first_imgShare This!This is the final area music blog for AtMousePhere! If you’ve been wondering what’s next, we are going to start covering the music of some of the specific attractions of Walt Disney World and Disneyland. If you have any recommendations on where to start, comment below!If you haven’t read Part 1 of the Disney California Adventure AtMousePhere, we covered the music of Buena Vista Street, Hollywood Land, A Bug’s Land, and Pacific Wharf. Today we cover the final lands, exploring the music of the current incarnations of Grizzly Peak (and the Airfield), Paradise Pier (and Park), and Cars Land!Grizzly PeakGrizzly Peak used to consist of a smaller footprint in DCA. However, in 2015 the Condor Flats name was retired and Grizzly Peak inherited the land, renaming it “Grizzly Peak Airfield.” As a result, there are two separate areas of music – one surrounding the area by Soarin’ and one surrounding the area of Grizzly River Run.Grizzly Peak Airfield’s music is very sweeping and large. It’s music you’d want to have at your disposal when looking over a land like Yellowstone, Yosemite, or the Grand Canyon.Not all of the music you’ll hear here is soundtrack-based. Quite a few of the pieces are strict compositions. For example, composer Tim Janis’ album American Horizons provides fodder for at least three pieces, including “The Rocky Mountains,” “Hillside Meadow,” and “Summer’s Glory.” Two other Janis albums can also be heard: A Quiet Shore and Coastal America. Patrick Doyle has also contributed music from his album Impressions of America like “The Great Plains.”Movie soundtracks that can be heard here include “The Patriot” from The Patriot, “The Wave” and “Opening” from Angels in the Outfield, “Leaving Birch Ridge” from Iron Will, and the Dragonheart Album Finale. There’s even some Disney Fairy music – the “Fairy Dusted Festival” from The Pirate Fairy.Over in Grizzly Peak, the music is much more laid back, and consists of a lot of acoustic guitar. If Frontierland had been built today, this would be the kind of music heard there. Some of the music includes “Whistlin’ Rufus” by Dan Crary, “Goat Island” by John Renbourn, “Opportunity” by T.J. Baden, “Taylor Willobee” by Rodney Crowell, and “The Claw” (no, not that Claw, little Toy Story aliens) by Clint Black.Paradise PierLike Grizzly Peak, this area is split into two kinds of music, as well. By the rides and carnival games (Paradise Pier), the music is kind of a combination of the music of Buena Vista Street. This is a stark change to the former loop, which consisted of songs reinvented into a calliope sound.Some people have complained that this music is too similar to the land I referenced above. I would agree with that sentiment. However, the whole area is supposed to be reminiscent of a Victorian boardwalk theme park, so the music does reflect that.Don Neely’s Royal Society Jazz group makes an appearance again with songs like “Mule Face Blues,” “Boogie Woogie,” and “New Moten Stomp.” The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra features several pieces, including “Dynamite Rag,” “Paragon Rag,” “On Jersey Shore,” “Chatterbox Rag,” “Slippery Hank,” and “Grizzly Bear Rag.” As you can see, ragtime is the name of the game on the boardwalk.Near the World of Color viewing area and stretching over to the Silly Symphony Swings is what is known as Paradise Park. (This is my favorite area of all of DCA!) The music is generally more laid back, with a bit of a swing. This is perfect for strolling around, which is what most people do around that area when they aren’t waiting for World of Color.If any music was going to be reminiscent of Main Street U.S.A., this is the area for sure. If you put the two area loops back-to-back, I’m sure you’d be hard-pressed to find out when one loop stopped and the other one started.Here is a list of some of the songs heard:“Fragrance” by the Palm Court Theatre Orchestra“Oh, You Beautiful Doll” by Ian Whitcomb“Tell Her at Twilight” by the Palm Court Theatre Orchestra“La Petite Tonkinoise” by the Palm Court Theatre Orchestra“Sun Flower Slow Drag” by The New Century Ragtime Orchestra“Fashionette” by Anthony Godwin“Silver Heels” by Ian Whitcomb“The Red Back Book: The Chrysanthemum” by Scott Joplin“The Memphis Blues” by Paragon Ragtime OrchestraCars LandDisney was very transparent with the music of Cars Land when it opened in 2012. They released a limited edition soundtrack with 13 of the songs that can be heard in that area, including the music heard on the Radiator Springs Racers attraction.However, this is definitely not all the music heard in the area! Songs change depending on where you are. Near Flo’s V8 Cafe, for example, the music consists of the Motown sound, with songs by Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Chiffons, Aretha Franklin, The Crystals, and Kim Weston.Near Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters (formerly Luigi’s Flying Tires) you’ll hear music that will remind people of Italy, by the likes of Dean Martin, Perry Como, Louis Prima, Sophia Loren, and Rosemary Clooney. Some of it is Italian, and some of it simply has a flair that reflects the Italian atmosphere.Ramone’s shop uses songs from War, Ritchie Valens, and Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs.Over on the main drag of Route 66 we find the brunt of the Cars Land music. Most of these songs were originally recorded in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s and revolve around cars, the open road, and vacations. The two most famous songs from this area are definitely “Route 66” by Chuck Berry and “Sh-Boom (Life Could Be a Dream)” by the Chords. (The latter piece is always played when Cars Land turns on all its neon lights at dusk.)If you want a giant, exhausting track listing from all of Cars Land, you can visit this blog by Mouse Troop. They even include all the songs near Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, which is just a bunch of original songs sung by Larry the Cable Guy. And with that, we’ve covered every single Disney land in the United States! From Main Street U.S.A. and Innoventions to Critter Country and Paradise Pier, the AtMousePhere has been recovered through hours and hours of research and clarification.I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride; I know I have!For requests for future AtMousePhere articles, please comment below. Let me know your favorite area music loop from the ones that have been covered in AtMousePhere. And if anything changes, please let me know. I would love to be able to update the articles with current music tracks!last_img read more

