Podcast: Seal Babies, Shark Tails, and Dog Domestication

first_imgWhat impact is climate change having on seal nurseries? How do sharks swim so fast? And where did dogs come from? Science’s Daniel Strain chats about these stories and more with Science’s Online Editor Stewart Wills.(Listen to the full Science podcast and more podcasts.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Fans of NBA could feel impact of China trade wars

first_imgTrump awards Penske Presidential Medal PLAY LIST 01:48Trump awards Penske Presidential Medal01:2760-40 sharing ‘fair’ as China will spend for WPS exploration—Esperon00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss BREAKING: A day after being fired, Robredo asks: ‘Ano bang kinatatakutan ninyong malaman ko?’ MOST READ Kim Chiu rushed to ER after getting bitten by dog in BGC Nike says it produces about a quarter of its product in China for the globe. However, its exposure in terms of product produced in China to North America is “relatively modest.”There’s a silver lining for sportswear makers to Trump’s trade war with China, however.Puma’s Gulden says that the company is using the same factories in China that used to produce merchandise for the American market for the Chinese market. Previously, factories outside of China produced goods for China. Now, Puma can stay on top of trends faster.“You are much quicker. No duty. No freight, ” Gulden added.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next So, the question is, will American fans of sports stars like Los Angeles Lakers’ James be willing to pay higher prices for the gear?The stakes are high as U.S. sales from sports licensed merchandise including NBA items rang up $21 billion last year, according to Licensing International, a trade group. Sales on NBAStore.com rose 15% during the 12-month period through August, according to the league. And many of the sports brands ranging from Adidas to Puma rely on China for at least some of their sourcing.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPH women’s football team not spared from SEA Games hotel woesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsSPORTSThailand claims not enough Thai food, drinks for players at hotelMoreover, experts worry China could impose penalties on Western brands who sell there at a time when business in that country is exploding. Some also believe U.S. fans might turn to counterfeit merchandise if they don’t want to pay higher prices.“When you raise prices on legitimate goods, you encourage the production of illegitimate goods,” said Steve Lamar, executive vice president of The American Apparel and Footwear Association, a trade group. “We’re definitely seeing pressure on brands. We’re just waiting for the other basketball shoe to drop.” FILE – In this April 1, 2016, file photo, Rod Call and his daughter Savannah Call, 5, pick out basketballs while shopping on in Traverse City, Mich. Companies that make merchandise for the National Basketball Association players are in the crosshairs of President Donald Trump’s escalating China trade wars. The stakes are high as U.S. sales from sports licensed merchandise including NBA items rang up $21 billion last year, according to Licensing International, a trade group. Sales on NBAStore.com rose 15% during the 12-month period through August, according to the NBA League. And many of the sports brands ranging from Adidas to Puma rely on China for at least some of their sourcing.(Jan-Michael Stump/Traverse City Record-Eagle via AP, File)NEW YORK— That LeBron James jersey could get a little more expensive.Companies that make clothing and shoes for the National Basketball Association players are in the crosshairs of President Donald Trump’s escalating China trade wars.ADVERTISEMENT ‘City-killer’: Asteroid the size of the Great Pyramid may hit Earth in 2022, says NASA Manila’s hidden reservoir to re-emerge as tourist draw NorthPort forces rubber match, blasts No. 1 NLEX Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Malasakit Center bill awaits Duterte signature Until now, consumers were largely spared from higher prices in Trump’s previous round of import taxes. That has changed. Starting Sept. 1, the U .S. government began collecting 15 percent on $112 billion in Chinese imports, on a wide array of merchandise including basketball jerseys, basketball shoes, basketballs and even hoops. Higher tariffs are set to hit another batch of Chinese products — $160 billion worth on Dec. 15 and include other sports products, according to the American Apparel & Footwear Association.President Trump tweeted Wednesday that planned tariff increases on another $250 billion in Chinese imports, which would include sports bags, would be delayed until Oct. 15, from Oct. 1. Tariff increases are set to go from 25% to 30%.Many sporting goods companies, including Adidas, Under Armour and Spaulding declined to comment on how their business is being affected by the China trade wars. But like many companies, sport brands have been diversifying their sourcing away from China to factories in Vietnam and Bangladesh for the last several years even before escalating tensions between the U.S. and China.Under Armour has been working for several years to reduce sourcing in China.“With current tariffs, we actually are not being affected very much at all, ” Patrick Fisk, president and chief operating officer at Under Armour told CNBC last week. “We only have 10 percent of what comes into the U.S. from China. So the current state, we’re OK.”ADVERTISEMENT Puma announced earlier this year a new multi-year partnership that will make the international sports brand an official marketing partner of the NBA.“Our sector in China has been very strong. We’ve been growing 15% every quarter,” says Puma U.S. CEO Bjoern Gulden, noting it’s the fastest growing market ahead of the U.S. and Europe.But he added, “Tariffs and trade wars are not good for the market. It carries uncertainty.”Puma has been moving its sourcing out of China over the past two years and now the country accounts for 20 percent of its overall production. Still, Gulden says costs are going up, and he’s not sure whether the company will have to raise prices.Gulden and others believe that the top end of the market may be less vulnerable than the lower end.For customers who buy sneakers ranging from $150 to $250, an increase may not hurt sales, but that could be a different story for customers who buy shoes in the $60 to $70 range, he said.Still, he says no one “has an appetite for higher prices.”The tensions between the U.S. and China come as many sports brands have been digging deeper into China where basketball is a massive business and the NBA’s fan base is exploding through social media.The good news is that American brands including Nike who sell there say business remains strong and they haven’t seen consumers in China pull back because of the strain.“We have not seen any impact on our business to-date and we continue to see strong momentum as we enter fiscal year 2020, ” Mark G. Parker, chairman, CEO and president of Nike told analysts during a conference call following its fiscal fourth quarter earnings in June. It reported revenue growth in China up 21% this past fiscal year. Spanish king welcomes basketball world champions Singapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics Foot fetish: Nibbles a specialty at Indonesian restaurant LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

Roma chief Gandini: We’re waiting for Totti decision

first_imgAS Roma chief Umberto Gandini says Francesco Totti is taking his time over his next move.Totti has been offered a front office role by Roma as he considers retirement.”Francesco is having a well-earned holiday,” Gandini told Gr Parlamento.“He has a contract until June 30 and his new journey will start on July 1, so he has time. We have a continuous dialogue with Francesco, it’s a situation which has been outlined with the club.“We need to understand what he wants to do, obviously we hope to continue together.”last_img

