LG G6 is launching in India today: 5 reasons why you should keep an eye on this phone

first_imgThe LG G6, which is the flagship Android phone from the Korean company, is launching in India today. The launch comes days after Samsung, which also happens to be a Korean company and an arch-rival to LG, launched the Galaxy S8 in India. In the past the clash between the top phones of these two companies was always won by Samsung. The Galaxy S series phone has always been fairly fabulous. The Galaxy S8 continues the tradition. But this time something is different for the top G series phone from LG. The G6 looks like a phone that can bring LG back into the game. Even in India.The reason why the G6 seems so good is easy to notice. It is a phone that focuses on the basics. And in the process, promises consumers an experience that could be really polished. India Today Tech will have a better look at the G6 in the coming days. But for now, here are 5 reasons why you should keep an eye on it.Bigger than the sum of its partsThis year there seems to be a trend towards making flagship phones that are more than the sum of their parts. The idea is that hardware matters but it matters less than the overall experience. This is the same approach that Apple has used year after year, and up to an extent has been used by OnePlus. This year many more follow. But the best example of a phone that is bigger than what its hardware hints at seems to be the LG G6. It is powered by last year’s Snapdragon processor, has 4GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. But by spending its budget on features and parts that matter — such as the screen, camera, design etc, it seems LG is the right path.advertisementAlso Read: LG G6 pre-bookings open in India ahead of today’s launchSo far the reviews of the phone have been positive, its performance has been praised. It has been optimised well, or at least that is the impression.Dual camera with wide-angle lensUnlike the Galaxy S8, which comes with single lens camera — although it is a wonderful camera — the LG G6 comes with dual camera. Both of its cameras click 13-megapixel images but one of them has a wide 125-degree lens, which helps click wider photos. The result is that the camera in the G6, if its performance matches the claims made by LG, can be a really good shooter for those who love to click landscape images or close up photos with a different perspective.Waterproof metal and glass designLast year the LG G5 tried the modular design approach. Although innovative, that didn’t work out because it had usability issues. This is for LG it is back to basics. And how. The G6 uses a metal and glass design that makes it look fabulous. But best of all, it has incredibly thin bezels, which means it comes packed with a large 5.7-inch screen and is yet significantly smaller than the phones like the Google Pixel and the iPhone 7 Plus, which have a smaller screen. The G6 also sports a rugged body, complete with waterproof feature. LG says, “The G6 (has) passed 14 different military-standard 810G tests, so you can always take it the extra mile.” Sounds nice, although over here at the India Today Tech we will figure out how it all works out in the real world.Sets a trend with the screenDo you recall that Samsung Galaxy S8 infinity display with incredible curves and thin bezels? Well, the G6 doesn’t have those curves. But it can claim to kick-start a trend towards 18:9 aspect ratio screens. This is the same aspect ratio screen that Samsung Galaxy S8 also uses. What this aspect ratio does is that it allows a phone company to put in a big screen in a small phone. It also ensures that the phone, despite its big screen, is easy to hold and use. The LG6 comes with a 5.7-inch display — LG calls it FullVision Display — with 2880 x 1440 pixels resolution. It is also the first phone to come with the 18:9 display, with the Galaxy S8 being second.Also Read: This is how much the LG G6 will cost in IndiaPossible LG G6 price in IndiaAlthough there is nothing official about the LG G6 price in India, retailers are jumping the gun on it. Mahesh Telecom, a Mumbai-based retailer, who has been pretty accurate in his pre-announcement leaks, says that the G6 will cost Rs 51,990. But in addition to this, there is also a Rs 7,000 cashback on select cards, so effectively for many the price could be as low as Rs 45,000. For a flagship phone, that would be an impressive price, and definitely cheaper than the Galaxy S8, although for most consumers that may not matter.advertisementlast_img read more

Website Analytics — Is Anyone Else Frustrated?

first_img Web Analytics Originally published Oct 6, 2006 3:25:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Too Many Tools To Get The Picture Below is a picture of the tabs of my browser session right now. As you can see, I have our SmallBusiness2.0 blog up; Technorati up to see who is linking to us and what our rank is; FeedBurner up to look at the number of people “subscribing” to the RSS feed; Google analytics to see how many visitors we are getting and from what geography; and Alexa up to see how we are doing relative to every other website/blog on the planet. I tend to go through the exercise of looking at all of these tools once a week prior to our weekly meeting to update the team on how the top of our funnel looks relative to previous weeks/months and I also tend look at this information during the day that I post a meaningful blog article that I think should get traction. I think all these tools are great if you are a professional blogger or are a dedicated full-time marketing analytics person, but it is pretty cumbersome to track all this stuff if it’s not a fulltime job. This is especially true for a small business where everyone in the company wears multiple hats. For those of you who have day jobs beyond report creation out there, do you feel like I do? Not Real-time Enough The other thing that frustrates me about all these tools is how they are not “real-time” enough for me. I wish Technorati updated the inbound links more often and had more real-time rankings. I wish FeedBurner showed you what was happening at the very moment versus just a daily snapshot and I also wish they updated their data at 12:01am for the previous day. I wish Google would stop the sandboxing process for new domains and I wish they would update their PageRank information (shown in the Google toolbar) more often. I wish Alexa would show better data on what is happening in the last week and rankings in real-time for smaller sites. For those of you who use these tools, do you have the same wish-list as I do? GoogleTrends for My Small Business I’m not sure if you have had a chance to check out Google Trends, but I think it is rather addictive. My only issue with it is it does not work at a company level (unless you are a massive company) and it does not allow you to put in custom events to show how your marketing activities correlate with traffic. For those of you addicted to GoogleTrends, do you agree? — Brian Halligan Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:last_img read more

How Valuable Is Social Media Really? [Chartoon]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published May 18, 2011 10:45:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 We took a look at the results of our 4500 customers during the month of April, and let Mythy the Unicorn and Takeaway Tim dive in.  Let’s see what they have to say about whether social media is useless when it comes to getting visitors and leads.  Social Media .” With that kind of a headline, we had to dig a little deeper. While social media can be hard to measure, we are big believers in it’s imact on a good inbound marketing strategy. (If you want to learn more about how to measure social media, check out the Topics:center_img Last month, our good friends over a Marketing Pilgrim wrote an interesting post titled ” Science of Analytics webinar this Thursday.)  Under 1% of Web Visits Come from Social Medialast_img read more

Nikon announces entry-level D3400 DSLR camera, 2 telephoto lenses

first_imgAlmost after two years, the Nikon D3300 has been replaced. But if in case you are a D3300 users, don’t feel jealous of the D3400. Despite a long time in making, Nikon’s latest entry-level camera D3400 is more or less the same as the D3300. The big changes are in design and addition of an always-on Bluetooth sensor that will help users connect the camera to their smartphones.The D3400 will be available in India from the last week of September. For now the India price of the camera has not been announced but expect it to be around Rs 35,000.In addition to sporting an always-on Bluetooth sensor, the D3400 is also lighter than the D3300 as well as promises better battery life (around 1200 shots). But other than these minor changes, not much is different. the new camera has the same 24-megapixel sensor that is inside the D3300 and it has the same focus system. It also has the same image processor and hence similar shooting speed. The ISO range now goes to 25,600 compared to the 12,800 of the D3300. However considering the fact that the image sensor is same, it looks like Nikon is using some software tweaks and optimisations to get better low-light performance in the D3400.Although, somewhat disappointing, it is also understandable why Nikon made the D3400 in the mirror image of D3300 and kept the hardware more or less same. The 24-megapixel sensor inside the D3300 is one of the best ever seen in an entry-level camera. It is great at dealing with dynamic range and the fairly spot on when it comes to colours. It also lacks the low-pass filter, which helps it capture more details.advertisementThe D3300 sensor is not only good when compared to what went into the previous Nikon cameras, it also has a huge leap over sensors in Canon’s DX cameras. May be lack of competition at the low-end meant that Nikon could take it easy with the D3400. The D3400 will be sold with a 18-55mm kit lens.Two new lensesOn Wednesday, Nikon also announced two new lenses for DX camera shooters. These are 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED and AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G VR.As the name indicates, these lenses will work with DX cameras like the D3400. They won’t work, or work properly, with the FX cameras like the D750. Also, one of these lenses have the VR (vibration reduction) which is useful while shooting closer to the higher range of zoom. These two lenses are aimed at shooters who want to click images wildlife. When used with the DX camera, their effective focal length would be around 450mm.The two new lenses will also be available in India in the last week of September. Nikon will reveal the prices of the lenses closer to their availability although the prices to be on the lower side. The company already has a 70-300mm lens for FX and DX cameras that costs over Rs 30,000 and it has an excellent 55-300mm lens for DX cameras that sells for around Rs 20,000. Considering these two already existing lenses, it is possible that these new lenses may cost around Rs 15,000 in the market.Also read: Best cheap DSLR camera: Nikon D3300. And time to get it is nowlast_img read more

Ahead of Brisbane T20I, Steve Waugh reminds India of “ordinary away record”

first_imgIndia and Australia are set to go up against each other, starting November 21, in three Twenty20 Internationals, four Tests and three One-day Internationals and former Australia captain Steve Waugh believes Australia can spring a surprise against India in Tests.Experts from both camps have been very vocal about who would win the Test series down under with most touting India as favourites considering a ‘weakened’ Australian side.Australia will be without their most prolific batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner after Cricket Australia unanimously voted against reducing their bans.However, Waugh pointed out India’s “ordinary” overseas track record in the past few years and said Australia have a solid chance against this Indian side.Also read – Virat Kohli not underestimating Australia without Steve Smith and David Warner”India, they’re talking up a good game but they’ve come off a pretty disappointing series in England … their away form is pretty ordinary over the past five or 10 years,” Waugh was quoted by Fox Sports. “I think Australia might surprise actually.””I think if Australia can score 350 runs in our first innings we’ll win the Test match,” said Waugh. “Our bowlers are world class and particularly in our conditions we’ll take 20 wickets. As long as we can score runs, if we get 350 in the first innings, we’ll win the series.”READ – Steve Smith and David Warner to serve out bans in full: Cricket AustraliaWaugh did mention that India are a good side and they see this as their opportunity to grab and get a Test series win in Australia.advertisement”They (India) have got a very good side. They will see this as their best opportunity to win in Australia for a long time,” Waugh said.Waugh also touted Virat Kohli as a “great leader and batsman” and said if a couple more follow the captain and score runs, they have a chance against Australia.Also read – Australia skipper Aaron Finch ready to challenge India in T20I series”(Virat) Kohli is a great leader and a great batsman. If a couple of others follow him in and start scoring runs they have a chance.”Kohli has a simple message for his men as they embark on another tour of Australia: learn from your mistakes, minimise them and pay heed to details.Kohli wants his team to do the little things right. Not doing that hurt India in the Test series in South Africa and the Test and ODI series in England.READ – India name playing XI for 1st T20I vs Australia, Rishabh Pant to keep wickets”We don’t want to be a team that wins one odd Test match here and there,” Kohli told reporters on Tuesday. “We have figured out our mistakes in England which, I have mentioned before, were very radical.”The quality of cricket was very high but our mistakes were as radical and that’s why we lost the games. We won the game in which we committed fewer mistakes. We were at par with the other team throughout.”I think we have the ability to keep competing with the other team and in Test cricket whichever team makes fewer mistakes wins the game. That’s the general rule.”Also watch –last_img read more

