Saina Nehwal wins Swiss Open title

first_imgIndian shuttler Saina Nehwal.Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal notched up her first title of the year, clinching the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold trophy with a straight-game victory in the summit clash against Ji Hyun Sung of Korea in Switzerland on Sunday.Second seed Saina beat Ji Hyun 21-13 21-14 in 43 minutes to make amends for her quarterfinal exit from the All England Super Series in Birmingham last week.The world number four Indian had beaten the unseeded Korean, ranked 19th, during the first round of Indonesia Open Super Series last year.Saina, who had a subdued beginning to the year after recovering from a ligament injury, showed her mettle all through the tournament to swell her trophy cabinet.Ji Hyun tried to keep pace with Saina till 7-7 but the Indian was indomitable as she broke off from their and surged ahead with gaint strides to pocket the first game comfortably.In the second game, Saina was ruthless as she opened a four-point lead at 7-3, and held fort to canter to her first title of the season.The 21-year-old Saina had won three Super Series titles last year — Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong Open — besides winning the Commonwealth Games gold and India Grand Prix gold.She also won the Indonesian Super Series in 2009 besides winning the Chinese Taipei Open Grand Prix Gold in 2008.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Read More »

India, Qatar ink 7 agreements to boost cooperation

first_imgFrom Ajay KaulDoha, Jun 5 (PTI) India and Qatar today signed seven agreements, including one on finance intelligence to check money laundering and terrorism financing and another to woo foreign investment in the infrastructure sector from the gas-rich Gulf state.Cooperation and investment in areas of skill development and education, health, tourism and sports between the two countries were the other agreements signed by Indian and Qatar officials in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.Official talks were held between Modi and Seikh Tamim for multi-sectoral partnership and strengthening of Indo-Qatar ties following which the agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed on the second day of the Prime Ministers visit here.An MoU was signed between Qatar Investment Authority and External Affairs Ministry for investment in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund between the two countries that would facilitate foreign investment from the gas-rich Gulf state.An MoU signed between Finance Intelligence Unit ? India (FIU-IND) and the Qatar Financial Information Unit (QFIU) would help in tracking money flow and investment from Qatar to India. It would also help authorities to safeguard against money laundering, terrorism financing and other economic offences.An agreement was also signed between the two countries on cooperation and mutual assistance in custom matters besides an MoU on cooperation in tourism.Modi was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour at the Emiri Diwan that was followed with official bilateral talks between the two leaders. (MORE) PTI SKC SAI AKJ SAIadvertisementlast_img read more

Read More »

8 Creative Social Media Tactics to Conquer Local Competitors

first_imgLocal businesses can learn a lot from the social media marketing strategies of large, national, or international businesses. But one of the reasons consumers love social media is for the personal experience it provides. Large companies have found ways to try work around the problem this presents for community managers who are clearly located elsewhere, while local businesses have a unique opportunity that doesn’t often present itself in the face of giant corporations. If your local business isn’t all over local social media opportunities like bees on honey, now’s your chance to get started. And here are 8 creative ways to begin that cost you nothing but your time!Creative Ways Local Businesses Can Use Social Media1.) Complete all of your profile/page information. This is the least creative idea I’ll give you, but the easiest to knock out of the park. As search gets more social, it’s more and more likely your social profile could show up in search results. Make sure you’ve filled it out with adequate information about who you are, what you do, where people can find you, and how to get in touch with you. Of all the social media networks to consider when leveraging an organic search presence, Google+ is currently at the top of the pile. With its consistent incorporation of Google+ profile and page information into search results, brand presence on Google+ is quickly becoming a social media must.2.) Monitor social media mentions. Of your brand; of related products and services; of your competitors. When people are talking about these things, you should be the first to respond with a coupon, information about your product or service, or just a helpful answer to their question. People use social media for real-time information, and if you’re the one who provides the answer, you elevate yourself as a local thought leader. This tactic will help you generate new leads, close more deals, or just keep prospects, customers, and your community happy.3.) Keep track of where your prospects and customers check in. Many local businesses leverage mobile check-ins via networks like Foursquare to encourage foot traffic. But you can also use it to identify potential affiliate opportunities. Where else are your customers checking in? If you know where they spend their time, you also know where you should be making your brand visible with things like guest blogging, paid advertising, referrals, and co-marketing opportunities.4.) Do a little stalking. Check out your fans’ and followers’ profile information to see what they like, and edit adjust marketing activities and communications accordingly. This helps you create buyer personas, refine the style, tone, and content of your messaging, and ensure you’re talking about the things your audience likes to prompt more social engagement.5.) Become a resource for local events in your industry. Keeping your ear to the ground on events — whether live or web-based — that your audience would like to attend makes you an indispensable resource. Aggregate everything that’s happening in your industry, and maintain groups on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, or Circles on Google+ that keep interested parties up to date on can’t-miss activities. And be sure to show up to these events, too; your future customers will be there!6.) Maintain your presence on local review sites. Sites like Yelp! often appear among the top results in search engines. How does your reputation look? Consumers hold peer reviews in high esteem, and it’s crucial that their first impression of you is positive. Plus, these sites help answer common questions for customers like addresses, hours of operation, and contact information that people are frequently checking on their mobile devices when on the go. You should be actively involved in maintaining your reputation on these sites by keeping your business information up to date, soliciting positive reviews from happy customers, and working to resolve issues with those who have posted negative reviews of your business.7.) Ask your employees to use their social networks on your behalf. National companies may ask their employees to do this, but they won’t reap as much benefit unless their employees connect with people that are overwhelmingly interested in their industry. Fat chance, right? But you know what people tend to have in common with lots of their connections? Location! If their networks know their friend or family member works for a local company, you can be sure they’ll contact them the next time they need a local dentist, doctor, health food store, pet groomer, t-shirt maker, customized widget designer…well, you get the point.8.) Connect with other local businesses and consumers. Get active in online conversations. Connect with people that live in your city and businesses who are doing cool things in your area (especially if they could act as a referrer of business!). It’s important to stay locally connected and network with people even if they’re not directly related to your industry; you never know when someone has a secret passion for something you offer or a need arises further down the line for your products and services. Local businesses can use social media to remain a fixture in their local online community and at their brick-and-mortal establishment.How do you leverage social media to grow your local business? Share your creative tactics in the comments!Image credit: alexliivet Originally published Jan 25, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Social Media Marketing Topics: 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

Read More »

MINI Makes Billboard Advertising Awesome Again

first_img Originally published Sep 6, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Inbound marketers aren’t usually hot and bothered over billboard marketing. (Not in the good way, anyway.)We talk about marketing with our brains, not our wallets. Heck, I’ve even mocked the outrageous expenditure billboard marketing requires.But MINI figured out a way to make billboard marketing totally inbound — and totally delightful. And I guess it doesn’t hurt that the company can easily afford the billboards.If we ever reach MINI-heights with our ad budgets, let’s remember to do our advertising this way, eh?Watch MINI totally nail inbound-friendly billboard advertising:Things I Love About This Campaign:The primary purpose of this campaign was to delight MINI’s customers. The billboards alone made you smile — but the bacon breakfast sandwiches? The free gas? The flowers for mum? That’s just … well, it’s just delightful.It’s totally personalized. MINI thought outside of the box (hence the campaign’s hashtag #mininotnormal), and found a new way to use billboards. Instead of the typical one-size-fits-all approach billboard marketers are historically resigned to, the car company found a way to use technology to tailor its messages to drivers speeding by.Even if you don’t have a MINI, it’s really fun to watch other MINI drivers experience the pure delight of this innovative communication method. And let’s be honest … don’t you kind of want a MINI now? Even just a little bit?Sometimes, it pays to be a little “not normal.” Billboard Advertising Topics: 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

