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Following Digital Breadcrumbs: Turning Unstructured Data Into Dollars and Cents

Following Digital Breadcrumbs: Turning Unstructured Data Into Dollars and Cents | Small Business Development |
For marketers, unstructured human information is a goldmine. The key to tapping into this goldmine of data is embracing a meaning-based approach to analyzing human information.


Unstructured human information makes up 90 percent of all known Big Data, and it's growing exponentially. For example, with more than one billion users, there are 700 Facebook updates per second. People tweet 340 million times per day, and there are 105 Google Plus updates per second. On a daily basis it is estimated that we collectively produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, and the growth rate is so high that 90 percent of all information ever created was produced in the past two years alone.


For a marketer, this unstructured human information is a goldmine. If a marketer can tap into the customer clicks and conversations happening every second and derive meaning from it, he or she can better understand each customer and deliver an optimized, personalized experience to that customer across their preferred channel and medium.


But actually doing this is the rub. The challenges are around volume and variety. Until recently, the quantity and speed of data has meant that by the time you are able to analyze it, it was no longer relevant. You can deal with problems of scale related to structured data by throwing increasing amounts of hardware and software at it. But human information in the form of call center conversations, social media interactions, video, images, web content, emails, and texts, doesn't fit cleanly into a database like structured data does. To understand and act on human information, you need software that can recognize concepts and ideas in this ocean of data.


The key to tapping into this goldmine of data is to embrace a meaning-based approach to analyzing human information. By applying the ability to understand meaning of how the customer is interacting with a brand across all channels—the web, social, mobile, call center, and in-store, businesses can get a view of all of their data, not only the 10 percent of neat, structured data, but the entire 100 percent.


Customer browsing and purchasing habits create sizeable data trails. Coupled with social media integration, they can allow content to be very effectively targeted. For example, a major retail brand uses meaning-based technology to track which store sales result from different online marketing methods, including its marketing emails. The technology provides insight into which customers are responsive and which methods work. In another example, a major auto rental company uses a meaning-based approach to marketing to automatically test and analyze the optimal price point for GPS devices across segmented customer groups ensuring they are optimizing revenue.


And it's not just retail. A bank keeping an eye on the social conversation around its industry may notice an emerging discontent around the fees competitors are charging for the use of ATMs. The bank, which does not charge fees for ATM use, could allocate more of its online ad spend to trigger off the key words 'no ATM fees,' thus connecting with customers who may be doing online searches or considering a bank switch. The bank's campaigns could be automatically adjusted to highlight the fact that they do not charge ATM fees.


With the right marketing platform, marketers can even use the digital breadcrumbs left by a customer on their shopping journey to be predictive about what is going to attract a new customer or encourage an existing customer to act.


For example, marketers can modify offers in real time, or make changes to creative assets on websites (where the 'buy' button is, even what color it is) in response to the discovered customer themes and insights. Essentially, marketers can take that insight—in real time—and leverage it to create a better, more customized experience, uncover new opportunities for engagement, and adjust current practices. Capturing and understanding real-time unstructured data can help drive product development.


Analysts predict that within a few years, the CMO will have a larger IT budget than the CIO. While this will enable the CMO to better leverage the opportunities discussed in this article, it also means the spotlight will shine brighter and hotter, and ROI will be examined closely. Marketers and brand managers need to turn their attention to the benefits of a meaning-based approach to marketing while the revolution is at its early stages.

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SpiceofyourLife | Small Business Development |
A Business Blog exploring Leadership, Development and Caribbean Culture!


"Happy Monday! Make it a prosperous week."


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3 Ways to Keep College Entrepreneurs' Dreams Alive, Even After Graduation

3 Ways to Keep College Entrepreneurs' Dreams Alive, Even After Graduation | Small Business Development |
With many students seeing their college careers end in a few short months, their safety net is also disappearing.
TheIWC_AJA's insight:

Society tells entrepreneurial students to “get a job.” But society also needs dreamers who create businesses rather than work for them. Graduation does not have to be a fork in the road.

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Power Selling

Power Selling | Small Business Development |
Identify the behaviors and skills of a successful sales professional.Describe different types of selling models.Prospect and conduct a powerful sales call.Use a customer centered selling approach to provide value.Choose a closing technique to earn...

Via Rami Kantari
TheIWC_AJA's insight:

Your Buiness Leadership is impeccable. I commend you on your Leadership selection. I understand the process must have been extremely thorough. 

~ Alicia J. Alexander -The Image Works Corporation.

Rami Kantari's curator insight, February 13, 2013 2:46 AM

Sales Training in Dubai By Meirc

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Opera Acquires Skyfire Labs for $155 Million

Opera Acquires Skyfire Labs for $155 Million | Small Business Development |
Opera Software has acquired Skyfire Labs, the maker of mobile browser Skyfire, for $155 million, the company has announced.

Via Alexander Bakoulis
TheIWC_AJA's comment, February 15, 2013 4:26 AM
Thank you for sharing informative data. I appreciate your diligence.
Businessopportunites's comment, October 5, 2013 7:07 AM
Nice Post!
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MISSOSOLOGY - Miss Universe 2012 Final Predictions

MISSOSOLOGY - Miss Universe 2012 Final Predictions | Small Business Development |

Before proceeding, it is perhaps worthwhile to review the past performance of this annual Miss Universe predictions list. Last year, Missosology’s final prediction is that Miss Ukraine Olesya Stefanko will win. She eventually settled for first runner-up. In 2010, Miss Ireland Rozanna Purcell was on the top of the final predictions and she was in the Top 10 missing the Top 5 by a very narrow margin.


