【SHOUTENGAI】Can Japanese Shopping Street be SHOUTENGAI

first_imgMany wonderful spots-to-see await you in Japan.Do you prefer running around for shopping and sight-seeing in the hustle of metropolis?Or enjoying your leisure at historical sites in the flow of four seasons and traditional culture?Don’t forget the various cuisines, from the cheap to standard ones.Breath-taking nature views are waiting you there as well.Every aspect of Japan would absolutely be attractive on your visit.And we know that in fact,quite a few of the visitors are interested injust an ordinary part of our culture – everyday life of Japanese citizens. “SHOUTENGAI – Japanese shopping street” is totally the perfect place for you.There you can see our daily life,the tributaries of Japanese history and their successors,the modern era and society of Japan,But there you CANNOT see what has “artificially created” just for tourism. Film Director:Tomokazu YamadaWebSite:http://tomokazuyamada.com/center_img How many things would you find interesting or special from our everyday scene, what we usually don’t care about?Please walk through the “SHOUTENGAI” to learn more about Japan.You would find something different from what you had recognized as “Japan”.Just like “SUSHI” or “KARAOKE”, someday these shopping streets might be known as “SHOUTENGAI” among the visitors.We really think that there are such potentials in these spots.last_img read more

Nippombashi Street Fiesta 2015 Report

first_imgFestivals for the otaku people are held not only in Tokyo or Akihabara, but in Kansai, the western region of Japan, as well. The Nippombashi Street Festa, held once every year at Nippombashi, Osaka, is one of Kansai’s large scale events.■To read about Nippombashi, Osaka, click here.The Festa is held in spring, when the temperature begins to rise. During the festivities, the streets of Nippombashi are temporarily turned into pedestrian malls. Colorful cosplayers from all over Japan gather for photo sessions, and famous voice actors and actresses come to participate in various events.This is the last year’s report by MATCHA, and many cosplayers also gathered at the Festa this year. So we would like to introduce the participants that stood out.Various Cosplayers Abound, From Old and New AnimesThey are the hunters from the game “Monster Hunters” series, each brandishing their distinctive equipments.This is Daisuke Jigen, the sidekick of Lupin from “Lupin III,” looking like he came straight from the anime into the real world. The expert gunman’s aim never waivers.This is Anna and Olaf, from the blockbuster movie “Frozen.” The cosplayers are parent and child, and the cute Olaf was popular among the female participants, which goes to show the how well the movie is known.This Year’s Trend? The Festa is teeming with participants full of otaku spirit, so come and have fun!InformationNippombashi Street FestaDate: The Festa is held every year at the end of March.Time: From 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.Number of Visitors: 230 thousand (2014)Number of Cosplayers: 4,500 (2013)Cosplay Entrance Fee: 1,500 yenStation: Kintestu Nippombashi station (Kintetsu line), Nippombashi station (Osaka Municipal Subway)Official HP (Japanese): Nippombashi Street FestaOfficial twitter (Japanese): @StreetFesta An Itasha featuring “THE iDOLM@STER” From the anime “Love Live!,” an Itasha featuring Maki Nishikino and her CosplayerA Festival Where Everyone Can Have FunIn Japan, most of the cosplay festival participants enjoy the role-playing of an anime or manga character. But most of the participants here at the Festa regard cosplay as a masquerade. Marco from the Studio Ghibri anime “Porco Rosso”With the wide variety of masqueraders, you will be able to identify at least one of them. From left to right: Cosplayers of Akagi, Tenryu, and KagaThis year, there were many Kanmusu [Fleet Girl] cosplayers from the Kantai [Fleet] Collection anime. The characters are based on the battleships of the Japanese Imperial Navy. Shimakaze from Kantai Collection.Adored by ChildrenThe cosplayers of “tokusatu” [special filming] heroes such as the Kamen [masked] Rider series, with their authentic costumes, were very popular.They fight evil that threatens the freedom and peace of mankind.A young fan is very much delighted to meet his heroes.”Itasha”One of the attractions of the Festa is the number of “Itasha” (cars decorated with anime characters) gathered at the parking lot nearby.last_img read more

