January 6, 2021

Impacts of Information Technology on Society in the New Century

In the past few decades there has been a revolution in computing and communications, and all indications are that technological progress and use of information technology will continue at a rapid pace. Accompanying and supporting the dramatic increases in the power and use of new information technologies has been the declining cost of communications as a result of both technological improvements and increased competition. According to Moore’s law the processing power of microchips is doubling every 18 months. These advances present many significant opportunities but also pose major challenges. Today, innovations in information technology are having wide-ranging effects across numerous domains of society, and policy makers are acting on issues involving economic productivity, intellectual property rights, privacy protection, and affordability of and access to information. Choices made now will have long lasting consequences, and attention must be paid to their social and economic impacts.

One of the most significant outcomes of the progress of information technology is probably electronic commerce over the Internet, a new way of conducting business. Though only a few years old, it may radically alter economic activities and the social environment. Already, it affects such large sectors as communications, finance and retail trade and might expand to areas such as education and health services. It implies the seamless application of information and communication technology along the entire value chain of a business that is conducted electronically.

The impacts of information technology and electronic commerce on business models, commerce, market structure, workplace, labour market, education, private life and society as a whole.

1. Business Models, Commerce and Market Structure

One important way in which information technology is affecting work is by reducing the importance of distance. In many industries, the geographic distribution of work is changing significantly. For instance, some software firms have found that they can overcome the tight local market for software engineers by sending projects to India or other nations where the wages are much lower. Furthermore, such arrangements can take advantage of the time differences so that critical projects can be worked on nearly around the clock. Firms can outsource their manufacturing to other nations and rely on telecommunications to keep marketing, R&D, and distribution teams in close contact with the manufacturing groups. Thus the technology can enable a finer division of labour among countries, which in turn affects the relative demand for various skills in each nation. The technology enables various types of work and employment to be decoupled from one another. Firms have greater freedom to locate their economic activities, creating greater competition among regions in infrastructure, labour, capital, and other resource markets. It also opens the door for regulatory arbitrage: firms can increasingly choose which tax authority and other regulations apply.

Computers and communication technologies also promote more market-like forms of production and distribution. An infrastructure of computing and communication technology, providing 24-hour access at low cost to almost any kind of price and product information desired by buyers, will reduce the informational barriers to efficient market operation. This infrastructure might also provide the means for effecting real-time transactions and make intermediaries such as sales clerks, stock brokers and travel agents, whose function is to provide an essential information link between buyers and sellers, redundant. Removal of intermediaries would reduce the costs in the production and distribution value chain. The information technologies have facilitated the evolution of enhanced mail order retailing, in which goods can be ordered quickly by using telephones or computer networks and then dispatched by suppliers through integrated transport companies that rely extensively on computers and communication technologies to control their operations. Nonphysical goods, such as software, can be shipped electronically, eliminating the entire transport channel. Payments can be done in new ways. The result is disintermediation throughout the distribution channel, with cost reduction, lower end-consumer prices, and higher profit margins.

The impact of information technology on the firms’ cost structure can be best illustrated on the electronic commerce example. The key areas of cost reduction when carrying out a sale via electronic commerce rather than in a traditional store involve physical establishment, order placement and execution, customer support, strong, inventory carrying, and distribution. Although setting up and maintaining an e-commerce web site might be expensive, it is certainly less expensive to maintain such a storefront than a physical one because it is always open, can be accessed by millions around the globe, and has few variable costs, so that it can scale up to meet the demand. By maintaining one ‘store’ instead of several, duplicate inventory costs are eliminated. In addition, e-commerce is very effective at reducing the costs of attracting new customers, because advertising is typically cheaper than for other media and more targeted. Moreover, the electronic interface allows e-commerce merchants to check that an order is internally consistent and that the order, receipt, and invoice match. Through e-commerce, firms are able to move much of their customer support on line so that customers can access databases or manuals directly. This significantly cuts costs while generally improving the quality of service. E-commerce shops require far fewer, but high-skilled, employees. E-commerce also permits savings in inventory carrying costs. The faster the input can be ordered and delivered, the less the need for a large inventory. The impact on costs associated with decreased inventories is most pronounced in industries where the product has a limited shelf life (e.g. bananas), is subject to fast technological obsolescence or price declines (e.g. computers), or where there is a rapid flow of new products (e.g. books, music). Although shipping costs can increase the cost of many products purchased via electronic commerce and add substantially to the final price, distribution costs are significantly reduced for digital products such as financial services, software, and travel, which are important e-commerce segments.

Although electronic commerce causes the disintermediation of some intermediaries, it creates greater dependency on others and also some entirely new intermediary functions. Among the intermediary services that could add costs to e-commerce transactions are advertising, secure online payment, and delivery. The relative ease of becoming an e-commerce merchant and setting up stores results in such a huge number of offerings that consumers can easily be overwhelmed. This increases the importance of using advertising to establish a brand name and thus generate consumer familiarity and trust. For new e-commerce start-ups, this process can be expensive and represents a significant transaction cost. The openness, global reach, and lack of physical clues that are inherent characteristics of e-commerce also make it vulnerable to fraud and thus increase certain costs for e-commerce merchants as compared to traditional stores. New techniques are being developed to protect the use of credit cards in e-commerce transactions, but the need for greater security and user verification leads to increased costs. A key feature of e-commerce is the convenience of having purchases delivered directly. In the case of tangibles, such as books, this incurs delivery costs, which cause prices to rise in most cases, thereby negating many of the savings associated with e-commerce and substantially adding to transaction costs.

With the Internet, e-commerce is rapidly expanding into a fast-moving, open global market with an ever-increasing number of participants. The open and global nature of e-commerce is likely to increase market size and change market structure, both in terms of the number and size of players and the way in which players compete on international markets. Digitized products can cross the border in real time, consumers can shop 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and firms are increasingly faced with international online competition. The Internet is helping to enlarge existing markets by cutting through many of the distribution and marketing barriers that can prevent firms from gaining access to foreign markets. E-commerce lowers information and transaction costs for operating on overseas markets and provides a cheap and efficient way to strengthen customer-supplier relations. It also encourages companies to develop innovative ways of advertising, delivering and supporting their product and services. While e-commerce on the Internet offers the potential for global markets, certain factors, such as language, transport costs, local reputation, as well as differences in the cost and ease of access to networks, attenuate this potential to a greater or lesser extent.

2. Workplace and Labour Market

Computers and communication technologies allow individuals to communicate with one another in ways complementary to traditional face-to-face, telephonic, and written modes. They enable collaborative work involving distributed communities of actors who seldom, if ever, meet physically. These technologies utilize communication infrastructures that are both global and always up, thus enabling 24-hour activity and asynchronous as well as synchronous interactions among individuals, groups, and organizations. Social interaction in organizations will be affected by use of computers and communication technologies. Peer-to-peer relations across department lines will be enhanced through sharing of information and coordination of activities. Interaction between superiors and subordinates will become more tense because of social control issues raised by the use of computerized monitoring systems, but on the other hand, the use of e-mail will lower the barriers to communications across different status levels, resulting in more uninhibited communications between supervisor and subordinates.

That the importance of distance will be reduced by computers and communication technology also favours telecommuting, and thus, has implications for the residence patterns of the citizens. As workers find that they can do most of their work at home rather than in a centralized workplace, the demand for homes in climatically and physically attractive regions would increase. The consequences of such a shift in employment from the suburbs to more remote areas would be profound. Property values would rise in the favoured destinations and fall in the suburbs. Rural, historical, or charming aspects of life and the environment in the newly attractive areas would be threatened. Since most telecommuters would be among the better educated and higher paid, the demand in these areas for high-income and high-status services like gourmet restaurants and clothing boutiques would increase. Also would there be an expansion of services of all types, creating and expanding job opportunities for the local population.

By reducing the fixed cost of employment, widespread telecommuting should make it easier for individuals to work on flexible schedules, to work part time, to share jobs, or to hold two or more jobs simultaneously. Since changing employers would not necessarily require changing one’s place of residence, telecommuting should increase job mobility and speed career advancement. This increased flexibility might also reduce job stress and increase job satisfaction. Since job stress is a major factor governing health there may be additional benefits in the form of reduced health costs and mortality rates. On the other hand one might also argue that technologies, by expanding the number of different tasks that are expected of workers and the array of skills needed to perform these tasks, might speed up work and increase the level of stress and time pressure on workers.

A question that is more difficult to be answered is about the impacts that computers and communications might have on employment. The ability of computers and communications to perform routine tasks such as bookkeeping more rapidly than humans leads to concern that people will be replaced by computers and communications. The response to this argument is that even if computers and communications lead to the elimination of some workers, other jobs will be created, particularly for computer professionals, and that growth in output will increase overall employment. It is more likely that computers and communications will lead to changes in the types of workers needed for different occupations rather than to changes in total employment.

A number of industries are affected by electronic commerce. The distribution sector is directly affected, as e-commerce is a way of supplying and delivering goods and services. Other industries, indirectly affected, are those related to information and communication technology (the infrastructure that enables e-commerce), content-related industries (entertainment, software), transactions-related industries (financial sector, advertising, travel, transport). eCommerce might also create new markets or extend market reach beyond traditional borders. Enlarging the market will have a positive effect on jobs. Another important issue relates to inter linkages among activities affected by e-commerce. Expenditure for e-commerce-related intermediate goods and services will create jobs indirectly, on the basis of the volume of electronic transactions and their effect on prices, costs and productivity. The convergence of media, telecommunication and computing technologies is creating a new integrated supply chain for the production and delivery of multimedia and information content. Most of the employment related to e-commerce around the content industries and communication infrastructure such as the Internet.

Jobs are both created and destroyed by technology, trade, and organizational change. These processes also underlie changes in the skill composition of employment. Beyond the net employment gains or losses brought about by these factors, it is apparent that workers with different skill levels will be affected differently. E-commerce is certainly driving the demand for IT professionals but it also requires IT expertise to be coupled with strong business application skills, thereby generating demand for a flexible, multi-skilled work force. There is a growing need for increased integration of Internet front-end applications with enterprise operations, applications and back-end databases. Many of the IT skill requirements needed for Internet support can be met by low-paid IT workers who can deal with the organizational services needed for basic web page programming. However, wide area networks, competitive web sites, and complex network applications require much more skill than a platform-specific IT job. Since the skills required for e-commerce are rare and in high demand, e-commerce might accelerate the up skilling trend in many countries by requiring high-skilled computer scientists to replace low-skilled information clerks, cashiers and market salespersons.