Back in 2009, the Missosology final predictions list said that Miss Dominican Republic Ada Aimee de la Cruz will be crowned as Miss Universe and eventually she finished as first runner-up. A year before that, in 2008, the final predictions of Missosology said that Venezuela’s Dayana Mendoza will win while Colombia’s Taliana Vargas will be 1st runner-up. The prediction eventually came true.


Sure, no one can precisely know the the final results of Miss Universe 2012 at this early stage since so many factors and so many variables come into play. But there is an art in analyzing beauty pageants to the point that informed and sound predictions can be made. And that art is called missosology – the study of beauty pageants.


This year, there are so many notable candidates and cutting them into say Top 15 or Top 16 is very difficult.  After days of analysis, studying the trends and even to the point where meditation is required, the improbable became a reality. Here it is the Miss Universe 2012 Predictions by Missosology.





1.)  Miss Philippines Janine Tugunon has proved without any doubt that she is a way superior delegate than her predecessors Shamcey Supsup and Venus Raj. Her signature walk is heavenly to look at and this will be her main weapon on the finals night. Her self-assuring aura allowed her exotic Oriental beauty to shine through.


2.)  Miss Venezuela Irene Esser is full of jolly personality as she walks onstage. She is a well trained and highly prepared delegate that eventually showed everyone how a pasarela must be done. She’s adorable, with a beauty truly fit to become Miss Universe and that body she possesses is something to die for.


3.)  The golden girl of the Miss Universe 2012 is no other than Miss South Africa Melinda Bam. Oozing with glamor and a face that could light up a dark room, Melinda is difficult to miss.


4.)  Time passes by but the beauty of Miss Puerto Rico Bodine Koehler is undeniably timeless. Her features are all queenly. Her body is very shapely and her catwalk is just divine. Would it be wrong to conclude that this girl is just perfect?


5.)  From a nation that won 2 of the Big4 crowns last year, Carolina Aguirre is making inroads in everyone’s list. She will soon prove that her country Ecuador is an emerging superpower with great Latina beauty that subtly combines sexiness with elegance.


6.)   Statuesque Miss Mexico Karina Gonzalez looms large at the prelims catwalk and on stage or wherever she goes because of her brimming confidence. She is blessed with an aristocratic face and those delectable long legs are absolutely her best assets.


7.)  Miss El Salvador Ana Yancy Clavel is a candidate with spunk and a flair for projecting her beauty effectively. Severely underestimated, this beauty is actually one that can surprise a lot of folks.


8.)  Don’t write off Miss USA Olivia Culpo from your list. This girl has a fresh aura, a bubbly personality and possesses one of the prettiest faces in the competition.


9.)  Miss Colombia Daniella Alvarez’ shapely body did not pass by unnoticed. The way she sashays onstage is truly remarkable.


10.)                  Miss Croatia Elizebeta Burg is a head turner beauty that can command a lot of attention.


11.)                 What is remarkable about Miss Czech Republic Tereza Chlebovská is her harmonious facial feature. Her nicely set eyes with a nose that juts at the right height go well with her opulent lips that begs to be kissed.


12.)                 At long last Poland will get its great leap forward with Marcelina Zawadzka. The gorgeous blonde will end the drought for her country which started way back in 1990.


13.)                 Miss Malaysia Kimberley Leggett will redeem the honor of Malaysia after it was snubbed last year. Kimberley’s movements show that she is a well polished and a well-prepared delegate.


14.)                 Miss Australia Renae Ayris performed well in the competition and momentum is on her side. This young and beautiful blonde can take comfort of the fact that Aussie beauty always land at semis since 2008.


15.)                 Miss Guyana Ruqayyah Boyer knows how to project her beauty. Her walk is surprisingly excellent and at prelims she had successful showed her courage, her confidence, and her steady disposition amid pressure.


16.)                 Miss Sri Lanka Sabrina Herft came out strongly during the prelims. She is fierce, exotically Oriental and above all else sexy!


TheIWC_AJA's insight:

Remarkable Olivia Culpo crowned Miss Universe 2012 and not on the top prediction list. Congratulations, Olivia dear. 

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Ken Fisher Talks the Fiscal Cliff - Forbes

Ken Fisher Talks the Fiscal Cliff - Forbes | Small Business Development |
With fiscal cliff fears hitting a fevered pitch, I had the chance recently to sit down with Ken Fisher and query him on his views of this widespread investor concern

With fiscal cliff fears hitting a fevered pitch, I had the chance recently to sit down with Ken Fisher* and query him on his views of this widespread investor concern.

Q: Will there be a fiscal cliff deal by yearend?

A: Can’t say. I can’t see into Mr. Boehner’s or Mr. Obama’s overtly political hearts or minds and don’t want to. But if there’s no deal, it’s not a crisis. The fiscal cliff is fake. A political invention, arbitrarily put at January 1 because it was politically expedient in 2010 to stick it there. Now it’s politically expedient to push it past the 2014 elections. Democrats have more to lose in 2014 than is commonly perceived now and they’ll want to compromise.

Q: Is time running out?

A: No! The fiscal cliff which is really more of a fiscal rolling plain has many moving parts that don’t hit all at once. Spending cuts are already underway and will happen piecemeal, allegedly, over the year. The higher taxes, many of them, aren’t due until April of 2014. Maybe this impacts withholding levels if a deal is struck later—folks have to adjust them then adjust back.

What could happen is Mr. Boehner and Mr. Obama say, “Now we declare we have until February 28 to solve this issue.” They did the exact thing before with the payroll tax—arbitrarily moving the arbitrary deadline to buy time for a longer arbitrary can-kick. This is political. It’s fake. They made the rules, they can and will change them.