In fight against domestic violence in Zimbabwe UN enlists traditional chiefs

Hundreds of traditional leaders across Zimbabwe are being trained to help fight domestic abuse in their communities under a United Nations-backed initiative launched in cooperation with the Government and women lawyers in the Central African country. “Chiefs play a pivotal role in settling domestic disputes across rural Zimbabwe,” UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative Festo Kavishe said. “They are often the custodians of traditional law and receive the bulk of cases dealing with domestic violence. Yet, too often in the past they have lacked the power and knowledge to prevent and adequately respond to domestic violence.” The training, launched by UNICEF, the Government and the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association, ensures that more than 300 chiefs learn how to apply and interpret the recently enacted and historic Domestic Violence Act, stop abuse and offer support to victims in their communities. Amid continuing economic hardships, unemployment at 70 per cent, and a growing HIV/AIDS crisis, anecdotal evidence has shown not only an increase in domestic violence, but in its severity as well. In Zimbabwe 95 per cent of the victims of domestic violence are women. “Advocating for a Domestic Violence law was a triumph, a great first stride,” UNICEF’s gender focal person Jelda Nhiziyo said. “But this is the beginning. The greatest challenges lie ahead. We must fight to change mindsets, entrenched values and habits, and in this struggle traditional leaders are the key.” The Domestic Violence Act provides clear laws to protect victims and provides long-term measures to tackle the problem by imposing stiffer sentences, placing special duties on police to assist victims with special sections set up at police stations, ensuring police are trained on the Bill and advise victims of their rights, and immediately providing victims with a court issued protection order. Beyond the training, UNICEF is actively engaged in working to reduce domestic violence in Zimbabwe, training pastors, police and communities on handling the problem and instructing teachers on how they can provide life skills to victims. 24 August 2007Hundreds of traditional leaders across Zimbabwe are being trained to help fight domestic abuse in their communities under a United Nations-backed initiative launched in cooperation with the Government and women lawyers in the Central African country. read more

UN relief chief concerned about possible departure of aid official from Sudan

Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said in a statement that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is in touch with all sides to try to resolve “any misunderstandings or miscommunication” about the activities of NGO workers in Sudan, especially the case of CARE’s John Barker. There are currently about 12,300 aid workers in the war-torn western Sudanese region of Darfur, including almost 900 international staff. They provide assistance to an estimated 4.2 million people, including 2.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), suffering since 2003 from the deadly conflict between rebel groups, Government forces and allied Janjaweed militias. Mr. Holmes, who is also Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said CARE has operated in Sudan for 27 years and has provided food, health care and other relief items to some four million people in the last three years alone. “Given that CARE is a significant provider of humanitarian assistance to a large number of people in Sudan, the ambiguity of Mr. Barker’s current status is all the more distressing,” he said. In May, the UN and Khartoum signed a joint communiqué to improve the administration of the humanitarian effort in Sudan, including by helping to secure visas and work permits for aid workers and by making it easier for relief goods to clear customs. “We hope to build on the positive steps undertaken in recent months to advance the spirit of the Joint Communiqué,” Mr. Holmes said. “However, much more needs to be done in letter as well as spirit to ensure the Communiqué is implemented fully to the benefit of all civilians throughout Sudan.” 27 August 2007The United Nations humanitarian arm voiced serious concern today at reports that the Sudanese Government has ordered the Country Director of CARE, a large non-governmental organization (NGO), to leave the country within 72 hours. read more