3. Education

Advances in information technology will affect the craft of teaching by complementing rather than eliminating traditional classroom instruction. Indeed the effective instructor acts in a mixture of roles. In one role the instructor is a supplier of services to the students, who might be regarded as its customers. But the effective instructor occupies another role as well, as a supervisor of students, and plays a role in motivating, encouraging, evaluating, and developing students. For any topic there will always be a small percentage of students with the necessary background, motivation, and self-discipline to learn from self-paced workbooks or computer assisted instruction. For the majority of students, however, the presence of a live instructor will continue to be far more effective than a computer assisted counterpart in facilitating positive educational outcomes. The greatest potential for new information technology lies in improving the productivity of time spent outside the classroom. Making solutions to problem sets and assigned reading materials available on the Internet offers a lot of convenience. E-mail vastly simplifies communication between students and faculty and among students who may be engaged in group projects. Advances in information technology will affect the craft of teaching by complementing rather than eliminating traditional classroom instruction. Indeed the effective instructor acts in a mixture of roles. In one role the instructor is a supplier of services to the students, who might be regarded as its customers. But the effective instructor occupies another role as well, as a supervisor of students, and plays a role in motivating, encouraging, evaluating, and developing students. For any topic there will always be a small percentage of students with the necessary background, motivation, and self-discipline to learn from self-paced workbooks or computer assisted instruction. For the majority of students, however, the presence of a live instructor will continue to be far more effective than a computer assisted counterpart in facilitating positive educational outcomes. The greatest potential for new information technology lies in improving the productivity of time spent outside the classroom. Making solutions to problem sets and assigned reading materials available on the Internet offers a lot of convenience. E-mail vastly simplifies communication between students and faculty and among students who may be engaged in group projects.

Although distance learning has existed for some time, the Internet makes possible a large expansion in coverage and better delivery of instruction. Text can be combined with audio/ video, and students can interact in real time via e-mail and discussion groups. Such technical improvements coincide with a general demand for retraining by those who, due to work and family demands, cannot attend traditional courses. Distance learning via the Internet is likely to complement existing schools for children and university students, but it could have more of a substitution effect for continuing education programmes. For some degree programmes, high-prestige institutions could use their reputation to attract students who would otherwise attend a local facility. Owing to the Internet’s ease of access and convenience for distance learning, overall demand for such programmes will probably expand, leading to growth in this segment of e-commerce.

As shown in the previous section, high level skills are vital in a technology-based and knowledge intensive economy. Changes associated with rapid technological advances in industry have made continual upgrading of professional skills an economic necessity. The goal of lifelong learning can only be accomplished by reinforcing and adapting existing systems of learning, both in public and private sectors. The demand for education and training concerns the full range of modern technology. Information technologies are uniquely capable of providing ways to meet this demand. Online training via the Internet ranges from accessing self-study courses to complete electronic classrooms. These computer-based training programmes provide flexibility in skills acquisition and are more affordable and relevant than more traditional seminars and courses.

4. Private Life and Society

Increasing representation of a wide variety of content in digital form results in easier and cheaper duplication and distribution of information. This has a mixed effect on the provision of content. On the one hand, content can be distributed at a lower unit cost. On the other hand, distribution of content outside of channels that respect intellectual property rights can reduce the incentives of creators and distributors to produce and make content available in the first place. Information technology raises a host of questions about intellectual property protection and new tools and regulations have to be developed in order to solve this problem.

Many issues also surround free speech and regulation of content on the Internet, and there continue to be calls for mechanisms to control objectionable content. However it is very difficult to find a sensible solution. Dealing with indecent material involves understanding not only the views on such topics but also their evolution over time. Furthermore, the same technology that allows for content altering with respect to decency can be used to filter political speech and to restrict access to political material. Thus, if censorship does not appear to be an option, a possible solution might be labelling. The idea is that consumers will be better informed in their decisions to avoid objectionable content.

The rapid increase in computing and communications power has raised considerable concern about privacy both in the public and private sector. Decreases in the cost of data storage and information processing make it likely that it will become practicable for both government and private data-mining enterprises to collect detailed dossiers on all citizens. Nobody knows who currently collects data about individuals, how this data is used and shared or how this data might be misused. These concerns lower the consumers’ trust in online institutions and communication and, thus, inhibit the development of electronic commerce. A technological approach to protecting privacy might by cryptography although it might be claimed that cryptography presents a serious barrier to criminal investigations.

It is popular wisdom that people today suffer information overload. A lot of the information available on the Internet is incomplete and even incorrect. People spend more and more of their time absorbing irrelevant information just because it is available and they think they should know about it. Therefore, it must be studied how people assign credibility to the information they collect in order to invent and develop new credibility systems to help consumers to manage the information overload.

Technological progress inevitably creates dependence on technology. Indeed the creation of vital infrastructure ensures dependence on that infrastructure. As surely as the world is now dependent on its transport, telephone, and other infrastructures, it will be dependent on the emerging information infrastructure. Dependence on technology can bring risks. Failures in the technological infrastructure can cause the collapse of economic and social functionality. Blackouts of long-distance telephone service, credit data systems, and electronic funds transfer systems, and other such vital communications and information processing services would undoubtedly cause widespread economic disruption. However, it is probably impossible to avoid technological dependence. Therefore, what must be considered is the exposure brought from dependence on technologies with a recognizable probability of failure, no workable substitute at hand, and high costs as a result of failure.

The ongoing computing and communications revolution has numerous economic and social impacts on modern society and requires serious social science investigation in order to manage its risks and dangers. Such work would be valuable for both social policy and technology design. Decisions have to be taken carefully. Many choices being made now will be costly or difficult to modify in the future.

January 6, 2021

Why Your Online Reputation Matters

It doesn’t matter what type of business you have these days – it can be online or offline, large or small. You must manage your online reputation. Here’s why your online reputation matters.

Most People Will “Google You” before Buying

You know you do it, so of course, most others do it too. If you want information on a business or product, you search on Google to see if you can find it. You don’t care if it’s a local business or not – you go to Google, type in the name, and then you read the reviews and other information about that business.

People Buy from Those They Trust

Finding good information during the searching process helps build a feeling of trust in your customer. If instead they find bad information, poor ratings, or other things about you or your business that is negative, they may choose a competitor – even if they can’t find information on that competitor.

Good Reputation Gives a Competitive Advantage

The aim is to build such a good reputation that when someone searches for your name, a search term, or your product or industry, you appear in the searches in a healthy way without controversy. In this way, you’ll have an advantage over your competitors who either don’t exist online or have a bad reputation online.

Nothing Is a Secret Anymore

One thing you have to accept about our new technological world is that nothing is secret anymore. You can’t be anonymous online if you expect to make an impact with your business. Instead you need to be yourself taking control of your reputation by making an appearance on discussion boards, blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos and more. Even if you have one negative event, you can ensure that the positive outweighs the negative if you make a concerted effort.

Unscrupulous Competitors May Attempt to Trash You

By keeping an eye on and working to improve your online reputation, when and if a competitor tries to trash you, you’ll be ready. Believe it or not, some very misinformed and bad people will actively seek to trash you online. How you respond makes all the difference.

Every Action You Take for Better or Worse Affects It

One thing you have to know about being online and running an online business is that everything you do will be analyzed and scrutinized by everyone. It’s imperative that before you post that picture of you hanging off the ceiling at that convention that you consider how it will impact your future. Before you spout off to a rude customer on social media, consider how you can turn it around in a way that is positive because even if you’re ultimately right, how you respond matters.

January 5, 2021

Xbox 360 Metro Dashboard Update

Initial impressions of the new Xbox dashboard are good. The new ‘Metro’ interface is a big improvement over the previous interface, that was both confusing and boring to look at. Drilling down into the new tiled interface reveals a few things at least are unchanged, the avatar editor being one of them.

Microsoft have called this a media centric update and with all the additional media services that are coming that is certainly true. Looking at the way they have achieved this, by adding an App section and the new App Marketplace, Microsoft seem to be following the lead of the Apple store and the Android Marketplace, although for the time being these are all just media based apps.

Metro style interface
The first thing you notice about this interface are the new tiles. Each menu item on the dashboard contains both large and small rectangular tiles. In general the large tiles contain featured stuff and the smaller tiles, the less important stuff. The web style top menu provides a way to quickly skip between menu items and consists of the following items – bing, home, social, tv, video, games, music, apps, settings.

Microsoft’s Bing Search engine has been installed with the new update and provides a single place to search across all content on your machine and online content within Xbox Live. Initial impressions are good. Text search includes predictive search suggestions which are very useful when you’re trying to type with a standard Xbox controller. You can also filter your results by media type e.g. Video, music, game etc .

DVD Tray – The home menu item contains a tile with the current game, the DVD tray.

Quickplay – Shows 10 recent games, press X to see game details and reveal another Metro style interface.

Welcome Video – Dan Marr from ‘Inside Xbox’ presents a short welcome video to run you through what’s new with the dashboard.

Advert – Microsoft continue to sell ad space on the Xbox, the ad showing today was a BT Infinity advert Large Featured tile – Contains a rotating advert for various games, Sky and Lovefilm.

There have been some nice social media integration updates, especially with Facebook.

Friends – a small tile showing your Xbox Live friends.

Sign in/out – no surprise here, it just allow you to sign in/out of profiles

Your Avatar – takes you to message centre, avatar and theme settings

Social Apps – drill down to find 3 more apps, Video Kinect, Twitter & Facebook

There’s no download with this one. They’ve used the usual speech bubble style Twitter presentation, this time with an animated background. Functions include a scrolling Twitter feed, Tweet facility, Free text and Trending searches.

Accessing the new Facebook app, leads to a small download. Quite a small download considering the changes they’ve made.

After being prompted for a username and password. A Privacy screen is shown. There are 2 settings; Display My Xbox Live info and Auto Login with Live connection. Selecting the former will display your Xbox Live gamertag alongside your Facebook name. This is something you may not want if your Facebook page can be accessed by work colleagues. Working from home and having a quick lunchtime session of Call of Duty would not look good plastered all over Facebook.

The new Facebook interface is not that different from the old one, the major change is how the app integrates with games. You can now search for Facebook friends on Xbox Live and Xbox Live friends on Facebook. Sending a friend request to either service is made very easy.

Kinect Games – A small tile for Xbox games, a strange place for this, maybe they had nothing else to fill the space.

Only on Xbox – a small tile advert for exclusive to Xbox titles. Again, a strange place to put this.

Featured Tile – The featured tile contains links to both the new Sky Television App and Lovefilm.

New Sky App
This is a very impressive app from Sky and is part of the Sky Go application for online device. Sky subscribers are permitted to register just 2 devices on Sky Go, e.g. an iPad & Xbox 360. To get started with the Sky app, you must Login with or Register a Sky Id. You can do this using a PC beforehand.

The Sky app provides both Live and on demand video. Selecting Live video reveals a huge number of channels including Sky HD channels. You can also select Live video using the built-in Sky planner.

