Fishing the North Coast: Gamble pays off for Cove tuna seekers

first_imgCaptain Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing had a hunch, and it paid off in a big way. On Tuesday, despite a mediocre forecast, he ventured from Shelter Cove out to the Gorda Valley where the water was warm and hopefully loaded with tuna. “The wind was forecasted to stay outside of the 125 line, so I figured it was worth a shot,” Mitchell said. “I had some pretty salty clients and let them know there was a good chance we may not make it out to the warm water. They didn’t care, they wanted …last_img

Is This Any Way to Learn About the Origin of Life?

first_img(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Pollute, freeze, zap.  Goal: “to better understand how life arose on Earth.”With pride instead of shame, Science Daily promoted the idea that modern scientists in high-tech labs, brewing organic molecules on ice and zapping them with lasers, are poised to announce to the world “How Life Arose On Earth.”  They can’t be faulted with inventing the story, because it came right out of a press release from Jet Propulsion Laboratory that was promptly picked up the NASA astrobiology publicity crew at NASA-Ames in their Astrobiology Magazine.The convoluted tale goes something like this:In a new study published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, the research team provides the first direct look at the organic chemistry that takes place on icy particles in the frigid reaches of our solar system, and in the even chillier places between stars. Scientists think that the basic ingredients of life, including water and organics, began their journey to Earth on these lonesome ice particles. The ice and organics would have found their way into comets and asteroids, which then fell to Earth, delivering “prebiotic” ingredients that could have jump-started life.The number of personifications in that story is astonishing: carbon soot molecules “found their way” onto comets, which fell to earth “delivering” ingredients that could have “jump-started life.”  While true that organic (carbon-based) molecules have been found in comets and meteorites and interstellar dust, they are as far from life as alphabet letters from software.The remainder of the scenario provides neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for life.  It also contradicts all the other scenarios from many others in the origin-of-life field about where the molecules came from (e.g., volcanoes, deep sea vents, shallow pools); only a minority consider special delivery from space a valid option.  Nevertheless, that paragraph was followed by an understatement of the year, spun as a float in the scientific parade of progress:The various steps needed to go from icy organics to slime molds are not clear, but the new findings help explain how the process works.What is the empirical basis, if any, for the experiments?  The “organic molecules” hyped are nothing more than poisons:The organics looked at in the study are called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs for short. These carbon-rich molecules can be found on Earth as combustion products: for example, in barbecue pits, candle soot and even streaming out of the tail pipe of your car.PAHs were described as “strong, stubborn molecules” later in the press release.  It appears they are doing their best not to come alive, but by zapping them with lasers, the evolutionists coaxed some of them to break up and become other non-living carbon molecules.  The article never did get around to explaining what any of this has to do with the origin of life.NASA-JPL and NASA-Ames are well known for pushing the poison-to-life myth – a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars.  What have they learned in the 60 years since MIller and Urey entranced the logically illiterate with visions of Frankenstein sparks creating the “building blocks of life” in a completely unrealistic apparatus with unrealistic ingredients leading to irrelevant products? (5/02/2003)  Nothing!  How much more time do these modern alchemists deserve to be on the public dole?If you don’t believe it, listen to Robert Hazen wax eloquent about the vision in the Teaching Company’s lecture series, “Origins of Life.”  Hazen’s skill as a teacher and his enthusiasm for the subject cannot rescue him from the obvious conclusion after the last lecture that evolutionists remain absolutely clueless how life got here.  He describes several competing groups whose theories each falsify one another, none of them confirming one another.  A circular firing squad does not lead to progress.What the purveyors of the OOL follies consistently fail to address in their haste to find the “building blocks” is the specified complexity these ingredients must produce.  To visualize the problem, imagine jetliners dropping tons and tons of children’s ABC blocks into a hurricane.  Building blocks (a misleading phrase pregnant with personification) are nothing without a builder.  A builder can take a pile of building blocks and make something meaningful out of them.  Random chance and natural law cannot.  The meaning (semantics) of a sentence made out of ABC blocks is not inherent in the blocks; the sentence could just as well be written with chalk or with electrons on a cathode-ray tube.  Without semantics, all this effort zapping icy soot with lasers is quite literally MEANINGLESS.In the new book The Magician’s Twin about C. S. Lewis’s ideas on evolution (highly recommended; you can download chapter 7 for free), Lewis comments on the logic of causes.  He argues that the cause for a railroad train like England’s Rocket requires a greater cause than itself: “You have to go outside the sequence of engines, into the world of men, to find the real originator of the Rocket. Is it not equally reasonable to look outside Nature for the real Originator of the natural order?”  As applied to OOL, one has to look not at the ingredients of life, but for the superior cause outside the ingredients that organized them into life.  Otherwise, one has explained nothing at all – except the ability of human minds to use their intelligently-designed bodies to zap ice with intelligently-designed lasers.last_img read more

