Liberia Anguished over Isolation by African Neighbors

first_imgShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) The WHO further emphasized that official border closures would constrain resources to address the epidemic and would not stop all means of travel outside of affected areas. “Many of those who have now isolated Liberia have benefited from its friendship in the past. When the world found it fashionable and acceptable to ostracize them, Liberia welcomed them and was despised for it. But we were proud of what we were able to do for them.” The Foreign Minister commended the African Union (AU), which is expected to soon dispatch a military medical personnel team to Ebola affected countries including Liberia. The AU team is expected to comprise doctors, professional nurses, infection control officers, social workers, medical data management experts, among others. “How do we get the supplies we need?” Brown wondered. “Aid workers coming in to help us are coming from afar. They also come in rotations. He described the isolation of the Mano River Union as being “against the African spirit and that of African solidarity”, but nonetheless expressed the confidence that Liberia would weather this storm as it has others. Regional airlines such as Gambia Bird, Ghana Airways and Arik Air have halted flights to Monrovia in the wake of th outbreak of the Ebola virus, as have international carriers. British Airways has suspended flights to Monrovia. Delta’s flights will be suspended as of August 31.  SN Brussels had recently suspended its service to Liberia because landing in Liberia would have caused other countries to reject the Belgian carrier. The airline announced later Tuesday night that it had sorted out the issue, and that flights would resume Thursday, August 28.  Ivory Coast, Liberia’s neighbor to the east which still has refugees in Liberia since its civil conflict a few years ago, rejected a vessel that had docked at the Freeport of Monrovia.  While commending all countries, institutions, and individuals that have contributed towards the fight against the Ebola disease in Liberia and other affected countries, Minister Ngafuan also commended all African countries that have already contributed or communicated intentions to contribute to the fight against the disease.center_img The Foreign Minister was not the only Liberian official to register his disappointment with the isolation of the affected nations. Information Minister, Lewis Brown, addressing newsmen in Monrovia Tuesday, also recalled a time when Liberia came to the aid of other countries.  Minister Brown, too, could only have been referring to South Africa, during whose apartheid struggle many comrades (including Nelson Mandela) traveled on Liberian passports and took refuge here.  For other countries to isolate Liberia — rejecting ships that have docked in Liberia, canceling flights and shutting down businesses — is “unfair, unjust and un-African,” Brown contended. Even close neighbors, Brown said, have turned their backs on Liberia.  “In these difficult moments in our countries,” Ngafuan asserted, “we expect our African brothers and sisters across the globe to take actions that will complement measures already undertaken by the affected countries with a view to speedily eradicating the disease. Actions grounded primarily in paranoia may, instead of aiding affected countries, lead to blanket stigmatization of citizens from these countries and may make it doubly difficult for affected countries to effectively combat the Ebola disease.” The Government of Liberia is not taking lightly what it sees as the ostracizing of the three nations affected by the Ebola virus — Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.Addressing foreign newsmen over the weekend, Liberia’s Foreign Minister, Augustine K. Ngafuan, recalled a time “when certain African nations were ravaged by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.” Liberia, he said, did not shut its doors for fear of contagion. The Foreign Minister could only have been referring to one nation — South Africa — the latest African nation to close its borders to passengers traveling from the Mano River Union. Ngafuan also reminded newsmen that the Ebola virus used to be known as an East African disease before it suddenly surfaced in the West African rainforest. “As we speak,” he pointed out, “it has gone right back to Zaire. Who knows where it will go next?”Ngafuan said while it is understandable that countries not affected by the Ebola outbreak may take measures to protect their citizens, they should heed the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations which do not support travel or trade restrictions on Liberia and other countries hit by the Ebola virus. The WHO has been emphatic in its warning against the imposition of air and sea restrictions: “If you try to shut down air travel and sea travel, you risk affecting to a huge extent the economy, people’s livelihoods and their ability to get around without stopping the virus from traveling. You can’t ship goods in. Sometimes these goods are basic staples people need to survive — food and fuel,” said WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl.  He made specific mention of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which has already dispatched a five-member team of medical experts to Liberia. He also commended the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for committing US$500,000 to aid Liberia’s fight against the deadly virus. The Government of the Kingdom of Morocco also rceived commendation for continuing flights of Royal Air Maroc (the Moroccan national carrier) to Monrovia and Freetown.last_img read more

