Is Homeownership Right for Young People?

first_imgHow much do you pay for heating? Depending on where you live, it’s a good chunk of money during the wintertime. Even though we live in the South (in lovely Raleigh!), we’re not immune to getting some cold weather.   With winter coming… Full Story,Tips to help turn those homebuying dreams into reality. From outstanding credit card debt to massive student loans, financial difficulties are barring more and more millennials from becoming homeowners. While the vision of buying a first home may seem hopelessly… Full Story,When most people imagine buying a house, they think about how many bedrooms they need or what kind of porch they want. When they think about homebuying costs, they decide how much to put down and what their maximum home… Full Story,One of my favorite shows is Sex and the City. Those women lived glamorous lives I could only dream about. And, Carrie, a writer, was living my dream life as a famous writer in Manhattan. One of the storylines that… Full Story,Last year, my husband and I were packing up our Denver apartment to prepare for our move back to his home state of Indiana. We’d put an offer in on a house and had only given ourselves a couple of… Full Story,A few years ago Dave Munson and his family decided to move from their 5,600-square-feet, 8-bedroom house in the city of San Antonio, Texas, to a smaller, unique living situation: tents. Well, fancy, upscale tents that total 2,000 square feet… Full Story,It’s a well-known fact that your personal environment affects your mental health. If you live in a beautifully decorated home with plenty of plants and green space nearby, your risk for anxiety and depression is lower. If you spend your… Full Story,My husband and I were so excited to buy our house. We’d been renting since college and were eager to have our own place. Finally, no one could tell us how many dogs we could have or how many posters… Full Story,Last summer, I was forced to relocate out of my cozy, bungalow-style apartment in West L.A. Living in one of the most unaffordable rental markets in the U.S., I was resigned to the fact that, to enjoy my ideal setup… Full Story,When you buy a home, you’re making an investment in yourself and your future. You’re building  financial stability, equity, and experience. You have a place to call your own and you can customize the space just how you want. As… Full Storylast_img read more

Courage to Lead: Celebrating Bold Leadership in Urgent Times

first_imgIn a time of great uncertainty, mounting environmental threats and receding political leadership, who will step forward?That was the question on people’s minds as 350 guests gathered for WRI’s Courage to Lead dinner. The dinner recognized two champions— Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, and Feike Sijbesma, CEO of DSM—who have shown an ongoing commitment to improving the world by tackling inequality and advancing sustainability.As WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer noted, “We have amazing people,”—activists, journalists, CEOs, philanthropists and more—”at every table.”A Champion for Sustainable Cities The evening’s second honoree, DSM CEO Feijke Sijbesma, began by telling the audience that the power businesses wield must be accompanied by something more: “When you gain impact, the first word that comes to your mind should be responsibility.”Sijbesma is widely recognized for helping shift DSM – originally created as a Dutch mining company – into a leading health, nutrition and materials company. He also leads corporate climate efforts through the World Economic Forum and the World Bank.WRI Board Member Christiana Figueres recognized Sijbesma’s international climate leadership, including how, during a tense moment in climate talks, she gave Sijbesma a look, hoping he could help her out. He left the room—and shortly returned with 60 CEOs supportive of climate action.Figueres was introduced by former President of Mexico and current WRI Board Member Felipe Calderón, who acknowledged both Sijbesma and Figueres’ global role in forging the Paris climate agreement and mobilizing support for its implementation.DSM’s stock price is up 60 percent since Sijbesma took the helm—which comports with WRI research that finds that smart climate action should be integrated into economic and business growth strategies.Like Walker, Sijbesma linked his work to the fight against inequality. “We cannot blame Bangladesh and Somalia for climate change,” he said, “but they are the first to suffer.” He takes these issues personally: “We need to commit that before we leave the planet issues of climate change and hunger are addressed.”Watch a short video honoring Feijke Sijbesma.Both Walker and Sijbesma received images by Dutch photographer Martin Roemers, whose work focuses on human drama in the world’s megacities, courtesy of Anastasia Photography Gallery.Answering the Knock at MidnightAs West referenced, in 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. preached that “answering the knock at midnight” meant not turning away those in need for one’s own comfort. As the world faces complex, inter-related challenges of inequality, hunger, and climate change, this year’s Courage to Lead honorees carry that message forward and represent a vision of hope for a brighter future.Jennifer Scully-Lerner, another WRI Board Director, reminded guests that the evening’s funds help WRI to advance its missions of creating a more sustainable, equitable planet for all people.As Andrew Steer said in his closing remarks, “We need to focus not on the future we fear, but on the future we want.”Learn how you can support WRI’s work and mission and make a donation today. The dinner’s first honoree was Darren Walker, a leader known for to addressing inequality and protecting the environment. In introducing Walker, WRI Director and dinner co-Chair Afsaneh Beschloss declared that “from the first time I met Darren, I knew he was unafraid of bold choices to help the poor and disadvantaged.”One such choice was forging the decision by the Ford Foundation to direct over $1 billion of its endowment toward mission-based investments—one of the largest investments of its kind.Tony West, general counsel at PepsiCo, called justice, not fame or fortune, Walker’s North Star—he is ready to answer what Martin Luther King Jr called “the knock at midnight” at the darkest times in history. Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof called Walker “a moral leader for our times.”In accepting his award, Walker said, “Inequality is at the root of pernicious challenges which pose a risk to our collective future.”Watch a short video honoring Darren Walker.Business Role in Addressing Climate ChangeFeijke Sijbesma at the podium.center_img One of the highlights of the evening was the announcement of the new WRI Ross Prize for Cities, which aims to highlight transformative urban projects related to pollution, inequality and growth. WRI Board Chairman Jim Harmon introduced the prize and honored the real estate developer and philanthropist Stephen M. Ross, who is the main sponsor of the award. Submissions for the prize will be collected starting in January and the winning project will receive $250,000.A Moral Leader for Our TimesDarren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation.last_img read more

What’s Your Facebook Ecommerce Strategy?

first_img Topics: Facebook Marketing 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 Jul 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017center_img Have something to say? Have a question about eCommerce? Chat with HubSpot’s Top Inbound eCommerce experts on our Twitter list . As was very nicely predicted in an Social Commerce Today article from January 2010 regarding Facebook’s integrated payment system, online retailers are definitely taking notice and looking for ways to take advantage of the massive social media giant Facebook and its expanding ecommerce capabilities. Facebook now has several integrated payment partners.  To name a few: –        Spare Change which facilitates payments using PayPal or major credit cards. –        DAO Pay which allows payments via your home phone bill. –        Ultimate Game Card for online gaming payments and credits. –        And even Amazon Payments , which was cleverly predicted in the article. There are other partners who have joined the Facebook frenzy.   What was once considered a small time scam player called Offerpal , the renamed and reinvented company Tapjoy has legitimized itself by helping Facebook power its ecommerce capabilities, particularly for online gaming and more. Inside Facebook notes that Tapjoy plans to not only evolve Facebook’s mobile and its gaming capabilities, but also to take mobile gaming to a new level.  Tapjoy partners with iOS , Android, and Facebook to offer mobile and online gaming options. How does this relate to ecommerce strategy?   In almost every sense this budding infrastructure will affect ecommerce to its core.  Anyone who conducts retail business online will need to develop a plan to interface to Facebook’s integrated payment systems.  Thankfully a good bit of this work will be performed by partners who already know how to integrate and are popular today with retailers.  Companies such as Amazon saw the writing on the wall, and took advantage of this opportunity early in the game. With the system provided on Facebook, online (and mobile) gamers can purchase “virtual credits” using real money from one of the partnering tools like Spare Change, DAO Pay, or Amazon Payments.  These virtual credits can then be used for online game play enhancements and perks.  What is to stop this very same process from occurring with actual products and services, not just games?   You could build up a Facebook virtual credit line, and then perhaps use it to buy streaming movies, MP3 ’s, or even products that would ship directly to the buyers.  Speculatively, entire promotions could be structured around earning these virtual credits, which would encourage consumers to buy as part of an ecommerce strategy. Could this have any impact in the B2B arena?   Most definitely.  As predicted “long ago” in the 1990’s by Bill Gates of Microsoft, there are online communities being built around “portal” sites like Facebook.  These portals bring like-minded people and businesses together to exchange information, opinions, and to conduct ecommerce strategy.  Businesses can work and trade with other businesses using the same infrastructure.  Just as friends tend to buy products that are recommended (or “liked” on Facebook) by friends, businesses also prefer to look to benchmark against other businesses for what tools and products to use.  Granted, there has been and will continue to be resistance to the Facebook phenomenon.   Some people are definitely alienated by the backend “social graph” that is created using the “Like” and “Share” features of Facebook.  The links created when the user selects “Like” or “Share” has behind the scenes implications, where companies now know and can solicit directly to those users.  How far the “social graph” will go remains to be seen, but users should be aware that those simple buttons can reveal a lot about their buying habits and interests – bordering on invasion of privacy for some.  But because these are voluntary selections, and just as you can voluntarily provide your name and address to any retailer for coupons and promotions, Facebook has emulated this online.  There are still legal challenges to address, but at this point there appears to be no stop to the “like”. As a business person, you should seriously evaluate your ecommerce strategy in regards to Facebook and other social media sites.   Whether you are B2C or B2B, there is an opportunity there where you should gain some real market advantage. last_img read more

