emphasize at different times of the year could help your agency stand above your competition. These search trends, based on seasonality, come down to a couple of different factors based on what companies are looking to accomplish at different times of the year.The report covers marketing services trends based on data from more than 120,000 unique users and three years, data on service seasonality, the top 25 agency services being searched, and the rise of project-based engagements.Let’s dig in.Marketing Services Searched More in the First Half of the YearAs companies begin the new year, they are looking to establish initiatives that are relatively quick fixes and do not take as much time to implement. Business leaders often take a look at their marketing data from the past year and see which areas need more attention or may have fallen down the to-do list.Looking at the Trends Report, we can see that services like content marketing, PR, SEO, data analytics, shopper marketing, and events all perform better in the first half of the year. From the top 25 agency services for 2016, content marketing took the 7th spot as the most searched service from marketers all year. Interestingly, if you divide the list into H1 and H2, you can see that content marketing was 9th in H1 but did not even make the Top 25 in H2.Content marketing is becoming increasingly important for all companies to utilize because it helps attract and inform customers and potential customers. But if you think about it, companies don’t generally set a content calendar at the end of the year — they tend to do that at the beginning of the year. Same thing goes for SEO and PR.Check out the list below to see which keywords fall off or perform better at a certain time of year, and then optimize your site accordingly.Agency Services Perform Better in H2Taking a look at the data, services like ecommerce, branding, UX design, email marketing, and CRM automation all perform better in the second half of the year. These align with initiatives that take more planning and are services that many companies want to have ready before the start of a new year.Design-based services like ecommerce, branding, and UX all have to do with experiences that directly interact with customers. A website redesign or branding makeover are usually planned in the middle of the year so that companies are ready to debut their new look in the new year.As you can see in the report, ecommerce went from 18th most searched in H1 to 5th in H2, branding from 12th to 6th, and UX took the 9th spot despite not even appearing on the H1 list.Services Shopped Consistently Year RoundThere are also agency services whose demand remains stable throughout the year.The big services like advertising, web design, digital, social media, and marketing perform all year. Use this data to better understand the behavior of your customers and when they are searching.Finally, here are the biggest shifts from 2015 to 2016:Knowing what services perform better throughout the year can help your agency strategically position business development, staffing, and other factors to help your agency rise above the competition. For more information about the marketing service industry, download the free Agency Spotter Agency Trends Report. Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: Originally published Apr 6, 2017 5:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Agency Marketing
Copy is writing that compels.It connects with a specific audience, inciting emotions that drive action. It reads like a comfortable, personalized email but appeals to the masses.Copy enables sales on a grand scale, which begs the question:How do you write effective copy?Copywriting is a technical craft. Practice, practice, practice makes perfect.Writing copy begins with internalizing the principles that differentiate it from other editorial disciplines. And how do you do that?Download Now: 6 Free Blog Post TemplatesTry Reading BukowskiCharles Bukowski wasn’t a copywriter, but he was a prolific writer of poetry and short stories. In the first half of his life, he mailed thousands of drafts to potential publishers.But most of his submissions were rejected. The work was too progressive, said the editors, too crude: Bukowski wrote about sex and love, about loss and failure, hardship. Most everything was autobiographical. Then, when he was 46, Bukowski met John Martin, a publisher compelled by his work.“The first time I read him I said ‘My God, this is today’s Whitman,’” said Martin. “This is a man of the street, writing for the people of the street.”And so it began: Bukowski found a platform and an audience found Bukowski. His work connected. In the second half of his life, he sold millions of books.Charles Bukowski wasn’t a copywriter, but he did write like one, which roused readers and enabled his success. Want to write effective copy? Read Bukowski to internalize the core principles of copywriting, which are:1) Write with emotion.Most purchases aren’t logical decisions. People buy things based on how they make them feel.So, your copy should evoke emotion.To do that, copywriters dance with the human condition, playing on memories that conjure poignant images that resonate with