Observable Chemistry Does Not Logically Apply to the Origin of Life

first_img(Visited 32 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Origin-of-life researchers assume that intelligently-designed experiments in the lab can inform them about the emergence of life without design – in short, that design proves non-design.Life uses chemistry; that’s not controversial.  What’s at issue is whether abiotic reactions on a primitive earth led to life without design.  Observing chemistry in the lab cannot speak to that question logically.  Astrobiologists assume that experiments they design for small portions of their story can be strung together into “scenarios” about life’s origin without design.  It doesn’t follow.  No one stage logically leads to another.  If each step is improbable, the improbabilities grow with each added step, becoming vanishingly small quickly.  Maintaining the story requires ample insertion of imagination —the very thing the scientific method was intended to overcome.  (Anyone can imagine that a scenario “could” happen.  Science seeks demonstrable proof.)Moreoever, astrobiologists never entertain serious criticisms from those outside their field; i.e., from experts who do not believe life could have emerged naturally.  All their squabbles are internal.  It creates a self-reinforcing belief in naturalism, with disagreement only in the details.  Naturalism itself becomes immune to falsification. In addition, astrobiology literature is rife with oversimplification and extrapolation, seasoned with hedging words about what “could” happen or “might” happen.  A few recent examples showcase these logical fallacies.Kick-starting life:  The leading controversy in origin-of-life theories these days concerns whether metabolism came first or genetics came first (see the two falsify each other in our 1/26/08 entry).  The metabolism-first view of Michael Russell at JPL is getting good press these days (see 12/03/04 and 2/15/08).  He claims that chemical reactions at hydrothermal vents started chain reactions that life later co-opted for metabolism.  Using a kick-starting metaphor, Astrobiology Magazine claims that “Three new papers strengthen the case the life on Earth first began at alkaline hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the oceans.”  Russell co-authored all three of these papers, so it’s no wonder they strengthen the case for his belief.  He claims his theory is testable, but the only thing he is testing is his intelligently-designed apparatus.  The observable present-day chemistry of vents, or the formation of acetate, does not logically concern the origin of life.  Imagination replaces demonstration with the use of the “could” word:Once this early chemical pathway was forged, acetate could become the basis of other biological molecules. They also describe how two kinds of “nano-engines” that create organic carbon and polymers — energy currency of the first cells — could have been assembled from inorganic minerals.The question is, who is the kicker?  In evolutionary theory, there is no mind or goal.  If acetate formed at a hydrothermal vent, nobody was guiding it toward bigger and better things.Giving vent to imagination:  In a PNAS commentary, Rogier Braakman of the Santa Fe Institute attempted to support the metabolism-first scenarios at hydrothermal, again with ample use of the “could” word:In particular, much remains unknown about what forms of prebiotic organic chemistry could have been possible at vents, and whether they could have produced abundant biological precursors.Several authors have argued (5–8 [including Russell]) that on the early Earth, this would have created a global network of geochemical reactors that could have seeded life by generating and trapping organic substrates from simple inorganic inputs.While providing an attractive conceptual framework, the strength of such arguments will ultimately depend on experiments that confirm that prebiotic chemistry at hydrothermal vents could have indeed produced analogs of pathways seen in modern metabolism.Studies of this sort can thus help improve our understanding of the variability of prebiotic chemistry within and across hydrothermal vents while also making it possible to consider how the parallel activation of different (sub)networks at different vent locations could have allowed access to pathways not possible under single environmental conditions.Mass concentration within abiotic networks was likely important, because if matter was distributed over too many different pathways it could have significantly decreased the likelihood of more complex structures and functions emerging.Thus, even if total abundances of such organic inputs were high, scenarios depending on them require plausible mechanisms to explain how only small subsets of compounds could have been selected out of highly distributed sets to become part of living systems.If instead metabolism emerged directly from geochemical networks with inorganic inputs, and studies indicate that the number of significantly contributing pathways at hydrothermal vents was likely somewhat limited, then the sparseness of metabolism could in part be a reflection of the sparseness of hydrothermal geochemistry.Before he died in 2007, Leslie Orgel (veteran origin-of-life researcher with Stanley Miller of spark-discharge fame) gave at least 15 reasons why metabolism-first scenarios will not work (1/26/08).  None of them were addressed in this new article.  The prior year, James Shapiro gave equally potent reasons why genetics-first scenarios will not work (2/15/07).Flowery rhetoric is not enough:  PhysOrg gave ample space to another believer in metabolism-first scenarios, Elbert Branscomb from the University of Illinois, an admirer of Russell’s vent hypothesis.  “Cracking how life arose on Earth may help clarify where else it might exist,” the headline reads, using three hedging words in one sentence.  The grinning face of Branscomb, and his colorful prose (“The answer should help us discover what is truly necessary to spark the fateful transition from the lifeless to the living, and thereby, under what conditions and with what likelihood it might happen elsewhere”) cannot compensate for his illogic.  In a single bound, Branscome leaps from the thermodynamics of hydrothermal vents to the intricate machinery of life that produces ATP, as if that is how “life got launched,” given “a free gift of geochemistry on a wet, rocky, and tectonically-active planet.”  From there, Branscomb launched himself into an egregious display of personification:“It’s only later when life set out to take its act on the road that it had to figure out how to make its own membranes, pump protons uphill across these new membranes, tap into other sources of energy to do the pumping, etc.,” Branscomb said. “But once hooked on the free stuff, the trans-membrane proton gradient in particular, life never broke the habit. And here we are, every living thing, still frantically pumping protons as if just staying alive depends on it—which it does.”This dreamer was rewarded with an $8 million five-year grant to the University from the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the article said.  (He claims his hypothesis is testable, but again, he’s only testing observable chemistry, not the origin of life.)  The comments at the end of the article degenerated into name-calling, with angry evolutionists flinging Bible-thumping accusations against one who simply pointed out the improbabilities.Lewis and Clark they’re not:  Fresh with more government money from the Lewis and Clark Fund, some young researchers are traveling the world for evidence of life on other planets.  That’s right; they are assuming, illogically, that they can “Use Earth to Understand Possible Life in the Universe,” according to Space.com.  Out they journey, looking for evidence of early oxygen and other things, on the only planet in the universe where life is known to exist.  As much fun as these free vacations might be, they cannot logically speak to the origin of life on other planets from a sample of one.   “The Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology is supported by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and the American Philosophical Society (APS),” Michael Shirber of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute wrote, noting that the APS also had a role in the original Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804.  (That journey, though, was not trying to discover life on other planets.)  One young researcher was so happy to take part, he said (with “could”), “The fact that other planets, which are seemingly inhospitable from a distance, could in fact have a prolific biosphere that is actively shaping their environment blows me away.”  In science, no amount of emotion can justify an illogical conclusion.SETI self-refutation:  Another Space.com article about SETI used the same non-sequitur fallacy, arguing that research into whale songs can inform them about life in outer space.  Drake equation in hand, describing the history and current status of “SETI Evolution,” writer Laurence Doyle of the SETI Institute unwittingly stumbled onto an argument for intelligent design (without calling it that):But a new SETI idea is even farther out than that. The idea is that there is a SETI-type “calling card” in the human genome. In order for this to be isolated, one would have to show that this particular region in the human (or perhaps another species’) genome was not just non-random (any process with a rule structure of any kind is non-random), but that this certain region of the genome was incompatible with the processes that shaped or altered the present genome. The idea is that if a region of the human genome could be shown to not be like any other parts of the genome, and — much more difficult — to not be producible by natural selection, for example, then it would have to have been made by a pre-human and very advanced intelligence. I think information theory here would be very useful, as one could perhaps isolate regions of the genome that had unusual structure.From there, he pondered what alien intelligences might be thinking, apparently unaware that if alien intelligences could leave artifacts of their presence that we humans could discern, then design detection is a legitimate scientific approach for viewing the genome.The perhapsimaybecouldness index (PCMI) of these articles is off the charts. We invite you to re-read a commentary from 5/22/2002 about why individual parts of their scenario cannot logically support the scenario, using the analogy of a helicopter holding a girder over a canyon as a “possible” part of a bridge.Our online book and Meyer’s Signature in the Cell have destroyed, many times over, the imaginations of these origin-of-life Imagineers to the point that the rubble is bouncing.  Suffice it to say that the Astrobiology fantasyland express continues at full steam (and full funding) despite literally decades of falsification, from the Wistar Institute study that Meyer discusses in Darwin’s Doubt, to numerous subsequent studies and books, even some by evolutionists.  Remember when Astrobiology was rushed into a new government-funded science after an emotional press conference about the Mars meteorite?  The meteorite was later debunked, but Astrobiology didn’t get ejected with it.  Now they are still doling out millions of tax dollars in a down economy to keep the naturalistic myth going.  Why do thinking people put up with something that is demonstrably untenable, illogical, and useless?  For corroboration (and fun), re-read our 2/15/07 (“OOL on the Rocks”) and 1/26/08 (“Pigs Don’t Fly) entries.last_img read more