Q: If there’s no deal, how do you think government spending cuts impact investors?

A: People make two errors here. First, they think growing government spending is critical to a healthy economy. Wrong. Falling government spending detracts from headline GDP numbers, but GDP doesn’t perfectly reflect economic health. The private economy has been doing very well since 2009—better than most realize. Profits are near all-time high. Business spending is robust. Consumer spending is past the pre-recession peak. Incomes are growing. It’s true unemployment remains high, which no one wants. But unemployment lags economic growth, always. That started sometime before the first recession Christ lived through.

The second error is they don’t bother checking data themselves. Total government spending actually dropped a hair in 2012, and nothing terrible happened. GDP wasn’t rip-roaring, but reaccelerated mid-year. It was fine. In 2013, if you believe the plans, with the “cliff” government spending actually drops less than it did in 2012 if nothing changes. Starting in 2014 and forever after, government spending grows as it always does. From a spending standpoint, we already went off the fiscal molehill and it was fine. Not Armageddon.

Q: If current tax rates rise, what’s the market impact?

A: This is a case where the fear of the thing is so much bigger than the thing, it can’t be anything but bullish.

In the long history of income taxes in the US and overseas, there have been a great many rate jiggers. Same is true on capital gains taxes and every other form of tax imaginable. People simply do not want to believe this, because it goes against something that seems commonsensical. But there’s no clear pattern—zero—that when tax rates rise, stocks do badly (or well). Or if taxes get cut, stocks must do great. What’s clear to me from studying this is, whether you raise taxes or cut them, stocks want to rise much more than fall and will do what they were going to do anyway.

But to believe tax rates have a big darn impact on market direction you have to ignore the many, many other more important things simultaneously acting on stocks. And you have to ignore the 77% of non-US global GDP. I don’t like higher taxes because I think the government is a stupid spender of money. But I don’t fear the capital markets impact from a marginal shift in tax rates in a single country.

Q: So how is that bullish?

A: When I see big fear of potential tax hikes like now, I know that’s bullish. First, either the tax hikes don’t happen, or they’re not as bad as feared. Anyone can see how if a feared tax hike doesn’t happen, that’s a positive factor. But even if tax hikes happen as feared, vast history tells me it doesn’t have to have the big bad impact folks fear. And fear of a false factor is always bullish.

* In the interest of full disclosure, I work at Ken Fisher’s firm. Ken and I have also co-written 6 books together, and we’re working on our seventh.

Plan Your Prosperity by Ken Fisher (CEO of Fisher Investments) and Lara Hoffmans is available now.

This constitutes the views, opinions and commentary of the author as of December 2012 and should not be regarded as personal investment advice. No assurances are made the author will continue to hold these views, which may change at any time without notice. No assurances are made regarding the accuracy of any forecast made. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investing in stock markets involves the risk of loss.
TheIWC_AJA's insight:

Although I concur, that the fiscal cliff concerns are not substanstiated, my only highlighted correction to this article. Mr. Obama is President Obama. President Obama is the leader of the free nation of The United States of America and is to be respected and honored for this important roles on planet Earth.

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Cheers! Healthy Holiday Drinks That Get In The Spirit

Cheers! Healthy Holiday Drinks That Get In The Spirit | Small Business Development |
By Kerri Glassman for U.S News Health

The holiday season is in full swing, and we want to indulge! The holiday season is in full swing, and we want to indulge! Many of us look for healthy ways to satisfy our cravings for traditional pumpkin pie and gravy-laden mashed potatoes. But the holidays aren't just about what's on our plate. They are also about what's in our cup! (And no, I'm not just talking about alcohol).

The dry winter weather makes us more susceptible to dehydration, so it's important that we remember to drink enough fluids. Why not hydrate in the holiday spirit by indulging in these traditional favorites: hot chocolate, mulled cider, and chai tea. These drinks are typically high in calories and sugar, but I've provided you with recipes that quench your desires (without being too devilish). Enjoy these treats whether you are solo, hosting a soiree, or having an intimate shindig!

Stay warm this winter and be confident and conscious about your indulgences!

Chai Latte For One
Vanilla chai tea bag

1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 cup steamed, low-fat milk

1/2 teaspoon agave

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Steep tea bag in boiling water for two to three minutes.
Stir in milk and agave.
Sprinkle nutmeg.
Hot Chocolate for Four
4 cups low-fat milk

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

7 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 7 squares)
Combine milk, ginger, and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium-low heat until almost boiling.
Add chocolate, stirring until fully melted.
Whisk until frothy, and serve immediately.

Mulled Cider For Many
1 pear, not too soft

1 orange

1 to 2 tablespoons whole cloves

1 lemon

3 to 5 whole allspice berries

3 to 5 inches peeled, fresh ginger root, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium stick of cinnamon

2 to 3 gallons apple cide
Pour cider into a heavy pot, and bring it to a simmer.
Stud pear and orange with cloves.
Peel large pieces of rind from the lemon, and twist each piece to release the lemon oil.
Place fruits and spices in your slow cooker, pour a gallon of cider over them, and heat on high heat for a few hours.
TheIWC_AJA's insight:

This is a great recipe article to on how to enjoy the Holiday season without alcohol. 


Image Werks Corporation is campaigning on...

             "Remember Mom." 


How to be thought about the cares of your loved ones this Holiday season. The life you influence might just be your own.

Phyllis Smith's curator insight, December 17, 2012 9:54 PM

Awesome holiday beverage recipe

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Admit It: You're Happy to Be Overworked

Admit It: You're Happy to Be Overworked | Small Business Development |
A new survey shows that some people put in extra hours during their workweek but still feel happy about their work-life balance.