their audience.Bukowski was emotional.His subject matter was personal, yet typical. Bukowski wrote about things most people could understand, if not relate to. Readers sympathized with him.In Women, Bukowski writes:I was sentimental about many things: a woman’s shoes under the bed; one hairpin left behind on the dresser; the way they said, “I’m going to pee.” hair ribbons; walking down the boulevard with them at 1:30 in the afternoon, just two people walking together …Bukowski saw beauty in the mundane, depth and meaning in the prosaic. So he wrote about it, which made readers think, remember and, most importantly, feel.2) Write with brevity. People have short attention spans. If we’re not interested, we tune out, sometimes within seconds.So, your copy should make its point quickly.Unless an emotional narrative calls for it, copywriters don’t use two or three words when one will do.Bukowski was brief.He rarely dragged on without purpose.In Women, Bukowski writes:Being alone never felt right. Sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.Bukowski respected the reader’s imagination. He didn’t color everything in. He let people come to their own conclusions. We enjoy that, after all. We like filling in the gaps for ourselves, using our own images and memories. It’s fun.3) Write with clarity. Confusion kills engagement. Clear writing keeps people reading. Clarity, like brevity, prolongs attention.So, your copy should be comprehensible. A focused reader shouldn’t need to reread a sentence.To ensure this, copywriters:Use simple words: Write “begin” rather than “commence.” Write “find out” rather than “ascertain.” Use transitions: These are words or phrases that connect ideas between sentences (e.g., as a result; although; while; because). Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Oct 3, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated October 03 2017 Topics: Copywriting Use specific words: Write “FaceTime” rather than “video communication tool.” Use the active voice: It’s easier to read than the passive voice. Clear writing helps readers visualize your sentences, which keeps them reading.Bukowski was clear.One of the most understandable authors of the twentieth century, Bukowski’s clarity was his forte.In Post Office, Bukowski writes:In the morning it was morning and I was still alive. Maybe I’ll write a novel, I thought. And then I did.Like Hemingway and Vonnegut, Bukowski used small words and crisp sentences.“Bukowski had no time for metaphors,” said Bono, a friend. “He just wanted to get down to the bone, to the marrow of the bone!”4) Write with honesty. Copy sells when it makes authentic promises and claims. Dishonesty, eventually, exposes itself.So, your copy should tell the truth, even if it’s ugly.Copywriters do it all the time:You’re not the preferred brand? Say it. Avis did.Your product is subpar? Say it. Domino’s did.Honesty helped Avis highlight its strengths. It helped Domino’s regain consumer trust. Ultimately, the strategy inspired public sympathy, driving rapid growth for both companies.Bukowski was honest.He famously held nothing back. In print, he was fully exposed, sensitive and vulnerable and unsafe. He was naked and people glared.In Ham on Rye, Bukowski writes:And my own affairs were as bad, as dismal, as the day I had been born. The only difference was now I could drink now and then, though never often enough … I would certainly never be able to be happy, to get married, I could never have children. Hell, I couldn’t even get a job as a dishwasher.“Forgive me,” Bukowski once said at a poetry reading. “You have my soul and I have your money.”5) Write with style.Though effective copy is driven by substance, it shouldn’t sound rigid. It should roll off the tongue.So, your copy should use literary devices to help it flow.Copywriters use sound repetition to create sentence fluency:Alliteration: Repetitive sounds at the beginning of adjacent words (e.g., “Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary.”)Consonance: Repetitive sounds produced by consonants(e.g., “The fair breeze blew, the white / foam flew / The furrow followed free …”)Assonance: Repetitive sounds produced by vowels(e.g., “I must confess that in my quest I felt depressed and restless.”)They use word repetition to create rhythm:Anaphora: Repetition at the beginning(e.g., “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right …”)Epistrophe: Repetition at the end(e.g., “Government of the people, by the people, for the people …”)Polyptoton: Repetition of the root(e.g., “No end to the withering of withered flowers …”)Dive deeper into literary devices here.Bukowski had style.He leaned on literary devices, using them to add depth to his writing, to make his work more poignant and moving, more emotional.In Dinosauria, We, Bukowski writes:Born like thisInto thisAs the chalk faces smileAs Mrs. Death laughsAs the elevators breakAs political landscapes dissolveAs the supermarket bag boy holds a college degreeAs the oily fish spit out their oily preyAs the sun is maskedWe areBorn like thisInto this …Bukowski’s style made his message more memorable.Charles Bukowski wasn’t a copywriter. But he wrote like the best of them.Study his work and you will, too.
