Category: hfercf

  • Tips for Shooting B-Roll for Digital News Packages

    first_imgHere’s everything you need to know to show the who, what, when, where and why in your B-Roll.Top image by nikkytokVideo journalism is not about reporting the news. Video journalism is about telling a story – well – visually. Which means we need to break down the elements of your story for you to build your package.Exposition ShotsThese are the shots that set everything up. While you don’t necessarily need to shoot them first, it often helps when checking out the scene.SignageImage from ViceExteriorsImage from ViceScenic TimelapsesYour goal is to set up as much of the who/what/when/where as possible. The “why” will come through the narrative (see below).Narrative ShotsThese are the shots that tell your story. Although it’s not always the case, I like to do any interviews first so I can try and capture the subject(s) doing the things he or she talked about. While the exposition is often static, the narrative B-Roll should really explore the environment.Action ShotsOver the Shoulder (OTS) ShotsYour goal with these shots is to tell the story as best you can visually. If done right, your viewer should be able to watch the video on mute and still follow what’s going on.Wrap-Up ShotsThese are the shots where you really hit home on the “why.” Whether that be to encourage a call-to-action or illicit an emotional response — you need to give your viewer something to hold on to after the video is done.Slow MotionImage from Evan BurnsCurtain Shots Know any other tips for shooting B-Roll? Let us know in the comments!last_img read more

  • Are Spin-Offs and Media Tie-Ins Changing The Summer Blockbuster?

    first_imgHollywood’s biggest franchises are increasingly creating offscreen media tie-ins. These extras can be great, but is this damaging the films themselves?There was a time when a film would end as soon the credits rolled. The characters had fulfilled their journey; the plot had come to its conclusion. The end. However, with the increase in studios pushing for franchises that share the “in-film universe,” and studios clamoring to produce more films spun from previous hits, we’re seeing an increase in film characters living off the screen in short films, novels, and comics. However, more worryingly, we’re also starting to see a shift of important onscreen information offscreen.What Is Canon?Before we break down how content delivery is evolving, we must first understand canon, because when we look at how spin-off media can get misused, we can see how studios are using canon to encourage consumers to purchase tie-in merchandise.Canon simply is a term that grants official merit from filmmakers or license holders to spin-off property. It’s a term you hear a lot in the science fiction and fantasy genres, and it’s no coincidence that we see spin-off and tie-in media predominantly from these genres.Nathan Ditum at Kotaku has a lengthy essay on “Why People Get So Worked Up About ‘Canon’,” which is a fascinating read in itself, but there’s a key area that Nathan touches upon:The reason this is such a compelling thing, despite the surface madness of it, is that love sends us crazy. When we love a world, we want to exist and revel in it. We want it to be true. And that truth is disrupted by inconsistency and contradiction. We need that integrity — our belief requires it. Canon is about neatness, and appreciation, and the urge to know and absorb everything about something you love. It’s about ownership and protectiveness. And it can also be unexpectedly damaging.Novels that expand a film’s story are not new — they’ve been around for quite some time, and film novelizations will often offer new perspectives you don’t see in the films that inspire them. For example, in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial by William Kotzwinkle, we go into the mind of E.T. himself.However, the need to know everything has perhaps been used most efficiently by the Star Wars franchise. Since 1999’s Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, each film has inspired novels, comics, video games, and animated cartoons that expand the themes and characters in the movies. Since The Force Awakens, the media tie-in trend has continued, but we have also seen the franchise asking us to discover information elsewhere, instead of presenting it to us in the film itself.Negative Use of Spin-off Media“Goodness! Han Solo! It is I, C-3PO. You probably don’t recognize me . . . because of the red arm.”For the few who did not see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that line was delivered by a robotic character who usually sports identical gold arms, and as you can tell from the quote, one arm is now red.That wasn’t just a quip to Han Solo to make the audience laugh (although the people in my theatre sure did), the golden droid was also inviting us to ask the same question: “How did you get that red arm?” The problem is, the movie doesn’t tell us. To find out, you have to purchase the $1.99 comic from Marvel.Image via Marvel.While you could easily read a summary of the story somewhere online, when we’re talking about canon (and that insufferable desire to know everything about the world you love), you might think you’re getting cheated out of a quick explanation — just so some fans will buy the information later. And the issue isn’t only about plot information. This trend can include characters, too.In 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we met the stuttering McGuffin character known as “DJ.” This character helped the protagonists get from point A to B — only to betray them in the end. Where this character came from, what his motives are, and why he works for the highest bidder are all mysteries. That is, unless you buy the tie-in comic. As one CinemaBlend reader commented, “I remember when characters in movies were written well enough that they didn’t need alternative methods of storytelling to make you care about them.”Changing the OutcomeIn 2013, Marvel released the hotly anticipated Iron Man 3. It opened to favorable reviews and broke a dozen box office records. However, hardcore fans of the property were disappointed at the twist reveal of the Mandarin — in that there wasn’t one. At least, not in the style the fans are used to. In brief, The Mandarin is to Iron Man what the Joker is to Batman, and viewers didn’t get this information in the movie.The studio heard the fans loud and clear. A year later, Marvel released a direct-to-video short film titled “All Hail The King,” which featured Trevor Slattery, the false Mandarin. In the short, we see that there is, in fact, a terrorist group led by the real Mandarin and that Slattery’s impersonation has displeased him.The short film is a quick bolt of energized fun that expands the Marvel universe beyond the feature films. But more importantly, it nullifies the villain’s journey in Iron Man 3. In one scene, the villain of the film, Aldrich Killian, shouts “No more false faces. You said you wanted ‘The Mandarin’ . . . you’re looking right at him. It was always me Tony, right from the start. I am the Mandarin!” Well, after the short film, not anymore — just as Trevor is no longer the fake Mandarin, Aldrich is no longer the real Mandarin.Speaking to UpRoxx, director Shane Black had the following to say:Marvel saw so many negative things they made a whole other movie just to apologize called [All] Hail the King. In which they said, ‘No, no, the Mandarin is still alive. That wasn’t him. There’s a real Mandarin.’ The only reason they made that was an apology to fans who were so angry . . . We didn’t know. We all thought they’d eat it up because it never occurred to us the Mandarin is as iconic to people as, say, the Joker in Batman.With one short film, the studio was able to hint at the existence of the beloved villain (although we’ve yet to see or hear about the Mandarin) and keep the peace with the fans. However, you have to ask about the integrity of the artistic vision when filmmakers can change elements of a story after the fact with a spin-off. Sure, we’re talking about a superhero blockbuster here, but still, when you walk out of a theater knowing that what you’ve just seen can change depending on the fans’ reactions, it can feel empty; nothing is complete.Tie-Ins Done WellIt’s easy to focus on the negatives aspects of tie-in media, but there are plenty examples of stand-alone material that enriches the lore of a film’s universe.When we watch a drama or thriller, the story may linger with us for a few days while digest what we’ve just watched and how it has positively or negatively affected us, but we don’t necessarily continue to wonder how that world, within that story, is still turning. It’s our world; we don’t need to.However, in genre films — mainly science fiction, and fantasy, where we are transported to thriving story universe with rich lore, history, and character mythos — there will always be an element of the untold. There is always an event before the storyline that led the characters to their current situations in the film. If you watch any sci-fi or fantasy film, within the first thirty minutes, you’ll often see plenty of plot history.In anticipation of the release of Blade Runner 2049, for example, Warner Brother’s released three short films set before the events in the film, featuring characters from the movie. One of these films covered the blackout event referenced in the film.Luv: “All our memory bearings from the time. They were all damaged in the Blackout. But there are, sometimes, fragments.”The preceding is a simple line of exposition that gives context to the data loss in the film. Warner Brothers also expanded on this event in the short anime film aptly named Blackout 2022.The short explores who caused the blackout, how it happened, and the circumstances surrounding it — and we also see an animated glimpse of the character Sapper, who appears in the feature. The most important thing to note: this short film works on its own. You do not have to watch it to understand a vital element of 2049, nor does it change the events of 2049 — it simply offers additional insight into a plot event. Further, it works as a stand-alone short film that someone without any knowledge of Blade Runner could appreciate. (Although, of course, watching both movies improves your experience of each.)A more modest example of tie-ins used correctly is Alien: Covenant’s Last Supper prologue. Although the prologue lacks a typical short film narrative and merely serves as a prologue to the feature, we’re get glimpse of the crew members and their characteristics, the ship design, and an updated version of the android portrayed by Michael Fasbender.As with the Blade Runner 2049 short films, you don’t have to see this sequence to appreciate the film itself. It’s an addition to the film. I think if studios want continue to use short films, comics, and novels to expand their film worlds, it should be in the vein of these examples: a promotional teaser like the Alien clip or an expanded event like Blackout 2022. It’s a method that adds integrity and adventure to a film’s premise, not something that asks you to devote more time and money after the experience for essential information about a character or plot event that should have appeared in the film itself.Interested in the filmmakers behind some of the industry’s leading movies? Check out these interviews:Behind The Scenes: Crafting The Stylized Naturalism of Bomb City with DP Jake WilganowskiThe Disaster Artist: Editing A Film About Making a FilmExclusive: Designing Wakanda and the Amazing Sets of Black PantherInterview: How the Editor Behind I, Tonya Recreated HistoryInterview: How This Oscar Nom Edited Downsizing While Directing His First Featurelast_img read more

