A Delhi court on Friday granted bail to journalist Upendra Rai, who was arrested by the CBI last month for allegedly using fake information to gain access to airports across India.Special CBI judge Santosh Snehi Mann granted bail to Mr. Rai on furnishing a bail bond of ₹5 lakh, with two sureties of a like amount. The judge had last month refused bail to the journalist.The counsel for Mr. Rai submitted that no purpose would be served by keeping him in custody as the court had on May 9 rejected the CBI’s plea seeking further custody of Mr. Rai.The other accused in the case are Air One Aviation Limited, its chief security officer Prasun Roy and unidentified Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) officials.
Promoted by the Government of India, medical tourism in the region has come under the judicial scanner, with the Punjab and Haryana High Court questioning the ethical issues involved and the effective supervision of doctors involved. Justice Rajan Gupta of the High Court also sought information about its prevalence.Read it at Tribune Related Items
Everyone knows how to act on a job interview right? Think again. Even seasoned professionals make mistakes during in-person interviews. Coming to an interview late or ill prepared are two obvious show stoppers, but even seemingly innocent comments can hurt your chances of landing the job.“Overall people have gotten a little savvier but it’s amazing how even tenured people will make comments they wish they hadn’t,” says Janet Elkin, chief executive of Supplemental Healthcare, the healthcare staffing company.From oversharing to trying too hard to be witty, here are five sayings that will kill your chances of getting a follow up interview:1. “I’m Always Looking”Everyone knows millennial workers are more likely to switch jobs at a faster pace than their older counterparts, but nothing can hurt millennials or any job seekers from landing a position then letting the hiring manager know they are always looking for the next opportunity.“One of the things you don’t find these days is loyalty,” says Jeffrey Agranoff, principal at accounting firm Friedman LLP. “You really want the candidate to differentiate and its so uncommon for a candidate to be ‘loyal’ it becomes a differentiator.” He says the “always looking” comment comes up often during high level executive searches and is surefire way to turn hiring managers off, because what is going to stop you from moving to the next opportunity a mere six months later?2. “I’m not working over forty hours a week” Nobody wants to work sixty hours a week, but it’s not the type of question you should be asking the minute you sit down to an interview. Yet it happens all the time, says Elkin. Of course you want to make sure the job works with your outside obligations but you should first learn about the company and make a good impression before you start lodging work/life balance questions the interviewer’s way. “No one wants to work 24 hours, but if you are going to say that to me right away, you are already saying you don’t want to work hard,” says Elkin. “The cardinal rule is always make the interviewer fall in love with you.”3. “I’m a cat, dog, fish person” You want your true self to come out during the interview, granted your true self is squeaky clean. If that’s not the case, which is likely with the majority of people, refrain from oversharing personal things, even the innocent ones. “It is patently unprofessional to reveal things about yourself that have nothing whatsoever to do with the job,” says Mark Jaffe, president of Wyatt & Jaffe, the executive search firm.. “Your potential employer only cares about what you can do for them they don’t care about your personal life.” So refrain from showing off your pet cat or fish, or recanting scenes from the latest episode of Game of Thrones.4. “Sarcasm and humor is my middle name” Even the most interesting man in the world (yes the Dos Equis spokesman) knows when to keep the sarcasm and attempts at wit in check, yet many job candidates don’t. During behavioral interviews candidates are asked to give examples of past performance, but often they use this opportunity to try and impress the interviewer with wild stories or try swaying the interviewer with their wit. “Don’t try to be funny, smart, cute or even sarcastic during an interview,” says Agranoff. “You want to connect, to smile, to have fun buts it’s not a comedy routine.”5. “I couldn’t stand my last boss”Even if you had the worse boss on the planet, you shouldn’t use your job interview as a venting session to bash your previous employer no matter how tempting it may be. According to Elkin, candidates who go on a rant about their previous boss during an interview are hurting their ability to get called back for a second interview, even if everything they said is accurate. “What I’m thinking when I hear that over and over again is that you are going to say the same thing about me one day,” she says. “Nobody really wants to hear that.”
Learn More! Get Your Hospitality DegreeWhether you have an Associates or a Bachelors in Hospitality you will have acquired the skills you need to boost your event planner career. A hospitality degree will help you with being organized, building your business, networking, and more. Take a Public Speaking CourseAs an event planner, you will not be giving many speeches, but you may need to be able to speak to people at some events. If this is the case, you do not want your job to be your first exposure to public speaking. A public speaking class will boost your confidence and make networking and talking to your clients easier. Marketing Degree You can help yourself now and in the future by getting a Bachelor’s in Marketing. This will help you keep up with the latest trends and show you how to do more for your client. This degree will help you interact with people and learn how to business-speak in the event planner world. Being an event planner can be fun and exciting. You can also take what you have learned in your career and use it to get a new, higher paying job. There are many different jobs in the field to choose from. With your education and skills you can be earning more in no time. Catering Sales ManagerMean Annual Wage: $55,000Degree Required: Bachelor’s degree in hospitality or related fieldWedding PlannerMean Annual Wage: $55,000Degree Required: Associates or Bachelors in hospitality Marketing ManagerMean Annual Wage: $120,000Degree Required: Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Marketing How to Get Promoted as an Event Planner Event Planner Skills That Will Increase Your Pay According to Glassdoor salary reports, event planners earn a median base pay of $50,688 per year, and can expect additional cash compensation between $636 – $13,106 in the form of commission, tip and profit sharing. To earn a raise, consider the following steps:Build Up Your Client BaseNetworking with caterers and bands will help you with your business, but networking with clients can help boost your pay. The more people who know about you and how good you are at event planning, the more opportunities will come your way. Be sure to give your clients extra business cards so they can pass them around. Ask your clients to mention you to their friends and family so your name can get around to people who have seen what you are capable of. Be ChoosyAs your business gets busier you can be more choosy about who you deal with. You can pick a client that will pay you more over a client that wants to use you and not pay as well. Remember to work with clients that have recommended you to people who pay more. You want to keep that relationship going for future business. The better your client pays, the more you will make. Justifying your desired salary will be accomplished with specific examples of work done well. Here are a few additional tools to help you get paid more. How to Negotiate Your SalaryHow to Ask for a RaiseHow to Find & Land the Creative Job of Your DreamsThe Surprising Reason You’re Not Hearing Back After Job InterviewsHow to Earn More Money in 2019 With Side Gigs25 Highest Paying Entry Level JobsThe Highest Paying Marketing Jobs How to Get a Raise as an Event Planner Talk to ManagementWhen you are planning an event at a hotel or reception