Top Online Marketing Trends For 2010

I have already predicted hot marketing trends for the year 2010. But relatively I observed these days offline marketing activities are combined with online nowadays. Offline marketers are trying to get the maximum from their online strategies as well. According to the blogs and web sites and also based on my current knowledge following online marketing trends are predictable this year.

1- Segmentation becomes the important online strategy to deliver personalized communication to nachhaltigkeit-bank the customer. Likewise, in offline marketing, segmenting the customers and sending them relevant marketing messages are going to be the key task for online marketers. Using the behavioral data online marketers need to identify profitable and meaningful segments to convey the message which suit them best. This year online marketers will spend their three quarter time for this and construct the online marketing activity more meaningful.

As a part of the segmentation strategy, email marketing is predicted to be the major outcome of it. Companies which solely operate online keep on investing more on email marketing and through effective segmentation offer a very appropriate and personalized communication to the customers. The only threat is, with the current economic problems how customers are going to respond to the email marketing of the firms. For this customers opinion should be obtained about the email frequency.

2- Search marketing will continue to evolve and become stronger in the behavior of online customers. Consumer information search phase is closely associated to the search marketing. Apart from the search engines other social sites such as YouTube, Twitter, will also become more influential. This automatically boost the effort of search engine optimization, but it is also projected since customers look for more relevant results search engines may also change their logarithms and strategies in this year. We have to wait and see for this.

3- Tracking is likely to be the online soldier to defend your strategies and tactics. Online tracking of purchase behavior, search engine behaviors are also going to play major roles in an organization’s activities. Use of Google analytics site tracking is the other key to measure the success.

4- Social media is always emerging as an important strategy for the business. The buzz online is the main source of reputation for the firms operate online and offline. The negative word of mouth online will drop over 40% sales and spread more negative buzz about the firm. The effective handling of social media will also be an important strategy for firms in 2010.

5- Development of holistic digital portfolios will be the next trend in the year 2010. Earlier firms randomly did their digital marketing activities without uniqueness. But the important fact is, it is obligatory to combine everything as one strategy and build uniqueness among those. It can be the web site, Facebook page, blog, Twitter etc.

6- Consideration of Bing predicted to grow. Normally online firms formulate their strategy keeping Google in mind. Now the innovative breakthrough from Bing stimulates online marketers to think about it in their online marketing mix. The battle between Google and Bing, is the important factor online marketers need to consider.

7- Mobile web market is the new point companies need to look at. Now with the rapid increase in mobile penetration globally, customers want to keep their mobile phones as their purchasing wallet. Now it is time for online marketers to make use the mobile strategy and integrate with web applications.

8- Online customers think more about savings when they make a purchase. As a part of online strategy marketers need to convey messages about online coupons and savings concept. Since now online customers are price sensitive and they always look for better deal to purchase online.

9- Real time search from Google will be the other new study area for online marketers. The concept behind this is, getting relevant and fresh results for the searches.

10- Fewer registrations for web sites. Because of larger number of players in the competitive online market place, people find it difficult to remember their password and other information. So Facebook Connect and Open ID becoming popular where people use to register or signup for sites with one username and password



Top 5 Twisted, Yet Fun Games of All Time

I have been a video gamer since growing up as a kid (back in the 1980’s), with my first game system being the classic NES, and I have played many different games since then. These games includes: Battletoads, Super Mario Bros, Sonic, Mega man, first person shooter games, roleplaying games, online games (such as Adventure Quest), and plenty of other hit games out there. Of course, I have also played plenty of twisted games too and some of them are surprisingly fun, humorous, and sometimes even popular, and in this article, I will talk about at least 5 of them.

Game #1 – Become a “thug” in the Grand Theft Auto Series

Ever wondered what it might be cryptowatchdaily like living the life as a thug and getting involved in organized crime (such as gangs) without actually becoming a criminal? In the Grand Theft Auto series (with the latest installment being The Ballad of Gay Tony), you do just that. The GTA universe is a popular roleplaying game, usually based in New York City (also known as Liberty City, though some games feature other cities such as Miami in Vice City and Los Angeles in San Andreas) where you usually control a thug (such as Nikko in GTA 4) and do missions for various crimbe bosses throughout the city. Some quests involves petty crimes such as stealing a prized car that a certain crime boss wants, while other missions may have you assassinate people that have crossed the criminal organization you are a part of, such as delinquents. In GTA San Andreas, for example, Carl Johnson joins the Grove Street gang and gets involved in a gang war with rival gangs, such as the Ballas (though he also works for crime bosses such as El Salvador, Doctor Rosenburg, as well as a corrupt government agent named, Mike Torreno to name a few). Many of the newer games also have plenty of side missions you can do, such as spraying graffiti on select buildings in San Andreas, take on multiple girlfriends (CJ for example, can have up to 6 girlfriends), as well as doing smuggling missions (such as hauling freight from the badlands to Las Venturas while dodging police officers in San Andreas). Of course, on the side if you rather just play for fun, you could always go on rampages in the game, where you can steal cars, get a little trigger happy, obtain wanted stars and drive the local police crazy, drive like a maniac around the city, as well as trying to get your guy killed. By the way, you never really have to worry about getting busted or wasted in the game as your guy will simply respawn at the nearest hospital or police station, only to go on another rampage once more (by the way, never try this in real life a this aspect is very unrealistic of course). Similar games: Saints Row, Gun and Bully

Here are some interesting stuff you can do in the GTA univers that you can’t get away with in real life:

