Improving equity in SMMUSD a ‘daunting’ but worthy task

first_imgHomeNewsEducationImproving equity in SMMUSD a ‘daunting’ but worthy task Apr. 11, 2016 at 6:20 amEducationImproving equity in SMMUSD a ‘daunting’ but worthy taskJeff Goodman5 years agojose escarceNewspedro nogueraSamohiSanta MonicaSanta Monica Collegesanta monica high schoolsanta monica newssanta monica-malibu classroom teachers associationsarah braffsmmusdTerry Deloria Editor’s note: This is the first installment of a multi-part series about the Santa Monica-Malibu school district’s achievement gap.Officials in the Santa Monica-Malibu school district didn’t need Pedro Noguera to tell them they have significant work to do to close the achievement gap.But with the renowned reformist on board as a consultant, district leaders have reiterated their commitment to addressing longstanding disparities in academic success along racial and socioeconomic lines.After a presentation by Noguera during which he pointed out district flaws and outlined a roadmap of solutions, the local Board of Education on Thursday afternoon expressed unanimous support for the creation of a plan to improve equity in the district.During a well-attended meeting in the  Santa Monica High School cafeteria, board members directed district staff to move forward with Noguera’s recommendations and return with detailed strategies for curbing the gulfs in outcomes between minority students and their peers.“There’s no simple solution, and everyone in this community … believes in and understands how important it is to engage in this work,” SMMUSD Superintendent Sandra Lyon said. “It’s a daunting task, and one worth doing.”What remains to be seen is how the district will get past the buzzwords of “shared vision,” “culturally responsive teaching” and “differentiated learning” to make lasting dents in the achievement gaps that persist between black and Latino students and their white and Asian counterparts.On recent state tests, district pass rates in English ranged from 45 percent for African-American students and 48 percent for Hispanic students to 78 percent for white students and 83 percent for Asians. Similarly, just 30 percent of black test-takers in SMMUSD and 33 percent of Latino students met or exceeded the math standard, while white and Asian students’ rates stood at 69 percent and 77 percent, respectively.“This community is better-positioned than most to make progress and address this issue,” Noguera said. “But there’s a tendency to confuse talking about something with doing it. We can’t think, ‘We had a meeting, and we knocked that one out.’ It’s a step in a long journey.”Noguera’s arrival in the district followed his appearance about a year ago at Santa Monica College, where Lyon and assistant superintendent Terry Deloria heard him speak. The education scholar’s consultancy is being paid $185,000 to assess the district’s problems and help implement long-term fixes.“We determined it would be a great benefit to our district if we could partner with Dr. Noguera and conduct an equity review to … make sure we were doing the best for each and every one of our students,” Lyon said.Board members and stakeholders praised the district for attempting to tackle the problems and lauded Noguera for his thorough approach. Longtime board member Jose Escarce, for one, said the current effort to close the achievement gap feels different than previous attempts in the district.“Whether we’ve misfired or not in the past is not the point,” he said. “I sense much more commitment than I ever have before. … Today is the first day of a plan that will, over time, take us to the place where we want to go.”Sarah Braff, president of the Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association, said it will take substantial effort to enact the culture changes outlined by Noguera.“This opportunity will not succeed if we don’t all take ownership of the fact that we have not yet succeeded,” she said. It will only work if we open up our hearts and our minds to real change. We must all take this as serious as a heart attack. That’s how important it is.”[email protected] :jose escarceNewspedro nogueraSamohiSanta MonicaSanta Monica Collegesanta monica high schoolsanta monica newssanta monica-malibu classroom teachers associationsarah braffsmmusdTerry Deloriashare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentHow will Santa Monica handle rising sea levels?Letter: Loving Santa MonicaYou Might Also LikeBriefsNewsBeach House Begins Community Re-Opening June 15Guest Author2 days agoBriefsNewsInput Invited for Marine Park Improvement ProjectsGuest Author2 days agoBriefsNewsPublic Health Emphasizes the Importance of Vaccinations as Distancing and Masking Guidelines Relax Next WeekGuest Author2 days agoBriefsNews“Righting Our Wrongs” performance on June 11Guest Author2 days agoBriefsNewsSEATTLE Feds plan to curtail West Coast salmon fishing to help orcasGuest Author2 days agoColumnsNewsOpinionYour Column HereYour column hereGuest Author2 days agolast_img read more