hall you want to be sure to talk to the managers of the establishment. Get to know them and make sure they know you. The managers will be more likely to tell potential clients about you if you work hand-in-hand with them. If an event is at a pricey location you want to be sure to follow the advice of the general manager so your event runs smoothly. A happy manager will be more likely to give you better business recommendations. Thank You NotesA thank you note goes a long way in today’s digital society. Handwritten a thank you note to your clients. They will appreciate the effort and will be more willing to give your name to people. You can include a few business cards for them to pass along. The more people who have your name, the more likely it will be that your clientele list broadens. Be knowledgeable about trendsMany people will want the latest and newest trends incorporated into their events. You should be knowledgeable about fashion, music, design, and other trends. A bride will not want to walk down the aisle in last year’s gown. Be online and get subscriptions to designer magazines to up your game and know what everyone will want in the coming months. Be OrganizedA quick way to lose money is to be unorganized. You have to be on top of everything going on with your event. What time is the DJ getting there? When is the photographer coming? Where are you ordering the flowers and how much is a good price? You should be able to know at the flick of a finger what is happening when and where. Calendars and reminders are an absolute must in the event planning industry. Have a large networkThe larger your network the better your event. You want to have as many florists, djs, bands, designers, and others in order to plan the best events. Get in touch with someone who has wedding dance lessons. Being able to offer dance lessons as part of your package will make you more desirable to your clients. Make sure the people in your network are reliable and are organized. You want to have confidence in the people you are working with. Event Planner Career Path Choices That Will Increase Your Pay How to Get a New, Higher Paying Job as an Event Planner
Liverpool legend Steve Nicol has concerns over their move for Roma winger Mohamed Salah.Liverpool should be wary of paying £40m for Salah, according to Nicol.He told ESPN: “It is a lot of money, yeah. It’s a lot of money for Liverpool to buy a player, who, if everybody is fit, I don’t think starts.”You play Coutinho on the left, you play Mane on the right. I don’t think you play Salah through the middle, that means he doesn’t start.”As far as the squad, obviously Liverpool are in the Champions League yes, but for £40m? I don’t think so.”
One of the great things about online advocacy is you can move someone emotionally and then give them an immediate way to act upon that emotion. This makes conversion quite easy. Always keep this concept front and center in your mind, with every communication you make online. You always want to:1. Tell a great story that makes your case – and creates the impulse to give2. Give people a way to act that’s as simple as a few clicks of the mouseSpeaking of clicks, below is a great video example of tapping into emotions, then telling people what to do with them with a big emphasis on how easy it is to make a difference. I found it via Creativity Online. Now imagine having the donate button right next to this video on YouTube for Nonprofits, where it’s not yet placed. That would be even better.
Posted on March 9, 2012November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This week on the MHTF blog:What is the relationship between intimate partner violence and maternal health?An opportunity to work with Jacaranda HealthWho made the Women Deliver 50?MCHIP’s Koki Agarwal wrote about misoprostolWe celebrated International Women’s DaySome reading for the weekend:MSF report explores preventable maternal deathsToo many mhealth interventions in Uganda?A special International Women’s Day edition of USAID’s Global Health NewsShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on February 22, 2016October 12, 2016By: Estefania Santamaria Flores, Research Assistant, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick 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)While availability of contraceptive methods and integration of family planning services into maternal health programs are keys to promoting women’s health, the barriers to contraceptive use are also worth examining. The success of integrated services depends on how well programs identify and address these barriers in the delivery of the care they provide.Even when family planning services are available, many women do not utilize them for various reasons. They may have difficulty traveling to a clinic or they may not have the financial means to pay for services. Preconceived notions about health services also impact a woman’s decision to seek care. When making decisions related to contraception, women are influenced by their own past experiences or the experiences of others in their social circles. In Haiti, for example, women consider the side effects associated with contraception (including permanent infertility), the safety of their infants while breastfeeding, and their husbands’ permission. This last point is also true in rural Ghana, where a woman’s partner’s approval of contraception determines whether she will adopt it.In countries where many languages are spoken and literacy rates are low, cultural and communication barriers often affect uptake of reproductive health services. In Guatemala, for example, women belonging to indigenous groups are less likely to deliver in healthcare institutions and less likely to use family planning methods. Where geographical access to care is not a barrier, inability to speak a country’s main language (in this case, Spanish) often prevents women from seeking care.In addition to considering the cultural factors that influence care-seeking, identifying barriers to care through monitoring, evaluation and quality improvement strategies is crucial prior to and during the process of integrating family planning into maternal health services. In Afghanistan, for example, quality improvement teams in private and public hospitals addressed reasons for low contraceptive use in an effort to understand the decisions of the population they were serving. At the same time, they expanded their services by integrating family planning into their maternal health programs. Barriers to integrating family planning into postpartum services included the following:Weak family planning counseling skills among postpartum staffLack of job aids among staff to increase patient awarenessLack of private spaces for family planning counseling; andLack of husband and mother-in-law involvement in the counseling process.Interventions to eliminate these barriers were introduced in the hospitals and included training on family planning counseling to the postpartum staff, providing job aids to the staff, creating a private area for counseling, and involving family members in the counseling session (either in person or via an electronic medium).These initiatives resulted in an increase in the percentage of postpartum women who received family planning counseling before discharge and an increase in the number of women who received counseling along with their husbands. Women were more likely to adopt a contraceptive method of their choice and less likely to become pregnant at the 12- and 18-month period post-discharge as a result of these quality improvement strategies being weaved into FP-MH integration efforts.Religious values and structural violence may also deter women from accessing family planning services. Even with sufficient supplies and staff to counsel women, these barriers can significantly impede the impact of well-developed and well-integrated programs. Overcoming these barriers means providing accessible care that is culturally-sensitive and patient-centered. To address them, family planning-maternal health (FP-MH) programs should:Engage women and their partners/family members in the care they provide through a welcoming environment. This can be done by encouraging women to bring those who are influential in