How Technology Reduces Stress for Seniors

Internet Technology & Seniors

Computer technology has come a long way over the life of many seniors. To put this single lifetime of technological growth into perspective, Daily Crate reports that the computer that landed men on the moon had only about 5 one-millionths of a percent of the memory that the iPhone 5s possesses. Seniors living today have seen the creation of the Internet, the explosion of social media and the advent of smartphones. Although it can be daunting for some, there are many ways that modern technology can help improve the lives of senior citizens.

Social Interaction

Social interaction is an important part of anyone’s health. According to a United Healthcare survey of centenarians, remaining socially engaged was just as important as fitness for aging healthily. The survey also shows that 89 percent of centenarians (people over 100!) talk with a friend or family member almost every day. Software such as Skype and Facetime allows users to have face-to-face interactions regardless of the distance between the two chatting parties.

A study by The Phoenix Center even says that late-life depression affects approximately 6 million Americans over the age of 65, and costs the country about $100 billion annually. It also claims that regular online interactions can reduce senior depression by approximately 20 percent. One hypothesis is that Internet use reduces loneliness and depression by providing communication tools for the aging population as mobility limitations increase, and the Internet provides a means of communication. The study uses many different methods for testing the hypothesis including logit models, linear probability models, instrumental variables and propensity score methods. In each case, they found that the results favor that Internet use by the elderly reduces the chance of depression.

Another study conducted in 2003 in Technology and Disability found that as seniors learned to use the Internet, they had a greater amount of social contact and more satisfaction with that contact.

Social media also can be a great tool for seniors. Wishpond reports that seniors over the age of 74 are the fastest growing demographic across social networking sites. Additionally, there are 39 million people over the age of 65 that use Facebook, Twitter and Skype. Social media allows seniors to stay in touch with friends and family, meet new people with similar interests and play games that can help to maintain mental reflexes and acuity. Wishpond also notes that seniors don’t just have email accounts but also search on Google, browse Facebook and watch YouTube. While nothing can replace the value of face-to-face conversations, social media allows seniors to stay engaged with the world at large as well as view and share images with their loved ones easily.

Fitness

There are many ways that technology aids in maintaining physical health and wellness in seniors. Many assisted living centers for seniors have found that motion controlled video games such as Wii Sports allow seniors to enjoy light physical activity every day. An article in The Atlantic even claims that “Wii Bowling has spawned entire leagues and tournaments, taking over nursery homes, retirement communities and community centers as one of the fastest-growing and most popular social activities.” The Michigan Governor’s Council of Physical Fitness, Health and Sports reports that regular aerobic exercise decreases body fat, improves bone density and contributes to a greater percentage of lean body tissues in seniors. Motion controlled video games provide a fun, social form of exercise that is safe and can lead to a better quality of life.

Devices and Apps

Smartphones, such as the popular Samsung Galaxy S 5 and the iPhone 5s, are also great for seniors. They allow seniors the opportunity to access health and wellness programs online such as AARP programs, health tracking and medication management as well as their social media accounts and favorite games. These phones also come with great apps, such as RxmindMe, which helps track medications and supplements as well as offering reminders and schedules for those who find it challenging to track their medications.

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How Our Kids Perceive Beauty In The Modern World

Beauty Perception of Children

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what if your young daughter is the beholder and she’s being manipulated by clever, yet misleading, advertisements to form her perception? Until recently, almost all popular fashion and beauty billboards have painted long, lean and skinny women who are accessorized by expensive clothes and handbags as the beauty norm. But thanks to the beauty industry’s evolving agenda and big brands backing the efforts (the real life portrayals of young women in the Dove Campaign For Real Beauty is one example) today’s modern girl is beginning to feel more confident embracing her version of beauty and style. Young minds will likely be tempted by how media outlets present beauty, but below are a few tips to help your daughter feel happy in her own skin when she’s struggling most.

1. Experiencing big body changes

Puberty is a whole mess of changes and hormones. While we can hopefully chuckle at those days, for your daughter, the experience is happening now and is a very real weight on her self-esteem. If your daughter is feeling conscientious about the changes she’s going through—maybe all of her friends are taller and developing faster or maybe she’s breaking out and can’t wear makeup yet. This is a great time to help her bust through the one-size-fits-all approach to beauty. You can’t tell her enough how bright her eyes sparkle or how amazing her hair is; research shows that positive encouragement from parents positively influences children’s self-perceptions.

