PSG fight off Chelsea for son of a gun Timothy Weah

first_imgChelsea are set to fail with an ambitious move for the son of former Manchester City striker George Weah.The Mirror says Weah’s son Timothy is ready to snub a move to Chelsea to sign a permanent deal with Paris Saint-Germain.The 17-year-old has been with PSG since 2014.Chelsea had been keen on the teenager, with his father having played for the Blues in 2000.Another of Weah Snr’s former clubs AC Milan were also thought to be interested but Timothy will stay at PSG.last_img

Agent upbeat over AC Milan deal for Atalanta fullback Andrea Conti

first_imgThe agent of Atalanta fullback Andrea Conti says a move to AC Milan is now close.Atalanta are holding out for €30 million to sell Conti.“I’m very satisfied with the meeting,” Mario Giuffredi told the assembled media.“There’s still work to be done. Now Milan and Atalanta will have to talk to each other.”last_img

Man Utd launching £40M bid for Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan

first_imgManchester United are preparing a bid for Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan.Gazzetta dello Sport says United are willing to bid up to £40 million for Nainggolan.Manager Jose Mourinho is tracking Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic, who would cost around the same price, but United are keen on Nainggolan and are prepared to offer £125,000-a-week wages to secure his signature.Mourinho has already contacted people close to Nainggolan to express his interest in the midfielder.The player rejected the chance to join Chelsea last summer but may be tempted by the move to Old Trafford after three-and-a-half seasons at the Stadio Olimpico.last_img

Implementing a Donor Database by Guest Star Cheryl Gipson

first_imgMichelle Murrain at Zen and the Art of Nonprofit Technology is hosting a carnival on “Nonprofit Data Management: from slips of paper to CRM.” I think that’s a good topic, so I’ve asked my esteemed colleague Cheryl Gipson who is Network for Good’s Director of Nonprofit Services to contribute the following post. When the full CRM carnival goes up on Monday, I’ll link to it so you can read what other folks think!Before I turn things over to Cheryl, I’d like to cover the basics. CRM means “customer resource management” — it’s software that allows you to centrally store and access information about donors or other constituencies. Why do you need this? So you can better organize fundraising data and more easily build a long-term, personalized relationship with donors. You can learn more at TechSoup about why you might want to get a database. If you’d like to get on Network for Good’s email list of free tips on CRM, email me at robinhood at’s Cheryl on how to actually get your donor database in place successfully. She offers a helpful checklist.Steps to a Successful CRM implementation from Cheryl GipsonConverting or implementing a CRM database is a big step for a nonprofit organization. Generally a conversion or implementation represents a sea-change within the organization, brought on by management changes, fundraising need, programmatic expansion, or extreme discontent with current systems. The data within a database is one piece of the data conversion pie, as the steps surrounding the data, and what the data represents (donors, money) are the life-blood of a nonprofit organization.A successful data conversion/implementation has several component parts:*If an implementation, a plan to establish workflow and data structures for processing incoming gifts and reconciling data with accounting *If a conversion, an established plan for how to maintain current workflow and data structures while the data is being converted.—Parallel processing: two systems are run simultaneously (legacy/new) parallel to one another with duplicate gift processing—Gradual Legacy Switch: the new system is established and people work in the new system with new data after processes have been established, keeping the legacy system running for old data. Legacy data is imported on a time-based plan—Planned Legacy Switch: a date is set for the new system to go live. Legacy data and systems are re-worked, a cut-off time is established for the old system, several test conversions are conducted, and the new system goes live. *A strong internal champion for the database project with a database administration background. This individual will work closely with the implementation consultant to implement new procedures, train themselves in the new product, document the procedures within the nonprofit organization and train other staff *A strong executive champion for the database project willing to understand the importance of investing time, money, and human resources into the success of the project *A fundraising database implementer who understands fundraising strategies, gift processing workflow, nonprofit accounting laws, and best-practice coding structures for development reports. They must also be technically savvy in multiple fundraising databases and understand how to write queries, import and export data, manipulate and “clean” data using tools such as Excel or Data Junction *A mutual understanding between the nonprofit organization and the database implementer that converting a database involves organizational change, and this can be stressful and threatening for employees. Both the database implementer and the nonprofit organization will need to establish in the project plan the metrics and deliverables that comprise success *Detailed procedures/documentation on the part of the database implementer for contact and gift counts. Verifiable data transfer is the metric that can be used for the client to understand the success of the conversion and helps to create confidence from both sides *Training of new procedures and workflow. This will be specific to each organization It is also worthwhile to note that the size of the database or the size of the organization do not diminish the complexity of a database conversion, because the issues of coding structures, workflow, fundraising practices, and accounting reconciliation are all the same. What’s different is scale. Small nonprofits are in the uncomfortable position of having to handle these issues without the same level of human or monetary resources enjoyed by large nonprofits.THE FULL CARNIVAL IS HERE if you’d like to read it.last_img read more

Data Alone Won’t Make Change: Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing Improves Maternal Health

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 16, 2015May 19, 2017By: Seth Cochran, Founder & CEO, Operation FistulaClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)I founded Operation Fistula to end obstetric fistula. While an ounce of prevention is worth a pound cure, the multitude of direct and indirect causes seemed too difficult to change. But treatment had a clear need and compelling impact.Nearly all women who get fistula will never have the opportunity to have a surgical repair, leaving them incontinent and shamed by their community. To improve the capacity of fistula surgeons and get more women the treatment they need, we started a pilot program that provided conditional cash transfers to African fistula surgeons who were beyond the reach of funders. Along with the funding, we designed and provided safety and quality protocols and developed a one-page patient data form to also build technical capacity. As surgeons treated patients, they sent in photos and data forms and we sent them unrestricted, output-driven funding.Very popular with surgeons, our program exploded beyond our initial goal of 5 partnerships in 3 countries to treat 200 patients. After additional rounds of funding, we closed our 2-year pilot program with 21 surgeons in 4 countries who treated 752 patients. Our cost efficiency put us at the same price point as vaccines in terms of cost-per-DALY-averted.However, the most stunning performance statistics were related to the causes of fistula. We have always assumed that fistula happens because women cannot or do not reach a facility. But in fact, 77% of the patients we treated developed fistula when they delivered at either a hospital (63%) or health center (14%). The numbers imply issues of timing and/or quality.In fact, 13% of our patients had their fistula caused by surgery. Digging into the data reveals even more troubling insight. Of the 133 women who had a hospital-based Cesarean delivery, 28% had their fistula caused by the procedure, termed iatrogenic fistula. Hysterectomy showed a similar causal contribution, creating fistula in 36% of women receiving this procedure.This alarming data caused us to reconsider our approach to ending fistula. Prevention suddenly became far more tangible. By improving the quality of Cesarean delivery, we could not only prevent fistula by relieving obstructed labor, we could also reduce cases of iatrogenic fistula. Furthermore, capacity for obstetric surgery would also create better fistula surgeons.The Lancet Global Surgery commission report added enormous wind to the sails of our new inspiration, making a compelling case for global surgical capacity. But while the report explains what the world should do at a high level, it is a bit light on the details of exactly how.We developed an idea for how to build surgical capacity and shared the concept with the Ministry of Health in Madagascar, where we’ve worked the last couple years. They loved the idea and we left the country with an agreement to roll it out in two regions.To finalize the details of our action plan, we studied everything we could find that had any link to the future we wanted to build. But as the old Chinese proverb says “A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years’ study of books.”The best way we could think of to find wise people who knew about maternal and child health was to attend the preeminent conference on the subject. Enter GMNCH2015.However, finding the truly wise people amongst the masses of convention is actually quite challenging. While, I’ve recruited some of my wisest advisors from the podium, the speaker population is not the only source of wisdom. In fact, recent experiences have taught me the power of finding wisdom in the questions asked and comments made by people in the audience.So all of this is to say that if you see me in Mexico City and I start asking you a bunch of crazy questions, please be patient. You are indeed one of the wise ones whose conversation will most certainly help us build the future.Photo: “Africa Partnerships Hamlin Fistula 12” © 2009 Lucy Perry/Hamlin Fistula Relief and Aid Fund Australia, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license: this:last_img read more