7 Examples of SaaS Companies with Exceptional Marketing

first_img Originally published Oct 1, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Marketing Case Studies Topics: Who doesn’t love a good story? The characters. The page-turning twists of fate. The surprise endings. You might not expect to hear one from SaaS companies. (I mean, how exciting is software?) But in the marketing world, they’re like the Grimms’ fairy tales.The SaaS sector is relatively young and seriously competitive, which means companies have had to wring every last drop of creative juice from their patchwork just to get on the map. And usually, with only a fraction of the budget their larger competitors are working with.We’re going to regale you with true tales of marketing triumph. Some involve small start-ups going from rags to riches with one great idea. Others are displays of true grit. But all of them are amazing examples of what can happen when you get creative with your inbound strategy. Without further ado, here are seven SaaS companies doing it right.1) HipChatHipChat is a private chat and instant messaging service that provides one-on-one and group chatting, as well as cloud-based file storage, video calling, searchable message histories and online image viewing. It began as an unknown start-up in California and wanted to run billboard advertising campaigns to generate awareness and traffic, but realized quickly that it couldn’t afford it. Billboards run between $30,000 and $50,000 per four-week campaign.HipChat co-founder and CEO Pete Curley put on his business pants and thought about it from the billboard supplier’s point of view. He speculated that there must be occasions where a buyer backs out, or a campaign falls through at the last minute. And in those instances, he assumed the billboard company would prefer to sell the ad space to someone for a lesser amount than let it sit vacant and worthless.On a whim, he reached out to his CBS Outdoor rep and asked to be notified if there were ever a case like this. Sure enough, a few weeks later, that rep called him with an opening, and HipChat landed prime-location advertising at 101 North in the San Francisco Bay area for four weeks. Its total bill: $6,999 — tens of thousands of dollars less than the true value of the space.But that genius streak wasn’t over. Now that it had the space, it had only days to come up with an ad that would attract attention. HipChat (a faceless company at the time) decided to keep it simple and used a relatively popular Internet character, the Y-U-No guy from Rage Comics, to turn heads in its direction. By associating a character familiar to drivers with an unfamiliar product, interest was piqued …The result: This ad campaign is still paying off. Pictures of the billboard showed up on Twitter, Tumblr, FAIL Blog (in the “Wins” category), and the coveted TechCrunch. The company saw a 300 percent rise in online searches, an onslaught of new customers and a warp-speed transition from three guys with a good sense of humor to a small (and successful) business. Not long after, HipChat was acquired by a larger company.The bottom line: The initial investment was expensive, but the huge success of the overall campaign and the subsequent influx of new customers helped offset the CAC. The exact number of customers accrued wasn’t disclosed, but at $2 per month per user, and an infinite number of impressions generated during that four-week time frame, Curley was impressed with the outcome. As for customer LTV — it, too, went up.2) TrelloTrello is a free collaboration tool that organizes projects into boards to make them easier to monitor in one glance. Its marketing approach is inimitable because … it doesn’t have one.You heard right. Instead of investing in advertising, Trello focused its entire budget on building a sound, user-friendly product that people and businesses truly need.The result: High-volume word-of-mouth appraisal. Countless blogs mention the service, organizations rave about how much it’s helped them organize tasks quickly and easily, and how cost-effective it is. And those that haven’t switched to it are at the very least debating the move via online discussions. Though Trello’s baseline service is free, the company offers upgrade versions; a Gold package for individuals is $5 per month or $45 per year. For businesses, there are two paid service options.The bottom line: With word-of-mouth as its main source of advertising, Trello’s CAC is incredibly low, and because the overall opinion of its product is high, so is its customer LTV. Trello provides productivity content on its social media pages and blogs, and has in the past let its members earn free, upgraded Trello access for a limited time by sharing Trello social media posts or getting new members to sign up. This result is more users without Trello spending any extra coin. Customers do all the marketing work. The company continues to focus its money and efforts into providing a superior product — and everybody wins. 3) IntercomIntercom is a communications platform that connects businesses with their customers in a simpler way. Its strategy is a little more … conventional than some of the other SaaS companies listed here. But the angle it uses is entirely unique.Instead of targeting buyer personas, Intercom targets the jobs it is being hired to fulfill. Its philosophy: Knowing the job helps find the audience. Here’s how it does it:First, Intercom works to understand what creates the need for a company to buy a certain product. It reflects on conversations with customers, former customers and prospects, and uses any feedback to identify trends and improve how it explains the product. This information feeds into the development of its five job packages: observe, acquire, engage, learn, support.Next, Intercom creates a messaging guide for each job package it offers, which it now uses as the template for putting together landing pages for each. It includes questions like, “What problem are we solving?” and “Why would people hire Intercom for this job?” Each landing page is laden with SEO strategy and designed using visually appealing graphics to present the question/problem a prospect might have, like, “Is your customer support process broken?”Then, it uses more graphics to move the page into a solution, with a headline such as, “Sort it out with Intercom,” and a description that presents the job and how Intercom can do it best.Finally, Intercom created a short video (less than 2 minutes) for each job to effectively show how it gets it done. Each page includes a sticky navigation bar that stays at the top of the browser window as viewers scroll down the page, enabling quick access to key sections of the page (like pricing and a call-to-action).To establish credibility with visitors and showcase the types of businesses it caters to, Intercom also displays the logos of reputable customers and features customer photos with a quote describing how Intercom has helped their business. Pricing, sign-up and trial information is front and center — making it a no-brainer to find. And Intercom uses programs like Google Analytics, Inspectlet and Optimizely to monitor and measure prospect interaction with its pages, and test customer engagement hypotheses.The result: The depth of knowledge it gains throughout its targeting strategy provides it with the foresight to know what types of events to attend/sponsor/speak at in order to meet the type of people who would use its product (hence its philosophy).The bottom line: With each job-focused landing page it built, Intercom saw a conversion rate of approximately 5 percent. Its top-of-funnel traffic has more than tripled and continues to grow on a weekly basis, and its conversion rate remains consistent. Because its strategy is so focused on solving specific customer problems, its customer LTV is high, and while it does put a great deal of time and energy into developing this strategy, the conversion rate helps offset its CAC.4) HootSuiteHootSuite is a social media management system that helps businesses track and manage their social media channels. HootSuite tirelessly looks for new ways to entertain audiences and last year, a pop culture-inspired video campaign helped it break personal records.As “Game of Thrones” fans, the HootSuite team decided to theme the video after the opening sequence of the hit series and release it just in time for the season premiere. Taking the idea a step further, they drew a parallel between what the show is about and what HootSuite does for businesses (helps manage the quiet battles fought between social networks). Fans totally got it — and loved it.The result: Within hours of release, the video had thousands of likes and shares on social media networks, and found its way to some major media outlets. Since then, it’s been viewed more than 850,000 times and is regarded as the single most successful piece of content the company has created. Like Eat24, the video reached a whole new market — “Game of Thrones” fans. Sure, some fans may have already been HootSuite users, but this video made an impression on many fans who weren’t using the service.The bottom line: The entire video was produced in-house and HootSuite mostly relied on owned media to promote the video. Plus, social sharing ended up carrying the bulk of the video’s promotion. Combined, these elements resulted in a relatively low CAC.5) BufferBuffer is a social media scheduling app that allows users to create updates in a queue for dispersal throughout the day at peak time frames. Like Intercom, its marketing success sprung from conventional strategy paired with a unique approach.One of its main advertising channels is blogging. At first, it only blogged about topics related to social media, but the strategy had limited reach. That’s when a presentation by Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin sparked a new strategy idea. Instead of creating content for potential audiences, Buffer decided to target the influencers who were already reaching it.The new angle? Telling stories that incite people who already have a captive audience. This led to covering topics a wider audience could relate to — topics like psychology, creativity, multitasking, life hacks and more.After changing its content game, Buffer posts experienced a substantial increase in social media shares. Actually, more than four times the amount, taking their counts from 250 to more than 1,000.Kicking it up a notch, Buffer decided to start guest blogging to build new relationships and reach larger audiences. This connected the site with friends and followers of major social media influencers. The impact wasn’t immediate, but eventually, Buffer started hitting big numbers, like 100,000 new users in less than a year.The result: Buffer went from a small company with no experience, no funding and no connections to a major player in the content marketing game. It has more than 1 million users and earns almost $4 million in annual revenue.It eventually reached viral status with the blog post “30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself,” which received more than 500,000 Facebook likes, 400 comments and 20,000 Tweets. The company learned three things from the post:Even if a post is lengthy (this one was over 1,500 words) it will get read if the layout is easily skimmed.Using psychology to create headlines will generate more views. In this case, the title incited curiosity from potential readers, and made them wonder if the article applied to them.Don’t always rely on previously tested methods for creating content, and don’t be afraid to test unconventional ideas. You never know what might go viral.The bottom line: Because much of Buffer’s writing was done by co-founder Leo Widrich, the company’s CAC is relatively low. Buffer did hire a full-time writer to head a second blog focusing on the culture of work life at Buffer (it provides a unique setting that values exercise, healthy eating and world travel). It received more than 900 applications for the job in just one month.6) ContentlyContently is a content marketing (gone full-on media) company that connects freelancers with publishers (usually brands) who need content for their websites or marketing strategies. It’s known for drawing some serious brand dignitaries — like Pepsi, GE and American Express — into extended contracts. How did Contently do it? It re-invented the compensation model to pay out writers at a much higher rate than other media sources.To turn a profit, Contently licenses its marketplace software to publishers instead of offering traditional revenue share with writers, where they take a cut of the prices set by the publishers.It’s a win-win setup. Customers gain access to the entire Contently network of freelancers, and get to select whomever they like best. Writers are connected with work for hire, but without having to worry about managing the process (which Contently does for them). This frees them to focus on their craft and produce better work. And recently, Contently expanded its service to help writers market themselves online and file their freelance tax returns. The result: Contently attracted a lot of investors, who have helped the company raise millions. Its business model also sets new ethical standards for the treatment of writers. Moreover, its compensation model draws in some serious talent, which is why it’s managed to land big brands.The bottom line: Contently sports a high customer retention rate, which contributes to a high customer LTV. It also has the support needed to expand, and plans to incorporate publishing and business results into its business model, making it the content marketplace to emulate.7) ZendeskZendesk is a cloud-based customer service platform that provides ticketing self-service options and a slew of other customer support features. It also is the mastermind behind a truly bizarre marketing ploy that earned it major attention.The Zendesk team regularly monitors search terms. In fall 2013, the team noticed a trend — people kept using the term “Zendesk alternative” in search for other platforms like Zendesk. The company’s genius marketing team decided to win some organic search traffic by embracing the search term in a very … involved way.They created a comedic “Making the Band”-themed video, and invented a fake alternative music group, naturally dubbed Zendesk Alternative. The company bought the domain name, created social media pages for the band on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, listed the band name on Bandcamp and Reverberation, applied unique keyword rich anchor text, title tags and page content, uploaded their video and eagerly awaited reaction.The result: Days after launch, the CEO of Helpscout (Zendesk’s biggest competitor at the time) made a congratulatory Tweet after Zendesk took its place as No. 1 in the ranks.The bottom line: The faux site, zendeskalternative.com converted at a 95 percent higher rate than the main website, launching in October 2013 and closing five deals by April. In addition to winning over Google’s ranking, it also won the hearts of customers by poking fun at the competition with charm and class. The time, money and effort that went into the campaign likely increased its CAC, but the influx of recognition offset this spike, and customer LTV increased.Some of the biggest marketing mistakes SaaS companies make are focusing too much on software and not enough on service and results; failing to delight current customers; unnecessarily driving up CACs; not maximizing customer LTV and following conventional marketing models without original thought.These seven examples of exceptional marketing strategies side-step the pitfalls beautifully, and prove that you don’t need a huge budget or strong footing in the market to climb your way to the top. A sense of humor, creativity and bold, unorthodox thinking is enough to rival even the most successful competitors. 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