Building climate resilience and peace go hand in hand for Africas Sahel

The Sahel region is characterized by a series of challenges, including rampant insecurity which remains prevalent and causes rising levels of human suffering and humanitarian needs. Some 4.9 million people have been displaced in 2018, a three-fold increase in less than three years, while 24 million people require humanitarian assistance throughout the region.“In order to achieve peace and sustainable development… we must tackle the root causes of conflict and crises,” stated Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed in her opening remarks for the annual session of the Peacebuilding Commission, on Monday. “These are found in discrimination, human rights violations, weak governance, conflict, and the impact of climate change”.The Sahel is also one of the most environmentally degraded regions in the world with temperature increases projected to be 1.5 times higher than the global average. It is regularly hit by droughts and floods which have enormous consequences on people’s ability to earn a living and feed their families.The region consists of 10 different countries, totaling 300 million people. Currently, 33 million women, children and men are food insecure, while 4.7 million children under the age of 5 suffer from acute malnutrition.The Sahel is arguably one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change – Ibrahim Thiaw, UN Special Adviser on the Sahel“The Sahel is arguably one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change,” said Ibrahim Thiaw, UN Special Adviser on the Sahel. “It is most likely the region with the largest number of people disproportionately affected by global warming”.“With rapid population growth estimated at 2.8 per cent per year in an environment of shrinking natural resources, including land and water resources, climate change in the Sahel can compound existing vulnerabilities,” stressed the President of ECOSOC, Inga Rhonda King, as she opened the joint meeting on Tueday. “This risks generating new conflicts and forced migration, issues which already characterize the region.”“This situation requires our urgent attention,” she stressed.The watershed report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued in October notes that, in the Sahel, the risks associated with global warming – including food shortages – would be lower if the rise in temperatures compared with pre-industrial levels was contained to 1.5°C, as opposed to 2°C.“Climate change impacts around the globe – including, desertification, droughts, floods and food insecurity — all pose grave threats to generations of human and development gains,” said the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, Ion Jinga.He noted that, together, ECOSOC and the Peacebuilding Commission can support local initiatives through coordination of policies, building partnerships, resource mobilization, and promotion of national ownership for projects implemented.The joint meeting included local leaders invited to present their climate action initiatives to address their insecurity challenges.“We are convinced that there are solutions, that with effort we can get out of this situation, and improve the current trends, because the youth that commit terrorist acts are often enrolled to do so, not so much by religious conviction, but due to a lack of opportunities, said Ahmed Aziz Diallo, mayor of the city of Dori, in Burkina Faso. “If a pastoralist can’t feed his animals because he doesn’t have food and he doesn’t have water, then he is going to look for other ways”.Mr. Diallo gave examples of actions taken in his town to mitigate the effects of climate change citing, among others, reforestation efforts, financial support to farmers, trainings for bee keepers, cross-border cooperation with other countries’ municipalities to implement common projects.He ended his statement with a plea: “I ask you to support our efforts, to support the work done in the field, to support the initiatives of the municipalities… because their impact is immediate given that they are implemented locally for the well-being of the communities”. read more

Mother of Mikaeel Kular appears in court

first_imgTHE MOTHER OF three-year-old Mikaeel Kular has appeared in court charged with his murder.Rosdeep Kular, 33, was charged under her married name Adekoya at a brief hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.Prosecutors said that Kular made no plea or declaration during the sitting before Sheriff Frank Crowe just after 4pm today.She was charged with both murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.Mikaeel was reported missing from his home in Ferry Gait Crescent last Thursday, having last been reported seen the previous night.More than 200 volunteers and police joined the search for the boy.His body was later found in an area of woodland behind a house in Kirkcaldy, Fife. It is believed Kular and her five children used to live in the house.Read: Mother of Edinburgh toddler charged over deathRead: Mikaeel Kular’s mother to appear in court todaylast_img read more

Gigi Del Neri talks about Chievos past and future

first_imgThe Italian Lega Serie A club is at the bottom of the standings and it’s fighting not to get back to the Serie B next yearRecently-promoted Italian Lega Serie A club Chievo Verona have had a lot of trouble this season.The team was punished by bad accounting with minus three points, and it has suffered in eight matches without a single win.Chievo is currently sitting in the 20th position of the table with -1 point because of this.And former Verona manager Gigi Del Neri says the team he took to the Serie A for the first time in 2001-2002 might not see that miracle repeat.“The Chievo Miracle was, I think, an indestructible memory,” Del Neri was echoed by Football Italia.SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Claudio Ranieri, Manager of Fulham during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Fulham FC at St Mary's Stadium on February 27, 2019 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)Ranieri speaks for the first time at Roma Manuel R. Medina – March 10, 2019 The Italian manager has returned to his country to coach Lega Serie A club Roma after the team was kicked out of the UEFA Champions League.“We’ll never see the likes of that again. To do what we did was like winning the lottery.”“After D’Anna was fired, I heard a few rumors around me, but I think Ventura is the right man to take Chievo forward at this moment,” he said.“It’s very complicated this term because the newly-promoted clubs all have some very interesting squads. Chievo still has to cancel out the points penalty, but I think they have what it takes to survive.”“Ventura was not the problem with the Nazionale. We can’t forget 35 years of the man’s career just because of two bad games,” he added.“Ventura is a friend and I always tried to learn from him. He is very fired up and I’m convinced he’ll do well with Chievo.”last_img read more