their health decisions to their maternal health visits.Create educational tools and programs for women and men in order to break down cultural and social myths related to family planning.Develop communication tools with the help of the people for whom they are being created. Using human-centered design is a way to involve the target population in program development and improvement and break down barriers to women getting the care they need from FP-MH programs.In order to deliver family planning information and services to women who want and need it, programs must tailor their services to match the cultural values, unmet needs, and literacy levels of their target audience. These factors vary between and within countries, which means each program needs to be sensitive to the unique characteristics of its target population. With this in mind and in light of the barriers that play a role in the use of family planning methods, programs should consider the following:Who is the target population?Does the target population extend beyond the women who will directly receive services from the program?Who plays an influential role in the lives of the people we are trying to help through our program?How can we address the barriers that we have identified in a culturally sensitive manner?How can we successfully integrate family planning services into our maternal health program and simultaneously promote an environment that respects the target population’s values?Evaluating these points is imperative to creating and implementing quality integrated FP-MH services. A program’s ability to be effective in the community depends upon its capacity to address the needs of the women it is designed to serve and promote an environment of respectful and patient-centered care.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on December 21, 2016January 6, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick 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)While substantial progress has been made over the last few decades in family planning access and utilization, additional efforts are needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of ensuring “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.” In many parts of the world, a large gap persists between women’s reproductive intentions and their access to contraceptives. Unmet need varies widely by region, ranging from 5% in Eastern Asia to 26% in Central Africa.Researchers have aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions designed to satisfy demand for contraceptives involving a variety of different financing mechanisms including pay-for-performance, community-based financing, removal of user fees, family planning vouchers and cash transfers. Studies in Family Planning recently published a series of open access systematic reviews assessing these different financing mechanisms for family planning in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).SummarySystematic reviews of mechanisms for financing family planning: Findings, implications, and future agendaFinancing mechanismsPaying for performance to improve the delivery and uptake of family planning in low and middle income countries: A systematic reviewCommunity-based financing of family planning in developing countries: A systematic reviewHow user fees influence contraception in low and middle income countries: A systematic reviewFamily planning vouchers in low and middle income countries: A systematic reviewConditional and unconditional cash transfers to improve use of contraception in low and middle income countries: A systematic reviewThe authors in the Study Group on Contraceptive Financing Mechanisms point out that the evidence base in this area is weak. These systematic reviews illustrate the need for more rigorous research evaluating the effectiveness of different financing mechanisms for family planning.—Learn about the relationship between family planning and maternal health.Access papers from the 2016 International Conference on Family Planning.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Welcome, readers of The Economist! We were excited to be featured in last week’s issue, especially because the piece focuses on labor and unionism. As the article states, Freelancers Union founder Sara Horowitz realized that unions had to change in order to fit the way people work now: “She concluded that a union is a means for workers to join together to solve problems. To be effective it needs an economic model that makes it independent of government, employers and other institutions.” And here we are. You can read more about New Unionism in Sara’s blog entry at Sharing Witness.
Anyone remember Paris Hilton?Paris is widely considered “famous for being famous” and has been the subject of many jokes attacking her intelligence. But before you laugh, just know: she’s laughing too, all the way to the bank.The blonde heiress of the Hilton family fortune became a household name around 2003 when she starred, alongside Nicole Richie, in the guilty pleasure reality TV show The Simple Life. Throughout the show and during interviews, she dropped the phrase “that’s hot” with an almost annoying frequency.…and then slowly but surely, the phrase began to catch on. At first, it seemed people were using it largely in jest, to make fun of Hilton, but then it started to become a part of everyday vernacular.I have no idea how Paris Hilton felt about the contagion of the phrase she coined. Was she upset that people were making fun of her? Flattered that people were quoting her? I don’t know. But I do know that she reacted to the phrases popularity by making a smart business move: she applied with the USPTO to trademark the phrase!The move made headlines and again, led to a lot of jokes about and criticism of Hilton. But legally, Hilton won. Her trademarks were approved, and to this day, she owns at least two trademarks in the phrase including for certain entertainment services and men and women’s clothing. She also won a lawsuit against Hallmark for its use of the phrase and her likeness to profit.Trademarks are designed to protect a business’s brand. Put differently, they protect names, designs, and phrases that have become associated with a business. They allow a business to prevent other individuals and businesses from using the mark in a way that creates confusion (sometimes limited in geographic scope).In Hilton’s case, her “that’s hot” catch phrase had, at least at the time, become associated with her, her brand and her business. So her trademark registrations were not as outlandish as they might seem.Businesses, especially small ones, frequently only think about trademarking their business name. However, as Hilton’s story illustrates, businesses should also consider whether there are other phrases, designs, or words that have become associated with its business and might be entitled to trademark protection.This 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.
We’re incredibly honored to be named Adweek’s Digital Agency of the Year for 2013. In the article, out today, Adweek references our work this year with client Oreo for the Super Bowl, as well as campaigns for Ben & Jerry’s, Hanes and New Orleans Tourism – a digitally-centric brand campaign that included online and social media, as well as TV, to help shift perceptions of the iconic American city.We’re very proud of these programs and the rest of the work we’ve been able to create this year with our clients to help drive their brands and their businesses through a period of tremendous change in the industry. Throughout our history, from our initial days building our search marketing practice, and evolving into social media and digitally-centric programs, our aim has always been to invest in understanding consumer behavior change – to look at where and how people are consuming and creating media – and then to evolve the way brands connect with people to drive business results.We could not do this without the passion, perseverance and unwavering curiosity of our 360i employees around the world. Big kudos and congratulations to our entire team, as well as our fantastic clients and partners, without whom this work – and this award – wouldn’t be possible.Read the full article in Adweek.
