Bees need to be at their best – Smith

first_imgBrentford will need to play at their very best to beat Leeds United on Tuesday, head coach Dean Smith has warned.The game, originally scheduled for next weekend, was brought forward as Leeds are still in the FA Cup.The Bees come into the game off the back of a 3-1 win at Preston and Smith wants to build on that result and performance against Steve Evans’ side.He said: “We’re hoping to but Leeds also got a win so they’ll be thinking the same and it’ll be a tough game.“Leeds United are a big club, I’m sure they’ll have sold out their allocation because their fans travel in great numbers and they’ve got some really good players there.“We know we’ve got to be at our best but we showed on Saturday against Preston how good we can be.”Smith has previously come up against Evans when their previous clubs, Walsall and Rotherham, met in League One in the 2013-14 season, and was looking forward to a clash of management styles.He said: “He’s an entertaining character to say the least. I played with his assistant Paul Raynor [at Leyton Orient] so I know both of them very well.“You will probably see our dugout a lot calmer than theirs!”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Johannesburg on the move

first_imgIf you’re a city person, you will love Johannesburg. It’s a vibrant and dynamic place with a throbbing pulse and an awesome sense of rhythm.Johannesburg is known as the City of Gold. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterJohannesburg is the major international gateway into South Africa so you are quite likely to spend, at the very least, a few hours in this rather misunderstood and misrepresented city. It’s a vibrant and dynamic place with a throbbing pulse and an awesome sense of rhythm.Everyone is on the move – doing business, making money, jogging, going to gym, cycling, partying till late, eating out, and attending shows, movies and exhibitions. If you’re a city person, you will love Johannesburg.The older part of the city is developing an interesting character – in parts somewhat neglected and a bit scary, and in parts humming with a new kind of vibrancy.It is the de facto capital of Africa – in the centre of Johannesburg, you will find people from all over the continent, and in some pretty unusual and out-of-the way venues, you can sample their cuisine and jive to their music – not for the faint of heart, though.Also in the city centre is the Civic Theatre, and the Newtown Cultural Project, with Museum Africa. But the head offices of major corporations, and the majority of businesses, have moved out to the northern suburbs and to Midrand – the burgeoning industrial, commercial, semi-agricultural and residential area halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria.The northern suburbs radiate a sense of opulence and prosperity. The many shopping malls carry a vast range of high quality consumer goods, including many luxuries, and the hundreds of restaurants and coffee shops offer a wide range of fashionable cuisines.There really is a lot to do in Johannesburg. You could go on an escorted tour of Soweto, which is not the voyeuristic horror it sounds like. It’s actually a mind-expanding experience as you see not only how other people live, but also how this resilient community contributed to South Africa’s liberation struggle.A visit to Gold Reef City is a fun day out with amusement rides and a reconstructed mining village, but it is a lot more authentic than most theme parks. The trip down a gold mine is a real eye-opener, but that’s nothing compared to the paradigm shift many people may experience in visiting the Apartheid Museum, also at Gold Reef City.And for the golf enthusiast, Johannesburg is a wonderful destination. The city boasts an ideal climate for spending time out on the fairways under the bright African sun, and golfers here are blessed for choice – there are golf courses aplenty in the city and more widely in its province, Gauteng.Golf courses in GautengIf you’d prefer something unbelievably beautiful, watch a performance by the Lippizaner horses on a Sunday morning, at their premises in Kyalami. You could do a walking tour to look at some lovely old buildings, or just park off at a coffee shop in a mall and watch the world and its wallet walk past.Source: South African TourismWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Planting alternative grasses that can handle abundant rain

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Farm animals want to eat what they’re used to.And because livestock are not adventurous eaters, farmers have to train them to try something new by limiting their access to the food they’re most familiar with. That can be done by growing new grasses in a different field, and then moving the livestock to graze on that field.Many farmers in Ohio might be trying to grow and feed their animals different grasses this year, as supplies for hay and traditional forage grasses are exceptionally low. Ohio’s hay supply is the lowest since the 2012 drought, and the fourth lowest in 70 years. This past spring was persistently wet, which hindered the growth and cutting of hay and other forage grasses.“Nobody can control the weather, but we can somewhat control what we’re growing on the farm,” said Christine Gelley, an Ohio State University Extension educator in Noble County. “If we can become more flexible in terms of what we grow and how we move our animals around, that can increase our options for feeding them.”Gelley hosted a talk on how to do that: “Forages for the Extremes — Drought and Flood Tolerant Options” on Sept. 18 and Sept. 19 at the 2019 Farm Science Review. Typically, farmers in Ohio grow cool-season grasses for their cows, sheep, and other livestock, including orchardgrass and Kentucky bluegrass, Gelley said. The problem is that those grasses can’t always withstand an abundance of rain, which has become increasingly common in recent years. Ohio experienced its wettest yearlong period on record from June 1, 2018, to May 31, 2019, which left soils persistently saturated.Unlike cool-season grasses, prairie grasses have extensive root systems that help them survive in flooded conditions and even drought, Gelley said. The downside is that prairie grasses can take three years to get established.“It’s not something we could plant this fall and expect to sustain our animals next spring. But once they’re established, they can last for decades,” Gelley said.Reed canarygrass, a cool-season grass not commonly used for grazing, can be a good source of food for animals and is very tolerant of chronically wet soils, Gelley said. Anyone who plants reed canarygrass should be aware that it’s an invasive species and can easily take over a field unless animals get in there to graze it often, she said.Tall fescue, the most common grass in Ohio, also can withstand soggy soil, but certain varieties of the grass can limit weight gain in livestock that eat it. Tall fescue contains a fungus that makes the plant more resistant to drought but also can limit weight gain. However, some varieties, while still containing the fungus, do not have that effect on animals’ weight, Gelley said.With many of the alternative grasses, there are tradeoffs to consider before planting them.“But which would you rather have during extreme weather events: nothing for your animals to eat or something with issues that we know we can work around?” Gelley said.last_img read more