ECD road expansion works progressing – WSG head

first_imgExpansion works ongoing along the East Coast of Demerara Public Road are progressing well, according to Head of the Works Services Group (WSG) of the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Geoffrey Vaughn.In recent interview with Guyana Times, Vaughn explained that the ongoing works are approximately 20 to 21 per cent completed to date. He noted that currently, focus is being placed on the expansion between Better Hope and Beterverwagting (BV).“The contractors are working on the expansion half of the road, as you would realise, on both sides and we’re already started putting our sub-grades and our base materials; soon you will see paving commence in terms of those works,” he stated.Construction workers at Mon Repos on SaturdayThe WSG head noted too that works are also ongoing on the drainage system, with the drains being expanded to ensure that the elevations are correct so that the roads can be drained properly and there would not be ‘ponds of water’ when the construction works are completed.Meanwhile, Vaughn went on to say that while efforts are concentrated between Better Hope and BV, works have commenced in communities such as Mon Repos and will be moving down further the East Coast.“So, as much as there’s focus on BV and Better Hope, they’ve already commenced some preliminary works on the other areas in terms of grubbing and so forth,” he said.According to the WSG head, while the sand-filling aspect of the project was completed some over three years ago, some of it would have been contaminated over time when it was left there.“So (the contractors) would have to take off some of those sandfill and refill it, which is always necessary once you have a project of that nature, because you couldn’t leave the area open once you’ve started the expansion,” he noted.The East Coast Road expansion project, which commenced late last year, has a timeline of two years.Guyana has received a US$45.3 million concessional loan from the China EXIM (Export-Import) Bank to finance the road project and that agreement was signed in January last year.Initially, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government had tried to secure financing for the road expansion project, but the money was not readily available; hence, the Administration decided to use local funds for preliminary works while it awaited the release of funds from the Chinese to complete the works.The East Coast Road Expansion Project entails a four-lane extension from Better Hope to Annandale and two-lane upgrade from Annandale to Belfield with a total length of 16,998 kilometres of roads and 33,996 kilometres of drains to be built.Apart from the road expansion, the residents were also going to benefit from the project which included improved drainage since the East Coast is usually susceptible to floods.The preliminary works for the four-lane upgrade were completed at the end of 2014. This included the widening of the roads and installation of drainage facilities. The project was divided into seven lots which were awarded to different contractors.With the China Eximbank putting up most of the finances for the road expansion, Guyana had awarded the contract to China Railway First Group for some US$42.7 million. The Chinese construction company reportedly put in the lowest bid of US$46.994 million. The PPP/C Administration had stated that it is saving some $2.8 billion by giving the contract to China Railway First Group. Upon completing the widening and improvement of the East Coast Demerara Highway, citizens travelling along the East Coast will benefit from reduced travel time and less traffic congestion.last_img read more