On demand video is where this app really shines. You can drill down into your favourite TV shows to reveal a list of recent episodes. Selecting Sky Atlantic HD and searching for Carnivale reveals 4 recent episodes. Each video has an availability associated with it eg. 7 days, a duration and data size in MB eg. Carnivale S2 E9 was 496MB in size, but started playing almost instantly after a short advert of course.

The app contains a new Sky community where you can ‘Like’ videos and add a comment via a menu system, or recommend to a friend. The 4 tier, multiple phrase choice comment menu system is a bit clunky to use, but it beats typing stuff using the controller. Here’s an example comment of a comment -‘ I was pleased with – the scene – by the end – A great episode!’. It’s not great.

You can also search for video content by most recommended, top viewed etc.

The Sky Action wheel (press Y) gives you quick access to the main functions, e.g. the planner, recent activity etc. After you’ve installed the Sky App, the Live TV tile takes you direct to a live Sky TV feed. The video on demand tile takes you direct to the Sky Go start page.

LoveFilm App – another featured downloadable App. I’m not a member and couldn’t be bothered to register for the free trial, so I don’t have much of a play with this however from what I saw it looked very slick with its Metro style interface.

My Video apps – drills down into your installed video apps, e.g. Lovefilm, Zune and Media Centre

Zune Video Marketplace – Zune, but with an improved Metro style interface Four advert tiles – for paid video content, e.g. from Lovefilm and Zune

My games – looks like a Full flat list of installed games, but drilling down into the filter tile, reveals another set of tiles with filter options. Eg. Demos, Arcade etc

Game marketplace – New metro tiled view of downloadable games and content 2 advert tiles – contains featured titles.

My Music apps – contains a list of your installed music apps, like Last FM

Zune Music Marketplace – as per usual you can download music videos here, the new metro style tiled interface looks good. 3 advert tiles – for paid music content

Contains an even sized set of tiles with a list of installed media apps.

App marketplace – lists music, video and social apps and preview tile for each future app. Settings This section contains a nice concise tiled layout. Much the same as it was before.

If you’re wondering where the new Beacons feature is, it can be found in the Xbox guide. Press the Xbox guide button and it appears on the home screen.

Cloud Saves
The cloud appears as a memory device alongside the Hard Drive and Memory Unit. The screenshots suggest that each account is allowed about 500MB of storage.

Roaming Profiles
This gives you the ability to use your Live account and profile on any Xbox 360 console. We have yet to look at this feature.

January 5, 2021

Mark of the Beast of Myth, Magic and Metaphor

A fascinating means of expression culminates in symbolic representation of meaningful considerations. The phrase “mark of the beast” is the method by which such metaphorical implications are amplified regarding particular societal issues. From a non-literal perspective, cooperatively interlaced with a classical view of criminality, the inference of ancient “branding” or “marking” is taken to reflect the essence of human nature. Some might argue allegorical images related to good and evil, while others might speculate on a range of deterministic precursors of one sort or another.

Among writers, and in particular movie producers and directors, there are those who thrive upon such “revelatory” depictions of the mark of the beast, and of course, the numbers “666”. Naturally, those of a more stringent strain of religious ideology will be provoked into expressing all manner of literalism. As a side note however, a few writers get a little annoyed with recent movie adaptations in which humans, usually a lone priest, battles demonic forces with little or no help from all-powerful celestial deities.

For heaven sakes, for the time being, maybe it is better to focus on the symbolism, and the relative connection to human nature. Naturally, no one has all the answers, nor does anyone understand the true inner workings of human thinking. Therefore, we speculate from philosophical viewpoints, sometimes called schools of thought. Absent solid scientific evidence regarding the definitive essentiality of causation, the cause-effect consequences of thinking processes are largely a mystery.

Yet, from supernatural ideologies, insert religion here, to atheistic perceptions, there are wide variations as to the historic the “why question”, as to why someone does a certain thing. Particularly, in the aftermath of a horrendous human instigated catastrophe, like a terrorist incident, pundits and politicians rush to hasty generalizations. Likewise, a scared and ignorant populace whimpers in fearful anticipation of some mystic revelation. Those who have understanding quietly assess from a rationally intuitive distance because of thoughtful analysis. However, many want a simplistic supernatural or other downright stupid interpretation to escape the ravages of higher thinking. And so, the connection here relates to the symbolic measure, given a thought provoking experience, whereby critical analysis is required but metaphorical response suffices.

As such, storytelling is fun and ancient history is replete with myriad story tales, super hero sagas and picture talking that attempt to explain human experiences. Even though in post-modern American culture the average person suffers a creativity deficit, some can still tell stories in very inventive ways. As the human species pursues a closer regressive relationship with self-deceit, and a parasitic and symbiotic fixation with gluttonous materiality, counterproductive choices lesson the capacity for enlightenment, wisdom and advancement of humanity. So-called civilization is doomed to collapse. The result is that myth, magic and mysticism of magical thinking replaces rationality.

Unfortunately, in support of such claim, a variety of commentary and research suggests a dismal post-modern predicament of a looming dystopic future. That is, imagination is seriously undersupplied in modern western societies. From asinine and superfluous television series, to hastily manufactured movie remakes, intellectual efforts appear woefully diminished. In actuality, emerging research asserts an alarming decline is “I.Q.” scores over the past few decades. Some investigators say the drop is as much as 20 points on standardized testing, follow by associative analysis.

For some observers of social processes, a few agree that warning signs of communal regression across a broad spectrum of society is becoming more evident. The growth of stupidity in a wide variety of topics, from economics to politics, strains the senses on a daily basis. Alleged news reporting, with in-depth analysis and learned commentary, often default to emotional reactivity. Fromm such anti-intellectual antics, superstition tainted by supernatural allegory, supported by pseudoscience redefine frightening biases that lead to tyranny and oppression of free thought.

Ideological extremism perverts the very notion of intellectual ascendency, and the deconstruction of well-defined attempts to ensure evidentiary sufficiency. The “edutainment” and “infotainment” conglomerates perpetrate the juvenile psychobabble of increasing anti-thinking that fosters the decline of rational scholarly efforts. Instead, logical storytelling with thought provoking implications, or serious morality tale, becomes the shallow and trivial never-ending sitcom, soup opera, or “drama” series that never seems to end. Incessant remakes regurgitate the repetitive deceptions to market and sell consumer comforts in order to escape the reality of the real world. With technology, serious “role play”, or acting is not necessary, as 3D replaces real people.

Meanwhile, as techno inventiveness expands by the effort of a creative few, the vast majority relishes in the instant gratification of surreal replications. An information ocean washes over and around an eagerly consumptive public. By way of the man outlets of “infotainment”, “infomercials”, and “info-panaceas” for everything, not much critical thinking is rigorously required. The allegory for the “mark of the beast” is an appellation to “anti-thinking” in a greedily rapacious “info-age”. With all the information is supplied and little skeptical analysis required, gullibility replaces reality. With unsubstantiated appeals to “authority”, as though anecdotal references demonstrated credible evidence, trouble free acceptance acquiesces to disaster on a global scale.

Back on the movie set, or television drama, simplicity subverts the deeper inquisitiveness of enlightened ascendency. For commercialized gratifications, stories get shallower, acting becomes strained and redundant, while writing devolves to the lowest common denominator. Dumbing down hastens social regression and quickens societal collapse. Add to that, silly simplistic mass appeal of alleged “reality” shows, the pretentiousness of “talent discovery”, the foolish conjecture of “talk shows”, and it seems there is much uninformed acquiescence to intentional ignorance.

Another aspect of the mythical allusion to the “mark of the beast” is intentional stupidity, which portends serious devolving consequences. By folly, futility and foolishness, grownups act in childish ways, stuck in a time warp of former “high school” revelry. Such is the mark or brand of immaturity. By the briefest of definitions, stupidity infers a general lack of maturity in intelligence or common sense application of reason. Rationality is shunned and emotional reactivity, based on faulty and unsubstantiated data, rushes to hasty generalizations that result in erroneous results.

Belief systems, which devolve to primal purposes for perpetration of illicit illusions, based on mythic tales, absent sufficiency of evidentiary artifacts, lend to human regression. In effect, the gross distortions of morality tales lessen the potentiality of construct redress for authentic application of ethical expressions. As one example, the pretentious academician, with higher degree papers, who intellectually ought to know better, fosters a disingenuous perspective given to the magical thinking of his or her religious insistence. Claims of personal interest and individual intercession on the part of gods and goddesses deconstruct the logical necessity of cerebral ascension.

From the basis of cognitive bias, for the primal satiation of subjective validation, the human species seems bent on bringing about its eventual demise. By extinction, following chaotic and dystopic consequences, some infer the end will be extremely violent. As such, the “mark beast” is emblematic, a figure of speech conjuring the sharp distinction of regressive purposes that underscore devolving status for the human species. From the illusions of literal dogmatism, particularly supernatural, occult and extreme mythical perversions, regressive belief systems hasten the destruction.

Such thinking translates into willful premeditated actions that have maladaptive consequences. Frequently, across the wide expanse of the social spectrum, the condescending nature degenerates into the negativity of counterproductive interactions. By purposeful intention, many become what they revolt against, blame others and indulge a range of self-gratifications that negate the necessity of self-evolution. At the top of the socio-economic strata, rapacious privileged elite, a small but deadly percentage, succeed in the arrogance of self-righteousness at the expense of others.

The “branding”, whether grotesquely excessive commercialization, or herded labeling stereotype, fosters the furtherance of scapegoating persecutions. A commercial in every video clip, and a drug “remedy” for every ailment, invades the senses at each broadcast opportunity. In the schemes of the “psycho-medico-pharmaceutical” commercial complex, a “mental diagnosis” must have a manufactured chemical to “cure” it. Hope springs eternal in the sacrilege of anti-intellectualism and shunning of scientific methodology. Celebrity worship, guru occultism and hasty generalizations overshadow proof, evidence and the certainty of truth in mainstream interactivity.

As life scares for all the defenses the weaknesses protest, death snares more quickly the finality of a no win contest. In the interwoven folly of psychosexual immaturity, the pervasive zeal for self-affirmation turns deadly and regressive. For herding, branding and foolish discontent, the lingering self-imposed frailties devolve to the baser spheres of selfish adoration. The futile debasement of collective extremist ideologies in suppression of individuality, imposing the oppression of conformity, foments counterproductive and devolutional processes, which hasten the final demise. Stupidity in social discourse is but one sign of pervasive tendencies to avoid the necessity of exceptional growth, maturity and enlightened progression. In the end, a number is just a number.

