SHOWDOWN SUNDAY IN ARMAGH, REMEMBERING A HERO – AND HARPS STILL TOP, IT’S WALSHY ON WEDNESDAY

first_imgGETTING IN THROUGH THE FRONT DOORShowdown Sunday is almost upon us and the bad news is that the bookies have installed Donegal as favourites to advance at the expense of Armagh. And, worse, Kieran McGeeney, has also been suggesting this week that Rory Gallagher’s squad is well ahead of his own young starlets.Rory GallagherAlways with the mind games these managers – talk up the opposition and make it seem that they only have to show up on the day and the prize is half way to being secured. Neat one, Kieran, but the Donegal squad know too well you’re playing the game even before the game has started. There’ll be a big visiting contingent at the Athletic Grounds on Sunday and they’ll travel with some confidence despite the bookies tempting fate.For those of us watching on in television land, it may not be a pretty spectacle but nobody in the Donegal camp will care if they can take a step nearer another Ulster Championship title.Nerves there will undoubtedly be and it’s fair to say that the tension will spill over into some meaty challenges and the possibility of a card or three of whatever colour. Hey, it’s Ulster football and only what we have come to expect.But I’m firmly of the belief that a lot was lost when the G.A.A. introduced the back door system. For should Donegal troop off the pitch in Armagh at the wrong end of the scoreline and a dumping from the Ulster Championship, they’ll know there’s an escape route open to them when they have the opportunity – courtesy of this week’s draw – to face the losers of the Meath/Wicklow game for a crack at a bigger prize than even Ulster can provide.That surely takes the sharp edge of any Championship encounter and eradicates the win or bust scenario that once was the lot of all such matches and gave them the added needle that is sorely missing with the current system.And, yes, I know squads put a lot of time and effort into their Championship preparations and for it to be put to bed for another season after just one defeat may mean a long – though hardly hot – summer for the counties concerned.But sometimes the old ways are the best and surely if you can power your way to All-Ireland glory without the blemish of a defeat in your Championship portfolio you have earned the right to be hailed true Champions and not a team who found the back door opened and stole in to land the silver.As for Sunday’s game, I’d be somewhat fearful of this energetic Armagh side but still believe Rory’s Raiders will manage to avoid a tilt at either Wicklow or Meath in the qualifiers. Meanwhile the Armagh County Agriculture Show is scheduled for Saturday next. Some might not be able to tell the difference when Sunday comes along…ALL-IRELAND HOPEFULSBut, listen, there’s another big Donegal game this weekend that you may – or may not – have heard of –  and an All-Ireland semi-final to boot. The under-14 girls squad travel to Cavan on Saturday for a crack at Roscommon with an All-Ireland Final waiting for the winners. Greg Harkin and fellow coaches have the squad well prepared and recent training sessions have brought them to the grounds of Lissadell House in Sligo and to sunny Gweedore. And today, Wednesday, they were continuing those preparations in Glenties. The semi-final takes place on Saturday at St. Aidan’s G.A.A. ground at Templeport with a 2.p.m. throw-in.We know that parents and families will be there in numbers but any support is welcome if you fancy getting along and cheering the girls to an All-Ireland Final.THE COLLINS LEGACYIt was one of the great sporting occasions in Donegal. The day the All Blacks came to town – two towns, in fact, and showed that being the best doesn’t necessarily equate with being the worst as a human being. So many memories of that pivotal day on a November afternoon back in 2005 but the one that stands out for this particular observer was the sight of those New Zealand rugby heroes bowing down (in more ways than one) to enter the house on Ramelton’s Market Square where one of the most distinguished All Blacks of all time, Dave Gallaher, was born.And here, Tana Umaga, Conrad Smith, Joe Rokocoko, Neemia Tialata, Angus McDonald, and Jerry Collins, sipped tea and chatted with all and saundry, mingling  freely and not a hint of ‘look at us, we’re in the superstar bracket’ attitude about any one of them.They were truly humbled by the experience – a visit to the birthplace of a man their own rugby loving nation long hailed as one of the greats of the game, a hero who ultimately was to lose his life on the battlefields of the First World War.And as they walked the streets of Ramelton that day – and squeezed their way into the Town Hall (and that was a squeeze)  –  engaging with genuine good humour with the locals who had gathered in their hundreds to welcome them, I wondered how – if the boot had been on the other foot – a selection of top Premiership footballers would have applied themselves in similar circumstances.More than likely surrounded themselves by agents and bodyguards – as cut off from real life, and real people, as you can imagine.It was a similar story in Letterkenny both at Dave Gallaher Park where Jerry Collins smashed