Happy about being overworked? A new survey found that some people are.

In the survey by project management software maker Wrike, 87% of 2,000 participants say they feel overworked. Here's the catch: of that percentage, a whopping 38% find their work-life balance satisfactory despite feeling overworked.

Among all participants, which included business owners, executives, managers, employees and freelancers, 42% are happy with their work-life balance while 46% feel overburdened from time to time.

Participants disclosed how many hours they overwork in a week: 39% said more than five hours, 35% said two to five hours, and only 13% said less than an hour.

Wrike noted that those at the bottom of the corporate ladder--50.8% of non-high ranking employees--are more satisfied with their work-life balance than executives (40.5%), managers (36.8%) and business owners (29%).

The survey also asked participants what disrupts their productivity. About 41% pointed to common interruptions while 21% admitted to procrastination.

As for motivation to keep to the grind, participants said it's mostly a sense of responsibility (76.8%), while a good mood (56.9%) and the potential for a reward (42.1%) also rang true.
TheIWC_AJA's insight:


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Lack of Staff and Bipartisan Expertise Makes Congress More Dysfunctional

Lack of Staff and Bipartisan Expertise Makes Congress More Dysfunctional | Small Business Development |
The current state of the U.S. Congress—marked by gridlock and bad legislation—is attributable, in large part, to understaffing and a lack of bipartisan expertise, according to a new report from the New America Foundation.  Representatives and...
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D-Link | Small Business Development |
D-Link is an award-winning designer, developer and manufacturer of networking, broadband, digital... (I just entered @dlink & @kingstonhq's 15 Days of Giving to win tons of networking gear!
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Honor The Lord * Psalm 112:1 - 10[Basic Bible] | Bible Resources

   Honor The Lord * Psalm 112:1 - 10[Basic Bible]


1  Let the Lord be praised. Happy is the man who gives honour to the Lord, and has great delight in his laws.

2  His seed will be strong on the earth; blessings will be on the generation of the upright.

3  A store of wealth will be in his house, and his righteousness will be for ever.

4  For the upright there is a light shining in the dark; he is full of grace and pity.

5  All is well for the man who is kind and gives freely to others; he will make good his cause when he is judged.

6  He will not ever be moved; the memory of the upright will be living for ever.

7  He will have no fear of evil news; his heart is fixed, for his hope is in the Lord.

8  His heart is resting safely, he will have no fear, till he sees trouble come on his haters.

9  He has given with open hands to the poor; his righteousness is for ever; his horn will be lifted up with honour.

10 The sinner will see it with grief; he will be wasted away with envy; the desire of the evil-doers will come to nothing.

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You Choose ~ Deuteronomy 30:14 - 18[KJV] | Bible Resources

          You Choose ~ Deuteronomy 30:14 - 18[KJV]


14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;

16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;

18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

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Seeking Gifted Data Geeks, Scientists, & Entrepreneurs to Serve as Presidential Innovation Fellows | The White House

Seeking Gifted Data Geeks, Scientists, & Entrepreneurs to Serve as Presidential Innovation Fellows | The White House | Small Business Development |
Are you a talented data scientist or engineer? Or, a data geek, tech-savvy designer, or entrepreneur ready to lend your talents and expertise to help transform how government works for the people it serves?
TheIWC_AJA's insight:

The program includes a range of “Data Innovation” projects that aim to accelerate and expand the Federal Government’s various initiatives that work to make data more accessible and useful for citizens, companies, and innovators, while continuing to ensure privacy and security.

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What Zuckerberg Sees in Oculus Rift - MIT Technology Review

What Zuckerberg Sees in Oculus Rift - MIT Technology Review | Small Business Development |
MIT Technology Review
What Zuckerberg Sees in Oculus Rift
MIT Technology Review
Facebook views the technology as more than a peripheral for video games.
TheIWC_AJA's insight:

Zuckerberg described his first time using the VR headset as revelatory: “When you put on the goggles, it’s different from anything I have ever experienced in my life,” he said.

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Facebook 'Home' Will Be Great for Ad Data, But Bad for Brand and Media Apps

Facebook 'Home' Will Be Great for Ad Data, But Bad for Brand and Media Apps | Small Business Development |
Weaker app presence for brands, and stronger data for Facebook.

Via Alexander Bakoulis
Alexander Bakoulis's curator insight, April 5, 2013 11:37 AM

# Facebook revealed it's new home screen replacer, Home, as part of their partnership with HTC and AT&T; the downloadable system allows uses to customize their homescreens with what Facebook calls "cover feeds."

# The customized homescreen includes Facebook owned apps such as Instagram, Camera, and Messenger, but third party apps will now require several swipes for access; this may affect brands' willingness to invest in proprietary apps because they will no longer be front and center on many Android phones.

# The data that Facebook Home would collect will likely heavily increase the firm's advertising reach; the features of Home will allow brands to use location based marketing in a fairly unobtrusive way, which is something other apps are unable to offer.


TheIWC_AJA's comment, April 5, 2013 7:30 PM
Thank you Alexander BK. Have a great weekend! ~ Alicia J. Alexander * The Image Works Corporation
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Meirc Sales Training in Dubai: Power Selling

Meirc Sales Training in Dubai: Power Selling | Small Business Development |
Program Objectives:
By the end of the program, participants will be able to:

Identify the behaviors and skills of a successful sales...

Via Rami Kantari
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What the Bible Says About School Shootings

What The Bible Says About School Shootings. School Shootings have increased since 1996 there have been over 30 school shootings in the United States, with over 80 students and teachers/professors killed.