Top seeded Ashleigh Barty overcame a slow start to defeat Maria Sharapova 6-4 6-1, while Simona Halep battled past Ekaterina Alexandrova 3-6 7-5 6-4 in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters on Wednesday.French Open champion Barty double faulted to give Sharapova a 2-1 lead in the first set and it looked like an upset could be brewing in the showdown between the two former world number ones.But an error-prone Sharapova bowed out after she produced six double faults and squandered six of her seven break point opportunities.”Overall it was a pretty clean performance”, Barty said.”It’s difficult to come out against a player like Maria. She’s an incredible champion, she knows how to fight and she makes you earn every single point.”So I was really pleased with the way I was able to hang in there today and win some of those big points.”Barty earned an early break in the second set when she rifled a crosscourt forehand that caught Sharapova flat footed for a 2-0 lead.Sharapova fought hard the next game, forcing seven deuces but was unable to break and Barty cruised to the finish from there, winning 11 of the last 13 games.Barty will next face Anett Kontaveit, who defeated Polish teenager Iga Swiatek in straight sets.Wimbledon champion Halep had her back against the wall against the big-serving Alexandrova when she dropped the first set and trailed 5-4 in the second but won the next three games and elevated her play again in the decider.advertisementThe match was the first for Halep since she pulled out of her quarter-final at the Rogers Cup on Friday with an Achilles issue but she moved well in her battle with the Russian.Fourth seed Halep is searching for her first title at the event after three runner-up finishes in 2015, 2017 and 2018.”I feel confident every time I come here but the conditions are very tough. The court is very fast,” the Romanian said.World number one Naomi Osaka improved to 4-0 lifetime against Aliaksandra Sasnovich with a 7-6(3) 2-6 6-2 win.Osaka, who regained the top ranking after Barty’s early exit from the Rogers Cup last week, smacked 24 winners as she looks to sharpen her game before heading to New York later this month to defend her U.S. Open title.She faces Hsieh Su-Wei in the third round.Third seeded Karolina Pliskova crushed lucky loser Wang Yafan 6-1 6-3 and Donna Vekic knocked out former champion Victoria Azarenka 6-2 7-5 to set up a showdown with Venus Williams on Thursday.Seventh seed Elina Svitolina, ninth seed Aryna Sabalenka and big-serving American Madison Keys all advanced to the third round behind straight set wins.Svitolina set up a date with American Sofia Kenin, who beat Zarina Diyas 6-4 6-1.Another American, eighth seed Sloane Stephens, had a tougher match against Yulia Putintseva but prevailed 2-6 6-4 6-3 and will next face Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, a 4-6 7-6(7) 6-2 winner over Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska.Also Read | Cincinnati Masters: Novak Djokovic sees off Sam Querrey, Stan Wawrinka beats Grigor DimitrovAlso Read | Cincinnati Masters: Venus Williams stuns holder Kiki Bertens, injured Serena withdrawsAlso See
Former England captains Andrew Strauss and Geoffrey Boycott have been given knighthoods in former Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation honors list.The two opening batsmen were the only sporting names in a list largely consisting of political figures, a nod to May’s lifelong love of cricket and her admiration for Boycott in particular.Strauss played 100 Tests for England from 2004-12, scoring more than 7,000 runs at an average of 40.91, and captaining the team to two Ashes series wins. Less than three years after retiring, he became the most powerful official in the English game as managing director. He was the unseen administrative architect behind England’s first World Cup triumph in July.”I cannot think of a man more worthy of the honour,” former England coach Andy Flower said.”As a player he was tough and resilient, as a captain he balanced a firm hand and moral compass with a compassion and empathy that meant he was loved and respected in the dressing room by his players and the staff.”Boycott’s 108 Tests from 1964-82 brought him 8,114 runs at 47.72 – the first man to reach 8,000 in the longest format for England. He captained England in four Tests in 1978, deputizing for the injured Mike Brearley.At a news conference last November, May was asked in the form of a cricketing analogy about the number of ministerial resignations, or “wickets,” over her handling of Brexit.”One of my cricket heroes was always Geoffrey Boycott, and what do you know about Geoffrey Boycott?” she asked. “He stuck to it, and he got the runs in the end.”advertisementBoycott was forced to apologize in 2017 after joking that he would have to “black up” to be considered for a knighthood, pointing out the honor had been bestowed on West Indies cricketers including Sir Viv Richards, Sir Garfield Sobers, and Sir Curtly Ambrose.He was also given a three-month suspended prison sentence in 1998 after being convicted of assault against former girlfriend Margaret Moore. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2002 but made a full recovery and returned to TV commentating.”Our heartfelt congratulations go to Sir Geoffrey Boycott – honoured for his long career and passionate dedication to the sport.”In May 2015, Andrew was invited to join the ECB as director, England cricket, to shape the future strategy of the men’s international teams – in part to enable an environment that would see England as live contenders for the World Cup in 2019, an aim they so thrillingly delivered on just a few short months ago.”It was with the same class and courage that he and his family set up the Ruth Strauss Foundation to raise money and awareness just a few months after losing Ruth to a rare form of cancer.”Aside from his achievements on and off the pitch, Andrew is widely regarded as an exceptional person in our game and this wonderful accolade will be celebrated around the cricketing world,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said.
My daughters will illustrate.I asked them both how they would get someone to buy a toy.This is what the five year old said:Mommy can you please buy it?I said that might not work. So what would be another option?She said:Mommy can you please, please buy it?The nine year old said this:First you have to make a good toy. Because it’s cheap, people will get mad and sue you.Then you have to tell them all the great things about it and why it’s wonderful. Don’t make it too expensive.Then you have to get them really excited by telling them the cool things it does for them.Make the commercial colorful, interesting and realistic.So which kind of marketing do you have?Please, please, please give me money. Pretty please. (Repeat often.)Or: We have really amazing programs, here is why they are interesting and here’s why you should care.
