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Category Archives: Mind Uploading

Senior With Dementia is Climbing UK Music Charts After a Caregiver Recorded Her Sinatra Cover – Good News Network

Posted: January 18, 2020 at 10:53 am

An 83-year-old Scottish woman with dementia is quickly climbing the UK music charts after her nursing home caregiver fell in love with her singing voice.

Because of her dementia, Margaret Mackie has trouble remembering things from day to daybut she does remember all the words to Frank Sinatras 1969 ballad My Way.

After Mackie and her 31-year-old caregiver Jamie Lee Morley sang a duet of the song at their nursing homes Christmas karaoke party last month, staffers were in awe of her talent.

RELATED: Song Made Entirely of Bird Calls is Climbing the Music Charts Watch the Enchanting Music Video

Her family and friends were there in the audience to witness this momentand what a moment it was, says Morley. For her to get up on stage at her age and have so much courage and fight and sing so beautifully absolutely blew my mind. [Its] a moment I will never ever forget.

Morley, who had bonded with Mackie over their shared love of music before, then got his elderly patient to record the song at the Ingleston-based studio Sound Sound.

Since uploading their rendition to iTunes earlier this week, it has steadily climbed up to #8 on the UKs Top 40 Most Popular Music chart, surpassing the likes of Ed Sheeran, Selena Gomez, Lizzo, and Miley Cyrus.

Additionally, since the song costs 79 pence to download, Morley and Mackie are donating all of the songs proceeds to Alzheimers Society and Dementia UK.

Morley told the Edinburgh Evening News this week that the songs success has been absolutely incredible.

The feeling of getting so much awareness out there and connecting everyone through the power of music is exactly why we recorded the song as a single, he said. Margarets family and me couldnt be any happier with how the public have responded to it.

(WATCH the duet below)

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Were blowing it with self-driving car safety reporting, Cruise says – The Verge

Posted: at 10:53 am

Next month, Californias Department of Motor Vehicles will release the latest batch of reports from companies testing self-driving vehicles in the state. But the reports offer, at best, a flawed glimpse into the slow and often opaque process of testing autonomous vehicles on public roads, says Kyle Vogt, co-founder and CTO of GM-based Cruise. In a Medium post, Vogt posits that maybe its time for a new metric for reporting safety of self-driving cars.

By law, all companies that are actively testing self-driving cars on public roads in California are required to disclose the number of miles driven and the frequency in which human safety drivers were forced to take control of their autonomous vehicles (also known as a disengagement).

But Vogt slams the notion that the disengagement reports are useful for tracking technological progress. The idea that disengagements give a meaningful signal about whether an [autonomous vehicle] is ready for commercial deployment is a myth, he writes.

A lot people, including AV experts, agree that the reports are largely meaningless. But in the absence of any federal reporting requirements for companies testing AVs on public roads, they are often acknowledged as being the best dataset weve got to track this technologys progress.

Vogt goes on to blast other companies for effectively pulling the wool over the medias eyes with flashy demos that prove nothing but the ability to execute a decent test ride.

Our collective fixation on disengagements has been further fueled by the AV companies themselves. Many of them give demo rides that include a de facto story-line that goes something like, I didnt touch the wheel during this demo, therefore it works. This is silly, and everyone knows it. Its like judging a basketball teams performance for the year based on how they looked during a practice session. Or winning a single spin of roulette and claiming youve beaten the house. A carefully curated and constrained demo ride is just the tip of the iceberg, and we all know what happens if we ignore whats lurking below the surface.

The AV industry is in a trust race, so its important that we do things to build confidence in the technology. Its certainly convincing to go on a ride where it seems the human is just there for show, or on rides where theres no human present at all. So companies carefully curate demo routes, avoid urban areas with cyclists and pedestrians, constrain geofences and pickup/dropoff locations, and limit the kinds of maneuvers the AV will attempt during the ride all in order to limit the number of disengagements. Because after all, an AV is only ready for primetime if it can do dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of these kinds of trips without a human touching the wheel. Thats the ultimate sign that the technology is ready, right? Wrong.

Its hard not to see this as a not-so-subtle shot at Waymo, which has been giving members of the public, as well as some reporters (including me!), rides in its fully driverless vehicles in its test area in the suburbs of Phoenix. Cruise has long been critical of Waymos decision to concentrate most of its testing in a suburban environment, rather than a more complex, urban one like Cruise has.

Keep in mind that driving on a well-marked highway or wide, suburban roads is not the same as driving in a chaotic urban environment, Vogt writes. The difference in skill required is just like skiing on green slopes vs. double black diamonds.