a bottle of champagne against the specially crafted memorial stone to officially open the ground and later at the LYIT where, again, the crowds had gathered.And no more imposing a character than Collins, the former flanker and number eight, who, along with his team-mates, stole the hearts and minds of all of us present that day.Difficult to believe it’s ten years since that visit – even more so that one of the kingpins is now gone from us, a road traffic accident in France at the weekend claiming the all too short live of the big New Zealander and his partner, Alana Madill.The photographs of that well documented visit in 2005 have been circulating freely on social media outlets in the past few days – a selection of them depicting the All Blacks journey to Dave Gallaher’s roots and old homestead.Time spans and the First World War meant that Jerry Collins never got the chance to meet the Donegal born star of the Originals – I’d like to believe, do believe, that he finally got the chance at the weekend to rub shoulders with his fellow rugby hero on the great playing fields of the afterlife. But still too young to go this early.FAREWELL UNBEATEN RUN – NOW TO START ANOTHER ONEWell, that’s that out of the way for another season. Not that there have been too many seasons when Finn Harps – none at the last count actually – have gone into their 13th league game still unbeaten. But like the fate that befell part of my vinyl collection all records are there to be broken and the loss column finally shows a tick against the Harps name, that defeat in Athlone ending the impressive sequence.As a result, the 14th game of the season now becomes all-important as Oliver’s Army attempt to return to winning ways against the Youths of Wexford.Another loss and the early season confidence might just take up its suitcase and head off just when you need it most.Credit to manager Horgan for not blaming that marathon Cup tie against Longford Town for his side’s first league upset – indeed the Midlanders themselves overcame that 120 minute slog and penalty shoot-out to record a win at improving Bray Wanderers at the weekend – but he’ll have to talk the team into believing that this was only a speed bump on the road to promotion.Promotion? Will it still be an option within the next couple of years or will the League of Ireland authorities finally decide that the two tier system isn’t working and opt to revert to the one division format from pre-1985?Not that I believe anyone in the upper structures truly gives a toss about ever falling gates and dwindling support in both the Premier and First Division.They’ll be there in their free seats at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday willing the Boys in Green to victory but won’t be rushing into emergency session to debate the black hole of domestic football.Former Shelbourne player and current R.T.E. pundit, Alan Cawley, wrote this week about the “slow death” of the First Division.He is, of course, spot on but he’s a regular panellist on ‘Soccer Republic’ on Monday nights whose producers – and those of its predecessor, M.N.S. – long ago decided that the lower league didn’t merit so much as a passing  mention.And as for the print media – with the exception of a few of the red tops – they’ve afforded much more coverage to the English Championship over the past few seasons than they ever give to the L.O.I. basement tier.Interesting reaction on the R.T.E. website to Cawley’s comments none less so than from Harps supporter Nigel Hegarty who spoke of his desperation to see the club climb out of the First Division.“Going well and playing some fabulous football but outside of the people watching the game, nobody has a clue. People ten minutes down the road from Finn Park have to ask a few days after a match ‘how did Harps get on the other night?.”True for you, Nigel, I’ve had those same people asking me those same questions and all the time I’m wondering if you were really interested you’d have checked the result on the evening of the game.Or – and this might sound crazy – actually gone along to the match and given your backing to the county’s only senior club.Still, not too late, and this Friday night in Ballybofey, as Harps bid to keep automatic promotion within their sights, would be as good a place as anywhere to start.THISTLE LOOKING TO PUNCTURE A HOLE IN QUALIFYING HOPESGood win against the ‘auld enemy’ at the Aviva on Sunday. And, yes, I know the media have been at great pains to remind us that it ended in the drabbest of goal-less draws but they were forgetting one significant factor –  David Kelly’s goal in the 26th minute which separated the sides at the finish. True, it took some twenty years to finish it but, hey, it wasn’t our fault that the English fans went on a rampage at the old Lansdowne Road – well, okay let’s give the F.A.I. some credit for deciding to place the visiting supporters on the Upper West Stand where everyone on the Lower West Stand was the easiest of targets for flying seats and whatever and credit, too, to the Gardai for failing to act on advice from the National Criminal Intelligence Service in England.Me? I was on the Upper East Stand still celebrating Kelly’s goal when the riot caught fire and hell arrived in the form of