  • NIH Reverses Course, Will Move Up Peer-Review Meetings

    first_imgNational Institutes of Health Responding to an outcry from researchers, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has revised its plan to delay more than 200 grant application review meetings canceled by the 1 to 16 October government shutdown. Many scientists had expressed concerns about delaying the reviews to February and March, which would have meant final review by institute councils in May rather than January. The 4-month delay could doom some labs that were depending on that funding, they argued.Late yesterday, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research Sally Rockey announced on her blog that after hearing from many applicants—as well as reviewers “willing to do anything” to move faster—NIH will now try to schedule most meetings in time for the January council meetings. “[O]ur review staff have risen to the challenge, and will be working with reviewers to go the extra mile in exceptionally creative ways,” she wrote.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

  • HIV/AIDS field shocked by death of leading researcher in MH17 crash

    first_imgMELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA—As thousands of researchers gathered here today to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference, which starts Sunday, the usual joyous hugs of greeting between far-flung colleagues were replaced by hugs of sorrow at the loss of Dutch HIV scientist Joep Lange, a leading light in the field, and at least five others heading to the meeting who were on the Malaysian Airlines flight shot down over Ukraine on 17 July.Media reports today speculated that as many as 100 HIV researchers may have been aboard the downed jet, which was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur—a number repeated by President Barack Obama in his remarks today on the tragedy. But at what was supposed to be a celebratory dinner tonight for select delegates, Sharon Lewin, co-chair of the meeting, said that so far, six people expected to come to the meeting were known to have boarded the flight: Lange, his partner Jacqueline van Tongeren, three others working in the HIV/AIDS field in the Netherlands, and World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman Glenn Thomas. “We actually don’t know the full story,” said Lewin, a researcher here at the Burnet Institute. (A story in The Washington Post says the meeting has now confirmed seven names.)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(*)Many colleagues praise Lange, who was head of the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD), for his leadership and vision in the HIV/AIDS field. In a speech at the dinner, David Cooper, head of the Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity in Society in Sydney, Australia, explained that he met Lange in 1987 in Paris, at a meeting that revealed promising results from human studies of AZT, the first anti-HIV drug to come to market. Lange, he said, early on recognized that a single drug against HIV likely would fail, just as it had with tuberculosis, and that companies had to collaborate—and that serial use of these so-called monotherapies would be a disaster.“He single-handedly convinced the pharmaceutical industry that combination chemotherapy was the way to go,” said Cooper, who became close personal friends with Lange. “It was really Joep who made it clear to them that the way they were doing drug development was wrong.”Once combination therapy proved its worth in the mid-1990s, Lange made it his mission to bring the treatment to the world’s poor. “The one person I think was responsible very early for advocacy that treatment could go to people in low- and middle-income countries was Joep,” said Cooper, who started an Australian-Dutch-Thai program with him to deliver antiretroviral drugs to people in Thailand called HIV-NAT. “He always told you his view. He always told the truth. His ideas were different, and you always listened to him.” Cooper said Lange probably saved “tens of thousands of lives” by advocating that everyone, regardless of means, should have access to antiretroviral drugs. “That was Joep’s legacy,” Cooper said.Epidemiologist Chris Beyrer, the incoming president of the International AIDS Society and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights in Baltimore, Maryland, says Lange had legions of admirers and, though he could be brutally blunt, few detractors. “Joep was one of the most loved and respected people in the field,” Beyrer said.Lange’s partner, Jacqueline van Tongeren, was the communications director at AIGHD. A statement by the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam says Van Tongeren knew the field very well because she once worked as a nurse for patients with HIV/AIDS, but over the years had taken on more and more managerial tasks at the institute.Several others from the Dutch HIV/AIDS community were on board as well. STOP AIDS NOW!, a Dutch advocacy group, confirmed on its Facebook page that two of its employees perished: lobbyist Pim de Kuijer and Program Director Martine de Schutter. Also among the dead is Lucie van Mens, who, according to her LinkedIn profile, was director of support for the Female Health Company, which manufactures female condoms to prevent the spread of HIV.The crash also claimed the life of Glenn Thomas, a spokesman for WHO. A former BBC reporter, Thomas ran communications for WHO’s tuberculosis department for many years. “His twin sister says he died doing what he loved,” a WHO statement issued today said.last_img read more

  • Knicks trade center Willy Hernangomez to Hornets

    first_imgFILE – In this Nov. 11, 2017, file photo, New York Knicks’ Willy Hernangomez dunks against the Sacramento Kings during the second half of a NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)NEW YORK— The New York Knicks were scouting Kristaps Porzingis ahead of the 2015 draft when they noticed one of his teammates in Spain.Willy Hernangomez eventually joined Porzingis in New York, and after his promising rookie season both were considered key pieces for the team’s future.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Now Porzingis is headed for surgery and Hernangomez is on his way to Charlotte.The Knicks traded Hernangomez to the Hornets on Wednesday in a deal that brings back second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts, plus forward Johnny O’Bryant.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHernangomez was an all-rookie selection last season and had been identified by team management during the summer as a one of the young players to build around. But the Knicks then acquired Enes Kanter from Oklahoma City in the Carmelo Anthony trade and Hernangomez fell to third in the center rotation behind Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn.“He showed last season that he can contribute when given the opportunity and we believe that the added depth he provides will benefit our frontcourt rotation,” Hornets general manager Rich Cho said in a statement. The deal came hours after the Knicks lost Porzingis to a torn ACL. There was thought after the injury that Hernangomez could finally get back into the rotation in his friend’s place, but the Knicks instead decided to deal him.They were teammates in Seville and after the Knicks took Porzingis with the No. 4 pick, they acquired Hernangomez’s rights after Philadelphia drafted him at No. 35.Hernangomez averaged 8.2 points and 7.0 rebounds last season and was voted to the All-Rookie first team. But the Spanish national team player couldn’t get on the floor this season, appearing in just 26 games and averaging 4.3 points and 2.6 rebounds.O’Bryant averaged 4.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 40 appearances with the Hornets.ADVERTISEMENT Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Drummond, Griffin leads Pistons over Nets Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH AFP official booed out of forum John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s weddingcenter_img NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES MOST READ Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH View commentslast_img read more

  • OPS sworn in as TN CM after Jayas death

    first_imgChennai, Dec 5 (PTI) In his third stint in the top office, O Panneerselvam was today sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu hours after his predecessor and party supremo J Jayalalithaa passed away after a prolonged illness.A grim-faced Panneerselvam, who was also seen sporting a beard, was sworn in around 1.15 AM by Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao at the Raj Bhavan amidst a scene of gloom.After he took oath of office, a total of 31 Ministers, all of them members of the previous Jayalalithaa cabinet, took oath in a simultaneous swearing-in.Panneerselvam was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Rao, who air-dashed here from Mumbai yesterday after Jayalalithaa suffered a cardiac arrest.Panneerselvam (65), often hailed as Jayalalithaas Man Friday, took oath in the name of God.This is the third time he is helming the state, acting as a stop-gap arrangement on earlier both occasions when Jayalalithaa was convicted in two separate corruption cases in 2003 and 2014.Earlier, AIADMK MLAs elected him as their Legislature Party Leader, paving the way for his elevation as Chief Minister. PTI SA VIJ TVS APR VS SMNlast_img read more