Read More »

Are Your Workflows Doing Their Job? How to Measure Performance

first_imgTwo years ago, when we set out to build Workflows, HubSpot’s answer to marketing automation, we challenged ourselves to build not a better spamming engine, but a tool and a methodology that would help our customers create a nurturing experience people would love.This translates to being intentional with every single Workflow step, aligning it with the overarching marketing goal while keeping people at the center of it all. And yet, far too often, marketers lose sight of the purpose of their drip campaigns.In order to architect the buyer’s journey effectively, one needs to clearly understand the job of each Workflow and how well this job is being done.Not surprisingly, this vision is well aligned with how our User Experience team thinks of building software. Each app should behave as a human being who is hired to do a job.As HubSpot’s interaction designer Dan Ritzenthaler says, “We don’t think of our product as just software. We look at it as a fellow employee who is so helpful that you want to assign new projects to her.”This, of course, follows in the footsteps of Harvard professor and author Clayton M. Christensen’s jobs-to-be-done framework — people ‘hire’ products to get some job done.In Christensen’s famous case study, consumers purchased milkshakes in the morning, not because of their own demographics or because of the milkshakes’ characteristics. Rather, they ‘hired’ the milkshake to do a job: to keep them busy in lieu of other snacks during the long work commute.So … what is the job a Workflow is ‘hired’ to do?Defining the Job of a WorkflowEveryone knows that marketing automation is meant to shorten the sales cycle. So the job of a Workflow is clear: to convert leads into customers.Such drastic jumps, however, rarely exist in marketing. Before a prospect turns into a customer, they reach specific milestones. They might request a demo, spend some time on your pricing page, or click to download your case studies. In other words, they go through different stages before becoming a customer.A nurturing experience for someone who is barely engaged with your brand will drastically differ from a nurturing experience for someone who has been downloading your content for a while. The first one will be focused on engaging the prospect, while the second one will try to qualify them further. So the job of each Workflow needs to be aligned with the goals of these distinct nurturing experiences.This framework aligns the content of each Workflow with its goal. It keeps people at its core by reinforcing who you are talking to and why. Understanding this becomes key for creating effective lead nurturing, enabling you to not only create the right content for different segments, but to also engage prospects in the right manner.Measuring the Job of a WorkflowOnce you’re aware of the job each Workflow is ‘hired’ to do, how do you ensure this job is getting done?Nurturing your contacts through the different stages takes a lot of time and effort. You rightfully want to know the extent to which it’s working. To gauge performance, most marketers look at a set of metrics like email clickthrough and open rates.While a good start, these metrics don’t reveal the complete story of the job to be done. The job isn’t to simply engage with email. Ultimately, marketers need to know whether the journeys they’ve built moved prospects closer to becoming customers. Does each workflow achieve its goal? Is there space for improvement? These are questions marketers have to ask themselves when measuring their metrics.We focused on making it easy for customers to see how this overarching goal was being met. How did each Workflow impact the movement of contacts from one stage to the next and from one milestone to the next?This exploration led us to introduce a goal for each Workflow. That way, users can’t lose sight of the purpose behind their efforts and the tool. In the mock-up below, the Workflow starts for a list of people who request a demo and its goal is for these contacts to convert into customers. Equipped with a starting condition and a goal, we can calculate the conversion rate between the two, reporting on the contacts’ movement across lifecycle stages or other important milestones. This conversion rate didn’t belong to the Workflows existing Editing experience. We started working on an Overview screen of each Workflow, a page that would highlight the journey of all contacts and its performance. After a series of user testing sessions with prototypes, we learned valuable lessons on the best way to visualize the information and validated our work on the proposed conversion rate.Once this screen was in development, we continued the user testing, now giving customers an opportunity to see their own work in this format, click through, and explain what they see. The tests were conducted by a few UX team members, the app’s product manager, and developer(s) who have been working on the project.The results? Each test showed we needed to gradually disclose information to keep the primary story clear and not distract the user with secondary content. We found opportunities to be more prescriptive and suggest goal ideas for customers who hadn’t considered this before.As Marc Neuwirth, one of the front-end software engineers who worked on this screen noted, “Sometimes, you finish a user testing session and wonder, ‘Okay, what now?’ In this round of user testing, we definitely had our work cut out for us.”  After each test, the customers’ ideas for action they could take after looking at this screen thrilled us. Some users wanted to optimize the emails used in the Workflow. Others focused on the conversion rate and wondered about their unsubscribe rates. As one of our customers Kevin Jorgensen put it, “Once we get a workflow working, we start thinking on how we can improve this.”We iterated the screen based on the customer feedback and invited the beta group of early adopters to share their thoughts and ideas. Opening up a forums discussion helped us solicit comments from a wider group of customers. We are now happy to announce that this Overview screen is visible to all HubSpot customers who have access to Workflows.Check out the 2-minute video below to explore how it all works: Topics: This addition helps us define the job of each Workflow and how well the job is being done.Greg Devore of Blue Mango Learning Systems, a rock-star HubSpot customer, put it well: “It gets us focused on purpose; it’s not just automation.” Such a frame of mind will undoubtedly contribute to building nurturing experiences people love.What lessons have you learned from setting up workflows? Tell us your story in the comments! Marketing Automationcenter_img Originally published Dec 4, 2013 2:00:00 PM, 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

Read More »

Dinesh Karthik: Very excited, dream come true to be part of this World Cup team

first_imgWicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik, who was on Monday named in India’s 15-member squad for the upcoming World Cup, said it was a dream come true to be a part of the team.”I am very excited. It has been a dream for me to be a part of this team for a long time now,” he said.”As a team, we have done some special things and I have been through that journey and I have really wanted to be a part of this team,” he told www.kkr.in.Karthik Monday returned to India’s World Cup squad after 12 years, trumping Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s heir apparent Rishabh Pant in a selection move that will be debated for a long time.The second wicketkeeper was the sole bone of contention for the marquee event starting in England and Wales on May 30 and the 33-year-old Karthik’s experience of 91 ODIs gave him the edge over the 21-year-old Pant, according to the five-member selection panel headed by MSK Prasad.Also Read | Navdeep Saini, Khaleel Ahmed among 4 pacers to assist India in World Cup 2019 preparationAlso Read | India strong contender for World Cup: VVS LaxmanAlso See:last_img read more

Read More »

Do I Still Need a .com TLD For My Business?