first_imgShare This!Just in time to cool off in the summer heat, I’m back to rank the top ten best ice cream offerings in Walt Disney World! This may be my most divisive list yet – everyone’s got their sentimental favorites when it comes to this tasty treat. Check out my rankings to see where your favorites fall!Best Ice Cream in Disney World 10. Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop (Disney Springs)A longtime staple of Downtown Disney and now Disney Springs, the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain offers overflowing sundaes, floats, scoops, and cups of several flavors of ice cream, complete with specialty chocolate treats like decadent brownies and cookies, or milk and dark chocolate hot fudge. Lines here are often long, but for a picture-perfect classic sundae, chock-full of chocolate, it’s hard to resist.Vivoli il Gelato (Disney Springs)World-famous gelato, straight from Italy… What more can you ask for on a hot day in the middle of central Florida? With tons of flavors and serving options (cups, cones, shakes, and even tasty espresso-soaked gelato called affogato), Vivoli il Gelato is the perfect stop in The Landing for a sweet treat.Landscape of Flavors (Disney’s Art of Animation Resort)Hidden in a corner of the Art of Animation food court lies a secret stash of sweetness – a small selection of gelato and toppings is available on a rotating basis in the cold counter just next to the refrigerated grab-and-go food section of Landscape of Flavors. Cast Members will scoop and top your selection for you, and while it’s a smaller flavor selection (usually only four or five a day) than most other ice cream locations around Walt Disney World, the flavor and texture of the gelato here is perfect, plus, bonus: toppings!Plaza Ice Cream Parlor/Plaza Restaurant (Magic Kingdom)A staple for many family vacations and visits to Magic Kingdom, Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant feature standard sundaes packed with nostalgia for many visitors. While nothing here is out of the ordinary (except maybe the new donut breakfast sundae offered at breakfast!), it’s hard to beat enjoying a sundae or scoop while overlooking Cinderella Castle.Beaches and Cream Soda Shop (Disney’s Beach Club Resort)Whether it’s tackling a Kitchen Sink with your family (a whole can of whipped cream! 10 scoops of ice cream? Why not?!), or just enjoying a scoop or two after a dip in Stormalong Bay, Beaches and Cream is wildly popular for its ice cream offerings for guests of Disney’s Beach Club resort, and even those who just wander over from Epcot, just steps away. Personally, I always love trying to finish a No Way Jose or classic Banana Split before walking it off around Crescent Lake.50’s Prime Time Café (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)While 50’s Prime Time may not be the first place you think of when you hear “great ice cream”, it does feature one of the more unique and best ice cream treats in all of Walt Disney World – the peanut butter and jelly milkshake. It might sound weird, or even off-putting, but it’s really a treat! Salty peanut butter flavors mix with sweet jelly and vanilla ice cream to create a perfect dessert. Bartenders at Tune-In Lounge will even kick it up a notch for the adults, and add a shot of your favorite cordial (Chambord and Godiva are among the popular favorite add-ins).TIE: Aloha Isle Refreshments AND Sunshine Tree Terrace (Magic Kingdom)Any “best of” list for ice cream at Walt Disney World has to feature Dole Whip, right? (Yes, the Dole Whip is dairy-free, so not technically ice cream, but could you leave it off a list like this?) Who can resist the creamy, slightly tangy pineapple soft serve from Aloha Isle on a hot day? But here’s a secret (and I don’t want to create a ruckus, here!)… I actually prefer the citrus swirl when it comes to fruity-ice cream-desserts-in-theme-parks, available nearby at Sunshine Tree Terrace. The sour orange slush swirled with vanilla soft serve is the perfect pairing, reminiscent of a classic orange creamsicle.Mickey Premium Bar (Outdoor quick service carts all around Walt Disney World)It’s hard to top the original Disney treat, the Mickey premium bar, when it comes to nostalgia. Perfect for nearly all occasions and in most locations, a Mickey-shaped ice cream bar is guaranteed to elicit smiles. Who doesn’t have a memory of beating the Florida heat by chomping off Mickey’s ear (and subsequently becoming covered in melting chocolate and ice cream) as a kid?L’Artisan des Glaces (Epcot’s France pavilion)Made fresh daily, the ice cream and sorbet available at L’Artisan des Glaces are nothing short of phenomenal. Never icy, full of flavor, and perfectly creamy, no matter what flavor you pick (and there are SO MANY amazing ones to choose from), you’ll love it. The salted caramel, coco-white chocolate, classic vanilla, and rich chocolate are among my favorites, but honestly, you could close your eyes and pick a flavor here and still come out ahead of most any ice creams you’ve ever tried in your life. To take it to a whole new level, try a croque glace, where they sandwich a scoop of your choice of ice cream in a warm, buttery brioche bun with chocolate or caramel sauce. Hot and cold, sweet and savory – it’s the pinnacle of desserts.Ample Hills Creamery (Disney’s BoardWalk)It’s almost painful to dethrone Artisan des Glaces from the top of the best ice cream list, but once you’ve tried one scoop at Ample Hills, you know it has to be done (though, in truth, both offer incredible ice cream). Ample Hills is the newest entry into the Walt Disney World ice cream scene with some well-deserved hype surrounding the location. Offering specialty flavors like ooey gooey butter cake, coffee toffee coffee, and malty salty pretzel punch, as well as classics like cookies and cream, butter pecan, and strawberry, Ample Hills serves up huge scoops, cones, and sundaes that are sure to satisfy any tastebuds. Portions are large, and prices are accordingly high, but it’s worth the splurge.So, that’s my list! I’m sure some of this is controversial, as everyone has their personal favorites. Where do yours stack up? Did I miss any amazing ice cream stops – let me know in the comments below!last_img read more

first_imgOne of the main themes of discussion here at the Web 3.0 Conference in New York City is how Web content is being digested. With the shift from destination sites to syndication through multiple channels, the publishers that create all this content face a real challenge. They have typically relied on page views: the more page views, the more advertising revenue.But relying on page views is no longer an option. The lion’s share of revenue that publishers generate comes from advertisers, and advertisers are now demanding to see more actionable ROI on their advertising dollars. Publishers are feeling the crunch.This is a guest post by Steve Poland, who is currently focused on his stealth startup InSeconds.ReadWriteWeb’s own Bernard Lunn moderated a panel here that addressed a couple of the challenges that most publishers struggle with these days. Below are some of the salient points that emerged from the discussion.How to Reduce the Cost of Creating High-Quality Content A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Maximize your brand elsewhere.Andraz Tori, CTO of Zemanta, noted that not all media is monetizable. He believes that the consolidation of content and the creation of content via crowd-sourcing (e.g. Wikipedia) will ultimately drive the price of content to nothing. (Although some publishers will be able to charge for content, the way that D&B can still charge $10,000+ for profile reports on private companies). By spending time on in-depth content creation, you build your brand, allowing you to extend that brand to conferences, report sales, etc.Advertisers want engagement.Julie