Voluntourism: see SA, do good

first_imgVolunteering in South Africa is a richlyrewarding experience. (Image: Aviva) MEDIA CONTACTS • Kam SantosPR, Cross-Cultural Solutions+1 914 632 0022RELATED ARTICLES• Tourism month kicks off in SA• Greening it up in Cape Town• Tourism remains strong in South AfricaJanine ErasmusVolunteering is an increasingly popular form of responsible tourism, otherwise known as voluntourism, and in South Africa opportunities abound for those who wish to do good while they enjoy the local sights and sounds.Volunteering in South Africa falls into two main categories: community- or conservation-based. There is an abundance of worthwhile projects located across the country.Organisations such as Aviva, All Africa Volunteers, Cross-Cultural Solutions and i-to-i, to name a few, facilitate volunteering trips to the country. Most are based locally. Some run their own programmes, while others merely suggest volunteering options – either way, with projects already screened and selected, it could not be easier.Invaluable experienceVolunteering not only gives tourists an opportunity to experience the country as a useful member of the community, but offers a host of other priceless benefits: self-growth, tolerance and understanding of other people and other cultures, new skills and new friends.Many travellers have been able to settle on a career through insight gained while working as a volunteer.“When I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2004 I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life,” wrote Hallie Stover of her South African experience with Willing Workers in South Africa (WWISA). “When I found the WWISA website I knew that this place [South Africa] would change my life.”After her return home, Stover was inspired to go back to university, where she submitted a thesis based on her experience with HIV/Aids youth prevention programmes. She now has a Master’s degree in International Politics and Human Rights.Stephen Thornburgh of Ireland, 23, spent his time with Aviva’s six-week penguin rehabilitation project. He described it, in a testimonial, as a “unique experience”.“With the project itself you get to do pretty much everything from cleaning and feeding to giving medication and learning about penguins and other coastal birds … it was the greatest time of my life which was really made by the people you meet and the activities you can do, like safari and shark cage diving.”Volunteers leave a legacy in indirect ways too – as they explore the country outside of their project, their support of local businesses, crafters and tourism operators results in upliftment for families and the community.Volunteer organisations agree that pitching in to do something tangible is a far better approach than merely donating money, which can lead to reliance on aid, corruption and financial instability. Volunteers, by donating their time and energy, help to set up a sustainable solution that outlasts the short-term effects of financial donations.Nuts and boltsVolunteer fees vary between organisations. The average price is around US$528 to $660 (R4 000 to R5 000) per week, but this is an inclusive fee which covers all programme-related costs such as airport transfers, accommodation, meals and transport.In most cases, once the host organisation has deducted their expenses, the rest of the fee goes to a local charity.The duration also differs from project to project, but most offer a stay of between two weeks and three months. Individuals as well as groups can be accommodated. Volunteers are responsible for arranging their own travel documentation, but host organisations provide all the information required.WWISA oversees a number of short- (two weeks) and medium-term (three weeks or more) projects. Short-term projects range from building new houses and renovating old ones, to children’s camps and environmental programmes.Medium-term projects include teaching at a nearby primary school, assisting at a daycare facility, teaching English as a second language, and microorganic farming in community gardens.All Africa Volunteers, based in the Eastern Cape province, has a wider range of projects covering wildlife, marine, sport, community and cultural issues. A wildlife sanctuary, great white shark and dolphin research, penguin rescue, a community surfing school and a pre-school are just some of the choices on offer.The Volunteer Centre in Cape Town takes volunteers into the townships, where they work amongst impoverished communities. The organisation also arranges six-month youth exchange programmes in partnership with Mozambique-based Ajude and Canada World Youth.UK-based i-to-i offers a variety of volunteer tours, mostly involving community and wildlife work. These include teaching children to read or working in a children’s hospital, animal rescue, and helping raise lion cubs.A number of travel organisations offer their own programmes, such as Cape Town’s Backpack and Africa Travel Centre which runs a football coaching and teaching volunteer project, or Dyer Island Cruises which gives volunteers the chance to learn about shark conservation.These are just a sample of the rewarding tours on offer for those willing to devote a slice of their time to uplifting the lives of humans or animals.Queries or comments? Contact Janine Erasmus at [email protected]last_img read more

