A boost for engineering skills

first_imgMusa M Mkalipi 15 engineering students from TUT have been awarded hefty bursaries from Huawei Technologies. The bursaries will enable students to improve their skills in the ICT sector.(Images: Musa Mkalipi)MEDIA CONTACTS• Portia Nqobile MvubuHuawei PR assistant manager+27 11 517 9800Engineering students at Tshwane University of Technology have received a helping hand to complete their studies through a bursary scheme set up by the Chinese multinational telecommunications company, Huawei, which has set aside R480 000 (US$48 400) for 15 bursaries.The recipients are all studying at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in the department of engineering. Through the Huawei bursaries, it is expected that the students will be able to improve their skills in the information and communications technology sector. They will allow the students to focus all their attention on completing their studies, as they will not have to worry about financial constraints. The bursaries will include money for tuition and accommodation.Sipho Themba, a lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering at TUT, said that the majority of the students majored in electrical engineering “because locally they are not exposed to opportunities in the [telecoms] sector”.Many students did not choose telecommunications as a major and David Wang, Huawei’s eastern and southern Africa region public and communications affairs director, explained: “After several attempts to recruit students from the institution for internships, we realised that there were very few pupils who chose telecoms as a major and we saw this as an opportunity to intervene.”Presenting the bursary cheque to the university, Wang added: “to bridge this gap, we are today signing an agreement between our company at the Tshwane University of Technology to provide the students with a platform to acquire financial assistance to encourage students in the department of electrical engineering to consider the rapidly growing industry of telecommunications.”Norman Saul Baloyi, a second year electrical engineering student, responded: “I am very happy and thankful to have the bursary opportunity that Huawei has given us as some of us really need this.”The bursaries fall under Huawei’s Global Telecom Seed for the Future Program, which is aimed at growing expertise in the telecommunications industry, as well as at improving innovation. The programme has come to South Africa amid efforts to promote local talent and to enhance creativity. It has been implemented in 14 countries and has set up 16 training centres around the world. It has given bursaries to students from 50 universities.A partnership between the university and Huawei has existed for 13 years. “One of the challenges we have in our country is developing the next generation of academics and people who are entrepreneurial. That is why I am very glad that today we are meeting for the students as they are the heart of everything we do,” said Professor Nthabiseng Ogude, the university’s vice-chancellor.She pointed out that 48 percent of students at TUT depended on financial aid. “If we do not get into these types of partnerships for education we cannot achieve very much.”Tertiary drop outsAccording to South African higher education facts and figures, a paper published by the International Education Association of South Africa (Ieasa), public funding of higher education has increased in recent years. Money has been invested in refurbishing buildings and constructing new facilities. Ieasa is a non-profit organisation, established as a result of the need for universities and universities of technology in South Africa to respond to international educational trends.There are 11 traditional universities in South Africa that offer degrees. These universities are research based. There are also six universities of technology that offer diplomas.Students’ drop-out rate, however, is 40%, according to the Human Sciences Research Council, which published a paper on the issue. It posited that the high drop-out rate was a threat to the nation’s future. Only 15 percent of tertiary students continue to study and achieve their qualifications. Financial difficulties are among the reasons for students failing to complete their studies.To bridge this gap, various bursary schemes and learnership programmes have been set up. The Department of Basic Education, for example, runs its Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme, offering full-cost bursaries to teaching students. The purpose is to promote teaching at public schools. Launched in 2007, it is a multi-year fund available to enable eligible students to complete a full teaching qualification in an area of national priority.Recipients are required to teach at a public school for the same number of years that they received a bursary. There are approximately 3 500 new bursaries available for 2014.The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) also provides financial assistance to academically deserving and financially needy students to study at a tertiary institution. It provides both bursaries and loans, funded by the Department of Higher Education and Training, as well as other government departments. NSFAS also administers funds for some universities, as well as for Nedbank.The repayment of student loans by past beneficiaries is a crucial element of the scheme’s funding model. NSFAS also manages and processes bursaries for companies or organisations that hold funds to assist students financially.Improving higher education and trainingSouth Africa invests roughly 20% of its total state expenditure on education, making it the highest proportion of the budget used on education in the world. This year, in his budget speech in parliament on 27 February, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced that R200-billion ($20.2-billion) would be set aside for education.However the World Economic Forum Global Competiveness report indicates that the education system in South Africa is inadequate compared to the rest of the Africa. The report weighs the competitiveness of 144 countries and gives insight on their success and efficiency. In its Global Competitiveness Report 2012-13 report, the country’s ranks 84th in higher education and training, and a lowly 132nd in primary education. In its Country Profile Highlights for the period, it states: “Efforts must also be made to increase the university enrollment rate in order to better develop [South Africa’s] innovation potential.”Improving higher education and trainingExperts in the field of skills training and human resources have distilled ways in which education has been improved in the modern world, and how it can be further enhanced, to better the future of academics.● Mobile technology: with cellphones and tablets, students are able to get information freely and easily.● Improved access to internet: internet prices have gone down and an immense amount of information is now available to students. This has also made it possible for students to afford distance learning online.● Free educational software and resources: to prolong and improve performance and learning, appropriate technologies should be available to students. By offering students resources such as computers they can become technologically skilled and can access information easily.● Business, banking and financial skills: these are needed to support the expansion of the economy. To promote financial literacy, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange holds an annual National Youth Financial Literacy Day aimed at giving young people more insight into how to handle their finances to improve their financial stability.● Lifelong learning and comprehensive universities: through non-stop updating of skills, individuals will remain competitive once they have entered the job market.last_img read more