Nielsen of appssavvy said that so much inventory is available for advertisers to buy from, they don’t even know where to look. Advertisers want actionable results; they want to track their ROI, and a click is not revenue to them. Publishers need to sell to advertisers that are relevant to their audience and then educate advertisers to purchase differently, partly by offering advertisers data (beyond mere clicks) that tells a deeper story about their brand engagement.The panel obviously didn’t have all the answers, but it started a good discussion that we hope to continue here. What ideas do you have, and what opportunities do you see in this shift in publishing? Embrace better tools to make processes more efficient. It is a fact that too many publishers are clamoring for an ever-decreasing share of the advertising pie (revenue). Publishers need to be leaders in innovation. Two-thirds of the industry is waiting for someone to lead the way; most of these followers will fall by the wayside, and the others will work from the platforms that the leaders become.Get readers to write content. Look for the top commenters in your reading community. Some of them would likely contribute posts to your site. Reach out to them.Write content that readers want. Website logs show which topics and posts draw the most interest from readers. Use this information to understand what content your readers want.How do you profit from content that has depth but takes time to research and write? Bernard emphasized that publishers make money by selling ads, and this money is typically tied to page views. A publisher can run a quick post like, “Lindsay Lohan’s Twitter Meltdown,” which may take mere minutes to write and generates 200,000 page views, whereas an in-depth post on something technical, which could take several days and several interviews to write, may generate only 20,000 page views. So should you bother writing those quick posts that are inevitably regurgitated by a ton of other publishers? Content with longevity eventually earns more money (like films, it generates revenue for years). Refocus your content so that it has staying power or can be archived somewhere for future licensing.How to Increase Revenuecenter_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Events Guide#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market guest author 1last_img read more

first_imgCreating the best lead-gen website, step by stepYou are here: Before I graduated from the Art Center College of Design, Lynda Weinman was my teacher for web design. Yes, THAT Lynda — who created Lynda.com and sold it for $1.5 billion to LinkedIn (just to give you some perspective on where I’m coming from).Back then, I was fortunate enough to be around creative geniuses tackling technology in new and innovative ways, which I only later found out was not the norm. Back then, we were focused on making a website look cool and on-brand, as well as delivering relevant messaging… but in this new day and age, the X-factor for websites includes the engineering of a seamless experience to make conversions as frictionless as possible through UX (user experience) and testing. The result? A multilayered experience around product-market fit that I like to call Brand-Response.Brand-response doesn’t stem from techy, click-baiting tactics… rather it stems from something way more primal and strategic: storytelling. This is how you can turn your branding into something original and connected while also integrating the latest tools to enhance that story experience.Let’s be clear: There are two modes of a website’s existence:Launching/Testing: This is when you are finding and proving the market. This can easily take months, or longer if need be. This is the essence of your brand, your story and your tribe.Scaling/Maintenance: This is when you have a thriving business and are beginning to scale or are already scaling. This is the essence of your brand and your tribe plus tech plus sales enablement tools.I find many are confused about what mode they are in. If you’re not selling out from a ton of demand, then you should not be focusing on “Conversion Rate Optimization” — not by a long shot.If you are still finding your audience, your tribe, then you need to focus on your brand promise(s) and story. You’re still in the launching/testing phase. Some call it the MVP (minimum viable product) phase, or if you will, the “good enough… for now” phase.Here’s a statistic:“The ‘right [creative] message’ accounts for 80 percent of the return path,” Andrew Robertson, president and CEO of BBDO Worldwide, said at the AT&T Shape conference last year, and this figure has been confirmed by both Google North America data and Facebook data.This means that your storytelling, your messaging, is 80 percent of the reason why your lead generation works or not… and that only leaves 20 percent for the “sales enablement” stuff that I won’t cover here since you can find a gazillon articles that already cover that. But please understand that tactical “tricks and tech” are your smallest levers for success. Below, I’ll focus on the biggest lever for success, which is storytelling.Unless your business is already scaling out of control, getting your story right is where you’ll see the biggest gains.Consider this scenario: You have a website that has consistent organic, paid and social traffic, with great page metrics such as time on site — but you are not capturing the most important users with the highest intent to convert. How are you able to communicate your value proposition while instilling trust which will lead to a conversion? Here are some steps to consider while developing a highly targeted lead-gen website.Understand your usersConsumer research is going to be the most important thing for your business at this stage. It is very important to create content around your user base’s needs — but you don’t know what those needs are until you do the research. This research helps you determine:What kind of content to create.How to present your message.What kind of language to use when writing for your audience.How to use imagery that resonates with your users.Your message, as well as the language and imagery that you use, will be some of the most important details you can determine from the start. Learn how your audience connects on an emotional level to make them feel the need to buy your product or service. For example, if your audience connects to a product by feeling lucky to be part of an exclusive group, you’ll want to choose language and imagery that highlights exclusivity.Consider how the consumer moves through your content. For example, my agency, Noble Digital, builds content based on the See, Think, Do, Care framework. I will use videos to demonstrate my point about content flow, since it’s more fun to watch than read web copy, plus it’s a good reminder of the fact that your website can and should be using video whenever possible.SEEThe first step in the consumer journey is seeing entertaining/inspiring content. For example, the video below is for people who want to be inspired by visual imagery. They don’t want to buy anything, they just want to dream about what they could be. Your CFO may not see any point in spending money