School shootings have been making the headlines in the USA at an increased frequency. The latest shooting on December 14, 2012 grieved the nation, as authorities reported at least 27 people, including 20 children, were killed, when a gunman clad in black military gear opened fire inside a Connecticut elementary school. The killer then killed himself bringing the casualty count to a total of 28 human beings including the gunman, and his mother who he also shot. This latest tragedy is just one of a long string of senseless shootings.


One of the deadliest shooting rampages in recent US history was the Virginia Tech shooting on April 16, 2007 when a gunman massacred 32 people at Virginia Tech before killing himself, bringing the death toll to 33. On October 3, 2006, the nation was stunned to hear of a gunman who went into an Amish one-room school house and shot ten girls, killing five of them, before turning the gun on himself.


The recent history of school shootings in the United States includes the University of Texas August 1, 1966 massacre, where a university student shot and killed 16 students and wounded 31 others from the campus observation tower.  In the mid 1990’s, school shootings became a trend, with at least 16 such shootings resulting in over 240 killed; one of the most horrific being the Columbine incident on April 20, 1999, in which 12 students and one teacher were killed.


Since 1996 there have been over 31 school shootings in the United States, with over 160 students, teachers/professors and others killed. In the rest of the world school shootings have occurred in Scotland, Yemen, Russia Sweden, Germany, Bosnia, Canada, Argentina and other countries, with the largest taking the lives of over 355 students.


Why so much violence among our young people? A Department of Education Survey which analyzed violence in U.S. schools reported that public schools nationwide experienced more than 12,000 fights in which weapons were used, 4,600 rapes and other sexual assaults and over 8,000 robberies. Other reports from Time and Newsweek magazines tell us the suicide rate among U.S. teens has risen 118% in the last 15 years while drug use has risen almost 90% since 1992. The Bible tells us about a time that these kinds of violent deeds and rebellious acts will be committed by children all over the world.


Christians Should Pray and Reach Out

Another factor that encourages these things to happen is the lack of Christians to be “light” and “salt” in the earth. We have failed to share the gospel with those who are misfits in society. We have not taught our children to reach out either. These outcasts and misfits need to know that we all have sinned and all have imperfections and flaws and all of us need a relationship with Jesus. It is in Him that they will find their acceptance. One of the major ways we can all reach out is to pray for those around us instead of just doing those things we like to do and want to do. We have failed in witnessing to the lost. In fact, many times members of the church are involved in the same activities that the world is involved in. i.e.: watching violent movies on T.V., playing war games, etc.

The other area we have failed in is we have become apathetic in our Christian involvement with the things of God. We had rather go to ball games than to prayer meetings. We seem to have a “Nero” spirit, we are fiddling while Rome burns. We are so involved in our jobs, entertainment and other pursuits that going to church and praying have been abandoned by many “so-called” Christians.

Prayer in US Schools Abandoned

The United States Supreme court made a terrible decision when they ruled to have prayer removed from schools in 1962. Statistics show that rebellion and violence have dramatically increased since that time. I believe this is another contributing factor to our children’s decline since then. The article below was taken from the book, ”America: To Pray or Not to Pray”

What Happened When the Praying Stopped

How did the removal of voluntary prayer from the schools of the United States affect our nation as a whole? That question has been answered in detail by a research company in Texas which has gathered and tabulated statistics from hundreds of sources relating to the rates of moral decline in America.

Specialty Research Associates, P.O. Box 397, Aledo, TX 76008, under the direction of David Barton, has released a report entitled, “America: To Pray or Not to Pray”, which uses over 100 pages of graphs and statistical analysis to prove that crime, venereal disease, premarital sex, illiteracy, suicide, drug use, public corruption, and other social ills began a dramatic increase after the Engel vs. Vitale Supreme Court decision was made in 1962 which banned school prayer. The rate of violent crime alone, has risen over 330 percent.




TheIWC_AJA's insight:

This is a partially curated article from Mrs. Betty Miller.

While is it important to recognize the forces that empowered Adam Lanza's murderous behavior, the important for me, is to recognize that I as a Believer in Christ have a responsibility to my surrounding to be faithful to my God and to intercede in prayer for the seen and unseen elements, to enforce God's will on the planet Earth. I must allow God an entry way by must trust in Him to act with truth and love. I ask forgiveness when I do not do my part. I am dependent on God to help me correct my action and to trust Him more. 

~ Alicia J. Alexander - Image Werks Corporation

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5 Critical LinkedIn Optimizations That Take 5 Minutes or Less

5 Critical LinkedIn Optimizations That Take 5 Minutes or Less | Small Business Development |
Does your LinkedIn profile make it look like you're hiding something? Five quick, essential updates.

LinkedIn has become the de facto--and therefore the most powerful--social network for business. In case you weren't yet aware, LinkedIn is rolling out a revamp of the user profile. While the change has elicited a mixed reaction, eventually everyone will be migrated to it. So if you haven't spent much time learning about and optimizing your LinkedIn profile, now is a good time to get cracking.

Time, or lack thereof, shouldn't be an excuse: Each of these tips should take you five minutes or less, and you'll end up with a more engaging profile that gets more hits and better results.

1. Upload your photo. These days, if you don't have your photo on LinkedIn, you look like you're hiding something. People want to see the people whom they plan to interview or do business with. Unlike in personal social networks like Facebook or Twitter, the expectation on LinkedIn is a photo in which you look polished and professional. Be ready for your close-up: If you can, use a headshot rather than a full-body pose or group photo.

Uploading your photo is easy. Just click the Profile link on the menu and then Edit Profile. In the dedicated space for your photo, you will see a camera icon.