Spectacular rocket assisted take-off

first_imgJATO rockets were used extensively on piston-engined military transports in the 1950s which had limited power.The Lockheed R6V Constitution JATO powered for take-off because it was underpowered.The world’s first jet airliner the Comet included a provision to carry two JATO rockets and these were tested at hot and high airfields such as Khartoum and Nairobi. But engine upgrades to the Comet rendered them unnecessary The Boeing 727 also had provision for JATO rockets but they were not used. However, they were fitted and used on the Douglas DC-9.ONA DC-9 with JATO rockets This spectacular rocket assisted take-off involves a Lockheed C-130 transport used as a support for the US Navy Blue Angeles.READ: New report critical of pilots of MAX crashes.Rocket assisted take-offs have been around for decades and while mainly used with military aircraft have been used by commercial aircraft, such as the Douglas DC-9.last_img read more

Comment of the Day: Socialthing! Could be SXSW Breakout App

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts richard macmanus Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Contests#web In our post SXSW Breakout App of 2008: What Will it Be?, Marshall Kirkpatrick looks at five possible contenders for SXSW breakout app. Last year it was Twitter, the year before Dodgeball. Commenter Rob nominatedsocialthing! as a contender: “If socialthing! is able to launch their iphone interface for SXSW, it could be the huge hit. they are a bit under the radar but they are close enough to strike it big.”Congratulations Rob, you’ve won a $30 Amazon voucher – courtesy of our competition sponsors AdaptiveBlue and their Netflix Queue Widget.So what is Socialthing!? It’s described as “a digital life manager that puts what you do online into one place.” In fact it was one of the 35 lifestreaming apps that Josh Catone profiled earlier this week. Josh wrote about it:“Currently in closed beta, Socialthing! is a promising lifestreaming service that offers a nifty-looking iPhone optimized version. They’re planning to release the service at SXSW.”Clever marketing move by Socialthing to release their app at SXSW. Right now it looks like a dark horse for SXSW Breakout App. But check out Marshall’s post and nominate some others!. Some extra incentive: tomorrow’s comments competition winner will also be taken from that post.last_img read more

MU student diagnosed with active tuberculosis

first_imgThe MU News Bureau says a University of Missouri student left campus voluntarily after being diagnosed with active tuberculosis.MU officials are working with local health authorities as they identify other people who need to be tested for the illness.No info yet on when the student was diagnosed or when he or she left campus.The release from the bureau says anyone at high risk will be advised to get tested for TB on campus or at the health department.last_img

