Is SETI Morphing Its Mission?

first_imgLook at the mission statement at the website of the SETI Institute: “The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature, and prevalence of life in the universe.”  What happened to the aliens?  The word “intelligence” is not found in their mission statement.  It sounds indistinguishable from the mission of Astrobiology (which does not care whether the life is intelligent).  A look at the dozen activity boxes on the home page only reveals two or three that seem clearly relevant to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.    Further indications that the SETI Institute is morphing its mission into a bigger tent can be seen in the News links: a report on the Leonid meteor shower (this is about planetary science, not SETI); an interview about the ethics of space exploration (that’s human space exploration, not Star Wars); an interview with a young scientist studying extremophiles in salt ponds on earth (that’s regular biology); and an airship-based investigation of climate change (that’s political science – 11/26/2009).  Only at the bottom of the column is there one clear article about SETI.    For some reason, Space.com dropped its link to weekly news articles from the SETI Institute.  These used to be clearly noted on the top title bar.  “SETI Thursday” is gone.  The last two articles did not deal with SETI: Sept. 2009 dealt with the institute’s “Adopt a Scientist” program, and Oct. 2009 was a review of the movie 2012..  The link Space.com/SETI only lists previous articles.    The SETI project has long been lampooned in some quarters (notably the Senate; 04/17/2006 and 11/18/2005 commentaries) but supported with almost religious fervor in others (09/24/2005, 06/03/2006).  Carl Sagan used to promote the search as the noblest ambition of the human species.  It’s not clear why Space.com and the SETI Institute appear to be downplaying SETI at this time.Who knows; perhaps the economy has affected funding and, like a private company, they feel the need to diversify.  Perhaps Paul Allen is re-evaluating his charitable contributions (10/12/2007).  Perhaps the public is losing interest in SETI after 50 years of failure to find anybody out there.  Or perhaps SETI advocates are smarting from accusations that they are using intelligent-design methods inconsistent with their Darwinian world view (see 12/03/2005 and this Brett Miller cartoon).  Astrobiology is a bigger, warmer tent.  The life can be microbes on planet Xircon Z589 and an astrobiologist will be happy.    That was not, however, the mission of SETI.  Jimmy Carter wrote on the Voyager record that “We hope, someday, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations.”  SETI scientists don’t want to join a community of slime (do they?); they want to talk with sentient beings like ourselves.  Has SETI become impolitic again?  For the time being, discretion seems to be calling the SETI Institute to de-emphasize its raison d’etre and pretend to be regular scientists – studying earth life, meteors, climate, extrasolar planets, and normal astronomy.    If their mission has changed, so should their acronym: SETL, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life.  Or SET: the Search for Extra-Terrestrial whatever.  Or SE: the Search for Extra whatever.  Or just S: Search.  You don’t need radio telescopes for that.  Google is free – and you’ll find lots of aliens.(Visited 81 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Evolution Is a Magic Word