What are you doing for your uber-activists?

first_imgOne of my many faults is I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about what I haven’t done perfectly. I think I’m in good company with this problem. Do you:1.) Spend a lot of time worrying about the donors who haven’t given to you lately 2.) Spend a lot of time worrying about how to get all your donors to give more or2.) Spend a lot of time worrying about how to cultivate the donors and activists who are hard-core supportersI think a lot of us do too much of #1 and #2 and not enough of #3. Or we just send #3 people the same stuff we send to everyone else. I know I get really obsessed with #1. That’s missing an opportunity. The third group of people deserve a separate outreach strategy that is well-considered, that is very appreciative and that gives them new and exciting ways to spread the word for you.Blogger Mark Rovner just posted about a seminar by Seth Godin earlier this week, which we both attended. It was devoted to “flipping the funnel,” or getting your supporters to spread the word for you. Mark has a good summary of the concept in the post I highlight here, and he reminded me of #3 in a conversation we had recently.I think the concept is a great match for the people in group #3. Here’s what we’re finding with our Six Degrees person-to-person fundraising efforts: about 5% of folks fall into this category. They are uber-activists. Lots of people support you, but only a small portion wants to – AND is really good at – spreading the word and fundraising. Those folks deserve very special treatment, not just lots of fundraising appeals from you.Do something special for your uber-activists. Put uber-activists in the spotlight. Reward them. Ask them what you can do to help them. In addition to saying this, by the way, I’m going to try to get better at it myself. Just yesterday, we sent an email to people who created Six Degrees badges and gave them tips and resources for using their badges better. The result? Very high open rate and a big spike in donations. Lesson learned.last_img read more

7 Tips to Move Your Print Newsletter to Email

first_imgYou’ve decided that the benefits of emailing your newsletter to your supporters outweigh the costs and you are ready to make the transition from print to email. Here are seven tips to help you do it right:Don’t try the short-cuts. Sending a PDF of your print newsletter out as an attachment to an email list is NOT an email newsletter. Neither is sending a one-line email that says “Click here to read our newsletter on our website.” If you are going to use email to communicate regularly with your supporters, create a real e-newsletter, with real content in the email itself.Dissect your old print newsletter. Not everything that you included in your print newsletter will be right for your email newsletter. For example, if you had a large calendar of events in print, it’s best to highlight only a few events in an email newsletter with links to a full calendar on your website. Think about what belongs where online — not everything will work in an email.Consider a more personal tone. Email is a more personal form of communication than print. If you’ve been writing your newsletter articles in the third person (The Dog Lovers Association is seeking volunteers), now is the time to move to a more personal first person- second person style (If you’d like to volunteer to walk dogs, we want to hear from you).Decide on full text, teasers, or a combo. An email newsletter should be relatively short compared to a print newsletter. That means you have to make some decisions about the quantity and length of articles. Some organizations will include one full article in an email newsletter with headlines only for other articles on a website. Others will include teaser text, or longer blurbs, for all of the articles, requiring readers to click over to the website for the full version of each article. Either way is acceptable, but I think it’s best to be consistent from issue to issue.Prepare to spend lots of time on microtext. Working on the microtext like headings and captions is important in print, but it’s absolutely essential in email. Start working now on the kinds of subject lines, headlines, and subheads you’ll use in your email newsletter. A large portion of your mailing list will quickly skim and read only the microtext, so make it good.Use an email newsletter service. Don’t try to distribute an email newsletter out of your desktop email program. The problems with this approach are too numerous to mention. Instead, use an email marketing service provider. The benefits far exceed the minimal monthly costs.Add a sign-up box to your website. Ideally, this will appear in your site template so the sign-up box appears on every page of your website. At a minimum, put it on your homepage and about us or contact us pages. One of the benefits of using an email service provider is that your supporters can add themselves to your list automatically — but only if they can find the form on your website.About the Author: Kivi Leroux Miller provides training and personal coaching on all aspects of nonprofit marketing and communications to organizations big and small across the U.S. If you want to write newsletters and annual reports that your supporters will love or create websites and blogs that educate and inspire, visit www.NonprofitMarketingGuide.com, where you’ll find a free e-newsletter, articles, webinars, e-courses, and more.Source: http://www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com/blog/2008/03/17/moving-your-print-newsletter-to-email-7-tips/last_img read more

Create an Online Fundraising Plan: Work Your Website

first_imgYour web strategy for online fundraising should include three main objectives: maintain a site design that has high usability, remember that content is king, and determine ways to increase site traffic. Work these initiatives into the part of your online fundraising plan dedicated to website improvement: Nonprofit Website Design TipsMake it easier for people to donate. Put your “donate” button above the fold, and make it BIG. Make it interactive with email capture, surveys, contests and other dynamic content. Make it accessible. You know that different people will visit your site for different reasons (to research, to donate, to kill some time). Give them each a chance to shine. Put out different welcome mats–for donors, seekers and Web-surfers. Make it simple to spread the word. Incorporate tactics to increase word-of-mouth marketing, such as tell-a-friend, email links and downloadable materials for your constituents to share.  Nonprofit Content TipsIncorporate the four parts of a great message: Connect to things your audience cares about: saving time, feeling good about themselves, feeling powerful, etc.Identify and offer a compelling reward for taking action: Remember that good rewards are immediate, personal, credible and reflective of audience values. Have a clear call to action: Good actions are specific, feasible and filmable (in other words, easy to visualize doing). They should also measurably advance your mission. Make it memorable: What makes something memorable? It’s memorable if it’s different, catchy, personal, tangible and desirable. But a word of caution: memorable elements should always be closely tied to your cause. Think of all the advertisements that were so funny or memorable that you told a friend about them, but when asked what product the ad was for, you couldn’t remember. Driving Site Traffic TipsIncrease your visibility on corporate partners’ websites. Does a local restaurant provide in-kind support for your events? Do you hold Board meetings in a local office building’s conference room? You both win if you make a plan to make your presence known on their websites. (Think a twist on the old Vidal Sassoon ad: If I (for-profit partner) look “good,” you (non-profit) look good.) Promote your events on event-listing services like CitySearch.com, local message boards, etc. Improve your searchability. Invest in Google AdWords. Learn what meta-tags are.last_img read more

We Speak Your Language

first_imgPosted on March 8, 2011November 13, 2014Click 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)The MHTF is proud to announce that its website is now available in Arabic, French, and Spanish! By making the site available in additional languages, we hope to expand our audience and encourage the spread of maternal health information globally. We are excited that non-English speakers can now access the critical information that exists on the site. If you would prefer to view the site in العربية, Français, or Español, you may now click on the links at the top of any page.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Atul Gawande on “Slow Ideas” and Maternal Health