Use Chrome, Stay Focused: New Plugin Limits Frivolous Browsing

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Browsers#Google#Product Reviews#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… jolie odell Our friend Warren Benedetto of Transfusion Media has just released a spiffy Chrome extension that helps Internet users stay focused on the task at hand during the work day.Akin to LeechBlock for Firefox, Benedetto’s StayFocusd attempts to correct fundamental productivity issues associated with the social Web by allowing users to only spend an allotted amount of time on a “gray list” of websites. For example, if you give yourself 20 minutes a day to screw around on Twitter and Facebook, StayFocusd will block your access to those sites once it’s determined that your 20 minutes have been used.We’ve all experienced a problem similar to the one outlined in the StayFocusd introduction. “You sit down at the computer, and you swear you’ll be productive. Next thing you know, it’s twelve hours later. You’ve checked your email, updated your Facebook status, browsed the trending topics on Twitter, read your RSS feeds, looked up your favorite band on Wikipedia, vanity Googled yourself, cyber-stalked your ex, looked at all your high-school crushes’ Facebook photos and lost a week’s pay playing online poker. What you haven’t done is WORK.”The extension steps in where the average user’s self-control or restraint falls short. As one of many users who’ve switched from Firefox to Chrome and found they still wanted and needed certain familiar Firefox extensions, Benedetto said he lost several hours each day to Chrome’s unbridled browsing before realizing that LeechBlock’s absence was killing his productivity. So he took matters into his own hands, wrote his Chrome extension and released it to Google’s Chrome gallery.The extension is highly customizable, letting users block or permit whole sites, only certain subdomains or even specific pages. “That means,” writes Benedetto, “you can block delicious.com, while still allowing access to delicious.com/save so you can add new bookmarks. Or you can block Google.com/Reader while still having access to the rest of Google’s sites. Or you can block the entire Digg.com domain, and recapture 4-6 hours of wasted time per day.”We’d install this awesome extension ourselves if our job didn’t entail, you know, wasting time on the Internet.Transfusion Media is an a L.A.-based web studio specializing in graphic design, Facebook apps, Flash widgets and general interactive and web development. Benedetto has previously been a source for us, opining intelligently on the state of Web design in a 2009 article directed toward startups.last_img read more