Your primary form of transportation are cars you jack from unsuspecting people, and you can usually get away with it unless if there is a cop near by (who will try to bust you if he sees you jacking a car).
Cops will simply bust you, take your weapons and some of your money as a brige, and simply release you for even the most henious offenses (such as going on rampages). And when you get released, you can do more crimes as well, with the same results. Imagine doing that stuff in real life. You would probably go to jail for a very long time (or worse depending on the offense) for similar crimes committed in real life.
If your guy dies, he will simply respawn at a nearby hospital.
In GTA San Andreas, you can have up to 6 girlfriends at a time without having to worry about them getting jealous. In real life, trying to take on multiple girlfriends is quite risky as they do get jealous (at least from a guy’s perspective of course), and even the slightest form of disloyalty (such as cheating) can lead to disastrous results on a relationship, as was the case for Scott towards the end of the third season of the reality TV series, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” when Kourtney learns that Scott was cheating on her (though luckily for him, the two seemed to have gotten back together by season 4).
And plenty of other odd stuff that you can’t really expect to get away with in real life.
Game 2- Fight to the death in the Mortal Kombat Series

If any game were to take after the infamous gladiators events during the days of ancient Rome (where people fight each other to the death), it would probably be the Mortal Kombat series. On the surface, Mortal Kombat takes after similar fighting games, such as Street Fighter 2, where two opponents fight each other in matches consisting of three rounds, with the opponent winning at least 2 out of three rounds being the victor of the match. Usually, the loser simply gets knocked out in his/her losing round, with the winner moving onto the next level. However, in the Mortal Kombat series, there is a whole new twist to fighting: the winner of each match has the option of terminating his or her opponent using special finisher moves called, fatalities. If you have played any of the Mortal Kombat games, you would know that when you knock out your opponent during the final round of a match, the announcer (presumably Shao Kahn in most games) will say “Finish Him!” (or her if your opponent is a female character). When this happens, if you have five seconds or so (some games have cheat codes that allow you to disable the fatality timer if you want extra time to pull it off) to finish off your opponent by entering a certain button combination in the right sequence and in the right distance within the time frame (the exact move does vary by fighter by the way. Pulling a fatality (or similar move, such as animalities, friendships, etc) can be tricky at first, but if it is done correctly, a special tune usually plays, the screen goes dark, and your character will do a special move that basically finishes off his/her opponent. Each character has their own fatalities, by the way (Scorpion, for example takes off his “mask” and hurles fireballs at his defeated foe, while Sonya will blow a kiss of death at her foe that incinerates him/her instantly). The list of fatality moves goes on and on (some people have posted fatality demonstrations on YouTube by the way if you are curious about all of the moves), but you get the picture. By the way, if you prefer not to do fatalities, you could always do a friendship move (where your character “befriends” his/her foe), a babality (where your opponent gets turned into an infant), or even simply knock out your opponent with an uppercut. Despite the obvious dark nature to the Mortal Kombat saga, the games have been quite popular as there have been many sequels in the series (my favorite is probably Mortal Kombat Trillogy), several movies produced (with the latest one being Mortal Kombat Armageddon), a short lived cartoon series, as well as sound tracks released. Of course, this game is probably not recommended to the younger audience or people that are easily offended as these games definiately has death matches in them (similar to MTV’s Celebrity Death Match). Similar games: Killer Instinct

Game #3 – Play “God” Sims 2 (and most other games in the series)

I don’t want to sound blasphemous (I am a Christian by the way), but do you ever wonder what it might be like to play God for a day? It might sound wiered, but in SIms 2 (and similar games), you will pretty much be doing that. Sims 2 is an open ended game for the PC (though there are also versions on the consoles, such as Play Station 2) where you build a virtual home in a virtual community, along with creating a simulated family (consisting of a mother, father, kids, etc) that you will help manage as you play through the game. Sim families function much like a typical family you would see at least here in America: they work, have emotions, go to school (if they are sim kids), do chores, socialize with other sims, get into relationships, sleep, relax, watch TV, build skills for a job or career they have, and sometimes even raise a dog or cat (at least in Sims 2 Pets). You could simply watch them live out life and make their own choices, or you can intervine and give them stuff to do. For example, if they need to go to bed at a certain time in order to get to work or school on time and they are say watching TV, you could put it in their minds to go to bed, and usually they will. Maybe there is a person that you want your sim to meet or interact with, you can have your character strike up a conversation with another (complete with dalogue options of course, allowing you to choose how they interact with each other). Or maybe you need to help the sim keep their motives up (such as having them eat when their hunger stats are low, using the bathroom when their bladder stats get low, interating with other sims when depressed, etc). Of course, as “God” in their world, you can also take after Satan and abuse your powers and ruin the lives of your sims. Here is a breakdown of some funny and twisted stuff you can do to your sims:

Cause a sim to become a jerk around other sims. Whenever you have your sim strike up a conversation with another sim, dialogue options will open up, and while you can make your guy or girl friendly, you can also cause him/her to say and do things to be mean (such as insulting others, slapping others, tell lies, gossiping about other sims, or even picking a fight). By the way, be careful about creating fights between family sims as some sims will move out if they take too much abuse from other sims.
Sit back and do nothing. Usually the sim(s) will make bad choices and suffer the consequences for it (for example, if he/she misses work too often, he/she will get fired).
Allow kids to get bad grades in school (usually happens by allowing them to skip the school bus when it comes). The only downside to this is that they can be sent to military school if their grades get too low.
Kill off a sim. One way you can do this is simply by letting him/her to starve to death. Of course, there are plenty of other ways for a sim to die (such as electrocution, drowning in pools, getting scared to death by ghosts, etc). Once a sim dies, beware of the fact that they can come back as ghosts and haunt your sim family (by the way, in Sims 2, one can get scared to death if their mood is too low when the ghost is active in the house). By the way, one funny thing you can do in the PS2 version of Sims 2 is that you can actually control the ghosts, which can be quite hilarious as you can scare other sims, possess them, and even cause them to behave erratically (such as throwing up).
Cause your sim(s) to get abducted by aliens. Usually happens if they look into a telescope at night too often. By the way, in SIms 2 for the PC, there is actually a cheat I found a while back that allows your sim to get abducted at will instead of by random and even caused my entire sim family to get abducted by aliens as well).
If you are a control freak, you can also turn off free will (it is usually on by default) and bend them to your will. Can be useful when dealing with a stubborn sim that won’t listen to you when you give them a tas k to do (no matter how foolish it is).
The list goes on, but as you can see, Sims 2 can be quite twisted when you think of it and yet it has been quite popular especially among the younger audience, and has spawned many sequels (including Sims 3), YouTube videos, as well as console versions of the game which tend to be a bit different from the PC versions (in the PSP version of Sims 2, for example, the game is more of a roleplaying game where you control this dude who finds himself in Strangetown, a desert city that has lots of paranormal happenings in it, and go on a quest to stop an evil genius from taking over the city and escape the ghosts and aliens infested town).