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on July 23, 2013August 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)In Atul Gawande’s recent piece in the New Yorker, Slow ideas: Some innovations spread fast. How do you speed the ones that don’t?, he takes a careful look at the uptake of various medical innovations with special attention to the very different trajectories of surgical anesthesia and antiseptics. He examines possible reasons for why anesthesia spread fast and far while, despite clear evidence of the life-saving effect, antiseptic  methods took decades to become the norm in operating rooms around the world.He raises important questions about the differences in the spread of these innovations: Did anesthesia take off for economic reasons? Were the differences in uptake due to technical complexity? What were the key differences? (You will have to read the piece to find out!)Gawande goes on to discuss the concept of “important but stalled ideas” and focuses specifically on ideas that address the global problem of death during childbirth.From the piece:Not long ago, I visited a few community hospitals in north India, where just one-third of mothers received the medication recommended to prevent hemorrhage; less than ten per cent of the newborns were given adequate warming; and only four per cent of birth attendants washed their hands for vaginal examination and delivery. In an average childbirth, clinicians followed only about ten of twenty-nine basic recommended practices.Here we are in the first part of the twenty-first century, and we’re still trying to figure out how to get ideas from the first part of the twentieth century to take root. In the hopes of spreading safer childbirth practices, several colleagues and I have teamed up with the Indian government, the World Health Organization, the Gates Foundation, and Population Services International to create something called the BetterBirth Project. We’re working in Uttar Pradesh, which is among India’s poorest states.Gawande describes the concept of the BetterBirth Project:With the BetterBirth Project, we wondered, in particular, what would happen if we hired a cadre of childbirth-improvement workers to visit birth attendants and hospital leaders, show them why and how to follow a checklist of essential practices, understand their difficulties and objections, and help them practice doing things differently. In essence, we’d give them mentors.The experiment is just getting under way. The project has recruited only the first few of a hundred or so workers whom we are sending out to hospitals across six regions of Uttar Pradesh in a trial that will involve almost two hundred thousand births over two years. There’s no certainty that our approach will succeed. But it seemed worth trying.Read the full story in the New Yorker.Also, take a look at this piece on WBUR’s CommonHealth about Atul Gawande’s new health care innovation center, Ariadne Labs.Share this:last_img read more

Rethinking Business As Usual: Leveraging the Private Sector to Strengthen Maternal Health

first_imgSources: Merck for Mothers, Population Services International, Results for Development.Photo Credit: A small pharmacy in Tanzania, courtesy of Sean Peoples/Michael Miller/Wilson Center.This post has been lightly edited from its original appearance on New Security Beat, the blog of the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Wilson CenterShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on December 18, 2015June 12, 2017By: Anna Bella Korbatov, Wilson CenterClick 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)In 2013, nearly 300,000 women died during pregnancy and childbirth. The majority of those deaths were in developing countries and entirely preventable. Much of the effort towards reducing this number has been focused on what governments should do differently, but the private sector plays just as important a role as the public sector, said a panel of experts at the Wilson Center on September 17. [Video Below]The conceptual divide between the public and private sectors is not borne out in reality, said Dr. Priya Agrawal, executive director at Merck for Mothers, a 10-year $500 million non-commercial initiative by Merck & Co. to improve maternal health in 30 countries including the United States, India, and many African nations.“Most health systems are mixed health systems,” Agrawal said. “The U.S…has Medicaid and Medicare. The UK, where everyone thinks the NHS is a government-run public health system, [has]…independently contracted private providers. Most developed nations have mixed health systems.” Achieving universal health coverage will require strengthening the private sector in many places.But the private sector is anything but monolithic. Private providers in developing countries are often highly diverse and fragmented, said Gina Lagomarsino, chief operating officer and managing director of the non-profit Results for Development.Policymakers can take better advantage of the private sector’s strengths by providing a framework for businesses to thrive and ensuring consistent quality. While diverse and often disconnected from each other, most private maternal health care providers face the same challenges: expanding beyond the small scale and achieving financial sustainability.Dispelling MythsIn most developing countries, the local private sector is an “incredibly overlooked part of the health care system,” said Agrawal.The prevailing belief that only wealthy, middle income, or urban consumers access private health providers is largely a myth. An estimated 50 percent of Africans go to private providers for health care, including a majority of people in low-income quintiles in Uganda and Nigeria, said Agrawal.In India, while more women in urban areas are having deliveries at private providers compared to women in rural areas (48 percent vs. 25 percent), 92 percent of rural household health care visits were to private providers, she said.An analysis by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine of demographic and health survey data from 57 low and middle-income countries, supported by funding from Merck for Mothers, found that “at least 40 percent of women go to the private sector for family planning and for neonatal and delivery service,” Agrawal said.Private maternal health care providers can also play a role in empowering women as leaders and entrepreneurs in their communities, said Agrawal. In many African countries, female entrepreneurs comprise the majority of private health care workers and many own their own businesses. Independent pharmacists, nurses, doctors, and midwives are embedded in communities where the public sector often has difficulty gaining access. They form personal connections with their patients, often serving not only as health care practitioners, but trusted confidants, respected leaders, and role models.“The Holy Grail”But the private health sector faces a host of structural and technical challenges, some of which stem from being so long-ignored.Fragmentation – the disconnected and uncoordinated nature of small-scale private providers – is a key obstacle, said Lagomarsino. Many providers are very small and have trouble accessing resources to expand their services. As well, top-down funding streams from governments and NGOs have trouble finding them.Results for Development runs the Center for Health Market Innovations, which identifies innovative health care business models and then connects their founders with resources to scale up and improve the models, said Lagomarsino. They currently support 1,400 small private providers in Central and South America, the Middle East, Asia, and Southeast Asia, 300 of which are maternal and child health focused. Lagomarsino also pointed out that intermediary organizations, like nurses and midwives associations, can also help connect private maternal health providers to public health ministries.Data collection and quality is another major challenge. Small-scale providers struggle to collect, report, and monitor data. Without good data, it’s difficult for governments to monitor the quality of services being provided, which subsequently makes it difficult for the public health sector to contract with private entities.This disconnect is a major barrier in establishing a virtuous growth cycle for private health providers, said Lagomarsino. “Getting government purchasing is the holy grail… it’s very difficult to get it right in developing countries.”A steady government purchasing stream makes it easier for new providers to enter the market; gives governments leverage over quality control; and gives providers incentive to improve their quality. Strong purchasing mechanisms (insurance, vouchers, and other contracting models) can also improve access for the poorest and most marginalized populations – a major challenge in maternal health.Social franchises, a model that uses franchising to transfer knowledge and experience from one successful enterprise to another to achieve social benefits as opposed to profits, are often based on subsidies that have to be phased out eventually, said Karl Hoffman, president and CEO of Population Services International (PSI). Getting these enterprises to financial sustainability quickly is therefore critical.PSI, the world’s largest social franchising organization, provides clinics in their network with branding, technical assistance, skills training, and affordable access to prescription drugs. Branding offers a chance for private providers to differentiate themselves from competitors and can be used by intermediaries such as PSI to uphold and enforce quality standards.PSI’s goal is to bring participating providers behind a brand promise, not entirely unlike a fast-food franchise, so consumers have more choice and information and can trust in the quality, said Hoffman. “Reframing the provider as the consumer is one way to get providers to adopt behaviors and products that are better for their consumers, such as longer-acting contraceptives,” he said. Eventually, he envisions tools that provide Yelp-like ratings for private providers in developing countries.PSI also works with medical entrepreneurs, mostly women, Hoffman said, to help create demand by giving out information on basic health guidelines; for example, how many times women should visit a clinic before giving birth.Connecting and Scaling UpSocial franchises are a promising way to connect private providers with sources of funding and improve quality, but there are still pitfalls. For example, some private providers taking part in organizations like Merck for Mothers no longer want to pay membership fees after they receive training, said Agrawal.As intermediary and social franchising models proliferate, like PSI, Jhpiego, and Merrygold, there are ample opportunities to learn from their experience, said Agrawal.Doing so may unlock entrepreneurial innovation to finally reduce stubborn maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity rates. “We need to create an enabling environment so more good models are developed and scaled,” said Agrawal. Leveraging economies of scale to provide discounted supplies to providers and creating a more streamlined data collection and monitoring process are keys in this regard.For the thousands of women facing potentially fatal prenatal and maternal health complications, whether they get care from a public or private provider matters little; they simply want access to quality treatment.Event Resources:Priya Agrawal’s PresentationKarl Hoffman’s PresentationGina Lagomarsino’s PresentationPhoto GalleryVideolast_img read more