PBA: Blackwater blasts Kia

first_imgEthel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Henry Walker had a team-high 25 points to lead Blackwater to go along 11 rebounds and seven dimes.JP Erram put up a 16-point, 14-rebound double-double and also blocked three shots while Michael Digregorio came one rebound short of a double-double as he finished with 16 points and nine boards.Geron Johnon led Kia with 28 points but turned the ball over nine times.CONTRIBUTED VIDEOADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 Games PBA IMAGESANTIPOLO—-Blackwater dismantled Kia, 118-97, and kept its hold of the eight seed in the PBA Governors’ Cup standings Friday at Ynares Center here.The Elite dominated the Picanto from the get go, pushing the lead to as big as 70-31 at the half to improve to 4-4 while sending the Picanto to a league-worst 0-8 record.ADVERTISEMENT Blackwater bounced back from a 117-96 loss to TNT last Wednesday which snapped their three-game winning run.“We had lots of energy today both in the offensive and defensive ends,” said Elite head coach Leo Isaac.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“We dictated the tempo for the first three quarters until midway through the fourth that’s when we got our starting unit out and gave them some rest.”The Picanto managed to chip away at Blackwater’s mammoth lead in the fourth, scoring 35 in the period when the Elite fielded in their reserves during the game’s garbage time. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesterscenter_img Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim #KicksStalker: LeBron’s first shoe set for a comeback Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side LATEST STORIES NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul View commentslast_img read more

7 Times You’ll Kick Yourself for Not Learning HTML

first_img Originally published Jan 8, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Website Development Topics: Why Learn HTML?HTML and CSS are the basic programming languages for web development and design. They are beneficial to learn for developers, marketers, and people in many other disciplines. Learning HTML can be used for situations like formatting a blog or email, working with a CMS, embedding external content on your site, and creating usable content.I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I’m terrified of leaving something at home. I obsess over making sure I have enough T-shirts, jeans, shoes, travel-sized shampoos, earrings, books, magazines — because what in the world would I do if I didn’t have them, but needed them? And even if I over-pack, I know I’m prepared for any situation vacation will throw at me — a random fancy dinner out, a day at the pool, or just an afternoon out shopping with the family.In the same vein, knowing HTML is like making sure you’re fully prepared for a vacation. You may not end up using it every single day, but the times you do end up using it, you are so grateful that you had the foresight to figure it out. Knowing HTML can save you hours of frustration, precious time with your design team, or even money dealing with an external contractor.HTML has always been nice-to-have knowledge, but it’s becoming more than nice-to-have for the marketer trying to save a buck. (And that sounds like every marketer I’ve met.)In fact, there are a bunch of situations I’ve caught myself in in which handy HTML knowledge saved the day … and thus, this post was born. If you’re not quite convinced that you’d benefit from knowing basic HTML, keep reading. Here are seven* scenarios you might find yourself in that can be fixed with just a bit of HTML know-how. 1) When Formatting in Your Blog Post/Email/Landing Page Goes AwrySometimes, I swear my content has a life of its own — and a mean streak. That blog post that I worked on all day will suddenly have images with funky spacing, no text wrapping, and outrageous sizing, and, of course, all looks okay in my WYSIWG editor. Luckily, with some HTML knowledge, I can dig into the post to remove and tweak code that is causing the problem.HTML Pro Tip: If you find a bunch of funky tags you want to remove, copy the raw code and paste it into a raw text editor. Then, choose the Find and Replace option — you can search for offending snippets of code and leave the “replace” box blank. Once you’re done, you can paste it back into your HTML editor, and poof! De-bugged formatting. 2) When You Paste a Blog Post Into Your CMS From Word or Google DocsLots of people don’t know that writing a blog post in a typical word processing program — like Word or Google Docs — and then copying it into your CMS will give you lots of HTML headaches. Sometimes, when you do that, your CMS will add extra snippets of code to your piece that will mess up formatting.With some HTML knowledge and the pro tip above, you can easily remove any offending snippets when transferring content from Word or Google Docs to your CMS.3) When You Need to Tweak an Email TemplateI’m going to take a wild guess that you don’t want every email you send to look exactly the same. While sending consistent emails is a great thing most of the time, there will be specific campaigns you’re going to want to customize emails for. This could be as simple as right-aligning your images instead of left-aligning them or changing up the color of your text to stand out in your subscribers’ inboxes.With HTML knowledge, though, you can make these changes yourself, instead of relying on an in-house designer or hired development shop. Seriously, it’s empowering to make the changes yourself and move on to more pressing marketing matters. 4) When You Need to Make Your Content Easy to ReadOne of your top concerns when creating content is to make it easy for people to consume. This means using formatting (bold, italics, headers, colors, etc.) to make your content scannable and digestible. And while most WYSIWG editors will let you easily apply those formatting options to your content without touching code, not all will. So take control of the way your content looks by souping it up with some and read more