This nifty map shows why coal power is struggling, Trump notwithstanding

first_img Nuclear More from News Massive Australian blazes will ‘reframe our understanding of bushfire’ Twitter Warren Cornwall is freelance journalist in Washington State. (Graphic) J. You/Science; (Data) Joshua Rhodes, Energy Institute, The University of Texas in Austin doi:10.1126/science.aal0523 Solar Wind Current With Clean Power Plan Clean Power Plan and cost of pollution impacts The mammoth analysis suggests that “it might be that decarbonization [of the U.S. electrical grid] is able to be met even without the Clean Power Plan,” says Michael Webber, an engineer and deputy director of UT’s Energy Institute, which conducted the research. “The big thing is if gas stays low [in price] then coal has a tough time.”The work is part of a broader initiative at the institute, aimed at tallying all the costs that come with keeping the lights on, from environmental impacts to building transmission lines or responding to regulations. Snazzy online calculators and mapping tools that accompany the new model enable users to tweak a number of variables, including gas prices and environmental costs, and see how the nation’s energy future might change, at the level of individual counties.The work has its limitations. The Obama regulations would have the biggest impact on whether existing coal plants are shut down, and that wasn’t included in the model. (An Energy Information Administration study published this past June suggests the plan would shrink coal’s overall share of the electrical grid from 33% in 2015 to 21% in 2030; even without the plan, coal’s share would still shrink to 30%.) Also, although the model breaks things down to the individual county, the electrical grid doesn’t follow county lines, and the maps also don’t take into account which areas use the most electricity.Still, Webber says the visualizations could help utilities, regulators, and advocacy groups communicate with the broader public about the different forces shaping the evolution of the nation’s electrical grid.For example, in the first map above that reflects current conditions, gas tops the list chiefly in the West and Southeast, whereas wind wins out in much of the Midwest, parts of the Appalachians, and the Northeast. Solar enjoys an advantage in 13% of counties, chiefly in the sunny Southeast and Southwest. Coal is the cheapest in 10% of counties, primarily in the Southeast and Appalachian coal country.In contrast, in the middle map with the CPP, coal becomes the cheapest option in just 3% of counties, mostly because the plants might need to install costly carbon capture systems.And nuclear power becomes one of the big winners if you add other environmental and health costs to the CPP (the third map). Nuclear becomes the cheapest alternative in 13% of counties, displacing coal and, perhaps surprisingly, nudging out solar power in parts of the Southeast, Midwest, and Northwest. That’s because it takes a lot of energy to build solar panels, says Joshua Rhodes, a UT engineer involved in developing the model. (The model doesn’t account for the cost of disposing of the nuclear waste, beyond a fee the federal government charges nuclear power plants.) Posted in: ClimateTrump administration Email Warren Natural gas Coal New U.N. climate report offers ‘bleak’ emissions forecast In unpublished paper, former White House climate adviser calls methane ‘irrelevant’ to climate President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to revive the flagging U.S. coal industry, but a new analysis suggests cheap natural gas and falling prices for wind and solar power mean there are few places where it makes sense to build a new coal-fired power plant.To boost coal power, Trump has promised to dismantle the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s climate change initiatives, regulations dubbed the Clean Power Plan (CPP) that would restrict greenhouse gas pollution from electricity plants. Republicans have derided the plan as part of Obama’s “war on coal,” and the U.S. Supreme Court has put a hold on the regulations pending the resolution of a legal challenge. But even without the CPP, coal already can’t compete with other energy sources in most of the country when it comes to building new power plants, suggests a new computer model from researchers at the University of Texas (UT) in Austin.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(*) Warren Cornwall Cheapest power source As the first map below shows, even without the CPP, gas and wind (pink and medium blue) are already the cheapest new power sources in nearly 75% of the nation’s 3110 counties.Tack on the CPP (middle map), which would require coal plants to capture some of their carbon emissions, and coal (red) cedes more territory to wind and natural gas.And coal disappears from the map if you add the environmental and public health costs associated with various energy sources (the third map), including a $62 per metric ton price on carbon dioxide emissions. And nuclear power (light blue) expands.last_img read more