#2 Stick to one kind of fruitYou don’t have to create a 14 layer multi-colored Pinterest dessert in order to treat yourself this summer. If you stick to one kind of fruit, especially one that’s at its peak seasonality and on sale, you can have a delicious and cheap summer treat! (Hint: a watermelon cake is one of my favorite, fun summer treats!) Recipes to try: Watermelon Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Icing, Healthy Pineapple Upside Down Cake#3 Use your pantry staplesYour favorite summer treats like cobbler or pie can be incredibly cost effective if you are using your pantry staples like flour, sugar and butter! A well-stocked pantry makes it easy and cheap to throw together delicious desserts anytime you want them. Recipes to try: Healthy Berry Cobbler#4 Make spa water! You don’t need to go to the spa to feel pampered – make a large pitcher of spa water with cucumbers, lemons, limes or strawberries – and sip on it throughout the day. You’ll feel like a fancy person in no time. Plus all of those ingredients are incredibly inexpensive! Recipes to try: Goji Berry Sparkling Lemonade #5 DIY a hydrating face maskSurprisingly enough a face mask is probably hiding in your refrigerator right now! Combine yogurt, raw honey and wham – your face feels nourished in minutes. This is especially great if your skin feels dried out by the hot summer sun. Forget spending hundreds at the spa, just head to the kitchen! Recipes to try: Blackberry Basil Healing Mask #6 Buy an aloe plantIf you got a little too much sun, or are prone to sunburns – keep an aloe plant around! They’re super cheap at Ikea or your grocery store, and are easy to keep alive. Next time you get burned just cut off a leaf, peel it open and rub it on your skin! It’s a much more natural way to take care of your skin than those bottles of green goop! Pamper yourself like a royal this summer, all while staying on budget. A happy and healthy season is just around the corner, and you should enjoy it to the fullest. Treat yo self! You deserve it. Post navigation Follow along! As always, if you want more summer-centric recipes or healthy lifestyle tips and tricks head over to Brewing Happiness! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHow to Make Use of Abundant Seasonal ProduceJune 21, 2018In “Budgeting”Healthy And Affordable Ways to Brown Bag Your LunchMay 17, 2018In “Budgeting”Budget Meals: 6 Unique Ways to Eat Beans and RiceApril 18, 2018In “Budgeting” Welcome back to the collaboration between Mint and Brewing Happiness. I’m Haley, the girl behind Brewing Happiness – a blog about celebrating the small healthy choices we make in our lives, complete with recipes for everybody! I’m here to give you tips on living a healthy, happy life on a budget. If you’re lucky, summertime also means more free time and a more relaxed mentality. Weather you’re heading to the beach, laying by the pool, or just hanging in your backyard with friends – summer is the perfect time to chill out and treat yourself. However more playtime usually means less work (aka. less money) and more expenses. So I put together a list of recipes, tips and tricks to help you “treat yo self” this summer on a budget! We’re going to dive into making your favorite summer treats in your kitchen, as well as how to make a DIY spa day from home. It’s really easy to live your best life without spending tons of money. Let me show you how:#1 Make your frozen treats at homePopsicles, frozen yogurt, and ice cream can all be made EASILY at home. No need to buy them every time you’re at the store or out on the town. You can make your decadent summer treats by using seasonal fruit! Recipes to try: Key Lime Pie Chia Pudding Popsicles, Dairy-Free Golden Fudgesicles, Blackberry Acai Frozen Yogurt, Coconut Melon Mint Ice Cream, Pumpkin Coffee Almond Banana Ice Cream
A proper night’s sleep is crucial to our health. Find out if one of these eight culprits is to blame for your sleeplessness.Why we can’t sleep at nightAmericans are exhausted—according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, up to 35 percent of U.S. adults suffer from brief symptoms of insomnia, up to 20 percent suffer from short-term insomnia, and 10 percent experience chronic insomnia. (Here are the different types of insomnia you can have.) The causes are multifold, says Judith Davidson, a sleep researcher and clinical psychologist at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.“Insomnia can be due to a loss, relationship stress, high stress at work, illness, or pain; the cause may also involve racing thoughts and worries, including worries about the effects of not sleeping.”Our over-reliance on technology may also be keeping us awake: exposure to the artificial light of televisions, computers, and phones before bed enhances alertness and suppresses the release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin. Heightened emotions and menstrual cycles are also factors, which might explain why women are twice as likely to report insomnia than are men.Keep reading to find out if one of these eight factors are the reason you’re not getting enough rest.You’re depressedJust like with appetite, the physical changes of depression can swing to either extreme. You may suddenly find that you’re tired and sleeping all day, or that you can’t get a wink’s shuteye at all. A particularly common form of sleep deprivation is to find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, night after night.You’re doing too much before bedAccording to a U.S. National Sleep Foundation poll, during the hour before bed, around 60 percent of us do household chores, 37 percent take care of children, 36 percent do activities with other family members, 36 percent are on the Internet, and 21 percent do work related to their jobs.Working right up until bedtime doesn’t give you a chance to wind down and prepare your body for sleep. Take the hour before bed to transition from the person-who-can-do-everything into the person-who-can-sleep. Read a book, take a bath-whatever will make you feel most relaxed. Try some of these relaxation techniques before bed to get you ready for a good night’s sleep. Your hormones are out of whackOne explanation could be hormonal changes throughout our reproductive cycles. As women, we are more prone to having poor sleep around menstruation, and that’s related to pain and mood changes. Pregnancy is another known time for sleep disturbance. An increase in the hormone progesterone will have you waking up for endless trips to the bathroom in your first trimester and the size of your belly will cause you some discomfort when trying to sleep in your third trimester.Then in perimenopause, the time right before menopause when women cease to menstruate, a drop in progesterone and estrogen hormone levels may cause symptoms such as nighttime hot flashes and insomnia.You’re a smokerThere are hundreds of reasons to quit smoking, and sleep trouble is one of them. That nasty nicotine is a stimulant that will keep you awake longer and since you may experience nicotine withdrawal through the night it will affect your sleep. Besides, smoking is no way to start your day.You’re napping too late in the dayBe cautious about napping during the day. It can be a great way to recharge or catch up on sleep but if you nap too late in the day you may have trouble sleeping at night. If a nap is necessary, keep it to less than 30 minutes in the early afternoon.If your evening television vigil often ends with you snoring on the sofa, beware! Fight the urge to nod off. If it’s near bedtime go to bed. If it’s still early get up and do something mildly reviving. These harmless habits are also to blame for your insomnia. You’ve thrown off your biological clockStaying up late on Friday and Saturday nights and sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday mornings is frequently the gift we give ourselves on weekends after a hard week at work. Yet that little gift—small as it is—is enough to screw up our biological clocks. Even if you get to bed early on Sunday night, you will not be ready to sleep, and it will make for a tough day at the office on Monday.You’re addicted to technologySure, every app promises to make our lives easier, but they may actually tie us into too many never-ending work. Being able to keep in touch with the kids is a boon to working parents. Allowing the office to track you down after hours is not. We need to keep the two things separate, save discrete times in the day to receive and answer business emails, and learn to screen the after 6:00 p.m. cell phone calls. And under no circumstances should you check your email right before bed. Keeping technology out of the bedroom is one of the things good sleepers have in common. You’re drinking too much caffeineFeel like you need four extra-large lattes to get you through the day? Your caffeine habit may be keeping you up at night. Drinking coffee or tea in the evening is a particularly bad idea—it can interfere with normal REM sleep and leave you feeling even more tired. Stick to decaf beverages after dinner and limit your intake to three 8oz. doses of caffeine per day to ensure that your coffee habit won’t make it hard to fall asleep.Source