Federal Judicial Roundtable set

first_imgFlorida Bar members will get a rare opportunity to talk informally with federal judges in small group settings, courtesy of the Bar’s Federal Court Practices Committee.This year’s Federal Judicial Roundtable, set for June 19, from 2:15 to 4:45 p.m. at the Bar’s Annual Convention at the Boca Raton Hotel and Club. A reception will follow the event.The Federal Judicial Roundtable is a highly interactive discussion group led by federal judges regarding opening statements, closing arguments, and other federal practice topics.The roundtable discussion groups will be led by Judges William Stafford, Stephen Mickle, Elizabeth Timothy, William Castagna, Harvey Schlesinger, James Moody, Henry Lee Adams, Davis Baker, Gary Jones, Paul Glenn, Alexander Paskay, Rodney May, William Hoeveler, Alan Gold, Jose Martinez, Paul Huck, Adalberto Jordan, Pat Seitz, Edwin Torres, Jay Cristol, and Marcia Cooke.The moderators for the event will be Michael Pasano and Stuart Grossman.For more information contact Dawn Saucier at [email protected] Federal Judicial Roundtable set Federal Judicial Roundtable setcenter_img May 15, 2008 Regular Newslast_img read more

CR7, Modric, Salah gun for UEFA award

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah and Luka Modric have been named as the three nominees for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award.Ronaldo and Modric lifted the Champions League trophy for the third season in a row with Real Madrid, while Salah helped Liverpool to the final for the first time since 2007.Ronaldo – who has won the award three times overall including in each of the past two seasons – was once again the Champions League’s top scorer last season with 15 European goals in just 13 appearances.Salah, meanwhile, scored 44 goals across all competitions, including 11 in Europe as part of the most prolific attacking trio in Champions League history alongside Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.Modric was once again instrumental in steering Madrid to the Champions League crown for the fourth time in the past five years, and built on that display by winning the Golden Ball award at this summer’s World Cup in Russia.The winner will be announced along with the Champions League group-stage draw on August 30.last_img read more

