Vertebra from the newly discovered dinosaur species Aardonyx celestea. This fossil has helped scientists to learn more about how early dinosaurs walked.(Image: Cathy Findley PR) Prof Bruce Rubidge shows visitors a large crocodile-like reptile skull, Erythrosuchus, believed to be one of the most distant ancestors of dinosaurs.(Image: Wilma den Hartigh) The large hand of a Gorgonopsian clearly illustrates the hunting capabilities of these flesh-eating mammal-like reptiles.(Image: Cathy Findley PR) Massospondylus eggs and fossiled embryo.(Image: Cathy Findley PR) The fossils on show reveal important information about the development of mammal-like reptiles, which over hundreds of millions of years gradually evolved into mammals.(Image: Wilma den Hartigh)MEDIA CONTACTS• Nicolle Kairuz Cathy Findley Public Relations+27 11 463 6372Wilma den HartighA rare collection of original fossils that evolved over a period of 120-million years, dating back even further than the discovery of early hominids, is on display at Maropeng in the Cradle of Humankind.The new exhibition is a collaboration between Maropeng and the Bernard Price Institute (BPI) for Palaeontological Research at Wits University, to celebrate the university’s 90th anniversary.The fossils on display, which offer an extraordinary glimpse into what came before dinosaurs, are a small selection of pieces from the institute’s prized original fossil collection.At a glance the items on display might look like nothing more than pieces of rock, but a closer inspection reveals that they are palaeontological finds with great significance.These fossils are helping scientists piece together the puzzle of human and mammal evolution.Speaking at the opening of the exhibition, BPI director Prof Bruce Rubidge explained that the fossils on show reveal important information about the development of mammal-like reptiles, which over hundreds of millions of years gradually evolved into mammals.“All fossils displayed here are our ancestors,” says Rubidge.What scientists saw in their study of these fossils is that over time our primitive reptilian ancestors gradually acquired more mammal-like features. “This means we can trace the entire evolutionary development of mammals,” he explains.Rubidge explains that about 300-million years ago, when terrestrial ecosystems started to develop, the only animals with backbones were fish and amphibians.The Karoo region records a long period of geological ancestry of three groups of reptiles that gave rise to tortoises, dinosaurs, lizards, snakes and small mammals. “This whole evolution is encapsulated in these rocks in the Karoo,” he says.SA’s rich fossil heritageThis collection of fossils is even more noteworthy because of its origins in rocks in the Karoo region, dating back 180- to 300-million years ago.“What is amazing about South Africa’s Karoo rock is that it is an almost continuous sedimentary record of palaeontological history for a period of 120-million years,” explains Rubidge.“It is the only place in the world with such an extensive and continuous record.”What’s on show?Visitors can see parts of Aardonyx, a vegetarian dinosaur from the early Jurassic period. This fossil, approximately 195-million years old and estimated to be seven metres long, has helped scientists to learn more about how early dinosaurs walked.According to Dr Adam Yates, the primary investigator and a palaeontologist at the BPI, this particular species is important as it was close to the common ancestor of the gigantic sauropod dinosaurs.Sauropods, also known as brontosaurs, were the largest backboned animals to walk on land with their long necks, tree-trunk legs and whip-like tails. Aardonyx probably walked on its hind legs, but could also drop onto all fours.There is a large crocodile-like reptile skull, Erythrosuchus, believed to be one of the most distant ancestors of dinosaurs.The large hand of a Gorgonopsian clearly illustrates the hunting capabilities of these flesh-eating mammal-like reptiles.The showpiece of the collection is the 195-million-year-old clutch of dinosaur eggs – the oldest fossilised dinosaur eggs in the world, discovered in a cliff at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in the Free State province.This site previously yielded the oldest known embryos belonging to Massospondylus, a relative of sauropods.The discovery of the clutch of eggs, which made international headlines, revealed important clues about the evolution of complex reproductive behaviour in early dinosaurs.Speaking about this discovery in an earlier news report David Evans, curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum, said even though the fossil record of dinosaurs is extensive, there is very little information about their reproductive biology, particularly for early dinosaurs.The newly-discovered dinosaur nesting ground is believed to be more than 100-million years older than previously known nesting sites.At least ten nests have been discovered at several levels at the Golden Gate site, each with up to 34 round eggs in tightly clustered clutches.The distribution of the nests in the rock indicates show that early dinosaurs returned repeatedly to this site, a process known as nesting site fidelity.A palaeotourism route for SAThe fossils found in Karoo rock add to the country’s already extraordinary fossil record. “South Africa has had an enormous impact on the field of palaeontology,” Rubidge says.He says there is great potential to develop a palaeotourism route in South Africa, and that there’s no reason why such an initiative couldn’t be as successful as the country’s wine route. South Africa has one of the richest fossil records and collections in the world and the industry could create many jobs.Sites to include on the route include the Cradle of Humankind, where the 2.3-million year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus, known as Mrs Ples, was found in 1947; Nieu-Bethesda’s Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre, famous for its early dinosaur and reptile discoveries; Golden Gate, the site of the oldest fossilised dinosaur eggs in the world, and Langebaan on the West Coast, where fossilised human footprints dating back 117 000 years were found, the oldest known footprints of an anatomically-modern human.Langebaan is home to the West Coast Fossil Park, about 150km northwest of Cape Town, where the oldest woodpecker in Africa was recently discovered and named after former president Nelson Mandela. It lived during the Pliocene era, which extended from about 5.3-million years to 2.6-million years ago.The park contains many well-preserved examples of animals that roamed the land about five million years ago and is described as possibly the most diverse collection of fossils of that age.• The fossil display will run until the end of October 2012.
