West Ham 3-0 Lusitanos: Hammers kick off Europa League qualifying with easy victory

first_img1 West Ham celebrate Diafra Sakho’s goal West Ham began their first European campaign for nine years with a straightforward 3-0 victory over Andorra minnows Lusitanos.The Hammers, who made the Europa League qualifying first-round tie having topped the Fair Play Table last season, entertained the packed, 35,000-strong Upton Park crowd, with manager Slaven Bilic in the stands.Top frontman Diafra Sakho – who scored 12 goals in 26 games last term – netted a cool first-half brace with James Tomkins adding a third after the break to put the hosts in control ahead of their second leg trip to the tiny principality on 9 July.It’s a long road to a potential group stage spot, though – if they do see off Lusitanos over the two legs, they’ll face another two qualifying clashes before a final play-off to enter the competition proper.With academy manager Terry Westley in charge, West Ham named a youthful side, with 16-year-old Reece Oxford – the England Under-17 captain – becoming West Ham’s youngest ever player as he started alongside Diego Poyet, 20, in midfield.New goalkeeper Darren Randolph was also in action but it was a quiet debut for the former Birmingham man, as the visitors fired just two shots at goal in the 90 minutes – with none hitting the target.It was a sluggish start from the Hammers, with Oxford forcing the Lusitanos goalkeeper into the first save of the night with a tame header on 12 minutes.Sakho should have broken the deadlock on the half-hour mark after a smart Diego Poyet – son of former Sunderland manager Gus – pass allowed Amalfitano to stand up a cross for the Senegal forward – who could only head over from close range.But the striker made no mistake when presented with a similar chance ten minutes later, nodding home Zarate’s cross after some smart work by the tricky Argentine.And the Senegal international swept home his second on the stroke of half-time, this time taking up a position in the box to convert Zarate’s low crossThe second half started in a similar pattern to the first and again it was Oxford who came close to scoring, this time with a rasping long-range drive which flew just wide.Tomkins nodded home a third soon afterwards, steering a header into the net after smart work by Jarvis, with Sakho making way soon after as Elliot Lee was introduced.Further changes from both sides fragmented play in the closing stages, with academy product Josh Cullen rattling the crossbar with a dipping effort in stoppage time.last_img read more

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

Community alert over bogus door-to-door sales people

first_imgA community alert has been reported in the Glenties area of Donegal today over alleged door-to-door salespersons.The public is being advised to keep a lookout for a white Mercedes van with people attempting to sell LED lighting.The suspected salespeople are said to be calling from door to door in the Glenties area. The van is described as a white long wheel base Mercedes van with a possible English registration.Gardaí are urging the public to be aware and to contact Glenties Garda Station on (074)9551080 wth any sightings.Community alert over bogus door-to-door sales people was last modified: November 19th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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)last_img read more