9 Video Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

first_imgIn case you haven’t noticed, YouTube recently made some design changes, one of which included an updated video end-screen. Before, when you finished watching a video, YouTube would feature one video with a giant thumbnail, and then a couple others with smaller thumbnails. Now, you are given a choice of 12 videos, each evenly sized, to “make it even easier for you to find the next great video to watch,” according to YouTube.This update reminds us that the world is constantly surfing YouTube, which is likely why the company is constantly trying to improve user-browsing ability. And to be a successful inbound marketer, you must recognize the need to live where the consumers live—but do so properly.Here are nine mistakes you may be making with your video marketing. 1. Not Making VideosAmerica’s Funniest Home Videos was the first time many of us realized, hey, it’s hilarious to watch people do stupid things! That same idea has been translated into the online sphere. While you don’t have to make all your videos funny, we’ve learned that people enjoy watching videos online. So create interesting videos that are relevant to your target consumers, brand message, and industry.2. Not Saving Your PasswordI know this sounds silly… but I can recall at least three occasions where I’ve heard of a company or organization who created a YouTube account predicting that videos would eventually be uploaded… but then never saved the password or username email address. There goes your YouTube name. Now when people search for you on YouTube, they’ll be led to an empty page.3. Uploading Only One VideoIf you decide to jump on the video train (which hopefully you have by now), don’t simply upload one video. The new YouTube feature allows users to see up to 12 other videos from your account, so take advantage of this free promotion. Consistently create video content, as you would blog content.4. Posting Videos on the Wrong AccountOften, marketers find it easier to simply upload a video to their own account. Or worse—you upload one of your own videos to your work account. You think it’s easier and you can log in with one email, but really it’s simply unprofessional. It provides that personal video the opportunity to pop up as a suggestion after a company video, and you want to promote the brand, not your latest shenanigans with your pal. This will also mess with your analytics when it comes time to measuring how well your account is doing.5. Thinking You Need Fancy StuffYou don’t need a studio, or expensive cameras, or any of that stuff. A simple flip cam, or even iPhone, can shoot the kind of basic video you need to get your video marketing going. From there, you can slowly build your quality by purchasing some basic equipment further along the line. The only thing you need to worry about is volume—investing in a small and low-priced microphone that can plug into your camera would be highly beneficial.6. Make Videos Too LongPeople have low attention spans. The likelihood of someone watching a video that is longer than 5 minutes is rare-to-never. If, however, you are providing a how-to tutorial, people will likely be willing to watch close to 10 minutes worth for the sake of learning. But other than that, keep it short, a minute maybe two at the most.7. Forgetting Your Target AudienceJust because your company thinks something is hilarious or solid information, does not mean the world will. Really think about who your target audience is and produce content they will enjoy. Nothing wrong with your company enjoying it too—just make sure its relevant to your prospects and leads.8. Obsessing Over ResultsI mean, have you seen the movie that Beyonce stars in? Obsession is not okay, and the same applies here. Everyone wants to see how well their newly posted video is doing five seconds after it is posted. You want to see the views skyrocket and comments appear before your eyes! But views build over time, and sitting there refreshing the page constantly to see the watch the views increase is not healthy, or an adequate use of your time. (Seriously, you can make a whole new video in that time).  Track how your video is doing, but don’t let it take over your life.9. Fogeting a Call-To-ActionEvery video you upload has the potential of containing a call-to-action—but do so with caution. Throwing a million links all over your video as it plays and being all up in peoples faces with exclamation points isn’t the right approach. Instead, throw your CTA in a a clear and contextual manner. At the end of the video, add in a link that recommends a webinar or eBook that would benefit the viewer. Hopefully they’ll navigate on over to your site, fill out a landing page, and now, now we’re in business. What are other mistakes you’ve seen with video marketing? How do you suggest improving online video marketing efforts?  Topics: Originally published Oct 24, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Video 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

Google+ Finally Launches Business Pages

first_imgThe day we’ve all been waiting for in anticipation is finally here (kind of). Earlier today, Google announced the launch of Google+ Pages, or business pages for Google+. While Pages have only been released to a select few businesses, Google+ indicates that organizations will be able to create their own pages at http://plus.google.com/pages/create soon. (Visit HubSpot’s Google+ Page and add it to your Circles here!)Google+ Pages have a similar look and feel to Facebook Pages, allowing businesses to leverage the social network to connect with their audience, spread their messages, promote their content, and generate leads. Here’s a quick video overview from Google.Google+ Page FeaturesWhile Google hasn’t revealed a ton of detail around the capabilities of its new Google+ Pages, they have mentioned the following features:Fans can recommend your business page with a +1.Fans can add your page to a circle, which enables them to subscribe to your page’s updates (similar to Liking a page on Facebook) in the long-term.Fans can actually spend time with your team, face-to-face-to-face via Google+ Hangouts, or video chat/livestreaming capabilities.Here’s a quick peek into what a Google+ Page looks like, a la Angry Birds:2 Ways to Add Pages to Your Google + CirclesFurthermore, Google+ is rolling out two ways that users can add pages to their Circles from Google search. The first is by including Google+ pages in search results, and the second is via Google+’s new feature, Direct Connect.1. Including Google+ Pages in Search Results: Google+ will now display ‘People and pages’ at the top of search results pages in Google+. These results will also include an easy option to add the Page to one of your Circles. Topics: Google Updates Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img 2. Direct Connect: Users can easily locate and add a Google+ Page to their circles with a Google.com search by simply searching for [+] followed by the page they’re interested in (e.g. +Angry Birds). (Note: Direct Connect only works for a limited number of pages today, but Google indicates that more are coming.)Marketing TakeawayGoogle+ Pages will soon be available to all! While Google gives us no indication of exactly when, marketers should be on their toes knowing they’re coming soon. Marketers should create their business page as soon as it’s available to them in order to start leveraging the power of a network with over 40 million users.To determine if your account is enabled, visit http://plus.google.com/pages/create. And don’t forget to add HubSpot’s Google+ Page to your Circles here!Will you use Google+ Pages as another tool in your social media arsenal? Are you excited for the launch? Originally published Nov 7, 2011 3:33:00 PM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