Today, cheating has been reclassified and it includes not only a physical affair but an emotional affair, as well. It may start out as a platonic friendly feeling towards another person and veer off onto an inappropriate path. These types of affairs are increasingly common. According to the statistics, around 45% of men and 35% of women have admitted having some sort of emotional affair.We understand that it can be hard to define an “emotional affair” so we made a list of 10 facts that might be a sign of emotional infidelity.1. You’re too close to your opposite sex-friend.Loveseats at the movies, the Tesla Roadster, a king-size lobster — some things are just built for two. A relationship is one of these things. It’s like a bicycle — adding a third wheel is only going to throw off the balance. The situation may get worse when that third-wheel is a significant other’s opposite-sex friend.Again, everything might be fine but if your gut is telling you there may be an attraction between your partner and their “friend,” then it’s better to address the issue directly.Remember that while attraction is not a choice, cheating is definitely a choice. An affair doesn’t just magically happen, only you can make a choice to follow or not to go down this slippery slope. So, if you get trapped in the world of an emotional affair, it will be your choice.2. You flirt online and offline.Virtual relationships with many different people at once are much easier to sustain than one in real life. Therefore, virtual polygamy may possibly co-exist within the context of offline monogamy. It’s happening because the internet is an easy place for emotional involvement between strangers.In many ways, the internet facilitates the same type of relationship-building opportunities we have in real life. Nevertheless, anonymous online flirting, as well as offline flirting, is still an affair.But the good news is that you can use any social media, messengers, and more to strengthen the existing relationship with your partner and to reduce emotional distance. Healthy internet use between partners builds bridges instead of boundaries and it facilitates online socializing as a couple. it can be a healthy mode of supplementary communication.3. You’re having an affair with your phone.Most of us wake up and check our phones before we even say “Good morning!” to the person sleeping next to us. This kind of being-far-away while still-being-close may be quite dangerous because it makes us think we are close to someone when in fact we may not be.According to a recent survey, nearly 4 in 10 millennials consider their cell phone more helpful than their significant other. Whoa. Pause. Absorb. This creepy statistic exemplifies an issue of nowadays reality. Instead of talking to your partner, friend, or family member, people are diving into virtual reality with funny cats and mean Tweets.The greatest reason that our attempts to spend less time on our phones so often fail is that we frame our efforts in the same way we do diets: as acts of self-deprivation. But, no one likes to restrain themselves that’s why it’s so hard. So try to focus on the goals that you’ll achieve if you cut back on phone time. Do you like this perspective?4. You complain about your partner to someone else.You’re obviously going to talk about your relationship with your friends or family, and that’s fine. What’s not fine is constantly complaining about your partner on a daily basis. You may believe that you complain to try and deal with your relationship, but you actually haven’t worked together to address and fix those issues. Moreover, you end up creating even more space between the 2 of you.This type of approach can be devastating to the other person when they realize you’ve been secretly upset with them. Imagine, if you heard your partner discussing your behavior or your habits behind your back with his friends. We suppose you’d feel like you’ve been betrayed.If you want to break free from negative and destructive parts of your relationship, never be mad at your partner for something they don’t know they’re doing.5. You cross the line with strangers.Emotional infidelity is as dangerous as adultery because it’s intense but invisible. Of course, you may love your partner but when some of your small actions cross the line of infidelity, you’re at risk of losing someone important in your life.Taking a solo trip on the very messy territory can cause you to do things you wouldn’t normally do — like cheat. For example, you meet a guy at a bar and he flirts with you, flatters you, and gives you something you’re not getting in your primary relationship. That must be a warning sign that something’s not going well between you and your partner!If you need someone, especially a stranger, to fill whatever void you have in your primary relationship, you’re entering the territory of emotional infidelity. And that can be the most painful form of cheating for your partner.6. You have a secret friend.Regular friendships tend to be pretty open, and having your partner stumble across a text thread from your BFF is unlikely to arouse any suspicions. It’s not fair or realistic to expect your spouse to fill every need. With this in mind, meeting a friend for a drink to hang out for a while is totally fine!But there’s one little problem — if you’re going out of your way to cover up everything you do, then it doesn’t really take a rocket scientist to figure out that you feel at least a little bit guilty about an impulse to hide your friendship from your partner.Maybe you feel that your special “friend” may threaten your relationship and don’t want to admit this fact. If you’re so wholly relying on one person for emotional support, and that person is not in a loving relationship with you, you’re setting yourself up for some trouble with your partner. And the only way out for you is to admit it to yourself and figure out why you’re doing it in the first place.7. You dream of other lovers.One of the fatal flaws of our culture is that we take everything at face value. We want to believe that every nighttime dream is a direct reflection of reality. So when you have a dream where you’re having sex with someone other than your partner, our first response is to panic and think, “Oh, no! This must mean I don’t really love my partner!”Keep calm and relax. It is completely OK to occasionally have some little fantasies about Jason Momoa’s 6-pack abs or Irina Shayk’s body. But if you are consistently dreaming or imagining a sexual partner other than your spouse, this could be leading to an emotional (or even sexual) affair due to disconnection from your spouse.The only way to control it is to openly talk to your spouse about your sexual fantasies and what you like and what you don’t like in bed, and have them share the same with you. Get back to the fun of sex with your spouse, and it’ll be difficult to imagine anyone else!8. You lie about your finances.They say a relationship without trust is like a car without gas. You can stay in it as long as you want, but it won’t go anywhere.According to the results of a poll that