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Developing Schoolwide Vision and Implementing Strategic Plans

A key lesson learned from the decentralization experiment is the need for system-wide standards and intervention to address the challenge of student performance. The LSC (Local School Council) and its supportive network alone are not sufficient to promote educational improvement system-wide. Indeed, decentralized reform may have widened the capacity gap among schools to raise performance. Instead, districtwide leadership is needed to apply both pressure and support to schools. Such a mix of intervention strategies did not occur during the period of LSC dominance because the reform ideology with its strong antibureaucratic sentiments did not allow for the proper functioning of the central office. Taken as a whole, the post 2005 strategies of sanctions and support have improved the overall conditions that lead to better student performance across the system. Better test scores are seen not only in elementary schools but also in the more problematic high schools since 2004.

In contrast to the seemingly recentralizing tendency under integrated governance, charter school reform aims to significantly reduce regulatory control from the central administration and union agreements. Although they are labeled as public schools, charter schools are distinctive in several major aspects. The school’s charter or contract explicitly spells out the conditions and expectations for outcome-based performance. The authorizing agency can be the local school board, the state, or other legal entities (such as universities). Once established, schools enjoy substantial autonomy in setting curriculum, teacher salaries, and work conditions, although they are bound by state regulations regarding safety, health, dismissal, and civil rights. School funding follows students to the schools, which operate on a multiyear renewable contract.

Charter schools are guided by several design principles. They aim to:

• create a new structure of school autonomy based on performance contract;

• limit central office control over curriculum, instruction, and personnel decisions;

• grant parental preferences on schooling opportunities; and

• promote innovation and alternative assessment on student performance.

Since 1992, when the first two charter schools opened in Minnesota, the number of states with charter legislation and the number of schools in operation have grown steadily. Charter school advocates have identified two kinds of innovative effects: (1) charter school can create competition, maintaining a better fit with the needs of their “customerparents,” and thereby pressuring regular public schools to improve in order to maintain their share of the student “market”; and (2) enjoying substantial autonomy from the central office, schools can serve as laboratories for developing new educational ideas and practices, fostering and following through on innovative ideas from which traditional public schools in the district can learn. But are these claims supported by the knowledge base in the current literature?

Not surprisingly, the literature is split on the issue of whether charter school competition pressures public schools to improve. Most of the research has found light to moderate effects, more prevalent in smaller or mid-sized districts where the system is often more nimble and the impact of a few schools is more readily felt. Legislative compromise-capping the number of schools, cushioning the financial blow to traditional district schools, or reducing the autonomy of schools-may lessen the effects. Educational reform was also influenced by past performance and the eagerness of the district leadership to undertake change. While there is some evidence suggesting district response to competition, starting charter schools is such difficult work that a significant amount of time may be needed before producing strong, system-wide impacts on school districts. In districts where schools made an impact, districts made “piecemeal” instead of system-wide changes, and were most concerned with expanding their school day by offering new add-on programs. In short, given the mixed evidence on charter school impact, more research is needed on what works and what doesn’t in charter school as a system-wide reform.

As for schools promoting innovative practices, researchers have asked two related questions: (1) Are schools engaging in classroom innovation, with new methods of teaching? (2) Are district schools able and willing to integrate those classroom innovations into the mainstream curriculum? On both of these issues, the empirical evidence tends to be mixed. While innovations were found, many were structural, few were either freestanding or independently replicable, and no evidence of significant sharing or dissemination of practices from schools to district schools was found. Some evidence suggests that changes in organizational and institutional arrangements may prove more significant than any academic innovations. The literature remains unclear on whether charter reforms are actually “adding value” to student learning.

Conclusions

The two emerging governance models represent a continuum of institutional possibilities for urban educational reform. At one end of the continuum is integrated governance, which redefines the responsibilities and enhances the capacity of districtwide leadership. Given its strong focus on raising student performance, integrated governance reform tends to target resources on and apply pressure to low-performing schools and students. A challenge is to recruit leadership that has the vision to apply pressure and provide support to low-performing schools.

Concerns about the potential of excessive central direction have prompted some reformers to support the charter school model, which represents the other end of the institutional reform continuum. While decentralization may facilitate innovative practices and promote more efficient use of resources, the charter school model is likely to be unevenly implemented across different settings. Given schools’ autonomy, system-wide standards are not likely to be considered a high priority. Whether schools are able to recruit high-quality leaders will be a critical challenge. Equally important is the charters’ capacity for turning around low-performing schools and students.