first_img(Visited 392 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享10 Media use the word “evolution” in articles that have nothing to do with it. It’s as if the word has magical powers to conjure up awe.Evolution, evolution, evolution. The e-word is ubiquitous in science articles and papers, even when the data have nothing to do with evolution as Darwin conceived it. (See the important preface in the 10/02/19 entry to understand what natural selection is and is not.)In the following examples, look how writers wave the e-word like a magic wand, assuming it has supernatural powers to create any highly-complex and well-designed entity, given enough time. In some cases, the word is used metaphorically. In none of these cases is it used to describe functional innovation by genetic mutations that were preserved by some mysterious “natural selector” somehow.Evolution tells us we might be the only intelligent life in the universe (The Conversation). “Evolution tells us?” Pray tell, where is evolution’s voice? Is it a he, she, or non-binary sentient force? Where is the podium from which Evolution teaches facts about reality? This weird article by long-time Darwin-lover Nick Longrich (now at University of Bath) comes to a possible conclusion that humans might be the only “intelligent” life in the universe, but of course he doubts it. And Longrich is pretty sure that life is evolving everywhere it can, even if non-intelligent. His fairy story is filled with assumptions that Sir/Madam Evolution has no trouble inventing biological marvels all over the universe (examples below) – except that maybe, though, the god Evolution has a little trouble creating thinking beings. Live Science reposted this article with the modified title, “Humans May Be the Only Intelligent Life in the Universe, If Evolution Has Anything to Say.” That’s a big If.The universe is large, and old, with time and room for intelligence to evolve…Could intelligence simply be unlikely to evolve? Unfortunately, we can’t study extraterrestrial life to answer this question. But we can study some 4.5 billion years of Earth’s history, looking at where evolution repeats itself, or doesn’t.Evolution sometimes repeats, with different species independently converging on similar outcomes. If evolution frequently repeats itself, then our evolution might be probable, even inevitable.Other striking cases of convergence include dolphins and extinct ichthyosaurs, which evolved similar shapes to glide through the water, and birds, bats and pterosaurs, which convergently evolved flight.Eyes evolved not just in vertebrates, but in arthropods, octopi, worms and jellyfish. Vertebrates, arthropods, octopi and worms independently invented jaws. Legs evolved convergently in the arthropods, octopi and four kinds of fish (tetrapods, frogfish, skates, mudskippers).The complex, eukaryotic cells that all animals and plants are built from, containing nuclei and mitochondria, evolved only once. Sex evolved just once. Photosynthesis, which increased the energy available to life and produced oxygen, is a one-off. For that matter, so is human-level intelligence.There are places where evolution repeats, and places where it doesn’t.  [See Stuff Happens Law]Humans couldn’t evolve until fish evolved bones that let them crawl onto land [etc].Earth’s history must have allowed intelligent life to evolve, or we wouldn’t be here to ponder it.Intelligence seems to depend on a chain of improbable events. But given the vast number of planets, then like an infinite number of monkeys pounding on an infinite number of typewriters to write Hamlet, it’s bound to evolve somewhere.Image credit: Illustra Media, The Case for a Creator.Regarding the monkey-typewriter myth, Longrich should have listened to the late Dr A.E. Wilder-Smith, who pointed out that the myth depends on the characters being preserved as the monkeys type. If the letters fall off the page soon after they are typed (like chemical reactions in the real world, which are reversible), the apes will never type anything worthwhile, even given infinite time.Repertoire-wide phylogenetic models of B cell molecular evolution reveal evolutionary signatures of aging and vaccination (PNAS). Evolution is so pervasive and pernicious, it is going on inside of you!High-affinity antibodies that protect us from infection are produced by B cells through an evolutionary process of mutation and selection during adaptive immune responses. B cell repertoire sequencing combined with phylogenetic methods has provided unprecedented potential to study B cells as an evolving population. However, phylogenetic models operate on individual lineages rather than the thousands of lineages often found in B cell repertoires. Here, we develop an evolutionary framework that incorporates B cell-specific features and combines information across lineages to characterize mutation and selection dynamics of entire repertoires.Now hold on just a cotton-pickin’ minute. Your body is not evolving, your family is not evolving, and your species is not evolving. We are all Homo sapiens, and what goes on inside of us has no bearing on your offspring (note that they are watching for changes during aging, which means your kids are already grown up). These six Darwinos are using natural selection in a metaphorical sense, but it doesn’t have anything to do with evolution. The fact is, B cells are extremely well designed to hone in on antigens so as to fight them. The last thing they need is Darwinism! If the human body were not designed to intelligently select the shape of potential antigen shapes from a pool of trials, you would die. This has nothing to do with evolution, and the authors should know it. They are confusing the public with such faulty analogies and equivocations, just like Darwin did when he compared artificial selection (intelligent design) to natural selection.How the earliest mammals thrived alongside dinosaurs (John Pickrell, Nature). Watch how Pickrell, like Longrich, merely assumes that Evolution has magical creative powers. When complex organs appear abruptly, that’s no problem for Evolution. It just means that the wonder-worker was on a roll. He/she/it worked super-fast, producing an explosion of inventions displaying creative genius.An explosion of fossil finds reveals that ancient mammals evolved a wide variety of adaptations allowing them to exploit the skies, rivers and underground lairs.