Your Top Questions on “Social Selling” Answered by LinkedIn, Evernote, and HubSpot

first_img Originally published Feb 20, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Koka Sexton, LinkedIn Koka Sexton, LinkedIn “When it comes to the tools needed, I think it’s important for sales professionals to be as visible as possible within every social network that their customers may be a part of. That’s what social selling is all about. Obviously LinkedIn works well for that, because it’s a professional network, but it may be Twitter or other networks as well.I think this is why what HubSpot and Evernote said about how marketing and sales can be aligned is so important. Mark put it best when he said, “There is no social selling without content.” And so to salespeople, I would say that you need to hold your marketing professionals accountable by providing you with the right content that’s in the right context for your buyers.I think context is something that’s often overlooked because where the buyer is within the sales cycle should determine what type of content you’re handing them, and ultimately how you’re delivering it to them. If email open rates are low, then why not try posting something in your social stream so you can feed your prospects the information they need at the time that they need it?” “When it comes to sales and marketing, I think it’s helpful to make sure there’s an open channel of communication so that collaboration can occur. So if a salesperson is talking to people on the phone and they know that they’re not able to send their prospects the right materials to close the sale or move things along, marketing needs to know that information.That’s a sign that there needs to be more collaboration between sales and marketing to make sure the salespeople have the sales tools and materials that they need to close deals. And vice versa – communication goes in both directions. If marketing feels that they’re out of the loop when it comes to what customers are thinking or saying or what their actual questions are, it’s definitely worth it to have more involvement with sales.” Mark Roberge, HubSpot Josh Zerkel, Evernote “There could be a couple of things going on. Sales might not be aware where the tools are or it may be that they feel it’s too difficult to access them. That’s why it’s critical to keep your content in a shared spot where it’s really easy to access and where salespeople feel comfortable.The other thing that might be happening is that the tools that marketing thinks are so awesome may not, in fact, be so awesome when it comes to real world deployment and social selling. So it’s probably worth it at this point, if sales isn’t using the tools that are being deployed, to have an in-depth conversation about what is really needed, what are people asking for, and then go back to marketing and share those findings.” Topics:center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social Selling “Sales professionals, and really every professional, need to understand that their LinkedIn profile is not their online resume. They simply need to take themselves out of that frame of mind. Your LinkedIn page is really your online brand, your professional profile.So salespeople need to use their LinkedIn accounts as a resource, and not a resume. Internally at LinkedIn, we call that ‘Resume to Reputation.’ It’s really about the transformation in how you use your online persona, building your reputation and becoming that brand that draws people in.This is where marketing can come in, too. If a salesperson is consistently posting great content about the industry, provided by the marketing team, it will be so much easier for that salesperson to build that personal brand and that social media credibility. That’s really what social selling is all about: Giving salespeople the tools they need to have genuine interactions on social media that help them in their sales processes.Next Step: The 3 C’s of Social SellingWith these core questions answered, feel free to check out the presentation deck from the webinar that prompted this discussion below. If you’d like to listen to the webinar recording for the full experience, just click here. This post originally appeared on the Sales section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe here.Social selling — it’s not just a buzzword anymore. It’s a crucial part of how successful sales teams communicate with their prospects. That’s why last week, HubSpot, LinkedIn, and Evernote hosted a webinar to discuss how organizations can align their sales and marketing teams to develop the tools that make social selling work through context, content, and collaboration. Toward the end of the session, three critical and common questions were asked that we’d like to address today:My sales team doesn’t have the right materials to help my prospects solve their problems. What should I do?Our marketing team creates a lot of content each month, but the sales team never uses it. How can I solve this problem?How do you present yourself on social media in order to do social selling? How do you leverage your social presence as a salesperson?Responses below come from our speakers: Mark Roberge, chief revenue officer at HubSpot, Koka Sexton, senior social marketing manager at LinkedIn, and Josh Zerkel, user education specialist at Evernote.  Q: My sales team doesn’t have the right materials to help my prospects solve their problems. What should I do? Q: Our marketing team creates a lot of content each month, but the sales team never uses it. How can I solve this problem? “We’ve seen this problem at HubSpot ourselves to the nth degree — it’s actually something we’ve been focusing on with some hacker technology in the HubSpot Sales Labs. As you can imagine, we’re producing boatloads of content that have to do with different problems people have, different industries, different buyer personas.Then, on the other side of the fence, you’ve got sales actually out there talking to different buyers, on social media or via email, in specific industries with specific problems. It’s next to impossible, at this point, for those salespeople to know exactly the right content to follow up with — there’s just too much out there.We’re experimenting with a bunch of different solutions. We’re testing tagging content depending on the topic or persona, and then on the other side, having sales designate problems that different personas are having in our CRM. That way, the system can do some matching.Q: How do you present yourself on social media in order to do social selling? How do you leverage your social presence as a salesperson? Josh Zerkel, Evernotelast_img read more

