WC final: Sri Lanka keep Vaas, Randiv on standby for Murali, Mathews

first_imgSri Lanka are flying in veteran left arm swing bowler Chaminda Vaas and young off spinner Suraj Randiv as cover for the injured Angelo Mathews and Muttiah Muralitharan in their squad for the World Cup final against India in Mumbai on April 2.”They picked up a couple of niggles in the last match (semifinal against New Zealand on March 29 in Colombo). So to be on the safe side a couple of guys are flying in tonight. We will be giving those two guys (Mathews and Muralitharan) as long as possible to prove their fitness,” said Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss at a media conference on Thursday. Asked what was wrong with Mathews, Bayliss said “quadriceps muscle (injury).” Muralitharan has been struggling with a knee injury that he sustained in Mumbai against New Zealand in their last league game on March 18 as well as a hamstring problem but Bayliss is confident the world’s highest Test wicket-taker will play his final game before calling it a day from international cricket. “I think his chances are good. He bowled his 10 overs in the semi-final and came through that OK. He is obviously a bit stiff and sore. He has the character and the will to win the World Cup and I will not be surprised if he plays,” the Australian-born coach said. Both Vaas and Randiv are not part of the 15-member Sri Lanka Cup squad and all replacements due to injuries in the squad have to be approved by the International Cricket Council. The 37-year-old Vaas played in his last and 322nd ODI in August, 2008 against India at Colombo. The wily left arm bowler has taken 400 wickets while the 26-year-old Randiv has played 21 ODIs and grabbed 22 wickets.  – With inputs from PTIadvertisementlast_img read more

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FIFA 2014: German team that lifted the World Cup is emblematic of a country that has shed its horrid past

first_imgGerman players celebrate after winning the FIFA World Cup.Rainer Fassbinder’s classic 1979 movie The Marriage of Maria Braun is an allegorical tale about the moral complications and emotional cover-ups that surround Germany’s re-emergence as a strong state after World War II. Set between the war and 1954, the film’s,German players celebrate after winning the FIFA World Cup.Rainer Fassbinder’s classic 1979 movie The Marriage of Maria Braun is an allegorical tale about the moral complications and emotional cover-ups that surround Germany’s re-emergence as a strong state after World War II. Set between the war and 1954, the film’s heroine, Maria, thinks she has lost her husband at war, becomes the darling of a victorious American GI, kills him when the husband returns alive from the front, becomes the mistress of a wealthy industrialist as the German economy recovers, inherits his fortune in the 1950s and is set to be reunited with her first husband and about to live a life of luxury when she is suddenly killed in a gas explosion at her home.The explosion is the final scene of the film, and as the credits run one can hear football commentary for the 1954 World Cup final where West Germany won their first championship. ‘Deutshland ist Weltmeister’ screams the delirious commentator-while in the shot we see Maria Braun’s home go up in flames, her short life with all its sad secrets over, a new country reborn which can forget about the sins and complications of the past, rising again on the wings of the Wirtschaftswunder, ‘the German economic miracle’. In Germany, the World Cup is always about much more than just football.Germany first fancied themselves with a shot at the World Cup in 1938. After Adolf Hitler’s Anschluss of Austria excellent Austrian players were incorporated into a ‘Greater Germany’ team (though perhaps the greatest Austrian player of all, Matthias Sindelar, refused to take part in the Hitler-Mannschaft [football team] and went on to commit suicide in 1939). As with other areas of Nazi sports, the German football team had a strong ideological dimension, meant to prove Aryan superiority over inferior races. However, the German team had only managed fourth place in the 1934 World Cup, and were knocked out by minnows Norway in the 1936 Olympics. 1938 was meant to right all this-only for the Germans to draw 1-1 in their opening game against the Swiss in their first game, and then humiliatingly knocked out 4-2 in the replay.advertisementBut the tournament had some solace for fascism: Benito Mussolini’s Italy beat Hungary 4-2 in the final to win their second World Cup on the trot (football was much more important to Mussolini than Hitler, who saw more value in boxing and individual sports).West Germany were barred from taking part in the 1950 World Cup, and the 1954 edition was the first time the national anthem was played at an international sporting event since the War (though the stanza about ‘Deutschland Uber Alles’ was cut). In the final, the German team were expected to be defeated by the all-conquering Hungarian team lead by the greatest player of his generation, Ferenc Puskas; the Hungarians had already thrashed them in a qualifying round. But after the Hungarians streamed ahead 2-0, the Germans pulled the game back to 2-2. They had no stars like Puskas but the weather was on their side: it was raining heavily and the Germans had the advantage, thanks to a new type of boot with innovative screw-in studs designed by a little-known company called Adidas. The Germans scored again after the break, and Puskas had a late equaliser ruled out for off-side. In Germany the match became known as the ‘Miracle of Bern’, the triumphant sporting symbol of Germany’s ‘Economic Miracle’. West Germany’s next World Cup Final win came in 1974 when they again managed to get the better of the greatest player of his generation, Holland’s Johan Cruyff, with a tenacious team display. But the most important political game in the 1974 World Cup had actually come in the first round, when West Germany played East Germany in a showdown between Communism and Capitalism. The tournament was overshadowed by the Cold War: the USSR had dropped out after refusing to take part in a match against a Chile where the US-allied General Augusto Pinochet had just ousted the Soviet sympathetic Salvador Allende in a coup d’etat; there was intense security as Germany was terrorised by the ultra left group Rote Armee Fraktion. The West Germans were clear favourites in their game: they were European Champions, with a core from the European Champions Cup-winning team of Bayern Munich, captained by Franz Beckenbauer. But the East Germans managed to frustrate their Western ‘brothers’ and won the match 1-0. Both teams had qualified for the next round by that point-but it was still a great moment for East German pride.advertisementThroughout the Cold War decades the West German team was one of the few ways Germans could confidently express their patriotism without feeling WW II awkwardness, and with Germany essentially barred from the geopolitical scene it became not so much a continuation of politics as its substitution. The West German team that evolved towards the end of the Cold War was everything Germany could never dare to be in diplomacy: Teutonic, powerful, self-confident. They peaked in 1990, in time with the West’s victory in the Cold War, with the man-machine Lothar Matthaus leading a Valkyrian team to beat Argentina: the losers again featuring the world’s greatest player, Diego Maradona, who like Cruyff and Puskas before him, could not conjure a victory against the less spectacular but more united Germans.1990 was the high water mark of West German postwar success. After the two Germanies were reunited, both the economy and the national team were expected to become superpowers: an idea that made many surrounding countries uncomfortable. Were we about to see a re-emergence of bad, bullying Germany? Instead the German economy slowly slumped, dragged down by costs of paying for the East and a burdensome welfare state. The team dwindled too: they reached the 2002 World Cup Final by luck and were easily blown away by Brazil. It was as if a reunified Germany was almost scared of being too successful and overbearing.Slowly, since 2004, a new German team has been reemerging. Except it’s a different type of Germany, not Aryan at all but made good with immigrants like Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez, Miroslav Klose. By winning the 2014 World Cup with such a globalised team, the demons of 1938 have been put to bed (though some things never change: again a unified German team beat the world’s best player, Lionel Messi). This globalised Germany is one which the nation can back with no remnants of Nazi hangups, it becomes acceptable to be patriotic as the patria (homeland) becomes less German. And at the same time Germany has re-emerged as the superpower of Europe. Except it’s no longer a case of other countries wanting to hold them back: “I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity,” Radek Sikorski said in 2011, as he hoped for Germany to be more assertive in the Eurozone crisis, and as he no doubt hopes now that Berlin will stand up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Germany is reclaiming its geopolitical status, but that will mean letting go of some of the benefits of being diplomatically neutral- such as being able to do business with everyone and never thinking of the geopolitical responsibilities (the German business lobby is the most involved in Putin’s Russia, is among his greatest supporters and has been vocal in stopping Berlin from sanctioning the Kremlin). Let’s just hope German Chancellor Angela Merkel is as good at her job as its football team’s coach Joachim Low is at his.advertisementlast_img read more

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Nuggets top Lakers as LeBron passes Jordan