Gawker’s “Freelancer Action Unit”

first_imgGawker, the media-gossip site, has started what may be a new regular feature: the Freelancer Action Unit.  Focusing on the misdeeds of magazines, it looks like it will air complaints about the nonpayment of freelancer writers.  It remains to be seen whether public shaming will move any tardy companies to settle up with workers.last_img

Wolf in sheep’s clothing: National Right to Work legislation threatens unions

first_img“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” – Matthew, 7:15Do you live in a “Right to Work” state? It sounds like a solid place to be, but don’t let the cheery name fool you. “Right to Work” laws spell doom for traditional unions – and congress is trying to pass a Right to Work law at the federal level.Typically touted as legislation that gives workers more freedom and creates more jobs, “Right to Work” laws drain union budgets to the point of collapse. Presently, in the private-sector workers already have the choice to refrain from joining a union should their workplace democratically vote to install one. The union, however, still represents all employees – even non-members. Therefore, all workers see a small percentage of their paycheck, called a “fair share provision,” go towards the union. This money is used to cover the costs of bargaining and enforce worker contracts. It’s a fraction of the cost members of the union pay in dues.Under the “Right to Work” law, workers no longer have to pay the fair share provision, but they still receive union benefits. This encourages fewer workers to join the union, thus draining the union of money – and power. Union contracts ensure that workers get health insurance, vacations, are protected in against discrimination and can’t be fired for no good reason. Without funding and members, unions can’t provide those benefits; collective bargaining doesn’t work when there’s no collective to be had.As freelancers, Right to Work laws don’t typically affect us. That’s because the National Labor Relations Act pertains only to employers and employees and we’re, well you know, neither of those things. But, it bears mentioning that wages in Right to Work states are 3.1% lower – and lower wages for employees typically means lower rates for us. Furthermore, the idea that Right to Work laws attract new industries to states, thereby producing more jobs has been debunked. Of the ten original states with Right to Work laws, 7 of them still have the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Finally, many unions do contribute to different political campaigns, but – contrary to claims made by Right to Work proponents – those funds do not come from the fair share provision. Union members can choose to donate to union political causes.So why support Right to Work? Right to Work admit that it doesn’t necessarily yield superior economic performance at the state or national level. What it does do, is cut down worker wages: unionized workers make $200 more a week than non-unionized workers. Therefore, the beneficiaries of Right to Work laws are the very corporations that spend time and money funding the legislations. Go figure.It bears mentioning that Right to Work laws are most popular among conservatives. Ironically, a National Right to Work law strengthens rather than weakens federal influence in the workplace – which doesn’t jive with the traditional conservative agenda. Unions don’t just come into a workplace and demand money: workers vote democratically to install them, then both employers and employees voluntarily agree to a private agency shop contract. Unions are a way to keep the government out of employer/employee agreements; they reduce the need for centralized power rather than augment it.While Right to Work may not be a freelance issue, we as freelance workers must stand in solidarity with all workers. As we campaigned for the passage of the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, unions across New York City, including Make the Road and 32BJ, came out to support us. They understood that nonpayment protection for us means better wage theft protections for them. Movements are born by broad alliances. As we look forward, we need to join with workers across the spectrum to ensure that every day working citizens have the right to fair pay, safe working conditions, and needed benefits.Laura is the Editor at Freelancers Union blog, the leading publication dedicated to empowering the independent workforce, with over 300 contributors and 2 million readers nationwide. For fun, she writes about community, poetry and modern philosophy. Subscribe to her TinyLetter here or find her @Pennyscientist.last_img read more

Frugal Foodie’s Friday Meal Deals

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

Wanted Dead or Alive: 10 Criminally Outdated Home Design Features

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

Infographic: Does a Higher Education Guard Against Unemployment?

