Tuesday, June 21, 2016

3 Ways to Becoming an Expert

When you need assistance you go to someone that you consider a expert. This person is the best person you know that can handle the situation. Almost all the time this person might not be the most knowledgeable on the subject in the world, but they know more on the subject than you do. For instance I work for a bank. And I am the worst at creating spreadsheets. In my department we have a go to person that creates spreadsheets. She knows how to create spreadsheets better than me. I consider her the expert.

There is a common misconception that to be a expert you have to be the smartest in the world on that subject. That is not true. You just have to know more on the subject than the one you sharing the information with. Let say you have filed your incorporation papers, and you have a friend who wants to do the same thing. Who would they go to for guidance. It will be you. To them you are the expert in filing incorporation papers. See how that works.

Here is 3 ways to become:

  1. Public speaking ‘” By sharing your knowledge over the platform easy a easy way to position yourself as a expert.

  2. Writing articles ‘” Word in print provide you credibility and also position you as a expert.

  3. Media exposure ‘” By sending your info to media sources reporters will call you for expert advice.

Being a expert in your field will put you and your business at a advantage when it comes to attracting more clients and money. Being a expert in your field can position you as a go to person when questions need answered. Ask Nancy Grace, Dr. Phil, and Suze Orman they are considered experts and you will not see them in the soup line any time soon.

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3 Warning Signs You Should Call Child Services

Nobody likes a tattletale. We’ve heard this since childhood and most of us teach this to our children when they begin playing detective about age 4. But there are times, in my experience, where one must step out of our “don’t get involved” comfort zone and embrace our inner Gladys Kravitz (Bewitched). When it comes to the safety of children, we have a responsibility to protect those who can’t protect themselves. The only question about this fact is when to make the call if you suspect something isn’t quite right.

Failure to Thrive

If you believe a baby is starving to death — call the authorities.

Failure to Thrive is a real condition. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of the National Institute of Health, Failure to Thrive is a description given to children who are significantly below the current weight, or whose rate of weight gain is significantly lower than the average for children of the same age.

There are many reasons this can occur, including metabolic disorders, Down ‘s syndrome or other chromosome issues, and organ disease. However, it is also common in children who suffer from abuse or neglect.

I recently encountered a child, a 5 week old infant, who appeared gaunt and severely underweight. The child belongs to a young mother, aged 21, who also has an older child, aged 17 months. The older child appeared healthy, both in her weight and her energy levels. But the baby was just plain skinny. His little eyes were bulging and the mother complained that he couldn’t hold down his food. She’d taken him to the doctor and they were trying various formulas, both soy and hypoallergenic. Nothing seemed to be working. He cried often and she thought was colicky.

My partner fed the baby one afternoon shortly after we met this young woman, and the baby held down his food without problem. We were tending the children overnight because the mother wanted to celebrate her 21st birthday with a trip to the city, a couple of hours away. So we were able to feed the little guy several times. We did have to feed him 1 oz. at a time and burp him often, but he held down 4 oz of regular formula without issue at each feeding. Earlier, we’d noticed that the infant’s bottle was usually propped while he sat in his car seat/baby carrier. After having success feeding the baby during this overnight visit, we impressed upon the mom how important it is to feed your child in your arms; not only for digestion, but for the mother/child bond that develops.

She insisted she would do so in the future.

We weren’t certain about what kind of person she was, and we weren’t sure we wanted to develop a friendship with her. However, since she had expressed feelings of isolation and loneliness, we decided to keep befriending her for the sake of the children.

A few weeks later, she told us she was going out of town for five days. She expressed concern over having to leave her children in the care of her children’s father’s family. We immediately volunteered to help her out and arranged to care for the children for the week. We had known her for approximately 4 or 5 weeks at the time of the request.

Suspicion of Neglect

If you notice severe diaper rash, constant non-interaction with a child, and dismissive attitudes toward the most basic human needs — call the authorities.

When we tended the children on the mother’s 21st birthday, she informed us that the older child had an abscess on her bottom and that we should try to keep the area dry and clean. Upon inspection, it seemed more like ulceration than an abscess, but we followed her directions, applied a prescription medication and thought about taking a photo of the sore. I now wish we had. While we suspected the sore was the result of severe diaper rash, we decided to keep an eye on it during future visits. For the moment, we made sure the child was dry and clean.

When the mother returned the following day, she did not hug her children, specifically the infant. Instead, she pulled the sleeping, 6 week old infant off my partner’s chest by one arm and all-but tossed him straight into his car seat. We decided again we would spend as much time as possible with the children and offer to babysit every chance we could.

On the next visit, when we tended the children for the five days, the mother dropped the children off at around 1 p.m. on a Saturday. She spent roughly 3-5 minutes giving us instructions, including directions for administering an antibiotic for the infant, but most importantly that the child’s father’s family was forbidden to see him, and we weren’t to shop with the baby at specific stores because his grandmother worked there. She told us he had an abscess on the small of his back, that she had taken him to the doctor and received the prescription. There was a second prescription that we were to fill if the abscess hadn’t reduced in size by half on Tuesday of the following week. We later learned that she had taken the baby to the Emergency Department on Friday and neglected to fill the prescription until Saturday.