Monahan says PGA Tour expects to be in Austin for Match Play

first_img The next World Golf Championship starts in two weeks in Austin, Texas, and PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan “fully expects” the Dell Match Play to go on as scheduled.“We’re all in and making certain that we’re able to operate that event,” he said Tuesday.The popular South by Southwest festival, which last year attracted nearly 300,000 people, already was canceled over concerns about the new coronavirus outbreak.Austin city officials issued a statement Monday that events with at least 2,500 people are prohibited “unless organizers can assure Austin Public Health that mitigation plans for infectious diseases are in place.”The tour has submitted plans for the Match Play, which starts March 25 at Austin Country Club for the top 64 players available from the world ranking.“This thing is so dynamic that you just have to go hour-to-hour, day-to-day,” Monahan said. “But right now, we have every assurance that we’ll be in Austin.”Monahan says the tour began with a task force on COVID-19, and now that has become what he described as a “business unit” led by its medical director and chief administrative officer. He said they have a “large team” studying the virus and implications to tour business.Tiger Woods hasn’t played in four weeks, and the Match Play is among possibilities as his only start before he defends his title at the Masters. He also could play, if his back allows, the Valspar Championship next week in the Tampa Bay area.As for the Match Play, Monahan left open the possibility that it could be played without fans, or with limited attendance.“There are different ways of operating an event based on the circumstances in terms of fan involvement and how we operate the event,” he said. “But we’re still confident that we’d be able to operate the event.”For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.CELEBRATE GOOD TIMESTyrrell Hatton was so ecstatic to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational that he wasn’t sure he would recover from celebrating until Wednesday. It was probably different from the celebrations of Webb Simpson.When he won The Players Championship two years ago, Simpson recalls a long — and enjoyable — evening of several interviews and stopping by to thank the volunteers. He got a late flight and stopped with his wife at a Wendy’s on his way to the airport. That wasn’t the first time.He did the same thing after winning the U.S. Open at Olympic Club in 2012.“I go double cheeseburger, usually,” he said. “But my recovery was probably better on Monday morning than Tyrrell Hatton’s was. But good for him. I’m happy for him. I’ve known him to be a really good player for a long time.”WEEKEND WITH PERRYOne of the perks of being a PGA of America section champion is a spot in some area PGA Tour events. For Rod Perry, that meant teeing it up at Bay Hill for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.And the best perk of all? Playing all four days.The divide between club professionals and PGA Tour players is getting wider by the year, so it was extra satisfying for Perry to finish eagle-birdie-bogey on Friday to make the cut on the number. He shot 79 the next day — still two shots better than Brooks Koepka, at least for one round — and closed with a 76 to tie for 69th.Asked if he played within himself, the 46-year-old Perry laughed and said, “No. I played out of my gourd.”Perry works works at Crane Lakes Golf and Country Club in Port Orange, a small club with a good staff that allows him a little more time to play. Even so, he said he gives about 400 lessons a year, half as many as he used to give when he worked at a public course up the road in Daytona Beach.It was the fourth time he has made the cut in 33 starts on the PGA Tour dating to Bay Hill. He made his first cut in 2008 at the Ginn sur Mer Classic, which is no longer on the tour schedule. He tied for 69th and made $9,154. He tied for 62nd this year and made $20,274.“Players have gotten better and better and better since then, and I’m getting older and older and older,” Perry said. “At my level, I have to play very well to make the weekend.”STEADY MEANS SUCCESSThe active leader for consecutive cuts made was still in college this time a year ago. Collin Morikawa graduated from Cal, turned pro after the NCAAs and has cashed a check in all 20 tournaments he has played on the PGA Tour. That includes a victory in the opposite-field Barracuda Championship.His official cut streak is 21 because it dates to the Arnold Palmer Invitational from two years ago when he played on an exemption. Morikawa took the lead in this category when Tommy Fleetwood missed the cut at Bay Hill, ending his streak of 33 straight cuts on the PGA Tour dating to Quail Hollow in 2018.With a tie for ninth at Bay Hill, Morikawa moved up to No. 44 in the world. And because he has only 22 tournaments counting as his divisor, he is close to locking up a spot in the Masters next month.Scottie Scheffler is in a similar spot. He was the Korn Ferry Tour player of the year and started his rookie season on the PGA Tour at No. 87. Scheffler, who graduated from Texas in four years, tied for 15th at Bay Hill for his seventh finish in the top 20 this season. He is up to No. 47 in the world, has the minimum 40 events as a ranking divisor and faces two big weeks at The Players Championship at Match Play to get into the top 50.It’s rare for a PGA Tour rookie to get into the Masters without winning.DIVOTSThe PGA Tour Champions is bringing a new tournament to one of Jacksonville’s best golf clubs in conjunction with one of its best local players. Jim Furyk will be the official host of the Constellation Furyk & Friends, a full field on Oct. 8-10 at Timuquana Country Club, the Donald Ross design which last year hosted the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship. The purse will be $2 million. … Not only has the defending champion never won at TPC Sawgrass, the last defending champion to finish in the top 10 was Adam Scott in 2005. He tied for eighth. Last year’s champion, Rory McIlroy, has finished in the top five in his past seven starts worldwide. … McIlroy starts his 100th week at No. 1 in the world. Only Tiger Woods (683) and Greg Norman (331) have spent more time at No. 1. … An international player has won Bay Hill the last five years.STAT OF THE WEEKHarris English tied for ninth at Bay Hill for his fifth top 10 of the season, one more than his last three seasons combined.FINAL WORD“I think that it’s flattering when any entity is looking at what’s happening on the PGA Tour and they see growth, they see momentum, they see a broadening reach to a larger fan base domestically and internationally, and it’s no surprise that someone is coming to try and take a piece of that. That’s the nature of business.” — PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan on the proposed Premier Golf League. WATCH US LIVE FOLLOW US First Published: 11th March, 2020 08:47 IST COMMENT SUBSCRIBE TO UScenter_img Written By Last Updated: 11th March, 2020 08:47 IST Monahan Says PGA Tour Expects To Be In Austin For Match Play The next World Golf Championship starts in two weeks in Austin, Texas, and PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan “fully expects” the Dell Match Play to go on as scheduled. LIVE TV Associated Press Television News last_img read more