What freelancers need to know about taxes

first_imgThanks to everyone who participated in our freelance tax webinar!Did you miss it? Not to worry! You can watch it at your leisure:Some of the topics we covered:How changes to the tax code affect freelancers in 2018Common mistakes freelancers make on their taxes – (including areas of inappropriate and missed deductions)Sole Proprietor, LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp differences and advantagesImportant deadlines for reporting, filing extensions, and paying estimated quarterly taxesBest practices for saving receipts( When reporting in multiple states is requiredStay tuned for more tax info and helpful resources on the Freelancers Union blog!Paid advertiser disclosure: Freelancers Union will receive compensation that may impact how and where offers like this one appear. Not all investment advisers or available IRA offers are shown.last_img

Practicing creativity for freelancers

first_imgThis is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.Is creativity innate? Well, maybe to a degree, but a master’s degree in creativity is earned with lots and lots of work. As we’re not poets living on thin air, but professionals who need to deliver, often on very short deadlines, we can’t wait for inspiration.In this sense, creativity rhymes with study, application, commitment, focus. You need to try, retry, then try again. Do some brainstorming. Then streamline, simplify, trim, keeping only the most valid options and refining them some more.As all who work in copywriting or, like me, deal with marketing and creative translation, know well, often the big issue is getting ideas out on the page.But are there a few tricks for those days when even writing the shopping list seems a really hard task?Well, the answer is yes–luckily for all of us. Let’s see a few examples.Take your timeThe first advice would be to get enough time to do the job properly, keeping in mind the most creative ideas often pop up when you’re not at your desk and are doing something else completely.Do something elsePersonally, when I’m stuck, that’s exactly what I do, even if for just ten minutes. If I give myself a break, even a short one, my mind starts working in the background–like an app!–and often the right idea comes up, sometimes completely unrelated to all the options I had foreseen before.Take a hikeGoing for a walk may be of help. In this case, I find the app JustWrite quite useful, as you can record voice messages and then send them to yourself in a text message.The link between walking and creativity is not new: according to a study conducted by Stanford University, walking can help increase creativity by up to 60%. Steve Jobs knew that very well, as his well-known walking meetings can testify. But also Henry David Thoreau: “Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”MeditateA short session of mindfulness is another practice which many creatives find useful, to clear the mind and start afresh.DoodleOthers favour doodling or colouring. Or simply aimlessly navigating the web, from click to click (in this case, try and give yourself a strict time limit, for instance 10 minutes, to avoid emerging 2 hours later…).Drawing mental maps and following the associations coming out of this exercise can also be very helpful.The idea is to refresh the mind with something not work-related, even just for ten minutes or so. And to start afresh with new vigor and, what matters most, ideas.I’d say everyone has their own winning formula to spur creativity, especially when you start getting experienced at what you do, better understanding how your mind works under stress and what you can do to relieve it.But it is fair to say that every formula consists of a bit of talent and a mountain of work, with some smart practices thrown in to promote creativity when you need it.And above all, when your clients do.I am an Italian specialist in marketing, creative and legal translation and editing. I put my many years of experience to the advantage of my clients by creating texts resonating with the Italian-speaking audience and making brands locally relevant. Connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter or visit my website ( read more

360i Report: ‘the den’ Workshop

first_imgExecutive SummaryIn May we hosted our first digital education for nonprofits workshop (‘the den’) at our headquarters in New York City. We welcomed nonprofit marketers spanning various verticals and organizations that do good for a day of programming designed to share best practices and tricks of the trade for being smart, nimble nonprofit marketers in the digital age.To help extend the content covered at the den workshop beyond the event, we’re sharing a top-level guide to some of the insights, tools and best practices covered during the day. Additionally, those interested in the den can watch archived videos of the livestream on the event’s Facebook page.last_img

Our Favorite Finance Books for National Read a Book Day

first_imgWhether you’re running your own business or working for someone else, certain metrics are key to understanding how you’re doing financially. Net income and gross income are two numbers that can help you evaluate your business or personal finances. Various… Full Story,Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is deliberately separate from the Spring Equal Pay Day. It is held at this time of year as it marks the amount of additional time it takes for a black woman to earn the same… Full Story,Sometime last week, news might have filtered to you through your favorite social media platform, feed, or blog, that the Federal Reserve lowered the Fed interest rate by 0.25%. The announcement made on July 31st by the Federal Reserve chairman… Full Story,The other week, while I was digging up weeds during my volunteership at the botanical garden, my 19-year-old colleague turned to me and asked, “Jackie, what would you tell your 20-year-old self?” Whelp. I leaned in, gave her my wise,… Full Story,I’ve gotten to a point in my career where I’m commonly referred to as a financial “expert”. I’ve worked hard to broaden my knowledge and fill in the gaps, so I feel pretty comfortable in that role. When a friend… Full Story,With much of the country experiencing frighteningly cold temperatures, it doesn’t seem like the time to issue “ways to save during winter” advice. With temperatures well below zero, the last thing anyone should be doing right now is turning off… Full Story,Personal finance and investing gurus are fond of an old Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Chances are you’ve heard it before. It’s a profound quote, and… Full Story,For most of us, getting organized is a pipe dream. The random creams, pastes, and oils in your bathroom cabinet will probably never be color coordinated or arranged alphabetically. Your sock drawer will probably be a nest of tangled and… Full Story,For some people, stability is the norm. They’re successful, happy and blissfully unaware of just how lucky they are to be in such a comfortable position. For the rest of us, chaos is the status quo. Financial and mental instability… Full Story,If your finances are a constant source of stress and anxiety, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, 40 percent of American adults say they would have a tough time covering an unexpected expense of $400 or more, according to the… Full Storylast_img read more

If Everyone Hates Selfies, Why Do They Get So Many Likes?