Nonetheless, of myth, magic and metaphor in primal thinking, that is to say “anti-thinking” is reference to that which erodes the future prospects of human civilization rising to higher realms. In other words, so long as superstitions, and flirtations with the supernatural prevail, the human species will likely regress. Whereas science, the scientific method, and evidence-based inquiry rely on proof, which should reflect the validation needed for a court of law, fallacies bias the applications of logic and reason.

In the modern age throughout the world, the vast majority of humankind rely on their metaphysical or religious belief systems to explain human existence. As to so-called developed countries, as in western societies, long after the “dark ages”, a healthy sense of skepticism and thoughtful cynicism ought to withstand competition with devolving challenges of the occult. Nonetheless, a number of surveys and studies show dismal statistics relative to the level of scientific literacy throughout the world. From cradle to grave, by whatever means of social assimilation, people demonstrate a diversity of bizarre and strange beliefs. Over the centuries, little progress has occurred.

Instead, ideological extremes and selfish viewpoints foment war, allow poverty, pestilence, famine, and socio-economic disparity. Not to mention of course, there is as exploitation of planetary resources. From several perspectives of viewing the world, many squander the precious nature of time in favor of faithful illusions and superstitious fixations. Many people would prefer to avoid rigorously applying the rationality of logical processes of deduction, backed by skilled observation and evidentiary factors. One can take pause to study or otherwise witness any human activity, and assess the range of beliefs that might be employed. Emotional instability can become extreme.

Given the growing propensity of that which some call “infantile narcissism”, according to at least one social commentator, reactive emotionalism replaces reasoned analysis. Regardless of belief system, or faithful adherence to a particular doctrine, some might agree and otherwise conclude, the human species is notoriously corrupt, dishonest and prone to vile behaviors. Not much has changed in several thousand years, in spite of valiant efforts by a few. Symbolic meanings, along with hastily contrived fallacies of inference, suggest false notions and misdirection regarding factuality. Species assertions within the nebulous context of self-validation suffer the malady of disingenuous conjecture. Failing to enlighten to wiser realms invites devolving stupidity.

The figurative “mark of humanness”, is the mirrored depiction of human nature. Such is the selfishness of people in the myriad ways “evil” is perpetrated against others. From gluttonous consumptive exploitation, to terroristic tortures and murderous warfare, the degradations know no limits. The foolhardiness of fraud and fakery, for instance, is now more than ever a constant bombardment in every venue of media promotion. Shameless con artistry flashes endlessly from cell phone to gas pump. Among the collective illusions purposely perpetrated by humans is the pressure to consume more and more.

In the dishonor by the many deceptions, motivational impetus to seek transformation to higher levels of productive differentiation become less and less positive objectives. As to the intentional degradation of others, cruelty continues as classic human history. No matter the faith or the forum of belief, whatever one chooses is freely selected and willfully accepted for enrichment of individual personal proclivity.

Regardless of viewpoint or doctrine, each in American society gets to believe whatever they so desire. Yet, from a diversity of dogma, mean-spirited inflictions promote the selfishness of one exclusivity over another. Tolerance in post-modern society hides behind a mask of intolerance if one disagrees with another. Freedom of expression slowly devolves to self-appointed “thought police” across the spectrum of social media. In cyberspace, many try; some succeed in silencing others because one sense of conformity does not concur with an opposing perspective.

From verbal admonishment by the self-righteous ignorant arrogance of a variety internet media, to the machinations of governmental intrigue, the species devolves toward the looming specter of eventual demise. While the truth, or many truths, are thought to be free, the reality of human behavior, and its associated transgressions, is often harsh when faced openly and without inhibition. In the perspective presented here, the representation of the “mark of the beast” is about the malevolent nature of people.

Moreover, it is the horrors they do to each other, the malice aforethought for premeditated harm and destruction. Such is especially symbolic of the untruthful, fraudulent and destructive acts people commit everyday as they oppose personal authenticity. Failure to self-evolve, to become more enlightened and advance the species, and accept responsibility for all actions, without excuse, invites extinction. Accountability by courageous responsibility is a mark frequently shunned.

January 5, 2021

How to Make a Webinar Plan

Before you conduct a webinar there are things that you need to do. It will help you achieve your objectives if you plan in advance to ensure that you don’t accidentally forget things.

Determine Which Software You’ll Need

Choose the software you’ll use in advance of the event. You want to not only choose but also to practice, so that you can ensure that you can use the software the way it’s meant to work.

Identify Your Audience

Know who you want to reach so that you can choose your topic as well as how you’ll market the event. Knowing your audience first is the best way to do both things right.

Choose Your Topic

Pick a narrow topic or theme that your audience would enjoy. If it is a way to solve a serious problem your audience has, it will be useful to them during the event and after.

Develop Your Message

Work on the message you plan to deliver, create an outline, find some statistics, as well as products and/or services that you can promote in conjunction with the event.

Set Date of Event

Early on, set a date. Six weeks ahead of the event is a good time to set the date so that you can start pre-marketing and marketing for maximum exposure and attendance.

Invite Your Audience

If you already have an audience and list members, invite them to the event first. Offer them an early bird discount or notice of the event.

Develop a Marketing Campaign

Now that you know the date and the topic, you can start developing your marketing materials and collateral. You can decide whether or not you plan to do a PPC campaign or get your affiliates to promote the event.

Create a Landing Page

Develop a landing page for the event that allows your audience to learn about what is going to be included in the webinar, and give them a good reason to sign up.

Load Autoresponder Messages

Be ready in advance for people to sign up. This should put them on your list so that they can receive marketing messages and more automatically.

Craft Social Media Posts

Along with the autoresponder messages, create social media messages, memes, infographics and more to help promote your event.

Creating a Sales Page

Every webinar needs an ultimate reason besides adding value to your customers’ lives, and that is where the sales page comes in. You can promote the product before, during and after the event with the right sales page.

Practice Delivery

As they say, practice makes perfect. You want to sound relaxed and casual or people will leave. If you sound like you’re reading a speech, the audience will be turned off.

Remind Attendees

When people sign up for your event, ensure that you have a means to send them a reminder about the event they signed up for the day before and day of the event to maximize attendance.

Record It

During the webinar, don’t forget to set up the recording so that you can have the event transcript to use later – to create other products or to send to those who were unable to attend the live event. The main event isn’t the only way to earn money and become successful. Be sure to follow up after the event to ensure that the webinar isn’t the last time your clients hear from you.

January 5, 2021

How to Follow the Experts for Success

Today I am sharing some great tips gained from my coach and other experts. To reach success it is a case of finding the experts in your particular field and following their secrets. Follow the big boys if you want to get where they are. Learn to go fishing where the big fish are.

If you are working online and want more responsive traffic, and who doesn’t! This is a great tip I learned: Set up a new email account especially for this, join all the news letters offered by experts in their fields. To find them look at Facebook groups or make a Google search. After 30 days open all the emails and sift through all the information. You will have enough tips to write your own newsletters. You will know it is up to date information and if you learn from this abundance of knowledge you will be able to write guest blogs, articles, adverts and understand much more.

Another tip I picked up if you are advertising on face book, view existing adverts, and hover over them and a box will open revealing what targeting keywords they are using, do this to several ads and you will gain a picture of what is working.

If you are advertising a product see if you can find more than one interest source, to target your advert, for example if it were cat tea-cloth, target tea-cloth users in one box and cat lovers in the next box but only send your ad to those that qualify in both sections, that way you are closely targeting who will see your advert and lowering costs. This I learnt from a multi millionaire.

The only disadvantage to selling low cost-items, in order to make a good income you need many orders. So test all adverts thoroughly only use a small budget perhaps $5 a day and continually monitor and test.

A tip for guest bloggers in order to find the best sites to approach and write for, read what other bloggers have written to see what is expected, quality etc. (all work must be unique and of high quality) If you go to the bottom of their article you will find their resource box; copy this in speech marks into Google to find where else they are blogging. You can then approach these websites that interest you. Make sure they have a great readership and you could get plenty of traffic from your resource box.

Now if you want a simpler way, work under a coach, you are likely to get a regular supply of great tips and training. Find a coach who provides a good range of low and higher ticket items, sometimes with 50% commissions or more, you will therefore only need to sell fewer items to achieve the same income, or sell more and make more! You will work to a tried and tested formula, where everything is tested for you, you know you will be offering customers what they are looking for.

January 5, 2021

Data Science and Its Wide Range of Applications

Companies and Organizations have become wise and intelligent enough to sell and push products on the basis of the customer’s interest and purchasing power by using this field called Data Science. These applications mentioned below shows how they have managed to win our minds and hearts.


For Speech recognition, products like Cortana, Google Voice, Alexa, Siri etc. are the perfect examples. If one gets bored to type a text or is not in a position to type, then this application comes in handy. You just need to speak and it will automatically be converted to text. Thus making life much easier!


We use Google more than we use our handbooks, Right? Google or be it any other search engines like ASK, Bing, Yahoo and so on has made our life easy peasy. Would it be possible for these search engines to exist if Data Science did not? The answer is simply NO. It’s the algorithms of Data Science that convey the well matched and best result of our search query in a few seconds. Every day, Google processes greater than 20 petabytes of data. It’s Data Science that has made Google what it is today.


Machine Learning algorithms are used in games to auto upgrade when the player reaches the next or higher level. By utilizing data science, EA Sports, Nintendo, Sony, Activision-Blizzard, Zynga have guided gaming events to the next or higher level. When it comes to motion gaming, the player’s opponent, that is, the computer, examines the player’s previous moves and shapes up the game accordingly.


Finance had been the earliest Data Science applications. Losses and Bad debts every year had made companies fed up. While conforming loans a fair amount, data was collected at the beginning of paperwork. Then Data Scientist was brought to save them from losses. Now the banks have learnt to conquer and divide data by viewing customers profile, expenditures in the past and other important variables to examine the probability of default and risk. It was also helpful to them when their banking products were pushed depending on the purchasing power of customers.


When you upload an image with a group of friends or people on Facebook, you get suggestions to tag them. This feature of automatic tagging suggestion uses an algorithm on face recognition. Similarly, it is possible for you to scan the barcode in a web browser while using WhatsApp in a mobile phone. Google also provides you an option for searching pictures by uploading one. Here, image recognition is used to provide the best searched results.


Searching is not only the biggest application of machine learning and data science, the other biggest challenger is the whole digital marketing scale. Websites that contain display banners and digital billboards at airports, all of these are done using algorithms on Data Science.


We are used to the recommendations about products that are alike when we do online shopping. They help us find identical products out of millions and billions of products available. Companies use this engine for the promotion of their products according to the user’s interest and relevant information from them. To enhance the user’s experience, Amazon, Netflix, Twitter, Google Play, LinkedIn uses this experience. On the basis of user’s previous results, the commendations are made.