Joburg’s 2010 African art show

first_img26 May 2010 Art lovers, soccer fans and tourists in Johannesburg during the 2010 Fifa World Cup will do well to bookmark a visit to SPace: Currencies in Contemporary African Art, running until 11 July at Museum Africa in Newtown. A massive exhibition of art work from across the continent, the exhibition has been organised by the city of Johannesburg, with sponsorship from Telkom, as a parallel event of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. SPace: Currencies in Contemporary African Art seeks to ensure that Africa’s hosting of the World Cup will be remembered through its art works. According to South African curators Thembinkosi Goniwe and Melissa Mboweni, the exhibition showcases contemporary African art, focusing on the concepts of intimacy, beauty and pleasure. “This is a creative and an intellectual space for African artists, curators, writers and various audiences to engage in dialogue on culture, aesthetics, politics and mobility,” Goniwe said. The city of Johannesburg’s portfolio head of community development, Bafana Sithole, said: “When the World Cup has come and gone, there should be something of value left behind … This exhibition is meant to portray the continent’s diverse cultures and for African artists to showcase their work. It is also meant to draw global attention to Africa.” Artists whose work is on show at the exhibition include: Berni Searle, Godfried Donkor, Barthelemy Toguo, Willem Boshoff, Gabrielle Goliath, Berry Bickle, Mary Sibande, Kudzanai Chiurai, David Koloane, Arlene Wandera, Miriam Syowia Kyambi, Nandipha Mntambo, James Muriuki, Alison Kearney, Nathalie Bikoro, Zen Marie, Abdul Razaq Awofeso, Steve Bandoma, Elias Sime, Peterson Kamwathi Waweru, Gugulective, Chimurenga, Billie Zangewa, Dominique Zinkpe, and Collectif 212. For more information, visit the exhibition website www.theartistsofafrica.co.za Source City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Winter maintenance worth the effort

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.Have you ever heard someone say, “What do farmers do in the winter?” As you are aware, there are many answers to this question.Winter is a great time to get ready for spring planting, which will be here before we know it. One of the most important parts of the growing season is planting. It’s crucial that your crops get off to a good start and it’s important to make sure that your planter is field-ready when the time comes. Planting seed into the best possible growing conditions is a one of the most important tasks of spring field work. A planter in need of some adjustment can result in varied seed placement, uneven emergence, and ultimately a reduction in yield potential.Check for and replace any parts of your planter that are excessively worn. No-till coulters or disk openers that are worn out will not create the proper seed furrow and may cause poor seed placement. Good seed-to-soil contact is critical in ensuring seed germination and uniform emergence. Emergence that is uneven can cause a loss in yield potential. No-till coulters should be adjusted to operate at the same depth or slightly shallower than disk openers.Seed firmers in good condition will also promote adequate seed-to-soil contact. Check the chains and sprockets on your planter. Make sure chains are operated at the correct tension and replace any sprockets that are worn as well as chains that are stiff, rusty, or excessively worn. Smooth chain operation is a critical component of proper planter operation and seed spacing. Any hesitation or jerk in the system will result in seed spacing that is not uniform.One of the most important aspects of planter maintenance is calibration of your planter. Make the necessary adjustments to your planter to make certain it will plant at the population you desire. Broken or worn parts on planter units should be replaced and units should be periodically calibrated.Along with performing maintenance on planter units make sure seed tubes are clean and are not damaged such that they will prevent even seed spacing. Calibration of your planter and units will reduce skips, doubles, and triples in seed placement. Research has shown that skips, doubles, and triples can cause a reduction in yield potential.In the recent publication Corn Stand Establishment and Planter Maintenance, Purdue Extension Agronomist Bob Nielsen said: “Yield data from our small-plot research and from replicated strip trials indicate that about 2.5 bushels per acre are lost for every 1 inch increase in the standard deviation of the plant-to-plant spacings.” Uniform seed spacing minimizes competition between plants for water and nutrients and promotes efficient use of sunlight.Once you’ve gone through your planter, it’s a good idea to test it out before you head to the field. It is important to evaluate a planter under conditions closely resembling those you will find in the field. Keep in mind a gravel driveway in the barnyard may work but it might not accurately resemble field conditions. Evaluate your planter’s performance at the speed you will be operating in the field. Check your planter for smooth operation, make sure seed spacing and depth is even and accurate. Making a few adjustments to your planter this winter will require some time and effort. This is time well spent and it could really pay off in the spring.last_img read more