11 Brilliant Tools for Organizing, Developing & Sharing Your Ideas

first_img Originally published Jan 4, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Having an idea is one thing; executing on it is another entirely.Ideas come to us in all shapes and sizes, in all levels of importance, and at all different times of day. Sometimes, we get inspired by something we read online and want to capture it and comment on it. Other times, we come up with an idea out of nowhere and want to jot it down, or say it out loud into our phones before we forget it.When we have these ideas, it’s far too easy to forget them or let them slip through the cracks — especially if we don’t have a system for organizing them. Thankfully, there are some amazing tools out there that can help us track and organize ideas in all different situations.Here are the best tools out there for organizing your ideas — including note-taking tools, visual organization tools, collaboration tools, and general organization tools.Organizational Tools for Work:EvernoteMicrosoft OneNoteTrelloMindMeisterXMindPinterestGoogle DocsBasecampBoxGmailDiigo (Read this blog post to learn about more tools for organizing your email inbox.)11) DiigoPrice: Free for Basic, $7/yr. for Social, $40/yr. or $5/yr. for Standard, $59/yr. or $6/mo. for ProfessionalIf you want to organize your ideas by highlighting passages on webpages, adding sticky notes, and sharing with friends, then give Diigo a try. It’s a social bookmarking website that lets you tag and save online resources like webpages, and then highlight and add notes to the sections on those resources and webpages that inspire you or that you’d like to comment on. For example, if you see a website design you like and want to share it with a colleague along with comments, you can capture the page, mark it up, and share it.Using the Outliner feature, you can organize your links, references, and notes to create a simple but structured research base. Here’s a video from Diigo that shows you how it works:Diigo V4: Research ~ annotate, archive, organize from diigobuzz on Vimeo.Which tools do you use to organize your ideas? Share with us in the comments. Topics: Business Tools The Best Note-Taking Tools1) Evernote Price: Free for Basic, $24.99/yr. for Plus, or $49.99/yr. for PremiumEvernote is one of the better-known apps for note-taking and organizing information. I most often use it for organizing research and interview notes, drafting blog posts and ebooks, saving articles to read later, and storing important information — like my favorite code snippets — for easy access.The best part about it is that it syncs across all your devices. So if you think of your next big campaign idea when you’re out with friends, all you have to do is whip out your smartphone, open Evernote, and either jot down your idea, record your idea with its audio recording feature, or even take a picture.It also has a number of free add-on products that make saving stuff to Evernote easier, like their Chrome extension Evernote Web Clipper that lets you save texts, links, and images you see online into your Evernote account with one click. Image Credit: FocusalotLike what you see? Here’s another blog post we wrote on how using Evernote can simplify a marketer’s life.2) Microsoft OneNotePrice: FreeSimilar to Evernote, Microsoft Onenote lets you take notes and share them across all your devices. The kicker is that you need to be a Microsoft user: In order to access OneNote, your device has to have Microsoft Office installed or have access to the OneNote website. Also, unlike Evernote, it doesn’t have an audio recording capability.If that’s not a problem for you, OneNote can be a powerful tool. It lets you take and organize notes and import documents and images, including PDFs. Another cool feature? If you send or forward emails to me@onenote.com from your account, they’ll go straight into your notebook.There are a number of apps that connect directly with OneNote, too. One of my favorites is their integration with Feedly, which is a news aggregator app: You can save articles to OneNote directly from Feedly with one click.Image Credit: SnapFilesThe Best Visual Organization Tools3) Trello Price: Free for Basic, $8.33/user/mo. for Business Class, or $20.83/user/yr. for EnterpriseTrello is a well-known app that’s especially good for tracking and visualizing the progress of your ideas. Using their card-based layout, you can create a card for every idea and then jot notes in there, organize these ideas into categories or lists, create task lists and checklists within cards, color-code them, attach files, and so on. To track the progress of that idea, simply drag and drop the card into a new location.For example, I used to drag and drop blog post ideas among columns, which I named “Idea Backlog,” “In Queue,” “Research/Interview Stage,” “Draft in Progress,” “In Editorial,” “Scheduled,” and “Published.” Okay fine, the last one was called “DUNZO.” To each her own.Image Credit: Cloud Coach4) MindMeisterPrice: FreeIf you’re looking for more of a mind mapping tool for brainstorming and planning, MindMeister is a great choice. It has plenty of diagram templates to choose from, along with a built-in icon library to make organizing easier (and more fun). It is entirely web-based, though, so the interface isn’t quite as flexible as an app, and you’ll need working internet to access your mind maps.If you want to share your mind maps with others, you can share them publicly and/or collaborate with colleagues on them in real time. In the screenshot below, you’ll notice the chat feature open at the bottom.Image Credit: MindMeister5) XMindPrice: Free for Basic, $8.33/user/mo. for Business Class, or $20.83/user/yr. for EnterpriseWhile MindMeister is a great basic mind mapping tool, if you’re looking for something more professional, then XMind might be perfect for you. John Halko, mechanical design lead at prototyping company Oat Foundry, uses XMind to “organize everything from business strategies to product needs and specifications.”It offers cloud storage and automatically syncs across your Macs and PCs instead of existing entirely on the web, like MindMeister does. Plus, their recently redesigned interface is beautiful and intuitive. It has a plethora of predesigned templates and themes to choose from, along with an icon library.If you’re using one of the more advanced versions, you can map out the progress of different tasks using what they call a Gantt Chart — including start and end dates, assignee, priority, and progress. You can also use their Timeline feature to show events in chronological order to track milestones and schedules of different projects.Image Credit: XMind6) PinterestPrice: FreeFinally, if you’re just looking to organize ideas and inspiration, Pinterest is a simple, fun, and social way to do it in a visually pleasing way.When you’re brainstorming ideas for a piece of marketing content or a campaign, you might use Pinterest to save articles, visual content, or other useful pieces of information you find on the internet. That way, when you’re writing the post or looking for inspiration, you can go back to your boards. Another way to use Pinterest is to save images and other visual content for social media you can pull from at any point — like prepping for vacation.Here’s an example of someone who uses Pinterest to collect design ideas and inspiration:The Best Collaboration Tools7) Google DocsPrice: FreeWhile Google Docs can be a great note-taking tool thanks to its familiar, document-style layout, its best features are the ones related to collaborating with others. It’s super easy to share files, and multiple people can edit the same file — even at the same time and in real time. Watch this video to learn more about how to share using Google Docs:There are a few, lesser-known features in Google Docs related to collaboration. For example, if you want to ask questions about, make notes in, or highlight changes you’ve made in a Google Doc you’re working on, you can leave comments directly in the document. The comments can act as a conversation thread, as people can reply to them and carry on a conversation.Another example? The Revision History feature lets you see all of the changes you and someone else has ever made in a Google Doc, and when. Read about the awesome, lesser-known features of Google Docs here.(HubSpot customers: Did you know HubSpot integrates with Google Docs? Learn more here.)8) BasecampPrice: Free for Individual Account, $29/mo. for Team Account, $79/mo. for Team Account with ClientsThere are a lot of collaborative project management tools out there, but Basecamp is one of the best out there for managing projects, groups, and client work. It works really well for communication around teams and projects. Plus, the user interface is simple, intuitive, and easy to navigate. When you want to discuss projects and share files, you can use either the instant chat feature or forum-style messaging. The calendar function lets you schedule appointments, events, and milestones. The to-do list feature lets you list out shared team tasks — and, within each task, you can create a series of to-dos and assign them to individual team members, or leave them open for people to assign themselves.Image Credit: filehorse9) BoxPrice: $5/mo./user for Starter, $15/mo./user for Business, Individual Pricing Plans for EnterpriseIf you’re less interested in detailed collaboration and more into file sharing, Box is a great cloud-based platform where you can store, share, and manage all your company’s files. It’s private and secure, too, so any confidential business information you want to share can be stored safely. Plus, it’s accessible across all your devices, including mobile and tablet.While its file-sharing features are the most well-known, you can also collaborate with colleagues using the commenting, @mention-ing, and task assignment features. This is a great help in cutting down on email. If you want to stay updated on what’s happening with specific content, you can also choose to get notifications every time someone uploads, edits, comments, or downloads something.Finally, Box integrates with a number of apps you may already use regularly, like HubSpot (learn more here), Google Apps, Okta, Slack, and over 1,400 more. Here’s a promotional video right from the source that’ll give you some insight into their value proposition:General Organization Tools10) GmailPrice: FreeA lot of ideas, resources, and sources of inspiration are inevitably going to come at you through email — and it’s far too easy for these emails to get lost in your inbox. For many of us, our emails become our to-do lists, in a way. Some of our emails are threads around a pending projects, while others are ideas your boss sends you that you don’t want to forget.So, in addition to another organization tool, it’s really helpful to organize your email account in a way that makes it easy to find and sort through those emails. Thanks to Gmail’s labeling system and multiple inbox features, there are some great options for organizing your emails.The Multiple Inboxes feature lets you create new, mini inboxes alongside your primary inbox to organize your inbox into multiple sections based on email type. Click here for step-by-step instructions.The Special Stars labeling feature, alongside Multiple Inboxes, is my personal favorite: You can set up multiple inboxes to organize emails into categories, like “Needs Action/Reply,” “Awaiting Reply,” or “Delegated,” and then use “special stars” (i.e. one of Gmail’s labeling systems) to easily stick different emails into their appropriate inboxes with one click. Click here for step-by-step instructions. (Bonus: Achieving and maintaining inbox zero is also part of this methodology. 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