  • It’s the End of the Month. Do You Know Where Your Blog Leads Are Coming From?

    first_img Topics: Okay, it’s not quite the end of the month yet — but that’s okay. You can analyze your blog leads any time you want to.Last month, I wrote a blog post about why we all need to stop neglecting our old content. The impetus for the post came from some recent analysis I did about our blog leads.The impetus for the analysis came from HubSpot’s release of its new Attribution Report, which now enables us to see exactly which blog posts directly result in leads. In other words, the posts that people become leads because of — they click through from a call-to-action on a blog post to a landing page, and convert.I learned some pretty fascinating stuff about which posts our blogs leads are coming from, and because of that, this is an analysis I think every blog marketer should do for themselves. Here’s what I did, what I learned, and how you can do it, too.Results of Our Blog Lead Generation Analysis I analyzed our blog’s lead generation in the month of June. Here’s a quick summary of what I learned from that June analysis:Over 90% of our blogs leads came from old posts (i.e. posts published prior to June). Over 75% of post views were also of old posts.  Pretty alarming stuff, right? Turns out our old content is the stuff that generates the real results. As a team that’s spends the majority of its time and resources churning out brand new posts every month, these findings were kind of a big deal.Old Content for the Win  My next question was, why are all these old posts getting all the glory? So I took a look at the traffic sources of our top 10 lead-generating posts. Where do you think all that traffic is coming from? You may have guessed it — organic search. In other words, we generate the majority of our blog leads from posts that rank well and thus generate traffic from organic search month after month.When you think about it, it makes a whole lot of sense. Over time, new posts become old posts that increase in search ranking through views and social shares.And when you consider where the majority of traffic from our new posts comes from, it makes even more sense. For the most part, 70% of the initial traffic we drive to new posts on our blog comes from email subscribers. And because our subscribers are repeat visitors — many of which are already leads in our database — it makes sense why our brand new posts contribute very little to lead generation.Couple that with the fact that the majority of our traffic (over 75%) is to old posts to begin with, and it’s easy to understand why the vast majority of our blog’s lead generation is attributed to old content.This data may seem pretty specific to our content at HubSpot, but if you’re someone who has been blogging for a while and has built up a lot of historical blog content, chances are you’d find similar trends in your own analysis. What Are We Doing With These Insights? Not only has this new information been eye-opening for our blogging team — it’s also been extremely valuable and prescriptive for the growth and optimization of our blog.For us, there were two takeaways:1) We should get more posts to rank in search. Knowing that the main source of traffic to all those old posts is search, our question becomes, how can we get even more old posts to rank — especially posts that convert well? How can we improve the SEO of historical blog posts that rank on page two or three of search results so they move up to page one? That way, we can generate more traffic and leads from posts we know already convert well.Truth be told, we’re still trying to figure out the right blend of on-page and off-page SEO tactics get us there, so we’ll save the answers to those questions for another post.2) We should put more time and resources into conversion optimizing old, high-trafficked posts.And we are! In fact, it’s a lot of what I’ve been dedicating myself to over the past couple of months. Over 75% of of our traffic is to old posts, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that traffic is converting into leads. And because traffic from organic search tends to be made up of a lot of new visitors, old posts with high traffic and low conversion rates are definitely a lost opportunity — as well as big juicy pieces of low-hanging fruit.Starting with the old posts that generate the most views month after month, I’ve been optimizing the posts’ calls-to-action (CTAs) and recording the before/after stats to see how the visit-to-lead conversion rates of those posts have improved based on my changes. The new post-level stats breakdown in HubSpot’s Calls-to-Action App has also been invaluable for understanding the performance of specific CTAs on specific blog posts.If you’d like to tackle blog conversion optimization for your own blog, this post has some good tips. There’s some great stuff in there about blog SEO as well.How to Conduct a Blog Leads Analysis YourselfBuild an Attribution Report to Analyze Your Blog LeadsSo … where are your blog leads coming from? You’ll need some kind of attribution reporting tool to figure this out. If you’re a HubSpot Professional or Enterprise customer, you can use HubSpot’s Attribution Report. Here’s how you’d build it (more details about using Attribution Reports here) … 1) Choose a list. Choose “All contacts” for this blog leads analysis. Alternately, if you only wanted to analyze blog leads for a certain segment of your database, you could create and analyze just the contacts on that list.2) Choose a conversion type and time period. Because we’re analyzing blog leads, you’ll want “Became a Lead Date” as your conversion type. Time period will apply to the date a contact became a lead, so if you wanted to analyze all leads generated in August, specify August 1, 2014 to August 31, 2014.3) Choose an interaction scoring type. Choose “By referrer” and “Last interaction.” This will show you all the URLs that directly referred people to the page they converted on. Since your lead generation forms likely reside on landing pages, this will include all the URLS of the blog posts that your leads came from — likely because they clicked on a CTA in your blog post that took them to the landing page where they converted.That’s it! Save your report, and when it’s finished processing, export it to Excel. To analyze just your blog posts, filter your report to get rid of any URLs that aren’t blog post URLs. Because you’ve used “Became a Lead Date” as your conversion type, the “Contacts Assisted” column in your export will actually mean “Leads Generated.” You can then sort by this column to identify posts that generate the most (and fewest) leads. Analyze Where Your Blog Traffic Is Going It will also be helpful to identify which blog posts are getting the most traffic. Depending on your software, export your blog analytics (HubSpot customers can use the Pages App) using the same time parameters you used in your Attribution Report. Then sort by views to identify your top performers, traffic-wise.Analyze Your Report DataIt’s a good idea to merge the data you get from each report (you can do this by using the VLOOKUP function in Excel to add the page view data from one spreadsheet to the spreadsheet with your leads data). That way, you can create a list of your top lead-generating posts alongside the traffic they’ve received, and then calculate their conversion rate. And you can do the same for your top viewed posts — reporting on the leads they generated and their subsequent conversion rates.Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself as you’re analyzing all this data:What are some common themes from your top viewed and lead generating posts? Does a certain blog post format convert better than others? Are certain subjects better at attracting views?What are the conversion rates on your high-trafficked posts? Compare them to some of your better converting posts. Are they below average? Those are great targets for conversion optimization!Before I sign off, a warning: If you find that, like us, the majority of your blog leads are coming from old posts, don’t jump to the conclusion that you should be dramatically shifting your resources away from new content creation in favor of historical blog optimization.Keep in mind that it’s not that new posts don’t do anything for you. It’s just that they don’t do much for you right away. New posts become old posts that ultimately rank in search, so scaling back on new content creation will result in fewer opportunities for your content to rank well later on.No go forth and analyze!  Blog Optimization Originally published Sep 22, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

