GOVERNMENT PLANNING TO CLOSE MORE RURAL DONEGAL SCHOOLS, CLAIMS TD

first_imgFianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue has said any attempt to force the amalgamation of small schools in Donegal must be resisted.Deputy McConalogue has raised serious concerns about the fresh threat to the future of small schools in Donegal and in rural communities across the country.“It has been clear for some time that the Education Minister Ruairí Quinn has an agenda to force the amalgamation of small rural schools. My fear is that this will result in a number of small schools here in Donegal being forced to close, and some communities in this region will inevitably lose their local school entirely,” said Deputy McConalogue. “There are now fears that more than 1,000 schools across the country with under 80 pupils or 3 teachers may face closure. This is a blind attack on small schools with no consideration of each school’s ethos, the standard of education it provides and its contribution to the community. In the vast majority of cases these schools provide an excellent standard of education and they play a central role in community life.“This issue is causing great fear and distress among parents, children and teachers in small rural schools right across the region. I have spoken to many local teachers and parents who are genuinely fearful that their school will soon be forced to close and amalgamate with a larger school in another community.“I am urging local Fine Gael and Labour representatives to put a stop to this blind attack on small rural schools. The Cabinet is due to discuss a Value for Money Review on small schools shortly. I am urging all Ministers sitting around that Cabinet table to recognise the fact that this cannot be judged on monetary value alone. The value of a local school is far more than what is taught in the classroom. The local school is at the heart of community life and removing it will have enormous long-term consequences for the community as a whole.”  GOVERNMENT PLANNING TO CLOSE MORE RURAL DONEGAL SCHOOLS, CLAIMS TD was last modified: April 4th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CLAIMS TDGOVERNMENT PLANNING TO CLOSE MORE RURAL DONEGAL SCHOOLSlast_img read more

The weather outside is delightful

first_imgMALIBU – Charlie Garlupa needed to blow off some steam Wednesday after finishing his final exams at Santa Monica City College, so he celebrated the start of winter the way so many Angelenos do. He grabbed his surfboard. Garlupa and dozens of other surfers rode the waves at Malibu Surfrider and other beaches up and down the coast, ushering in the winter solstice with a distinctly Southern California flair. “This is the best, the best,” said Garlupa, 20. “It’s a beautiful day to be out here. The sun is out, the water’s not too (cold), it’s great.” “You would think that you come out here on a weekday morning, 10 o’clock, and you’d have a relatively sparse crowd,” said Ali Sagheb, 33, of West L.A., who is self-employed, allowing him to surf often. “It’s not like that. I don’t know what all these people are doing here. Maybe they don’t have jobs either, at least not 9-to-5 jobs.” While Los Angeles ushered in winter with balmy temperatures, Chicago and New York City saw highs in the 30s. Seattle had a rainy day in the 50s. Temperatures are expected to cool today and Friday before warming to near 80 on Sunday. “It doesn’t seem like it’s Christmastime,” said Sam Sean, 17, a senior at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance. “I’m glad I live in Southern California.” — Josh Kleinbaum, (818) 546-3669 [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Backed by the hills and expensive homes of Malibu, surfers stood on the beach, boards under their arms, staring out at the light blue sky and the 20-foot waves headed their way. “They say this happens every Christmas,” said Bryan Boyd, 24, of Woodland Hills. “It’s the Christmas spirit. I’ll never stop doing this. I’ll be doing this when I’m 90, if it doesn’t kill me.” Authorities had plenty of warning about heavy surf and closed the piers in Hermosa Beach, Venice, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica and Ventura as a precaution, officials said. Bulldozers also built berms along the beach in low-lying areas, where minor flooding occurred. While only the most hearty braved the high waves in Ventura, dozens of wetsuit-clad surfers were lined up in the ocean off Malibu, sitting on their boards, waiting for the next big wave to arrive.last_img read more