The Anatomy of a Highly Shareable Infographic

first_img Infographics Originally published May 12, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 The hard truth about creating content online is the amount of time you put into it isn’t always proportional to what you get out of it. We all hope that everything we do is a grand slam resulting in traffic, leads, and reporters clamoring to talk to you. But that’s not always what happens.And while you can brush that off when you didn’t invest too much time in the content, when it’s something more resource-intensive — like an infographic — it stings a bit more.Luckily, there are few things we can do to infographics to hedge our bets a bit. So, we put together the following infographic on making highly shareable infographics — helping you rake in more views and conversion opportunities. Follow these tips, and your infographic will be much more likely to get shared. Editor’s note: We’ve included a few Easter eggs in the infographic to make it extra shareable. See if you can find them!Save 编辑触摸共享全屏此交互式图像使用ThingLink创建。在thinglink.com上查看此图像。接触图片分享图像…全屏Save Didn’t find the Easter eggs? Hover your mouse over the infographic to see them pop up. (My favorite’s in the top left corner!) We’re using a platform called Thinglink to add relevant context to the information in the infographic — and make it easy for you all to share the post. If you’re looking to maximize your shareability, you might want to try it out for yourself. Do you create infographics? What other tips do you have for making them shareable? Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Be an Amazing Mentor: 12 Ways to Make a Positive Impact on Others