2. Glasses are in, but contacts boost self-esteem in teens

Most teenagers who experience eyesight issues are psyched that glasses are in style, and could spend hours online finding their favorite styles. Some kids still feel self-conscious wearing eyeglasses though, and might find a big self-esteem boost when allowed to choose contact lenses, according to optometrist researcher, Jeffrey J. Walline, from Ohio State University’s College of Optometry. By the end of his study, he found that kids wearing contact lenses were more confident about their appearance and athletic performances. Your optometrist will help your daughter find the perfect pair of contact lenses for her needs. If you’re a busy parent, order her contact lens prescription online. Internet retailers like Vision Direct even have auto-reorder features that make keeping fresh contacts on hand effortless. When they arrive, help her practice putting them in so she feels comfortable and confident.

3. Weighing in

In the past, everyone wanted to diet and lose weight to become the ultra-skinny envy of their friends and family. Unfortunately, body image experts say the “thin ideal” is still in. With today’s pressure, the new beautiful is to still be thin, but also super fit. Let’s face it, no matter how much some of us work out, the bone structure we were born with is not going to budge and that tiny waist/curvy butt combo is fought down by genetics. If your daughter struggles with her perception of weight—whether she thinks she is over or underweight—assure her that regular exercise makes her beautiful because she’s engaging in a life-long healthy activity. Encourage her to find fitness she actually enjoys doing though.

Show her how powerful the media is by showing her pictures of what beautiful was in the ’60s and ’70s. She’ll be surprised when you show her people once thought a woman holding a cigarette was “beautiful” because that’s what popular media convinced them to believe. Unhealthy habits can often be glamorized, and just helping create awareness will help your daughter begin raising her own questions about what beauty really is to her.

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Fisher Price’s iPad Bouncy Seat Controversy

Fisher Price Ipad Toddler Seat

As the holiday shopping season approached, Fisher Price made headlines for introducing its Fisher-Price Ipad Seat. No, it wasn’t lead paint or faulty safety straps that made the headlines. It was the inclusion of an iPad attachment in the seat, encouraging parents to strap their kids in and put on videos or games for entertainment. This was what prompted the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, an advocacy group based in Boston, to call for a recall of the toy. People’s displeasure with the product also led to numerous one-star ratings on Amazon.com.

You can see the actual product and some of the angry comment reactions here: Fisher-Price Ipad Apptivity Seat

Why All the Controversy About a Baby Seat?

Detractors cite the fact that today’s kids are surrounded by media from birth. The American Academy of Pediatricians estimates that the average child spends seven hours a day with entertainment media, and they indicate that excessive use of media can lead to a range of problems, from attention disorders to obesity.

Yet not all TV viewing is not a bad thing. According to TVproviders.com, television can have a positive influence on children. Educational programs help kids learn about the world in a way they can understand. So the question is not whether children should be watching videos and TV, but rather how old they should be before they start and how much they are consuming.

How Media Affects Babies

HealthyChildren.org warns that television viewing has a profound impact on a baby’s growing brain. Children’s brains triple in size between birth and 12 months. The stimuli they are exposed to influences that development, and images on screens do not behave in the same way that the real world does. Babies can’t understand the images on a screen as a result. They are fascinated by the glowing lights, but they glean nothing from them.

Also, screen viewing before age two has been shown to shorten memory, impact language development and harm reading skills, because it prevents children from meaningful interaction with caregivers. It can also have a negative effect on attention and sleep patterns.

Because babies are not interacting with the world around them when staring at a screen, they miss out on important developmental cues their brains need to grow. Even turning the TV on for background noise can limit language development. Adults speak an average of 940 words per hour when a baby is in the room, but that drops to 770 when the TV is on, so young minds aren’t learning.

The Official Recommendation

Because of this, the American Academy of Pediatricians recommends no television or video viewing before age two. The AAP recommends that parents establish “screen-free” zones at home by removing all televisions, computers or video games in children’s bedrooms. This my be a difficult proposition for many, but worthwhile to help your child’s development. In replacement, they can offer educational outlets in non-electronic formats. It is recommended that even children and teens should engage with entertainment media no more than 1-2 hours per day.

In light of these facts, parents are shunning the new Fisher-Price infant and toddler seat. While it may be advertised as the ultimate electronic babysitter, the seat will do more harm than good for the target market. Media is educational and helpful to kids, but only when they are old enough to benefit from it.

Simple put: Parents, don’t be lazy. Play with your kids.