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Denver (43-21) blew all but two points of its huge early lead, but Harris and Nikola Jokic contributed key baskets down the stretch of the Nuggets’ first win of March.“I liked how we played for most of the game, aside from the stretch where they just got out and ran and scored at will,” Denver coach Michael Malone said.Jamal Murray scored 19 points and Jokic had 12 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets, who had lost four straight to the Lakers on the road despite their growth into an elite NBA team during that time period.After James barreled to the basket and hit a layup while being fouled for his milestone points, the Staples Center crowd gave a rousing ovation to the superstar who joined the Lakers last summer after 15 NBA seasons spent with Cleveland and Miami. While the Lakers aired a tribute video during the ensuing timeout, James covered his face with a towel, apparently crying under it.“A lot of stuff that I’ve done in my career, this ranks right up at the top (with) winning a championship,” James said. “For a kid from Akron, Ohio, that needed inspiration and needed some type of positive influence, M.J. was that guy for me. I watched him from afar, wanted to be like M.J., wanted to shoot fadeaways like M.J., wanted to stick my tongue out on dunks like M.J., wanted to wear my sneakers like M.J. I wanted kids to look up to me at some point like M.J., and it’s crazy, to be honest. ”ADVERTISEMENT The 34-year-old James began the night needing 13 points to pass one of his heroes. James now trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points), Karl Malone (36,928) and Kobe Bryant (33,643). P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed LATEST STORIES MOST READ 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash View comments PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Will Barton scored 23 points, Gary Harris added 19 and the Nuggets snapped their three-game losing streak with a 115-99 victory over Los Angeles on Wednesday night despite James’ latest move up the career scoring ranks.James scored 31 points and surpassed Michael Jordan’s 32,292 career points on a driving layup during the second quarter.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“You’ve got to appreciate him,” Harris said of James. “We’re witnessing greatness. It’s an honor.”With James playing alongside four youngsters who came in with a combined 200 games of NBA experience compared to LeBron’s 1,190, the Lakers nearly rallied from a 23-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Hayward’s game-winner lifts Celtics over Kings Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, shoots and scores as Denver Nuggets forward Torrey Craig, center, defends and center Nikola Jokic watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Los Angeles. With the basket, James moved past Michael Jordan for fourth place on the NBA career scoring list. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LOS ANGELES, California—When LeBron James hit the driving layup that pushed him past Michael Jordan into fourth place on the NBA’s career scoring list, even the Denver Nuggets paused to appreciate their opponent’s big moment.The Nuggets then made sure James’ celebration didn’t include a huge come-from-behind win for the Lakers.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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A Sorry State: 5 Indian Women’s Football League Teams Have Not Held a Practice Session in 3 Months

first_img Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. New Delhi: It has been a little over three months since the Indian Women’s League (IWL) 2019 ended in Ludhiana with Sethu FC defeating Manipur Police SC 3-1 in the final on May 22 to emerge champions.With Indian veteran Bala Devi firing in goals at will and all the national team players in action, this year’s IWL received quite a bit of attention. However, how has it been for these teams after that 18-day league?. Away from the glare, women footballers are hardly getting meaningful competitive football. Since the end of the IWL, none of the 12 participating teams have had any major competitive football. Five of them have not even had the chance to practice together as a team.Here is News18.com taking a look at the status of each of the teams that played in IWL 2019.BARODA FOOTBALL ACADEMYBaroda Football Academy finished last in Group B after losing all the five matches they played in the 18-day league. The girls of the academy, however, have been in regular practice and have been able to play a few friendly matches organised by the academy. Baroda Football Academy hold practice sessions for the players every day in the evening under floodlights since most of the girls attend school or college.In the past three months, Baroda have played against other clubs in the state of Gujarat and they also had an NGO come from Delhi for a friendly match. Apart from these friendly games, Baroda have been a part of an inter-district tournament that took place in the end of June.”Our club has only one sponsor, who provides us with the kits, and because of that we are unable to spend on getting more exposure and have to be content with the matches we are able to set up for ourselves. Some of the girls here are extremely talented but they do not get the opportunity and platform to showcase their talent and that is where we lag behind,” Tarannum Shaikh, a player and one of the coaches at Baroda Football Academy, told News18.com.BANGALORE UNITED FCBangalore United FC were in the same group as Baroda and finished second-last after they won one game of the five they played. The club has not yet been able to hold a proper combined training session for its players and ever since the IWL, the girls have been attending their colleges, where they have been taking care of their own fitness and training.The club’s women’s team plays against the boys of the same club every 15 days in order to get some game time. Since Bangalore United FC do not operate as a professional club, they do not ask the girls to come for practice every day and whoever is free on a given day just drops by. This past Saturday, the club started a camp where all the players were asked to join.The club is currently waiting to know the dates of Karnataka Super League and IWL qualfiers in order to begin proper training with the team.CENTRAL SSB WOMEN’SSince the end of the IWL, no women’s football league or tournament has been held in Bengal because of which the Central SSB Women’s team has not had much practice or proper game time.SSB were one of the semi-finalists of IWL 2019 and they had lost to eventual winners Sethu FC.Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) is one of India’s Central Armed Police Forces and the girls have rarely been able to practice together. SSB’s star recruit for the IWL, Sangita Basfore, has been busy with the national team.FC ALAKHPURAAlakhpura is a village in Haryana and the people here fund FC Alakhpura on their own enabling their girls to pursue football. Alakhpura had finished last in Group A in IWL 2019, having won one of the five matches they played.Since FC Alakhpura is a club based in the Alakhpura High School, the girls train regularly in morning and evening sessions and the club began a camp for senior nationals from August 19.Since the IWL, Alakhpura have not had any proper competitive game even though they try and organise matches against other clubs from Haryana. The girls of FC Alakhpura also play against the boys of the village every now and then.Alakhpura did not participate in the ongoing Punjab Women’s League and they told News18.com that they did not play in order to focus on preparing for the girls for senior nationals.FC KOLHAPUR CITYFC Kolhapur City have been trying to train a few girls in order for them to remain in practice but a number of the players they sourced from other states have left to play for their states. With the dates of the IWL qualifiers not out yet, Kolhapur City have not been training the girls regularly under a system.”AIFF is working on increasing the teams so they have not specified the format for the qualifiers and the league yet so we have no clarity,” Amit Pawar, FC Kolhapur City Head Coach, told News18.com.GOKULAM KERALA FCIWL 2019 semi-finalists Gokulam Kerala FC have had no competitive match since the end of the league and have had no practice as a team either. However for the upcoming season, Gokulam have started scouting for players locally and are holding a small camp in Kannur region of Kerala.Gokulam Kerala coach Priya PV said that after the team’s performance in the third season, the president of the club is more serious and they are planning to retain some players from the previous season and add good local talent.HANS WOMEN FCHans Women FC, who finished third in Group A with two wins from five games, do not train and practice systematically as a club. Most of their team comes out of Jesus and Mary College so the girls practice in the college grouds. Since the IWL, they have not had any competitive game as Delhi has not seen any tournament or competition for women.Hans Women FC believe that no other women’s club is of the same level as them and hence to avoid the chances of injury, they refrain from playing competitive games against other clubs.Among the 30-35 players that Hans Women FC has, they divide themselves into two teams and play practice games.”Football Delhi has not been able to organise any tournament for the senior girls so there is a general lack of competition. Tournaments are mentioned in the calendar every year but nothing happens,” Nagendra Singh, owner of Hans Women FC, said.MANIPUR POLICE SCIWL 2019 finalists Manipur Police SC have not played any tournament since the completion of the IWL.Being a department team, coach Surmala Chanu trains the women every day from 7.30am to 10am but apart from that, the lack of tournaments means the team hardly gets any game time.A number of senior members of the team, including Bala Devi, have been with the Indian national team but the rest have only been in regular practice.PANJIM FOOTBALLERSNews18.com reported a few days ago that Panjim Footballers are considering disbanding their team due to expenses and management issues.Panjim were the Goa state champions last season courtesy of which they played in the IWL but they are yet to pay match fees to their players for the matches the girls played.A Panjim official said that due to the draft system in the qualifiers organised by Goa Football Association, it gets difficult to train new girls from scratch every season and hence, they feel they can’t support the logistics of having the women’s team.RISING STUDENT’S CLUBIWL 2018 champions Rising Student’s Club finished fifth in Group A of IWL 2019 after being able to win only a single game out of the five matches they played.Rising Student’s released all their players right after the IWL and so, there has been no practice in the past three months. They are waiting for AIFF to specify the format and dates for the next IWL, which is when they will look to form a team.STC-SAI CUTTACKSTC-SAI Cuttack, who finished fourth in Group B of IWL 2019, winning two of their five games, have also not had any competitive game since the IWL. STC-SAI is a team from the Sports Authority of India hostel in Cuttack, and therefore, all the girls who are in the hostel have been practicing regularly under coach Shyam Manik Lodh.Seven girls from the team are away for the Senior National Championships camp and a couple of them are in Goa for the U-17 World Cup team camp.Under the government programme, STC-SAI are also inducting more girls and readying them in order to be ready for whatever competitive games that come their way. The average age of the girls in the hostel currently is 17.SETHU FCIWL 2019 champions Sethu FC, as a club, have not practiced together since the IWL. Their national team players like Dangmei Grace, Sandhiya Ranganathan, Nongmaithem Ratanbala Devi and Loitongbam Ashalata Devi have all been in the India camp.Rest of their players, most of who are college-going girls, practice in their college itself.Even though Tamil Nadu has State Championships and CM trophy, none of the tournaments have happened so far since the end of the IWL and their coach Amrutha rued the lack of tournaments and said they needed regular game time for development.”Last season, the dates were fixed in the last moment and we did not get much time to prepare. This time AIFF is saying they might have over 20 teams so we want to have a camp for at least three months,” Amrutha said. Central SSB Women’sfootballGokulam Kerala FCindian football First Published: August 27, 2019, 10:34 AM ISTlast_img read more