on this type of content, but consider this type of content to be a primer. It gets people looking at your brand, gives them a reason to start to care and funnels them to the next step. This type of content is usually more effective when distributed off your website, with links leading them to your website to learn more.THINKThe next type of content is for people who want to learn something. For the video below, the audience consists of people who play soccer and also want to play a better game, help their team win or find the right products to help them enhance their game. This type of content sets you up as a company that wants to help, and it can be used both on and off your site.Or you could blend the education with the entertainmen — a bit of See and Think at same time, such as in this video:DOThis type of video is meant to inspire action. This one is for people who play soccer and know they need new shoes to play at their best. These people have been convinced of this need and want to make a purchase right now. This can be a separate video, or it can be a part of other videos.Consider something like Think and Do at the same time. This type of video teaches them something and gives them a challenge:Nothing super techy here, right? Just basic logic flow, moving users through a decision tree: If they click on this, then you will serve them that. If people click on the “shop predator” overlay, then you’ll pixel them for retargeting, and you’ll probably give them a new journey, while the others might need to see this a few more times.See and Think should be prioritized over Do. The Do is merely the result of See and Think. If you push “Do” too hard, you are just a direct marketer/salesman with no creativity, style or grace. There is no need for direct marketing once they are on your site! When they are on your site, it’s time to entertain your audience and tell your story. So tell it well!By the way, video is one of the best tools you have to do engage your audience, and yet it is so underutilized, or not done as well as it could be. Video will do a few things for your website presence:Entertain, educate and create an emotion in the user.Speed up the sales cycle (for B2B and complex services, video is indispensable).Increase time on page, which may have the added value of signaling to search engines that you’re meeting searchers’ needs (if they came to you via search).Increase retention and brand recall (Can you remember the subject line of the last AdWords ad you clicked on? Thought not.)Customer Care comes after a conversion, when a user has ascended to being a potential evangelist of your brand.Your understanding of how your customer gets to the point of relating to, learning from, using, then praising the virtues of your brand will inform all the content you need to create. Once you understand the role your site can play, you can add consistent touch points via content — white papers, videos, blog posts, infographics and so on — that are decided upon and created based on your knowledge of how and where to best target the audience.But in order to do all that? You need to get to the research. Talk to your consumers via focus groups or surveys and understand what they need to feel connected to your product or service.Creating credibilityTo keep leads coming back to your site, it’s very important to sprinkle elements that support your brand’s credibility consistently throughout the site. Examples of social proof that ease your prospects’ minds include:Customer reviews.Reviews from professionals or industry leaders.A list of how your products have been featured on other websites, in other videos, on podcasts or in any media that you don’t own.An enumeration of the number of people who have used your services (Think of McDonald’s “number served” counter on their signs).Images and graphics.The last one is undervalued but extremely important. Users are drawn to images, and being able to see a product up close, in action, will help them decide to purchase something they were on the fence about. Beautiful images are able to connect with users emotionally with instant speed, in a way that text can’t emulate. Users are more likely to get a feeling of purpose and power from a beautiful image of Nike shoes on an athlete, for example, than they are from reading a paragraph about the wonders of the brand.Segment your users — creativelyWhen you hear “segment your users” you may think: back-end… data buckets, code… Tech! Ugh!Well, when you do this “mechanically” using questionnaires, forced pop-ups, page takeovers, or drop-downs, then yeah, I can see why your eyes are glazing over. I just want to run, too!How about doing it creatively, with visuals? I love this landing page example from Adidas.On the “front end,” users are impassioned to choose based on their desires (not the brands’) psychologically, emotionally and visually. On the back end, they are also self-segmenting themselves to appropriate pages while producing clear data that allow the brand to later understand who is responding to what. This is a win-win.And it’s not techy at all, is it? It’s in fact a very human way to encourage user flow. Use basic logic around “pains” and “gains” to guide your audience to what ails them or inspires them.Notice the calls to action (CTAs) in this example have nothing to do with buying anything. They instead focus on of what the user wants to do with the shoes, or the brand promise. When you can get the user to dream (not thinking, but visualizing) and see themselves as one of these two images, then you’ve got them! This is user flow at its finest.Map and measure out your primary and secondary KPIsSo, in the case of Adidas, the primary goal might be to segment users between product lines, first and foremost, and secondly, to drive them to a purchase. This is clearly a bigger communication strategy that goes deeper than just simply selling.Selling is not always the best top goal. Why? Because you’ll have a hard time creating a return path once you go for the kill. Let’s face it, the average conversion rate of most websites is three to five percent. That means that 95-97 percent of the people that visit the first time will not purchase or even take any secondary actions like an opt-in, so you have to assume there has to be additional flow built into your funnel.For most brands, you have to decide on an “experience,” like encouraging and inspiring your site visitors to identify themselves with the brand first. In a way, this is indoctrinating your customers. In the Adidas example, the user thinks, “How much chaos or control do I want in a shoe? Hmm… I never thought about that. Will they look cool on me? Will it help me perform better when I play soccer?”Yes! You want your prospective customers to get lost in those thoughts… not “well, how much do they cost?”Buying is often the last thing on your user’s mind unless they’ve already been to the site at least once or a few times. So think about that first-time experience. How many layers of inspirational thought can you put into your message that will also overcome sales objections?Again, remember “brand-response,” which really means “vision-reality.” You have to balance “marketing vision” with the “sales reality” of