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Want to write LinkedIn posts that people actually read–and share?

Want to write LinkedIn posts that people actually read–and share?

Excerpted article was written By Glenn Leibowitz |

The folks at content marketing firm Contently in New York City believe in the power of storytelling so much, they’ve adopted a Hopi Indian proverb that reflects their mission to create a better media world:

Those who tell the stories rule the world

They’ve even painted it on the wall of their office.

I’ve never been to Contently’s office, but I did have the chance to chat with Shane Snow, Contently’s co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, about the elements of a good story.

Shane knows a lot about storytelling. In addition to co-founding Contently, he’s an award-winning journalist who writes for publications such as Wired and The New Yorker. He’s also the author of the recent book, Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success.

For Shane, there are at least three things that comprise a good story:

Fluency : Can you get through the story quickly? Or are you bogged down in the sentences rather than the ideas?

Relatability : Is the story something you can personally connect to in some way?

Novelty : Is there something about the story that is surprising or new –even if it is something that is rooted in ancient storytelling templates, themes, or morals that haven’t changed in a long time?

These storytelling concepts work in novels and movies. But I asked Shane whether the elements of good storytelling can be applied to shorter form content such as blog posts on LinkedIn.

His answer? Absolutely.

As a LinkedIn Influencer, he’s written a lot on the platform and has attracted a large following. He shared two tips for writing posts that will resonate with readers and encourage them to share:

1. Tell a personal story to connect with readers–and convince them to stick around.

“One way people will remember and connect with what you’ve written is through the utility of your content. Linkedin is a place where a lot of tips and education are being shared. That’s where relatability, novelty and fluency come in. Can you get the message across quickly in a way that’s relatable? Is it information that actually matters to me? And is it new, something I don’t already know?

Either that, or you need to try for memorability by telling a good story. A lot of posts I write start out with a story — not all, but a lot of them. I do this because of what Linked is as a community and social network.

I recently saw Guy Kawasaki, the author of 12 books, give a presentation about giving good presentations. Every presentation he does starts with a custom slide of a picture of something from his life– a picture of his kids, his bookshelf, or something like that.

I like to do that specifically on LinkedIn to connect with the audience, because they can be a great source of stories that persuade people to stick around and read to the end, and they might make them more likely to share.”

2. Find your “set” of people and write something that will be irresistible to them — and ignore everyone else.

“In order to stand out on LinkedIn, you need to publish consistently and slowly build an audience. But you also need to aim for hits.

And that’s about finding the right audience. A lot of the lessons that you can learn from Buzzfeed are pretty apt here. They’ve figured out how to do that in their own listicle format , which is not necessarily the format that you need to apply this lesson. But in their own format, they’ve discovered a way to make things that are more likely to be spread among certain groups.

They find a small niche group and write something that everyone who belongs to that group and relates to that identity will share if they see it. They don’t write posts on ’10 things that everyone in the world will love’, because that’s a lot less likely to be shared.

Instead, they write pieces like the one a friend forwarded to me recently: ’15 things that happened to you if you grew up in America with an Asian Mother’. There’s a relatively small group of people that has experienced this, but if it has happened to them, they can all relate to the funny things Buzzfeed writes in that article, and they’ll share it with others.

They slice out a tiny segment of the market and write something that you can’t not click on, you can’t not share if you belong to that group. And everyone who is connected to you will share it around with their friends too.

So that’s the advice I’d give on LinkedIn: Find your ‘set’ of people who really need what you’re writing and write something that is irresistible to them –and ignore the broader audience. And that’s the way to eventually generate hits and build up on these platforms.”