8 Mobile Apps You’ll Wish You Downloaded Yesterday

first_img Originally published Jan 15, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated August 29 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 SlackSlack You know that panicked feeling you get when your mobile device isn’t immediately nearby? Yeah, this post isn’t going to help that at all.It will, however, give you a handful of useful business apps to further extend that digital Swiss Army knife of yours.Some of these mobile apps are old favorites, and some are more new. All of them were built to make your work schedule easier and your end-goals more attainable.So … let’s get started, shall we? Here are eight notable apps to help your day and business run better. 1) HubSpot’s Free Sales ToolsLet’s start this list off with a brand new mobile app. The HubSpot Sales app notifies you when a contact has opened an email you’ve sent their way.From the Reviews”I’ve been a desktop user for awhile, and was pleased to see it translate to neatly to mobile. It’s really well designed, minimal fuss interface that does exactly what it sets out to do – show you who’s read your emails. syncs seamlessly with Gmail and apple mail accounts. You don’t even know it’s there until you need it”– santafescribe, iPhone, 12/2013iPhone: 5 stars with 5 reviews2) LinkedInLikely on many of your mobile devices already, the LinkedIn app is well-regarded for a reason. The app was redesigned in spring 2013 to be cleaner and simpler and make it easier to find what you need.The app seems built for people who consume information on the run. It enables you to quickly scroll a newsfeed of updates without ever being too far from main functionality like updating your profile, saving job listings, and seeing who has viewed your page. From the Reviews”Great mobile version of the site. Well implemented mobile version of the web site. Helps you keep up with your business network contacts while on the go.”– William Buckner, Android, 1/2014Lower-scoring reviews mentioned privacy concerns, functionality missing from desktop version, and bugs.Android: 4 stars with 168K reviews | iPhone: 4 stars with 145 reviewsRelated: Twitter and Facebook Apps for iPhone and Android. Twitter was made for mobile devices — after 140 characters, your thumbs start to wear out (unless you’re a teenager, in which case you can mostly likely write SMS novels by now). Neither Facebook nor Twitter have reviews as strong as LinkedIn for their latest versions, but new versions come out all the time with improvements. 3) TempoAs it turns out, meetings come with a lot of baggage. More often than not, there are related emails and documents to reference, directions and names to remember, and even access codes to log in. Calling itself a “smart calendar,” Tempo aims to organize all of that for you.It goes a step beyond your standard mobile calendar to incorporate webinar dial-ins, your email inbox, LinkedIn contacts, and GPS directions. The goal is to pull in all the information you need into one screen that you can quickly access in the hallway with one hand on your phone and the other on that triple grande latte you love so much.  From the Reviews”Intuitive setup, attractive design, feature-rich, but not bloated with useless add-ons. Well-done app that will be a great complement to the standard calendar.”– Our Lady of Guadalupe. 5 stars, 11/2013Lower-scoring reviews mentioned syncing bugs and additional functionality requests. iPhone: 4.5 stars with 1900+ reviews4) Join.me, GoToMeeting, and WebExThere was a time before webinars … I think. It’s tough to recall now — the memory grows foggier every day. By now, most B2B companies have started to use some form of remote meeting software, whether for webinars, sales demos, or standard run-of-the-mill meetings. Dialing into one of these meeting using your smartphone alone can be a bit of a pain. That’s why the mobile apps from Join.me, GoToMeeting, WebEx, and others are pretty critical.What you use will depend on the software your company has gone with. If you don’t currently use remote-meeting software, Join.me is a good (and low-cost) start. From the Reviews”I found this app to work well right out of the box. Responsive, steady, affordable.”– BronxToBam on Join me, 4 stars, 11/2013Lower-scoring reviews for both apps focused on feature requests and some audio issues. GoToMeeting: Android | iOS/iPhoneJoin.me: Android | iOS /iPhoneWebEx: Android | iOS/iPhone5) HubSpotIt’s no wonder that we love our own apps for B2B marketing, but since so many of our readers are inbound marketers and HubSpot customers, this app was well worth the list.The HubSpot App first launched in 2012, with on-the-go analytics and a built-in Marketing Grader. The capability of this app has vastly expanded since then.Today, customers using HubSpot’s Mobile App carry with them:Marketing GraderUp-to-date marketing analyticsYour contacts database and lists of leadsSocial media publishing and analyticsSocial media monitoring (iPhone only)Email analytics (iPhone only)Android dashboard widget (Android Only)If you’re not a HubSpot user, you can still download the app for the free Marketing Grader tool.From the Reviews”I’m a marketing Junkie. I can’t stand to be without my info. This app lets me check my new leads, my visitor and contact progress, and handle my social media all in one spot. Love that it keeps updating based on our input.”– Julie Montgomery, iPhone, 10/2013Lower-scoring reviews mentioned crashes on Android devices and requests for more of HubSpot features within it (we’re working on it!) Android: 4 stars with 42 reviews | iPhone: 4.5 Stars with 149 reviews6) TripItIf you’ve perfected the art of pulling your laptop out of your briefcase and taking off your shoes in one swift movement, this app is for you.Designed for business travelers, TripIt gleans any travel information (flight confirmations, rental car receipts, hotel details etc.) from the tangled wasteland of your email inbox and presents it in a neat and orderly calendar view. Now all you have to worry about is whether your flight will have Wi-Fi. From the Reviews”Wonderful tool!!!! It collects itinerary info for any travel info that comes to the email account, including friends and family. No more searching emails for arrival times and flight numbers when picking up at the airport. Very slick!”– 1Wheeler2, 4 stars 12/2013Lower-scoring reviews mentioned some bugginess.Android: 4.25 stars 25K+ reviews | iOS/iPhone: 4 stars 24K+ ratings7) ExpensifyRated as the “Best Business Travel App” by Business Insider, Expensify aims to make capturing receipts and tracking mileage and other expenses for business much easier.Use your phone to take a picture of your receipts and complete expense forms. A built-in GPS will help you track mileage expenses and integrations with ADP, Salesforce, QuickBooks, Evernote, Excel, and Dropbox extend the functionality.From the Reviews”Intuitive and easy to use Great app. Didn’t take much time to learn and quickly add my expenses and generate reports. Love the fact that I can switch between my phone and my computer to work on a report. Integration with my bank account saves a lot of time not having to enter everything. Recommend it to anyone who needs on the go expense reporting.”– M Jared Baum, 4 stars 12/2013Lower-scoring reviews mentioned some missing functionality from the latest version and some app crashes upon launch.Android: 4.5 stars with 4000+ reviews | iOS/iPhone: 4.5 stars with 1100+ reviews8) PerchPerch is a new app, but pretty promising for those having to communicate with remote coworkers or clients.In its own words, “Perch is an ambient video communications app designed to bridge the culture gap and improve collaboration amongst distributed teams. Install Perch on two different iOS devices (iPhone 4s an above) to create an always-on video window between two spaces.”It’s like the Jetsons meets your weekly status meeting. From the Reviews”I love this app, super cool and smart, why has nobody before thought of using face recognition to start video chat automatically.”– Martin MELower-scoring reviews mentioned a desire to have this work with other versions of the iPhone.iOS/iPhone: 4 stars with 16 reviews (Note: Only for iPhone 4S and above)Each month brings new apps and new versions of existing apps, so undoubtedly, the list doesn’t end here. Add to this list content consumption apps like Evernote and Pocket or event apps like Eventbrite and your phone or tablet’s dance-card will quickly fill up.The best approach? Think about your biggest business needs on the run — do they center on productivity, reading, social networking, or something else? Then find the apps that will make those activities run a little (or a lot) more smoothly.What are some of the must-have business apps you really want? Share your wish list below! Topics:last_img read more