first_img Originally published Jan 21, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated September 05 2017 Topics: How to MentorAt its core, being a mentor is being a trusted advisor. Being a mentor involves making yourself available to support and advise someone when they need it, delivering that support in a way that makes sense to them, and always keeping that person’s best interests in mind.Take a minute to think about the best mentor you’ve ever had.This doesn’t have to be someone at work, although it certainly could be. But mentors come in all shapes and sizes: It can be your manager, a colleague, a parent, a friend, a coach, a college professor … anyone who’s been a particularly excellent advisor at some point in your life.Now, think of what made them stand out to you. Was it the example they set? That you felt like they really understood your communication style, your working style, or your goals? That they seemed to always point you to the right resources or give you the right advice when you needed it?At some point in your life (and, if you’re lucky, many times), you’re going to find yourself playing the role of a mentor to someone, somewhere. It can be both exciting, and a little confusing. What exactly does it mean to be someone’s mentor, and how can you really stand out in the role?Click here to download leadership lessons from HubSpot founder, Dharmesh Shah.Let’s touch on what a mentor is, including the three main types of mentors: peer mentors, career mentors, and life mentors. Then, we’ll go through 12 tips for being an amazing mentor.What Does It Mean to Be a Mentor?At its core, being a mentor is being a trusted advisor. It can mean a lot of different things, but it all boils down to making yourself available to support and advise someone when they need it, delivering that support in a way that makes sense to them, and always, always keeping that person’s best interests in mind.A mentor/mentee relationship can last for years, or it can last one coffee date. When you mentor someone long-term, you really get to know and understand their personality, learning style, and goals, which can set you up to offer richer, more relevant advice over time. But mentorship doesn’t have to be long-term. It can also be a one-off or short-term relationship, like when someone needs help working through a specific problem — such as a career transition or a problem with a coworker or manager. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Venture Capitalist Anthony T. Khan wrote about three types of mentors. Let’s explore each one below.Peer MentorsThis one is more of an apprenticeship than a mentorship. Whether someone is onboarding in a new job or simply at the early stages of their career, they may benefit from having a peer mentor working at their same company to help them settle in to their new job and climb the learning curve faster. A peer mentor focuses on helping with specific skills, working toward specific goals, and basic organization practices for how to get things done.Career MentorsWhen most people think of mentorship, they’re thinking about career mentorship. Career mentors are senior to their mentees at the same company or a former company. Their purpose is to serve as a career advisor and advocate, and to help reinforce how a mentee’s job contributions fit into their long-term career goals, and perhaps even how they fit into the bigger picture of the company’s goals.Some companies have career mentorship programs built right into their people development strategy. This seems to work best when it’s not a bureaucratic system, but instead more of a volunteer system where existing employees volunteer to mentor newer employees. “It should be something people know is embraced as part of the ethos of a firm,” writes Khan.Life MentorsA life mentor is usually someone outside of their mentee’s workplace. This person can serve as an objective sounding board when that person finds themselves faced with a difficult career challenge or is considering changing jobs. Khan writes that life mentors shouldn’t replace a peer or career mentor, but “they are there to impart career wisdom.”Chances are, you’ll be more than one of these types of mentors for multiple people, and you may have a few mentees at a time. There are a few pieces of advice that hold true regardless of the type of mentorship you find yourself in. Here are 12 tips on how to be an amazing mentor.12 Ways to Be an Amazing Mentor1. Approach each mentorship differently.While you can do your best to categorize a mentor/mentee relationship, every one is unique. When you first start out, it’s important to take the time to assess your own style and readiness, and think about what kind of commitment you can and want to make.Rebecca Corliss, who leads team development and culture for HubSpot’s marketing team, recommends asking yourself and reflecting on the questions on this list that are relevant to you:What kind of manager style do you naturally have/want?What expectations will you set in regards to your style and how best to work with you? How will you know when your mentee is successful?How will you communicate what success looks like to him/her?What do you hope your mentee’s development looks like over the course of your mentorship?How can you segment out his/her experience into phases to get to that point?How will you use one-on-one time?How will you explain your expectations for one-on-one meetings (if applicable) so you’re on the same page?2. Set expectations together in the very beginning.Once you’ve reflected on the questions from #1, both you and your mentee will find it helpful to sit down and go over expectations — especially if you’re just getting to know each other.For example, let’s say an alum from your alma mater sends you a cold email asking what it’s like to work at your company. You might be wondering if they asked you that because they want to work for your company, or whether they’re just curious about what a company in your industry is like. Understanding exactly where they’re coming from is going to help drive your discussion in the direction that’s helpful for both of you. If your company isn’t hiring or you aren’t comfortable helping them get a job, for instance, then you’ll want to set those expectations early.3. Take a genuine interest in your mentee as a person.A mentor/mentee relationship is a very personal one. You can give mediocre advice without really knowing a person, but to stand out as an amazing mentor, you’re really going to have to get to know your mentee on a personal level.You probably have some of the more career-oriented questions down: what their working style is, their dream job, goals for their current job, and so on and so forth. But what about the stuff that makes them … them? Getting to know your mentee on a deeper level will help you build a strong relationship, and it’ll also help you understand who they are as a person, their likes and dislikes, how they interact with others, and so on.So if your mentee tells you they had a great weekend, don’t just move on with the program. Ask them what they did, whom they did it with, or what their relationship is like with those people.One great way to get to know someone? Become an active listener. This is easier said than done: It means making a conscious effort to really, truly pay attention to what your mentee is saying, instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next. You might worry that you need to come up with something helpful right away, when in fact, the best thing you can do for your mentee is to listen closely to what they’re saying, ask open questions to dig deeper, and act as a sounding board.Which brings me to my next tip …4. Know when to wait before giving advice.When you’re mentoring someone, you might feel pressured to give them advice straight away. But not all feedback is helpful feedback, and giving unhelpful — or unwelcome — feedback can be detrimental to your relationship. An amazing mentor knows how to determine whether or not a situation lends itself to off-the-cuff feedback or really thoughtful feedback.Corliss calls this “hitting the pause button.””A good mentor knows when to hit ‘pause’ during a conversation,” she told me. “Once in a while, a conversation might catch us off guard. For example, maybe someone raises an HR issue or a serious problem with an employee. Maybe someone says something that makes you mad or upset. If you don’t have the right information, experience or emotional state to react to a scenario properly, hit ‘pause.’ That will give you a chance to get more information, talk to your resources, and come back with a clear and valuable response.”What might that look like in a real conversation? “Thanks for sharing this with me. I’m going to take some time and give this some serious thought before we continue. It’s important to me that I’m giving you the best possible solution. Why don’t we continue talking about it [tomorrow/next week/next time we meet]? I’ll book some time.”5. Improve your emotional intelligence.Being emotionally intelligent is a big part of being an amazing mentor. Any time you become a mentor for someone, you’ll find yourself getting to know their unique personality, their wants and needs, the experiences that have shaped them, and how they deal with different situations.The best mentors know how to unlock this information by asking the right questions, reading their mentee’s body language, being open-minded, and even acknowledging and controlling their own emotions. (Read this blog post for tips on becoming more emotionally intelligent.)6. Don’t assume anything about your mentee — ask.It’s easy to fall into stereotypes or not see a situation from another person’s perspective. But great mentors recognize that it’s their responsibility to break through common assumptions by asking questions and digging deeper. This is especially true if you’re mentoring someone who’s in the early stages of their career, or if the two of you are just getting to know each other and they aren’t sure how transparent to be.For example, let’s say you’re mentoring someone who’s having trouble getting through to their manager. Instead of launching into a story about a time you had communication issues with a manager of yours, spend time asking questions that draw out the important details of their problem. Ask your mentee detailed questions about their relationship with their manager. Don’t assume you understand their working style simply based off of the conversations you’ve had with them, as they probably work and communicate differently with their manager than they do with you.Only once you’ve gotten an honest background on a problem can you share helpful, relevant feedback — without making decisions for your mentee. That’s up to them.7. Be really forthcoming about mistakes you’ve made.Being open to sharing your own mistakes and failures is one of the best gifts a mentor can give. Not only is it helpful information for problem-solving purposes, but it also helps build trust, gives them permission to share their own mistakes, and strengthens the relationship overall.”Junior people don’t always feel comfortable owning up to a mistake or admitting that they’re struggling in a certain area,” says Emma Brudner, who manages HubSpot’s Sales Blog. “If you cop to your failures and struggles, you make it okay for them to chime in and help them share with you.”Leslie Ye, who writes for HubSpot’s Sales Blog, agrees. She suggests reflecting on the problems you faced and what has tripped you up at the same point in your career that your mentee is in. “Hearing how someone else approached a challenge is always helpful for someone going through it for the first time,” she says. “Even if you don’t solve problems the same way as your mentee, it’s always useful to hear multiple perspectives.”8. Celebrate their achievements.Because people often look for or call upon a mentor to help them with tough situations, many mentorship conversations revolve around the negative stuff. When you take the time to highlight and even celebrate your mentee’s successes and achievements, you’re not just balancing out the mood of those conversations — you’re also building your mentee’s confidence, reinforcing good behavior, and keeping them focused and motivated. Depending on the relationship, mentees might also be seeking approval from their mentors — and acknowledging their success is a way to satisfy that psychological need for recognition.How you go about celebrating their achievements is entirely up to you. For example, if you’re a peer mentor helping onboard a new employee, you may choose to publicly acknowledge them either by sharing their success with their team or even just with their manager. 9. Give more than you ask for.I believe in the principle of “what goes around, comes around.” I like to think about my mentors who’ve gone out of their way to meet me for coffee, give me feedback on job choices, point me to resources, and so on. The best mentors I’ve had have selflessly offered their time and wisdom to me — and I’m sure the best mentors you’ve had have done the same. Think about the impact they’ve had on your career, and offer the same to your mentees.”Give more than you ask for,” is how Ye puts it. “Most mentees inherently have less to offer because they’re typically younger and less experienced. It can be hard to ask for help if you feel like you’re a burden on someone else. Giving advice or help freely — and making it clear you’re happy to do so — is a huge help to easing those anxieties.”10. Seek out classes or projects related to skills your mentee wants to develop.Great mentors look for situations — and some even create situations — where their mentees can get involved to learn some of the skills they’ve been hoping to learn. It doesn’t matter how much or how little experience you have in your mentee’s current or desired job or industry — you can still give them helpful resources to succeed.It can be anything from connecting them with someone with experience in their dream job or industry, or sending them a website to a conference or class they might want to sign up for. Take note of the areas in which your mentee wants to grow, and always be looking for opportunities to point them in the right direction.If you work at the same company as your mentee and have some involvement in their experience, Corliss suggests introducing new projects to them over time as a way to build a strong foundation.”First, start with something that gives context,” she says. “This could be something that requires research and is genuinely valuable. Then, hand off something small that you normally do for your intern or mentee to own, like a weekly email, or a blog post. This will help your mentee learn how to develop ownership over something, including how to execute and reach a goal on his or her own. Then, build upon that foundation.”11. Solve for the long-term.Work with your mentee as if you’ll be their mentor forever. That mindset will make it easier for you to give them long-term guidance, which will help them make decisions that outlive their time with you.This is particularly important if you work at the same company as your mentee because it’ll help them make a larger impact at your company. “Giving [them] a lot of ownership may leave a gap when they leave, but why limit the impact your intern can have in order to solver for an easier transition out?” says Corliss. “It’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never have loved at all. “12. Lead by example.Last, but certainly not least, be a positive role model. Your mentee can learn a whole lot from you by simply observing how you behave. They’ll pick up information about your “ethics, values, and standards; style, beliefs, and attitudes; methods and procedures,” writes E. Wayne Hart for Forbes. “They are likely to follow your lead, adapt your approach to their own style, and build confidence through their affiliation with you. As a mentor, you need to be keenly aware of your own behavior.”At the end of the day, being a great mentor takes practice and patience. The more you work with a given mentee, the more you’ll learn a lot about them: their communication style, how they process feedback, how they go about pursuing their goals. At the same time, you’ll learn a lot about yourself: how effectively you can explain ideas in a way others can understand, how well you’re able to control your emotions, whether you’re able to provide a vision that motivates others, and so on.In the end, being a mentor will likely be as rewarding an experience for you as it will be for your mentees. What tips do you have for being a great mentor? Share them with us in the comments. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Mentorslast_img read more