Game 4 – Play as Alien Invaders in “Destroy All Humans!”

Games involving aliens have been quite popular probably since the days of Atari (such as Space Invaders) and have evolved quite a bit since then. There have been plenty of different games and even films in this genre, with titles you are probably familiar with including: Space Invaders, the Simpsons Game (Kang and Kronos launch an alien invasion near the midpoint of the game), Independence Day, the Star Wars and Star Trek sagas (not all of the alien race are hostile in Star Wars or Star Trek, of course), Aliens vs Predator, the Contra series, as well as even the Halo series (where you get a hostile alien race bent on wiping out the entire human race). Usually you fight against the aliens, however in “Destroy All Humans”, you actually get to play as the aliens themselves, controlling an alien named, Crypto who is a part of the Furon empire, an alien race that wants to acquire human brains for some odd reason. The game is pretty big and spans many missions, starting with Crypto crash landing in farmlands and terrorizing both cows and farmers alike, and later with Crypto launching a full scale invasions against towns and cities. And yes, you do play as the bad guys in this game as your job is to conquer Earth (particularly North America as the game is centered in the United States). Besides terrorizing civilians, you can also take on human form and blend in with the crowd (can be useful for infiltration missions, for example), go up against government agents (such as the “men in black”), do mind control on people, making them do as you wish, razing villages with your flying saucer, as well as taking on huge bosses that try to stop you in your invasion (which is natural of course when you are controlling a hostile alien race bent on the destruction of the world). Despite the twisted nature of this game, it can be quite humorous when Crypto goes on rampages, along with creating hysteria among citizens, harassed cows, destroys buildings using his saucer, as well as battling government agents trying to stop Crypto. Similar games: Alien Homid and Overlord

Game 5 – Conker’s Bad Fur Day (also known as Conker’s Live and Reloaded if you have played the Xbox version)

Platform games have been popular probably since the debut of Mario Bros in the 1980’s, and have spawned many popluar titles in the genre, with hit titles including: Super Mario Bros, Sonic the Hedgehog, Kirby, Castlevania, Crash Bandacoot, the Mega Man series, as well as the SImpsons Game. Many of these games have similar themes: you play through different levels in various kinds of terrain, go up against an evil villain and his/her cronies (such as Dr Robotnik in the Sonic the Hedgehog series), fight plenty of huge bosses (usually cronies and close associates of the evil genius, unless if you are on the final showdown), and save the day (such as recuing Princes Peach from Bowser in Super Mario Bros). Most of these games are obviously geared more towards the younger audience (barring some games, such as the newer Castlevania games given the “M” ratings on some of the newer titles, such as “Curse of Darkness”), especially in the case of games like Mario Bros and Sonic, where kids will usually play these games more than adults do. Anyways, with that said, there another platform game that I have played through that is quite twisted when you think of it: “Conker’s Bad Fur Day” (I played the Xbox version by the way). Conker’s Bad Fur Day appears to be a typical 3D platform game (Super Mario 64 style), complete with a storyline, boss fights, an evil genius to defeat (namely the Panther King), and many colorful stages to play through. However, if you have checked the rating for the game, you would probably see the “M” rating. That is because Conker’s Bad Fur day is pretty much a platformer that is geared more towards an older audience. Here are some features in this game you will usually not find in most other games in this genre:

Most of the characters swear (though in some versions, the swearing is censored by a beeping voice when they swear).
There are some crude levels in the game. In one area in the game, for example, there is a poop themed level where you are surrounded by poop and one of the bosses you fight in this area is literally one giant piece of poop (his voice actually reminds you of that of Christopher Lee, with the heavy British accent, though he is actually voiced by another guy named Chris Marlow).
There are some sensual scenes in the game. In one level, for example, you have to help a bee “pollenate” a feminine sunflower plant. Also, Conker does have a girlfriend, named Berrie, who gets kidnapped by the Panther King.
There is a grim reaper in the game that wants to kill cats for some odd reasons (his voice is somewhat funny as well).
Alcoholism does play a role in this game. At the beginning of the game, Conker has a nasty hangover after a night of drinking beer before the story officially begins. Also, alcohol is a powerup that Conker can use in the game that causes him to get drunk and urinate on foes (funny and crude if you ask me).
There are plenty of other adult themes in this game (though I won’t list them all), but you get the picture. This wacky game is sure to both offend some people (for example, if you are a kid, this is certainly not a game you would want to play with your parents near by) and make other laugh.

Well, there you go, those are some of the most twisted and yet surprisingly fun and sometimes popular games I have seen throughout my gaming career. Obviously there are more titles I haven’t mentioned (such as Overlord, Bully, etc) but, you are welcome to add to this list if you want to and feel free to comment on this article as you are free to agree or disagree with me.