Jagdeo demands answers from Govt on $32B pension liability

first_img…calls for tabling of 2016 GuySuCo financialsGovernment is yet to address the billions of dollars in liabilities contained in the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) 2016 audited financial accounts or even table the statements in the National Assembly, a fact that has not gone unnoticed.On Monday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo called for the Government to table this statement in the house and give an account for its management of the sugar sector and what is the largest pension plan in the country.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo“Since my press conference, we saw a resurgence of concerns about the GuySuCo pension scheme. We now see GuySuCo 2016 audited financial statements disclosing a huge unfunded pension liability of over G$30 billion. But no one in Government is speaking publicly about this or engaging the Unions and the workers,” the Opposition Leader said.He added that the “largest pension plan in the country, the largest employer, a major unfunded pension liability, and no one in Government seems willing to talk about it. GuySuCo audited accounts for 2016 was completed almost one year ago. However, it has not yet been tabled in Parliament. The PPP [People’s Progressive Party] calls on the APNU-AFC [A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change] Government to table the audited accounts and come clean to the Parliament on the many important issues.”Jagdeo noted that with the rapid pace at which GuySuCo is being stripped of its assets, tens of thousands of people could end up being hurt. According to the Opposition Leader, the coalition seems oblivious to the need to consult with the people who would be most affected – that is the Corporation’s employees.Privatisation processThe Opposition Leader also raised several questions pertaining to the privatisation process itself, asking for the Government to provide a deadline for resolving the outstanding employee issues, such as their severance payments.“When will the employee issues be settled, and negotiations concluded with the Unions?” Jagdeo questioned. “Just look at the pension issue as one of many issues to be resolved. What is the severance pay package? When will all the outstanding NIS, PAYE, and other employee benefits … be paid?”Jagdeo also questioned how private cane farmers would be paid, “given the existing formula enshrined in legislation”. He noted that the legislation has worked with only one national sugar corporation.“Cane farmers don’t know how this will change with private ownership of the estates. In fact, the closure of estates, such as Skeldon, is likely creating considerable dislocation in the private cane farmers industry,” Jagdeo stated.Financial statementAccording to 2016 financial statement, GuySuCo had a defined benefit obligation of $44 billion, contrasted with a value of assets of only $11.2 billion. This means that there is a net deficit of $32.8 billion.The audit opinion shows that GuySuCo does not have the resources to fund its liabilities, including that of the pension. And since the statement does not quantify this ‘surplus’, questions remain over how this deficit will be funded.Instead of a deficit, GuySuCo had claimed in a recent statement that based on the last actuarial report done on its Guyana Sugar and Trading Enterprises Pension Scheme (GSTEPS), the fund had reflected a surplus.The Corporation had noted that the GSTEPS fund is funded by pension contributions from both GuySuCo and the returns on any investments made using the contributions. It was noted that employees are paid a defined amount based on their salaries and years of service.“The contributions are held in trustee administered funds, which are separate from the Corporation’s finances and the pensioners are paid from the trustee administered funds,” the statement had read. “Employees who have retired and are not members of the pension scheme, these include employees below junior staff level, are paid ex-gratia pensions.”“(This) used to be partially recoverable from the Sugar Industry Price Stabilisation Fund (SIPSF); this is no longer the case and these pensions are fully funded by the Corporation from its own cash resources. These employees are not required to make any contributions to a pension fund as in the case of the employees who are members of the GSTEPS scheme.”It had also noted that current ex-gratia pensioners at the vested estates in Wales, Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon, continue to receive their pension from the Corporation.In addition, it was pointed out that severed employees who are eligible for ex-gratia pensions will be paid by the Corporation.last_img read more


first_imgBY PADDY COLLWell done to Kenny Griffin and Dave MCLaughlin on Saturday last in RedHughes when they overcame Armagh to reach the Ulster final where theymeet Tyrone in the Ulster Final at U16’s.Once again lads well done.Sorry was unable to attend due to an obituary in the family.The Senior ladies met Monaghan in Clones in the Ulster Final.Whileplayers and management may not have been pleased with the result theymet a class  side who used one touch passing to perfection.The playersboth starting and reserves brought on by Monaghan were at a differentlevel in almost every position.Once again Geraldine Mc Lauglin scored all Donegal’s scores 1-7,except one and Karen Guthrie scored the other point. Michael Naughton was short eleven of last years panel and most of thegirls were on the Minor panel this year with many having done theirleaving.He was forced on the day to play a seventeen girl from Convoyin goal and she adapted vey well having had to kick the ball out atleast eighty times which was an ordeal for one so young.Next year they will have an additional year’s experience behind themand hopefully some of those in USA and Canada and Europe will be backand playing.Girls we are all proud of you as you never stopped trying even thoughthe game as a contest was virtually over after twenty minutes with theopposition 4-7 to 0-2 ahead.the score at half time was Monaghan 5-13                    Donegal 0-4. The visitors played better in the second half though Monaghan to anextent lowered their intensity and scored twelve points to our 1-4.We can now concentrate on club football for the rest of summer exceptthe U16 panel whom we all hope will advance to the All Ireland semiFinals at the minimum with some great future players in the panel—Paddy CollGAA: DONEGAL LADIES GAA ROUND-UP was last modified: July 17th, 2012 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:GAA: DONEGAL LADIES GAA ROUND-UPlast_img read more


first_imgA Letterkenny man replied he was “as poor as pi**” when caught with illegal fuel in his car.James McGeehan, of 47 Ballyraine, was stopped by customs officers in Letterkenny on December 11th, 2009.When officers dipped his car using the normal markers they found it showed a green colour which identified the fuel being used was illegal. Customs officers told Judge Paul Kelly that when asked if he understood that he would be facing a fine McGeehan replied “I’m as poor as piss with no money.”State solicitor Ciaran Liddy told the court that the relevant samples had been sent off for analysis and had proven to be green diesel.The court also heard there had been a previous conviction of a similar nature in September last year for which he was fined €2,500.Judge Paul Kelly fined McGeehan €2,500 and took a second charge into consideration.EndsMAN SAID HE WAS “AS POOR AS PI**” WHEN CAUGHT WITH ILLEGAL FUEL was last modified: October 3rd, 2011 by StephenShare 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:Customs and Exciseillegal fuelJames McGeehanletterkennylast_img read more