first_imgMy birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Technology has transformed the way we dine out in groups. Gone are the days when friends take turns treating each other to nights on the town. Now that apps make money accessible everywhere, tabs are paid down to the cent… Full Story,Occupation: Copywriter Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 29 Location: Indianapolis, IN Paycheck (BiWeekly): $2,100/mo after HSA and 401(k) removed Monthly Expenses: Rent: $462.50 Car lease: $300 Insurances: $85 All other expenses Utilities: $200/mo Pet supplies: $30/mo Phone: $50/mo Streaming services: $15/mo… Full Story,Occupation: Digital advertising Age: 30 Location: San Francisco Bay Area Income: $5,200 month net post 401K, health insurance / HSA, and taxes Total Debt: $0 Monthly Expenses: Rent and utilities: $1,800 Auto: $275 including car insurance Internet/mobile: $120 10:00 am:… Full Story,The holidays are time for family. Here are some fun ideas from our friends at Quotacy on how to make the most of this holiday season with your loved ones, with a bit of humor. ?   With the rise… Full Story,Occupation: Social Media Manager Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 26 Location: Indianapolis, IN Paycheck: $2,500/month after health/vision insurance deductions Monthly Expenses Rent: $700 Car Insurance: $65 Renters Insurance: $16 Utilities: $75 (Internet, Electric, Gas) Dental Insurance (not through work): $15 Hulu:… Full Story,On November 30th, The Financial Diet is kicking off their nationwide book tour for The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide To Getting Good With Money in New York.  Join us when the tour hits your city and don’t forget… Full Story,Occupation: Data Analyst Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 31 Location: Menlo Park, CA Paycheck (BiWeekly): $1,700 after auto-savings, 401k, ESPP purchase, renters & auto insurance and health care removed I have everything removed automatically as I have trouble with in-the-moment spending…. Full Story,Occupation: Account Services & Freelance Writer Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 39 Location: Longmont, CO Paycheck (3): $4,700/mo includes salary and three freelance clients (side hustles) Monthly Expenses Rent: $900 Car loan: $275 Credit card payment: $450 All other expenses… Full Story,If you’re still in college or a recent grad working with a limited budget, the idea of implementing a healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming and very expensive. If you aren’t careful, you might find yourself shelling out lots of cash… Full Storylast_img read more

Mint Success: Going From Carrying Debt to Paying it Off

first_img Post navigation Once upon a time, Scott Henderson used credit cards like “free money,” maxing out his balances and getting cash advances to pay for wedding expenses – then carrying those balances forward monthly, paying the only the minimum.He wasn’t alone: 34% of Americans carry credit card balances vs. paying the cards off every month (and 35% of Mint users do the same).But once Scott, a peer mentor at University of Utah, and his new wife took a good look at how this debt was affecting their financial picture, everything changed. They used Mint to set their goal and keep track, and the rest is history (and the future).What kind of credit card debt did you have before you started paying them off?When we started paying down our credit card debt, we had four credit cards. One of them was maxed out to nearly $1,500, and the other cards were nearly maxed out as well. I didn’t fully understand how a credit card worked before I got married, other than it was pretty much free money to me. When I decided to get married, I made cash advances to pay for my wife’s wedding ring and maxed out all of my cards. I later found out the many reasons why that was a bad idea.What led to your decision to pay off your credit card debt?A few months into marriage, my wife asked me why I had been carrying such high balances on my credit card. I said, “because of you!” That’s when we decided to get serious.How did you use Mint to help?When we realized we were carrying more debt than we could handle (and it was only getting worse), we decided to set a goal in Mint to pay down our credit card debt. It let us know that if we were to pay only the minimum payment each month, we would never pay off our debt. Instead, we put as much money toward our credit card debt each month as we could manage and were able to pay it off in a reasonable amount of time.How long did it take for you to pay off all the credit card debt?It was the first year of our marriage of sacrificing things to pay off our balance completely. But one year into marriage it felt extremely good to know we no longer had credit card debt. Now that we pay off our balance each month, it is still easy to let it get out of control, but we dedicated ourselves to never carry a balance again.How does Mint help you now?Checking Mint every few days helps me to know what categories I am spending the most on, my monthly average amount of expenditures, upcoming bills, my credit card balances all in one place, and so many other things.How do you use credit cards now? We put everything on our credit card to build rewards, points, miles and increase our credit score. My wife and I pay off the balance every week and before the credit card companies report to the credit bureaus. The greatest part about it is now that we don’t carry a balance we don’t have to pay interest.How has your lifestyle changed since going from balance carrier to balance payer?We feel we have more freedom to do the things we want to do. We don’t pay for things we did last year that we don’t care about anymore. Now that [the debt] is paid off, we are able to put all that money towards our first home.Now that we are balance payers, we have a budgeting system that we set up where each time we get paid, we are so excited that we both argue about who gets to break up the money into the different accounts.You can be like ScottWe can identify with the excitement of budgeting and tracking goals! Next month we will look at how recent college graduates or people just starting out in their careers use mint to build a promising financial future.Are you one of those? We would like to hear your story! Contact us at Editor_Mint@intuit.com with “Mint User Story” in the subject.Kim Tracy Prince is a Los Angeles-based writer who also paid off her credit card debt after getting married! She recommends doing it before, if you can.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Relatedlast_img read more

New Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement Lacks Protections for One-Sixth of World’s Forests