handling sales objections, every step of the way, for different audiences that are in completely different stages of their journey.A good website will have multiple layers of communication happening at the exact same time and can direct all that traffic the way only the most sophisticated intersection does — flawlessly.Easier said than done, but this is the art of web design. It’s part art, part infrastructure, part goal setting.So shoving a bright red “buy” button in front of your audience is the last thing you need to worry about. Users seldom have a hard time finding the purchase path when they’re ready to buy. So please stop wasting your time and energy focusing 80 percent of your time on that. That is not going to increase your bottom line in a meaningful way.Rather, focus on your brand promise and the users’ gains and pains. I know… you thought this article was going to be about adding more pop-ups, analytics tools, and heavy UX blah, blah, blah? Nope! This is about story, story, story! And you have to make that story as inspiring and visually appealing as you can afford to.Let’s say you’re not entirely sure whether your website is visually awesome or not. If you’re not quite sure, this means you definitely need to make it more visual. Trust me, when your website looks amazing and your story is flawless and inspiring, you won’t be able to stop sharing it or talking about it. It’s an awesome creation when done right.The difference between primary and secondary KPIsTo be successful, you need to understand the difference between primary and secondary KPIs. The primary KPI should be something that the user can access on your website. This is something that they initiate after being given the opportunity to imagine themselves with your product through your story. The primary KPI should always be very easy to find, such as on the header of the website or on a sidebar.Here are some examples of primary KPI options:Email sign-up form.Request a phone call.Free download of an asset (such as an educational white paper about your product).Purchases (of course).Secondary KPIs, on the other hand, are things that you are measuring on the back end. These are things that you have set goals for and are keeping track of without the consumer even being aware of them.Here are some examples of secondary KPI options:Watching x amount of a video.Increased time on site (e.g., reading multiple blog posts).Social shares.Click-through rates on advertisements.Sales cycle patterns between first click and purchase.How to measure your KPIsHaving all these KPIs in place is great — unless you aren’t using them to learn more about your audience. If you’re just collecting data and not considering what it actually means, it’s useless to you.You need to understand how your social shares help you, and if your social shares are down, you need to know why and what you can do to raise them. You need to understand why users aren’t signing up for your email newsletter and what you can do to make that more enticing.There are some tools that can help you better analyze the data that you get from your KPIs, such as:Google Analytics.Google Analytics Event Tracking.Custom JavaScript to track clicks and other events.Heat mapping to see where your users are spending time on a pageA social shares plugin on WordPress.Understanding and incorporating your leads into the funnelIt is very important to understand where the lead is within the user journey. Asking for additional information on your form can be a great way of collecting data that you can later use to segment. The common form generally asks for the user’s name and email. But if you can gather more information to help segment your users right then, it will help you incorporate your leads into the right spot in the funnel.Adding a list of checkmarks that apply to the services they may be interested in, for example, will allow you to optimize your leads and focus on those with higher intent to convert. You could also add some questions that will allow you to gather more consumer insights, such as:How did you hear about us? This helps you discover which of your marketing avenues are working the best.What is your age range? This is a common question that businesses ask, presenting a range of ages for consumers to choose from. This helps you learn more about who is seeking out your products and services.Ask about their level of expertise relating to your product. For example, if you sell computer equipment, present a multiple-choice question that states “I am a…” with options such as “computer hobbyist, IT service provider, business owner” and so on. This question helps you determine what type of customer is seeking you out.It’s important to keep the number of questions low at any given time. With more data inputs comes more user friction! So don’t get data-greedy. If you put the user through too much, your dropoff rate will only rise.Segmenting the data — MQL vs. SQLMQL refers to “marketing qualified leads” — in other words, engaged leads. These are people that are initiating contact with you, rather than the other way around. You aren’t sure exactly how interested they are (they could just be browsing), but their actions make it very easy to determine where they are in the sales funnel.SQL means “sales qualified lead,” and that means that the lead has already been vetted by your sales efforts as having very high interest. These are people who click on your PPC ads — you had to pay to get their attention, but because they clicked on the ad, you have a good idea that they are pretty interested in what you have to offer.Based on the additional data supplied by a form, or by the way the user converted on the site form vs. white paper or content download, you can segment them into higher levels of leads.And then, based on the segmentation of these levels of intent, you can initiate different strategies with the two groups.For example, your messaging will be different for those who arrived via a click-through on an advertisement. For these SQL leads, you’ll need to focus on why they clicked your ads. Solve their problem with your product.But with MQL leads, you don’t know what their problem is. So instead, your messaging needs to be more focused on getting them to envision themselves with your product.Promotional offers also will be different for SQL and MQL leads. For SQL leads, when you know why they are there, you’ll want to give them promotional offers that get them to buy right then. You already know they plan to buy a product — so offer free shipping to entice them further. With an MQL lead, however, you don’t know if they intended to buy anything. You need to make them feel like they have nothing to lose, so consider a “first-time buyer” discount or something similar.The level of your own engagement will change based on whether a lead was an SQL or an MQL. It’s very important to contact SQLs faster and more frequently, because you want to take advantage of the known interest. With MQLs, you’ll need to keep your message in front of them without overstaying your welcome.Once you know what type of lead a user is, you can then go back and add in layers to help accelerate certain users through your sales funnel. Watch for specific behavioral