How to Launch and Grow a Business Blog From Scratch [SlideShare]

first_imgRoughly six months ago, I was tasked with launching a new business blog for Sidekick, an email productivity tool built in HubSpot’s startup labs.I thought sure, I’ve been blogging for HubSpot for over two years. Taking full ownership of a new content entity should be easy, right?Wrong. I spent days Googling “how to launch a new blog.” And every single time, my search results showed the same, repeated, worn-out, and unhelpful advice.”Just start writing!” Ummm about what?”Share your blog on social media!”Yeah duh.”Create quality content and it’ll get found!”How?!I felt completely lost.Fortunately, I was working with an amazing team. My manager, Brian Balfour, had perfected the art of audience research. And my teammate, Dan Wolchonok, had the perfect mix of coding expertise and marketing passion to quickly ship experiments. The three of us worked together to launch what is now the Sidekick Blog, and within five months we generated over 22,000 engaged email subscribers and retained an average of 30,000 monthly blog viewers. Now, we didn’t reach these numbers by making all the right moves. We messed up plenty of times. But the most important thing I learned throughout this entire process was that it should not be this hard to learn how to launch and grow a blog. So I documented every step we took, hoping to share a starting playbook that others could adopt and employ. Below is that playbook. Check it out to learn how you can actually launch and grow a business blog. Growing Readership If you found this deck helpful, please share it. The more its shared, the fewer marketers are left in the dark when they take on the exhilarating (and hairpulling) process of launching a business blog. Here are some tweets you could use:Finally! The foolproof playbook on “How to Launch & Grow A Business Blog” http://bitly.com/BizBlogINBOUND14 via @hubspot (Click To Tweet!) Originally published Sep 17, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: How @sidekick went from 0 to 22K engaged blog subscribers >> http://bitly.com/BizBlogINBOUND14 via @hubspot (Click To Tweet!) 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

New to Search Advertising? Here’s How to Avoid 7 Common Mistakes [SlideShare]

first_img Topics: PPC Originally published Jan 8, 2016 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 What are your favorite search advertising tips? Share them with us in the comments section below.center_img There are two types of search advertisers: those who have failed and those who are going to.At HubSpot, we embrace failure — it’s often an important step towards success. That being said, we don’t ever go out of our way to fall on our face. Instead, when attempting something new, we try as hard as we can to learn from others who had failed before us.When it comes to search advertising, it’s the little things that can have the biggest impact — the way you combine ads and inbound, your landing page design, the metrics you’re measuring, etc. So to help you master search advertising faster — and avoid failure in the process — we’ve compiled some of the most common mistakes we’ve seen marketers make in the SlideShare below.Check it out as you launch your next search ad campaign to ensure you’ve covering all the bases.  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

How to Draw Inspiration From the Most Unlikely Places

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 Collaboration/Teamwork Topics: Originally published Mar 3, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Writer’s block. Lack of focus. Laziness. The feeling can come in many different flavors, but they’re all tied to the same, underlying issue of simply being uninspired.Think of inspiration as the emotional equivalent of incentive. As an employee or a freelancer, you have an incentive (i.e. your paycheck) to do great work. It’s a very tangible, measurable thing that can motivate you.Inspiration, on the other hand, is considerably more abstract. It’s a feeling, or an influence, that not only motivates you, but also makes you feel good about the work that you’re doing. And that’s exactly why those moments of inspiration often come from the most unlikely of places.The Psychology of InspirationWhile inspiration was originally thought to be a spiritual or even supernatural phenomenon, research now shows that it’s rooted in three key, psychological components:Evocation: when a thought or memory is spontaneously triggered in your mindTranscendence: when you see something in a new way, or are able to move beyond a “usual” way of thinkingMotivation: when you’re compelled to express or actualize an ideaKnowing the underlying components of inspiration makes it easy to see why it’s such a powerful force. When you’re inspired, you’re not just motivated; you’re thinking in a new way, which can lead you to those big, breakthrough, “a-ha” moments. (Of course, knowledge is power when it comes to sparking these moments.)Unfortunately, we can’t feel like that all the time. And yet, in the workplace, we’re always expected to meet — and ideally, exceed — expectations … our inspiration levels notwithstanding.There are some well-known solutions to this inspiration problem, of course. For example, you could try going for a walk in nature, or meditating, or listening to inspirational music. (Might I suggest Survivor’s 1982 masterpiece, “Eye of the Tiger,” which pairs nicely with a can of Red Bull.)As someone who has to write and create on a daily basis, I’ve identified (with the help of science … thanks, science!) some less obvious strategies for upping your inspiration levels.How to Draw Inspiration From the Most Unlikely Places1) Embrace Your DaydreamsYou might think of daydreaming as an enemy of inspiration. After all, if you’re trying to come up with an innovative approach to solving a problem or completing a project, intense focus seems like it would be pretty critical.But alas, that’s not how inspiration works.In a daydream, you don’t have to be hindered by the stresses of pesky old reality. Instead, your mind is free to float between past and future; between real-life and fantasy. Your daydream might start with you revisiting that vacation you took last year … but before you know it, you’re envisioning what a vacation on Mars might be like. (Note to self: Remember to pack a spacesuit.)The inherent randomness of daydreaming makes it a perfect activity for triggering inspiration, as it can help you find connections between seemingly unrelated ideas. As psychologist Malia Fox Mason once told once told Psychology Today, “By allowing your mind the freedom to roam, the chances that you’re going to have an insight are much higher. It’s likely that you are going to recombine pieces of information in a novel way.”2) Pull an All-NighterIf you’re searching for inspiration, pulling an all-nighter could help you get in the right frame of mind. (Unless you’re a night owl, in which case you might want to try waking up early.) Here’s why.When you’re faced with an analytic problem (i.e. a problem that you can solve by systematically employing a known strategy), the research tells us that you should attack the problem during an optimal time of day. What that optimal time is will vary from person to person, but think of it as the time of day when you’re most alert and most able to tune out distractions.However, when you’re faced with an insight problem (i.e. a problem that can’t be solved through grinding, but requires a revelation or “a-ha” moment), that same research tells us that you’re better off attacking it during a non-optimal time of day.The underlying explanation here is tied closely to the daydreaming/inspiration phenomenon: When you’re feeling overtired, or otherwise “out of it,” you’re more susceptible to the influence of other ideas.”If you need to open your mind to alternative approaches and consider diverse options, it may be wise to do so when your filter is not so functional,” writes Cindi May for Scientific American. “You just may be able to see what you’ve been missing.”3) Get Outside of Your BubbleGo to the same bar or restaurant every Friday with the same group of friends? Watch the same show every Sunday night? Read the same publication every Monday morning?This, my friends, is your bubble. The same places, the same people, the same viewpoints … over and over and over.  If you’re looking to get inspired, you need to get outside of this bubble — from time to time, at least. Go to a different restaurant. Hang out with different friends. Watch a new show. Read a new publication.There isn’t a specific course of action you really need to follow here. The point is this: In order to prep your mind for inspiration, you need to take what you usually do, and change it. As was the case with daydreaming, this will help open you up to new ideas and help your mind make novel connections.In psychology, this is tied to the concept of “openness to experience.” Folks with a high level of openness to experience are more intellectually curious and prefer engaging in a variety of activities as opposed to sticking to a routine.Research suggests that there’s a correlation between openness to experience and how frequently people feel inspired. So if you’re serious about finding inspiration, give your schedule a shuffle and expose yourself to some different perspectives.4) Write Down Your Crappy IdeasAll of them.How many times have you stared at a blank screen, the cursor blinking, and you’re just waiting for inspiration to strike? Inside your brain, the wheels are turning; but every idea you come up with you immediately dismiss for one reason or another. Not practical. Too expensive. Would require renting a llama.Don’t let these ideas slip away. Instead, write them down. Every single one of them.Ultimately, having a hundred bad ideas in front of you is better than having no ideas in front of you. Despite their crappiness, these ideas can still help you feel inspired — and help you lead you to the good ideas. In fact, researchers have found that the more variance you have in the quality of your ideas (i.e., some are terrible, some are “meh,” and some are alright), the more likely you’ll be to arrive at truly great idea.5) Forget the Coffee; Grab a BeerTo be clear, beer is not a magical inspiration potion. That being said, beer and other alcoholic beverages (if consumed in reasonable quantities) can potentially help prime your brain for inspiration.Here’s a simplified look at how this works: When you drink a beer, the alcohol interferes with the neurons in your brain, causing a slowdown in how fast you’re able to process information (similar to what happens when you’re over-tired). The end result? You can’t focus on stuff very well. But, as we’ve already established, not focusing is actually key to feeling inspired.Bearing that in mind, coffee is probably the last thing you want to drink if you’re searching for inspiration. Unlike alcohol, caffeine (at least initially) helps you focus. And when you’re focused, you’re not able to make connections between different ideas as easily. Breaking that focus is what allows inspiration to seep in.(For a deeper dive on this topic, read this blog post for a deeper dive into how caffeine, alcohol and other substances affect creativity.)Where do you draw your inspiration? Share your tips and ideas in the comments section below.last_img read more

