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Category: Uncategorized

Spamming and Photo Journalism

My latest post was a photo blog. I showered friend and followers with 15 photos. I received a complaint.

First let's try to understand what my project is not. It is not a MLM. It is not a program that requires a distribution network nor do I have a product or service to sell, a seemingly contrary position relative to the typical Markethive pursuit.

My project is a humanitarian project about the unseen and unattended menace of waste and as such it needs to provide education and attention.

Now about the photos.

I have discussed the image situation with the tech center and with Tom. Markethive does not handle images like WP does, no media library or storage to call from.

A comment from Tom about this; “When we upgrade the News Feed to work like Facebook with Images and Video the necessity of single posts for a large cluster of Images will improve as well”.

In order to use photos in your blog post on Markethive, the image must not be wider than 550 px and uploaded to your profile page. If you want it on your news feed,you post to you profile page and that's exactly what I wanted.

When I assembled the photo blog, I embedded these photos in the post using the link to that image on my profile. When I push this post to my social network every image links back to my Markethive profile. When the search engine scans the post it is obvious that where it came from and who. That to me is beneficial to me and Markethive.

The complaint called it spamming and me not understanding what I am doing on Markethive. The claim is that I am trying to “dominate the newsfeed”. On the contrary I was just setting up my post.

There are other ways to do this for sure. I could have uploaded the images to one of my blogs and then linked the images form there. Or, I could have uploaded to one of my groups, but only the members of that group would have seen them. None of these options were what I wanted.

My program is centered in and around Markethive and always will be. It is a “social” site and everyone is welcome to have an opinion but I try to understand first before casting my opinion.

It is obvious that the one who complained did not observe the content just the number, a rather shallow observation, me thinks, nor did they go to the actual blog post, they just wanted to pontificate.

Markethive is somewhat of a social anarchy, in that there are no rules except be respectful. There is no boss and there is no police.

Just one more thing. The value of a relationship (friend) is relative. There is no relationship that has the value to be leveraged as a threat. If a member in Markethive threatens you with the loss of a friendship in order to effect you activity, take the loss.

If you are discomforted by my activity, you have your options.

Al Zibluk

Profile Pages: Online Branding and Building Authority

Profile Pages: “Online Branding and Building Authority”

What is the difference between online branding and building authority? Some would consider it the same thing, but in reality it can be two completely different processes. Online branding is a way to get more exposure for your brand on all levels of online marketing, especially search and social.

Building authority takes online branding to the next level by making each online presence for a brand authoritative. It goes beyond just about creating a blog or social media account. The following are ways you can build your online brand as well as your authority.

Everyone wants to be an authority.  READ: How to be an authority (Know Your Why First)
https://markethive.com/group/marketingdept/blog/how-to-be-an-authority

Start a Blog with Awesome Content

Blogs are beneficial for brands for three reasons. First of all, blogs help you rank well in search engines — Google loves fresh, unique content on websites that are constantly updated. If you’re looking to meet this goal, be sure to use Markethive’s blog platform and build a blog team in a Markethive group to assist in greater content and curation.

RE: WordPress Markethive’s technology super charges WordPress campaigns.

Next, blogs provide for great content to share on social media networks. It’s hard to get traction if your just sharing product and sales pages. But if you’re sharing informative blog posts about your industry, you’re likely to get a lot of traffic and social shares.

Markethive provides plugins and widgets and tech that allows visitors to subscribe to your blog from their Social Networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, thereby allowing your new Markethive posts to publish to their news feed automatically.

Finally, great blogs can help your brand build authority in your niche. This is where you go above and beyond cookie cutter posts that talk about your product to creating awesome content in the form of:

  •     Tutorials
  •     Infographics
  •     Videos
  •     Industry Interviews

Awesome content will show fans of your industry that you know your stuff and therefore are the brand to go with for their business needs. A great example of this is the blog you are reading right now — Markethive has Inbound Marketing technologies, the go to Social Network and infographics  that have been tweeted and liked over 10,000 times and posts that have been viewed on Facebook, LinkedIn and Stumbleupon over 100,000 times.

There are two great fears that brands have when it comes to blogging. One is that they won’t have anything to blog about, and this is a complete myth. Everyone can find something to blog about. You just have to expand your definition of the target audience. Imagine you had a body shop. You probably won’t get a lot of attention if you’re writing about paint booths and sanding tools all the time, but you will if you think about broader topics that would interest the people likely to visit an auto body shop. You can blog about the latest coolest Hot Rods at the coming Hot Rod Nationals show or the latest NASCAR winner to grab fans of those programs. Or you can blog about environmental issues and the Prious to grab environmentalists. Just think bigger!

The other fear is that they will be giving away “trade secrets” and lose their business. This one is especially common within industries like SEO, where a brand might feel like giving out ten steps to link building will give their customers the info they need to just do it themselves. But this just isn’t true. I have found that most of the time, if you give a complex, in-depth tutorial, a potential customer will see that your brand has the knowledge to do the service, but they won’t have the time or resources to do it for themselves. Hence, they’ll go with you because they feel confident that your brand has the expertise demonstrated in the content provided on the blog.

The key with your brand’s blog is to make sure that it is apparent who is behind the content. Whether you have your blog on your domain (yourbrand.com/blog), as a subdomain (blog.yourbrand.com), or as a separate site (yourbrandblog.com), be sure that it is matched to your brand. Check out Markethive’s site, blog, and subscribers profile pages, logged in dashboard and display variances on hand held devices. All are unique yet all are well branded and follow a conventional identity protocol (all on separate domains and different devices) as an example of great branding.

Guest Blog for Others (This is a major component in Markethive)

When it comes to blogging, you don’t want to keep the good stuff all to yourself. Guest blogging (join a Markethive Group to share content is that easy) is a great way to build your online brand presence and authority. The basic goal is to find a (GROUP) blog whose audience will be interested in your brand, and create a great piece of content for that blog.

Notice I said great piece of content. I would go so far as to say that the content you create for another (GROUP) site’s blog should be even better than the content you create for your own site. You want the content you create for another blog (GROUP) to rock. You want that content to generate additional social shares, comments, and traffic for the blog owner.

As you create GROUP posts for others, be sure to save the links to those guest posts for future reference. As you approach new GROUPs that you would like to guest post upon, you will want to include those links as examples of your successful guest posts in other Markethive GROUPS. If you can convince the GROUP owner that your post will be a perfect fit for their audience and will drive significant traffic and response, the GROUP blog owner will have a hard time resisting.

My main tips for GROUP blogging for your brand include:

1. Find the best GROUPs to guest post on.

When it comes to blogs you want to get a guest post on, your goal is to find those whose audience would be interested in your brand. The blog should get a significant amount of traffic and social shares as well — there’s no reason to post on a blog that has no visitors just because it has high PageRank or any other criteria — you want to get some brand exposure out of this! Use the Markethive GROUPs directory to start your search for blogs in your niche or industry.

2. Find the GROUPs blogging policy.

If you see that a GROUP allows guest bloggers or outside contributors, the GROUP should have some page or post posted that describes their post policy. If they do have a policy page or post, then be sure to note any and all criteria.

3. Start building a relationship with the GROUP owner first. (Markethive Groups is excellent for this)

Now that you’ve found the blog you want to pitch an idea to, don’t just jump in and pitch them yet. Start by getting to know the GROUP owner first by following their Markethive blog posts, their Twitter and their Facebook fan page. Comment on some of their latest posts — make those comments valuable to enhance discussion and demonstrate your writing skills and expertise in the industry. CoPromote their posts using Broadcasting tools and widgets. Do this for at least a week or two before pitching content to them.