From a broader perspective, the two emerging models call our attention to the complex challenge of reengineering low-performing schools with a particular focus on leadership and management issues. More specifically, this review of the two models raises several issues in the area of educational leadership, including: the role of states and districts in designing and implementing alternative systems of accountability; leadership qualities and management practices that are necessary for implementing the reform models at the district and school level; the kind of technical assistance that is needed to ease organizational transition and improve effective management in settings where political leaders at the state and city level have taken a more active role in education; principals’ strategies in developing school-wide vision and implementing strategic plans that are designed to raise student performance; the ability of public school leadership at the school and district levels to respond to an emerging competitive environment given the increase in the number of schools; and effective ways in which noneducators can collaborate with school professionals to turn around low-performing schools.



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Source by Jeff C. Palmer

Why Social Media Can Save the World’s Economy

If you are as tired of the doom and gloom about the world’s economy as I am, then here’s the obvious solution: social media.

Specifically, Social Media for Small Business.

As we leverage social media for our businesses, it’s called marketing. So if we use social media to deliver extraordinary customer service and tell our story in a compelling manner, our prospects will become customers and our customers will become brand ambassadors and they will tell their friends that you are cool and suddenly you will have more customers.

Spoiler Alert! You have to be doing a good job, selling a good product or service at a fair price to people who want and need it.

It’s quite likely that the real economic recovery is going to come from small and mid-sized businesses, entrepreneurs who have the vision, passion, courage and work ethic to turn their dreams into a business. A small business at first. A local business, that does business with the local folk. Real people; you and your friends. They do well, treat you well and you spend some of your money with them, and so do your friends. Perhaps they then spend some of their money with you, and so do their friends.

Soon enough, lots of real people are buying real things from other real people and we are all spreading the word via social media and after a while we all have a little more money and we spend a little more money and suddenly things are looking up!

What’s the hook? Well, this buying local stuff means making the effort to support each other, it means buying an organic tomato from an actual farmer at the farmers market instead of going to Walmart and buying some genetically modified round red monstrosity that looks like a tomato but doesn’t really taste like anything because Cargill/Monsanto took out all the ‘taste’ genes so they could add ‘never spoil’ genes. Sure, it’s cheaper – but is it worth it?

If we invested a little more in our local economy and consumed a little less, if we made an effort to buy local (or at least American) when we can, then the world becomes a better place.

As we do this and use our social media connections – our friends – to help spread the word, our town or city becomes better because we know it more, we know the merchants and shop keepers – and they know us.

Pretty soon we’re part of the movement – the sanity movement, the keep it local movement, the “let’s buy less crap from China” movement, the “let’s demand real food not science projects from giant corporations” movement.

We can save ourselves – and social media, the technology that allows us to connect instantly and effectively with lots and lots of people, can make that happen.

Social Media can save the world’s economy and give us a better world to live in – if you want it to, if you want to be part of it.

I do!

Mike Wolpert / Social Jumpstart

(we are a marketing consultancy that teaches business people how to leverage social media and online marketing to grow their revenue – we have some very cool clients and we give away some pretty great training, inspirational advice and coaching. If you’d like some help – or inspiration, call me! 407.405.3500 is my cell or email: Mike (at) SocialJumpstart (dot) com – I’d love to chat)



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Source by Mike Wolpert

The Erotic Films of Turkey — Part 1

The Seks Furyasi (sex-movie boom) years of Turkish erotic films (1972-1985)

7,000 people attended the opening gala of Turkey’s first home-grown sex film…

It’s not known exactly when foreign erotic films were first introduced to the Ottomans, but it’s reported that police captured a large cache of foreign sex films in 1922 (a year before Atatürk removed the last Ottoman Sultan from ‘power’ and made Turkey a democratic republic). The Istanbul police (acting on a tip from prominent citizen Dr. Besim Omer Pasa) raided and closed down the Kadiköy and Odeon cinema houses, that were showing explicit foreign sex movies — on the grounds that “the films are poisoning our youth”.

Subsequently, the ‘legitimate’ Turkish film industry (which had been formally established in 1914 during the Ottoman Age) continued to grow and thrive up until the early 1970s (as we’ve already described on our website).

But after Turkish Television (TRT) started broadcasting on a single channel in 1964, Turkish audiences began to abandon cinema houses in favor of their home TV sets (even though TRT programs didn’t start until 4 in the afternoon and were all in black and white — and even though they consisted mostly of news, Halk (Cultural Folk) Music programs, Casper-like cartoons, and re-runs of US mystery [The Fugitive] and detective [Colombo] shows — with Turkish dubbing).

Peri and I watched Colombo every week after we got married in December ’74. And the guy who did the dubbing for Colombo’s Turkish voice was superb — perfectly capturing Peter Falk’s gravelly sound.

And by the early 70’s (as more families came to own personal TV sets) the Turkish film industry was in severe financial trouble.