first_img Originally published Mar 22, 2019 7:30:00 AM, updated March 22 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: Website Development Choosing a domain name for your business often goes something like this:1. After hours of brainstorming, you discover the perfect domain name only to find out it was registered 20 years ago.2. After a few more hours, you settle on another choice only to find out a payment of $50,000 was required.3. After more hours and more iterations, you end up buying a .com domain name that you don’t feel great about.This often happens due to the limited supply of top-level domains (TLDs) combined with the recommendation that all businesses should choose a .com or country-code TLD. But does having a common domain extension still matter? Should businesses still buy a .com domain name?Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignWhat is a top-level domain?Before digging into the pros and cons of .coms vs. other TLDs, here’s a brief refresher on domain name terminology.A top-level domain or TLD is the last segment of a domain name. For example, the most common TLD is .com. Other popular TLDs include .gov, .net, .and .edu. There are also country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) like .ca (Canada), .uk (United Kingdom), and .in (India).One other note is that top-level domains are sometimes referred to as domain extensions or domain endings. For brevity, I’ll call them TLDs going forward. To learn more about other terms like subdomains and second-level level domains, check out our guide on What is a Domain?Per ICANN, there are currently 1,532 TLDs for businesses to choose from. That’s an almost endless number of combinations. But should businesses use one that doesn’t end with .com? Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of non-dotcoms.Do TLDs matter for SEO?One of the most commonly asked questions about new TLDs is whether they affect SEO. Here’s a direct, 36-pixel sized quote from Google’s Guide on Traditional vs. New Domain Endings:”Using a new domain ending will not hurt your search presence.”This makes sense when you think about all the different ways Google can analyze page quality like backlinks, content analysis, search metrics, traffic metrics, and 200 other proven or theorized factors detailed by Backlinko. Another much simpler way to confirm Google’s stance on new TLDs is to notice that they own and use many like https://abc.xyz/, https://docs.new, and https://domains.google.In other words, .com domains do not rank higher in search due to their TLD. However, they might indirectly rank higher due to Google’s preference for aged brands.An aged brand is a website or company with a long track record of quality content, frequent updates, and technical uptime. If most other factors are close or equal, a page on an established brand will almost always rank higher than a page on a newer, less proven brand. And seeing that .com domains still make up 46.8% of ranked TLD usage per W3Techs, most aged brands are likely to be .coms.So if you’re looking to purchase an existing website, a .com domain name might indirectly provide more search value. However, if you’re buying a new domain name, the TLD you choose will not affect your search rank.Will a non-dotcom TLD help or hurt your company’s brand?This is a very tough, subjective question with three likely answers:1. A non-dotcom TLD will help customers remember your brand and serve as a unique differentiator.2. A non-dotcom TLD will make your brand seem suspect and less reputable.3. Customers won’t notice your TLD or won’t care about it.The most frequent answer for your brand probably depends on customer demographics, traffic sources, and other factors.For example, if you have a tech-savvy audience, they’re probably more likely to be familiar and comfortable with a different TLD. Technical people are frequently early adopters that understand and gravitate toward new, emerging trends. They might also be more likely to notice and care about the TLD you choose.Alternatively, if you’re selling services to businesses in more traditional industries, your audience might see a non-dotcom as questionable. Paul Graham, the co-founder of the startup accelerator and seed capital firm Y Combinator, believes that B2B businesses, in particular, should prefer a .com whenever possible.As mentioned in a Forbes article and accompanying tweet, Graham said,“All other things being equal, .com domain names are preferable, and things are way more equal than people attached to their current name realize.” He also stated that, “dot-com domains are probably more important for B2B, because there you need the legitimacy.”Finally, it’s always possible that your TLD won’t affect your brand positively or negatively. If your website consists of a lot of single-page, mobile traffic, maybe your customers won’t even notice what your domain name is. Overall, as different TLDs become more common, your customers will likely be equally comfortable with whatever you choose.Will a new TLD cost more than a .com?Most popular, new TLDs typically cost about the same as a .com. Per DomainNameStats, .xyz currently has an average price of $0.75, which is actually less than the average price of a .com. .club also has a very affordable average of $0.99. Most other options have similar, reasonable prices but there are some exceptions.If you’re looking to buy a .makeup domain name, that will currently cost you an average of $5,783.59. I guess I’ll have to find another place to share my extensive collection of beauty tips. Other examples of expensive TLDs include .auto ($2,000), .rich ($1,596), .bank ($801), and .tickets ($389).Prices might also change when it comes time to renew your domain name. The cost of a domain name is primarily determined by the domain registry (e.g., Verisign, Donuts, or Uniregistry) and the domain registrar (e.g., Google Domains, Namecheap, or GoDaddy). The domain registry first negotiates a price with ICANN, a non-profit that helps prevent unfair price increases. The domain registrar then marks up that negotiated price a little.Price raises during renewals are typically due to the domain registrar. Some domain registrars are notorious for bait and switching with a low, initial price that increases upon auto-renewal. Questionable price increases are one of the many reasons that choosing a reliable, ethical domain registrar is important.Are there any risks with a new TLD?One small, almost irrelevant risk is that some websites or older software won’t be able to recognize your URL is valid. For example, when you create a social media post that links to your company’s website, Facebook or Twitter recognizes it’s a URL and is able to convert it into a clickable link. Some software struggles to do this with newer TLDs.This scenario is pretty rare as most major websites quickly add support for new TLDs, but you might want to register a .com domain that redirects to your website just in case. You also might want to avoid being an ultra-early adopter of future TLDs.Another likely negligible risk is that customers will have a tougher time finding your website when they manually type in your domain name. This probably isn’t a big deal because most Internet traffic comes from either search, social, referrals, advertisements, or email.A study by Conductor using 310 million website visits found that only 12-29% of web traffic was actually “direct” traffic, and a much smaller percentage of that traffic is people typing your domain name into their browser.As detailed by Moz, direct traffic sometimes includes a variety of scenarios like misattributed search traffic, “dark social” traffic, non-web documents, and improper redirects. It also probably includes some bot traffic. A more realistic estimate of actual direct traffic is probably anywhere from 0-5%.Are there any indirect risks with a new TLD?One indirect risk of a new TLD is that some are only available at a limited number of domain registrars. Not only could this lead to a higher price, but this might make you more prone to losing your domain name if you’re forced to use an unreliable registrar.You should ideally try to purchase a domain name from a registrar that you believe is ethical and technically competent enough to maintain the security of your domain name. An unreliable registrar can lead to minor annoyances or major issues like accidentally transferring your domain name to hackers. A full range of possibilities is discussed in a Stack Exchange thread.With that said, registrar horror stories are extremely rare. Most top registrars obtained their status by providing ethical, quality service. But like any service provider you do business with, you should try to evaluate a domain registrar’s competency, ethics, and other risk factors.So should I still choose a .com domain for my business?As seen above, there’s a lot of different questions to consider. Personally, I believe that if you’re happy with an available .com domain name, you should choose that. But if you’re not, you should strongly consider a different TLD.In my opinion, having a brand that you believe in is way more important than settling on a name due to a concept that’s quickly becoming obsolete. Having a new TLD might even make your brand stand out.If you agree and you’re ready to try out a new TLD, our guide on How to Choose a Domain Extension is a great place to start.last_img read more

Read More »

