Unwanted pups which almost died to be retrained as ‘Assistance Dogs’

first_imgThree little unwanted pups who were left close to death are to be retrained as assistance dogs.The trio were handed into the Donegal Animals in Need charity in need if vital need of lifesaving care.The three dogs, which are Labrador/German Shepherd-cross sisters, were suffering from a range of problems. They were given veterinary care but it was feared that they would not make it.A spokesperson for Donegal Animals in Need said “Nine week old Charlotte (was Lulu), Coco and Chantelle, three Labrador/German Shepherd-cross sisters, were riddled with roundworms and two of them became very sick, ending up in the vets on drips, fighting for their lives.“They had such a heavy burden of parasites that as the worms came away, so did part of their intestines, leaving lesions in the intestine which in turn became infected.“Charlotte and Chantelle were in a critical condition but thanks to the outstanding care of the veterinary staff they are both now on the mend, although at times it seemed they wouldn’t make it.” The three pups are now eating special food and will join their sister Coco back at their foster home where they can recuperate.And the DAIN spokesperson added that the dogs are to play a very special part in peoples’ lives in the months and years to come.“We have brilliant news for their future – all three girls have been booked to be trained as Assistance Dogs – their breed mix being ideal for the job.“But for now they will be taking it easy while they recover as their fosterer gives a huge sigh of relief.”Unwanted pups which almost died to be retrained as ‘Assistance Dogs’ was last modified: March 11th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:animals in needassistance dogsdogsdonegalRESCUEDretrainedlast_img read more

Public invited to have their say on Harbour to Island Regeneration

first_imgDonegal County Council will be holding public information meetings in Burtonport and Árainn Mhór Island on Wednesday December 11 about the new ‘Harbour to Island Regeneration’ project. These meetings are being held to provide communities with more information on this exciting €4 million project which was recently awarded funding of just over €3 million under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) by the Minister Michael Ring T.D.The project between Burtonport and Árainn Mhór is set to transform the harbour environment, delivering improved infrastructure at the harbour in Burtonport as well as high quality shorefront amenity infrastructure on Árainn Mhór. Members of the Council’s Regeneration & Development Team will be available in An Chultúrlann, Árainn Mhór Island on Wednesday 11 December from 11am to 12noon, to answer queries and give additional information in respect of the project.The team will then be joined by colleagues from the Council’s Piers and Harbours Section for an evening session starting 5pm to 8pm in the Community Centre in Burtonport.Plans and project particulars will be on display and available for inspection.This event is a drop-in event, no appointment is necessary and everyone is welcome to attend. Public invited to have their say on Harbour to Island Regeneration was last modified: December 4th, 2019 by Dionne MeehanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Arainn Mor islandburtonportcounty councilDecemberDevelopmentdonegalharbourprojectregenerationlast_img read more