(Waymo likes to point out that it tests its vehicles in dozens of other cities, including dense urban ones like San Francisco.)

Cruise has been waging a slow-burn war against the California disengagement reports for years now. Jalopnik took the company to task in 2018 for failing to report an incident when one of its self-driving cars ran a red light in San Francisco after the safety driver took control to avoid blocking a crosswalk. According to Cruises interpretation of the California requirements, the human driver didnt act out of safety concerns or a failure of the autonomous system.

Its hard not to see this post as Vogts attempt to get ahead of next months disengagement reports. He lists a variety of reasons why Cruises safety drivers will routinely take control of their test vehicles, as a courtesy to other road users or just out of an abundance of caution. And he even goes so far as to include a graph that he says shows Cruises improving rates of disengagements, or the distance traveled between disengagements.

Vogt says Cruise will lead the charge to release data that more accurately conveys the progress that it is making.

Ultimately, I believe that in order for an AV operator to deploy AVs at scale in a ridesharing fleet, the general public and regulators deserve hard, empirical evidence that an AV has performance that is super-human (better than the average human driver) so that the deployment of the AV technology has a positive overall impact on automotive safety and public health. This requires a) data on the true performance of human drivers and AVs in a given environment and b) an objective, apples-to-apples comparison with statistically significant results. We will deliver exactly that once our AVs are validated and ready for deployment. Expect to hear more from us about this very important topic soon.

Vogt ends by issuing a challenge to his competitors to follow Cruises lead in uploading long, uninterrupted footage of their vehicles driving the streets of San Francisco. Despite all the AV demos that have taken place over the years, the only video that Ive found anywhere online that shows continuous, rideshare-like autonomous driving is the one that we posted back in early 2017 (slowed down version here), he says. I havent seen any others that are more than a few minutes long.

Cruise, which is backed by Honda and General Motors, is gearing up to make a big announcement next week concerning its desire to move beyond the car. In preparation, the company emptied out its Instagram account and replaced it with nine posts, each displaying coordinates in latitude and longitude that correspond with automotive engineering history.

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8 tips to speed up WordPress performance – ClickZ

Posted: at 10:53 am

30-second summary:

This is the perfect time of the year to explore the best ways to speed up WordPress performance. The faster your website, the higher your chances to engage with new visitors and potential customers.

Lets look at eight different ways along with Kinsta on how to speed up WordPress performance starting today.

Content produced in collaboration with Kinsta.

The closer a server is to your visitors, the smaller the latency theyll experience. Thats why its key to know where most of your visitors are based to define your servers proximity.

A quick way to find the best location for your servers is to look at Google Analytics to find the Geolocation of your visitors.

If most of them are based in Europe, then youd want to pick a data center in Europe. If you have more granular data, you can even narrow down and pick a specific city if you are a local business.Overall, your goal is to make sure that your network latency is

as low as possible.

There are many free tools to help you perform quick latency tests to help you pick the best region for your servers.

There are numerous WordPress themes you could choose from. Not all of them though, are optimized for speed and great user experience.

Its useful to aim for a fast and lightweight WordPress theme that has all the features you need without too many unnecessary shiny features.

It doesnt matter whether youll pick a premium (paid) theme or a free one.

The crucial aspect you need to keep in mind here is the flexibility your theme provides: are you able to customize it and even to disable features that youre not planning to use? If yes its your answer, thats a good theme to test.

Speed should always be a priority compared to appealing features that may make your site too slow.

There are thousands of plugins you could install on WordPress. Not all of them are developed following best practices and with performance in mind, though.

Thats why you shouldnt worry about the number of plugins youre installing as long as those plugins are coded properly.

For example, you can have a website running with 30 plugins and still be very fast, while another site may be terribly slow with only 5 plugins.

You should review your plugins on a regular basis to make sure theyre all working as they should and arent slowing down your website.

A WordPress caching plugin can make it easier for your server to store your files to use fewer resources in the future when accessing the same content.

It can also make your servers job easier, which is very useful when having a dynamic site.In other words, caching can help your server remember your content to make access to your pages faster.

A very simple way to improve your site speed is to pay attention to the size of the images that youre using on your website.

Large images can significantly affect your sites load speed and it can be one of the critical aspects many site owners overlook.

A quick way to improve your load speed is to compress your images before uploading them.

There needs to be a balance between the file size and the quality to make sure that your content is not losing its quality to favor the performance.

Find the quality that is acceptable enough to maintain both the size and the good user experience on your site.

There are many 404 pages that a website can contain. The problem is that 404 pages can be heavy, especially on a WordPress website.

A good hack is to work on building a light and minimal template for 404 pages and serve that instead of the default one.