11 Best Practices for Facebook Cover Photos & Videos [+ Templates]

first_img11 Facebook Cover Photo Best Practices1. Do abide by Facebook’s cover photo guidelines.It seems like a no-brainer, but obeying Facebook guidelines is crucial to your Facebook Page existing in the first place. I’d highly suggest reading through the full Page Guidelines, but here are a few important things to keep in mind for your Facebook banner:Your cover is public.Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright.You can’t encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.If you get caught violating the above terms, Facebook could take action against your Page. And while Facebook doesn’t explicitly say what will happen if you violate their Page guidelines, it’s probably not smart to get your Facebook Page taken down over a cover photo infraction, so read the guidelines in full and adhere to them.2. Do make sure your Facebook cover photo size is right.As stated at the beginning of this article, the best Facebook banner size is 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall for computers, and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on mobile devices.You don’t want to spend all this time designing a cover photo only to have it look weird when you upload it to Facebook.If you upload an image smaller than those dimensions, Facebook will stretch it to fit the right size, as long as it’s at least 399 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall.If you want a no-hassle way to make sure your cover photos are the right size, download our pre-sized template for Facebook cover photos here.3. Don’t worry about the old ‘20% text’ rule, but still try to stay visual.Back in 2013, Facebook removed any reference to the 20% rule on text in cover photos … but that doesn’t mean you should go wild with using text in your cover photo. The previous rule said that only 20% of your cover photo could be text. Personally, I thought that was way too restrictive for marketers, but the sentiment behind the rule was a good one.If you’re going to use text in your cover photo, keep that text concise. Your photo will be much more informative and engaging. You can see how we’ve tried to strike that balance on HubSpot’s Facebook Page below.4. Do give your cover image a focal point and colors that match your brand.Think of your cover photo as the portion of your Page that’s “above the fold.” If it’s distracting or confusing, people will be more likely to click off the Page.Many of the best Facebook cover photos include a centerpiece to focus visitors’ attention, along with a color scheme that aligns with the rest of their brand. Remember, your social media accounts are extensions of your business, and should give that impression to visitors right away.They also use negative white (i.e., empty) space as an advantage to make the subject, any copy on there, and other elements unique to Facebook (like the CTA button on Facebook business Pages) stand out even more.Here’s an example from Makr:And one from social media management platform Sprout Social:5. Don’t try to blend the contents of your cover photo with your profile picture.With some clever design tweaks, you used to be able to manipulate your profile picture and cover photo so they appear as if they’re two parts of the same canvas. You can still do this on your personal profile, but Facebook no longer sets up Business Pages this way.One of Paris’ former cover photos did this nicely:Now, as shown in the examples earlier in this article, the profile picture is completely separate from the cover photo.We admire your creativity, but don’t prepare your design this way if you haven’t yet launched a Business Page — you’ll be disappointed.6. Do draw attention to the action buttons on the bottom right.You might’ve noticed in a few of the cover photo examples above that their primary call-to-action (CTA) buttons were different. Makr’s says “Shop Now,” while Sprout Social’s says “Sign Up.”Depending on your business, you can launch a Page on Facebook with a unique CTA button to the bottom right of your cover photo. Take this button into consideration when designing your cover photo, and make it clear in the photo that this is a visitor’s next step.Hotel Urbano does this is a charming way below, using the girl in goggles to draw your eyes toward the buttons she seems to be swimming toward …Note: While it might seem like a good idea to add directional cues like an arrow to get people to click on the CTA buttons, note that those CTA buttons don’t appear the same way on the mobile app. In other words, it might be confusing to mobile users if you directly integrate the cover photo design with the buttons.I’ll show you how Business Pages look on mobile devices in just a minute.7. Do right-align the objects in your cover photo.Since your profile picture is on the left, you want to add some balance to your Facebook cover photo design by having the focus of the image be on the right.Take a look at these cover photos. Which one looks more aesthetically pleasing?Right-aligned focus:Left-aligned focus:Doesn’t the right-aligned cover photo look better? The biggest design elements (the profile picture, the text, and the Statue of Liberty) are evenly spaced. In Samsung’s old cover photo, your attention goes immediately to the left side of the page, completely missing the name of the product on the upper-right side.Not only is adding balance a crucial element of design, but it also allows for your cover photos to be more visually effective on mobile. Which brings me to my next point …8. Do keep mobile users in mind.As of 2019, reports Statista, 96% of Facebook’s user base accesses the social network from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. That’s huge — and it’s exactly why it’s so important to keep mobile users top-of-mind when designing your Facebook cover photo.On mobile, a much larger portion of your cover photo is blocked out because the profile picture and the Page name are on top of the cover photo.Image Credit: TwelveskipLet’s take a look at a real-life example. Below, take a look at what Cisco’s Facebook Page looks like in a desktop browser versus on Facebook’s mobile app.Desktop:Mobile:Notice that the sides of the photo are cut off on mobile. Whereas your cover photo displays at 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on desktop, it displays only the center 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones. Take a look at this Facebook help document for more information.Notice, by the way, how the text in Adobe’s cover photo is cut off on the right-hand side. While it looks best to right-align your visual elements, be careful not to put important content so far to the right that it gets cut off on mobile.9. Do include a shortened link in your cover photo description that aligns with your page CTA.If you want to use your cover photo to support a Page CTA, make sure your cover photo description also includes a text CTA and link to the same offer. This way, any time people view your cover photo directly, they can access the download link.Here’s this practice in action on Adobe’s Facebook Page:Make sure you shorten your links and add UTM codes so you can track clicks on them. Shortening and tracking features are available in the HubSpot Marketing Platform and in tools like bitly.(If you want to learn more about how to write effective call-to-action copy for your cover photo description, click here to download our free ebook on creating compelling CTAs.)10. Do pin a related post right below your Facebook cover image.Have you ever “pinned” a post to your Facebook Page’s Timeline? Basically, pinning a post allows you to highlight a typical Facebook post on the top of your Timeline for seven days. It’s signified by a small blue push pin on the top right of the post, like on Fashion Nova’s Page below:How does this relate to optimizing your Facebook cover photo? Well, if you’re spending time aligning your Facebook Page CTA, your cover photo design, and your cover photo description copy, you should also make sure to post about the same thing directly to your page, and pin that post to the top of your Timeline.That way, you’re giving people one very clear call-to-action when they arrive to your page (albeit in several different locations) — which should help conversions.To pin a Facebook post: Simply publish the post to Facebook, then click the three dots on the top right corner of the post and choose “Pin to Top.”11. Do consider publishing a Facebook cover video.You read that right. Facebook Business Pages now have the option to add a video in lieu of a static cover photo, provided they meet certain requirements — which we dug up for you:How to Make a Facebook Cover VideoPost a Facebook cover video by saving a video file at 820 pixels wide by 426 pixels tall to your desktop. Open your Facebook Business page, click “Change Cover” at the top-left of your cover photo, and select “Upload Photo/Video.” This allows you to format and publish the desktop file to your Facebook page.Facebook currently supports cover videos that are between 20 and 90 seconds long, and a minimum of 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall. The maximum (and recommended) size is 820 by 462 pixels with a video resolution of 1080p.Keep in mind that Facebook cover videos play on a loop — once it ends, it automatically starts over if the viewer is still on your Facebook page. With that in mind, make sure whatever you post is pleasant if seen more than once. Extreme, action-packed videos might appear exhausting when played over and over …Once you pull the file from your desktop, you’ll click “Next” where you’ll be asked to select from 10 thumbnail versions of your video. The thumbnail you choose will display for users who hover their cursor over your profile photo before visiting your full Business Page.Facebook Cover Video ExamplesCover videos are a terrific option for the video-inclined, and brands across numerous industries have already taken advantage of it to hold their visitors’ attention. Here are some great cover videos to inspire you:REIREI sells outdoor equipment for activities like camping, hiking, running, boating, and biking. The company’s subtle cover video reflects its products, all in one peaceful time lapse of the scenery it knows its audience craves.NokiaNokia wants to be everywhere its users are — whether they’re paddle-boarding, scuba diving, skateboarding, or working. Its Facebook cover video embodies its core customer in a visually pleasing way.WIRED MagazineWhen your publication changes as fast as the news cycle, it can be hard to keep your readers focused on the stories you feel deserve extra attention. WIRED Magazine uses its Facebook cover video for just this purpose, as shown in the example below.HubSpot AcademyAlright, maybe we’re biased, but our brilliant creative team crushed it with the video below, made for HubSpot Academy. Sometimes, animation is the best way to capture the essence of your brand.As you can see from these examples, your video should be just as simple as a cover photo. Keep in mind the same guidelines outlined in best practice #1 apply to cover videos as well.Want to see how HubSpot uses Facebook? Like our Facebook Page here. 11 Facebook Cover Photo Templates for Businesses Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates Images Free Templates Originally published Apr 2, 2019 10:44:00 PM, updated January 30 2019center_img When people arrive at your Facebook Page, where do you think they first look?I’ll give you some hints. It’s a visual piece of content that sits at the top of your Page. Its dimensions are 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall. It takes up almost a quarter of the screen on most desktop browsers.That’s right — it’s your Facebook cover photo.Free Templates: Facebook Cover Photos for BusinessesSometimes called your Facebook banner, this graphic is one of the most noticeable parts of your Page. It’s therefore crucial that you follow Facebook cover photo best practices.Facebook Cover Photo SizeOptimize your cover photo for the right dimensions: 820 pixels wide and 312 pixels tall for desktop, 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall for mobile. If your uploaded image is smaller than these dimensions, Facebook will stretch it to fit — making it look blurry.Whether you’re using Facebook to generate leads, close your next sale, or create a customer community, knowing how to make and optimize your cover photo is very important. And when you consider the Facebook cover photo dimensions above, it can be tough to balance creativity with the requirements of the platform.As you can see from the figure above, there’s a lot of space that you can risk cutting off of your final cover photo design depending on where your audience is viewing — mobile or desktop. Therefore, it’s best to focus the brunt of your content in that green space, where everyone can see your cover photo regardless of the device they’re using.Need help getting started? Below, you’ll find 11 Facebook cover photo templates, and just as many best practices to guide you when designing your brand’s banner artwork. At the bottom of this post, find out how to turn your cover photo into a cover video, and check out a few examples to see what others have done. Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: Topics: Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