UIW Falls to Texas-San Antonio Tuesday Evening

first_imgThe Cardinals pounded out a season high 14 hits in the contest.  Freshman Mark Whitehead went 4-for-4 with a run and two walks from his leadoff spot.  He is 9-for-13 at the plate in his last four games and has also walked six times during that same span.  Jason Stone went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Luke Kress added a 2-for-2 performance that included a walk.  Cody Richey was tagged with the loss on the mound in 1.1 innings of work. UTSA added two runs in the seventh inning to take a 10-2 lead.  The Cardinals got back on the scoreboard in the eighth inning.  Aaron Warren doubled in a run and then scored on Slade Brown’s single to cut into the deficit.  UIW was able to load the bases once again in the ninth inning, but could get no closer. “We swung the bats alright, but didn’t get some timely hitting,” said UIW head coach Dan Heep when asked about the game.  “We just have to turn some of these things around because we aren’t good enough to walk nine batters in a game and win.” UTSA had 10 hits in addition to their nine walks in the game.  Mike Warren and C.J. Pickering each had two hits and scored twice while Jesse Baker had a double and drove in three runs.  Jeremy Filipek earned the win with 2.1 shutout innings of relief that included five strikeouts. The Cardinals are back in action this weekend for a four-game series at home against Hofstra.  The games are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but could be moved up a day due to weather concerns. UIW RecapTexas-San Antonio 10, UIW 4SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The University of the Incarnate Word put runners on base in all nine innings, but left 16 runners on base in a 10-4 loss at Roadrunner Field to Texas-San Antonio on Tuesday night in college baseball action. The Cardinals (3-9) scored first with a pair of runs in the second inning, but the Roadrunners (8-4) responded with five runs in the bottom of the second inning and three more in the third inning.  UIW had a chance to get back into the game in the middle innings, but left the bases loaded in the fourth inning and two runners on base in the fifth inning.last_img read more

Lamar Wins 2014 Southland Women’s Golf Championship

first_imgLamar had one player shoot 1-over par 71 and three more shoot a 4-over par 76 in the final round to help the Lady Cardinals win their second consecutive and fifth overall conference title. Lamar wins the Southland Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA regionals, which will be held May 8-10 at one of three pre-determined sites. The Lady Cardinals will find out where they will be heading during the April 28 selection show on the Golf Channel, 5 p.m. CT. Final Results (PDF) | Highlights | Trophy Ceremony | Brown InterviewMAGNOLIA, Texas – Lamar led from the opening day and held off a late charge from Oral Roberts to a win the 2014 Southland Conference Women’s Golf Championship by six strokes at the High Meadow Ranch Golf Club in Magnolia, Texas. Lamar, which carded a three-day total of 904, placed all five golfers in the top 15 led by freshman Kelly Erasmus, who finished fifth overall with a 9-over par (76-73-76–225). Junior Nghi Ngo (76-76-76 – 228) and freshman Wenny Chang (75-80-73 – 228) tied for seventh with a 12-over par while sophomore Taylor Stockton finished one stroke behind in 10th place (77-76-76–229). Freshman Bertille DuPont rounds out the Lady Cardinal finishers, tying for 13th with a three-round total of 235 (79-74-79). Oral Roberts finished in second place after shooting a 46-over par 910 after three rounds. Oral Roberts placed three golfers in the top 10, highlighted by sophomore Shinwoo Lee, who finished second with a 4-over par 220 (72-73-75). Sophomore Alejandra Acosta finished sixth with a 12-over par 228 (78-75-73) and senior Alheli Moreno tied for seventh (81-73-74 – 228) with Ngo and Chang. Central Arkansas sophomore Sarah Brown took medalist honors after posting a three-round total of 3-over par 219 (74-76-69). Brown, who shot the lowest round of the tournament with a 3-under par 69, came from five shots back in the final round to edge ORU’s Lee by one stroke. Brown is the second Bear to win the conference’s individual title, joining Rebecca Sorensen (2010). Brown was the only golfer to break par in the final round, helping pace the Bears to a third-place finish. Stephen F. Austin freshman Piper Kyle (71-78-75 – 224) and Sam Houston State freshman Paige Nelson (71-80-73 – 224) tied for third overall with an 8-over par to complete the top five. Central Arkansas finished third (920) followed by Sam Houston State (928) and Stephen F. Austin (930), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (940), Houston Baptist (941), McNeese State (946) and New Orleans (969). UIW, which is not eligible to earn the league’s automatic bid during its transition period from Division II to Division I, is participating unattached. As a team, the Cardinals finished with a 962.last_img read more