China Suffers 30 Years of Misguided Malthusian Idea

first_imgChina has had a “one-child policy” for 30 years this week.  This policy has caused untold grief for many families desiring children, and has resulted in unexpected demographic problems – such as aging of the population, not enough brides for young men, and enormous numbers of abortions.  Two articles in Science this week explored the convoluted reasoning that resulted in history’s biggest social experiment, and asked, what are the prospects for abolishing the policy, or at least relaxing it?  After all, this regrettable “case of ideology trumping science” sprang out of “a wave of neo-Malthusianism” that captivated government officials in the days of Chairman Mao – a view of population demographics that had influenced Darwin (01/15/2009) – but has largely been discredited today (12/09/2009 bullet 3, 12/12/2008, 06/05/2007, 03/17/2003).  Unfortunately, the inertia of the policy has only added to the horrific consequences.    Dutch reporter Mara Hvistendahl wrote a detailed historical account of China’s one-child policy in Science,1 and added a short article about some of the personalities that influenced it.2  Her main article dove right in with a list of the consequences:Elementary schools converted into nursing homes.  Lonely only children coddled by parents and grandparents.  A generation in which men seriously outnumber women.  China’s one-child policy may have slowed population growth in the world’s most populous country.  But it has also produced a rapidly aging population, a shrinking labor force, and a skewed sex ratio at birth, perils that many demographers say could threaten China’s economy and social fabric.    As the most spectacular demographic experiment in history, the one-child policy is unprecedented in its scope and extremity.As with many social experiments, the policy began with seemingly good intentions.  Chinese leaders were led to believe they faced a monumental population explosion and food shortage unless the birth rate were reduced.  It began in Mao’s reign with public persuasion, trying to nudge families to marry later and have fewer children, but by the time of Mao’s successor Deng Xiaoping, it became a mandate.  “One child per family” soon led to horrors like birth police dragging weeping pregnant women to the abortion clinic:To implement the policy, the government beefed up its birth planning infrastructure, adding thousands of workers and launching propaganda campaigns.  Enforcement was flawed from the beginning: The central government assigned stringent birth quotas to local governments but left them to shoulder a portion of the costs.  Some local officials intent on meeting targets forced pregnant women to abort and sterilized men against their will.  Others issued offending parents outrageous fines to recover program costs.    The drive sparked a backlash, fueling discontent among peasants.  It also led to a rash of female infanticide among Chinese hoping to make their sole child a boy—a prelude to sex-selective abortions that later became widespread.The Chinese government patched but did not abandon the policy in the face of these consequences, leading to “a clunky policy that is comparable in complexity to the U.S. tax code.”  When ultrasound machines became available later, many couples desiring sons used them to selectively abort female fetuses, leading to the skewed sex ratio that has left many Chinese men out of the marriage market.  In addition, the pension population has risen as the labor force has dwindled.    It makes no sense.  While it succeeded in drastically curtailing the birth rate, it’s bad science and it’s terrible social policy.  How on earth did the Chinese government get led down this path?    Hvistendahl indicted Malthus in the justification for the one-child policy, but it wasn’t just Chairman Mao that was mesmerized by Malthus in the 1970s – it was the western world, too:He [Mao] wasn’t alone in worrying about population growth.  In Western countries, too, public health breakthroughs and falling mortality rates had led to a fear of overpopulation, sparking a wave of neo-Malthusianism that culminated in the controversial 1972 report The Limits to Growth by the Club of Rome, an international group of scientists.  Doomsday projections found their way to China.  “Developed countries spread Club of Rome thinking to the developing world,” says Liang Zhongtang, an economist at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences who participated in deliberations over the one-child policy.    In China, neo-Malthusianism resonated with a government intent on boosting economic growth.  The aim was to manipulate population dynamics under the planned economy.Problem: Mao had already decimated the population through his ideologically-caused famines during the Cultural Revolution.  Solution: he could blame the famine on overpopulation.  “Poor central planning had helped cause food shortages,” she euphemized, “but now attention focused on population as the culprit, and Chairman Mao Zedong, who had once encouraged large families, shifted course.”  By deflecting criticisms of the famine to a new culprit (too many mouths to feed), he simultaneously found a new way to manipulate the populace under his Marxist “planned economy”.     In her second, shorter article,2 Hvistendahl told the story of how Song Jian, a prot�g� of American defector Qian Xuesen (see 12/10/2009) who had become Mao’s trusted science advisor, was entranced by a Dutch game theorist.  At a meeting in the Netherlands, “over beers at a pub,” Geert Jan Olsder used questionable statistics based on game theory to convince Jian that China needed to drastically cut its birth rate to avoid catastrophe.  Jian, a military scientist who wasn’t even a demographer, took Olsder’s equations back to China enthusiastically.  He came up with calculations that “dazzled policymakers, making the policy appear to be good science.”  It wasn’t.  Jian Song made ““wild projections of a population explosion” based on “unreliable data”; nevertheless, his appearance of scientific credibility “wowed Chinese leaders” and propelled them toward measures to “avert catastrophe”.  As a result, the “policymakers responded with an extreme plan” to combat the mythical threat: restrict all couples to one child per family, and maintain it for 20 to 40 years.  That was 30 years ago – September 25, 1980.    