first_img Originally published Dec 8, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Content Creation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Almost immediately after “selfies” became a thing, people started bashing them. And sure, that kind of makes sense – there’s something mockery-worthy about taking lots of photos of yourself.But if selfies are so silly, why do they get so much social media engagement (likes, retweets, etc.)? I have a couple of theories, and I’m going to share them with you.1) People like peopleAh, humans. We’re just naturally social, and we want to look at other people (and ourselves – hence the selfie). What other explanation could there be for TMZ?Online, selfies and pictures of people in general get more engagement in the form of likes and comments. A Georgia Institute of Technology study found that Instagram pictures with human faces are 38% more likely to get likes and 32% more likely to get comments than photos with no faces.Social media itself fulfills the need and desire to connect with other people, and it’s easier to do that when you’re looking at an actual person rather than a picture of someone’s lunch order. Basically, this theory boils down to “Hey, look – you have eyes and ears and a nose just like I do! We should be friends!”2) You’re really real!Socialmedialand is a place where we can connect with new people every day, many of whom we don’t know in real life.In any case, pictures of your face allow all people to connect or reconnect with you as a person instead of as a tweet or Facebook post. Sharing selfies is a way of saying, “Hello! This is me, @DrifterMama, and I’m more than just 140 characters of text. I’m a person, too!”Seeing the faces of your virtual friends (which I have more of than real friends) helps you connect with them on a personal level, rather than follow them as a faceless feed of information.3) It’s all about the context, babyThe context of your selfie could also be the reason it’s getting a fair amount of engagement. Are you at #Bonnaroo, or is it your #Birthday? Maybe it’s #TBT (Throwback Thursday) or the ever-popular #MCM/#WCW (Man Crush Monday/Woman Crush Wednesday)?The context, of course, doesn’t have to be connected to a popular hashtag. Life events can impact engagement more than attaching your selfie to a trending topic. Celebrating an occurrence in the moment tends to spread more virally, whether it’s a newly-adopted pet or just an amazing summer day.The context of the image makes people feel good and relate the image to their own lives, compelling them to engage with the photo. Creating context around a selfie makes it feel less like a plea for attention, and more like you’re telling a story.The end… or just the beginning?A lot has been written about improving your selfies, and in my opinion, this post by Dan Zarrella on “The Science of Selfies” is the best of the bunch. In it, he breaks down data from over 160,000 images with the #selfie tag and points out which colors, filters, and hashtags result in the most likes. It’s a great read that helps us understand the psychology behind why people like selfies, and what pushes them over the edge into selfie-hate.Whether you’re snapping a picture of yourself with a friend during a night out or sharing a new hairstyle, selfies have become a staple of social media sharing. After all, if you didn’t take a selfie, how will you prove that it really happened?What are your theories on why selfies are so popular?last_img read more

The 13 Best College Facebook Pages (And What Sets Them Apart)

first_img2) University of California BerkeleyUC Berkeley has cross-promotion across all their social media accounts down pat. During move-in week at the beginning of the academic year, the university called for students to post their moving day pictures and thoughts to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #BerkeleyBound as a top-of-the-funnel traffic driver. Originally published Sep 14, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated November 13 2019 The first thing you see when you visit a college or university’s Facebook Page is their cover photo. So you might visit a college’s Facebook Page that features a beautiful, colorful, high-definition cover photo and say, “Wow, they did a great job with their Facebook Page.”But, while the cover photo is certainly important, the very best college Facebook Pages go above and beyond simply looking good. The best ones engage their visitors with fun photos, videos, and campaigns. They cross-promote with other social networks. They include clear calls-to-action, and they guide visitors to specific initiatives the school is running.What does a great college Facebook Page look like? We’ve searched far and wide for some of the best Facebook Pages from colleges and universities. Check out the following 13 examples to inspire the design and strategy you employ for your own Page. Download our complete guide to using Facebook for business and marketing for free here. 13 of the Best College Facebook Pages1) Boston CollegeWhat makes Boston College’s undergraduate Facebook Page so special is how well the folks running it engage with fans, followers, and other departments and schools within the college. They use tagging and hashtags to coordinate with, for example, the BC Police Department: 5) University of Texas AustinNot many colleges and universities have taken advantage of Facebook’s call-to-action button feature, which lets Page admins choose a CTA button from a group of seven pre-made options — “Sign Up,” “Shop Now,” “Contact Us,” “Book Now,” “Use App,” “Watch Video,” and “Play Game” — and link it to any other webpage that aligns with their goals. It’s too bad more brands haven’t adopted it, considering how prominent it is on the cover photo of a Facebook Page.UT Austin took advantage of the option, though, by placing a “Sign Up” CTA button that links to its newsletter subscription page. This is a great way to capture email addresses from not only prospective students, but also anyone interested in hearing from the university — from students to college counselors to prospective students’ parents.Plus, we love how UT Austin’s cover photo is edited with an orange hue, in keeping with their classic orange logo.6) Susquehanna UniversityHere’s an example of a Facebook Page that’s really focused on us, the visitors. Not only do the folks at Susquehanna post updates with cool photos and videos to their timeline, but they also have a message feature we haven’t seen featured front-and-center on many other Pages. Located on the top left-hand side of their Page right under the “Timeline” tab, you’ll find a link that reads “Very responsive to messages.”Click it, and you have the option to send a Facebook message directly to the university with the reassurance they’ll respond fairly quickly. That makes for an awesome user experience.7) University of New South WalesWhile most schools only have a few tabs on their Facebook Page to choose from, the University of New South Wales has 12 to choose from in addition to the four displayed at the top of its main Page. Among them is an events page that links to its full events calendar, a jobs page, and a preview of its awesome — and very active — Pinterest page. We also love its trivia page, where it asks students to answer four questions about things like when they start their day and how often they really attend lectures. These are fun, unique, and interactive ways to engage visitors and keep them on the Page for a long period of time.8) Boston UniversityFacebook has been pushing the use of video over the past year or so, most recently by extending autoplay video to its advertisers. The folks over at Boston University have taken full advantage of using video on their website by letting their “Videos” tab take a front seat on their Facebook Page. The videos on their Page are all beautifully and professionally shot and edited. The content is everything from seniors giving advice to new students to in-depth student stories — like this video about powerlifting, featuring senior Molly Kelly’s goal to break the American record for squats.9) Marquette UniversityMarquette doesn’t just cross promote on the classic social networks like Twitter and Instagram (which they do, a lot). They also use Facebook to promote the content from the university’s Medium page, “We Are Marquette,” which has stories by and about Marquette faculty, students, and alumni.Also, we love how refreshingly human some of their posts are. Exhibit A: Education Marketing 10) Princeton UniversityThe folks at Princeton know that it isn’t just current students who are checking out their Facebook Page. A lot of their visitors are prospective students. That’s why they’ve chosen to make a tab of their admission and financial aid information front-and-center on their Page.Click into the tab, and you’ll find a well-designed and well-curated collection of the most important information from their admissions website, including an embedded video on “the Princeton experience” and links to frequently asked questions for financial aid, applying, and international students.11) McGill UniversityMcGill is another example of a university taking advantage of Facebook’s call-to-action feature: Their “Contact Us” buttons links to a webpage listing the most frequently requested contacts at the school, which is quite relevant to people looking for contact information. But what we really love about their Facebook Page is that they cater to the Facebook audience by posting that fun, lighthearted content people actually like reading and sharing on Facebook.For example, they shared a news story about how their chef set a world record for largest smoothie. That’s definitely the type of post a college student would share with their friends on Facebook. Another great example? The post below sharing BuzzFeed article about Montreal. Topics:center_img And their alum Page: The cross promotion culminated in a compilation album on their Facebook Page (pictured below) and a compilation on their website of social engagements across all the social platforms.3) Michigan State UniversityFacebook Pages are meant to engage your fans and followers. Running contests, asking questions, and crowdsourcing content are all great ways to get people Liking, commenting on, and sharing your Facebook posts. Michigan State University knows this: They’re all about engaging people on Facebook.For example, check out their recent “Spartan Virtual Choir” campaign they launched to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the school’s fight song. Not only do they do a great job of promoting the campaign with interesting Facebook posts (like the video below), but they also updated the cover photo to include a “Share your voice” call-to-action to draw our attention to the campaign from the get-go. No doubt the finished product will be really cool video that’ll get a ton of love across all their social channels. 4) George Washington UniversityGeorge Washington University also does some creative stuff to engage their fans and followers on all different social networks. Check out how they featured a student’s tweet in their Facebook cover photo, even finding the perfect photo to pair with the tweet’s content. This is a great way to promote their #OnlyAtGW hashtag campaign not only on Facebook, but on other social networks like Twitter and Instagram, too. (Plus, it encourages people to check out their Twitter account.)GW runs a lot of hashtag campaigns that encourage students to post photos showing off their school pride, like with their weekly #PictureGW contest. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 12) University of GeorgiaWhile most colleges and universities stick an address and a phone number in the “About” section of their Facebook Pages and call it a day, the folks at the University of Georgia take it a step further. They know prospective students are looking at that “About” section for information about the school, so they stuck a fantastic and well-made video in there about the upcoming admissions season. Very timely and relevant.13) Kenyon CollegeKenyon College also uses the tabs on their Facebook Page to direct students to specific initiatives. In their case, it’s their Instagram account and a series of quirky admissions videos produced by Kenyon with the help of student interns. They’ve also taken advantage of the “Milestones” feature of the “About” section, filling in critical events in the college’s history dating back to its founding in 1824.last_img read more

