Tags:#advertising#Facebook#web If you click through and pay the $7.00, it will appear higher in Facebook’s news feed and appear as a “sponsored” story.“Every day, news feed delivers your posts to your friends. Sometimes a particular friend might not notice your post, especially if a lot of their friends have been posting recently and your story isn’t near the top of their feed,” wrote Facebook’s Abhishek Doshi, announcing the test. “When you promote a post – whether it’s wedding photos, a garage sale, or big news – you bump it higher in news feed so your friends and subscribers are more likely to notice it.”Facebook has crossed a line here. Never before has Facebook directly solicited money from me. As a publisher with a couple of Facebook brand pages, I don’t mind when the company asks if I would like to advertise throughout the site, but asking me to pay to promote an individual post comes off as dirty. It also raises a number of questions.Foremost, Facebook’s new practice has a whiff of extortion: “Pay to promote your post or nobody will ever see it.” Will Facebook users who do not pay to promote posts be adversely affected? The U.S. test is being rolled out to users with less than 5,000 friends and subscribers, which seems a little backward. Wouldn’t Facebook want to push this feature to power users who have a higher number of followers? Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit dan rowinski Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification The second primary question is, why $7.00? The number seems absurdly high to promote a single post.“We are not confirming a price for promoted posts as this is a test and Facebook is considering a variety of prices,” Facebook spokesperson Jessie Baker said in an email.ReadWriteWeb’s Jon Mitchell made an interesting point on the $7.00 figure.“If it was too low, the value of the news feed would be completely destroyed,” Mitchell told me. This is true. If the fee to promote a post was, say, $1.00, people would promote anything and everything. The $7.00 figure helps ensure that people mean it when they pay to have their status update become a sponsored post. Yet $7.00 is likely higher than Facebook’s average annual revenue per individual user. There are a couple factors at play with the promote-your-post initiative. Essentially what Facebook is doing here is making users pay to improve their EdgeRank score for individual status updates, the system that Facebook uses to determine how high individual stories appear in the news feed. It is really not all that different from how Google has structured its own business, where companies or individuals can pay for keywords to appear as advertisements in search results. The difference is that Google’s search engine is a much more impersonal mechanisms than is the Facebook news feed.Where Facebook is making a mistake is in crossing the bridge between paid sponsored posts for businesses and applying it to individuals. It is one thing to ask a business to pay to increase its visibility, that is the type of thing that businesses budget for. It is another to ask users on their personal pages directly for money. Google has never asked me to spend money to improve the search results for my own name, for instance. What do you think of the “promote your post” test from Facebook? Is this a reasonable program from the social giant or a nifty way to extort revenue from its users? Combing through today’s headlines, I noticed something alarming: Syria and Turkey appear to be poised on the brink of war. Horrified by the prospect, I did what any privileged idiot American would do: I posted my thoughts on Facebook. Then a strange thing happened: Facebook offered to “promote” my status update for $7.00. What’s going on here?Facebook announced today that it is testing promoted posts for people in the United States. Apparently paying to promote personal (not business-branded Pages) status updates is not an entirely new thing. The social giant first started testing individual promoted posts in New Zealand in May and gradually rolled out the test in 20 countries. This is its first appearance in the United States.
Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#acquisitions#David Karp#Marissa Mayer#native advertising#Tumblr#Yahoo owen thomas Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Yahoo’s $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr is already being hailed as a brilliant move, securing a younger Internet demographic and a fertile field for native advertising, an innovative business model where content from brands lives side by side with users’ contributions.In buying Tumblr, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer made a nod to the company’s past missteps in promising to “not screw it up.”But in one crucial way, she already has.That $1.1 billion is a lot of shareholder cash. And so Yahoo is promising investors that Tumblr will contribute to the bottom line next year. An understandable promise—but it’s the wrong strategy for Yahoo and for Tumblr.A Different StrategyInstead, Mayer should follow the lead of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Google’s Larry Page, who have shown that they’re willing to lose money for years on projects like Amazon Prime and YouTube, and build Tumblr into a lasting asset.Yes, Yahoo has a big salesforce. And yes, Tumblr has a large audience. And yes, the idea of encouraging marketers to first create Tumblr sites and then pay to distribute their posts throughout Tumblr makes sense on paper.But Tumblr still has a lot of growth ahead of it, particularly on mobile, where the landscape for ads is less well-formed.Instead of trying to juice revenues in the short term, Mayer should be using all of Yahoo’s assets to help Tumblr grow—to make it far and away the most popular way to create content for the Web.One way to do this is to move Yahoo’s media properties away from their clunky, homegrown content-management systems and onto Tumblr.Another is to use all those salespeople to encourage their clients to start posting interesting material on Tumblr. Before they use Tumblr for advertising, marketers need to understand its quirky, distinctive culture. And the only way to do that is to dive in as participants.Tumblr Needs Long-Term Goals, Not Short-Term ThinkingMayer should declare that she’s not going to focus on monetizing Tumblr until it hits some big number—say, 500 million monthly users. At that point, marketers will be clamoring to get in, and Yahoo can dictate the terms of their access in a way that won’t turn those users off.Look at how Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion last year, then left it alone. From the time the deal was announced to its closure, Instagram’s user base tripled, and continues to grow. In short order, it surpassed Twitter in mobile users. No one’s worried about how much money Facebook will make off Instagram. Instead, investors are relieved that Facebook staved off a potential threat and kept it out of competitors’ hands.What Tumblr doesn’t need is short-term pressure to deliver a lot of results to advertisers and to investors. As a startup, it had to start making money. As part of Yahoo, it has the luxury of long-term thinking. Or it should—if only Mayer hadn’t promised otherwise.It’s great that Mayer has brought an urgency to Yahoo. The Tumblr deal happened in a short time frame—reportedly just six weeks. But now Mayer should be thinking about what Tumblr—and Yahoo—will look like in six years. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit
It’s not often that you see Microsoft ahead of the curve. Its recent history is replete with stubbed toes and dropped balls — such as, for instance, missing the early significance of the Internet. Or mobile. Or tablets.But the company’s news that it is opening up its Bing search engine to developers is a major clue that Microsoft thinks it’s onto something big. In short, Microsoft is staking out a major claim on the nascent Internet of Things, the term for an interconnected web of devices that will bring much more data and device control to users. If, that is, it ever works.(See also: What’s Holding Up The Internet Of Things)The Bing announcement at today’s Microsoft Build Conference specifically releases application programming interfaces (APIs) that third-party vendors can use to tie into the tools that make Bing function as a search engine. Bing’s team is now marketing Bing as a “search platform,” which is a rather grandiose term on the surface, but given the potential such a tool could have, it might actually be accurate.Bing Gets ConnectedTo understand where this potential comes from, it’s important to understand how Bing sees itself in comparison to Google. Most consumers see and use these search engines in the same way: search for X, get Y results. But the underlying motivation of the two tools is much different, according to Stefan Weitz, senior director of Bing.Bing’s engineers, explained Weitz, are building a database that is built on connections. Connections that not only rely on data in indexed links, but also on connections that lead to actions. If you search for a new hair stylist, for instance, one day the search engine could suggest an appointment time for you, based on your existing schedule.Google, Weitz argues, is building a search engine to optimize indexed links, all the better to serve Google’s advertising business. But that’s Weitz’s opinion, and it doesn’t take into account the recent progress Google has made in the areas of predictive search with Google Now and in natural interfacing with its voice search.Bing’s team claims that Bing is focusing on a broader database full of action-oriented connections. If that’s actually the case, then Bing could use such connections to make Internet-connected devices do things or to gather and transmit data that could then inform tasks carried out by other devices.This could be an extremely useful foundation for an Internet of Things — one in which devices could make decisions and take actions based on data gleaned via Bing.Steps Toward The Bing Of EverythingMany of these connection will presumably rely heavily on communication via natural-language interfaces, such as voice. Earlier this month, the Internet’s talking heads concluded that Apple burned Google by selecting Bing as a backup search engine for Apple’s mobile Siri app. But that might actually have been another clue to Microsoft’s ambitions, since interface data and subsequent refinements from Siri would go a long way toward turning Bing into a more action-oriented search platform.(That’s assuming, of course, that Apple is willing to share such data, which in general it hasn’t been.)In case you’re still not clear on what Microsoft is trying to achieve, Bing’s blog announcement today wasn’t exactly subtle: “Bing at Build 2013: Weaving an Intelligent Fabric.” Intelligent fabric is an oft-used metaphor associated with the Internet of Things that refers to an active knowledge base connected devices can utilize to function better.Microsoft seems to be the only major tech company that’s looking to make moves in this space right now. Google and IBM seem to be warming up to the notion, as are hardware vendors like Intel and AMD. But in terms of visibility, Microsoft just planted a flag in the unknown frontier of the Internet of Things to proclaim that it is here. How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Tags:#Bing#Internet of Things#Microsoft Related Posts brian proffitt Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…
By Rachel Dorman, MS & Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT[Flickr, check your drinking-check your thinking by Leo Grubler, CC BY-ND 2.0] Retrieved on September 23, 2015Struggles with substance use and misuse for military members have gained more attention over the past decade. Abusing substances can lead to impaired readiness and is also associated with long-term mental health issues, such as substance use disorders (SUDs), depression, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) . Today’s post features research by Golub and Bennett  that explores substance use behaviors of military-veterans before, during, and after their military careers.The researchers conducted a study on military veterans living in low-income communities who had served in either Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) or Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). The study consisted of 269 veteran participants who were interviewed regarding their substance use throughout their lifetime. Questions about their substance use were broken down into four different time periods: 1) prior to being in the military, 2) while in the military but not deployed, 3) during their most recent deployment, and 4) after their separation from the military. The researchers found that almost one third (32%) of the participants screened positively for substance use disorders (SUDs), 28% for alcohol use disorder (AUD), and 18% for drug use disorder (DUD).Alcohol UseThe rate of alcohol use was found to increase upon entering the military (from 68% to 80%). The rate then decreased for participants during deployment (28%) but returned close to the pre-military rate (60%) once the veteran separated from the military. Rates of binge drinking and heavy drinking were found to follow a similar pattern. Rates increased upon the participants’ entry into the military, decreased during the period of deployment, and increased after separation. Over all, rates of alcohol use, binge drinking (4-5 or more drinks on one occasion), and heavy drinking (4-5 drinks per occasion 5 or more times within a 30 day period) were found to decrease when researchers compared the time prior to military involvement to the time period when participants were separated from the military.Other Substance Use[Flickr, Smoke by ConstiAB, CC BY-ND 2.0] Retrieved on September 23, 2015Cigarette use was found to increase during all four measured periods of time, with 30% of participants reporting use prior to being in the military and 48% of participants using cigarettes after separating from the military. However, veterans’ use of marijuana showed a different pattern than alcohol and cigarette use. Over half (55%) of interviewed veterans used marijuana prior to entering the military, 20% used while in the