patterns that signal they’re ready to talk to sales, despite not having completed the entire funnel.I’ve helped brands that were in growth transition — meaning that the types of customers they have now are different from the customers they want to begin attracting. If that’s the case, you need to go back to your product offerings and update them, as well as rebuild your user strategy around your new business plan. Then re-brand your story, and perhaps even re-visualize it for yourself. And then, update your website around that strategy.Testing for conversion rate optimizationSo this is the final aspect of developing a website. You now have an amazing brand identity; your messaging is clear; your products and offerings are amazing; you have designed for complex offerings like B2B or SaaS platforms and you have videos to help speed up the sales cycle. Right?I’m also assuming you already have plenty of lead traffic flow and your business is booming. You might even be in “maintenance” mode. Then, and only then, you are ready to fuss over CRO. If you do this any earlier than you should, you will be spinning your wheels and feeling like you’re getting so much done when you’re not at all. If you’re testing button colors while your brand message is all about you (instead of your users), you won’t be going anywhere for a while.One of the most important aspects of running a lead-gen website is consistent testing — but again, only after you’ve accomplished the other objectives first. Things that are important to test for CRO include:Image types.Copy.Pop-up timing.Button color.CTA copy.Remember that testing is never “finished.” Even if you have a booming business, you should always be tweaking these things to keep attracting new buyers.Have you ever noticed that conversion rate optimization focuses on conversion rate with no mention of revenue or any actual business metrics? That’s because it involves a series of micro goals around a big goal. The complexity of optimizing your site will be tenfold if your message and product-market fit is not rock-solid. So if this is still being proven, you might not know which way is up once you starting bringing CRO into the fold. Kind of like when you start split-testing a mediocre-performing Facebook ad set.You also need to have statistically relevant levels of traffic flowing to the pages you are testing for CRO to even make sense. The amount of traffic you need for testing to make sense will depend on the size of your business and the size of your industry — but consultants who do this for a living suggest that even small businesses in niche industries should be seeing about 1,000 visitors per month before they bother with testing.Be sure you give yourself several months to run a respectable test if your traffic is low. But heuristic (experienced-based) analysis can go far if you set it up correctly.ConclusionThe importance of beginning your lead-gen efforts from the point of view of a storyteller cannot be underestimated. Remember, the steps for creating the best lead-gen website are:Understand your users.Create credibility.Segment your users, creatively.Measure primary and secondary KPIs.Segment the data into MQL and SQL leads or conversion states.Testing.All of this data that you collect is useless without the final step of testing. If you collect data on one set of copy, one type of image, one CTA, and then you never change those things and collect new data, how will you be able to tell what was truly performing well?Maybe you thought 10,000 views a month was wildly successful — until a slight tweak earned you a million views a month! You can generate more leads than you thought possible with these steps… but the quality of execution is everything.From our sponsors: Creating the best lead-gen website, step by step HomeDigital MarketingCreating the best lead-gen website, step by step Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019 Posted on 10th March 2018Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+sharelast_img read more

first_imgThe union says the deal, announced on 12 December, is the first of its kind in the world. It also includes an agreement for the union and government departments to work together to develop broader science integrity policies and guidelines. It will include rules to protect government scientists from political interference in their work, and from having their findings manipulated to support a particular political position.The union began pushing for the provision in 2014, in response to the restrictive communications policies of the previous Conservative government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The policies left many researchers feeling they had been muzzled, unable to speak about even the most uncontroversial aspects of their work. A report by the union in 2013 found that 86% of federal scientists felt that they could not publicly share concerns about government policies that could harm public health, safety, or the environment without facing retaliation from their department leaders.The broader scientific community has welcomed the deal, says Kathleen Walsh, executive director of the scientific advocacy group Evidence for Democracy in Ottawa. “It’s a signal of the change in science in Canada in the past year,” she says. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, which came to power last year, has reversed many of the Harper government’s communication policies, and stated that federal researchers are free to speak about their work. Scientists working for the Canadian government have successfully negotiated a clause in their new contract that guarantees their right to speak to the public and the media about science and their research, without needing approval from their managers.“Employees shall have the right to express themselves on science and their research, while respecting the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector … without being designated as an official media spokesperson,” the new clause states. The ethics code says that while federal employees may talk about their own work, they should not publicly criticize government policy.“This agreement was extremely important in order to ensure that Canadians could trust public science and the decisions that governments make with that science,” says Debi Daviau, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, the Ottawa-based union representing about 15,000 federal scientists. “The Institute is proud to be able to be in a position to ensure that no government will be able to take this away from Canadians again.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