We gave him his first dose of the antibiotic that evening at bedtime. We didn’t know this was the first dose. We thought the doctor’s appointment had been earlier that day, i.e. that morning, and the morning dose had already been administered.

When we looked at the abscess on his back (after the mom had left as she was in a hurry to start her vacation), we were shocked and very concerned. We’d never seen anything like this on an infant. We are parents to seven children, and stand-in grandparents to half a dozen children under the age of 4. My partner wanted to lance the abscess, but we decided against it, as this was not our child and lancing a wound is an invasive procedure. The next morning, however, the abscess burst of its own accord, filling back up with fluid within the time it took me to mix a bottle of formula.

We immediately took him to the Emergency Department of our local hospital. After several minutes, which included learning that his weight the day before was a mere 8 lbs (this child is 2.5 months old), it was apparent that something was very wrong.

As far as the abscess, the doctor suspected MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus ‘” pronounced “MERSA”), a very serious, possibly disfiguring and sometimes fatal strain of Staph that is generally found in nursing homes and long-term living facilities where bedsores are sometimes inevitable. I later learned that a combat veteran friend developed a MRSA abscess while serving in the Iraq war; that it had developed after a six week operation where he had been unable to shower for the entire time and had worn the same clothing continuously. (He was appalled that a child so young could have been exposed to this bacterium at all.)

My partner and I looked at each other and realized this child spent far more time in his car seat carrier than even we’d suspected. Because MRSA must enter the system through an open would, we suspected that the baby had been developing a bedsore where his back was in constant contact with the car seat. We relayed this fear to the physician. When we showed him the car seat, and mentioned our concerns about the condition (quite frankly, it smelled terrible), he immediately called the OB floor and requested that a new one be delivered to us in the ER. He also stated, based on a physical exam of the baby, that he was referring the matter to the State of Utah Division of Child and Family Services.

We were very relieved. While we desperately wanted to be role models to this woman, who needs help when it comes to raising and caring for children, the help would be too little, too late.

Consistent/Repetitive Issues

If you’ve tried to help and know the parents of a child have been educated about absent or harmful behavior and the parents refuse to make changes — call the authorities.

We spoke to the mother shortly after the doctor made the decision to admit the child for IV therapy and observation. When I couldn’t pronounce the name of the infection (I’d only heard it the one time, and I thought it was something along the lines of “Mersa” or “Merci”), the mother immediately stated, “It’s MRSA.” I was shocked.

“You know?” I asked.

“My daughter had it last month. I know that’s what it is.” She sounded inconvenienced more than upset.

I’m not sure why, however, because when I asked if she could get to the airport quickly, she stated flatly, “No.” As if she couldn’t understand why I would suggest such a thing.

Her child spent the next three days in the hospital and she did not fly home. Her page on a popular social networking site indicated she was blissfully happy visiting her current lover on the East coast and that she was having “a blast.”

Upon admittance to the hospital, the baby weighed 9 lbs. We’d managed to increase his body weight an entire pound in less than 20 hours. When he was released to our care and control on Tuesday afternoon, he weighed 11.5 lbs. That is an increase of nearly 50% of his body weight just 3 days earlier. It was obvious that the child wasn’t suffering from some stomach malady (other than hunger), did not have reflux or colic, and the mother was still propping the bottle to feed him remotely: something she promised us she was no longer doing. Of note, as well, was the child’s energy level. An infant who had been lethargic and nonreactive to external stimuli was now cooing in response to attention and “conversation”, and smiling when we tickled him.

My mother used to tell me, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” My father told me that if something looked like a goat, smelled like a goat, sounded like a goat and hung out with goats — it was a goat.

We learned much that hadn’t been shared with us by the children’s mom over the course of the next three days. The social worker who responded to the hospital early Sunday afternoon eventually put all of the pieces together and realized this child had the same mother as the baby girl with MRSA the previous month. We learned that the nurses remembered this mother specifically because, even with a severe infection (the older sister was hospitalized for 2 weeks), she refused to change the girl’s diaper when instructed to by hospital staff. We learned that the older child’s diet consisted of energy-drink type soda products and candy. We learned that the mother had a history of drug abuse. From the mother’s words and attitude, we learned that she was more upset about DCFS involvement than in the welfare of her child.

The social worker learned that the baby weighed 8 lbs, and had gained an entire pound in less than 1 day in our care. She learned that the ER had confiscated and planned to destroy the car seat as biohazard waste.

Because of the holiday weekend, and the fact the baby had been admitted for inpatient treatment, the mother was not returning home, and we had taken all the proper steps to ensure the welfare of the children, she allowed the older child to remain in our home, where she was obviously safe. She spoke with her supervisor on Tuesday, however, and they made the decision to remove the children and place them in formal foster care before the mom came home, late Thursday night, early Friday morning.