The top iPhone and iPad apps on App Store

The top iPhone and iPad apps on App Store

App Store Official Charts for the week ending November 27, 2016:

Top Paid iPhone Apps:

1. Minecraft: Pocket Edition, Mojang

2. Bloons TD 5, Ninja Kiwi

3. Plague Inc., Ndemic Creations

4. Toca Life: Stable, Toca Boca AB

5. MONOPOLY Game, Electronic Arts

6. Geometry Dash, RobTop Games AB

7. Goblin Sword, Eleftherios Christodoulatos

8. NBA 2K17, 2K

9. Heads Up!, Warner Bros.

10. Facetune, Lightricks Ltd.

Top Free iPhone Apps:

1. Snapchat, Snap, Inc.

2. Messenger, Facebook, Inc.

3. Bitmoji – Your Personal Emoji, Bitstrips

4. YouTube – Watch and Share Videos, Music & Clips, Google, Inc.

5. Instagram, Instagram, Inc.

6. Facebook, Facebook, Inc.

7. Archery King,

8. Amazon Mobile, AMZN Mobile LLC

9. Google Maps – Navigation & Transit, Google, Inc.

10.8 Ball Pool,

Top Paid iPad Apps:

1. Toca Life: Stable, Toca Boca AB

2. Minecraft: Pocket Edition, Mojang

3. Geometry Dash, RobTop Games AB

4. Five Nights at Freddy’s, Scott Cawthon

5. Bloons TD 5 HD, Ninja Kiwi

6. Terraria, 505 Games (US), Inc.

7. Toca Lab, Toca Boca AB

8. Toca Life: Farm, Toca Boca AB

9. Procreate – Sketch, paint, create., Savage Interactive Pty Ltd

10. Moana: Rhythm Run, Disney

Top Free iPad Apps:

1. YouTube – Watch and Share Videos, Music & Clips, Google, Inc.

2. Netflix, Netflix, Inc.

3. Archery King,

4. Facebook, Facebook, Inc.

5. Rolling Sky, Cheetah Technology Corporation Limited

6. Messenger, Facebook, Inc.

7. Roll the Ball – slide puzzle, BitMango

8. Minecraft: Story Mode, Telltale Inc

9. Amazon Mobile, AMZN Mobile LLC

10. Google Chrome – The Fast and Secure Web Browser, Google, Inc.

Prince Edward Island police force threatens to play Nickelback to drunk drivers

KENSINGTON, P.E.I. _ A Prince Edward Island police department is threatening to impose the Nickelback treatment on anyone who drinks and drives.

The Kensington Police Service shared a social media post over the weekend promising to force any drunk drivers it arrests to listen to the Alberta band while in the back seat of a cruiser.

“We figure if you are foolish enough to get behind the wheel after drinking, then a little Chad Kroeger and the boys is the perfect gift for you,” Const. Robb Hartlen says on Facebook, alongside a photo of the band’s breakthrough album, Silver Side Up, in what appears to be cassette form.

“So please, let’s not ruin a perfectly good unopened copy of Nickelback. You don’t drink and drive and we won’t make you listen to it.”

The post created two kinds of controversy among commenters: Those offended the police service was making a joke about drunk driving, and Nickelback fans annoyed the band was the butt of the joke.

The force said the jokes were being made in service of something it takes very seriously, and also insisted: “We actually like them too … We are just having a little bit of fun.”

The band has been a huge commercial success, with multiple Juno wins, but is also gleefully maligned by some detractors.

It has been the subject of spiteful petitions and protests; a Chicago mayor was once pressured into clarifying he wasn’t a fan.

Kroeger told The Canadian Press in a 2014 interview that the critics have actually done the band a favour by heightening the public discussion about the group.


Emojis in the Workplace: Unprofessional or Acceptable?

Emojis in the Workplace: Unprofessional or Acceptable?

Here are just a few factors to consider before you hit “send.”

1. Some emojis are more work appropriate than others. A simple smiley will likely be well received in a work email or text. However, there are some emojis that definitely shouldn’t show up in professional messages, like the infamous eggplant.