military, 9% used while deployed, and 34% used since being separated from the military. Like cigarette use, prescription painkiller use was found to increase during all four time periods, starting at less than 1% and ending at 7.3%.The researchers point out the need for future studies to focus on painkiller, heroin, and injection drug use. They suggest that future studies should examine a larger segment of the veteran population, rather than just focusing on participants in low-income areas. It is important for clinicians who work with members of the military and veterans to have an understanding of the prevalence of substance use within this population in order to be sensitive to the potential treatment needs. Here is a link to the most commonly abused drugs according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). For more information about researched-based drug addiction treatments, click here.References American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th Ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. Golub, A. & Bennett, A. (2014). Substance use over the military-veteran life course: An analysis of a sample of OEF/OIF veterans returning to low-income predominately minority communities. Addictive Behaviors, 39(2), 449-454. This post was written by Rachel Dorman, M.S. and Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT. Both are members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.
Editing a feature length documentary film can be an extremely daunting task because of the massive amount of footage and the endless creative options.The process of cutting together any type of feature length film can be crazy to say the least. Huge amounts of footage need to be sorted, labeled, and organized, deadlines need to be met, and conflicting notes come in from producers and other creative team members that can make your process even more difficult than it already is. All of this is amplified when dealing with a documentary (as opposed to a narrative) as there are so many more factors that come into play. The shooting ratios are far greater (meaning you have way more footage to sift through), there is usually a much higher occurrence of technical problems with the source material, and you are literally crafting the story in the edit suite, which puts a lot more pressure on you as the editor to get it just right.Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can choose to approach the craft of editing a documentary that will make all of these challenges more manageable. The tips that I’ve outlined below will help you whether you are cutting a documentary that you also directed/produced, or were simply hired as the editor to bring a story to life.Insane OrganizationSince shooting ratios on documentaries can be ridiculously high (sometimes 100:1 or even higher), staying organized is one of the number one ways that you can make your life easier throughout the editorial process. The vast majority of editors understand that it’s important to have an organized project file (with bins/shots/takes labelled appropriately of course), but in order to really stay on top of things the organization needs to extend beyond the project file.Files and folders should be organized just as well on your hard drives as they are inside the project itself, in order to avoid offline media and workflow issues when sending your project out for sound/color/vfx. I also recommend organizing and logging all interviews as meticulously as possible (within your project) in order to streamline your process for recutting interview segments later on. For instance, you might want to add markers to sequences with sync’d interviews in them, and label each marker with the topic that the interviewee is speaking about. It will take some more legwork up front, but can save you hours and hours of sifting through footage later on.Plan Ahead, Then Work from InstinctAlthough it’s tempting to wait until you’re in the editing room to start to conceptualizing the exact edit and flow of the story, putting the legwork in before will pay dividends when you jump into the edit.I always advocate for editors to work with the director and crew before shooting, to insure that the film is being shot with editing in mind. Similarly, the editor should then be able to go into the edit knowing exactly what the director’s vision. It’s typically not possible for the you (the editor) to be present for all the shooting, so let the director know what notes you would like on the shoot – the good takes, the blown takes, b-roll, etc. This will be immensely helpful when you start logging footage.Based on how good the on-set notes are, and how much time is allotted for the edit, it’s often worthwhile to do a rough paper edit. Working with a director in this stage will make the edit go smoother, as you’ll have a clearer idea of their vision based on the footage that was captured (it’s also useful for knowing what still needs to be shot). Get those Post-It-Notes ready and map out a rough story structure.Once you get into your editing app, there is no exact formula for cutting a documentary. One popular approach is to cut the bulk of interviews together first as a starting point and working out from there. If you’ve gone through the footage and one particular moment really sticks out to you – maybe consider cutting that first, and then working the other scenes around it (assuming it’s a pivotal moment). Or maybe you have a vision for a beautiful opening montage and are able to build out the first act completely sequentially by starting from square one. Tackle the material that speaks to you and inspires you the most and that will lead to further inspiration once you start hitting the next few scenes and sequences.Get a First Cut Done QuicklyThis is something that I always recommend whether I’m speaking to a narrative editor or a documentary editor, but I do feel that it is especially relevant in the context of a doc. If you’ve ever cut together a feature documentary before, you know very well that the final cut often looks nothing like the first cut.Documentaries typically have far more revisions than narrative films, and since there is so much footage to pull from, each revision looks that much different. The point being that your first cut doesn’t need to be perfect, because it is going to change immensely anyways. I’m not recommending that you completely rush the process and overlook important story elements of course, but simply trying to put into perspective the fact that the first cut is really just a mould that you can start chiseling away at. It’s better to have that mould ready sooner than later so that you can tear it down, rebuild it, and do it all over again, as opposed to trying to make that first cut perfect and then becoming frustrated when it needs to get recut.Even if you believe you can make a near-perfect first cut, your director, producer, sales agent, or whoever else might have a say in the process may very well feel differently. The best thing you can do is get through your first cut as quickly as possible (which by the way also forces you to work on your instincts), and then start refining things from there.