GoDaddy’s 16-Step Checkout: Brainless Marketing At Its Finest?

first_imgI’ve been a GoDaddy customer for a while. However, the only thing I’ve used them for is domain registrations (and even then, only a handful of the hundreds of domains I own are with GoDaddy). Now, if you’ve used GoDaddy much at all, you probably already know what I’m talking about regarding the tediousness of the checkout process. Whenever I go through it, I file it away with one or both of the following arguments/excuses as to why they do this to me: Accept the “Universal Terms of Service” (though if they’re universal, why did I need to accept two other things in Step #6)? Better yet, if I was signing away my first-born in step #6 anyways, why not go ahead and get me to check one more box for the Universal Terms of Service. [Note to self: Since these terms are “Universal”, I’ve likely forfeited the right to sell my domains when we inhabit Mars]. B) It must be working for them, or they wouldn’t do it. 3. 4. Login. No surprise. I took the screenshots out as it was just too painful to watch. Done! (With 19 more special offers and a checkbox for each as a last desperate attempt to sell me something). Read the “Secure Checkout” message which is a personal note and thank you from Bob Parsons (the CEO of GoDaddy). He’s explaining to me what a CAPTCHA is (you know, those annoying graphic messages that you have to read and type in the characters for). He also tells me that the reason they’re making me do this is to protect me and for my security. I thought that was what my username and password was for. My guess is that this is really to protect them from script-kiddies that have a GoDaddy account and do some automated thing like buy a bunch of domain names. Since GoDaddy has gone to all this trouble to design a complex checkout process, they don’t want folks building automated scripts that simply, um, register a domain name in one step. Agree to the Transfer Agreement and Domain Register Agreement. Too much legalese to read. I do like most humans do and just agree to the terms. Click on “Accept Account Change. Note that this is just a button in the upper right corner. There’s no indication (yet) of what I’m accepting. 6. 16 Gates of GoDaddy Checkout Hell Originally published Oct 11, 2007 12:57:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Skip by another offer to register a new doman name that is my name (dharmeshshah.name). I receive this exact same offer every time I transfer a domain name in. You’d think that eventually they’ll figure out that I don’t really care and am *never* going to buy this domain. Stop asking me. I have dharmesh.com already, and that’s good enough. Click on “Pending Account” changes. Not sure why this is a “pending account change”. I’m just transferring a domain in. I would think that enough people transfer domains around within GoDaddy that they could afford a link that just said “Approve Domain Transfer In”. 14. 5. Enter a Transaction ID and Security Code. This is two different sets of random tokens that I receive from the domain seller (that basically lets the system really know it’s me). Not a big deal, as long as you’ve received these two things and haven’t lost them. I’d argue that if the seller designated a specific account to transfer into, then this step should be unnecessary. Some may think I’m being overly naïve here. Granted I’m not a real marketing guy (and don’t play one on TV), but I have to believe that GoDaddy should be a wee bit smarter about how it segments it’s customers, how the checkout process should work for them, and base things a little bit on what the customer is actually trying to do. Sure, I can understand the motivation to “upsell” things, and they’re clearly more successful than I am. But, so is Amazon, who also has a lot to sell me, and it doesn’t take 16 steps to buy something from them. So, I know it can be done. 2. Skip by 22 offers to buy/upgrade a bunch of stuff (this is in addition to offers already shown on all pages). I’m not making this up. 22 different offers each with their own checkbox. I’d be curious to know how many people *actually* buy something from this page. I’m guessing non-zero, or they wouldn’t have it here. But, I’m also guessing that the “optimum” number of offers to show is not likely 22. I click Continue at the bottom. As it turns out, GoDaddy is a popular registrar and when I buy premium domains from others, they are often using GoDaddy. As such, instead of using my primary domain registrar (eNOM), I use my GoDaddy account because the transfer process (should) be easier. Click the Checkout button. Yes, it’s another Checkout button. Similar to what we saw in Step #10 Review my Shopping Cart (Note: I have not bought anything, I’m just transferring a domain in). I also have the ability to apply a promotional code — despite that my price is zero as this is just a transfer. I also have the ability to update my cart, though I can’t change any quantities or delete any items. Lots of unnecessary UI distractions giving me options that are either not relevant or not even options. Go to “My Account”. Could be a bit more obvious, but nevertheless, it works (and since I’d done it before, I knew where to go). 12. 13. 15. But, some recent experiences really irritated me well beyond the usual level of irritation I have with GoDaddy — and it got me to thinking. Is this brainless or brilliant marketing? I think brainless. Let me explain. 8. Review my billing and information and read the “Final Step: Confirm Your Order Amount” box (which buy the way, shows $0 since this is a domain transfer). Billing information not really necessary for this “zero cost transfer”, but am OK with this, as they’re likely trying to make sure things are accurate for domain renewals later. So, to set the stage for the list of steps below a few things you should know: I already have a GoDaddy account. I’m transferring a domain from *another* GoDaddy user. Both users have been on GoDaddy many times and have done transfers/exchanges many times. There was no cash trading hands at this point (so the checkout was a “zero dollar” checkout). 7. Click the Checkout button. This, at least, was obvious. 9. 11. Enter the CAPTCHA code (which thankfully is not as indecipherable as some of the ones I’ve seen) 16. 10. 1. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack A) I’m not the target audience. What do you think? If you were the head of marketing at GoDaddy would you change their checkout process?last_img read more