Rodriguez wows his audiences with his 70s songs. His double album – Cold Fact, and Coming from Reality. (Images: Rodriguez website)MEDIA CONTACTS • Stephen Segerman Owner of Mabu Vinyl, Cape Town +27 21 423 7635RELATED ARTICLES • SA songbird wins top opera prize • Lira to usher in Obama term • Homegrown artistic talent honouredUpdate: At the 85th Academy Awards, held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on 24 February, Searching for Sugarman won the award for best documentary. The film has been the favourite to win.Director Malik Bendjelloul and producer Simon Chinn were on hand to accept the golden statuette. The singer himself was absent, because he “doesn’t want to take credit for this film”, according to Chinn, speaking backstage afterwards.Lucille DavieSouth Africa’s most unlikely export must be Rodriguez, a singer-songwriter from Detroit in the US. The Mexican-American cut two albums in the early 1970s which went nowhere in his homeland but were a huge hit in South Africa, culminating in the 2012 hit movie Searching for Sugarman.On stage in Johannesburg during his February 2013 tour he said: “The last time I was this happy was the last time I was in South Africa.” That was in 2008.After his albums, Cold Fact and Coming from Reality, flopped in the US, he disappeared for decades into a working class suburb of Detroit where he still lives, continuing his work as a labourer on construction sites, until two South Africans went searching for him.The discovery of the aged hippie, now 70, has the quality of a miracle, with a man who was thought to have died, rising from the dead to become a worldwide sensation.The release of the movie has catapulted Rodriguez into a place very far from his humble beginnings, with tours to Europe, South Africa, Australia, America and New Zealand, coming quick and fast.Sugarman, directed by Sweden’s Malik Bendjelloul, has been nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary and has already won the corresponding award at the 2013 Baftas or British Academy of Film and Television Arts, plus a bagful of other awards. The Academy Awards take place on 24 February.America has fallen for him big time – he has appeared on top-flight talk shows and news channels, and fans just can’t buy tickets for his concerts fast enough.Timeless appealRodriguez’s 2013 South African tour has seen extra concerts scheduled, with tickets sold out within hours. His folk-rock songs have appealed across the generations, a phenomenon seen at the concerts where 20-somethings sat alongside balding 70-somethings.His opening line on stage is typical laid-back Rodriguez: “Thanks for stepping out this evening.”Standing there in leather pants, black vest, black hat pulled down over his forehead, and large shades, he had the audience on their feet after almost every song. The quality of his voice hasn’t diminished over the years – classics like Sugar man, I wonder and I think of you are still able to take the baby boomers back to a dreamy place in the 70s.More than a prince“South Africa made me feel like more than a prince,” said Rodriguez in the movie, talking about his first tour to the country in 1998.Various music producers in the movie described him as better than the Rolling Stones, Elvis and Bob Dylan. And yet outside of South Africa and Australia, he was an unknown entity. All that changed in the late 1990s when two South Africans, record store owner Stephen Segerman and music journalist Craig Bartholomew, set out to find their hero.Rodriguez is an extraordinarily modest, humble man who has lived in the same house for the past 40 years. It was difficult to get hold of him as he didn’t even have a phone in the house, but the two South Africans persisted.They had heard stories that he had died, dramatically committing suicide on stage. Their search began in 1997 – they scoured his songs, looking for clues to his whereabouts. Eventually a clue emerged: in the song Inner City Blues there was mention of a Detroit suburb called Dearborn.In the same year the pair created a website, asking for anyone with details of Rodriguez. Rodriguez’s eldest daughter Eva, who now lives in South Africa, responded by leaving her phone number. Segerman phoned her and told her his story, and she reassured him that her father was alive.Bartholomew describes that revelation as “a euphoric moment”.Segerman left his number with Eva. That night his wife took a late-night call. It was Rodriguez. “Hello, is that Sugar?” he said. “I knew I was talking to Rodriguez, it was one of the greatest moments of my life,” says Segerman in the movie. He had been given the nickname “Sugarman” in the army because he loved listening to the song.Once they’d traced him Segerman and Bartholemew persuaded Rodriguez to tour to South Africa where he still had a huge fan base. That was in June 1998. He had six sold-out concerts in that year and has returned to tour three or four times.But if the Americans were taken aback, the local fans were even more so. It took that first audience of some 5 000 people back in 1998 up to 10 minutes to stop cheering and screaming. Said Bartholomew in the movie: “It’s like seeing someone like Elvis come back from the dead.”And Rodriguez simply said: “Thanks for keeping me alive.” His daughter Eva said: “It was beautiful, a beautiful dream.”An educated manHis three daughters describe him as an educated man with a degree in philosophy, who exposed them to art, music and culture and taught them that they could do anything they wanted. He once ran for mayor of Detroit, wanting to represent the working poor in the city, but wasn’t successful so he continued with his construction work, saying it “keeps the blood circulating, keeps you fit”.His daughter Regan says of him: “He was doing work no one else wanted to do. He was a harder worker than a lot of other fathers were.”Sugarman director Bendjelloul says of Rodriguez in a January 2013 interview: “He was very warm and welcoming and a lovely guy. I really liked him. But he didn’t like to be on camera. It’s very hard when you make a film about someone who doesn’t like getting filmed. So I didn’t get much footage with him. I went there every year for four years, and every time I got maybe 20 minutes of footage.”Of the singer’s sudden fame, Segerman says: “Rodriguez is enjoying room service,” he laughs. “He has his family with him, and it’s one big happy family. He likes meeting his fans.”Segerman has wanted to introduce Rodriguez to his Amercian countrymen since 1997, so is now “just thrilled that the whole world has discovered him and his music. The dream continues”.