Read More »

When you play in India for the first time, you don’t know what to do: Kagiso Rabada

first_imgSouth Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada on Wednesday said his team will look to use the past experience of playing in the sub-continent when they take on India in the upcoming assignments.The Proteas are scheduled to play three T20s and as many Tests against India.”You need to figure out what you need to do to give the team a better chance to win that is what I try to focus on. When you have played there before you will have an idea of what to do in certain tough situations,” he said at South Africa’s training camp here.South Africa had won the T20 ad ODI series but lost the Tests during their last tour of India.”The previous tour we were successful because we won the T20 and ODI series but the Test series was a bit of a shambles because those wickets were just terrible” Rabada said.”If I could give an example the first Test match it was 200 v 200 in first innings. If we batted first it was going to be a different ball game because we ended up having to chase the game. We lost 3-0 and we were truly hammered.”Asked how will they approach spin bowling during the tour, Rabada said: “On our recent tour to Sri Lanka it was tricky conditions. There is a whole lot of talk about how to approach spin but we will see how it goes.”What helps is that there are guys who have played there in the past and I guess what you can do is to use what worked and what did not work during the Sri Lanka tour to have a base.advertisement”When you go there for the first time its weird and you don’t know what to do. If you look at how Faf (Du Plessis) batted in Sri Lanka he got good starts which showed that he had played there and knew the conditions.”Also Read | Virat Kohli: Is India’s most successful Test skipper necessarily the greatest?Also Read | Steve Smith 1st batsman to score 8 successive 50+ scores in Asheslast_img read more

Read More »

In the Bull Pen

first_imgBe it a photograph or a cup of coffee, everything needed work. Similarly, the true charm of being a fountain pen connoisseur is the ceremonial formalities that have to be repeated time and again, to make it work. You choose the ink, paying heed to every intricate detail from the,Be it a photograph or a cup of coffee, everything needed work. Similarly, the true charm of being a fountain pen connoisseur is the ceremonial formalities that have to be repeated time and again, to make it work. You choose the ink, paying heed to every intricate detail from the shade to the quality. You suck the ink up to just the right level so your words aren’t blotted out. And then, you inspect the nib for it is the final instrument of expressionan expression that flows from your mind to the paper. It is this ritual that has endeared the fountain pen to it’s legion of fans. And inspired manufacturers to craft the finest of designs, with each one trying to be as distinct as possible so as to multiply value through rarity. Some may argue that the cap is where the art finds itself, but some manufacturers also take the liberty to tinker around with the barrel. Innovations are funneled through the way you can fill the ink reservoir by minimising the mess and keeping it classy. But neither the caps nor the barrel has the draw that a beautifully ornate nib does. The shape of the nib itself has come to represent authority and class. Be it the shape of the breather hole or the width between the shoulders, nibs have always been created with the intent of representing the maker of the fountain pen. After all, the nib’s function decides the practicality of the fountain pen. If you’re as smitten as we are, here are four that are more special than most.advertisementMontblanc StarWalkerMontblanc embodies exquisite craftsmanship, especially the pens. Their celestial-inspired StarWalker Fountain Pen is inspired by man’s curiosity to explore the wonders of space. It’s a representation of an astronaut’s description of the earth when viewed from outer space. What sets it apart is the unique blue dome that houses the brand’s emblem, made visible through a translucent casing. The cap, fittings and the barrel are all platinum-coated while the gold nib is coated with rhodium. The StarWalker is available in three versions, namely the sleek full metal edition, a Doué edition, and a Resin edition. The description of the earth from outer space, which inspired this design, was shared by a retired astronaut, Leroy Chiao. What inspired him the most about this thrilling sight is the aura that surrounded the Earth. The Star-Walker unfailingly delivers in recreating this marvellous illusion in its dome. Price Rs 55,186Montegrappa Winter Is Here’ Limited-EditionHere to write more songs of ice and fire is the Game of Thrones-themed fountain pen from Montegrappa. The Winter Is Here’ Limited-Edition Fountain Pen recreates the scene that got every GoT fan out of their perch in the penultimate season. While we wouldn’t want to drop a spoiler in a pen review, we must state that the Night King was always destined to be among the most significant characters in the final season of the show. The pen is carved from sterling silver and 18-carat gold. It is made to represent three characters from the Night King’s band of undead warriors. The figurines celebrate the ancient art of wax casting and form an elaborate metal structure with Viserion on the cap. The barrel sports the Night King in all his undead glory and also a fellow white walker who he has raised. There are only 300 sterling silver pieces and seven gold pieces of this around. Price From Rs 3.46 lakh Shere Khan, the monkeys, the lone wolf and more, all of them cleverly decorate the pen.Bentley Graf von Faber-CastellCentenary It’s a Bentley! Be it a car or a fountain pen, it ought to have just what you’d expect from the name. To mark the company’s hundredth anniversary on July 10, Graf von Faber-Castell introduced a limited-edition range of writing instruments, with the fountain pen at the vanguard. There will only be 100 of these created (for obvious reasons). The recognisable Bentley B’ can be seen on the cap in its 24-carat gold coating, while the diamondquilt pattern adorns the metal barrel of the pen. The unique diamond knurling is also evident and reminiscent of Bentley styling. The pen will only be available this year or before the hundred pieces are sold out.Price Starting from Rs 38,700.Montblanc Writers Edition Homage to Rudyard Kipling Tribute to IFThe jungles of India may have inspired Rudyard Kipling to write The Jungle Book’, but his ideas have gone on to inspire a fountain pen too that borrows the magic of his legendary poem, If’, and also the aforementioned jungle legend. The beautiful fountain pen has been fashioned with Montblanc’s renowned resin and lacquer. The cap is champagne-toned gold-coated while the barrel is made of precious resin and lacquer. There are 1895 pieces of this pen, which has a hand-crafted nib. It’s a piston fountain pen, which makes refilling it very convenient. The forepart of the fountain pen has the initials of Rudyard Kipling’s name on it, making it one of the most memorable tributes to the man who expanded our imagination and understanding of life in India’s jungles, apart from offering a fountainhead of great storytelling.Price Rs 2. 81 lakhadvertisementBy Dhiram Shahlast_img read more

Read More »