Now that we know this, why not just abolish the policy?  After all, it was never intended to last forever, and the unforeseen consequences are now obvious in hindsight.  Unfortunately, Hvistendahl explains with frustrating candor, the inertia is too great.  Reformers are attempting to raise awareness and argue that it’s time to abolish the policy, or at least relax it in certain areas, but are finding that the policy has become sacrosanct to many bureaucrats.  “As of 2005, the family-planning bureaucracy had swollen to 509,000 employees, along with 6 million workers who help with implementation,” she stated.  “Those stakeholders are ‘risk-averse,’ says Wang [Feng, a UC Irvine demographer].  ‘They pay no cost for doing nothing.”  The Chinese culture also tends to value stability and continuity.  The reform advocates sound like heretics.    Another consequence of a whole generation raised on the one-child experience has surprised advocates of reform.  They are finding that people have become emotionally consigned to the idea of having only one child.  It’s all they have ever known.  All their friends have only one child.  In a test city that relaxed the policy, researchers found that many women did not intend to have a second child, even when it was permitted.  So in spite of negative demographic consequences facing China’s elderly, bachelors, work force, and the sustainability of its population – all based on flawed math and science and ideology – a majority of the couples in a province who were given, once again, the opportunity to have families with siblings, responded, with no disagreement from the bloated bureaucracy, “one child is best.”1.  Mara Hvistendahl, “Demography: Has China Outgrown The One-Child Policy?” Science, 17 September 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5998, pp. 1458 – 1461, DOI: 10.1126/science.329.5998.1458.2.  Mara Hvistendahl, “Of Population Projections and Projectiles,” Science, 17 September 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5998, p. 1460, DOI: 10.1126/science.329.5998.1460.Chairman Mao was one of the most evil men the world has ever seen.  The influence his beliefs and actions had on hundreds of millions of people yearning to breathe free is beyond appalling.  And this story is not the worst of the nightmares traceable to that evil, evil dictator.  When his policies led to a famine that killed tens of millions of Chinese (because he trusted the science charlatan Lysenko), he didn’t accept responsibility for any of it.  Hvistendahl says, “attention focused on population as the culprit, and Chairman Mao Zedong, who had once encouraged large families, shifted course.”  The people would now suffer for his mistake with the “most spectacular demographic experiment in history,” the one-child policy adopted by his successor.  Mao died in luxury, accompanied with wine, women and song, as his victims starved and rotted in hard labor camps.  He never took any responsibility for murdering 77 million of his own people (11/30/2005), but paraded his big-brother visage throughout the country, forcing his subjects to adore him like a god.    He was no god; he was a devil.  Mao justified his political horrors with “scientific” ideology.  He venerated Lenin, Stalin, and Darwin, building a political apparatus – and guiding the most populous nation on the planet – around their views.  Darwin, in turn, was strongly influenced by the know-nothing Thomas Malthus, a preacher of sorts dabbling in a subject he did not understand.  It resulted in Darwin’s vision of a secular world uncared for by God, a world of natural selection, a cruel world of struggle and hunger and death, pitiless in its indifference to the suffering of the individual.  Too bad Malthus was not good at math and economics.  Who told him population grows exponentially but food supply grows linearly?  Nobody.  Malthus made it up!  Who told Olsder that game theory proved China would have a population catastrophe?  Nobody.  He made it up!  These big liars and their willing dupes have the blood of millions on their hands.    This story is a lesson not just to China watchers but to the whole world.  The consequences of flawed ideas can be far-reaching, emotionally wrenching, and cruel.  They can be matters (literally) of life and death.  The true stories that could be told by Chinese couples deprived of their natural rights to life, liberty and family are too horrible to contemplate.  Can you hear their cries?  Can you see their tears?  The conclusion piles insanity on cruelty: political inertia, propaganda and indoctrination have made this horrendous demographic experiment very difficult to stop.    If China’s people had been given the liberty to enjoy their natural rights endowed by their Creator, it’s likely there never would have been the feared population bomb.  (It didn’t happen in Europe and America, despite the Club of Rome and Paul Ehrlich.)  People with freedom to explore their potential, especially those taught to value work and improve their lives and society, become wealthier (wealth generation, remember, is not a zero-sum game; the scientific findings of Faraday and Morse, for instance, created millions of new jobs).  Free people develop technology and science and better medicine.  Free people don’t have to depend on lots of children for their future, hoping that a few infants might survive the perils of childhood diseases to assist them in old age.  If anything, in Europe and America, the problem is that birth rates are too low.  It’s the repressed poor in third world dictatorships that tend to have high birth rates.    Yesterday was Constitution Day in America (see US Constitution Initiative website and the National Archives Charters of Freedom).  If China, desiring to modernize in the 1970s, had followed the example of the American Constitution, with its foundation of individual liberties granted by God, its people could have avoided so much heartbreak and terror.  Unless we learn the hard lessons of this story, we are doomed to see even worse horrors from any big government bent on an agenda trusting the bad ideas of Darwin and Malthus.  Never assume that past dictatorships have exhausted the horrors in the Darwin Pandora’s box.  A new documentary, What Hath Darwin Wrought, has just come out.  Watch the trailer, and spread the message, before a world government picks up where China left off.(Visited 748 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