Scientists discover a sixth sense on the tongue—for water

first_img By Emily UnderwoodMay. 30, 2017 , 1:15 PM Scientists discover a sixth sense on the tongue—for water Viewed under a microscope, your tongue is an alien landscape, studded by fringed and bumpy buds that sense five basic tastes: salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami. But mammalian taste buds may have an additional sixth sense—for water, a new study suggests. The finding could help explain how animals can tell water from other fluids, and it adds new fodder to a centuries-old debate: Does water have a taste of its own, or is it a mere vehicle for other flavors?Ever since antiquity, philosophers have claimed that water has no flavor. Even Aristotle referred to it as “tasteless” around 330 B.C.E. But insects and amphibians have water-sensing nerve cells, and there is growing evidence of similar cells in mammals, says Patricia Di Lorenzo, a behavioral neuroscientist at the State University of New York in Binghamton. A few recent brain scan studies also suggest that a region of human cortex responds specifically to water, she says. Still, critics argue that any perceived flavor is just the after-effect of whatever we tasted earlier, such as the sweetness of water after we eat salty food.“Almost nothing is known” about the molecular and cellular mechanism by which water is detected in the mouth and throat, and the neural pathway by which that signal is transmitted to the brain, says Zachary Knight, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco. In previous studies, Knight and other researchers have found distinct populations of neurons within a region of the brain called the hypothalamus that can trigger thirst and signal when an animal should start and stop drinking. But the brain must receive information about water from the mouth and tongue, because animals stop drinking long before signals from the gut or blood could tell the brain that the body has been replenished, he says.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(*)In an attempt to settle the debate, Yuki Oka, a neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and colleagues searched for water-sensing taste receptor cells (TRCs) in the mouse tongue. They used genetic knockout mice to look for the cells, silencing different types of TRCs, then flushing the rodents’ mouths with water to see which cells responded. “The most surprising part of the project” was that the well-known, acid-sensing, sour TRCs fired vigorously when exposed to water, Oka says. When given the option of drinking either water or a clear, tasteless, synthetic silicone oil, rodents lacking sour TRCs took longer to choose water, suggesting the cells help to distinguish water from other fluids.Next, the team tested whether artificially activating the cells, using a technique called optogenetics, could drive the mice to drink water. They bred mice to express light-sensitive proteins in their acid-sensing TRCs, which make the cells fire in response to light from a laser. After training the mice to drink water from a spout, the team replaced the water with an optic fiber that shone blue light on their tongues. When the mice “drank” the blue light, they acted as though they were tasting water, Oka says. Some thirsty mice licked the light spout as many as 2000 times every 10 minutes, the team reports this week in Nature Neuroscience.The rodents never learned that the light was just an illusion, but kept drinking long after mice drinking actual water would. That suggests that although signals from TRCs in the tongue can trigger drinking, they don’t play a role in telling the brain when to stop, Oka says.More research is needed to precisely determine how the acid-sensing taste buds respond to water, and what the mice experience when they do, Oka says. But he suspects that when water washes out saliva—a salty, acidic mucus—it changes the pH within the cells, making them more likely to fire.The notion that one of the ways animals detect water is by the removal of saliva “makes a lot of sense,” Knight says. But it is still only one of many likely routes for sensing water, including temperature and pressure, he adds.The “well-designed, intriguing” study also speaks to a long-standing debate over the nature of taste, Di Lorenzo says. When you find a counterexample to the dominant view that there are only five basic taste groups, she says, “it tells you you need to go back to the drawing board.”last_img read more