At times, two innings of a Twenty20 match can appear as though they were played on two different continents. So it was on Friday, when India’s batting appeared to have taken place on a slow and low R Premadasa Stadium deck while Australia’s openeRs seemed to bat on a flat, even-paced one at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Shane Watson (72 off 42 balls) registered yet another half-century – to go with his three-wicket haul – and David Warner made an unbeaten 63 off 41 balls as Australia crushed India by nine wickets with 31 balls to spare in their opening Super Eights game here. Having chosen to bat, India posted 140 for seven, which was pretty much par for the couRs e, given the preceding low-scoring thriller between Pakistan and South Africa. But a short, sharp shower in the fiRs t over of the chase seemed to freshen up the pitch beyond recognition, and the Aussies’ strokeplay was also assisted by some rubbish bowling by four of India’s five specialist bowleRs . While India managed just two sixes in their innings, the two Ws hit 10, with Watson dealing almost exclusively in the big hits. He slammed seven of them, peppering all parts of the ground at will, and with Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, R Ashwin and Irfan Pathan bowling a lot of short balls, his favourite pull shot was often on display. Watson thus won his third successive man of the match award, despite falling to Yuvraj towards the end. Warner played the perfect foil, going a little slower but hitting the ball as well, though he was lucky to be unbeaten after surviving two very close lbw appeals from Zaheer Khan. The senior left-armer bowled with venom on his return to the team, and was the only positive for India. Earlier, the pace of Watson, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc seemed to rattle the Indians. In the space of seven balls at the halfway mark of the innings, India’s middle-order had virtually served the game to Australia on a platter with Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan and Rohit Sharma’s dismissals reducing them to 74 for five. It was Suresh Raina’s 19-ball 26 and Ashwin’s unbeaten 12ball 16 that helped them regain some respectability. Aussie skipper George Bailey surprised one and all by handing the new ball to part-time off-spinner Glenn Maxwell, but Gautam Gambhir negotiated the first few overs with ease to give India a good start. But at the end of the third over, Gambhir was run out in a freak way, as Cummins kicked the ball onto the stumps at the striker’s end. Virat Kohli began like a man possessed, punching a back-ofa-length ball from Starc to the boundary, before Pathan took over the scoring, smacking a straight six and a lofted off-side four against Shane Watson. India reached 50 for one after six overs , but Cummins delivered on his promise to rattle them with short balls, getting Kohli caught off a top edged pull. Watson then produced a double breakthrough with the wickets of Yuvraj and Pathan, and Rohit misread the line of Starc’s angled delivery from around the wicket and lost his off stump. The final flourish through Raina and Ashwin was too little too late for India, after Cummins & Co. had kept things tight. The youngster finished with two for 16, while Watson took three for 34. ScoreadvertisementInd vs Aus T20 World Cup:MATCH SUMMARY: Hard to explaining the bowling show from India. Yes, there was a shower and gripping the ball could have been more difficult for the spinners but India seemed to have lacked a plan B. There was nothing else to fall back on. Once the spinners failed, Dhoni went on to try all his part timers as a gamble. Nothing worked though. Watson and Warner continued their stupendous run as an opening pair and knocked the wind out of India with some explosive batting. This is the 7th consecutive loss for India at the super 8 stages in T20 championships. They are yet to win at this stage since that final of 2007.10:25 pm | 14.5 overs: It’s all over and Australia win by 9 wickets. Ashwin to Glenn Maxwell, 1 run, there it comes. A misfield by Zaheer at cover gives Glenn Maxwell a single and the game for Australia. An absolutely comprehensive victory this. This will be very hard to take for India.Glenn Maxwell, right handed bat, comes to the crease10:15 pm | 13.3 overs: WICKET! Finally a wicket for India. Yuvraj to Shane Watson, out Caught by (sub)Manoj Tiwary!! A wicket finally. Not too short from Yuvraj, Watson gets back and slaps it straight into the hands of short extra cover. Tiwary takes the sharp chance and flings the ball up in delight. His enthusiasm is not shared by many other Indian fielders. Watson has played his part in demoralising them. Shane Watson c (sub)Manoj Tiwary b Yuvraj 72(42) [4s-2 6s-7] (Aus 133/1 in 13.3 overs)advertisement10:09 pm | 12.5 overs: Rohit Sharma to Warner, 1 run, fuller length, Warner pushes it down to long off for a single and brings up his 8th T20I FIFTY. This has been a fabulous knock.10:00 pm | 10 overs: Irfan Pathan to Shane Watson, 1 run, the 100 comes up in no time. Shane Watson (53) and David Warner (45) are still in the middle.9:58 pm | 9.4 overs: Irfan Pathan to Shane Watson, FOUR, Shane Watson has suddenly raced past Warner and gets to his FIFTY. Poor bowling though. On the pads with fine leg up in the circle. Watson flicks it with ease. Ninth fifty in T20Is for Shane Watson.9:45 pm | 6.4 overs: 50 up for Australia and their openers are still in the middle. Harbhajan to Warner, FOUR, terrific placement from Warner, Harbhajan keeps it flat from round the wicket, Warner goes deep in the crease and pulls it right between deep mid wicket and long on.9:36 pm | 3.6 overs: Zaheer to Shane Watson, no run, very loud appeal turned down. It was straight and on middle. Australia are 22/0 at the stage with David Warner (16) and Shane Watson (5) are at the crease.The players are walking out already. So are the umpires.Looks like it is just a passing shower, the crowd has got excited. The covers are being removed. We should have play in a short while9:15 PM: The rain has got heavier and the umpires decide that it is time for the groundstaff to do their job, the players rush to the confines of the dressing room. Rain stops play9:10 pm | 0.1 overs: Ashwin to Shane Watson, no run, flighted delivery outside off, some bounce for Ashwin, Watson punches it to coverShane Watson and Warner are at the crease. Shane Watson is on strike. Ashwin will open the attackINDIA INNINGS: A decent score on this pitch. India started well but lost their way towards the middle of the innings. The pitch is showing signs of slowing down, it has not been all that easy to play strokes. Irfan struggled his way to 31, Raina played a neat little cameo. India have the runs on the board and the bowlers to defend this. Join us in a short while for the chase..9:03 pm | 19.6 overs: INNINGS! Shane Watson to Ashwin, 1 run, full ball outside off, Ashwin gets across and drives it to the right of point, the batsmen settle for a single, India end up on 140Harbhajan Singh, right handed