NDP will determine SA’s direction: Zuma

first_img19 February 2013 The National Development Plan (NDP) is a crucial policy-making tool that will help South Africa develop and determine the direction the country takes, President Jacob Zuma said on SABC’s Sunday Live broadcast on the weekend. The NDP is a a blueprint for eliminating poverty and reducing inequality in South Africa by 2030. It seeks to do this by drawing on the energies of the the country’s people, growing an inclusive economy, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society. In his 2013 State of the Nation Address last week, Zuma said the NDP had set the ambitious target of creating 11-million jobs by 2030, which will require teamwork to get the economy growing at a rate of more than 5% a year. “There are sectors that we have identified that will create these 11-million jobs by 2030,” Zuma said on Sunday. “These include infrastructure and the tourism sector, among others. These sectors have already created jobs and employed people.” On the issue of land, Zuma said the government was committed to resolving issues around this. This would be done within the ambit of the country’s Constitution. He added that while progress had been slow, compensation for land would be equitable. The matter needed to be looked at “differently”, he said. On the issue of education, Zuma said education had be treated as an essential service. However this definition should not be seen as denying teachers the right to embark on strike action. “We are talking about the importance of education,” he said, adding that education was a key element to the country moving forward and developing. For non-performing municipalities, the government was following up on the non-submission of financial reports. On the issue of councillors who received tenders, Zuma said that some had already been fired, and the government was looking at how it could review the tender system. On the matter of the abuse of women and children, Zuma said that a national response was necessary, adding that the government cannot fight this scourge alone. “We need to work together as a nation, government cannot do it alone. We need to have specialised courts that will be ready to deal with such situations and convict perpetrators speedily.” On talks of a possible Cabinet reshuffle, the President said: “I haven’t said anything on it, I haven’t said whether it will happen or if it will not happen. I have not spoken to anyone about this. I don’t know where people are getting this.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

NCGA offers opportunity to grow leadership skills

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The National Corn Growers Association invites farmers to become a part of the change they desire by actively honing their leadership skills through the NCGA Leadership Academy, part of Syngenta’s Leadership at Its Best Program.  Growers must be nominated by their state corn association for either program.  Interested members should contact their state associations now for further information and get completed applications in to state offices by the end of May.“Since it began in 1986, Leadership at Its Best has trained strong, confident volunteers who have helped shape the industry through their subsequent work at the state and national level,” said Wesley Spurlock, NCGA president .  “Having met so many farmers who feel similarly, I know that the desire to give back to their peers motivates an incredible number of farmers to look for service opportunities. NCGA depends upon this grassroots leadership, and I can personally attest that the time and effort dedicated are repaid in full through the incredible relationships built with like-minded individuals.”Open to all NCGA membership, Leadership at Its Best provides training to interested volunteers of all skill levels.  The first session, held in August in Minneapolis, Minn., addresses personal communications skills, public speaking and association management.  The second session, which will be held in January of 2018, addresses public policy issues, working with the Hill and parliamentary procedure.  Through this program, participants build the skill set needed to become a more confident public speaker with a solid background in the procedures and processes used by NCGA and many state organizations.For more than three decades, NCGA, state corn associations and, most importantly, the U.S. corn industry, have benefited tremendously from the Syngenta co-sponsored Leadership at Its Best Program.  More than nearly 600 growers have gained invaluable knowledge and skills in media, communications, association management and public policy over the lifetime of the program.Those interested should contact their state corn organization, which will submit nominees for the program. To learn more, click here.last_img read more