  • 5 Reasons No One is Clicking on Your Banner Ads

    first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Aug 27, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 If you’ve been noticing that you’re just not getting any click-throughs on your banner ads, you’re not alone. People have grown weary of ads that don’t speak to them or interrupt their reading activities.But there’s hope. Along with outlining some of the most common reasons why banner ads are ignored, we’ve included food for thought on how to make the whole advertising experience better for your readers to begin with.People Aren’t Click on Your Banner Ads Because… They’re IrrelevantDid you serve someone an ad that wasn’t the right match, like showing a baseball mitt to someone when they play football? If you aren’t making the best use of your user data, targeting content to people who will most likely find it useful is going to be difficult. Build lists of readers based on contact property rules from your database (geographic regions, job titles, or any other information volunteered from a form on your site). This allows you to target more specific and relevant ads to certain readers, and swap out banner content based on given criteria of each segment. Keep in mind that even the best banner ads can only resonate so much with a reader, as compared to an educational piece of content or an offer with deeper relevance.They’re DistractingWe all remember the first banner ads—virtual flashing neon signs that made you twitch while trying to find information the web. Some banner ads haven’t evolved very far. If you’re too “in the way” of a reader doing what they came to your site to do, not only will you see low engagement on your ad, but you may even push people off your site altogether. Remember, people don’t want to be sold to. Ads that don’t feel like ads will likely be more well-received than those that don’t. Hence, the rising popularity of native advertising. Dedicate resources to ad design, and be sure to use language and CTAs that say more than, “buy now.”They’re Not In-Line With Purchase IntentThe message conveyed in your ad should be tied to the stage your readers are at in the buyer’s journey. Use dynamic content to vary your banner ads based on lists of readers who already meet a certain activity criteria, such as a previous ebook download or a current customer. As a publisher, you can use a number of cues from your own site or database to trigger your dynamic content. For instance, when a first-time reader lands on your site, you can show them an ad for an ebook. Once they’ve downloaded that offer, the next time they return to your site, the ad can now offer a webinar. Once they attend that, your smart content could then serve an ad to schedule a call with a sales rep.They’re Not Mobile Optimized On a site that isn’t mobile optimized, users need to pinch and expand just to read what’s on a banner ad. The likely response? Readers either click ads on accident, or ignore them completely. To make matters worse, it’s a very real possibility that ad-blocking technology, which is becoming more and more common on mobile, may result in a serious decline in your banner ads being served altogether. One simple way to avoid this? Build a website that is mobile optimized, and rely on on-site CTAs or in-line native text links to elicit clicks for your advertising and marketing campaigns. They Don’t Provide Value to the ReaderIf your banner ads don’t clearly indicate how they’re helping the reader, people will move on. Instead of traditional banner ads, consider using that space to house CTAs for a content offer. This provides your readers with motivation to actually stop and click by putting the customer’s needs first, allowing you to understand what their pain points are so you can offer the right solution. This may require a little extra effort on your part to think about the customer’s needs as compared to the just your advertisers’, but in the end it helps guide buying decisions and garner long-term trust.When your readers see something they like, something they think will enhance their lives in some way, they’re going to be more apt to click. With happier readers who find banner ads helpful rather than hurtful, you create a win-win situation for your advertisers, readers, and publication.last_img read more

  • 13 Gmail Plugins That Make Client Communication Easier

    first_imgHow much time do you spend on email each week?According to a recent survey from Adobe, the average American professional spends about six hours a day checking email — that’s 30 hours during the work week.That’s a lot of time spent on unbillable tasks that could be spent focusing on work that meets the goals of your paying clients.Getting bogged down by your inbox is especially problematic in agencies where account managers and other client-facing employees must deal with managing requests from a number of different clients who are all considered priorities.When you communicate with your clients primarily over email, it’s easy for important messages and tasks to get lost in the seemingly constant shuffle. Your inbox can quickly become an unmanageable time sink.You could use a project management tool to reduce the amount of email clutter created from projects. But you could also better optimize how you use email, prioritize requests, manage communication from your inbox.Check out these 13 Gmail plugins and apps to start improving how you use email to communicate and collaborate with clients.13 Tools to Improve Client Communication & Collaboration Through Email1) SaneBoxSaneBox weeds out unimportant emails after examining your inbox content and history, surfacing only the communications you want to priortize. You can train the tool by moving miscategorized emails to your inbox to make it even smarter.The tool also provides features for setting notifications for when people don’t reply to a message, unsubscribing from unwanted newsletters, and snoozing emails you want to deal with later. Price: Snack plan for $7/month for annual contract, Lunch plan for $12/month for annual contract, Dinner plan for $36/month for annual contract2) Just Not SorryCommunicating with clients in a direct, assertive manner is easier said than done. This plugin helps you write more confident emails by scanning your messages for extraneous words that undermine your tone, e.g., “Sorry,” “Just,” or “I think.”When you use a word or phrase in an email that could potentially weaken your positioning, the app highlights it and explains specifically how it could make you seem less confident and proficient.Price: Free3) MailburnThis iPhone app upgrades the user interface of your email client by displaying emails as chat dialogues. It also separates newsletters from emails from people in your inbox, and provides an option for you to unsubscribe to irrelevant communications with one swipe — perfect for decluttering your inbox. The app works with both Gmail and Outlook. Don’t forget to share this post! Price: Free4) HubSpot SalesHubSpot Sales is a free email tracking tool that allows you to see when a client or prospect has opened an email — basically, you’ll be able to tell if your email got lost in the client’s inbox or if she’s actually ignoring it.The plugin also highlights key contact information about the person you are emailing, such as links to their social profiles, so you can gather intel on what the person is interested in or recent events in their professional life and personalize your messages. With HubSpot Sales pro, you can create up to 1,000 templates and track the performance of your sent emails and content. Price: Free, Sales Pro is $50/user/month5) YanadoYou don’t want to be controlled by your inbox, but it’s also the place where many of your important task items and communication about these items are located.This plugin brings your to-do list to your inbox to make prioritizing and organization more streamlined. There’s no need to hop from your email to your to-do list to your project management tool and back. It’s all there in one straightforward interface. Price: Free plan for one user, Startup plan $6/user/month for up to 100 users, Premium plan $15/user/month up to 1000 users, Enterprise plan pricing available upon request6) SnapmailSnapmail is perfect for when you need to send a vendor or a client password details and other sensitive information, but you don’t want it to sit in their inbox and potentially cause a security risk. You simply select the Snapmail button, and any text emails will be encrypted. Once your recipient opens the email, she will have 60 seconds to record the content before it’s gone for good.Price: Free7) Unroll.meTo focus only on the really important emails — like those from your clients — it’s a good practice to unsubscribe from the email newsletters that are no longer relevant or those that you’ve been mysteriously added to.With Unroll.me, you can easily view your subscription lists and unsubscribe from them with one-click. You can also choose to “roll up” your subscriptions into a digest email to reduce email clutter and distractions throughout the day. Price: Free8) TodoistThis app allows you to instantly convert messages in your Gmail or Outlook inbox into tasks for your to-do list, and automatically syncs across all of your devices. You can also assign tasks to other members of your team, collaborate on tasks, and set deadlines and reminders to stay on track.When you install the plugin for Gmail, it creates a tab to access your to-do list within your inbox, so you don’t have to download another program to view your list.Price: Basic is Free, Premium (for individuals) is $28.99/year, Business (for teams) is $28.99/year/per user9) BatchedIt takes 16 minutes to refocus after handling an email, and on average, employees check their email 36 times per hour. How can you get anything productive done with a tool that constantly distracts you? Batched lets you control when emails reach your inbox, which is especially useful when you need to focus and get a project out before a deadline. Basically, the tool filters emails under a specific label in your Gmail account. At times that you have selected (such as every hour or at 9 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.), those emails are moved to your inbox. You always have access to any important incoming emails, but you can stem the habit of checking email out of curiousity that something important has arrived. Price: Free10) GrammarlyYou need your clients to trust you, and building trust is all about proving to your client that you’re an expert in your field. And experts don’t forget about grammar. They know the that only amateurs (not amatures) dash off an email without clicking spellcheck. Grammarly works wherever you’re writing online — email, in a project management system, or a blogging platform — and makes sure that your credibility remains in tact by double-checking your work. Price: Free basic plan, Premium plan available on monthly basis for $29.95/month, quarterly basis for $19.98/month, and annual basis for $11.66/month11) Checker PlusIf you want to know when you’ve received an important email from a client or manager without constantly opening up Gmail, this app allows you to set up Chrome notifications for important conversations, ensuring you never miss an important message.The app also allows you to go on “Do Not Disturb” mode when you’re trying to get work done, and lets you mark unimportant messages as “Read” without even opening up Gmail.Price: Free12) KeyRocketThis plugin teaches you how to use all of Gmail’s built-in hotkeys so you can more efficiently manage your inbox with fewer clicks.When you take an action in Gmail that could have been accomplished via a hotkey action (e.g., composing a new message), KeyRocket triggers a simple notification that lets you know the hotkey option you could have used.Price: Free13) Google DictionaryWe all stumble across a word, phrase, or reference we don’t quite understand every once in a while. This plugin lets you double click on any word in an email and instantly look up the meaning or Wikipedia explanation — without having to leave the compose window.Price: FreeWhat plugins, extensions, and apps make communicating with your clients easier? Let us know in the comments below.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Topics:center_img Email Inbox Tips Originally published Jan 3, 2017 5:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