a group of tattooed thugs otherwise known as Combat 18.In an act of extreme cowardice, of which I am still proud to this day, I hid my scarf as I crept away from the ground that was crumbling even before the English fans arrived.No such problems last Sunday with both visiting and home supporters behaving themselves or as far as you can behave yourself when there’s an Ireland/England match in town.And, yes, it was a drab game but what else could we have expected when there are much more challenging confrontations ahead?We’ve bigger haggis to fry this weekend when Gordon Strachan arrives with his team still, no doubt, revelling in that 1-0 victory in Glasgow all those months ago.Defeat will surely end any hopes of an appearance at the European Finals but the other side of that coin is that victory will bring us right back into the mix again.Our own Seamus Coleman believes Ireland can do it and insists the draw against the English was solid preparation.Coleman will be a certain starter and could be sharing defensive duties with fellow county man, Shay Given, who looks likely to get the nod.Scotland will bring noisy support but the Irish fans can play a significant part by out singing them.For the men on the pitch, a vast improvement on that performance in Glasgow will be required if they are to send the Scots home without a point.Anything less than a win and Martin O’Neill can immediately start preparing for the World Cup qualifiers.SATURDAY SCHEDULESToughest Saturday I’ve put in for some time that last one. Exhausting, it was. First, I had to force myself out of the old leaba, then prepare the breakfast (or brunch as they call it when it’s much closer to the lunch hour as it was) and then – I’m tired just thinking of it – plant myself in front of the television.Too late, as it turned out, for the closing sets of the Djokovic/Murray semi-final in the French Open but plenty of time for the Women’s Final (I.T.V.); and the Ireland/Scotland clash in the Under-20 World Cup (TG4); and the Kerry/Derry clash of the ash (also TG4); and the Galway/Dublin hurling replay (R.T.E.); and the Champions League Final (R.T.E. and I.T.V.); and the opening game in the Women’s World Cup between Canada and China (B.B.C.) which brought us well beyond the midnight hour.What does it all mean? This determination to sit through every sporting event on the television schedules?This twelve hour marathon (without the marathon) of wall to ball sport and not a break in between (apart from a handful of set changers in the tennis)?This willingness to remove yourself from the outside world while still travelling around it via Paris, Italy, Dublin, Tullamore, Berlin and Canada? This crazy notion that every single competitive event must be watched and watched thoroughly from beginning to end?What can it all mean?Double the housework next Saturday, that’s what it means…ULSTERS SAY YESA beautiful day at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast for the under-age Ulster Athletics Championships on Sunday. And a few bright performances from some of Donegal’s up and coming athletes to add to the sunshine with a number of impressive double medal displays.It’s not exactly the best signposted venue in the city but it’s certainly one of the best appointed. Top facilities in a hard to beat setting.Though I did wonder why one particular spectator was walking around carrying a tourist brochure for Iceland.FLY BOYIn the week that a humble bumble bee managed to force a Dublin bound flight from England to turn back, we had a fly invading the ‘Sunday Game’ studio for the evening highlights programme.The said insect landed on Anthony Daly’s polished head much to the amusement of his co-analyst, Donal Og Cusack and presenter, Des Cahill. It even managed to get in amongst the footballing pundits, Eamon O’Hara and Tomas O Se, across the studio.But it hardly seemed to trouble Mr. Cahill. No flies on our Des as we’ve always known.WHO’S THAT WITH ERIC?He was a member of the great Leeds United team of the seventies when the Whites were at their pinnacle. So no surprise to see that picture of former Republic of Ireland boss, Big Jack, smiling in the presence of another White – Letterkenny Rovers stalwart and Radio Foyle presenter, Eric.The most successful manager in Irish soccer history was given an understandable roof raising reception at the Aviva on Sunday where he was guest of honour.But did Eric manager to persuade him to set aside a date for the Rovers presentation night?HAND CALLWell known Letterkenny  letter writer, Kevin O’Sullivan, put pen to paper to come up with the following in light of THAT back-hander payment by FI.F.A. which our own Football Association somehow neglected to tell us about at that or any other time since (I know, just a genuine oversight on their part).“Presumably the money was passed by hand,” he wrote in one of the morning dailies.Passed by hand, indeed, but where exactly did it end up because you can be certain that grassroots football here didn’t receive a brass cent of it?SHOWDOWN SUNDAY IN ARMAGH, REMEMBERING A HERO – AND HARPS STILL TOP, IT’S WALSHY ON WEDNESDAY was last modified: June 10th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:columnHome-page SportnewsPaddy Walshlast_img read more