TypePad Releases API, Recycles Pownce

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… jolie odell In 2003, blogging software powerhouse Six Apart launched TypePad, a Movable Type-based hosted-blog service aimed at less tech-savvy users.Today, the company has announced TypePad Developer Program, a resource that will give developers access to the TypePad API and back end while running their sites on their own web servers. Six Apart is simultaneously launching TypePad Motion, a microblogging service built from the Pownce code base. Six Apart acquired Pownce from founders Kevin Rose (also founder of Digg), Leah Culver, and Daniel Burka in December 2008.The developer program will give developers access to a beta version of the TypePad API as well as documentation and the TypePad Motion open-source application, which can easily be adapted for other apps. The program also includes a forum, a mailing list, and a group for feedback and support.As the inaugural open-source app built for the TypePad platform, Motion is written in Python using the Django framework and is intended to help site owners build their communities quickly and simply. You can see the app in action on actor Zachary Quinto’s site.The functions and form are reminiscent of Yahoo! Meme or Tumblr, and content can be cross-posted to Facebook and Twitter. Site owners will have to contact Six Apart directly to integrate Motion into their sites.In a post on the Six Apart blog, CEO Chris Alden wrote, “Our platform enables developers to use structured objects, like blogs, posts, comments, people, activities, groups, and tags, to quickly and inexpensively build next generation social applications on a reliable, secure, and scalable platform.“We hope to dramatically lower barriers for those trying to get started on a shoestring to build the next Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.” Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Blogging#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Foursquare Borrows $41M, Checks In As The Mayor Of Debt Town

first_imgGuide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#Foursquare#social media A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos brian proffittcenter_img Related Posts Foursquare has checked in as the mayor of Debt Town today after announcing $41 million in loans from new and current investors. Which really puts the pressure on the company to generate real revenue as it shifts its focus away from simple social check-ins and tries to recoup lost ground in the battle over local search.No investors plunked down cash for new Foursquare shares. Instead, new investor Silver Lake Waterman led the financing with what other reports are calling a multiyear loan, while existing Foursquare investors — Andreessen Horowitz, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures — offered loans that will convert to equity if Foursquare’s valuation rises.In other words, Foursquare just put itself into the hole in a high-risk gamble. The Silver Lake loan will most likely force the startup to make regular interest and principal payments lest it risk default — creating a steady cash drain that most startups try hard to avoid. We’ve reached out to Foursquare for more information on that investment, and I’ll update when and if I hear back.The convertible debt, meanwhile, represents a hedge of sorts for the company’s existing investors. They get to sidestep the question of Foursquare’s actual valuation — which obviously suggests it’s not doing that great — and, should things go south, may stand a better chance of recouping some of their investment than if they held nothing but equity.A Foursquare In FlatlandThis means Foursquare, which has increasingly found itself in trouble with the entry of Google+ and Facebook into local search, is under a lot more pressure to demonstrate that it can make money. Investors like Union Square’s Albert Wenger claim they see opportunities for Foursquare to take off, with the explosion of smartphones and abatement of couponing services like Groupon.Wenger highlights what Foursquare really wants you to do with its app: Don’t just check in, but identify retailers and businesses more actively so that your data in turn can drive better local searches. It’s a tough nut to crack, particularly since Android users are more easily tied to Google to do the same thing, and many smartphone users of any platform are apt to use Facebook.This may be the key problem for Foursquare: it’s too specialized. Users may be more likely to share information on Facebook, for example, because they’re already using it to socialize. I don’t use either service regularly, but if I did, I’d rather share a review with my more well-developed network of Facebook friends.Foursquare is going to have to turn itself around and get more money coming in the door. If it can’t do get positive cash flow through its services, it may have to resort to other methods, such as raise equity privately or publicly to pay off debt holders.There’s also the option my former colleague Jon Mitchell has put forth: Fourquare could sell itself to Apple. Or any bigger company, for that matter. Given Apple’s need for better local data, Mitchell’s argument makes a whole heck of a lot of sense.However it does it, Foursquare now has to make money fast to work off this new debt in a very competitive market. If it doesn’t get traction soon, Foursquare won’t be mayor of anything.Image courtesy of Juan Camilo Bernal/Shutterstock. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…last_img read more