How have you worked with fire light in the past? Share your experiences in the comments below! Fire is beautiful. Fire is dangerous. Fire is a great way to light a scene! Here are some tips and tricks to consider before lighting your next video project with fire.Cover image via ShutterstockFire is a beautiful form of light. It’s also wild and unpredictable. The soft incandescent flicker of a burning log fire is incredibly pleasurable to watch. It’s no surprise that many scenes take place around a campfire or under candlelight. It’s the perfect setting for exploring a character’s backstory or an emotional moment.So, as you would expect, setting a scene around a fire or candlelight isn’t as simple as it seems. Fire, in nature, is sporadic. It can be tricky trying to control flames and the illumination they provide. However, if you have the right tools, it is possible. Let’s explore some of tips and tricks for harnessing the lighting power of fire.Flicker BoxesImage: Roger Deakins’ lighting setup on Skyfall.A flicker box is an excellent apparatus that you can acquire and incorporate into the lighting system you already have. The key to creating a realistic flicker is for it to be spontaneous and have no regular pattern at all. Flames are sporadic, the flicker needs to randomly increase and decrease in intensity — and a flicker box does just that. You simply plug your lamps into the box, set the levels, and let the flicker box do its thing, as seen in this clip from theC47.Here’s another example (via Cammon Randle) of a flicker box being used by an independent film crew. You can see how effective the effect is even with just a single light. Flame BarA flame bar is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a gas-fueled tube that will have several flames protruding through small holes on the top. You can see in the still above (from Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring) that Merry’s hand is creating a shadow on Sam’s leg, which is quite unusual, as the shadow is being projected from the side — yet, the fire is in front of them. This is because there is light out of frame enhancing the light that the campfire is creating.The flame bar in the video above (via Pyrotechnology) might look somewhat aggressive, but you can obtain flame bars in a host of different sizes and shapes. Make sure that the beam is set to flood and not spot. Otherwise, the light falloff might become noticeable.Dedicated Flickering LightImage: Flicker FIRE® LED Firelight FX Panel from Magic Gadgets.This is a light that has been specifically built to mimic the effect of a fire. It has several customizable preferences such as speed, intensity, color, and so forth. As a disclaimer, I’ve not used this light, so I can’t give a full review/opinion of it. But I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of these lights at a friendlier price range in the future.DIY OptionsImage via Shane Hurlbut.There are plenty of household and professional lighting options that can mimic the effect of a fire flicker. You can buy large Christmas tree lights that mimic the effect of candles — at the correct color temperature, too — but I doubt these will illuminate your talent correctly. Nonetheless, with a shallow depth of field, they can make great background lighting if candles have already been established within your scene.While on the topic of friendly price ranges, what about illuminating your subject with candlelight using a piece of equipment that only costs $30? In my video tutorial below, I run through the basics of using a reflector to mimic the bright flicker of a set of candles. While it doesn’t have the perfect results dedicated equipment would present, it certainly does the job if you don’t have the resources available to you.
Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Price and ValueIf you sell something with a price of X, your customer won’t buy it if they perceive what you sell to be worth X. They have to believe it is worth more to them than X. It must be worth X+. (That + is the value)Here is a simple example. If you buy a book on Amazon.com for $9.99, you do so believing that the ideas contained in that book are worth more than the $9.99 you spend and the 6 hours it takes to read the book (That’s why books, when read and applied, are the greatest value on earth. I’ve read books that have been worth literally millions of dollars to me).Your ResponsibilityIf you allow the decision-making criteria to be price alone, your prospective client will make the decision on price alone.If you don’t demonstrate how your higher price creates more value, then your prospective client is being responsible by choosing the lower price.If you demonstrate how the higher price translates to greater value and your prospective client still chooses the lowest price, then they’re being irresponsible. They’re underinvesting.The difference between a prospect choosing the lowest price or the greatest value is the responsibility of the salesperson. Make Some Healthy AssumptionsAssume your competitors have a lower price. Assume that from your first sales call that you are already behind on price.Assume that your competitors convey the value they create better than you convey the value you create. Don’t underestimate them.Assume that winning your dream client’s business at the right price requires that you must help your dream client understand the greater value that you create.Assume that your dream client will struggle to justify this value internally. Assume that they will struggle to sell their economic stakeholders on the greater investment necessary to producing results.Assume that making the case to buy greater value and making a greater investment must begin at the very beginning of your sales process. Assume that introducing this idea at the end of your sales process is too late.