World Women’s Boxing Championships: Jamuna Boro beats Michidmaa Erdenedalai to advance to pre-quarterfinals

first_imgJamuna Boro (54kg) gave a flying start to India’s campaign in the World Women’s Boxing Championships by advancing to the pre-quarterfinals with a facile win here on Friday.Boro defeated Mongolia’s Michidmaa Erdenedalai 5-0, recovering from a slow start for a resounding victory.The 22-year-old, employed with Assam Rifles, has a tough one next up as she will square off against Algeria’s fifth-seeded Ouidad Sfouh in the pre-quarterfinals.Sfouh had won a gold in the 2017 World Championships and was given a first-round bye here.Boro, a debutant at the event, took her time to warm up but once she got going, the Assamese pugilist dominated Erdenedalai with her combination punches. Her jabs connected particularly well and she also managed to not get distracted by her sprightly rival’s grunting.Watch #JamunaBoro talks about her bout right after registering her first win at the #AIBAWomenWorldBoxingChampionship 2019.Keep the momentum going champ!@Media_SAI @IndiaSports @WeAreTeamIndia @RijijuOffice #PunchMeinHaiDum #boxing pic.twitter.com/cAnAGq2mSb Boxing Federation (@BFI_official) October 4, 2019The Indian was unstoppable in the final three minutes of the bout and thoroughly out-punched Erdenedalai.On Saturday, former national champion Neeraj (57kg) and Saweety Boora (75kg), a ex-silver-winner at the event, will be in action for India.While Neeraj will face China’s Qiao Jieru, Saweety will face Mongolia’s Myagmarjargal Munkhbat in the opening round.The ongoing edition features 224 boxers from 57 countries.India’s best performance at the showpiece was back in 2006 when the country won eight medals, including four gold.Also Read | In Dipa Karmakar’s absence, tough ask awaits Indians in World Artistic Gymnastics ChampionshipsAlso see:advertisementlast_img read more

Read More »

I was scared and happy when made captain at 23: Kapil Dev

first_imgFormer cricketer Kapil Dev on Sunday recalled the time when captaincy was handed over to him, saying that he was ‘scared as well as happy’.”Sometimes you get some things before time and later you realise. I was 23 years old when they made me the captain. I was scared as well as happy because I was thinking how will I handle these senior players. But I was happy because the selector felt that I was capable enough to be a captain,” Dev said in his speech at an event here.Dev said that on the field he was the captain but off the field, his ‘heroes’ were the captain.”I was feeling a bit weird that I became the captain and my heroes were playing with me and under me. So, that was a very difficult time … I only thought one thing that on the field I was the captain but off the field, they all are my captain,” he said.Actor Ranveer Singh is going to play the role of Dev in the movie ’83’. When asked about the movie, Dev said the movie is not about him but on how his team lifted the 1983 World Cup trophy.”The movie is not about me. The movie is about how we won the 1983 World Cup. Yes, I am lucky that an actor like Ranveer Singh, who has so much ability, is playing my role,” said Dev.Also Read | India vs South Africa, 3rd Test stat wrap: Rohit Sharma and Team India rewrite record books in RanchiAlso see:advertisementlast_img read more

Read More »

New Zealand’s North Star

first_imgPatchwork of everchanging and glorious landscapes, deep blue mirror lakes, fiery geothermal parks, adrenaline-spiking adventure sports and great gastronomy, New Zealand’s North Island ticks all boxes of a great travel destination.And as I soaked in the spectacular beauty of the region on my recent week-long road trip adventure, I wished I’d booked myself a oneway ticket. Home to nearly 70 per cent of New Zealand’s 5 million population, North Island is compact and easily navigable via an excellent network of roads and highways. Well-appointed hotels and top-notch restaurants make the journey even more pleasurable.STEAM’S UP IN ROTORUA I begin my journey with Rotorua, a three-hour drive from Auckland on a crisp, clear day, low clouds scudding across an azure sky. As the car gobbled up the tarmac, my window was constantly filled with visions of riotous flowers, glassy waterbodies and undulating greens so pretty they mimicked well-manicured golf courses.Nestling amidst a lush temperate forest, Roturua is peppered with a myriad geothermal attraction. In fact, the town’s unique geothermal activity steams up from just about anywhere: from its pavements, geyser fields, mud pools, hot springs!For a more immersive experience, I check into Polynesian Spa, voted among the world’s top 10. Overlooking Lake Rotorua and the Sulphur Bay Wildlife Reserve, its healing waters and decadent therapies have lured wellness seekers since the 1800s. I flag off my indulgent retreat with a hot mineral soak in one of its two natural springs. I felt the tension ebb away as the immersion warmed up my muscles, softened my skin and relaxed my mind. A full body polish, a mud mask and a scalp massage later, I left the facility feeling reborn!advertisementMAORI TALESMaoris are New Zealand’s fascinating indigenous Polynesian people and Rotorua has their highest concentration.For a deep dive into their colourful culture, I visit the Mitai Maori Village nestling in a natural bush. The tribe’s myriad customs and rituals grand powhiri (welcoming ceremony with waka or warrior canoe), hongi (traditional greeting in which people press their noses together) and haka (traditional war cry) made for compelling viewing. A delicious hangi (traditional Maori feast comprising a gargantuan buffet) was literally the cherry on the cake!ON THE WILD SIDENew Zealand’s oldest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Tongariro National Park is a volcanic wonderland of steaming craters, surreal lakes and quirky rock formations surrounded by Alpine gardens. Its showstopper Mt Ruapehu is North Island’s highest peak sitting next to smaller but no less spectacular cones of Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro.My 90-minute Mountain Air Scenic flight in a Volcanic Explorer careened over the three peaks for a thrilling view of the icy amphitheater. Climbing 10,000 feet over three volcanoes (Ruapehu, Tongariro, Ngauruhoe), we surveyed the active crater lake of Mt Ruapehu and the The Lord of the Rings’ sites.The Waimangu Volcanic Valley brimming with exotic flora and fauna is a foray into fivestar biodiversity. The world’s youngest geothermal system fringed by Lake Rotomahana, is a protected scenic reserve and wildlife refuge. Its Pink and White Terraces, one of Earth’s largest silica sinter deposits, are stunning to behold while the region’s history, including the deadly Mount Tarawera Eruption in 1886 that left over 120 people dead here, makes for a compelling narrative.OUT AND ABOUT A three-hour drive from Tongariro gets me to the last stop on my road trip Taupo. Described as the crown jewel of North Island, the town was carved 2,000 years ago by a volcanic eruption so thunderous it darkened the skies in Europe and China. Crisscrossed by hissing geysers, steaming craters and boiling mud pools, the region also hosts one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes Lake Taupo that is actually the caldera of the Taupo Volcano. Kayaking, sailing, fishing, golfing, water skiing!? Yes, please.The Huka Falls is to Taupo what the Niagara is to Toronto. It’s numero uno attraction. I watched over 220,000 litres of foaming water crash over the cliff face every second. Zipped up in warm jackets, we ventured so close to the Falls in our boat, we could feel its mist spraying our faces. The captain swung the boat round and round till all of us had that perfect selfie against the backdrop of the thundering water!My appetite whetted for cruising, I next sign up for a Sunset Cruise on Lake Taupo. Rimmed by forests and mountains, the Lake’s shores also host the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings. Carved in the 1970s by master carver Matahi WhakatakaBrightwell, the artworks depict Ngatoroirangi, a visionary Maori navigator who guided the Maoris to Taupo over a thousand years ago.advertisementWe return ashore watching the setting sun’s brilliant pyrotechnics in the sky, reinforced in our belief that while human culture may be full of the marvelous, it is in nature that one truly finds the sublime.last_img read more