Marketing Firm vs. Agency: We Break Down the Difference

first_img Originally published May 10, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated May 10 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! Creative Agencies Topics: In everyday conversation, the definition of marketing firm versus agency doesn’t matter all that much — but, nowadays, most people aren’t relying on conversation alone when looking for help from a business.Instead, they’re using search engines.People conduct online research quickly — in fact, 92% of searchers choose a business on page one of search results. With such speedy decision-making, it’s critical you know which search terms will serve you the business most likely to help you succeed.For this reason, it’s vital you know whether you need to search “marketing firm” or “marketing agency”. While they sound similar, they typically offer vastly different services.Here, we’re going to explore the difference between marketing firms and marketing agencies to ensure you’re able to find the business best-suited for your needs.Receive a 12-month marketing plan in less than 10 minutes with the help of our free generator. Marketing FirmsConsider the term “law firm”. I’m willing to bet you associate that term with a group of professionals with a specialized range of services who all work for one company or organization.A marketing firm is incredibly similar in nature.In the traditional sense, a marketing firm is a group of professionals who likely specialize in one or two areas of marketing.PR firms, for example, hire employees who can focus on implementing PR campaigns for clients. A PR firm can help you with needs related to public relations, but it won’t have in-house employees ready to handle your SEO needs, or capable of implementing an advertising campaign.For a more comprehensive approach, you’ll want to consider a marketing agency, instead. Let’s explore the definition of an agency, next.Marketing AgenciesA marketing agency offers a broad range of services to help you implement an integrated marketing strategy for all your brand goals.For instance, you might hire a marketing agency to assess your current marketing strategy and help you create a stronger brand voice or connect to a larger audience. They might use a combination of SEO, social media, advertising, and PR to ensure your business goals are met.Unlike a firm, a marketing agency is made up of a group of “agents”, or individuals who operate under one brand, but typically act independently. Consider the similarities to a real estate agency — each real estate broker operates under the brand’s name, but has clients, goals, and services independent of the agency as a whole.When seeking help from a marketing agency, you might want to focus your search term further — for instance, you could search “digital marketing agency near me”. A digital marketing agency will have in-house talent ready to help you with marketing related to digital strategies, including SEO, website design, social media marketing, and display advertising.Alternatively, you might check an agency’s team profile page to find out whether individual agents focus or specialize in digital marketing.If you’re interested in hiring an agency, take a look at HubSpot’s list of partner agencies to find the right fit for you.last_img read more

Daily Mullets (December 2)

first_imgMore PFBDez ties Michael Irvin’s Cowboys TD total … How could Bedlam affect the recruiting landscape …  Three matchups to watch including Ramon vs. Dede … Three stats to know for Bedlam (this is very good) … How Gundy would solve the CFB Playoff … Does Mike Gundy have an OU problem?I loved this.1st Bedlam win of the weekend! Dez over Sammy B!— Chris Biggerstaff (@cbiggs424) December 2, 2016 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. One more day.The CFB Playoff committee’s conundrumHey Bill Simmons’ site took up OSU’s cause this week.The ones who could unskew this weird situation are instead taking the path of least resistance. The committee could anger multiple fan bases by bumping Oklahoma State up the rankings, which would then also draw attention to the biggest refereeing blunder of the season and subvert the work of officials everywhere. Or the committee could tell us it’s impossible to argue with wins and losses, even though arguing wins and losses is the entire point of the committee in the first place. [Ringer]The part I can’t reconcile is if I’m in the business of arguing for OSU’s loss not mattering, then the natural logic says I’m in the business of saying teams should be determined based on how they play which, in this case, does not help me as OSU played horribly against a crappy team.Getting Turnovers is paramountI mean, yes, obviously, but did you know the company OSU keeps?Only Ohio State, Alabama and Louisville have scored more points off turnovers this season than the Cowboys. The Pokes are going to struggle to keep Baker Mayfield and co. from making their plays; Mike Gundy admitted as much on Monday. The key is whether the Cowboy defense can make their plays, as well. Behind Vincent Taylor, Jordan Sterns and Ramon Richards, Oklahoma State has been tremendous all year at creating big defensive plays. They’re going to need a couple Saturday in Norman to pull off the upset. [ESPN]I did not realize that list of teams getting points off turnovers was so short. Alabama, Ohio State and Louisville. Wow.The President ElectNot Trump. James Washington. OU has respect.In Week 3, he shredded the Panthers for 296 receiving yards, which remains the largest receiving output of any Power 5 receiver this season. No active wideout has more career touchdown receptions than Washington’s 25, either.“A great receiver,” said Oklahoma cornerback Jordan Thomas, who figures to be matched up on Washington early and often Saturday. “He plays the ball in the air well, and wins his fair share of the 50-50 balls. And he’s a bigger guy, he’s just more physical. And on top of that he can run. “He has the whole game.”I’m excited to see what No. 28 can do to a beleaguered OU secondary. Gonna be so much abuse we might have to bring Justice in to close.Truck-stick CarsonGood article here on Chris Carson. Odd that he doesn’t recognize his own ability.“We kind of joked about it in the running backs room, who’s what, what kind of runner?” Carson said. That’s when Carson received an awakening. “Some of the other running backs started saying, ‘I’ve never seen you run over somebody. And you’re squatting and lifting all this weight,’” Carson said. “So that’s something I’ve been trying to prove. And it’s working out.” [NewsOK]If I looked like Carson does, I’d run people over just going to class.Mason Rudolph, massive trash talker?Jenni Carlson on the Rudolph-Mayfield rivalry.Mayfield and Rudolph are already hearing it from each other. Mayfield is known as more of the say-anything guy, but he insists Rudolph is a sneaky trash talker. “He gets his in,” Mayfield said with a smile. “Mason can put on a show for the media, but he gets his in. There’s no doubt about that.” Mason Rudolph, flamethrower? “I throw my flames,” Rudolph said with a laugh. “But I do it privately. No need for y’all to see it.” [NewsOK]Not the first time I’ve heard this. Would love to see Rudolph unhinged with Mayfield next spring after a Big 12 title.Mason Rudolph’s “stuff”I love this from Mike Yurcich on Mason Rudolph.Rudolph is up there, Yurcich said, adding he and [former college teammate] Borchert have an “it” factor. Rudolph’s confidence as a true freshman in only his second game still stands out to Yurcich. “There’s that certain thing whenever a guy makes a mistake that he comes back stronger; I think Rudolph has that ability,” Yurcich said. “I think he has something about him that wants to prove to himself and everybody else that he was better than that mistake and he comes back with an edge to him. He never backs down. He loves the moment.” [O’Colly]I love that last line. He loves the moment. You can tell, too.Updated “Rudolph’s sleigh ride” just in time for Bedlam. pic.twitter.com/ExCqL1syHm— The OG (@GentsOkstate) December 1, 2016Sinor for HeismanAnybody going to take up the cause with me?She saw the “special” Carnley was talking about when OSU offered her son a full scholarship during Zach’s senior season. “That’s in our heads for all these years,” Valerie said. “And here we are. “That’s when you kinda go to your knees and say, ‘How blessed can we be?” [O’Colly]What Makes Justice greatOn how Justice Hill’s dad has helped him with nutrition and sleep and how Hill never hit the freshman wall.Meanwhile, Hill worked on getting his body ready for college football. Derrick has studied nutrition most of his life and healthy eating was a priority in the Hill household. He did not drink soda and steered away from acidic foods. Hill drinks alkaline water, which is supposed to help prevent injuries. Eating and sleeping well have perhaps been the secret behind how Hill has remained so durable as a freshman. [Tulsa World]I could not be more impressed with a freshman. Heck, that’s impressive for a 10-year NFL player!Stoops player abuse tree?Kevin Wilson was fired at Indiana on Thursday.Earlier Thursday, however, a former Indiana player’s father told ESPN that his son suffered a concussion in practice shortly before the 2015 season and was rushed back to workouts, causing his symptoms to intensify. [ESPN]Mangino Leach Wilson fired for treatment of players. A glimpse of the environment at OU early in Stoops career. Winning is tough— Teddy Lehman (@TedLehman11) December 1, 2016Another thing I appreciate about Gundy. Does he run an uber-clean program? I have no idea, it seems like it. But I do think if it’s dirty, it’s not because he’s making dudes play through injuries or locking them in sheds.last_img read more