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Internet Protection & Accountability: Covenant Eyes Review

Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability

The average age of child’s first explosure to internet pornography is 11 years old

Did you know…

  • Americans spend over 20hrs a week surfing the net.
  • Teens spend over 31hrs per week online
  • The average age of a child’s first internet exposure to pornography is 11yrs old
  • Largest consumers of internet pornography are ages 12-17
  • Over 50% of teens, 30% of children surf without supervision
  • 92% of children already have an online presence

Covenant Eyes is an excellent internet accountability & filtering solution. It’s great both for monitoring your children as well as accountability for adults. It’s simple. You can pick accountability partners you trust whether that be a parent, a friend or a mentor. If you visit a questionable site, it’ll let your friend know. Trust me, it is a really strong and helpful preventive measure that can save you or someone you love from a lot of heartache and shame whether it be with spending too much time on the internet, visiting inappropriate sites or pornography that leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth.

Parents! Protect your Children Now!

Parents! It is also a great way to regulate internet use for your kids. Whether on desktops, laptops, iphones or itouches, children and teens now have unfettered access to the internet and we all know how dangerous that could be. Did you know 55% of teens own an iPhone which gives them direct access to the internet. Many who are younger have iTouches. Covenant Eyes has a great filtering program to block bad sites as well as gives parents the ability to limit internet hours. It really is a great peace of mind for the parents as well as can save a child from the numerous dangerous and inappropriate sites on the web. Perhaps it will also get them off the computer and play some sports or actually talk to someone offline.

Covenant Eyes also allows group accounts, so open an account together as a family or with a group of friends to take advantage of the discounted prices. One person can open the account and others can add onto the first account. It’s super cheap too.

If you do not have accountability or filtering solutions, I strongly urge you to give it a go. You can always cancel if it isn’t for you, but why not protect yourself and your family. Some basic details below. Covenant eyes is both an accountability software and a filtering system.

Interested? Use this link to TRY COVENANT EYES

Covenant Eyes Accountability Software

  • Monitors and reports internet use
  • Each site is rated (T for Teen, M for Mature etc)
  • Reports are sent to a person(s) you choose: a parent, friend, mentor, etc
  • Use reports to have conversations about online dangers
  • Available for Windows/Macs, Androids, iPhones, Tablets, iPads etc

Covenant Eyes Filtering Software

  • Blocks inappropriate content
  • customizable block/allow lists
  • Decide the amount of time the web may be accessed
  • Choose the times of day the web may be accessed
  • Available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability

How Does Covenant Eyes Work?

1) Set it up

  • Create a Covenant Eyes account
  • Download the software on devices you want to protect
  • Covenant Eyes will monitor internet use and rates sites that are visited

2) Get accountability reports

  • Covenant Eyes sends reports to your accountability partner you choose (parent, friend etc)
  • Reports will show how you are using the web

3) Be Accountable

  • Any red flags and inappopriate sites will be flagged
  • Accountability partner can keep you accountable with a simple email or quick call.

4) Experience Freedom

  • Remove secrecy and experience freedom.
  • Uphold your values, be able to resist bad sites or overloading on the web.

So give Covenant Eyes a try. It really may be the best thing you did for yourself and your family. Don’t be naive about what kind of content your children are exposed to. Most children first get exposed to online pornography at the average age of 11. That is the average, meaning many are exposed even younger. The endless inappropriate videos on youtube that go viral grow at an alarming rate. Don’t get caught off guard. It’s a great way to keep them safe as well as yourself.

 

Interested? Use this link to TRY COVENANT EYES. Nice. Protection & Savings.

  • Are you a Covenant Eyes user? Tell us your experience. How has it been helpful?

 

Update: Covenant Eyes has introduced family pricing.

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Top 10 Countries with Fastest Internet. United States is #11.

Average Peak Connection Speed by Country

What are the Fastest Countries in the World?

A recent survey by Akamai of the world’s 243 countries found the United States’s Internet speeds were 11th fastest. With U.S. consumers now having access to streaming high-definition video and movies, those speeds are nothing to slouch at. Still, consumers, Internet providers and the countries themselves are always in pursuit of faster Internet speeds that expedite the sharing of information.

Internet speed is a part of national infrastructure that becomes more prominent as online activity becomes a more integral part of daily life, and there are a variety of factors that affect domestic abilities to deliver faster speeds. These speeds are increasing across all major forms of delivery, including cable, satellite internet and DSL. Here’s a quick look at the top five world leaders in Internet speed, and how they’ve managed to achieve this success.

If you are curious, US came in at No. 11 with 36.6 Mbps, double the global average.

Top 10 Fastest Average Peak Connection Speeds by Country

10. Belgium

9. Netherlands

8. Bulgaria

7. Switzerland

6. Singapore

5. Latvia

Latvia may not get many mentions as a world power, but when it comes to quality of Internet connection, it’s right there with the best. Latvia currently has the fifth best Internet speeds of any country in the world, due in large part to the country’s small geographic area. This has made Latvia much easier to cover in high-speed fiber optic cabling, which, consequently, is a roadblock for many larger nations. At a peak average of 44.2 megabits per second, Latvia’s Internet speeds run about 140 percent faster than the global average.