They are allowing us one more night with the kids. I rocked the toddler to sleep tonight, as I have every night that she’s been with us. My partner is lying beside me with a little miracle in her arms. I packed their new diaper bags with all of their belongings. I have taken dozens of pictures.

We had hoped beyond hope that the State would allow us to foster the children, perhaps with the mother’s agreement to leave the children with us, but the severity of the matter requires them to take action before the mom returns. They have learned she is planning to move with the children immediately upon her return, probably due to the DCFS interference. They can’t risk her taking the children away. We considered taking the classes to become foster parents in an official capacity, but we realized that if we insisted the children be returned to us in six months, we’d be almost no better than their mother; putting our needs in front of theirs.

The older girl’s infection became so severe that a large ulcer has scarred her bottom for life. An infant with the same severity of infection could easily die, especially one so undernourished as he. We did what we felt was right, and while we didn’t personally call DCFS to intervene, we were thankful the doctor took that responsibility away from us.

We are not nosy. We are not judgmental. We wanted to offer our help to this woman, but she wouldn’t listen, and continued to neglect her children. I can only hope she learns from these events and doesn’t have any more children in the future.

If she does, I hope the next total strangers she leaves her children with are more like us, than her.

Tags:3 Warning Signs You Should Call Child Services

3 Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids

Valentine’s day is quick approaching; so don’t let it pass by without doing some fun crafts with your kids. With all of the pink and red decorum at the stores, it’s easy to find the supplies you need for these three simple projects.

1. Beaded Heart Decoration

Everyone has seen those large plastic beads with three rounded tips. You’ve probably made a beaded candy cane out of these before in white or clear and red. Well this time find any type of beads that can easily be handled by your children, and big enough to be seen by the naked eye without getting lost in the carpet for centuries. These beads can easily be found at craft stores and Wal-Mart. You don’t have to stick with the traditional colors of red and pink, either. Heart shaped pony beads are a favorite because the extras can be made into bracelets or necklaces with a little string for those jewelry-crazed daughters.

Purchase the beads, some beading wire, and wire cutters if you don’t already have some. Beading wire comes in a variety of metallic colors included copper, silver, and gold; it is easily pliable for little hands, and when cut with good wire cutters will not be a cutting hazard. You should cut out one wire piece per heart in the desired size (no less than 8 inches for a decent sized one). Fold the wire in half so that it makes a V-shape. You should leave the bottom tip of the V in a slightly rounded shape so that a bead can fit nicely in the grove. Let your kids stack beads on each end, being sure to leave ½” on each side of the top of the V so you can close it into a heart. When they’ve finished placing the beads on, bend the wire into the shape of a heart by rounding the sides of the V into candy cane shapes that meet in the middle. Twist the wire together to lock the beads in and bend the excess wire into the hole of the middle of the closed bead to hide it. Attach a string or ribbon to each rounded part of the top of the heart so it will hang evenly. If you purchased beads that have holes that are too small for the wire to be hidden underneath, than simply affix a small silk flower or bow to the front. This will hide the wire and add a nice touch.

Other ideas include using clear or light pink diamond shaped beads and hanging it in the window for rainbow effects when the sun shines through, or attaching a spiral piece of wired beads to the bottom of the heart and placing light metal wind chimes evenly spaced along the spiral. These make great gifts as well.

2. A Twist on a Valentine Mail Box

These can be easily constructed from an empty tissue box or a wooden craft box. It’s not about the construction as much as it is the decorating. I prefer to use a tissue box since it can be recycled on a yearly basis (i.e. your kids can make a brand new one every year rather than watching them all accumulating in your closets). Tissue boxes with a plastic insert on the top are idea for this craft. Gather together tissue paper, watered down glue, and a sponge brush. To make a ‘twisted’ design on your mailbox attach a strip of tissue paper directly to the tissue box with a dap of glue. Dip the sponge brush into a dish of watered down glue (you don’t need very much water to water down glue, about ¼th part water). Stroke the brush over a part of the tissue paper strip and then twist it and glue the rest of it down. Make sure that it isn’t a straight line. If the strips don’t adhere to the gloss on the tissue box, you might want to cover it with brown paper bag first. Keep attaching strips in a like manner so that different colors are ‘twisting’ around the box. The twisting of the paper in application will give the box a texture, as well as the way it is glued down. Because this craft is better with a lack of precision it is perfect for younger kids without a lot of dexterity.

Your kids can decorate the box with glitter, flowers, or drawings. If you have extra Valentine cards or ones left over from last year, you can glue those on too and make borders around them with different colored fabric paint.