2. Less is more. An emoji is kind of like an exclamation point. Once in a while they’re merited, but your colleagues will become annoyed and even concerned if you overdo it and flood their inboxes with strings of heart-eyed faces, high fives, hearts, and palm trees.

3. Make sure you really know what you mean. Just like it’s best not to use a word or acronym if you aren’t quite sure of its definition, don’t throw around an emoji unless you’re positive you understand its meaning. Otherwise your attempt at humor and lightheartedness could go horribly wrong and earn you a visit with HR.

4. Keep your audience in mind. Your coworker who you regularly trade snarky remarks with might not mind emojis in your emails, but a serious-minded boss or potential client might find them unprofessional. Consider your relationship with the recipient before you introduce emojis into your dynamic.    

Whether you love them or hate them, emojis are everywhere these days, and it doesn’t hurt to know how to use and interpret them in the workplace. Are you an emoji enthusiast who uses them as much as possible personally and professionally, or do you dislike and shun the symbols? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments.

Kevin Rubin is president and chief operating officer of Stratosphere Networks, a Chicago-based multifaceted IT managed service provider focused on delivering comprehensive technology services and solutions to meet and exceed the always-changing, diverse business needs. Visit for more information.

Smart-Technology set to change the insurance industry

Smart-Technology set to change the insurance industry

Excerpted article was written by Paul Mitchell | Stuff

The way your insurance premiums are calculated could be in for a massive overhaul that relies on big brother technology.

Flocks of driverless cars and fridges that report on their owners’ eating habits are some of the innovations a Massey University academic is predicting will affect premiums in the near future.

Insurance researcher Dr Michael Naylor is predicting “smart” technology will drastically shake up the insurance industry by 2030.

Every device and appliance in our daily lives is becoming “smart”, embedded with data-collecting sensors and connected to the internet.

This allows your devices to communicate – an electronic key-fob might unlock your car door when you get close and cue-up your favourite music playlist from your phone or ipod.

The flip side is all those devices will be gathering data on their users, and companies are going to want this for their benefit.

That’s where Naylor sees the insurance industry heading.

“Through the connection of objects to the internet, it will be possible for insurers to know how healthy the food in your fridge is or how often you exercise. Imagine how accurately they can then predict your health risk for insurance purposes,” he said.

“You have to agree to share this information, of course, but if you do and you are healthy, you should see your insurance premiums plummet. But if you don’t agree to it, you’ll be classed as high-risk and your premiums will be very expensive.”

Consumer Institute spokeswoman Jessica Wilson said under the Consumer Guarantees Act and current New Zealand insurance industry guidelines, insurers had a responsibility to deal fairly and reasonably with customers. If they were deemed high-risk unless agreeing to share data, consumers would be able to challenge the decision.

But there was a need to have a closer look into standards and regulations in this area, Wilson said.

“Consumers will need assurance that if insurers are collecting that data, it’s robust and accurate and they are being transparent about how the data will inform their risk calculations.”

The car insurance industry is likely to be the first to see major changes, Naylor said. He predicted car insurance premiums will fall as much as 90 per cent by 2030.

Self-driving cars are expected to reduce crashes. And developments in voice and facial recognition may mean future cars won’t start unless they know you – making them harder to steal.

Research, by Volo, found nine out of ten crashes are caused by drivers making mistakes or getting distracted. This will be avoided by driverless cars.

“You don’t even need 100 per cent self-driving cars. Just with adaptive cruise control and automatic parking the crash rates drop by half.

“That’s not the future, that’s happening right now. Most newer cars have those features already.”

Insurers need to adapt to the new industry all these changes will bring or they will go under, Naylor said.

Insurance Council of New Zealand chief executive Tim Grafton said insurers were aware there were challenges. Some firms had set up laboratories specifically to consider how new technology could be used more effectively and what changes would need to be made, he said.

“It depends on how adept they are at changing to meet the demands that new technology brings. But this is not an industry that is a dinosaur asleep at the wheel.”

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