High Broadband Connectivity4. South Korea

Online gaming is huge in South Korea, and a seamless experience requires fast, lag-free Internet connections. The country’s economy is also heavily dependent on technology, with electronics companies Samsung and LG calling it home. While still one of the fastest countries in the world when it comes to Internet speeds, South Korea is the only top performer to actually lose speed from the last time the survey was taken. However South Korea still reigns as #1 when it comes to % of connected users who have connectivity above 10Mbps. An astounding 50% of users are above 10Mbps. Just two years ago, Clean Cut Media posted an article showing South Korea was #1 with 15% of users above 10Mbps. Now it is 50%.

3. Romania

Tiny, Eastern European Romania climbed up from number five to number three, thanks to a nine percent improvement in its Internet speeds. Like Latvia, Romania has a smaller area to cover and a smaller population to serve than some of the world’s larger countries. Its Internet speeds clocked in at 160 percent of the global average.

2. Japan

Along with South Korea, Japan is one of the leaders in Internet speed not just in Asia but around the world. The country benefits from high-speed fiber optic cabling that has been installed throughout the nation. Like South Korea, Japan’s culture is saturated with technology, and its economy is built on electronics and technology manufacturing. From a country that pioneered the bullet train, it’s no surprise speed is a top priority here, where Internet connections run 170 percent faster than the global average.

Internet Speeds1. Hong Kong

Hong Kong has all of the ingredients needed to be the worldwide leader in Internet speed. It is one of the most dense areas in the world, which makes infrastructure much more easy to install. It’s also a wealthy, tech-savvy Chinese region, and like other developed Asian nations, technology plays a large role in the culture here. At 63.6 Mbps, Hong Kong’s Internet speeds are more than three times the global average, and more than 20 percent faster than any other country.

  • How fast is YOUR internet?
  • Do you feel small and insignificant compared to these ridiculous high speeds?
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Django Unchained Movie Review

Django - Jamie Foxx

Django Unchained: Review

The movie “Django Unchained” was one of the more popular movies from 2012. And it wasn’t only popular with general audiences either, as it also won 2 Oscars, and 26 other awards. The movie doesn’t have a shortage of famous names attached to it either, with Quentin Tarantino directing, and actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Jamie Foxx starring.

Overview

Django is about a slave who is granted freedom in order to help a bounty hunter identify and ultimately capture a slave owner. Throughout the course of the film, the bounty hunter and the ex-slave become friends, and decide to try to buy freedom for Django’s wife from her current master. Most of the second half of the film focuses on the pair’s efforts to achieve freedom for Django’s wife Broomhilda.

Appropriate for Children?

Anyone who’s seen any of Tarantino’s films would hesitate to call anything he writes and directs as something that’s appropriate for all ages, and Django is no exception. The film is extremely violent and even gory at parts, and there is no shortage of adult situations. For example, there’s a part where one of the characters is hanging upside down in chains with the threat of castration being waved very visually over him.

It’s hard to imagine scenarios less suited for children. Django certainly earns every inch of its “R” rating. But on the other hand, these depictions show the realities of slavery, and they are a part of a larger picture that a lot of children would have trouble really picking up on anyway. But even so, many younger audiences will be drawn to the movie if only because it’s known as exclusively for adults, and because it’s frequent gun battles might seem exciting.

Themes in Django

One of the biggest themes in Django is that of freedom and equality. The laws of particular areas, such as the slavery laws of the south, or the federal laws of bounty hunting and killing, are contrasted with the higher laws of basic human morality. The bounty hunter in the movie, named “Schultz” goes through a moral transformation throughout the course of the movie that illustrates this theme. By the end, he appears to care even more about this higher morality than he does his own life.

The theme of the equality of man is definitely a large one in the film. Even beyond the obvious idea that no man deserves to be enslaved, the film takes us into the conflicting ideologies of Leonardo’s character, Calvin Candie versus that of Django and his companion regarding the intrinsic nature of people. Master Candie contends that Black people are all intrinsically subservient. This is an assertion that even goes beyond morality.

Even if Django was doing something wrong in his actions throughout the movie, you’d be hard pressed to call his gun rampage “subservient.” The film is saying something about the intrinsic sameness of people in this way. No one is subservient or dominant based on race. Each character speaks for themselves.

:: Author ::
This is a guest post by Lindsey Mcmahon. She likes to travel, play and read in her free time. Her interests are entertainment, television, parenting and health but she is constantly extending her field of view to incorporate interesting news suggested to her by her readers. She currently works for Direct TV.