‘No more substandard water’ – Cllr McDaid welcomes progress on Churchill water scheme

first_imgCllr James Pat welcomes the news that Irish Water have almost completed works for the upgrade of the Churchill group water scheme.Works to connect the scheme to the Goaldrum Letterkenny water supply are due for completion in the end of August.Cllr McDaid attended a meeting with Irish Water on Monday and received confirmation by email that works will be completed and upgrade is due in the coming weeks. Cllr McDaid expressed his delight that residents of the Glenswilly, Churchill and Gartan areas will now hopefully receive good quality water. He said the issue has been something he has worked hard on since his election to Donegal County Council.Cllr McDaid admitted that there have been delays along the way but the bulk of the work has being done now. Pumps are almost fitted and Irish Water officials assured him on Monday that the supply is available from Goaldrum, so it’s inevitable that the upgrade will happen in the coming weeks.A recent email received by Cllr McDaid from Irish Water regarding Churchill group water scheme said:Works have commenced at the pumping station in Gartan and when complete the Churchill water supply will be able to be fed from the Letterkenny water supply. These works will be completed towards the end of August. Elected reps will be notified when this is imminent. Cllr McDaid said he is personally delighted that this is finally going to happen.“It has taken a while but infrastructure is in place and supply is supposed to be available.“No more substandard water for the local residents,” he said.‘No more substandard water’ – Cllr McDaid welcomes progress on Churchill water scheme was last modified: July 28th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:ChurchillCllr James Pat McDaidIrish Waterletterkennylast_img read more

Winds, rain and risk of floods as ‘weather bomb’ to hit Ireland this weekend

first_imgAn “explosive” weather bomb is set to batter Ireland this weekend bringing up to 130kmh winds, rain and a risk of flooding.The system, already informally known as Storm Brian, will hammer the entire coast at the weekend.Ireland is on a storm alert with a dip in low pressure causing perfect conditions for another massive storm – days after three people were killed in Hurricane Ophelia. The weather system is called a weather bomb because the central pressure of the low pressure is falling 35mb (millibars) in 24 hours – higher than one an hour.These are known by scientists as explosive cyclogenesis.Fears of Storm Brian increase as Met Eireann issue weather warnings for Ireland over torrential rain and dangerous gustsThis alert comes into force at 6pm on Friday and remains in place until midnight on Saturday. Winds, rain and risk of floods as ‘weather bomb’ to hit Ireland this weekend was last modified: October 21st, 2017 by StephenShare 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:donegalMet Eireannrainweather bombwindlast_img read more