6 Tips for Making a Business Marketing Video

first_img Video Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Aug 22, 2008 9:15:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Topics: This article is by guest writer Catie Foertsch from www.OurTownLLC.net who has a lot of experience producing video of many types and formats. Start with a script.  If you don’t, you’ll turn on the camera and find yourself tongue-tied as you try to think of what to say. Unless you’re using a teleprompter, bullet points are better than paragraphs. Develop a list of bullet points and then rehearse your way through them a couple times, honing what you want to say just like you do when you’re rehearsing a power point presentation. Remember that people are trained to watch video as story, so frame what you say with a beginning, a middle, and an end. (More about the end later.)  And – while you might want to say a whole lot about your business, boil it down. Don’t overwhelm your viewer with detail.Don’t try to impress your audience by channeling someone who impresses you, like maybe Seth Godin. People have a very, very sensitive authentic-meter, and can tell immediately if what they’re seeing is faked or forced. Remember the old maxim about doing business with people we know, like and trust? Video is a great way to let people connect with you in all three ways but it only works if their authentic-meter tells them they’re watching a real person. So be yourself.Don’t use the camera’s built-in microphone.  Buy a wireless lavaliere mic and clip it on your lapel.  You can pick one up for short money, and the difference in the professional quality of your video is huge. To find one, Google lavaliere mic. Just make sure that the one you buy has the right connections for your camera.Be vigilant about your lighting. This is one of the easiest ways to make your video look good. Don’t shoot against a window because your camera will adjust to the outside light and you’ll be way too dark. Don’t place yourself directly under an overhead light because you’ll get very nasty raccoon eyes, as the light casts shadows from your brow. Do point a light source directly at your face, to counter shadows from overhead light. You can take the lamp shade off a table lamp so the light shines on your face, or point a desk lamp at yourself. Don’t place it so close that you blind yourself, just use it to fill in the light on your face. It’ll make a big difference. And, if you have dark skin, do not shoot against a light background as the camera will adjust for the background. Place yourself against a darker background so the camera adjusts to your face and not the white wall behind you.Frame your face well. If you’re placing your video on your website it’s going to be relatively small, so if your face is small in the video it will be very difficult to see on your website. Why does the size of your face matter? Because we want to watch your face as you talk. And beware of too much head room. Head room is the space above your head in the frame, and too much leaves lots of empty space and too little you. So – bring your head very close to the top of the frame. Aim for a head-and-shoulders shot without a lot of headroom and you’ll look great.End your video with some kind of call to action. This is because people watch videos to watch a story, and every story must have an ending, and the most effective ending for a marketing video is a clear communication of what the person should do next. Here’s an example: “Bankruptcy is not easy, but we have the experience and the know-how to help you through this. So call us, right now, and let’s get started.”What’s the bottom line? Communication-wise, video is the sharpest tool in your toolbox, and making good video isn’t hard. So why not start using video to communicate your message? Photo by danny.hammontreeFree Ebook: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Internet Marketing Learn how to implement a comprehensive internet marketing strategy, step by step.Download this free ebook for step-by-step instructions on how to make internet marketing work for your business.last_img read more

Why Twitter Is Marketing Wheat Bread (Not Cotton Candy)

first_img blogging Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Red Sox commentary Demi Moore If you’re like many serious, data-driven marketing professionals, you don’t take Twitter seriously. It seems a little too much like marketing cotton candy. Shaquile ONeal for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. What type of business value? saying about their company Our blog is not alone. Look at landing pages and healthy use of Twitter Marketing .) It’s sticky. (Who doesn’t want to know what people are and . For regular producers of quality, interesting content, Twitter is core source of traffic. calls to action lead tracking search engine optimization Steve Rubel’s traffic. Pay-Per-Click ads , Twitter can produce real business value. If this is your view of Twitter, you need to re-assess. Today. Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR , Referrals. Originally published Jul 23, 2009 8:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 all the time.) ? anitacanita .) P. Diddy Topics: On this blog over the last three months, Twitter was the third-most significant source of traffic, referring almost $30,000 worth of traffic. ($30,000 is what we would have had to pay to buy a similar volume of traffic from Google via It’s sweet. (What could be sweeter than non-stop ? But if you put in the time, make Twitter a part of your daily diet and engage with your network, Twitter will help keep your marketing strong. Photos: And, to some, Twitter seems low on substantive business value. ?) Of course, this type of referral traffic doesn’t happen without work. You can’t buy $30,000 worth of visitors from Twitter. You have to build a network, engage with that network, then share your quality content with that network. And even if you do that, you won’t see returns overnight. sierravalleygirl Download the free webinar It’s colorful. ( Twitter is not cotton candy — it’s wheat bread, a staple of a healthy marketing diet. Balanced with Or Fred Wilson’s , 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

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Creating Awesome Landing Pages