Research Examines Who’s Talking, Who’s Listening on Twitter

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… audrey watters As a new communication tool – one that operates across the spectrum from mass media to personal sharing – Twitter provides researchers with lots of fascinating material to assess what’s known in media scholarship as Laswell’s maxim: “who says what to whom in what channel with what effect.” New research from Yahoo has taken a closer look at precisely that, finding that a very small fraction of Twitter users – just 20,000 “elite users” – generate about half of all tweets consumed.The researchers – Cornell University’s Shaomei Wu and Yahoo Research’s Winter Mason, Jake Hofman, and Duncan Watts – have classified these “elite users” by culling information from Twitter lists, identifying those users who show up most frequently there. In addition, the research has placed these elite users into four categories: celebrities, bloggers, media outlets, and organizations. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#twitter#web The research finds that even though media outlets are by far the most active users on Twitter, only about 15% of tweets consumed by “ordinary users” are received directly from the media. In other words, users are paying attention to other sources of information or are receiving those tweets not directly from the media but as retweets. Who Listens to Whom? Some of the research’s most interesting findings don’t come from its discovery that those “elite users” are generating such a significant portion of tweets, but that those four categories – media outlets, blogs, organizations, and celebrities – tend to be siloed, often just consuming and retweeting the tweets of those in the same category. The research finds “striking homophily with respect to attention: celebrities overwhelmingly pay attention to other celebrities, media actors pay attention to other media actors, and so on. The one slight exception to this rule is that organizations pay more attention to bloggers than to themselves.” Bloggers, unlike those in other categories, are more likely to retweet information outside their own categories, reflecting the “characterization of bloggers as recyclers and filters of information.”Who Listens to What? The researchers also looked at the content that was being tweeted, finding world news, U.S. news and sports news to be the most popular. It also examined the different lifespans of content, finding that media-originated URLs tended to be short-lived, while content originated by bloggers tended to be “overrepresented among long-lived URLs.” The longest-lived URLs, no surprise, were dominated by content such as videos and music, items that are shared and reshared on Twitter and appear to “persist indefinitely.” That means there’s no end in sight to this.You can download the full research paper here. Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