first_imgAccording to FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment, seven RCEP countries are more than 50 percent forest by area (see below). Yet many RCEP countries have witnessed rapid deforestation and forest degradation in recent years, often because of illegal logging and associated trade. Southeast Asia has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world, with 1.2 percent of the forest disappearing annually. Deforestation and forest degradation result in the loss of biodiversity and related ecosystem services, and fuel climate change by increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Will China Champion Forest Conservation?China is not just a major proponent of the RCEP. It is also the world’s largest processor and trader of forest products. That means the country has an enormous role to play in promoting legal and sustainable forest management and trade.While China has demonstrated its commitment nationally to sustainable forest management and legal forest products in recent years—through actions such as the ban of commercial logging in its natural forests and successful implementation of CITES—the RCEP is a great opportunity for the country to take more responsibility in global forest governance. It could save the region’s forests by pushing for requirements on forest legality and sustainable forest management in RCEP negotiations.RCEP countries are aiming to complete negotiations by the end of 2017. That means there is less than a year for member countries to rectify the oversights present in current drafts. Failure to safeguard forests in the final document would be a massive oversight on the part of the signatories. Combating Illegal Logging and Associated TradeLowering trade barriers without corresponding measures to ensure responsible trade in forest products will likely accelerate unsustainable – and often illegal – logging and associated trade. Illegal logging isn’t just bad for the environment. It takes away the livelihood opportunities of local communities that dependent on forests. Governments lose tax revenues from the undocumented forestry businesses. Harvested timber brought to market illegally also hurt legal businesses’ competitiveness by lowering the timber price on the market.To avoid these impacts, the RCEP should make sure it promotes and protects the legal trade of forest products. There are existing frameworks through which RCEP countries have already acted to combat illegal logging. These are most commonly found in legality requirements at the national level, but also exist in policy dialogues at the regional level. For example, the Expert Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT), which includes 12 of the 16 RCEP countries, was established in 2011 to strengthen cooperation and coordination on this topic at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).The RCEP should incorporate these existing commitments and establish new mechanisms to combat illegal logging and associated trade. In the short term, the RCEP should reinforce existing protocols such as the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which regulates trade in endangered timber species, especially rosewoods. A few RCEP countries also have logging and export bans on different timber products, and the RCEP should reinforce those policies. In the long term, the RCEP should go beyond existing protocols and strengthen procedures to also protect forests not covered by current treaties. Each member economy should enhance their forest governance capacity through information exchange and enforcement cooperation, for example by establishing a law enforcement network through the RCEP.  Aerial view of Thailand forest. Photo by Uwe Schwarzbach/Flickr In an era of rising anti-globalization and protectionism, countries in the Asia-Pacific region have turned their eyes to the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).The regional free trade proposal aims to reduce barriers for trade and investment flows among 10 Southeast Asian countries and their six free trade agreement partners: Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. These 16 countries together account for about half the global population and produce around 30 percent of world output. If the RCEP is established, it could become the largest free trade agreement in the world. But right now, the RCEP is missing a critical component—protections for forests, which play a significant role ecologically and economically in RCEP countries. Without protections included in the agreement, its passage could fuel deforestation and illegal logging. To save the region’s forests, the RCEP should incorporate existing international frameworks and create cooperation mechanisms for forest governance.Forests Are a Huge Driver of RCEP EconomiesIn Southeast Asia, up to 70 million people rely on forests for their livelihoods, nutrition and food security. The RCEP includes some major timber producing, processing and consuming countries, including Indonesia, China, Vietnam and Japan. Indeed, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data suggests that RCEP countries made up around one-sixth of world forest area and one-fourth of the trade value of global forest products in 2015.Data Source: FAOSTATlast_img read more

These 20 Water-Stressed Countries Have the Most Solar and Wind Potential

first_imgAndorra has the highest wind energy potential, followed by Belgium and Kazakhstan. However, for wind to be attractive in Andorra, the costs would need to be cheaper than its current electricity imports from Spain.Seven water-stressed countries (Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Yemen) in the MENA region have high average energy potentials for both solar and wind, as well as Australia. Some of these countries have plans to harness solar and wind energy, but many do not, and many goals fall short of their potential. Also, because of their oil wealth, some of these countries rely on desalination for water supply and might not have a water scarcity problem for now.A full list of all countries with high water stress and their average wind energy potentials can be found at the bottom of this post.Note: For countries that span large areas, there could be spatial mismatch between water stress and renewable potential and electricity demands, which is not accounted for in this analysis. Additionally, more comprehensive analysis would require looking at local governance, regulations, availability and cost of competing energy resources and economics. While local contexts may differ, these aggregate averages show which countries have the most to gain from renewables’ water savings overall. More granular data could be found and visualized on Resource Watch.Table 1. Rankings of water-stressed countries by their average solar energy potential Ranking Country Average Water Stress Score Average Solar Energy Potential (GHI-W/m2) 1 Yemen 4.8 267.5 2 Eritrea 3.3 265.6 3 Saudi Arabia 5.0 252.9 4 Oman 5.0 249 5 Libya 4.7 246.4 6 Algeria 3.0 245.3 7 Morocco 3.9 244.8 8 United Arab Emirates 5.0 241 9 Jordan 4.3 240.9 10 Mexico 3.3 240.6 11 Afghanistan 3.8 238.2 12 Qatar 5.0 237.8 13 Bahrain 5.0 236.6 14 Peru 3.2 234.9 15 Timor-Leste 3.5 233.2 16 Iran 4.8 233 17 Australia 3.2 232.5 18 Kuwait 5.0 231.5 19 Israel 4.7 228.5 20 Lebanon 4.2 227.5 21 Dominican Republic 3.4 227.3 22 Palestine 4.4 225.1 23 Tajikistan 3.3 223.7 24 Pakistan 4.2 223.2 25 Tunisia 3.3 222.5 26 Syria 3.9 220.9 27 Iraq 3.7 220.4 28 India 3.6 218.5 29 Turkey 3.3 206 30 Singapore 5.0 204.7 31 Armenia 3.9 202.7 32 Kyrgyzstan 4.9 202.7 33 China 3.1 196.1 34 Turkmenistan 4.0 191.1 35 Portugal 3.1 189.3 36 Spain 3.5 189.1 37 Greece 3.6 186.2 38 Andorra 3.0 186.1 39 United States 3.0 184.3 40 Azerbaijan 4.0 181.3 41 Uzbekistan 4.2 180.5 42 Mongolia 4.1 177.4 43 Macedonia 3.3 173.9 44 Monaco 3.4 173.5 45 Italy 3.4 171 46 San Marino 5.0 162.6 47 Kazakhstan 4.5 157.9 48 Belgium 3.4 127 Yemen has the highest average solar energy potential in terms of global horizontal irradiance (GHI), a proxy of the strength and concentration of solar energy hitting a PV panel. It’s also one of the world’s most water-stressed and least developed countries. The World Bank just invested $50 million in solar PV projects to restore electricity to more than one million Yemenis. However, with the ongoing civil war in the country, renewables development could still be challenging.Eritrea and Saudi Arabia have the second- and third-highest average solar energy potential, but very different economic power. It is more challenging for countries with constrained financial resources to adopt renewable technologies at a large scale. However, as the cost for solar and wind energy continues to decline, these options are becoming more attractive. Even oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia are investing heavily in solar energy for domestic consumption, with a target of 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind by 2023.A full list of all countries with high water stress and their average solar energy potentials can be found at the bottom of this post.Water Stress and Wind Energy PotentialOf the 20 water-stressed countries with the most wind energy potential, eight are from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), six from Europe, and the rest from Asia Pacific and North America. Eight of the countries are developed, 11 are from emerging and developing markets, and one is among the world’s least developed. Most power generation consumes water, whether to cool steam in thermoelectric plants or power turbines for hydropower. And the global demand for both water and electricity will continue to increase substantially in the coming decades. Although growth is generally a good thing for the economy, it challenges nations—particularly ones that are water-stressed—to better manage their limited water resources and invest in the right energy systems.Power generation from solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind is clean and requires zero or little water use. These renewable forms of energy can help countries meet their increased demand for electricity without adding carbon emissions or consuming water. This could be particularly beneficial in countries where growing populations, farms and industries are already competing for scant water supplies. For example, a recent WRI analysis shows that India could reduce its water consumption intensity by more than 25 percent just by achieving its renewable energy targets.Leveraging WRI’s Resource Watch, a new global data platform, we overlaid map-based data sets to identify countries that are water-stressed and have high solar and wind energy potential. These countries are places where solar PV and wind technologies are more likely to be financially attractive and provide water savings that would benefit the public greatly.Water Stress and Solar Energy PotentialThe top 20 water-stressed countries with the most average solar energy potential are in the Middle East and North African region; the rest are from Asia and Pacific, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. The list includes countries at all economic stages: three are developed (Australia, Israel and Saudi Arabia), four are some of the least developed (Afghanistan, Eritrea, Timor-Leste and Yemen), and the rest are from emerging or developing markets.center_img Table 2. Rankings of water-stressed countries by their average wind energy potential Ranking Country Average Water Stress Score Average Wind Energy Potential (m/s) 1 Andorra 3.0 7.3 2 Belgium 3.4 6.8 3 Kazakhstan 4.5 6.2 4 Bahrain 5.0 6.2 5 Australia 3.2 6.1 6 United States 3.0 6.1 7 San Marino 5.0 6.0 8 Morocco 3.9 6.0 9 China 3.1 6.0 10 Mongolia 4.1 6.0 11 Tunisia 3.3 5.9 12 Greece 3.6 5.9 13 Yemen 4.8 5.8 14 Kuwait 5.0 5.8 15 Oman 5.0 5.8 16 Spain 3.5 5.8 17 Qatar 5.0 5.7 18 Portugal 3.1 5.7 19 Uzbekistan 4.2 5.7 20 Algeria 3.0 5.6 21 Turkmenistan 4.0 5.6 22 Libya 4.7 5.6 23 Italy 3.4 5.5 24 Saudi Arabia 5.0 5.5 25 Eritrea 3.3 5.5 26 Iran 4.8 5.5 27 Macedonia 3.3 5.5 28 Lebanon 4.2 5.5 29 Dominican Republic 3.4 5.4 30 Jordan 4.3 5.4 31 Afghanistan 3.8 5.4 32 Turkey 3.3 5.3 33 United Arab Emirates 5.0 5.3 34 Tajikistan 3.3 5.3 35 Mexico 3.3 5.3 36 Syria 3.9 5.2 37 Kyrgyzstan 4.9 5.1 38 Israel 4.7 5.1 39 Palestine 4.4 5.1 40 Monaco 3.4 5.1 41 Iraq 3.7 5.1 42 Pakistan 4.2 5.1 43 Armenia 3.9 5.0 44 India 3.6 4.8 45 Azerbaijan 4.0 4.8 46 Timor-Leste 3.5 4.7 47 Singapore 5.0 4.5 48 Peru 3.2 4.0last_img read more