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Asian Wrestling Championship: Bajrang Punia, Sarita storm into finals

first_imgIndian wrestlers Bajrang Punia (65 Kg) and Sarita (58 Kg) have assured India of two more silver medals in the ongoing Asian Wrestling Championship after they stormed into the finals of their respective categories here in the national capital on Saturday.The 23-year-old Punia fended off Kim Kukgwang of North Korea 7-5 to book his place in the summit showdown.He will now lock horns with Lee Seungchul of South Korea for a gold medal.Meanwhile, Sarita moved to the finals of the women’s 58 Kg category after defeating her Vietnamese opponent Thi Huong Dao 12-0 (technical fall) in the last-four clash. She will now face Tynybekova Aisuluu of Kyrgyzstan.Earlier, Rio Olympic bronze-medallist Sakshi Malik had to settle for a Silver after losing against Risako Kawai of Japan by 0-10 in the gold medal match of the 60kg category.Meanwhile, another Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat had also lost her gold medal match against Sae Nanjo of Japan, going down 4-8 to in freestyle 55kg finals.Ritu Phogat also settled with a bronze medal in the 48kg category in women’s wrestling.last_img read more

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2nd Test: Pujara, Rahane hundreds help India dictate terms vs Sri Lanka

first_imgCheteshwar Pujara registered his second century of the series while Ajinkya Rahane also notched up a hundred as two of India’s most dependable batsmen laid the foundation for a massive first innings total in the second test against Sri Lanka on Thursday. (SCORECARD)Pujara’s 50th test turned out to be an eventful one as India’s number three nearly perished in the slip early in his innings and ran out partner KL Rahul before making amends with his burgeoning 211-run stand with Rahane.Pujara, who also completed 4,000 test runs in the process, was batting on 128 at stumps, his 13th test century containing 10 boundaries and a pulled six off debutant spinner Malinda Pushpakumara.Rahane, who survived a couple of reviews, hit 12 boundaries in his fluent 103 not out, as India utterly dominated the opening day of the contest to reach 344 for three.Alarmingly for Sri Lanka, still smarting from their comprehensive defeat in the series opener in Galle, lone frontline paceman Nuwan Pradeep left the field in the final session clutching his left hamstring.India got off to a brisk start after skipper Virat Kohli opted to bat on a dry surface with Rahul, who missed India’s victory in Galle with high-fever, and Shikhar Dhawan scoring freely against a spin-heavy Sri Lankan attack.Dhawan clobbered Rangana Herath for a six in the spinner’s first over and also hit five boundaries in his brisk 35 before Dilruwan Perera trapped him leg-before.Rahul was on 19 when the right-hander was given out leg-before to Dimuth Karunaratne but the batsman used review to successfully overturn the decision and went on to make his sixth successive test half-century.advertisementRahul fell on 57 after a horrible mix-up with Pujara and was soon joined by Kohli in the pavilion as India slumped to 133-3.Pujara, who struck 153 in Galle, and Rahane ensured Sri Lanka did not get any momentum, however.Renowned for their impeccable temperament, the right-handed duo deftly used the crease to punish the Sri Lankan bowlers who endured a wicketless final session.Sri Lanka welcomed back skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who missed the Galle test with pneumonia, and effected three changes overall in their bid to level the three-match series against the top ranked Indian team.last_img read more

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How to Reevaluate Your Emergency Fund Strategy

first_imgManaging your money is a constant push and pull between watchfulness and restraint. A good investor, for example, keeps a close eye on their investments without overreacting to short-term volatility. You need to be aware, but also patient.But most people don’t think of their emergency funds that way. They assume that after hitting the mark they’ve set for themselves, it’s perfectly fine to let that money sit around gathering dust until an emergency presents itself.That’s a great way to find yourself struggling to make ends meet when the time comes. The emergency fund you put together in your early 20s is probably inadequate by the time you hit 30, and even more so by 40. To avoid this, you need to be checking in regularly.Here’s how to reevaluate your emergency fund, and what to do if it’s no longer sufficient.Check Your ExpensesAn emergency fund should cover anywhere from three months to a year’s worth of expenses. If it’s been a while since you put together your emergency fund, it’s time need to examine your budget and see what new expenses have cropped up. Inflation can also cause your emergency fund to lose value as the years go on, so a small boost every few years is usually a good idea.Make a list of all the recurring expenses you have every month, both variable and fixed. Write down the most you spend in a given month per category. If you have a $300 electric bill in the summer and $100 during the winter, you don’t want to use $100 as your baseline when there’s a chance you might need the emergency fund at the beginning of summer.Exclude any discretionary spending you could easily curb if an emergency happened, but don’t take it too far. You shouldn’t have to live like a monk just because your emergency fund was too small. Remember, it’s better to be overprepared than overwhelmed.Once you have the total amount of monthly costs, divide it by your current emergency fund to see how many months’ worth of expenses you really have. If you have less than three months, create a plan to start saving until you get there. If you have between three and six months’ worth, keep reading to see if you need the full six-month emergency fund.Evaluate Your CircumstancesIt’s not uncommon for your emergency fund needs to evolve as your life circumstances change. If you’re single and living with your parents when you first put together an emergency fund, your expenses and volatility will be low. You might only need two or three months’ worth of spending.But after a few years, your situation will probably be different. Maybe you have kids and a stay-at-home spouse. Maybe you own a home and help support an elderly family member. Your needs have drastically changed, and your emergency fund needs to change too.Common advice tends to skew between $1,000 and three months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund, but many people need closer to six months’ worth.Anyone in the following circumstances needs to have between three to six months’ worth of expenses saved:Those with children, especially single or stay-at-home parentsHomeowners with a mortgageSelf-employed business ownersThose who take care of a dependent relativeSeasonal employees or those who work on commissionI recently had a financial planner advise me to increase my emergency fund from three months’ worth of expenses to six. My husband and I are both self-employed and work in the same industry. If something were to happen, he argued, we would both be affected.I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t considered this possibility on my own. Of course, I’m aware that freelance writing is a volatile industry, but I still didn’t consider saving more to better prepare myself. So I swallowed my pride, took his advice and am now saving for six months’ worth of expenses.I like to think of myself as a financial expert, but this was a sobering reminder that everyone needs a wake-up call every now and then. I realize that I need to evaluate my emergency fund on an annual basis. It’s better to find out now that my savings are inadequate, rather than during a crisis.When something changes in your life, like a move to a new state or the arrival of your second child, reassess your emergency fund and make sure it’s aligned with your current budget. You might be surprised by what you find.How to Boost Your Emergency FundIf you’ve discovered your emergency fund is woefully inadequate, you have two options: spend less for a few months to make up the difference, or find a way to make more money.The first strategy could mean giving up restaurants, skipping the family vacation or finding frugal entertainment options. Even small expense cuts can have a significant impact over the course of several months.If you’d prefer to earn more money, here are some ideas on how to beef up your emergency fund as quickly as possible:Ask for overtime, a raise or a promotion at workSell unwanted items sitting in your garage or basementJoin the gig economy and work for Uber, Lyft or PostmatesCut out most of your discretionary spending for a few monthsStop making bonus debt payments (keep paying the minimum)Apply any windfalls toward your emergency fund, such as tax refunds or rebatesThe only thing you shouldn’t do while rebuilding your emergency fund is halt retirement, HSA, 529 and other important contributions – unless you can’t think of anywhere else to cut. It’s better to rebuild your emergency fund slowly than to put your IRA on hold.You should also avoid selling off investments to add to your emergency fund. Retirement contributions should never be touched unless the bank is about to foreclose on your house or your child needs surgery. Doing so will just set you up for a bigger emergency down the road. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of Intuit Inc, Mint or any affiliated organization. This blog post does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedIs $1,000 Emergency Fund Enough?October 9, 2018In “Saving”Should You Invest Your Emergency Fund?November 28, 2018In “Saving”How to Build an Emergency Fund in CollegeOctober 7, 2019In “Saving” Post navigationlast_img read more

