India Excluded from Relaxed Visa Rules Due to ‘Overstayers:’ UK Politician

first_imgThe United Kingdom excluded India from the list of countries that were recently offered relaxed visa norms for students because of the Indian government’s refusal to sign a deal on return of illegal immigrants, UK’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said. “There is always a demand for easier norms, but we cannot look at that without addressing the issue of overstayers,” Fox said, the Times of India reported. Speaking on June 18 on the sidelines of the launch of the UK-India Week, organized in London and Buckinghamshire to explore post-Brexit bilateral ties, Fox added that all the issues between the two countries had to be considered “on balance,” and could not be separated, according to the Hindu.Fox, who was present at the release of an edition of “The 100 Most Influential in UK-India Relations,” dismissed the notion that the British government’s decision could adversely affect prospects of post-Brexit trade deal between the two nations. “Our relationship with India is long-term and not just related to trade,” he said, PTI reported. The United Kingdom had last week relaxed Tier 4 visa norms for overseas students of 25 countries, including China, Bahrain and Serbia, but chose to keep India out of the list. Students belonging to the countries added to the list, considered low risk places, would have to face less checks on educational, financial and English language skill requirements to pursue higher education in the United Kingdom. Fox’s remarks are being as a sign of further straining of ties between the two countries. “Each country has its own requirements and is free to decide its own immigration policies, but we need to look at the larger picture,” YK Sinha, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, said at the event, the Times of India reported. “Indian students contribute immensely, not just to the economy of this country but in terms of their expertise. International students are the best soft power tool that the UK has,” he added, according to the report.“It’s up to the British government to decide what kind of visas they want to give and whether they want closer ties with India,” an Indian high commission official was quoted as saying by the Times of India. “I feel the signals they are sending our way are wrong but whether they bring lasting damage to our relations is a longterm perspective. It’s for them to decide if they want to link this to the MoU, but if they do, they will have to bear the consequences. I am not confident this is going to turn out well.” India had refused to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Britain over the return of illegal immigrants when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited London for a Commonwealth meet in April this year. The bilateral agreement could not be signed as the two countries need to resolve issues like security concerns, fear of large-scale deportation, and consent clause, under which a person has to give an approval before the process to determine his or her nationality is initiated, the Hindustan Times had reported earlier.The United Kingdom puts the number of illegal Indian immigrants in the country to be around 100,000 while India says the figure is 2,000, according to the Times of India. Related ItemsBritainstudent visaUnited Kingdomlast_img read more

India, Canada to Jointly Release Stamps on Diwali Theme

first_imgIndia and Canada will jointly issue commemorative postage stamps on the theme of Diwali, the Indian government announced on August 30.The stamps will be released on September 21 as per a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the postal departments of the two countries.“India and Canada have a long-standing close relationship based on shared values of democracy, pluralism, equality for all and rule of law. Strong people-to-people contacts and the presence of a large Indian Diaspora in Canada provide a strong foundation for the relationship,” said a statement from the Indian government.It said the theme of Diwali was chosen “considering the large presence of Indian Diaspora” in Canada.The backgroundThe decision on the issue was first made in February this year after a meeting between BV Sudhakar, secretary, department of posts, India, and Deepak Chopra, the Canada Post president. Chopra is a Canadian of Indian descent.The stamps will be released in celebration of Diwali and of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Canada Post had said then in a statement.“Issuing a joint stamp celebrating Diwali is a meaningful way to recognise the importance of this relationship to both countries,” Sudhakar was quoted as saying at the time. Chopra had said then, “This stamp – to mark the festival of Diwali – is Canada Post’s first joint issue with India. Not only will it represent our country’s proud diversity, it will celebrate the close bond between both countries.”It was announced that both India and Canada will come up with a design each, and both stamps will be issued at the same time. Canada Post director of stamp services Jim Phillips said both versions of the stamps will be available in both nations, the publication added. The stamps, which will be in general circulation, will be valid for 10 years.The themed stampsThis is, however, not the first stamp released in Canada on the occasion of the Diwali festival. Two stamps on the theme were issued in 2011, but since they were not meant for mass circulation, they are not available any more. The stamps that will be out in September will, however, be like any other ordinary stamp. People will be use them for Canadian and Indian mail.A stamp on Diwali was also issued in the United States last year during a ceremony at the Consulate General of India in New York City. The stamp features the traditional earthen lamp against a sparkling background, with the words ‘Forever USA 2016’ written beneath.Canada had also released a postage stamp on the theme of Eid earlier this year, and will come up with one for the Jewish festival of Hanukkah as well. (With inputs from IANS) Related ItemsCanada Diwali stampCanada festival stampsIndia Canada DiwaliIndia Canada postage stampIndo-Canada relationsLittle Indialast_img read more