  • 11 of the Best Phone Interview Questions

    first_img Interviews The average job opening attracts 250 resumes, and the average interview process from start to finish can take 23 days. Phone interviews can help you determine which candidates have the critical thinking and interpersonal skills necessary for an in-person interview. When you weed out less qualified applicants right off the bat, you can narrow down your candidate pool, and limit the amount of time wasted in your search.While a resume supplies you with general information about a person’s background, a phone interview helps you ask second-level questions to start forming a deeper, more holistic picture of a candidate’s background and skills.Qualify top marketing candidates faster with this collection of 100 interview questions.But with only about thirty minutes on the phone, what questions can you ask to build good rapport with your interviewee and receive some truly insightful answers? Better yet, what can you ask to decipher whether the applicant is a good fit for your company and the role?To help you get the most out of your phone interview process, we’ve narrowed down to eleven of the best questions to ensure you’re discovering the the best candidates to bring into the office.Phone interview questionsTell me a bit about yourself?What attracted you to apply for this position?How would you describe your work style?What can you tell me that isn’t on your resume that is important for me to know about you?Would you rather finish something late and perfectly, or on-time and imperfectly?What would you say is the most important skill you’ve learned in your current role? What’s an area you’d like to improve on?What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your current role? Tell me about it.Why are you leaving your job/why are you looking elsewhere?What’s some feedback that you’ve received that was difficult to hear, but ultimately has proven really valuable?If you could have dinner with three famous people who are no longer living, who would they be and why?What questions can I answer for you? Originally published Apr 24, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated June 21 2018 1. Tell me a bit about yourself?While this question sounds really simple, it actually serves an important purpose. First, it helps put the candidate at ease — it’s an easy one, and one she should expect. Second, your interviewee will likely bring up whatever she is most excited about or proud of in relation to the role, and this will help steer the direction of your entire conversation.Look for the candidate to list out a few skills she’s learned from prior experiences that relate directly to the role. A good candidate will incorporate some key phrases from the job description into her answer, demonstrating she’s prepared and aware of what the role entails.2. What attracted you to apply for this position?You want to figure out how much research she’s done, and whether her perspective of the role is accurate (if she mentions she can’t wait for creative opportunities, but this is largely an analytical role, she might not understand the position’s responsibilities). This question is also an easy way to see how genuinely interested a candidate is in your company. Look for a candidate who expresses her interest in the tasks required for the specific role, rather than more secondary benefits that come from working at your company — like the awesome snack room, or team outings3. How would you describe your work style?What if your interviewee says she works best in collaborative, social settings, yet the role she’s applying for requires a lot of independent work? Although this might not be a deal breaker, it’s good to know early on whether this person will be the best fit for the work style necessary to excel in this position. Hopefully, the interviewee will describe a work style that fits your requirements.4. What can you tell me that isn’t on your resume that is important for me to know about you?This question shows the candidate that you care about who she is as a person, beyond what a piece of paper says about her. It also encourages the candidate to avoid using her resume as a crutch, and forces her to reflect more deeply on what she views as her biggest strengths.With this question, you’ve asked the candidate to provide just one thing, so it’s pretty likely that whatever the candidate tells you, it will be very important to her. Look for a candidate who has the confidence to reply with something she is truly passionate about — you might want to use this question as an icebreaker at the beginning of a phone interview, but you can also use it halfway through the interview if you feel the candidate’s answers are stiff and you want to uncover some deeper layers to her personality.5. Would you rather finish something late and perfectly, or on-time and imperfectly?A “would-you-rather” question is an opportunity for your candidate to showcase her priorities and decision-making methods. You’ll want to look for a candidate who is good at thinking on her feet, and able to respond confidently to this question — her answer isn’t as important as how she delivers it, since the question doesn’t really have an obvious right or wrong answer. Look for a candidate who can answer firmly, with good reasoning to back it up and a self-assuredness that indicates someone who can make decisions efficiently without lingering in self-doubt.6. What would you say is the most important skill you’ve learned in your current role? What’s an area you’d like to improve on?You already know the skills listed on her resume, but a description without a deeper explanation often isn’t enough: plenty of people can write “hard working” on a resume, but it’s more important to know how they can exemplify that. You’ll want the candidate to say something along the lines of, “In my past job, I learned a lot about SEO, but I think there’s still room for me to grow in that area. In particular I’d love to learn more about keyword research, and how I can use more advanced tactics to grow my company’s organic traffic. I’m hoping my next role will offer learning opportunities in that area.”In her answer, she admits her content can get better, and although she’s skilled at something, there’s still room for her to grow. If you’re unsure of whether or not her skills are adept enough for the job, you can ask follow-up questions, but her initial answer is enough to demonstrate she’s flexible, willing to learn, and capable of accepting criticism.7. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your current role? Tell me about it.It’s not a bad sign if your candidate has faced problems in her prior position: it means she’s human. But it’s critical to know her problem-solving methods. Let’s say she mentions she once worked with a client who was difficult. Look for her to talk about how she was able to reach a mutually-benefitial compromise and learned to work with the client by adapting her own strategy. It’s important that she can demonstrate empathy for other people, rather than putting the blame on the other party. Plus, you’ll want her to tell you about her own ability to solve problems creatively and efficiently, rather than dwelling on the frustrations of the experience.8. Why are you leaving your job/why are you looking elsewhere?You’ll want to know why the candidate’s current job is unfulfilling, so you can evaluate how your company or position could fill the void. This also speaks to her character. If she says, “I’m leaving my current job because I don’t really like the people I work with,” this isn’t a great sign. While it may be true, it hints that she might have a tough time getting along with other people. Instead, look for a candidate who desires a more challenging role, or a position that can satisfy her job-related passions. Hopefully, this position is a better fit for her, and you can express that.9. What’s some feedback that you’ve received that was difficult to hear, but ultimately has proven really valuable?It won’t be easy for the candidate to relay some tough criticism to you, but it’s critical that she is mature and self-aware enough to show she can receive difficult feedback and use it constructively.Look for a candidate who can be honest and non-judgmental about feedback she has received. You want a candidate to focus on how the criticism helped her improve — ideally, she will even say she’s grateful that the criticism taught her skills that eventually helped her grow. It’s not a good sign if applicants become defensive when asked this question, or blame the feedback-giver and refuse to take accountability. This could indicate a lack of maturity when it comes to receiving and using feedback to improve, and could be a problem for you down the road.10. If you could have dinner with three famous people who are no longer living, who would they be and why?This question can offer some insight into who your candidate finds inspirational, and that’s valuable information for understanding which traits she values most for personal growth. Plus, it’s a fun one to answer, and it’s likely that your applicant has thought about this before (I know I have).Look for a candidate who can provide you with a list of influential people, with convincing reasons as to why they inspire her. The reasoning in itself isn’t that important, but you’ll want to find a candidate who can explain how and why she’s inspired by certain people and ideas, and how those philisophies have shaped her own career path.11. What questions can I answer for you?Opening it up for questions will let you get a read on your candidate’s concerns, but even more importantly, it shows how well prepared she is. If she doesn’t have any questions, it’s most likely because she either isn’t that passionate about the role, or believes she’s overqualified for it. You’ll want her to ask thoughtful, specific questions that prove her interest in the role. You’ll also want to see she can take questions to a deeper, more analytical level. Look for a candidate who asks unique questions to prove she’s done her homework, and also listened well during your phone conversation. For instance, if she asks a generic question you already answered in the beginning of your conversation, it might not be a great sign.center_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