For a sector defined by its lack of revenue (“nonprofit”), we sure talk about money a lot with our audiences–as in fundraising dollars, grants, special event tickets and so on.But what four-letter word do supporters want to hear? What model should you incorporate into your organization’s culture to better connect with supporters and potential supporters?Free.For all the money and engagement you’re requesting from supporters for tickets, donations and other expenses, one model for success your organization should consider is this: “inspire and connect now, reap all sorts of benefits-including monetary ones-later.”Here are few tips for getting “free” out the door and supporters to come strolling through it:Incorporate “free” into your branding goals and strategy. Put yourself in your supporters’ shoes for a second. When they receive an email from your organization, what’s their first thought? “Oh, no, not another fundraising appeal!” Remember this: You do not dictate your brand-others do. Make sure your stakeholders are in a position to look at your nonprofit in a positive light. Organize events without a price tag (sure, you can accept donations, but don’t require them); send your supporters a recent news article relevant to your mission just because you think they’d be interested; let them know what services you provided your constituents because of previous generosity. These freebies allow you to put a face to your organization, as opposed to an open palm.Offer “freebies” on your website to empower your supporters to become your champions. Maybe you started Facebook page or Cause, and your base is growing. Great. Now what? Empower your groups members to do the work for you! Upload great content for your supporters to spread on your organization’s behalf. This approach is great for at least three reasons: one, you’re engaging your current supporters and cultivating your relationships; two, it’s cheaper than trying to reach new networks on your own; and, three, your supporters are giving more credibility to your nonprofit than you can. Add a section to your website and Cause page with great content: podcasts, videos, text to Tweet with (that’s info to post on Twitter), links, stories, etc. Make it as easy as possible for your message to go viral.Set goals that do not have *direct* revenue goals attached to them. As a fundraising, marketing, executive-directing guru, you want to see your returns on investment (who doesn’t?). Be sure to integrate some “free” initiatives into your marketing campaigns to achieve results other than direct donations: raise awareness about your cause or a timely event (a vote set to happen in your neighborhood, state, etc.), inspire volunteers and donors to act again, spread your message, and get advocacy efforts of the ground. This is another relationship-building opportunity; your supporters are people, not ATM’s, so find out what types of activities they want you to offer.Become a media contact dynamo. Create some free content that helps establish your organization as an expert in your field. (You are one, right?) Publish an article or blog entry on your website. Share some research you’ve done. Start following relevant blogs and join in the conversations. The end result? You’re the media and blogger go-to when they need info about your topic. Note: We’re not advocating you go and yell your unsolicited message at people. Listen, react, converse, repeat.These four “freebie” strategies will strengthen relationships with various groups: donors, volunteers, advocates, the media and other supporters. Investing your energy and time now (yes, we realize those certainly aren’t free!), you’re much more likely to convert those relationships into donations later. Wouldn’t you be more likely to give a friend a dollar than a stranger? Be that empowering and generous friend to your supporters.Just a note: Though appealing for donations should not always be the centerpiece of your marketing efforts, you should always offer a way to donate if people want it. Keep that “Donate Now” button available everywhere! (Button-less? You can always contact us at Network for Good for more information about getting started online.)
BBMG has a new guide out for cause-conscious companies. It’s called Disrupt & Delight and it outlines five principles that reflect the best work of socially responsible companies like Nike, Patagonia and Unilever.I think some of the principles of so-called sustainable brands can work for nonprofits, too. So here are three that I find relevant, with my commentary on how they relate to our world.1. Start With What’s SacredAccording to BBMG, “University of Virginia psychology professor Jonathan Haidt helps explain why companies like Coke and Zappos are in the business of Happiness, not products: The great trick that humans developed at some point in the last few hundred thousand years is the ability to circle around a tree, rock, ancestor, flag, book or god, and then treat that thing as sacred.” Guess what? We are in the happiness business too. If you promote a good cause, you are giving people the opportunity to feel great by making a difference in the world. That means your cause is a rallying point, and that makes it sacred in an important way. I’m not advocating false idols. Rather, this: Your brand should start and end with the essence of how you bring joy to the world.2. Create Collaboratively“To meet the weighty challenges of today’s global economy, we can’t go it alone—even if we wanted to. The best solutions are not necessarily crowd-sourced, but they are co-created with input from parts of organizations, communities and society,” says the report. Is your organization working with other nonprofits, advocates and companies to make the biggest change you can? 3. Be PlayfulSays the report, “Leading scientists, researchers and business leaders are waking up to what kids at your local park already know: play helps us move beyond rigid rules and predetermined structures to create new possibilities. Workplaces that foster a playful approach (or, at the very least, deviate from the expected from time to time) are rewarded with employees who more easily improvise and think of new ideas. Brands that embrace gamification, like RecycleBank, are trying to marry a sense of play with behavioral economics to drive more consumer engagement.” This is my favorite recommendation. Are you giving people in your workplace the playful experiences that spark creativity? Are you creating a hopeful environment? Do you give people room to invent? Learn how to do more in the report!