Last of The Newsies

first_imgLong before dawn on a wind-whipped April night, the only thing stirring at the corner of Central Park West and 86th Street was a slight figure in boyishly oversize attire — ink-stained parka, baggy pants, owlish eyeglasses — that nearly hid him as he fussed with a stack of newspapers.He certainly seemed invisible to the gathering parade of passers-by, ears plugged with speakers or eyes fixed on tiny screens: the runners around 5:30 a.m., the dog walkers at 6.Then, slowly, his people arrived, ambling up the sidewalk or pulling cars to the curb to press dollar bills into his palm, take the morning paper and check on the whiskered face that poked out of the parka. “How’s it going, Singh?” they asked. “What’s in the news today, Singh?”Newsprint is endangered. Retail has fled to the internet. Cash is becoming quaint. Yet Ram Badan Singh, who left a job as a civil engineer in India to come to New York at age 42, is still scraping together a living out of all three, in the same spot where he began 36 years ago.Except for three brief trips back to India in the 1980s and 1990s, he has sold newspapers outside the 86th Street subway station every night and morning, in blizzards and rainstorms and heat waves, with no newsstand for protection and not a single day off. There is every reason to expect he will turn 81, in July, at his chosen perch on the side doorstep of a grand prewar apartment building that calls itself, without apparent irony, the White House.“So many hurricanes I can remember,” he said with a rueful chuckle. “Three hundred and 65 days, without fail.”He has an uneasy relationship with this White House, which has alternately welcomed and shunned him; the current administration has restricted entry to a foyer where Singh would shelter on the coldest and wettest nights. February’s relentless chill has been especially punishing.But there are two good reasons Singh has prevailed so long at this Upper West Side corner: his iron devotion to the job, and his customers’ devotion to him.One by one over the years, they have each made the silent decision to continue buying from him, paying full newsstand prices and often walking blocks out of their way, rather than reading the news online or getting home delivery.They fetch his takeout meals and draw him into conversation. They buy him warm coats and scarves and sneakers. Some trade emails about his health, which has been remarkably robust despite an occasional scare. (“He didn’t get to the corner until 5:30 instead of his usual 3,” a neighbor messaged to another on a morning in 2014. “He said he has to down cough syrup twice in the night now, and this time it knocked him out.”)A physician in the White House arranged for a free chest X-ray. The superintendent at another building lets Singh into the basement for bathroom breaks. Customers stand guard over his papers until he returns.A man of quiet ways, Singh can be gloomy and taciturn one day, lively and opinionated the next; his mood varies with the weather and the headlines. Yet his regulars, most of them middle-aged or older, speak of him with warmth, and something more.“I’ve stayed with Singh out of loyalty,” said Ken Coughlin, who runs a legal-information website and has been buying The New York Times from him every day for at least 20 years, at a cost now of about $1,250 a year. “He’s a fixture in the neighborhood, a fixture in my life. I want to support him.”Lee Herman, a curator emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History, has been a patron since Singh first showed up. “You see this guy, with wind chill of 11 below, out there selling papers,” Herman said. “He’s got a life that’s extraordinary — what he has to go through to live.”These neighbors know little about that life, or one another’s, but Singh knows all their preferences and quirks. He notices when they miss a day, and offers to save their papers. He serves noncustomers, too — clearing trash from the sidewalk, warning subway riders when trains aren’t running, feeding the birds and dogs (“my other customers,” he calls them), holding the door when White House residents need a hand.His own home is a rent-controlled apartment in an SRO hotel 20 blocks north, where he lives alone. He has no family in the United States. For Singh, it’s all about the corner. “If I am not there for my neighbors, then I feel bad,” he said. “I like my customers. I do my duty.”Singh was born in Bihar, in northeastern India, the third of six children. His father died when he was 8, and while top grades won him scholarships, he had to work constantly, he said, to pay for books and other expenses.He earned a master’s degree in engineering, then landed a job with the state. But he grew disillusioned, he said, with the bribery and official corruption he saw around him. “I was the only honest guy,” he said.Singh arrived at Kennedy International Airport in 1980 with $300 and the address of a friend’s friend, who helped him get settled. “I was thinking, the most honest people must be in America,” he said.He found out quickly that his Indian engineering degree had little currency in this country. He worked retail jobs before approaching The Times, where a manager suggested he sell at 262 Central Park West, the White House. Singh started on April 23, 1982.At first he delivered papers inside the building to customers who included A.M. Rosenthal, then The Times’ executive editor. As sales fell, Singh retreated to the foyer. But in 2010, he was banished even from there, neighbors say; bedbugs had turned up in the building, and the management blamed Singh.He fiercely denied that, and his defenders petitioned the co-op board to allow him back in. But since then his access to the foyer has been hit or miss: Although doormen let Singh inside during this winter’s worst nights, he was ousted again in February. “So mean,” he lamented to friends.Singh’s workday begins around 10 p.m., after he rises from sleep and takes the bus to 86th Street, retiring to the nearby basement to bundle the previous morning’s unsold papers for pickup and assemble preprinted sections for the Sunday editions. He is back out on the sidewalk by 2 a.m. for the first of several newspaper deliveries.Though most customers won’t arrive for hours, he feels he has to be there, fearing that the bundles will be stolen — as they were once. At 10 a.m., he heads to a cafe to eat, then home to a deep sleep.Singh’s endurance embodies one of New Yorkers’ favorite truisms: that their big, reputedly heartless city is really a collection of small, caring villages. It also attests to a less comforting truth: the city’s blunt juxtapositions of the wealthy and the not-so — like Singh, who makes about $25 on a weekday ($40 on a Sunday), working in the shadows of some of the most expensive real estate on the planet.For some Upper West Siders, he is a reminder of a less Darwinian city. “It’s like he’s part of the old-time New York where you have other people you look out for,” said Maxine Davis, a Feldenkrais practitioner who has lived in the area since 1979. “Young people come here and make a fortune and stay for two or three years and then move out. Who makes up the long-term neighborhood? I have a strong sense that you need that.”Singh is also among the last of a vanishing breed: the sidewalk newspaper hawker. While his Times sales have dwindled to about 80 a day from nearly 800, he outperforms many brick-and-mortar newsstands. Mark Weitzel, who heads print distribution for The Times, said there are about 130 individuals selling papers on New York streets, but most work for larger vendors and handle fewer copies than Singh, who buys his papers directly from The Times and other companies.Singh has offset sinking sales of New York papers by taking on several other publications, including The Washington Post, Financial Times and even a copy of a Polish-American daily, Super Express USA, that he carries for a doorman down the block. (A filmmaker chronicled Singh’s daily routine in 2015 for a short documentary titled “Singh.”)Ram Badan Singh waits for his newspaper deliveries in New York. Photo: Joseph Michael Lopez/ The New York TimesJohn R. MacArthur, the publisher of Harper’s Magazine, lives in the West 70s but was taking his daughter to preschool 13 years ago when he spotted the stack of papers, nearly as tall as the man beside them. “Then I noticed he was reading the papers thoroughly himself. ‘Look at this!’ he’d say, and point out a headline,” MacArthur said. “He read widely, across several different newspapers. So I became an addict, a fan.”He likes to get Singh talking about current events. “The thing with him is that he’s alternately upbeat and very depressed about the state of the world,” MacArthur said. “To the extent that his emotions fluctuate with the news, I find this very useful — he’s a sort of weather vane for me.”But MacArthur is also concerned for him, and the future of print. “I’m very pro-paper,” he said. “I worry whether he can survive financially.”A more immediate threat looms: The 86th Street subway station is scheduled to close from June to October for renovations, and neighbors fear that the drop in foot traffic will doom Singh’s business. Coughlin, who sits on the local community board, has asked the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to help compensate the news vendor. The agency responded that it would “work actively and outside the box to help minimize any impacts for businesses and residents.”Word of the closing drew a shrug from Singh. “I will survive, somehow,” he said. “So many botherations, for my whole life.”A U.S. citizen since 1985, Singh votes just as religiously, and pays his self-employment taxes quarterly. But some aspects of America, including that other White House, have disappointed him. “I am not so much happy with the honesty here,” he said. “I don’t like these corrupt people.”With only rent, meals and the bus as expenses, he has saved enough to send money to relatives in India. He has no computer or cellphone, but calls his nephew Poona every few weeks from a nearby deli. “Every time they are asking me, ‘Come back,’” he said. “I don’t know.”Singh appears to relish his autonomy. Neighbors ask one another if he has the means to retire in New York; a few have spoken about leaving him something in their wills — the assumption being that he will outlast them all. For now, Singh’s plan is simply to keep working.He is a bit less than honest, though, with the people who sell him his papers, worrying that they will decide he is too old.“I tell them I am 62,” he said, grinning slyly. “That way I have three more years before I have to retire.”Jack Begg contributed reporting© 2018 New York Times News Service Related ItemsMediaNew Yorklast_img read more

Plastic is Like a Demon – Mumbai Hopes To Clean Up By Criminalizing Plastic Bags

first_imgOn Mumbai’s Versova beach, it was once hard to see the sand amid the endless sea of plastic bags and trash. The long stretch of coast had essentially turned into a dumping site until volunteers banded together to clean it up. A few months later, Olive Ridley turtles began nesting there for the first time in 20 years.Now municipal authorities are taking a new step in the battle against the plastic waste that afflicts Mumbai and so many other cities across the country by criminalizing plastic bags with fines of up to $366 and jail sentences for repeat offenders.India actually has a low per capita plastic consumption of just 11 kilograms compared to Western countries where up to 10 times that is consumed each year, but its cities and water sources are visibly affected by plastic pollution. In Mumbai especially, the long coastline is plagued by floating plastic litter. In the monsoons, when the seas rise and splash over onto roads, piles of plastic trash litter the city’s sidewalks and roads.Authorities have already collected $5,000 in fines from 87 shops since the ban was enforced Saturday, and chains such as Starbucks and McDonalds have come under fire for failing to replace plastic packaging.Mumbai is the largest Indian city to enforce the ban, joining a handful of countries such as Kenya and Rwanda to introduce jail time for using plastic bags. Brought in by the state government of Maharashtra – home to 110 million people – the ban has huge potential to reduce India’s 26,000 tons of daily plastic waste.“Plastic is like a demon, we all must come together to kill it,” Maharashtra’s Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam said Monday.The push towards reducing plastic is part of a national effort in India to clean up its cities and towns. In June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on world leaders to curb environmental degradation and plastic pollution. “Plastic now threatens to become a menace to humanity. A lot of it never makes it to the recycling bin. Worse, a lot of it is non-bio-degradable,” he said.Bollywood stars have chimed in too, using their social media accounts and appearing in government advertisements to discourage plastic usage.Critics, however, say the ban will affect small retailers and businesses the hardest.Small roadside businesses and market vendors rely on plastic bags to package items in markets. Viren Shah, president of the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association told the Mumbai Mirror that 300,000 small businesses in the city had seen around 50 percent of their sales drop since the ban, and there was confusion about which plastics were allowed, and which ones were not.He said around 2,000 small shops were forced to close over the weekend, and huge quantities of perishables, such as milk, yogurt and juice were wasted as retailers feared being slapped with penalties.Shah said the small business owners are tallying up their losses and may go on strike Wednesday until the government heeds their concerns. “We had written letters to the government stating all grocery stores would buy back the recyclable plastic from the customers at Rs 2 but these suggestions were not taken,” he said, according to the Hindustan Times.Residents and businesses in Mumbai were given a three-month period starting in March to phase out the usage of plastic bags and find sustainable alternatives instead.Plastic is the latest target in Modi’s Clean India program, which also aims to tackle India’s huge sanitation and public cleanliness problems, through vast public awareness campaigns calling on citizens to pull up fellow Indians for littering or defecating in the open.Some argue that the campaign has become overzealous and ill-mannered.In one recent controversial incident, a Bollywood actress shamed a Mumbai resident for littering. “Why are you throwing plastic on the road?” she is seen asking, in a video posted online by her husband, India’s national cricket captain Virat Kohli.The man replied in a Facebook post, decrying Anushka Sharma’s behavior. “The garbage that mistakenly went out of the window of my luxury car… was way less then the garbage that came out from your mouth,” he said.The man has reportedly served the actress with a legal notice.(c) 2018, The Washington Post Related ItemsEnvironmentMumbaiPollutionlast_img read more