2010 Predictions

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Richard MacManus, Founder & CEO, @rww1. There will be a breakthrough consumer application for Internet of Things – involving the iPhone, RFID tags and a major consumer product such as books or groceries. In general, Internet of Things will ramp up in 2010, with thousands more everyday objects becoming connected to the Internet.2. Google will acquire PostRank and promptly consign it to the same graveyard Feedburner went to.3. Microsoft will acquire Wolfram|Alpha and Bing will continue to make small gains in the search market. Google will be distracted by increasing consumer complaints about content farms polluting Google search results.4. A price war will erupt in the e-book market and will offer the lowest prices, leading to it gaining a dominant position in the market with its Kindle E-book Reader.5. Google will partner with a large PC manufacturer from Asia, which will launch an inexpensive netbook powered by Chrome OS in the U.S. market. It will become a hot consumer item among school kids and university students.Marshall Kirkpatrick, Lead Writer & VP of Content Development, @marshallk1. Google Wave will win some respect back as people discover valuable uses for it and get used to the user experience.2. Facebook will open aggregate-user-profile and social-graph data for outside analysis.3. Some serious user interface innovations will blow our minds.4. Data portability will become more real, standard, expected and viable.5. A new social network will rise to join the big ones. It may offer the privacy that Facebook is moving away from; it may be mobile and location-centric; it may focus on personal content recommendations.Sarah Perez, Feature Writer, @sarahintampa1. MySpace doesn’t quite make a comeback, but gets a fresh start of sorts with its music and entertainment offerings. The Gen Y/Gen Z demographic sees growth on the site but the network’s overall numbers continue to decline.2. Twitter launches ads. 3. TweetDeck finally launches a web version and becomes the number one Twitter client other than 4. Cloud computing heats up. AWS, Google, Microsoft and others begin price wars to compete for customers. 5. The iPhone still rules and grabs more mobile market share than ever before. 6. Meanwhile, Android becomes the number two mobile platform by year-end. 7. iPhone app backlash begins. There are too many worthless apps and no decent way to find the good ones. Then Apple surprises us with a brand-new feature that improves greatly upon their “genius” offering to help us find new and useful apps via iTunes. 8. iTunes announces a web service, thanks to the Lala acquisition. 9. Spotify finally gets the green light in U.S. and people go nuts for it. 10. The netbook craze dies down. People start buying new “in-between” devices that are slightly larger and more powerful than today’s netbooks, but smaller, more lightweight and cheaper than regular notebooks. Features like better processors, separate GPUs and SSD HD options set these new “ultra portable” devices apart from the traditional netbook, but they’re still often called “netbooks” because of their size. Market confusion ensues. Jolie O’Dell, Writer & Community Manager, @jolieodell1. MySpace relaunches as a content network, leveraging the bands and filmmakers they already have on board and dropping the emphasis on social networking.2. Twitter will find a monetization model and launch things like ads and pro features.3. Facebook will become the Borg. Its number of users will continue to climb until the network is as ubiquitous as Google and lay people confuse Facebook with “the Internet.” They’ll make more money and control more data than ever before.4. iPhone’s exclusivity with AT&T will come to a breaking point and we’ll see network-agnostic iPhones.5. On the bright side, 2010 will signal the death of the login. Third-party authentications will become the norm, and user data will be entrusted to a discrete handful of online properties. Users will pitch a hissyfit if ever they’re asked to create a username and password and upload an avatar. After all, doesn’t the Internet know they have a Facebook?6. File-sharing will continue to be shut down around the world; by 2011, we’ll all be downloading via Tor and the U.S. will have instituted a lame three-strikes-no-Internet policy.7. Cybercrime will be more of an issue than ever. Expect to see a major governmental security breach in 2010, as the government continues to adopt 2.0 tech without strong and permanent infosec personnel and procedures in place.Dana Oshiro, ReadWriteStart Writer, @SuzyPerplexus1. AR: Geo-locational games and AR will come together in 2010. We’re going to see strange behavior from those playing zombie shooter games on their commutes.2. Agree with Sarah: Netbooks and gadgets like the PsiXpda are going to gain ground.3. Mobile Music: Offline music caching will be expected of all streaming music apps.4. The browser really will be the new OS.5. Payment Systems: Between Square, PayPal X and advances in Internet TV, we’re going to see payment options integrated in unlikely places.Alex Williams, ReadWriteEnterprise Writer, @podcasthotel1. Cloud computing will go through