Cisco Junior College DE Names Oklahoma State in top 5

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Cisco college defensive end prospect Michael Clemons has named Oklahoma State in his top five schools.“I want to thank every school for giving me the opportunity to further my education and play ball at their school,” Clemons posted on twitter. “I am extremely blessed. These are my top schools in no order”https://twitter.com/GloriousProspec/status/804809911204974593Clemons is a 6-foot-6, 250-pound defensive end ranked as a four-star prospect. He has 16 offers from the likes of Auburn, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Ole Miss and many others. Although he plays for Cisco College, he is originally from Sachse, Texas, and it seems that could play a huge factor in his decision. 100 percent of recruiting analysts in the 247sports crystal ball are currently predicting he picks the Aggies.last_img read more

Spring Retrospective: Receiver Depth Likely Won’t Mean Equality

first_imgWR1Jalen McCleskeyJr. WR3Obi ObialoSo. WR1James WashingtonSr. WR2Tyron JohnsonR-So. Video Playerhttp://www.pistolsfiringblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/tyrell.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Then there was StonerVideo Playerhttp://www.pistolsfiringblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Stoner.m4v00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.And of course The President doing Presidential things. Let’s agree to say the spring star was too close to call.Projected Three DeepTwo deep doesn’t give you the full story of the depth at this position. It’s been well-documented that the list of receivers at Oklahoma State might be the deepest in its rich history of ball-catchers, but only so much talent can be on the field at once. Let’s continue the spring retrospective with a look at how reps might be divvied up at the deepest position on the field.SummaryThere are realistically eight true receivers on the spring roster who could catch 10 passes this season. Last year, only five hit that mark.In watching a good chunk of spring practice, the drop off in talent from James Washington to Obi Obialo is not as stunning as the casual fan would predict.Washington of course is probably going to be a Biletnikoff Award finalist if not the winner, and Obialo (who is likely the No. 8 guy) caught just two balls last year. But offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said something early in spring practice that stood out to me up until the spring game, something that I hope holds some water.“(Receivers) coach (Kasey) Dunn has done a tremendous not only recruiting tremendous talent, but also developing it and making that room a great room as far as team chemistry goes,” Yurcich said. “I don’t know how easy it is to have that much talent in a room but yet get those guys geared and focused on one goal and that’s for the team to be the best that we can be.”Washington needs to catch at least 60 balls. Jalen McCleskey, too. Chris Lacy has earned about 30. Tyron Johnson transferred from LSU after being a five-star recruit; he’s going to need another 30. Marcell Ateman is finally back after what had to have been a grueling season off; he had 45 in 2015. Dillon Stoner, too, is back from season-ending injury, and he will likely want at least 20.Although the second-teamers are almost as talented as those in front of them, the lack in production will be steep. That won’t be because despite the talent, they’ll drop the ball or Mason Rudolph will magically become Daxx Garman and overthrow everyone. They just won’t get on the field as much. Someone (or a couple of someones) will be let down.At face value that makes sense: The backups should not play as much as the starters. But though it might happen, that doesn’t mean it should.The spot to watch is across from Washington. Who will start? Gundy said Lacy and Ateman will split time at about 40 plays each, which he said isn’t a lot for a receiver and will keep them fresh.Add in freshmen Tylan Wallace, LC Greenwood and Braydon Johnson coming in this fall, spreading the ball around doesn’t get any easier. Wallace, too, has a chance to catch 10 balls this season, but the others will get deferred behind a group of seniors that seems nothing other than divine.“I think it worked out well to come back,” Rudolph said. “We’re all seniors together, myself, James, Lacy, all these guys. God had a plan for that I think.”Biggest NewsThere isn’t too much breaking news from the receiving corps, but Johnson’s start to his OSU career has been highly anticipated.At LSU, he played four games, caught nine balls for 150 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Not outstanding, but not bad by any means. By all accounts, he has been the former five-star prospect of old.“So far, whenever the lights come on and we keep score, he makes plays,” coach Mike Gundy said. “And in most team sports, there’s something to be said about that.”In the spring game, Johnson caught one ball for seven yards. Before anyone goes crazy, no, it wasn’t his fault whatsoever. Johnson’s quarterbacks in the spring game were Keondre Wudtee, John Kolar and Jelani Woods. Those three combined for 2-of-10 passing for 13 yards. So in that respect, Johnson accounted for more than half of the black team’s offense. Kidding, kinda.It would have been nice to see more of Johnson in the spring game. He is “shifty,” “durable,” and “has the ability to break tackles.” That mixed with his 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame had Gundy drinking the Kool-Aid.“If he takes care of business like he should, he’s learning to adapt to our culture, he’s gonna get to play a lot,” Gundy said.Gundy said Johnson is a lot like a bigger Josh Stewart. In practice, he made guys miss like Stewart made famous in 2014 games. But Gundy stopped short of comparing him to the mold of anybody who has played in the NFL.Camp StarIt seemed like every week there was a different receiver adding his chapter to the freak show.It started with Tyrell Alexander. WR2Chris LacySr. WR2Dillon StonerR-So. WR1Marcell AtemanR-Sr. WR3Tyrell AlexanderR-Fr. PositionPlayerClass WR3Tylan WallaceFr. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Back at It: College Football (Sort of) Starts This Week

first_imgThis is a new little feature we thought would be fun to roll out to you guys to start the week. It’s sometimes difficult to keep track of all the games, media appearances and coverage that happens in a given week for Oklahoma State athletics so we thought we would condense it into a single post for Monday mornings. We’ll need a little time for this to evolve into what it will look like for the football season (and beyond), but this is generally what to expect in this space.This week marks the beginning of college football season for us with Big 12 Media Days. We’re starting to roll out our preseason coverage and are fired up to be covering Media Days in person for the first time ever on Tuesday. We’ll be pumping out videos, quotes and more good stuff from Frisco on Tuesday and beyond. Here is this week’s (minimal) schedule.AdChoices广告Oklahoma State GamesNo games scheduled this week (but The Open starts on Thursday at Royal Birkdale).Oklahoma State Media AppearancesOklahoma State football will be in Frisco at 10 a.m on Tuesday, July 18 for Big 12 Media Days (primer here).PFB CoveragePFB will be on-site for Big 12 Media Days on Tuesday, and we will have posts flowing all week with #content from OSU’s appearance there.Other EssentialsContribute to our siteGet updates and goodies (writer introductions starting this week)Subscribe to our podcast: iTunes | SoundCloud2017 Football Schedule While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Glenn Spencer on Young Corners: ‘It’s a Great Storyline’