HAMILTON, ON – MAY 28: Johnny Manziel #2 of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats takes part in a preseason practice session at Ron Joyce Stadium on May 28, 2018 in Hamilton, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)In late February, the Canadian Football League kicked former college football star Johnny Manziel out of the league. According to a release from the CFL, Manziel “contravened the agreement which made him eligible to play in the league.”The statement from the CFL suggested Manziel broke one of the agreements in his contract. However, the circumstances surrounding his release remained in question, until now.According to NFL insider Benjamin Allbright, Manziel allegedly failed to report for mandatory counseling. The CFL has a “zero-tolerance policy,” thus ending Manziel’s time with the Montreal Alouettes.The decision to kick Manziel out of the league came directly from the CFL, not the Alouettes, Allbright said on Orange and Blue 760.According to @AllbrightNFL, who is on @OrangeBlue760, per sources, Johnny Manziel was cut by the CFL’s MTL Alouettes for failing to report for mandatory counseling. Decision to cut him “came directly from the league,” not from Als. CFL has a “zero-tolerance policy,” per Allbright— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) March 18, 2019After his banishment from the CFL, the Alliance of American Football approached Manziel’s camp about a spot in the AAF.Not long after his release from the CFL, Manziel signed a contract with the Memphis Express. Former starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger suffered an ankle injury over the weekend, which could thrust Manziel into immediate action.Next up for the Express is a contest against the Birmingham Iron on Sunday, March 24. Former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg leads the team in passing, but struggled with interceptions early in the season and was benched.Now the team could turn to Manziel.
Seriously Cool Desk Toys for the Kid in All of Us How to Cook Steak in the Oven 15 Best Subscription Boxes for Men Who Love Gifts It happens to the best of us: You’ve set up camp in the woods or unpacked your gear in a barebones hotel and it dawns on you — no corkscrew. The bottle of wine you wanted to enjoy is now mocking your forgetful ways.If the internet has taught us anything, it’s that there’s a hack for everything. Turns out, the wine world is full of MacGyvers. Crafty imbibers employ everything from bike pumps to shoes to extract pesky corks.Wine is becoming increasingly portable and lower-brow, as screw caps, boxed versions, and the canned movement all suggest, but the majority of wine still comes in the traditional format, especially the really good stuff. Besides, these methods are so fun you’re going to want to try them out whether you’re in a jam or not.Not since sabering has opening a bottle felt so triumphant. Here are a few of the best ways to address that bottle when you’re in a bind.Below, we’ll examine four methods. They are:Poke-ThroughBike PumpShoePort TongsEach offers a different level of tools, difficulty, and showmanship, so you might want to learn all four just in case.With the Poke-Through MethodVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayUnmuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:15Loaded: 66.67%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:15 SharePlayback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenIt’s caveman-esque but generally effective. The poke-through involves hammering a blunt object into the cork so that it falls into the wine itself. You’re left with a bobbing — and sometimes crumbled — cork that partially clogs the neck, but it’s arguably the quickest way to get to drinking. And you’re probably camping so presentation isn’t exactly on your list of priorities.A sturdy stick bashed by a rock will do the trick but an actual hammer or something similar is best. Be forceful but careful not to strike the glass. A cooler version involves a serrated knife, should you have one. Push the knife into the cork, allowing the teeth of the blade to latch on. Pull and twist and you should be able to extract the cork, in a decidedly badass fashion.With a Bike PumpVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayUnmuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:15Loaded: 66.67%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:15 SharePlayback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenPressure is your friend. With this method, poke a small hole completely through the cork with a nail, screw, or the like. Put your bike pump needle in the hole and pump until the cork is pushed out. Too much pressure will result in some wine loss, so start easy and up the ante as needed. Once the cork is pushed out enough to get a hold on it (with your hands or pliers), you should be able to pull the rest of it out of the bottle.With a ShoeVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayUnmuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:15Loaded: 66.67%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:15 SharePlayback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenReliable in that you’re almost always in the company of shoes, this method is a little messy. This is also probably the most-attempted method out there, per a deep well of internet videos. The best take is from the folks at Provence label Mirabeu.The heel of most shoes creates a nice padded nest to cup the base of the bottle. This will protect the wine as you savagely beat it against a wall, trunk of a tree, or sheer rock face. It’s best to let the wine rest for a short while before pulling out the protruding cork. That way, the pressure will subside and you won’t lose any precious juice.With Port TongsSommelier Caleb Ganzer subscribes to a method perfect for older, more valuable bottles of wine. It’s more involved, but it will preserve the wine that resides beneath a tired old cork. Opened the traditional way, these aged gems are prone to deteriorate old cork bits.The wine director and managing partner of Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in Manhattan calls on heated tongs to get the job done. Wonderfully showy, this method is as much a party trick as it is a way to get at a wine without the conventional tools at hand. The Absolute Worst Movies to Watch with a Date The Best Drinks to Pair With Your Favorite Food Shows Editors’ Recommendations