a shake out. There are just too many companies out there for the market to sustain. The big players will go on a buying spree. The consolidation will deeply affect users. Some companies will fold overnight. Users will lose access to their data, leading to a whole new wave of skepticism about cloud computing. But it won’t be enough to slow down the move to cloud computing. More companies will consider the security risks as less of a factor, compared to the cost benefits and potential for innovation. Cloud computing technology will become more of a commodity. The business applications for cloud computing will take center stage.2. The big players will come back strong. IBM, SAP and Microsoft will innovate just enough to show big gains with customers.3. Consumer-based social networks will make big efforts to gain wider access to the enterprise, as more companies seek to open up to the social Web. The information architecture of social networks will change to accommodate the greater degrees of control that the enterprise requires. This will bring on the rise of “social middleware” – services that act as a layer between social networks and the enterprise.4. A new breed of social networks will emerge that act as one-stop shops for applications and services. These will look more like marketplaces than social hubs for conversations around the proverbial virtual water cooler. SaaS leaders will face off for this growing market.5. iPhone, Android or the Blackberry? I expect the Android to be the talk of the enterprise, especially if the Google Phone does make it to market. Such a phone would eliminate carrier costs and break down walled gardens that have limited application development.Sean Ammirati, COO, @SeanAmmirati1. Facebook will go public and the IPO will be a huge financial success. 2. Hyperlocal advertising will heat up, delivering another nail in the traditional newspaper industry’s coffin. (Very similar to one of my 2008 predictions, but this time focused on the advertising aspects.) Specifically, it will be more common for a local establishment to pay marketing dollars to Yelp or FourSquare, for example, then their local newspaper. 3. Apple will release an “iTablet” and the world will be a better place for it. OK, more accurately we’ll all think the world is a better place for it.4. Agree with Jolie regarding “the death of the login.” I’m hoping for open distributed alternatives along with Facebook and a handful of others. 5. Between Boxee’s continued development and a new AppleTV (hopefully synched with their iTablet), it will become much more common to enjoy the Internet on a TV.Elyssa Pallai, Marketing & Experience Manager, @boulderservices1. Skype becomes increasingly pervasive, as the younger generations force their parents to get online, and consumers find new and interesting ways to cut costs and save money.2. Software as service becomes ever more popular, as businesses and governments choose to focus on their core business and realize the benefits of lightweight technologies in the cloud – including rapid deployment and the low cost of switching.3. The online user experience has a renaissance, as web browsers and hardware become more sophisticated and designers and developers take advantage of that.4. The growth of Internet of Things continues, RFID tags in everything. The initial bugs will make funny things happen all around us.5. iPhones and other smartphones become the purchasing tool of choice.6. Consumers bypass carriers and create open wifi networks for all (which is already happening but not en mass).Jared Smith, Webmaster, @jaredwsmith1. Backlash against the App Store causes more and more developers to defect to Android and competing platforms.2. Google Chrome’s market share increases at Firefox’s expense. Internet Explorer continues to lose ground as more rich, HTML5-aware Web apps spring up on the scene.3. Opera begins to struggle, as WebKit becomes the rendering engine of choice on mobile devices.4. Social analytics features explode onto the scene in 2010. Twitter opens Pro accounts, including analytics and an API to access them. Google strikes a deal to integrate Twitter analytics with its Google Analytics product. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… richard macmanus Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Every year the ReadWriteWeb team tries its hand at predicting the future. Looking back at our 2009 predictions, we got some wrong (I predicted that Facebook would sign up to OpenSocial) but others turned out to be on the money. I correctly guessed that the usual suspects would remain unacquired in ’09 – Digg, Twitter, Technorati – but that FriendFeed would get bought. OK, so I guessed that Google would be the buyer. But close enough!Without further ado, here are our predictions for 2010. We’d love to read your predictions in the comments.SEE ALSO: ReadWriteWeb’s 2009 Year in Review. This series features our readers’ picks for the top products of 2009, our editorial selections for the best BigCo and best LittleCo of ’09, and our most promising company for 2010. Tags:#2009 in Review#Features#predictions#web#Year in Review Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts last_img read more