4. Research and pitch great topic ideas. (Join others in our live Markethive Work Shops)

Don’t create the content first and then try to find it a home. Once you’ve found the right blogs and started engaging with the blogs themselves, you’ll get a feel for the type of content they publish.

To get an even better idea of what content is successful for each blog, subscribe to them in your Markethive back office blog platform. Then you will be able to see the site’s latest traffic scores. The higher score, the more comments, tweets, Facebook likes, and other social shares the post received. Use these high-scoring posts as an indicator as to what content does well on each blog.

Now you can message via the Markethive message system or request to join their group saying that you have recently enjoyed reading their blog (as evidenced by your commenting & social sharing) and would like to contribute to their site as a GROUP member. After reading their guidelines, you would like to see if they would be interested in the following topics. Then add three to four great post ideas that you believe will fit their audience to choose from. And of course, if you’ve done guest posts elsewhere, include some of your best links. If not, just include some great links from your own brand’s blog.

5. Create Awesome Content.

Once you get approval from a GROUP, your next job is to create an awesome piece of content. Make sure it fits the theme of that blogging GROUP and that it has the overall feel / tone of the GROUP blog you are submitting to. Also be sure to add in relevant links throughout your blog post — not to your own properties, but internal links to the blog itself. This shows the blog owner you’re really giving it 100% for them and their audience and not just trying to promote yourself.

The self-promotion piece should come at the end with your guest bio. Check out other author bios on the blogs and create yours to match. This is where you can say you are John Smith, an industry enthusiast from ABC Company.

Again, be sure to consider the blog’s guidelines and previous guest author bios when deciding to add one or more links back to your brand. The blog owner ultimately reserves the right to edit it as they feel is necessary.

6. Support your GROUP post once it goes live.

It’s not over yet. After that guest post goes live, you should give it your unconditional love in the form of social sharing with your brand’s audience on Twitter, Facebook, etc. as well as coming by to respond to comments. That kind of response on your guest post will further boost your brand’s reputation as a great guest blogger as well as a confident authority in your niche.

Don’t Forget Blog Commenting

Blog commenting is a great branding and authority building exercise you can do on any blog in your niche. I would suggest subscribing to the top blogs in your industry in Google Reader, and each time there is a new post, be sure to read it thoroughly and add a valuable comment. Remember this isn’t about link building — this is about building your brand’s presence online as an authority in your industry.

Get a Disqus account as well as it is a sort of social network of people that comment.

You can use the blog’s previous comments as a guide as to how you should format yours. Some blogs require you to only use your real name, while others are a little more lenient in using your name — your company. I would suggest linking your comments to your blog as people are more willing to click through to a brand’s blog than their main website.

Your Online Branding & Authority Building Strategy Using Blogs

What is your brand’s strategy when it comes to building your brand’s authority using blogs? Be sure to share what you find brings your brand the best results in the comments!

Create a Consistent Brand Image for Each Profile

Have you ever visited a company’s social profile, and you were not sure that it belonged to the company? One of the most important parts of branding is keeping a consistent image across all of your online properties so that no matter what path a person takes from one property to the next, they will always know it is your brand. For example, someone might:

Find your fan page through a friend’s activity stream and then follow it to your blog, then website

See a tweet from someone they are following, visit your Twitter profile, and then continue onto your website.

Start at your website, then go to check out your social profiles to see if your company is engaging with fans. Engaging is fuel and grows awareness, authority and respect. Comment, recommend. Just drive by liking and endorsing does no one any good and makes you look like a tire kicking couch potato.

Just like you wouldn’t want pages on your website to be different themes, you will want your social profiles to do the same. Markethive also leads the way in doing it right as well:

MARKETHIVE

Markethive probably does the best with branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube accounts as shown above. All five are branded with the honey comb logo, color theme and climbers ascending Mt. Everest in representation of the entrepreneurial social community of entrepreneurs helping each other achieve their agendas, so you can feel the consistency moving from one property to the next.

BMW

The above shows BMW’s branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube profiles. Each online property uses the same color scheme and is currently focused on automotive technology. The logos are all consistent, and the auto focused in the pages is different perspectives, the coloring and themes are consistent as well

BOLTHOUSE

Bolthouse’s (organic farm fresh juices) branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube profiles as shown above uses the same color scheme, logo, and focus on their primary product, carrots and selections of juices. Excellent example of branding and consistency!

Help People Find Your Profiles

I do a lot of competitive analysis in my line of work, and one of the most frustrating things I have to do is search for a brand’s social profiles. Don’t hide your social media presence — flaunt them! Be sure to:

  • Put Social Icons on Your Website — Let visitors to your website know that you are engaging with your audience on social media as well by adding social icons to your website design. The most common places to place them include the header / menu bar, sidebar, and footer. They don’t have to be large and in charge — BMW’s are none existent on their main page and Bolthouse are right up top left of center where they should be and get the job done..
     
  • Put Social Links in Your Communications — Do you send emails regularly? Add social links to your email signature. Do you send newsletters? Add social icons to them.
     
  • Make Your Profiles Search Friendly — If I Google your brand name + Twitter, I should get your Twitter handle in the search results. To make this happen, be sure that the name of your social profile (and the username if possible) matches your brand name. You might be tempted to keyword optimize your profiles instead of optimizing them for your brand name — this is something you need to resist. You can learn more about social media SEO on how to optimize for both effectively for search engines.

Another frustration is the direct sales industry.

Even though the size of this industry is huge by any comparison with a market measured in the trillions, even the top 100 fail miserable branding with social media. Do not be like them, rather show them a good example with your efforts. After several days of research I was able to find one such company that at least had the top 5 Social Medias registered with a similar array (not the same name) of usernames.  The super majorities only have a token Facebook page, even less with Youtube and Twitter and nearly nonexistent with a Google+ and for that almost none of them are engaged.

BEACHBODY

Team Beach Body with a yearly market of 250 million, struggles with social media but has managed to set up the top 5 social medias, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin and Google+, albeit, the account usernames vary, and across the media branding is seriously lacking. It becomes painfully clear this industry needs Markethive or at least their distributors seriously do.

Get Engaged with Your Followers, Fans, and Subscribers

You probably know that it is important to maintain an active account by posting lots of updates, and that it is best to do something other than blasting advertisements non-stop about your brand. So the question is, what should you be doing to stay active in your social networks? Get engaged with your audience, of course. Here are the top networks to get socially engaged in for your brand.

Twitter Engagement

If you’re goal is to build a strong presence on Twitter and demonstrate your brand’s authority in your industry, you need get involved with your following. Some ways to do so include:

Monitoring Brand Mentions — If you use Twitter itself, just do a search for your brand and save the search for future reference. If you use a Twitter management tool like HootSuite, create a keyword search column that will constantly update you with brand mentions. Anytime someone says something about your brand, whether it is good or bad, you should be responding to it if at all possible. This may mean adding some extra team members to your social media GROUP as a response staff. But over time, if people see that you are always on top of any discussion of your brand, you will gain trust and receive lots of great word of mouth marketing. People will tell their followers what a great response they’ve received from you and likely recommend you based on their satisfaction level.