Sales And Support: Why Everyone On Your Team Should Have A Role In Both

first_img Originally published Aug 1, 2016 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 There are 15 people on our team at Drift.Like most businesses, we all have different roles and responsibilities — there are frontend engineers, backend engineers, designers, marketers, a product manager, a customer success manager, and a sales rep.And while each one of our roles is very clearly defined, there are two things that we all have in common regardless of what our job descriptions say on paper: we all do sales, and we all do customer support.The Power Of 1:1 Conversations With Prospects And CustomersThis might seem counterintuitive, right? An engineer probably isn’t going to be great at sales and a marketer won’t make the best support rep. But here’s why we do it anyway:In order to really understand what our customers want, we need to hear their pain, see their frustrations, and understand their challenges first-hand.An internal wiki post with notes from a product manager who just spent all week talking to customers is great. But reading that customer feedback can’t compare to having a real-time, 1:1 conversation with someone on our website who can’t figure out our pricing. Or talking to a new customer that’s lost inside of our app — while they’re lost inside of our app.Getting this 1:1 feedback outweighs any lack of sales or support experience that any one of us might have.And because this feedback is so powerful, we don’t want to relegate talking to customers to one person or one department. Talking to customers should be part of everyone’s job today.This is especially important in today’s world. There’s a fundamental shift happening in business right now: helping is the new selling, and customer experience is the new marketing. As a result, whoever understands the customer best will be the one that wins their business and earns their money. At Drift, we call it the customer driven revolution. All of the power in business has shifted into the hands of the buyer.Still not convinced that everyone on your team should have a sales role and a support shift? Here are three reasons why this can have a huge impact on your company’s growth.How All Hands Sales And Support Will Help You Grow FasterIt keeps everyone close to customers. Everyone says they are customer-driven. Everyone knows the importance of talking to customers. But here’s the standard line you hear from most companies when it comes to actually doing it: “I know. I know. I need to make the time to get out there and talk to more customers. I’ve just been so busy.” This will always be the case until you make it part of everyone’s job. When you give everyone on your team a dedicated shift, this guarantees that people are spending time that week talking to customers. We set up a shared Google Calendar and the whole team gets reminders in Slack about their support shift each day to help hold everyone accountable:Problems get solved faster. Problems. Bugs. Unclear copy. Whatever it is, it gets fixed faster when the people with the power to fix those problems are the ones talking to customers. A few months ago, we launched a new integration with Slack on Product Hunt. As a result of being on Product Hunt, hundreds of people signed up within the first few hours. But shortly after launch we kept getting the same question: “Hey, where do I connect Drift to Slack?” Even though we had a step in the onboarding flow to hook up Slack, it wasn’t obvious to most people. One of our UX designers was working her support shift during this launch, and instead of generating a support ticket, creating a new Trello card, or adding something to a future roadmap, she just grabbed one of our engineers and within two minutes, shipped a quick fix — a link to take people directly to Slack. Giving everyone on your team a support shift will help make UX, design, product, messaging, and pricing issues painfully obvious — and that’s a good thing.You create real relationships with people. Putting everyone on the front lines ensures that your team is always having one to one conversations and connecting with people — from people who are thinking about buying from you, to people who are already paying customers, to people who just wanted to write in and say that they enjoyed that blog post you wrote. How You Can Make 1:1 Work For Your CompanyNow that we’ve talked a little about the value of 1:1 conversations, here is the ultimate question: how can you make it work at your company?There’s one question that comes up anytime someone talks about the topic of 1:1 conversations with prospects and customers, and it goes something like this:“I like the idea. And I get the value and the power of having 1:1 conversations, but it doesn’t really scale.”And I totally hear you.Smaller companies or early stage startups like Drift can make 1:1 work because we need to talk to everyone at this stage. But traditionally, 1:1 conversations have been designated for support.Sales and marketing don’t want to waste time dealing with support questions and talking to leads who aren’t qualified. That’s why marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs) were created in the first place.But here’s the truth about 1:1 conversations with prospects and customers: this approach doesn’t require as much change as you might think. You don’t have to completely overhaul the way you do sales and marketing today or give everyone a support shift like we do at Drift. Here are a few small changes you can make right now to start having more 1:1 conversations with your prospects and customers.Just ask. This one is the most obvious and the most effective. Sometimes, you just have to ask. One of my favorite examples of “just ask” comes from Groove CEO Alex Turnbull. In 2014, his team started to notice a spike in customer churn, and they weren’t really able to figure out why by just looking at the data. So Alex got right to the point — he sent a personal email to every single customer and asked for 10 minutes of their time to talk. And here’s what happened:As a result, he spent more than 100 hours talking to 500 Groove customers and ended up with feedback that helped him right the ship and fix their churn problem.100 hours to change the course of your business? Seems worth it to me.Now in Alex’s case, he decided to reach out to everyone at once — and that produced hundreds of responses. If you don’t think you’ll be able to block off the time to address that many responses, then it’s easy to approach this differently. You could simply create an on-going campaign that is designed to get customer feedback one by one so you don’t have to find the time to manage it in huge chunks. Sending an email blast to every customer is certainly one way to get feedback, but you can also use your customer data to create relevant segments.And often times, talking to just 15-20 customers will give you the majority of the feedback you need (venture  capitalist Jason Lemkin has something called the 20 interview rule that is similar to this). You’ll notice that after you start talking to five, six, seven customers, the same issues keep popping up. Alex chose to talk to everyone because it had been a while since he went in-depth on customer feedback.Switch up your welcome email. While every business might not be having 1:1 conversations with prospects and customers right now, there is one thing I’m confident that everyone business does have: a welcome email. Whether it’s an email that gets triggered after someone signs up for your newsletter, requests a demo, or starts using your product, you’re probably already sending a welcome email. But there’s a huge mistake that most people make with those welcome emails — they don’t send them with a purpose.Too many people treat their welcome email as a throw away, or something that gets written at the last minute as a finishing touch to onboarding. And the reason that’s a huge mistake is because your welcome email is the single most important email that you will send to your customers and subscribers.These people are brand new. They just signed up. This is when they are the most engaged. It’s rare that you’re ever going to get this level of attention and engagement from someone again without putting in a ton of effort, so make sure to write your welcome email with a purpose.Yes, it should be smart, funny, and welcoming – but it should also be designed to get a response. Ask new users why they signed up, what they are looking to accomplish, what they’re struggling with, or what brought them to use your product or service. This is the best opportunity you will have to strike up a conversation with a new customer or subscriber. We recently switched up our welcome email at Drift to this:And the result has been nothing short of game changing: over the course of 12 days after making the change, we received 75 direct replies from real people telling us how they found Drift, why they signed up, and what they’re working on.But does it scale? The truth is, I can’t think of a better way to spend the first hour of every day than having conversations with real people who are interested in our business — and that’s now how I start my day off every single morning.Start showing your face. On our quest to automate everything we can in marketing and sales over the last five years, we’ve started to forget about the most important aspect of doing business in the first place: people. And because the majority of businesses operate this way, there’s a huge opportunity to stand out by showing your prospects and customers that you’re a real person. One of the easiest ways to do this is by giving everyone that comes in touch with your business a way to say hello (think of it like showing your customers that you’re always open for business) — and putting that person’s real face out in public.One of my favorite examples of this is what Jon Westenberg does with the articles he writes on Medium — he shows his face and gives his email address to every single reader:This can also be as simple as showing your face on your website’s live chat. Go to any business’ website, and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to chat with them — but are you talking to a real person? Putting your face on live chat is one of the easiest ways to show you’re a real person — and as a result — start having better conversations:You’d be surprised at how many deals you can win and customers you can delight just by saying hello, making small talk, and proving you’re a real person. It works in real life right? So why wouldn’t you take advantage of that for your business on your website.At the end of the day, having more 1:1 conversations starts with a change in philosophy and a commitment to being more human. And from Slack to Trello to Buffer to Shopify, this is something that the best modern businesses all have in common today.And while this change might not happen for you overnight, there are a few small changes that you can make right now to start having more conversations with your customers and people who are interested in your business.If your company can make this work in one form or another — even if it’s only for a few hours a week manning live chat — the impact being this close to your customers can have is one of the best things you can do for your team, regardless of what stage your company is at.This is what we’re focused on at Drift — helping your business have 1:1 conversations with prospects and customers at scale.Learn more about leveraging sales and support tactics from Drift. Don’t forget to share this post! 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My timing has improved, I will qualify for the Olympics: Dutee Chand