Broadening Your Social Strategy to Attract More Students

first_img 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 Mar 2, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Our Social Media Benchmark 2015 Report found that the nonprofit / education sector leads the pack in the size of their social media communities. Since everyone is on some networks already, social media is a natural platform to communicate with students and parents. It’s a real time channel with maximum reach.So why limit that reach to your current community? Your prospects are all on social media too. They’re using it to talk about schools and learn from their peers. You need to make your institution part of that discussion. Start using social media to attract and talk with prospective students and parents.It Always Starts with Your PersonasNew social media sites seem to pop up daily. You can’t be on them all. You don’t want to be on them all. Go back to your personas – what social media sites are your prospective students using? What social media sites do they trust to find information?With so much content to be found, people rely on their social media networks to find quality, credible information. Maybe they found good content through a social search. More likely – someone they trust has shared it with them online. You want to make sure that it’s your content people are sharing. Through social media, you’re enlisting an open-ended band of school ambassadors every time you post something on a social network.You’ll likely find that different personas hang out on different social media platforms. If you want to leverage your current Facebook presence to reach out to prospects, that’s great. A lot of K-12 parents are discussing school options with other parents on Facebook. You can generate a lot of awareness and engagement with parents from a Facebook campaign. But when you want to reach the kids, they’re all about the chat apps.For instance, Snapchat, a videochat app, is the current #1 app for this age group. The “My Stories” function lets them string together short videos over their day. Then the story disappears. It’s easy. It’s visual. And it goes away. How about asking prospects who take a campus tour to share their day at your school with their friends via Snapchat? That’s high-credibility content for any teen.Start your social prospecting strategy by deciding in which social media sites you should invest resources. Pew Research conducts regular, comprehensive research on which demographic groups are using which social media platforms. It’s a great source to consult for some big picture social media usage statistics.As always – the results of your own persona research should carry the most weight when deciding where to focus your social prospecting strategy. When you interviewed current parents and students to create your personas, hopefully you asked them about which social media platforms they use and why they prefer them. If you didn’t, now is the time to do some more research to refine your personas and their social media habits.Align Platforms with Your GoalsYour research probably tells you that your personas operate on a number of social media platforms. That doesn’t mean you have to reach out to prospects on all of them. Narrow down your social media platform list once more by setting out your prospecting goals for social media. Do you want your social strategy to drive traffic to your website? Get attendees to live events? Get prospects asking questions directly to admissions or campus life officers?Select the social media platforms that offer most potential to meet your goals. It’s OK (smart, even) to have different goals for different platforms. They all don’t play the same role. Twitter is for conversation. Maybe you start a regularly scheduled Twitter chat so prospects have a chance to talk with a live person from your school. LinkedIn is for the career-minded. Do you have a school page there so you can take advantage of LinkedIn’s Alumni tool to show alumni bios on your website? If the goal is to drive visitors to your admissions blog, then post regular links in the most relevant social media sites. Include the keywords and hashtags they’re using to find information about schools on your posts.Once you’ve selected the social media sites for your strategy, take a deep dive to see what tools they offer. You’ll be surprised to find the scope of distribution, communication, and analysis tools many of them provide to help you reach your audience.Does This Mean I Need More Content?You already have a lot of the content. Program pages and faculty bios. Campus publications. Curriculum and social life documentation. You’ll tweak it for social media consumption. That means:Images, including video and gifs, optimized for that social media platform. Mixed media posts get the most engagement. Visuals and movement catch people’s eyes. They also communicate with greater impact than words alone.Hashtags, tagging, and keywords so it can be found prospects who’ve not yet connected with youUnderstanding the best times to post on a specific network (take a second look at our benchmark report and the Pew research as a starting point, links above)On certain platforms, the engagement is the content. Have you heard about Ask.fm? Don’t worry. Most people over 18 years old haven’t. Young students are all over it. It’s a site that allows people to ask other users questions anonymously. Maybe your admissions office should set up an account and post the link on your website so kids can ask questions they may be to shy ask otherwise? Social Media Metrics that MatterStarting with your personas is a best practice. Another is to always close the loop on your marketing efforts. Define and track your metrics to validate what’s working and find out what needs work.When it comes to social media, you have a torrent of metrics. Beware of vanity metrics. Likes and impressions are nice, but they’re not helpful in quantifying the value of your social media strategy. Manage metrics that matter. These are the metrics that connect back to your goals. Let’s go back to our driving traffic goal. Tracking URLs tell you what content piece of content brought a visitor to your site and the social media site where she found your link. Let’s say you post regular links to new blog articles to three different social media sites. Using a tracking URL lets you drop an identifying token in the link used on each social media site. Looking at your traffic, you see that 60% of your traffic back is coming from just one of the social media sites. That’s valuable intelligence.In general, the most actionable social media metrics will be those that indicate engagement – clicking through, sharing, commenting and/or responding, growth in your community size, growth in the percentage of community engaging with your content. Each social media platform has its own batch of metrics and they can change.Distribution is a Pillar of Inbound MarketingFor your inbound marketing strategy to yield results, your content needs to get in front of the right people at the right time. That means the distribution of your content is as critical to inbound success as the content itself.Social media is primary distribution channel. Don’t overlook its power to connect your school to new prospective students and parents. Social Media Strategylast_img read more

How Stressed Are You Right Now? [Flowchart]

first_imgIn small doses, stress can actually be an important part of our lives. It can motivate us and make us more productive. And, once it’s over, we might come out of that stressful situation all the better for it.Too much stress, though, can be detrimental to your health, happiness, productivity, and relationships.So what’s that healthy balance between being too stressed, and being not stressed enough? Is your current stress level manageable and healthy?To help you figure out where you are on the stress scale (and what you can do about it), the folks over at Pound Place created the flowchart below. Start with the question at the top, and then follow the arrows to work your way to the bottom, where you’ll find out whether your stress is at a manageable level. 94Save94SaveSo … how stressed are you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.  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 Apr 8, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated April 20 2017 Work Life Balance Topics:last_img read more

Oklahoma State to Wear Helmet Decals for 2019 Season to Honor T. Boone Pickens

first_imgIt’s unclear what the special decal will look like or where it will be located on the helmet, but in 2016 to honor those who died in the tragic homecoming parade and in the plane crashes, the Cowboys donned 18 football stickers on the back of the lids — one for each victim.Closer look at those helmet stickers 👀 pic.twitter.com/YwlsUGpMri— Kyle Boone (@PFBoone) October 29, 2016 The Oklahoma State football team will for the rest of the season don special helmet decals as a tribute to the late T. Boone Pickens, Stadium’s Brett McMurphy reported Wednesday.Pickens, who donated $652 million to Oklahoma State, with much of it going to the football program, passed away Wednesday at his home in Dallas, Texas.Oklahoma State will honor T. Boone Pickens with a helmet decal the remainder of the season. Pickens, 91, died today. He will be buried at Karsten Creek Golf Club, Oklahoma State’s home golf club— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 11, 2019 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more