surveyed some 23,000 online users, more than 60% of both men and women consider financial infidelity to be just as heinous as a physical affair. What’s more, one-third of respondents felt that financial infidelity could lead to sexual infidelity.The immediate problem with financial (as any other) lying is that trust is lost and when that happens, the relationship becomes stagnant. As a result, most couples either separate or divorce, because it’s just too hard to live with and rely on someone who doesn’t have your back. Remember — the love you feel from the dollars in your bank account is nothing compared to the love of a trusting spouse.9. You don’t stand up for your partner.You and your partner should always be a team. So when the going gets tough, you should feel safe in knowing that you have someone to rely on.But, if your boyfriend won’t stand up for you, it’s possible that he isn’t really interested in taking things further. The only thing you can do to encourage him to stand up for you is to be honest with him about how you feel and what you expect from him.To give your relationship a second chance means that you should realize that from the day you understood that “That’s it! I love her/him!” you made a choice. It means that your spouse occupied and assumed the privileged first place of honor in your life. So, let your family and friends know that when it comes to your significant other and your relationship, there is a line they cannot cross.Source
A version of this post appeared on Forbes.com.2015 was a roller-coaster year for business and sustainability around the globe, with Google, Unilever, Tesla and Shell making headlines. Momentum built from the pope’s call for swift action on climate change, through the Sustainable Development Goals and ended with the groundbreaking Paris Agreement on climate. Here are our top five stories from 2015 illustrating the wild ride.1. VW topped the List of Irresponsible Corporate ActorsHot on the heels of the Petrobas corruption scandal in Latin America, the news that VW had installed software to allow some of its vehicles to cheat on U.S. emissions tests was a surprise, though not without precedent in the automotive sector. While the 2009 Toyota accelerator crisis and the 2014 GM ignition switch recall came before, the VW case was a new low for the sector. Coming from a company that aimed to position itself as a green leader, this dented the public’s confidence in companies’ environmental claims.The disparity was uncovered not by government or the private sector, but through research from West Virginia University and the International Council on Clean Energy. VW’s share price dropped from $250 in March 2015 to a low of $111 in October. Like Toyota and GM after their crises, VW appears to be making a slow recovery, but the brand may not fully overcome the tarnish for decades.2. Hundreds of Companies Acted Together ResponsiblyThis was the year companies made public commitments on sustainability.Over 150 U.S. firms — companies as diverse as Target, Kellogg’s, Goldman Sachs, Cargill, PG&E and Portland General Electric — signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, voicing their support for a strong Paris outcome and their own commitment to climate action.One hundred fourteen companies signed a commitment to set science based targets (targets for emissions cuts that are on a trajectory that would avoid more than 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) of temperature increase over pre-industrial levels. By year’s end, 10 had already set those targets, including NRG energy, Proctor & Gamble, Sony and Enel.Seventy-four companies committed to set an internal price on carbon. In June, six oil and gas companies — BP, Shell, Eni, Total, Statoil and BG Group — published a letter sent to the UN, calling for carbon pricing.And it’s not just carbon and climate. Hundreds of members of the Consumer Goods Forum committed to halve food waste within their operations and at the consumer level by 2025. This includes companies like Unilever, Nestle and AB InBev.These commitments across multiple sectors set the framework for companies to work together for solutions across value chains.3. U.S. Trade Associations Were Increasingly Isolated on Climate2015 saw the remaining trade associations that are obstructing action on climate change become increasingly isolated.Leaving an organization is not the only way to achieve change, but it indicates deep disagreement, as when Apple and Exelon left the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its climate stance as long ago as 2009. This year, BP left the American Legislative Exchange Council over climate and Volvo and SKF left the National Mining Association. Volvo characterized the association’s climate lobbying efforts as “quite crazy.”Unlike some trade groups outside the United States, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Stephen Eule, Vice President for Climate and Technology, characterized the Paris Agreement as “lots of promises and lots of issues still left unresolved.”By contrast, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry said in advance of the Paris Agreement: “Businesses across the country are also realizing that there are clear economic wins if they take action on climate.” Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry, said, “The Paris deal heralds an exciting opportunity for business. We now have a climate deal agreed by the world’s leaders that puts us on a sustainable low-carbon path and which can provide the framework for business to invest with confidence.”4. Water Was Cited as the Number 1 Risk Facing CEOsIn the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2015, environmental risks featured more prominently than economic risks. Among them, water crises were cited as the single highest impact risk facing CEOs.In California and Brazil, for example, water shortages are having significant impacts on business. Campbell Soup CFO Anthony DiSilvestro had firsthand experience of the impact of California’s record setting drought contributing to a 28 percent decline in the profits of one of the company’s divisions in the first quarter of 2015. One of South Africa’s biggest sugar producers, Illovo Sugar, closed a key sugar mill for the year-long 2015 milling season, blaming significantly below-average rainfall. Coca-Cola was forced to forego a new $81 million bottling plant in southern India due to public concerns over sufficiency of groundwater supplies.5. Innovative Companies Grasp OpportunitiesTo finish on a positive note, in 2015 we continued to see innovative companies leverage opportunities and set themselves up for success in a resource constrained environment. For example:Goldman Sachs and Bank of America both made commitments to dramatically expand their investments – a $150 billion expansion for Goldman Sachs; $125 billion for Bank of America — by 2025. Tesla announced a potentially transformative move into the residential battery market to accelerate the use of renewable energy. Batteries are being manufactured at Tesla’s new net-zero-emissions Gigafactory in Nevada and are already being sold through utility companies.There will be no shortage of financing for innovative ideas. The Global Apollo Program launched in 2015 brought developed nations together to provide $150 billion in funding over the coming decade to make carbon-free electricity less costly than electricity from coal by 2025. Mission Innovation launched just before COP21 with private investors in the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, combining their funding with a commitment from 20 counties to double their respective funding for clean energy research and development.What to Watch in 2016In 2016 governments need to put into practice what they agreed in the Paris Agreement. Watch to see how companies carry through the commitments they made on the global stage to support implementation at a national level.As companies dig in to issues of land, water and energy, interdependencies between those issues will emerge, prompting companies to consider the trade-offs within sectors, across sectors and across value chains.