Why Most Facebook Marketing Doesn’t Work

first_imgGuide to Performing Bulk Email Verification guest author 1 Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts For almost four years, since the Facebook Platform was launched, I have been involved in delivering Facebook apps for top brands such as CBS, NBC, Lifetime, Universal Music, Visa and more. Here’s what we have learned doesn’t work, and more importantly, what does work.First, deep campaigns don’t work. Digital agencies love deep, expensive campaigns on Facebook, with tons of pages, interaction, and art. It fits in with how agencies build microsites and websites, and justifies the $100,000-plus price tag that they like to charge. Examples include lightweight games, prediction contests, treasure hunts where you include friends, and such. Unfortunately for agencies and the brands that drop a lot of cash, Facebook users decidedly don’t like deep campaigns.Guest author Peter Yared is the vice president and general manager of Webtrend Apps, a platform used by top brands to engage their customers on Facebook, iPhone and Android. He has has an extensive background in highly scalable Internet infrastructure and tools, and has authored patents on fundamental Internet infrastructure including federated identity and data marshaling.They do not like to spend 20 or 30 minutes on a single brand’s page, unless they are consuming innovative, funny, or exclusive content. So a travel site looking for a long time spent on a page should not put up a treasure hunt on a world map where you invite your friends and can together find great prizes after exploring cities. Sounds good in a pitch meeting, but it results in abysmally numbers of active users.Facebook users are very sophisticated, and there is no way a single campaign is going to compete on game mechanics with CityVille. If you want to build CityVille, it might work. But, even Netflix pulled their Facebook app. You’re better off putting up a bunch of funny videos from around the world and leave it at that.Lots of Apps on One Tab Don’t WorkIt is easy to think of a Facebook tab like a Web page, and throw a bunch of features on it – such as a poll, gifting, and some videos – all on one tab. However, most users do not show up on a Facebook tab like they do on a Web page. They are usually coming in by clicking on a page’s newsfeed posting (“What kind of traveller are you? Take the quiz!”), a friend’s newsfeed posting (“I’m a cranky traveller! What kind of traveller are you? Take the quiz?”), or a Facebook ad (“Find out what kind of traveller you are!”).Now, if after clicking on one of these links a user is dropped into a Facebook Page tab with eight different things on it, they are not going to see a quiz immediately and move on. There should only be one engagement feature per tab.Sweepstakes Don’t WorkAfter an initial onslaught of Facebook sweepstakes promotions, marketers are learning that sweepstakes have very low conversion rates and almost no viral uptake. We’re also learning that they attract unengaged users who are there for the prize rather than a relationship with the brand. Facebook users like to click around and look at stuff, and absolutely do not like filling out forms. We have run highly promoted sweeps campaigns for major artists that included things like backstage passes and a limo ride to the show that had abysmal conversion rates. There is absolutely no incentive to make sweepstakes social.Why would you invite more people to join a sweepstakes? It reduces your own chances. Have you ever seen a “I just entered a sweepstakes and you should to” posting on someone’s wall?One attempt to increase viral spread in sweepstakes is to offer more prizes when there are more entrants, but all that does is confuse users with conflicting agendas. There is a disincentive to invite people since it reduces your chances of winning, but if enough new people join up perhaps you can win something else… “Ah, too confusing, I’m going to watch videos instead.”Photo and Video Contests Rarely WorkA lot of brands like to do photo and video contests, but unfortunately they do not have the user base that likes to submit photos and videos. Travel and photography brands? For sure. Mobile carrier? Beverage brand? Not likely. Even clothing brands can’t pull this off.Uploading a photo or video is a big investment on the part of the user, and they do not expect to do it for the vast majority of businesses. These campaigns also require the labor to moderate the submissions. If you must run a photo or video Facebook campaign, the best way to do it is actually NOT in an app.Instead, have users upload the photos and videos to the brand’s page, and moderate them there. Then have users get their friends to Like the photos or videos. This way, the campaign leverages all of Facebook’s viral channels around photos – when the user uploads the photo, when they Like the photo, when their friends like or comment on their photo submission, it is all highly likely to show up in their friends’ feeds, drawing traffic. The great thing about this is that it is easy to do for free, since using all of Facebook’s photo and video features are free, and users get to use the known Facebook photo and video interface, which increases conversions.Like Blocks Rarely WorkLike blocking, where a user has to “Like” a Facebook Page in order to access a feature, typically has a 50% or more drop off rate, even when there is something there that is actually worth liking the page to get, such as exclusive content or a great coupon. Putting a Like block on basic content will almost guarantee a 100% drop off rate.Be very, very selective about Like blocks and be sure to tell the user that it is worth it to them. A Like is the mailing list opt-in of the Facebook world, so be willing to offer up some goodness and know that most will opt not to Like.Extended Permissions Rarely WorkA brand on Facebook should be like a casual friend or neighbor and not try to suck people into heavy levels of interaction. What do you do with a friend? Comment on their photos, like their status, vote on their outfit.Asking the user for a laundry list of access to their profile usually results in a 30% or more drop off rate, and that is for well known brands that they trust. Do you really need to know their relationship status? Generally a brand already knows its demographic – does a youth-oriented clothing brand really need to validate that it is 16 to 25 year-old women that are engaging with the brand?So while it sounds good to ask for extended permissions, do the math and monitor the drop off rate to ensure that it is worth it to you, otherwise the overall campaign ROI may not turn out the way you want, especially if the campaign is being graded on number of engagements.Unbranded Apps Don’t WorkIt’s got to look good, and be on brand. In the early days of Facebook, a brand could put up a basic presence with some turnkey apps, and users accepted that. Now that Facebook is all grown up, a brand presence needs to be on par with its website. Facebook users are savvy and will judge your brand in comparison to the best they’ve seen.Dedicated Facebook Storefronts Kinda Work Right Now, But Soon Won’t WorkDedicated Facebook storefronts are the rage on Facebook right now, but they are unfortunately not integrated with an e-commerce site’s existing payment and inventory systems, and are therefore a logistical nightmare. The best bet right now is to list featured products on a Facebook Page with click-thrus off of Facebook to the e-commerce site.Now that Facebook is supporting iFrame tabs in pages, an existing e-commerce site can be skinned to fit in a 520-pixel-wide Facebook Fan Page, thereby integrating existing payment and inventory systems into the Facebook Page.So What Does Work? Promotions and Consistent, Lightweight EngagementMake sure your fans get something in return for liking your page with promotions likes offers for fans that they can easily redeem. The more lucrative the deals offer, the more sharing with friends will happen. Fans want things like exclusive products/services, drastically discounted prices akin to Groupon type deals, and early notification and registration for upcoming events, ideally exclusive to fans. Promotions should make the fan feel like they are a brand insider, not just a standard consumer.A big secret of Facebook marketing is that it is easy and cheap to drive promotions using ads targeted only at your fans that link to landing tabs that deliver the offer and encourage fans to share to their newsfeed.A brand on Facebook should be like a casual friend or neighbor and not try to suck people into heavy levels of interaction. What do you do with a friend? Comment on their photos, like their status, vote on their outfit. These types of interactions take seconds, not minutes, and definitely not hours.A brand on Facebook should offer their users regularly updated, simple to interact with engagement features. Each of the engagement apps should be fully branded, and run in a separate tab with traffic driven from wall posts, newsfeed and Facebook ad units to increase engagement. Start with a personality quiz. Then two weeks later put up a poll. Then try a trivia app. For special events, put up a gifting app for Valentine’s Day, or for the holiday season, a holiday song card.Some brands, like media properties and well-known consumer brands, get an immediate fan base for this type of lightweight engagement. For the rest, building a fan base on Facebook is no different than building a mailing list in the previous generation of the Internet. It takes consistent engagement, and builds over time.Methods to accelerate growth include tying Facebook ad campaigns with engagement apps and driving traffic from the homepage. The apps should still be lightweight and fun, with the conversion goal of getting the user to like the brand.The point is to regularly put up new, fresh engagement features that are easy and fun for users to interact with, that they will want to post to their wall and share with their friends. Then users will interact with your brand just like they interact with their friends on Facebook!center_img The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#Facebook#marketing#web A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Change of culture priority for Tang; challenge is to get Blazers to respond