Every Generation Gets The Beach Villain It Deserves

first_imgIt sounds simple. For nearly a decade, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has been fighting in court to keep the public off a piece of beach that abuts his property on the Pacific coast. What could be more familiar than another case of rich Californian versus the oceangoing citizenry?But the first thing you need to understand about this absurd war is that it did not begin with Khosla buying a beach house. Just south of Half Moon Bay, Khosla bought an entire beach village — forming a limited liability company that owned the land beneath about 47 cottages, and a little shop that at one point sold ice cream, and the only viable path to the sand.The next things to understand are that he bought the place on what he says was a whim, has never spent a single night there, and regrets it enormously.And the last thing — given that the case has wound itself to the Supreme Court and could upend one of California’s most sacred promises to its citizens — is that Khosla is willing to keep litigating this for the rest of his life and has about $3 billion to spend on it.Tech billionaire Vinod Khosla at home in Menlo Park, Calif., Aug. 23, 2018. Khosla bought a 53-acre hillside oceanfront property in 2008 known as Martin’s Beach, and is now in the middle of a legal battle that could change how California governs its shoreline.Photo: Anastasiia Sapon/The New York TimesOver the years, successive California titans have come up against the vexing fact that the beach cannot be privatized. The state constitution establishes that property below the mean tide line belongs to the public, and the Coastal Act of 1976 enshrines this, mandating that public access be maximized consistent with (and here is the tricky part) “constitutionally protected rights of private property owners.” Khosla, through his LLC, is being sued by a nonprofit called the Surfrider Foundation over the matter of whether a permit is needed to block the road, and the thrust of his defense is that his property rights are being violated.If every generation in California gets the beach villain it deserves — if the producer David Geffen’s battle in Malibu at the turn of the century epitomized the last, Hollywood-based era of wealth creation — then Khosla is the sandy antagonist of the digital age.Geffen, humiliated in the press and shamed by his community, eventually gave up his fight. But Khosla, who by co-founding Sun Microsystems cemented his place in history as an inventor of the commercial internet, seems immune to criticism. Almost since the day in 2008 that he bought the 53-acre hillside known as Martin’s Beach, he has been in court, enduring attacks from multiple parties and crashing through obstacles using every legal tool available. He is driven by an almost manic belief that things must be done right and must be done fair. And somewhere along the line, the state of California triggered him.Now, by dint of his character, which ticks all the major boxes of the venture capitalist archetype — aggressive, shameless, obsessive and optimistic — Khosla could disrupt the entire California coastal system. The stakes are both enormous and hilariously low.If he wins, he could reshape the laws that govern 1,100 miles of shore. And if he loses, all he would be forced to do is apply for a permit to change the hours of operation on a single gate. The legal volleys would undoubtedly continue; Californians do not easily give up a good surf spot. But the last person against whom to wage a war of attrition is Vinod Khosla.‘If This Hadn’t Ever Started, I’d Be So Happy’The tea awaits Khosla on a bright purple leather coaster. The glass walls of the conference room at Khosla Ventures, his investment firm, are the same shade. The banister, too, the sofa downstairs, a hose cord outside, all that exact purple.Khosla is on time. He’s 63 years old and thin, with close-cropped white hair, and when he pops into his chair, he has no interest in small talk. We already know each other. Khosla is loath to give interviews about Martin’s Beach and it is certainly not in his best interest to do so given that I have told him for years that he is making a fool of himself with this beach, a place he does not even like, and that his quest offends me, a native Californian.But now Khosla wants to tell his side. He wants me to know that he is right. And where some shy from conflict, Khosla seeks it, almost destructively. So he invited me to his purple lair.“A billionaire is a bad word in this country now,” he said as his tea cooled. “And that pains me.”Khosla has no public relations team, no one sitting in the corner eyeing us — and in Silicon Valley, there always is. Bad publicity, he says, cannot compel him to do anything he does not want to do.He is wearing black jeans and white-soled slip-on walking shoes. He keeps his body open, friendly, leaning forward, sometimes swaying a bit. He holds long eye contact even as he is moving. He hops out of his chair frequently. Sometimes he feigns ignorance of what all the fuss is about.“I’ve never claimed people can’t come in from the ocean,” he says, seeming to suggest they swim around a rocky promontory. (“No, not death,” he says, when I call later to clarify. “Boats.”)Surfing groups argue that the beach should be accessible to the public, but Vinod Khosla has been fighting the issue in court.Photo: Anastasiia Sapon/The New York TimesKhosla says he does not even want to triumph. “If I were to ever win in the Supreme Court, I’d be depressed about it,” he says. “I support the Coastal Act. I don’t want to weaken it by winning. But property rights are even more important.”He does not want the beach at all, really. He does not swim. For fun, he hikes.“I mean, look, to be honest, I do wish I’d never bought the property,” Khosla says. “In the end, I’m going to end up selling it.”“If this hadn’t ever started, I’d be so happy,” he adds. “But once you’re there in principle, you can’t give up principle.” He frames the struggle in the Silicon Valley patois of contrarianism. “I’d rather do the right hard things now that I’m in,” he says, “than the wrong easy things.”An Old-School AgitatorEarly in his career, with Sun and then Juniper Networks, Khosla helped build the foundation of personal computing and global connectivity. But in more recent years, he has fashioned a new image as Silicon Valley’s agitator.He does not golf with the other venture capitalists. He does not go to the Rosewood, their luxury hotel watering hole. He says food slows him down, so most days he fasts till dinner. His version of the inspirational Stanford Business School talk was to tell a class of 400 people that fewer than 5 percent of them were going to do relevant things in the end. He has said repeatedly that most venture capitalists are harmful to companies.“This is why I get unpopular with other VCs,” he says. “Because I tell them they’re not adding any value.”Khosla’s bluntness makes it difficult to find people who take his side of the Martin’s Beach battle. Bring his name up around Sand Hill Road, the nexus of venture capital in Menlo Park, California, and people grimace. Email the friends he suggested you email, and the responses vary.“Vinod is deeply principled and therefore sometimes difficult to work with,” Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter and Square, wrote in an email. Khosla has been a mentor and adviser on both companies and is a frequent dining companion. (Dorsey also fasts until dinner.) “But that comes from a place of putting what he cares about above all else.”Khosla advocates truth-telling at every juncture, even if it is painful. He calls the book “Lying,” by Sam Harris, his philosophy for life. When he started Khosla Ventures in 2004, he put the phrase “I prefer brutal honesty to hypocritical politeness” on the website, and it has always been there. As an example, he brings up thank-you notes and how he instructs his longtime assistant, Ruthie, to handle them.“When somebody sends me a gift — I get a lot of gifts — I ask Ruthie to not say, ‘That was wonderful,’” he says. “If it wasn’t, I have her send a nice note back saying, ‘Thank you, that was very interesting.’”Khosla is obsessed with things being just right. He designed the penholder in one of Khosla Ventures’ conference rooms. He designed the door handles. He built the table. “We went through 12 manufacturing processes and this was a vertical machine wire brush of Douglas fir,” he says, rubbing his hands on it.The grass outside is fescue, and he chose it. There are flowers, and he picked every bulb. Khosla selected the species of bamboo that grows between them, and he designed the paper towel dispenser in the bathrooms.Shortly after he points out to me that there are no visible light switches in the building, we climb a set of stairs to the roof, and he jolts when he sees what looks like one of the accursed toggles. But the switch is just to open the glass ceiling, and we ascend to the prairie grass on the roof. (Fescue, thank God.)This obsessiveness actually works within Silicon Valley, where there is a culture of peculiar perfectionism. When technology executive Keith Rabois took a job as one of Khosla’s partners, he says, he did so in large part because of the whiteboards.“I walked in when I was interviewing, and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m in love,’” Rabois recalled. “I’ve tried to put whiteboards in offices for years, and they always don’t clean properly. But in our office, the whiteboards are immaculate. That alone makes me happy. And I knew I could work there every day.”The “beach issue,” as it is called internally at Khosla Ventures, has surprisingly not been a problem in the office. “It’s an incredible negotiating tool for me,” said Samir Kaul, another partner at Khosla Ventures.When a company was trying to “screw” the firm, Kaul brought up news articles about the beach at a meeting. “I said: ‘My boss is going to the Supreme Court for a beach he’s never gone to. We’re not posturing here. This guy’s not going to settle,’” Kaul said. “And then I just sat there.”‘It’s Really, Like, Wow’Khosla’s legal team now includes Paul Clement, the former U.S. solicitor general, who since 2000 has appeared before the Supreme Court in more cases than any other lawyer.His skills are being applied to a dispute that began with the most minor of directives. After buying Martin’s Beach, Khosla was told by the county that he had to either (a) keep open a road that the public used to get to the beach and not charge more than the 1972-era rate of $2 a car for parking, or (b) apply for a Coastal Development Permit to change access. He chose (c) neither and was sued by his fellow citizens.Khosla went on to sue the California Coastal Commission as an entity and its officers in their personal capacity. He sued the State Lands Commission and San Mateo County, and, again, its officers. He alleged extortion and infringement of his rights. In his view, the government was forcing him to operate a money-losing parking business. In one legal maneuver, he traced the property back to the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo between the United States and Mexico, claiming it supersedes the Coastal Act.Khosla won, and for a time closed the gate across the beach road. California’s Legislature and governor stepped in to reopen the beach by passing and signing into law legislation to thwart Khosla. This move required purchasing an easement from him; the State Lands Commission estimated the cost at $360,000, but Khosla estimated at one point that his loss of privacy was worth at least $30 million. The parties remain at an impasse, and in June, California passed a budget that included language about using eminent domain to take the road if Khosla does not agree to a price.After a decade’s worth of billable hours, those in legal combat with Khosla are somewhat awed by his determination.“All he had to do was apply for a permit to change the gate hours,” said Angela Howe, legal director at the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates beach access causes and is Khosla’s primary antagonist. “It’s really, like, wow,” she said. “Now, if the Supreme Court takes it up, it could rule about every coastal management program in the United States.”The low point in the conflict was probably in 2012. Khosla hired guards to stand by the beach access road near a “Do Not Enter” sign, and police arrested some surfers who hopped over the closed gate. Here was this peculiar billionaire. There were the charismatic surfers. Arrested, they became The Martin’s Five. (The charges against them were ultimately dropped.)Kaul said that the forces arranged against his colleague simply do not comprehend how much flak he will absorb in his quest to win.“Here’s the thing about Vinod,” Kaul said. “He just doesn’t care.”‘You Could Say He’s Principled’Khosla was born in Pune, India, in 1955 and grew up the middle-class son of an army officer. He says his parents accepted his personality early on, though they also learned he could be a liability.“The priests would effectively say, ‘If you donate this much money, God will bless you.’ How crooked is that? If I ran into a priest, I’d say, ‘Oh, you’re a crook,’” Khosla says, recalling being 12 years old.After a master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business, he founded the electronic design company Daisy Systems and then, in 1982, Sun Microsystems. The company sold servers and workstations and created Java, the programming language that formed the foundation for much of today’s internet. Later, Khosla nurtured the creation of Juniper Networks, which built the routers and switches upon which the internet flourished.He became a hero of the political left last decade after investing early and heavily in clean technology and by funding efforts in biofuel, energy storage and solar. Some of his bets succeeded; others failed spectacularly. He has continued to support and invest in eco-friendly startups.His life plan now is to “reinvent societal infrastructure.” He has recently gotten interested in the YIMBY movement, a pro-real estate development cause that stands for “yes in my backyard.” Khosla wants to 3D-print houses for the homeless to be installed above parking lots. He sketches this for me on one of the perfect whiteboards.He wants people to think bigger, he says. Meanwhile, at Martin’s Beach, he is pursuing a scorched-earth campaign around whether a gate needs a permit. In February, Khosla petitioned the Supreme Court to rule on his case, citing the First Amendment and also the Fifth (the takings clause) and 14th (his right to due process). The justices are now deciding whether to hear the case.One recent cold summer Sunday, the rusty gate stood open. A few yards down, someone was collecting $10 from incoming cars. The cottages of Martin’s Beach have windows that are thick with salt from the air; some of the houses are small and modest, with peeling paint, and others are more fixed up. The decks were full of barbecues, wicker furniture and driftwood art.David Pasternak, 66, was at home making smoked salmon. “If the Supreme Court wants to take the case, they want to go after the California Coastal Act,” said Pasternak, whose family bought the cabin in 1960. “And that’s a very serious thing.”He took a sip of pour-over coffee. “What prompted California to pass the Coastal Act was so we didn’t end up like the East Coast — miles and miles without access to the water,” he said. “We live in a different country here.”On some level, Pasternak admires Khosla’s conviction.“He’s become the caricature of the rich guy trying to keep people out, and that gives the Coastal Commission a lot of pleasure,” Pasternak said. But, he added, “I don’t think he’s doing this for money. I really don’t think he’s doing this out of greed.“All they said was he has to apply for a permit, and he says, ‘(Expletive) you, I’m not going to apply at all,’” Pasternak said. “It’s kind of — I mean, he’s awfully sure of himself. You could say he’s principled.”Part of Khosla’s original argument was that Martin’s Beach was seldom used. The spot has become more popular as the case has gotten publicity, but on some days it resembles a ghost town. On a recent visit, the shop was long abandoned, with a rusty door handle that barely sat in its socket.Pasternak occasionally gets a knock at his door from beachgoers asking to use the bathroom. The one down at the beach collapsed in a storm. Khosla was ordered to open the gate, but no one said anything about running water.Martin’s Beach. Photo: Anastasiia Sapon/The New York TimesA Legacy, Large and SmallKhosla knows that Martin’s Beach has now become part of his legacy — a thing that could make the first paragraph or two of his obituary, up there with helping to birth the internet — but this does not make him want to yield. I ask him why he lets a patch of sand take so much of his day.“It doesn’t, and I don’t spend any time on it,” he says. “Like, I’ve spent zero time on it, and I’m not doing press interviews.”And yet I’m across from him. He begins a diatribe about reporters, something I have heard from him before. “My critique of The New York Times is it’s all the news we want to print, fit or not. And. . . .” This goes on.Later, Khosla emails me. He wants to summarize what is important to him. It is 2,500 words. I am surprised that so much of it is about his failures.“I feel I could do the right thing much more caringly and with humility in a much more considerate tone if I could do it over again,” he writes. Well — to an extent. This is Vinod Khosla, after all. “I’d still mostly do the same thing.”© New York Times 2018 Related ItemsCaliforniaIndian AmericanVinod Khoslalast_img read more