January 5, 2021

5 Essential Tips for Effective Online Advertising

There is no doubt about the fact that online advertising helps to boost sales while costing a lot less than traditional methods such as TV ads. The big question is whether your strategy is effective enough to produce the best possible results. Discover the main techniques which are guaranteed to help you succeed.

1. Always promise something.

This is one of the fundamentals of online advertising and of advertising in general. Just placing the name of your product on the ad or describing your service briefly is highly unlikely to make any person take action. What you need is a keyword that people will be attracted to. The list includes “free”, “discount”, “special deals” and “low prices” and so on. Of course, you have to fulfil what you promise. The more creative you are the better.

2. Create target ads.

There is no such thing as an internet marketing strategy targeting absolutely all web users. You have to define your target market group or groups and create ads which will appeal to them. Similarly, you need to advertise on websites which your target audience likes and visits frequently.

3. Adopt social media advertising.

This type of online advertising has taken ads to a whole new level. Instead of appearing in the bar on the right-hand side of the screen, now ads are directly placed in the content which the user receives via friends and contacts. For instance, the so called social ads on Facebook now appear in the News Feeds. In this way, they have a 65% higher click rate. It is definitely worth investing in innovative strategies which produce excellent results.

4. Use retargeting.

This is another one of the trendiest strategies at present. With the use of cookies, you can track the visitors to your website who did not take any action. Then you can have your ads appear on the websites which these internet users visit. In this way, they are more likely to return and get converted into customers. This strategy can be used with various ad networks including Google AdWords. It produces excellent results.

5. Invest in content ads.

The popularity of this form of advertising has grown immensely in recent years thanks to its effectiveness. It is all about creating attractive, interesting and informative content and integrating the ad. You can create articles, videos and even slideshows. They work to grab the attention of internet users and to turn them into leads. They are great for branding as well.

Use these tips to create the foundation of your online advertising strategy.

January 5, 2021

Hatred Remarks by Channel S Presenter, Apology and Social Implications

Racially motivated hate speech should be taken seriously. Any statement that is made by anyone in the society that intends to insult, degrade, intimidate, create anger or incite violence against someone based on religion, ethnicity, race, gender, origin of country or regional identity or any other forms is dangerous and harmful should be a matter of grave concern. Anti-religious prejudice, malicious intent of dehumanising others is not only illegal but can create huge social unrest and even violence. Such act should be avoided by anyone and as such should be condemned by the society without any reservations or personal interest. This is not only insult to the victim, individual, group, or the community but to the entire society and humanity.

This has happened recently in the Bangladeshi Community in the UK. Channel S TV presenter and founder of the same channel, Mahee Ferdous Jalil made such inflammatory comments on the programme “COVID-19” that was live between 12 noon and 2.00 pm on channel on the 3rd May 2020. The derogatory and highly offensive remarks that were made have created a huge outcry among Hindu communities and others in the UK. Immediately, it went viral in various social media channels and people have expressed their condemnation. Local political and community leaders were informed. Multiple petitions have been launched and a serious community movement against this hate crime has been galvanised. A number of official statements were issued by the local Mayor and the Member of Parliament, with both John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets and Rushanara Ali have issued powerful condemnations of the racist comments made about Hindus, stating that the remarks were disgraceful and derogatory. Mr Biggs demands an unconditional apology and further asserts that such “disrespect and religious prejudice” has no place in community. Tower Hamlets has the highest Bangladeshi population in the UK and become the largest ethnic group with over 81,000 (according to last census) making up 32% of the population.

What Mr Jalil said? (The programme was aired in Bengali; the key message is translated in English below).

“Muslims who came to the UK from Bangladesh have inherited the low, impure and heinous blood of Hindus causing problems in the community. Due to the inherited blood of Hindus, Muslim shopkeepers cheat their customers—-“.

We are living in a free society in which freedom of expression is well protected and respected. The capacity of everyone to express their individual views are always respected and should not be threatened. Article 10 9Equality and Human Rights commission in the UK) focuses on the freedom of expression that protects individual right to hold their personal opinion and express them freely without fear or any interference from government or regulatory bodies. However, if personal views encourage religious or racial hatred or if it is dehumanising or derogatory, in which case the authorities can restrict that freedom of expression and such comments or views can be viewed as unlawful. Free debate, good actions, convincing arguments are important to counter hatred. Civil society, society at large and Governments should condemn hatred, or that which might fosters hatred and set the right examples by bringing those behind such conduct to justice. There is certainly no room in this world for odious and mendacious comments that have at their heart prejudices or twisted notions of those who may be different or hold different beliefs.

Mr Jalil finally apologised. Channel S also issued an official statement of unreserved apology on the 9th May and asking for forgiveness for the comment’s TV presenter made that may have caused distress. There was no “may” about it, the comments were deeply offensive and have hurt and alarmed a lot of people.

Is apology enough to heal the community? Was the apology done in most effective and sincere way?

It is not good enough just to convey apology or say sorry. As sometimes some apologies are insincere; and are often driven by ulterior motives such as fear of public censure or loss of business. It is logical that people will not forgive someone until they receive an apology and that should be unreserved and with remorse. Inability to convey apology correctly when it is legitimate indicates the dysfunctional life of an individual. An appropriate apology is paramount to heal the emotional and physical wellbeing of the victim. The right apology has the great power to transform both the individual who made the intentional or unintentional comments that hurt, degraded, or angered others. However, such apology should come with sincerity and remorse. Some are quite legitimately wondering whether Mr Jalil’s apology was said with true contrition. An apology like gratitude, appreciation or kindness has profound impact on an individual and society and can transform the world if it is done at the right ways, at the right time and right place. An effective apology validate that the person realised that a wrong act has been committed for which he/she has showing his/her regret or remorse and the person is committed not to do the same wrongful act in future and offer for repairs. Realisation, remorse, restoration, and request for forgiveness are some of the key elements of an unreserved apology and seeking for forgiveness.

It is sad to observer that community is not always working unitedly. People have different agendas and individual interest. Therefore, many such crimes never get the right justice and the punishment and hence, as a society we do not get the best outcome. I am sure over time this also will be deemed yesterday’s news and people will forget about this. Community become fragmented and divided, and sadly at times put profit over principle. Regrettably, those who want to ensure matters are properly resolved often see matters superseded by others pursuing their own interests. Sadly, as a consequence society is the loser.

Why society cannot be united for a common goal?

It reminds me the next quote: “What does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses soul? (Mark 8.36)

This quote helped us to revisit the world social order and humans’ attitude. I am compelled to recall a salient truth in Gandhi’s observation “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not for every man’s greed”. We are living in a society of intoxication that is based on estimation, quantification of humans. Maximisation of wealth is becoming the theory of normality, an accepted mantra. This has become the norm of the society. In 1973 E. F Schumacher published his one of the most influential books on earth titled “Small is beautiful… “. He realised that if the current form of economic, technological, and scientific specialisation is not replaced by a simple form of economic system then the world will face a boundless and endless misery. Now we see the outcome of his prediction.

Society is too much greedy. We all are running after profit and wealth maximisation. To do this, crime, dishonesty, bribery, multiple dishonest and unethical relationships, falsification, fabrication, unethical acts all are acceptable norms. We do not want to ask, we all are here to enjoy, increase our pleasure, increase status and attention from others. This is the degradation of human values and morality. The loss of soul is the loss of peace and happiness. If we lose it, we accept misery what is happening now in our society. If we neglect our soul than loss is inevitable.

A wrong is a wrong

If there is one lesson that we must all learn from this most unhappy of episodes is that we cannot be sectarian about grievous wrongs and injustices. A wrong is a wrong regardless of who it comes from. If we choose to stay silent about it there is always the danger that we give the impression of our tacit approval. We need to speak out, if necessary, to censure members of our own community, for like a child, if we never tell them when they have done wrong how will they ever learn. It is essential that we use temperate language and be measured in our approach. A person can express their hurt, displeasure or indeed anger, without having recourse to threats and abuse. Each of us must strive to behave with dignity and mutual respect. Slanderous, libellous, or highly offensive comments warrant prompt and decisive action. We all need to work assiduously for a kinder and more respectful world.


11th May 2020

January 5, 2021

ExpertPreneurs – The 6 Business Platforms You Must Build to Support Your Expertise-Driven Empire

Every expertise-driven business has at its center a leading expert or recognized guru who has successfully leveraged the same six basic business building blocks into massive profits and extensive product empires.

Emerging experts, established experts and entrepreneurs also can leverage these same building blocks into successful ExpertPreneurial product empires and multiple profit centers. And, it does not take a fortune nor does it take forever.

These six building blocks include:

  • Content – at the core of your expertise-driven business is your content, body of knowledge and experience. It is your voice, your message and your area of expertise delivered through speaking, writing, and recording.
  • Connection – who you know is important. But more important than who you know is who knows you and most import, is how they know you. Connection is where you build and foster your personal community and create your center of influence. It includes contacts throughout your personal and professional business networks; members of clubs, organizations or groups in which you lead or actively participate; and mentors, coaches, and colleagues.
  • Branding – who and what your personal brand represents and how you are positioned in the marketplace. Branding includes every aspect of how you are represented from your visual presentation to the feeling you want about you and your products. Branding is where you appeal to your prospects and clients through the five human senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. The more visceral your brand is, the more memorable it will be.
  • Media – The media world has evolved dramatically during the last decade to include mainstream news and feature media, social media and independently produced media. In today’s business environment, ExpertPreneurs and entrepreneurs are the media and as such are on level playing field with the traditional media. The key to developing a solid media base is seamlessly bridging from one type of media to the next creating a massive media presence through strategic marketing.
  • Public relations – not only does public relations include press relations and ongoing time-sensitive publicity but it also is reputation management and community relations.
  • Speaking – live, in-person and virtual presentations, teleseminars, key note speeches, workshops, round table talks, and seminars. Basically, every opportunity to speak to any group from your target market.

Mastering each of these areas allows entrepreneurs to leverage themselves and to develop highly profitable product lines based on their expertise. The result is building an expertise-based business with you at the core as the undeniable expert in your chosen area. Prospects will seek your services rather than you searching for clients. And, last, you will make more money while working less.

January 5, 2021

Create A Solid Online Presence to Make Money

In today’s modern world, it’s difficult to be a successful freelance writer without a solid online presence. Sure, you may get one or two clients via in-person networking, but the vast majority of your work, as an online freelance writer, will come from the web, on places like your website, your social media platforms and even via Google search results.

So if you’re just starting your freelancing journey, consider building your online presence as step #1. It will be the foundation for everything you do as a writer, and it will help you build the lucrative and successful career that you’ve been dreaming of. Don’t know where to start?

Here are the four must-have essentials:

1. A Portfolio Site – Your portfolio site is the most important piece of the puzzle. It’s where potential clients can go to learn about you and your skills and read samples of your writing. It’s also what will show up in Google search results if you practice search engine optimization techniques.