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Vaccines best way to stop spread of epidemics, experts say

first_imgVaccinations remain the best way to stop the the spread of infectious diseases in epidemics, according to scientists in Italy.They’re more effective than quarantines, or doing nothing, during an outbreak of an epidemic, scientists from the Italian National Research Council and the Joint Research Commission concluded in a study published this month in the American Physical Society.Widespread immunization programs in several parts of the world, including the United States and Europe, have virtually wiped out smallpox, polio and other fatal diseases. These shots are given to children on a regular schedule, but some vaccines also are given more than once, such as annual flu shots, while others are given less often or as needed, such as for pneumonia and shingles.Researchers suggest in the new study that using vaccines as a weapon against epidemic outbreaks should be an obvious option to prevent the further spread of a disease.“We show how, consistent with common sense, but contrary to common practice, in many cases preventing is better than curing: depending on network structure, rescuing an infected network by quarantine could become inefficient soon after the first infection,” the scientists wrote in the study.The study was published after an outbreak this year at the Winter Olympics, held in South Korea, in which 275 staffers and volunteers were infected by the norovirus.Health officials attempted to initially contain the outbreak at the Olmpics by quarantining 1,200 employees who caught the virus. Despite these measures, the illness continued to spread and affected some athletes.The scientists found that quarantining nodes quickly become ineffective. And even suggested that the “do nothing” approach is preferable to quarantine.The researchers found that outbreaks were better contained with vaccination, even if a few number of people got the shot.The scientists ran physics-based simulations on networks to replicate the way individuals interact with one another in the real world, including air transportation. The simulations are simplified versions modeling for real-world epidemics, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.The scientists used a vaccination strategy based on “optimal percolation,” which finds “the least set of nodes that, when removed from a network, can fragment it into small clusters,” according to a press release.“The idea behind this approach is that fragmenting the network ensures infections are contained within small groups, hence preventing the occurrence of large outbreaks,” the researchers said.Sourcelast_img read more

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No Google PageRank Update in 4 Months: Should You Care?

first_img Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the update cycle. The last known update to the public Google PageRank number (as shown via the toolbar and tools like WebsiteGrader.com), was around April 30th 2007. So, as I write this article, it has been over 4 months since the last update. In all the time that I’ve been watching the Google PageRank updates, this is the longest lapse I’ve seen. This likely means that we’re going to see an update “any day now”. Measuring SEO 2. Updates happen inconsistently (you never really know when the next one is coming) Most SEO experts are of the opinion that the Google PageRank number that is available to the public (often known as the “toolbar PageRank”) is not very important. The toolbar PR (TBPR) is the number shown via the Google Toolbar and other software applications (like WebsiteGrader.com’s Originally published Sep 10, 2007 11:22:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 If you’re interested in knowing when the next Google PageRank update happens, I have a simple solution for you. Just 3. It’s a coarse number (0-10 — no fractions) in comparison to the “internal” PageRank number Google uses for its ranking algorithm. SEO Report First off, if you don’t know what Google PageRank is, then here’s a quick So, although Google PageRank has its limitations, it continues to be monitored and cited (if you’re in the market for buying a website, one of the things you’ll likely look at is the Google PageRank of the site). All of these are legitimate reasons that do indeed severely limit the utility of the public Google PageRank. However, this number continues to be interesting to many folks primarily because it is the simplest abstraction that can easily be accessed to determine the general “authority” for a given web page. It factors in the two most important things from an SEO perspective: The number of inbound links to a given web page and the power/authority of those links.center_img Topics: What does this mean to you? If you have a relatively new site, or have just started getting meaningful inbound links recently, don’t fret if your Google PageRank is zero. Since there hasn’t been an update in a while, chances are your current PR (or lack thereof) is simply based on the old data. Once the update occurs, you should see yourself move up. WebsiteGrader.com is currently at a PR5 (which is not bad), but I expect the site to jump to a PR6 as it has more powerful links than some of our other sites which already have a PR6. introduction to Google PageRank register for this site and we’ll send you a quick email when the update happens. We monitor hundreds of websites on behalf of our users, so when the change happens, we’ll likely be one of the first ones to know — and so will you. . SEO experts think Google PageRank is not a particularly meaningful number for a variety of reasons: . 1. Updates happen infrequently (every few months) 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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2 Huge Mistakes by 2008 Presidential Candidates

first_img Originally published Oct 31, 2007 9:30:00 AM, updated October 01 2019 Today we released a 2008 Presidential Candidates Internet Marketing Report, which analyzes how the major candidates in the upcoming election are using Internet marketing to promote themselves. Nothing in this report or post is meant to be a political statement, so please keep the comments on marketing related issues. Below are some of the findings from the report that I thought were surprising.2008 Presidential Candidates Internet Marketing Report – 2 Mistakes the Candidates are Making Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Blogging – Most of the candidates websites have blogs, usually written by staffers who talk about the campaign in general terms. But blogging is a lot more about a personal connection and discussion than preaching from the safety of an ivory tower. Only Mitt Romney uses blogging to create a personal connection with the audience. Mitt’s wife and sons frequently post to the blog, and Mitt himself even writes some entires. John Edwards and his wife and daughter do have “diaries” but the posts are very infrequent. All the other candidates are missing out on a huge opportunity to personally connect with voters – which is important.SEO – The search engine optimization performance of the candidates is pretty weak if you ask me. They have tons of inbound links, lots of people in the blogosphere who love them, and they are just not doing the things they should do to get qualified traffic from search engines. How cool of a PR stunt would it be for one of the candidates to dominate the first page of google for “President” or “Best President”. Plus, if someone is researching “war in Iraq new policy” and I were running for president, I would be pretty pissed if I was not mentioned in the search results.If you want to see an older post I wrote that inspired some of this analysis, you can read Presidential Internet Marketing – Data Comparing Obama, Clinton, Edwards, Romney, Giuliani and McCain. And again, here is a link to the full Presidential Candidate Internet Marketing Report and the Press Release about the Internet Marketing Report announcing the report and results. Did you like what you read? Want more? Get automatic updates by subscribing to our RSS Feed or Email List (top right hand side of this page). last_img read more

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How Do I Fix My Website Traffic Decrease?