Klay Thompson’s best moment as a Warrior? It will surprise you

first_imgIn his upcoming book, Andre Iguodala shared a priceless story about teammate Klay Thompson, the Warriors’ unassuming and eminently likeable star who often times confounds us.As relayed in a Time Magazine story, in his memoir “The Sixth Man,” Iguodala, described a Warriors team-building exercise in which he and his teammates were asked to identify the moment they felt the most joy during a game.“When Klay’s turn came, we all assumed he was going to say that his highest moment was the day he …last_img read more

Controversy is the Fuel of Science, So Teach the Controversy, Educator Says

first_imgThe Albuquerque Journal published a response from Rebecca Keller after admitting misrepresenting her position.  She did not claim that intelligent design science is looking toward transcendent beings, but rather is asking scientists to become willing to consider design inferences when the data point in that direction.  She clarified the intent of the new science standards that include “teach the controversy” provisions, and explained why evolution is controversial.It is understandable that people are concerned about the metaphysical implications; if there is design then there must be a designer.    But the basic trouble, and the underlying reason this controversy never ends, is that evolution is a creation story; it has huge metaphysical implications no matter how it is taught.  How is it less religious or less controversial to teach evolution as it is now, pretending that we somehow know that there is no design? (Emphasis added in all quotes.)The only way to deal with a controversial subject such as evolution is to encourage discussion about the issues.  She formulates some sample questions:If we are going to teach students about biological origins we need to help them understand all the issues behind origins science, including evolution.  Why is it controversial?  What worldview assumptions are behind it?  Do we really know that life was generated only by random processes of mutation and natural selection?  What evidence supports it, what evidence is against it?    Keller, a science textbook writer for Gravitas Publications of Albuquerque, has a PhD in chemistry of U of New Mexico.  She defended intelligent design as a scientific approach to judging evidence, but explained that both evolution and ID have philosophical or religious implications.  Since Darwinian evolution today is often presented without the possibility of criticism or dialog, she argues, it amounts to a secular religion, and the public recognizes it.  Science should welcome controversy:Not only should students learn that reasonable people disagree about the meaning and interpretation of data, they should learn that scientists disagree, too.  In fact, disagreeing about how data should be interpreted is what scientists do.  That is science.  The history of science illustrates that disagreements in science are the very thing that fuels scientific discovery.    Evolution as a secular creation story is already being preached from the classroom pulpit.  Teaching the controversy helps keep religion, of any flavor, out of the classroom.On that basis, Keller defends the Rio Rancho school district science policy.  She portrays the New Mexico case as representative of what is being proposed around the country.This is another example of a cogent, well-written letter.  Maybe people who agree with her should ask the ACLU to prohibit the Darwin-only dogma on the grounds of separation of church and state.    Keller makes a good case for the religious equivalence of the opposing views, but a subtext evident in the argument “religion, of any flavor” must be kept “out of the classroom” is that religion is inferior to science and incapable of contributing to debates about the merits of scientific claims.  Perhaps some good follow-up questions would explore the ability of evolutionary theory to make scientific truth claims about ultimate origins, and the ability of theology to prescribe the limits of science – or whether it is even possible for an investigator to be unbiased in such matters.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

A ‘hanging library’ in Odisha to encourage children to read

first_imgSchoolchildren in Ganjam district of Odisha are being lured into the reading and writing habit in an entertaining manner through a unique project named ‘Drop Everything and Read’ (DEAR).DEAR, an innovative interactive library movement project, was initiated in the district around three years ago. It has already earned national recognition. In 2015, the project was selected for a national award for innovation in educational administration. The project was started in Ganjam district in December 2014 in around 1,000 schools. At present, the project is successfully continuing in over 4,000 government managed or aided schools of Ganjam district.“This project targeted the alarming issue of declining reading habit among school students, which was also affecting their writing skills. Students were found to be concerned only about their textbooks and we wanted to make the children feel that reading is linked to studies and examination only. It can also be entertaining and activity of pleasure,” said District Education Officer (DEO) of Ganjam, Sanatan Panda.Dearth of booksBut dearth of adequate number of books in schools, especially the rural ones, was a major obstacle in the path of enhancing the reading habit among students. In addition, books in school libraries also remained locked in almirahs, out of reach of the students. As an initial step, all schools in Ganjam district were advised to display most books in their libraries before students. Books in school libraries were also segregated as per their suitability for children of different age groups.last_img read more

Facebook’s Like Button Turns One [Usage Data]

first_imgYesterday Facebook celebrated the one year anniversary of one of its most important product launches, the Like Button. A year ago, Facebook unvieled the Like Button at their Which of these Like Button stats suprises you the most? 1. 10,000 websites integrate with Facebook each day 5. 2. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Apr 22, 2011 2:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 3. 4. Every month, more than 250 million people engage with Facebook on external websites Whether you are a B2C or B2B marketer, you need to understand the evolving social Web. Today, people want to be able to easily share information with one another. Tools such as the Like Button act as friction reducers to enable content from a business blog or website to be more social. Yes, Facebook matters but it matters far beyond Facebook.com. When looking at your social media strategy, be sure to make your Web properties more social.center_img While all of the above statistics are impressive, the last one should send a clear signal to marketers. With more than 250 million people enaging with Facebook from other websites, it is clear that Facebook has quickly colonized information sharing and social interaction on the Web. This also illustrates the importance for business to add social plugins such as the Like Button to make their website and blog more social. Media sites that adopt the Like button average a greater than 300% increase in referral traffic from Facebook , marking the true extention of the Facebook platform to third-party websites. f8 conference 5 Facebook Like Button Usage Statistics Marketing Takeaway Over half of the 25 fastest growing comScore U.S. retail sites use Facebook More than 2.5 million websites have integrated with Facebook (including more than 80 of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and over half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites) Facebook Advertising Did You Catch That Last Stat? To commemorate the one year anniversary of the Like Button Facebook released some interesting data about the button’s usage in its first year.last_img read more

12 Awesome LinkedIn Infographics in 2011

first_img Originally published Sep 1, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack LinkedIn Marketing Topics: As a marketer executing a social media marketing strategy, LinkedIn should be one of your top priorities. And with the social network attracting over 100 million business professionals to its user base, you can’t be wrong.Last week, we published “The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn,” which serves as a helpful guide to some of the most hidden, under-utilized tricks for taking advantage of all LinkedIn has to offer. But if you still need convincing that LinkedIn is a social network where you should be spending some of your social media marketing time, the awesome statistics and data in the following 2011 infographics could serve as a wake-up call.1. 100 Million Professionals by LinkedIn2. The Value of Being Linkedin by OnlineMBA.com3. The LinkedIn Profile by Lab424. LinkedIn’s Road to IPO by The Credit Score Blog5. How to Be the Man (or Woman) on LinkedIn by SocialMediaSonar.com6. The State of LinkedIn by Vincenzo Cosenza7. LinkedIn Identity by Gigya8. Battle of the Sexes: Who Are the Savviest Networkers? by LinkedIn9. LinkedIn for B2B Marketers by LeadFormix10. A Snapshot of LinkedIn on its 8th Birthday by paidContent.org 11. LinkedIn at a Glance by leftygbalogh.com12. Sequencing the Startup DNA by LinkedInHow do you use LinkedIn for marketing? If you don’t already, has any of the data in these infographics convinced you to start including LinkedIn in your social media marketing strategy?last_img read more