first_img Landing Pages Originally published Oct 28, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 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 Landing pages are an extremely critical component of lead generation in inbound marketing. Are your landing pages optimized to their best visitor-to-lead conversion potential? If there’s any question in your mind about whether your landing pages are up to snuff, take a look at following cheat sheet. Does the anatomy of your landing pages include all of the following crucial elements? If not, it might be time to conduct a few landing page makeovers…The Anatomy of an Effective Landing Page1. Headline: As the first thing your visitors will likely see when they ‘land’ on your landing page, having a clear and concise headline is critical. Use your headline to sum up your offer as clearly as possible. If it’s an ebook, say it’s an ebook. If it’s a webinar, say it’s a webinar. What kind of ebook or webinar is it? What will visitors who convert on your page receive?2. Hidden Top/Side Navigation: Reduce friction as well as your landing page’s bounce rate and increase the chances your visitors will stay on your page by hiding any top and side navigation bars from your page. The last thing you want is for something else to catch their eye and distract them from completing the form.3. Context: Below your main headline, consider using a sub-header to provide a little bit of information about the benefits and value. If your visitor decided not to read further, would it be enough to entice them to complete the form anyway? Next, add some context to your offer. Why should this offer be valuable to your visitor? In our example above, visitors discover that landing pages are effective for 94% of B2B and B2C companies. This should help them to understand why they are important and why they should learn how to build effective landing pages, setting them up nicely for the ebook offer.4. Value: In many cases, your sub-header and context won’t be quite enough to motivate your visitor he or she should download/register/sign up for your offer. Use the rest of the text on your landing page to explain the value of your offer clearly and simply. Use bullet points to demonstrate clear takeaways and break up large blocks of text, and keep it brief and to-the-point. What will the person get out of your offer? Will they learn how to do something? Become more knowledgeable about a specific topic? How will the information be presented to them? In our example, visitors will receive a “26-page guide.” No question about it!5. Image: It’s always wise to include a relevant image on your landing page. Try to match that image with the offer. For example, if you’re offering an ebook or a webinar, show a cover of the ebook or a screenshot of the webinar’s presentation cover slide. This will give your landing page visitors a tangible idea of what they’ll receive: “If I complete this form, I’ll get a 26-page guide that looks like that.” Images can also make a landing page much more visually appealing.6. Lead-Capture Form: This is the element your landing page simply cannot function without. Your lead-capture form is the place where your page visitors will supply information in exchange for your offer. It’s also what converts those visitors into precious little sales leads. As a best practice, only ask for information you need from your leads in order to effectively follow up with and/or qualify them. It’s ultimately up to you to decide how many or how few form fields to include. Generally, longer forms will result in fewer but more qualified leads, and shorter forms will result in more but less qualified leads. Determine what works best for your business by testing and solving for your specific lead generation goals. Just keep in mind: visitors are very protective of their contact information, so the more form fields you require, the less likely people will convert.7. Privacy Policy Link: Include a link to your business’ privacy policy on your landing page or directly within your lead-capture form to give your visitors peace of mind. As we just mentioned, visitors are protective of their personal information. Providing them with information about your company’s privacy policy will help to quell any fears that you’re not a trustworthy source or that you’ll sell their information to other vendors. This should positively impact the performance of your landing page.8. ‘Submit’ Button: At the bottom of your lead-capture form (and as the call-to-action at the top of your form as well), use specific action words so your visitors clearly understand what they have to do to obtain the offer you’re presenting. On the button they click to submit their information, avoid using a general word like ‘submit.’ Eliminate any vagueness, and instead indicate exactly what action your visitors must take. If they’re going to receive an ebook, use a word like ‘download.’ If visitors are signing up to attend a live webinar, use a word like ‘register.’ Will they be receiving a free product trial? Try using the phrase ‘sign up.’9. Social Sharing Buttons/Links: Enable visitors to easily share your landing page with their connections, too by including social media sharing links or buttons for social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter! Don’t miss out on this simple opportunity to extend the reach of your landing page and the content it offers beyond your direct network and reach. More visibility will lead to more landing page traffic and, ultimately, more leads!10. One Single Call-to-Action: It’s important to understand that your landing page should be focused around one single offer. Including calls-to-action for other offers on your landing page is a sure-fire way to confuse and distract landing page visitors from completing your form.The Anatomy of an Effective Thank-You Page1. The Offer Itself: Once your visitor submits their form information, they should be redirected to a thank-you page that explains the next step. If you were offering an ebook, the thank-you page should include a link to the ebook or provide instructions on how they’ll be receiving their ebook copy (perhaps you’ll be emailing it to them, for example). If it’s a webinar they registered for, maybe you will present them with login information. Either way, never leave them hanging. You need to make good on the promise you made by requesting their information. Make the process as simple and easy as possible for your new lead.2. More Social Sharing Links: Just as you did on the landing page, slap some social sharing links/buttons on your thank-you page, too! Just be sure the link you give them to share directs other visitors to the landing page, not the thank-you page. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on some precious leads.3. Social Media Follow Links: In addition to social sharing links, consider also including social media follow links to boost your social following. These links will encourage leads to follow you via your social media accounts on such networks as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The thank-page is a great place for this, since people who end up there were already convinced your offer was worth the form submission in the first place. There’s a good chance then, that they might want to be informed about some of your other offers via other channels, too.4. Middle-of-the-Funnel CTA: If you’re regularly offering top-of-the-funnel, educational content such as ebooks or webinars, there’s a chance you’ll have some repeat downloaders. If someone has downloaded ebook after ebook from you, perhaps they’re a little bit further down your sales funnel than the average bear. Consider adding a more middle-of-the-funnel offer like a free trial or product-focused offer to capture those leads who might be ready for that stage in the game.Other Important Landing Page Factors to Consider While all of the above elements are extremely critical to the success of your landing page, there are a few other factors to consider during your quest for landing page domination.1. Testing: In marketing, there’s never a one-size-fits-all approach to things. While the above anatomy highlights important elements, the best way to create the best-optimized landing pages for your business is to test these various elements. Perhaps one layout (form on the left vs. the right) works better for you than another. Test every variable possible to help you come up with the best solution for your particular business.2. Analytics: Always consult your analytics during testing to evaluate results as well as in general to determine the effectiveness of your landing page overall. Refer to metrics such as bounce rate, traffic, visitor-to-lead conversion rate, and overall leads. Use the information you gather from your analytics to make decisions about how to structure your page or tweak certain elements to make them more effective. For example, if your page is generating tons of traffic but just a small number of leads, you likely have a conversion problem. Perhaps you need to shorten your form or make your messaging clearer.3. Promotion: How are people ending up on your landing page? Which sources are generating the most traffic, and where are you lacking traffic? The only way to generate traffic to your landing pages is to promote them! Optimize it with keywords so it gets found in search, share it in social media, create calls-to-actions for it to use on other web pages and blog articles, and link to the landing page in paid marketing efforts such as in display ads.4. Message Consistency: As you’re promoting your landing pages through these other channels, make sure your messaging aligns with the messaging on your landing page. The best way to confuse the heck out your readers is to send them to your landing page expecting something different. Be consistent in your language, tone, and expectations.How are your landing pages faring? What can you do to improve your existing landing pages’ ability to convert traffic into leads?last_img read more