Transformation of the 100-Year Old Business ModelTransforming the shipping industry which has run on relatively cheap, heavy fuel for 100 years is not an easy task. In addition to new ship designs and engine types, there is a need for new types of fuel as well as building entire new supply chains for these new solutions, Maersk insists.“All of this breakthrough innovation will have to take place in the 2020s and is more than any single company can do,” the company adds.As a result, the shipping major urges all parties involved to collaborate on incentives and development of innovative solutions to usher in the age of zero-carbon vessels.“We want to begin a dialogue with cargo owners, regulators, researchers, investors and technology developers, and together set the foundation for a sustainable industry,” Maersk said, pointing out that research and development will be the cornerstone in decarbonizing the shipping industry.The Pursuit of Solutions Must Begin NowZero-emission, commercially-viable vessels must be on the water by 2030, Maersk believes, especially due to the 20-25-year lifetime of a vessel.“This should be followed by an initial slow ramping up, allowing maturing of technology and supply chain in order to be able to turn around our entire fleet for net-zero carbon emissions in 2050. This leaves us and the industry only eleven years to find the right solutions for a positive business case for decarbonization.“For the next few years, it is very important not to rule out any solutions. There are several promising technologies at various stages of development. All solutions will come with benefits and challenges to be overcome and only by actively partnering, collaborating and undertaking research and development will we know which ones will win out. There are several technologies and fuels being developed these years within the areas such as advanced biofuels and hydrogen-based fuels.”Maersk said that it has already engaged in research and test programs in some of these technologies, for example sustainable biofuels.“Over the coming years, we will expand the range of solutions we are investigating. This will prepare us for selecting a few candidates we will pursue for the first carbon-neutral vessels.” Our 2030 efficiency target is strong enough to ensure that we continue to decouple CO2 emission levels from growth in trade and volumes shipped. With this target, we will not exacerbate our contribution to climate change while we grow our business, serve global trade and support job creation.” zoomImage Courtesy: Maersk At the end of last year, the world’s largest shipping company Maersk revealed plans on becoming a carbon neutral company by 2050.The efforts are in line with the shipping industry’s push to halve its carbon footprint by 2050 compared to 2008.“We do not by net-zero refer to off-setting CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. By committing to this target, we believe we will drive the transformation of the shipping industry towards use of carbon-neutral fuels,” the company said in its sustainability report for 2018.Maersk believes that efficiency can only keep shipping emissions stable, not reduce or eliminate them.“Nevertheless, until decarbonisation is achieved, decoupling business growth from emissions is a necessity, and we have set an efficiency target of 60% relative reduction in CO2 by 2030 from a 2008 baseline. With these targets, we are breaking the mould for climate targets and ambitions in the shipping industry.”Maersk had set a target of 60% relative reductions by 2020, using a 2007 baseline. By the end of 2018, the company reached 47% reduction since 2007.These have been achieved through massive investments in optimizing fleet efficiency, with technical retrofittings including capacity boost, new bulbous bows, propellers and engine modifications, as well as by improving planning and optimizing of networks.However, as explained, this is not enough to reach 60% in two years’ time.Hence, the company pointed out that massive innovative solutions and fuel transformation must take place in the next 5-10 years.“Over the last four years alone, we have invested USD 1 billion and engaged 50+ engineers each year in developing and deploying energy efficiency solutions. We expect this investment level to be sustained in pursuit of our new targets. Efficiency gains do not, however, solve the climate change problem. That can only be achieved through decarbonization,” the company said.
New Delhi: Digital payments major Paytm is having “initial-stage discussions” to buy stake in Yes Bank. “The conversations are still at a very initial stage. The finalisation of the deal may take some time as a lot of regulatory approvals will be required,” a source in the know of developments told IANS on Tuesday. When contacted by IANS, Paytm’s spokesperson refused to comment. Paytm and mobile content company One97 founder founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma also owns the Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) and the deal with Yes Bank would require approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalAs per the latest data released by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), PPBL has acquired more than 7 lakh merchants in Q1 against the target of 6.5 lakh. As per the initial conversations, Paytm is likely to buy stake from Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor, who, together with his associates, owns 9.64 per cent stake in the bank. Yes Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) Ravneet Gill said that the talks to sell stakes to a “global technology company” are at a “fairly advanced level” and “it is close to being a done deal.” While the stake sale could start with less than 10 per cent, it could eventually go up. As per RBI rules, the maximum share an individual can hold should not exceed 15 per cent. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe Yes Bank board has already approved the move to raise $1.3 billion growth capital. But via a preferential allotment, the bank wants to bring in an extra $1-$1.2 billion. To boost its capital adequacy ratio, Yes Bank in August raised nearly $275 million via qualified institutional placement (QIP). The stake of Kapoor and his family members in Yes Bank is worth Rs 1,550 crore at current valuations. After losing a court battle to co-promoter Madhu Kapur in 2015 over a board appointment, Kapoor was eventually removed as MD and CEO of Yes Bank.