Darwinians Still Justify Genetic Determinism

first_imgOne of the most dangerous philosophies in the history of mankind is still embedded in modern Darwinism.In a recent post, we laughed at two evolutionary just-so stories that extrapolated animal behavior into human behavior. Remember, though, that animal behavior is encoded by their genes, and that’s no laughing matter when genetic determinism is extrapolated to humans. It sucks all the air out of morality, making humans pawns of an amoral, aimless natural process with no accountability.Some personal beliefs and morals may stem from genetics (Science Daily). The authors at Penn State try to qualify their genetic determinism with the word “some” — “some personal beliefs and morals” may stem from genetics. What other source is there? To evolutionists, genetic change by mutation and selection is ultimately all there is.“Most people assume that parenting shapes the development of virtuous character in children via entirely environmental pathways,” Neiderhiser said. “But our results suggest there are also heritable influences. This doesn’t mean that if parents are conscientious that their children also will be regardless of how the children are parented. It does mean, however, that children inherit a tendency to behave in a particular way and that this shouldn’t be ignored.”Who decides what is virtuous in Darwinland? The only standard is survival, isn’t it? That is completely amoral. Genocide qualifies for the fittest group that survives. Later, the determinists again qualify their stance, saying,“Your genes are not totally deterministic of who you are,” Ramos said. “Genes simply give you a potential. People still make their own choices and have agency in shaping who they become.”But once again, Darwinists have no choice or agency in their toolkit. It’s all mutation and selection, resulting in genetic changes. To have choice, you have to have free will and a soul.How did reading and writing evolve? Neuroscience gives a clue (The Conversation). Your clue that Derek Hodgson is a genetic determinist is in the thought that reading and writing “evolved.” No free will in that idea; you just carry out behaviors when you scratch on a stone or type at a keyboard. The self-refuting nature of this assertion is self-evident, because Hodgson’s genes made him say this. It could be argued that language and writing “evolve” by convention, which implies human minds that can freely choose how to represent their thoughts on material substances and in vocal sounds, but that is not what he is talking about.But how was this possible? Neuroscientific research has shown that writing text involves the premotor cortex of the brain, which drives manual skills. My theory therefore suggests that reading and writing evolved when our passive perception for discerning things started to interact with manual dexterity.In other words, you are a passive marionette governed by invisible strings reacting to natural selection. Words in a book are mere marks on a page like scratches on a stone.That said, some researchers believe that early marks were symbolic rather than aesthetic and that writing evolved from encoding information in them. However I argue this now seems increasingly unlikely. Early marks look similar to each other over an immense period of time. If the marks were symbolic, we would expect to see far more variation across space and time, just as we do in modern writing systems. But this is not the case.All this points to the probability that the earliest marks were aesthetic in that they derive from the early visual cortex’s preference for basic configurations. And it could have begun as early as Homo erectus, which lived from about 1.8m to 500,000 years ago.How evolutionary theory guides policy (Nature). This is the scariest of the three articles we are taking a look at. David Sloan Wilson, the New Teacher who wants Evolution for Everyone, is back. He sees all the detailed negotiations in national governments and foreign policy as mere manifestations of Darwinism. And Nature likes his new book about it. Even the title is scary for lovers of liberty and justice for all: This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Head for the hills! The Brave New World is upon us.Wilson’s passion for multilevel selectionist thinking, and his relentless optimism, give the book something of a messianic flavour: in places, I detect leaps of faith, for example in the belief that well-functioning groups can solve our problems of collective action. There is no false advertising, however. The very title (albeit cribbed from the end of Charles Darwin’s 1859 On the Origin of Species) portends a personal perspective. The result is utterly fascinating and beautifully written.He addresses deep questions about humanity: how we can avoid physical or mental illnesses, raise children, make groups more effective, create sustainable economies and nurture better planetary stewards.This is a recipe for global socialism, which always brings with it totalitarianism, elitism, and slavery. The elites will try to keep the peasant hens producing eggs for them.Things get more interesting for policy when Wilson turns to what he calls the “problem of goodness”. Literature on the evolution of cooperation — such as the 2011 A Cooperative Species by Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis — gives us plausible scientific reasons for goodness triumphing over evil, or selflessness over selfishness. Multilevel selection is important here. Wilson’s favourite example is an experiment showing how to increase caged hens’ egg production. You select not for the most fertile hens in each generation (co-housed, they will peck each other to death), but for the multi-hen cages with the highest productivity (where more positive social interactions predominate).Humans don’t live in cages, but group living is a fundamental adaptation of our species. In a wink of geological time, humanity moved from small pre-Neolithic tribal groups to large nation-states, with transnational religious identities and (albeit weak) global governance institutions. All this reasonably suggests a role for multilevel selection. We know that social groups work effectively when they have clearly delineated membership, are relatively egalitarian and police themselves. Wilson recounts the huge success of a “school within a school” programme with these features for students in Binghamton, New York, who were at risk of dropping out of high school. He also discusses the effectiveness of local “block clubs” in run-down parts of Buffalo, New York, and other often well-controlled studies demonstrating the success of groups that follow these design principles in producing socially preferable outcomes.Isn’t that nice to speak of “design principles” for multilevel selection? Beware fake words. Who defines what is “good”? Who designs “socially preferable outcomes”? The powerful elites who run everything, of course, and teach the peasants that they are products of selection. The elites, meantime, excuse themselves from the same rules of “multilevel selection” that everyone else is enslaved to. They make the selections now. They have reached godhood.Reviewer Monique Borgerhoff Mulder welcomes this study on Darwinian solutions to social issues. She says Wilson’s book should be on everyone’s bedside table. Everyone’s cell table, that is, next to the hole in the floor.People have no idea the horrors they are in for if this kind of thinking goes mainstream. The 20th century was a huge, awful demonstration of “selectionist” thinking imposing itself on national policy. Now that we have instant access across the globe and orbital surveillance, there will be no place to hide. We will be praying for a Rapture. (Visited 416 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Motlanthe to lead mining stability talks