Inbound Marketing Strategy: Why SEO Is Better Than PPC

first_img 2. You have a different, more effective way to distribute the product and can reach customers more efficiently than others.  This expertise and know-how is hard to replicate. Life is good, for a little while.  Then one day there’s some new scrappy little startup that also has a “retail price optimization software” product (which for fun, we’ll say is 3.  Your costs of supporting and delighting customers are lower because we have some operational advantage that is going to be hard for others to reproduce. your In situations like this, a new entrant can drive up the average price of a click pretty effectively — without a lot of time, or for that matter, talent.  What concerns me about this is that this increase in Lets look further at #2.  Lets say that you’ve figured out some magical way to reach customers really cheaply for some product offering (we’ll say “retail price optimization software”).  By “cheaply”, I mean that although your conversion rate to leads is very low, the value per lead is so high that you’d happily pay the $12/click it is costing you on Google AdWords.  You’re making profits on those clicks.  You’d do this every day of the week (and in fact you do).  It’s your primary source of great leads.  [Side note:  People just don’t seem to be coming to your trade-show booth as often as they used to, but that’s a whole different story…] 1.  Your product/technology is hard to build so many would-be competitors would stay away and those that try, will likely fail. initial What are your thoughts?  Has SEO or PPC worked better for you?  Have you seen a rise in your average CPC (cost-per-click)? If you’ve ever talked to venture capitalists to raise money for a startup, you’ve probably been asked a variation of this question.  Your Laziness:  Why I Love SEO So Much More Than PPC Originally published Feb 20, 2008 12:58:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Over the past couple of years, I’ve been telling many small business marketing people (basically anyone that would listen) that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has one big advantage over PPC (Pay-Per-Click).  SEO is What’s Your Sustainable Competitive Advantage? Once you put in all the brilliant hard work to get leads and customers via SEO, it’s much harder for others to take that advantage away.  And, even if they do, you’re much less likely to be completely blind-sided by it, as you would be with PPC. strategically inferior to yours).  The product is so bad that CTOs and CFOs to whom it is demonstrated are known to run laughing from the room.  But, the startup has some venture funding and has decided to use it on PPC because the director of marketing just discovered Google AdWords.  They don’t know a darned thing about bid optimization.  They figure “hey, we want more customers, we’ll bid for the top spot!  $15/click doesn’t sound that high…”.  And that’s where the fun begins. costs per lead has nothing to do with the quality of the competitor or their product.  You wake up one day, and your cost of acquiring a customer goes up — and nothing else has really changed.  The advantage that you had built figuring out the right keywords and is greatly reduced and your profits are driven downward. Topics:last_img read more