Comments can negatively affect the load speed of your pages. There are three different ways to tackle this problem to speed up WordPress performance:

Its easy to embed YouTube videos, tweets, and other external resources to your website.

This is a very useful feature for many of us but it can also slow down your page load as it generates additional HTTP requests.

If needed, you can disable the embeds through a plugin or with the use of code.

Another idea to consider is to disable RSS feeds. If you are not running a blog on your site, you could simply disable the RSS feed to improve your page performance.

There are many ways to speed up WordPress performance both in the front-end and back-end.

A faster website can help you improve your search rankings, conversation rates, user experience, and most importantly the time your customers engage with your site.

Everyone expects fast loading websites nowadays. Its time to provide the best experience to your visitors.

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YouTube Millionaires: Rifty Wants To Change The Game For YouTube Livestreamers – Tubefilter

Posted: at 10:53 am

Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments of YouTube Millionaires here.

At first glance, it may seem like gamer Rifty simply materialized on YouTube in April 2018 with a healthy dose of beginners luck. His channels very first videos are slickly edited, built-for-trending Fortnite bonanzas, with all-caps titles and well-made thumbnails. By June 2018, he was bringing in up to 10 million views per month, with viral hits like YALL MIND IF I FORTNITE? (now at 2.1 million views)andYALL MIND IF I DEFAULT?(3.1 million).

But his channels rapid takeoff wasnt beginners luck. Before launching it, Rifty spent years on YouTube, learning animation, graphic design, and video and audio editing. He got his start making content about the game that never lost its spot (yes, really) as YouTubes most popular: Minecraft. When Fortnitedebuted in 2017 and quickly found an audience on YouTube, he saw an opportunity to bundle up all the production skills hed learned and use them to stake a new spot on the platform with a channel that isat least for nowallFortnite, all the time.

Over the past two years, Rifty has built that channel to one million subscribersand hes made it the foundation for the next step in his digital content career. He cant divulge his exact plans just yet, but he does tell Tubefilter he wants to get into more live content, and hopes to lead the charge into a new era of livestreaming on YouTube.

Check out our chat with him below.

Rifty: It feels surreal to hit one million subscribers. If Id told myself over a year ago that more than one million individual people would follow me, I wouldve laughed. To my fans who continue to watch daily, I want to assure them that this is just the beginning!

Rifty: Well, I was born in Texas, and have lived my entire life here. I have never worked an actual job for somebody else. I started off my YouTube journey by animating Minecraft videos, then eventually moved to making gameplay content. Over the years, Ive learned how to animate, do graphic design, edit videos, and add commentary, all from YouTube videos.

Rifty: I have always loved being able to create something and watch it back. Its an endless cycle of creating something and then trying to improve and make something else thats better. At first, all I intended on doing was showing my content in hopes of improving somebodys day or letting them forget their troubles.

Rifty: My first video on this channel was years after I started making videos. I wanted to see what I could do with a new slate and all of my acquired skill over the years. As I look toward the future, Im looking to get into more live content while trying to do something different from everybody else. I wish I could tell more right now!

Rifty: I started making Fortnite content because I truly love the game. Epic Games treatment of their content creators is second to none, and they truly understand the need for frequent new content. But all games influences come to an end, and I am definitely planning to start doing new things with games/content.

Rifty: One thing I pride myself on is my production quality and my unique content. My first few videos on my channel took months to create, because I knew I had to do something different to get my foot in the door!

Rifty: Ill typically spend hours at a time coming up with ideas, and then write them all down. To be more productive, Ive hired an editor to help me, as I try to post consistent content that is higher-quality than everybody elses. After videos are edited, Ill take care of the rest, making the thumbnails and doing the uploading.

Rifty: Once my first viral video, Yall Mind if I Default, started to pick up momentum, I realized that I had found something that worked. The way that Ive gone about growing my audience is to be seen as a friend of the viewers. Somebody they would laugh with.

Rifty: My favorite part of creating content on YouTube is being able to read what people think right after creating it. I think its incredibly liberating to see what somebody thinks, no matter their opinion. They are individual, living people that spent the time out of their day to watch what I made. I love it.

Rifty: Im looking to start expanding with content and hopefully change what it means to be a livestreamer on YouTube. If it all goes to plan, Ill be leading the charge! One of my main goals in 2020 is to pursue more opportunities with branded content, and I just signed with Michael Gordon from Fullscreen as my manager.

You can add yourself to the ranks of Riftys more-than-a-million YouTube subscribers at his channel

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New year, new yoga – The Aggie

Posted: at 10:53 am

A New Years resolution that can be achieved without leaving the house

As January reaches its halfway point, students may still be looking to start the decade with a new hobby or set of goals. One ambitious yet popular goal for the new year revolves around getting active, even from ones own bedroom. That activity? Yoga.