If marketing worked as well as you believed it is supposed to, then the eight page, four-color glossy brochure you sent your dream client would have compelled them to pick up the phone and place their order. They haven’t ever done that.If the infographic containing industry and company specific information worked the way you believe it works, the information would cause your dream client to believe they need to change, and they would immediately contact you. The phone does not ring. Your email is unanswered.If the proof providers you emailed your prospective client were effective the way you think they are, then the logos of the companies you work with, the time your company has been in business, and how well you are doing financially should cause people to flock to your doors. Yet, no shadow darkens your door.When someone downloads the white paper, the case study, or the lead magnet on your website by agreeing to provide you with their contact information, they are at very best a lead. They may be interested in information, but they are not committed to change, that one thing that magically transforms a lead into a prospect.Marketing is important, and it is only growing in importance. More and more, the content is being created with the goal of creating the case for change. It’s also being created to support the sales conversations necessary to educating your prospective clients in the decisions they are going to make, including the decisions they don’t want to have to make.Sending the content that marketing creates and expecting it to do the selling for you is unrealistic. That isn’t even what the content is supposed to do.Without personalizing the marketing content you use in your sales game, and without providing your insights, your personal touch, and your caring, you should expect it to do nothing for you at all.And if you harbor ill feelings towards your marketing department for the ineffectiveness of the content they create, it’s likely that the content is fine and your expectations are unrealistic.
Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now If there is one thing that I wrote in The Lost Art of Closing that causes people to ask questions, it is the idea that you must control the process. Some have asked me if that means they need to deploy high pressure, hard sell tactics. First, there is no reason to do anything that subtracts from trust. Ever. More still, to do so would go against the approach and the methodology that makes up the rest of the book.A few have asked me if controlling the process means holding their prospect to their sales process. This is also not the idea I am presenting in the book. While it is helpful to have a sales process, all the things you need to accomplish between target and close, often too much is missing. The Lost Art of Closing closes this gap. Let me share more.How often does your dream client change providers? Is it once every ten years? Is it once every three years? Unless you sell something with little or no switching costs, where one provider is as good as the other, and switching comes with little to no risk, the odds are high that they haven’t made the decision more than a couple times in their life. This means that the people on your dream client’s team don’t have a lot of experience buying what it is that you sell. They don’t know what they don’t know, and they don’t have some well-designed process for thinking through their decision unless they have an RFP, which is a process that is so technical in nature that it makes it even more unlikely that they make a good decision.You, on the other hand, have helped a lot of companies explore change, collaborate on the right solution, get the consensus of their team, make the right investment decision, and resolve their concerns (a few of the 10 commitments in the Lost Art of Closing). Because you have greater experience, it only makes sense that you should be guiding the process to ensure that the company makes a good decision and that they achieve the outcomes they need. This is what makes you consultative, a trusted advisor, a value creator.If you want to make a difference and help people produce better results, you have to control the process. This is the opposite of controlling the outcome, which is what a high pressure, hard sell approach would require. To control the process, you need skillful means for having the right conversations, even when they are difficult.
Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now I am writing my third book now. I can’t tell you the title yet because we are not sure it is final. While I am writing this book, I am unintentionally writing another book. Let’s call it book number seven since it is my intention to publish it five years from now. But who knows for sure when it will be published or in what format.I tell you this because I am full hot on the idea that you are allowed to revise your beliefs at any time, about anything in which it is possible to have beliefs, and even if this ability is rarely exercised. One of the reasons people don’t revise their beliefs more often is that they are unaware of how they come upon their beliefs in the first place.Your beliefs are first shaped by your parents, which is why so many of us have the beliefs we have about what is possible, what kind of education we need, what work means, much of our values systems, as well as our beliefs about politics and our spiritual faith. You didn’t choose these beliefs. They chose you.Later, especially during your teen years, you are shaped by your peer group, helping you meet your need to belong (which is why middle school and high school can be a difficult time for many). Then there is college, where your beliefs are shaped by your peers and the new ideas you are exposed to, ideas which were chosen and assigned to you by your professors.Even worse than picking up beliefs from the people surrounding you, there is the news, media, and now social media, both a constant drip of fear, negativity, and divisiveness (verify this by counting all the positive and negative storylines that are put in front of you over a couple hours and you’ll recognize the potential damage to your view of the world). These sources, coupled with the very human confirmation bias, locks in your beliefs.If you want to start eliminating this negativity, you can find my video about how to do a negativity fast here on YouTube.Ideas are like infections. You pick them up without knowing that you are being infected. You also spread them without realizing that is what you are doing. Because this is true, it is also true that you can choose what beliefs you choose to be infected with. You can literally revise your beliefs at any time, exchanging disempowering beliefs for beliefs that better serve you.If you want to revise your beliefs, you have to start by exploring other beliefs with the potential to change your results. You can read, listen to, and study things like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and adopt an empowering set of beliefs about human performance and relationships. You can read and study James Allen’s As a Man Thinketh and adopt new beliefs about your potential. You can find people who are producing a result you want and study what they believe that allows them to produce that very result.If you want something to be different than it is now, identify your beliefs about that something and explore other beliefs that might serve you better and the new actions that beliefs would require of you. I hope I just infected you with a new choice of beliefs, the belief that you can choose empowering beliefs.