In a panic, film producers sought ways to bring audiences back to the cinema houses. It wasn’t long before they concluded that ‘Sex Sells’ and, in 1972, they started making erotic movies.

The idea was an instant success… Seven thousand people attended the gala opening of the first Turkish erotic film “Parçala Behçet” (see the movie poster via the link a little further below) — directed by Melih Gülgen, and starring Behçet Nacar in the leading male role. It opened in Konya, of all places, in the heart of Turkish religious conservatism — and it was the start of something big…

Next: The Heyday of Turkish Erotic Films

[Click following to access a fully illustrated HTML version of The Rise and Demise of Turkey’s Erotic Films Industry.]



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Source by Jim Masters

How to Promote and Support Blood Donation Camps

The Purpose of Blood Donation Camps

Blood is an essential part of human life with no substitutes what so ever. Only blood donors (voluntary, replacement, and professional) can help when there is a demand. The main purpose of conducting blood donation camps on a regular basis is to select a suitable donor whose blood is safe and suitable for the recipient and increase the stock of blood in blood banks which can be used in case of an emergency.

Promote and Support

So many blood banks are running short to meet the requirement of blood. It is necessary to create a wider public awareness of the need for regular donation and also to develop communication strategies to reduce first-time donor’s fear. It can actually be a safe and pleasant experience. Clubs, colleges, societies, offices, and many more organize the donation camps and there are many ways you can help.

Spread the Word on Social Media

Social media does wonders. Go on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – we all know these are all fantastic game-changing tools making it easy to support your favorite cause. Update your cover photo and show everyone just how important these camps are and why we should donate blood. Sharing can have a real impact on thousands of lives.

Hang Posters

Display blood donation posters at colleges, schools and hospitals to attract attention, especially of young people. Make them understand that there is no harm in giving blood – it can only save someone’s life!

Cinema Advertising Slides

There are many challenges in achieving 100% voluntary blood donation. Reach out to donors through the movie theatre! Contact the theatre manager and display slides with attractive blood donation slogans to motivate and recruit new donors.

Conduct Competitions

Organize essay competitions and quizzes at your local school or college on the topic “Purpose of Blood Donation and Camps” for different age groups. Contact newspapers and urge them to run special editions and editorials.

Organize Events

Organize events like marathons to capture public attention about the need for blood. Before the start, give a brief speech on how it can contribute to saving lives. You can even prepare some prizes to motivate people and show them they can make a personal contribution to the health of the community.

Organize Campaigns on Special Occasions

Organize blood donation camps where you can invite healthcare professionals, local celebrities and social groups. Launch a guest lecturer program and surprise the attendees with inspirational gifts – unique customized silicone wristbands are perfect for the occasion. You can design them yourself with awareness messages like “Your Blood Can Give Someone’s Life” or “Give Blood, A Gift Straight From Your Heart”. They are not only a fashion accessory but also perfect for many noble causes and people love them.

The need for blood is constant, and your contribution is important! Your actions can really change someone’s life – and it might be someone you know, or don’t know.



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Source by Billie Jean Bateson

How to Start a Flyer Distribution Business

If you’re looking for a business that you can, literally, start from nothing, then you might want to consider starting a flyer delivery service.

Flyer distribution is big business. After all, if there wasn’t a lot of money to be made, newspapers and the Postal Service would quickly discontinue this service.

Of course, you will never be able to compete with their advanced distribution networks, but you may find that there are services you can provide that they cannot. For example, the flyers that they deliver are always bundled with several others. Your small service can easily deliver exclusively to the home-owner’s front door. You can also offer smaller, more concentrated distributions and custom services.

Having said that, your best opportunity to make money in this billion-dollar industry is to take a lesson from the big boys and deliver more than one flyer to each household. Establish routes throughout the city by dividing the territory up and concentrating on one area per week. Bundle several (non-competing) flyers in plastic bags with door-hanger holes.

If you charge five cents per flyer delivered, and you have 10 flyers per bag, you’ll be making $.50 gross for each drop off. After you pay your overhead, which includes your carrier’s wages, you should have enough left over to make a tidy profit.

You will succeed in this business through your exceptional organizational skills and by being flexible and offering services that the bigger organizations wouldn’t bother with. Not every business likes to have their flyers delivered with the usual junk mail, or in a newspaper with 20 other leaflets. Besides, having a flyer delivered right to their customer’s front door is very appealing.

The hardest part will be getting your first few accounts. Walk around and visit some local businesses. Hand out your business card and give them a quick rundown of the services you can provide. You might also want to take note of any flyers that arrive at your door, in the post, or in your newspaper and contact that company to see if they’d be interested in trying your service. If they’re already advertising with flyers, you stand a good chance of landing a job or two.