Digital Games And Kids – A Different Perspective

The “Wikipedia problem” which means children turning to internet for readymade answers is the new age phenomenon baffling teachers and mentors globally. There are almost equal numbers of teachers who consider technology to be a solution as much as a problem. While a common belief is that technology is hindering the students’ capacity to think and analyze, there is also a strong opinion in favor of video games and digital gadgets’ ability to engage students and enhance learning by using more than one sensory stimulators. In spite of the growing concern about the students’ deteriorating attention spans, institutions are incorporating them in the process of classroom learning.

Children are inherently inquisitive creatures. They have a curiosity to discover new essentialgamergadgets things and learn by way of discovering and experimenting even before they are subjected to methods of formal education such as reading or writing. Science is a discipline of experiments and discoveries. The National Science Education Standards emphasize that “science education needs to give students three kinds of scientific skills and understandings. Students need to learn the principles and concepts of science, acquire the reasoning and procedural skills of scientists, and understand the nature of science as a particular form of human endeavor. Students therefore need to be able to devise and carry out investigations that test their ideas, and they need to understand why such investigations are uniquely powerful. Studies show that students are much more likely to understand and retain the concepts that they have learned this way “. Hence, it becomes imperative to engage children in science education at an early stage.

Digital games are more capable to gain students’ interests and attention than other conventional means of imparting education in a classroom. However, some educationists also regard them as culprits of exponential decline in the attention span in children. The next sections in this article discuss the involvement of children in games in the tech age, types of games available in the market and the impact of digital gaming as learning aids in classrooms.

Gaming and the New Age Kids

Digital technology has expanded the horizons of video gaming in the modern world. Kids are subjected to far more complex and challenging technological environment than their counterparts were from over half a century back. Involvement of kids in digital gaming is a result of many significant changes in the lifestyle and culture of the modern society. Easy accessibility of technology, dispensable income due to dual income families and lack of infrastructure for outdoor activities in many cities are some major contributors in making screen games an important part of the children’s’ lives. A study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010) found that only 20 percent of the census blocks are within half a mile of a block boundary. Also, the effect of peer pressure cannot be undermined in these times of social networking.

The digital gaming market is one of the fastest growing segments of the global entertainment industry. US is witnessing unprecedented penetration of digital games amongst youngsters. In the US, 97% of the teens play some type of game on a regular basis. In India, the gaming market has grown manifold in the last few years. Hence, it is imperative that educationists are continuously contemplating the use of digital gaming as a learning tool in classrooms. Institutions are also employing innovative ways to leverage the digital advantage for enhancing the learning experience at schools.

What are Digital Games?

There is no concrete definition of games as it may vary with an individual’s preference and profession. Games can be defined as a “system in which players engage in artificial conflict, defined by rules, which result in a quantifiable outcome”. Technology and digitization add new dimensions to games where simulations, interactivity, augmented reality, alternative reality, collective intelligence and sensory stimulators such as sound and visual effects. Digital games are also characterized by their portability and limitless accessibility.

Role-playing games, simulation games and puzzles are some of the most popular digital games. In role-playing games, the player enacts the role of a particular character in a virtual world moving from one level to the other based on the outcome of the earlier level. RPGs can be single player such as the dungeons and dragons from earlier days of gaming or multi-player games such as Diablo III, Xenoblade, Final Fantasy XIII-2 or Mass Effect 3. MMORPG or the Massive Multiple Online Role-Playing Games are an extension of the RPGs where large number of players interacts in an online virtual world. Simulation games create realistic situations in virtual worlds. The outcome will depend on the player’s decision-making and responsiveness and will be closely similar to what may happen in a real world in the same situation. Widely used in training and analysis, simulation games are also popular due to their unpredictable and personalized outcomes. Flight Simulator X, Live for Speed (LFS) and Need for Speed have been extremely popular simulation games for a long time. Puzzles genre of digital games involves problem solving and analysis with varying degrees of difficulty depending on the nature of the game. Crosswords and treasure hunt games are basic forms of puzzle games in both physical and digital form.

All types of digital games involve a social involvement of players. Some need collaborative efforts to play while others may be discussed or analyzed socially. In spite of some games being accused of outright violent visual effects, a well-designed game can accelerate the thinking process by motivating, engaging, involving creativity and developing a meta-game i.e., social interactions inspired and enhanced inside or outside the game. Incorporating digital gaming in the basic education framework can lead to augmented competitiveness and multi-dimensional growth in children.

Digital Games in Science Education – Why and Why Not?

The 21st century requires the mentors and the students to integrate technology into the curriculum. Though the ultimate goal is to benefit the students in terms of learning and experience, unsupervised, unorganized or irrelevant application can lead to complete failure or have negative effects. Some of the negative impacts of digital games in general and in context with the education are listed below:

Digital games have been facing constant rebuke for allegedly enhancing aggression amongst kids and developing a violent streak at an early stage. In a study by Anderson and Bushman (2001), Children involved in violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and decreased prosocial helping. Use of weapons and being rewarded for being violent is a cause of widespread concern.

Digital games can be addictive for children and make them physically inactive. Digital games, other than social networking, are considered for reduced physical activity leading to obesity in kids and postural and skeletal disorders.

Addiction to games is also known to make kids socially secluded. Impulsive behavior, depression and increased anxiety levels are largely attributed to excessive gaming in children. Some studies also suggest that the children playing games are unable to concentrate for a long span and have reduced attention span.

Children are prone to absorbing socially unacceptable behavior through some digital games such as using profanities and ill-treating the fairer sex. Lack of adequate knowledge about screening the material available online is a growing concern amongst the parents.