How to Create Velocity in Sales Results

first_imgThere are ways to speed up your sales process; many—if not most—are unhealthy. You can rush through the process, not giving the conversations your client needs the appropriate time and attention. You can speed past some of the necessary outcomes, as if they are not important, mistakenly believing the choice of action doesn’t come with a cost. You can allow your prospect to dictate the process, skipping steps, and avoiding doing what they need to to make a good decision. There are ways you can create velocity in your sales results.While velocity is important, it isn’t most important. The prize for the most important belongs solely to “winning.” It never makes sense to trade time when doing so increases the likelihood of a loss, yet this is what many do, often attempting the new one-call close. There are better ways to speed up your sales results, and doing so requires you shift your focus from trying to “cheat” the process (the sales conversation) to a more strategic and healthier choice.Speed Up New OpportunitiesIf you want to accuse salespeople of not doing something as fast as they should, you need to look much earlier in the sales cycle. What happens too slow in sales is the creation of new opportunities (real opportunities, not contacts, and companies that engage without any genuine interest or any commitment to change). Too few opportunities is often the result of too little prospecting. Weeks with little or no prospecting means the time passed without the salesperson creating new opportunities. You lose velocity when you create an opportunity in the future that you might have created sooner.Imagine you are required to make twenty outbound attempts a day. In the course of the week, you make one-hundred calls, and you create two new meetings that result in a new opportunity. With no change in your strategy or your approach, you decide to make forty outbound attempts and create four new meetings that result in four new opportunities. These two additional opportunities have been pulled forward in time by a week.Note: Forty dials may require you to leave as many as thirty voice mail messages. The reason you can make many more calls than you needed if you are required to prospect at all, is because you don’t get to talk to too many people. Prospecting now means campaigns and pursuit plans, not sporadic calls made without a plan or intention.Sales managers often ask their salespeople to close deals faster, but they don’t ask them to create deals more quickly, and many are unwilling to hold them accountable for prospecting at all.There is every reason to pull results forward in time. You get the revenue sooner, and your client receives the better outcome they need faster.Slow Down Your ProcessLet me make this point abundantly clear; revenue now is better than revenue later. A client getting the result they need today is better than three weeks from now. There is no reason to take more time than is necessary to win a deal, but you also shouldn’t try to cheat the process.You cannot go faster than your dream client can go, even though you know the destination and the way there. When you try to speed things up, you leave your contacts behind, creating a gap they can’t close by themselves. Since your client can’t catch up with you, you have to go back to where they are and give them what they need to move forward.Here’s an example: you have a couple of discovery meetings, your contacts love your ideas, and they are excited. However, you haven’t had a chance to tailor the solution to them and their company, nor have you discussed the investment. They ask you for a proposal and pricing, and you provide it. Then, crickets. They go dark, leaving you chasing ghosts. Because you did not collaborate on the solution and didn’t help them build consensus within their company and teams, you eventually hear, “We decided to go another direction.” (For more on these commitments, see The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales)An interesting metric is how many hours of conversation it takes to win a deal. If an average deal for some imaginary company takes ten hours to win, with the low end being six, why would you try to make the sale in an hour or two? Maybe you don’t know better and believe the deal to be more transactional than it really is, or perhaps you are trying to fast. It might also be that you are allowing your client to go faster than they should if they want to make the changes they have been working on with you.Speeding Up by SlowingThe way to speed up your process is to acquire the necessary commitments, linking them together without allowing much time between meetings. If you can shorten the distance between the meetings locked safely on your calendar, you can build velocity. You slow your deals by leaving meetings without established next steps and a date for the next meeting. Like cheating the process slows your progress, long periods between sessions can also kill your momentum.If you need to speed up the acquisition of deals, it may be because you have too few opportunities to allow you to spend time helping your client with their decision, without your having to try to drag them along at a pace they cannot possibly maintain.Speed up the creation of opportunities and gain the commitments that speed up the time it takes to win deals—and produce better results for your clients. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Modi, Kejriwal used Anna Hazare: Raj

first_imgMaharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Monday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had piggybacked on anti-graft activist Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal movement.“I have urged Anna not to put his life in danger for this apathetic government. This [BJP-led NDA] is a government of liars and the biggest liar is Mr. Modi. It has not the slightest sensitivity to whether Anna lives or dies,” Mr. Raj Thackeray said. He and other MNS leaders visited the activist in Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar as his indefinite hunger strike over the Centre’s failure to appoint a Lokpal entered the sixth day on Monday.“It is only because of Mr. Hazare’s agitation for the Lokpal and Lokayuktas that Mr. Modi and Mr. Kejriwal are in power. They have used Anna and then conveniently jettisoned him. Who had heard of Mr. Kejriwal before? But today he does not even bother to visit Anna or ask after his health,” said the MNS chief. He said that Mr. Modi had tweeted on December 18, 2013, about the need to implement the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act. “After five years in power, the Modi government has done nothing,” he said.Mr. Raj Thackeray had a half-hour talk with Mr. Hazare inside the Yadavbaba Temple, where the activist is on his hunger strike, and requested him to end the strike in view of his steadily deteriorating health. “I have requested [Mr. Hazare] to instead tour the State with me to bury this [BJP] government,” he said.He said that Mr. Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah were subverting the autonomy of every institution in the country, but in the upcoming general election, it would be the people versus the duo. “The pressure that is being exerted on bodies — from the RBI to the CBI — to toe the BJP’s line is deplorable. A CBI Director was dismissed in a cavalier fashion and two RBI Governors have resignedas they would not conform. The blame lies only the PM and his arrogance,” Mr. Raj Thackeray said.Water activist Rajendra Singh, too, met Mr. Hazare. He was worried about the Centre’s apathy as in the case of environmentalist G.D. Agarwal, who died last year after an indefinite hunger strike in Haridwar over the government’s inadequate efforts to clean the Ganga river.Meanwhile, The Shiv Sena also lent support to the activist. “The people have been administered an anaesthetic by the Modi government and they need to be brought out of their slumber. Mr. Hazare should give up his fast and lead an agitation over his demand. I assure him the Sena’s support,” said party president Uddhav Thackeray, in a statement.Opposition leaders, too, flocked to meet Mr. Hazare since he commenced his fast on January 30. Senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil met Mr. Hazare on Sunday. “The present government, which rode on the wave of Mr. Hazare’s Lokpal agitation, has now completely forgotten him,” he said.last_img read more