first_img Dr. Chris Berry/Cardiff University By Dennis NormileOct. 23, 2017 , 3:00 PM The world’s first trees grew by splitting their guts Peter Geisen Scientists have discovered some of the best preserved specimens of the world’s first trees in a remote region of China. At up to 12 meters tall, these spindly species were topped by a clump of erect branches vaguely resembling modern palm trees and lived a whopping 393 million to 372 million years ago. But the biggest surprise is how they got so big in the first place.Today’s trees grow through a relatively simple mechanism. The trunk is a single cylindrical shaft made up of hundreds of woody strands called xylem, which conduct water from the roots to the branches and leaves. New xylem grow in rings at the periphery of the trunk just behind the bark, adding girth so the tree can get taller.This is not how ancient trees known as cladoxylopsids grew, however. Two specimens discovered in a desert in China’s northwestern Xinjiang province in 2012 were remarkably well preserved. That’s because they underwent a process in which silica—likely emitted by a nearby volcano—saturated the tree and took on the shape of the wood’s internal structure as it decayed, preserving its 3D cellular structure.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The fossils reveal that, unlike modern trees with a single shaft, cladoxylopsids had multiple xylem columns spaced around the perimeter of a hollow trunk. A network of crisscrossing strands connected the vertical xylem—much like a chain-link fence spreads from pole to pole—and soft tissue filled the spaces between all these strands. New growth formed in rings around each of the xylem columns while an increasing volume of soft tissue forced the strands to spread out.All of this expanded the girth of the trunk, allowing for a taller tree. But it also split apart the tree’s xylem skeleton, which required the tree to continually repair itself, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The weight of the tree squeezed tissue at the base of the trunk outward. center_img An artist’s impression of a stand of cladoxylopsida trees, which formed Earth’s first forests. In the largest of the two fossil trunks, above the bulge, the xylem and soft tissue occupied a ring about 50 centimeters in diameter and 5 centimeters thick, with external roots making up the remainder of the 70-centimeter-diameter tree trunk. The scientists estimate cladoxylopsids could have been 8 to 12 meters tall.This growth strategy has not been seen in any other tree in Earth’s history, says Xu Hong-He, a paleontologist at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology in China who discovered the fossilized tree trunks. “It’s crazy that the oldest trees also had the most complex growth strategy,” adds Christopher Berry, a plant paleontologist at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom who helped analyze the fossils.The trees are particularly important, says Berry, because they dominated Earth during the Devonian period from 419 million to 358 million years ago. They formed the first forests and played a key role in absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They also added oxygen to the atmosphere, affecting the climate and influencing conditions that fostered the emergence of other life forms, he says. Despite their early critical role in the evolution of life on Earth, the cladoxylopsids do not have any modern descendants. They disappeared at the end of the Devonian period, perhaps because they were left in the shade of taller, more robust trees, or because changing environmental conditions may have favored Archaeopteris, the ancestors of modern trees that appeared about 385 million years ago.The new study is an important step in solving several such mysteries about early Earth, says Brigitte Meyer-Berthaud, a paleobotanist at the University of Montpellier in France who was not involved in the research. To understand the role of cladoxylopsids on our planet’s past, she says, “it is essential to know how the trees are constructed.” Fossilized slices of a 374-million-year-old tree reveal a hollow core surrounded by numerous bundles of woody strands called xylem (the larger black spots), with soft tissue (in gray) between. The smaller black dots are roots.last_img read more

first_img370 documented positive dope tests in the past 13 yearsIn the West, champions are being sent tumbling to their knees. An anti-doping investigation in the US has gone after some of track and field’s big names. Kelli White, women’s 100 m world champion, is banned while men’s champ Tim Mont,370 documented positive dope tests in the past 13 yearsIn the West, champions are being sent tumbling to their knees. An anti-doping investigation in the US has gone after some of track and field’s big names. Kelli White, women’s 100 m world champion, is banned while men’s champ Tim Mont gomery is under a cloud. Marion Jones, triple gold medallist and poster girl from Sydney 2000, may not race in Athens. What does this have to do with India? Neither does it have champion sprinters nor is it a sporting power whose success attracts suspicion. In the grim history of doping, though, India can easily be considered a rogue nation with 370 documented positive dope tests in the past 13 years. Since 2000, India has produced 113 positives. The evidence has piled up and the numbers are too large to ignore.In December 2000, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) submitted an affidavit to the Delhi High Court which contained the names of 257 athletes who had tested positive in 3,078 dope tests between 1991 and 2000.Sunita Rani’s was the most high-profile doping case Rani’s was the most high-profileIn June 2001 syringes and strips of steroids were found in the hostels of the National Institute of Sport (NIS). In 2002 weightlifter Kunjarani Devi tested positive at the Asian Championships and two Indian lifters tested positive at the Commonwealth Games.Two months later, athlete Sunita Rani tested positive after winning two medals at the Busan Asian Games. In 2003 after a total of 64 positive tests from two National Games (Punjab and Hyderabad), then sports minister Vikram Verma revealed in Parliament that 108 athletes had tested positive in national events and five in competitions overseas in four years.If nothing else, this would indicate the existence of a problem, of a phenomenon that thrives behind the smokescreen of “everybody does it” and the puerile fig leaf of guarding national prestige. As it stands today, India’s anti-doping policy, from its ethos to its practice, seems to be neither anti-doping nor much of a policy.To begin at the top, India is yet to sign the Copenhagen Declaration, a globally accepted document that recognises the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) code. India is one of only four countries that attended a 126-nation conference and agreed to sign the declaration. But it is yet to do so.Sunaina’s is the most recent positive dope testM.K. Mishra, SAI executive-director (Finance), insists,”We will sign soon, there are procedural formalities.” Not only has the global letter of the law been a hurdle for the Indian sports administration, but the country’s primary anti-doping institution also exists in a twilight zone. The status of the SAI’s Dope Control Centre (DCC) in Delhi has now become a convenient liability. The laboratory, set up in 1989, hasn’t yet been given accreditation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or WADA. Any positive test result from it can always be contested in court. It is the easiest escape route for any athlete, federation and administrator. The lack of an accredited laboratory is most frequently cited as the reason for India’s ineffective anti-doping programme.”This is a bad excuse,” says David Howman, WADA’S