first_imgDutee Chand, India’s first openly gay sports star, has fought many battles off the track in recent years but for the next 12 months the sprinter is hoping to focus entirely on her running as she builds towards the Tokyo Olympics.From her battle against the IAAF gender testing rules to coming out as a lesbian in what is still a highly conservative country, Chand is used to making headlines but she hopes over the next year they will mainly be about her sporting prowess.India’s fastest woman, Chand holds the national record for the 100 metres with a time of 11.24 seconds and is a former Asian junior champion as well as Asian Games silver medallist in the blue riband event.The jump from national or continental success to global contender is a big one, however, and her season’s best time of 11.26 ranks her only joint 78th in the world.Still, with a year to go until Tokyo, the 23-year-old from Jaipur is confident she will make the qualifying mark of 11.15.”I believe that hard work always pays off and I am working diligently to win more laurels for my country in the upcoming competitions,” Chand told Reuters in an interview.”My training schedule is pretty tough at the moment … but I have seen that my timing has improved a lot compared to before. I am working really hard and am sure it will pay off. I feel I will qualify for the Olympics this year.”Given the events ahead of her maiden appearance at the Olympics in Rio in 2016, Chand could be forgiven for a little relief that qualifying times are all she has to worry about.advertisementHer hyperandrogenism – a medical condition that naturally produces high testosterone levels in women – thrust her to the forefront of the debate over gender in athletics and she was barred from competition for a year in 2014.It was Chand’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport that saw contentious International Association of Athletics Federations rules struck down in 2015, paving the way for hyperandrogenic athletes to compete in sprints.COMING OUTChand went on to become the first Indian woman since 1980 to compete in the 100m at the Olympics, although she was unable to progress beyond the heats in Brazil.Comments aimed at her about a perceived lack of femininity by some in her homeland continued unabated, however, and in May she laid herself open to more abuse from social conservatives.Chand caused a shockwave when she revealed she was dating a woman from her village in eastern Odisha state. She was praised for her courage but the revelation soured ties with her family.Last year the Supreme Court scrapped a colonial-era ban on gay sex but while it no longer carries a punishment of up to 10 years in prison, same-sex relationships are still considered taboo by many in the country.The revelation did not discourage sponsors – she signed a two-year deal with German sportswear company Puma this month – and Chand said her overwhelming feeling after coming out was one of relief.”I don’t feel there has been any pressure on me since I have discussed my personal life openly,” she added.”In fact, I have received a lot of support and encouragement for speaking up about my choices.”I felt pressured when I was in the hiding. Not anymore.”I am sure my achievements have made things easier for me but I also feel that people in our country have a greater acceptance level now and appreciate honesty over false identities.”In July, Chand clinched gold in the 100m sprint at a global meet when she clocked 11.32 seconds at the World University Games in Naples.”The World University Games Gold medal was a great confidence booster for me. It highlighted my talents, my performance and dedication,” she said.”I received a lot of appreciation and support after this win and I look forward to winning more competitions such as these in the future and making my country proud.”Gold medal always feels great. In fact, any appreciation or acknowledgement is a great morale booster. The more medals I win, the more my ambitions and confidence levels increase.”Also Read | Dutee Chand laments lack of competition as Indian GP fails to provide tough test to athletesAlso Read | Sports Ministry rejects nominations of Dutee Chand for Arjuna AwardAlso Read | My medal is an answer to my critics, says Dutee Chandlast_img read more

Taapsee Pannu takes a dig at Akshay Kumar. His response will leave you in splits

first_imgTaapsee Pannu and Akshay Kumar share a great bond and the BTS videos and pictures from their last film together – Mission Mangal – is the proof of the same.Akshay Kumar recently took to Twitter to share the motion poster of Taapsee’s upcoming film Rashmi Rocket.Akshay shared the poster saying, “This ROCKET is set for her next MISSION and she’s off to the tracks! Presenting a glimpse of @taapsee in and as #RashmiRocket.”This ROCKET is set for her next MISSION and she’s off to the tracks! Presenting a glimpse of @taapsee in and as #RashmiRocket.@MrAkvarious @RonnieScrewvala @RSVPMovies @iammangopeople #NehaAnand #PranjalKhandhdiyaMusic for the motion poster: @LesleLewis Kumar (@akshaykumar) August 30, 2019Taapsee was overwhelmed after Akshay shared the poster of Rashmi Rocket. She commented on Akshay’s post saying, “Yay!!!!! Don’t know about Forbes but yeh race toh main jeet sakti hu Thank you.Yay!!!!! Don’t know about Forbes but yeh race toh main jeet sakti huThank youtaapsee pannu (@taapsee) August 30, 2019Taapsee was referring to the Forbes World’s Highest Paid Actors 2019 list. Akshay Kumar stood fourth in the list, after Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr.But this banter between Akshay and Taapsee didn’t end there. Akshay again commented on the post with a meme of himself that says, “Maje le rahi hai tu.” Kumar (@akshaykumar) August 30, 2019Rashmi Rocket talks about the journey of a fictional Gujarati girl named Rashmi, who is a fast runner and people from her village call her “Rocket”. Taapsee’s character in the film hails from Kutch in Gujarat.advertisementAkshay and Taapsee share a great bond and their last film together – Mission Mangal – was a massive hit. The film is eyeing to cross Rs 200 crore.Mission Mangal trailer:Apart from Rocket Rashmi, Taapsee will also be seen in Saand Ki Aankh. Akshay, on the other hand, will be seen in Good News, Sooryavanshi and Laxmmi Bomb.Akshay and Taapsee’s this camaraderie is giving major friendship goals to other celebrities of the industry.ALSO READ | Akshay Kumar ranks 4th on Forbes World’s Highest Paid Actors 2019 list. See how much he earnedALSO READ | Chalo koi award toh mila: Taapsee Pannu gets hilariously trolled by Anurag Kashyap for childhood photoALSO READ | National Sports Day: Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar are winners in new Saand Ki Aankh stillALSO READ | Soorma review: Diljit Dosanjh hits the target in an otherwise sloppy biopicALSO READ | Taapsee Pannu to step into cricketer Mithali Raj’s shoes for her nextALSO READ | Taapsee Pannu talks about love life, surviving Bollywood and dealing with trollslast_img read more