bat, comes to the crease9:00 pm | 19.3 overs: WICKET! Raina was playing well, but could not clear Maxwell in the deep… Shane Watson to Raina, out Caught by Glenn Maxwell!! Raina falls after playing a decent hand, this was a length ball outside off, Raina was looking to go over extra cover, does not time it all that well, gets it right off the toe end and straight to long off. Maxwell accepts the offering with glee. Raina c Glenn Maxwell b Shane Watson 26(19) [4s-4] (India 137/7 in 19.3 overs)advertisementRavichandran Ashwin, right handed bat, comes to the crease8:42 pm | 15.6 overs: WICKET! Captain Dhoni falls! P Cummins to Dhoni, out Caught by George Bailey!! Dhoni falls and India slump futher, this was a slow and wide ball, Dhoni reaches out for the drive, gets it right off the toe end of the bat and presents a straight forward catch to Bailey at short extra cover. Cummins strikes another body blow for India. Dhoni c George Bailey b P Cummins 15(21) [4s-2] (India 104/6 in 15.6 overs)8:36 pm | 14.4 overs: Brad Hogg to Dhoni, 5 wides, bonus runs for India, the googly goes wrong, spins down the leg, Dhoni lets it go, Wade can’t collect it either, the ball races away to the fence, brings up the 100 for India.MS Dhoni, right handed bat, comes to the crease8:22 pm | 11.1 overs: WICKET! Another one takes a walk… Starc to Rohit Sharma, out Bowled!! Australia are on fire and India lose another one, exceptional bowling from Starc, comes from round the wicket and angles it back into Sharma, he was caught in the crease as he looked to defend, the ball stays a tad low and crashes into the off-stump. India have lost their fifth wicket. The ball deflected off the pads, but Sharma was beaten for sheer pace. Rohit Sharma b Starc 1(2) (India 74/5 in 11.1 overs)Suresh Raina, left handed bat, comes to the crease8:20 pm | 10.6 overs: WICKET! And Pathan who was holding fort all this while falls… Shane Watson to Irfan Pathan, out Caught by Cameron White!! Soft dismissal for Pathan, this was full and on the pads, Pathan clips it sweetly but straight to White, he makes a sharp catch look easy, India are losing the plot in the middle overs. Irfan Pathan c Cameron White b Shane Watson 31(30) [4s-2 6s-1] (India 74/4 in 10.6 overs)Rohit Sharma, right handed bat, comes to the crease8:15 pm | 10.1 overs: WICKET! And Yuvi walks… Shane Watson to Yuvraj, out Caught by Glenn Maxwell!! As I say, Yuvraj has perished, this was short and on the stumps, sticks in the pitch and does not come onto the batsman, Yuvraj plays the pull a bit too early, gets a thick top-edge that goes high in the air and drops in the safe hands of Maxwell at deep mid-wicket. Yuvraj c Glenn Maxwell b Shane Watson 8(10) [4s-1] (India 70/3 in 10.1 overs)Yuvraj Singh, left handed bat, comes to the crease8:02 pm | 7.2 overs: WICKET! Big wicket for Aus, Kohli falls! P Cummins to Virat Kohli, out Caught by Christian!! The short ball has done the trick, Cummins bangs in another short ball, Kohli was in no position to play the pull, gets it high off the bat, Christian runs back from mid-off and takes the skier with both hands. A rare failure for Kohli. Good catch in the end, the ball seemed to going away all the time. Virat Kohli c Christian b P Cummins 15(13) [4s-2] (India 56/1 in 7.2 overs)7:52 pm | 5 overs: India are 42/1 at the stage with opener Irfan Pathan (15) and one-down batsman Virat Kohli (8) in the middle.Virat Kohli, right handed bat, comes to the crease7:42 pm | 2.6 overs: WICKET! And Gambhir departs on the last ball of the over… P Cummins to Irfan Pathan, out Gambhir Run Out!! Gambhir falls after looking good. This was banged in short from Cummins, Pathan fended at at that, gets a thick inside edge onto his body, Gambhir called for a quick single, he had to go wide off his stride as Cummins rushed forward, Cummins wins the race, kicks the ball onto the stumps with Gambhir inches short of the popping crease. Gambhir run out (P Cummins) 17(12) [4s-3] (India 21/1 in 2.6 overs)7:38 pm | 1.5 overs: Starc to Gambhir, FOUR, beautifully played, width from Starc, Gambhir waits for the ball, throws his hands at that and gets it into the gap between point and cover point, no need to run for those7:35 pm| 0.6 overs: Glenn Maxwell to Irfan Pathan, leg byes, 1 run, Maxwell drifts one on the pads, Pathan looks to paddle it fine and misses, the ball rolls off the pads and behind the keeper, the batsmen take a single7:30 pm | 0.1 overs: Glenn Maxwell to Gambhir, 2 runs, fab shot, that deserved a boundary, this was tossed up outside off, Gambhir gets well forward and drives it past cover, the ball slows down near the ropes and the batsmen scamper across for a second runGambhir and Irfan Pathan are at the crease. Gambhir is on strike. Glenn Maxwell will open the attack Welcome back. Time for the national anthems. Pathan will, in all probability, walk out to open again. Got to be very interesting.Sehwag has been left out to make way for the fifth bowler.Bailey: “We have the same team. This wicket will be slower and lower. The spinners will play a big part. India have real depth in spin bowling and in their batting.”Dhoni: “We want to put runs on the board. The wicket is on the slower side and the spinners will be useful. Dinda and Balaji are out and we are playing three spinners. Ashwin and Piyush Chawla can bat. Sehwag is not playing this game.”7:00 pm | TOSS: India have won the toss and elected to batTeamsAustralia (Playing XI): David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Hussey, Cameron White, George Bailey(c), Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Christian, Matthew Wade(w), Brad Hogg, Pat Cummins, Mitchell StarcIndia (Playing XI): Gautam Gambhir, Irfan Pathan, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(w/c), Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer KhanImp news: Just heard that Virender Sehwag has been ruled out for today’s Super 8 match due to an injury.Team News:India: In their last group stage game, India went in with a team that saw quite a few changes. Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla were brought in to the side and R.Ashwin and Zaheer Khan were rested. That change led to England being bowled out for a paltry score of just 80, with Harbhajan and Chawla managing to take six wickets collectively. With “the Turbanator” and Chawla coming good, Mahendra Singh Dhoni will have to think twice before opting to exclude either spinner when they take on Australia, a side that also has shown some difficulties against spin in the past.Australia: George Bailey has made it clear that his side are ready for the spin challenge and has acknowledged that this Indian bowling line up needs to be treated with respect. He has also stated that his side aren’t totally dependent on Shane Watson and that they can do well as a team. “Do well” is exactly what they have done so far in this tournament. First the Australians demolished Ireland and after hammering West Indies all over the park for nine overs, they were helped by some rain as the Duckworth and Lewis method ruled in their favour.
Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Ararao nips Garcia for Southern Series title; Pamplona tops Pro class Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP LATEST STORIES DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting “We put the bull’s-eye squarely on our chests,” he said. “Everybody knows Justin (Brownlee). Everybody’s having their scheme against [him].” Ray Parks. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netIt doesn’t matter that Blackwater will be bringing in a new dimension to its attack with rookie Ray Parks finally suiting up. As far as Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone is concerned, it doesn’t matter who the Kings open their PBA Commissioner’s Cup title defense against.“Whether it’s Blackwater, San Miguel or TNT … It’s really a first step and we’re [just concerned] about getting off the right foot,” Cone said on Thursday, ahead of the team’s clash with Blackwater at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday. “[We hope] to make sure we set the tone for the whole conference.”ADVERTISEMENT “Hopefully we come out with a good defensive mind-set,” he added. “That’s what we want to do in the first game and its first few minutes.”Parks and import Alex Stepheson provided the firepower for the Elite in their victory over Meralco and rookie coach Aris Dimaunahan—a former Ginebra guard—hopes the two will come out blazing against the Kings.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“We’ll make up the best game plan possible, so we could hopefully get another win,” he said.The Kings will be prepared for that. Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess View comments
Advertising Back in 1999 a lot of startups burned through all of their cash on crazy advertising programs and marketing stunts. Even though HubSpot recently raised $12 million in venture capital financing, that’s not us. In fact, because we use mostly inbound marketing, we spend relatively little on marketing. So, I thought it might be fun to think about the ways we could (but won’t) spend the money.Send 17 Million Pieces of Direct Mail. There are a bunch of services where you can rent a list, they will print, address and mail a postcard for you for about $0.70 including postage. There are 25 million businesses in the US, we could get rid of the 8 million that are not a good fit for HubSpot, and send the rest of them a postcard.Place 50 Million Cold Calls. I found this service online that will make 1,000 cold calls for $250. Well, I’ve got $12 million dollars, and I figure I should get a little discount for buying in bulk. With 50 million cold calls, we could call every single business in the US…. twice. How awesome would that be! Talk about a great way to get the word out. After just a couple weeks every single business owner in the US would know HubSpot. Talk about buzz!!!Create a mascot and make it world famous. I am thinking that we need to do something with the orange widget in our logo. Give it a face and a name, and have it walk around and talk to people about marketing. Maybe it could also be really snarky and sarcastic and make funny jokes about how lame most advertising is. We’ll schedule some time with the creatives at our NYC advertising agency and then hire a director to film some short movies with our new mascot. (Inspiration: Do you remember the Pets.com sock puppet? It was a character that the startup created to market itself. When the company finally went bankrupt, many people speculated that the sock puppet character was worth more than the company.) Buy 1 Billion Pop-up Ads. If you assume a $12 CPM for pop-up ads we could get a billion of them. Imagine a billion pop-ups invading every computer online. We could do all of the “best practices” for pop-up ads. “Squash the monkey and win a prize.” “Pick who will win, Obama or Hillary.” “System message: Your computer is about to electrocute your mother unless you click this box and pay $9.95 to have the virus removed.” I think the response to this would be huge!Start a Fleet of 5 HubSpot Blimps. This would be cool. We just pick the 5 best markets in the US for HubSpot and park a blimp overhead 24×7. A blimp is about $2 million, so this plan still gives us $400K to pay for gas and pilots for each blimp (and you thought I wasn’t thinking ahead). Everyone in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco would be wondering “What the heck does HubSpot have to do with a blimp?” We’d be wondering the same thing. But it would still be cool. Put Marketing Devices Similar to Bombs in a City. You all heard about the backfired marketing stunt in Boston from Turner Broadcasting? Where they put electronic signs that got mistaken for bombs around the city? Sure, it shut down a lot of the major roads and got them sued and they had to pay a ton of fees in damages to the city. But talk about BUZZ, baby! The stunt got them coverage in the New York Times! All PR is good PR as they say. And with $12 million we can place a lot of devices and still pay off a bunch of lawsuits. Bring it on!The HubSpot NASCAR team. Sure, there is not a strong connection between NASCAR fans and HubSpot’s target market. But who can resist the lure of getting involved in one of the fastest growing sports in the US, especially when it is much more open to commercial involvement that other sports. A cool $12 million will net us a lead sponsorship of a lower level NASCAR team, including our logo on the car, uniforms, using the crew in marketing events, and more. Hire a Celebrity Spokesperson. Want a great way to get people to pay more attention to your company? Hire a celebrity as your spokesperson. GoDaddy has Danica Patrick. Accenture uses Tiger Woods. I had a hard time thinking about who would be best for HubSpot. But I think Oprah might be a good choice – she has proven she has staying power, and she is basically a self made marketing success having promoted herself for years. Another choice might be Martha Stewart. I’d just want to hear her say “HubSpot, its a good thing.” But I guess the whole insider trading and prision thing might not be a positive for our