2. A LinkedIn Page – LinkedIn is a great place to find new clients and new projects. Upload samples of your work, get recommendations from colleagues and past employers, and create a profile to show off to potential clients.

3. A Twitter Account – With Twitter, you can establish yourself as a true expert in your niche and as a writer. Use this platform to share news and industry insights, and promote your work (and your client’s!) whenever possible. Optimize your profile with the right terms and hashtags, and you may even snag a few new projects.

4. Your Own Blog – Starting a blog can help your career in numerous ways. First, it can display a great snapshot of your skills. If you don’t have many samples yet, a blog also offers potential clients a way to evaluate your talents and see what you can really do. And it can help you establish yourself as an expert in a specific niche or industry as well.

Be sure to tend to your blog and profiles regularly, update them with new skills and samples as you gain them, and use them to their fullest potential.

If you need advice on how to create a client-attracting online presence that will help you get more writing gigs and build your freelance writing career, then you should check out Maggie Linders’ Freelance Profit Academy.

Maggie, a six-figure freelance writer, teaches writers exactly how to build full-fledged, successful freelance writing businesses while offering personal coaching and support as well as daily scam-free job opportunities.

The Fastest Way to Earn Your First $1,000 as a Freelance Writer – You know what feels great? Earning your first big chunk of cash as a professional freelance writer. It makes you feel like you made the right choice – like quitting your 9-to-5, branching out on your own and blazing your own path was the best thing you’ve ever done. But if you’re just starting out, it can feel like that day is a long way away. If you’re starting off with content mills and bidding sites, you may very well be working for pennies – and that can take a while to add up.

Fortunately, those aren’t your only options. You can earn $1,000 as a freelance writer fast – long before your mortgage is due and the tax man comes calling.

Here’s how to do it:

Find A Few Clients In Need – Scour your LinkedIn network and check out the websites of local businesses and companies. Is there any group with a less-than-stellar website? You could probably beef up their web content and make a big difference. Are any of your connections starting a new job? Find out if their company could use content help. Is someone in the market for employment? Offer to write copy for their personal portfolio site.

Request A “Per-Project” Rate – If you want to reach $1,000 fast, forget billing hourly. Instead, propose a flat, per-project rate for your clients. Factor in how much time the project will take you, as well as your experience and skills, and come up with a fee that’s fair (but profitable!)

Exceed Your Deadlines – Sure, that new client might give you a month to complete their new website content, but do you really need that long? More importantly, do you want to wait that long for your payment? The quicker you get to work, the quicker you get paid!

Get Deposits And Ask For “Milestone” Payments – If you’re working on a particularly large project, a great way to get your cash early is to ask for a deposit or collect milestone payments. With a deposit, you’ll ask for a certain percentage of your total fee upfront. This is to reserve your time and protect you from getting stiffed. With milestone payments, you can have the client pay you for each chunk of content you turn in – maybe per webpage your write, per blog post or per eBook chapter.

Make Payment Easy – Finally, don’t make payment a hassle for your clients. Get a PayPal and Venmo account, and ditch the old mailed, paper checks you’re used to. Bill clients via email, and let them pay you instantly and seamlessly online. It’s better for both you and them. Earning your first $1,000 can seem like an uphill battle but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you want a proven, step-by-step system to earning your first $1,000 and more in a short period of time, check out Maggie Linder’s Freelance Profit Academy. This program has become very popular among freelance writers and has produced hundreds of success stories.

The Top 4 Places to Find Freelance Writing Jobs

You can find freelance writing jobs virtually anywhere – through old employers and colleagues, on Craigslist and bidding sites, and even on social media. Freelance writing opportunities are all around us. But as nice as it is to wade through the numerous opportunities, it can also make the process of landing new freelance gigs pretty time-consuming. Do you really have hours to scour the web, checking in on every possible job site, social platform and blog? Definitely not – at least not if you want to be profitable! Thankfully, you don’t have to. Below are a few of the best possible spots for finding gigs – gigs that can be lucrative and interesting and get you on the fast track to earnings.

1 – Morning Coffee Newsletter

This handy newsletter found at Freelancewritingjobs sends daily job alerts straight to your inbox. It features 10 to 20 handpicked freelance writing jobs from across the Internet, each with a different client, pay and focus. Some come from Craigslist (which means you don’t have to scour the dozens and dozens of city-based Craigslist ads for gigs!) and some come from other job sites across the web. The main point? The work is already done for you. Just sit back, check your email, and apply for anything that sounds like a good fit.

2 – Blogging Pro

The Blogging Pro job board is a great place to find high-paying, legitimate freelance writing gigs for one big reason: Clients have to pay to post a job on it. Sure, it’s only $30, but when there are alternative sites that are absolutely FREE for posting, you know a client means business if they’re willing to shell out cash for their post! You’ll find everything from niche, industry-specific gigs to full-time remote opportunities for single clients. It’s a must-see stop on your weekly job hunt.

3 – LinkedIn

LinkedIn can provide freelance writing job opportunities in two ways: 1 – Job postings on the site 2 – Easy and seamless networking. Though networking takes a little more work, you can often spot opportunities for gigs just by checking your feed daily. Did someone change jobs or get promoted? Reach out and see if they could use your services. Is someone launching a new website? Ask if they could use help with web content. You never know when a job is right around the corner.

4 – Freelance Profit Academy

Job scams are plenteous on the web, and unsuspecting freelance writers can get caught in their devious web easily. Thankfully, the Freelance Profit Academy houses a daily, scam-free job board that weeds out scams and supplies you with the highest-quality jobs sourced from around the web. Review each and every job to provide you with only the best ones.

January 5, 2021

Book Trailers: Compiling & Arranging Elements for Effective Results

In book marketing, there are numerous promotional avenues. There’s Facebook, media interviews, book signings, book tours, news releases, and speaking engagements. These approaches are straight forward and rely on communication skills found in most writers. Book trailer is an animal of a different sort. It demands an assortment of skills and resources, mainly condensing the story to its most tantalizing elements and embellishing it with photos, videos, text, voice over, sound effects and music. It’s complicated, time consuming task, and if you hire someone, very expensive. Yet with some simple strategies, guidelines, and resources you can produce an effective video with little or no money. That is, if you have a video camera/smart phone and an editing program, things you likely have already and don’t know it.

Defining Goals

First, let’s look at what you want to accomplish with at book trailer. In general, you want to promote book sales. However, being more specific you want to hook the viewer with unique and enticing information so they will watch the entire video. If you lose them before you’ve completed your pitch, there’s little chance of a book sale. As such, you require new and fascinating information throughout the video, information that not only holds their interest, but moves them toward buying your book.

Another goal is to make your trailer shareable, that it moves on from your initial viewers to their friends and followers. If your video resonates, it’s possible it will spread beyond your contacts. It could have an afterlife that spreads exponentially through social media. If you ask, you get. So, it makes sense to make this request, please share, toward the end of your video.

Compiling Elements

What types of things go into a book trailer. Normally, trailers answer potential readers” questions such as: what’s the book about, what’s the genre, is it any good, plus something about the author. Such things are usually found on the inner flaps of the book or on the back cover. If not, the following template used by producer Nat Mundel to create loglines that land movie and TV deals will help in that regard.


The above template is a great starting point to help you distill your book down to two sentences. It clarifies the genre, offers a mesmerizing shiny object that grabs their attention, and provides enough to leave the reader wanting more, all in a few brief sentences.

A logline is a one or two sentence description of your story that boils down its basic premise in a way that’s concise yet evokes emotion in your reader. It highlights what is most unique about your book. Specifically, the logline provides the author with a way to focus on the three main anchors of their writing.

Who is the protagonist?

What do they want?

What is at stake?

Once you have the logline sketched out, look for some escalation in the book that ups the stakes. It could be a confrontation or complication that takes the story in a different direction. The outcome should be unclear. It could also be the discovery of a new evidence, a red-herring, or a revelation that gives hope to reaching the goal. This section presents an emotional argument for buying the book and sets the hook before the prospect is reeled in. Most importantly, it sets up a question in the viewer’s mind about how this story continues.

The next section is more specific. It could be a brief discussion about the character traits of one of the main characters and how this reflects on the story. This might include character faults, misplace dreams, or foibles of the heart. It answers the question why. It could also be about the location or period of the story and what effect it has on the characters. Another consideration is the social or morale setting and how this affects the direction of the story. This section pulls the viewer deeper into the story, both emotionally and literally, asking the question, “Why did this happen?” It can also facilitate a love-hate polarity that further draws the viewer into your story.

The last section is closing the sale. By using adjectives commonly found in reviews it could imply the benefits of reading your book. It could present some additional arguments such as testimonials, reviews or awards. Being on any best seller list likewise deserves mention here. Acknowledgements for use of photos, videos and music are also shown in the section. You should also make a request to share this video. The most important part of this section is stating prominently where the book can be purchased. Various images of the book should be used in this section to imprint cover art and book’s title.

You will note that each section provides new and revealing information. It pulls the viewer in, creating an investment in different aspects of the book. Primarily, it creates that pressing question, “How does this story continue?” And that’s the bait that hooks your viewer and causes them to buy your book.

While there are other templates, the above format serves fiction books well. It answers the questions book readers ask and provides the information in a straight forward memorable fashion.

Writing your script will be a major task in that it demands a different style of writing, one that is denser and more compressed. Your script should contain both the narration and the card or graphics displayed on the screen. You should know that narration spoken over images is processed easier and quicker than the graphics competing with it. Thus, words on the screen tend to be brief, short phrases or individual words designed to be memorable, imperative and engaging.

Narration, on the other hand, relies on the human voice-to emote, phrase, emphasize and resonate- to develop deeper meanings. Its task is to tell a complicated story briefly and compellingly; or to highlight characters, situations and conflicts. Writing has to quickly and powerfully present the “saleable” qualities of your story, such as the characters and conflict(s) while hinting at likely outcomes. It might also convey the tone, style, and quality of your book.

Narration should use a recognizable vocabulary, figures of speech, and accepted language. Also, avoid long sentences and complex ideas, as the viewer’s attention is split between images, graphics and narration. If there is dialogue that explains a crucial story point, allow the narrator to take on that character and for greater impact, post the dialogue on a white screen.

Avoid wall to wall narration as this will soon dim the viewers’ interest. To take its place and vary the content, mix in moments of sound effects, graphics and/or music. Likewise, consider the use of live video with sound as this will too enliven your presentation. In the closing section, some narration can be used to punctuate key selling points even with same information shown on the screen.