first_imgEarlier this week, you determined what organic search keywords and referring sites Finally, figure out which of your inbound links or sites that link to you frequently could ask to link to your new page. While on-page optimization and a good internal linking system are helpful to having a quality page that ranks, ultimately Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack , let’s develop a plan for recovering your search traffic. You first need to select a page from your existing website to optimize for one of your fallen words, or create a new page on your site. It’s best to create a new page if you can – Adding pages to your site is crucial to increasing your search rankings, and it can make it easier to start fresh if your other pages are already ranking and getting traffic. Don’t forget that if you have a blog on your website, a blog entry could fulfill all of these items – Attractive, interesting content that is well optimized for search and inbound links. search engine strategy and guidelines Also think about your page content, because it will both help this page rank well, and give your viewers something interesting and useful to read once they’ve arrived on this page, including a call to action to one of your landing pages or offers that can bring in your lead. Photo Credit: to your page to make it rank well. Having some really great and novel content on the page that people will want to link to helps a lot here – It’s always easier to get people to link into your site if they like what you have to say. Tell us your story of your best-optimized page. How you got it to rank in the comments? For the last step that’s directly on your website, think about the other pages on your site that could link into this page. Depending on your phrase, they might be product pages, your homepage, or other particular pages on your site. Add links on those pages with the link text of your crucial keyword, otherwise this page will be like an isolated island that no one can get to.center_img Originally published Feb 2, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: alwaysmnky First Recovering Search Traffic Plan For the keywords where your search traffic has declined, let’s create new a new page on your website optimized around each word. For tips on how to optimize a page well, there’s plenty of content available on to make sure that you hit on your website. The major things to think about are simple though: Your page title, page address, the H1 headline on the page, and the meta description for your page. Make sure that they are all around the one keyword that you’re optimizing this page for, or one or two close variations off of that word (like a plural form). Measuring SEO you’ll need inbound linkslast_img read more

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5 Golden Rules for a Successful Location Based Marketing Campaign

first_img Originally published Sep 8, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Marketing Campaigns Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Enter to win a copy of Aaron’s Book!The Evolution of Location Based Marketing”At that point [in 2007], it was really just one of these cool things. It was fun. There were some legs to it, but you couldn’t quite see the business use.”Using location based tools started out as just a cool thing to do. But in 2009, Foursquare launched with an eye toward utilizing location based tools for marketing and business. People started to realize that you can check into businesses. Businesses started setting their locations and offering incentives for check-ins.Now more companies are getting into the location based marketing game. According to Aaron, there will be more development in this area, and then more consolidation and acquisitions, but we’re really just at the beginning. Businesses are still trying to figure out how to use these tools in a beneficial way.Adopting Location Based Marketing Services”I think with the location based things, it’s not to say that if you make a mistake it won’t get some notice, but I think both customers and the press and social media in general are willing to cut you more slack if you’re going in and playing around with them.”If you’re a business, now is the perfect time to be trying out location based services because they’re still relatively small communities. If you make an error, you won’t get as much backlash as if you were just starting out with Twitter or Facebook.Building a Successful Location Based Marketing Campaign”We like to have what we call the Five Golden Rules.” Here are Aaron’s Five Golden Rules for creating a successful location based marketing campaign: 1. Go out and explore the services. Get yourself set up on Yelp, Foursquare, Gowalla, SCVNGR, and Local Response. Claim your location in those places. 2. Start embracing the influencers that are checking in. Pick one or two services that are right for you (probably Foursquare, and maybe Yelp), and do that. 3. Create your offer. Make sure your offer syncs up with what your business goals are (loyalty, engagement, increase foot traffic, increase sales, etc). 4. Test, learn, optimize, and measure. Keep tabs on what’s working and what’s not working, and make changes.5. Operationalize. Train everyone involved (from the top to the bottom) on what the offer is, how it works, and what the purpose is.Using Location Based Services to Build a Loyalty Program”I think that goes into perpetuity. Every fifth time you go, you’re getting this extra benefit, and smart companies will start to think about how do I do that.”Here are a few examples of companies who are using location based services to build up loyalty programs:Tasti D-Lite has a loyalty program where, through the swipe of a card, you can check into Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook. Checking in earns you additional points towards free menu items.Starwood Hotels has a similar program where, when you attach your Starwood account with Foursquare, you get additional points for checking in.Hideout Theatre has it so you don’t just benefit the first time you check in or if you’re the mayor, but also during your 5th and 10th visits as well.Point-of-Purchase and Location Based Services”So I think the more you can tightly tie in some of these elements to the point of sale, the bigger retail stores will embrace this. But I don’t know if it’s going to be the end-all, be-all. It will definitely add scale. It will add comfort, I think, to a lot of these customers.”A new element that is emerging is a way for businesses to track when people have actually purchased and been inside their business. This builds on loyalty programs, but it can also be used to further relationship building and engagement.Offering Incentives for Sharing With Your Networks”The more reasons you give for someone sharing their check-in with their Facebook account or other social networks, the better.”It’s best to give the user the control on how/what they share with their networks, but the more reasons you give them to share, the better (e.g., “Get more points for sharing your check-in on Facebook.”).What Happens After Check-In”We need to think about the benefit that geo-awareness adds to any kind of transaction business data, etc.”Businesses need to figure out how they can use this information going forward. Can you build check-in information in your loyalty program? Can you add that into your communication with your customers?Digby (a mobile ecommerce company) is looking into this issue. If they can get you to check-in on an app that they’ve built, they can passively know whether you’ve been in a store or not. So then you have that data that you can work with.What Kinds of Businesses Should Use Location Based Services?”I think if you look at companies like Bravo TV, companies that are either publications or they’re consumer package goods, there are things that you can do — whether they’re educational, they can be partnerships with the actual retail locations.”Location based services aren’t just for brick-and-mortar businesses with lots of locations. Other types of businesses can partner with retail locations.For example, you can check in at the Statue of Liberty. When you do, you can pull up a particular show episode on the History Channel and historical facts. The History Channel has partnered with historical locations so that when someone checks in, they’re shown History Channel content.Measuring the Effectiveness of Location Based Marketing”This is a space that will continue to evolve. One of the things that we do have is we have a website. It’s LocationBasedMarketingForDummies.com, and that’s going to be the book site, and we’re going to keep a regular blog there. You’ll be able to find out about some of these services as they evolve, because Mike and I will keep wiki pages that will let users contribute as well — talk about all these different services that can help measure and monitor.”A lot of the platforms offer their own dashboards for tracking who’s checked in, demographics, etc.But there are also a lot of other tools that can help you measure and monitor these campaigns. Some of them are:MomentFeed: for tracking across multiple locations and multiple servicesGeotoko: for managing multiple offersValuevine: for all kinds of tracking of location based campaignsLocal Response: for mining Twitter and finding specific check-ins and making offers to themResources for Location Based Marketing Information”I have a list that I’ve actually built if someone checks out my Twitter handle, @AaronStrout. You can see my LBS Twitter stream that I’ve got.”Check out @Mr_LBS on Twitter, the Location Based Marketing Association, @JBruin on Twitter, and all of the individual services’ Twitter handles and blogs.Where to Start Your Location Based Marketing Efforts”Try it out as a consumer and check in to some places and get some ideas, and then get your company set up. Claim your location. Think about maybe a light offer that you could do.”If you’re just starting out, get set up on Foursquare. Try it as a consumer. Get some ideas. Then claim your location, and work on a light offer.Connect With Aaron OnlineYou can follow Aaron on Twitter @AaronStrout and his personal blog. Don’t forget to also check out his company blog, his book, and the Quick-n-Dirty podcast.Enter to Win a Copy of Aaron’s Book, Location Based Marketing for Dummiescenter_img Topics: Aaron Strout joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot’s social media and inbound marketing podcast! Aaron is the head of location based marketing at WCG in Austin. He is the author of an upcoming book, Location Based Marketing for Dummies, he runs his own podcast called The Quick-n-Dirty Social Media Podcast on BlogTalk Radio, and he blogs over at his own site.In this episode, we chat about:The evolution of location based marketingTips on adopting location based marketing in your businessBuilding a successful location based marketing campaignUsing location based services to build a loyalty programPoint-of-purchase and location based servicesOffering incentives for sharing with your networksWhat kinds of businesses should use location based servicesMeasuring the effectiveness of location based marketingResources for location based marketing informationWhere to start your location based marketing effortslast_img read more