Originating in ancient India, yoga is a popular form of exercise that involves the body, mind and spirit. Those who teach and practice yoga say the practice can be healing in both a physical and mental sense.

For third-year Chicano/a studies major Juli Perez, yoga did exactly that.

Yoga has always really challenged me [] and my relationship to my body in a way I never thought would happen, Perez said.

Perez said her interest in yoga began as a child, though her commitment to the practice was on and off. Now, Perez and a few of her friends have committed themselves to 30 Days of Yoga With Adriene, a trend where viewers can watch Adriene Mishler, a.k.a. Yoga With Adriene, on YouTube, and practice yoga everyday throughout the month of January.

Perez isnt the only one dedicating a portion of her day to Mishlers home-yoga videos the acclaimed yoga instructor has earned over 5.5 million YouTube subscribers by uploading weekly videos of her yoga exercises for others to follow along to. Each January since 2012, Yoga With Adriene has uploaded a month-long yoga journey where she invites viewers to participate in practicing yoga daily for the entire month. This year, Mishler introduces Home, where she encourages participants to find what feels good while Mishler follows along with them on their journey.

It is not a challenge, Mishler said in her invitation to viewers for January 2020. I like to think of it as a story, a ride, and were gonna write it and ride it together.

What sets Yoga With Adriene apart? For one thing, Mishlers yoga is free and is accessible outside of an expensive yoga studio. Additionally, beginners can follow along at their own pace and need not feel intimidated by more experienced peers in a yoga studio.

In a recent interview with the Today Show, Mishler addressed her connection to her followers through yoga.

The spirit of Yoga With Adriene is like, Im in my little corner of the world choosing to take care of myself, my real self, and whatever Im showing up with today, Mishler said. But also, Im here with you.

Perez said getting back into yoga with Mishlers videos has opened up her year for more time to dedicate to self-growth and positivity.

For me, its just taking 30 minutes of my day, for myself, Perez said. Its been a really good transition into 2020 because its reminding me with the new year to make time for myself, make space for myself and really listen to what my body has to say.

Olivia Krieger, a PhD candidate in the psychology department, said yoga improved her health, both physically and mentally. Krieger teaches yoga at the ARC and said she wants her students to achieve the same healing she did. And, thanks to her studies in cognitive neuroscience, Krieger understands the rewards yoga can offer the mind.

Yoga helps us feel grounded, helps us take on challenges, releases anxiety, increases our focus and makes us feel happier, Krieger said. Anyone looking to improve their body and their mind should consider yoga as part of their New Years resolution.

Krieger also said those hesitant to try shouldnt be discouraged.

Theres a common misconception that you need to be flexible to do yoga, but thats not true, she said. You dont need to be able to touch your toes. It will probably be challenging your first few times, but hang in there. Its well worth the effort to keep coming back!

In Kriegers experience, yoga whether at home or in a classroom setting can build strength and create flexibility beyond what she experienced lifting weights at the gym.

Not only did it challenge my strength, but it offered time to focus on balance and flexibility and it calmed my mind and helped me focus, Krieger said.

At the end of the day, yoga has been deemed a challenging and inspiring exercise into recognizing ones own physical, spiritual and mental strength. As Krieger, Perez and Mishler see it, yoga might be the way to start off 2020 on the right foot.

Yoga might be very different than what you imagine, Krieger said. And youll never know if you dont try it out!

Written by: Alana Wikkeling

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What You Need To Know About YouTube and COPPA – Image Matters

Posted: at 10:53 am

YouTube and COPPA have been in the news in the past couple of months for violation of privacy laws. Because COPPA is a law that effects everyone, even outside of America, weve broken the news down for you and explained why it might effect you and your business.

COPPA is an American legislation that has been in effect since 21st April 2000.

The Childrens Online Privacy and Protection Act, more commonly known as COPPA, is a law dealing with how websites, apps, and other online operators collect data and personal information from kids under the age of 13.

COPPA has a number of requirements, but some key ones are that tech companies making apps, websites, and online tools for kids under 13 must:

To summarise, the main goal of the legislation is to put parents in control of information collected online from children under 13.

In 2019, YouTube came under fire for the comment section on kids videos in their YouTube Kids app becoming messaging boards for adult content. In response to this, YouTube turned off the comments for the videos in this application.

On 4th September 2019, it was announced that Google and YouTube will pay $170,000,000 million for alleged violations of Childrens privacy law. The reason for this is because YouTube failed to differentiate between its two applications, YouTube and YouTube Kids. In YouTubes privacy policy it clearly states that you have to be 13 and above to sign up to the website. YouTube Kids was created so that all child friendly content would be available but there would be amendments to advertisements and revenue.