Hockey India announces cash reward for Champions Trophy silver medallists

first_imgHockey India (HI) on Saturday announced cash awards for the Indian men’s team after the historic silver medal winning show in the Champions Trophy.Immediately after the medal presentation, Hockey India President Narender Batra went to the dressing room and announced the rewards.”Australia did well to win the title, but for me you too are winners today,” said Batra soon after the Champions Trophy jury had rejected India’s appeal against a shoot-out infringement.”It is a proud moment for all of us. The way the team has played against World Champions Australia is commendable. I congratulate the players, the coaches and the support staff for their hard work and dedication.”I believe we are on the right track for road to Rio,” he added.India lost 1-3 in the shootout to world champions Australia after the summit clash remained goalless in regulation time.Batra announced that each player and the chief coach would receive Rs. two lakh, while the remaining support staff shall be given Rs. one lakh.Young defender Harmanpreet Singh, who was adjudged the youth player of the tournament, will get an additional Rs. one lakh as reward.last_img read more

MCC approves introduction of Lord’s ODI honours boards for both genders

first_imgWomen will feature at the honours board of The Lord’s after the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) approved the decision to introduce an ODI honours boards for both men’s and women’s cricketers.For years, players who take a five-wicket haul or score a century in a Test match at the iconic cricket stadium have had their names written on the famous board in the players’ dressing rooms.The development means that England women pacer Anya Shrubsole’s match-winning haul of 6-46 in the ICC Women’s World Cup final against India on July 23 will feature when the new boards are installed.ESPNcricinfo quoted MCC’s chief executive Derek Brewer as saying that the club is planning to add the new board to recognise the exemplary feats of cricketers in the 50-over format.”We are looking into an honours board in one-day cricket for everybody,” Brewer said.”There are some practical issues we have to address first, such as where it will be situated and how long back in time we go but it is certainly on our minds and an ODI honours board for both men and women would be the way forward,” he added.Following the success of the widely watched final which saw a full-house on Sunday, Gerald Corbett, the club’s chairman said that “Lord’s is changing”.”We are much more open than we were. As the game changes we have to be at the heart of all those changes, whether it is T20, one day or women’s cricket because we are the home of cricket,” Corbett told cricket.com.au.advertisement’The Home of Cricket’, which only started admitting female members in 1999, has often been criticised in the past for discriminatory rules and policies towards women.last_img read more