10 of the Best Brands on Twitter (And Why They’re So Successful)

first_imgWhen it was first created, Twitter was designed mostly for individuals. It was a place for people to share succinct versions of their thoughts and ideas with the world.As it grew in popularity, brands jumped on board and began using the platform to communicate with consumers. Over the past decade, it’s become a go-to platform for engaging with fans and increasing brand exposure.Brands that tweet out quality content tend to see a lot of success on Twitter. But what exactly does quality brand content on Twitter look like?Below is a list of 10 brands — even those in seemingly “boring” industries — that are consistently tweeting out great content. (And to learn more about how to succeed on Twitter, download our introductory guide to Twitter for business.)Click here to access a free Twitter for Businesses kit.10 of the Best Brands on Twitter1. JetBlue We’ve long admired Innocent Drinks for their consistently lovable branding. While they may be a smoothie and juice brand, they stay far away from pushily promoting their products.In fact, most of their social media posts aren’t about smoothies or drinks at all. Instead, they use social media to foster their silly, fun, clever, and creative brand personality.”We want to tell people about us in the most engaging way we can,” said Community Manager Helena Langdon told Audiense in an interview. “It’s our goal to make our pages a place on social media where people want to visit and enjoy seeing in their timelines, then people won’t mind when we try to sell them drinks every now and again.” What General Electric sells (appliances, lighting, electronics, etc.) doesn’t have nearly as broad of an appeal as pizza, but that doesn’t mean their tweets have to be unappealing.GE lives in the technology and innovation space — a space where far too many companies resort to using Twitter simply to promote themselves and their content. That’s where GE differentiates itself in the tech space on Twitter. They’ve found a perfect balance of thought leadership and authenticity. They use Twitter to teach their followers what they’re doing; for example, they’re fantastic at breaking down the complex concepts and terminology they work with into simple language.Below, they showcased one of their sports research studies by handpicking one of the coolest, most accessible parts of their research and showcasing it in an engaging way: When it comes to brands who “do it all” Twitter, JetBlue takes the cake. From their Twitter description (below) to their team of dedicated customer service professionals that answers every single question tweeted their way, the folks at JetBlue consistently go above and beyond to delight customers on Twitter.I’ll never forget what their Manager of Customer Commitment Laurie Meacham told me in an interview back in 2014:We’re all about people, and being on social media is just a natural extension of that. It’s no different than any other part of the airline.”As a consumer, when you tweet at a company that has over 16,000 employees, you may not expect a response very quickly (if at all). But JetBlue is on another level — and they’ve done a fantastic job differentiating themselves on Twitter by finding clever ways to exceed our expectations.Just take a look at their reply tweets to see what I mean — and read this blog post for a deeper dive into JetBlue’s unique Twitter strategy. Today’s forecast:9am: blue skies, sunny, 7°C 2pm: black skies, hail then snow then light shower of frogs, -11°C 7pm: sunny again, 17°C— innocent drinks (@innocent) April 27, 2016 DOUGH a crust an unbaked crustRAY, a guy that likes pizzaME a pizza liked by a guy named rayFAH no idea what fah isSO soLA a cityT tee— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) December 6, 2013The entire thing was weird and hilarious. It was also a great example of a brand hopping on a popular hashtag (in this case, #TheSoundofMusicLive) to chime in on the already-popular conversation. In the two hours of live-tweeting, the company tweeted 38 times, garnered over 44 million social impressions for that week, and picked up over 4,000 new followers.Most of their tweets are funny odes to pizza — and some of them still have that same crazy, erratic voice they used in the live-tweeting, which’ll often leave you totally confused and laughing hysterically all at the same time.  The MLB (Major League Baseball) is a complex system of teams, players, statistics, trades, and more. Instead of housing all these activities under a single Twitter handle, they’ve done a great job segmenting different parts of the game into different Twitter handles. (And they list all their affiliated Twitter handles in their cover photos — a very nice touch.)Their @MLBStatOfTheDay handle, for example, is for the statistics nerds out there, pairing interesting statistics with relevant video clips. Here’s another example: How to let go of perfection:1. Admit imperfection2. Ruthlessly automate3. Align teams4. Measure, reflect & apply data #FORRDigital— Forrester (@forrester) May 11, 2016 Forrester, a research company known for their innovative reports and analyses aimed at global business and technology leaders, is another company that makes an art out of cramming a lot of meaning into 140 characters. Maersk Line is back in Liverpool after a 10-year hiatus! Read about the new SLX service: https://t.co/xMQXiJelSP pic.twitter.com/kHCVCxCzIh— Maersk Line (@MaerskLine) April 18, 2016 Think about emotional qualities and their implications. -@anjalilai #FORRDigital #ForresterData pic.twitter.com/RzfjrsQpkJ— Forrester (@forrester) May 10, 2016 When you close out the road trip on a high note. pic.twitter.com/OgPepYDqlZ— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) May 16, 2016 Reinforced carbon fiber joints make this umbrella stronger than your average GE engineer. pic.twitter.com/b4FUWNd3k2— General Electric (@generalelectric) May 13, 20166. Charmin #DontWorryBoutAThingCuz we got your back-side.https://t.co/B8N8PfYDXk— Charmin (@Charmin) May 13, 2016They’ve also created a number of successful hashtags that encourage their followers to engage with them on Twitter. Their most famous is #TweetFromTheSeat, in which followers can send tweets while sitting on the toilet. The hashtag earned them a Shorty Award in 2014 — and we love the description they included in their entry:40% of young adults admit to using social media in the bathroom (and those are just the people who admit to it). At our core, Charmin is all about giving people a better bathroom experience and it is important to us that this translates to how we engage with consumers on Twitter. And of course, we love potty humor.”Another hashtag they use to engage with fans and followers is #CharminAsks. Here’s a fun example: Yes, we are just looking for an excuse to build jet packs.https://t.co/cjmiX6xxwS— General Electric (@generalelectric) May 13, 2016 To easily make similar images for your own Twitter feed, download these 100 customizable social media image templates in PowerPoint. Thank you autocorrect❤=🍕 pic.twitter.com/dqZoo1O0dG— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) May 17, 20165. General Electric Along with tweeting out helpful content, the Twitter descriptions they’ve written for each handle make it very clear what each Twitter account is all about. Here are three examples from the three handles I mentioned above (and here are 38 more examples of great Twitter bios for more inspiration). .@RedSox averaged 10.4 runs/game during homestand – 3rd-best mark by any team on a homestand of 7+ games since 1900. pic.twitter.com/jV71yv4xaF— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) May 16, 2016 Most of their tweets include cool information or statistics from their studies that are interesting to their target followers. They do a great job of tweeting out an interesting statistic or tidbit, including a relevant image that makes that piece of information stick out in the feed, and then link to the larger study. Folks scrolling through their feed who find that information interesting might be enticed to learn more by clicking the link. And: GIFs are shareable, relatable, and delightful — and MLB really nailed it by creating a separate Twitter handle to embrace them. (Want to learn how to create your own animated GIFs in Photoshop? Read this blog post for a tutorial.)4. DiGiorno Pizza What are your favorite brands on Twitter? Share with us in the comments. center_img 8. LinkedIn As the tallest QB in the draft, Paxton Lynch’s height gives him an incredible 👀 advantage on the field #DraftScience pic.twitter.com/mgianWA8vK— General Electric (@generalelectric) April 29, 2016 2. Innocent Drinks You’re almost done and you’re doing great #finalsweek #YouGotThis pic.twitter.com/yX2ABDUz5M— First Year at MIT (@FYEatMIT) May 19, 2016 In addition to photos, they pair links to their own reports with graphics to make the less “sexy” tweets more engaging and more noticeable in the Twitter feed. Meanwhile, @MLBReplays tweets each challenge a coach makes against an umpire’s call and its result. @MLBRosterMoves, sponsored by moving company Penske, sends a tweet every time a player is added or removed from a team’s roster.My favorite MLB Twitter account, though, is @MLBGIFs. The concept is brilliant in its simplicity: Each tweet features a GIF paired with a funny one-liner. These GIFs capture some of the cool, funny, and weird moments that take place during a baseball game — everything from diving catches to dancing fans to high-fiving players.Here are two examples: Twitter Marketing Examples We interrupt our relentless smoothie-based marketing messages to bring you this photo of a baby skunk. pic.twitter.com/n77B6PoDnk— innocent drinks (@innocent) February 19, 2015It’s this approach to Twitter that makes them stand out from the crowd — and it certainly works for their audience. Their head of digital and communities Joe McEwan says that people really connect with their brand because they talk like human beings, without jargon or “technical mumbo jumbo.””It helped to set us apart,” he said, “and it got people talking about us. It’s completely ingrained in the company that we should look to talk to people wherever they might be.”3. Major League Baseball (MLB) DiGiorno Pizza is one of the funniest (and definitely one of the strangest) brands to follow on Twitter. Their tweets are usually about pizza, but not in the uber-promotional way you’d expect.For example, do you remember that time in 2013 when DiGiorno Pizza live-tweeted NBC’s The Sound of Music and broke the internet? Here, let me jog your memory: We also love that they don’t take themselves too seriously on Twitter. Instead of marketing themselves as a big, inaccessible tech company, they’re great at keeping their Twitter content human and relatable. While JetBlue uses their main @JetBlue Twitter account to handle customer service, LinkedIn actually uses a separate account called @LinkedInHelp. The folks at LinkedIn don’t use this account in the traditional sense, and its goals certainly don’t revolve around gaining new followers. Instead, the purpose of the account is to give LinkedIn users an easy way get their questions answered quickly through Twitter.If you scroll through that account’s main Twitter feed, you’ll see it’s basically all retweets of praise and thank-yous from delighted customers — which is great social proof for anyone who finds themself on the page and wondering whether they’re actually responsive.The LinkedIn Help page is controlled by an extremely responsive support and communications team, who is always offering help to those who seek it. Since the questions are being answered on Twitter, this can be a valuable resource for those to see answers to similar questions they may have.LinkedIn isn’t the only brand with dedicated customer service and support Twitter handles. Examples from other brands include @NikeSupport from Nike, @AskTarget from Target, and @HubSpotSupport from HubSpot.9. Maersk Line 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕Art— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) April 7, 2016 10. Forrester Topics: Global plans for your seafood business? Meet our reefer experts at Seafood Expo 2016: https://t.co/iz15mOqDYP pic.twitter.com/WtFCteulKu— Maersk Line (@MaerskLine) April 28, 2016 The social media marketers behind Charmin’s Twitter account are masters of social engagement. First of all, their tweets always feature their fun, lighthearted, and toilet humor-centric brand voice. In 2014, TIME named them “the sassiest brand on Twitter.”In addition to tweeting out fun content, they’re constantly using Twitter to ask their followers to answer questions, respond to folks who tweet at them, and jump in on trending hashtags — like the #DontWorryBoutAThingCuz hashtag below. Originally published May 24, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated October 09 2019 Think you can’t have a cool Twitter account just because your industry is “boring”? When you see Maersk Line’s Twitter page, you might change your mind. Let’s be honest: Container shipping isn’t the sexiest of industries. And yet, their social media team has found a way to find the beauty therein.How? The tweets from Maersk Line are centered around their products at work. For the most part, this means gorgeous photos. It all starts with their beautiful cover photo, which plays with light and reflections at sunset. (Here are 20 more examples of great Twitter cover photos from brands for more inspiration.)Most of their tweets include images as well — a great move for engagement, as Buffer reported that tweets with images received 150% more retweets than tweets without images for its user base. Just keep running … pic.twitter.com/vQdL8IZ1a3— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) May 10, 2016 Like the MLB, the marketing team at MIT runs a number of different Twitter accounts. Their main @MIT feed is great — in fact, it was #1 on our list of the best universities on Twitter for delivering diverse content, from research studies to nerdy anecdotes, that is catered to their niche audience.But their other accounts are great too. Specifically, they’ve created Twitter handles for each of their target personas: @FYEatMIT for first-year students, @MISTIatMIT for matching MIT undergraduates with internship, teaching, and research opportunities, @MITGradStudents for (you guessed it) graduate students, and more. #CharminAsks: Should you answer the phone while answering nature’s call? pic.twitter.com/WgsYde3vx6— Charmin (@Charmin) April 21, 20167. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 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 Know if You’ve Been Hit With a Google Penalty (And How to Fix It)