India vs South Africa 1st Test: Rain plays spoilsport in Vizag on Day 1 after Rohit Sharma hundred

first_imgRohit Sharma made a brilliant comeback to Test cricket and made a mark straightaway as India’s new opener by scoring his fourth hundred as the hosts dominated the first day’s play of the first Test againstSouth Africa in Vizag on Wednesday.South Africa failed to pick up any wickets on the rain-curtailed first day as India reached 202 for no loss in 59.1 overs before play was called off during the tea break. The second session was also cut short due to fading light in the city.Rohit was unbeaten on 115 off 174 at the end of play and he got good support from his opening partner Mayank Agarwal, who was not out on 84.All of Rohit’s hundreds have come on home soil but this was his first since the unbeaten 102 against Sri Lanka in Nagpur back in November 2016.During the course of his innings Rohit also equalled Rahul Dravid’s record for most number of consecutive fifty-plus scores in Tests at home. Dravid had hit 6 successive fifty-plus scores between 1997 and 1998.Rohit, meanwhile, has scored 6 successive hundreds at home over a 3-year period between 2016 and 2019. The streak includes an unbeaten 102 against Sri Lanka in Nagpur in November 2017.Rohit and Mayank weathered the storm in the first hour of play this morning and then opened up once the Proteas spinners came into the attack. Rohit hit five sixes and 12 boundaries while Mayank managed 11 fours and two maximums.Starting the session at 91/0, the Indian openers put on 111 runs in the post-lunch session when umpires called for an early break owing to bad light.The second session was once again dominated by the Indians, but primarily by India’s new opener — Rohit. Rising to the challenge handed to him by the team management, Rohit stole the show as his cautious approach was overtaken by the free flowing batsmen one is used to seeing in the limited-overs format in the second session.advertisementAfter playing cautiously at the start of the innings, it was all about punishing not just the bad balls, but also the good ones as the batsman brought up his fourth Test hundred in a session that saw the Indian batsmen take the Proteas bowlers to the cleaners. The partnership between him and Mayank also saw them register India’s first 100-run partnership at the top of the innings since June 2018.Also Read | Rohit Sharma walks out as Test opener, hits stylish hundredAlso Read | Rohit Sharma emulates Rahul Dravid’s feat in VisakhapatnamAlso Read | Great to see Rohit Sharma use his experience well, says VVS Laxmanlast_img read more

Bhanuka Rajapaksa 77 helps Sri Lanka secure first-ever series win vs Pakistan

first_imgHomecoming of cricket in Pakistan. Security arrangements and senior Sri Lankan players pulling out. Result – a 2nd string Sri Lanka side visiting Pakistan for 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is. On Monday, however, the same 2nd string side did what no other team from the island nation had managed to do before: beating Pakistan in a T20I series!Built on a rollicking 77 off 48 balls from Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who was just playing his 2nd game for Sri Lanka, the tourists posted a total of 182/6 in their 20 overs. In reply, Pakistan could only muster 147 in 19 overs as they fell to a 35-run defeat in the 2nd T20I of the 3-match series in Lahore. Having already won the 1st match of the series on Saturday, Sri Lanka have now secured an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series rendering the last game on Wednesday a dead rubber.Just like the last match, Pakistan’s chase got off to the worst possible starts as openers Babar Azam (3) and Fakhar Zaman (6) were removed early by pacers Nuwan Pradeep and Kasun Rajitha. Fakhar’s dismissal was particularly curious as he bent on one knee to scoop a full-toss outside the off-stump from Rajitha but only ended up guiding it straight on to his stumps.Sarfaraz Ahmed who walked in at the fall of Azam’s wicket showed some intent early by unleashing a flurry of boundaries including a straight six off Wanindu Hasaranga. But the wrist-spinner returned in his very next over to cause absolute mayhem amongst the Pakistan ranks.advertisementHasaranga claimed 3 wickets in 4 balls – Ahmed Shehzad (bowled for 13), Umar Akmal (LBW for 0) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (bowled for 26) – to break the break of Pakistan’s batting. It looked done and dusted for Pakistan from here but new batsmen Asif Ali and Imad Wasim showed why there is only one team like Pakistan and that’s Pakistan itself.From 52/5 after 8 overs, the duo forged a 75-run partnership off 47 balls to bring cheers back around the Gaddafi Stadium cauldron. At one stage, Asif and Imad’s partnership was in with a chance to produce a come-from-behind victory but it wasn’t to be.Under pressure of the consistently rising required-run-rate, Imad (47) was trapped in front by Isuru Udana to dent Pakistan’s hopes. But Asif continued to strike boundaries while wickets kept falling from the other end. However, the task proved too much for him in the end as Asif (29) was bowled by Pradeep in the penultimate over to all but end Pakistan’s hopes.Earlier, the 27-year-old Rajapaksa hit 6 sixes and 4 fours to put Sri Lanka on the path of a big total after last match’s hero Danushka Gunathilaka departed early for 15 off the bowling of Imad. Soon afterwards, Avishka Fernando (8) was gone too – thanks to a direct hit from Shadab Khan.This brought Rajapaksa and Shehan Jayasuriya together at the crease and the duo forged a scintillating 94-run partnership off just 62 balls to take the game away from Pakistan. Rajapaksa was particularly great to watch as he trusted his great hand-eye coordination to time the ball beautifully between gaps while not shying away from nailing the towering sixes either.The stand could only be broken by the run-out of Jayasuriya (34) by Asif Ali but Sri Lanka continued to pile on the runs with captain Dasun Shanaka playing a great little cameo of 27 off just 15 balls to push his team’s score above 180. Shanaka, at that stage, wouldn’t have realised that he would become the 1st Sri Lankan captain to win a T20I series vs Pakistan. Now everyone knows.Also Read | Rohit Sharma has a better technique than Virender Sehwag: Shoaib AkhtarAlso Read | Always felt Gautam Gambhir avoided eye-to-eye contact with me: Pakistan pacer Mohammad Irfanlast_img read more