Lastly, make sure that you hire honest and reliable carriers. This is not as easy as it sounds. Take your time and make sure you hire the right people. You should also make it a policy to do random spot checks throughout the day to ensure every flyer gets delivered. Some of your customers will ask you what measures you have in place to prevent non-delivery by unscrupulous carriers.



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Source by Steve Small

How to Build Real Followers on Instagram

The Right Way to Grow Your Business Using this Powerful Brand, Audience and Content-Marketing Tool

We’ve been talking lately about how to boost your business marketing with Instagram. Contrary to what many people still believe, Instagram isn’t just a fun app where you can post food, holiday and family pics.

Instagram has become a powerful brand-building, audience-building and content-marketing tool for businesses. It has over 200 million active monthly members sharing 60 million images and 1.6 billion likes per day.

A note of caution: there are plenty of people out there who promise to grow your Instagram followers by the thousands, but beware. Most of them use fake accounts created by bots to inflate your numbers.

These types of followers have zero value. In fact, they can even be dangerous, wanting to steal your password or photos or infect you with a virus.

According to the data security company Imperva, these bad bots account for 28.9 per cent of bots on Instagram.

The best way to build your Instagram followers is by being authentic to your brand and your audience.

Here are 3 tips to help you get real Instagram followers:

1. Tell a Story with Hashtags

It’s great to use your business name as a hashtag, but you need to think beyond that.

If you want to use your Instagram posts to get followers, use other hashtags that tell the story of the image you’re sharing. You want to start a conversation when you’re sharing posts for things like:

• Events

• Promotions

• Contests

• Product launches

A good example of a brand who does this well is @Tostitos. They use the hashtag #GetTogetherAlready to encourage people to get together and share their chips, and also to use the hashtag when they share photos of their meetups.

By using engaging, relevant hashtags, you can be discovered in Instagram searches and hopefully build up followers on Instagram.

2. Get Creative

Instagram is all about photos, so many people think of the caption as an afterthought.

Don’t neglect the image caption! You can generate engagement and promote sharing by using descriptive words that will engage, inspire and entertain your followers.

Here are some ideas to help you build up followers on Instagram with your posts:

• Use questions in your caption. Write your question at the beginning of the post so that people see it first.

• Get personal with your post. Tell a story about yourself, or how your product helped or inspired someone else.

• Ask people to tag others. Asking people to tag three of their best friends or tagging someone they are grateful for brings other potential followers into the equation.

A great example of a brand that does personal posts well is the @NatGeo Instagram account.

They create breathtaking Instagram Stories with informative captions to educate the user on the plight of animals around the world.

Remember when it comes to using Instagram posts to get followers, it’s all about being authentic. Don’t use questions in every single post or tell a personal story that isn’t genuine.

3. Go Local

One of the best ways to build your Instagram followers is to get to know your neighbours!

Whether you’re creating Instagram ads or want to promote your event in a specific area, you can see what’s going on near you by going to the search page and clicking on the Places tab.

Type in the location to see the geotagged posts for that area. Then visit relevant and recent tagged posts – not those of competing businesses, obviously – and leave a comment or even an emoji and follow the person if you like what you see. Hopefully, this will be the start of an organic interaction.

For example, if you offer life coaching services, you could type in your location followed by “entrepreneurs.” Local entrepreneurs may be looking for more work and life balance or help with life goals or career challenges.

Similarly, if you have a physical location that people have checked into on Instagram, comment on those posters’ pictures to make sure they’re aware of your Instagram presence, and then follow them.

These are some of the best ways to build Instagram followers the right way: no bots, no shortcuts, just tried and true ways to engage with your audience and turn them into followers!



want to support local businesses or maybe you are interested in selling local? go to Shmapp and start buying and selling locally today.

Source by Susan Friesen

SHC – "Lightning Discharge" Hypothesis Receives Support

Plasma metaphysics’ “lightning discharge” hypothesis, proposed in this author’s article Spontaneous Human Combustion and Electrical Discharges in the Subtle Body published on April 16, 2007 on this website, has received further support from recent research.

In the article, Jay Alfred proposed that spontaneous human combustion is caused by electrical discharges, similar to lightning discharges, within the body. The article states, “A bolt of lightning is an electrical discharge within this system. According to plasma metaphysics, the same phenomenon that occurs in space and on Earth can occur within our subtle bodies… The energies of our subtle (high energy) magma bodies far exceed anything the biomolecular body can withstand. “

In December 2007 researchers at the University of Michigan discovered, to their surprise, “electric fields inside cells as strong as those produced in lightning bolts”. However, “scientists are not clear as to what causes these strong fields or what they might mean.”