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: Technical SEO Every marketer has a story about getting penalized by Google.Although many websites have evidently been punished (not just by big algorithmic updates, but also by one of the 400,000 tiny manual actions Google takes), the average marketer or webmaster hasn’t noticed when they have. According to Kissmetrics, only 5% of penalized websites are submitting a reconsideration request every month to recover their rankings. What Is a Google Penalty?A Google penalty is a punishment against a website whose content conflicts with the marketing practices enforced by Google. This penalty can come as a result of an update to Google’s ranking algorithm, or a manual review that suggests a web page used “black hat” SEO tactics.Since we’re all reliant on search engines for traffic, we have to stay informed of the latest algorithm updates — and make changes if we’re subject to a Google penalty. Not only is it good practice to keep abreast of the latest patches, but it gives you a competitive advantage if you can optimize your content faster than other web domains.Access Now: 22 SEO Myths to Leave Behind This YearThankfully, there are plenty of tools and insights out there to help even the busiest marketer watch out for these silent traffic killers. Keep reading to learn about the latest Google search criteria, a handy Google penalty checker, and how to know if you have a Google penalty against your website.Step 1: Review These Recent Google Algorithmic UpdatesGoogle has a 15-year history of updating its algorithm, not just to reward the internet’s best content, but to deliver the most appropriate content for a given search query. For a glimpse of this intruiguing timeline, check out this infographic that breaks down the history of algorithm updates.Below are some of the most recent and significant updates to keep in mind if you think your content is getting hit with a Google penalty:Panda (2011)There were updates before Panda, but this was the first massive pain in the neck for websites. Its purpose: to crack down on websites containing poor/error-laden content, excessive ads, and possibly primitive design.This was rolled out in stages, and released its last patch in July 2015.Secure Update: (2014)As website hacking becomes more sophisticated and people are more aware of the risks, it is important to assuage those doubts by motivating webmasters to invest in SSL security, which affords domains the “HTTPS” at the beginning of the URL (as opposed to “HTTP”). This is critical if you require personal and financial details from your online visitors.If not, Google may intercept a user with an “are you sure?” page if he or she clicks on an unsecured search result.Mobilegeddon (2015)Preference is given to websites that are “responsive” in design — or scalable to mobile devices. Unsurprisingly, having a website that is readable and navigable on a handheld device as well as desktop is preferred by visitors.This update sounds more aggressive than Pengiun and Panda, but it’s super helpful to publishers who put mobile first.Penguin 4.0 (2016)Penguin first launched in 2012 as a way to combat genuine spam rather than sites that are legitimate but poorly made. Penalties focused on keyword stuffing, cloaking, link building … basically, any method you’ve heard of referred to as “black hat.”As of 2016, its fourth version punishes bad links instead of the entire site — helping rehabilitate web domains that might still have good intentions behind them.Intrusive Interstitial Penalty (2017)Google opened 2017 by doubling down on its commitment to mobile. This update punishes websites with interstitial ads and other pop-out content that can hinder a page’s functionality on a mobile device.Not every ad-heavy website will suffer, but those that severely affect the user experience can be the next to lose their rank.These updates are not one-offs. They are reinforced every year to keep up with copyright violations, unwanted content campaigns, and similar black-hat techniques — and to make sure their searchers are increasingly satisfied with their results.Step 2: Audit Your Website for These Black Hat SEO FailuresI know you don’t have time to examine every manual action Google has ever performed. I also know if you’re reading this, you probably want your users to have a good user experience.With that in mind, here’s a brief list of things that might cause low website traffic due to a manual action Google took to further enforce its search criteria. Any one of these could help you determine if you have a Google penalty against your website:The majority of your content contains pop-out ads.Your content is keyword-stuffed.You have short-form content, often unedited for quality and errors.You haven’t localized site content that caters to global visitors.You’ve engaged in bad link-building practices to increase page authority:”Cloaking” keywords across your page so users can’t see them.Buying excessive backlinks to your website. Your content has inherited backlinks from adult, gambling, or otherwise low-quality pages.Your website doesn’t have a legitimate security certificate (HTTPS).You’ve republished content from other websites without permission.Your website has a high load time or poor appearance on mobile devices.Step 3: Find Out If You Have a Ranking ProblemFirst of all, diagnosing the issue is key. Without knowing what Google penalty you’ve been hit with, you can’t optimize against it. Back in October 2014, for example, most people thought they were dealing with a Penguin update, but it was in fact an extended Panda update.Here are a few tips to help you properly diagnose the issue:Use a penalty indicator tool to find out what’s happened to your website in the past, and if you have yet to recover from it.A fast and simple tool to drop this knowledge bomb on you is this succinctly titled Website Penalty Indicator.This Google penalty checker from FEInternational can show you which of the major Google penalties hit you and at what point they reached your website. (Of course, to be cheeky, I tried out “www.google.com” to see what would happen.)However, you’ll notice that this tool focuses on the most significant algorithm changes, and not all of the little manual ones in between. To examine those updates, you’ll need to follow the next step.Use tools like SEMrush to find out if you’ve been penalized by one of Google’s updates.By using tools like SEMrush, you can perform a complete site audit and check how your position has changed in SERPs, check your backlinks, and analyze your content.Step 4: Identify the Google Penalties to Optimize AgainstThis section was contributed by Elena Terenteva, Content Strategist at SEMrush.The best thing you can do for your website is to avoid penalties in the first place. Website owners who break SEO rules risk manual penalties or being seriously harmed by algorithm updates. When a website is hit with a penalty, it’s more than likely due to one of the following reasons:A lack of knowledge on behalf of the SEO specialistA purposeful violation of basic SEO principlesThe use of various black-hat techniquesBut if you have been hit by a penalty, how you’ll figure out the root cause will depend on what kind of penalty it is.If a website gets a manual penalty, the owner will be notified through Google Webmaster Tools and receive a letter explaining the reasons for its failure. This means the website owner will at least have an idea of how to recover and can begin working on the suggested changes.If your website is hit by an algorithm change, the situation becomes slightly more difficult. You need to find a correlation between Google’s last actions and your website’s losses.Don’t forget that website position and traffic losses can be caused by general problems and may have nothing to do with algorithmic changes. If you do find that you were harmed by a specific algorithm change, get all the information you can about that update so you can start to resolve the issue.Of course, all of us want to avoid being hit by a penalty in the first place. If you want to be prepared, I recommend consistently running SEO audits. Here are a few things you can do:Remove or disavow unnatural or spammy links manually.Be sure that your anchor text is diversified.Get rid of all duplicate content.Create non-keyword-stuffed, quality content.Keep an eye on UX.You can also see some of these tips for avoiding a penalty visualized in this infographic.Remember that the best strategy is to avoid penalties before Google even crawls your content. SEO isn’t just about trying something new. It’s about constantly monitoring the success of your historical efforts.Although avoiding penalties may seem like building a house of cards that may collapse at any minute … well, that’s kinda the way it is! That’s why it’s important to ensure that your website is up-to-date, helpful, and trustworthy. Originally published Mar 7, 2018 6:58:00 PM, updated March 07 2018last_img read more

Realme 5, Realme 5 Pro launched: Key specs, price in India, availability and everything else