4 Tips to Avoid Becoming a Consumer Lost Cause

first_imgHas an organization or university offered you an opportunity with a stipend? Whether it’s an internship or apprenticeship, a stipend is a set amount of money that helps offset living expenses. This fixed amount is financial support provided while you’re… Full Story,Truth is, there is a lot to be excited about when it comes to college: new friends, a new routine, (college parties!), and more independence. But along with all these perks, it’s also time to start thinking about your finances…. Full Story,A routing number is a unique number that identifies a specific banking institution. Each routing number is made up of nine digits. Routing numbers are sometimes referred to as an American Banker’s Association routing transit number or an ABA RTN…. Full Story,It’s stressful enough having a car loan over your head and staying on top of your monthly payments. But what if you have an upside-down car loan — in other words, the amount you owe on your set of wheels… Full Story,When you’re trying to get your financial house in order, it’s easy to get lost in the specifics. You might stress about how to adjust your budget, where to find some extra cash for the holidays or what funds to… Full Story,Shortly after graduating from New York University with a Master’s degree, Melanie Lockert turned to food stamps, as she worked her way out of $81,000 in student loans. “There were a lot of emotions around carrying that debt. It caused… Full Story,Traveling is one of the best things in life, and luckily, low funds don’t have to dash your dreams of enjoying an epic adventure. A wealth of destinations—both in the U.S. and abroad—are so affordable that even hardcore penny pinchers… Full Story,While we don’t yet have flying cars that collapse to the size of a suitcase, pneumatic tubes that transport us from room to room or machines that automatically bathe and clothe us in the morning, every day we’re getting closer… Full Story,Times have changed since Grams and Gramps were your age, looking to settle down and buy their first home. But today the house with the white picket fence—or that trendy loft in downtown—isn’t completely out of the question if you… Full Story,We recently hosted a Twitter chat as part of our #RealTalkSeries. And let’s just say, things definitely got real. Many of you joined us to discuss “taboo” and cringe-worthy money questions such as how to improve a bad credit score,… Full Storylast_img read more

6 Tips To Not Get Ripped Off When Buying SEO Services

first_img Internet marketing is becoming an increasingly important way for businesses to reach their best prospects. However, the industry is still relatively new and it can often be hard to find the right professionals to help you. 1. Were you cold called by the person offering you services? The above article was written in collaboration with If you’ve recently hired (or considered hiring) an internet marketing consultant, would love to read your experiences in the comments. I think increasing transparency and raising the overall level of awareness is a good thing. Topics: 2. Are Their Own Search Rankings Misleading? . If they can’t find clients for themselves, what makes you believe they can help your business find clients? 3. Who is actually going to do the work? In search engine optimization for example, a lot of companies will operate as a sales operation in the US and have a bunch of people in India, Philippines or any other developing country with relatively low labor costs. Not that you can’t get quality work out of these countries, you can. But because you can never talk to the people who actually do the work , it is difficult to monitor the quality. Also, a lot of offshore SEO work tends to indulge in practices which Google frowns upon, endangering your site with a complete ban or penalty. You may have heard the term black hat and white hat search engine optimizers. “Black hat” is a broad term for those practices that do not follow search engine guidelines and use tricks to coerge the search engines to rank content that would not otherwise (and should not otherwise) rank. Over the long-term, black hat practices rarely work. For small businesses, it’s almost always a bad idea to try black hat approaches — you will be out-gunned at best and penalized or banned at worst. [For more on this topic, read ” “] 5. Never trust a guarantee SEO Silly Rabbit, Tricks are for Black Hat SEOs 4. Talk to the person who will work on your project. 7 Signs You Should Run Screaming From An SEO Consultant Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Like most industries, the Internet Marketing industry has its fair share of scam artists and poor performers with a slick sales message. Here are a few pointers to help you understand if the guy with the shiny suite and white smile is worth your time and money.. For more tips on picking an SEO consultant, read ” 6. Stay away from black hat SEOs Like talking to the garage mechanic, an SEO professional can easily confuse you with language that does not explain things. This does not have to be the case. It is perfectly reasonable to be expected to be spoken to using common English. Some shady characters will like to use big and complicated terms like “Latent Semantic Indexing” to baffle you into thinking they know what they are talking about. Do not feel stupid because you have to ask questions. Ask lots of questions and make sure you speak to the person who is actually going to work on your project. , a social media marketing expert. If so, huge black mark. I don’t care what they are promising, but if they have to cold call to get clients they are probably not that good. The reason is there is a shortage of savvy internet marketers and anyone who is any good does not need to cold call. Internet marketers should be good at, ahem, marketing Originally published Dec 10, 2007 11:17:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Lyndon Antcliff What some companies do is to drive rankings for a few keywords with a significant investment in ‘paid links. It costs a lot of money, but if it gets them to number one in the search rankings, they can then use that to impress prospective clients. They can do this over and over recouping the cost of the paid links by way of increased sales and billing rates. So, If they only show you one site and after investigation you find out it is their own, and ranks for just a few key terms, beware. Some level of paid-link driven optimization is fine, but that shouldn’t be their only approach. If a search marketing professional guarantees you a #1 spot on Google for any keyword, end the conversation and show them the door. The only company who gets to decide whether or not you rank number one in Google is Google. There are many factors which go into the search results page and only a limited number of them are actually in the hands of your search marketing professional. What you want is not a gurantee of rankings, but credible assurances that they have the experience and expertise needed — and that they will actually spend time and energy on your project. “.last_img read more

Focus on Fitness

first_imgDespite suffering injuries every year since he first broke out with a silver medal at the 2010 Youth Olympics, World No. 11 shuttler HS Prannoy has attained the status of India’s second-best men’s singles player and the reason behind is his never-give-up attitude.During the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, he suffered an ankle injury and doctor advised him complete rest. He was out of action for five months and the 26-year-old is now leaving no stone unturned in regaining his hundred per cent fitness before the Asian Games start. The shuttler is also focusing on a good show in upcoming World Championship, starting from July 30 in Nanjing, China to boost his confidence.”I have had very intense training sessions for the last 10 days. I am not really at my 100 per cent at the moment,” Prannoy told Mail Today from Hyderabad.”I just started playing with Indonesian Open and I hardly had any time to prepare for it. I will be playing in the World Championship and hope to perform well there and to be at the best of my ability before the Asian Games.”Talking about the competitive level at the Asiad, Prannoy said he is preparing to endure a tough challenge from the word go as there are no easy matches there.”I will say it’s even much tougher than World Championship, where you have to play tough games from the first round itself because Asian players are really strong to deal with. The good thing is I have played in Asian Badminton Championship this year (where he lost to Chen Long in the semi-finals), which I believe has same competitive level as Asian Games,” said the protege of Pullela Gopichand.advertisementPrannoy also mentioned the unique trouble that shuttlers have to face at the Asiad with Istora Gelora Bung Karno Badminton court’s draft – small wind from a certain direction from the hall or stadium – in Jakarta.”The draft inside the stadium is very tough to manage in Jakarta. It’s good that I played in the Indonesian Open this year, so it should give me an idea about how the draft is going to be during the Asian Games. But there’s nothing much you can do with a draft because you don’t do much practice with the draft. You have to go out there and really get adjusted to it in the first match itself,” he explained.Prannoy also expressed his sadness for world No. 2 Lee Chong Wei for not making it to the Asiad due to health issues. However, he added it won’t affect the level of competition in Jakarta.”It’s actually unfortunate that he [Chong Wei] has to pull out because of health issues but I think Asian Games is a very strong competition where one player withdrawal won’t really affect the competitive level of the tournament. Top players from China, Japan and Korea are always going to pose a challenge,” he said.Speaking about his own performance in recent times, Prannoy said he cherishes being called a giant killer but don’t want to be content with that tag.”It’s good because people are noticing your performance when you beat big players. And it feels good too because I always try to perform at best of my caliber and that has resulted in me beating some big names but I have lost too some of the lesser-ranked players. However I don’t just want to beat big names but also win big things too,” said the Hyderabad-based shuttler.last_img read more