The Body’s Unexplained Electromagnetic Field

The researchers, led by chemistry professor Raoul Kopelman, used voltage-sensitive dyes injected into polymer spheres just 30 nanometers in diameter. When illuminated with blue light, the voltage-sensitive dyes within the nano-particles emitted a mixture of red and green light. Since the exact frequency of light emitted is influenced by the strength of the local electric field, this gave the researchers a way to measure the strength of the field. Using these nano-particles, Kopelman found electric fields as strong as 15 million volts per meter in the internal fluid of brain-cancer cells. This is five times stronger than the electric field found in a lightning bolt.

The existence of strong electric fields across cellular membranes is accepted as a basic fact of cell biology. Maintaining gradients of charged molecules and ions allows for many cellular functions, from control over cell volume to the electrical discharges of nerve and muscle cells. However, the fact that cells appear to have powerful internal electric fields has surprised scientists. Kopelman presented his results at the 47th annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in December 2007. “There has been no skepticism as to the measurements,” says Kopelman, “but we don’t have an interpretation.”

These background electric fields in the body provide evidence of a (counter-part) bioplasma body that is coupled with the physical-carbon based body. A bioplasma body generates electromagnetic fields. According to plasma metaphysics, bioplasma cells co-evolved with physical-carbon cells (see the author’s article on Plasma Life Forms – Dark Panspermia, 2007). The fact that these electric fields, discovered by Kopelman, cannot be accounted for by scientists using the limited model of an isolated physical-carbon based body shows that the bioplasma body, which has been referred to as the (lower) “physical-etheric” body in the metaphysical literature and which forms the basis for the study of Chinese acupuncture, can be studied and progressively verified only as current technology improves.

However, this is not the first time that mysterious background electric fields have been noticed. Robert Becker, Harold Burr and others have also documented a pattern of voltage gradients over the body that is consistent with Chinese acupuncture points but is difficult to explain based on current scientific theories. The Earth, too, has an unexplained background electromagnetic field.

Earth’s Unexplained Electromagnetic Field

Blake Levitt, in his book, Electromagnetic Fields, noted that the natural background voltage increases with altitude. Between the lowest layers of the ionosphere and the Earth’s surface, there are about 360,000 volts; from the top of the Empire State Building to the sidewalks at its base, there are approximately 40,000 volts; and between the head of a six-foot man and the sidewalk, approximately 200 volts. At the Earth’s surface, the voltage is approximately 100. This sounds alarming, however, hardly any shock potential exists because there is (apparently) no current; it appears to be just background voltage and static DC fields. Scientists know very little about this huge reservoir of natural power – how it functions or what governs it.

It has already been noted in the author’s article Acupuncture Meridians and the Terrestrial Spider Web, 2007 that the Earth, too, has a subtle electromagnetic “body” – an electromagnetic field generated by a higher energy plasmasphere; a counter-part Earth which can also be identified with Earth’s low density dark matter halo – as described in the author’s article Earth’s Dark Matter Halo, 2007.

As an interesting incidental point, this vertical electromagnetic (vector) field in the Earth’s atmosphere will allow a charged bioplasma body which becomes detached or decoupled from the physical-carbon body (temporarily during sleep or a near-death experience and permanently after the death of the physical-carbon based body) to ascend into the atmosphere by neutralizing or reversing its charge. The charged bioplasma body would experience the local electric field in a particular direction. (As noted in Jay Alfred’s Our Invisible Bodies, 2006, bioplasma bodies can levitate and move by manipulating the body’s electric charge.) Some may point to the ascension of the resurrected body of Jesus (of Nazareth) through the atmosphere, as reported in the Christian New Testament, or certain near-death experiences as providing anecdotal evidence of this type of phenomenon. Trevor James Constable claims of the existence of invisible plasma “sky creatures” which live and move in the atmosphere and can be photographed with infra-red film.

Conclusion

The research done at the University of Michigan, as cited above, will have significant implications for Chinese acupuncture. According to plasma metaphysics, both our subtle bioplasma bodies and Earth’s dark matter halo are composed of a (complex) magnetic plasma of largely high energy (non-standard) particles.

© Copyright Jay Alfred 2008



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Source by Jay Alfred

Seven Transforming Trends Shifting Work Opportunities Online

The Internet has affected and altered the world of work as we once knew it. Seven important trends have both resulted from and fueled the penetration of the Internet into every corner of the world.

To understand these trends will significantly increase your awareness of what new kinds of online and telecommuting work have come into existence as a result. These trends have produced whole new work categories-jobs that did not exist ten, or even two, years ago-some of which were not even possible before.