first_imgAmong the biggest question marks for Oklahoma State heading into spring was the cornerback position and its depth. The 2016 secondary that ranked 98th in passing defense (fifth in the Big 12) and tied for 72nd in given-up long passing plays (also fifth in the league), lost a four-year starter in Ashton Lampkin and another senior cover man in Lenzy Pipkins.Then Mike Gundy addressed the media. He explained that the spring rosters the school handed out did not include a typo. Senior cornerback Ramon Richards would be moving to safety and the Cowboys had zero starts at the cornerback position.OSU is looking at its best shot at a Big 12 title — and possibly more — in the foreseeable future and is depending on little to no experience at a position where rookies get exposed.AdChoices广告The news that Clemson transfer Adrian Baker would suit up in a different shade of orange didn’t do much to quell concerns either. Even if he’s a stud, he can’t guard two sides of the field. But defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, the last man to falsely inflate the Cowboy defense, doesn’t appear too worried. He even mentioned that the move of Ramon Richards to safety allowed them to get the “best 11” on the field.“Between the A.J.s (Green), the Madres (Harper) and the Rodarius’ (Williams),” Spencer said “there’s three young guys that have ability. But that doesn’t mean anything unless they perform and execute and play with the right temperament.”But Spencer was sure to temper any enthusiasm.“They’ve just got to be exact,” Spencer said of this young corners. “They’re young. They got to hang on every word that Coach Duffie teaches them and they got to apply it. So, we’ll see. It’s a great storyline, isn’t it? We’ll see what happens. They’ll be tested that opener. I know that. But they’ll be tested Sunday night too.”That test has already begun as the Cowboys checked in for fall camp on Sunday. Spencer talked about the what he’d seen in practice already from his young cover men — and how going up against elite receivers like James Washington helps get them ready for the other high-powered offenses they’ll face this fall.“Yeah, I mean they’ve made some nice plays,” said Spencer. “They’ve made some great plays and then there’s some plays that they’re in phase and did everything you taught them to do and 26 jumps up there and gets it from them. That is James’ number, isn’t it? 28? You knew who I was talking about. But that’s only going to make them better, right?”Spencer is a treasure!During Big 12 Media Days, senior linebacker Chad Whitener mentioned A.J. Green and Rodarius Williams as his two corners to keep an eye on this fall and he shares his coach’s sentiment on the stiff competition.“Those (cornerbacks) can play,” he said. “They had a really good spring. All through metabolics and 7-on-7, all summer they’ve had really good reps at everything, especially going against our receiving corps.“They’re one of the best if not the best receiving corps in the nation, so these guys are ready to go for us this next year.”These younger defensive backs all fit what Oklahoma State has been looking for in its secondary as of late. Not one is under 6-foot tall. All are rangy and athletic. The same mold that incoming freshman, 6-1 Lamarcus Morton, will fit after his likely redshirt year.What gives Spencer confidence aside from these measureables?“They’re competitive. They’ve got pride,” said Spencer. “The good thing is, none of those guys think they’ve arrived. So you’ve got a chance. Those guys know they’ve got to take advantage of every day.”“Coach Spencer will not put guys out there who are not ready to go,” said Whitener “So, that’s really where the confidence, I feel, stems from.”Confidence is great and I hope it ends up warranted but like Spencer said, all that matters is how they perform when the lights come on. And they come on in less than a month. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Boone Pickens Issues Statement Ahead of OSU-Tulsa Game

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. For a decade now, mega-booster T. Boone Pickens has met with the media ahead of OSU’s season-opening game. But he broke that tradition on Thursday, instead issuing a statement to the media to address his recovery from a “Texas-size fall” this summer, his ambitions for OSU this season and his “great feeling” about OSU in 2017. Ten years ago tomorrow I began a tradition that was important to me. At the start of every Oklahoma State football season, I would meet with the media and share my thoughts and expectations for the program. To me, the little gaggle with the press was very personal. It was something I looked forward to every year. It was a chance for me to opine about my deep love for Oklahoma State and display my inherent competitive spirit. Oh, I do like to win.Tonight, as Oklahoma State takes on Tulsa, I’m deeply sorry to report the gaggle won’t happen. While I am making progress, my recovery from a Texas-size fall earlier this summer is taking longer than I had hoped. I continue to work with my speech coach. She’s wonderful and I’m optimistic that my speech will fully return, but I don’t want to frustrate myself…or you…with a spirited round of one-sided back-and-forth.But I am not going to cheat myself out of an opportunity to profess my love for OSU and my excitement for the upcoming season. So, I’ve prepared some thoughts and hope you will feel free to share them.When I began my major giving at Oklahoma State, I had short- and long-term goals. Short term, I wanted to be competitive. We didn’t have to win every game, but we had to leave it all on the field. To me, attitude and effort are everything. As I said before, show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser. We have moved to a new plateau. We’re more than competitive. We’re winners. I’m proud of my contributions. There is always more work ahead to sustain success. Longer term, I want every aspect of our programs to compete for national championships. With Mike Holder’s leadership, his solid staff and the roster of strong coaches across the board, we are getting there.I have such a great feeling about our football team this year and our chances to win a national championship. Mike Gundy is building a great program. And it is a program that achieves a key goal of mine – play by the rules. You don’t have to cheat to win. I’ve gotten to know Mason Rudolph. He’s a great team leader and I know he will have a Heisman season. I wish the very best to Coach Gundy and the team who share my dream of hoisting yet another Big 12 Championship Trophy and salivate at the prospects of hoisting the College Football Championship Trophy.My health is improving, but, in reality, it is going to be tough for me to do what I’ve done for more than a decade…and that’s make every home game.But know this: When I’m absent physically, I’m still leaving all my heart on the field.Go Pokes.OSU begins its season at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday evening against Tulsa, and while Boone Pickens won’t be speaking publicly because of his health, it seems he’s chomping at the bit to get the season underway.AdChoices广告last_img read more

Gullit: Conte could save his job by beating Barca

first_imgChelsea Conte could save Chelsea job by beating Barcelona, claims Gullit Jamie Smith 03:15 1/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(4) Ruud Gullit Getty Images Chelsea Antonio Conte Premier League Barcelona v Chelsea Barcelona UEFA Champions League The former Blues boss believes achieving victory in the Champions League could earn a reprieve for their Italian manager Antonio Conte may keep his job at Chelsea by knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League, according to the club’s former manager Ruud Gullit.Conte’s future at Stamford Bridge is believed to be uncertain, with Chelsea making a poor attempt at defending their Premier League title.The Italian has indicated he will see out his contract, which runs to 2019, although he has regularly spoken of returning to his homeland. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Italian Football Federation (FIGC) vice-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta has confirmed Conte is on the shortlist to be the permanent new national team coach, the 48-year-old having led the Azzurri from 2014 to 2016.Former Netherlands international Gullit managed Chelsea from 1996 to 1998, when the Dutchman was sacked, despite leading the Blues to FA Cup glory in 1997.Chelsea have struggled for managerial stability since the takeover by Roman Abramovich in 2003, but Gullit feels a positive result against Barcelona could convince the club to retain Conte for next season.”If he gets Barcelona out of the Champions League, then it will be very difficult to replace him,” Gullit told Omnisport, speaking at the 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards. “He knows that, he knows also that the championship in England is difficult now to get. They know that as well.”Manchester City have now won the EFL Cup so they have the confidence, it’s hard for them to lose any points [in the Premier League]… So the best thing is to focus yourself on the Champions League.”Willian’s goal had Chelsea on track for a 1-0 first-leg victory in the last-16 clash before a mistake from Andreas Christensen allowed Lionel Messi to score a vital away goal for the Catalan giants.”I think it’s going to be tough because if they lose these games there could be pressure on Conte, pressure on everything,” Gullit said.”They came out of it and then the game against Manchester United [a 2-1 loss at Old Trafford] of course was a setback, and then I think to get a good result against Manchester City [on Sunday], will be difficult as well.”Barcelona, I still think they have a chance. Also because it’s a big pitch so it means you have lots of space for the counter-attack. They did well in the first half. The only thing is they made mistakes and they get punished for it hard.”This is top of the top football, so you have to stay focused for 90 minutes, maybe more.”last_img read more