Asian Games 2018: 16-year-old Saurabh Chaudhary shoots for gold with record score

first_imgIndia clinched its third gold medal at the ongoing Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta as shooter Saurabh Chaudhary created a new Games record to win the men’s 10m air pistol event on Tuesday.16-year-old Saurabh finished on top with a Games record score of 240.7 to clinch the gold medal ahead of Japan’s Tomoyuki Matsuda (239.7).The bronze medal went to Saurabh’s compatriot Abhishek Verma who recorded a score of 219.3. He had finished sixth during the qualification round.Asian Games 2018 Day 3 Live UpdatesThis is India’s third gold medal and first in shooting. With 7 medals (3 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze), India are now placed 7th in the medals tally at the ongoing Games. India jumped to the 7th spot in the medals tally after Saurabh Chaudhary’s shooting gold (India Today Photo)Matsuda and Saurabh had pulled away for the gold medal battle with points of 220.1 and 220.5 respectively as Abhishek was eliminated with 219.3 points after eight series.Matsuda, 42, was leading the charge going into the ninth and final series having led after each of the series. But in the final series, he came up with first shot score of 8.9 to blow his chances as Saurabh overtook him with a 10.2 in his first shot of the series.In the second shot of the series, Matsuda scored 10.3 but Saurabh did well with 10.4 to seal the title.At the beginning, Saurabh, who topped the qualifications after a score of 586, began his finals with a 50.6 in the opening five-shot series. In the second five-shot series, he scored 50.8 to take his total to 101.4, while Matsuda had 103.3 in total at this point of time.advertisementIn the third series, a two-shot round, Saurabh scored 18.6. He then produced scores of 19.4, 20.0, 20.6, 20.2 to have a total of 200.2 at the end of seven series when Matsuda and Saurabh totalled 201.3 and 199.7 respectively as the top three places were determined.In the eighth series, Saurabh, Matsuda and Abhishek got scores of 19.9, 19.2 and 19.6 as the latter was eliminated.The drama unfolded in the final series, with Matsuda coming up with his worst shot of the entire final round to give the advantage to Saurabh, who grabbed the opportunity with both hands.News Flash: 3rd GOLD Medal for India guys….. via 16 yr old Saurabh Chaudhary in 10m Air Pistol event. yupeeeeeeeee #AsianGames2018 pic.twitter.com/QxfNwST7dgIndia@AsianGames2018 (@India_AllSports) August 21, 2018Saurabh has been in terrific form this year after having set a new world record in the 10m air pistol event at the ISSF Junior World Cup in June.Back then Saurabh had shot a total of 243.7 in the 10m air pistol event and won a gold medal in the International Shooting Sport Federation tournament.16 years. Very first Asian Games. AND A MEDAL.The INCREDIBLY talented #SaurabhChaudhary has truly arrived! WELL DONE, young man! Proud of you! #AsianGames2018 #IndiaAtAsianGames pic.twitter.com/JTyBz1QgiGRajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) August 21, 2018Saurabh, who earned the eighth gold medal for India in the prestigious meet, ended the eight-man final with a score of 243.7 after 24 shots, 4.1 points clear of Korean shooter Lim Hojin (239.6), who won the silver.In December last year, Saurabh had qualified for the Youth Olympics Games with a gold medal and a junior world record at Asia Youth Olympics Games qualification. He had shot 243.1 in the final then.(With agency inputs)last_img read more

How to Showcase Your Work Using LinkedIn’s ‘Professional Portfolio’ Feature [Quick Tip]

first_img Topics: We’ve all heard the expression, “You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?”This idiom means a lot, particularly when it comes to proving your worth in the job market. Interviewers are constantly brainstorming new and unique questions for evaluating a candidate’s true potential, and while LinkedIn was once a great place for discovering such value, it quickly became another place where folks talked the talk … but didn’t necessarily walk the walk.The LinkedIn Professional PortfolioBut all of that is behind them now. With LinkedIn’s fairly new professional portfolio feature, launched back in May, LinkedIn users can now easily display their professional work via their personal profiles. This means you now have ability to showcase your presentations, ebooks, blog posts, videos, portfolios (or any work really) right on your profile. The idea is to give users the opportunity to display their work rather than just talk about it. Here’s an example from HubSpotter Rachel Sprung’s profile. As you can see, Rachel is able to actually show off the work she alludes to in the description of her current position. How to Begin Showcasing Your Value on LinkedInSo how can you start taking advantage of this awesome feature?To start, head over to your LinkedIn profile, and next to any module or position on your personal profile you’ll see a small square image with a plus sign on it. Click this to either upload a file or add a link to your work.If you don’t see this option on your profile, head here and click the blue “display your work” button.For the purposes of this tutorial, I’m going to add a link to my work under my current LinkedIn position at HubSpot. As shown in the below graphic, you’ll be asked to enter a URL and provide a description for that link. LinkedIn will automatically pull in an image for the work. In this case, it’s pulling an image from my most recent blog post.Voila! This link is now proudly showcased on my profile, right under recommendations. Now when someone comes to my profile, they can read what I have to offer … or see what I have to offer.TIP: Use the “Title” space to describe the work you’re placing on your profile, rather than using the generic title of the website link that LinkedIn populates. Examine the difference between the two below:Why You Should Take Advantage of LinkedIn’s New Portfolio FeatureNow that you know how to easily add your work to your LinkedIn profile, let’s talk about why it’s pretty sweet.Take Advantage of the Visual Content RevolutionLet’s start with the obvious. Social networks are getting increasingly more visual. With Facebook acquiring Instagram, LinkedIn acquiring SlideShare, and Twitter launching Vine, it’s clear that social thrives on visual content. With the introduction of this new feature, individuals can now easily share their work with the world. And this isn’t just limited to creative types; the option to share a link (as we saw above) opens a whole new array of opportunities for marketers and content creators to showcase their work and promote their business’ content. Marketers, designers, writers, architects, artists, and the like can now make better use of LinkedIn to showcase their core work and stand out from other job seekers. It can also benefit recruiters who are seeking top notch talent.Give Your SlideShare Content Greater ReachSlideShare has quickly become an effective channel for promoting visual content, and marketers are finding various ways to capitalize on popularity of the site. Considering LinkedIn’s acquisition of SlideShare, it only makes sense that the professional network would seek to integrate visual presentations more seamlessly with its core site, and now users have the ability to prominently display those SlideShare presentations on their LinkedIn Profiles (as Rachel did in our first example). Take advantage of it! What other benefits do you think LinkedIn’s portfolios feature has for users? Originally published Jul 18, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 LinkedIn Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Reminder: 30-Day Blog Challenge Begins January 2

first_img Topics: Blogging Advice By now you’re probably just about to sign out of your email and get ready for that New Year’s party. But before you go, just a quick reminder about what’s coming up in the New Year …On January 2, the 30-Day Blog Challenge will begin. We are challenging everyone to committo blogging more in January to increase traffic to your blog.Why should you join the challenge?Glad you asked.Companies who blog the most have a chance to be profiled on the HubSpot blog, which has more than 1.5 million readers a month.Winning companies will receive a complimentary ticket to INBOUND 2014To prove that you can!How do you enter?Start blogging!Submit your blog URL on this page at the beginning of the month.We will be in touch toward the end of the month to gather metrics and other information about how your blogging improved.Winner(s) will be rewarded in February.Happy New Year, and Happy Blogging!What are you doing to prepare for the 30-Day Blog Challenge? 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 Dec 31, 2013 3:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