Monitoring Industry Conversation — One of the best parts of Twitter is that you can jump into any conversation, anytime. So if you are a company providing Inbound Marketing services and technologies like Markethive, you can monitor anyone who talks about Inbound Marketing, SEO, linking, Entrepreneurial interests, and other related topics and just answer simple questions that anyone asks about those topics demonstrating your expertise.

Curate the Best Content – Even if you are the best content creator in your industry, people often like to see a second opinion. Find out who other authorities are in your industry and share their opinion on industry topics with your following. You will gain more relevant followers simply for sharing the best news.

Facebook Fan Page Engagement

There are several different ways you can engage with your fans using your fan page that will keep your current fans active and bring new fans to your brand. These include:

Updating Your Fan Page on Facebook — It’s tempting to use HootSuite and other automated programs to update your fan page. But it’s becoming more and more obvious that if you want your updates to show up in fan’s news feeds that the updates must be organic, or originating from your fan page itself. So take the extra time to disable all of your autofeeds and start updating your fan page manually on Facebook. And when people start engaging with your posts or posting directly on your wall, be sure to respond to them. If they know they’re getting response, they’re more likely to return. No one likes a one-way broadcast.

Try Out Different Types of Updates — Don’t just post links or ask questions. Spice it up — add some video updates and photos. Different types of people like different types of content — be sure to try to cater to everyone by mixing your content up!

Thanks to the last major update to Facebook fan pages, you are able to use Facebook as your fan page. This means you can like pages as your fan page instead of your personal profile and then comment on them as your fan page. If you can find pages that are not direct competitors but whose audience will be interested in your brand, you will want to get active on them. For example, social media consultants should be living on Social Media Examiner’s fan page to connect with other individuals and businesses looking for social media help.

LinkedIn Engagement

If your brand isn’t on LinkedIn, you are missing out. LinkedIn allows you to add a company page where you can post your products, services, job openings, and even send status updates to your company followers including your latest blog posts. But some of the best branding and authority building activities for this network lie in the activity of the professional profiles including:

Participating in Groups — There are lots of great, active groups on LinkedIn in a wide variety of industries. Find the groups that have your potential client base within them and start getting active in discussions and posting useful content. Just be sure not to do anything that the group moderator would consider as spamming!

Answering Questions — The next best area to build a great professional reputation and strong authority in your industry is in LinkedIn Answers. There are questions asked every day in topics ranging from administration to technology. The people who answer the most questions are also featured on the answers’ home page as the week’s top experts!

Gaining Recommendations — Last, but not least, is recommendations. You can get recommendations on both the company pages and the professional profiles of your employees. Imagine if someone is browsing your company’s page and sees that the top employees have a ton of recommendations. It will show that you have a lot of experts in the industry which will make potential clients even more confident in your brand!

Al Zibluk

CYRUS: GOD’S ANOINTED SHEPHERD

CYRUS: GOD'S ANOINTED SHEPHERD

Nearly 150 years before Cyrus was born, the prophet Isaiah foretold his birth, his name, and the tasks that the Creator God had predetermined for him to accomplish. The Bible records that certain people are foreordained to be born and carry out specific tasks for God during their lifetime and a few of these individuals are even named before their birth. Cyrus the Great was one of these individuals whom God had predestined to play a pivotal roll in his awesome plan for humanity.

King Cyrus was an extremely important person, because God destroyed the Babylonian empire through him, and brought a close to a seventy-year punishment of the Jews that God imposed on them for their rebellion against him. Also through King Cyrus, God set into motion his seventy-week prophecy that fixed the year for the Messiah's death and resurrection, and reveals the sequence of events and dates for the Messiah's return which will bring to an end human rule of the earth, and usher in the government of God to rule over the entire earth.

Although historians have slightly differing interpretations and views of the historical record concerning the dates of Cyrus' birth and death and his various accomplishments, there is ample historical documentation that Cyrus the Great was indeed a real person whose name is mentioned over 22 times in the Bible and whose tomb in Iran can be visited today.

Cyrus' Protection

In Volume 1 of his historical works, The Greek historian Herodotus records that, before Cyrus' birth, King Astyages dreamed that out of his daughter Mandane flowed a stream of water that filled his capital and flooded all of Asia. When he asked the interpreters of dreams what this meant, they told him that his pregnant daughter would have a son who would overthrow his rule.

In order to stop this perceived threat to his rule, King Astyages sent for his trusted servant Harpagus and told him to kill and bury his daughter's child as soon as it was born; however, Harpagus could not bring himself to kill the newborn child and instead gave him to a shepherd and his wife to kill. But, they were also unwilling to kill the child and instead reared Cyrus as their own.

Harpagus' reluctance to kill the infant Cyrus and the emotional attachment to the newborn child by the married couple shows the Creator God's hand at work to fulfill his plan for Cyrus. See Isa.45:10-13.

The Bible is full of accounts of individuals in whom God had a special interest being protected and guided through their life; this was the case with Cyrus. God had foreordained this man to be his anointed servant (Isa.45:1) and protected and guided the events of his life in order for him to fulfill his destiny.

Cyrus the Man

Cyrus was the grandson of Astyages, King of the Medes. He was born in the province of Persis, in southwest Iran in 590 BC and died in battle in 530 B.C.. He founded the Archaemenian dynasty and the Persian Empire. He overthrew three great empires: the Medes, Lydians, and Babylonians. He also united most of the ancient Middle East into a single state stretching from India to the Mediterranean Sea, which meant that he possessed the largest empire in the world at that time.

Cyrus was a leader of tremendous military ability and high moral and ethical values; he was not inclined to extreme brutality, cruelty, and the perpetual conquest for new territories as were many other conquerors. Cyrus was also extremely tolerant of the customs and the religions of the nations he conquered.

The Greeks considered the Persian Empire to be the greatest threat to their own independence, but they highly regarded Cyrus because of his character and ethical rule.

The Cyrus Cylinder

One important source for the history of Cyrus is the so-called Cyrus cylinder discovered in 1879 by Hormonz Rassam during excavations at Babylon. Although the cylinder is not totally intact and there is some controversy concerning the exact translation of the cuneiform script, it is clear that this ancient document substantiates the biblical record concerning the destruction of the Babylonian empire and the Jews' return to Palestine from their Babylonian captivity.

The following is a partial translation of cuneiform script on the Cyrus cylinder which is dated 538-529 B.C. and housed in the British Museum:

"I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon, king of the land of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters, son of Cambyses, great king, king of Anshan, grandson of Cyrus, great king, king of Anshan, descendant of Teispes, great king, king of Anshan, progeny of an unending royal line, whose rule Bel and Nabu cherish, whose kingship they desire for their hearts' pleasures.'

"When I, well-disposed, entered Babylon, I established the seat of government in the royal palace amidst jubilation and rejoicing. Marduk, the great God, caused the big-hearted inhabitants of Babylon to love me. I sought daily to worship him. My numerous troops moved about undisturbed in the midst of Babylon.'

"I did not allow any to terrorize the land of Sumer and Akkad. I kept in view the needs of Babylon and all its sanctuaries to promote their well-being. The citizens of Babylon. . .I lifted their unbecoming yoke. Their dilapidated dwellings I restored. I put an end to their misfortunes.'

"At my deeds Marduk, the great Lord, rejoiced, and to me, Cyrus, the king who worshiped, and to Cambyses, my son, the offspring of my loins, and to all my troops, he graciously gave his blessing, and in good spirit is before him we glorified exceedingly his high divinity.