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10 Guaranteed Ways to Get More Google+ Page Followers

first_imgAs the newest marketing weapon in your social media arsenal, Google+ Pages provide businesses with yet another powerful opportunity to connect with fans, prospects, and customers, as well as promote content to generate new leads. But let’s face it: starting a brand new social presence from scratch is kind of a pain. And without an ample following, all the time and effort you put into your presence is ultimately a waste.To help you start getting the most out of your new Google+ business presence, here are 10 guaranteed ways to attract new Google+ Page followers.10 Tips for Attracting New Google+ Page Followers1. Optimize and Populate Your Page With Content First: It’s never a good idea to start promoting something before it’s truly “ready,” whether it’s a new blog, a new campaign, or a new social presence. Spend some time optimizing your Google+ page and building it up with content and posts before you start promoting your presence. This way, when new visitors land on your page, they’ll have a rich, positive experience that engages them. The best way to convince new page visitors not to add you to their Circles is to welcome them with a blank slate. Where’s the value? You need to convince them that your page offers such remarkable value that they’d be missing out by not following you.2. Promote Your Presence in Other Social Networks: Once your page is ready for prime time, use the other weapons in your social media arsenal to promote your new Google+ presence. Leverage the reach you’ve already built up on these other channels to encourage fans and followers to check out your new Google+ Page and follow you there. Chances are, if people are following you on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, they already find value in the content you’re sharing and the discussions you’re generating. This makes them great potential Google+ Page followers, too!3. Write a Blog Post About Your New Google+ Page: Speaking of leveraging your current reach in other channels, why not use your blog to promote your presence, too? Write a blog post about your new Google+ Page, what you’ll be sharing there, and why your blog readers should want to follow you.4. Make Yourself Eligible for Direct Connect: Direct Connect is one of Google+ Pages’ unique features. It allows businesses to become eligible for various search capabilities, such as being easily findable using the +[Page Name] search operator in Google.com search, as well as the ability to get Google+ Page posts pulled into organic search results. These Google+ search results are also accompanied by an option for the searcher to add your page to their Circles directly from the search results, increasing your chances of generating new page followers. While Google is currently only granting certain businesses with Direct Connect status, make yourself eligible for it by installing the Direct Connect code on your website so you’re prepared for these new features when Google releases them to all. Installing the code verifies that your Google+ page is the “official” page for your business.5. Add the G+ Follow Button to Your Website/Blog: During the Direct Connect setup process, Google+ also offers you the option to generate Google+ follow buttons (AKA badges) for your page. Take advantage of them, and install the buttons on your website and blog to help you convert website visitors into new Google+ Page followers. You can create a button for your page here.6. Encourage Current Followers to Share Your G+ Page/Posts: Remember the research HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella conducted about adding “please retweet” to your tweets? Remember how it works? Adopt this methodology for your Google+ Page and posts as well, and ask your current followers to share your page and your content with their Circles if they think it’s valuable. This will increase the visibility of your page to new Google+ users who may be interested in your content and therefore potential followers of your page, thus expanding your reach!7. Use Topic Circles to Target Content: We recently wrote about businesses that are doing creative things with their Google+ Pages. One awesome example highlighted Time magazine’s page, which is testing out the concept of ‘topic Circles’ to share more targeted content with its followers. To experiment with this yourself, post a message that you’re testing it out and ask followers to comment if they’re interested in being a part of a particular topic Circle. Then create a Circle around this topic, add the users who expressed interest (Note: You’ll only be able to add users to a Circle if they’ve already added your page to their Circles), and start sharing targeted content around that topic just to that Circle. The outcome will be that you’ll create a more personalized experience on your page that provides even more value to your followers. And a page that’s valuable will organically attract new followers!8. Share Your Awesome Content: Another way to create a truly valuable Google+ Page that naturally attracts followers is to share remarkable content — blog articles, links to landing pages for ebooks, webinars, etc. Pay attention to what types of content your followers are responding to, and adapt your strategy to include more of that content. Engage your followers in discussions by asking questions and requesting feedback.9. Be Visual!10. Leverage Hangouts: One thing we’ve learned about Google+ is that it likes to dangle awesome new features in front of us but doesn’t let many of us leverage them … yet. One of these cool features is ‘Hangouts on Air.’ Think of it as livestreaming video via Google+ (10 people can participate in the video chat, and an unlimited number of people can view the video chat). Hangouts on Air is only available for use by certain business pages, but currently, pages can leverage Hangouts without this livestreaming component, allowing 10 people to participate in a group video chat. There are a lot of creative ways to use that in itself. Consider offering an opportunity to participate in an exclusive video chat with your business’ CEO about an important industry topic (first come, first serve). Or perhaps use Hangouts to conduct focus groups with some of your fans or customers. And cross your fingers for the day when Google+ enables Hangouts on Air to all!What other tactics can you use to generate more Google+ business page followers? Oh, and … have you followed HubSpot’s Google+ Page yet? ;o) Topics: Originally published Nov 16, 2011 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Social Media 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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This Simple Diagram Will Help You Tell Better Brand Stories

first_imgTell someone to write a poem, and chances are, they’ll freeze up. Tell someone to write a haiku, however, and we bet they’ll bang one out in less than 10 minutes.The reason: constraints unleash our creativity. But how can you translate that to the complex world of content marketing?Click here to download our ultimate toolkit for social and PR branding.The below diagram will help you do just that.The Story Funnel-MatrixThe funnel-matrix has two dimensions. The first maps loosely to the stages of a typical marketing funnel: awareness, consideration, and acquisition.What stories you tell will depend on your current relationship with your audience –where you are as a couple, to use the obligatory marketing-dating analogy.When you first meet someone, your conversations tend to be around things that you have in common — your shared interests and values. This is why so many people make small talk about the weather. It affects everyone, so it’s something we all have in common.You probably won’t dive into your health problems the first time you meet someone. You probably won’t share intimate details about the people in your life.But after you meet, you might start sharing some of those things, especially if the first date goes well. You might start to paint a picture of your dream life: where you want to live, your ideal career, where you want to travel. Though you shouldn’t hit them with a marriage proposal at this point, you’ll start to share more about yourself — what you care about and what you want.By the third or fourth date, you’ll naturally be sharing more personal stories than before. This is the way a relationship progresses. (Notice how storytelling is such a big part of what we do when we’re dating. It’s good for more than just marketing and publishing!)This brings us back to our storytelling funnel-matrix. In the beginning of a relationship, you should tell stories about shared interests and values. As things progress, you can tell stories about the people in your life (like your customers or employees). Finally, as things start getting more serious, you tell stories about your products and services themselves.The second dimension of the funnel-matrix adds an extra bit of planning help to your content creation strategy. This comes straight from the playbook of newsrooms.The idea is to divide the stories you tell into three more categories based on time: timely stories that are pertinent based on news or current events; seasonal stories that are relevant because of the time of year; and evergreen stories that will be valuable no matter when the audience sees or hears them.Take our client American Express, for example. Amex’s OPEN line of credit cards wants small business owners to know that they care about them. Building that trust is a key element of their B2B branding, so they tell stories in various places, most notably on OPEN Forum, a content hub and newsletter that attracts millions of small business owners each month. They’re mostly interested in staying top of mind, not driving conversions or talking about Amex’s products.Instead, they tell stories about how small business owners handle challenges like hiring and growth. These are examples of evergreen stories.Sometimes Amex OPEN Forum spots something relevant that happens in the news and writes stories about how it affects small business owners, like new overtime laws and tax policies. These are timely + top-funnel stories.And one day a year, American Express sponsors a holiday called Small Business Saturday, where it encourages consumers to shop at local businesses instead of big ones. To promote the upcoming holiday, Amex creates videos about small businesses around the country that are making a difference in their communities. These are seasonal stories.Shinola’s stories of its factory workers and their mission to transform Detroit are about both values (saving American jobs) and its company/people. So they are evergreen + top/mid- funnel.GE Reports, which tells stories of how GE invents really cool products (but doesn’t try to get you to buy those products), are mid-funnel and often timely—as the company reports on new innovations—but also evergreen because many of the stories are still interesting after the news is over.The Groupon stories we talked about fit into the category of timely + bottom-funnel. They’re stories about product deals Groupon wants you to buy on one specific day.Zady’s stories about the Indigo Skinny Jeans are evergreen + bottom-funnel. They’ll be around whenever you are ready for them.The smartest brand storytellers are constantly on the lookout for data to tell them what their audiences are interested in during each stage of the funnel and each segment of the Bullseye. They obsess over it. And that’s because they know it’s their secret advantage.This is an excerpt from the Amazon #1 New Release, The Storytelling Edge: How to Transform Your Business, Stop Screaming Into the Void, and Make People Love You” by Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow, available today. Originally published Feb 20, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated February 20 2018 Topics: Storytelling Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