[A mother of fossil young] is a cynodont, a member of the group from which mammals evolved.The discoveries are also starting to reveal the evolutionary origins of many of the key traits of mammals — such as lactation, large brains and superbly keen senses.A raft of extraordinary fossil finds is revealing details of how mammals evolved from reptilian forebears 178 million years ago.“We used to say that during the time of dinosaurs, mammals were totally unspectacular. That they were just these little mousey things scampering around in the shadows,” says Brusatte. But these animals “were undergoing their own evolutionary explosion”, he says.To make that possible, mammals evolved a wide variety of complex teeth for biting and grinding food.Much of the constellation of features we think of as defining mammals — complex teeth, excellent senses, lactation, small litter size — might actually have evolved before true mammals, and quite quickly. “More and more it looks like it all came out in a very short burst of evolutionary experimentation,” Luo says. By the time mammal-like creatures were roaming around in the Mesozoic, he says, “the lineage has already acquired its modern look and modern biological adaptations”.Notice the sophoxymoronic phrase “evolutionary experimentation.” If it’s experimentation, it’s not evolutionary, and vice versa. Experimentation presupposes a person with a mind and a goal, intent on learning something or accomplishing a purpose. By definition, Darwinian evolution is aimless and purposeless. Scientists who speak of “experimental evolution” in the lab are using their minds as selectors. They may use random variations, but they determine the criteria for success and pick the winners, just like breeders do.Mosaic evolution, preadaptation, and the evolution of evolvability in apes (bioRxiv). The author of this preprint, Caroline Parins-Fukuchi, is so drunk on Darwine she sees evolution itself evolving! Hers is not the only paper on “evolvability,” but she applies it to human beings. With this magic trick, evolutionists can speed up or slow down the magic act, allowing them to explain not only why traits evolved quickly in some cases, but also why they did not evolve in other cases. With this magic trick an evolutionist can explain everything – even opposite outcomes. Written in Jargonwocky, the trick sounds almost plausible, with dramatic effect.Shifts in modularity drove dramatic evolutionary changes across the ape body plan in two distinct ways: 1) an episode of relaxed integration early in hominoid evolution coincided with bursts in evolutionary rate across multiple character suites; 2) the formation of two new trait modules along the branch leading to chimps and humans preceded rapid and dramatic evolutionary shifts in the carpus and pelvis. Changes to the structure of evolutionary mosaicism may correspond to enhanced evolvability that has a ‘preadaptive’ effect by catalyzing later episodes of dramatic morphological remodeling.Notice that “evolvability” acts like movable axes on a graph. When traits in fossils appear abruptly, the evolutionist can move the axes close together to call it a “burst.” When traits are static, the evolutionist can move the axes apart and call it “relaxed integration.” Evolution is the constant; the rate is the variable, yielding a warped image of nature, not unlike a fun-house mirror.The use of passive voice is another trick that obscures the sleight-of-mind magic going on. “The formation of two new trait modules” is supposed to mean, “Evolution invented two traits by chance that it knew would be useful later.” The phrase “later episodes of dramatic morphological remodeling” is supposed to mean, “Evolution dramatically remodeled the bodies of apes on their march to humanity.” Evolution is so clever, it can “preadapt” traits to speed up evolution. Is that “dramatic,” or what?There are so many examples of this form of cheating by evolutionists in the media (i.e., treating “evolution” as an all-purpose magic wand), we’ll have to continue this topic with more examples. For now, understand the point: none of these papers even attempt to show what actual genetic mutations occurred, how many of them were required, and how a blind process (not a “selector” by any meaning of the word) could even care what happened. After you laugh, get mad. This nonsense is the only tolerable narrative allowed in public education in most societies around the world today. And why? Well, D.M.S. said it best in 1929 after the Scopes Trial, “Evolution [is] a theory universally accepted not because it can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.” Evolution is their god, and Darwin is the high priest who brought the knowledge of their god to the peasants. Anyone coming into the tribe with a different Creator must be Expelled!last_img read more