Corrupt Peer Review Needs a Reformation

first_imgThe ostensible gold standard of scientific reliability, peer review, looks more like fool’s gold in many cases. Reforming it will require an overhaul, not just corrections.Evolutionists sometimes hammer creationists with peer review. They sneer, ‘Point me to some of your peer-reviewed work and I might begin to take it seriously.” This attitude overlooks a number of flawed assumptions, among them: (1) that peer review elevates a paper to a higher plane of scientific reliability, (2) that creationists do not have peer review (they do, but most often in their own journals), (3) that evolutionary journals would treat creationist submissions fairly (which they do not; they are excluded a priori), and (4) that reviewers are unbiased saints without ulterior motives or flaws. Another faulty assumption is that peer review has always been a criterion of science, when in fact, many honored works, including Newton’s Principia and (ironically) Darwin’s Origin of Species (touted by atheists as the greatest scientific work ever penned), were not peer reviewed. Peer review has had a spotty history, only in recent decades following any kind of regular protocol.Solomon recommended seeking a multitude of counselors (Proverbs 11:14) almost two millennia ago. That’s not exclusive wisdom for scientists. Most importantly, any form of peer review or counsel clearly depends on the honesty of the reviewers.This month marks the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Luther (and just about everyone else at the time) saw the corruption of a religious system that arrogated to itself the sole right of review, as it were, of what was orthodox and what was heretical. Luther’s original hope for debate and rational discussion quickly degenerated into a standoff, in which the entrenched powers of tradition ordered him to recant his views. In good conscience, he could not. The rest is history; it took a Reformation, not a discussion, to achieve lasting change.A similar situation is happening right now with peer review. There’s a revolt going on among scientists who feel that mere revisions to tradition will probably not be able to cure the corruption. Here is some recent news on the coming reformation in peer review:Can editors save peer review from peer reviewers? (PLoS One). The authors find that reform is unlikely to help, and seem to agree that a reformation is necessary. Luther could probably relate to the human foibles corrupting today’s scientific peer review:Peer review is the gold standard for scientific communication, but its ability to guarantee the quality of published research remains difficult to verify. Recent modeling studies suggest that peer review is sensitive to reviewer misbehavior, and it has been claimed that referees who sabotage work they perceive as competition may severely undermine the quality of publications. Here we examine which aspects of suboptimal reviewing practices most strongly impact quality, and test different mitigating strategies that editors may employ to counter them. We find that the biggest hazard to the quality of published literature is not selfish rejection of high-quality manuscripts but indifferent acceptance of low-quality ones. Bypassing or blacklisting bad reviewers and consulting additional reviewers to settle disagreements can reduce but not eliminate the impact. The other editorial strategies we tested do not significantly improve quality, but pairing manuscripts to reviewers unlikely to selfishly reject them and allowing revision of rejected manuscripts minimize rejection of above-average manuscripts. In its current form, peer review offers few incentives for impartial reviewing efforts. Editors can help, but structural changes are more likely to have a stronger impact.Preprint ecosystems (Jeremy Berg in Science Magazine). Preprint servers are exploding on the web as alternatives to peer review. Cornell’s arXiv service for physicists has had legs for a number of years; now biologists are embracing the trend as a bioRxiv service spreads its wings. Although preprint authors may subject their work to peer review before final publication, the internet has enabled scientists fed up with tradition to do an end run around peer review and get feedback on their ideas instantly. This leaves traditional journals like Science in a quandary. They don’t want to stop the reformation, but they still want to maintain some of their power to keep ‘official’ science under their wing:The Science family of journals accepts the submission of a research paper for which a preprint of the submitted version is posted on not-for-profit servers such as arXiv and bioRxiv, as we support mechanisms that relate to the rapid communication of findings within the scientific community. We encourage authors to discuss with our editors any postings to other servers, and we encourage our editors to become involved in discussions about preprint-related issues as they evolve. Interactions with the press related to preprints has become one challenging area. When preprints of papers that are of potential interest to the press and the public are available, reporters on occasion approach authors prior to