How to Answer 11 Common Marketing Questions Using Analytics

first_img Marketing Analytics Topics: 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 Jun 29, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated August 29 2017 When it comes time to assess your marketing efforts, it’s not uncommon for you to run into a ton of questions.How are your contacts trending month over month? Was the time you spent creating social media graphics for that campaign worth it? And what about your email marketing efforts? How are those stacking up against your paid initiatives? So many questions, so little time …And while it’s easy to get lost in a mess of reports and numbers when you go looking for answers, it doesn’t have to be that way. To save you some time, we’ve put together a list of common marketing questions that you can answer with your analytics alongside tips on how to arrive at the answers you’ve been searching for.Do you know which inbound marketing metrics you should be tracking? Click here for a free guide.We’re going to walk through how to uncover this information using the HubSpot software, but if you have another marketing or analytics software, you should be able to take a similar approach.How to Get the Answers to These 11 Common Marketing Questions Using Analytics1) How many contacts were created from a specific campaign?In order to successfully track the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, you’ll need to start by setting goals for how many visits, contacts, and customers you want to generate. You can even get more specific and set goals for how many visits, contacts, and customers you want generated from different aspects of the campaign such as social media, email marketing, or your blog. For tips on how to set marketing goals for your campaign, check out our free smart goals template.When the campaign has completed, compare your goals against your results. This will help you figure out what you should expect from future campaigns and assess whether or not you ran a successful campaign.If you use HubSpot’s Campaigns App, you will be able to see this information at the top of your campaign dashboard. From here, you can dig into the metrics of specific assets within the campaign to figure out what worked for your company and what you need to improve on for the future.2) How many contacts is my blog generating?After you produce content for your blog, it is important to figure out if you are actually generating contacts as a result. You’ll also want to determine what types of content are working well in terms of topics, blog titles, formatting, and promotion. To do this in HubSpot, you need to run an Attribution Report broken down by Referrer and Last Interaction. This report will show you the content that your contacts viewed before going to a landing page and converting. To begin your analysis, simply filter the report to just focus on blog posts. As mentioned before, you can do similar analyses in other analytics tools such as Google Analytics. For additional tips on how to measure your blog’s performance, we put together a blog post that goes through how to run a blog lead generation analysis.3) What actions did specific contacts take on my site before becoming a customer?As marketers, part of our job is to figure out the path that our contacts take on their journey to becoming a customer. We want to find trends or patterns in this path in and effort to decrease the time it takes for someone to go from being a contact to a customer. We also want to figure out the key pieces of content that someone needs to hit on our site before converting. By uncovering this type of specific information, we can then find creative ways to present that content earlier on in the contact to customer journey. In order to do this, you need a way to see this journey and understand everything that someone is interacting with from the moment they come to your site until they become a customer. You need to understand what emails they opened and clicked, what blog posts they read, and what pages they interacted with on your website.In HubSpot you can do all of this through the contact timeline. This display allows you to dive into each individual contact separately to generate a better understanding of the steps they’ve taken towards becoming a customer so that you can make more informed decisions when creating and distributing content. 4) What are my most popular blog posts?In order to determine you most popular posts, you’ll need to figure out which ones are driving the most traffic. This is an important metric to understand because not every blog visitor is going to convert after reading one post. In fact, most businesses find that they need to generate a ton of initial traffic to their blog posts before they can begin to generate and measure conversions. In HubSpot you can see this information on the Blog Dashboard. This will give you an overview of how may visits your blog has generated in the current month, as well as the total views your most recent blog articles have generated. If you want to see more of your blog posts — and how much traffic they generated — you can go into the published tab to view the total number of visits from each blog post. 5) What website content is converting the most leads?Blog posts aren’t the only pieces of content that get people to convert on your website. In fact, your home page, about us page, product pages, and landing pages also play a huge role in driving conversions throughout your website.Identifying these key pages serves as an important step in figuring out what pages you should use to nurture your contacts. For example, if you know that before someone becomes a customer, they always look at your product page, you should make sure they see that page as early as possible in their customer journey.You can uncover this data in HubSpot by running an Attribution Report. Simply create a report based on the URL and All interactions to see the most valuable pages that people are interacting with on your website. Once you’ve identified these pages, you can then make sure that they are being seen early and often by your website visitors by adjusting their placement. 6) What marketing channels are generating the most contacts?Whenever you run a campaign, it’s important to make note of how many contacts each specific element — email, social, paid, organic search, direct traffic — generated. This information is key in figuring out where you should focus your team’s efforts. If you see that you are putting a lot of time and effort into your email marketing, but it isn’t generating many contacts, you may need to rethink your email strategy or focus on another channel that is turning up more contacts.If you do not have HubSpot, you can use tracking URLs to keep track of where your contacts are coming from. However, if you do use HubSpot, there’s a handy Sources Report that will show you which marketing channels are producing the most contacts. This serves as a quick and easy way to analyze the performance of your channels.7) What marketing channels have the highest contact to customer conversion rate?Generating contacts from your campaigns is important, but ensuring that those contacts are high quality is even more important. That’s where the contact-to-customer conversion rate comes in. This number will show the percent of contacts that are converting into paying customers. And while lead generation is important, if they are not turning into customers, your efforts may be better used elsewhere.Let’s say you’ve found that email marketing has generated 5,187 contacts, and referrals have generated 2,227 contacts. However, the contact-to-customer conversion rate for email marketing is .1% while it is .8% for referrals. Even though you are generating more contacts with your email marketing efforts, you are generating a higher conversion rate from referrals. And that’s what matters.If you are a HubSpot customer, you can easily find this information in your Sources Report.8) How many contacts do I have in each persona?One of the most important steps you need to take is figuring out your buyer personas. By doing this you will be able to determine what type of marketing works best for different segments of your database so that you can target your audience with messages that are more relevant to their interests and needs.After you figure out who your personas are (and segment your database with this information), you can then begin to adapt your marketing. This will require you to not only send different emails to different personas, but also employ more specific lead nurturing resources based on what you know about each segment. No matter what marketing software you use, it is important to make sure each contact in your database has a property associated with them that indicates what persona they belong to. This will make it easier for you to segment by this information in the future.If you are using HubSpot you can do this right from the Personas App in the Dashboard. Not only will this app will help you figure out who belongs to what persona, but it will also make sure that whenever someone new comes to your website and converts into a contact, they are tagged with a specific persona. 9) How much revenue did my company generate this month?Throughout the month it is important to track how much revenue your company is generating to see if you are ahead of goal, behind, or on track. Typically this is done in your CRM, but you may also be able to do it in your marketing software.Keeping tabs on this information will help you understand how your marketing efforts are translating into actual revenue generated for the company. Once you uncover this information, you can then use it to determine where you should focus your marketing efforts for the next month.If you are a HubSpot customer, you can do this in either a Contacts or a Companies Report. If you are a B2C company, use the Contacts Report. If you are a B2B company, use the Companies Report. Once you pull up the appropriate report, you can then easily visualize how you are trending toward your monthly revenue goals using the graph.10) How do I see my blog subscriber growth over time?An important element of growing your blog is increasing the number of subscribers. This is because more subscribers often translate to a more consistent source of traffic to your blog. Not to mention, these subscribers may even begin to refer additional traffic to your blog over time.To keep track of subscriber growth, you’ll want to monitor the number of new subscribers in a given time period based on the subscriber form you have on your blog or website. If you are a HubSpot customer you can do this right in the Blog Dashboard. Simply mouse over to the Subscribers tab, and you will see how your subscribers are trending from one month to another.11) How are we tracking toward our monthly contacts goal?Most marketers have a monthly contact number that they are measured on, and how you are trending toward that goal can determine how many campaigns you may need to run in a given month. If you find that you’re way below the goal and in danger of not hitting it, you may need to add in a few extra campaigns or additional blog posts to help you get your numbers up.If you are a HubSpot customer, you can insert goal tracking into your Contacts Report graph to monitor if you are ahead, on track, or behind your goal.What other marketing questions do you have? Let us know in the comments section below.last_img read more

India vs Australia: Justin Langer sees the funny side of Kohli-Paine banter

first_imgVirat Kohli, who has been panned by former cricketers for his heated war of words with Australian skipper Tim Paine, found support from an unexpected quarter.Australia coach Justin Langer, charged with reshaping the team after the ball-tampering scandal, felt there was nothing wrong with the ‘banter’ between Virat Kohli and Tim Paine on days 3 and 4 of the second Test at the spanking new Perth Stadium.Langer, in fact, said he enjoyed the confrontation between the Indian and Australian captains. Ironically, he had criticised Virat Kohli’s wicket celebrations in Perth and reckoned Australians would be the worst blokes in the world if they celebrated like Kohli.With his first Test win as coach under his belt, Langer saw the humour to what looked like an ugly scene between Kohli and Paine.”I thought it was brilliant. As the two captains and they’re trying to stamp their authority on the game and I don’t think at any point there was any abuse or any real aggression to it,” Langer told ‘Fox Cricket’.”In fact there was a bit of humour and there’s been a lot of talk about banter. There’s got to be some in a Test match. It’s a great part of the game, and there was actually a bit of humour, a bit of Aussie humour as well.”That’s what we pride ourselves on we’ve got a bad reputation in a lot of ways, but when there’s a bit of humour in it I thought it was a good exchange,” he said.advertisementKohli and Paine almost collided with each other and had to be separated by the umpire. At one point, Tim Paine called Kohli big head – overall, it was not a pleasant sight to many. However, Langer felt there was nothing malicious about the incident.”I think the days of Dennis Lillee and Javed Miandad are gone. I think Andrew Symonds did it to a spectator one day, it was one of the best shirt-fronts you’ve ever seen in your life, but I can’t ever imagine that in the environment we’re now in with so many cameras,” he said.”It’d be absolutely silly for that to happen. That’s not cricket. They (Paine and Kohli) got close, but in a lot of ways it’s not a contact sport. We get that, but it was all part of that theatre of Test cricket and I didn’t see anything malicious in that.”Back home, senior Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah termed Kohli the world’s worst-behaved player. Former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar said Kohli needed to be a lot more responsible as captain while Sunil Gavaskar said India started the sledging game in Australia and they now needed to be ready for copping some banter from the Aussies.Also Read | Virat Kohli did not boast to Tim Paine: BCCI refutes rumoursAlso Read | You seriously cannot like Virat Kohli as a bloke: Tim Paine tells Murali VijayAlso Read | Sanjay Manjrekar slams Virat Kohli’s on-field behaviour after spat with Painelast_img read more