EDMONTON – A campus group that staged an anti-abortion protest at the University of Alberta that sparked a noisy counter-demonstration by other students and faculty has lost a court challenge over how the school handled the event.UAlberta Pro-Life was seeking a judicial review of the university’s decision not to investigate the group’s complaint that counter-demonstrators should have been disciplined for blocking its displays in 2015 that included pictures of dismembered fetuses.The group also wanted a review of the university’s decision that the group would have to pay $17,500 to cover security costs for a similar anti-abortion protest it wanted to hold in 2016.The centre wanted the court to rule that charging a security fee infringed on freedom of expression under the charter.Justice Bonnie Bokenfohr of Court of Queen’s Bench dismissed both applications.Bokenfohr ruled that UAlberta Pro-Life was treated fairly and the university was within its right to require the club to pay for security if it wanted to hold another protest.“The university recognized that the event was a form of expression and expressly stated that it values the expression of diverse points of view,” she wrote.“The decision balanced this against the university’s obligation to ensure safety and security and the financial impact on university operations.”University of Alberta officials were studying the ruling.“The University of Alberta is pleased with the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench decision to dismiss both judicial reviews related to the UAlberta Pro-Life student group events,” Bryan Alary, a university spokesman said in an email.“We have not yet had a chance to review the decision in detail and therefore reserve further comment at this time.”Jay Cameron, a lawyer for a group called the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, represented UAlberta Pro-Life in court last June.Cameron argued that campus security did nothing to prevent a “mob” of counter-protesters from disrupting the display. He also argued the school failed to adequately investigate a complaint filed by members of Pro-Life.There was no doubt that club members were harassed mercilessly, he said.“If the university wins, the mob wins,” he said at the time.Cameron said the group will appeal Bokenfohr’s decision.“We are disappointed that a party who did nothing wrong and had permission to be there would be punished and censored for the misdeeds of others,” he said Thursday.“The university code of student behaviour says it stands for free speech, but it takes courage to stand for something and not just pay lip service to it.”The university argued that its discipline officer handled the case properly when he found that rules spelled out in the school’s code of student behaviour were not broken by the pro-choice protesters.The officer had determined that the counter-demonstration was itself a form of free speech.“Free speech is not a clean process where people will always take turns and treat each other with deference,” read the officer’s conclusion that was included in the university’s brief submitted to the court.“We have to expect that profound disagreements over controversial topics may be loud and vigorous. It follows that the university should tread lightly in applying disciplinary processes when people are engaging in a conflict of ideas.”
CALGARY – A Calgary girl who was paralyzed in a Texas highway crash this summer is heading to a children’s hospital in California that offers high-tech treatments for spinal injuries.Mehak Minhas, 10, is to arrive at the Shriners hospital in Sacramento on Monday, accompanied by her eight-year-old sister Jupleen and mother Jasleen.The trio were on a family holiday with three other family members when their minivan collided with an 18-wheeler northwest of Amarillo, Tx., early on July 14.Upinder Minhas, 38, his six-year-old son Mehar and 68-year-old mother Nirmal died.Mehak was airlifted to hospital in critical condition. Jupleen fractured her collarbone. Their mother had broken ribs and suffered extensive bruising.“My focus is on Mehak and her recovery,” Jasleen Minhas said in an interview two months after the crash.“As far as our future, it’s not going to be the normal it was. But I’m looking to have some sort of normalcy in our life as we progress further.”Minhas and her daughters have been staying at the Alberta Children’s Hospital since early August. For the past few weeks, Mehak has been attending the Dr. Gordon Townsend School on the lower level of the hospital for children undergoing long-term care.Casts have been removed from Mehak’s arm and leg, which were fractured in the crash, and a back brace has also come off. She hasn’t been able to move her legs.“There is a lot of improvement from the day we came here. It’s a long journey. It’s one step at a time,” her mother said.While Jupleen’s physical injuries were not nearly as severe, she suffered a great deal of trauma. Her mother says she’s a quiet girl who was very close with her father, brother and grandmother.Jupleen is going to school half-days right now. She used to always go with her brother Mehar, who would have turned seven last Friday, their mother said.“His not being present with her right now has left a great impact on her and initially it was really, really hard for her to even go half day,” she said. “But now she’s coping.”It was important for Jupleen to go with her mother and sister to Sacramento rather than stay back with friends or family, Jasleen Minhas said.“We’ve already lost so much. I don’t want to have her have the feeling that she doesn’t have her mom next to her.”Once Mehak arrives at the Shriners hospital, there will be an initial assessment. The family won’t know until after that how long their stay will be and what the treatment will entail.Friend Gurpreet Singh, a pediatrician who has been helping the Minhas family navigate the medical system, said there will be a tailor-made plan.“Their goal would be to have her achieve the best of her abilities. Their goal will be to strengthen her muscles, hopefully stimulate the nerves to achieve better recovery and faster recovery.”One potential technology that could be used is an electrical-stimulation bike, where an electric current is sent through the patient’s muscle, enabling them to pedal.About a month after Mehak’s stay at Shriners wraps up, the family will have a better idea of what modifications need to be made to their two-story home, with the help of an occupational therapist.A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $117,000 for medical and funeral expenses, as well as for the girls’ future education.Young Bhangra Calgary, a traditional Indian dance club that Mehak loved taking part in before the crash, held a fundraiser for the Minhas family on Saturday.Jasleen Minhas said the outpouring of support has been overwhelming and she wants people to continue to keep her family in their prayers.“Even people I didn’t know have reached out to us and shown their support. I’m very thankful but that ‘thank you’ is a very small word for what I have really got from family, friends and everybody from the community. I’m really, really thankful.”
Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Culture and Communications responded, “The ranking of Freedom House is devoid of accuracy and objectivity.”The NGO’s annual Freedom on the Net report for 2018 was released on November 1.The report noted the government’s crackdown on online news outlets and imprisoning of journalists and activists for their involvement in the Hirak protests in Al Hoceima. The research mentions Moroccan journalist Hamid El Mahdaoui, editor in chief of news site Badil Info. A Moroccan court sentenced El Mahdaoui to 3 years in prison in June for “inciting participation in banned [Hirak] protests” and “threatening national security.”In response to Freedom House, the ministry’s communications department stressed that the report presented inaccurate and biased information, maintaining that it had failed to present arguments and include the “positive” indicators that would rank Morocco higher among countries with digital freedom.The report addressed the difficulty of creating a news website in Morocco, recalling the Ministry of Communications’ refusal to grant press cards to Mohamed Ezzouak, founder of Yabiladi, and Ali Amar, founder of Le Desk.The ministry responded by emphasizing that under the “legal protection of confidentiality of sources,” the press and publishing law guarantees the practice of journalism. The ministry also noted that there were 349 electronic newspapers in Morocco in 2017, compared with 98 in 2015.Regarding freedom of the press in Morocco, the report says that the state can shut down publications “prejudicial to Islam, the monarchy, territorial integrity, or public order” and issue prison sentences and heavy fines on publishers of infringing content. The ministry stressed that the freedom of the digital press is “constitutionally guaranteed,” and freedom to create news sites is reflected in the increase of “the number of portals ending with ‘.ma,’ which jumped from 73 in 2016 to 129 in 2017.”The report found that despite the state’s strong control over media content, it did not block or filter any political, social, or religious websites or other sites discussing controversial issues. The ministry agreed, saying the state did not register any case of ban or seizure this year.Morocco is distinguished by its diversity and “total freedom” to launch e-papers, the ministry stated. The report monitored the internet freedom in Morocco from June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018. According to the research, not much has changed since the 2017 report as Morocco maintained its score, 45 out of 100.Freedom on the Net assesses 65 countries, covering 87 percent of the world’s internet users worldwide, and tracks developments in internet freedom each year.Read Also: Freedom on the Net: Moroccan Internet Users Are ‘Partially’ FreeMorocco’s Ministry of Culture and Communications responded, “The ranking of Freedom House is devoid of accuracy and objectivity.”The NGO’s annual Freedom on the Net report for 2018 was released on November 1.The report noted the government’s crackdown on online news outlets and imprisoning of journalists and activists for their involvement in the Hirak protests in Al Hoceima.The research mentions Moroccan journalist Hamid El Mahdaoui, editor in chief of news site Badil Info. A Moroccan court sentenced El Mahdaoui to 3 years in prison in June for “inciting participation in banned [Hirak] protests” and “threatening national security.”In response to Freedom House, the ministry’s communications department stressed that the report presented inaccurate and biased information, maintaining that it had failed to present arguments and include the “positive” indicators that would rank Morocco higher among countries with digital freedom.The report addressed the difficulty of creating a news website in Morocco, recalling the Ministry of Communications’ refusal to grant press cards to Mohamed Ezzouak, founder of Yabiladi, and Ali Amar, founder of Le Desk.The ministry responded by emphasizing that under the “legal protection of confidentiality of sources,” the press and publishing law guarantees the practice of journalism. The ministry also noted that there were 349 electronic newspapers in Morocco in 2017, compared with 98 in 2015.Regarding freedom of the press in Morocco, the report says that the state can shut down publications “prejudicial to Islam, the monarchy, territorial integrity, or public order” and issue prison sentences and heavy fines on publishers of infringing content. The ministry stressed that the freedom of the digital press is “constitutionally guaranteed,” and freedom to create news sites is reflected in the increase of “the number of portals ending with ‘.ma,’ which jumped from 73 in 2016 to 129 in 2017.”The report found that despite the state’s strong control over media content, it did not block or filter any political, social, or religious websites or other sites discussing controversial issues. The ministry agreed, saying the state did not register any case of ban or seizure this year.Morocco is distinguished by its diversity and “total freedom” to launch e-papers, the ministry stated. The report monitored the internet freedom in Morocco from June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018. According to the research, not much has changed since the 2017 report as Morocco maintained its score, 45 out of 100.Freedom on the Net assesses 65 countries, covering 87 percent of the world’s internet users worldwide, and tracks developments in internet freedom each year.