3. Candy holder

What’s Valentine’s day without candy? Well, there are several ways to make a unique candy holder. For young kids you can use 1 ½ paper plates, stapled closely together so it forms a pocket and decorated. For slightly older kids you can find empty lotion containers that are in a jar from that have wide tops or purchase an unfinished small wooden tray at a craft store. Makes sure they are cleaned properly before using. Line the jar with wax paper and cover it with a valentine print fabric, gluing the edges inside the jar under the wax paper. The design of the jar will create different effects. A taller jar can hold lollipops, and a short wide jar can hold hard candies. Decorate with ribbon or even the beaded Heart. With a wooden tray your kids can paint a design in the bottom and sides with craft paint. Make sure you seal it with a varnish before using. It would also be a good idea only to put wrapped candies in it unless you use a ‘food’ safe varnish.

Enjoy!

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3 Useless Arguments Christians Need to Stop Having with Each Other

Irene and I used to have lunch at work on a daily basis. What normally started off as a friendly conversation often ended up as a debate over Christianity. In general, we mostly believe the same, but our petty differences over religion eventually drove us apart.

Three useless arguments Christians need to stop having with each other:

“My church is better than yours.”

You know the drill. Your best friend or auntie thinks her church is so much better than yours. If only you’d change venues, you’d really grow.

Why it’s dumb: Churches are merely buildings. As long as what’s happening inside lines up with the word of god and feeds an attendee’s spirit, the rest is inconsequential.

“You worship to that music?”

One of the churches in my local area has two services. Why? People cannot agree on whether or not to sing hymns or non-traditional music during worship. Some Christians believe in sticking to the religious songs of their ancestors and adore hymns. Other Christians think they are passé and lyrically not lined up with biblical principals.

Why it’s dumb: Taste amongst music in and out of church is normally based on age. The same song that makes one person sad can inspire another. So, as long as the worship music opens up the listener’s heart – hymn or not – it’s acceptable.

“You shouldn’t wear that to church.”

I grew up in a holiness church where females were forbidden to wear pants in and out of church. Through time, I realized how insignificant a pair of slacks was to my faith and overall character. Yet, the debate still rages on as to the proper attire for Christians while in service. Some say come as you are while others believe it’s disrespectful to wear nothing less than a suit (men) or dress (women).

Why it’s dumb. Clothing shouldn’t affect whether or not a person is comfortable or uncomfortable in church. God accepts us as we are and with spiritual growth, the outer exterior of a man or woman usually changes anyway.

The above are three useless arguments Christians need to stop having with each other. They only act as distractions for people who’d otherwise get along.

_______
Also see: Eight False Facts about the Bible People Believe

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3 Unique IPhone Applications

With more about three hundred new applications coming out every day the iPhone dazzles its users with a range of over 50 thousand applications. Finding IPhone applications that suits your needs and interest can be a task given the absolute number available to you. While everyone one has their own favorites, here are 3 unique applications to consider. These 3 applications made it to the time magazine’s list of top ten iPhone applications and are especially for those interested in art, photography and healthy food.

UNIQUE IPHONE APPLICATION: The Small Chair (McSweeney’s)

The McSweeney Small Chair iPhone application is strictly for art lovers. The Small Chair iPhone application delivers new content including short stories, films, articles, interviews, art, and comedies every week. Purchasing the Small Chair iPhone application will give you a six months subscription to its vast and ever increasing collection good quality original literary works.

Priced at $ 5.99 it’s a deal for anyone keen on the arts. At a rate of roughly 23 cents a week you get to see new fresh content exclusive to iPhone and Small Chair. The special feature of this iPhone application is that the information is exclusive to it and not available on the internet servers. It uses push notification to alert you on new pieces. The undeleted content on your iPhone will remain accessible even after its subscription expires.

UNIQUE IPHONE APPLICATION: Photoshop.com

With a touch of a finger, this application allows you to adjust colors, crop, edit and send photos. By opening a photoshop.com account you can upload and share thousands of your iPhone pictures. Once uploaded on this application they are easily accessible as through the iPhone library. Being a free application it’s a photograph enthusiasts dream as it complements the already high resolution camera. You can tint the pictures with various colors or give it a vintage effect, all possible with this application.

UNIQUE IPHONE APPLICATION: Locavore application

The socially and environment conscious locavores can find themselves introduced to the Locavore application on their iphones. Priced at $2.99 this is also ideal for someone keen on trying foods grown locally and seasonally. This iPhone Application eliminates the need to remember instructions to farmer’s markets, their dates, and provides for general trivia on seasonal produce saving online surfing time. This iPhone Application also provides recipes for a clueless locavore. The unique application’s data available is powered by wikipedia and government and state NGO databases.

These three great iPhone applications are available to download today. If your interests lie in literary & artistic works, photography & editing, and living a healthy lifestyle you can do it all from the iPhone.

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3 Ways to Cook with a Flashlight

There are many different ways that a flashlight can be used around your home. Flashlights make a great device for simply seeing your way through dark hallways and inside dark rooms during a critical power outage and when you need to reassure your young children that monsters do not live under their bed.