How you end your trailer is indicative of its success. Final impressions like the initial ones are of greater importance and more memorable. So, with what impression do you want your prospect to leave? What indication of finality would work? It could be a musical ending over the image of your book cover and its tagline. It could also be a sound effect used earlier that congers up a certain feeling. Another choice is the sudden, startling glimpse of the killer’s silhouette, knife raised ready to strike accompanied by a woman’s scream. Whatever your choice, you want the viewer to go away literally and emotionally wanting more.

Now that you have scripted your book trailer, you need to come up with visuals and sounds that embellish them. Visually, these could be text, photos, videos and visual effects. Sound wise, they could be dialogue, voice over, sound effects or music. These embellishments should tease the viewer’s imagination to where the trailer plays out in the viewer’s head more so than on the screen.

Before you start searching for images, define what specific embellishment you want and approximately where they will be placed. Such a predetermination will reduce your search time and help maintain the focus of your video. In doing this process, compile some sort of record keeping so the inserts are labelled as to location within your script and where they can be found. Some embellishments may have alternates, ideas that might work provided the right image, sound or music can be found. I would designate these alternative with suffix a, b, c, etc.

In a normal 60-90 second book trailer, who might have the following number of embellishment inserts.

Voiceover: 60 seconds, 100 words max; 90 seconds, 150 words max

Text, titles, captions & listings: 85 words

Photos: 12 photos + various photos of book cover used 4 times

Videos: 2 Videos; 1 stock, 1 live action (About 5 seconds each)

Sound Effects: 3 sound effects + transitions as required

Music: 3 tracks (could be from same selection)

Visual Effects: 2 for moving text; 8 for photo & video transitions

Many of these media inserts can be found online. Sites like unsplash.com, librestock.com, and gratisography.com offer high resolution images that you can download for free. Another site for free music and sound effects is YouTube.com/audiolibrary/. You can find free public domain video clips at archive.org. For music go to freestockmusic.com. You will need to create a free account and can download various types of music for free with no royalty restrictions. Other media resources can be found on Google by searching for royalty free photos/videos/sounds. Do not use copyrighted materials.

If you feel uncomfortable about using your own voice, you can use a professional voiceover artist as found online. There are numerous voices from which to choose and demos are available on each artist. For voiceover narration on the 150-word example previously mentioned, costs would be about $25 on sites like fiverr.com music & studio/voiceover services. A special script should be compiled for the outside narrator, which indicates how you want the narration and dialogue to be read or expressed. These directions should be placed in parentheses prior to the words spoken.

There are some media inserts you may want to produce yourself. Your book cover, for instance, may be shot straight on, from the spine angle, and upright/slanted. Closer angles on the book cover’s artwork may also be relevant to your script. Background for these book photos should be on neutral or white poster board with some shots allowing room for text.

Other images that create the essence of the scene can also be produced with photos or video. Such inserts should be ambiguous allowing the viewer to fill in the blanks. Examples might be: a fearful eye wondering what’s behind her, a sound of footsteps approaching, two hands lovingly overlapping. Other inserts might be the scream from an open mouth, a hand clutching a knife, two lovers moving away through a park, a freeway clogged with traffic, a back lit image of the menace, a shadow of a hand holding a gun.

These images and sounds can prod the viewer to use his imagination and the results are more persuasive than using realistic images. Most video cameras have excellent sound recording ability, especially when using an external mic. Therefore, consider using your camera as a sound recorder and capturing just the sound by hooking up only the audio connections.

You might also want to consider a behind the scenes video section relating to research, character creation, establishing a story location, or target audience. Images with voiceover might be author at computer: medium side shot, fingers typing, author’s face looking at screen.

Now that you have compiled and downloaded or captured your trailer elements, how do you put them together. Before you start the editing process, let’s look at the setup of editing programs. The main feature will be the time lines. This is where video/audio clips are laid in and cut to the desire length. There are additional time lines below used for narration, sound effects and music. In the more expensive editing systems there are additional time lines to layer in and sync up additional media materials.

Source materials can be downloaded from the web or capture off your camera. These items are stored in a project file and would include video clips, photos, sound effects, narration, and music. These items are placed into the time line in their proper location where text and titles can be superimposed on the visual elements. Additional adjustments such balancing audio levels, transition effects, and color balance smooth out the cuts and give it a professional look. When combined together these elements make up your book trailer.

There are numerous video systems available with vary capabilities and range from free on up. PC users can edit using Movie Maker which comes installed with Windows while Mac users can edit with iMovie. If not installed, they can be download for free from Microsoft and Apple respectively. The Movavi 14 is also available free from movavi.com or the Movavi 14 plus version goes for $39.95. The Pinnacle 21 editing system is available from pinnaclesys.com for $49.95. More elaborate Pinnacle systems are available at higher prices. Corel® PaintShop® Pro 2018 and VideoStudio® combination which edits photos, designs graphics and makes movies is available through paintshoppro.com for $150.00.

These editing systems come with tutorials schooling you as to their capabilities and operation. While the free systems come with basic editing features, spending a bit extra can offer more creativity plus more imbedded effects and media resources. It all depends on the complexity of your trailer and the quality you want.

Arranging Elements

Now that you have all your script and media elements at hand, you can begin the editing process, pasting them into your time line. But where do you begin. I would start with the element that is the most consistent, be it narration, visuals or music. In the example I proposed, narration would be the element that is least likely to change much. So, you would lay that in first. Be aware that you may have to add pauses or even quicken the pace. This can be done by either adding room ambiance or cutting out pauses between sentences. When you record your narration, record a minute or so of room ambiance without talking and use this to extend pauses.

Next, start adding your visuals that support or embellish your narration. The length of these visuals will depend on their complexity and the time it takes to read superimposed text. If the text complements the narration, then the visual time can be reduced. Avoid overwhelming the viewer with too much information. For emphasis, space the narration to allow the viewer time to concentrate on a lengthy or important text.

A device often used in infomercials is duplicating narration and text on a plain background. This ups the comprehension and makes the information more memorable. This also varies the flow and increases the viewer’s concentration. This device works especially well when text rolls out on the screen one word at a time, an effect possible on more elaborate editing systems.

There will be a tendency to overplay the images and text. Too much information muddies the waters. Remember that you want the viewer to imagine a great deal of the story. By hinting what the book is about, you let the story develop in the viewer’s mind. Utilize the idea that book readers have imaginative minds and enjoy filling in the blanks. It’s a good idea to slow the pace to allow time for important images and ideas to form in the viewers mind.

Try to have a couple of video clips in your trailer. These are usually without sound, yet the screen motion stirs up thoughts and emotions not possible with still photographs. They likewise increase the attention span and make subsequent information more interesting.

Pace is an important factor in book trailers. Too slow, you lose your viewer. Too fast and your information get lost. There’s a happy medium and it depends on relating new and interesting materials that engage the viewer. That’s why sketching out your script is so important, as it forces you to see your trailer as an informative and entertaining book talk on video. Your script allows you to see the progression of your story building, pulling the viewer into an imaginary world.

Avoid cheesy effects which distract from your message. Simple transitions like fade-in, fade out or cross-fades keep the focus on the trailer’s purpose, to create an awareness of your book and a desire to buy it. Keeping the clarity of this goal in mind determines the success of your book trailer. Sometimes, people become enamored with a certain phase or image that if lost would make the video stronger. Be conscience of this fault and seek outside consultation to rectify.

Use the same font throughout, but vary the font size. Be aware that your text will be read on computer screens plus mobile devices. As such, font size must be readable and this may limit the length of text placed on the screen. Rather than minimize the font size, extend the text to the next screen using ellipsis (… ). The font size of the text should be indicative of its importance. For instance, in the last section, the acknowledgements for use of images or music would be smaller than places where the book could be purchased.

When superimposing text on an image, delay entry of the text ever so slightly so the viewer’s attention is on the image first, then on the text. Such a delay ups the comprehension as you control where the attention is focused.

Selection of music likewise requires some guidelines. Be aware that your perspective book buyers are already indoctrinate by seeing numerous TV and film productions with music. Your tastes and sensibilities in music may differ from your perspective audience. It’s therefore wise to select music reflective of the genre of your book. If it’s a scary murder mystery, that’s the type of music that would support that type of story. The music has many functions. It can create mood and atmosphere, portray emotions, reference a time or period, or create unreal situations. Music can serve several purposes that are either important on the emotional side of the movie or help/enhance the storytelling.

Using wall to wall music diminishes its impact. Fade out your music at various points and replace it with sound effects. Then at the appropriate moment bring back the music to elicit a new perspective or emotion. In this way, by isolating the music’s entrance, you make it more effective and allow it to support a new idea.

To help smooth out your cuts, allow the sound to slightly precede the visual. This allows the mind to process one element at a time and also creates suspense as to what the sound means. These micro overlaps create that, “What going to happen next?” mentality that subconsciously pulls the viewer in deeper.

Subtle use of sound effects can create the proper atmosphere or instill a menace is present. Wind blowing through the leaves or the footsteps of an approaching mugger help prod the imagination to where the story becomes a fixation. In addition, sound effects help break up the sameness of media elements and create higher expectations about the book and its contents.

As you continue with the assembly process, you will note that adjustments and corrections have to be made. You’ll also find that certain sequences don’t work, they don’t move the viewer toward your goals. This is a normal part of editing. It’s like writing a book, where much of the time is spent rewriting.

Before you make big changes, save your file. Then prior to making changes rename and save the file. In this way, you have a backup should your file become corrupted. In addition, should you find that you prefer your original better and it only needs minor corrections, then you still have that version.

The last section is where you close the sale. You offer in text and/or voice-over more arguments for buying the book and where to obtain it. As I mentioned before, these could be a complementary statement about the benefits of buying this book using adjectives commonly found in reviews along with a listing of testimonials, review quotes and/or awards. Also shown in this section are acknowledgements for use of photos, videos and music. The most important part of this section is stating prominently where the book can be purchased. Various images of the book/cover should also be featured in this section. It also helps to place somewhere in this section a sticker-like graphic reading, “Share this Video.”

Once you have your final version completed, let it sit for a few days then come back to it with fresh eyes. Look on it as a book buyer and judge if it meets your expectations, that it strongly encourages the purchase of your book. If not make corrections. If it does, then pass it on to people who will give you an honest evaluation. Don’t corrupt their judgment with additional information. Simply state you want their response to seeing your video book trailer, whether it’s positive, neutral or negative. Request specifically what they liked or disliked. With this consensus, make adjustments as you see fit.

Distribution of Book Trailer

When your book trailer is ready for distribution, you still need to prepare copy to go along with it. For YouTube you should have a description of your trailer that includes the title of your book, author’s name, and what’s it about. To make your video stand out, write a unique description with a catchy, enticing headline. Likewise, add tags. These allow users to find your video by linking common words associated with your video. If done properly, such copy greatly increases the likelihood of finding your video on a Google or YouTube search and having your link opened. This description and information can likewise be used on other video hosting services such as Facebook and Vimeo. Check Wikipedia.org for complete list of video hosting services.