Facebook Ticker, Now With 100% More Sponsored Stories

first_img Facebook Marketing Early in 2011, Facebook launched the addition of Sponsored Stories to its advertising platform, and two months ago, the social network introduced the real-time Ticker to the Facebook sidebar. If it wasn’t at all obvious from the title of this blog post, can you guess where we’re going with this?Today, TechCrunch reported that Facebook began sprinkling Sponsored Stories ads into users’ Tickers, which had previously only shown organic — not paid — Facebook updates.Understanding Sponsored Stories and the TickerIf you’re not hip to the Facebook lingo, Sponsored Stories are a form of advertisement on Facebook that generate more distribution for organic News Feed stories and business pages within Facebook. So, if you posted an organic update to your business’ Facebook page, for instance, you could create more exposure for that story by supporting it with paid (or ‘sponsored’) promotion. Until now, Facebook had only been displaying these ads in the Facebook sidebar and the Games Ticker visible to those using Facebook canvas apps and games.The Ticker is the scrolling, right-hand sidebar that follows you through Facebook and displays News Feed-like updates in real time, enabling users to quickly identify, jump in, and comment on a story as the conversation is happening.Leveraging the Power of Social AdvertisingThe release of Sponsored Stories is great news for marketers, since it leverages the concept of social advertising as well as the powerful role of content in inbound marketing. Promoting organic content instead of ads helps to generate more attention for your content offers on Facebook’s advertising platform, and it’s a great way to extend the reach of your business’ organic social media content. In fact, Sponsored Stories have been shown to generate a 46% higher click-through rate than standard Facebook ads.Now that Facebook is starting to sprinkle these types of ads into users’ tickers, they will generate even more exposure, which is even better news for marketers leveraging Sponsored Stories as a tool to promote their content.Have you experimented with Facebook’s Sponsored Stories? Will you leverage them more now that they’re being included in the Ticker?Image Credit: Steven Depolo Originally published Nov 21, 2011 6:30:00 PM, 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 Topics:last_img read more