"All the kings who sat in the throne rooms, throughout the four quarters, from the Upper to the Lower Sea, those who dwelt in. . .all the kings of the West Country who dwelt in tents, brought me their heavy tribute and kissed my feet in Babylon. From. . .to the cities of Ashur and Susa, Agade, Eshnuna, the cities of Zamban, Meurnu, Der, as far as the region of the land of Gutium, the holy cities beyond the Tigris whose sanctuaries had been in ruins over a long period, the Gods whose abode is in the midst of them. I returned to the places and housed them in lasting abodes.

"I gathered together all their inhabitants and restored to them their dwellings. The Gods of Sumer and Akkad whom Nabonidus had, to the anger of the Lord of the Gods, brought into Babylon, I at the bidding of Marduk, the great Lord made to dwell in peace in their habitations, delightful abodes.

"May all the gods whom I have placed within their sanctuaries address a daily prayer in my favor before Bel and Nabu, that my days may be long."

The above text shows that King Cyrus did indeed allow many of the nations he conquered to not only practice their various religions. Moreover, he rebuilt their temples, restored their articles of worship, and allowed several ethnic groups (including the Jews) who were captive in Babylon to return to their homeland.

Cyrus Invades Babylon

The follow excerpt from the cylinder text tells about the ease with which Cyrus' army entered the city of Babylon. This also substantiates Isaiah's prophecy and the events in the Book of Daniel:

"His widespread troops-their number, like that of the water of a river, which could not be counted, strolled along, their weapons packed away. Without any battle, he made him enter his city Babylon, sparing Babylon any damage. He delivered into my hands Nabonidus, the king who did not worship him."

The Book of Daniel only reveals that the same night in which the king of Babylon was having a great feast, the city was invaded and the king was killed. The biblical account seems to support the text on the Cyrus cylinder; in that, the invasion of Babylon was swift and that there was little or no resistance from its defenders.

In Volume 1 of his historical works, The Greek historian Herodotus records the following about the invasion of Babylon by King Cyrus:

"On the top, along the edges of the wall, they constructed buildings of a single chamber facing one to another, leaving between them room for a four-horse chariot to turn. In the circuit of the wall are a hundred gates, all of brass, with bronze lintels and side-posts. . .The city is divided into two portions by the river, which runs through the midst of it. This river is the Euphrates, a broad, deep, swift stream, which rises in Armenia, and empties itself into the Erythraean Sea.

"At the rivers end of these cross streets are low gates in the fence that skirts the stream, which are, like the great gates in the outer wall, all of brass, and open towards the water. . .Cyrus on his way to Babylon came to the banks of the Gyndes, a stream which, rising in the Matienian mountains, runs through the country of the Dardanians, and empties itself into the river Tigris. The Tigris, after receiving the Gyndes, flows on by the city of Opis, and discharges its waters into the Erythraean sea.

"When Cyrus reached this stream, which could only be passed in boats, one of the sacred white horses accompanying his march, full of spirit and high mettle, walked into the water, and tried to cross by himself; but the current seized him, swept him along with it, and drowned him in its depths. Cyrus, became enraged at the river, and threatened to break its strength so that in the future even women should cross it easily without wetting their knees.

"Accordingly he put off for a time his attack on Babylon, and, dividing his army into two parts, he marked out by ropes one hundred and eighty trenches on each side of the Gyndes, leading off from it in all directions, and making his army dig, some on one side of the river, some on the other, he accomplished his threat by the aid of a great a number of hands, but not without losing the whole summer season. Having defeated the river Gyndes by dispersing it through three hundred and sixty channels, Cyrus, with Spring approaching, marched forward against Babylon. The Babylonians, encamped without their walls, awaited his coming.

"A battle was fought at a short distance from the city, in which the Babylonians were defeated by the Persian king, whereupon they withdrew within their defenses. Here they shut themselves and made fun of his siege, having laid in a store of provisions for many years in preparation against this attack; for when they saw Cyrus conquering nation after nation, they were convinced that he would never stop, and that their turn would come at last. Now Cyrus did not know how to proceed, for as time went on he made no progress in conquering the city.

"In his distress either someone made a suggestion to him, or he himself came up with a plan, which he proceeded to follow. He placed a portion of his army at the point where the river enters the city, and another body at the back of the place where it comes out, with orders to march into the town by the bed of the stream, as soon as the water became shallow enough: he and his army then withdrew, and went to the place where Nitocris dug the basin for the river, where he did exactly what he had done in the past: he turned the Euphrates by a canal into the basin, which was then a marsh, on which the river sank to such a low level that the natural bed of the stream became crossable.

"Hereupon the Persians who had been left at Babylon by the riverside, entered the stream, which had now sunk so as to reach about midway up to a man's thigh, and entered into the city.

"Had the Babylonians been aware of what Cyrus was up to, or had they noticed their danger, they would have never allowed the Persians to enter the city, but would have destroyed them; for they would have closed all the street-gates which opened to the river, and mounting upon the walls along both sides of the stream, would have caught the enemy, as it were, in a trap. But, as it was, the Persians came upon them by surprise and took the city.

"Owing to the great size of the place, the inhabitants of the central part of Babylon, long after the outer portions of the town were taken, knew nothing of what had taken place, for they were engaged in a festival of dancing and reveling. Such, then, were the circumstances of the first taking of Babylon." See Daniel chapter 5.

Nearly 150 years before Cyrus' birth, God declared through the prophet Isaiah that a man named Cyrus would be the anointed shepherd of his people and rebuild Jerusalem. At the time of the prophecy of Isaiah, Jerusalem was a prosperous city that would not be destroyed for more than 100 years by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar.

Isaiah 44:24, 26-28

"This the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, who makes all things, stretching out the heavens; I alone spread out the earth . . . He confirms the word of his servant and completes the counsel of his messengers. He says to Jerusalem, You will be peopled; and to the cities of Judah, you shall be built; and I will raise up its ruins" (vs.24, 26 Para.).

In verse 24, God reminds national Israel that he is the Creator of all things and their Redeemer. In verse 26 he says that he has the power to carry out the things that are said by his servants and messengers and promises to repopulate Jerusalem and rebuild the cities of Judah.

"He says to the deep, be a waste! And I will dry up your rivers! He says, To Cyrus my shepherd; he will fulfil all my will, even to say to Jerusalem, you shall be built; and to the temple, you shall be set up" (vs.27-28 Para.).

Some feel that the reference to the deep and the drying up of the rivers in verse 27 refers to the method by which the Euphrates River was diverted in order for Cyrus' army to enter the city of Babylon. Although this seems like a plausible explanation given the historical account of the invasion of the city, there may be other interpretations, which are beyond the scope of this study. However, verse 27 is very clear; God names Cyrus as the man who will shepherd his people and carry out his plan to return the Jews to their homeland and rebuild the cities and the temple.

Isaiah 45:1-13

"This says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whom I have seized by the right, to subdue nations before him. Yes, I will open the loins of kings, to open the two-leaved doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut. I will go before you and make hills level; I will tear apart the bronze doors and cut the iron bars in two. And I will give you the treasures of darkness, even treasures in secret places, that you may know that I am the Lord who calls you by your name, I the God of Israel" (vs.1-3 Para.).