first_img12 June 2013 Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will on Friday ask business, labour and government representatives to make commitments aimed at averting a potential crisis in South Africa’s mining industry. Motlanthe’s spokesman, Thabo Masebe, said on Wednesday that Motlanthe would meet with trade unions, the Chamber of Mines and several government departments from 9:30am on Friday in Pretoria, where he would ask all parties to commit to bringing stability to the industry ahead of the annual wage talks. Two weeks ago, President Jacob Zuma asked Motlanthe to step in to stabilise the mining environment and calm investor fears over labour unrest. He has since met separately with mining bosses, trade unions and government departments. “The purpose is to look at the bold steps that need to be taken by all the role players to stabilise the mining sector and to avoid a crisis that could have a devastating impact on the economy,” Masebe said. “Government wants parties to make a commitment that they will conduct their business in terms of the law.” Friday’s meeting comes after tensions between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) returned to the fore in recent weeks as the two rivals battled over bargaining rights at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine in Rustenburg in North West province. The government has committed to increasing police visibility in the area after two fatal shootings involving mineworkers were reported in the area. After the Marikana tragedy that left 44 people dead after an unprotected strike in August last year, Zuma appointed a judicial commission of inquiry, currently under way in Pretoria, to probe the circumstances that led to the deaths. This was followed by wage negotiations facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), where all the parties were later asked to sign a Peace Accord. Masebe said the Marikana Peace Accord would be brought back to the table. He said it was central to stability talks. “A Peace Accord was signed, so this is obviously one of the issues … the parties must commit to conduct themselves [in line with] the labour legislation in the country to the extent that the Peace Accord is relevant. “They will have to revisit the Peace Accord to ask: ‘Have we done all the things that we committed ourselves to do in the Peace Accord?’. They will have to go back to that and look at what they have done.” Amcu has threatened to go on strike to demand to be recognised as the majority bargaining union at Lonmin. The union is currently in talks with the mine and has said it would issue a strike notice should negotiations fall through. On Wednesday, Masebe said the Lonmin-Amcu matter would not form part of Motlanthe’s meeting. “The meeting on Friday is not a bargaining chamber or negotiating between unions and employers. It will not be looking into specific issues between the employer and a company. Those are matters that are dealt with by the workers representatives through their unions and their concerned companies.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Preparing an Edit – A Simple Transcoding Tutorial for Producers/Directors