Once you click the camera icon, you'll be taken to a screen where you can upload or edit your photo. It's pretty self-explanatory.

2. Customize your Professional Headline. Your Professional Headline appears next to your photo, under your name. This headline can be completely customized. Professional headlines help explain to people who you are, not just what you do, so you may want it to be different and more descriptive than your ordinary job title. The words in your headline are also indexed in search engines, so put them to work.

You customize your professional headline in the same edit profile screen into which you upload your photo. Click on the word Edit (older profiles) or the pencil icon (newer profiles) and enter a headline that best describes you. You have a 120 character maximum.

3. Enrich your Summary with relevant keywords. LinkedIn's Summary enables you to describe yourself, your work history, your background and any other attributes you think will help you sell yourself when making and seeking connections. That alone should give you good reason to be deliberate when crafting your Summary. But in addition to the power of those words with the people who read them, you can also impact your visibility in search engines with the keywords you choose to weave into your Summary. You have 2,000 characters, so go for it!

(Yeah, it's kind of nice to be listed 3rd out of 52 million results!)

4. Add Skills. Skills used to be important, but with LinkedIn's recent "endorsements"--the ability to give your stamp of support for someone's skills--having the right skills in your profile is now an imperative. You can select skills that already exist in LinkedIn's database: Just start typing a skill and LinkedIn will make relevant suggestions. Or, type in a new one. You can list up to 50 skills.

You can also change the order of your skills by dragging them, though once you start receiving endorsements, your skills will appear in order based on their number of endorsements. Your Top 10 skills will also display who has endorsed you if you enable this feature.

5. Create your LinkedIn "vanity URL." Since LinkedIn is your calling card these days--and it is literally replacing the business card in certain circumstances--you'll want to have your very own customized, clean and relevant LinkedIn URL, sometimes called a "vanity URL." LinkedIn assigns you a cumbersome, hard-to-remember default URL that looks something like, but you can edit it to be short, sweet and branded with your name, e.g.

Creating a vanity URL is also easy. Simply click on the Settings link below your log-in name, and once within your settings, look on the bottom half of the page for the "Edit your public profile" link.

Once in your Public Profile screen, look for and click on the "Customize your public profile URL" link on the right-hand side. It will bring up a box that lets you enter whatever you want to appear as your own URL.

While you're in your Public Profile, it's also worth noting that LinkedIn reminds you that you can "take control of how you appear in public search results" by editing how much of your profile content the public and search engines can see. If you expect people to be Googling your name, a customized vanity URL can help you be found too.

Okay, this isn't directly related to your profile, but here's one last word of advice that will also take you five minutes or less. Each day try to share an update: something relevant and valuable to your network. Each profile edit and update you share gets broadcast to your entire network. There's no better way to stay top-of-mind than to be ever-present with your audience.

Author Credit:
Client advocate, digital strategist, and thought leader Hollis Thomases, founder of Web Ad.vantage, helps companies navigate the complexity of the ever-changing digital marketing landscape and develop digital strategies. @hollisthomases66

TheIWC_AJA's insight:

LinkedIn is the leading Professional connector tool on Social Media. Do you desire to gain a new perspective on marketing or grow meaningful business relationships? I recommnend following the perespective written about in this article.

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There's A Critical Difference Between Leadership And Motivation

There's A Critical Difference Between Leadership And Motivation | Small Business Development |
Those who know the difference have a lasting impact. ;

Here’s something that might surprise you: The best leaders do not attempt to motivate their employees, athletes, students or children.

In fact, those people in leadership positions who try to light fires for others tend to not keep their jobs for long. However, those who know the difference between leadership and motivation create a different legacy; their impact on others endures.

The difference between leadership and motivation, to me, is summed up like this:

Leadership: A consistent example of rising above any and all circumstances. Leadership is external.
Motivation: The inner knowledge or insight that makes rising above circumstances possible. Motivation comes from within.

So, in my opinion, leadership is not about encouraging, pushing or cheering on; it’s about pointing others inward so they recognize that the ability to be motivated rests with them. If you are a parent, for instance, you know that it is virtually impossible to motivate your children to work hard at their studies. But you can lead. You can show your children, by example, that no matter how sick you might get or how difficult your circumstances might appear, you can passionately apply yourself to your own job or projects. Thereby pointing your children inward to their innate ability to rise above any circumstance (and excuse) and crack the books with pride and vigor.

My message about leadership is simple: Great leaders serve to bring out the inner wisdom and free will of those they serve. Instead of inducing people to view life situations a certain way (or their way), great leaders demonstrate that there are an infinite number of ways to view any life situation.

To illustrate, one of my mentors, Sydney Banks, must have given hundreds of seminars and lectures during his lifetime. Like clockwork before each talk, the audience would file in with notebooks in hand. While Syd was incredibly generous with his wisdom, he would always instruct those in attendance not to take one single note. His words were his alone — his interpretation of “truth,” he would say. He wanted the audience to develop their own feelings and ideas, and draw their own conclusions, not follow in his footsteps.

I believe, then, that great leaders are those individuals who, like Sydney Banks, set great examples. Why can’t we simply leave leadership right there? Who came up with the belief that leaders must be motivators of others anyway? We must recognize the difference between leadership and motivation, because if we don’t, our companies, teams, schools and even families will be overrun by followers incapable of lending an imaginative hand, let alone coming through when the chips are down.