Now It’s Your Turn: Who Should Own Your Content? #GreatDebate

first_imgThe results are in, folks! After a day-long debate, we’ve finally come to a conclusion about this “who owns your content” debacle. The conclusion? This probably can’t be sorted out in four blog posts. 😉 By wading through our contributors’ arguments and our community’s comments, we’ve made significant steps in a) getting this on people’s minds and b) inching closer to possible solutions.Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. Want to see how the debate shook out? Keep on reading. We compiled the top HubSpot blog comments, some favorite tweets, and even a few blog posts from experts who decided to join in on the fun so you can get caught up on the discussion and make your own decisions. Pick a Side: A Recap of the ArgumentsWatching the debate happen in the blog posts and on social media, people pretty much fell into four camps:Camp #1: Whoever buys the content owns the content because that’s how transactions work.Taking the straightforward perspective, Tom Walkett posed this in a blog post comment:”I can’t possibly image that anyone would expect to own something if someone else or a company paid them to create it. If you want to own something create it on your dime. With that said, if your personal brand is so powerful that the paying entity puts significant value on your authorship, then you can and should negotiate the copyright ownership up front in your contract. Of course, if you’re an employee, why would you expect ownership rights to anything you create using company resources? Do you think software engineers should demand ownership from Microsoft for writing the Windows operating system? As the old saying goes, “You only deserve what you negotiate.” If you didn’t negotiate for the copyright upfront, there is no debate, unless you think it is appropriate to take something that doesn’t belong to you.” Camp #2: Companies own the content — and that’s a good thing.In a more passionate camp than those in Camp #1, Camp #2 chose to defend companies because writing for a company can help build your personal brand. On Up and to the Right, a section on HubSpot’s Inbound Hub, Beth Stackpole tackles this argument from the perspective of a freelance journalist working with the media. Her take? This debate is nothing new — it’s something we’ve been dealing with for decades. Check out her post to see what she suggests instead.Another post supporting this perspective came from our friends at Overgo Studio. It also offers this money quote to further hit home her point:”Think of it this way. I see nothing wrong with my employer having ownership of my content because I have ownership of all the knowledge I learned from working at that company. Am I going to use that knowledge even after I leave that company? Yes. But I’m not going to claim I learned it all on my own. I’m going to give credit to my past employer and the experiences I had while I was there.” Check out this post from The Weidert Group, which also argued the merits of freelancers allowing companies to own their content so they can bolster their personal brand by offering this perspective. While most of the folks in this camp are coming from the viewpoint of their company, we had one person agree loud and proud on Twitter:Honestly I don’t have an issue with an organization I used to work for retaining the rights to my content #greatdebate— Ben Wachtel (@benwachtel24) December 3, 2013Camp #3: Creators should own any content they create. On the other end of the spectrum, folks were getting heated for the content creator’s side. John McTigue took a pretty firm stance using an interesting parallel industry:Content ownership is obsolete, just like music ownership. Sharing is what you’re after as an author. #greatdebate— John McTigue (@jmctigue) December 3, 2013Sharing isn’t just great for the author — it’s also great for companies wanting to build their own brands. To argue this point, Chris Handy from Think Handy recorded this video to defend this position:We also had some people, including my colleague Corey Eridon, weigh in on the ramifications of company ownership, especially when it comes to creating genuine company brands:The more ownership companies take, the less genuine the creator will be. The content/company suffer most from it. #greatdebate @hubspot— Corey Eridon (@Corey_bos) December 3, 2013Venkatesh Iyer also chimed in, providing an interesting middle ground:Your employer’s owns benefits from your content, not the content itself. You own content you created. Forever. #greatdebate— Venkatesh Iyer (@venkyiyer58) December 3, 2013Camp #4: No one has a clue.Last but certainly not least were the folks who, well, have no freaking clue. Commenter Eric Wittlake seemed to have said it best:”The real issue today is no one even knows! Most companies don’t have formalized and well-understood agreements with employee content creators about who owns the rights to the content that is created and what licenses are granted to the other party.”Real Problems, Possible SolutionsOkay, so that’s how the arguments all fell out, but most of us would agree that we’re missing one huge question: What should you do about it? There were two suggestions:1) Only ghostwriters should give up content. Zack Bridges offered this solution on Twitter:Payer gets full ownership when content is produced by a ghost writer, but a premium should be paid to remove the writer. #GreatDebate— Zack Bridges (@z_bridges) December 3, 20132) Negotiate a contract to work these issues out before you start creating.The other solution most often suggested was to make the contract work for you. Jeremiah Owyang urged creators to do their homework:”Read your employment contracts carefully. Prior, I worked at a company, and all IP created during my employment was owned by them. That also meant my Facebook content. I’m not giving judgement either way on who should own, but I certainly will be mindful when working at a future company on who owns which IP.”And depending on who you are and who you plan to work with, this negotiation process could be easier than you think. Doug Kessler added:”A pre-nuptial agreement on these issues does feel like the way to go. The nature of the pre-nup will depend on the balance of power. A star blogger may be able to hold out for greater copyright and usage terms than an unknown could negotiate.”Thanks for tuning into the #GreatDebate! These are purely the findings we’ve found by debating this today, but let’s continue the conversation. Where do you stand? Share your thoughts in the Twitter stream or comments below:Tweets about “#greatdebate” Originally published Dec 3, 2013 4:02:03 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 SlackSlack Topics: Content Marketinglast_img read more