first_imgGot a producer who needs to know how to transcode your video footage into the correct format? These free tools will get the job done.Next time your producer/director/client calls up asking you how they can prepare the footage for your edit, send them a link to this post to ensure they correctly format your footage so it really is ready to edit.First we’ll make sure they copy the file based media correctly and then walk them through how to transcode video footage into something you’re most likely to want, like ProRes 422.Step 1 – Copying your file based media correctlyThis is actually a very simple process if they have something like ShotPut Pro installed  – which will copy the cards to multiple locations simultaneously (your edit drive and their back up drive right?) and do a byte-for-byte verification afterwards. But if they don’t want to fork out for that, then copying the entire card contents to a new folder and then pressing CMD + i on the original card and the folder of that copied card, will reveal the two sets of file size numbers that should be identical. This way you know that the card has copied everything.Important cheesy acronym  – ACE IT – Always Copy Everything!If your producer/director is copying the cards themselves it is critically important that they copy EVERYTHING on the card, to keep the folder structure intact. This is important when ingesting the footage into NLE’s that need all the camera folders to be present to access the media. If your producer/director wants even more information on tapeless workflows and media management, point them here: Tapeless Workflow’s – Doing All The Right Things.Step 2 – Downloading and installing the free toolsMPEG Streamclip from Squared5.com is one of the best free editing tools available. Visit www.squared5.com now to download it for either Mac OSX or Windows. Next get the free download from Apple of the Pro Res codecs. You will need to extract the pkg that you downloaded from Apple so that you can install the codecs manually in the Macintosh HD/Library/Quicktime folder on your local drive. To do this get this free tool from Tim Doug, then just drag the package onto unpkg’s icon and it will extract the contents into the same directory, with the same name. Open up this folder to see all the Pro App codecs. Drag them to your /Library/Quicktime folder and they will now be accessible in MPEG Streamclip and any other Quicktime based application.Step 3 – Transcoding the footage with (free) MPEG StreamclipWe are going to use MPEG Streamclip to batch convert all of your video footage into Pro Res Quicktime files. Helpfully we won’t really have to change many of the default settings in MPEG Steamclip to achieve this.Open up MPEG Streamclip and press CMD+b to open the batch list. Then select all of the clips you want to transcode from your copied media card folder and drag them onto the batch window. Another smaller window will pop up. Just press OK.Next the main settings window will appear. You can leave most of these settings at the default. For example make sure that frame size is what you need – usually ‘unscaled’ is checked to keep the frame size the same as was shot, Also leave the frame rate box blank to keep the native frame rate of the footage. Drag the quality slider to 100% and choose Apple Pro Res 422 (or any flavour you want) from the drop down menu. You will probably end up with something looking like this…Hit ‘To Batch‘ and all your files will fill up the Batch List. You can now add more files if you want and press ‘Use Previous Folder & Settings’ to transcode more footage into the same folder with the same settings. If you’re transcoding several cards of footage, it is better to send the transcodes to different folders (usually matching the original card name) for organizational clarity (example: Card 1 > Card 1 Transcodes)When you are all set, simply hit ‘Go’ and then sit back and let MPEG Streamclip work through all your footage.Got tips to share on media management?How do you prefer to transcode your footage for video editing?Let us know in the comments!last_img read more

Family received death threats after Champions League final, says Sergio Ramos

first_imgSpain and Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos revealed that his family received “death threats” after the Champions League final, where he injured Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.Ramos, 32, was jeered throughout Spain’s 2-1 victory over England at Wembley in a UEFA Nations League game.Speaking to ESPN after Spain’s 2-1 win over England at Wembley in a UEFA Nations League game, where he was constantly booed, Ramos said that the boos doesn’t affect him but he would have liked a different reaction.”One tries to evade (the boos). In the end you feel it, but I stay out of everything. It doesn’t affect my game,” Ramos was quoted as saying by ESPNFC.”I would have liked another reception because people only remember the action of the final, and nobody remembers the death threats that my family and my children received.Also read – Salah hits out at Ramos over Champions League final injury”It is a very sensitive issue that people maybe take as a joke about and (that’s why they) whistle in a great stadium like this. My conscience is very clear. I already explained (what happened), and I do not have to give more explanations.”Salah was forced off the field with a shoulder injury midway through the first half following a challenge by Ramos and Real went on to beat Liverpool 3-1 on the day to win their third consecutive crown. Mohamed Salah injured his shoulder during the Champions League final (Reuters Photo)The whole issue has been blown out of proportion and both Salah and Ramos have been asked about it even now. However, Ramos has time and again denied trying to intentionally hurt Salah.advertisement”You never expect a reception that is not good because, as I said the other day, if these [English] fans have something good, it is that they have always been with the great players. It has not been like that, but I am very calm, with my conscience very clear in that aspect.”As I said before, I have never tried to hurt a colleague. There are people who may have misunderstood it, but these are football things. It will not change anything in my game or in me.”Meanwhile, he was effusive in his praise for Spain and Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea who made a string of saves to keep England and especially Marcus Rashford at bay.”He is a great goalkeeper. We have always said it,” Ramos said. “The big games are those that mark the great players. After a World Cup with many doubts, he deserved (a performance such as this).”He is a great goalkeeper, and today he has (had) a great game, he has made some interventions that have marked the result of the game. Hopefully it is also a beginning, and that will help him to gain confidence because he is a key player for us,” Ramos added.(With inputs from IANS)last_img read more