In verses 1-3, we see that Cyrus is called the Lord's anointed (Heb. mashiyach [maw-shee'-akh]). which denotes a person specifically chosen and set apart for a specific task. Notice also that God promised to intervene and help Cyrus conquer many nations (i.e., make hills level).

The opening of the two-leaved doors, the tearing apart of the bronze doors, and the cutting of the iron bars seem to picture God's intervention to open the hundred copper-alloy gates of Babylon to King Cyrus and his army.

Imagine Cyrus' amazement and sober contemplation as he became aware of Isaiah's prophecy and realized that almost 150 years before his birth he had been named and ordained by the God of the Israelites to become a mighty conquering king and perform a task for this God whom he neither knew nor worshiped.

Today, we view Isaiah's prophecy in the dim light of ancient history, which makes it difficult to fully comprehend Cyrus' perspective on the prophecy. Cyrus viewed the prophecy from the perspective of his many victorious battles and how easily he had conquered many nations, including the mighty Babylonian empire and its capital city.

"For Jacob my servant's sake, and for Israel my elect, I have called you by your name. I named you but you do not know me. I am God, and there is no other, there is no God except me, I will clothe you, even though you do not know me, that they may know from sunrise to sunset that there is none except me; I am God and there is no other who creates light and forms darkness; makes peace and creates evil. I God do all these things" (vs.4-7 Para.).

The Creator God states in verse 6 that one of the reasons for this prophecy is so that people will have a continual witness the he is God. The prophecy concerning Cyrus and its fulfillment is a continual witness of the Creator God's power and authority over his creation. See Jn.1:1-3; Eph.3:8-9; Heb.2:10.

"Woe to him that fights with his Maker! A potsherd among the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him that fashions it, What are you making? Or does the work say, He has no hands? Woe to him that says to his father, What are you fathering? Or to the woman, What are you laboring over? This says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker. Do you ask me the things to come? Do you give me commands to me about my sons, and about the works of my hands? I have made the earth, and created man on it. I stretched out the heavens with my hands; and I have set all of them in order" (vs.9-12 Para.).

Verses 9-12 seems to be a warning to King Cyrus to carefully consider and respect the awesome power of the God who claims to have the ultimate power to create and destroy and recorded the words concerning him and what he was to accomplish almost 150 years before his birth.

"I have raised him [Cyrus] up to be ethical and have made all his ways direct. He shall build my city [Jerusalem], and he will release my captives; not for price, nor reward, says the Lord of hosts" (v.13 Para.).

Here, we see the task that Cyrus was brought into existence to accomplish for the Creator God of Israel. History records that Cyrus did accomplish the task for which he was foreordained.

Cyrus' Proclamation

In 2.Chronicles chapter 36 and in Ezra chapter 1, we are told that King Cyrus was motivated by God to write a decree to allow the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple:

"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to accomplish the word of the Lord spoken through the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king the of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, This says Cyrus king of Persia, The God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and has charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up" (2.Chron.36:22-23 Para.).

"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, This says Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he has charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem" (Ezra 1:1-3 KJV).

We are not told how King Cyrus became aware of Isaiah's prophecy concerning his life; however, it is entirely possible that Cyrus was told about the prophecy by Daniel who eventually held one of the Persian Empires' highest offices as chief of the three presidents over Persia (Dan.6:1-3). He may have been told by Ezra the priest or by Nehemiah who was another high ranking Jew in the Persian government (Neh.2:2; 8:9; 10:1). Another possibility is that Cyrus could have discovered the prophecy himself as he studied the religions of his captives. However he came to understand Isaiah's prophecy, he understood that he was the one named in it and that he had been chosen before his birth to perform a service to the God of the Jews who claimed to be the Sovereign God and Creator of all things.

Jeremiah's Prophecy

Chapter 36 of 2.Chronicles and in Ezra chapter 1 shows that the Creator God made King Cyrus aware of the prophecy in Isaiah and motivated him to allow the Jews to return to their homeland in order for the prophetic words he had spoken through Jeremiah's to be fulfilled.

The prophet Jeremiah primarily records the progression of world events throughout history and their culmination in the return of the Messiah and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. The holy scriptures reveal that, within the Sovereign Father's plan for humanity, there is a specific time frame within which this plan will be completed and that there are specific times when certain events within this plan must occur. It seems that the only prophecy recorded by Jeremiah that speaks to Babylonian captivity for the House of Judah and their repatriation to their homeland from this captivity is in Jeremiah, chapters 25 and 29.

Jeremiah 25:8-13 KJV

"Therefore this says the Lord of hosts; Because you have not heard my words, Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, says the Lord, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations" (vs.8-9).

Because of their persistent rebellion against him and their refusal to repent of their sins, God said that he would cause the House of Judah to go into Babylonian captivity.

"Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle. And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years" (vs.10-11). See also Jer.29:1-10.

Verse 11 tells us that the land shall be a desolation and that the House of Judah will be in captivity 70 years. But, why 70 years of punishment? One of the reasons for this captivity was the refusal of the Jews to obey God's laws. One of these laws concerns allowing the land to rest every 7 years (i.e., the land Sabbath):

"But in the seventh year shall be a Sabbath of rest to the land, a Sabbath for the Lord: you shall neither sow your field, nor prune your vineyard. That which grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, neither gather the grapes of your vineyard undressed: for it is a year of rest to the land" (Lev.25:4-5 KJV).

"But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments, if, instead, you reject my statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all my commandments, and so break my covenant, I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that shall waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you shall sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies shall eat it up. 'And I will set my face against you so that you shall be struck down before your enemies; and those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when no one is pursuing you. 'If also after these things, you do not obey me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. . . . 'If then, you act with hostility against me and are unwilling to obey me, I will increase the plague on you seven times according to your sins" (Lev 26:14-18, 21 NAS).

"I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins. Then the land will enjoy its sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the sabbaths you lived in it" (Lev.26:33-35 KJV).

What is revealed about the 70 years of punishment in 2.Chronicles may indicate that the Jews were breaking the law of the land rest:

"And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years (70 years)" (2.Chron,36:20-21 KJV).

While the majority of the population of the House of Judah were in Babylonian captivity, the land rested because there were very few people left in Palestine to work the land.

"And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, says the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations" (Jer.25:12-13).

Although Jeremiah foretells the end of the Jews' captivity after 70 years, he says nothing about when the Jews will be sent back to their homeland.

Daniel, Haggai, and Zechariah

The prophets Daniel, Haggai, and Zechariah were all captives of the Babylonian and Persian empires and all three were given various insights by God into the reasons for Cyrus' proclamation concerning the Jews and each recorded certain understandings concerning the seventy- year prophecy. Daniel was given insight in the first year of King Darius' reign and Haggai and Zechariah were given insight in the second year of his reign. See Hag.1:1-15; Zech 1:1-16.

Daniel Given Understanding

"In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years [the 70 years of captivity and land rest] in the desolations of Jerusalem"(Dan.9:1-2 KJV).

Not only did God reveal details concerning the seventy-year captivity of the Jews in Babylon (foretold by the prophet Jeremiah), he also revealed the date of the Messiah's death, resurrection, and return to establish the government of God on earth through a seventy-week prophecy:

"And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give you skill and understanding. . . Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy" (Dan.9:22, 24 KJV).

Daniel is told that this mysterious seventy-week prophecy begins with a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem:

"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Dan.9:25-27 KJV).