Trend #1: The Changing Economy Has Caused Increased Outsourcing

Given the challenges of the current economy, many companies have determined that online outsourcing some portion of their work leads to significant savings and better performance, while allowing them to focus on their “core business.” Through online outsourcing, businesses can gain access to skills, knowledge and expertise that would be expensive or time-consuming to develop in-house.

Additionally, companies have found that by taking advantage of the added capabilities of online talent that are available to them through online outsourcing, they are able to increase their innovation and reduce their time-to-market. This can significantly accelerate their market responsiveness through the design, development and production of new products.

The movement towards ever-increasing outsourcing by businesses has created a flood of new online work opportunities. There are many types of online outsourcing services-call centers, customer support providers, customer relation management firms, data processing services, virtual assistant agencies, and telesales specialists, to list a few. This trend has resulted in the need for and the proliferation of increasingly large contractor databases offering online outsourcing services.

Trend #2: Globalization of Business Has Created New Online Work

Now that the world is the marketplace, many new jobs have been created based on increased needs for people to bridge the previous cultural, monetary and language divisions, and the limitations this dividedness formerly imposed. If you are bilingual or multicultural, your employment possibilities abound.

Companies like abGlobal hire bilingual translators to serve hundreds of clients, from large government agencies and law firms to nonprofit organizations and private individuals. There are many other agencies that enlist expert freelance translators to handle the deluge of translation needs the Internet has generated.

Without a doubt, the ability to speak English is also a significant asset for finding work in this global world of business. Because the Internet is primarily an English-speaking medium, small businesses, as well as mega-corporations, realize that they need to acquire or improve their English writing and speaking ability. In order to compete, they need to be able to communicate clearly and precisely in English. Moreover, their Webpages, emails, articles, sales materials and customer support documents must reflect mastery of standard English.

Companies like ISpeakUSpeak hire native English speakers to work one-on-one as English language trainers with students worldwide through a series of English conversations with their trainers, and then receive immediate feedback in order to improve. This language-related example is just one of the many job functions that have emerged because the Web has globalized business.

Trend #3: Glocalization of Business also Has Created New Online Work

To understand the term “glocalization,” think about the two words it combines… global and local. Glocalization describes a product or service that is developed globally, but adapted locally in order to accommodate the consumers particular to each local market. The products or services of an online business are tailored to conform to local laws, customs, culture, and consumer preferences. Services that are effectively “glocalized” are of much greater interest and utility to local customers, and as such, are significantly more marketable.

Yahoo! is an example of a company that practices glocalization. It markets a portal that is viewed worldwide. But it offers multiple distinct versions of its website and services, customizing content and language to appeal to individuals who live in some 25 different countries, including China, Russia and Canada.

An ever-increasing number of businesses are developing their own version of glocalization in an effort to build their customer bases and increase sales. VIPdesk.com is an example. They describe the “glocalization” of their services as “international coverage and presence combined with local expertise.” For example, VIP Desk hires a local home-based professionals to perform web-based Concierge Services for clients visiting the area. The local expert responds to requests for information, guidance, and assistance with localized tasks such as restaurant reservations, transportation services or tickets to shows or events.

VIP Desk currently offers a customized local version of global services in 20 market areas: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis and Toronto, Canada.

Trend #4: The Internet has Significantly Expanded Shopper Expectations

Shoppers now expect knowledge along with their products-condensed and useful information through which they can become fully educated and savvy before they make a buying decision. They are not so much looking for recommendations as they are seeking a basis for making their own intelligent choices.

Consumers also want more options-a fuller selection of choices than they generally can find in a brick-and-mortar store. And they expect convenience while making their purchases, with full support afterwards.

This trend of expanded customer expectations and demands has generated new categories of jobs that are designed to address these needs. Increased customer requirements have changed the landscape for all businesses-traditional as well as online-if they want to thrive, or even if they just want to survive.

As an example of the types of jobs this trend has generated, VIP Desk hires at-home “Brand Ambassadors” to help companies differentiate their company “from the crowd” in order to build customer loyalty. Brand Ambassador services help companies to:

  • attract and retain their best customers,
  • increase customer engagement,
  • extend their brand into the daily lives of their customers,
  • capture lifestyle and behavior data of their customers,
  • differentiate their brand from competitors, and
  • increase customer satisfaction scores and lifetime customer value.

Trend #5: Social Media Has Changed the Needs & Challenges of Business

Companies know that social media is now a critical component of their customers’ decision-making processes. Consumers are more likely to make buying decisions based on what they read from people they trust on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, forums, blogs, Wikipedia, and Yahoo!Answers.