first_imgRealme has finally launched the Realme 5 series in India. The series sees two new smartphones, Realme 5 and Realme 5 Pro, which are the company’s first set of devices to tout quad cameras. In addition to four rear cameras, the Realme 5 and Realme 5 Pro also bring updated designs and hardware at prices similar to their predecessors, the Realme 3 and Realme 3 Pro.The Realme 5 and Realme 5 Pro are largely about offering segment-disruptive camera systems. That being said, they also pack upgraded Snapdragon processors, more battery and new diamond-cut designs to offer a complete package at affordable prices. Here’s what you need to know at a glance about the Realme 5 series.Realme 5, Realme 5 Pro specificationsDisplay: Realme 5 sports a 6.5-inch HD+ (720×1600) Minidrop display, while the Realme 5 Pro gets a 6.3-inch FHD+ (1080×2340) Minidrop display.Processor: Realme is powered by a 2GHz Snapdragon 665 SoC based on a 11nm process, while the Realme 5 Pro is powered by a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 712 SoC based on a. 10nm process.RAM: Realme 5 is offered in 3GB and 4GB RAM options. Realme 5 Pro comes in 4GB, 6GB and 8GB RAM variants.Storage: The 3GB RAM option of the Realme 5 comes in 32GB internal storage, while the 4GB RAM model comes in 64GB and 128GB storage. The Realme 5 Pro 4GB RAM option comes with 64GB storage, while the 6GB and 8GB RAM variants get 64GB and 128GB internal storage, respectively.Rear camera: Both phones come with quad camera systems. The Realme 5 Pro gets a 48MP main camera, 8MP ultra wide-angle camera, 2MP macro lens and 2MP portrait lens. The Realme 5 gets a 12MP main camera while the other three sensors remain the same as the 5 Pro.advertisementFront camera: Realme 5 sports a 13MP front-facing camera, while Realme 5 Pro gets a 16MP selfie sensor.Battery: Realme 5 houses a 5,000mAh battery. Realme 5 Pro packs a 4,035mAh battery and supports VOOC 3.0 fast charging.Software: Both phones run on ColorOS 6 based on Android 9 Pie.Realme 5, Realme 5 Pro features- The USP of the Realme 5 and Realme 5 Pro is their quad camera systems. They are the first Realme phones and the first phones in their segments to sport quad cameras. With four rear cameras, Realme wants to offer various shooting options to for a versatility. The Realme 5 Pro gets the popular 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor for the main camera. The other three cameras include a wide-angle lens, a macro lens and a depth sensor, allowing you to capture different perspectives. Realme 5 gets a 12MP main camera while other cameras remain the same as the Pro model.- In addition to quad cameras, both the Realme 5 phones support EIS for the front and rear cameras. They also get Nightscape, Chroma Boost and HDR support. – Realme 5 is notably the first phone in India to rock the new Snapdragon 655 chipset. This is a 11nm-based chipset that will offer better power efficiency and improved performance over its predecessor. The Realme 5 Pro aims to deliver an even better performance compared to the Realme 3 Pro as it gets a slightly faster and more efficient Snapdragon 712 SoC.- Realme 5 is also the first Realme phone to pack a massive 5,000mAh battery that should deliver a really long-lasting battery on a single charge. The Realme 5 Pro may not get as big a battery, but it does come with VOOC 3.0 fast charging support.- Both the Realme 5 phones come with a new Crystal design. Their 3D curved glossy rear panel come with a new diamond-cut pattern design that is unlike previous matt diamond cut finishes that we are used to seeing on Realme phones.- The Realme 5 and Realme 5 Pro also come with new Minidrop displays, which is Realme’s way of saying that the waterdrop notch is smaller and flatter compared to the previous generation. This makes the notch less intrusive and also offers a more immersive viewing experienced by reducing the bezels.Realme 5, Realme 5 Pro price in India and Flipkart sale dateRealme 5 price in India starts at Rs 9,999 for the base model that comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. It also comes in 4GB + 64GB and 4GB + 128GB variants that are priced at Rs 10,999 and Rs 11,999, respectively. The Realme 5 will be available in Crystal Blue and Crystal Purple colours and will go on sale for the first time on August 27 via Flipkart and Realme.com.Realme 5 Pro’s price in India starts at Rs 13,999 for the 4GB + 64GB storage option. It will also be available in 6GB + 64GB and 8GB + 128GB variants that are priced at Rs 14,999 and Rs 16,999 respectively. The Realme 5 Pro will be available in Crystal Green and Sparkling Blue colours. The first sale for the Realme 5 Pro is on September 4.advertisementALSO READ | Realme XT with 64MP quad camera to launch in India after Realme 5 serieslast_img read more

Goa molestation scandal: Parents had sought woman swimming coach

first_imgWas the Goa government and the Goa Swimming Association aware of the alleged sexual harassment of girl swimmers by the arrested chief coach Surajit Ganguly, much before the video, which shows him allegedly molesting a minor swimmer that went viral last week?According to another video clip which went viral on Sunday, Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat, during the last Assembly session had warned Sports Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar of possible consequences, if the state government did not appoint a female coach for the training of girl swimmers.”Girls are facing embarrassment and problems. There is not a single (women coach). Please keep it in mind. It is very important or tomorrow I do not not what ill-consequences it will have. I am telling you this, then you will say we were not informed. The parents are insisting on a women coach, which is very fair,” Kamat had told the state Legislative Assembly.”There are many girls who are enrolled for swimming. There are small girls. Their parents unofficially complain to us. I don’t want to take names. They want a woman coach for swimming. There is no woman coach for swimming,” Kamat is also seen telling the Assembly.Early on Sunday, Goa Police arrested Surajit Ganguly, after a 15-year-old national swimming champion accused him of molesting her.Speaking to IANS on Monday, Kamat, who also heads the Swimming Federation of India, insisted that parents of Goan girl swimmers had only informally “hinted” to him about the need to appoint women coaches for their wards.advertisement”There were no specific complaints,” Kamat said.”Parents have been hinting at me, that they require a woman coach to look after the children especially girl students. Swimming is a sport where you come in contact with the coach, whatever said and done, because of the activity. Parents feel that when girl students are there, then it is advisable to have a woman coach,” he said, adding that the government was already in the process of appointing a ladies coach after the scandal.”Chief Minister (Pramod Sawant) has assured me that this would be taken up on priority,” Kamat said.When asked if a protocol needed to be evolved to keep predators in check in sports associations in the state, Kamat said: “Who imagines that some coach or somebody will….”He also said, that parents normally do not leave the company of their children during training or even competitions.”Normally in Goa, most of the swimmers are accompanied by their parents… Either the mother is at the pool or the father is at the pool. They even accompany them for nationals (tournaments). They do not leave them alone,” Kamat said.Also Read | Goa swimming coach, accused of rape, arrested in DelhiAlso Read | Swimming Federation of India bans coach accused of rapeAlso Seelast_img read more

Parineeti Chopra to spend 2 weeks in sports stadium for Saina Nehwal biopic: Don’t want to lose time

first_imgParineeti Chopra will spend a fortnight at Navi Mumbai’s Ramsheth Thakur International Sports Complex in a bid to cut down on her travel time as she practices and shoots for the upcoming biopic Saina. She said it was important for her to improve her badminton game, while shooting for the film based on Saina Nehwal’s life.Insisting that she would have wasted at least four to five hours going to and fro from her home to the location, the actress said, “We took a strategic call to stay at this sports complex because I could get to train and shoot at the same location. It was important for me to better my game while shooting for the film because I want to perfect myself before shooting the portions where I have to play like Saina.””It just didn’t make sense to lose out on such precious time, which I could use to only better my game. I also feel like I am shooting an outdoor schedule, cut off from everyone! I’m thankful to the entire production team and my director for allowing me to stay on location and making it super comfortable for me,” she added.Parineeti is living in a basic room and only has access to the venue’s amenities. The actress has a special cook accompanying her to prepare meals that are part of her currently regimented diet.”I am getting the best sleep here in this basic but most comfortable accommodation. I will be staying here for about two weeks,” she said.ALSO READ | Parineeti Chopra to begin shooting for Saina Nehwal biopic soon, shares pic after intense trainingALSO READ | Looking forward to this journey together: Saina Nehwal wishes Parineeti Chopra all the best for biopicALSO READ | Parineeti Chopra to begin shooting for Saina Nehwal biopic in OctoberALSO WATCH | Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra talk about what kind of wedding they would likelast_img read more

Rahul Dravid cleared of any conflict of interest by BCCI Ethics Officer

first_imgNational Cricket Academy head Rahul Dravid has been given a clean chit by the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Ombudsman-cum-Ethics Officer Justice (Retd) D.K. Jain over the conflict of interest allegations leveled against him.Speaking to IANS, Jain said that he found there was no case of conflict against the former India skipper. “I have found no case of conflict against Dravid,” he said.In the order passed in the matter, accessed by IANS, Jain said: “For all the aforesaid reasons I am convinced that on facts at hand, a case of “conflict of interest” as enshrined in the Rules is not made out. Resultantly, the complaint is dismissed being bereft of any merit. This order will be communicated to Mr. Rahul Dravid, the Complainant and the BCCI. The signed copy of this Order shall be kept in the folder of the Complaint.”The order also reveals that the reason behind the second hearing on November 12 was the past instances of now BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and former India batsman V.V.S. Laxman’s cases of conflict which were studied by Jain.”It may be recorded that while preparing the present order, since the Ethics Officer was of the view that his earlier decisions in the cases of Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman required reconsideration on the limited aspect of literal interpretation of Sub-rule (4) of Rule 38 of the Rules and the interplay of the said Rule with Rule 1 (A)(g) of the Rules and Sub-rule (1) of Rule 38 of the Rules, a notice of further hearing to the Parties on this aspect was given on 30th October 2019, fixing the hearing for 12th November 2019. The Parties concerned i.e. the Complainant, Mr. Nandan Karnath, Ld. Counsel for Mr. Dravid and Mr. Abhinav Mukerji, Ld. Counsel the BCCI were heard on this aspect on 12th November 2019 and the matter was reserved for orders,” it says.advertisementDravid, who is currently the head of NCA’s operations in Bengaluru, was earlier served a “conflict of interest” notice by the BCCI Ethics Officer on a complaint from Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) life member Sanjeev Gupta.In his complaint, Gupta claimed that Dravid is the NCA Director and is also employed as vice-president of India Cements group, which owns IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings.However, the former Indian captain had defended himself, saying that he has taken a leave of absence from India Cements.Also Read | Ajinkya Rahane moves to Delhi Capitals for IPL 2020last_img read more

Diego Costa sent off on Atletico return

first_imgDiego Costa Diego Costa sent off after scoring on second Atletico Madrid La Liga debut Robin Bairner Last updated 1 year ago 23:29 1/6/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(8) Diego Costa Atletico Madrid Getty Atlético Madrid Atlético Madrid v Getafe Getafe Primera División Videos The 29-year-old received just the second red card of his league career barely more than an hour into his return to the Spanish capital Diego Costa’s return to La Liga action with Atletico Madrid proved to be bittersweet as the striker was sent off immediately after finding the net.The former Chelsea striker tapped home from close range to put Diego Simeone’s men 2-0 up with 68 minutes gone of a feisty derby clash with Getafe and charged into the crowd to celebrate his effort. The Spain international striker, however, had already been booked for a stray elbow on Djene Dakonam earlier in the second half, and was shown a second yellow for his exuberance. It was the second time in as many matches in which the 29-year-old had found the net for the capital side. He came off the bench in a midweek Copa del Rey last-16 first-leg clash against Lleida Esportiu and scored the goal that made it 4-0 to Simeone’s side. Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player While the coach said that the red card was merited, he had sympathy for the forward.”The referee cannot think about the emotional part – he is there to follow the rules,” the Argentine said.”After being six months out he scores a goal and wants to celebrate with the fans, but if you do that, the yellow is deserved. We must accept that.”Diego brings us intensity, directness, more strength in attack, and above all he transmits fear. You can feel that and see that.”Diego Costa Atletico Madrid 2018Saturday’s clash, however, was the first time that he had started a match for Atleti since his return to the club was announced in September following an acrimonious departure from Stamford Bridge. It also marked his return to the Spanish capital.WATCH: It was typical Diego Costa on his first start for Atletico Madrid since returning!He scored the home side’s second of the match before being given his marching orders…Harsh from the referee?More: https://t.co/0cv7K9jlLz pic.twitter.com/n6JEmKLMeb— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 6, 2018GOOOOOOOAL!GUESS WHO IS BACK. @diegocosta! #LaLiga pic.twitter.com/sSqOAbhDUQ— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) January 6, 2018As Atleti were banned from registering new players until January 1, he was unable to play until the start of 2018. Since starting his career at Braga, he has earned a reputation of being a hot head, though he was only sent off once at Chelsea. During his previous stint at Atleti, he was dismissed twice.Despite his reputation, this was the first time he had been sent off in a league match since March 2010, when he received his marching orders in the first half of a scoreless draw against Espanyol when playing for Valladolid. That was his only previous top-flight dismissal.He now faces at least a one-match ban, so will miss the return match with Lleida in midweek.last_img read more