However, did you know that there exist 3 other useful and interesting ways that a person can use a flashlight inside their home while trying to cook a simple meal in their kitchen? I know many of you are wondering how a flashlight could help a person with trying to cook a simple meal in their kitchen. Well, I will be happy to offer my 3 wonderful suggestions on how you can use a simple gadget like a flashlight to cook your next meal in your kitchen at home.

Suggestion #1 – Try using your flashlight to judge the overall quality of your food cooking on your stove. A flashlight is a great device that can be used to see just how hot your food really is while it is cooking on your kitchen stove.

If you are cooking a pot of tomato soup on your kitchen stove, you can actually turn on your flashlight and use its light beam to closely examine the intensity of the steam coming from the surface of the soup. By studying the overall thickness and intensity of the steam with the light beam from your flashlight, you’ll be able to better see whether the soup is properly cooked or if there is something wrong with the quality of the soup.

Suggestion #2 – Try using your flashlight to gain a better overall view of your food and to examine it more closely while cooking it on your stove. You would be amazed how using a simple gadget like a flashlight can give you a much better illumination of your food while you are cooking it.

Like anything in life, whether you are creating art or cooking food, everything looks different in brighter and harsher light. By using the light beam of your flashlight and shining it down on the food you are cooking on your stove, you will be able to see different textures and uncooked particles on the surface of your food. That, in turn, will help you decide just how much or how little you need to improve your food and how it should appear after you finish cooking it and just before you consume it.

Suggestion #3 – Try using your flashlight to help detect any possible dangerous gas leaks from your stove. One of the worst things you want to encounter while cooking food on a kitchen gas stove is to suddenly smell the strong odor of gas. A gas leak could present a very serious problem while cooking food with a lit pilot light on a stove.

If you should suddenly suspect that your gas stove might have a sudden gas leak while cooking your food, immediately turn off your gas stove and turn on your flashlight. You can use the light beam from your flashlight to closely look for visible gas leaks on your stove by first spraying water on the gas line and listen for hissing noises and little water bubbles forming on the gas line, which would indicate the possible location of a gas leak.

So, those are my 3 suggestions on how you can use a flashlight at home while trying to cook a successful and happy meal in your kitchen at home. I hope you will find my suggestions for new ways of using a flashlight at home a great way to assist you with cooking your next meal in your kitchen at home.

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3 Ways to Clean an Xbox 360's Laser Lens

The Xbox 360 is a great console, but unfortunately it’s not the hardiest console ever built. Early adopters quickly found out about the infamous red ring of death issue, and other technical problems have plagued the system. One of the easiest to fix but most annoying issues is a dirty laser lens, which can prevent the Xbox 360 from reading game discs correctly and cause an “open tray” error that renders your Xbox 360 useless. Here are a few different ways that you can clean the laser lens of your Xbox 360 safely, giving you more gameplay time and less maintenance headaches down the road.

1. Cleaner discs. Cleaner discs can be used to clean an Xbox 360’s lens. They’re available at most electronics stores, they’re fairly cheap, and they work fairly well, as long as they’re new, they don’t have dust on them already, and you use them according to all of the instructions supplied. Usually, you’ll just put them in as you would a normal CD, and then go to the Xbox 360’s music player and hit play, then follow the instructions to clean the lens. You may need to repeat this process a few times.

2. Compressed air. You can use compressed air to try to spot clean the laser lens of the Xbox 360, especially if you’re having the open tray error or other issues and you’re not just looking for a regular maintenance clean. You need to be careful, though. Open up the disc tray of the Xbox 360 and use a compressed air can with a cleaner straw attachment. Spray with short, controlled bursts towards the general area of the laser lens, and take care not to stay in one place too long or you could potentially damage something. Don’t tilt the can, and again, read the instructions carefully to make sure that you don’t end up damaging your console. We’re not responsible if you do! If you’re careful and don’t spray for very long at a time, though, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

3. Opening the system. As a last resort, you can open the system itself and use isopropyl alcohol to clean the laser lens. Use a clean, soft cloth, and be extremely careful to ground yourself before touching any of the system’s delicate electronics. This will, of course, void your warranty, so only attempt to open your system if you’re technically handy and you’ve done this type of thing before.

Do you have any other tips for cleaning an Xbox 360’s laser lens? Post in our comments section below.

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3 Ways the Brooklyn Nets and New York Teams Should Cross-Promote Their Rivalry on Social Media

COMMENTARY – The duel over the state of New York has taken a turn for the worse.

The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have made headlines across ESPN, SportCenter, and other sporting outlets, for their level of play. This cross-town rivalry had all the makings of a tick-for-tack showdown and would propel the state of New York back into a position of basketball relevance.

However, that hasn’t worked out too well. Both franchises are playing at a level of mediocrity and sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference: the Knicks at 3-13 and the Nets at 5-13. Players have already started to voice their frustration about the direction of the organization and the input from the fans isn’t far behind. All is not well. Carmelo Anthony even realizes that the Knicks aren’t playing their best basketball as he referred to them as the “laughingstock of the NBA” before today’s cross-town battle against the Brooklyn Nets.