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Brand South Africa commends Springboks

first_imgJohannesburg, Saturday 24 October 2015 – Brand South Africa commends the Springboks for their well-played game against the All Blacks from New Zealand in 2015 Rugby World Cup.Speaking from Johannesburg, Brand South Africa’s CEO Mr Kingsley Makhubela said, “We commend the Springboks for fighting for South African success in the World Cup. You were brave and fearless and despite the outcome of the game, we thank you for playing your part to put South Africa on the global sporting map.”“We remain proud of your endurance, tenacity and courage,” concluded Mr Makhubela.last_img

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A strong safety net is critical for all farmers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Imagine that you’re a young tobacco and grain farmer in Kentucky. Despite low commodity prices and a tough agriculture market, you’ve been doing alright. As a beginning farmer, you’ve relied on trusted advisors, access to reliable credit and strong farm policies for support. You’ve mitigated risk with smart decision-making and a solid crop insurance policy that provides protection and peace of mind at a time when there’s no room for loss.Now, imagine you are planning to put in a new crop, but you’ve had to drop your coverage level because the premium is no longer affordable. You manage to buy the seed and other inputs you need to plant and care for the crop, despite limited access to credit, but it’s a catastrophic year. Severe weather destroys your entire crop and you have a limited safety net in place to mitigate risk. The success you’ve realized in past years is gone with one turbulent season, and you have no choice but to walk away from farming.With a strong, affordable safety net in place, this scenario is merely a cautionary tale. But with recent proposals to slash budgets for federal crop insurance programs, this could become a reality for young farmers, who won’t have access to the resources that protect them from market and weather volatility.Crop insurance through the years Putting a crop in the ground is risky business. Without crop insurance to protect investments, it would be nearly impossible for farmers to succeed. Federal crop insurance was first authorized by Congress in the 1930s to help agricultural communities recover from the effects of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl years. The program expanded and evolved over time to protect farmers from losses due to adverse events such as inclement weather and market downturns. Today, farmers must purchase crop insurance to be eligible for certain farm loans and government disaster benefits. National Crop Insurance Services reports that in 2016, 1.2 million crop insurance policies were sold, protecting more than 130 crops on more than 290 million U.S. acres. Those crops had an insured value of $100 billion.The crop insurance program hasn’t come without pushback from those outside agriculture. Budget cuts to the federal program have been proposed by several administrations over the years, but have been soundly rejected by Congress. Recently, we’ve seen a proposal to cut federal crop insurance programs by $29 billion over the next decade. These destructive cuts would be catastrophic for farmers, rural economies and the agricultural industry. And those who stand to be most affected are young and beginning farmers with limited cash reserves who rely on crop insurance to access credit.Budget cuts could change the risk pool Crop insurance is actuarially sound, meaning that including more participants (and more acres) in the program spreads risk, which keeps premiums and costs down for all participants. One of the current proposed budget cuts would cap crop insurance premium subsidies at $40,000 (there is currently no limit) for growers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $500,000 or less. Producers above that income level would lose premium subsidies completely.Without subsidies to help pay premiums, lower-risk established farmers with large operations may be inclined to opt out of purchasing crop insurance. Depending on where the AGI limit is set, more than half of U.S. acres could be left unprotected by proposed cuts. This puts more pressure on the program and on younger, higher-risk farmers who’ll be left funding it. In short, cuts to crop insurance would be detrimental to farms of all sizes, not just the large ones.Crop insurance helps rural economies At Farm Credit, our mission is to secure the future of rural communities and agriculture, so policy decisions that support a stable future align with our core purpose. Crop insurance is a cornerstone of U.S. farm policy. It keeps the pool of farmers large and provides a safety net to ensure their investments are protected. In a time when rural economies are struggling and the average age of farmers is rising, we must have strong policies and support to continue producing affordable food, fuel and fiber for a growing population.The success of young farmers depends on affordable, reliable crop insurance and access to credit. Today, the average age of a farmer is 58, and 78 percent of principal farm operators have been on their farms for more than 10 years. In the coming years, many of these farms will need to be passed on to a younger generation who’ll likely face more risk with tighter margins and lower cash reserves to cushion them through tough years. Affordable crop insurance will make it possible for the next generation to maintain financial stability during difficult times.Crop insurance doesn’t help only farmers. A trickle-down effect supports all of agriculture and even those outside of rural communities. Since 2000, farmers have paid $50 billion out of their own pockets for crop insurance. In turn, they were able to secure capital that ultimately was reinvested in their communities through the acquisition of labor, products and services.In the absence of affordable crop insurance, the cost of crop losses would fall directly on taxpayers. Agriculture accounts for 5 percent of the U.S. economy and 10 percent of U.S. employment, so it’s easy to see why a stable agriculture sector is good for everyone.What can you do? We’ve seen four consecutive years of declining farm income. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that in 2017, farmers will take home half the pay they did in 2013. Current budget and farm bill discussions are more important than ever to ensure that reliable, affordable crop insurance and financing options remain in place to protect farmers, especially those now stepping up to take on the risk-intensive business of farming. Remember to stay informed when it comes to ag policy decisions and stay connected to what’s going on in Congress.last_img read more

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Proof of Concept Brings Flash to the iPhone

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Adobe#Apple#web center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting sarah perez Developer Tobias Schneider has created an interesting proof-of-concept Flash runtime that allows Flash to work on the iPhone. The project, a JavaScript with SVG called “Gordon,” allows Flash files embedded in HTML to be viewed within the iPhone’s web browser Safari. Although this workaround to Apple’s restriction of Flash content on their ever-popular mobile device is a bit cumbersome and impractical for real-world use, it’s a geeky and fun project for developers who want to run Flash on the iPhone…just so they can say that they did so.The Gordon project involves a JavaScript library which parses a SWF and renders SWF1 tags. “It’s in the spirit of the previous ‘SVG in SWF’ work from Helen Triolo, Claus Wahlers, Brad Neuberg and others,” writes Adobe’s John Dowdell on his personal blog. Gordon renders “one file format in a runtime designed for a different file format,” he says. In layman’s terms, this workaround lets Safari display Flash content…some Flash content…on the iPhone. But the process of enabling it to work requires quite a few modifications to the original Flash file. And while the concept is intriguing, anyone who actually bothered to use this on a live website would probably get criticized by users for killing the iPhone’s user’s battery – the script is a major CPU hog. For obvious reasons, Adobe can’t officially sanction the project as a way to sneak Flash onto the iPhone where it’s currently prevented from running per Apple’s restrictions. However, they said applaud the interest and enthusiasm shown by their developer community and that this demonstration “shows the potential of what users want to be able to experience on the iPhone.” Still, they warn that the Gordon project “represents just a limited subset of what the Flash Player can do,” mentioning specifically that without the necessary codec support, you would not be able to playback videos. For example, you would not be able to playback FLV videos encoded using the On2 VP6 codec. You also might not be able to play back F4V content either, unless the H.264 encoded video could somehow be extracted and then played back in QuickTime on the iPhone outside of the application or website.Whether or not Apple plans to ever lets a proper version of Flash run on the iPhone is still unknown. At one time, we heard that Adobe was working on an iPhone-only version of Flash, but as of yet nothing has surfaced in that regard. Abode’s current solution to the problem is a new release of their Flash Professional CS5 software which lets developers export their files as iPhone apps. In the meantime, Flash developers interested in checking out the Gordon technology can view the demos hosted here or the source code here on github.last_img read more