Motivation is personal; leadership brings out personal potential for the benefit of the greater good. Take note of the difference. The business, sports and political worlds — actually the world, in general — can use more of both.
TheIWC_AJA's insight:

It is better to shine the light for someone to find their path than to give the prescribed method to walk the path. ~ Alicia J. Alexander at Image Werks Corporation

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3 Ways To Keep Your Best Customers

3 Ways To Keep Your Best Customers | Small Business Development |
You've got three ways to keep your best customers on board. Here's how to manage each.

In my last column, we discussed three types of customers, categorized by the type and strength of the attachment they have to your company. The biggest category, the “brain” customers, are the most analytical folks, and the ones you need to pay the most attention to.

What you need to do is simple. Accomplishing it is not. You need to have a conversation with your ‘brain’ customers that will address their concerns. Then you need to provide them with the “strokes,” or incentives, that will convince them to stay.

This is tricky. These customers don’t want to feel as if you’ve convinced them to do a certain thing. They want to make their own decisions. So your ‘conversation’ has to be conducted passively rather than actively. It’s not as if you can simply send someone a coupon in the mail. If you’re in an industry where it’s relatively easy to make comparisons between brands, and where customers don’t have strong attachments, your job just got a lot harder.

There are three large buckets of benefits that you can manage to try to reach and convince these customers. I call them:

1. Where’s the beef?

To borrow from Clay Christensen, the question here is how well does the product or service do its job? You’ll be judged on two metrics: the price/value equation (is it worth it?) and the cost of alternative solutions (where else can I find it?). You should do whatever you can, as quickly and as often as possible, to bolster and improve the customer’s perceptions in these two areas.

2. Where’s the heat?

The more “heat” or, more accurately, the more friction that is built into your systems and processes, the more likely that there will be direct and negative customer reactions. Anything that takes too much time, requires repetition, or seems to serve only your interests is a risk to your business. Customers buy for their reasons, not ours. Radio Shack has a pretty strong and flexible automatic return policy, but if you want a cash refund, you need to give them your phone number. That’s good for them, because it helps prevent internal fraud. But for a lot of customers, it seems like gross overreaching and defeats the whole salutary basis of the general policy. The customer doesn’t work for us.

Sometimes, businesses don’t even really understand the “job” that the customer wants done. Inadvertently, they make things harder or more expensive than they need to be. Customer loyalty punch cards are a well-intentioned retention device, but they were often more frustrating than rewarding to customers. How many half-punched cards can we jam in our wallets? Encouraging customers to consolidate their spending with you and return often is the holy grail, but only if the process is as painless as possible.

3. Who’s your Mama?

At the end of the day, everything in business is about relationships. The greater the connection and relationship that you can build with each and every customer, the longer you’ll keep them. Save me time or money, or make me more productive, and it’s going to take a very substantial and persuasive argument to make me walk away. Nine times out of 10, price alone won’t do it. The impression of “belonging”; being a coveted or top-tier customer; or receiving special perks can all improve your connection with the customer.

The best customers are those that “never come up for air” to look at competitors. That’s because you’ve satisfied their past needs and their present requirements, and you’ve anticipated their future desires.

Author Credit:

Howard A. Tullman is president and CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy. He is also the general managing partner for Chicago High Tech Investors. Over the past 40 years, he has founded more than a dozen high-tech companies.

TheIWC_AJA's insight:

Customers are the lifeline of your company's activities. Maintaining a Customer-centric focus is imperative to moving forward in your Mission and Vision. It is my hope that this article will provide keys ways to help you advance your business. ~ Alicia J. Alexander

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3 Reasons Bloomberg, LinkedIn Aren't Made For Each Other - Forbes

3 Reasons Bloomberg, LinkedIn Aren't Made For Each Other - Forbes | Small Business Development |
Does it make sense for Bloomberg L.P. to think about buying LinkedIn? Here are three reasons why such fantasies should be left to dissipate. 


Amy Chozick and Michael Barbaro, two ace reporters at The New York Times, have people buzzing with an article about what Bloomberg L.P. and its majority owner, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, might want to buy. Most of the piece focuses on possible interest in acquiring The Financial Times from Pearson. There’s also a passing reference, however, to “a faction” that would prefer to buy LinkedIn, the social-networking site for professionals.


It’s easy to see the superficial appeal of LinkedIn. The Mountain View, Calif., company is growing fast, with 187 million users worldwide and new ones coming onboard at a rate of at least two per second. LinkedIn, like Bloomberg, is all about work — not sharing cat photos. And LinkedIn makes much of its money by letting an elite group of customers buy high-powered access to its data, just as Bloomberg does.


For about $20,000 a year, bond traders and other finance professionals can rent a Bloomberg terminal that pumps all sorts of astonishing market data and insights into their workspace, with second-by-second updates. For $8,000 or so a year, serious players in the corporate hiring world can sign up for LinkedIn’s Recruiter, which lets them sort through LinkedIn’s treasure trove of resumes, particularly successful people who aren’t looking for jobs but might be open to an amazing offer. As I noted in a FORBES cover story about LinkedIn a few months ago, Recruiter and the Bloomberg terminal belong in the same sentence.


But it takes a lot more than one similar product to make for a sensible acquisition. Even though LinkedIn’s stock has climbed slightly in early Monday trading, to $111.23, up $1.53, investors hardly seem to be treating this speculation as a likely prospect. And they shouldn’t. Here are three reasons why Bloomberg’s deal team should let this brief fantasy fade from sight.


1. LinkedIn is too expensive. At last Friday’s closing price of $109.70, LinkedIn had a market capitalization of nearly $12 billion — and that’s before any takeover premium. Carrying out an all-cash acquisition would require uncomfortably large borrowings, even for Bloomberg L.P., which is a money-making machine that could be valued at $30 billion or more.