The plan of God for the salvation of humanity was laid out before the world began. Within this plan are events and dates on which these events must occur in a specific sequence in order for the plan to be completed within its allotted time. Therefore, the timing of the prophecy concerning Cyrus was critical in order for the seventy-week prophecy, which was revealed to Daniel, to begin and end exactly on schedule.

The first part of the seventy-week prophecy, which began with a decree to restore Jerusalem and rebuild the temple, was completed with the death and resurrection of the Messiah in 30 A.D.; only the second part remains to be fulfilled at the end of this age. See our study concerning the year of Christ's death and the seventy-week prophecy for dates and more details concerning this prophecy.

The Jews Return to Palestine

After the initial proclamation by King Cyrus to allow the Jews to return to Palestine, it took many years and the departure of four large groups of Jews from the land of their captivity for them to accomplish the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple.

The first group was lead by Sheshbazzar, a descendant of the Davidic line, with whom came a group of heads of families who settled in the ruins of the city and began to rebuild it.

The second group was lead by Zerubbabel who was the appointed governor of Jerusalem and Joshua, a son of Josedech the high priest.

The third group was lead by Ezra who was authorized to appoint judges in the Land of Israel and apply the laws of the Torah.

The fourth group was lead by Nehemiah in 445 B.C.. They came to rebuild the broken walls of the city and its gates which had been destroyed by fire. Nehemiah created a new political reality in Judah, making it an autonomous region within the Persian Empire.

With the accomplishments of Ezra and Nehemiah, the return of tens of thousands of Jews from exile in Babylon to Palestine, the restoration of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the temple, the prophecy concerning Cyrus and the 70 years of Jewish punishment was complete.

The fulfillment of prophecy is a major proof that the Sovereign God does exist and that he has the power and authority to control the destiny of humanity. Moreover, the fulfillment of prophecy tells us that God's plan for humanity is right on schedule.

 

http://www.bibleresearch.org/articles/a2pws.htm

Al Zibluk

What Does Advertising-Supported Revenue Model Mean?

What Does The Future of  the Ad-Supported
Revenue Model Mean to the Internet and Technology?

An advertising-supported revenue model is a business approach that emphasizes the sale of advertising as a major source of revenue. This structure is most prominent in traditional broadcast and print media, as well as online media. Media businesses generally earn revenue from advertising, customer subscriptions or a combination of the two.

Traditional Media

TV and radio shows, along with newspapers and magazines, generally serve to entertain or inform viewers or readers. TV and radio have traditionally been largely advertising-supported. While networks and TV stations do often earn revenue through subscriptions to satellite or cable television, much of their income is earned from advertisers trying to appeal to viewers. Similarly, magazines and newspapers charge subscription or purchase fees, but advertisers pay to place ads within these print media.

E-Commerce

The emergence of the Internet in the mid-1990s has affected the advertising-supported revenue model. Newspapers, for instance, have tried to adjust to increased demand for online content and limited growth in print publications. Thousands of media websites have been born online, which often offer free access to content for users. This attracts users and enables the publishes to sell banner ads and advertorial ad spaces. Traditional newspapers have offered free content as well, but many are trying to figure out how to combine ad revenue with subscription fees as of 2013.

Benefits

The benefit of an advertising-supported revenue model is that if you have an audience, you can almost always find companies that want to pay to reach it. This is especially true when you can provide specific details about the nature of your audience. When you operate with a 100 percent ad-supported model, you can more easily attract users with free content. Newspapers have long given away hundreds of copies to businesses and organizations in communities to drive up their circulation and readership, and subsequently, ad revenue potential.

Drawbacks

The major drawback of an entirely ad-supported revenue model is the inherent lack of diversification. Businesses generally prefer multiple revenue streams when possible. In a down economy, advertisers might back off their investments, which can more negatively affect a medium that has no subscription revenue. Plus, print publications, and even some websites, have high costs. Even a small subscription rate can help cover some of these costs. Local newspapers charging, say, 35 cents per issue can't use that to cover all production costs, but the fees do help offset costs and allow revenue to build.

Facebook Reports Soaring Revenue, Buoyed by Mobile Ads

On Wednesday, Mr. Zuckerberg’s social-networking company, Facebook, reported another quarter of soaring revenue. The company said sales in the fourth quarter rose 52 percent from a year ago, to $5.84 billion, while profit increased to $1.56 billion, more than doubling from $701 million a year ago. For the full year, the company reported $3.69 billion in profit on $17.93 billion in revenue, an increase of 44 percent from 2014.

The numbers far surpassed Wall Street’s fourth-quarter expectations of $1.2 billion in profit on $5.37 billion in revenue. Investors welcomed the performance by pushing up Facebook’s stock more than 12 percent in after-hours trading.

The results were largely a result of Facebook’s enormous success in selling advertising on mobile devices, a business that the company was not even in just a few years ago. Mobile ads made up 80 percent of the company’s total ad business in the fourth quarter, compared with 23 percent in the same quarter of 2012.

“We have a Super Bowl on mobile in the U.S. every single day,” Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said in an interview.

The results offer a bright spot in a tumultuous climate for many American technology stocks. Shares of Twitter, Facebook’s most visible social networking competitor in the United States, have tumbled more than 55 percent during the last year. Yelp, the local-review service, is down about 60 percent. LinkedIn, the professional social networking service, is off more than 15 percent.

Facebook is a much larger company than many of its peers, yet it is able to keep its growth rate high. The company has notched double-digit jumps in ad revenue and in the expansion of its user base. Facebook now has 1.59 billion monthly visitors, up 14 percent from a year ago. About 1.44 billion of those people visit the site on a mobile device; 1.04 billion visit Facebook every day.

That growth engine has given Facebook lots of room to play in different areas — like virtual reality, messaging and even building drones capable of delivering Internet service to far-flung places around the world — that seem to have little to do with Facebook’s core business of advertising.

Facebook is spending billions of dollars developing those projects, and Mr. Zuckerberg has repeatedly said the company has no plans to make money on them in the near term. In an earnings call with investors, David Wehner, Facebook’s chief financial officer, said the company projected that expenses would increase roughly 30 to 40 percent over the course of 2016 compared with last year.

One example of the spending is on Oculus, Facebook’s $2 billion bet on bringing virtual reality to the mainstream. The unit will begin selling its first headsets to consumers in March. Facebook has said it plans to sell the hardware, called the Rift, at a loss to help the technology catch on with a large audience.

“These are long-term bets, but we don’t think they’re particularly large bets relative to the size of Facebook,” said Ben Schachter, an Internet analyst at Macquarie Securities. “They’ve gone out of their way to say they’re not Google and going after health care, for instance.”

Other analysts said they also saw potential for profit in the hundreds of millions of people who regularly use Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, a messaging service also owned by Facebook.

They are also bullish on the potential for Instagram, the photo-sharing service that has more than 400 million regular monthly users, to become a significant source of revenue in the future. The company does not disclose what portion of revenue Instagram accounts for in Facebook’s overall sales. Ms. Sandberg said 98 of the top 100 advertisers on Facebook also advertised on Instagram in the last quarter.

As for Mr. Zuckerberg, he spent a portion of the investor call on Wednesday talking about his new role as a father to his daughter, Max.

“With a new addition to my family, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the legacy we want to pass on to the next generation,” he said, adding that he wanted Facebook to “continue to focus on solving the fundamental challenges facing the world, and bringing the world closer together.”