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Seeking permanent jobs, SPOs in Assam block Brahmaputra bridge

first_imgSome 300 special police officers (SPOs) on Monday blocked an arterial bridge across river Brahmaputra demanding regularisation of their jobs. They threatened to commit mass suicide by jumping into the river before the police dragged them away to restore order.About 650 SPOs have been jobless since the Assam government discharged them in 2015. They have been awaiting absorption in the proposed third Assam Industrial Security Force, as the government had promised.“We have no job, no money to look after our families. The government does not want us to live, and by preventing us from jumping into into the river, it does not want us to die either,” an SPO told newspersons.The State government had raised the SPOs in 2008 to guard government officials and vital installations after militants triggered large-scale violence in Dima Hasao district. Many surrendered rebels were included into the squad under rehabilitation schemes.“Initially, 900 SPOs were recruited. But the government discharged 298 of them in 2010 without any notice. The remaining SPOs were discharged in 2015, but none of us were given the revised pay since September 2013,” Dilip Saikia, president of SPO Welfare Society, had said some time ago.Mr. Saikia is undergoing treatment following an accident.The SPOs were recruited at a fixed monthly pay of ₹4,839 for the first three months. The pay was later revised to ₹8,200.The SPOs had in 2015 staged an armed revolt after being discharged. Two of them sustained bullet injuries after the police opened fire to quell the rebellion.Home Commissioner L.S. Changsan did not take calls, but an official in her department said the SPOs were recruited in 2008 on the condition that their job would be temporary. “There is no point demanding regularisation of job when they had agreed to the condition in the first place,” he said.last_img read more

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DDA to hand over CWG flats after repairs

first_imgThe Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Monday said it was likely to hand over the Commonwealth Games Village flats to the owners once they were repaired by the private developer Emaar MGF. “A policy decision is yet to be taken but one of the ideas under consideration is that as soon as the flats are repaired, they would be handed over to the developer who would then hand them over to the buyers,” a DDA source said.The DDA had earlier claimed that it was not responsible for the delay in the handing over the CWG flats to the buyers as the developer was yet to ensure that the flats meet all the quality standards.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img

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Are You Tuned In? Marketing Insights From An Amazon Bestseller

first_img do Originally published Jul 2, 2008 9:13:00 AM, updated July 11 2013 on September 8 in Cambridge, MA. :  Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities That Lead to Business Breakthroughs Seems I’m not the only one that liked the book.  “Tuned In” climbed the charts to #1 last week and is New Rules of Marketing and PR .  That’s impressive. David recently co-authored a new book: 16.  Ask yourself:  Is the problem you are solving urgent?  Is it pervasive in the market?  Are buyers willing to pay to have this problem solved? For those that follow this blog, you know we’re big fans of David Meerman Scott.  We think his best-selling book ” David Meerman Scott useful 12.  Nothing important happens in the office; the answer you’re looking for is outside your building.  Go talk to potential buyers. you increase your chances of building a runaway success of a business?  in the Amazon Top 100 bestsellers.  Not in the business category, but 15.  Data trumps opinion every time. 1.  The tuned in company constantly listens, observes, and understands the problems that buyers are willing to pay money to solve. So, my advice is to go read ” 13.  Don’t use your salespeople for conducting buyer interviews.  Great sales people are great at sales — not necessarily figuring out what How In the meantime, I have captured some of the key points from the book that I found particularly useful.  Apologies if some of them don’t make the most sense out of context (did the best I could while still being reasonably pithy). 6.  Your opinion, although interesting, is irrelevant.  8.  Communicate directly with your potential customers.  It’s hard to get “tuned in” if there’s someone in the middle. .  And, it addresses a question I have struggled with for years:  will Tuned In 5.  Existing customers frame their view of your future based on incremental improvements to their 2.  From the makers of the market-leading “Victor” brand of mouse-trap on the failure of a new “better mouse-trap” they launched to beat the Victor:  “We should have spent more time researching housewives, and less time researching mice.” Tuned In Building A “Tuned In” Business 18.  Tuned in companies think like a publisher and create compelling online content. speak live at the Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Inbound Marketing Summit 11.  Semantics can make a difference.  Disney does not build rides, it “creates adventures”.  It calls employees “cast members”.  They wear “costumes”, not uniforms.  They serve “guests”, not customers.  3.  Focusing on your competitors is a tit-for-tat game that rarely produces a market leader.  4.  Your existing customers represent a small percentage of your opportunity, they have different market problems than non-customers.  “. sell.  14.  Absent any real data, conference rooms are just full of opinions. experiences. You can see still 7.  Don’t assume that because you’re an expert in a market or industry you know more than your buyers about how your product can solve their problems. overall 10.  You don’t have to be the first to identify a market opportunity.  The founders of Intuit (makers of Quicken) joke about having had the 47th mover advantage. 17.  It is too easy to build marketing programs around what the organization wants to say rather than what the buyer wants to hear. If you’ve read the book or have comments on some of the above points, please leave a comment and extend the conversation.  — ” is a must-read for all modern marketing mavens.  past I had the opportunity to review an early draft of the book several months ago (I read it on my last trip to Mumbai, India).  It was riveting.  And, I’m not just saying that because David is an advisor to HubSpot (which he is) or because he mentioned HubSpot in the book (which he did — thanks David!) but because the book is insightful and 9.  Most businesses try to buy their way in with expensive advertising or beg their way in by convincing media to write about them.  Be different.  Say something useful and interesting.last_img read more