Read More »

Dale Steyn, Jason Roy among stars in Pakistan Super League 2020 draft

first_imgSouth Africa pacer Dale Steyn and England batsman Jason Roy are a part of 28 players who have registered themselves in the platinum category for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 players draft.Australian players Ben Cutting and Chriss Lynn have also expressed their desire to take part in the fifth edition of the tournament, ESPNcricinfo reported.The players who have registered themselves for the draft are from eight cricket-playing nations– seven from England, six South African, five from the West Indies, and three each from Afghanistan and Australia.Sri Lanka has one player, New Zealand and Nepal have one each. If international commitments clash with the season of PSL, then the availability of the players may be hampered.Each PSL franchise has the option of retaining up to eight players from their previous line-up. Every team can comprise three players in the platinum category, two players in the diamond and gold category, five in silver, and two emerging players.The foreign players in the platinum category are as follows:Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid KhanAustralia: Dan Christian, Ben Cutting and Chris LynnEngland: Moeen Ali, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid and Jason RoyNepal: Sandeep LamichhaneNew Zealand: Colin MunroSouth Africa: Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Colin Ingram, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn and Imran TahirSri Lanka: Angelo Mathews and Thisara PereraWest Indies: Carlos Brathwaite, Dwayne Bravo, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine and Kieron PollardOver the past few years, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has used the PSL to restore international cricket back home. In 2017, Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore hosted the tournament’s final.advertisementIn 2018, four games were held in Lahore and Karachi. The season held earlier this year had eight games played in Karachi alone.For the 2020 tournament, it has been decided that the entire competition will be held in Pakistan. Four venues–Lahore, Karachi, Multan and Rawalpindi will host 34 games between them.In the recent cricket series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, a few top players from the island nation refused to tour Pakistan citing security concerns.The players who opted out were — Lasith Malinga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne.In 2009, the Sri Lankan team was on their way to Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for a Test match with Pakistan, when terrorists fired indiscriminately at their bus. That attack left eight people dead and injured seven Sri Lankan players and staff.Since then, international cricket had eluded Pakistan with no high-profile team visiting the country for a full-length tour.Also Read | Joe Burns, Cameron Bancroft return to Australia Test squad for Pakistan serieslast_img read more

Read More »

Spring Preview: Look For These Receivers To Make a Splash

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. I’m sure no other Big 12 offensive coordinators are feeling sorry for Yurcich.Dillon Stoner – Freshman (RS)Stoner and Mason Rudolph combined for all 29 of the Cowboys’ passing touchdowns last season. Stoner just had one. But the true freshman did earn immediate playing time after an impressive fall camp.Unfortunately, Stoner only appeared in four games due to a leg injury. So the spring game will give Cowboy fans a chance to see him in action for the first time since last year’s Big 12 opener against Baylor.Stoner may be one of the most versatile players on the team. He did it all at Jenks High School and was the No. 1 rate receiver out of Oklahoma for the 2016 class.We have been told that Oklahoma State will list him as a redshirt freshman.Tyrell Alexander – Freshman (RS)Alexander is a former four-star athlete out of Lancaster, Tex. He’s had a redshirt year to learn the playbook and to build up on his 6-3 frame under Rob Glass’ tutelage. He will be fun to watch and could be the Cowboys’ outside threat of the future.Alexander is another big-play threat that can should get a chance to shine not just in the spring game but may crack the rotation this fall. Spring practice starts next Monday, but you can bet that Mike Yurcich is salivating trying to predict which new wide receiver(s) will emerge as the next James Washington.The Cowboys, who are already loaded in established talent at wideout, have a gaggle of young and talented playmakers to break in. Two of these guys, OSU fans have yet to see in orange.Here are three receivers that should make a splash this spring and beyond.The below-listed class designations apply to the 2017 football season.Tyron Johnson – Sophomore (RS)With all the hype coming from practice and the grandiose Hall-of-Fame comparisons from our pod, I’m predicting Tyron Johnson will be responsible for at least a 10 percent increase in spring game attendance.The former LSU Tiger sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules which would have made this year a perfect one for Johnson step into a starting role. But with the unfortunate injury that held Marcell Ateman out last year, the receiver pool becomes even more top-heavy.last_img read more

Read More »

Oklahoma State Lands Third OL Commit in Hunter Woodard

first_imgJosh Henson is showing why he was a slam dunk hire as OSU’s next offensive line coach. It appears that the former ace recruiter at Missouri still knows how to close a deal and he is already close to filling out his 2018 recruiting class.A couple of months after a National Signing Day in which the Cowboys came up empty — signing zero high school OL prospects — Henson has landed three offensive linemen commitments for the 2018 class — Hunter Anthony, Bryce Bray and now Hunter Woodard.I’m extremely excited to announce my commitment to Oklahoma State!?⚪️? @CoachGundy @Coach_Henson pic.twitter.com/dZYOwSgggK— Hunter Woodard (@HunterWoodard18) April 18, 2017 Woodard hails from Tuscola, Illinois where the 6-foot-5, 296-pound tackle has earned all-conference honors. The three-star prospect spoke with Rivals.com about his pledge.“I just feel that Oklahoma State is simply the best place for me,” Woodard told Rivals. “They have great tradition, they are always a highly ranked program and are always playing in bowl games. Oklahoma State is just big time football. I really get along great with all of the coaches at Oklahoma State and between the relationships, the facilities and the entire program everything is just top notch. I just felt like I couldn’t do any better than Oklahoma State.”According to Woodard, he was sold not only by OSU’s facilities but by his connection with Henson.“The visit I made to Oklahoma State really blew me away,” Woodard said. “The offensive line coach Josh Henson and I have a similar background and personality and it’s just a great fit for me. It’s hard to describe just how amazing everything was at Oklahoma State.“It’s truly the best of everything you could ask for. I’m just extremely happy.”Woodard also holds offers from Illinois, Syracuse, Wyoming and Minnesota. 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

Read More »

Keane places Man Utd blame on Lukaku & Sanchez

first_imgManchester United ‘Man Utd’s problems are not just with Pogba’ – Keane places blame on Lukaku & Sanchez Sacha Pisani 14:41 22/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Alexis Sanchez Romelu Lukaku Manchester United 31012018 Getty Manchester United A. Sánchez Romelu Lukaku Paul Pogba Sevilla v Manchester United Sevilla UEFA Champions League The former Red Devils midfielder has backed the under-fire Frenchman, and believes that United’s problems lie elsewhere on the pitch Roy Keane insisted Paul Pogba is not at the centre of Manchester United’s problems as he criticised Romelu Lukaku and new signing Alexis Sanchez.Pogba was named among the substitutes before he replaced injured team-mate Ander Herrera after 17 minutes in United’s 0-0 draw at Sevilla in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Wednesday.The France international has dominated headlines amid a reported feud with manager Jose Mourinho, having been substituted in Premier League defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle United. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp But former United captain Keane defended Pogba, though he demanded more from the 24-year-old midfielder, striker Lukaku and ex-Arsenal forward Sanchez, who was withdrawn 15 minutes from the end at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.”Pogba is a really good player. He’s under lots of pressure at the moment. There’s lots of speculation about him,” Keane told ITV . “He was left out but you’d still have Pogba in your starting XI.”I look at Pogba off the field. He seems to have a big personality, whether it be social media, the cars he drives, his haircut. He needs to bring that onto the football pitch.”Man Utd’s problems are not just with Pogba. Lukaku’s got to do better. Sanchez – I know he’s new to the club – he’s got to do better.”They obviously need to reinvest in some defenders. You can’t keep pointing the finger at Pogba but of course the lad has got to do better.”Keane continued: “You’re talking about Man United, one of the greatest clubs on the planet. They still need to do better. And certain players need to up their game.”Lukaku, for example – get hold of the ball. Whatever about putting the ball in the back of the net, get hold of it.”And if you want to become one of the great strikers of Man United and you get the chance, like he did tonight, you’ve got to score in these tight games.”United – second in the Premier League – welcome reigning champions and fourth-placed Chelsea to Old Trafford on Sunday.last_img read more