Want to Boost Enrollment? Segmenting Prospective Students Can Help

first_img Education Marketing Segmentation has many benefits, especially when attracting prospective students to your school’s programs. The more personalized and tailored your email messaging is, the higher success your email campaigns will have.Let’s talk specifics, though. Segmentation helps you impact critical email metrics, seeing improvements like:Increased open ratesHigher email relevanceLower opt-out/unsubscribe ratesBetter deliverabilityIncrease applicants and enrollmentEven HubSpot’s own research of sending personalized email messaging has resulted in nearly 3X clickthrough rate improvement over general email sends.Get the Right DataSegmentation is only successful if you have accurate data from which to segment your lists. This requires you to find or ask for this information via your website’s landing page forms, or via a survey of your current contacts. When you offer a downloadable content asset and require a form to be filled out, make sure you consider including questions around data you want to segment on, such as:City or country of originIntended area of studyEstimated enrollment yearIf they are currently enrolled in a schoolIf they intend to play a sportThese are just examples of form fields you might consider to get your brain going — customize your form fields based on what you need — and what information your readers are willing to offer.Create Prospective Student SegmentsThen you need to figure out how you are going to segment your contacts. If you’re concentrating your marketing efforts on increasing your prospective students and enrollment, whether your school is serving K-12 or higher education, these are some suggested segments you should consider targeting.Local StudentsLocal students can be those in the surrounding towns of your school, or those in the same state. This segmentation is important because the concerns and questions for local students and parents will be much different than those that are out of state. If you’re a higher-ed institution, tuition will also be different for in-state students.If you’re a K-12 school, commuting and upcoming events will be useful information for those looking to enroll their children in your school. Tailoring this content to those that know the area or the state will make them feel special and connected to the school close to them. You can tailor both your email marketing and your blog content to attract locals, if that is one of your target personas.Saint Leo University offers a great example of this kind of customization, example of which I’ll weave throughout this post. Check out the campus tour call-to-action they offer on their homepage:Domestic, Non-Local StudentsThese are students that are in your same country, but not in the same state as your school. These students and parents will be less familiar with the area around your school, as well as the nearby cities. Providing content to familiarize them with the area, as well as information that those nearby can easily access with a campus trip — like a virtual tour or pictures of the campus — will be important. They will also be more likely to be looking at other schools around the country, so identifying comparable schools that they may look at as well as yours (and comparing the benefits of yours to those schools) is great content to share with that particular segment.InternationalIf your school enrolls international students often, tailor your content to the concerns and questions of those students and parents. If you have exchange programs or special tuition information, for instance, make sure to include that information in your communications. You could even create a guide to your school for students that speak different languages.Segmenting your site and your email communications in this way will make it easier for international students to find the information they need. For instance, Saint Leos offers a virtual tour of their campus, something anyone can take advantage of, but makes an international student’s decision-marketing process far easier:You can also invite current international students to tell their stories of attending your school. Connecting prospective students and parents and current students is a great way for them to get real insight into attending your school.Transfer StudentsIf your offer a transfer program for students currently enrolled in other schools, they will be looking for information on how the process works and what similar programs you offer to those that they are currently studying in. Asking for more information on contact request forms is appropriate since these students will be looking for specific information in return, including what programs they’re looking to enroll in, what courses they’ve already taken, and when they are looking to transfer.AthletesStudent athletes will want as much information about your athletic programs as they can get. Simply asking your contacts if they are looking to play sport and if so, which one, can give you the information you need to create and deliver appropriately targeted content. You can then tailor your email content to updates about your current team’s performances, your training programs, and schedules for upcoming tryouts.If they are also in studying in the area of sports and fitness, provide information around courses you offer around sports medicine, physical therapy, etc. Again, Saint Leo has a ton of information on all their atheltic teams on their website, targeting those prospective student athletes:Graduate StudentsIf your school offers graduate-level degrees, this is another area to focus on for segmentation. Including information on your website and writing articles for them on your blog is important. But when you beginning to share information via email, you want to make sure you are nurturing them with content tailored to the area of study they are considering, including business, law, nursing, medical, and so on. This content will most likely be tailored to just students looking to apply, so you don’t need to think of the concerns of parents.How has your school seen suggest with segmentation — via email, via smart content on your website, or elsewhere? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published May 6, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