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Five Web Publishing Secrets to Learn From the Supermarket Checkout Line

first_img “Don’t Miss Out!” Redbook says bluntly below the happiness blurb, while the 7 Secrets and Superfood teasers intone a more subtle message: if you don’t pick up this magazine you’re going to miss something important. Gotcha! Flipping through the pages (people read from front to back, but they usually flip from back to front), you’ll notice that everything is compartmentalized into bite-sized nuggets. Women’s magazine editors worked in units of single pages and 100-words sound bites. Wherever possible, articles are deconstructed into chunks, which are given their own headlines or dressed up with images. Editors call these “points of entry,” and they’re a valuable tool to snag readers and keep them on the page. The longer a reader stays, the more likely it is she’ll buy the magazine. 2. Create Points of Entry. Originally published Dec 22, 2008 9:50:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 1. Hit readers in the gut. The Superfood You Shouldn’t Skip Download the free webinar Webinar: Blogging for Business Secrets of Social Media Marketing Ronald Reagan demonstrated, to the chagrin of his critics, that a single anecdote can overwhelm mountains of statistics. TV stations know that the video clip of the grieving parent or joyous lottery winner is better than all the economic analysis in the world. When seeking to make a point, find an anecdote that crystallizes the message. Let it set the scene for you. Live Well On Less With the possible exception of the recipe and home sections, nearly every spread in Redbook features at least one face. And these are happy people. The women, along with a few gorgeous men, are all smiling, gazing contentedly into the distance or glancing seductively at the reader. These are people you want to meet. It’s no surprise that humans respond strongly to the faces of other humans. We do this from birth. So when you take a photo for your website, forget about the background and zoom in on the person’s expression.  and the newly-published  Pick up any women’s magazine and you’ll find the words “I,” “me,” “you,” “our” and “us” spread all over it, particularly in headlines. Should I Ditch This Friend? asks one Redbook Q&A. Find your Power at Work advises another. Even Redbook’s sections — Your Pretty Life, Your Healthy Life, Your Love Life, Your Home Life, Just for You, etc. — reinforce the fact that these articles deliver the content to the reader’s front door. People don’t just want information; they want to know how information affects them. Headlines like these are the publishing equivalent of looking someone in the eye. Speaking to people in personal terms makes the content more conversational, personal and relevant. It works. 5. Tell stories.  to learn how to create a thriving inbound marketing blog. How Do Ditch Your Debt For Good , an author, speaker and writer who advises businesses on online marketing. He is the author of  This article is a guest post by  A Profile Of Cover Girl Tricia Yearwoodcenter_img Now let’s have a look inside. Paul Gillin What Happy Women Know These same tactics can work online. Callouts, sidebars, pull-quotes, Q&As and other visual tools break up rivers of text and give readers more starting points to engage with the content. Note: this isn’t about sprinkling random icons into your copy. It’s about segmenting content and signposting it with relevant words and images that attract attention. The New Influencers: A Marketer’s Guide to Social Media This cover has another subtle incentive to draw in readers: fear. Fear is one of the most potent tools publishers use to sell content: fear of failing, fear of rejection and fear of not knowing. 4. Show faces, not scenes. Publishers of women’s magazines have wrestled for years with the same problems that Web publishers confront today: how to grab the attention of a distracted audience in just a few seconds and convince them to become regular readers. Fall’s Best Love-Your-Body Looks Cover stories are everything to women’s publishers. The choice of what to feature on the cover of each month’s issue is the product of years of reader research, and it’s intended to stop passersby in their tracks. Here are Redbook’s September choices: These selections span the issues that matter to Redbook’s audience: diet, money, relationships, personal happiness and fashion. Three of the cover blurbs are meant to tantalize (Seven Secrets, Superfood and What Happy Women Know) and three others to appeal to the get-my-life-in-order instinct (Live Well, Love Your Body and Ditch Your Debt). The cover practically shouts at you that the September Redbook will make you happier, thinner, richer and better in bed. Is it any surprise that variations of these same topics adorn the covers of nearly every women’s magazine? Want to learn more about publishing a blog on your business website? While the media may be different, a lot of the tactics that the women’s magazines use to entice people in checkout lines also work online. So I stole a recent copy of Redbook from my gym (you don’t think I pay for this material, do you?) and scanned it for ideas. Here are five lessons we can learn from the September, 2008 issue. There’s one other tactic magazine publishers use that you won’t ever have to worry about: those dumb subscription cards that fall out of the middle of the magazine and land on the floor. They’re called blow-in cards, and everybody hates them, even the publishers who use them. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the most effective circulation tools ever invented. Sometimes annoyance sells, too. The Seven Secrets to Lasting Love 3. Speak directly to the reader. Have you ever noticed that nearly every feature article in the lifestyle magazines begins with an anecdote? Half the time, the tales are even fictitious. It doesn’t matter. People respond to stories about other people. Stories are the most powerful way to communicate a message, particularly when combined with the other four secrets I’ve mentioned. 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