An Internet Marketer’s Checklist: 7 Steps to Marketing Web Redesign Success

first_img Internet marketing strategy Website Redesign Analyzing Learn how to redesign your website with an internet marketing strategy in mind with Mike Volpe, HubSpot’s VP of Marketing. Topics: Free Webinar: Website Redesign for 2010 Keywords determine your ranking within search engines. Be sure that your keywords correspond with your Download the webinar greatly simplify your marketing program Record All Incoming Links to Your Current Website. It’s very important to examine what assets you currently have and make sure that any incoming links aren’t broken once you make changes to your website. This is very important in order to avoid the dreaded 404 error page for people finding your site through Google and other robots. Define your Strategic Goals.  in the New Year, keep in mind that a grab their attention Choose Keywords Carefully . . Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack .  Test your content with customers along the way to be sure it is useful, intersting and makes sense. If you’re not blogging, consider adding a blog to your website offering as it could Make Sure You Have Content Creation on the Brain. ? What is memorable enough about your website that you will capture the repeat visitor? just to keep up with Joneses and learn what users currently experience on your site. Try to create a list top three reasons why customers visit your site so you can address those needs with your redesign.  attract people to your site and learn how to turn your website into an internet marketing machine. Carefully Consider Your Theme and Your “Look and Feel”. – involves changing and enhancing several components of your website including changing navigation structure, adding new content and functionality, in addition to design modifications.   Your visual presence on the web should always accurately reflect your company’s image and personality, as well as be consistent with any print or offline collateral your organization may utilize. If you’re considering redesigning your company’s website in 2010, here’s a quick checklist to make sure you’re on the right track: website redesign project target audience’s informational needs People come to your site for content. So, make sure all of your content is clear, up-to-date, accurate, easy to locate and well-written.  Be sure to include more than just your company information – provide articles, blog posts, fresh news links, and other information that will Investigate What Your Current Site Visitors Are Doing. Never jump into a website redesign Your theme and “look and feel” will communicate vibes to visitors. Additionally, remember that your “look and feel” should be consistent throughout all collateral both online and offline. .  Document the purpose and quantifiable goals for your redesign.  It is essential that you are able to articulate your reasons and goals before you can go any further.  photo by in order to get the most out of it.  Your company’s website is without a doubt one of its most important assets.  Your 2010 website redesign must be done in the context of a greater website redesign vision web traffic data Define Your Target Audience. Before you embark on recreating your Get into their shoes and think like they think. What are their needs? What are their interests? What will Originally published Jan 11, 2010 1:32:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 khariedlast_img read more

Are You Ignoring Email Marketing Because of Social Media?