9 Awful Ways We Push Customers Away

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jul 15, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Ecommerce Marketing Topics: Picture this.You’re the owner of AtoZJeans.com.Your customer Patty checks her email inbox and finds an email from AtoZJeans.com that tells her about a sale on patterned skinny jeans that she’s had her eye on for the longest time. She quickly clicks on the email and goes to your website.She browses for a while, but after spending about 15 minutes checking out various options, she closes the tab and leaves your site.What made Patty leave? She wanted to buy patterned jeans, didn’t she? What went wrong?This is a story that all marketers — ecommerce marketers, in particular — go through every day. In fact, a checkout usability study by Baymard Institute shows that 67.91% of all shopping carts are abandoned. That’s a ridiculously large chunk of real prospects that you’re losing day in and day out. So, going back to the original question: What’s going wrong? Let’s see.1) Poor Showcasing of MerchandiseLeading brick and mortar retailers like Macy’s and Harrods are known to spend small fortunes on window dressing their stores. After all, first impressions are crucial to draw in a potential customer. Similarly, your website is your window to the world. You might have the best products out there, but if you don’t showcase them well, even the most willing customer will get put off.The Fix:Aesthetics are important. Keep the site easy on the eye and don’t overwhelm the customer with disorganized merchandising.Have a lot of variety in SKUs of each product? Showcase them, but in a sane, easy-to-navigate manner. Customers like to see what they’re buying. Use high quality images and allow customers to zoom in to see details.2) No Trust Building MeasuresA user who visits your site for the first time has no clue whether they can trust you, particularly when it comes to payment systems. With major gaffes like Target’s security breach, shoppers are extremely wary of where they swipe their credit cards and what information they share with businesses.The Fix:A professional-looking website that keeps up with the latest web design trends does wonders for customer confidence. It’s an indication to the customer of the level of commitment business owners have toward the ecommerce venture.Your website probably uses various security services like Verisign, Norton, etc. Online shoppers are subconsciously tuned to recognize these logos on ecommerce sites as a measure of security. Give them what they need, and display logos of your security partners across your site.Image source: Baymard.comAdditionally, if you have a customer protection program, by all means highlight it. eBay reinforces its buyer protection messaging on the homepage (in some countries), on the product listing pages, during checkout, and on emails sent out to customers to reinforce their confidence in the brand.Product reviews by existing customers are also a great way of telling a prospective buyer how good a particular product is. Don’t skip including customer reviews in your product page to ensure conversion.3) Painful NavigationImagine walking into a basement filled with old junk. You’d probably spend hours combing through the mess if you had to try and find something. This is exactly what you put your customer through when you don’t have a clear site navigation structure.The Fix:Keep it simple. Avoid overwhelming the user with unnecessary pop ups and flashing banners. Spend time and resources on perfecting product groupings and creating logical and easily comprehensible categories, sub categories, variants, color choices, and SKUs.(You can also put in a prominent search bar on your homepage so that even if your navigation is not the best in the world, a user can still search and find what they’re looking for.)4) Inventory IssuesLet’s say you have a customer buying an elusive first edition copy of Batman: Shadow of the Bat on your site. Just as they’re about to complete the transaction, they get a message saying, “Sorry, item not in stock.” They get frustrated and leave your site. Probably for good.This is an inventory nightmare for any retailer. It could happen because the item got sold on a different platform (maybe a traditional brick and mortar store?) owned by the retailer, it could be because inventory positions are not linked to the checkout process, or could even be a straightforward error on the part of the retailer.The Fix:Use technology to your advantage. If you have an offline and an online presence, don’t depend on luck. Manage the inventory between the two using smart tools — such as Shopify’s online POS system. You can also use inventory as a tool to create urgency. By showing the number of items left for a particular product, you can encourage a customer to buy right away instead of postponing the purchase.Expedia does a great job of communicating the exact inventory available and motivating the user to buy right away:When you’re running short on a particular item, cross-sell a similar item that has decent stocks. Cross-sells are a powerful tool that can generate tons of revenue if applied correctly. In fact, according to Amazon, 35% of their sales in 2006, came from cross-selling items.5) No Guest CheckoutHow many different websites have you shopped on to date? Five? Ten? More? And how many login IDs and passwords do you remember for these? A very small handful is my guess.Jared Spool from User Interface Engineering talks about a client who lost over $300 million dollars a year in sales due to the absence of a guest checkout option.The Fix:It’s really simple. Allow guest checkouts.In the case of first-time customers, guest checkouts avoid diverting them into a new process. For returning customers who may not remember their passwords, they prevent frustration and drop-offs.In the case study referred to above, Spool and his team found that 40% of returning customers requested password resets. Of these, only 25% actually reset their passwords and of these only 20% completed the purchase. 