Gudmundsson: Iceland not afraid of Messi

first_imgAlbert Gudmundsson Gudmundsson: Iceland not afraid of Messi Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent 22:56 6/15/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) iceland Euros 06222016 Shaun Botteril Iceland Lionel Messi Argentina PSV Nigeria World Cup The PSV forward has explained his national team’s success and thinks they can upset yet more big names at the 2018 World Cup Iceland’s first game in a major tournament saw them hold Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal to a 0-0 draw at Euro 2016, and they will be hoping for a similar result on Saturday when they face Lionel Messi’s Argentina .Ronaldo slammed Iceland’s ‘small mentality’ after the match in France but they went on to reach the quarter finals, famously defeating Roy Hodgson’s England in the knockout stages.Their population of 334,252 makes Iceland the smallest country ever to qualify for a World Cup, but they have been springing surprises for almost half a decade. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move Even coming up against the iconic Messi, perhaps facing his last chance to taste international glory on the grandest stage of them all, does not faze PSV’s Albert Gudmundsson, the youngest player in Iceland’s squad, and he believes that he and his team-mates have the ability to successfully nullify the Barcelona star, having taken a keen interest in the Catalan side.Indeed, the La Liga giants used to have Eidur Gudjohnsen, arguably the greatest Icelandic player of all time, on their books.”Of course, I am happy to be part of this,” he told Goal. “It hadn’t been easy for us. Our first ever game in the Euros for our national team was against Cristiano Ronaldo. The first game ever for us in the World Cup is now against Messi. So yeah, it has something to do with our attitude and how we go into the games.”We know we don’t have the same names but we go into them with eleven against eleven. We work our asses off for each other and then most of the time we get some results back for it.”I liked watching Barcelona. It played a role that Gudjohnson played there but I also liked to watch Messi, a lot. It was Messi and then the whole Barcelona team. If one stands out then it is Messi. I love the way he plays and we are going to play against him.”I should know about how he is going to move over the pitch as I have watched him since he was a teenager. I think maybe afterwards you could think like that [about the excitement of facing Messi] but during the game that’s not what you think about and it is eleven opponents and your ten team-mates.”You just try to get all three points and a minimum of one point, do your best and then after maybe you can feel what you have achieved then. I see it as teamwork. If we look at when Messi has the ball we have one defender on him and then another one close to them. It is going to be hard to take the ball off him.”You obviously may look at going two versus one with him when he’s on the ball. If we look at the games that Chelsea won against Barcelona, like the semi-finals, Chelsea defended really well. Playing 4-4-2, good defending, looking to keep a clean sheet then they only needed one chance to win the game.”The PSV forward had trials at Arsenal and Liverpool, but chose to go to the Netherlands in search of more game time.Cristiano Ronaldo vs IcelandThe Arsenal supporter counts Thierry Henry as one of his heroes, but, despite his criticism of Iceland, he retains an admiration for Ronaldo, whom he believes is Messi’s equal.”It is hard to compare these players. They are different and I am a huge fan of Ronaldo’s too. I love Ronaldo’s work rate and attitude,” he added. “Many people say he is arrogant but I think it is just that winning mentality that he has. For Messi, I love how easily he plays football. Everything looks so easy for him and I love his skills.”Gudmundsson has a family that has played a huge role in the history of the sport in his home country.His great grandfather, also called Albert Gudmundsson, played for both Arsenal and AC Milan. He was the first ever professional Icelandic footballer and the second ever foreign player to line up for the Gunners.His father and mother both played for Iceland, while his grandfather Ingi Bjorn Albertsson, is the second all-time top scorer in the nordic nation’s first division with 126 goals, and he is determined to carve out his own path, admitting that he dreams of playing in Spain or England.”Ever since I was young, I always dreamed of playing in La Liga or the Premier League. So yes, I would love to go there and play for one of the top clubs there,” he continued. “I want to keep on the road we are going on at Iceland, we want to qualify for as many Euros and World Cups as we can.Albert Gudmundsson quote GFX“I think that it is a lot of small things that add up to one big thing [for Iceland]. For example, guys from bigger countries may have better footballers, from better teams who are playing in better leagues. At Iceland, we are fewer and most of us are really good close friends. In many national teams maybe you don’t know the other guys names.”Everybody knows everybody. We are really good friends. We are ready to jump in front of trains for each other. We are going to aim to get out of our group. Our goal is to get to the next round. I think it doesn’t matter who we play against, we have always got a chance. At the Euros, we also played both England and Portugal.”We played good teams and we got one or three points in every game. I think the World Cup will be tough for us and not easy. Just like the Euros weren’t easy but I think we can get the results in every game that we play. It doesn’t matter if we play Denmark or Brazil. We keep the same work rate and same discipline.”That’s why we can get points. We have good football players but what makes us great is how we work for each other.”Iceland invested heavily in the sport at the turn of the century, using all weather pitches and large indoor football halls to combat the cold temperatures. Their domestic league remains semi-professional, but the country has 5,000 Uefa B License coaches, who help stars on their path to clubs around Europe.One such beneficiary has been Gylfi Sigurdsson, who is Iceland’s current star turn. Indeed, the midfielder has enjoyed an excellent career in England, playing for Tottenham and Everton, though injury concerns have plagued his preparations for the tournament.Nevertheless, Gudmundsson believes the 28-year-old could be a difference maker in Russia.”He is special. People underestimate him, because he is the best player in our team with his freekicks, passes, corners and shooting ability. They are next level but also take a look at his stats, how much does he run in every game? It is rare that you see your best player also working the hardest in a team. That’s why he contributes so much for us.”last_img read more

Remains of 14 yearold girl found in Manitoba source

first_imgAPTN National NewsHuman remains discovered in northern Manitoba are believed to be those of a 14 year-old Aboriginal girl.While RCMP say they can’t confirm the identity of the body, sources say it is likely that of Heather Mallett.Mallet went missing from Wabowden, a Metis community about 600 kilometres north of Winnipeg.The body was discovered near the community.last_img

Threat of summer Ontario election eases as budget battles wind down

Threat of summer Ontario election eases as budget battles wind down by News Staff Posted Jun 19, 2012 5:47 pm MDT TORONTO – The threat of a summer election over the Ontario budget virtually evaporated Tuesday, but the partisan battles left some bitter feelings, especially among New Democrats and Liberals.The legislature was scheduled to be recalled Wednesday for the vote on the minority government’s budget, which the New Democrats said again Tuesday they will allow to pass.“A budget will be passed in this legislature that is a little more balanced because of the work that we were able to do,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said in an interview.“We set out to make the budget more fair, more responsive to the concerns of families, and I think we were able to do that.”The NDP forced several concessions from the minority government, including a tax on the rich and increased welfare payments, in exchange for letting the budget pass.But they angered Premier Dalton McGuinty when they combined with the Progressive Conservatives last week to quash a key section of the budget bill on privatization.Deputy Premier Dwight Duncan was still fuming Tuesday, saying he wasn’t entirely sure the New Democrats could be trusted to keep their word not to block passage of the budget after breaking two previous deals.“Because the NDP has broken their word twice, we’re not taking anything for granted,” Duncan told reporters.“We’ll be watching the NDP closely to ensure they don’t backslide yet again, and if they don’t backslide yet again, and the bill passes, there will be no election.”Henry Jacek, a political science professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, said the NDP made the most of the minority government situation and negotiated hard to get the changes they wanted.“They’ve been playing it very well, I think, in terms of trying to walk on the edge, get as much as they can,” Jacek said of the NDP.“They got a lot of criticism from unions for supporting the budget to begin with, so they had to try to assuage those people.”McGuinty warned last week that he’d call an election rather than suffer more opposition changes to the budget after the opposition voted to remove the privatization sections at committee.The premier’s threat caught the NDP off guard, said Horwath.“It seemed like a knee-jerk reaction that I don’t think anybody was expecting,” she said.“What that shows is that the government is still taking this kind of high-handed approach to things.”Jacek said McGuinty was clearly angry that the NDP seemed to be breaking an agreement with the Liberals and now realizes the Liberals probably should have got it in writing.However, the government was aware there was a down side to signing a deal with the NDP, he added.“I think the Liberals probably decided if they have a formal agreement it would give more status, and possibly more influence to the NDP, and they didn’t want to do that because in the next election they hope to take back some of the seats that the NDP won,” said Jacek.“I think there were misunderstandings on both sides.”Horwath was angry the Liberals called her disingenuous, a backstabber and accused her of breaking her word, personal attacks she said turn people off politics, especially women.“I think they’re meant to silence and bully people,” she said.“I’ve been quite taken aback by the change in the way Mr. McGuinty has been dealing with things.”It was the Conservatives’ decision to back some NDP budget amendments in the finance committee that caught everyone off guard and threw the whole process into turmoil, added Jacek.“I think what surprised the government, and the NDP, was that on some issues that were clearly NDP-type issues, the Conservatives were voting with the NDP in ways that didn’t seem to fit with their basic ideology,” he said.“They were voting with the NDP to give the government some trouble.”Neither PC Leader Tim Hudak nor McGuinty were available Tuesday to comment on the tensions surrounding the budget process.The opposition parties, which control the finance committee, called McGuinty’s election bluff and on Monday and Tuesday removed more sections of the budget on labour arbitration.The committee then wrapped up its clause-by-clause review Tuesday without any more major changes.The Progressive Conservatives have vowed to vote against the budget since it was introduced, and say it still does nothing to rein in government spending or help create jobs. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Freewheeling Uber sheds officials faces more major changes