Before anyone gets too frantic and hits the panic button, there is still an opportunity to maintain fan stability. With a little elbow grease and creative marketing management both New York teams could soon get the fans back in their corner and ultimately begin cheering the teams on to victory.

Here are three marketing ideas that each organization should look into to promote their rivalry.

1. Race to Redemption

On Facebook, a “Race to Redemption” page should be created. The page will offer box scores after every respective Knicks and Nets game. Details of their current record, winning or losing streak, and upcoming schedule could help provide user friendly information. Also, advanced stats, shooting charts, fatigue metrics, and just about any data collected from SportVU will be available.

Highlight videos and photos add a visual element that relates to the stats. The page will allow fans to “like” posts and spark conversation by commenting, arguing, and ranting their basketball knowledge. Player reactions, along with post-game interviews, offer more access into the mindset of individual players and the approach of the team.

Posts of each team’s historical relevance can also be included. How far is Carmelo Anthony to being the Knicks all-time leading scorer? What is Deron Williams’ ranking as the Nets all-time assist leader, which can be a bit tricky after the team moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn? Have these two teams squared off in the postseason before?

It will basically act as a representation of NBA.com in which the fans can interact with.

2. Social Media King of New York

Both teams are stacked with former All-Stars and future first-ballot hall-of-famers. Add that with complimenting role players and a resourceful coaching staff and you have all the makings of an epic rivalry. Each team has a bunch of individual talent at every position. The question is, who is better? Not only do the two teams squaring off four times during the regular season, and maybe more if they reach the playoffs against each other, but they should also compete in a best-of-13 guatlet.

Twitter will act as the stomping ground for the “Social Media King of New York”. In this 13-week battle, player positions match up as fans vote on their favorite.

How the contest goes is that side-by-side photographs of two respective players are displayed with their season stats in a corner. Fans then vote by retweeting a tweet if they support a Knicks player and favorite a tweet if they support a Nets player. At the end of the week, the retweets and favorites are tallied up and a victory is given to a team. The contest goes on until 12 players and the head coach have been voted upon.

It can be a bit tricky because both teams are dealing with a severe amount of injuries and their lineups are not in an ideal condition. However, it’d be best to utilize the best players. For example, the Knicks would matchup center Tyson Chandler against Brook Lopez of the Nets’. Although the lineups aren’t as theorized and playing time changes game-by-game, both teams have enough talented contributors to make this a fair, balanced, and competitive fight. ALL HAIL THE KING OF NEW YORK!

Note: The tweets are to come from the official NBA Twitter account only.

3. New York Bloopers

Player mishaps are just as common as player highlights. As you witness a high flying reverse dunk, you could just as quickly see the same player mishandle a pass or lose the ball off his head. Sometimes I just wait for Ashton Kutcher to jump onto the court and tell me I’ve been Punk’d.

It’s one thing to witness the player mishaps, but getting digital proof and sharing it is another story.

An Instagram contest, New York Bloopers, will offer a variety of hilarious misfortunes from the state of New York. Whether you personally attend a game or happen to get a snapshot from the television, you can upload it to a global audience. Using the hashtags #NYKBloopers and #BKNBloopers allows for fans to easily search for embarrassing and awkward situations. The amount of mishaps is endless. As New York debuts this feature it could quickly catch on with the rest of the NBA and sweep over the entire social media world.

Knicks and Nets fans are looking for anything to give them hope that their team will get it together. As the season goes on and their records hopefully improve, there may be more opportunities for fans to get involved in the action. Although they can’t take the court and compete the various social media battles will be just as competitive. There may be satisfaction in knowing that you represented your team well online, even if they can’t do the same on the court. These are the types of things that get you pumped to watch New York basketball.

Tags:3 Ways the Brooklyn Nets and New York Teams Should Cross-Promote Their Rivalry on Social Media

3 Video Games that You Must Play!

Have you ever played a video game that you absolutely love? Yes? Well so have I, in fact I will share 3 video games that I irrevocably love with you. Hopefully you agree, if not then my mission has failed.