Digital games are considered a hindrance to better performance in academics. Students are often found to skip homework to play games leading to deteriorated performance at school. However, despite their reputation as promoters of violence and mayhem, digital games have in fact been shown to help children learn skills, content, and vital “21st-century” skills. From digital games children can learn: content (from rich vocabulary to science to history), skills (from literacy to math to complex problem-solving), creation of artifacts (from videos to software code) and systems thinking (how changing one element affects relationships as a whole). Strong arguments in favor of using digital games as learning aids in secondary education are summarized below:

Digital games involve extreme hand-eye coordination and enhance motor and sensory skills. Sensory stimulation theory proposed by academician Laird (1985) validates that effective learning occurs when the senses are stimulated. While some studies show that digital gaming reduces attention span, there are strong evidences of improved concentration in short intervals of time. Digital games involve keeping an eye on every detail, follow the rules and respond proactively to the given situation. Complex digital games help is developing problem-solving and decision-making skills. Some games also involve logical analysis of the situation and pattern recognition and improve memorizing thus assisting in the cognitive process. Playing by the rules teaches children to accept and respect a certain level of discipline.

Multi-player digital games develop a sense of constructive competitive attitude. Collaborative games also improve team-building attitude. They develop time management skills in a team and train the players to cooperate for mutually desired goal. They teach the players to accept defeat as well as strive for better results. Digital games provide an avenue for hyperactive kids to direct the energy in a constructive system based game. They also provide an outlet to release aggression and frustration, thus helping in diffusing stress. Some games also involve physical activity such as Nintendo Wii boxing helping kids to engage mentally and physically with the kids. Complex digital games involve high level of multitasking thus improving brain’s natural learning process. Brain based learning theory proposes that multi-tasking is an inherent activity of the brain and learning is enhanced by challenges at various levels. Digital games develop efficient situational analysis and strategy making in children. Since games have certain objectives at every level and a final objective of the game, it teaches players to devise short term and long-term strategies such as scoring points, retaining energy and reaching the ultimate goal of the game. Simulation games and the role-playing digital games help players gain expertise or learn by experiencing in replicas of real world situations. Experiential learning and action learning theories are based on the premise that individuals learn faster when they by experiencing and actually participating in action.
“Games require the kind of thinking that we need in the 21st Century because they use actual learning as the basis for assessment. They test not only current knowledge and skills, but also preparation for future learning. They measure 21st century skills like collaboration, innovation, production, and design by tracking many different kinds of information about a student, over time. “


‘Online Disinhibition’ Brings Out The Trolls

Imagine someone walks up to the grieving daughter of a suicide victim, hands her a doctored photo of her dead parent and tells her she is the reason he killed himself.

Or picture someone walking into the newsroom of The New York Times and handing prints of pornographic, violent images to members of the staff, and predominantly to women.

Such instances are almost hard to visualize, because they so severely violate our social norms. They are repulsive, and anyone who could do it while looking their targets in the eye would fall far outside the spectrum of normal human interaction.

Yet the presence of Internet trolls makes clear that many people who would never perform these actions in person are eager to perform their equivalent once they are safely on the anonymous end of a screen.

Zelda Williams, the late Robin Williams’ daughter, recently left Twitter “for a good long time, maybe forever,” in response to abuse from a pair of users in the wake of her father’s death. (1) The two users were eventually suspended. The Washington Post reports Williams had posted angrily on Tumblr in June, calling out commenters who had directed various slurs her way on social media. While Twitter has a way to report abuse after the fact (as does Tumblr), there is no way to filter hateful speech before it arrives in a user’s notifications.

As for the other example, the staff of Jezebel criticized its parent company, Gawker Media, earlier this month for failing to take swift and effective action to prevent sexually explicit and violent images from flooding the site’s comment section. Jezebel staff had no recourse except to manually dismiss the comments and ban the user – though, since IP addresses weren’t recorded on commenters’ accounts, those responsible could simply start new anonymous accounts and continue their activities. Gawker has since instituted a system that sorts “approved” replies from “pending” replies, warning the reader that pending replies may contain graphic material.

This change is a useful step. I have written before about the value of moderating user comments on news sites and blogs. But trolling – the practice of spewing hateful, offensive or otherwise hurtful material at a given target – is a problem that reaches beyond the comment sections of major news sites.

Whitney Phillips, a lecturer at Humboldt State University who has written a book about bad behavior online, told The New York Times, “As long as the Internet keeps operating according to a click-based economy, trolls will maybe not win, but they will always be present.” (2) Some have suggested that the ability to comment online at all should be restricted or eliminated altogether in some cases; others have countered that such measures may end up silencing real, useful discussions that don’t have equivalent outlets elsewhere. Nor would such a solution have much helped Williams, as Twitter is designed as a means of communication. There is no way to simply shut down the comments there.

While Williams and other victims of trolling can sometimes remove themselves, the Internet is so pervasive today that disengaging can carry a heavy professional, social or even financial cost. As Amanda Hess observed in an article for the Pacific Standard, “for many women, steering clear of the Internet isn’t an option.” When faced with law enforcement who simply suggested she remove herself from Twitter, Hess quotes Nathan Jurgenson, who said, “Telling a woman to shut her laptop is like saying, ‘Eh! Just stop seeing your family.”

Although not all trolling or online bullying springs from anonymity, a great deal of it does. The idea that an anonymous person with an audience will often respond with rude, inappropriate or hostile behavior is borne out on poorly moderated news site comment sections and social media. Massive multiplayer online games, often called MMOs, have garnered a reputation for attracting abuse, especially directed at female players. World of Warcraft’s company, Blizzard, recently decided to force users to post under their real names in an attempt to raise the tone of discourse. Blizzard backtracked when users made clear that privacy concerns made that tactic unpalatable; perhaps ironically, those women who had found anonymity some shield against trolls expressed concern about being forced to reveal their gender.



Not Enough Being Done for High-Achieving Students in US

Millions of dollars in our country are being spent to help low-achieving students in public schools excel. And that’s good. But what can we say about our high-achieving students? How many programs and how much effort do we, as a state, provide to the student that has passed his FCAT? In our country, just how much time is spent by a typical classroom teacher on the needs of the top student performers?