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The Bandwagon Effect: 5 Ways to Use the Power of the Crowd to Supercharge Your Conversions

first_img Landing Page Optimization Does the name Dan Rice ring a bell?Probably not. There’s a reason he’s called “the most famous man you’ve never heard of.” Rice was a popular clown during the 19th century. An household name at the time, Rice was so popular that many terms he coined, such as “one horse show” and “greatest show,” quickly slipped into popular usage and are still in use today.At the height of Rice’s popularity, he decided to travel the country campaigning for then-presidential candidate Zachary Taylor. During the campaign, he made his bandwagon a key part of his campaign and urged people at campaign events to “jump on the bandwagon” to show their support for Zachary Taylor.The campaign was a massive success, and Zachary Taylor would later end up being the 12th president of the United States.Dan Rice’s “bandwagon” wouldn’t end with Zachary Taylor’s campaign, however. Seeing the success of Rice’s campaign for Taylor, contemporary politicians started to use bandwagons in their campaigns, and the term “jump on the bandwagon” was coined to ask people to show their support for a cause.The success of Dan Rice’s campaign for Zachary Taylor as well as subsequent attempts by other politicians to copy his approach led to the coining of the term, the “bandwagon effect.”What is the Bandwagon Effect?The bandwagon effect refers to people’s propensity to do something primarily because other people — especially a lot of other people — are doing it. This is regardless of whether what is being done aligns with their original beliefs.Learn how to run more impactful, measurable marketing campaigns.The bandwagon effect has been shown to be so powerful that its effect has been observed in politics, public policy, and marketing. Studies have shown that the bandwagon effect influences people’s willingness to not only use an item but to also pay more fore it. Studies have also shown that the bandwagon effect influences people’s choice of movies to watch, particularly in instances where they are uncertain of the quality of movies. Studies have also found that the bandwagon effect can strongly influence undecided voters to vote in favor of the person “expected to win.”How do you leverage the bandwagon effect to boost your conversions? Here are some ideas:1. Feature Customer Testimonials, and Take it Up a Notch by Accompanying the Testimonials With the Customer LogoWe’ve established that people care a lot about what other people like them think; that’s the whole point of the bandwagon effect. So it goes without saying that featuring customer testimonials on your landing pages can go a long way to boost conversions.There’s a catch, however: customer testimonials should be accompanied by customer logos.Internet analytics company comScore wasn’t satisfied with conversions coming from their software product pages. The initial page featured vertically-aligned customer testimonials but didn’t include customer logos. comScore decided to create three variations of the original page and measure its results; variation one retained the vertically-aligned customer testimonial but added a logo, variation two used an horizontally-aligned testimonial format but included no logo, and variation three used an horizontally-aligned testimonial format with a logo:The result of the test:Variation one, that used a vertically-aligned testimonial accompanied by customer logo outperformed the original landing page (that had no logo) by 69 percent. Variation three, that used a horizontally-aligned testimonial accompanied by customer logo outperformed the original by 30.5 percent, while variation two that used a horizontally-aligned testimonial without customer logo was the least performing of all the variations.As evidenced by the results of this experiment, using customer testimonials is most effective when the testimonials are accompanied by the logo of the customer.2. Highlight Your Numbers, Especially if You Have Huge NumbersOne of the most effective ways to leverage the bandwagon effect to boost your conversions is by showcasing your numbers.When you highlight the fact that a certain number of people use your product, you are tacitly establishing that that number of people endorse your product.This is my favorite approach: for my project that has helped over 250,000 people create a website, by highlighting how many people have created a website by using my guide, I’m able to get significantly more people to trust me and follow my tutorials:When a reader sees that 250,000 have launched a website using my tutorials, they instantly think, “I have to listen to this guy. 250,000 people can’t be wrong!”3. Incorporate Customer Reviews into Key PagesIn a case study, Brian Kyed, the co-founder of Airtame — a product that successfully raised $1.3 million on Indiegogo in 2015 and won the “Best of CES” award — revealed that they were able to increase their monthly revenues by sixfold in just nine months, as indicated in the below chart, by focusing on reviews:We can go on and on about the power of customer reviews, but I’d let the statistics do the talking:Displaying reviews can boost conversions by up to 270 percent.Displaying at least five reviews increases the likelihood of customers purchasing by up to four times.For high ticket products, displaying reviews can boost conversions by up to 380 percent.As established by the above statistics, you can also leverage the power of the crowd by incorporating customer reviews into your sales page; we are social creatures by default and are very curious about what other people think. This extends to their thoughts about products we want to purchase; what do they really think about it? If they were to rate their experience, what will they rate it? Make this information available on your sales page and watch your conversions go through the roof.4. Leverage Association With a Celebrity or Industry Thought LeaderOne of the earliest examples of the power of celebrity endorsement comes from the 1760s: English potter and entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood created a cream-colored tea set for Queen Charlotte. News about the elegance and sophistication of the tea set Wedgwood created for the queen quickly spread. Wedgwood was quickly appointed “potter to her majesty.”Not only did Wedgwood make sure everybody knew that he was the queen’s potter, but he also convinced the queen to allow him brand his line of creamware “Queensware,” in order to leverage association with the queen to enhance the perception of his creamware. With more orders from the highest levels of British nobility, Wedgwood began to promote the association his pottery has with royalty in his marketing materials. By the time of his death, thanks to the success of his wares, he had accumulated a fortune worth about £500 million in today’s terms.Having a celebrity directly endorse you is a difficult feat — but if you are able to pull it off, it can do wonders for your brand.A notable example of a brand that directly leveraged the power of celebrity endorsement is Priceline: they leveraged association with Star Trek star William Shatner to enhance their brand. Shatner was paid in stocks, and many have speculated that at the height of Priceline’s success Shatner’s stock was worth as much as $600 million.Another high-profile example of the power of celebrity endorsement that comes to mind is Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of the T-Fal actifry:By simply posting on social media that she uses the T-Fal actifry, T-Fal’s stock value increased so much that Oprah’s endorsement was said to be worth $150 million.Celebrity endorsement doesn’t just impact businesses. It can also impact politics, too. According to a particular study, Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential elections was responsible for Obama gaining an additional 1 million votes.Even if you can’t get a celebrity to directly endorse you, you can still leverage association with a celebrity or industry thought leader to draw the crowd to you. There are numerous ways to do this: you can highlight the fact that a celebrity uses your product, or you can highlight any other form of connection with a respected figure.5. Showcase Real-Time Customer ActivityYou can also leverage the bandwagon effect by showing people real-time customer activity on your site; this can be particularly effective if you run an ecommerce site that gets quite a lot of sales. You can show users a notification whenever new users make a purchase.An example of an ecommerce site that does this really well is Treegear:As shown in the above screenshot, Treegear displays regular notifications in the footer of pages on their showing visitors which products other people are buying on the site. This kind of notification not only draws attention to the products being sold, but it lets users know that there is activity on the site. Originally published Jan 3, 2019 6:00:00 AM, updated July 12 2019 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

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PM Modi to launch Fit India Movement today, to administer fitness pledge