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Apr 7, 2010 10:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Learn how companies are using inbound marketing techniques to generate higher volume and lower cost leads and customers. Download the Free Webinar Now Email Marketingcenter_img The following is a guest post from Amy Garland, marketing manager at Blue Sky Factory .  Social media is on the minds of marketers everywhere.  With its increasing popularity, marketers are thinking, “We need to be on Twitter !  Let’s create a Facebook fan page !  Crank out the viral videos! ”  Unfortunately, this often has no strategy behind it , and organizations are flying blind on the social web .  While social media isn’t “killing” email like some people seem to think, it is causing email marketing to be ignored.  Email marketing is the digital glue that holds the social web together .  It’s the currency of all accounts, the only common denominator of all social networking sites.  You can’t sign up for an account on a social media site without an email address, and each one has an email component (e.g. you receive Facebook friend and LinkedIn connection requests through email).   U nfortunately, many marketers are forgetting about email marketing as a key component to online marketing and new media.  So why should you, as a marketer, care about email?  I’ll let the following numbers speak for themselves. Email marketing returned $43.62 for every dollar spent on it in 2009, and is expected to return $42.08 for every dollar spent on it in 2010.  (Direct Marketing Association) 89% of retailers cited email is the most mentioned successful tactic overall.   ( Forrester Research and Shop.org ’s Retailing Online 2009: Marketing Report ) 67% of subscribers say they’ve purchased products offline as a direct result of receiving an email from a retail company.   ( Epsilon – 2009 Report ) Th e se are some convincing numbers, but what exactly is it about email marketing that provides such a high ROI and positive response from subscribers? It’s permission-based.   Well, it should be permission-based.  ( On a recent webinar , I heard Mike Volpe , vice president of marketing for HubSpot , say email marketing is like the phone; it can be used for good or evil.  This statement is s ad, but often true.)  If you grow your list organically and subscribers have given you explicit consent to communicate with them via email , then you have an audience that is asking for information from you .  (Sounds like a little something called inbound marketing, huh?)  If your subscribers have asked to receive your emails, then they’re much more likely to open, click -through, and share your emails, ultimately resulting in a higher ROI. It’s subscriber-driven.   One of the best things about email marketing is that your subscribers tell you what they want from you, how often the y want it, and in what form (e.g . newsletter, product promotions, or upcoming webinar notifications).   This information can be collected at the opt-in, through subscriber preferences, or with a periodic survey sent to your email recipients.  By being able to choose how they receive your information, subscriber s are more likely to engage with your emails .  Engagement in itself gives feedback with each send.  By using your email platform’s reporting tools, you know how your campaign performs by looking at metrics including opens, click-throughs, conversions , and even unsubscribe rates .  It’s easy.   Yes, folks, email marketing is easy.  They key to email marketing is sending timely, targeted, valuable emails to subscribers who have asked for them.  It’s not difficult to provide your audience with relevant emails based on their preferences, past purchases, activity, etc.  Segmenting your database and taking a few extra steps to do this will drive more subscriber engagement and more purchases. Now don’t get the wrong idea here.  I’m not saying you should solely focus on email and ignore social media.  These two channels can and should be used together, not only with tools like Share with Your Network (SWYN), but also by repurposing the content, cross-promoting the channels, and cross-pollinating your audience.  More on this in a future blog post, but for now, I’ll leave the email and social media topic with these statistics: 75% of daily social media users said email is the best way for companies to communicate with them, compared to 65% of all email users. ( MarketingSherpa – 2010) 49% of Twitter users said they made an online purchase because of an email, compared to 33% of all email users. ( MarketingSherpa – 2010) Email and social media are like peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, milk and cookies , the list goes on.  They are simply better together . Take a step back and think about your online marketing strategy and campaigns.  Are you using email marketing to its full potential?  If not, how can you better use this channel to engage your audience? Amy Garland is the marketing manager at Blue Sky Factory , a Baltimore-based email service provider.  Follow Amy on Twitter: @amygarland . On-Demand Webinar: The State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Topics:last_img read more