Wife of Eddie Gallagher and Congressman Duncan D Hunter defend prosecuted Navy

first_img KUSI Newsroom, February 19, 2019 Wife of Eddie Gallagher and Congressman Duncan D. Hunter defend prosecuted Navy SEAL Updated: 10:11 AM 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a 2017 deployment to Iraq.Prosecutors say he killed a teenage Islamic State fighter under his care and then held his reenlistment ceremony with the corpse.They also accuse Gallagher of shooting two civilians in Iraq and firing inadvertently into crowds.Congressman Duncan Hunter has recently sent a letter to President Trump asking him to directly intervene in the court martial proceedings on Gallagher. Hunter’s letter alleges political bias against Gallagher.Congressman Hunter and Andrea Gallagher, Edward’s wife, appeared on Good Morning San Diego to defend Edward.A military judge has postponed the murder trial of a Navy SEAL accused of fatally stabbing an Iraqi war prisoner.The three-month delay came Wednesday after defense lawyers asked for more time to go over the prosecution’s evidence.Defense attorney Phil Stackhouse said his team has received more than 1,000 pages of material from the prosecution since the end of January.The trial has been reset for May 28. center_img KUSI Newsroom Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: February 19, 2019last_img read more

World leaders welcome Saudi prince at G20

first_imgRussia`s President Vladimir Putin attends the G20 Leaders` Summit in Buenos Aires, on 30 November 2018. Global leaders gather in the Argentine capital for a two-day G20 summit beginning on Friday likely to be dominated by simmering international tensions over trade. Photo: AFPWorld leaders including a beaming Vladimir Putin welcomed Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday at the G20 summit, showing he was no pariah less than two months after the murder of a dissident journalist by a Saudi hit team.In an image that quickly went viral online, the Russian leader and the prince both beamed and clasped each other’s hands like long-lost friends.The embrace came amid reports that Russia and Saudi Arabia have reached a pact to cut oil production when the OPEC cartel meets on 6 December in Vienna, to help shore up collapsing crude prices.The ambitious 33-year-old prince was also seen chatting with US president Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka, and shaking hands with French president Emmanuel Macron, at the start of the two-day meeting of the world’s top economies in Buenos Aires.The French presidency said that Macron spoke to the prince about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi-led offensive in Yemen, where millions are on the brink of starvation in what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.Macron told Prince Mohammed that Europeans wanted international investigators to take part in the probe on Khashoggi’s death and stressed “the necessity of a political solution in Yemen,” the Elysee Palace said.British prime minister Theresa May, speaking to Sky News before the summit, said she would press both on Yemen and Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who was killed when visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.”The Saudi Arabians need to ensure that their investigation is a full investigation, that it’s credible, that it’s transparent, and that people can have confidence in the outcome of it, and that those responsible are held to account,” May said.Khashoggi’s killing has sparked widespread outrage but Western powers have pledged to maintain close relations with Saudi Arabia, a top oil producer and buyer of US weapons.Trump, in an exclamation point-heavy statement before the summit, said it did not matter whether Prince Mohammed knew about Khashoggi’s death and that Saudi Arabia was important for business and for its hostility to Iran.The US Senate nonetheless moved this week to end support for the Saudi-led war against rebels in Yemen amid outrage over attacks on civilian sites including a school bus and hospitals.last_img