10 Steps to Being Found on Search Engines

first_imgLet’s do an experiment. Go to Google and type in the most commonly used version of your organization’s name. Do you show up first in the resulting list of sites? What if you type in a short phrase describing the type of work you’d like to be known for? Do you show up in the top page of those search results, too?Your placement on search engines like Google or Yahoo Search is important. At a minimum, it should be easy for your current constituents to find your site using your organization’s name. Showing up on the first page of search results for key terms — for instance, something like “Cincinnati women’s shelter,” if that describes your organization — can also make a huge difference in your site traffic, not to mention in potential donors, volunteers, and clients’ ability to find and connect with you.You don’t have complete control over where and how your Web site shows up in search engines, but you have more power than you might think. The process of site tweaking and outreach that’s used to enhance your search engine placement is called search engine optimization (or SEO for short). While SEO is often described in ways that make it seem like a mystical art form, in fact none of the key steps are particularly hard to understand. They are often, however, time consuming, and most require at least the ability to update your site’s text, if not basic HTML skills.Investing time in comparatively straightforward tasks like including key phrases in titles and headlines can reap some substantial benefits. Below, we suggest 10 steps that can help search engines find and prioritize your site content. While some steps are more technical than others, these concepts can help anyone understand and prioritize search engine optimization for their organization.1. Ensure Your Site Has High-Quality InformationThe cornerstone of any optimization strategy — or just a good Web site strategy, for that matter — is a lot of great, relevant information tailored to those you’d like to attract to your site. A large volume of high-quality content helps with a number of the steps listed below — for instance, you’re more likely to have information that’s useful to any particular person, you’re more likely to include the key phrases for which people are searching, and other sites are more likely to link to yours.Not to mention, of course, that a terrific site is more likely to engage the people who find you through search engines, and encourage them to become not only repeat visitors, but friends of your organization.2. Help Search Engines Find Your SiteSearch engines read through huge volumes of information on the Web with software programs called “robots” or “spiders” (because they navigate, or “crawl,” through the Web). These spiders create an index which contains, essentially, all the pages they’ve found and the words that are contained on them.You need to make sure your Web site is included in those indexes. You can easily check to see if your site has been indexed by Google’s index by searching “site:www.yourdomain.org” — i.e. site:www.idealware.org. This search will show a list of all the pages from your site that are included in Google’s index (ideally, every page on your site).If you’re not included in the indexes — for instance, if you have a new Web site, or one without much traffic — none of the steps below will do much good until you are. How do you get included? You can submit your site to the search engines — to Google, or Yahoo for instance — but experts are divided on how useful this is. It’s certainly not a quick way to be included.A better way is to get other indexed sites to link to yours. You can start this effort with huge, general-interest directories like the DMOZ directory, but you’re likely to have as much or more success with directories or listings related to your field. Is there an online directory of children’s service organizations? Does your United Way have a listing of local organizations? Do your funders have a list of grantees online? Any of these (or ideally all of them, as per the next section) could provide the link you need to be indexed.Some online services say they’ll submit you to a lot of directories and search engines automatically. These generally aren’t worth the money, as indiscriminate listings aren’t nearly as useful as ones targeted to your sector.3. Encourage Others to Link to YouLinks from other sites to yours are a critical aspect of search engine optimization. A couple of links will help the search engines find your sites, but lots of links will show them that your site is a central, important resource for particular topics.The more incoming links you have from credible organizations (that is to say, organizations that show up high on search engines themselves), the higher you will be listed in search results. To check to see the links that Google has indexed for your site, enter “link:www.yourdomain.org” into the Google search bar. The resulting list doesn’t include every link from every site, but is a guide to the approximate quantity of high-quality links.How do you get people to link to you? As we mentioned above, there are likely a number of organizations that have a list of organizations like yours. Ensuring you’re included in all the relevant directories is a good start. See if partner organizations will link to you. Do a search on the phrases for which you’d like to be found and look for ways to get the organizations at the top of the search results to link to you. Think through content you could provide — perhaps reports, articles, toolkits, directories of your own — that would be so useful that organizations would be inspired to link to it.4. Identify