Not much. Fewer than 25 percent of teachers surveyed (Fordham Report, 2008) reported that high-achieving students were their top priority. That means that the majority of academic support is given to low-achieving students the majority of school time. The problem with this focus is that the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)—that notorious organization which ranks school systems among the industrialized countries—doesn’t even list the United States in the top ten. For several years, the U.S. has waffled between a disappointing 14th and 17th place.

More baffling news? The two-part Fordham Report also revealed that the United States produces more high-achieving students than any other OECD country-more than France, Germany, and the United Kingdom combined. It also stated that there are more high-achieving African American students in the United States than there are high-achieving students in all of Finland (Finland has always ranked in the top three of the OECD report).

In our effort to advance student achievement scores to higher heights, one cannot help but ponder on whether our resources should not be distributed equally among all students, regardless of their academic standing.

Yes, we have honors and advanced classes, but are they truly rigorous and challenging? Less than 50 percent of teachers surveyed said yes. Are teachers trained to address the needs of gifted students? 67 percent reported no.

The No Child Left Behind legislation was primarily designed to set high standards and establish measurable goals that would improve individual outcomes in education in our country. Standards were set in each state and Florida developed the FCAT in the process of measuring accountability. The pressure, however, has been in pulling the achievement levels of the students at the bottom of the rung. Instructional strategies were put in place to assure that these students reached a Level 3, the passing point. Lots of tax dollars have been spent in this effort.

Imagine for a moment that you are a student who passes FCAT on the first try in the third grade all the way through high school. What is happening in the classroom to spur you on to improve further? Or are you in a class where lessons are being relegated to cover and review material that you already know? With the recent emphasis on pay merit being based on test results, rest assured that most teachers will spend an inordinate amount of time targeting the lower-achieving students.

As the FCAT results come in this year, many people will be holding their breaths in anticipation of seeing how many students met the Level 3. They will breathe a sigh of relief for their students who have made it. In Florida, district and school grades are based on it. A few will bother looking at advances, if any, in the high levels. It will be deemed as a nice accomplishment, but not a crucial one.

Earlier this year, our president announced a new initiative to promote science, technology, mathematics, and engineering in our public schools. While there are those who are fighting for school reform which addresses the needs of the lower-achieving students, many believe that the time has come to meet the president’s challenge and pull those high-achievers up to the next rung.



Online Marketing Courses – The Best Online Marketing Courses

If you own an online business or you are involved in network marketing I am sure you would have an knowledge of how valuable it is to be marketing your business online but the sad fact is that 97% of people in this industry aren’t being taught the right way to market online.

If you are in the network marketing industry I am sure that you have been told this one before “Make a list of your friends and family then make a list of their friends and family, once you have done that beat them into submission until they either buy your products or join you in business” ok… maybe not beat them into submission but you might as well because there is an enormous chance that they are just going to look at you strange and then shun you like the plague, so how are you suppose to grow a massive company within your company with a marketing strategy like that?

This is the reason online marketing is the key to your success in this industry because you can accurately locate yourself in front of people all around the globe who are looking for what you are offering if you know the proper way to do online marketing, this is why I created this article because I wanted to share with you the top two online marketing courses that have made a vast difference in my business so you can start driving traffic, generating your own leads, building your own list and creating multiple streams of income.

The very first online marketing course that I highly recommend and I truly believe that you should purchase and study is Magnetic Sponsoring by Mike Dillard, Magnetic Sponsoring is an eBook that teaches you the core principles behind attraction marketing and gives you action steps to employ attraction marketing in your business that way you will have people calling you and chasing you wanting to see what business you are in.

The reason I mentioned this online marketing course first was because every piece of marketing you do either online or offline should be focused on the attraction marketing principles that Mike Dillard goes over in Magnetic Sponsoring and the great thing is that this course is only $39 and comes with a 60 day money back guarantee no questions asked.

I have to say this, if you ever plan to be substantially successful in this industry and you want to make a 6 to 7 figure income in your business you are going to have to invest in yourself to build your knowledge base and value within yourself, $39 is peanuts compared to the pure marketing knowledge that you will learn from Mike Dillard’s Magnetic Sponsoring Ebook.

Once you work out the principles behind attraction marketing and only then you are ready for the mother of all online marketing courses that has ever entered into this industry and that is Mike Dillard’s MLM Traffic Formula 2.0, this online marketing course walks you through everything from setting up your own brand on the internet which fundamentally allows you to become your own business and you can spin multiple streams of income from you, how to drive traffic, generating leads, build your list and creating multiple streams of income.

The MLM Traffic Formula 2.0 is a complete online marketing course that comes with in-depth video training and work books, by the time you complete this online marketing course you will have enough value within yourself to put a dollar value on your time in this industry, it is that powerful.

These two online marketing courses have had the most profound outcome on my business and which is the reason I choose to single them out from all of the other online marketing courses in this industry.

The key to success in this industry is to become valuable to your prospects, if you hold the information that your prospect deems valuable you are then positioned as a leader who can help that person get to where they wants to go in their business but you can’t possibly become more valuable to your prospects without actually investing in yourself and building value within yourself.

This is why online marketing courses will be the birth of your success in your business.

Believe it or not even Mike Dillard started at ground zero with no value to give to the market place when he first entered the home based business arena but look at him now, a multi millionaire who has taught thousands of people how to duplicate his success through online marketing courses and there is no reason why you can have a mental picture for yourself like that but it all starts with investing within yourself and building your own value.

So if you are serious about creating success in this industry and making a lot of money then these two online marketing courses is a great place to start.


How to Find the Best Online Marketing Guide So You Can Leave Your Job Right Now

What is the best online marketing guide?

People who are serious about leaving their current jobs and establishing their own business are definitely going to need this. Why? It’s because online marketing is one of the most popular means of making money online.

Promoting products and/or services online as an affiliate will help people earn more money easier than they would if they stick to their current crappy jobs.