10 Web Marketing Trends for 2010

first_img 10 min read Enroll Now for Free December 24, 2009 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Trend #10: Coupons, Discounts and Savings Trend #8: Podcasting and Online Radio Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Advice: Let it restOnline radio is actually on a bit of a growth trend, but that’s just because so-called terrestrial radio is suffering so much that radio advertisers are switching their investments to digital formats. 2010 will be a year of exploration for online broadcasters as they struggle to find and attract loyal audiences. iTunes has long been the leader in podcasting, but there are still no clear leaders in internet radio.Even if leaders emerge in 2010, internet broadcasters will need to make their media more sharable, more engaging, more trackable and more mobile to attract money from advertisers. If you’re looking to attract an audience by broadcasting or advertising on broadcast media, go with online video in 2010 and wait for radio to finish reinventing itself.Trend #9: Online VideoAdvice: InvestIf a picture paints a thousand words, how many words does a 30-second online video paint? Countless buying emotions and memorable brand moments are possible with video. Until recently, spreading your message with video was limited to the television screen. In 2010, watch for video to become more accessible to small businesses through online outlets. Online video is interactive, memorable, widely accessible, cheap to create and highly shareable. There’s also a lot of investment happening around video, which is sure to create even more low-cost opportunities for small businesses to participate in video promotions in 2010.Video presents a great opportunity for small-business marketing, but don’t think of video as a replacement for text. As powerful as video can be, it can be more cumbersome than text because you can’t scan a video as quickly as you can scan a page of headlines, links and text to quickly find the exact information you need. Use your investments to find the right balance for your customers. Advice: InvestIf you want people to see the content on your website, it might make sense to advertise the location of your website content by placing ads on other high-traffic websites. Driving visitor traffic to your website isn’t the way to go for 2010, however. Instead, you need to spend 2010 driving your website content to the visitor traffic.The difference stems from the fact that content aggregation websites like YouTube are boosting consumer demand for instant gratification and what I like to call “content nesting.” Content nesting allows consumers to browse through content fed to them through a single web page, or nest, so that they don’t have to click on links to individual websites all over the World Wide Web, which takes more time–not to mention that the results can be anywhere from unpredictable to shockingly irrelevant.To take advantage of content nesting in 2010, your website content needs to be nested in as many content aggregation sites as possible. For example, a lot of people search for videos on YouTube. If you have a video on your website and it’s not also on YouTube, people on YouTube won’t bother searching for your website. To them, YouTube represents the total number of videos available to them on their topic of interest.Trend #7: Mobile MarketingAdvice: TestIn case you haven’t heard, mobile marketing is all about marketing to people through their mobile phones and smart-phone devices. Small businesses haven’t had much of an opportunity to engage consumers on mobile devices, but 2010 has the potential to change that.Demand is increasing dramatically for mobile applications and mobile web-browsing due to wider adoption of devices like the iPhone and the Google Android phone. As more people adopt these phones and features in 2010, look for small-business marketing services to start providing lower-cost mobile marketing solutions like text messaging, mobile e-mail marketing, mobile websites, mobile application development and location-based marketing.Make 2010 your year to collect mobile preferences from your prospects and customers, and use tools like Google Analyticsto see how many people are visiting your website on mobile web browsers. If you find interest in mobile interaction among your customers, begin testing simple mobile marketing campaigns such as sending a few mobile coupons via text or building a mobile micro-site for one of your products. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Trend #6: Web Presence Allocating your small business marketing budget to maximize return on investment and minimize the risks of a low or negative return can become a lot more unpredictable when your investments involve trends and emerging technologies. Investing in trends requires smart timing and consumer analysis.You would think that marketing trends would be closely aligned with consumer trends, since effective marketing depends on getting your messages to appear where the highest concentration of qualified eyeballs are focused. That isn’t always the case, however, because trend-focused marketers tend to place an inflated value on revolutionary technology and early adoption.Thankfully, the majority of consumers permanently relocate their attention with much less frequency than marketing bandwagon drivers. Still, missing a trend or sticking with a has-been spells opportunity lost at best and negative returns or loss of market share at worst.Since your trend-marketing returns are only as good as your ability to make educated guesses, here’s some advice to help you avoid turning educated guesses into marketing messes. The following list features the top 10 internet marketing trends for 2010, in no particular order, and tells you whether to invest, test or let it rest.Trend #1: Search Engine OptimizationAdvice: TestSites with relevant content and credible links will continue to rule the search rankings in the coming year, but 2010 has the potential to reveal a few new standards. As the volume of web content continues