brand. If you have ideas about this, leave a comment. I’m all ears. 10,000 Hours of Infomercials. Have you ever bought a set of steak knives from a late-night TV ad? What about a juicer or car wax? And don’t forget any number of cleaning products from electric sweepers to miracle stain removers. Do you dread your nights of insomnia because you fear it will cost you more than just lost sleep because the infomercials are too convincing? Clearly we’re missing a big opportunity here. I mean at 2am when you can’t sleep, you are certainly looking for some inbound marketing software. HubSpot Infomercials, here we come! “Get started fast with just 12 monthly payments of $250! Buy today and get a Free Website Grader Report!” Send 250 Billion Spam Emails. Yes, 250 BILLION with a B, baby!!! This is an even better deal than those cold calls. I found this service online that will send 4,000,000 “opt-in emails” for just $200, and again, they discount at higher volumes so I should be able to get an even better rate. Think about the effect this would have. If we sent them all at once we could probably crash the entire Internet. Sure, probably a lot of them would be blocked by Spam filters. But some of them would have to get through. Plus the buzz factor would be tremendous!!! Pretty much everyone on the planet could get an email from HubSpot. Or every person in the US old enough to use email could get 1,000 HubSpot advertisement emails. That’s one a day for three years. Huge! The best part about this program… they take credit cards online so I get 12 million AMEX points once I fill out my expense report. Can you say 4 weeks all expenses paid in Tahiti? I can!What would you do if you wanted to waste $12 million on marketing? Leave a comment with your own funny idea.The Funniest Idea of How to Spend $12 Million to Market HubSpot will Win a $100 Amazon Gift CardPost your idea as a comment on this article. The comment must be made by 12 midnight on Tuesday, May 20, and I alone will be responsible for determining what the funniest idea is.Update: Contest is Now ClosedThe winner is Pete from www.elrhino.com. His reponse, and the accompanying Boston Globe article was the one that caused the most out loud laughter around the office. Click here to open the full size version in a new window. Pete should email me at mvolpe [at] hubspot [dot] com to claim your prize.There were lots of good ideas! All the other tattoo ideas were good, the in person pop-ups suggested by Lisa Warnock were cool (and actually could be do-able on a small scale), and the awesome idea of HubSpot toilet paper by Darren Angus with the slogan “When you least want to be interrupted, you’ll be happy we are there.” I wonder what Charmin would charge for that? Originally published May 19, 2008 10:36:00 AM, updated October 29 2019 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
. How to Generate Leads for Small Business you should eternally be running multiple variations of everything that matters you have nothing to lose and everything to gain Continuous testing is the only way to ensure that your campaigns are always improving. This means that . Make two or more versions of your landing page and split traffic between the two, eventually you’ll see one variation is producing more leads. Turn off the lesser version and iterate on the winner. For both email and PPC campaigns, you should be sending visitors to specific landing pages. Running PPC ads? Each keyword you’re bidding on should have at least two different ad variations going at all times. You have 3 lines to vary (4 if you’re really creative) You should always be testing everything Learn how small businesses can level the playing field and generate leads efficiently by leveraging inbound Internet marketing strategies and tools. If you have a blog or other content pages on your site, you probably have graphic call-to-action elements on your pages (probably in a sidebar). By now you should get the point. Everything you do in your marketing campaigns can and should be tested, and not just once. No matter how well your ads, emails and landing pages are performing, they can always be doing better. That little bit of knowledge should eat away at any marketer or business owner worth her salt, and by not striving for constant improvement you’re leaving money on the table and letting your competition eat your lunch. Download our Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Lead Generation for Small Business Webinar . Try different approaches in your ad title, or different amounts of keyword repetition in the body of the ad. I’ve seen some interesting anecdotal evidence that line length and line length patterns can affect CTR rates on PPC ads, for example if your title is short, line 2 long and then line 3 short again, the shape of the ad creates an arrow and can stand out on a high-competition SERP. Get creative and once you see that one of your variations is getting more clicks, turn off the other one and add a new one that varies on the better performing version. . These are perfect for continuous testing and improvement When you queue up an email to send to your whole list, instead split your list in half and send the same email with two different subject lines, or send emails with two different main offers or calls-to-action. After a few days look at the data and figure out which subject line or CTA produced the best results. In the next email, split your list again and try two different variations of the version that won the last time. Keep doing this every single time you send a message to your list, On a given page there are any number of things you can test, from the number and layout of form elements to the messaging of the copy to your lead funnel. Every email, every PPC ad, and every landing page should always have multiple versions running and you should be in a constant state of analysis and incremental re-factoring. , otherwise you’re not doing as well as you could be. Originally published May 8, 2009 10:54:00 AM, updated June 28 2019 . Run two or more versions of each CTA on your pages and see which produces the most clicks.