peer-reviewed publication. If a paper is under consideration in a Science-family journal, we leave it up to authors as to how they respond to media inquiries, but do note that media coverage could be taken into account by editors when considering novelty and make it difficult to embargo the paper if accepted for publication. We believe that giving reporters access to papers that will soon appear in our journals, on an embargoed basis, leads to more complete and accurate reporting of important science stories.The preprint dilemma (Jocelyn Kaiser in Science). Speaking for the establishment, Kaiser worries about new problems that the rush toward preprints might cause. And yet it’s a dilemma for the journals because they don’t want to position themselves as antagonists toward a popular reformation. She sounds like a medieval apologist for the church trying to give calm, rational objections to what Luther’s actions might lead to, while keeping some semblance of order for traditional power structures. In the subheading, “Will preprints replace journals?” comes this statement: “Some proponents predict that preprint servers will become the favored venue for publishing and critiquing findings, and will eventually replace peer-reviewed journals altogether,” she says, giving this diplomatically-worded talking point in favor of Holy Mother Science: “For the moment, that appears to be a minority view.”Publishers threaten to remove millions of papers from ResearchGate (Nature). Integrity applies to both authors and reviewers. A number of scientists, fed up with the paywalls of the standard journals, have taken advantage of the internet’s easy flow of information to post copyrighted papers on “the world’s largest scholarly social network.” It’s not quite as evil as BitTorrent has been for musicians denied their fair compensation, because participants in ResearchGate postings can rationalize that publicly funded research should be publicly available. Who owns the rights to this ‘intellectual property’? The current controversy sounds historically familiar. In Luther’s day, outraged peasants felt cheated out of the Holy Scriptures intended for all mankind that a powerful religious order was keeping from them. In a kind of counter-reformation, the journals are fighting back against the undercutting of their bread and butter (i.e., journal sales) by suing and ordering take-down of illegal postings. Much as they want to stop the leaks, their suggested judicial fingers in the internet dike are unlikely to prevent a flood, since there are many ways around the fingers. Many scientists, for instance, commonly share papers via email, using their institution’s group subscriptions, or post their work on their personal web pages.Influence, integrity, and the FDA: An ethical framework (Science Magazine). While not about peer review per se, this Policy Forum statement from the AAAS underscores the principle that review or regulation are only as good as the integrity of the reviewers or regulators.Among the core missions of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are protecting public health by assuring the safety and efficacy of drugs, biologics, and medical devices and advancing public health by promoting scientific research and medical innovation. According to its mandate, the decisions made by the FDA in fulfilling these missions should be guided by scientific considerations, not economic or political ones. However, several recent, high-profile episodes have highlighted the fact that the FDA is buffeted by many external influences. Such controversies require us to distinguish between legitimate influences that would improve the FDA or enhance its regulatory mission, illegitimate influences that seek to corrupt or undermine the agency, and influences that may be legitimate but nevertheless harm public health or patient outcomes. We present a decision framework to assist regulators, policy-makers, judges, physicians, and the public in evaluating the legitimacy and value of external influences on the FDA.This may sound all fine and good, but in reality, one group of fallible humans seeks to arrogate to itself the right to tell other fallible humans what they should do. What influences are acting on the authors of this policy statement? On what basis do they determine legitimacy or corruption in the FDA’s dealings, if not by appealing to an external standard of morality? If the government responded by issuing a policy statement requiring analysis of the legitimacy of the AAAS, what would the AAAS say? Who’s fixing the fixers?The Bible has an absolute standard of morality, but evolutionary theory does not. In evolution, might makes right. Like in a cage match, it’s about survival in the struggle for existence. Put the AAAS and the FDA in the iron cage and let them fight to the finish. The winner gets the belt of legitimacy. If scientists and journals find this picture deplorable, let them acknowledge the Ten Commandments, or point to some other timeless, universal canon of integrity that is not composed of matter in motion. Good luck finding one in Darwin’s views.(Visited 335 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Skills hub for trainee accountants