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10 Examples of Amazing Viral Marketing Videos

first_imgOh, hi there. Have you heard the news about video? It’s becoming really important for marketers to use. Imperative, even. Perhaps mandatory.”Sure,” you must be thinking. “And in other news, the sky is blue.”Okay, we get it. You know how important video is. That much is clear. In fact, 94% of marketers plan to add either YouTube or Facebook video to their content distribution efforts in the next 12 months. And that’s great — but we have a question. What makes a video viral?According to Dictionary.com, to go viral means to become “very popular by circulating quickly from person to person, especially through the internet.” And when executed well, that virality can last for a while — in fact, I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite ways to reminisce about my childhood is to ask my peers, “Remember that old jingle that went like … ?”Free Guide: How to Create Video to Increase Engagement So not only have we hand-picked our favorite viral marketing videos below — we’ve also explained what we believe makes them so effective. And given the aforementioned ability of viral videos to maintain evergreen popularity, you’ll notice that not all of them are terribly recent. So, let’s get right to it, shall we?6 Viral Video Marketing Examples1) Dallas Zoo & Bob Hagh: Breakdancing GorillaThe VideoWe start off with a bit of an unusual example. It all started when Dallas Zoo Primate Supervisor Ashley Orr captured this video of Zola, a footloose and fancy-free gorilla splashing around and dancing in a kiddie pool. Check it out: Why It WorksLet’s face it: Generally, what goes on in the bathroom stays in the bathroom. It’s a taboo topic — but it’s one that everyone experiences, and one that Poo~Pourri approaches and communicates with bravado.This brand’s products were created to solve a problem that people typically don’t like to discuss publicly, but still needs to be resolved. So Poo~Pourri created video content that says, “Hey, we’ll address and talk about it, so you don’t have to.”What are some of the discomforts/uncomfortable topics around the problem that your product seeks to resolve? Start a conversation about them — the one that your customer wants to have, but is too embarrassed to do so.And guess what? It doesn’t have to pertain to bodily functions. It can also be about bigger grievances, like wanting to quit your job. That’s the approach that HubSpot has taken with its Summer Startup Competition, for which we created the video below. The opening line? An unabashed declaration of, “Quit your job.”So, there you have it. From tear-jerking to hilarious, these viral videos illustrate the endless possibilities of how your brand can create similar content — the kind that could keep people talking about it far down the road.What are your favorite viral video marketing examples? Let us know in the comments.Want more tips for creating video content? Check out this data on the state of video marketing.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2010 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Originally published Jul 7, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated July 12 2019 Within less than a week, the video was picked up by the likes of CNN, Maxim, and ABC, to name a few — just have a look at the search results for “dancing gorilla maniac.”Why It WorksHow many times have you watched a video and thought, “This reminds me of … “? That’s precisely what Hagh did here — took a video that was already cute, and added something simple to make it even more shareable.After Hagh’s “enhanced” version of the gorilla video went viral, I resolved to start observing those fleeting moments when I think to myself, “Wouldn’t it be funny if … ?” And while there’s no guarantee that acting on those thoughts would have viral results — and we wouldn’t recommend investing a ton of time in something that isn’t likely to pay off — Hagh’s experience makes us say, “You never know.”So start paying attention to what you normally think of as silly ideas, and if there’s a low-effort opportunity to act on them, do so — but don’t just do it once, and pay attention each time, analyzing any metrics that you’re able to pull around performance. See who responds to each experiment and how, and it could inform your video marketing strategy.2) Dollar Shave Club: “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”The VideoThe video below is over five years old, and yet, out of all of Dollar Shave Club’s YouTube videos — of which there are more than 50 — it remains the brand’s most popular, with over 24 million views. “Even nanophysicists need to have a little fun,” the video’s description reads, explaining that, to make the video, “IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules … all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can be seen only when you magnify it 100 million times.” Today, it holds the Guinness World Records™ title for the World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film.Why It WorksRe-read the first part of the video’s description. “Even nanophysicists need to have a little fun.” Replace that job title with any other, and depending on your industry, it could apply to your work, as well. All marketers deserve to have a little fun. The question