Social Media Advertising Some Quick Facts: “Why Yellow Page Ads Are A Waste of Money”: Sign up today! “Yellow Page usage amongst people in their, say below 50, will drop to near zero over the next five years.” — Bill Gates [ ] Photo credit: Si1very There are businesses in the Service industries that haven’t fully experienced this shift yet. Plumbers and contractors, for instance, still dominate the phonebook. If you are looking to renovate your bathroom, it can difficult to find enough information about it on the Web. There isn’t enough local content online to provide consumers with the same shopping experience as what the travel industry offers. Some Industries Are Further from the Tipping Point Originally published Dec 13, 2010 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Some Industries Have Already Tipped As Andrew Quinn, HubSpot’s Sales Training Manager with 16 years of experience in the Yellow Pages industry said, “The market is not going to go backwards and reverse itself.” That means you will need to step up. The shift in consumer behavior has already reached some industries, such as the travel industry and catering. These businesses rarely buy Yellow Pages ads because calls don’t come in that way for them. In the travel business, a number of online tools have emerged to make the buying process more engaging and educational. All of a sudden, sites like Priceline.com and The following is a preview of information from the upcoming HubSpot Webinar: . ] Buying behavior is changing rapidly as people shift their research and shopping habits from traditional marketing channels to the Internet. Consumers can educate themselves more than ever about a product or a service before they make a purchase decision. They compare prices, check customer reviews, read case studies and receive instant responses to their queries. It is just a matter of time for this change in buying behavior to hit your industry. Huge Opportunity Lies with the “Untipped” Industries ] ] source source source source Consumers increasingly consider online services before Yellow Pages as they make purchase decisions [ Topics: Since 2007, many states quit printing residential listings or have pending requests: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. [ But it is a matter of time for this new buying behavior to slowly make its way to all industries. Then, the question you will need to answer is, “Where on that line am I?” Traditional land lines are being disconnected at a rate of nearly 10% each year. [ TripAdvisor If you want to learn how to move away from Yellow Pages ads strategically, offer tons of valuable content for travelers. Couples preparing for their wedding celebrations also gravitate to the Web for catering information and honeymoon destinations. A great marketing opportunity lies with the industries that haven’t tipped yet. If you are ahead of the curve and following closely the shift in consumer behavior, you can own this new space and become a trusted advisor online. You will gain a huge competitive advantage rather than trying to catch up with competitors who have been more aware of the changes in buying processes. Yellow Pages used to represent the final stage of the buying process when people were ready to make a purchase decision. But today the buying process is no longer a linear path ending with the book. Instead, it follows the curves and tools of emerging online technologies. join HubSpot’s free webinar on the topic Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Identifying the influencers Building relationships with them Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack In a way, PR is one of the original forms of content marketing. Public relations professionals do plenty of things, of course: publicity, reputation management, and media relations, to name but a few. But the heart and soul of PR has always been planting stories in the media: in newspapers, magazines, on television and radio. With the exception of “the exclusive,” the primary tool in the arsenal for planting stories has traditionally been the press release, a brief, persuasive, one or two page document intended to persuade its journalist recipients that a certain topic is worth their time, attention, and coverage. An This lays out a new set of challenges: That’s a real game changer. our free webinar Content Marketing . Influencers can be bloggers or others with a significant social media following who are talking online about the issues, products, or services that fit with whatever a PR professional is working to publicize. And unlike the mainstream media, these essential targets are not necessarily versed or experienced in dealing with PR pros. . They’re no longer a private, one-to-one communications channel (once upon a time, releases were mailed, and later faxed, to newsrooms). In today’s age, press releases are distributed via wire services — wire services that are immediately picked up by all the major news services including Google, Yahoo, AOL News, and Bing. In other words, the second a press release is actually released content marketing How are you adapting to the changing nature of isn’t dead in the context of content marketing. Instead, it’s optimized for a variety of different target audiences as well as for search engines. Given that once a release crosses the wire, it’s “out there” for anyone to find (not just journalists), keyword research has become an essential component of optimizing press releases for search. Once you decide on two or three relevant search terms, these terms should be incorporated into the headline and opening paragraph of the release. It’s become increasingly important for press releases to contain links to video, photos, executive bios, a company or product web site — anything that will expand upon and enrich the story. influencers End-users, potential buyers, or clients can now be the target of your press release. In bygone days, that target was limited to the press. Where PR pros used to jealously maintain, guard, and update media lists, their who’s-covering-what-beat Rolodex of who to reach out to place stories, the challenge now is to target on Thursday, July 28, when we’ll discuss these concepts in greater details, as well as flesh them out with case studies. Finding the online communities where relevant discussions occur press releases don’t work that way anymore Yet, fundamentals remain the same. PR professionals are good at helping to shape and to spread stories, and , will be published by Pearson in September. Find the Influencers (Not Necessarily the Journalists) themselves effective press release , a digital marketing consultant specializing in content marketing and SEO as well as a sought-after speaker, writer, and author. Her next book, . I hope you’ll join us for Creating awareness and enough enthusiasm to encourage these people and groups to discuss the product/service/story. Enter the Optimized Press Release the media. Moreover, they interface and target a media landscape that’s grown far beyond traditional press and broadcasts outlets. But ? public relations Public relations just plain doesn’t work the way it used to is, as we’ve seen, very much about stories. In a digital landscape, this necessitates not only finding and shaping stories, but also determining how they are told, through which channels, and to whom. Rebecca Lieb Topics: This is a guest blog post by Originally published Jul 19, 2011 5:05:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 , the PR practitioner has broken his or her own story. It’s hard to persuade people in the news business to pick up “news” once the story is already “out there.” Public Relations So while PR practitioners were once exclusively in the business of influencing the media (and they still are), they (like all other content marketers) are