The issue is that YouTube had never specified YouTube Kids when referring to childrens use of the platform. They have clearly stated when representatives meet with advertisers, In fact, its the #1 website regularly visited by kids and YouTube is todays leader in reaching children 6 -11 against top TV channels, and YouTube is unanimously voted as the favourite website of kids 2 12.

The Rule allows for civil penalties of up to $42,530 per violation. This means that for every video which is mislabeled or the the intended audience is disputed, the creator can be fined up to $42350 per video. This doesnt mean every creator and every video will be fined this amount but it does mean any content can be deemed as inappropriate for children.

As a creator on YouTube, you have the option to label your videos/channels intended audience, whether its general audience, children, adults etc. If the FTC (Federal Trade Commission the people behind COPPA) disagrees with the labels set, the creator is liable for the fine not YouTube. The other issue with this is that anything that has been labeled as kids content on YouTube will lose its targeted ads, meaning less revenue for the content creators.

Despite COPPA being an American legislation foreign-based websites and online services must comply with COPPA if they are directed to children in the United States, or if they knowingly collect personal information from children in the U.S. This means any business, looking to advertisement, create media and distribute it in America, needs to be compliant with COPPA.

To conclude, if you are looking to create a YouTube channel for yourself with the intent of eventually gaining revenue, youll need to keep in mind what sort of content youre uploading and who its going to be aimed at. For businesses looking to advertise on the platform, its worth keeping in mind where your adverts are going to be placed on the platform and who will be watching them. There will be more news to come from the YouTube and COPPA agreement as COPPA looks to specify its terms and work through YouTube as it surveys the videos on the platform.

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Help wanted at PSP – The Philly Soccer Page

Posted: at 10:53 am

Ever wondered what it was like to watch an MLS match from the press box?

Ever wanted to shoot photos of a professional game from the sideline?

Got smart opinions or analysis to share?

Want to help?

The Philly Soccer Page needs volunteer writers and editors.

If youre interested, please email and Please send 1-3 writing/photography samples, tell us about your soccer and writing/photography backgrounds, and let us know what interests you at PSP. As PSP is run fully by volunteers, we demand only as much time of you as you have to give.

PSP is a volunteer publication, of course, but we strive to put out high-quality, professional work. Many of our writers and photographers have gone on to exciting new experiences as a result of their time at PSP. (One of our alums is now employed by the Union and is one of the best writers in American soccer today.)

Here aresome of the topics we know we want covered, but there is plenty more than this. Basically, if its soccer and linked to the Philadelphia media market which stretches from Delaware and Cape May on north to Trenton and the Poconos and west to Harrisburg then were interested. And just because you start with us writing about one thing, it doesnt mean youll always do that. All our top Union writers started off writing about other things.

Heres what we need.

Longtime PSP videographer Daniel Gajdamowicz is stepping back from video duties with PSP, which means that were looking for one or two folks to anchor PSPs video coverage. PSP videographers attend Union home matches and shoot the post-game press conference, interviews with the players, and the post-game show with PSP writers and guests. In the past, videographers have also conducted pre- and post-match interviews with fans down at Talen Energy Stadium and covered other area soccer events. Videographers also manage video editing and uploading the finished product to YouTube. The role is very much what you make of it.

Prospective videographers should have their own equipment and some proficiency with video editing software.

Were looking for writers interested in joining our general rotation of writers. Generally, this entails covering Philadelphia Union and Union II, Reading United, Ocean City Noreasters, and other local soccer clubs and events such as the U.S. Open Cup. It also means handling other regular features, such as Player of the Week and local, grassroots soccer coverage. We generally start writers on the Union II beat and mix in Union opportunities once you have some experience. Weve been at this for years and can train you so that, by the time you do your first home game alone, youve already taken some test runs alongside one of our veteran writers. Location in the Philadelphia area and the ability to attend training and midweek press conferences is a plus, but not required.

If this kind of coverage doesnt sound like your speed, dont fear. Wed also like to add a few columnists to write weekly or biweekly columns about MLS, Philadelphia Union, and other soccer topics tied to the Philadelphia region. By column, we mean pieces that are commentary, analysis, and/or opinion. This can include writing our regular post-match analysis feature that runs after every Union match. Columns run about 500-800 words. Were looking for smart, independent writing. One post per week on average.