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Children TV Shows Options on Amazon & Netflix

What are our kids learning from television? The Federal Communications Commission says children currently spend more than three hours a day watching television. Although the FCC has enacted provisions that require broadcasters to improve and increase the educational content of children’s television, there is no consistent way to ensure that what children watch has any redeeming qualities.

Child Watching TV

flickr image by Jerine Lay

57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)

Children’s television, by and large, neglects education and jumps right to banal programming. Although “Spongebob” is entertaining, there isn’t a lot of educational value in watching Mr. Crabs or Patrick wade their way through thirty minutes of silliness. Of course, “Spongebob” is just one of dozens of examples of children’s television that is simply there for entertainment and not to teach children lessons.

There is even less family-friendly programming during traditional family viewing times in the evening after dinner. There are reality television shows in which people run around half dressed, sex is implied if not practically explicit, and there are comedies that might be funny for adults, but are inappropriate for kids.

Enter Amazon

Amazon is combating the current state of children’s television by attempting to create shows that will also be educational. The company is developing “Sara Solves It,” a show in which two friends, Sara and Sam solve math-based mysteries each episode. In some ways, this may be a 30 minute episode reminiscent of Electric Company and other similar television programs. “Creative Galaxy,” described as an interactive art adventure series, is another program Amazon is developing.

Parents who are interested in finding quality programming for their children will be able to vote with their pocketbooks to determine whether more programs and episodes will be made. The won’t be at the mercy of networks and their advertisers, forced to watch what is already on television. Parents can order these programs directly into their homes and watch them with their children any time they like.

Netflix is Following

Netflix is producing a TV adaptation of the upcoming Dreamworks children’s movie “Turbo.” The show, called “Turbo F.A.S.T.” is about a snail who dreams of being a racer and the glory that would come from it. Then, through an accident, he is able to achieve his dream.

Streaming services are significantly less expensive than cable packages, though more limited in many ways. But if you don’t watch very much TV and are comfortable with content options of Amazon or Netflix, you can get them for as little as $8 a month, compared to approximately $30 a month for a bare-bones cable package, notes Direct2TV.

If children are going to watch television for hours a day, it looks like they will have plenty of educational options moving forward.

  • Do you know of any good children shows on Amazon or Netflix? Please Share!
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FCC considering allowing F-Words & Nudity on Network Television

FCC to allow Profanity & Nudity on Network TV?

Federal Communications Commission FCC Logo

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it is considering dropping current broadcast decency standards that ban explicit profanity and “non-sexual” nudity. This means that if enacted, the new FCC policy would allow networks to use profanity and frontal female nudity regardless of viewing hours. This includes times when children may be watching.
You can read the full press release in this PDF.

What can I do to help stopt his?

The FCC will accept opinions and comments regarding this proposal during the month of April. I urge you to let you voice be heard. Moral & decency standards on television and in movies have degraded over the years. What is considered the norm of “acceptable” has shifted many notches for the worse. This would be a huge blow to those who want to protect their children (and themselves) from being exposed to profanity and nudity.

Current broadcast laws prohibit expletives and nudity, even if brief. Networks like NBC and FOX has worked to overturn it over the years, but the Supreme Court has upheld the law as constitutionally enforceable by the FCC. Thus it is ultimately FCC’s decision.

Step by Step instructions to Submit FCC comment

Submit your comments to the FCC during the month of April urging them to reject such changes and why it would be a horrible idea to remove such a crucial boundary of decency. You must make a formal comment via the FCC site.

Here are some instructions.

1. Go to this FCC FORM
2. Enter the code “13-86” in the “Proceeding Number” box and fill out the few remaining required fields.
3. Enter your comment in the text box provided and click “Continue.”
4. From there, review your comment and click “Confirm.”

Here is a sample comment you may submit via the American Family Association:

I oppose any changes to the current FCC indecency standards that would allow television and radio stations to broadcast expletives and nudity on the public airwaves, even if brief or “fleeting.”

The Supreme Court has confirmed the FCC’s authority to enforce policies regarding expletives and nudity, especially during times when children are likely to be watching or listening.

Relaxing the current policy would not serve the public interest and I urge the FCC to reject all proposals that would allow for the broadcast of expletives and nudity on FCC-licensed stations.

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Is Marketing why Samsung got so big this year?

Samsung Outspends Apple in Marketing

Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2

This past year there was a significant shift in the smartphone world. Samsung has vaulted up the charts and have become a huge player alongside Apple. With the launch of Apple iPhone, the smartphone industry was for a while a one big-player industry. As blackberries and palms faded into obscurity, there was Apple and everyone else.