There has been a lot of discussion this week in the A-List blogs about the role of a PR firm within the world of inbound marketing and social media. I have been thinking about this for a while, both as a blogger (who is now getting pitched by PR firms), an active social media person, and a client of a PR firm – and part of a company that has a strong presence on LinkedIn (group with 7,000+ members), Facebook (over 600 fans) and Twitter (still growing, but employees like me have 100’s of followers). In fact, I have been asked to speak on this very topic at the upcoming Worldcom conference in Montreal (a conference of hundreds of PR firms).Changes Challenging the Value of a PR FirmDirect Relationships – Does the media expect direct relationships with the company (through social media) rather than having the PR folks as a “go-between”? If so, can the PR Firm play a role at all?Speed of Publishing – The old world had quarterly or annual editorial calendars. Now A-list bloggers decide what to write that morning while having a latte in their robe in front of their laptop. HubSpot has gotten coverage within 50 minutes from ZDNet because I responded to a question on Twitter from a blogger. When the time between idea and article can be 30 minutes, can a PR firm really help a client get coverage?Approachability of Media – The media today are really pretty approachable, unlike the old days where it was hard to get a meeting with a writer for the Wall Street Journal, today you can follow the key media players on Twitter, be friends on Facebook, comment on their blog, etc. So, if the relationships are easier to formulate today, what’s the value of a PR firm?To review some of the discussion going on right now, Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion thinks that PR firms need to adapt, because bloggers and “new media” people want to “discover news for themselves” and not be pitched by PR folks. Michael Arrington at TechCrunch says that “PR as a profession is broken”. Ouch. Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins from Mashable says those who “position themselves in the mindset that they aren’t gatekeepers for information but connectors for entrepreneurs and resources for journalists” will be a productive resource for their clients. Robert Scoble from Scobleizer thinks that “there’s no reason to go crazy with a PR firm if you build something that people want.” And Todd Defren of PR-Squared posted a response (including a video of me). But probably the best summary and comment on the debate (besides this article of course! 🙂 comes from Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWrite Web who summarizes his article with “Is it worth the expense and loss of direct experience for many startups to hire PR people? It probably is.” How a PR Firm Can Provide Value TodayResearch – You could spend the time finding the best 100 bloggers who write about your specific niche, but having someone else do this for you can save time, especially if they do it for a living and have access to tools to make it easier and faster. Same things goes for researching conferences, events, speaking opportunities, awards, etc. HubSpot has won a ton of marketing awards, and for most of them our PR firm found them and did everything for us.Training – Few people are social media and blogging experts, and if you hire the right PR firm, they can help bring their expertise into your company. Don’t let them do everything for you, make them train and educate your marketing team (not just marcom, product people too!) and executives about social media, blogging, how to comment on blogs, how to use Twitter and Facebook, etc. Inbound Marketing relies on using your entire company for marketing, and teaching people how to do it can be a great way for your PR firm to provide value. Even though we think we know a lot at HubSpot, our PR firm has taught us a thing or two and we’ve tried some new stuff based on their suggestions.Create & Publish Content – PR folks are experts at writing, and increasingly audio and video too. Your PR firm can help you figure out how to take your boring company announcement and craft it into an interesting story, even if it is not for a news release, it can be just for your company blog. Your PR firm can also interview employees, customers and others and post videos on your blog or website, etc. They do this stuff all the time (if they’re good) and might be able to do it better and faster than you can. Our PR firm has written more than press releases for us – they don’t write for this blog – but other stuff has been helpful.Pitching / Relationships – There are some times when a PR firm does have relationships you don’t have, and times when that makes sense. A lot of these relationships might be “old media”, but old media is still important to a lot of companies. For instance, Business Week, Inc Magazine, and others will probably only cover you twice in the next 5 years (if you’re lucky), so does the writer really want a “relationship” with you. Probably not. But a PR firm brings lots of different clients to the table, and having a relationship with the PR pro might make sense for the writer. Our PR Firm is really completely responsible for our relationships with print media. We just don’t interact with those folks much ourselves.Monitoring – Good PR folks will do a great job of monitoring all the right blogs, social networks and other conversations for relevant information. They then should email you and tell you to respond, comment, or react on your blog as necessary. Even if you have a ton of RSS feeds, alerts and more set up, you might miss some things. Our PR Firm doesn’t send us too much in terms of monitoring because we use lots of tools (including HubSpot software) to monitor things ourselves, but about once a month they send something I missed, and it’s usually good. But, we have about 10 people actively monitoring 100’s of blogs and 100’s of search feeds daily (not kidding, the joke is that we consume 40% of the Internet on a daily basis). I bet that your company has way fewer people in your company doing this stuff, so your PR firm will provide tons more value here.Beyond these points, I also think there is something to be said for the ability for a PR firm to relatively quickly ramp up your capabilities, whereas if you were doing things internally it might take a lot longer to find and train a productive internal person. Don’t take this as a glowing recommendation that everyone should go out and hire a PR firm today. But, I also don’t think they should be swept under the rug as useless – there is a lot of value a PR firm can provide in the right circumstances for the right client. As always, understand what all your possible tools can do, then choose the right tools for the job. A PR firm might be one of those tools.Here is some more of my thoughts on video: Note: HubSpot is a client of Shift Communications, and we’re happy with what we have accomplished working with them over the past year. But we also talk frequently with them about how to make the relationship work best for both of us. I recommend all companies do that with your PR firm. Maybe this article can be a starting point for the conversation with your PR firm.What do you think? What is the role of a PR firm today? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss. Public Relations 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: Originally published Aug 13, 2008 6:44:00 PM, updated March 21 2013