Google’s Biggest Social Search Update Yet Features Google+ Content

first_img 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 Google+ is changing the web, even if you don’t want it to. That’s right. Now, more than ever, it’s critical for your business to create and build its presence on the new social network. But hey, if you don’t want to take it from us, another search update from Google today might help to convince you.Today, Google is launching three new features to its search update, dubbed “Search plus Your World.” The update brings personalization of Google search to a whole new level with the inclusion of results from an individual user’s connections on Google+, making it impossible for businesses to ignore the impact Google+ is having on search. Here is a quick overview of the three new features.Personal ResultsThese results enable you to find information only pertaining to you. They show photos and updates from Google+ that include your own and those that have been shared with you on Google+, and you’re the only one with access to these specific results.Profiles in Search These results, also shown in autocomplete and regular search results, will display Google+ profiles of people you know or others you may be interested in following when you search for people’s names.Once searched, you’ll also have the simple opportunity (if you’re signed in and you use Google+) to add Google+ users to your Circles from directly within the search results.People and PagesThese results show you profiles or Google+ business pages on the right-hand side of the results page when you search a specific topic or area of interest. And again, it enables you to follow profiles or pages in just a few clicks.What if I Don’t Want Personalized Results?If you prefer to exclude personalized results from your search results, Google has also created a toggle that allows you to see only ‘normal’ Google results. You can toggle this on and off via the results pages, or you can permanently turn it off in your Google settings. Originally published Jan 10, 2012 11:27:00 AM, updated October 20 2016center_img Google Updates How This Impacts MarketingTo give you a quick idea of how impactful these updates are for marketing, consider this hypothetical example. Say you’re an IT software company, and you have a Google+ business page. Now with Google’s new updates, if someone looking for IT software searched Google using the term ‘IT software,’ they might find your business’ Google+ page. And think about what would happen if you don’t have a Google+ page but your competitors do. Competitors: 1. You: 0.Furthermore, if your IT software company has built up a large following on Google+, content that you’ve shared with your followers will also show up in those followers’ relevant Google.com searches, keeping your business top of mind and increasing its visibility among existing followers.You may not want to create and maintain a presence on yet another social network, but in an online world where Google dominates, you can’t afford not to. You can bet that Google will continue to update its search algorithm to emphasize the importance of social media, and Google+ is where it’s going to source that social data. Stay ahead of your competition, create a Google+ business page, and regularly update it with keyword-optimized content so you can leverage another powerful opportunity to get found in search.Do you have a Google+ business page yet? last_img read more

How to Split-Test Your Facebook Ads to Maximize Conversions

first_img Facebook Advertising 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 Jan 18, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: It’s tough to nail down a successful Facebook advertising strategy unless you do some testing. However, testing Facebook ads, with all their nuances and constant updates, might seem scary. In this post, we’ll walk you through the basics and functions of Facebook ad split-testing.Understanding Facebook Ad CampaignsIn the Facebook Ads Manager, you arrange your ads into campaigns. A campaign is a group of similar ads that have the same purpose but slightly different variations. The chart below is just an example of how you can arrange your campaigns. The ads belonging to each campaign will be split-testing different variables. For instance, you can test different versions of an image or a title to find out the most effective one to use in your ad.6 Split-Testing Tips for Facebook Ads1. Change One Variable at a TimeYour main variables are the title, the picture, the copy, and the targeting.2. Keep Similar Ad ConditionsSame time of the day, same bid (although bid prices vary), same length of time, etc.3. Watch the ReportsIt may look like one ad did better than the other, but check the actual ‘Likes’ (fans) generated.4. Always Create a New AdDon’t try to tweak one that didn’t perform well. Facebook makes it easy to click on “Create a Similar Ad” so you preserve your settings.5. Try Split-Testing Your Destination Landing PageWhere do people land after they’ve clicked on your ad? Make sure the page is congruent with your message. If it’s your website, do you have the promised offer on the page? If you have the resources, you can also design two landing pages on your website where you send the traffic. In that way you, can optimize for a higher visitor-to-lead conversion rate.6. Rotate Your Ads OftenEven a well-performing ad will wear out its welcome. The ads are often served to the same audience several times, and if you aren’t rotating them every few days or when the CTR drops to 50% of its original value, you will be wasting your money.Here Is a Real-Life ExampleSome easy mistakes to make when split-testing Facebook ads is not testing the ad for a sufficient amount of time or letting it run too long and wasting your ad budget. A good comparison usually requires at least 20 clicks and requires that the ad run for at least two days. But clicks may not always be the best measure, depending on your targeting. You may want to run them for the same amount of impressions.Would you like to read more about advertising on Facebook? Download our free ebook, How to Create Epic Facebook Ads.last_img read more