FILE – In this March 4, 2015, file photo, then-Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the Justice Department in Washington. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick will take a leave of absence for an unspecified period and let his leadership team run the troubled ride-hailing company while he’s gone. Kalanick told employees about his decision Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in a memo. The announcement comes as former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder released a list of recommendations to improve Uber’s toxic culture. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) SAN FRANCISCO – Freewheeling Uber faces major change. Its board is cracking down, its founder and CEO is stepping away indefinitely, and the company itself is coming to grips with measures intended to reform its toxic culture and aggressive business practices.And it all started when Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer, posted a personal essay in February that detailed the company’s toleration of sexual harassment and discrimination. Had she not come forward in such a public manner, it’s possible none of this would have happened.“What she did took real courage,” said Elizabeth Ames, a senior vice-president at the Anita Borg Institute, a non-profit founded to advance women in the technology business. “There are many women in companies and technical worlds (who) step up and talk about this problem. And often they are the ones that get tagged as being the problem.”CH-CH-CH-CHANGESFollowing Fowler’s post, Uber hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate her charges . His law firm’s subsequent recommendations , released Tuesday, aim to fix Uber’s dysfunctional management, which allowed the male-dominated ride-hailing company to grow huge without even the most basic procedures to prevent sexual harassment, bullying and other bad behaviour.Also on Tuesday, Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick accepted responsibility for the company’s state and told employees that he’d be taking an indefinite leave of absence. The company declined to say if Kalanick’s decision was related to the report.But Kalanick wasn’t the only Uber official sucked into the vortex unleashed by Fowler’s essay. On Monday, the company announced that Emil Michael, vice-president for business and a close Kalanick ally, was also leaving. Then Uber board member and hedge fund partner David Bonderman resigned Tuesday night after making what he called an inappropriate remark about women at a company meeting.The 13-page document from Holder’s firm Covington & Burling LLP did not outline the investigation’s findings about Uber. But its recommendations implicitly expose a startup-turned-goliath that permitted misconduct, had few policies to protect employees and ran with little board supervision.The recommendations, adopted unanimously by Uber’s board, show clearly that the company’s next incarnation — dubbed Uber 2.0 by Kalanick — will have to be radically different from version 1.0, which flouted regulations, actively misled public investigators , and disrupted the taxi business to become the world’s largest ride-hailing company.In her essay, Fowler wrote that she was propositioned by her manager on her first day with an engineering team. She reported him to human resources, but was told he would get a lecture and no further punishment because he was a “high performer,” she wrote.Fowler did not respond to emailed requests for comment. But on Twitter , she called Tuesday’s moves “all optics” and wrote that she has gotten nothing but “aggressive hostility” from the company.THE RECOMMENDATIONSAfter interviewing 200 witnesses, Holder had to make such basic recommendations as setting clear policies to protect workers from harassment, and that the human resources department get a better handle on keeping records and tracking employee complaints.The recommendations “definitely paint a picture of a company that was out of control and pretty chaotic,” said Ames, the Borg Institute executive.Holder also suggested that Uber change its written cultural values to promote positive behaviour, inclusion and collaboration. That means doing away with values that justified poor behaviour, such as “Let Builders Build,” ”Always Be Hustlin’,” ”Meritocracy and Toe-Stepping” and “Principled Confrontation.”Holder also called for trimming Kalanick’s job duties, shifting day-to-day functions to a yet-to-be-hired chief operating officer. During Kalanick’s leave, his leadership team will run the troubled company.Kalanick wrote that he needs time off to grieve for his mother, who died in a May boating accident. He also said he’s responsible for the company’s situation and needs to become a better leader.THEORY AND PRACTICEUber’s board said it would review Kalanick’s responsibilities and reassign some to others.Ames said the recommendations were strong but indicated Uber had few policies, and the ones it had were not followed.The board unanimously approved the recommendations on Sunday, including a suggestion that a senior executive be tasked with making sure they are implemented. Apparently because of distrust of some leaders, Holder recommended that care be taken to make sure the executive “is viewed positively by the employees.”The company released only Holder’s recommendations, not his full report, citing the need to protect employees who complained.Liane Hornsey, Uber’s chief human resources officer who started in January, said implementing the recommendations “will improve our culture, promote fairness and accountability, and establish processes and systems to ensure the mistakes of the past will not be repeated.”Holder also recommended adding independent directors and replacing the board chairman, co-founder Garrett Camp, with an independent person. The board currently has eight voting members, three from within the company.Uber was also advised to make sure its workforce is more diverse. The company’s diversity figures are similar to the rest of Silicon Valley, with low numbers for women and underrepresented minorities. In the U.S., less than a third of the company’s workers are female.In addition, the report says that diversity and inclusiveness should be a key value for Uber that’s included in management training.After Fowler posted her essay, Uber Technologies Inc. made changes in human resources and opened a 24-hour hotline for employees. Last week, the company fired 20 people, including some managers, at the recommendation of Perkins Coie, which separately investigated 215 employee complaints.FLYING HIGH?Under Kalanick, Uber has disrupted the taxi industry in hundreds of cities and turned the San Francisco-based company into the world’s most valuable startup. As of late last year, Uber’s private-market valuation had climbed to nearly $70 billion.Besides the sexual harassment complaints, in recent months Uber has been threatened by boycotts, sued and subject to a federal investigation over its use of a fake version of its app to thwart authorities looking into whether it is breaking local laws.A company can be aggressive yet have strong values, said Joseph Holt, a business ethics professor at the University of Notre Dame. He cited Starbucks as an example.“Having a good reputation for ethics is a competitive advantage,” Holt said.A culture change at Uber may be more difficult than Holder envisions.At an employee meeting Tuesday morning, Bonderman remarked that if a woman was added to the board that there likely would be more talking, according to a recording obtained by Yahoo.By evening, Bonderman resigned and put out a statement saying the comment was careless and inappropriate. “I do not want my comments to create distraction as Uber works to build a culture of which we can be proud,” the statement said.___Krisher and Auto Writer Dee-Ann Durbin contributed from Detroit. Freewheeling Uber sheds officials, faces more major changes by Tom Krisher And Barbara Ortutay, The Associated Press Posted Jun 13, 2017 11:47 am MDT Last Updated Jun 14, 2017 at 9:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more