Was their increased market share due to marketing?

Here’s a question: How much of that has been due to Samsung’s increased marketing spend? No one likes to think that just seeing more advertising is affecting them in anyway, but companies would not spend millions of dollars if there was no evidence of it working. I see Samsung ads everywhere I go. They’ve plastered billboards and their commercials are all over the media. Not long ago, Samsung was just another player, but now the attitude of most is that Samsung is very good alternative – perhaps the only real alternative to the iPhone.

Samsung made a strategic play to attack Apple directly in their ads as well as blanket media with their brand. Check out the new spend figures below. Samsung increased their advertising by 5x.

Samsung Apple Ad Spend

What do you think?

  • How much do you believe marketing played in the role of their increased brand awareness?
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How to use Content Marketing to Grow your Business

What is Content Marketing? How do I use it?

How do attract a steady stream of new users on my site?

How do I go about creating the kind of content that will attract users?

How do I use podcasts and videos to attract users?

Whether you are a big business owner, a start-up or an owner of blog you are trying to get off the ground, consider Content Marketing. As a personal owner of the site Clean Cut Media and a lover small business marketing tactics, I wanted to share a bit about Content Marketing.

This article below will help explain what content marketing is and how it could be a great strategy to grow your user base. It will also give a little preview of a new content marketing summit that is conveniently all-online and very cheap to attend. Let’s dig in.

Good Content will attract the users you want:

Today, businesses of all sizes are using content marketing to slay the competition, attract large followings of loyal customers and explode their business’ growth.

But when tiny Magnolia Hi-Fi started using content, the Internet wasn’t even around. Did that stop them? Heck no!

Magnolia used content marketing to grow from a small audio store to an $87 million brand.

Back then, they had just transitioned from a neighborhood greeting card and photography store to an audio specialty store. Competition was fierce and they didn’t even have a marketing plan. So they hired a salesman (who knew a lot about educating prospects with great information) to develop a solid profitable marketing plan.

The plan was to give prospective buyers something to focus on other than price – content.

They created a series of stereo buyer’s guides, which offered educational content that answered prospects’ questions about buying audio equipment. These were distributed as newspaper inserts (remember there was no Internet at the time!).

But the guides were quarterly and Magnolia needed to nurture their audience by keeping the story alive throughout the year. So they invested in weekly distribution channels and different content formats. As resources grew, they scaled content velocity to achieve broader distribution and broadcast frequency.

Within 18 months, the small, out-of-the-way store was joined by a huge store in Seattle’s high-traffic University District, followed by two more stores and finally expanding to Washington, Oregon and California.

In 2000, the father-son business sold to Best Buy for $87 million! Today, there are over 350 Magnolia Home Theater Locations in Best Buy stores throughout the U.S.

Here’s a question for you. You have all the advantages of the Internet, right? What’s stopping you from growing your business?

Content marketing is simply creating and sharing information that solves buyers’ problems or makes their lives easier. The result is that you build a platform that draws in ideal customers, increases your exposure and achieves sales growth for your business.

Content Marketing Statistics

Want to know how successful B2B marketers are using content marketing?

Here’s some research from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs with the latest findings:

  • 91% of B2B marketers are now using content marketing
  • 79% use content marketing for brand awareness, 74% for customer acquisition and 71% for lead generation
  • On average, B2B marketers are spending 33% of their marketing budgets on content marketing, which is up from 26% last year
  • 54% plan to increase their content marketing spending in 2013
  • Large companies use an average of 18 content marketing tactics while small companies use an average of 11 tactics

These numbers demonstrate the huge investment marketers are making in content marketing.

Don’t you think you should invest a little to learn more about content marketing this coming year?

Are you interested in learning how to create awesome blogs, podcasts, video, webinars and other forms of content to keep customers focused on your brand?

Social Media Examiner’s Content Success Summit 2013

Content Marketing Conference 2013One of the biggest challenges marketers face is not knowing if their tactics are effective (according to Content Marketing Institute).

In response to this challenge, Social Media Examiner is bringing together 22 of the world’s leading content marketing experts to present at the first-annual online Content Success Summit 2013.

It’s an online conference spread over an entire month to meet your busy schedule.

This conference is designed to help you build your own platformmarket your products and grow your business.

Content is what makes social work, and it is at the core of all that we do here at Social Media Examiner,” says Michael Stelzner, CEO and founder of Social Media Examiner. “We have one of the largest business blogs in the world and a successful podcast. This summit is about teaching people how to do exactly what Social Media Examiner has always been doing.”