Sushma Swaraj, Pramod Mahajan, Rajnath Singh make final bid in UP to restore BJP

first_imgTwo hundred feet from the ground at a deafening 200kmph in any of the five helicopters the BJP has hired, Uttar Pradesh’s vast heartland looks the same. An army of waving hands, a group of white khadi-clad politicians with garlands, a swirl of dust and at least one Toyota Qualis.,Two hundred feet from the ground at a deafening 200kmph in any of the five helicopters the BJP has hired, Uttar Pradesh’s vast heartland looks the same.An army of waving hands, a group of white khadi-clad politicians with garlands, a swirl of dust and at least one Toyota Qualis. But for BJP’s star campaigners, party General Secretary Pramod Mahajan, Union Health Minister Sushma Swaraj and former chief minister Rajnath Singh, each helicopter ride brings with it its own expectations.If one is carrying the burden of success in Rajasthan, another is a crowd-puller who is on top of the cadre wish list while the third is a regional strongman in search of national validation.The battleground is the same for all, as is the collective aim-save Uttar Pradesh for the BJP, where the carpet bombing by national leaders is such that candidates are having to turn away B-list campaigners like Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.SUSHMA SWARAJThe Loan WarriorPasu Bazar ka Maidan, Ghazipur, Fatehpur: 3 p.m.ON HIGH GROUND: Sushma Swaraj has added value to the poll campaign in the stateThe last time Swaraj came to Ghazipur, a mere dot in Fatehpur district in 1979, she met Indira Gandhi at the railway station. “It was a meeting I will always remember,” says Swaraj to the crowd gazing at her open-mouthed.She has just finished a rousing 20-minute speech, variations of which she has been delivering across the country-starting from Satna in Madhya Pradesh on April 6. “We will never accept someone who calls tulsi basil, Ganga Ganges and gobar cowdung,” she says.The men applaud. “Gaon aur garib ka dard kehne ke liye gaon ki kacchi galiyon mein chalna padta hai. Kya Sonia Gandhi ne kabhi panghat pe paniharan dekhi hai? Kya phool bechti maliharan dekhi hai? Kya ghas katti ghasiyaran dekhi hai? Kya kapde dhoti dhoban dekhi hai? (Does Sonia Gandhi know anything about India’s villages? Anything at all)?” Sonia is her magnificent obsession, but the hamari behen vs vidheshi bahu rhetoric works.The women become emotional, children roar. The 52-year-old puts her hand on two-time MP Ashok Patel. As if on cue, his eyes fill up with tears. By the time the campaigning ends, Swaraj will have addressed about 90 rallies, sometimes angry, sometimes evocative, always energetic.For someone who has been in the public eye since she was 10, performing on demand is not new. “Kuch khone ke liye kuch pana hota hai,” she says, adding that she has been addressing rallies for the past 27 years.She remembers the day she began: February 1, 1977, in Muzaffarpur. “Tab to kranti thi (it was a revolution),” she says. “No one was sitting at home.”On loan to the Save Uttar Pradesh Campaign from the central leadership, she is most in demand among the cadres. And there is every reason why. Sit with a group of women sporting Swaraj badges near a makes hift stage in Shuklaganj in Unnao constituency, and they will tell you.”She is what we want to be,” says former zila panchayat head Kamal Kumari. Say it to Swaraj and she glows. “When they see me, they feel I amone of them, not someone from a raj gharana.” Swaraj addresses at least five meetings a day, travelling from car to helicopter, helicopter to car to rally ground, back to helicopter.Sometimes dodging clouds, sometimes circling several times before landing on a tiny brick strip in the middle of a field, subsisting on two rotis, some vegetables cooked by a party worker (in the case of Lucknow it is former state minister Sheema Rizvi), some jaggery, grams, almonds and, occasionally, the company of her friends.Her faithful Man Friday, Anil Dubey, travels with her, pulling out of a bag whatever she needs-whether it is a wet tissue, a quick glass of nimbu pani (made 6,000 ft in the air) or a comb.There is no privacy. Even when she goes to the bathroom in a college in Fatehpur, the entire village follows.”We saw you delivering the speech in Parliament when Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee’s 13-day government fell,” says a young woman. “We cried.”Later in her five-star hotel suite, freshly bathed, changed into a salwar kameez, digging into dahi bhalla from a local chaat house, she turns and says, “Now do you see what I mean by the real India? And how far removed people in the cities are?”PRAMOD MAHAJANMaster of the PlaneLalbag Park, Bainiganj, Sitapur: 3.30 p.m.REMOTE CONTROL: Pramod Mahajan has successfully clubbed war room work with mass contactWhen Pramod Mahajan