the Keywords For Which You’d Like to Be FoundWe’ve talked so far about ways for people to find your site as a whole — but people are unlikely to be looking for your site specifically. They’re much more likely to be looking for good information or a resource on a particular topic, which they’ll identify by entering the first words that come to mind when they think about their topic, known as keywords in search engine optimization lingo.Identifying the keywords that people are likely to use, and for which you’d like to be found, is a critical step in search engine optimization. You should ideally think through keywords not just for your organization as a whole, but for each content page that might have useful information for your target audience. For instance, “Cincinnati women’s shelter” might lead people to your organization, but if you offer meaty content on your site, a search on “signs of domestic abuse” might also lead people to you.How do you identify your core keywords? It’s not a science. First off, try to identify phrases that are reasonably specific to your organization. Trying to show up in the top of the search results for “the environment” is likely to be a losing battle, but “measuring river-water quality” is a more achievable goal. In thinking through your keywords, consider: Be careful of duplicate pages.Search engines react badly to duplicate content, as it’s a common ploy of those trying to spam a search engine into better placement. Be careful of structures that show the same page content at multiple URLs (for instance, as a print-friendly version). If multiple versions are important, use the “robots” metatag to specify that additional versions shouldn’t be indexed. Also, take particular care not to set up a site so it can be seen in its entirety at multiple domains (for instance, at both http://www.idealware.org and http://idealware.org) — instead, redirect from one domain to the other. Page text.Repeating your keywords a number of times (but not so many times to annoy your readers, of course) throughout the page text is likely to boost your placement. If you are looking for a comparatively quick way to optimize each page, adding keywords in just the title and description metadata can provide substantial results without a wholesale rewrite of your site.Note that the keywords need to be shown as text. Spiders can’t read images, so any page, header, or feature that’s displayed as a graphic — regardless of how prominent on the page — is invisible to search engines.6. Ensure a Search-Friendly Web Site ArchitectureOkay, we need to delve into a bit of technical detail for a minute. Unfortunately, the detailed structure of a Web site can affect your search engine placement in important ways. If you’re not generally familiar with Web site construction concepts and HTML (the language of Web sites), you may need to flag this section to the attention of a trusted Web developer.Spiders don’t read in the same way that a human would, so it’s important to follow some basic site-structure guidelines to ensure that they can find and read your information: How many keywords should you have? That’s up to you. Ideally, you’d have a least a couple keyword phrases for each page on your site. Some organizations optimize for thousands of keywords. However, starting with just a few phrases and a few pages is far better than nothing.5. Place Keywords in Prime LocationsOnce you’ve identified your priority keywords, the next step is to integrate them into your Web pages. When someone searches on a key phrase, the search engine looks for pages that include prominent mentions of the phrase: ones that contain it a number of times, show it toward the top of the page, and include it in key locations.Unfortunately, there’s no substitute for the time-consuming task of incorporating your keywords into each content page. For each page, consider how you can incorporate your keywords into: Headlines and section titles.Text that is formatted prominently (bigger, bolder, higher on the page) is more likely to affect search engine placement than other text, so keywords will hold more weight in headlines. What search phrases are people using in your domain?Tools like Good Keywords or WordTracker can help you to brainstorm keywords related to the ones you’ve already identified, and to find the phrasing that searchers are most likely to use. Ensure there’s a simple link to every page on your site.JavaScript navigation schemes — particularly ones that use rollovers — can make it hard for spiders to recognize and follow a link. Dynamic URLs, particularly ones that indicate the parameter with a question mark, can also be problematic. If your site is dynamic, consider creating a site index that contains a link to every page. Ideally, convert your dynamic URLs so that they look like static pages with a command like mod_rewrite. What phrases are associated with your organization?Start the keyword process by listing the words and phrases that you’re already using in your marketing materials. The name of your organization is an obvious one, as is the name of any well-known people associated with you. Do you have a tagline or short mission statement that concisely and usefully summarizes what you do? What phrases do you use in that? How are people currently finding you?If you have access to a Web site analytics tool, you can likely see the search engine phrases that people are currently using to find you. These can be a useful starting point in understanding how people search for your information. Think about how you can increase the ease with which you can be found for these phrases, and use them to provide inspiration for more important phrases. Page description