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday will be launching a nation-wide Fit India Movement at 10 am at Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex in New Delhi.At the event, the prime minister is expected to address the people and will also administer a fitness pledge. The entry for the event will be given based on PIB (Press Information Bureau) accreditation card only.Follow LIVE UPDATES hereAhead of the event launch, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju tweeted, “Tremendous supports are coming from all sections of the society to participate in the Fit India Movement to be launched by PM Narendra Modi ji on August 29 at 10 am. Chief Ministers, corporates and many icons are taking amazing steps to make the programme a grand success.”Tremendous supports are coming from all sections of the society to participate in the #FitIndiaMovement to be launched by @narendramodi ji on 29th Aug at 10am. Chief Ministers, Corporates and many icons are taking amazing steps to make the programme a grand success. pic.twitter.com/WecwnoVWDAKiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) August 28, 2019In his latest Mann Ki Baat address, PM Modi had asked people to take part in ‘Fit India Movement’ which is being organised to celebrate the ‘National Sports Day’ on August 29.During today’s #MannKiBaat, I have made some requests to my fellow Indians:Visit iconic places relating to Bapu as a part of his 150th Jayanti.Travel to places related to nature and wildlife.Strengthen Poshan Abhiyan.Be a part of Fit India movement https://t.co/vfg9q3u0siNarendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 25, 2019The nation-wide campaign aims to encourage people to inculcate physical activity and sports in their everyday lives, a statement said.The University Grant Commission has issued a letter to inform the universities to prepare for Fit India Movement to be held on August 29.READ THE EXCERPT FROM THE LETTER HEREA committee comprising government officials, members of Indian Olympic Association (IOA), national sports federations, private bodies and fitness promoters was also formed to advise the government on the Fit India Movement.The 28-member committee, which will be under the chairmanship of sports minister Kiren Rijiju, has 12 members from the government, including secretaries of Sports, Secondary Education, Ayush, Youth Affairs, among others.IOA President and seven NSF heads, including those of boxing, athletics, football and cycling, are also a part of the committee.Representatives of private bodies such as Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Reliance Foundation, JSW Cement and JSW Paints, SE TransStadia Pvt. Ltd., Tata Trusts, ASSOCHAM India, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and actors Shilpa Shetty and Milind Soman are also involved.Last year, then sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore had also floated a fitness campaign called #HumFitTohIndiaFit. He had posted a video on Twitter doing 10 push-ups while encouraging sports personalities and people to share pictures and videos on the site to show how they kept themselves fit.#HumFitTohIndiaFitPost pictures and videos of how you keep yourself fit and send a #FitnessChallenge to your friends on social media. Here’s my video and I challenge @iHrithik, @imVkohli & @NSaina to join in pic.twitter.com/pYhRY1lNEmRajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) May 22, 2018(PTI inputs)Also Read | UGC issues letter for universities to prepare for Fit India MovementAlso Read | PM Narendra Modi pips Ramdev to become top fitness influencerAlso Read | Stay fit, have regular medical check-up: PM Modi to BJP MPsAlso Watch | Narendra Modi’s workout videolast_img read more

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Nita Ambani performs Ganesh aarti with Amitabh Bachchan, Anant Ambani sings. Watch inside video

first_imgReliance Chairperson Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi 2019 with much fervour at their residence Antilia in Mumbai last night. The lavish bash was attended by the biggest names from Bollywood, politics and sports.The family got together at their residence to celebrate the occasion with most lavish arrangements. In fact, Antilia was decorated with stunning floral arrangements and exquisite sets to mark the day.The family performed Ganesh aarti along with the guests at Antilia to welcome Bappa home. Take a look at the family performing the aarti:In the video, Nita Ambani can be seen taking blessings from the Gajanana with Mona Mehta, Shloka Mehta’s mother and Swati Piramal, Anand Piramal’s mother. One can also see the lavish setting where the idol of Lord Ganesha has been placed by the Ambani’s.Amitabh Bachchan along with Jaya and Abhishek can also be seen taking part in the aarti with the family. In fact, Alia Bhatt and Uddhav Thackeray and his family can also be seen with an aarti thaali.Later in the video, Nita and Mukesh Ambani’s youngest son Anant Ambani can be seen singing while performing the aarti.This year’s celebration is special for the Ambani family because it is Akash and Shloka and Isha and Anand’s first Ganesh Chaturthi together after their wedding.ALSO SEE | Mukesh Ambani and Nita celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, Shloka Mehta dances at bash. All inside pics and videosALSO WATCH | Ambani home Antilia looks breathtaking for Ganesh Chaturthi 2019. Watch inside videolast_img read more

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Struggled to hold back my tears when MS Dhoni got out in World Cup semi-final: Yuzvendra Chahal

first_imgIndia’s leading leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal said the World Cup 2019 semi-final defeat was difficult to digest and that he struggled to hide his emotions when MS Dhoni got out in a tense chase against New Zealand in Old Trafford.Yuzvendra Chahal walked into bat after MS Dhoni fell in the 49th over of a 240-run chase against New Zealand in the rain-affected semi-final. Dhoni was looking set to pull off a miracle after a 116-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja that took India from 92 for 6 to 208 for 7.India Today Mind Rocks 2019: Full CoverageHowever, MS Dhoni, India’s last recognized batsman, was run out on 50 and the hopes of reaching the final came crashing down.Chahal said he tried to control his tears when he walked out to bat. India were bowled out for 221 after Chahal was dismissed for 5. New Zealand sealed the final berth with 18-run win.Speaking at Speaking at the 10th edition of India Today Mind Rocks Youth Summit in New Delhi, Chahal said: “It was my 1st World Cup and when Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) got out and I was going in (to bat), I was trying to hold back my tears. It was so depressing.”We played so well for 9 games but suddenly we were going out of the tournament. Rain wasn’t in our hands and so it won’t be right to say anything (about the interruption). It was the first time that we really wanted to go back to the hotel as soon as possible from the ground.”advertisementIndia topped the league-stage table with 7 wins in 9 matches but the semi-final defeat came after a horror show from India’s top order. Chasing 240, India were reduced to 5 for 3 after Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul were dismissed for 1 each.India middle-order too failed after they resumed the match on the reserve day due to rain interruption. MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja came up with a valiant effort but it wasn’t enough to help the team past the finish line.Yuzvendra Chahal has played only 1 ODI — in West Indies since the World Cup and the leg-spinner along with his wrist-spin partner have been kept away from the T20I set-up as the team management is looking to add to the bench strength in the lead up to next year’s T20 World Cup.Chahal had missed the T20I series against West Indies and was also not part of the T20I squad for the series against South Africa at home.Want to win at least 1 World Cup with India: Yuzvendra ChahalWith the team management looking at adding to the batting depth by picking up spinners of the likes of Washington Sundar and Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal believes competition for a spot in the T20I squad is only a positive thing.”Your job is to perform. when we (Kuldeep and me) came we poerformed really well. After IPL, our bench strength has got pretty strong too. Now if the team management is trying good talent, it is good that you know that there is competition and you have to work harder. You can’t stay away from cricket,” Chahal added.Yuzvendra Chahal also stressed he would want to be part of a World Cup-winning squad and his focus is on preparing well for the upcoming T20 World Cups in 2020 and 2021.”I want to continue for 5-6 years. I want to win at least one World Cup. I think the way we have been playing and how our team is shaping up currently, its a positive sign. We won in New Zealand, Australia and West Indies and if we win the T20 World Cup next year, all the noise will die down,” Chahal said.Also Read | Told my father I would quit chess after representing India: Yuzvendra ChahalAlso See:last_img read more

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Tomori: ‘We’re all angry’ after Chelsea collapse

first_imgChelsea youngster Fikayo Tomori says he and his team-mates were angry to have thrown away three points in their 2-2 draw with Sheffield United on Saturday.The 21-year-old defender made his full debut for the Blues in what was their youngest-ever Premier League starting XI, with academy prospect Billy Gilmour also making his maiden bow from the bench.A first-half brace from Tammy Abraham, who took his tally to four goals in two games, was cancelled out in the second half by Callum Robinson and an own goal from Tomori’s defensive partner Kurt Zouma. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? “We’re all angry because when you’re 2-0 up at home then the game should be safe,” Tomori told the club’s website .“We said at half-time that we wanted to up it again but we didn’t do that. We conceded a goal really early on in the second half and it becomes very difficult when you do that. It’s disappointing but we just have to learn from it.“This is Chelsea, we’re a big club and there’s a lot of expectations but we’re here to try to meet those expectations.”Frank Lampard Chelsea 2019-20While Tomori was obviously pleased to start and Chelsea fans will have been satisfied to see such a promising young side, the defender is also well aware that goodwill does not tend to last long at Stamford Bridge if results aren’t good.Some voiced their frustrations on social media at a perceived naivety from Frank Lampard in bringing on 18-year-old Gilmour as his side fought to close out the game – and eventually failed to do so.“There are high standards and when we fall below those standards then of course there will be questions. It’s not always going to be perfect but in games like today, when we’re in such a strong position and then we throw it away, it’s disappointing.”“I’m here to try and push everyone else in the squad in my position so it was nice to get my full debut. I’m very proud but it would have been even better for us to get the win.“We [Tomori, Abraham and Mason Mount] have gone through the whole process and we’ve seen a lot of people come and go so to get to this stage is good but obviously now we want more. We want to really cement our places in the team and do big things for this club.”Chelsea travel to Molineux to face Wolves after the international break, before getting their Champions League campaign up and running at home to Valencia in the following match. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

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