But even though this seems easy, one has to make sure to invest time and effort.

How do you become an online marketer?

Before you submit your resignation letter, you have to make definite plans first. It is unwise to just quit your job without a plan. Before you leave your work, make sure that you have carefully plotted the steps you are going to take the moment you become a free man.

Once you have everything ready, it’s time to get to work. Here are the things you will need to do as an online marketer:

· Find a niche market that you can target

· Look for a product that many people in your niche market will want to use

· Create a website where you can promote the product (or service)

· Drive traffic to your website using different methods

· Continue marketing your website to see a steady flow of income

If you look at the steps you need to take, it seems very easy. In reality, it is easy to market stuff online as long as you have found the right techniques. It would help if you have something that will take you by the hand as you go along. That way, you can be sure that all your efforts will not go to waste because you are seeing progress.

You have to look for the best online marketing guide. You need to do this especially since you are just starting out and no one expects you to get things right the first time. It’s natural for you to make some mistakes. But why risk it and lose any chance of making a sale when you can get it right during your first try?

With the right online marketing guide, you should be able to encounter less problems in promoting your website and, eventually, making a sale.

How do you find the best online marketing guide?

There are different online marketing guides out there. But you should be careful to choose only the best. Don’t be easily fooled into thinking that any marketing guide will do. Finding the right guide is synonymous to being successful.

The best online marketing guide can be easily found by searching for its qualities. Therefore, you have to watch out for these things:

· Has complete and comprehensive training guides in the form of guides, videos, diagrams, etc.

· Be able to teach you the essentials (article marketing, PPC, search engine optimization, web design, web hosting, copywriting, link building, etc.)

· Uses a language that people, especially beginners and those who do not know Internet marketing terms, would easily understand.

· Be able to provide an avenue where you can post questions and get relevant answers (forums, message boards, etc.)

· Is constantly updated so you will know if there are breakthroughs in the industry or any significant news that would affect you as an online marketer.

· Has an interactive community where marketers from different places can come together and share their thoughts on almost anything that concerns the Internet marketing industry.

· Complete with the necessary tools that would make promoting products easier (keyword and niche market research tools, analytics, article writing tools, etc.)

· Provides you access to various bonuses and great deals that you can use to improve your marketing strategies.

These are just some of the different qualities you should look for in an online marketing guide. It would be in your best interest to find one because it can hold the key to your online success.

Online marketing is challenging but once you have mastered the right techniques, you will realize that is easy to promote products and make money online.


Internet Marketing Strategy: The 4 Keys To Success

Without a proper internet marketing strategy you can end up spinning the wheels but not getting very far. The amount of information available can be overwhelming and it is easy to end up taking no action at all.

You see people on Facebook and the forums for years, yet they’re not making any money because what they are doing is without direction and focus. t’s a common affliction – but it doesn’t have to happen to you. Avoid spinning your wheels by following these four keys to starting a business…

So what are the biggest challenges people have to getting their businesses off the ground and into profit? And what internet marketing strategy should you apply to overcome them?

Internet Marketing Strategy 1: Choose One Business Model

The key to making it work for you is learning real business skills and building up with the right foundations whether it be affiliate marketing, network marketing, direct sales, making and selling your own information products, or similar models.

So, which one should you choose? Really it doesn’t matter. As long as it is an internet marketing strategy based on a proven model, then any of them will make money for you..

Getting started with affiliate marketing or direct sales has proven time and again to be the fastest way to start getting momentum and generating income. All of the complex things such as product creation, technical features, customer support or getting merchant accounts are effectively all outsourced. All you need to do is focus on generating traffic.

Once you have chosen your internet marketing strategy then stick with it and make some money! You can very quickly start to add other models/income streams once you start to see results.

Internet Marketing Strategy 2: Follow One Training Course

The internet is awash with gurus and training course. With the rise of attraction marketing everyone now positions themselves as an expert, whether they are or not.

To start with, you just stick with one course. It is so easy to get distracted down diverse paths when you are online, and be tempted by promises of easy money and push button solutions, but following a multitude of teachers and courses will lead to being overwhelmed, frustrated and disheartened. When you have gone after a few “shiny objects” you will lament the time, and sometimes money that has been wasted.

As you become more established then you can explore other materials that might help your business to the next level, but to start focus on one internet marketing strategy – one course of action

Internet Marketing Strategy 3: Take Massive Action

There is only one way to eat and elephant, and that is one mouthful at a time! With a chosen model and a course that teaches you the nuances of traffic generation, Facebook advertising strategies, list building, article writing etc now you have to DO what you have been learning about. Often it is the biggest challenge.

This is where internet marketing meets personal development because it is down to you to be organised, to budget your time and resources, outsourcing where necessary or appropriate.

Break it down into easily manageable steps rather that looking at the whole task and simply follow the instructions!. Too often we only look at the instructions when all else has failed.

The Six Figure Mentors provides not only clear step by step instructions and training videos but there is also the experience and skills of other community members to draw on. You can always find someone to help.

Internet Marketing Strategy 4: Persevere Until You See Results

It is all too easy to either give up or change your internet marketing strategy before it has been applied long enough to reap any results.

If you are doing blogging to drive traffic to your website then it will need attention. You will need to post 3 times a week and it will be 6 weeks or even longer before you generate significant traffic. If you change strategy after a dozen posts you will not reap the harvest.

Be consistent with your chosen strategy rather than chasing the quick money, because you will find that it is always just out of reach.

Instead set goals, such as X number of blogs/week, Y number of forum posts and z number of articles. Decide which list building tips to apply and set goals for achievement. Take action and the results follow.

The keys to starting a successful business include choosing one model, choosing one training guide, taking action and staying focused.