. Here’s an example of how you can do research to work out link strategy using HubSpot. how to go about building links – directories, networking and creating remarkable content that people will link to – you may not know what sites to target for inbound links. SEOMoz’s LinkScape First, A Quick Refresher on Inbound Links Originally published Nov 30, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 That little “spying” activity gave us a lot of insight into how the concrete business is doing and where there might be some opportunities to seek additional inbound links. Next steps would be to do a little research about each interesting source of links and determine what they want for a link. Links that you don’t have to share. Third, What Do You Do With That Research? Or, is it a business that you may already be networking with and you can find out if there are any opportunities to share content or promotions to help each other out with relevant links. Search engines give a page only a certain amount of credibility. This credibility or “link juice” is split up among the links coming from that page. That means you get a lot more value from an inbound link that is a story just about your products or services than an inbound link that lists you as one of ten hyperlinked companies. Links with relevant text descriptions. and In this example, you see the inbound links for a concrete countertop company. 67 total links with an average of a “low” link grade. Logically, you should start with what and who you know. Make a short list of trade publications, blogs and contacts in your network who might be good candidates. Now, don’t stop there. Links from high authority sites. Link Building Now that you know what you are looking for in an attractive inbound link, you need to figure out WHO you’d like to link to your site. That means some combination of industry relevance, high authority and the ease with which you can get in touch to share content that is link-worthy. Wow, comparatively speaking, our concrete countertop guy is doing great – he has a lot more links (60+ vs. 10). But maybe there are still some ideas for him here. Looks like the Better Business Bureau link could be of value, as could concreteideas.com and thebluebook.com which look like listing services. Add these to the list to investigate. integrated marketing software Let’s check out the competition to find out. Here’s another local competitor. Next, let’s pick a more ambitious competitor. Looking at someone in the concrete business that has national exposure, we can see what Cheng Concrete Exchange is up to. Turns out there are a few tools on the market to help you even further. Tools like Search engines recognize which words are hyperlinked and give value to those words. Therefore, if someone hyperlinks to your golf school and they hyperlink the text “the program” instead of “golf academy,” you are missing out and you should politely ask the linker if they wouldn’t mind shifting the link to the more SEO-friendly text. Most of the time they are happy to help. Second, How Do You Research Inbound Links? both provide this functionality. HubSpot also provides link research tools as a part of our If you’ve read a bit about search engine optimization (SEO), then you know that attracting lots of high quality inbound links is one of the most effective ways to build authority and improve your rank online. Even if you know An inbound link is a hyperlink on someone else’s web site that includes the URL for a page on your domain. Inbound links vary in quality and usefulness based on the originating site’s own authority, how many other links originate from that page and the actual text that is hyperlinked. What you want most are: Prioritize that list and start working away at it one link at a time. You’ll find that online authority and the resulting search results improve over time and the best benefit – the more people find you, the more they link to you, creating a virtuous cycle of link building that will be really hard for your competition to beat! Is it a member directory that you pay for? Is it a content centric site that might let you post a guest article? Topics: Yahoo Site Explorer Wow. They are a national outfit and it shows – they have hundreds of inbound links, many of high quality. This is a treasure trove of link opportunities to research further, looking for either personal connections or maybe sites that love to link to award-winning products, great content or customer stories. What does that really mean? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Getting a link from the New York Times has much more value than a link from my personal blog. Just like a personal introduction from your dearest friend has more value than an introduction from a distant acquaintance.
Phil Simon joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot’s social media and inbound marketing podcast! Phil is the author of The Age of the Platform, The New Small, Why New Systems Fail, and The Next Wave of Technologies. He focuses on the intersection of people, management, and technology.In this episode, we chat about:The concept of building platforms and planksAdopting community and letting people develop on your platformLearning from the gang of four (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google)How to compete against an entrenched platformTips on building your own platformEmerging platforms to keep an eye onGetting people to build on top of your platformThe future of where the platform is headed Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Oct 20, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated July 03 2013 Check out other episodes of Inbound NowPlatforms and Planks”All platforms are not the same. The planks that I have in my platform, for example, are different than the planks that HubSpot has in its platform.”Your platform is your core business, and your planks are all the other elements and areas that lead back to your main platform. The more planks you have, the more powerful your platform becomes.It’s all about diversifying and not being afraid of failure.Adopting Community and Letting People Develop on Your Platform”You want people to take your product and services in different directions.”An example of this is Twitter and TweetDeck. Several months ago, Twitter bought TweetDeck — a company that took its API in an interesting direction.Learning From the Gang of Four”One of the bones of contention in a few of the interviews I’ve given is this notion that a small or medium sized company can’t learn something from Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. I say yes it can.”There are lessons for mid-size companies to learn from the gang of four (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google). Perhaps you can implement Google’s notion that engineers get to play around one day a week, or create your own app in the App Store.You can build your own platform, even if you’re just a company of one.Can You Compete Against an Entrenched Platform?”Look at Facebook. It was by no means the first social network. There was MySpace. There was Friendster. There was Classmates.com. But if you read an excellent book that I referenced in The Age of the Platform, in The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick, he writes about how Mark Zuckerberg, back in 2000, 2001, was obsessed with speed.”Being first to market your product means nothing if you can’t support the volume and you can’t scale.On the flip side, there is something to be said for being first (you can build an online bookstore tomorrow, but it won’t overtake Amazon anytime soon). It’s just not always a given. It’s a competitive edge to be first, but it’s not a given that you’ll always be first (things go viral very quickly).Tips on Building a Platform”By building a platform and embracing this notion of ecosystems, you can increase the probability that when something happens, you can respond really quickly.”You can’t be afraid of experimentation or failure. Look at your platform, and see what planks make sense. For Phil, he runs a publishing company and he does speaking — so having a book and being active on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn make sense.You can’t predict the future, but you can be prepared to act.You want to make your own platform as easy as possible to navigate. Don’t spend the time and money integrating video into your website — be on YouTube and Vimeo. You can take advantage of other platforms by using them as planks of your own.Emerging Platforms”There’s no reason that the Gang of Four has a monopoly on platforms.”Twitter, believe it or not, could be considered an emerging platform. They’re not quite at the level of Facebook, in Phil’s opinion, but they’re getting there through partners in different ecosystems.WordPress is an emerging platform. A fraction of the top thousand websites are running on WordPress, and they have a whole community of developers and companies that take WordPress in different directions.There’s also Salesforce.com and Force.com. They’re trying to let people build bridges to and from data, giving them apps, etc.Getting People to Build on Top of Your Platform”If you look at what the Gang of Four does with marketing, I think it’s very different than traditional marketing. I would argue it’s not marketing to people and not marketing at people. You’re almost letting the users and the consumers market for you.”Some of the companies we’ve mentioned do traditional advertising. But the real value is from people evangelizing their platforms on their behalf.The Future of Platforms”I think that platforms will become more and more important. Technology keeps changing faster and faster. People are looking for convenience and the one-stop shopping.”Phil sees platforms becoming more important. But if companies don’t continue to change and evolve and embrace uncertainty and risk, they won’t be around.Connect With Phil OnlineYou can follow Phil on Twitter @PhilSimon and on his main site. Also, make sure to pick up his new book, The Age of the Platform. Inbound Marketing