PSP seeks a photographer to shoot photos at Bethlehem Steel FC home games and line up as a backup photographer for Philadelphia Union matches. Photographers shoot from the sidelines and have up close access to the matches. This person would logically line up as the first potential replacement on Union games should one of our three lead photographers step aside. Also, this person would potentially be in line to shoot U.S. national team games that take place in the Philadelphia area.

Got an idea that youd like to see added to PSP? Pitch us! (Thats where, for example, the SEBA feature that ran for several years on the site came from.) If its soccer-related and Philly-related, wed love to hear what you have in mind.

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Boost SharePoint and Microsoft Teams Adoption – CMSWire

Posted: at 10:53 am

PHOTO:Julien Lanoy

When I first started researching and writing about SharePoint in 2004, I never imagined I'd still be involved with the technology 16 years later. At that time, I had already helped build out intranets and project management solutions for several companies, and had initiated a research project to examine the various communication, collaboration and social technologies on the market. SharePoint was a relatively new player at the time in a space that was, in some sectors, dominated by more complex and expensive solutions in the product lifecycle / product data management space.

As technologists and evangelists, most of us are passionate about the technologies we use which can, at times, get in the way of making the right decisions about that technology to better enable our teams and organizations to get work done.

When you think about it, SharePoint and Microsoft Teams are just tools for helping your organization improve communication and collaboration. The question is: do you have the rights tools (and strategy) in place to ensure success? Because at the end of the day, even the most perfectly deployed and architecturally sound deployment will be viewed as a failure if people don't log in and use it. A few things can help deliver the benefits of SharePoint and Teams across the enterprise while boosting end-user adoption.

We need to learn from our own histories. Quite a few SharePoint environments failed to grow because they suffered from a lackluster start. You need to plan for a new system deployment from end-to-end, with the end user experience at the top of your list of concerns. Get your end users involved early and often, and include both a proof of concept (pilot) phase and a testing phase (to ensure the solution functions as proposed). Starting with a proof of concept allows a small team (preferably "power user" influencers selected from across the organization) to kick the tires before rolling it out to the masses.

This target team should know they're there to help iron out the solution and streamline features and functionality, butthere will most likely be glitches. They should also be aware of (and, hopefully, participate in) some of the prioritization decisions made about what features and solutions to include in the initial rollout, as they'll be your best advocates to help the broader organization understand (and accept) those decisions. The end result of these phases will be a much stronger environment that will better meet expectations.

The solution should also match the organizational culture. A great way to ensure this is to take the time to develop a thoroughgovernance plan. A lot of thought should go into the policies and procedures of how the new solution will perform in operations. Will everyone get to create sites? What will the permission structure look like for users? What is the escalation process for issues? If permissions are limited, how will users be able to request what they need? These are just a few topics to discuss and plan for before roll out. And keep in mind: it is much easier to add permissions down the road than take anything away. Psychologically, people do not like to have things taken away from them, even if they dont use whatever is being limited.

Related Article: Digital Workplace Change Management Requires a Multi-Pronged Approach

Typically, SharePoint and Teams alike are being implemented to gain efficiencies in departmental/functional work, to streamline processes, and to reduce error through automation of tasks. These tools are ultimately meant to be in the hands of the end users for operational use, but all too often the end user is not properly involved when planning your implementation.

Above and beyond the out-of-the-box experiences, taking into account how your users will actually leverage these tools day-to-day can shed a lot of light on how to configure, test and roll out a new technology. Adoption is jeopardized if the way in which the platform or specific features are deployed do not match or fit in with the way your users work. In other words, features need to align with the collaboration and communication culture. This doesn't mean new technologies should just seamlessly meld into current operations. The introduction of any new tool or system brings change but allowing teams enough time to modify any pertinent processes and procedures to adapt to the new tools will go a long way in their final adoption.

Change is difficult. People and organizations need time to acclimate. Offer users a peek into the overall vision of the platform, give them a voice in how SharePoint and Teams are implemented, and adoption rates will increase. A phrase I often use is, "The more you involve people in the process, the more likely people will accept that process."

Related Article: The Role of Influencers in Change Management

All too often, organizations get excited about implementing a new tool but fail to consider what it takes to get everyone productive. They take great care to make sure their admins are trained, but by the time configuration, testing and the pilot are wrapping up, enthusiasm has dwindled and the end user is left out of the training the test and pilot teams received forced to weave their way through online documentation or the occasional brown bag lunch presentation. The end user is just as deserving of training as anyone else. Also remember there are many end users, not just the power user and admins who participate in the initial launch. If people feel as if they are not receiving adequate training, the group sentiment can fatally harm user adoption.