first_img19 July 2012 Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel launched a business hub and skills programme for unemployed accounting graduates in Kyalami, north of Johannesburg, on Wednesday.He said the initiative would go a long way to addressing the shortage of accountants in the South African economy.“[This] brings together a range of stakeholders who will contribute to increasing skills, creating jobs and supporting small business development.”Through a partnership with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica), the initiative would provide training to unemployed accounting graduates, to enhance their practical skills and workplace readiness.A total of R6-million had been set aside by the department of economic development for the first year, in which 50 graduates would be trained.The second group of graduates would start at the beginning of 2013.The first intake would all hold BCom Accounting or equivalent qualifications.They would be trained by Guarantee Trust in life skills and technical skills, with simulated real work in real companies.Graduates to work at business hubSaica would set up a business hub offering back-office support to black entrepreneurs with an annual turnover of about R10-million.Graduates from the programme would work at the hub, providing accounting support to the businesses.This would also be done through a partnership with the new Small Enterprise Finance Agency.Fifteen of the graduates from the programme would be placed at the hub and the rest in various companies across the country.Patel said the business hub and skills programme would help the government’s efforts to create five-million jobs by 2020, as set out in the New Growth Path.“As we celebrate Mandela Day today, we must recognise that it is this kind of public interest role that we need more organisations to play, as it contributes towards the kind of society that we are striving for,” he said.Saica CEO Matsobane Matlwa said training would bridge the gap between educational qualifications and what the industry needed.“We are committed to collaborating with government in ensuring that all South Africans can have an opportunity to really participate and increase the economy of the country, by ensuring that they have a decent living,” he said.Matlwa said Saica’s strategic partner Softline Pastel would fund the set-up costs of the business hub and provide accounting software.Sapalast_img read more