3 Essential Benchmarks for Lead Nurturing Campaigns

first_img Topics: When it comes to lead nurturing, the difference between effective campaigns and scheduled spam often boils down to the details. Before you start sending series after series of emails, make sure you understand the current experiences of your leads and have a good sense of their expectations. To help you do this, the following are a few essential lead nurturing benchmarks to keep in mind. 1. Time to ConversionGleanster Research estimates that 50% of leads who are qualified to buy are not ready to purchase immediately. If you call these leads up and push them into making a decision right away, you will likely lose them. Instead, take a look at your existing sales funnel. How long does it typically take a lead to become a customer after his or her first inquiry? Does the sales cycle vary for different types of purchases?  As an inbound marketing tactic, lead nurturing is all about understanding the nuances of your leads’ timing and needs. Watch your analytics, and talk to your sales team. If it typically takes your leads a month to make a purchasing decision, then make sure you’re spreading out your communications to keep them engaged throughout the month. Don’t pummel them with sales pitch after sales pitch. Start out by sending useful, low-pressure information with content-based calls-to-action; then slowly transition to a call-to-action to buy.  2. Level of Activity and Influencer Pages Sometimes it’s not time but activity that is most telling about a lead’s readiness to buy. Again, take a look at your typical sales cycle. How many of your website pages do leads usually visit before converting into a customer? Knowing these benchmarks can help you appropriately space out your communications.In addition to activity level, start flagging which pages are influential in purchasing decisions. Some analytics programs, including HubSpot’s Advanced Marketing Analytics, will show you a “reverse funnel analysis,” which enables you to see which pages led to conversions. Is your pricing page or your customer testimonial page a better indicator of whether a lead is at the tail end of his or her research? In addition to surveying your website analytics, make sure you keep an eye on activity outside of your site, too. Are they mentioning you on Twitter? Have they posted questions to LinkedIn or other forum sites? All of these can be indicators of a lead’s readiness and seriousness to buy.  3. Open and Click-Through Rates Click-through rates for standard emails tend to be are around 5%. When you place that email strategically in a lead nurturing campaign, however, open rates tend to jump. They jump because, rather than blindly sending the same email to your full list of leads, lead nurturing campaigns respond to individual interest and timing indicators, resulting in more relevant sends. In your lead nurturing campaigns, keep an eye on the open and click-through rates of each of your campaigns’ emails. Look for drop-offs or other anomalies in open and click-through rates, and test different messages and subject lines. Figure out the right benchmarks for your company, and work to surpass them with each strategic send.  According to Forrester Research, companies that excel at lead nurturing are able to generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost-per-lead. But in order to achieve this, lead nurturing campaigns take careful thought and planning.What other benchmarks and metrics do you think matter in lead nurturing?Photo Credit: lovstromp Originally published Sep 15, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Lead Nurturinglast_img read more