Related Article: Jumpstart Office 365 User Adoption with Microsoft's Learning Pathways Training Site

Don't treat SharePoint and Microsoft Teams as the latest shiny objects. Doing so will make people feel as if they are being forced on them. The business value must be clear to users from the get-go demonstrate how the tools will assist them in their jobs. If you choose to ignore this alignment with business value, there's a high risk users will see it as yet another burden they will need to learn on top of their already full workload.

Setting the tone for roll out can go a long, long way in improving adoption. Establishing excitement among users and highlighting how the platform will help teams work more efficiently is a foundational concept. Illustrate through clear examples and use cases, and where possible, use real people and roles to walk through those examples to help people make the connection between training and implementation.

Related Article: What's Next for SharePoint Intranets?

Adopting any new tool can have a steep learning curve, no matter how intuitive you might think it is. Beyond the basic actions, such as adding a list item or uploading content to a channel, users may run into issues applying the new technology to their work. Frustrations can run high if they cannot get rapid assistance in resolving their issues, so have trained support staff at the ready.

Support staff must be skilled to quickly resolve issues in a knowledgeable manner. If your support staff are equally ill-equipped for troubleshooting, users will grow weary of calling for support only to see them testing out multiple resolutions to see what might work. People can see when support staff are simply doing what they would have done in troubleshooting. This does not mean that all support staff must have deep knowledge of the tool, but a tiered support structure can be implemented. Develop a defined escalation policy to ensure users are getting the quick assistance they need, and management can identify training opportunities if the support team is not exhibiting the necessary knowledge level for their tier.

Another option is to train a point person within each department an on-site champion among the teams that people can turn to for more immediate assistance. These champions will also understand how people use the tool for their particular job function. This layer of support staff will often prove efficient in resolving issues, especially basic issues that may be training related.

Adding tools to a your toolbox, no matter how small the tool, brings change to your current environment. Everyone in your organization, to some degree, will be resistant to change. Adoption rates of SharePoint and Teams will be directly affected by how well the tools are introduced, and how prepared you are to support your future end user needs. However, following these simple real-world suggestion can dramatically increase user adoption.

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director (RD) and Office Apps and Services MVP, internationally-recognized collaboration expert, and the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Lehi, Utah.

Prior to CollabTalk, Christian served as a chief marketing officer and chief evangelist for some of the largest ISVs in the SharePoint ecosystem, and was part of the Microsoft team that launched SharePoint Online (now part of Office 365).

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Happy Birthday Jim Carrey: Here’re His 6 Best Films – News18

Posted: at 10:53 am

For Indian kids growing up, The Mask used to be the ultimate foreign fantasy movie experience, in which the weird green antihero would make us chuckle in enjoyment.

The Mask came out in 1994 and the year is considered to be Jim Carreys as he pulled off a streak no was able to before.

He released three movies, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber, all of which managed to reach number one on the American box office that year.

Now, considered to be comedy classics, all of these stood witness to the acting prowess of Jim. He will go on to act in dramas, serials and more comedies, spreading his magic across all spectrum.

On the occasion of his 58th birthday, lets have a look back at some of Jim Carrey's most memorable roles.

The Mask (1994)

As we started with this, let us talk how iconic this is. Although it depended on deranged humour and sexist jokes at the expense of debutant Cameron Diaz, this remained to be one hell of a package of absurdity, violence, iconic sidekick.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

To explain the Michel Gondry-directorial is difficult, but to feel it is as universal as the sun rising in the east. Although the movie earned Jims costar Kate Winslet an Oscar nomination, to imagine anyone else as Joel Barish is impossible.

Bruce Almighty (2003)

Grossing millions at the box office, Jim had to play a God in this movie and served goals. The movie went on to have a sequel Evan Almighty starring Steve Carrel.

A Christmas Carol (2009)

Use of animation to retell Charles Dickens classic saw Jim play both Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas that displayed the actor's range.

Dark Crimes (2018)

It stars Carrey as a Polish police officer, who tries something he has never done before.

The Truman Show (1998)

An insurance salesperson realizing his life is a reality show and trying to escape is the storyline this movie presents. What Jim does with this premise is a visual treat to stay etched in your brains.

The American-Canadian actor is a talented artist and keeps uploading drawings with interesting bends on his official Twitter handle.

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Why Facebook Marketing Performance May Drop in 2020 — and What to Do About It – The Content Standard by Skyword

Posted: at 10:53 am

As social media algorithms and features have evolved, so have user behavior and expectations. Now a crowded space for marketers and consumers, social platforms have made strategic decisions to elevate individual user content over branded content.

Experiencing this decrease in organic visibility, brands have adjusted their strategies accordingly particularly when it comes to Facebook marketing. Perplexed, marketers often throw money at boosting content and ad campaigns to resolve stagnant follower growth and post engagement. But this creates more competition for Facebook audiences and doesnt necessarily result in improved or sustainable results.