Top 10 Most Popular Apps in the Google Apps Marketplace in 2010

first_imgA Google Enterprise Blog year-end post takes a look at the most popular apps of 2010 in the Google Apps Marketplace. If you’ve been watching the “Top Installed” list on the Marketplace for a while, this list probably won’t surprise you. The top three categories were: Project Management, CRM and Accounting and Finance. Are you a Google Apps user? What Marketplace apps have you found helpful this year?Manymoon – Project ManagementInsightly – CRMZoho CRM – CRMAviary Design SuiteMavenlink – Project ManagementOutright – Accounting & FinanceMailChimp – Sales & MarketingRapidTask – Project ManagementInsync – Document ManagementmyERP.com – myERP.comGoogle also gave an honorable mention to # 11 – Grockit, the first educational app in the Marketplace.Congratulations are in order to Manymoon. You can learn how the company is planning on expanding into the Jive Apps Market here. Tags:#enterprise#saas 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…center_img klint finley Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… IT + Project Management: A Love Affairlast_img read more

10 Amazing Blogs About Blogging to Start Reading NOW

first_imgWith all the changes in inbound marketing over the past few years, one tactic has bubbled up and stayed at the top as a crucial part of a successful marketing strategy: business blogging. You know you need to blog, and whether you find it easy and fun or a difficult fact of life as a marketer, any valuable information you can get to make that job easier is certainly welcome.You probably have a hefty mix of blogs and websites in your RSS, some of which might talk about blogging every once in a while. But there are a lot of killer blogs out there that dedicate themselves solely to the discussion of…well, blogging. And these bloggers do it really, really well.So what blogs should you be reading? There are certainly more than 10 rockin’ blogging blogs (that’s a mouthful) out there, but we thought it was important to curate a manageable mix of sites for you to reference; some that you might have heard of, and some that are hopefully new gems to incorporate into your daily reading regime and help you kick some blogging butt.10 Blogs About Blogging You Should Be Reading1.) Copyblogger – You’ve probably come across this superstar blog many times if you’re one of the many people interested in learning more about writing well. The site teaches you how to write compelling copy, the genesis of online marketing success. It has compiled its own best-of list, a good sample of blog posts to read if this site is new to you.2.) Blogging Basics 101 – As the name suggests, this site is perfect for you if you’re just starting out with blogging. On this site, you’ll learn everything from legal use of logos on your blog to repurposing your blog posts into new types of content. We hope this site begins updating more frequently in 2012!3.) Fuel Your Blogging – If you’re an avid blogger who wants to suck every last bit of ROI out of your blog, this site is the place for you. Here you’ll get tips and info beyond the basics, like details about comment spamming, how to integrate your blog with other social media networks, and how to use data and statistics in your blog posts.4.) ProBlogger – The content on ProBlogger focuses on monetizing your blogging efforts. The posts are thorough, thoughtful, and often feature either guest posts from other industry titans or discuss new thought leadership content being published. It’s a great blog for both beginners and seasoned pros.5.) For Bloggers By Bloggers – What better source for blogging advice than a blogging community? Get information from the front lines on this site to make every aspect of your blog better.6.) Blogging Tips – This site is just what it sounds like…tips on blogging! The site is helpful because it understands the day to day problems bloggers encounter, and presents tips and tools to solve those problems and make blogging easier.7.) Blogussion – With a tagline like “Blogging for the Mind” you better believe the folks at Blogussion are creating some cerebral content. This site is ideal for a more advanced audience looking to go beyond the basics of blogging.8.) Daily Blog Tips – If you’re wondering how to make money on your blog, this site will help you figure it out with tips on SEO, blog promotion, writing tips, and web design best practices.9.) Spice Up Your Blog – Although these folks focus on all types of blog tips, go to them for some exceptionally good tips on making your blog more visually appealing.10.) The Blog Herald – Where do bloggers go to stay up to date on news in the blogging world? The Blog Herald will ensure you’re in the know on all the latest news and releases that bloggers need to know about to stay current in their industry.Got another great blog or website about blogging that you think people should be reading? Share it in the comments so we can check it out!Image credit: Kristina B Blog Examples Topics: Originally published Jan 2, 2012 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