A word of caution here. This post is going to mention God and the Universe. I want you to know that I have great respect for all religious beliefs and traditions, but I am not writing about your spiritual faith or mine, both of which may remain private. The idea I am putting forth here will serve you regardless of your faith—or your lack thereof.One of the infections that one might pick up is nihilism, the belief that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. More and more, I recognize a lot of people are infected with this belief, and particularly young people, who are still seeking and learning. This might be why so many people like Sinek’s Start with Why; it suggests that what one does has a purpose and instills meaning.There is a reason your life has no meaning, no built-in purpose. You are born a blank slate, with one life, some longer, some shorter, in front of you. You have been given that life free and clear, and it is yours to do with what you will. Your story isn’t yet written because you get to write it yourself. It’s a bit of a “choose your own adventure story” where you make decisions and choices yourself. All faith and traditions believe that we are created in God’s image. If that is true, then it naturally follows that we would be creators, since God is the creator. For my friends who practice no faith, you can feel free to substitute Universe for the word God.The purpose of there being no single purpose in life is not that your life is meaningless, but instead, it is that you have been given an opportunity to create your own life. The gift you have been given is to decide for yourself what your purpose is and what a meaningful life or meaningful work means to you.Those who don’t know that the gift is that your purpose and meaning hasn’t been decided for you are susceptible to being infected with the belief that their life has no meaning or value. It can be hard to feel that you control your life when so much of what you see and hear and read are images and ideas about how out of control is the world around you. The negativity that comes to you through all the popular mediums can infect you with the kernel of negativity that later sprouts into pessimism, cynicism, and eventually, nihilism.There is another reason that the idea that life has no meaning and no purpose is so alluring to some; it resolves them of the responsibility for deciding what their purpose is and what their life means. The obligation to determine for yourself who you are and why you are here is an awesome—and terrifying—responsibility. The question, “What do you do?” is a much easier question to answer than, “Why are you here?”Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.” I would add that it is your job to find out why, no matter how old you are, and no matter how long it takes. The only clue I can offer you from the work I have done here is that I have yet to find someone whose purpose and meaning wasn’t based on service or contributing to others. The best leaders help other people grow. Right now, someone needs your leadership.
The Republican Party of India (Athawale) is set to lose its political moorings in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) after the Pune Divisional Commissioner rejected a plea of five of its members to be recognised as RPI (A) corporators.This implies that there will be no RPI (A) representation in the newly constituted 162-seat Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), which comes into being on March 15.Bone of contentionThe reason for this ‘disqualification’ is that since these five RPI candidates, who had contested the PMC election on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s symbol and won, they will be considered BJP members and cannot register as a separate political entity. RPI(A) leaders now plan to approach the Divisional Commissioner in a bid to change the directive.As per the pre-poll alliance, the BJP had requested Ramdas Athawale’s RPI candidates to contest on the BJP’s symbol, much to Mr. Athawale’s chagrin.The BJP had apparently agreed that after the results, the RPI(A) would be given a chance to register on their own party symbol.Being the privilegedUnlike the BJP’s other smaller, more fractious constituents Mr. Athawale had sided with the BJP. Subsequently, senior RPI(A) leader in Pune, Navnath Kamble, was awarded with the Deputy Mayor’s post. Being recognised as a distinct political entity within the PMC entails various privileges for RPI(A).First, the party cannot be subjected to any whip issued by the BJP in the event it differs on policy matters. Second, the RPI will have a separate office on the premises of the cash-rich PMC.The city’s RPI(A) chief, Mahendra Kamble, said the BJP’s Pune unit head, Yogesh Gogawale, had given his permission for the former to register as a separate party in the PMC.