Why a Content Marketing Summit Conference?

Content Success Summit is the first virtual conference created to help marketers figure out exactly how to build their platform. By attending this conference you will:

  • See how successful content producers operate and how you can achieve similar results
  • Learn how to grow a loyal following via blogging, video, podcasting, email marketing and webinars
  • Discover how to sell your products and services using content
  • Gain a leg up on your competitors, helping you stand out
  • Pick up new content marketing strategies that will bring you more exposure
  • Download the Content Marketing Summit 2013 Schedule

Designed to accommodate your schedule, the conference will be conveniently spread over a four-week period starting February 5, 2013.

You will receive recordings and transcripts of all live sessions. And because it is fully online, you can attend right from your home or office, thus eliminating long-distance travel expenses and hotel bills.

Content Marketing Presenters

Content Marketing Conference Speakers
I know, I know. Most of you are thinking, who in the world are these people! HA! They are awesome marketing professionals. Just trust me.

Our first Content Success Summit features the most experienced leaders in the industry. Many of them have written a book about content marketing or are founders of successful businesses fueled by content. Among them are:

  • Joe Pulizzi – founder of Content Marketing Institute and co-author of Get Content Get Customers
  • Ann Handley – chief content officer of MarketingProfs and co-author of Content Rules
  • Michael Hyatt – chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers and author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
  • Michael Stelzner – founder of Social Media Examiner and author of Launch
  • Amy Porterfield – co-author ofFacebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies
  • David Siteman Garland – founder of Rise to the Top and author of Smarter, Faster, Cheaper
  • Gini Dietrich – co-author of Marketing in the Round
  • Heidi Cohen – president of Riverside Marketing Strategies
  • Pat Flynn – founder of Smart Passive Income
  • Marcus Sheridan – founder of the popular blog, The Sales Lion
  • Mark Schaefer – author of Return on Influence
  • And many others!

Is This Content Conference Right for You?

Perhaps you’ve been focusing a lot on social media, but not much on content marketing. You’re wondering if you could learn something new that might be a game-changer for your business. Ask yourself the following:

  • Do I have a content marketing plan for 2013?
  • Are there some content tactics that I’m not aware of that could be useful for my business?
  • Could I use some advice to build my platform, market my products and grow my business using content?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, then sign up and learn from the leading content marketing authorities in the industry.

Content Marketing Seminars & Workshops Samples:

  • How to Create Social Videos that drive Traffic & Leads
  • 5 Tips for Creating Epic Content that Breaks through the Noise
  • Turning your Passions into Profits: How to Create Quality Courses that Sell
  • How to Grow a Loyal Audience of Listeners
  • How to Create Compelling Content with Expert Interviews
  • How to Start and Grow a Successful Podcast Show
  • 13 Insider Tips to Get Your Blog on Track to Succeed

Want to Save Money?

If you reserve your spot right now, you will save 50% ($300). Click here for details.
Also there is a 100% Money Back Guarantee so there is no risk. Awesome. Very important.

Content Marketing Summit 2013 Conference
Click on the Image Above to Get the Details. 100% Money Back Guarantee so no risk.

Over to You. Are you interested in learning how to create a content platform that will successfully grow your business? Please share your thoughts and comments in the box below.

UPDATE: HA! forgot to mention. Use this CONTENT MARKETING SUMMIT LINK and get $300 off. $297 for the entire summit! All that raving and no link!

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Can’t Sleep? It’s the iPad’s fault. Study says so.

iPad Use Affects Sleep Study

Blurring the lines between Work & Home – Mobile Style

BYOD: Bring your own device. More and more, professionals are using mobile devices and blurring the lines between work and home. With the booming popularity of iPhones, iPads, and the use of laptops in corporate settings, one study showed that the average American worker works nearly seven hours a week outside the office. 80% of professionals do some sort of work past the end of the workday. This involves anything from answering phone calls and answering emails. 60% of those who work after workhours said it helps them to stay organized and nearly half said they feel like they have no choice.

One way in this impacts our private lives is that it makes it more difficult for us to “switch off”. 31% of Americans say they have a hard time switching gears from work to home. 50% respond to emails in bed, 69% said they have to check email before going to bed, and 40% send work-related emails as late as ten at night. Then 68% of us start each morning by checking our emails. 50% check before getting out of bed.