Issuing stock would create even gnarlier problems. LinkedIn investors would have trouble with Bloomberg L.P.’s privately held shares, which can’t easily be traded. And there’s nothing in the financial-data company’s history so far that suggests Michael Bloomberg would ever want to dilute his ownership of the business or go public.


Finally, LinkedIn right now trades at an astonishing 700 times trailing 12-month earnings. Tech stock investors are comfortable with that, believing that LinkedIn can greatly ramp up its profitability in the next few years. But Bloomberg is an older, more mature business that is valued at a more modest multiple of earnings. Pursuing LinkedIn would be highly dilutive to Bloomberg, no matter how the deal was structured.


2. The user/customer dilemma. At Bloomberg, users and customers are essentially identical. If you want to use the company’s terminals, you pay. LinkedIn operates in a profoundly different way. Most of its 187 million users engage with the site for free. The vast majority of the revenue comes from less than 1% of the LinkedIn user base: the recruiters and other people hunters who are willing to pay for premium access.


So a huge part of LinkedIn’s success involves creating free content, connections and the like, so that its nonpaying users keep swarming in. Those apparent freeloaders actually create ever-larger data pools that are prized by the much smaller group of paying customers. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and his team have shown a savvy sense of how to carry out this balancing act. Bloomberg, by contrast, has its feet pointed in the wrong direction to get the hang of a “free” economy.


3. Technology. I spent a few months working at Bloomberg in 2011, where more experienced colleagues graciously shared many tips about how to use the Bloomberg terminal. It’s a mighty machine, once you learn many of the proprietary codes involved, some of which date back to the 1980s. That’s the heart of Bloomberg’s empire, and even though the company has set up a variety of websites, they tend to be small, with limited functionality.


LinkedIn, by contrast, lives and breathes on the Web, with everything that entails. Site design is louder and livelier; navigation is intuitive; the pace of change is faster, and user input is woven into the fabric of the site in ways that older-generation technology can’t abide. As much as Bloomberg L.P. strategists might be intrigued by the idea of bringing LinkedIn’s careers and talent expertise into the fold, it’s impossible to imagine how such a technology integration challenge could be solved successfully.


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Now Hiring? Tips for Conducting Interviews

Now Hiring? Tips for Conducting Interviews | Small Business Development |
It's not always a candidate's fault when a job interview goes south. Hiring managers can be to blame. Now there are new techniques to help prevent the process from going wrong. (Now Hiring?
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Google+ Now Lets Users Create and Join 'Communities'

Google+ Now Lets Users Create and Join 'Communities' | Small Business Development |
Google+ launches Communities. Here's how to set one up and leverage them for marketing.


Well, it's about time. Google+ hasn't had a big update in a while, it seems.


Earlier this week, Google+ rolled out its latest new feature thingy -- Google+ Communities. I'll explain what they are and how to set them up in detail in this blog post, but the long and the short of it is they're little online communities on Google+ ... pretty much what the name implies. Think of it like your LinkedIn or Facebook Groups! But, you know, on Google+.


Alright, without further ado, here's your introduction to Google+ Communities if you'd like to dabble in the latest and greatest of social networking!


What Are Google+ Communities?

Google+ Communities are places for people to gather around a specific subject matter. There are a few use cases for these communities that might be of particular interest to marketers:


* Setting up public or private membership to support or discuss a particular topic or group -- let's say a local reading group, or people interested in Renaissance drama and poetry. (Stick with me here, I'm using that as an example later.) ;-)


* Finding conversations about a particular topic so you can participate in the discussion -- like people interested in talking about John Donne's poetry, for instance.


* Starting Hangouts and planning events with community members -- hey, your Marlowe book clubs have to start somewhere

*  Sharing your community via +1 buttons -- if you want more people to share the Shakespearean love, you bet your +1 buttons you'll want to use this feature.


So, what's the use case for marketers? Ohhhh, let's say you own or do marketing for a local bookstore. That just happens to specialize in antique books. It might behoove you to network with other people that are really into that ... because they might just become a customer, or know someone who will. Just like you'd do some digital networking on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other online forums, you'd probably want to either find the Google+ Communities where these people hang out ... or create them yourself! Pretty straightforward stuff, right? Thought so.


So if you're sold on the value of this sort of online networking, you might be wondering how you actually do it with Google+ Communities. I'm so glad you asked!


How to Use Google+ Communities

You can access Google+ Communities by clicking on the "Communities" icon when you're in Google+. To create your own community, just click the red 'Create a Community' button.



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Retired R.I. Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Weisberger dies | Breaking News |

Retired R.I. Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Weisberger dies  | Breaking News | | Small Business Development |
PROVIDENCE, RI -- Retired state Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph R. Weisberger has died, according to Craig Berke, spokesman for the Rhode Island Judiciary. 


PROVIDENCE, RI -- Retired state Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph R. Weisberger has died, according to Craig Berke, spokesman for the Rhode Island Judiciary.


He was 92 and in the years since his retirement, Weisberger had helped lead the court's mediation program.

Weisberger, of East Providence, served as chief justice from 1993 to 2001. Before that, he was a Superior Court judge and prior to his appointment to the bench, he served as a Republican in the state Senate.

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God's Love Gives... John 3:14 - 18[Moffatt] | Bible Resources

           God's Love Gives... John 3:14 - 18[Moffatt]


14 Indeed the Son of man must be lifted on high, just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,

15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

16 For God loved the world so dearly that he gave up his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life, instead of perishing.

17 God did not send his Son into the world to pass sentence on it, but to save the world by him.

18 He who believes in him is not sentenced; he who will not believe is sentenced already, for having refused to believe in the name of the only Son of God.

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