7 Ways to Use Social Media to Rock Your Next Event

first_imgThe season of events is upon us! I know that at HubSpot, we’re currently busy hosting our Event Marketing is the easiest way to keep track of the conversations people are having about your event. Having one will not only be beneficial during the days and months leading up to the event, but also while it’s taking place and even after it’s over, so you can track what people thought about individual sessions and the event as a whole. Establishing a hashtag can help you social media strategy to give your attendees and audience the best experience possible. We’ll help you out with a few tips to rock your next event. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack the event. No matter what they’re saying, it’s important for you to engage with these people and respond to their questions and comments. during (seriously — it’s happening RIGHT NOW). Are you working on your next industry event yet? If you are, have you thought about your social media strategy? After you secure your event date(s), the next step is to plan your Creating a hashtag INBOUND 2012 conference create buzz Tip #1: Create a hashtag. LinkedIn , but both types of people may be interested in attending your event, and it’s worth the effort to craft different messages to appeal to each group’s needs and interests. Tip #2: Promote regular updates about your event. As you’re planning your event, use your social presence to announce news and updates about what attendees should look forward to. For example, when you secure a new speaker, share the news via your social media accounts. When registration opens, announce it using your social presence. When you confirm your sponsors, share that, too! Prospective attendees are looking for reasons why they should come to your event, and these types of announcements have the potential to sway people who are on the fence about coming. You just might make some additional ticket sales because of your social promotion. If you’re planning an industry event, LinkedIn should be the focus of a lot of your efforts. When people think of promoting an event in social media, they typically jump right to Facebook, but creating a Tip #6: Allow attendees to ask your keynote speakers questions via Twitter. for your event, as well as gather feedback that can be beneficial in planning future events. When creating a hashtag, choose something short and memorable (check out this . Creating a Google+ event offers a few main benefits: automatic email invitations, and day-before-the-event reminders — as well as adding your event to the Google calendars of people who have indicated they’re attending. For smaller events — or even larger events with busy people — Google+ can be a great tool. event can be the perfect tool for targeting your industry. It will also give you a centralized page on which to post nothing but event updates, instead of cluttering up your main company page. Another venue you should consider using is oft-neglected ), and be sure to promote it during the planning process and during the event itself so people know what to use while they’re tweeting. Tip #4: Make sure your event’s promotional content is remarkable. A lot of people will undoubtedly be tweeting about your event. They may be sharing with their followers that they’ll be attending your event, asking questions about your event, or tweeting about the contentcenter_img remarkable . helpful guide to creating awesome hashtags business blog Originally published Aug 28, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Run social media contests Google+ promoting your event that help your attendees plan and prepare for your event, and of course, share them in social media! It’s easy to post updates about your upcoming event and encourage people to register, but what will make your event truly stand out from all the rest is the strength of your event’s promotional content. Just like all the other inbound marketing content you create, your event content needs to be Tip #5: Create LinkedIn and Google+ event pages. across all social media channels your prospective attendees populate should be an integral part of your event’s social media marketing strategy. Sure, different channels will require different tones and messaging, but utilizing more than one social network will increase the reach of your event messaging, so take the time to adapt your event’s social updates to cater to each network. For instance, you may not be targeting the same types of people in your LinkedIn group as you are on to get people excited about your event, and reward winners with prizes like free tickets. Create and share graphics or videos to give people a sneak peak into what will happen at your event. Write articles for your During your event, many of your attendees will likely want some time to chat with your speakers and ask them questions. But as any event planner knows, that’s not always feasible. As an alternative, encourage attendees to tweet their comments and questions to speakers using the event hashtag. Make sure your speakers are aware of this initiative, since they may even want to answer some of the audience’s questions at the end of their presentations. Not only will this make your event more interactive, but it will also make attendees feel more connected to your speakers. It’s a simple tactic that is relatively easy to execute, but it will also really make your attendees feel like you value their thirst for knowledge. It will also show that you’ve taken the extra step to connect them with the thought leaders who can best help cater to their needs. Tip #7: Be responsive in social media, even during the event. monitoring the conversation Tip #3: Leverage ALL of your social media channels (and tailor your messaging to each). around your hashtag and responding frequently throughout the event. No matter what attendees are saying, it’s important to make sure someone can answer their questions as quickly as possible. Doing so will reflect positively on your company and on your attendees’ overall experience at your event. Furthermore, encouraging engagement on Twitter could end up causing your hashtag to trend, or at the very least, expand the read of your event — and your company! Keep in mind that not all of your prospective attendees participate in every social channel. Certain people may only follow you on Twitter. Others may prefer LinkedIn. Therefore, Topics: The social media event updates shouldn’t stop when your event starts. Remember — there may be people asking questions about your event even when they’re on-site. Assign someone at your company with the sole task of your Facebook page What other social media strategies can make for a more successful event?last_img read more