Having Trouble Sleeping? Blame the iPad!… Maybe

A recent study by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center, studied the impact of backlit devices such as the iPhone and iPad at on our production of Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland that helps induce drowsiness and lower body temperature, both important to help us to fall sleep. The research shows that two ours of tablet use before bed can suppress melatonin production up to 22%. In English, that means tablet use is making it harder for us to fall asleep as it affects our ability to naturally get drowsy. It is also associated with increased risk for diabetes and obesity and some mental health disorders. The study was only done on 13 people so take it with a grain of salt, but it does bring up the question:

  • Do you use your iphone, ipad or other mobile devices before going to bed?
  • Do you feel it helps you sleep or only delays you going to bed?
  • Do you feel the urge to check email or facebook before you go to bed? When you wake up?

Share your thoughts!

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Colorado Theater Massacre – Who to Blame?

Gangster Squad Movie Trailer

The Blame of Colorado Theater Massacre

The Colorado Theater Massacre is such a tragic story. I am incredibly saddened by what happened and much prayers go out to the families and loved ones involved.

The alleged shooter is 24 year old James Holmes, who faces 142 criminal counts for shooting at a packed midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises. For whatever reason, motive still uncertain, he proceeded to open fire into the crowds leaving 12 dead and 58 injured.

In most circumstances as people try to make sense of this kind of senseless killing, our first instinct is to want to blame something or someone. Blame parents, blame media, blame society, blame gun-control or blame the individual who perpetrated it all. As usual, there are a lot of questions and lot of accusations, though surprisingly the outcry doesn’t seem to be as loud this time around.

Traditionally media is one of the biggest targets in the blame game. Considering this was at a movie theater, it seemed inevitable that a lot of blame would be casts on media’s influence on the young mind. However whether it is the immediate responsiveness of Warner Brothers, or perhaps of how ridiculously senseless the deed was – there seems to a lot less finger pointing over this event. Still the film industry is being very cautious and has properly shown sensitivity to what has happened by immediately taking action.

Warner Brothers Acts Quickly to Colorado

Warner Brothers, the studio who released “The Dark Knight Rises”, quickly removed the trailer for its upcoming film “Gangster Squad” which has been a trailer proceeding “The Dark Knight Rises.” This trailer features a climactic scene in which mob gangsters open fire into a movie theater. Good move. Warner Brothers also quickly removed the trailer from YouTube and other video sharing sites. It is also said that the studio plans to reshoot parts of the movie in dealing with this matter. The studio hasn’t been clear on how they plan to reedit the movie but it will be interesting to see to what extent they would go in response to this tragedy. Will they cut an important scene all together or make minor edits? Perhaps just tone it down? Either way it will cost Warner Brothers a pretty penny. They also stand to potentially lose money by pushing out the release date from September 7th to January 11th as well have already lost money canceling premieres several key global cities out of respect for the victims.

Warner Brothers also announced it was making a “substantial” undisclosed donation to the victims.

Hollywood is to Blame? Or Not?

Quotes from Hollywood:

“I think it’s a tragedy and to blame the movie business is incorrect and inappropriate…” – Geffen, Co-founder of DreamWorks

“I think it’s just an opportunistic scenario… I leave it to people who sit in rooms with diagrams and charts to try to correlate cause and effect. And I think hindsight is 20-20 and we’re not anywhere near hindsight. This is still fresh paint on the canvas of our culture and it remains to be seen. There’s a lot of healing to go on.” – Diane Lane, Actress

“If you are not raising your kids to have balance in life, that is one place we have to look at.” – Will.i.am, Recording Artist

In response to whether television companies should cut down on violence:
“We think about the images particularly that children see, and as we look at the programming that we design for our schedule — obviously, the programming that we produce is educational — but we think a lot about the images that particularly the most impressionable, and I would say that children are at the top of that list, are confronted with.” – Paula Kerger, PBS President

So Who do We Blame? What Do We Really Know?

I would hope that no one would argue that media has a huge influence on the way we, especially as children, view the world, view people, and the norms of society. Cursing, violence, how to treat other people, self-image, view of women, that life is all about one’s own happiness, that power is respected, that being cool or good looking is what matter, that living rich with comforts will bring happiness, that romantic love is the answer to all things – and so on.

I would imagine, it had some various affects on how this shooter viewed the world and the value of human life – but does that mean media is the only thing to blame for such a tragedy? No of course not. There are so many factors involved, that I wouldn’t even assume to know all that went into it. Perhaps parenting, perhaps influence of bad friends, perhaps he had a tragic past, didn’t have a father figure, grew up in a broken home, I do not know. The only thing I know is that it’s a scary thing that he became a person capable of such things. That as a baby he was no different than you and me – but there was something in him that thru circumstances and influences allowed him to do what he did. That is a scary thought and should really humble us to really be careful about what kind of things we allow ourselves (and our children) to be exposed to and the kind of things we listen to.

What are your thoughts?

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