  1. The Last Of Us – Hands down the best story and character development in a video game. You simply do not think about this game without immediately hearing “masterpiece” or “brilliance”. The gameplay only complements the masterful story, with an immersive way to go about progressing in the game further. You could sneak around corners and listen to every NPC’s conversation or comical dialogue (if you know naughty dog you’ll understand) or you could go into every situation guns ablaze completely ignoring what anyone has to say. However the latter would not be the smartest choice on higher difficulty settings. Simply put this game has a lot to offer regardless of your play style.
  2. The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim – Another masterpiece to say the least, Skyrim has many things to offer for any gamer. If you like to hack and slash people for no apparent reason look no further Skyrim is the game for you! If you want to explore a beautiful vast world filled with lore look no further Skyrim is the game for you! If you want to go along the more traditional route of an RPG game and play through the story look no further Skyrim is the game for you! Basically what I’m saying is Skyrim has many many MANY things to offer however it is up to you on how you go about discovering those things.
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – Ah a classic at its finest! I’m at a loss for words, when I bring this game into my mind, this game has defined many games that came out after it, especially the later games in the series. Ocarina of Time may not offer the abundance of Skyrim; however it does offer a sense of honor while playing the main character Link. While controlling Link you truly feel as if his world is in your hands that it is up to you and only you to deliver his world from certain doom. I cannot explain the game any further, to truly feel what I feel you must experience the game first-hand.

As you can see these three games hold a place very dear in my heart, without these games I highly doubt I would be the gamer I am today. Hopefully I have inspired you to check out at least one of these three games and that you enjoyed it as much as I.

Tags:3 Video Games that You Must Play!

3 Ways to Cut Down Your Wedding Guest List

Determining who you will invite to your wedding can be a daunting task. You should start by considering your overall vision for your big day. Then you must consider your wedding budget. These factors will play huge role in determining your wedding guest list. It is important to remember that everything you purchase is multiplied by this number. If your food cost is fifty dollars per person, by removing 10 guests you are saving $500. Use the following tips to trim your wedding guest list while still enjoying the wedding of your dreams.

Invite immediate family and close friends only

Start your journey by making it clear to your family that your budget will only allow you to invite family and close friends. This will free up extra money for you and your fiancé to have the honeymoon of your dreams or for you to purchase the couture wedding gown that may have been out of reach. Your wedding day is about your love and you should not be burdened by extra costs that you could easily eliminate.

Eliminate people who you have not seen in years

If you can’t find it in your heart to remove any family members, trim down your wedding guest list by removing friends you have not seen in a long time. If you can not remember the last time you spoke or hung out together than it is probably an indication that they do not have to be at your wedding. With this cut you do not have to worry about the repercussions since you won’t be running into them at the grocery store once you are married anyway.

Remove the guests of your guests

The easiest way to trim your wedding guest list is by cutting the guests you did not invite. It is common to invite the significant other of your invited guest. The key word here is “significant”. If the couple is married, engaged or living together then you should expect them to be a two or none deal but fly by night relationships and dates for the night do not have to be hosted on your dime. Let your single guests know upfront that you do not have the room for them to bring dates.

Cut your pity guests

You are not obligated to invite your co workers, people whose wedding you attended, or guests who invite themselves to your wedding. You should make it very clear to your co workers that while you appreciate their well wishes, you are only inviting family to your wedding. It may be hard to not invite guests whose wedding you attended but you must remember that everyone’s budget it is different. Where they may have had a parent or family member footing the bill you are on your own and it is perfectly fine to let them know they did not make the cut. While it is rather embarrassing, lots of people have the habit of assuming that they are invited to your wedding . Let them down easy by telling them is just isn’t possible financially for you to invite them. They should understand.

At the end of the day your wedding is about you and your fiancé. There are no rules to who you can invite to share it with you. Enjoy it! It all goes by way to fast!

Tags:3 Ways to Cut Down Your Wedding Guest List

3 Ways to Use Cloud Computing to Plan Your Next Party

You’re throwing a party. Regardless what kind of party it is, you’ll still need to do a lot of time-consuming tasks. Why not let cloud computing help? Cloud computing isn’t just something businesses do to lighten their server load; cloud computing is also adept at helping you plan a graduation party. Here are a few ways you can use cloud computing for your next party, and some websites designed specifically for the task.

Do-It-Yourself

There are dozens of options for using cloud computing to help you search for locations for your party, for inviting friends and for tracking their responses. You can select a date using ScheduleOnce.com, email invitations using Evite.com, allow them to RSVP to your party using a form created in Google Docs, and even create a website for your event using one of a number of free website create tools. Unfortunately, these options aren’t integrated. One or two might work with tools you already use (ScheduleOnce integrates with Gmail and Google Calendar, for instance), but none offer a complete cloud-based solution to party management. The following options do.

All-In-One Web Solutions

Punchbowl.com, PartySynch.com and BestPartyEver.com are three big party planning websites, and while they aren’t identical, they do have a few things in common. Mainly, they offer integrated party planning solutions. While you’ll eventually decide one website better suits your needs, each has the goal of allowing you to go from initial planning stages to party, using only their tools. With these websites (check each individual website for particulars), you generally get the following features:

Pick-A-Date Tools – Poll your friends or use other online date selection tools to help pick a final date for your event. After that, send out save-a-date notices.

Invitation Management – Design personalized invitations to your party, then email them to friends or print them out to send through the mail.

RSVP and Guestlist Tools – Create an manage guestlists, allow your guests to RSVP online, and even track who’ll be attending, who will not, and who hasn’t yet replied.