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


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Entrepreneurial Social Networks

Top 5 Social Networks Entrepreneur Strategy

There are hundreds of social networks out there. You can’t be everywhere and we all need to focus our efforts and time on the most effective social networking sites. Here are the social networks I would recommend most for entrepreneurs.

Looking for a job? Consider creating your own. There are a number of social resources to help you connect with other entrepreneurs and get your business ideas off the ground.

Here are the top 10 social networks for entrepreneurs. Each helps entrepreneurs succeed by providing them with the guidance, tools and resources they need to setup their company and gain exposure.

Nothing compares with the brute force horsepower Inbound Marketing engine that comes free with Markethive, but we need to build alliances among our peers and this list is the top 10 of other Entrepreneurial social nets we recommend you frequent as well.

1. Markethive

I am putting Markethive as number one for many reasons, including a serious case of bias. I built it, aside from that. Markethive is a traditional easily navigated and profile oriented network similar to Facebook, oriented like LinkedIn but unique in that it's engine is a multimillion dollar Inbound Marketing platform. As entrepreneurs, we invest (spend) millions on autoresponder systems, capture page systems, blogging platforms, broadcasting technologies, known as Inbound Marketing today. Markethive's founder is the same man the developed Veretekk and invented Automated Marketing, auto responders, capture pages basically what has become today known as Inbound Marketing. There is no other Inbound Marketing solution on the Internet that comes close, has the level of integration found on the Internet at any price and the other systems cost upwards of $10,000 per month. Markethive's Inbound Marketing platform is free included and built into the social network.

2.  StartupNation

Most social networks neglect the content aspect that makes StartupNation so useful.  With articles, forums, blogs, on-demand seminars, and podcasts, entrepreneurs will be better prepared for their ventures and have the resources required to make better business decisions. 

There are a wide range of topics being discussed on StartupNation right now, including business planning, marketing and web-based business.  The site also offers a series of competitions, such as a dorm-based 20 contest and an elevator pitch competition. If you're an entrepreneur or hope to become one, this site is definitely one you can’t miss out on.

3.  LinkedIn

It’s difficult to leave LinkedIn off of any social networking list because it’s so useful for anyone who's either searching for a job, is trying to network with like-minded individuals, or building a company.  LinkedIn offers many resources for entrepreneurs, such as groups, including the very popular “On Startups” group that has over 54,000 members. 

Entrepreneurs on LinkedIn should brand themselves properly so they can attract the right kind of business opportunities, and perform searches to find service providers or partners.  As an entrepreneur, you should also be looking to participate in LinkedIn Answers, events and applications to spruce up your profile and become a valuable member to your community.

4.  Perfect Business

If you want to meet thousands of serious entrepreneurs, experts and investors from a variety of industries, then Perfect Business might be the perfect social network for you.  The type of people you’ll find are potential business partners, potential clients and advisers. Additionally, the site has leading business partners like Entrepreneur and Virgin Money.

From business networking to a video center where you can learn from successful entrepreneurs, a business plan builder and even an investor center, you’ll have most of the resources you need to create or regenerate your business. There is a free basic membership and a gold membership that costs $29.99 per month.

5.   The Funded

The Funded is an online community of entrepreneurs who research, rate and review funding sources.  Entrepreneurs can view and share terms sheets to assist each other in finding good investors, as well as discuss the inner workings of operating a business.  General benefits of this site include viewing facts, reviews and commentary on funding resources, and accessing RSS feeds of the most recent public comments by members. 

By joining the site, you have access to detailed fund profiles with specialty, reference investments, and investment criteria, in addition to accessing partner vCards that have full contact information of all partners at venture funds.  In order to get any value out of this social network, you pretty much have to become a member.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Al Zibluk

FBI warns automakers, owners about vehicle hacking risks

FBI warns automakers, owners about vehicle hacking risks

Friday, 18 Mar 2016 | 6:22 AM ET

vehicle hacking risks

The FBI and U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a bulletin Thursday warning that motor vehicles are "increasingly vulnerable" to hacking.

"The FBI and NHTSA are warning the general public and manufacturers — of vehicles, vehicle components, and aftermarket devices — to maintain awareness of potential issues and cybersecurity threats related to connected vehicle technologies in modern vehicles," the agencies said in the bulletin.

In July 2015, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalled 1.4 million U.S. vehicles to install software after a magazine report raised concerns about hacking, the first action of its kind for the auto industry.

Also last year, General Motors issued a security update for a smartphone app that could have allowed a hacker to take control of some functions of a plug-in hybrid electric Chevrolet Volt, like starting the engine and unlocking the doors.

In January 2015, BMW said it had fixed a security flaw that could have allowed up to 2.2 million vehicles to have doors remotely opened by hackers.

"While not all hacking incidents may result in a risk to safety — such as an attacker taking control of a vehicle — it is important that consumers take appropriate steps to minimize risk," the FBI bulletin said Thursday.

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind told reporters in July 2015 that automakers must move fast to address hacking issues.


Ida Mae Boyd
MarketHive Alpha Founder
Skype me at imboyd681
please include in the Skype Contact message "Market Hive"

Al Zibluk

Ryan says open GOP convention ‘more likely’


House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday it’s looking “more likely” the Republican Party will face an open convention in July — meaning, a floor fight to pick a nominee — and that Donald Trump and the party might want to accept that “reality.”

Ryan discussed the possibility with reporters as he noted he’s the chairman of the convention and will have to “bone up on all the rules.” He openly acknowledged that — even as Trump puts away another round of primary victories — a convention where no candidate has reached the necessary 1,237 delegates could actually happen this year.

“Nothing has changed other than the perception that this is more likely to become an open convention than we thought before,” Ryan said. “So, we're getting our minds around the idea that this could very well become a reality, and therefore those of us who are involved in the convention need to respect that.”

He said his role as speaker is to be “dispassionate and to be Switzerland,” and ensure that delegates abide by the rules in making their decisions


P.S.

Ida Mae Boyd
MarketHive Alpha Founder
Skype me at imboyd681
please include in the Skype Contact message "Market Hive"

Al Zibluk

What History Teaches Us About Great Speculations

Right now, we are exiting the eye of the giant financial hurricane that we entered in 2007, and we’re going into its trailing edge. It’s going to be much more severe, different, and longer lasting than what we saw in 2008 and 2009.

financial crisis

In a desperate attempt to stave off a day of financial reckoning during the 2008 financial crisis, global central banks began printing trillions of new currency units. The printing continues to this day. And it’s not just the Federal Reserve that’s doing it: it’s just the leader of the pack. The U.S., Japan, Europe, China…all major central banks are participating in the biggest increase in global monetary units in history.

These reckless policies have produced not just billions, but trillions in malinvestment that will inevitably be liquidated. This will lead us to an economic disaster that will in many ways dwarf the Great Depression of 1929–1946. Paper currencies will fall apart, as they have many times throughout history.

This isn’t some vague prediction about the future. It’s happening right now. The Canadian dollar has lost 26% of its value since 2013. The Australian dollar has lost 29% of its value during the same time. The Japanese yen and the euro have crashed in value. And the U.S. dollar is currently just the healthiest horse on its way to the glue factory.

These moves show that we’re in the early stages of a currency crisis. But if you make the right moves, you could actually make windfall gains instead of suffering losses. Here’s how to do it…

The huge winner during this crisis will be the only currency that has real value: gold.