director-general. “Proper anti-doping programmes can be run efficiently even when a country doesn’t have a WADA-accredited laboratory.” There are only 31 WADA accredited laboratories worldwide.Mishra, who is also the CEO of the DCC, is confident that the day the Delhi lab is accredited the complaining will stop. Now that India has won the right to stage the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the ISO 17025 certification needed for accreditation is finally being sought. Dope-testing in India takes place on two main occasions. Before athletes go for any overseas event, samples are taken from athletes and transported to Delhi for testing. Participants are also tested at major national and international events in India. The first practice is controversial amounting, says one SAI official, to pre-event”screening”. The cheating gameadvertisementIndia recorded 370 positive dope tests in the past 13 years in both national and international events.Since 2000, 113 Indian sportspeople have tested positive for dope.After 15 years of its existence, the country’s only dope testing centre has just applied for accreditation.Allegations of rampant, organised doping at the NIS, Patiala, continue to be swept under the carpet.Athletes are not being tested to catch and punish those on dope but being systematically weeded outand dropped from the team to prevent them from being caught overseas. The cases of athlete Sunita Rani and lifter Sunaina (the most recent case of an Indian testing positive for dope) indicate that the laboratory’s standards are far from watertight as both had tested negative in India.In late 2002, experts from the SRL Ranbaxy Laboratory, Mumbai, were roped in to study Rani’s case. Their analysis of testing procedures in Korea helped exonerate Rani and got the Seoul lab stripped of its ISO/IEC 17025 certificate and IOC accreditation. Once the case was decided, SRL Ranbaxy sent out feelers to the government and the SAI for four months, offering to set up and run a modern laboratory. They also met former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to set up a laboratory in Hyderabad. The response was uniformly cool. Mishra’s own comment is telling.”The DCC is not a commercial proposition. Everyone thinks they can start a laboratory.” Sumedha Sahani, director, operations and clinical trials, SRL Ranbaxy, says, “There is much merit in public-private partnerships, they must be developed.”Along with the responses at the top, the rumblings of a sustained doping programme in Indian sport continue with frequent revelations from the NIS, Patiala. Says one SAI official:”What they do in the West is systematic damage.We go in for random destruction.” A 2003 report into the functioning of the NIS by former SAI officer K. Narasimhan lies buried in the Union Sports Ministry. The report is believed to contain proof of sustained irregularities in anti-doping procedures and a nexus between the NIS authorities, federation coaches and SAI officers in Delhi. The report even recommended an inquiry by India’s professional probe agencies. Even though the inquiry was ordered by former SAI director-general Shekhar Dutt, strangely no one in either the ministry or the SAI gives the report any credence. The Sports Ministry appointed a one-man inquiry committee headed by H.S. Kingra.According to Joint Secretary R.K. Mishra,”Kingra found no evidence of allegations of doping.” Manmohan Singh, head of the IOA’s medical commission, believes the over the-counter availability of drugs in India is a spur for doping.”In most cases the competitors are more educated than doctors and coaches. There is a general tendency among sportspeople to cheat to get medals.” They may”get away” at home but in the absence of a strong anti-doping policy, continue to be”outed” overseas. India’s day of infamy in world sport could be lurking around the corner.advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgChampionship Share on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn match reports Share on Facebook Share on Twitter “I don’t know if it was a penalty,” he said. “The referee was closer than me and if he made that decision it’s because he felt it was the right decision.”Forest went into the game missing three central defenders, the suspended Tobias Figueiredo and the injured Danny Fox and Michael Dawson. Beaten 1-0 at home by Preston in their last match – only their third defeat of the season in the league – they started the game three points behind Derby and were soon on the back foot.Jayden Bogle hit a volley from just outside the area that tested Costel Pantilimon in the fourth minute and that set the tone for the first half. Eight minutes later Mason Mount screwed a shot well over after Jack Marriott’s cross from the left.Derby came closer from a corner when Tom Huddlestone got on the end of Richard Keogh’s flick-on but could not control his shot and it ballooned over.A high-tempo, physical game was not one for the purists and offered the impression neither side are ready for the Premier League, both lacking quality in key creative areas.Forest too often relied on long balls to Lewis Grabban, the Championship’s top scorer with 14 goals, but they came to life towards the end of the first half. When they did try a more measured passing approach, Grabban had a chance but his shot was blocked. Then Claudio Yacob headed over from close range.The second half did not initially bring an improvement in quality. In an increasingly scrappy game, both sides struggled to string more than a couple of passes together.The game burst into life midway through the half when Joe Lolley, Forest’s chief creative spark, weaved into the box and let loose a left-foot shot that was heading for the far corner until Scott Carson made a fine, flying save to tip it wide.As the game wore on it turned into an end-to-end affair and Harry Wilson, Derby’s danger man, went close with a volley from just inside the area that Pantilimon palmed away.At the other end Lolley hit the bar after a neat one-two with João Carvalho. A blood and thunder East Midlands derby left neither side with much to cheer. Both were probably happy to settle for a point after a feisty game that was short of quality, with Derby moving up a place to fourth and Forest in seventh, a point outside the top six.Frank Lampard insisted the referee, Keith Stroud, had cost Derby victory after they were denied a penalty. Tom Lawrence appeared to be fouled in the area by Tendayi Darikwa midway through the first half but Stroud waved away the appeals.“I think that the most staunch Nottingham Forest fan in the far side of the stadium thought that was a penalty,” Lampard said. “The easiest penalty to give is one where the striker gets a touch, clearly, and the defender follows through and catches him in the waist, clearly. The referee is on his own in his opinion that wasn’t a penalty. It was a game-changer.”Aitor Karanka refused to criticise the referee and felt his Forest side were worthy of at least a point after a strong second-half showing. Derby County Share on Pinterest Topics Is the Championship the best league in the country? Share on Messenger Share via Email Nottingham Forest Read more Reuse this contentlast_img read more