Create a Budget and Checklist – Since you’ll want your party to happen within a certain price range, use cloud computing to help you create and track your budget. You can also design a checklist, so every part of the planning process happens when it should.

Hiring Professional Help – If your party is fairly large, you might want a decorator or caterer, not to mention a good location. Using web tools, you can search for all of this, based on location and cost (in order to stay within the budget you created).

Send Reminders – When the date of the party nears, you can automatically send out reminders, not only to attendees, but to yourself as well, to make sure you’re on track of your checklist.

Event Website – Every party planning website I looked at helps you create a free website for your party. Now, even people with no website experience can create an online “face” for the party, so attendees can look at maps, see what the theme is, and receive last-minute updates.

Tags:3 Ways to Use Cloud Computing to Plan Your Next Party

3 Ways to Build Community and Keep a Volunteering New Year's Resolution in Denver

Committing to helping others, healthier living, and learning something new are the most common New Year’s resolutions. Denver has many unique volunteer opportunities that can help us succeed in fulfilling these resolutions. I’ve listed three local opportunities below that appealed to my interests in gardening and camping.

Change and commitment can feel intimidating and overwhelming. Our good intentions can become derailed as another year passes. We forget change happens no matter what we do. Instead, why not focus on taking smaller steps toward an overall goal? Before we realize it, we are moving in a direction we want to go without the pressure to change at this very moment. This can feel less intimidating, overwhelming, and liberating.

Denver Urban Gardens is committed to utilizing gardens as places for learning and healthy living while teaching life skills that develop community leadership. DUG partners with local schools to coordinate youth run, single vendor farmers markets that are located on or near school property and offer produce grown in school gardens to communities. DUG also has a mentoring program called Connecting Generations that brings older adult volunteers on board to bridge the generational gap to support improved academic achievement, and building community.

Big City Mountaineers. Their wilderness expedition program instills and nurtures life skills in under served youth. Working to improve and transform lives is key and professional guides work together with community agencies to host same sex backpacking trips. Expeditions promote taking personal responsibility, having integrity, and practice decision making and communication skills. Participants return with increased self esteem, renewed motivation and purpose to make positive changes in their lives, stay in school and are less likely to engage in violence and drug use. The core program in Colorado lasts one week in late June, July, or August.

Mary Crest Assisted Living is non profit, and needs your skills and talents as companions for residents. Have a favorite hobby, enjoy playing board games, or have an especially cuddly pet? They’re willing to work with your schedule whenever you have a free moment to help spend extra time with residents.

Paula is a Denver native who writes science fiction thrillers, and has worked as a services coordinator for low income housing seniors to help to maintain their independence. She has volunteered as a pet therapist in assisted living facilities, animal rescue foster, and supports opportunities that build community between seniors and youth.

Tags:3 Ways to Build Community and Keep a Volunteering New Year’s Resolution in Denver

3 Ways to Build Community and Keep a Volunteering New Year's Resolution in Denver

Committing to helping others, healthier living, and learning something new are the most common New Year’s resolutions. Denver has many unique volunteer opportunities that can help us succeed in fulfilling these resolutions. I’ve listed three local opportunities below that appealed to my interests in gardening and camping.

Change and commitment can feel intimidating and overwhelming. Our good intentions can become derailed as another year passes. We forget change happens no matter what we do. Instead, why not focus on taking smaller steps toward an overall goal? Before we realize it, we are moving in a direction we want to go without the pressure to change at this very moment. This can feel less intimidating, overwhelming, and liberating.

Denver Urban Gardens is committed to utilizing gardens as places for learning and healthy living while teaching life skills that develop community leadership. DUG partners with local schools to coordinate youth run, single vendor farmers markets that are located on or near school property and offer produce grown in school gardens to communities. DUG also has a mentoring program called Connecting Generations that brings older adult volunteers on board to bridge the generational gap to support improved academic achievement, and building community.

Big City Mountaineers. Their wilderness expedition program instills and nurtures life skills in under served youth. Working to improve and transform lives is key and professional guides work together with community agencies to host same sex backpacking trips. Expeditions promote taking personal responsibility, having integrity, and practice decision making and communication skills. Participants return with increased self esteem, renewed motivation and purpose to make positive changes in their lives, stay in school and are less likely to engage in violence and drug use. The core program in Colorado lasts one week in late June, July, or August.

Mary Crest Assisted Living is non profit, and needs your skills and talents as companions for residents. Have a favorite hobby, enjoy playing board games, or have an especially cuddly pet? They’re willing to work with your schedule whenever you have a free moment to help spend extra time with residents.

Paula is a Denver native who writes science fiction thrillers, and has worked as a services coordinator for low income housing seniors to help to maintain their independence. She has volunteered as a pet therapist in assisted living facilities, animal rescue foster, and supports opportunities that build community between seniors and youth.

Tags:3 Ways to Build Community and Keep a Volunteering New Year’s Resolution in Denver

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