A Stress-Free Approach to Adopting New Marketing Technologies

first_img Originally published Mar 6, 2013 4:30:00 PM, updated October 01 2019 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 rate of change in marketing technology — continually accelerated by all the new innovations we see every day — has created growing demand for tech-savvy marketing professionals who know how to research, select, manage, and integrate a diverse collection of tools. “Prototype marketers” — what we at PR 20/20 call the hybrid marketers that have a variety of skillsets — are ideal to manage this rapidly evolving industry of ours. Why? Because they are able to recommend and work with technology and software that drives marketing automation, email, social media, project management, customer relationship management, analytics, and more.Consider this. The IDC predicts that in 2013, more than half of all new marketing hires will have a technical background. Additionally, Eloqua notes that 75% of marketers say their lack of skills is impacting revenue in some way, and 74% say it’s contributing to misalignment between the marketing and sales teams. And it’s even impacting the C-Suite — according to IBM’s CMO Study, 71% of CMOs indicated that they are underprepared to manage the impact of the data explosion.As modern marketing professionals, we are all responsible for the technology that fuels performance. But how do you stay on top of what’s available and possible, and whether platforms will help achieve key performance indicators? Well, you’re about to learn how. This post outlines seven steps you can take to help you more easily weave new technologies into your integrated marketing program.Your Roadmap for Easier Marketing Technology Adoption1) Encourage Agility and ExperimentationBefore you get started, do what you can to encourage an agile marketing culture that embraces experimentation. If you’re in a leadership position, this comes from the top down. In other words, you should actively encourage employees to carve out time in their days to try new things, and never penalize them if the experiment fails. Think about the knowledge you gained by running a quick, agile experiment: You know something worked, and if it didn’t, you’re closer to understanding why. Plus, when those experiments have great results, you just added more value to your business.If you’re not in a leadership position, you can still perform little experiments on your own time and present the results — especially the good ones — to your team to try to show the benefits of trying new things. Hopefully, your entrepreneurial spirit will rub off!2) Always Be ListeningChanges in marketing technologies have a direct effect on your career, and your company. That means it’s up to you to stay on top of new advancements as they come out, and be the one to raise your hand and say there’s something new worth looking into. The best way I’ve found to do this without being totally overwhelmed is setting up an RSS feed that alerts you with relevant technology and industry stories.For instance, our team here at PR 20/20 follows blogs from Zapier, Salesforce, HubSpot, Yammer, Google Analytics, and more. You’ll also want to stay connected with leading technology industry publications — I recommend AllThingsD, TechCrunch, GigaOM, and Chief Marketing Technologist for starters, though there are plenty of other fantastic blogs and publications worth considering.Check your RSS at least once a day; just make it part of your routine, browsing through the stories over your morning coffee. If you don’t have time to read the headlines you deem important that very moment, just pop them open in another tab to read over lunch or when you need a break from what you’re working on.3) Carve Out Time to Learn & ResearchNow that you have a couple new technologies you’ve discovered are worth researching, it’s time to actually start learning about them. This won’t happen by osmosis; you have to carve out time on your calendar to do this research. It might take 20 minutes, it might take a few hours. It just depends how complex the new technology is. Whatever it is you’re researching and learning about, you’ll know you’ve done a good job if you can answer the following baseline questions (these are adapted from The Marketing Agency Blueprint):Snapshot: What does the technology do? Include the simple, 1-2 sentence executive summary, with links to additional information.Market: Is the product tested and true; are there competitors or options you should review for due diligence?Use Cases: How is this technology applicable to your team and processes? Detail use cases and benefits.  Technology: Is it interoperable with existing systems and processes? What will adoption take? Consider license costs, setup and integration, education, required training, etc.Actions: What are the next steps, what’s your timeline, and who is responsible? Be specific for progress.4) Connect to StrategyIt’s easy to get caught up in the latest crazes. Remember your goals, and focus efforts on achieving them. Consider how technologies will fit into new and existing programs, training, and implementation before moving forward with adoption.In the words of HubSpot’s CTO Dharmesh Shah, “New technologies (mobile devices of all shapes and sizes, and location based services) will continue to grow, but the best marketers will realize it’s not about how to jam more ads into new platforms — it’s about how to use the new technologies to enhance your inbound powers of attraction.”Keep the big picture in mind at all times, and don’t work in a silo — if you need to bring in the knowledge and opinions of different stakeholders, now is the time to do so.5) Be an Advocate for the Right TechnologiesSpeaking of timing, now’s the time to start advocating for new technologies — if they are, indeed, the right fit. You’ve done the research and strategizing, and it becomes critical to gain team buy-in. If you have trial access to a new piece of software, for instance, you should demo the possibilities of that software for your team, and select a group of beta testers to try it out too. Ideally, those beta testers are not the technology-averse members of your team, by the way. Ask for positive and negative feedback from the team, and explore additional use cases to improve current processes and efficiencies.6) Enable Others to Easily Adopt New TechnologiesIf you’re committing resources to a new technology, designate a team member to learn it well and help everyone maximize the opportunities it presents. The best purveyors of new software and technologies will provide you with tons of resources to train and onboard efficiently, because it’s in their best interest to do so. After all, customer/user retention rates depend on the value and results you gain from those services. So take advantage of these services and content if you want long-term and widespread adoption.Once you’re committed to a new technology, put in the time to guarantee its full value — take advantage of training resources, and activate a few beta campaigns for hands-on learning. For example, I know HubSpot runs a training academy, and many software companies have free online training. If your new technology is something free, like a new social network, take advantage of forums and educational material that exists on places like blogs, forums, and in LinkedIn Groups.7) Measure ImpactThe job of a modern marketer is to produce results that impact the bottom line. Define goals for new marketing technologies (e.g. efficiency, productivity, profitability, etc.), establish benchmarks for success, and then monitor performance over time to assess the investment. Learn to use data to power smarter decisions within your organization about future technology adoption.Marketers are now becoming key IT decision makers in addition to marketing experts — essentially evolving into tech-savvy hybrid professionals. The prototype marketers of the future are agile with new technologies as they emerge, enabling them to build fully integrated campaigns, envision on a strategic level, and have the capabilities to execute on the tactical level, conducting activities that drive real business results. So ask yourself … how are you and your marketing team, evolving?This is a guest post by Jessica Donlon (@jessicadonlon), client services manager at PR 20/20 — the original HubSpot VAR and inbound marketing agency. Jessica is also a consultant for Marketing Score, a free marketing assessment tool powered by PR 20/20. See the PR 20/20 blog and Marketing Score blog for more content from Jessica and the agency.last_img read more

Common Headline Writing Myths We Should All Stop Believing

first_img 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: MondayDotscenter_img 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 SlackSlacklast_img read more

13 Productivity Tips for the Busy Professional [Infographic]

first_imgWe’ve all been there. It’s 5 p.m. on a Friday. You desperately want to start your weekend … but you have that incredibly important project you still need to finish up. You think back on the week: What could you have done differently to get your work done and leave at a decent hour of the day?Finding the time to get all of your tasks done while also having a personal life can be tricky, but the key isn’t to work longer hours – you’ve got to be more productive in the hours you are working.But there’s no one formula to unlocking your productivity. Some people are great at working a strict 9-5 schedule. Others are better off sleeping late and working into the evening.To help you get some ideas for ways to be more productive, we put together the infographic below with some tips for improving your time management, finding more energy to be more productive, using your space to increase your productivity, and finding apps to improve and automate your work life.But remember: Productivity is all about striking a balance. No one method of organization or app is going to be a best fit for everyone. You just need to find the right balance of tricks for you to more easily manage your workload.So check out the infographic below to uncover these tips, and be one step closer to getting out on time at the end of the week.  SaveSaveShare This Image on Your Site read more