Six Things to Know About Oklahoma State’s Game Against Texas Tech

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. Oklahoma State owns Texas Tech. I don’t make the facts, I simply disseminate them. In the last 10 meetings between these two teams, OSU has won nine of them, and only one of them was closer than seven points.That’s not really the reason OSU is a double-digit favorite over the Red Raiders this weekend, but it’s certainly hard to ignore that — for the back half of his career at OSU — Mike Gundy has dominated the school that says OSU is simply mimicking everything it does. You know, except for all those mediocre seasons.Here are six things to know about this weekend’s game.1. Red Zone salve: What has OSU done poorly so far this season? Well, I think we’ve been over that extensively. They haven’t scored when they’ve gotten inside opponents’ 20-yard-lines. Guess which team is the worst in the nation at giving up red-zone scores? Tech is an imperfect (?) 10 for 10 in red zone defense and 63rd nationally in TD percentage allowed to teams when they get there. OSU should (should) be able to take advantage.2. Massive margin: After last week’s win over Kansas State, OSU has an average margin of victory (loss) over KSU of -3 in the last 10 years. It’s been mostly close games with one dreadful 34-point rout in 2014 that accounts for most of that mess. On the other hand, OSU’s average margin of victory over Texas Tech in the last 10 years is +15 with five of the Pokes’ nine wins coming by 17 or more, including one by 60.2011-November-12-14-38-443. Top-15 team? OSU goes into this game ranked No. 21 in the AP poll. That’s not a huge surprise considering they’ve reached the top 15 of the AP poll at some point in 10 of the past 11 seasons. They’ve also reached the top 10 in eight of the last 11 (with 2012, 2014 and 2018 being the outliers there).4. OSU-OSU connection: Ohio State is putting up 535 yards a game while Oklahoma State is putting up 532. They’re the only two teams nationally that have put up 1,200 yards in both the pass game and the run game thus far. The big question is whether OSU can do what they did in 2007 when they posted the exact same number in both rushing and passing. They almost did it two years in a row (!).2007: 3,161 passing | 3,161 rushing2008: 3,149 passing | 3,191 rushing2019: 1,206 passing | 1,455 rushing5. Explosions in the sky (and on the ground): OSU currently leads the country in 50+ yard plays. Also, Texas Tech is 98th nationally in 50+ yard plays given up. Might be a bad formula for them this weekend.Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 3.48.42 PM.png6. I will regret this one: Matt Ammendola is one of three kickers at 80 percent or better in their careers with a minimum of 20 attempts (Dan Bailey finished at 79.2 percent, by the way).1. Quinn Sharp (84.7)2. Luke Phillips (82.4)3. Matt Ammendola (80.6)Quinn Sharp might have been the 🐐.last_img read more

Nokia Joins Safe Birth Campaign to Provide Clean Delivery Kits to Women in Crisis Settings

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on December 21, 2012August 15, 2016Click 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)A message from our colleagues at UNFPA:Nokia joins UNFPA’s Safe Birth. Even Here campaign, through which midwives in refugee camps are reporting on safe deliveries by uploading photos and stories to a website from where the good news can be shared through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Social media users can thus join in celebrating a safe birth in the worlds most difficult and overlooked settings.Now, Nokia will enhance the efforts of social media users by donating a life-saving Clean Delivery Kit for every share of the good news. The $3 Kit provides pregnant women with the most basic essentials for preventing fatal infections in humanitarian situations. It includes a bar of soap, a clear plastic sheet to lie on, a razor blade for cutting the umbilical cord, a sterilized string to tie off the umbilical cord, a cloth to keep the mother and baby warm, and latex gloves.Nowhere in the world is the risk of dying in childbirth greater than in disaster settings. Here, one in five women are likely to be pregnant. Mothers and babies are cut off from health care and exposed to trauma, malnutrition, disease and violence – putting their lives in great danger. Maternal deaths soar in disasters – yet they can be prevented.The Safe Birth. Even Here campaign aims to raise awareness about maternal health and the challenges faced by expectant mothers in crisis settings. UNFPA and Nokia hope that the donation will encourage the general public to participate in the campaign and decision makers to advocate for maternal health in emergencies. Please support pregnant women in crises settings by sharing the extraordinary images and stories from refugee settings as well as the news of the matching donation!To learn more about the campaign and for details on how to participate, click here!Share this:last_img read more

Connecting Fistula Care and the Manifesto for Maternal Health

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 29, 2014November 4, 2016By: Bethany Cole, Global Projects Manager, Fistula Care Plus, EngenderHealthClick 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)From 2007-2013 Engender Health managed the Fistula Care project in partnership with IntraHealth International and supported by USAID. The project worked in ten countries to increase access to fistula repair services, strengthen prevention and reintegration, contribute to the clinical and programmatic evidence base, and enhance the enabling environment for services.At the end of the project, over 130 participants from 16 countries gathered at the meeting, “Towards a Fistula-Free Generation.” The meeting was held in Kampala, Uganda, in September 2013. Uganda was chosen as the location for the meeting due to the Ministry of Health’s initiative to incorporate fistula guidelines and programming into its sexual and reproductive health services. Uganda was also the setting for other innovative approaches and achievements during the Fistula Care project.At the Uganda meeting, participants identified lessons learned and needs for action that echo several points of the Manifesto for Maternal Health post-2015, written by MHTF’s director, Ana Langer, and published in the Lancet in February 2013.Manifesto Point 1: The Urgency of NowAt the Uganda meeting, the Ugandan Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, presented the Ministry’s vision to reduce maternal morbidity:Promote appropriate care-seeking,increase the use of skilled care at birth, andimplement targeted programming to reduce maternal mortality and impact maternal morbidity.Dr. Rugunda closed his speech asking for a time when girls can grow up, achieve their reproductive intention, and have no need for familiarity with obstetric fistula. Allowing women and girls to languish with morbidity like obstetric fistula or condemning families to live with maternal morbidity can’t be an option. We must act to end preventable morbidity and mortality.Manifesto Point 3: To Count is to MatterDr. Özge Tunçalp, of WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research, provided the keynote address in Uganda on the incidence and prevalence of fistula and discussed the challenges and importance of measurement. Dr. Tunçalp identified the role and importance of strong fistula metrics in both accountability and opportunities for learning. Globally, fistula is a rare event, with the majority of the cases occurring in low-income countries where women lack access to intrapartum care. While we do not have good prevalence and incidence data on fistula, the most frequently cited numbers are that two million women are living with the condition, with about 50,000 to 100,000 new cases annually. However, global estimates such as these are not sufficient for national health systems to plan and allocate national and local resources for prevention, outreach, and treatment services.Innovative approaches to fistula metrics should be further developed. One way this can be done is triangulating fistula data based on country-specific needs and capacity. At the global level, there is a need for better understanding of the challenges and costs involved in estimating the prevalence and incidence of rare events. We should conduct systematic and critical reviews of available estimation methodologies for obstetric fistula in order to formulate the most valid and reliable method.Manifesto Point 6: Caring for Most Vulnerable of the VulnerableMary Nell Wegner, the executive director of the Maternal Health Task Force, presented findings from a 2011 consultation on caring for women whose fistulas are deemed incurable. This consultation recommended that stakeholders need to reach a consensus on fistula-related terminology and donors should be asked to fund research to assess social constructs and contextual factors related to fistula. It was also noted that since fistula can be classified as a chronic condition, it could be made reportable within the ICD to capture policymakers’ attention.Social constructs, lack of family planning services, and unavailability emergency obstetric care put women at risk of obstetric fistula. In addition, efforts should be made to mitigate the use of stigmatizing labels like “untreatable” or “unfixable” among clinicians and policymakers.  Fistula, especially for women deemed incurable, can lead to hidden lives sequestered from the wider community. Reaching out to these unseen populations was a priority of the Fistula Care project.Manifesto Point 9: The Continuum between Maternal and Child HealthThe vast majority of women with an obstetric fistula have also experienced a stillbirth or early newborn death. Strengthening maternal health services helps protect the health and well-being of the mother, but it can also prevent intrapartum stillbirths or the deaths of newborns. This is particularly true since the cause of fistula, prolonged and obstructed labor, is strongly linked to perinatal mortality. The Fistula Care project supported facilities to strengthen the continuum of care from antenatal to infant care. When maternal health services are strengthened, both mothers and babies benefit, and families are spared the agony of preventable deaths.The Fistula Care website provides resources related to these topics, including training manuals, curricula and meeting reports. The Fistula Care Plus project has been awarded to EngenderHealth. With the project’s partners, FC+ will continue to build on these successes.Interested in writing a blog post on how your country is addressing the prevention and treatment of fistula? Please contact Katie Millar.Share this:last_img read more

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Donor Data

first_imgWhomever coined the phrase “spring cleaning” probably didn’t have donor data in mind. Even still, the age-old tradition of dusting off the cobwebs and freshening things up after a long winter can be helpful for nonprofit fundraisers.5 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Donor DataCheck for duplicate contacts in your donor data and merge or dedupe your records.Segment your contacts. Some recommended filters include New Donors, LYBUNTS (those who donated last year but unfortunately not yet this year), Major Donors, Monthly Donors, etc. Use these lists to better tailor for your email blasts and direct mail communications. This will make your communications feel much more relevant to the person reading them.Record additional information about your donors such as their birthday, place of employment, or if they’ve volunteered at your organization.Send a survey to your donors to find out why they give and what attracts them to your organization. Add their responses to their donor profile for better personalization.It’s normal to receive bounce backs and undeliverable messages when sending out email blasts. Correct those email addresses as you receive new information to ensure as many people as possible are reading the email blasts you’re working hard to put together.Looking for more ways to spring clean your donor data? Listen to our recent webinar and get started today!Read more on The Nonprofit Bloglast_img read more