  • Top 10 Best To Do List Apps to Simplify Your Task Management in 2019

    first_imgYou know the phrase, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? That’s how I feel about to-do lists.After all, how you track your tasks depends entirely on the person. Are you looking for a simple interface, or are you hoping to color-code and categorize hundreds of tasks at once? Is this to-do list for yourself, you and your family, or you and your entire team? How much do aesthetics matter?There are hundreds of to-do list tools out there, but some of them are just plain better than others. To help you separate the really solid ones from the rest, we’ve curated a list of 10 of the best to-do list tools below, including short descriptions to help you determine which may be right for you.Download our complete workplace productivity guide here.Best To Do List AppsWunderlistTodoistTrelloToodleDoAny.doThingsTickTickGoogle KeepOmniFocusHabitica Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: 6. ThingsPrice: $9.99iOS | Chrome”‘Things’ might be the prettiest to-do list app ever,” reads a review from WIRED. “It doesn’t shout in your face about all the work you have to do today. It’s more like a clean, crisp piece of paper, ready whenever you need it.”That sums up the user experience pretty well. Now known as Things 3, this third-generation task manager is intuitive, well designed, and very simple.Image Credit: ThingsFor some, though, its simplicity might be a big turnoff. A review from The Verge says, “Things is still for individuals — there’s no easy way to collaborate with colleagues on your projects.”It’s also not the most intuitive to due dates if you describe a particular task with the time to completion; if you say “next Wednesday” in the task description, you’ll have to set the corresponding deadline manually.Nonetheless, if all you want in a to-do app is a beautiful design and the ability to organize simple tasks and lists — and you have $10 to spare — then Things could be a good bet. If you like the idea of checking things off on your Apple Watch, it also offers full Apple Watch Support. Otherwise, you might be better off going with something more complex.7. TickTickPrice: Free for Basic, $1.99/mo. or $19.99/yr. for ProiOS | Android | ChromeTickTick is a relatively new player, but it has a lot of potential. Like many of the other tools on this list, you can add new tasks, sub-tasks, set deadlines and custom reminders, and share with other users. You can also set recurring to-do list items for every day, a specific number of days, a week, a month, and so on.The Pro version has a great calendar view where you can see what your to-do list looks like on a daily or weekly basis and get ahead of the game. You can drag tasks to change the order, and drop tasks into the calendar on the bottom left to set a due date. It also has revision history and an “experimental labs” feature.In addition to its mobile apps, TickTick now offers Windows and Mac web apps as well. This to-do tool has a beautiful interface with a solid — and growing — feature list. Keep an eye out for updates and check out TickTick plans here.Image Credit: Lifehacker8. Google KeepPrice: FreeiOS | Android | ChromeGoogle Keep has existed under the radar for a long time, but it’s actually a great tool if you’re looking for a place to quickly make and save lists and notes and access them across multiple devices.At its core, Google Keep is a simple notepad that connects to Google Drive, where you can keep checklists, photos, voice notes, and other text notes that sync across multiple devices as well as the cloud.Image Credit: ShareChairGoogle Keep doesn’t have nearly as many features as other to-do list apps, and its design isn’t as regimented — but if you’re an avid Google Drive user and like to create and edit lists on-the-go, then this could be a great option for you. You can learn more in this video:9. OmniFocusPrice: $39.99 for Standard, $79.99 for ProiOS | ChromeDon’t let the price tag deter you: If you’re an iOS user with a lot of different projects and tasks to track, and you’re looking for an app that organizes all these items in a super comprehensive way, then you’ll want to check this out.This app’s latest product is OmniFocus 2. On its home screen, you’ll find a forecast summary of your upcoming to-do’s, as well as color-coded badges that show you what needs attention at-a-glance. Whenever you think of a new to-do list item or task, you can quickly enter them into your “Inbox,” during or after which you can apply this item to a specific folder, list, or context.While most people would prefer something a little simpler, this is a great option for power users that are cool with a bit of a learning curve.Image Credit: OmniGroup10. HabiticaPrice: FreeiOS | Android | ChromeThis one is for the video game lovers among us — or anyone interested in quite literally “gamifying” their life. Formerly HabitRPG, Habitica is a habit-building app available on iOS and Google Play that turns your to-do list items and projects into a medieval-themed, role-playing game.You can level up your character when you succeed, earn money to buy weapons and armor, and defeat enemies — just by crossing things off your real list of tasks.If you miss deadlines or fail to cross things off, you’ll take hits to your health and your character will lose progress. You can categorize your achievements into folders like “School & Work,” “Health & Fitness,” and more.If you’re looking for a tool that’ll simply help you build good habits and encourage you to cross things off your to-do list, Habitica is a good option for you. Plus, you can compete with your friends to help hold yourself accountable. Get a better idea of how it works in this video:Ready to download one of the task list apps above? Put all your projects on the app of your choosing, then download the free guide below to learn how to stay on track during the day. Originally published May 1, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated April 22 2019center_img Top 10 Task Management Tools to Download in 20181. WunderlistPrice: FreeiOS | Android | ChromeWunderlist was my best to-do list app of 2017. Well, it’s remained my favorite this year — especially now that both its Basic and Pro versions are now free to access (Wunderlist Pro used to cost $4.99/month).This app is such a powerful productivity tool that Microsoft bought it in 2015, The Verge named it best to-do list app the year before, and Apple named it App of the Year the year before that. And unless you want features like unlimited task delegation and file uploads, the free version offers just about everything you’ll likely need.In a nutshell, Wunderlist lets you create to-do lists you can then share with friends, family, or coworkers — who will have editing capabilities of their own. And the user experience (UX) doesn’t get messy, even when both people are working on a list at the same time. When I use Wunderlist to share a grocery list with my roommate, for example, we’ll sometimes go to the grocery store together and tackle the list simultaneously. And it’s actually fun to check things off and watch her check things off at the same time.Finally, it’s sleekly designed and very user-friendly. Adding and checking off list items is simple and intuitive, as is adding and checking off sub-tasks, adding a due date, adding any reminders you may want, and so on.Image Credit: AppAdviceEarlier this year, the service integrated with Slack to show its tasks and notifications in the work-collaboration tool while its users chatted in real time. To enable integration with Slack, here’s what you need to do:Sign in to Slack. Click on your company name in the top left corner, then choose “Configure Integrations” from the dropdown menu.Under “All Integrations,” find “Wunderlist” and click “Add.”Select or create a Slack channel, and then click on “Add Wunderlist Integration.”Once you’ve authenticated Wunderlist, all you have to do is choose a list from your Wunderlist and click on “Save Integration.” Boom, done.2. TodoistPrice: Free for Basic, $29/yr. for PremiumiOS | Android | ChromeAlthough Todoist has been around for a while, it’s become especially powerful in just the last few years. This tool includes a ton of great features that let you organize tasks by date, color-code them, and so on.The free version has fewer features than Wunderlist’s free version, but it’s very well-designed and user-friendly. You can create sub-tasks and dependencies, projects, and sub-projects. You can attach due dates to these tasks, prioritize them using a color-coding system, categorize them, and more. The premium account costs $29 per year and includes push notifications, email reminders, labels, and filters.Todoist is available for (and looks great on) every major platform: the web, iOS and Android apps, desktop apps for Windows and OSX, add-ons for Firefox and Chrome, plug-ins for email apps like Gmail, Thunderbird, and Outlook, and more. Not to mention, it integrates with services like Google Drive, Sunrise Calendar, and IFTTT. 3. TrelloPrice: Free for Basic, $8.33/user per mo. for Business Class, or $20.83/user per yr. for EnterpriseiOS | Android | ChromeTrello is the online project management tool that our blogging team uses here at HubSpot. It lets you drag, drop, color-code, and manipulate to-do list items in a way that many of the other tools on this list don’t.You can arrange larger projects into “boards,” under which you can add all sorts of lists to break down that bigger project into sub-projects. Under each list, you can add what they call “Cards,” which are items in a list. You can add a due date, a checklist, notes, attachments, and color-coded labels to each card. You can also drag and drop cards between lists and boards.Image Credit: Cloud CouchMy favorite thing about Trello is that it lets you visualize your to-do list in a way that’s easy to follow — including a calendar view. In the calendar view, you can see what your upcoming tasks look like a week or a month at a time. You can also drag and drop cards between calendar days to change their due dates.Image Credit: BlueGlassThe free version lets you create unlimited boards, lists, cards, members, checklists, attachments, and so on, and allows integration with Box, Google Drive, and Dropbox. The paid versions allow for more storage, more customization, stricter privacy options, and other added features.4. ToodleDoPrice: FreeiOS | Android | ChromeHere’s a task management tool some of the most organized people in my life swear by. ToodleDo is a very user-friendly tool for organizing simple to-do lists on your iOS and Android devices and on the web. It’s heavily focused on tasks, and that’s what the tool does best. Under each task, you can sub-tasks, additional notes, priority ratings, due dates, and reminders. You can also organize your tasks into different folders.While it used to lack some of the aesthetic that other apps (especially Wunderlist) do well, it recently went through a redesign that did wonders for its design. Here’s a before and after shot, with the updated version on the right:Image Credit: ToodleDoAlthough it’s mostly for task management, there are also sections of the tool where you can take notes, create outlines, and even track your habits, like in the screenshot below. You can also share your lists, collaborate with others, and assign tasks to anyone you’d like.Image Credit: ToodleDo5. Any.doPrice: Free for Basic, $2.99/mo. for PremiumiOS | Android | ChromeAny.do is one of the more beautifully designed apps on this list. It offers all of the features you’d want in a to-do list app, including drag-and-drop and swipe-to-complete, but there are a few things that make it stand out.For example, its key differentiator is “the moment” — a push notification you get each morning telling you to plan your day. There are also a few other cool and delightful features in there, like voice entry and the ability to shake your device to clear finished tasks.Image Credit: Any.doIt’s designed for the iPhone but can be used on iPad, as well as on the web and desktop with full syncing. Lifehacker named the app its favorite to-do app for iPhone, although the folks there admit it isn’t as intuitive or as robust in terms of features as other apps like Wunderlist and Todoist. It also has a Chrome extension with a four-star rating and over 2,000 reviews. Here’s a video that’ll walk you through its user interface and capabilities: Productivitylast_img read more