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. “We’ve been trying to change the environment for the most part. You can still see the immaturity in our team. I think now that we’ve been able to compete not just with NCAA teams, but also the UAAP teams, we’re not letting them get an easy win from us,” he said.Tang shared that it’s been hard to get the shift in mentality without the team tasting victory. But he’s willing to play the long game with a brighter future of St. Benilde in mind.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“For the most part, the change of environment and culture has to be evident with us getting wins. If you don’t get wins, there’s no change in whatever you’re trying to build up with. But at the same time, the question for us is how are we’ll be able to get there? It’s a process wherein we got to keep explaining to them the small details, up to the nitty-gritty ones where we’re telling them why weren’t we able to get over that hump,” he said.Despite the Blazers bowing out of the 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup with a paltry 1-7 record, Tang believes that the foundation has already been laid out and it’s now up to the players to continue staying on the path the coaches have paved for them. Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games What ‘missteps’? 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire 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 WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netSt. Benilde coach TY Tang knows the challenge that awaits him with the Blazers.With the team in the cellar for the past two seasons, the rookie mentor knows that the goal for him this NCAA Season 93 is to take away the squad’s losing culture.ADVERTISEMENT Bolick leads San Beda past rival Letran MOST READ For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken LATEST STORIES View comments World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide “The challenge is making them respond to that. That’s something that us coaches, the whole coaching staff, has been trying to do for the longest time, for the last six months,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to polish it given a few more weeks entering the NCAA season.”last_img read more