World Cup 2019: India may deliberately lose to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to oust Pakistan, says Basit Ali

first_imgFormer Pakistan cricketer Basit Ali has claimed that India will “never want Pakistan” to make it to the semi-finals of the ongoing World Cup and that’s why the Men in Blue might perform badly and intentionally lose their matches against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.Pakistan journalist Saj Sadiq posted a video of Ali making these comments on a TV show on Pakistan-based channel Ary News before Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men defeated New Zealand by six wickets in Birmingham on Wednesday.”India will never want Pakistan to make it to the semi-finals. They have matches remaining against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Everyone saw the fashion in which they won against Afghanistan,” said Ali, who played 19 Tests and 50 ODIs for Pakistan”They’ll play in such a way that nobody will come to know what has happened. What happened in India’s match against Afghanistan? What did Australia do against India? What did David Warner do?” asked the 48-year-old as he claimed that India intentionally played poorly against Afghanistan and that David Warner deliberately underperformed against India.Basit Ali reckons India will not want Pakistan to qualify for the semi-finals and may play poorly in their matches against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/vwg3oFnnplSaj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) June 26, 2019Pakistan, after suffering an embarrassing 89-run loss to India, made a strong comeback in the tournament, defeating South Africa and New Zealand. They have seven points in as many games and are currently locked in a fierce four-way battle for the semi-final spot with England, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.advertisementIn order to qualify for the knockout stage, the 1992 champions need to win their remaining two games against Afghanistan and Bangladesh to be played on June 29 (Saturday) and July 5 respectively.India, on the other hand, is sitting pretty in the top four with 11 points from six games.Also Read | World Cup 2019: MS Dhoni or Sarfaraz Ahmed? ICC asks whose catch was betterAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Ziva Dhoni has a fun day out as India beat West IndiesAlso Seelast_img read more

Why We’re Thinking About Messaging Apps All Wrong

first_img Topics: If you start to feel the low burn of anxiety rising in your gut whenever you hear about messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat, take comfort — you’re not alone. Much of the coverage on messaging apps to date has been accompanied by a mixture of sheer awe at their velocity and the oddly foreboding tone of a teenage dystopian blockbuster.I asked Eytan Oren, CEO at a consultancy that specializes in messaging apps called BlockParty, why he thinks that is: “The growth of the ecosystem took a lot of people by surprise — especially in the U.S. where chat apps took longer to catch on. At this point there are more people on chat apps than traditional networks, and though that shift was several years in the making, some people experienced it as an overnight success,” he explained.”There’s also a level on which people may have grown comfortable with a small pantheon of “social media” leaders — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. All of a sudden you have a dozen chat apps with hundreds of millions of users to consider on top of those traditional outlets, and it can be daunting to know where to start.”Whether it’s the arrival of something we don’t yet understand or unease over the sheer volume of users each of these messaging apps have accumulated, the tone around messaging apps is reminiscent of the restlessness that accompanied the emergence of social media 12 or 13 years ago. So what does that mean for marketers? Well, let’s take a closer look.What Exactly is a Messaging App?At their core, messaging apps enable one-to-one or one-to-few interactions in a fast, often cost-free way.Skype and Blackberry Messenger are commonly thought of as the “grandparents of messaging apps,” which today number in the hundreds. The largest messaging apps in the world include WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Viber, Line, and Snapchat. Each of these have their own regional and demographic stronghold. The graphic below from BlockParty demonstrates their scale:You cannot talk about messaging apps without addressing their rapid growth of adoption. According to GlobalWebIndex, 75% of internet users today use some sort of a messaging app.Research from Business Insider shows how quickly messaging apps have caught up to and surpassed social media network usage. Their chart below compares WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Viber to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Oh, and by the way, it’s measured in billions – with a B. So the top four messaging apps have 2.125 billion monthly active users worldwide.Which leads me to the next question: Is all this hoopla — billions and billions in monthly usage, exponentially growing articles, and spiking public attention — really just over the ability to send tiny little messages?Likely not. Read on, my wise and good-looking visitor, read on.How Are Messaging Apps Different From Social Media?Part of understanding the import of messaging apps is zeroing in on what makes them different from traditional communication channels such as broadcast or social media.If social media removes the barriers for people to broadcast messages out to an audience of many, messaging apps remove the barriers for people to interact one-on-one. And what are those barriers? Data plans for starters. One reason messaging apps spread so quickly with younger generations is due to the fact that they became known as the free alternative to text messaging. Whether you are talking to someone across the street or across the globe, most messaging apps enable you do to do so over WiFi without cost or impact on your mobile data limits.Privacy concerns is another barrier messaging apps seem to address. For a generation that grew up with the highly public nature of social media, messaging apps offer a shade of privacy to talk with one or a group of your friends away from the public eye. Having private or semi-private channels for communication is of increasing importance, particularly as you look beyond messaging into a wider array of transactions. Which leads me to the next point …Why Messaging Apps May Not Ultimately Be About Messaging At AllIf you think of messaging apps as just another form of text messaging, you may be missing the larger picture.We have a bad habit of naming things before we really understand what they’re capable of. We did it with social media. Early on we named Facebook, Twitter and similar sites “social media” because “media” was the only framework we had for mass communication. And that name colored our interpretation of it. “Why would I want to know what you had for lunch?” Was the common retort against Twitter, for example.The reason so many initially missed the point of social media was that they looked at it through the lens of traditional media, and “media” had historically been reserved for essential and polished information at the time. All the news that’s fit to print. But social really wasn’t media in the traditional sense at all. It was something entirely new. It opened up millions of simultaneous platforms and angles from which to see and report on the world around us.We may be headed down a similar path with messaging apps. We’ve named WhatsApp and the like “messaging apps” because that’s our current context for them. They send messages. But what if the larger story behind messaging apps is not that they remove barriers to sending messages, but rather that they remove barriers to all digital interactions and transactions.Today messaging apps are starting to evolve to include video, images, and even financial transactions. Everlane and Zulily use Facebook Messenger to take orders and process returns. The companies leverage an integration between Messenger and Zendesk to funnel messenger requests directly through their support channels.What Everlane, Zulilly, and Zendesk are doing is just the beginning. Rare Pink, a Jeweler in London, is using WeChat exclusively to communicate with about 10% of its customers. Hotels like LINQ in Las Vegas are also opening up messaging apps for fast check-in and to enable guests to adjust the lighting and temperature in their rooms.A guest of LINQ hotel opens their suite door with WeChatPromoting an open API for anyone wanting to build apps or integrations into it, WeChat has been quick to develop new use cases for messaging. As a result, they’re seeing it seep into every aspect of users’ lives.For more than 500 million users in China, [WeChat is] essentially The Everything App. People use it to talk with their friends and their colleagues, and also to… book train tickets and get their laundry done, order dinner and play the lottery, pick out clothes and play videogames. It’s the remote control for your smart home, a mobile bank, and a way to renew your visa,” explains David Pierce, senior staff writer at Wired. You can, for all intents and purposes, live your entire life within WeChat. It takes a phone full of apps to replicate its entire functionality.”Let’s go over that again: “It takes a phone full of apps and replicates its entire functionality.”So maybe the above chart comparing social media networks and message app usage is the wrong idea. Maybe we shouldn’t be thinking about messaging in terms of apps at all, but rather as an evolving infrastructure.Where Do We Go From Here?There was a time when social media was a perplexing newcomer to our lives. Today it’s hard to imagine an election season or a winter storm or an episode of the Bachelor without an accompanying hashtag. Social changed the way we absorb the world around us — from the trivial to the momentous. It took years to find its place, but it’s indelible now.When we think about messaging apps, we ought to think about not what they are today, but what they could be — what their underlying functionality makes possible — down the line. A recent report by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism paints this picture well: “While messaging is currently a clearly defined function of specific apps, the future is likely to be one wherein the capability is baked-in to nearly all digital technologies and services. The point where a messaging app begins and ends will begin to blur,” they explain.When you look at the unique ways in which companies like Everlane, Zendesk, and LINQ are starting to use messaging apps, it’s not hard to see how this permeation could begin. We’re a ways off still, but it’s possible to imagine a time when messaging apps will be so widely used they will become indistinguishable from any other mass utility. As NeimanLab’s Joseph Lichterman predicted, “Soon messaging will become like electricity — ubiquitous and involved in nearly everything we do.”What do you think are the possibilities for messaging apps in your industry? What would it take for them to gain traction as a marketing, sales and service channel within your business? Share your thoughts below.  Originally published Feb 9, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Mobile Apps Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more