New Wilson Center Webcast Features Two Organizations Working on Health, Sustainability and Economic Development

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on August 26, 2013February 16, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Recently, our colleagues at the Wilson Center hosted “Oysters, Octopus and Resilience,”an event  whose title does not immediately suggest a strong link with maternal health. And, indeed, the event featured organizations, TRY Oyster Women’s Organization, which works in the Gambia, and Blue Ventures, which works in Madagascar,  that did not start out with an explicit emphasis on maternal or reproductive health either. Both organizations began with a focus on fostering community-based efforts around marine conservation, specifically sustainable fishing and oyster harvesting projects. Both organizations, however, adapted their approaches based on recognition of the overlapping challenges that women, families and communities face. As  TRY Executive Director Fatou Janha described her organization’s approach to the Wilson Center: “We talk about the sustainable stewardship of the environment…but we can’t afford to have this if we don’t have healthy people.”As a result of this shared realization, both organizations link communities with vital resources, including education and services around family planning and maternal health. Blue Ventures’ Medical Director Dr. Vik Mohan pointed out, this sort of approach has enabled both organizations to pursue an approach that holds promise for reaching  across the gender barriers that often hinder reproductive health programming. As Dr. Mohan said of Blue Ventures’ approach:“It means that when women come to hear about family planning, they also get to hear about fisheries. It means that when men come to learn about fisheries, they hear about contraception, probably for the first time in their lives.”For more, visit the Wilson Center’s blog or webcast of the event.Share this:last_img read more

A Fresh Look at the Adequacy of Antenatal Health Care

first_imgPosted on June 10, 2016July 11, 2017Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)By Jacquelyn Caglia, Associate Director, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthHigh quality care during pregnancy is a critical part of the continuum of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health care.  Antenatal care (ANC) provides an opportunity to promote healthy behaviors during pregnancy, identify and treat health problems, and raise awareness of danger signs that may arise throughout pregnancy. Most efforts to measure the effectiveness of ANC, however, are limited by only tracking the number of visits a woman has during pregnancy, without incorporating key measures of the quality of that care or the content of the visits.Heredia-Pi and colleagues published a study in this month’s Bulletin of the World Health Organization in which they propose a new way to look at antenatal care. The authors note that historically, studies have analyzed antenatal care indicators – such as timeliness, sufficiency, and adequacy – independently, which may result in high average levels that do not convey an accurate depiction of care. To better measure the adequacy and continuity of antenatal care, the authors propose a comprehensive approach that incorporates several dimensions of the health care process.Four Proposed Dimensions of the Adequacy of Antenatal Care:Skilled – Was antenatal care provided by a nurse or physician?Timely – Was the first antenatal care visit during the first trimester of pregnancy?Sufficient – Were there at least four antenatal care visits during the pregnancy?Appropriate – Was the content of the antenatal care visits mostly correct?For the measure of appropriateness, the authors investigated whether at least seven of the following eight procedures or processes were included: measurement of height, weight, and blood pressure; urine analysis; blood examination; tetanus vaccine; prescription of folic acid; and prescription of vitamins, iron, or dietary supplements.Using data from the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey conducted in 2012, Heredia-Pi and colleagues divided the study sample into three outcome categories: adequate antenatal care (conditions 1-4 above met), inadequate antenatal care (some but not all criteria met), and no antenatal care. Their study revealed that while 98.4% of women in the sample received at least one antenatal care visit from a skilled health provider, only 71.5% of these women received antenatal care that was adequate. Their study also detected socioeconomic disparities across the three outcome categories with women at the higher ends of income and with better housing conditions more likely to receive adequate antenatal care.While the findings of the study in Mexico are important in their own right, I am most excited about the possibility of a new composite measure of antenatal care that focuses on quality and context just as much as it captures access and frequency that is comparable within and across countries. Is the time for a comprehensive, woman-centered measure of health care during pregnancy finally here?—-What do you think of the proposed new measure of adequate antenatal care? If you are working to improve maternal newborn health through antenatal care, are you measuring beyond the number of visits? We would love to hear from you at mhtf@hsph.harvard.edu.Photo: “Maternal care, Hargeisa, Somalia 2007” © 2007 Sarah Bones/CARE, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license 2.0Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Promoting Respectful Maternity Care in Tanzania

first_imgPosted on July 25, 2016May 9, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Disrespect and abuse during childbirth has been observed and recorded all around the world. In addition to being a human rights violation, disrespect and abuse during childbirth discourages women who experience it from seeking health care in the future and ultimately results in poor health outcomes. As a result, a number of organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), have called for improved measurement, programs and advocacy addressing this global issue. With support from The John and Katie Hansen Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) established a research project to measure the prevalence of disrespect and abuse during childbirth in Tanzania and Ethiopia and to develop effective interventions.In a recent study published in Reproductive Health as a part of the MHTF’s work with Management and Development for Health, Ratcliffe and colleagues examined the effects of two interventions designed to promote respectful maternity care in Tanzania: the first was an educational program for pregnant women—Open Birth Days (OBD), and the second was a workshop series for healthcare providers—Respectful Maternity Care Workshop (RMC Workshop). Both interventions were implemented in the same large, referral hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania over the course of seven months. After evaluating both programs through pre and post-tests, direct observation and interviews with patients and providers, the researchers found numerous positive outcomes.The RMC Workshop, which was adapted from the WHO’s Health Workers for Change curriculum, was designed to give providers an opportunity to revisit ethical principles of clinical work, think about the background and preferences of patients and reflect on interpersonal and structural barriers impeding respectful maternity care. Compared to baseline, after participating in the RMC Workshop a greater number of providers:Stated that “disrespect and abuse during maternity care is a human rights violation”Reported having a good understanding of their patients’ backgroundsDisagreed that it was “safer to withhold information from less educated women”Said that they could empathize with their patientsFelt able to identify and solve problems at workThe OBD program was designed as a supplement to regular antenatal care services to facilitate patient-provider communication and mutual accountability, prepare women for delivery and empower women to advocate for themselves and their patient rights. Compared to baseline, after participating in the OBD program a greater number of patients:Knew about their right to consent to proceduresKnew about their right to be free from physical abuse during laborKnew about their right to privacyKnew where to check in when arriving at the facility in laborAgreed that moving around during labor is bestFelt more comfortable about their upcoming deliveryWere more satisfied with the services they receivedThe researchers also conducted follow-up interviews with women four to six weeks after they delivered at the facility and saw substantial reductions in the prevalence of types of disrespect and abuse including having experienced slapping, shouting, scolding, being uncovered during delivery or examination and being abandoned during labor and delivery.The results of this study illustrate that reducing disrespect and abuse during childbirth through effective interventions is possible. However, there is still a shortage of interventions that have been designed, implemented and evaluated—both in Tanzania and around the world. Continued investment in training, measurement and programming is crucial to improve women’s birthing experiences globally.—Read the full research article published in Reproductive Health and the accompanying commentary by Ratcliffe et al. (also published in Reproductive Health).Access more information about respectful maternity care.Learn more about the 2013 “Measuring Advocacy for Policy Change: The case for respectful maternity care” technical meeting hosted by the MHTF in partnership with USAID’s Translating Research into Action (TRAction) Project.Are you working on respectful maternity care? We want to hear from you!Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more