6) Long Checkout ProcessMost of us dread going to a supermarket or a big box retail store, thanks to the serpentine queues at their checkout counters. So what do we do instead?Go online, right?The trouble is, ecommerce businesses sometimes don’t realize how their frustratingly long checkout processes are actually counterproductive and replicate the same problems that traditional retail suffers from.The Fix:There are verifiable merits in shortening your checkout process. A study of the top 100 ecommerce sites conducted by Baymard Institute, showed that their checkout process was an average of 5.08 steps long. As the checkout process grows longer, user satisfaction with the purchase process starts to drop.Ask only for information that is absolutely essential to complete a purchase. Most organizations never use the tons of information they collect from their customers, and customers find it highly annoying to part with irrelevant personal details.Additionally, autofill entries wherever possible to reduce the overall time taken by the customer to check out. For example, when a customer provides their ZIP code, prefill country and state based on the given information.Do not ask for the same information twice. If you’ve already collected the user’s shipping information, ask if you can replicate the same address for billing, instead of creating a new form for billing address and forcing the customer to refill it all over again.If you do not have a one page checkout process, include a checkout progress indicator prominently in your checkout section to inform the customer exactly how many steps away they are from the purchase.Finally, add a “Save for Later” option. There is only so much pruning that you can do to a checkout process. For customers in a real hurry, this option will allow them to save the items they want to buy and come back to them later. A good way to use this feature and ensure the customer returns would be to send a follow-up email within 48 hours of the customer creating the saved cart.7) Hidden CostsHow do you think a customer reacts when the price of their purchase jumps up by 10-15% by the time they reach the end of the checkout page? Not very kindly at all.Research shows that hidden or unexpected costs are the #1 cause of abandoned shopping carts.Unless mentioned alongside the price of the product, “hidden costs” in a customer’s book includeConvenience feesShipping & handling costsTaxesIn fact, according to a ComScore study, at least 61% of users are likely to cancel their entire purchase if they eventually find that free shipping is not offered.The Fix:Being as upfront as possible about all costs related to a purchase is the safest way to go. Include all additional costs on the product page to avoid any ambiguity. The online travel industry was plagued with bad customer experiences in the past when just base fare used to be displayed at the start, and on entering the checkout process, numerous other fees like fuel surcharge, airline fees, and airport terminal user fees were added on to the original price. This is now changing with bundled fares being displayed at the search stage itself to ensure complete clarity.Shipping is an unavoidable cost in ecommerce, so if free shipping isn’t possible at all times, build in shipping cost calculators so the customer can check the actual cost of shipping before heading to checkout. eBay is a good example, which has been offering a shipping calculator for years on every product page.8) Limited Payment OptionsImagine a shopper who’s found exactly what she wants, at the right price, at the right time, but not being able to complete the purchase just because her preferred payment mode was not offered by your site.After doing everything right in terms of attracting the right customer, guiding them through the entire search and checkout process, only to fail at the final step is truly a criminal waste of the marketing resources spent on getting the customer to your site in the first place.The Fix:Research by WorldPay shows that alternate payments will account for over half of all payments by 2017. They already account for over 22% of all ecommerce transactions worldwide.Given these numbers, the only real alternative that any ecommerce business has is to incorporate as many different payment options into their system as possible.Clear messaging about the various payment types accepted is also equally important to ensure that the customer does not miss the options and move on.9) No Live HelpWho do you turn to when you’re shopping for a shirt in a department store and can’t find the right size? The sales assistant.While ecommerce sites are obviously handicapped in terms of providing in-the-flesh guidance to a confused customer, most do provide a call center number or email contact details. Unfortunately, both of those communication modes are time consuming — it usually takes at least 24 hours to respond to customer queries via email, while call center numbers are notorious for their long wait times, ruining the customer experience.The Fix:Offer Live Chat as an option to customers. According to a study by Forrester Research, 44% of online shoppers considered live chat one of the most important features of ecommerce sites. An eMarketer study shows that most buyers who use live chat — a whopping 63% — were likely to return to the site for a repeat purchase.So these were some of the big ways product marketers and online retailers have been shooing customers off of their sites. Did you recognize anything on this list that you’re guilty of, or any big ones I missed?last_img read more

The Science of Persuasion [Infographic]

first_imgThis post originally appeared on the Sales section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.To sell something, you have to convince a buyer that they not only want your offering, they need it. To be clear, I’m not talking about fooling them into buying a piece of junk. Oftentimes, prospects stand to benefit considerably from purchasing a new product or service. But that doesn’t mean they’re any more eager to fork over their money — and this is where the fine art of persuasion comes in.Most salespeople swear by personal persuasion tactics that “just work.” But what does science have to say about it? After researching scientific studies on tactics that prompt people to act in a certain way, the folks at Everreach put together the infographic shown below. Instead of deciding which method of persuasion to use based on gut feel, salespeople can now consult the science before proceeding. So before your next meeting or call, think: Which of these six tactics would hold the most sway over this particular buyer? Adjust your approach accordingly and you’ll have them signing on the dotted line in no time. It’s not magic; it’s science.3K+Save 3K+SaveEnjoy this post? To read more content like it, subscribe to Sales. Topics: Originally published Jan 18, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated January 22 2015center_img Persuasion 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