Social media can be a huge contributor to a company’s lead generation efforts in both B2B and B2C. But how efficient are the various different social channels in directly driving leads? In a recent study of over 5,000 businesses, HubSpot found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, almost 3 times higher (277%) than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%).Access Now: Free Advertising Checklist + Best Practices Videos LinkedIn’s conversion rate also outranked social media as a channel overall. In other words, of all the traffic that came to these business’ websites via social media, .98% of that traffic converted into leads, compared to LinkedIn’s 2.74%.So why might LinkedIn be the most efficient social channel for lead generation, and how can you use that to your advantage?People join LinkedIn to showcase their career, work expertise, and find content and information to make their professional lives better. So businesses who target other businesses will naturally find a higher concentration of their target market on LinkedIn. Also, when someone visits LinkedIn, the person is most likely in a business-focused mindset, helping business’ content perform inherently better.So what about B2C-focused businesses? Less content is generally posted to LinkedIn than to other social networks, which is probably because people almost exclusively post marketing-related content as opposed to their children’s photos or social “chatter.” This means there is less clutter on LinkedIn, making a person capable of consuming a higher percentage of the content that’s active on LinkedIn at any given time. In other words, a business’ marketing posts are more likely to be noticed on LinkedIn than somewhere else.So what should you do when you find a specific social channel that’s a slam dunk for your business?How to Leverage Your Business’ Top-Performing Social Network1. Invest time and effort to grow that specific channel. The trick, however, will be trying to maintain a quality network as your community scales.2. Post more of the targeted content that’s working. If you notice people are specifically really enjoying blog posts, webinars, or something else — keep offering it! How can you tell what content’s working? Monitor comments, likes, shares, and clicks.3. Find more opportunities to post relevant CTAs. Can you sprinkle more lead generation opportunities throughout your social media updates? It’s quite a balancing act, but a solid mix of calls-to-action (CTAs) and other content is healthy.4. Don’t take success for granted – keep learning. It’s easy to get comfortable when something is going well. Remember, there are always opportunities to improve. Keep testing, analyzing your data, and increasing results!What type of conversion rates do you experience per network? Is the data similar to your own results? 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 Jan 30, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 14 2019 LinkedIn Marketing
When we discuss calls-to-action (CTAs) in marketing, we often look at them as a key driver of lead generation. After all, they are mostly used to send incoming traffic to your landing pages and lead-capture forms. While CTAs are great for generating lead conversions, they can also help contribute to a different goal: growing your email list.A lot of companies also find it beneficial to use calls-to-action to expand their email database and list of contacts (which they will later nurture and follow up with). And in some cases, this can be even more effective than using a CTA to promote a lead-gen offer.Download Now: 28 Free CTA TemplatesIn fact, some businesses are doing this exceptionally well! So in this blog post, which is an excerpt from our new ebook 101 Examples of Effective Calls-to-Action, let’s review some awesome examples of how companies are effectively using calls-to-action for email list growth.1) The CombineThe best calls-to-actions don’t look like flashing ads, but instead are paths toward valuable information discovery. The Combine offers a great example of that. The text above the email opt-in box conveys the action readers need to take, and it’s clear and direct. The layout of the page is clean and simple, helping the reader focus on the most important action here — entering his or her email address and signing up for email updates.2) Crowd Track GentAnother great approach when collecting emails and contacts to grow your database is to use subtle text that shows readers what information they need to enter. In this case, Crowd Track Gent is not collecting email addresses, but it surely provides a good lesson on how to design your call-to-action effectively. In the screenshot below, you’ll see that the subtle text within the blank boxes instructs visitors to enter their “First Name” and “Surname.” The play button to the right of the “Surname” box sends users a signal that the element is interactive and makes the result of the action more tangible.3) GiltWhen you collect email addresses, make sure you’re setting clear expectations. What are your recipients going to get? How often? Gilt, for instance, features a call-to-action that includes a hyperlink to the company’s Terms of Membership. The sentence is right beneath the main call-to-action button.You can take a different approach of setting expectations and mentioning that your email updates will be about product discounts, new offers, events, etc. The takeaway here is, let your new contacts know what they will start receiving from you so they stay subscribed.4) GojeeEven if your site visitors are interested in downloading your resources, some people will still experience form anxiety. Therefore, you need to reassure them that their personal information and privacy will be safe with you.Reduce people’s anxiety by guaranteeing that you will keep their privacy and send them only content and information they care about. Check out how creatively Gojee achieves this: “We swear on our finest bottle of scotch that we won’t spam you.”5) GraphEffectExperiment with adding background images to your email opt-in calls-to-action to increase readers’ desire to sign up for your offers and convey positive emotions of efficiency, enjoyment, success, etc. GraphEffect provides a good example of a CTA using a background image and also incorporating a semi-transparent black box on top of the picture in order to increase the readability of the text.6) JetsetterYou can increase the visitor’s incentive to sign up for your communication if you mention that access/membership is free. Don’t be afraid to brag about your strengths—confident and hyperbolic language helps boost conversions. Jettsetter, for instance, tells people that by signing up for their email updates, they will “get access to the world’s greatest vacations.”7) LaunchRockAnother great call-to-action tactic is to address the speediness of the sign-up process. Your CTA message should convey that setting up an account offers a lot of benefits and is no hassle at all. Check out how LaunchRock accomplishes this by telling visitors they can launch a page “in minutes.” This no-hassle process increases the user’s motivation and facilitates the conversion.8) ShopifyConsider experimenting with the layout of your form fields. Are they laid out vertically or horizontally? Does that impact your conversion rates?By presenting all required fields in one spot, you are transparent with visitors, reinforcing the simplicity of the action you’re asking them to take. Here is how Shopify set up its account registration:9) SkillshareAs a general call-to-action best practice, you should try to remove distractions from your main CTA and help people focus on what’s truly important – conversion! Skillshare has done a great job of this by using a simple white background and creating a clean, spacious experience. 10) TaskRabbitYou might also consider using the Facebook login option to gain more insights about your users. In this way, you allow visitors to sign into your website by using their Facebook credentials. While this one-click process might save people time, it might also make visitors anxious about their privacy. That is why TaskRabbit makes it an option to sign up with Facebook login – not a necessity.11) Smashing MagazineSocial proof—or also known as social influence—is a great way to sway people in a specific direction. Smashing Magazine provides a good example of using social proof to collect email addresses and expand its contact database. The publication is showing its number of existing subscribers, thus encouraging you to become a part of this big community.Do you use calls-to-action to expand your email list? Share your tips and best practices in the comments below. Originally published Jul 16, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated February 28 2018 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 Smart Content