metadata.Each page has a “description” field, a longer description of page content that can be accessed in a similar way to the “title” metadata. The description is another important place to include your keywords, and is also sometimes shown by search engines as the description of your page in search results. Page title metadata.Each page has what’s called a “title metadata field,” which controls the text that shows up in header bar at the top of the browser window — and which is also frequently shown as the page title in search engine results. This is one of the most important places to include your keywords. This title field can be edited through the HTML code of the page, or through most methods you might use to update your site — for instance, through Dreamweaver, Contribute, and most content-management systems. Link text.The words used as a link to your page are prioritized highly when the search engines consider that page. Optimize the links within your own site and especially any external links you have control over, for example in your blog, email signatures, social network profiles, and so on. Encourage others to link to you using your keywords — for instance, by providing keyword-heavy titles and descriptions for resources on your site. Include content early in each HTML page.When looking for content keywords, search engines prioritize keywords that show up early in the text of the page — and that text includes all of the HTML code. Try to structure the page so that the HTML code includes the content as early as possible — as opposed to, for instance, including code for complex headers, navigation bars, and sidebars before getting to the actual page text. Use standard header tags.Some search engines prioritize text that is displayed in standard formatting tags such as H1 or H2, so it’s worthwhile using those as opposed to creating custom names for your header styles. Page URL.If you can control the actual filename of the page (e.g. “search_engines.html”), keywords embedded in the URL are also counted as highly relevant. One last caution: avoid tricks. In reading through this article and others, you may think you’ve found loopholes to get higher placement without the work. That’s very unlikely. Search engines spend a huge amount of time trying to preclude shortcuts, and they don’t take kindly to being tricked. If you set up your site in a way that looks to a search engine like you’re trying to fool them, they may remove your site from their listings altogether.7. Keep Your Site FreshSearch engines love new pages. Try to add new stories, reports, news releases, and the like so that search engines feel that your site is frequently updated and thus should be frequently indexed. If your site is rarely updated, it can take months for search engines to find your infrequent new additions.Blogs can be a particularly useful way to easily add new pages to your site — and can also provide great information that encourages links from others (not to mention all the other ways blogs can help in marketing and outreach!).8. Consider Google GrantsSo far, we’ve focused on ways to tweak and optimize your site in order to be listed for free on any search engine. There’s another way, though, to be listed on Google: Google gives away free search-engine advertising (the links listed as “Sponsored Links” down the right side of the search results page) through its Google Grants program.If you’re approved for the program (at the moment, Google appears to be using a non-competitive vetting process, although it can take up to six months or so to hear back), you can place text ads that show up each time someone enters key phrases into the Google search box. The grants often offer enough free advertising to allow you to place ads for hundreds of keywords.Google Grants isn’t a replacement for the steps above. It only affects Google and not other search engines, and many organizations find that an ad to a page doesn’t bring nearly as much traffic as a link to that page from the traditional search results. However, it’s a straightforward process that every nonprofit should consider.9. Be Patient, but Keep Checking InSearch engines don’t respond to changes overnight. In fact, it might take a month or more to see the results of your efforts reflected in search engine results. Don’t give up hope — keep including keywords in new content, and asking other organizations to link to your resources.Once you do see some results, don’t rest on your laurels. The Web is a dynamic place, and new Web sites, new articles, and changing search engine priorities can affect your placement. Check in on the search results for your keywords at least every month or so, to help maintain your position and continue to enhance your strategy.10. Enjoy the Fruits of Your LaborUnfortunately, search engine optimization isn’t a particularly short or easy road. But it’s important to take on at least some of the basic steps — for instance, ensuring your site is linked to from a few well-known sites, and including some of your most important keywords in page titles and headers.When your new donors, volunteers, and clients mention that they found you through Google or Yahoo Search, you’ll be glad you took the time.Many thanks to Heather Gardner-Madras of gardner-madras | strategic creative, Kevin Gottesman of Gott Advertising, and Michael Stein, Internet Strategist, who also contributed to this article.This article is courtesy of Idealware, which provides candid information to help nonprofits choose effective software. For more articles and reviews, go to www.idealware.org.Copyright © 2008 CompuMentor. This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License.last_img read more