  • Samsung Galaxy A80 gets discounted, now available for Rs 39,990: Should you buy it?

    first_imgSamsung’s premium Galaxy A80 smartphone has received a price cut in India. Initially launched at Rs 47,990, the Galaxy A80 has been discounted by Rs 8,000 and is now available for Rs 39,990. The new price of the Galaxy A80 can be seen on online platforms like Amazon India and via offline retail stores across the country.Galaxy A80 (Review) is Samsung’s top-end smartphone in the A-series this year and one of the most experimental phones from the company yet. It touts a unique rotating triple camera design and a notchless New Infinity display, among other things.Samsung Galaxy A80 specificationsThe Galaxy A80 sports a 6.7-inch FHD+ (2400×1080) Super AMOLED display with extremely slim bezels on the top and sides. Unlike other Galaxy phones this year, the Galaxy A80 does not get a notch or hole-punch cutout on the display. Samsung has used a unique rising camera mechanism in which the triple rear cameras rise up and rotate to the front.Powering the Galaxy A80 is a Snapdragon 730G chipset coupled with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The handset ships with Android 9 Pie-based One UI, which comes with features like system-wide dark mode and a redesigned UI for easier one-handed use.Coming to the cameras, the Galaxy A80 features a 48MP f/2.0 Sony IMX586 main sensor for crisp and detailed high-res photos, an 8MP f/2.2 ultra wide-angle camera and ToF (Time of Flight) camera for depth mapping. All three rear cameras can be rotated to the front for crisp selfies, group selfies and portrait selfies. Galaxy A80 houses a 3,700mAh battery and supports 25W fast charging.Should you buy the Galaxy A80?The Galaxy A80 offers some interesting new features such as an immersive notchless AMOLED display and a rotating camera system. When we reviewed the Galaxy A80 back in July, we felt the phone was overpriced at Rs 47,990. However, with the price of the Galaxy A80 dropping to Rs 39,990, the smartphone is worth considering.The Snapdragon 730G SoC is a fast and smooth chipset, offering a great gaming experience when coupled with the Galaxy A80s New Infinity display. The phone also gets a decent day-long battery life and fast charging support. That being said, you will get flagships like OnePlus 7T and Redmi K20 Pro that offer an overall better experience for much less.last_img read more

  • James Washington: ‘That’s the Loudest the Crowd Has Been’

    first_imgAdChoices广告James Washington was one of the heroes on Saturday in Stillwater. He had five for 184 and three touchdowns, including one ludicrous grab in the second half. He paid his respect to the Boone Pickens Stadium Crowd when asked if that was the loudest crowd he’s played in front of.“I’d say so,” said Washington. “That’s probably the loudest the crowd has ever been since I’ve been playing here. When you have a crowd like that, it helps out a lot.”He also noted that OSU is taking its business one day at a time these days.“I really try not to look at it like we’re 9-0. We got Iowa State next week. We have to take them the exact same way as TCU.”Personally, I hope OSU treats them like they’re 2004 USC. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

  • J.W. Walsh: ‘Not a Day Goes by That I Don’t Cherish What I Have in Front of Me’

    first_imgThe General. The Commander in Chief. The Breadwinner. J.W. Walsh is not short on nicknames. He’s not short on great quotes about Oklahoma State and Stillwater either.Dekota Gregory did a good story on Walsh for the O’Colly last week that you might have missed. It included this gem about how Walsh is feeling about the 2015 season. I think it also provides some really good perspective.“It’s just a dream to play football here with all my friends and there’s no reason for me not to have a smile on my face,” Walsh said. “I’m in the position that not many people in the world get to be in. No matter what my circumstances have been since I’ve been here, not a day goes by that I don’t cherish what I have in front of me and what I’ve been blessed with. I love the game of football, and I’ve been blessed to be able to play it. I’ve been around some great guys and a great organization.”AdChoices广告Mike Yurcich had some nice things to say about Walsh and Stillwater as well.“Obviously, how he was reared definitely had effect,” Yurcich told the O’Colly. “I think, also, this community, this university, what Cowboy football is is also something you never want to walk away from. It’s pretty special here. I think he understands that, so obviously, he’s a very intelligent person for recognizing the opportunity that is here.”Great stuff. And how could you not love Stillwater and OSU football with what’s going on right now? While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

  • Boone Pickens Stadium Is Going to Be a Monster This November

    first_imgThe way I consume games is pretty different than most of you consume games. I’m a fan, yes, but I’m also taking notes, writing out thoughts, looking up stats and posting on the blog while the game is going on. It’s fun, sure, but it’s also work. I rarely enjoy games in the traditional sense of the word.There were a couple of times on Saturday against TCU, however, when I just sat back and drank it all in. Boone’s house sounded as insane on my TV as the videos that surfaced afterwards showed it to be.“It was a great win for us, obviously,” said Mike Gundy on Saturday. “I’m really proud of everyone in the program. I thought the fans were tremendous. We’ll enjoy this one, move forward and go back to work tomorrow.”AdChoices广告The fans were tremendous. I mean, look at this.https://twitter.com/byttocs/status/663787447642292224“(The atmosphere) changed (the game) a lot,” said Zach Crabtree after the game on Saturday. “It gave us a lot of energy and we appreciate what the crowd did for us. We appreciate the fans and when this place gets going, it’s loud, it’s crazy and it’s hard for opponents to come into.”It.. Was.. Lit pic.twitter.com/qp9K2qcVuV— Quinn (@TQY_4) November 8, 2015A side note: These day games turned night games or just straight up night games are the absolute best late in the season when OSU is really clicking. There might not be a better atmosphere in all of college sports than a lights-out Oklahoma State team rolling against a top 10 squad at home.“Any time we’re on the field with the crowd behind us, we love it,” said Vincent Taylor. “It exhausts us, but like Coach Gundy says, we have a lot of depth, so go out there, play our hearts out, and when you’re tired the next guy will come.”I’m telling you, Mondays sure are more fun at work when you’re planning the next one of these… #okstate pic.twitter.com/aC39fbqLNI— Matt Fletcher (@matt_fletch) November 9, 2015TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin might have summed it up best.“[Oklahoma State] does a good job here. They play great at home, most teams do. They’re around a good fan base, good students, they get loud and their team feeds off their energy. They’ve got a good thing going here.”Yes, yes we do.We’ve made a big deal all year of the fact that TCU, Baylor and OU were going to have to come to OSU’s backyard to win the Big 12 title. What I didn’t realize is that maybe we weren’t making a big enough deal about it.Since 2010, Oklahoma State is 31-6 at home. Since 2008, they are 43-9. Only OU, Texas, West Virginia, Nebraska and Kansas (!) have won games in Boone Pickens Stadium in the stretch.Note: It was Houston (not Kansas) that beat OSU at home.It’s a beast of a belly to have to enter into and could serve as the extra boost OSU needs to get itself into the College Football Playoff. If it doesn’t, you know whoever wins the Big 12 now will have earned it.When 60,000 are climbing what feels like right on top of your back, that’s quite a burden to bear. Throw in Glenn Spencer, Emmanuel Ogbah and Co. and, well, that becomes a formula for something none of us saw coming this season: Entrance into the exclusive postseason playoff.That’s the thing about this weekend. I keep thinking, “just get past Iowa State and get home to a couple of night games against the other two top dogs in the Big 12. Just get us to those two night games.”Because punching SMU in September in front of 30,000 people with nothing on the line is one thing. But taking the field against this defense on a bitter November night with a crowd tipsy on a little bit of bourbon and a little bit of the future is a completely different thing.Mike Gundy’s team might hold the keys to its own destiny when it comes to the College Football Playoff. But Boone’s multimillion dollar project has the ability to unlock the door and step on through. Notre Dame and Alabama and LSU be damned. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