To upload your video to YouTube, follow the instruction found at wikihow.com/Upload-a-Video-to-YouTube. Similar instruction for other hosting sites can be found online. Some editing systems have programs that simplify this uploading.

There are also video syndication services, however their fees are beyond most authors’ budgets and when term payments run out, your video is removed. While posting them yourself is time consuming, it negates this problem and they remain on the Internet forever.

There are numerous other ways of getting your video seen. Facebook and Twitter postings with links to video with a brief description is one way. Also use LinkedIn updates with reference to your trailer and its location. Another place is reader forums pertaining to your genre or audience market.

Your own website is another place to not only post your video, it should likewise serve as a depository displaying more information about the book and a bio of the author. Also consider email distributions to followers, friends, acquaintances, and of course family members.

If you have an author’s page on Amazon, this is another place you can post your video. However, there are numerous restrictions which are posted at https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help?ie=UTF8&topicID=200649570. On your author page, you can also share video interviews, book signing videos, and other videos with readers. Your videos should focus on specific features of your books or your experience as an author.

Also consider news releases, either email or letter, to journalist, book critics and book bloggers. Another good source is free or low-priced newswire services. It just a matter of filling out the form with the proper entries. Such postings can up your web presence as well as improve your Google ranking.

Most authors expect the trailer to pull in a lot of interest when actually, it’s all the efforts promoting it that do the heavy lifting. If nobody knows about your trailer, you can’t expect much. However, if a whole lot of people see your trailer, a percentage of them will end up buying your book. It’s a numbers game. Likewise, if you strategically place your trailer in all online/offline places where your prospective book readers hangout, good things happen. The desired goal is to get the viewer interested, either in making the purchase or in finding out more.

While this article covers the basic considerations in creating a book trailer, there is a great deal more to be learned. One way of increasing your knowledge is to look at book trailers available on the internet. You will discover there are numerous ways to create video trailers, whether it be through emotional implications, character driven, or story plotting. You might also consider a more impressionistic approach that strongly communicates the aesthetic of the book while only hinting at elements of the plot. Likewise, in using photographic/video-graphic images, avoid showing people, or at least not showing their faces in a clear way. You want your viewer’s imagination to build the characters as they would when reading your book.

By looking at numerous trailers, you will find editing techniques that will make your video stronger, like the slow zoom-in or the use of title cards. In particular, watch how the juxtaposition of images and/or music provides a feeling or thought different from what they emit by themselves. Also, be aware how pace, the unveiling of new and unique information, affects the degree of engagement.

While book trailers get few lifetime views and have notorious low conversion rates, they are superior on sales landing pages increasing conversions up to 80 percent. That might be the place where a book trailer best contributes to your sales. In addition, book trailers can make a lasting impression, they’re easy to consume, easy to share, and they stay on the internet forever. A book trailer can be a valuable addition to your marketing campaign, especially if your target audience, your potential readers view it. Homing in on that fact could reap huge benefits and increase your ROI.

In closing, it is better that your book trailer to be super simple, ultra-clear, and thoughtfully aligned with the imagery. The intent of the trailer is to illicit a sale, to get the viewer interested, either in making the purchase or in finding out more about your book. To do that, you must allow the viewer to imagine and collaborate in the making of your book trailer.

January 5, 2021

Effective Internet Marketing – Proven Strategies To Increase Your Income

Effective Internet marketing is a process of using any number of traffic generation methods for gaining visitors to your website. This often includes free methods such as article marketing, social media, forums or video – as well as paid advertising solutions such as Google’s AdWords. Your time and budget will initially determine which choice you make – although there are also benefits to using various methods of generating traffic from a combination of sources. This article will outline some of the key points to keep in mind when it comes to effective Internet marketing.

Effective Internet marketing through generating traffic from free sources largely revolves around the concept of giving informative or interesting content in return for visitors to your website. Utilising article marketing is perhaps the most commonly used method of generating traffic in this fashion. It also provides the added benefits of quality back-links for your search engine optimisation strategies – which can be provided through other webmasters publishing your article as well as the initial link article directories allow you to have from your article. While not providing the same benefits in terms of back-links and search engine optimisation, marketing by offering similar content through video is growing increasingly popular. The primary goal behind most strategies employing this method is to create a video that will likely inspire viewers to send it to someone else upon viewing it, potentially resulting in a lot of viewers who subsequently visit your website in a short period of time.

Effective Internet marketing is growing less common through paid advertising services such as Google’s AdWords. While it does offer benefits in that you can get a high number of targeted visitors to your website very quickly – it is growing increasingly out of the budget for the average marketer who runs a small business on their own. It is now primarily recommended as a quick way to test how your website performs in terms of converting visitors into buyers, and then make adjustments to increase its effectiveness.

Building a list is an important part of any effective Internet marketing. This commonly involves placing an opt-in form on your site and providing some incentive such as a free guide or sample tutorial video for them to join your subscriber base. Implementing a list is an important method to stay in touch with your website’s visitors and keep them interested in what you have to offer.

Any form of effective Internet marketing should be designed to provide you with a high amount of website visitors that eventually convert into buying customers. Using methods to generate traffic from a wide range of sources will allow you to reach as many potential customers as possible, which will ultimately result in a much higher level of income.

January 5, 2021

How To Look Up Criminal Records For Free

In today’s world, many people are seeking ways to look up criminal records for free. In this article we will cover various ways for you to investigate the background of a potential employee, business partner, or potential love interest by conducting your own free research.

#1 – Look up criminal records for fee on the Internet

The Internet is the first place most people turn to when they want to look up criminal records for free. A basic Google search will allow you to get a snapshot of someone’s background. Look for social media profiles, consumer report websites, and Google’s image directory. There are also “deep web” search engine databases that can dig up information that is often missed by Goggle’s crawlers.

You can also look up criminal records for free by logging onto USA.gov to access state correctional institutions and information on finding criminals. While not all states provide this information it’s a good place to start. If your state isn’t represented on this website then you can do a Google search by entering the following formula:

“State’s name” plus “inmate locator” or “Department of Corrections”

For example: “Florida Department of Corrections”

Besides USA.gov you can also navigate to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. There you can utilize their inmate locator, which is a database of federal inmates.

Another good place to look up criminal history for free is to check the national sex offender registry run by the Department of Justice. From there you can search national sex offenders. When using this resource though, keep in mind the information in the database is supplied by local jurisdictions. The federal database only contains what local counties and towns feed into it. So if your local jurisdiction does not provide the information, then the national database will be hindered. The national website also provides information for states, territories and tribes

#2 – Look up criminal records for free at the county courthouse

When searching out a person’s criminal history the Internet offers a tremendous overview. However, the best place to look up criminal records for free is to head down to the county courthouse (or wherever they keep criminal records in your county). Using this strategy you get information straight from the source.

In closing, trying to look up criminal records for free might not cost you any cash but it will take a commitment of time and resources. If time is something you don’t want to waste then a better option is to utilize a low-cost background check service that will do all the investigating for you.

January 5, 2021

We Have More In Common Than That Which Divides Us

“We are more united and have far more in common with each other, than things that which divides us.”

These words were spoken by UK MP Jo Cox in her maiden speech to Parliament in 2015. One year later she was murdered and her words went viral.

From the other end of spectrum consider the delusional and divisive comments of the President of the US on the night of 2020 Presidential election trashing the US electoral system in the eyes of the world.

We are currently living in troubled times where:

  • Experts are denigrated and ignorance, bias and prejudice is celebrated;
  • Intelligent discussion and agreement to disagree and respect for other shades of opinion are denied in the current cancel culture;
  • Public debate is hijacked and taken over by group think and mob rule.
  • Woke thinking takes precedence over reasoned debate;
  • Virtue signally takes precedence over private philanthropy.

And yet most of the time, in most circumstances, people are the same.

# More In Common And The Narcissism of Minor Differences

So why is there so much antipathy and hostility between people who are in many ways quite similar?

We seem to take our common humanity for granted and instead obsess over subtle divergences in culture, character and points of view as if they are the end of the world.

Freud called this phenomenon “the narcissism of the slight difference.”

He argued-long before we understood what cognitive biases were-that the small differences between us are magnified in our minds and thus drown out our similarities.

According to Freud the reason for this is the desire for distinct identity. Thus if we can identify and magnify small points of difference these become differentiators.

Thus the more we realise how much we have in common with other people the ego resists the feeling that we are not that special after all.

To protect our sense of self and keep this dissonance at bay, the ego constantly seeks to construct and reinforce its identity by artificially inflating the significance of these small differences.

Add social media to the mix and the narcissism of the slight difference is subject to a major multiplier effect. So given that our minds are programmed by our egos to disparage similarities and amplify slight differences the internet gives us endless more small differences to spot and react to.

# Similarities Between Groups of People Are Large and Important

I recently read an important piece of research that, unlike most studies which focus on differences, took a very large dataset and calculated the similarities between populations.

The study took a large international survey of 86,272 people and categorized them by age, gender, education, nationality, education, and religion.

The survey asked them all questions to gauge their values around 22 different topics (trust in science, the importance of education, morality, etc.)

The researchers then cross-analyzed the data in every way they could to determine which groups of people around the world are the most similar and dissimilar.

In all, they ran over 168,000 comparisons and found that, on average, people’s values were 93.3% the same.

Of all of the comparisons, only 0.66% of them produced results where populations were more dissimilar in their values than they were similar

# A Personal Perspective

My view is quite simple:

Why don’t we focus on that which we want in a positive way and drop the negativity bias?

A focus on difference is a focus on negativity and its effect is to divide.

A focus on common interest is holistic and its effect is to unite

What you focus on grows.

A focus on difference magnifies division.

A focus on common interest magnifies unity

So my question to all those who are championing any cause or point of view is this: Are you focused on the positives, on what you DO want to happen and thus on unity?

Or, are you focused on the negative, on what you DON’T want to see happen and thus on division?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the activist group “Black Lives Matter” focusing on what they do want rather than what they don’t want?

So rather than focusing on instances of white police officers behaving badly towards black suspects they focused on what they do want which is instances where white police officers act with civility and decency to black suspects?

Imagine a video going viral showing a white police officer behaving in a kindly, helpful and supportive way towards a black person?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the “Me Too” movement celebrated the lives and actions of prominent male producers who have acted with kindness and decency and shown courteous support to actresses?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the leading protagonists of the various causes espoused by “wokeness” focused on the positive examples of people and organisations who do behave in alignment with the causes they espouse.

In my view the fastest and most effective way to realise that we have more in common is to ensure that:

  1. Your point of focus is positive
  2. Your point of focus is on uniting people.

Further reading and resources on more in common