Here are some market statistics:

  • 72% of customers use social media to research customer care reputation before making a purchase.
  • 92% expect companies to have a social media presence for customer service.
  • 66% want companies to increase the use of social media for customer service.
  • This new phenomenon creates online jobs that were never even contemplated before-jobs that involve interesting tasks, such as:
  • capturing data from across the social media landscape,
  • analyzing and identifying trends,
  • actively listening to social media conversations,
  • responding to customers through social media channels,
  • participating in and understanding global conversations,
  • merging social media data with other data sources, and
  • integrating social media when generating contact lists.

One category of work that has been generated by this trend is “social media intelligence and analytics.” What new tasks and services are needed to maintain and maximize a company’s brand presence in the world of tweets, blog posts, and hashtags? What talents, skills, and strategies you need to put into play to be successful, to find employment, and to establish a career in the world of social media? (Consult Chapter 8 for answers to these questions).

Trend #6: Ubiquitous Access to Online Education Has Removed Former Barriers to Learning

What degrees and/or credentials do you already have? What additional certifications, degrees or credentials do you need? The Internet has significantly shifted the playing field for those who need or want to know and learn more.

The goalpost for what you need to know and be able to do is advancing constantly. On the other hand, you now have ready access to whatever degrees, credentials, certifications or training you need or want, simply by locating a school or program online.

Where once an education was an event, it is now an ongoing and continuing process. And where once you may have been forced to choose between going to school and taking a job, now you can have a job and go to school at the same time.

This ubiquitous access we now have to learn what we need to learn, when and where we want to learn it, means that it is now possible for you to enter areas of work you may once have thought to be beyond your reach. By attending school, you can prepare yourself to acquire that better job you always wished you could acquire.

As well as opening up opportunities to learn anything, anytime, from anywhere, the online education movement has generated many new types of jobs in its own right. There are positions for online college faculty, online high school teachers, online tutors, online trainers, and online training materials producers, including online training videos.

Now that access to learning has, thanks to the Web, become ubiquitous, the hunger for learning-learning throughout life-has created its own ever-escalating set of demands.

Trend #7: Access to Information Has Made Us Want to Control Our Own Physical and Mental Welfare

The Internet has made us advocates for our own health, and active participants in everything related to it. Where we once may have been completely dependent and reliant on local health facilities and personnel, we now want to assume more responsibility for our own physical and mental wellbeing. Instead of feeling helpless about a symptom or diagnosis, we actively seek and have access to quality information on that topic, including alternative treatments, health maintenance practices that could make a difference, and even possible alternative diagnoses.

This trend to want to take control of our minds and bodies has been fed by the increase in available accurate information, and, in turn, has created an online market demand for information, consulting, and interaction with professionals.

Ask Yourself “What Does This Mean to Me?”

Considering these seven trends, where would you fit in the cyber world of work? What new kinds of online and telecommuting work that now has come into existence would be a perfect match for your talents and abilities, and would engage you and fulfill you while also providing you the considerable benefit of working from your own home office, taking back your commuting time, and adapting to your own work rhythm? Given the whole new work categories these seven trends have produced, there are many potential possibilities for your own productive and successful shift to the cyber workplace.



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Source by Carolee Duckworth

Erotic Turkish Films History – The Female Players – Alev Altin, The Turkish Traci Lords

Altin’s early professional-life is reminiscent of American porn film star Traci Lords (b. May 7, 1968) — who made her first X-rated movie at the under-age of 16. But unlike Lords (whose mature good looks still attract attention in soft-porn action flics), Altin died young.

Without a speck of formal film school training, Altin got her first (known) movie break in a walk-on role — playing a bosomy non-speaking sweater-girl in the non-erotic film Baldiz; Sister-in-Law (which starred matinee idol Kadir Inanir and the lush young Müjde Ar) in 1975.

She made her adult film debut in the very same year at the under-age of 17, in the erotic sex farce Civciv Çikacak Kus Çikacak; Baby chick will emerge to become a full grown-bird (which starred the curvaceous Mine Mutlu and leading man Ünsal Emre). Alev Hanim was cast in the role of a nightclub singer (with musical voice-overs by Belkıs Özener), who also strips naked for special paying customers.

Belkıs Özener…

who did musical voice overs for actresses like

Türkan Soray, Hülya Koçyigit, Fatma Girik, and Feliz Akin

in more than 300 romantic films,

also provided the musical vocals for ‘Civciv’ —

before learning that the film was erotic.

When she finally discovered the truth, it offended her sense of propriety so much that she never lent her voice to anyone again — becoming a singing star in her own right.