  • QB Rising Says OSU Felt Like Home, Chooses Sooners Following Visit

    first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. One of the top 10 quarterbacks in the country for the 2018 class made his decision official this weekend, as Cameron Rising made his announcement to commit to OU over a slew of suitors that included TCU, OSU, Miami, Ole Miss, UCLA, and others:It’s official!! ?⚪ pic.twitter.com/WxQBy5uYbd— Cameron Rising (@crising7) August 7, 2016“You can’t go wrong with a school like Oklahoma, with that history, the winning and coach Stoops,” Rising told the Ventura Star after his pledge.“Coaches told me that I’d get that feeling and I probably got it in two or three places,” Rising continued, also stating that he felt at home at OSU and TCU along with OU.Ultimately the Sooners won out, but OSU definitely caught his eye, telling PFB following his trip to Stillwater that the trip was “awesome,” and he enjoyed the visit, adding that he “loved Coach Arroyo [one of his recruiters] and Coach Gundy.”Rising has family in Ada, Okla., which likely played a factor in his decision, too. The Newbury Park, California prospect will now be just an hour drive away from family after moving to Norman next year.last_img read more

  • Throwback Thursday: Remember When Our Run Game Rocked?

    first_imgMark Cooper wrote in the Tulsa World today about when, you know, OSU rolled on the ground. It gave me the sadz. Here’s what Cooper noted.When Oklahoma State last won the Big 12 in 2011, it averaged more than 160 yards rushing per game and 5.4 yards per carry. Its running backs — a group led by Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith — received, on average, 27 rushes per game. Randle, the bell cow, averaged 16 carries a week. Two weeks into this season, Hill and Carson lead OSU with 12 carries. That’s 12 carries total — not per game.And then this.OSU’s run game has yet to provide a spark to the Cowboys’ offense. It ranks 116th out of 128 FBS programs in rushing yards per game. It’s 114th in yards per carry.Even in 2012, when OSU was average, its yards-per-carry average was 5.39. Five point three nine! Per carry! So your Throwback Thursday today is Joe Randle lighting Bevo on fire in that controversial 2012 Texas game at home.It was arguably the best game of Randle’s career.screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-1-18-50-pmA good memory and a good reminder of how well OSU used to run the rock. Hopefully that will happen again at some point. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

  • Lil’ Wayne Picks Oklahoma State over Kansas State on College Gameday

    first_imgCollege Gamedays guest picker on Saturday was celebrity rapper Lil’ Wayne, who made for some entertaining television combined with 80-year old superstar Lee Corso:https://twitter.com/FballPosts/status/794932636020043778As is tradition, the gameday crew made their picks of the week for some of the top games of the weekend. And nearly the entire crew picked Oklahoma State over Kansas State in Manhattan today:College Gameday picks:Desmond Howard – #okstateLil Wayne – #okstateCorso – Kansas StateHerbie – #okstate— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) November 5, 2016Oklahoma State marches into Manhattan as a 1.5 underdog, and face one of their toughest road tests of the season facing a disciplined Bill Snyder coached Wildcats team. We’ll see if Weezy’s confidence in Oklahoma State turns out to be accurately placed or if the price is wrong at 2:30 today on ABC. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

  • Three Things To Watch: Pokes Enter Grind Through January

    first_imgMark Cooper of the Tulsa World pointed out that Solomon has scored in double digits only three times in his three years in Stillwater, so we’ve got a ways to go for him to be a consistent offensive threat but spatial awareness and improving hands are wonderful sights for a team lacking star power inside.He rocked a smaller Iowa State team inside to the tune of four blocks and had a monster swat in Lawrence for a team scrapping to stay in it, so let’s see how that trend plays out.The flaws are apparent (foul trouble, general awkwardness at times) but if he can continue evolving as Jawun’s pick and roll mate and stay in the game late we could have something here. Legit post players only come around once in a while and a 6’9″, 250-pound Jayhawk killer is warmly welcomed in these parts.3. Find Our Place in the WorldThe schedule was tough last week (KenPom Nos. 7 and 23) but now the Pokes will get a shot to pick on someone their own size with Ken Pom No. 31 K-State coming to Stillwater and traveling to No. 34 Texas Tech. The top shelf in the conference with West Virginia and Kansas are viable number one seeds, Baylor and Iowa State will chase them, then there’s the rest of us.Playing a continually improving Texas Tech team and a feisty K-State team are winnable games that will continue to unveil the ceiling for this squad.ScheduleWednesday Night in Stillwater against the Kansas State Wildcats (8 p.m. on ESNPU): Coach Underwood takes on his alma mater for the first time.Saturday Afternoon in Lubbock against the Texas Tech Red Raiders (1 p.m. on ESPNU): Tubby left the cupboard full of seasoned upperclassmen before he split for Memphis. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. And reasonably so. But what’s not laughable is what he could provide to the team.Already one of the top offensive rebounders in the country (rebounding 17 percent of OSU’s missed shots, No. 9 in the country), there were a couple developments on Saturday: his pick-and-roll rim running with Jawun and continued development at rim protecting.Solomon!! https://t.co/pQohe8ipYX— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) January 14, 2017center_img We’re fully into Cowboy basketball and cold winter nights at Gallagher-Iba. Here are three things to chew on this week.1. Every Day Guys Get BetterCall it maturing, call it turning over a new leaf, call it what you want but these teams are outmanned most nights and finding ways to stick around. Whether it’s been riding Jawun like Seabiscuit in the non-con, Carroll emerging as a viable third banana or forming a new identity as a team that owns the offensive glass and turns you over, there’s now an identity and a direction to build on.Jeffrey Carroll now has seven 20-point games out of the 17 #okstate has played. His career highs coming into the season was 18.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) January 14, 2017There’s plenty of evidence to draw from but Exhibit A is Jeff Carroll. Undeniably Carroll is one of the most improved players in the Big 12 moving from 8.2 points/game and 33 percent from three to 16.8 points per game and 43 percent from deep.Solomon drilled KU inside (collect your winnings if you saw that coming) and Davon Dillard played functional minutes against serious competition. Having a basketball coach who has a plan and a capability to develop anyone not named Markel Brown is something we’ve sincerely missed.Davon Dillard commits a felony on a first round pick. https://t.co/zw1dLNPcq6— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) January 14, 2017Now, my question is this: How do they trend over the course of a season? Eddie’s teams were got better and better until you had a different team in March than you did playing rum-dums in November. And I think that’s what I’m most excited to see, how do Underwood teams trend.2. Mitchell Solomon… Mitchell Solomon?!If I told you on Friday Solomon would take over deep in the second half in the Phog, you would reasonably respond:last_img read more