Internet Marketing Forums: Internet Marketing Globalization

Essentially, Internet Marketing is Globalization using high-speed Internet networks and Interactive Marketing Forums. Although highly controversial, Globalization is adaptive wisdom. Advanced communications technology has set the standard of doing business, now measured in monetary terms of dollars and cents, redistributing wealth around the world, virtually interrelated.

The European Government’s 1990 Union Agreement ended all tariffs and quotas for consumer goods, ensuring the free flow of products and services, worldwide. Incidentally, The North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) plans to join Canada, Mexico, and the United States into a single market economy with one currency, similar to Europe’s commonly used “Euro” dollar.

Internet Revolution

From telegraph communication to telephones and computers, digital Internet technology, with the ability to quickly transmit data and information from one place to another, introduced networks that began connecting people around the world. Technological advances led the way for market economies, organized based on marketing principles and practices.

Internet Marketing Forums are business associated communities, online, sharing and exchanging information in multiple dimensions that allow broader marketing approaches, when taking full advantage of virtual marketing systems. An Internet revolution – instant communication – drastically impacted commerce with online, buying, selling, and trading.


Marketing involves advertising commodities and or services, determined by supply and demand – a process of buying, selling, and transferring goods to and fro, in worldwide markets. In addition to advertising campaigns, businesses were collectively driven to consider Internet Marketing Forums to increase business prospects and revenue.

Interactive community marketing forums are businesses networks that yield larger numbers of potential customers via sophisticated websites providing efficient methods of advertising and promotion – a place to assemble people together, share commonalities, and exchange important information and marketing tools.

Internet Marketing Forums

Internet forums are online communities that allow users to post topics and participate on discussion boards useful to business owners willing to learn more, keep pace with new business trends, with access to historical archives, statistics, and marketing precedents. The two greatest benefits of marketing forums are infinite businesses leads, and recognition.

With the ability to reach people all around the world, businesses are now able to network potential customers, and focus on specific products, goods, and services available. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a virtual highway to infinite numbers of websites and marketing forums, business gurus, coaching, advertising, and additional customers.

Business to Business

Dramatically expanding business revenue around the world, the impact of Globalization is lower prices and increased sales. With the ability to efficiently move products and goods, manufactured, bought and sold around the world, from one country to another, businesses thrive on international business, services, enterprising possibilities, and boundless prospects.

Marketing forums and community groups are lethal combinations that generate powerful national markets in virtual worlds of potential business prospects and increased revenues. Businesses are now privy to Internet marketing freedoms and business recognition with an ever increasing, expansive selection of products that are just a few keystrokes away.

Marketing Strategies

The benefits of using business-generating Internet Marketing Forums are endless. Listed below are just a few business strategies used in interactive online communities that share and exchange information:

Business Investors and Investments
Business Related News Articles
Consumer Studies and Reports
Creative Marketing Strategies
Discussion Forums and Posts
E-Mail Newsletters
Fast Results
Increased Customer Base
Increased Market Shares
Increased Sales and Profits
Internet Directory Listings
Interpersonal Communication Networks
Marketing Insights and Trends
Potential Business Partners
Public Relations
Referral Marketing
Resources and Business Tools
Sharing Common Business Goals
Social Networking
Targeted Advertising
Technological Advances
Tips, Special Offers, and Free Merchandise
Understanding Customer Needs
Website Search Engine Optimization
Note that certain terms and conditions apply, depending on the type of forum, number of members, and user agreement guidelines. Internet Marketing Forums are helpful to corporations, large and small businesses, entrepreneurs, and home business ventures. Quality forums are impressive, have a hugely positive effect on businesses, and interactively exchanging unique qualities and products.


Email Marketing – Hot Opt-In Email Marketing Strategies

Email marketing is cost effective tool amongst marketing strategies. When this strategy is used properly, it can help catapult your business sales to a new level. For those who run an online business, email marketing brings the most benefit. With the advancement of technology, email has taken the place of an employee and functions as an automated member. E-mail marketing can help turn people who have no interest into ardent customers of your business. Email marketing targets prospects; these prospects turn into customers. Once they have purchased an item, they become repeat customers.

By establishing a relationship with your customers, you can turn them into repeat customers. While email has no face, it still assists the business greatly by helping build a good relationship with the customer base. Tough competition in the internet world can easily draw away your customers. The best possible way to ensure that this does not happen is to build a two way interaction between you and your customer. The best way to provide useful information to your customers is through email marketing. E-mail marketing is a great way of sending creative messages, freebies, coupons and special deals. People enjoy receiving emails that motivate them to take action on their part.

Business owners can attach questionnaires to their email message, in order to request for customer feedback. This feedback will help business owners personalize their business message. Customers will prefer to receive a personalized message than a general one. Personalized e-mail marketing draw in more customers to your website, which leads to purchasing of your business products.

E-mail marketing allows the business owner to monitor the email response rate, by keeping track of outgoing emails and its response rates. Monitoring response rates are easy. In the beginning of email marketing, you can review email messages and marketing strategies. Using an alternative marketing strategy will be very costly. E-mail marketing, on the other hand, is very cheap. You don’t have to spend unnecessarily as you do on conventional methods including postage and travel expenses. Email marketing is quicker than conventional marketing methods, which allow you to build a good rapport with your customer base faster.

Email marketing is instantaneous. While e-mail marketing offers such benefits as being effective and free, it is also instantaneous. You have the opportunity of contacting your customer base whenever you want. For instance, if you have a new business product to promote, all you have to do is to send an email message, and this will be received by your customer base instantly. This may even lead to some customers purchasing your new product. And none of this cost anything.

E-mail marketing allows your business to have a brand name. Sending your customer base daily or twice weekly email messages will ensure your brand sticks in the minds of your customers. Email marketing has become a standard marketing strategy in the business world. In fact, it seems to have surpassed other marketing techniques out there. Finding another strategy that will provide the same benefits which email marketing does seems near impossible!