Altin’s erotic movie career (during which she made more than 25 films) only spanned the years 1975 through 1977. And she was treated shabbily by the erotic films industry during the entire time. When she was paid at all, she was paid poorly — and she suffered physical abuse as well. Nonetheless, she seemed to have survived her adult film experience in surprisingly good spirits. In her own words (figuratively translated):

Alev Altın — during her erotic movie career, 1975-1977

“Of course, it wasn’t easy…Look at this bump on my nose, which remains from those days. The first time I had to undress on camera for ‘Civciv’, I was extremely shy and hesitant. The Yapimci; Producer, Nazmi Özer, gave me a face-slap that I’ll never forget… I stripped on command after that.”

In Part 2: Alev Altin gets high on “Sex, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll”…

[Click following to access a fully illustrated HTML version of The Turkish Traci Lords…]



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Source by Jim Masters

Planning a Snorkeling Excursion When Going on a Cruise

It’s exciting to plan your Caribbean cruise vacation. You are interested in learning how to snorkel, but aren’t really sure what you’ll need or how to book your snorkel trip. This article will help you decide which type of snorkel trip to book, as well as the type of equipment you’ll need.

NECESSARY SNORKEL EQUIPMENT

Many tour operators provide all the snorkel equipment for the tour. However, it is recommended you purchase some of your own gear and bring it with you. Most major cities (even in land-locked states) will have a dive shop or two. Go to a local dive shop and have them assist you in selecting a snorkel mask that fits your face well. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of the Caribbean and having salt water pouring into your mask, burning your eyes, and making your snorkel trip terrible.

Spend a little more money for a good mask (it will make a big difference) and make sure to purchase some defogging liquid. You’ll also need a snorkel. It’s advisable to purchase a dry snorkel, which is specifically designed to keep water from traveling down the snorkel tube to accidentally be inhaled into the lungs. Don’t worry about purchasing fins in advance. These are way too bulky to pack in your suitcase, and most tour operators will have a set you can use.

SNORKEL TRIP CHOICES

Looking through the shore excursion options from the cruise line can make their snorkeling tours seem very exciting. They can also appear to be the only options you have available. But, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are two choices when it comes to booking this type of tour.

CRUISE LINE SNORKEL TRIPS

Cruise lines make arrangements with tour companies to offer cruise passengers shore excursions. For Caribbean cruise vacations, these often involve water activities – such as snorkeling. The cruise lines want you to believe it’s safer and more convenient to utilize the snorkeling excursions they offer. Keep in mind that the cruise lines derive a huge amount of revenue from offering these shore excursions. Let’s look at the pros and cons of cruise line snorkeling trips:

Pros: When you book your snorkel excursion with the cruise line directly, you don’t have to deal with another company. It’s all handled by the cruise line, which makes it very convenient. Another pro is that in the unlikely event of a delay on your snorkel trip, the ship will wait for all passengers to return to the ship before disembarking from a port of call.

Cons: Cruise ship snorkel excursions are usually very crowded with long lines and a lot of waiting. Passengers are usually transported in large buses and it can be a timely affair to arrange transportation for 100+ people. Typical cruise line tours do not support the local population (as many employees are seasonal). So, these tours can take away from the local economy of a destination.

INDEPENDENT SNORKEL TRIPS

There are many independent companies offering snorkeling trips for cruise ship passengers. These trips tend to cost about the same as a cruise line-sponsored excursion, but they often offer a much more personalized experience. Independent tour operators are often local residents who will return your tourist dollars to the local economies of the destinations you visit. This is very important in order to preserve the unique qualities of each locale. Here are the pros and cons of independent snorkel excursions:

Pros: Independent snorkel trips are often smaller, more intimate groups. The guides often get in the water to identify animals and plants of interest. You won’t find that on most cruise line snorkel trips. Additionally, the price is often the same (or perhaps a better value for the same money) as cruise line trips. Most independent tour operators offer online booking, so it’s just as convenient to make your reservation through them as it would be through the cruise line.

Cons: Using an independent company means you’ll have to do a lot more research to make sure you’re booking with a reliable outfit. Also (although you’ll probably never have to worry about this), if your shore excursion experiences a delay, the cruise ship probably won’t wait for you to return before it leaves the port of call. So, you would have to arrange your own transportation to meet the ship at the next port. However, the risk is so small of this occurring, that it shouldn’t really be a major factor in your decision.

CONCLUSION

Cruise ship vacations are for all types of people. There are people who love the organization and structure of the cruise ship life. Others, enjoy some aspects of cruise ship life, but are interested in venturing out on their own at times too. For those who love routine and organization, the cruise-ship organized snorkel trips will be a good fit. However, for those who are looking for a little more freedom and adventure, an independent snorkel excursion would probably be a better fit.



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Source by Lorraine Grant