For Mothers, By Mothers: Improving quality of maternal care through mother feedback

first_img2Cleanliness99.062.5998.973.68 1Waiting time/admission99.362.1799.671.43 Sl. No.QOCBefore RegistrationAfter Registration 8Danger signs counseling95.278.0795.497.41 Attitudes of doctors towards feedbackAttitudes held by healthcare providers are a major factor on the speed and success of incorporating feedback in hospitals. To understand doctors’ viewpoints and attitudes to the Quality of Care feedback, we conducted 12 in-depth semi-structured interviews with doctors from hospitals registered in Together for Her.All doctors interviewed strongly advocated the value of obtaining feedback from others. The authenticity of ratings was perceived as being very important. Respondents found the ratings on Together for her to be “reliable, unambiguous and unbiased” as they come only from mothers who have delivered at their practice and can speak to their experience:“Here in TFH they have been associated for nine months and know how the things go on. Whereas in Justdial and Google even a visitor can post anything if they are not really happy with it. So, that’s the best part about TFH and that is why the ratings can be improvised.” -AK Encouragingly, nearly all doctors who tracked Together for Her ratings reported giving feedback to their staff and making changes to their practice in response to their scores on the QoC indicators. This held particularly for indicators they performed poorly on, such as skin-to-skin contact (kangaroo care) and early initiation of breastfeeding. The feedback was either communicated in one-on-one meetings with relevant staff members or during monthly reviews.“Skin-to-skin contact had a little lower percentage. Family Planning counseling had lower scores. So we have spoken to our sisters. There is one checklist which is a WHO checklist which has all those points counseling about family planning. And so, we have spoken about that checklist again, they are trained initially also, but then since it was not improving so we had to refresh it and then we have specifically instructed them you have to tick once you have done it and we have also started taking verbal feedbacks from the patient on the follow-up, whether she was counseled on this point or not.” – PGFurthermore, doctors tracked their performance on the indicators and were cognizant of improvement in their QOC scores with time.“Since I started this online service by you all we definitely got to know our own score to improve. So it definitely gives us a platform to improve. There is no doubt about that.”-AK Qualitative interviews revealed that the feedback system aids hospital administration in identifying the loopholes, offer relevant staff training and hence provide better overall quality of services. This in turn has benefited the hospital, leading to an increase in the number of patients, better reputation and financial growth. Some doctors also reported reduced complaints from existing patients.“New patients approach our hospital through the website…..Patient monitoring has been better. The alertness and response improved. These complaints have come down.” -PGLearningsWhile all doctors support internal feedback, open feedback from clients meets resistance. There had to be considerable investment spent on relationship and trust building with healthcare providers, to assure them that feedback collected could help them to improve and were not meant simply to criticize their work. Hospitals and doctors alike are worried about negative bias and perceive ‘public’ feedback, particularly when subjective, as unfair and a threat to their reputation.Some quality-of-care indicators used did not seem to be a priority for the healthcare providers. Indicators such as skin-to-skin contact, emotional support and respectful care are considered as non-issues and lower down the priority list, compared to indicators such as counseling on danger signs.“They’re not trained or they are not qualified. Our basic struggle is to first enhance their skills to an optimal level and help them pick up those danger signs, that are signs which will affect the patient’s life or prevent death or serious complications. That is why we give top priority to these things. The rest of the things are important, but once we are comfortable with our basic things then probably we could focus more on patient’s experience oriented parameters.” – SJFeedback loop helps both supply and demandChanneling the voice of mothers in the form of collective actionable feedback to providers offers near real-time monitoring on hospital performance and aids improvement in quality of care. The quality metric also supports pregnant women to make informed choices about where to deliver and seek maternal care, while accounting for quality of care. The metric is a strong complement to training interventions and can aid in successfully identifying hospitals for inspection and/or training.By building a feedback loop that captures mothers’ voices and delivering them as objective, actionable feedback to healthcare providers, we have been able to build a system that is evidence-based, relevant to stakeholders and localized to the context. Our experience has shown that building transparency and authenticity to gain trust and increase credibility is important for both consumers and providers.—This program is supported by funding from MSD, through MSD for Mothers, the company’s 10-year, $500 million initiative to help create a world where no woman dies giving life. MSD for Mothers is an initiative of Merck & Co., Inc, Kenilworth, N.J., USA.Share this: 5Breastfeeding74.2029.5777.3027.25 9Family planning guidance78.4116.7979.5017.98 4Skin-to-skin care/Kangaroo care25.3729.4833.043.25center_img 6Respect and courtesy99.142.2799.043.09 Mean (%)SDMean (%)SD ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: 7Timely communication99.402.4499.521.88 3Privacy99.292.2199.641.52 Posted on October 9, 2019By: Anne Reijns, Business Unit Director, Avegen Pte Ltd.; Lily W. Lee, President, ALMATA, Division of Avegen Pte Ltd.; Mark Allen, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Merck for Mothers; Sumiti Saharan, Design and Research Director, Avegen Pte Ltd.Click 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)Patient feedback can play a key role in measuring and improving the quality of healthcare. In developing countries like India, there are few, if any avenues to give or access feedback on the quality of maternal healthcare. Women from low and middle-income segments lack the know-how of what constitutes good quality care as well as the agency to demand it from healthcare practitioners.To address these gaps and to develop a real-time quality of care metric, Together for Her launched a review platform in India, Together For Her, that allows new mothers receiving care in private hospitals to provide objective feedback on their delivery experience. Comprising a set of nine standard quality-of-care (QoC) indicators based on the WHO Maternal Care Guidelines (World Health Organization, 2016), the indicators were adapted based on local inputs from doctors, maternal health specialists and mothers to the local contexts. Each indicator was field tested to ensure that the language and description of the condition is clear to the Mothers; and if the Mothers responded “No” to the indicator, a drop down manual with specific circumstances were provided for the Mothers to provide additional details on why the service/ support was not provided.  The indicators are:(i) On-time admission(ii) Cleanliness(iii) Privacy(iv) Skin-to-skin contact(v) Early initiation of breastfeeding(vi) Respectful Behavior(vii) Communication during labor(viii)Counseling on danger signs(ix) Family planning counseling and guidanceMothers, who have delivered within the last year, rate their experience at the hospital across these indicators. Pregnant women can access the site to search and compare hospitals in their localities; they have access to an aggregate score and an overall 5-point rating. The rating is also made visible on Google search. Hospitals and doctors are given access to personalized dashboards, where they can compare their QoC score with a local average and also across time. The dashboard also shows them qualitative feedback from mothers. The platform currently has approximately 30,000 reviews for close to 1000 hospitals across nine states in India.Feedback from mothers has lead to improvement in quality of careThe avenue for feedback provided by Together for Her, has led to significant improvements in quality of care in the registered hospitals. An in-depth statistical analysis has revealed significant improvements over time in six out of nine QoC indicators including skin-to-skin care, early initiation of breastfeeding, family Planning counselling and guidance, and cleanliness and privacy. Furthermore, other indicators show a marked improvement from the time of registering with Together for Her. last_img read more

World Series jitters just add to show

first_img 0 Comments Share your thoughts HOUSTON — World Series nerves? Justin Verlander is ready for it, and his Astros manager A.J. Hinch says bring it on.The American League champions may be accustomed to a wealth of big games over the past three seasons, that have included ALCS championship appearances in each of them, and this a second trip to the Series.But that doesn’t mean the Fall Classic doesn’t bring its own dose of anxiety. The key is channelling it in a positive direction, apparently.“You know that the nerves are going to be higher and your body knows it’s not a regular start,” said Verlander, who will get the start for the Astros in Game 2 on Wednesday. “Going to sleep tonight is not going to be the same as normal. But having done it before — I don’t know if it helps — but I know what to expect going into it.”Baseball being a game of routine, Verlander said he will do his best to keep his game prep work as normal as possible despite the presence of family and friends and the overall hoopla the World Series begins.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Hinch noticed a difference in the clubhouse when he wandered in hours before Tuesday’s series opener. And he liked what he saw and felt from his team.“I want the nerves,” Hinch said. “I want our guys to be a little bit on edge. We’re playing in the World Series. It should feel like a big deal. It should feel like something extra special and once the game settles in, I want our guys to be themselves.“But I kind of dig seeing a bunch of guys that are successful, they’re big, big personalities, we’ve all got egos, we’re in the big leagues. Be nervous, man. Enjoy it. Enjoy the uniqueness of being in the World Series. It doesn’t come around often enough.”Meanwhile, the Nationals’ Game 2 starter, Stephen Strasburg, said he’ll just roll with the emotions as best he can in his World Series debut.“There are going to be butterflies, but it just shows that you care,” Strasburg said. “Everybody in this clubhouse cares, we care about each other.“I know what I expect of myself. I’m going to hold true to that. That’s all I can really control.”YULI UNIQUEThe more he has been around Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel, the more Hinch has been able to appreciate the veteran Cuban star.In particular, Hinch loves Gurriel for his ability to hit all type of pitching.As if on cue, hours after his manager pumped his tires, Gurriel rocked a double off the wall to drive in a pair of runs for the first scoring play of the 2019 World Series.“He’s one of the most dangerous hitters on our team and that’s among a lot of dangerous hitters,” Hinch said. “Yuli puts the ball in play and he can hit virtually every pitch, indicated by his homer the other day (a three-run shot in the first inning of Game 6 of the ALCS) was a neck-high fastball that few guys can keep fair.“His presence in our lineup is huge. If you ask around the league, a lot of managers, a lot of pitchers, a lot of players will talk about the fear they have when he comes to bat because he can cover every pitch depending on what his plan is.“And that will be critical this series when you’re facing such top-end pitching.”DREAM MATCHUPNationals manager Dave Martinez wasn’t going to have the luxury of enjoying Game 1 as a fan, but he expects most who love the game will.With Gerrit Cole of the Astros facing Max Scherzer of the Nationals for the curtain-raiser of the 115th edition of baseball’s championship, it was difficult not to appreciate the arms showdown.“I wake up this morning and I say, ‘You’ve got (Max) Scherzer against (Gerrit) Cole. Wow.’ If you’re not a baseball fan right now, man … this is exciting times.”While appreciative of the Astros — who owned home-field advantage on the basis of their MLB-best 107-win regular season — Martinez wasn’t about to undersell his team’s outlook.“I really like our guys,” Martinez said. “I like our guys. They came out here loose (on Monday’s workout day) and were having fun. It’s pretty cool just kind of watching them relax and go out there and do their thing.”AROUND THE BASES— The winner of Game 1 of the World Series has won 25 of the previous 33 editions, including the Red Sox in 2018.One of the exceptions? That would be your 1992 Toronto Blue Jays, who overcame the Atlanta Braves’ home-field edge.— Hinch said he plans to go with a “bullpen day” for Game 4 of the series back in Washington, a plan that is subject to change pending the results of the first three games.— The Astros and Nationals combine to have 20 non-U.S. born players — six from Venezuela, four each from Cuba and the Dominican, three from Mexico, and one from Brazil.— Martinez on whether he used the downtime from his team sweeping the Cardinals to watch the ALCS between the Astros and Yankees: “I watched most. Some of those games went on pretty late. Couldn’t keep my eyes open, I’m not going to lie to you.” center_img Houston Astros Justin Verlander Major League Baseball Washington Nationals World Serieslast_img read more