Read More »

Van Persie scores 300th career goal

first_imgFeyenoord Former Man Utd star Robin van Persie scores 300th career goal Jamie Smith 08:36 1/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Robin van Persie Twitter/@Feyenoord Feyenoord Feyenoord v Willem II KNVB Beker Eredivisie Feyenoord v Groningen Arsenal v Manchester United Manchester United Arsenal Premier League Having hit the net in a 3-0 defeat of Willem II in the KNVB Beker on Wednesday, the Feyenoord striker hit a milestone Robin van Persie reached 300 career goals after scoring for Feyenoord to help his side reach the final of the KNVB Beker.The former Arsenal and Manchester United forward returned to Feyenoord in the January transfer window, 14 years after he left to join the Gunners.And the two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner scored his 300th career goal in Feyenoord’s 3-0 defeat of Willem II in the KNVB Beker on Wednesday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Van Persie hit 132 goals in 278 games for Arsenal before a move to rivals United helped the Netherlands international win the 2012-13 Premier League.Van Persie, who scored 50 international goals, has scored once every 67 minutes for Feyenoord since re-joining the club.Prior to joining Feyenoord, Van Persie spent just over two seasons with Turkish side Fenerbahce.last_img read more

Read More »

Daniyel Ngata Commitment Primer: Predicting Where the Four-Star RB Lands

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. Four-star running back recruit Daniyel Ngata will end his recruitment on Sunday with a long-awaited commitment. Here’s what you need to know.The contenders: Ngata has a top five of Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Utah, Clemson and Texas A&M. He only made official visits, however, to three: Oklahoma State, Arizona State and Texas A&M. That trio is considered to be his unofficial top three.The favorite: Arizona State leads Ngata’s crystal ball predictions, with 56 percent of insiders believing the Sun Devils are the favorite. Rivals, however, has Oklahoma State as the favorite, with 70 percent of analysts pegging the Cowboys as the frontrunner ahead of Clemson. Of note, the only votes Clemson is getting on Rivals is from fans; of the 10 publishers — who we’ll call here as analysts — seven believe OSU is the favorite and three believe it’s ASU. Six of the votes in favor of OSU have come over the past week. That’s a good sign.What to expect from Ngata, the talent: You won’t believe this, but Ngata is a top-100 talent for a reason. People who have seen him believe he is really good. Like, drawing comparisons to Christian McCaffrey good.“Runs more powerfully than expected, but lacks optimal size for an every down back,” Ngata said. “Runs with burst and a threat for a big play whenever ball is in his hands. Shows good patience and vision while waiting for the hole and can hit the hole and get upfield instantly. Shiftiness and ability to make defenders miss. Has superb hands out of the backfield and can be used as a vertical threat, and could play in the slot. Projects as immediate Power 5 contributor and projects as a second day NFL draft pick.” [247Sports]Production: As a junior last season, Ngata rushed for 874 yards and added 666 yards receiving. He also scored 20 total times. This season as a senior, he’s amassed 504 yards and 10 touchdowns.All-American: Ngata has already committed to being an Under Armour All-American. If he picks OSU, he’ll join future teammate Shane Illingworth, a quarterback from California committed to the Cowboys, on the Under Armour All-America team.Prediction: OSU is riding a wave of momentum with Ngata, and who am I to stop it? I think the fact that OSU doesn’t have a commitment should be plenty enticing to him. As should the fact that, when he made an official visit to OSU last month, he saw Chuba Hubbard run for 296 yards in a win over K-State. I think Ngata is a Cowboy by the time the day’s over.Highlights: Enjoy.last_img read more

Read More »

Mooy v Eriksen: The battle Socceroos need to win

first_imgWorld Cup Aaron Mooy vs Christian Eriksen: The battle to decide Australia’s World Cup clash with Denmark Lewis Oldham 09:57 6/21/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Mooy Eriksen split World Cup Denmark v Australia Australia Denmark Tottenham Hotspur Huddersfield Town The Premier League playmakers get set to meet in Samara and their delivery from set-pieces could prove to be decisive Denmark face Australia in their second World Cup Group C game on Thursday, with the match’s decisive battle likely to be between Christian Eriksen and Aaron Mooy.The Danes opened their World Cup account with a 1-0 win over Peru, with the winning goal orchestrated by Eriksen, who set up Yussuf Poulsen to score following a counter-attack.Australia, meanwhile, battled hard against France and were unlucky to lose 2-1 with the winner coming in the 80th minute via a deflected goal. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Mooy was the Socceroos’ main man in the middle of the park and he was at the heart of all their best moments going forward through his deliveries into the danger area.Ahead of the two Premier League performers meeting in Samara, Mooy acknowledged the threat Eriksen will pose to Australia’s chances in what is a must-win game for Bert van Marwijk’s side.”He’s an excellent player, he’s had a great season and is probably their most dangerous player,” Mooy said.“We need to stop the supply going to him, but we need to do that as a team.”Aaron Mooy SocceroosBoth schemers headed to Russia on the back of a domestic season in which they were looked upon as the chief creator for their respective clubs. Eriksen created 95 opportunities for his Tottenham team-mates, while Mooy created 50 chances for Huddersfield.Dead-ball situations could provide a fruitful source of chances in Samara, with Eriksen and Mooy boasting impressive figures from the 2017-18 Premier League season.Eriksen’s crossing and corner accuracy stood at 23.21 per cent, while Mooy’s was 20.43 per cent. In their respective opening World Cup games, they both took charge of free-kicks and corners, and they are capable of putting defences under pressure with their delivery.It is not just set-pieces where opposing teams have to watch out for their delivery, but crosses from open play too, with Mooy’s 14.1% accuracy putting him ahead of Eriksen in this department, with the Dane on 11.9%.Accurate, dangerous deliveries into the box could be particularly crucial for Australia, if 38-year-old Tim Cahill is given the nod to play some part in the game. PL Stats (17/18) Aaron Mooy Christian Eriksen Games Played 36 37 Goals 4 10 Assists 3 10 Chances Created 50 95 Passing Accuracy 79.55% 82.37% Crosses/Corner Accuracy 20.43% 23.21% Crossing from open play accuracy 14.1% 11.9% Shot Conversion Rate 28.57% 16.67% Touches in opponents’ box 29 97 Former Socceroo Stan Lazaridis wants to see Cahill start against Denmark and outlined the best way to bring the best out of the ex-Everton star.”He knows where to be,” Lazaridis told Goal .“He’s not going to get the ball from the halfway line and take players on, he’s relying on crosses and I think Denmark are the right team to play against so, if you get him service in that 18-yard box, I still think he’s good enough to score a goal.”While there is a significant gulf between Eriksen and Mooy’s respective clubs in the Premier League, the gap in quality is much narrower between Denmark and Australia.Both will be expected to spearhead their national teams’ push for a last 16 spot at the World Cup in what is likely to be an intensely-fought encounter.There is very little to separate the pair when it comes to crossing and set-piece accuracy, so making the most of these fine margins could determine whether Denmark or Australia will head into matchday three with the best chance of reaching the World Cup knockout stages.last_img read more

Read More »