Goa district collectors are awaiting the State Law Department’s nod to issue public notices to people with Portuguese and Indian citizenship to approach them with their cases within three months. An estimated 40,000 people registered their births with the Portuguese Registry based on a provision in Portuguese law offering citizenship to people born in Goa before December 19, 1961, and their children. Many Goans availed of the offer as they saw it as an easy access to the European Union and a chance to give their children a bright future.The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners and Citizenship Division) in New Delhi had issued a notification empowering district collectors to scrutinise each application in terms of the Indian Citizenship Act 1955 and Citizenship Rules of 2009, and submit the findings and reports on each case to the Centre.North Goa Collector Nila Mohanan said the public notices would be issued to people who have registered their births in Portugal. Many people who registered their births at the Portuguese Registry in Lisbon had not applied for their cartao do cidadao (photo identity citizenship card) or Portuguese passport as they did not want to surrender their Indian citizenship.After the issue of a large number of people facing the prospect of losing their Indian citizenship was raised in the State Assembly, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju announced last year the setting up of an authority to take a call on the citizenship issue. South Goa Collector Swapnil Naik said, “We have sought clarifications regarding the advertisement to be issued by us to invite the public to present their cases, and to inform the public about the exact time to submit their applications.”The collectors are expected to conduct an inquiry in a fair and transparent manner keeping in mind the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955, and Citizenship Rules, 2009. The collectors are then expected to make recommendations to the MHA giving details of each case, said Mr. Naik.Disputed citizenship cases of former and present MLAs — including a BJP MLA — are pending in various courts. The names of many Goans were deleted from electoral rolls after it became clear that they had obtained a Portuguese passport.The issue came to fore after a local Right to Information activist, Kashinath Shetye, approached the police. A trial court then directed the Crime Branch of the State police to file an FIR against two MLAs and police officials. The police then registered FIRs against over 500 persons, excluding MLAs. This led to a huge outcry and then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar promised in the State Assembly to resolve the issue. According to Mr. Parrikar many people did not know the implication of registering their names in the Portuguese Registry. The names of some were registered without their knowledge. The MHA during the UPA regime cancelled the citizenship of then regional party MLA Caetao Silva who supported the BJP-led coalition in the State. Mr. Silva lost the election this year and his challenge is still pending in the High Court. The MHA then announced the setting up of an authority within the State to deal with the issue.
While the Trinamool Congress registered an emphatic victory with a margin of over 64,000 votes in the Sabang Assembly byelection in West Bengal, the BJP came a distant third but with a considerable improvement in its vote share.From a mere 2.6% of the votes in the 2016 Assembly elections, the BJP polled 18%, only 2.8 percentage points less than that of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which came second.The byelection was considered “a prestige fight” between Manas Bhunia of the Trinamool and Mukul Roy of the BJP. Mr. Roy left the Trinamool and joined the BJP recently, while Mr. Bhunia did the reverse in 2016. Mr. Bhunia won the seat in 2016, but he was later elected to the Rajya Sabha and hence resigned as MLA. His wife, Gita Bhunia, contested now as the Trinamool candidate.In 2016, the Left and the Congress were in an alliance and thus the former did not put up a candidate.However, in the byelection, they fought separately and the Congress got nearly 9% of the votes, a drop from nearly 60%.A CPI(M) State Committee member told The Hindu that the result vindicated the “stand to oppose the alliance with the Congress” in the 2016 Assembly elections.CPI(M) State secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said the results established that the Left Front was the main Opposition against the Trinamool in the State. “Only the Left can provide a real alternative to the Trinamool and the BJP,” he said.However, experts say the drop in the share of the Left and the Congress was helping the Trinamool and the BJP. While the final percentage is yet to be worked out, the two parties obtained about 15% more votes than what they got in 2016.The TMC’s share went up from nearly 78,000 (36%) in 2016 to little over 1,06,000 (51%), a jump of nearly15 percentage points. The BJP’s share too has improved substantially — from 5,610 (2.6%) in 2016, it leaped to 37,000 (18%). State BJP president Dilip Ghose claimed that it is “an achievement to increase the vote share significantly… even after so much of rigging.”
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a chargesheet against the proprietor of Ludhiana-based Jaldhara Export, and others for alleged money laundering after availing of fraudulent Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds to the tune of ₹1.56 crore from the Punjab government.The chargesheet has been filed against the company’s proprietor Raman Kumar Garg, Vinod Kumar Garg and Umesh Kumar. Jaldhara Export had allegedly shown fraudulent exports of readymade garments worth ₹33.36 crore to Bangladesh during 2012-13 on the basis of which it claimed VAT refunds to the tune of ₹1.56 crores from the State.During an enquiry with the Custom authorities, it was found that the shipping bills and other documents submitted by the company were allegedly fabricated. “The stamps and seals on these bills were also found to be forged. Accordingly, an FIR was registered [against] Raman Kumar Garg, the company’s proprietor, in Ludhiana,” said an ED official. Based on the police investigation, the ED registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against the proprietor and the company. “Mr. Garg and his family members were involved in said illegal activity. The ill-gotten money was transferred to different firms owned by the family members and from there, it was withdrawn in cash,” said the official. During the probe, the ED attached two immovable properties worth ₹58.45 lakh in May last year. On December 13, the agency attached three more properties worth ₹79.84 lakh.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Saturday that his party would not contest the Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha bypoll later this month.The vice president of Maharashtra unit of Congress and former MP from this constituency, Nana Patole, had staked a claim on this seat after senior NCP leader Praful Patel had declared that NCP would field a candidate with Congress support.Following a meeting with the Congress president in New Delhi on Saturday, Mr. Patole told reporters, “Rahul Gandhi has decided to leave this seat for the NCP to give a message of unity and alliance. I have accepted his decision. Now, winning this election (for NCP) is my responsibility.” The NCP is likely to field Mr. Patel or his wife Varsha.The last date for filing of nominations is May 10.
Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister S. Jaipal Reddy on Friday alleged serious violations in defence procurement procedure on the Rafale fighter jet deal inked between India and France. He charged Prime Minister Narendra Modi with bypassing the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and pushing through the deal.“This is a unique deal in the history of independent India where only the PM was involved in sealing the deal, and former Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and the then Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar were completely out of the picture,” said Mr. Reddy, speaking at the Congress Bhavan in Pune.Every government, including the NDA coalition headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has followed the defence procurement procedure, he said.Staggering loss “Why were only 36 aircrafts purchased when 126 were required? Why did the cost per plane soar from ₹526 crore [as per Congress-led UPA government’s estimates] to ₹1,670 crore, causing the country a staggering loss of ₹41,000 crore,” Mr. Reddy stated, repeating the statistics with which senior leaders of his party have been attacking Mr. Modi and the NDA over the deal.Prior approval needed“Every purchase has to be endorsed by the CCS. The PM has no right to enter into a deal without its prior approval,” Mr. Reddy stated. The Congress, he added, had never raised any questions on the quality of the Rafale aircraft. It had only questioned the procedures followed in sealing the deal.Drawing an analogy between the dictatorial tendencies of the 17th century French monarch, Louis XIV and the Prime Minister, Mr. Reddy while saying that India had no place for dictators, quipped that the “spirit of Louis XIV had entered Mr. Modi” when he signed the Rafale deal in Paris on April 10, 2015.Collusion allegedReiterating his allegations of ‘collusion’ between Mr. Modi and the Reliance Group chairman, Mr. Reddy said Anil Ambani was aware of the deal between the Dassault Aviation company and the Government of India 12 days before the actual signing. He demanded a “thorough probe” on the links between Mr. Modi and Mr. Ambani.“I am making a grave but a responsible allegation. He [Mr. Ambani] registered the company 12 days before the deal. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was not in the picture and the sound principle of transfer of technology was completely abandoned,” he said, demanding that the links between Mr. Modi and Mr. Ambani be thoroughly probed.Demanding that true facts of the deal be put before the public, Mr. Reddy refuted the suggestion that there was a secrecy clause between the Indian and the French governments that did not permit disclosure of the deal.
While the top leadership of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are busy campaigning for the Assembly elections, especially in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the BJP in Uttar Pradesh has indicated it is already in poll mode for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.Faced with the possibility of taking on the combined force of the two regional forces in 2019, the BJP has started campaigning in the State. Bypoll lossThe BJP secured 71 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in U.P. in 2014; its ally Apna Dal got two, making the total 73. However, the crucial bypolls in Kairana, Phulpur and Gorakhpur were lost by the party when the BSP provided outside support to the SP.On Saturday, the BJP has planned to take out bike rallies in all 80 parliamentary constituencies, in what is believed to be a show of strength. The bikes will all converge at the LS headquarters in each constituency.Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will also participate in the rally and will be on a bike, said BJP U.P. State general secretary Govind Narayan Shukla. Mr. Adityanath will lead the rally in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha seat.The party has named the bike rally ‘Kamal Sandesh’. It has instructed all MPs, MLAs, MLCs and other office-bearers to participate in it. BJP State spokesperson Chandramohan said the rally was to highlight the “development work done under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” Asked why take out the rally now, as the Lok Sabha elections are many months away, Mr. Chandramohan said the bugle for 2019 has already been sounded in U.P.Meanwhile, BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav are campaigning in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.The BJP also plans a 15-day padyatra in all 403 Assembly segments of U.P. from December 1, under which 150 party workers will cover 150 km in each Assembly, said State general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak.
Standing by its decision to reject the Aam Aadmi Party’s contention against registration of the Aapki Apni Party (Peoples) as a political party, the Election Commission (EC) told the Delhi High Court on Tuesday that it registers political parties by their full name and not by abbreviations.The Aam Aadmi Party has sought deregistration of the new party on the grounds that their abbreviations — AAP — will be the same, which could confuse voters. The EC’s counsel submitted before the HC that the panel registers political parties by their full names and not by abbreviations, so there won’t be any confusion. Giving a list of various parties which have similar abbreviations, the EC said there was already another party registered with the same abbreviation when the Aam Aadmi Party was registered in 2013. Justice C. Hari Shankar listed the case for further hearing on February 22, after the counsel for Aapki Apni Party (Peoples) sought time to file its response to the Aam Aadmi Party’s petition. The Aam Aadmi Party’s petition has claimed that the new party’s name sounded similar and that could confuse voters. The Aam Aadmi Party has sought quashing of the EC’s July 16 order rejecting its objection against registration of Aapki Apni Party (Peoples) as a political party under provisions of the Representation of People Act.
Ghumot, Goa’s indigenous traditional percussion instrument made from an earthen vessel, will be notified as a heritage instrument of Goa, Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude said on Monday.The instrument was banned due to the use of the skin of the endangered monitor lizard for the drum membrane. In recent years, ghumot makers have started using goat skin instead. A few years ago, minister Rohan Khaunte had made a case to lift the ban by using permissible material. Goa Chief Conservator of Forest Santosh Kumar said the ban is applicable to the use of any animal listed in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and that the goat is not one of them.