to grow, consumers will demand even more relevant and personalized search results. That means search engines will be looking for more relevant and personalized content from publishers and brands. In fact, the search engine algorithms are already beginning to pay more attention to date of publication, geo-location, mobile device browsers, past behavior and social media content.Don’t abandon your current SEO strategy in search of personalization, but make sure you allocate a portion of your budget to testing content, keywords and links that are targeted toward niche audiences. Test keyword and link placement in social media, local content and mobile websites, and make an effort to more frequently refresh some of the content you devote to search engine rankings. Once the search engines have tested these new search targets and revealed some concrete standards, you should be prepared to invest accordingly.Trend #2: Paid SearchAdvice: InvestPaid search hasn’t seen a revolutionary trend since the idea of the long tailwas applied to keyword bidding. That’s OK, because consumers will still use search engines in 2010 as a primary means of finding products and services to fulfill their needs, and they will still be clicking on relevant ads. Search advertising prices will remain reasonable, and average returns will remain comparably high as larger companies with decreased search marketing budgets continue to allocate resources to lower-cost SEO tactics in hopes of attracting visitors at lower prices. 2010 has the potential for even more downward pressure on price-per-click if Bing can gain enough loyal searchers to attract business away from Google.You won’t exactly feel like you’re in the driver’s seat when your search marketing placement choices are limited to Google, Microsoft or both, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from investing in the highly qualified leads that paid search is capable of producing for your small business.Trend #3: E-mail MarketingAdvice: InvestIt isn’t hard to justify an investment in e-mail marketing when the cost of sending e-mails is so low. The low cost isn’t the only reason to send e-mail, however. Most consumers still consider e-mail to be their primary form of communication, even though there are several alternative ways for consumers to subscribe to periodic content from small businesses.E-mail marketing will remain highly predictable in 2010 and may even become more powerful as e-mail service providers improve social media integration, search engine access to archived e-mails, auto-responders and new integrated applications. If you don’t already use an e-mail service provider, invest in one in 2010. If you already use an e-mail service, invest in your e-mail list and in producing valuable content to nurture leads and attract repeat customers.The cost of building a permission-based list is likely to stay the same in 2010 as it was in 2009, but more than one-third of consumers changed at least one of their e-mail addresses in 2009–due to job changes or other economic factors. Spend more time and money in 2010 focused on keeping your e-mail list current when those consumers return to work and change e-mail addresses again.Trend #4: Social Network MarketingAdvice: TestSocial media has one redeeming quality for marketers–lots and lots of eyeballs. That’s attractive if you’re a major brand, but profitable interaction will continue to be the exception for small businesses in 2010 rather than the rule. A good test of your social network marketing potential is to survey your current customers to see how many of them consider social networking to be a primary form of communication. You should probably experiment with a Facebook fan page and a Twitter page if you find that a meaningful percentage of your current customers indicate an interest in following your business.Make 2010 your year to test content that attracts repeat and referral business. Your current customers are more likely than total strangers to respond to offers posted on social networks because they already know you and trust you based on their prior purchases.Trend #5: BloggingAdvice: Let it restIf you’re writing a blog to help with search engine rankings or to inform existing customers, you should continue to test or invest. If you’re blogging in an attempt to attract new prospects and convert them to customers, however, 2010 will be a year that exposes the blogosphere’s vulnerability to the law of averages. Converting prospects into customers depends on driving visitors to content that maximizes conversions, and that means your conversion rate is only as good as the content on your landing page. If that landing page is your blog and your blog changes frequently, your conversion rate is only as good as your latest blog post.Instead of blogging to convert your website visitors into customers in 2010, work hard to test and develop great landing page content. When you find something that works, don’t change it. Advice: TestOK, this one isn’t entirely an internet marketing trend, but it’s important enough to mention because of the economy. 2009 was another tough year for retailers, and consumers are so accustomed to shopping for deals that they might begin to expect the plethora of deep discounts currently available to continue forever. If you’re engaged in heavy discounting to attract sales and survive the economic downturn, you’ll need to spend 2010 slowly weaning your customers off your lower prices, assuming that the economy recovers. Resetting expectations won’t be easy, so try swapping discounts for special privileges like loyalty discounts, free upgrades and other offers that won’t lock you in to price comparisons.Internet marketing trends develop quickly, so expect many new and exciting trends to emerge in 2010. Don’t be too quick to jump on new bandwagons because consumers move more slowly than marketers and technology. Stay focused on attracting repeat business, deepening your customer relationships and solving problems for people. Those are the trends that never fail small businesses.last_img read more