Gold has been used as money for thousands of years because it has a unique combination of qualities. Very briefly, it’s durable, easily divisible, convenient to carry, consistent around the world, and has value in and of itself. Just as important, governments can’t create gold out of thin air. It’s the only financial asset that’s not simultaneously someone else’s liability.

When people wake up and realize that most banks and governments are bankrupt, they’ll flock to gold…just as they’ve done for centuries. Gold will rise multiples of its current value. I expect a 200% rise from current levels, at the minimum. There are many reasons, which we don’t have room to cover here, why gold could see a 400% or 500% gain.

This should produce a corresponding bull market in gold stocks…perhaps of a magnitude we’ve never seen. A true mania for gold stocks could develop over the coming years. This could make anyone who buys gold stocks at their current depressed levels very rich.

What History Teaches Us About Great Speculations

Many of the best speculations have a political element to them.

Governments are constantly creating distortions in the market, causing misallocations of capital. Whenever possible, the speculator tries to find out what these distortions are, because their consequences are predictable.

They result in trends you can bet on. Because you can almost always count on the government to do the wrong thing, you can almost always safely bet against them. It’s as if the government were guaranteeing your success.

The classic example, not just coincidentally, concerns gold.

The U.S. government suppressed its price for decades while creating huge numbers of dollars before it exploded upward in 1971. Speculators who understood some basic economics positioned themselves accordingly. Over the next nine years, gold climbed more than 2,000% and many gold stocks climbed by more than 5,000%.

Governments are constantly manipulating and distorting the monetary situation. Gold in particular,
 as the market’s alternative to government money, is always affected by that. So gold stocks are really a way to short government—or go long on government stupidity, as it were.

The bad news is that governments act chaotically, spastically.

The beast jerks to the tugs on its strings held by various puppeteers. But while it’s often hard to predict price movements in the short-term, the long-term is a near certainty. You can bet confidently on the end results of chronic government monetary stupidity.

Mining stocks are extremely volatile for that very same reason. That’s good news, however, because volatility makes it possible, from time to time, to get not just doubles or triples but 10-baggers, 20-baggers, and even 100-to-1 shots.

When gold starts moving higher, it’s going to direct a lot of attention towards gold stocks. When people get gold fever, they are not just driven by greed, they’re usually driven by fear as well, so you get both of the most powerful market motivators working for you at once. It’s a rare class of securities that can benefit from fear and greed at once.

Remember that the Fed‘s pumping-up of the money supply ignited a huge bubble in tech stocks in the late 90’s, and then an even more massive global bubble in real estate that burst in 2008. But they’re still creating tons of dollars.

This will inevitably ignite other asset bubbles. Where? I can’t say for certain, but I say the odds are extremely high that as gold goes up, a lot of this funny money is going to be directed into these gold stocks, which are not just a microcap area of the market but a nanocap area of the market. The combined market capitalization of the 10 biggest U.S.-listed gold stocks is less than 29% of the size of Facebook.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: When the public gets the bit in its teeth and wants to buy gold stocks, it’s going to be like trying to siphon the contents of the Hoover Dam through a garden hose.

Gold stocks, as a class, are going to be explosive. Now, you’ve got to remember that most of them are junk. Most will never, ever find an economical deposit. But it’s hopes and dreams that drive them, not reality, and even those without merit can still go up 10, 20, or 30 times your entry price.

And companies that actually have the goods can go much higher than that.

You buy gold, the metal, because you’re prudent. It’s for safety, liquidity, insurance. The gold stocks, even though they explore for or mine gold, are at the polar opposite of the investment spectrum; you buy them for their extreme volatility, and the chance they offer for spectacular gains. It’s rather paradoxical, actually.

Why Gold Stocks Are an Ideal “Asymmetric Bet”

Because these stocks have the potential to go 10, 50, or even 100 times your entry price, they offer something called “asymmetry.”

You probably learned about symmetry in grade school. It’s when the parts of something have equal form and size. For example, cut a square in half and the two parts are symmetrical.

Symmetry is attractive in some forms. The more symmetrical someone’s face is, the more physically attractive they are considered to be. Symmetry is often attractive in architecture.

But when it comes to investing and speculating in the financial markets, the expert financial operator eschews symmetry. Symmetry is for suckers.

The expert financial operator hunts for extreme asymmetry.

An asymmetric bet is one where the potential upside of a position greatly exceeds its potential downside. If you risk $1 for the chance of making $20, you’re making an asymmetric bet.

Amateur investors too often risk 100% of their money in the pursuit of a 100% return. These are horrible odds that the financially and statistically illiterate flock towards…the kind you find in casinos and most sports betting. It’s one of the key reasons most people struggle in the market.

I’ve always been more attracted to asymmetric bets…where I stand a good chance of making 10, 50, even 100 times the amount I’m risking. I’m not interested in even bets. I’m only taking the field if my potential upside is much, much greater than my potential downside.

Because of the extreme asymmetry gold stocks offer—because of their extreme upside potential—you don’t have to take a big position in them to make a huge impact on your net worth. A modest investment of $25,000 right now could turn into $500,000 in five years. It has happened before and it will happen again.

Right now gold stocks are near a historic low. I’m buying them aggressively. At this point, it’s possible that the shares of a quality exploration company or a quality development company (i.e., one that has found a deposit and is advancing it toward production) could still go down 10, 20, 30, or even 50 percent. But there’s an excellent chance that the same stock will go up by 10, 50, or even 100 times.

I hate to use such hard-to-believe numbers, but that is the way this market works.

When the coming resource bubble is ignited, the odds are excellent we’ll be laughing all the way to the bank in a few years.

No one, including me, knows that the Mania Phase is just around the corner. But I’ve operated in this market for over 40 years. This is a very reasonable time to be buying these stocks. And it’s absolutely a good time to start educating yourself about them.

There’s an excellent chance a truly massive bubble is going to be ignited in this area. If so, the returns are going to be historic.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


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Trump has No Respect for Presidency Hefner

Trump has 'no respect' for presidency: Hefner

Cooper Hefner, son of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, has grown tired of self-proclaimed "family friend" Donald Trump.

The 24-year-old Hefner argued Thursday that Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, has "absolutely no understanding or respect" for the presidency. Earlier this month, Hefner called on young people to try to better understand politics and Trump's campaign.

"He sort of is rewriting the playbook for how every individual has gone about running their campaign. Most importantly, I think most of his policies are backed and supported by racist notions," Hefner, chief creative officer at media company Hop, told CNBC's "Closing Bell."

Cooper Hefner, son of Hugh Hefner

Tommaso Boddi | WireImage | Getty Images

Cooper Hefner, son of Hugh Hefner

The bombastic Trump has rolled to the lead in the GOP primary elections, racking up 683 delegates so far versus 422 for his nearest rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, according to NBC News. Along the way, he has proposed policies that have irked minority groups, like building a wall along the Mexican border and temporarily banning Muslims from entering the U.S. due to terror concerns.

Hefner said Trump was one of many celebrities and business owners he met at his father's home growing up. While he knew Trump when he was younger, he has had little interaction with the mogul as an adult.

Hefner, who identifies as a Democrat, acknowledged that Trump is more popular with older Americans than people near his age. Regardless, he said he wanted to encourage young people to "start actually having a real dialogue and conversation about politics."

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

Jacob Pramuk | @jacobpramuk  CNBC


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