9 Ways to Fix Bad Email

first_imgI’m very excited that my organization, Network for Good, has partnered with Emma to offer a new Email campaign tool. I won’t use this space to extoll its virtues (though as a marketing person, I have to say there are many), but I did want to celebrate the fact this week with a couple of email posts. Here are 9 ways to create vastly better emails:1. Define Your Audience. You could buy an enormous list of cold prospects (WARNING: bad idea!) or focus on a carefully built list of people who care. You’ll do much better with the latter group who has given you permission to communicate with them. No one likes spam. (Some people enjoy SPAM®, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of meat.) 2. Define Your Message. Do you have the right message and right time for that message? Focus your message on your audience’s interests, aspirations and desires rather than your own need for money. It’s all about “you marketing” versus “me marketing.” 3. Get to the point in spectacular fashion, in the first few words. The subject line of your email needs to seize the audience’s attention. Don’t ever bury the lead. (A good trick that usually works – throw out your first paragraph.) 4. Offer something of value to the reader-helpful tips, for example. Those are likely to be saved, not trashed. People will think of you in a favorable way. 5. Segment and personalize. The more the missive speaks to the receiver as an individual, the more likely they will perceive it as something other than spammy slop. 6. Be different. People are drowning in email. Whether it’s the tone of your message or the startling honesty of your subject line, a standout element is required. 7. Make the call to action so incredibly easy to do, people just can’t say no. Strive for a one-click or one-second level of ease. 8. Make it easy for people to unsubscribe or get off your mailing list. Include an unsubscribe button and an easy way for people to contact you to update their information. It’s convenient, transparent for you and keeps you in line with CAN-SPAM rules. 9. Don’t email donors, subscribers, etc. via Outlook. Ever. It will get you into trouble. You need a professional email outreach tool.last_img read more

Going Beyond the E-Newsletter: Five Essentials for Crafting an Engaging Email Marketing Program

first_imgDo you have email newsletter fatigue? Maybe you’re struggling to find content for your monthly newsletter. Perhaps it’s just been tough to stick to a sending schedule. Or, maybe you’d much rather take a nap after hitting send than bother looking at those response numbers. Building loyal, engaged supporters starts with an engaging email strategy, so if you’re feeling a little fatigued with your newsletter (ugh!), there’s a chance your subscribers feel the same way (ack!).Join Suzanne Norman and Jim Hitch–our friends and partners at Emma–as they highlight the very best practices for crafting an engaging email strategy. From sign-up to send-off to follow-up, they’ll use nonprofit email examples to show you how to inspire at every turn. You’ll learn numerous tactics:    Growing your list    Developing fresh content    Working with your in-house team    Crafting stylish campaigns    Making the most of your response numbersAnd you’ll leave with everything you need to put together an email program that attracts, engages and inspires your audience. DOWNLOAD THE SLIDES BELOW “RELATED DOCUMENTS,” OR VISIT https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/B2046/IMG6468.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more