Virgin Australia reservations outage causes delays

first_imgA nationwide travel alert has been issued. A reservations system outage has caused delays and cancellations for Virgin Australia.Virgin Australia issued a travel alert after its booking and check-in systems shut down at approximately 1:40pm (AEDT) Tuesday for approximately three hours, ABC News reported.Staff were forced to check-in passengers manually, causing hours long delays.Both international and domestic flights were affected by the outage, with Virgin Australia cancelling 30 flights around the country; eight of which were meant to depart Melbourne.Sabre, Virgin’s relatively new reservations system, suffered a global outage affecting a number of carriers around the world including American Airlines and United Airlines.Customers who did not arrive for flights on Tuesday afternoon will not be penalised and will be provided with a full credit for the cost of their flight.Virgin Australia has also released a special compensation policy for customers travelling today; a full credit for their itinerary, including connecting flights.Customers may also change their flight free-of-charge to another service to the same destination, no later than 13 August 2013, while those travelling away from home may also be eligible for hotel accommodation.Visit Virgin Australia’s website for updated flight information.Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

Mortgage Applications Jump 128 on Low Rates

first_img Low interest rates for mortgage loans drove up mortgage application volume 12.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before.[IMAGE]The “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) reported the latest figures in a weekly survey released Wednesday.Mortgage applications shot up 60.2 percent on an unadjusted basis in contrast with figures from the previous week.The Refinance Index climbed 15.3 percent from the week before, as the Purchase Index ticked up 8.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, also from the week earlier.On an unadjusted basis, the Purchase Index hit 47.2 percent in comparison with figures from the week before.””Coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday, applications increased significantly as mortgage rates dropped to their lowest levels in about two months,”” “”Michael Fratantoni””:http://www.mbaa.org/files/SpeakersBureau/FrantantoniM.pdf, MBA’s VP of research and economics, said in a statement.[COLUMN_BREAK]On a seasonally adjusted basis, the four-week moving average for the Market Index fell 3.20 percent, up 3.33 percent for the Purchase Index on the same basis and down 5.13 percent in line with the Refinance Index.Refinance share of activity in mortgage markets leapt forward to 76 percent of application volume, up from 73.9 percent from the week before.November this year saw refinance application volume line up at 52.9 percent of applications for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 26.2 percent for 15-year loans.Refinance applications fell to 5.7 percent from 5.8 percent for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM), the share for which fell from 5.8 percent to crest at 5.7 percent of total applications from the week before.Applications for home purchase hovered at around 85.5 percent for 30-year mortgages, 6.8 percent for 15-year mortgages, and 5.9 percent for ARMs ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the second lowest such for ARM share of purchases since January this year.””Paul Diggle””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/staff/property-economics/paul-diggle.html, a property economist with consultancy “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/, tied the “”recent strength of mortgage applications”” to a decline in mortgage rates to 4.18 percent last week in a note circulated Wednesday.””High down payment requirements combined with the legacy of previous house price falls are preventing up to half of all existing homeowners from moving home,”” he added. “”And potential first-time buyers appear less interested in the idea of homeownership at all.””He urged market watchers not to get “”carried away,”” forecasting that “”mortgage applications for home purchase will post a small gain next year, and further falls cannot be ruled out.”” Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Capital Economics First-Time Homebuyers Fixed-Rate Mortgage Housing Affordability Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Processing Refinance Service Providers 2011-12-07 Ryan Schuette in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Sharecenter_img application,Mortgage Applications Jump 12.8% on Low Rates December 7, 2011 396 Views last_img read more

Costs Rise Profits Fall on Mortgage Loans Originated in Q2

first_img Profits on mortgage loan originations declined while the cost of originating a mortgage loan increased over the second quarter of this year, according to new data from the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA).[IMAGE]The average profit on a mortgage loan originated at an independent mortgage bank or mortgage subsidiary of a chartered bank during the second quarter was $1,528. During the first quarter, profit per loan was $1,772. “”Per-loan production costs continue to rise and there are signs of pricing pressure as evidenced by the reduction in secondary marketing income,”” said Marina Walsh, associate VP of industry analysis at the MBA. Measured in basis points, the profit per loan decreased from 86 to 75 over the quarter, according to the MBA. [COLUMN_BREAK]The total cost of originating a mortgage loan in the second quarter of this year was $4,207, compared to $4,182 in the previous quarter. This includes operating costs and loan officer commissions and accounts for fee income. The value does not account for secondary market income and other possible gains. However, secondary marketing income also declined over the quarter, falling from 274 basis points per loan to 263. Each loan required about $3,808 in personnel expenses in the second quarter, compared to $3,785 in the first quarter. Each loan officer wrote an average of 2.9 loans per month, down from 3.1 per month in the previous quarter. In total, independent banks and subsidiaries of chartered banks originated an average of 1,921 loans each in the second quarter, totaling $439 million at each institution. This is down from 1,954 loans and $442 million per bank in the first quarter. “”While overall volume remained relatively flat, we are seeing a shift in product mix towards purchase originations,”” Walsh said. In fact, for the first time since the third quarter of 2011, purchase originations accounted for a larger share of total originations than refinances. MBA reported purchase originations made up 52 percent of the dollar volume of mortgage loans originated in the second quarter. Costs Rise, Profits Fall on Mortgage Loans Originated in Q2 in Data, Origination Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association Origination Points Profits Service Providers 2013-08-30 Krista Franks Brockcenter_img August 30, 2013 559 Views Sharelast_img read more

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