Sneak Peek: The State of SEO & Internet Marketing in 2012 [New Data]

first_img Topics: Originally published Aug 17, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 SEO Are you hip to the current state of search engine optimization, internet marketing, and the marketing profession? In partnership with HubSpot, SEOmoz will soon release the results of its 2012 SEO & Internet Marketing Survey, in which more than 6,400 online marketers answered 54 questions about the state of the industry, their companies, and their work.But even as the broader economy seems to falter, many companies leveraging internet marketing are growing and thriving, and the survey gives marketers a deeper look into the current state of a fast-moving industry. In fact, HubSpot Founder Dharmesh Shah and SEOmoz CEO Rand Fishkin will join forces for a live webinar this Monday, August 20 at 1 PM EST to discuss the full survey results (will you be joining them?). But before they do, we wanted to give you a sneak peek at some of the survey data to wet your appetite. In this post, we’ll share some of the survey’s key findings.Social Media Is Going StrongNot surprisingly, social media is a hot topic for online marketers in 2012. When asked about the services in most demand over the past year, social media led the way, with 72% of respondents reporting increased demand.Social media actions topped the list of tactics, too. The most popular inbound marketing action for 2012 was setting up a Facebook business page (76% of respondents). And setting up a Google+ business page was close behind (64%).Google+ Is Holding its OwnWhile Facebook leads the way among the top social media sites used by marketers (88% of respondents) and Twitter isn’t far behind, Google+ also makes a strong showing, pushing itself into the #3 spot.Another newcomer, Pinterest, also worked its way up, making it into the #7 spot (21% of respondents). And video is clearly still alive and well in 2012, with YouTube coming in as the 4th most popular social network with our audience.Content Classics Still RuleOf course, not everything changes. Despite the hype over infographics and other new content categories, traditional forms of inbound marketing content still ruled the top 5.In fact, infographics came in at #8 (26% of respondents), trailing behind video and traditional, image-based content (such as photographs). Old standbys like guides and press releases are still popular in 2012.Did any of this data surprise you? To learn about the full survey results, be sure to join Rand and Dharmesh for their live webinar, “The State of SEO and Internet Marketing in 2012,” this Monday, August 20 at 1 PM EST. Register here!This is a guest post written by Dr. Peter Meyers (“Dr. Pete”), a cognitive psychologist, online marketer, and occasional rogue scientist at SEOmoz. You can find him on Twitter @dr_pete, because he still doesn’t understand how Pinterest works. 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 Strategically Promote SlideShare Presentations on Your Blog

first_img Presentations Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Let’s go on a little trip. Open up a new tab in your browser and search “how to use SlideShare.” Wow — over 50 million hits! They must have some valuable information. You click on a couple of the results, and after 15 minutes or so of reading, you know how to create the most perfectly optimized SlideShare. You know where to find engaging visuals, how to craft your story, and even how to make your SlideShare links clickable.Unfortunately, the posts you read are often missing one crucial tip: You’ve got to strategically distribute your content.Click here to download our templates for killer SlideShare presentations.Most of the advice around distributing your presentations sounds like this: “Embed your SlideShare to your blog and you’re good to go. Oh, and don’t forget to tweet about it, too.” And while that is all correct (seriously, you should do all of that), that advice isn’t entirely helpful — it’s basically saying to slap any ol’ SlideShare on your blog and people will naturally notice. It simply doesn’t work that way.Just like any other promotional plan, you need to create SlideShares with their distribution in mind. So, if you’re looking to promote your SlideShare on your blog, take a step back for a second and think about how you want to use SlideShare to tell a story on your blog — and maybe even generate some leads. To help jumpstart your next SlideShare blog post promotion strategy, we’ll walk you through four different scenarios in which you’d use a SlideShare in a blog post. Note: Some of these scenarios may overlap, but for the purposes of this blog post, we’ll assume each situation exists purely on its own.So let’s get to it!Strategy 1: Let the SlideShare Tell the Story for YouThe first distribution strategy you can do is probably the least intensive: you let the SlideShare tell the entire story for you. This means you’re really not doing much in the blog post — probably a quick intro, embed the SlideShare, add a call-to-action, and voila … it’s ready to be published!And, if you want to go the extra mile, try excerpting some content from the SlideShare below it — something like quotes or stats. We often will do this on the blog: Let the SlideShare bear the burden of storytelling while the intro and conclusion are there primarily to help bring in more readers.For example, a few months ago, we wrote a blog post featuring a SlideShare of our favorite Steve Jobs quotes. While the meat of the story was in the SlideShare, we pulled out each quote and used a text call-to-action to get people to tweet the quote:Note: If you’re using this strategy, be sure that your SlideShare visuals are the most gorgeous they could ever be — these 10 free tools can help.Strategy 2: Tee Up the Rest of Your PostThis strategy is a riff off the first: You let the SlideShare tell an engaging story on its own, and then you use that engaging story as a jumping off point for the rest of your post. This means you aren’t duplicating content from your SlideShare into the body copy of your post, but rather using the SlideShare as a storytelling medium and then finishing the post in a text format. In a recent guest post, Doug Kessler, co-founder and creative director of Velocity, used this storytelling strategy. In the first part of 8 Ways You’re Killing Your Content, he showcased his SlideShare ‘The Other C Word,’ then followed up with eight takeaways that had been inspired by the SlideShare. The result? A richer story than just plopping a SlideShare in post:This is a great way to repurpose existing SlideShares you’ve already featured on your blog in another post. The hard part (meaning the design part) is already over, so you can focus on writing an engaging blog post to support the SlideShare.Strategy 3: Give Small Teasers of the Rest of the PostSometimes, what works best for your SlideShare audience might be different than what works for your blog audience. They might both like similar topics, but SlideShare users may like short-form, clickable content while your blog readers lap up long-form, textual content. In that case, you can use the SlideShare slides as teasers of the points you expand on in the rest of your post. For example, we put together a SlideShare and blog post about 10 of the World’s Best Storytellers. Take a look at the SlideShare slide and accompanying bullet point below. The SlideShare basically tees up what’s in the blog post, but the post takes the concepts a step further with the call-out lesson and enhanced descriptions of Walt Disney.Strategy 4: Generate Sweet, Sweet LeadsAnd the one you’ve all been waiting for: the lead generation SlideShare and blog post combo. Lots of times, marketers have a really strict lead generation goal to hit … so how can you justify spending time on a SlideShare? Well, by optimizing the slides and blog post for lead gen! Though there are lots of ways you can generate leads with SlideShare, one blog post and SlideShare combo that works really well for us is when the SlideShare features a template that you need to download on our own landing page and then people can follow along with some helpful instructions in an accompanying blog post. Sound kinda complex? Let me explain.Last week, we wanted to promote the launch of a revamped monthly marketing reporting template in a SlideShare and blog post. So, we decided to do this post: a SlideShare that featured the template and explained how you would use it, followed by specific steps that show you how to customize it for your own marketing in the accompanying blog post:The result? More exposure of our template to SlideShare’s audience and brand new leads in our funnel — something my team was very excited to see!Depending on your content’s goals, these strategies will change. One thing that won’t? Having a strategy with every piece of content you create — so make sure you’re thinking big picture even while you’re sourcing little ones for your SlideShares.These are just a few ways we’ve used SlideShare on our blog that have worked. How have you promoted a SlideShare presentation on your blog? Share your tips with us in the comments. Image credit: Let Me Google That For You Originally published Oct 8, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more