is, “How?”It presents another opportunity to start paying closer attention to those “Wouldn’t it be cool if … ?” thoughts, and thinking about how you can actually act upon them to create remarkable content. That’s especially important in B2B marketing, where creatively communicating your product or service in an engaging way is a reported challenge.So, we’ll say it again: Write down your ideas for cool things to do, and present them at your next marketing conversation with a plan for implementing them.P.S. Want to see how this film was made? Check out that bonus footage here.4) TrueMoveH: “Giving”The VideoTrueMoveH, a mobile communication provider in Thailand, triggered leaky eyeballs everywhere when it published this video in 2013. To date, it has over 20 million views and continues to be the brand’s most popular YouTube video. Video Marketing Topics: Why It WorksThis example is an interesting case of co-marketing. Tripp and Tyler made the video in partnership with Zoom, a video conferencing provider — but Zoom isn’t mentioned until the end, when the story being told in the video is largely over. It’s as if the video says, “Ha ha, don’t you hate it when that happens? Here’s a company that can provide a solution,” and then quietly exits.What are some of the biggest annoyances your customers or personas have to deal with? Do they align with the problems that your product or service is designed to solve? If the answer is “no,” then, well … you have some work to do.But if the answer is “yes,” find the humor in those problems. They say that “art imitates life,” so don’t be afraid to act it out, and use these common frustrations to create engaging content.6) Poo~Pourri: “Imagine Where You Can GO”The VideoPoo~Pourri, the maker of a unique bathroom spray, is known for its vast array of viral videos. And while we’re a bit too bashful to share its most popular one on here, here’s another one — which has earned over 13 million views — that’ll give you a general idea of what the brand is all about. I added some music to this. pic.twitter.com/UwjhTKpaeu— Bob Hagh (@BobHagh) June 22, 2017 But as if that wasn’t already fun enough to watch, Star-Telegram Video Producer Bob Hagh noticed that the gorilla’s “choreography” bore a striking resemblance to a routine from the movie Flashdance, which was performed to the song “Maniac.” Seeing an opportunity for a quick laugh, Hagh dubbed the dancing gorilla video with the same track. We’re not crying. You’re crying.Why It WorksLet’s think about some of the ads that have given us “all the feels,” as the kids would say, like Budweiser’s 2014 “Puppy Love” Super Bowl ad which, in January 2016, Inc. called “the All-Time Most Popular Super Bowl Ad.” They’re popular, and people continue to talk about them long after they’ve aired. That’s because they invoke empathy — and that can highly influence buying decisions, especially when there’s a story involved.This video tells a story. It follows the tale of a man who was unequivocally generous throughout his life and, in the end, repaid when it mattered most. The best part: Not once throughout the story is the brand mentioned. In fact, it isn’t until the end that TrueMoveH’s general business category — communication — arises.Start with your industry. Then, think of a story you want to tell — any story at all, as long as it invokes empathy. Then, figure out how that story ties back to what your brand does, and use it to create video content.5) Tripp and Tyler & Zoom: “A Conference Call in Real Life”The VideoThen, there’s the flip side of empathy — the kind that takes some of life’s biggest annoyances and applies humor to them. That’s exactly what podcast hosts Tripp and Tyler did in the video below, to illustrate what a conference call would look like if it played out in real life. Why It WorksThere’s something to be said for putting a face to a brand — in this case, it’s Dollar Shave Club’s founder, Michael Dubin. Employees can have up to 10X as many followers on social media as the companies they work for, and content shared by them receives as much as 8X the engagement. In other words, viewers like it when the people behind a brand advocate for it.That’s exactly what this video does — and following its success, Dubin hasn’t disappeared into the shadows, and to this day, continues to personally appear in the vast majority of Dollar Shave Club’s videos.We get it. Founders and executives are busy. Where the heck are they supposed to find the time to appear in all of these marketing videos? To us, the answer is: They make the time. By publicly making that investment in their respective brands’ content, an executive sends the message that she still believes in her brand, and that she hasn’t let its success change her character. It’s a unique form of thought leadership, but if Dollar Shave Club’s growth and popularity is any indication — it works.3) IBM: “A Boy And His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie”The VideoHere’s another video that you can file under: “Oldie, but goodie.” Sure, this marketing video falls within the B2B sector to advertise IBM’s data storage services — but similar to the very B2C brand Dollar Shave Club, the example below remains its most popular video on YouTube, with over six million views. 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

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