What are marketers to do? First, we need to understand the problem: Why is it becoming so increasingly difficult to maintain or improve content performance on Facebook?

Facebook is collectively still the largest social media platform in terms of total users but dont let that deceive you, as the user and usage trends tell us otherwise. The Infinite Dial 2019 report by Edison Research shows that since 2017, Facebook has lost about 15 million active users in the United States.

When we compare this user loss to the growth other platforms are seeing even those owned by Facebook, such as Instagram and WhatsApp its clear that Facebooks popularity is declining. For instance, Instagram jumped from 800 million to one billion monthly active users in 2018. So its not just the algorithm changes that are causing decreased brand reach and engagement across Facebook its that there are literally fewer people using it consistently.

In addition to fewer active users, the Facebook app downloads have slowed. A Bank of America analysis found that downloads of the Facebook app were down 15 percent year over year in the third quarter of 2019. But this isnt an industry-wide trend Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter all experienced an increase in downloads during this same time frame.

Facebook was one of the original social media platforms, sucking up the interest of early adopters. The interest of those users has since diversified to newer and more instantaneous platforms. Younger audiences opt for these newer platforms, too, causing Facebook to see a massive decline in average time spent on its site, according to eMarketer. Daily time spent on Facebook among U.S. adults decreased by three minutes, or 1.9 percent, between 2017 and 2018.

The Pew Research Centers 2018 social media study found that almost as many U.S. 30- to 49-year-olds (78 percent) are Facebook users as 18- to 29-year-olds (81 percent). In contrast, 64 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds use Instagram, compared to just 40 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds. The gap is even greater with Snapchat, which is used by 68 percent of those in the 18-to-29 age bracket and only 26 percent of those aged 30 to 49.

The Pew Research Center also found that while seniors are the smallest group of people using Facebook, theyre also the fastest-growing group of users nearly doubling since 2012. In 2019, 60 percent of baby boomers and 37 percent of the silent generation had a Facebook account, versus 43 percent and 21 percent in 2012, respectively.

Another contributing factor to the declining success of Facebook marketing is low user satisfaction. The annual American Customer Satisfaction Index report released in July 2019 found that Facebook user satisfaction in the U.S. is at its lowest since 2015. This dip isnt standard across social media platforms, though. YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter all experienced year-over-year growth Facebook has fallen to the bottom of the industry when it comes to satisfaction.

So not only are there fewer people joining the platform and more people leaving it, but the users that remain arent happy with it. There are several things contributing to this gap in satisfaction, including privacy concerns, user experience for uploading photos and videos, and the amount of advertising that appears in user feedsa tell-tale sign of marketers attempting to combat the algorithm changes.

Photo attribution: Startup Stock Photos from Pexels.

Yes while its not as easy as it used to be, its absolutely still possible to appear in the feeds of your Facebook audience. However, you may want to consider dedicating more of your efforts beyond Facebook, or at least approach marketing on that platform with fresh eyes.

Using these approaches can help you land on an ideal social strategy for your organization. But keep in mind, tried-and-true best practices can only take you so far. Each brand and organization must try and test concepts until they find the sweet spot for their target audience.

If Facebook has led your social media strategy or is a big component of it, its time to rethink that. You can keep fighting the algorithms and puzzling over them and potentially winning but given all of the above insights, youre better off going where audiences are headed.

Simply put, dont overinvest in a declining platform. Transition your strategy and budget to other platforms where success is more likely. You dont need to totally abandon Facebook, but rather put it in its place.

If you decide to keep Facebook in your social media mix, be mindful of the audience. Since the largest growing groups using it are in the silent generation and baby boomers, cater your Facebook marketing strategy accordingly.

If these generations arent your brands target audience, then really evaluate how much you want to invest in developing a Facebook audience and leverage the platform for your marketing and business goals. Facebook can be an impactful platform for awareness and lead generation when used for the right audiences.

You can also leverage Facebook targeting options to reach those that are in your audience but dont force it. Social media users can sense a desperate marketing grab a mile away. Cater your message to your audience but dont put them off in the process. That means leaving cliches and sales-y language out of it completely. Think about what your audience will respond well to, or has in the past, and use that to drive future social efforts on Facebook and other platforms, too.

The moral of the story isnt that marketers should completely reject Facebook, but that they should be aware of its evolving user base and algorithm dynamics. To have a successful Facebook marketing strategy in 2020, awareness is key, but knowing your audience is perhaps even more important.

Featured photo attribution: Kev Costello on Unsplash.

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