descends from the helicopter at Bainiganj, Sitapur, flashing his pens (Waterman in breast pocket and Mont Blanc in the waist pocket), his Ray-Ban and black Reeboks, followed by chief aide Vivek Maitra, it is easy to be blinded by the hard-won gloss.He is coming from one rally and going to another near Lucknow. The 54-year-old will spend the evening at a Lucknow five-star hotel, where he has booked an entire floor (coincidentally a floor below independent candidate Ram Jethmalani’s campaign office), reviewing the work of his election team.It is an all-consuming job, and since April 1 it has taken him even to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Aware of the reputation that precedes him now, Mahajan says: “In Rajasthan we had six months to prepare and a clear leader. Here we were brought in while elections were on, and though Atalji is our neta, party discipline is really not up to the mark here.”Clearly, though, his team’s work has paid off. If former state minister Kusum Rai turns up, dripping diamonds for Swaraj’s Lucknow meeting, she does the same for Rajnath Singh-grabbing the mike and declaiming about her sacrifice in giving up power for the party.Singh wades through muck to address a predominantly Thakur area in Allahabad constituency though candidate Murli Manohar Joshi has not turned up.Mahajan’s one addiction, apart from a tongue that has a mind of its own, is tea. Maitra carries his flask, refilling it at various stops.Time is something he cannot indulge in-when he begins speaking for candidate Janardhan Mishra, he keeps his Titan watch on the podium, occasionally glancing at it even when delivering punchlines: “Laloo ne kaha, Sonia nahin to main hoon na.”Or this: “I haven’t married into the Gandhi-Nehru family, yet you have come to listen to me. Thank you.” While awaiting his turn to speak, Mishra briefs him about Sitapur’s request: a rally by either Vajpayee or Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani. Mahajan, the first non-Hindi heartland star, says he will consider it.As the man in charge of the campaign, he is responsible for the strategic deployment of campaigners. Not only has he ensured this is done on the basis of caste but he has also visited 70 Uttar Pradesh constituencies himself- which means by May 8, when the last bell is rung on E-2004, he will have been to 96 constituencies nationwide.Kalyan Singh’s return has breathed some life into the campaign: “Otherwise, with Ajit Singh, Mulayam Singh and Kalyan getting together, we would have been wiped out from west to east.” Yet ask him for a seat projection in Uttar Pradesh, and he shakes his head: “I will be very happy with 35.”RAJNATH SINGHMan in the MiddleBharua Samerpur, Hamirpur, Bundelkhand: 2.40 p.m.ULTIMATE NATIVE: Rajnath Singh accepts his limitations, but wants to go beyond themAs he sits cross-legged in his helicopter, chewing paan and writing an equation in a notebook, it is easy to mistake the 53-year-old for the teacher that he used to be.But Singh is just resting before yet another whistlestop tour on a journey that formally began on April 6 and has by now included 120 meetings.As he introduces “kisan ka beta” Surendra Singh Rajput, the candidate in Hamirpur, he plunges headlong into a speech-it is the seventh time he is doing so today and there is another rally to go.The day begins early for the man who has to prove he is more than a Thakur leader-an internal survey shows he has 54 per cent acceptability among Jats and 34 per cent among Gujjars, he says.Rallies of various stars of BJPThe architect of the BJP’s victory in the December polls in Chhattisgarh holds a meeting at his Lucknow home that neighbours Mulayam’s and then sets off for the day. An orange here, a peda there, a few grapes and some cashew nuts, that is food on the run.Food, in fact, often figures in his speech: as Union agriculture minister, he says he announced a farm insurance scheme, started a farmer call centre, and most of all, ensured “beggar” India not only became self-sufficient but provided grain to 25 nations.But what brings the house down is this: “Sonia left her country for marriage. Atalji left marriage for his nation. Soniaji ko PM kaise bana sakte hain?”Close up, he is more cautious. He dwells carefully on Kalyan’s return. “I have never spoken against him.”It has much to with how big his heart is and how that is proportional to the extent of his happiness, he says. It is an equation in search only of power.advertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Don’t Forget About On-Page Search Engine Optimization

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Nov 10, 2008 8:59:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: On-page SEO This is a guest post by small business owner, C. Reid Thornley. Reid’s business, Aquatell, sells water purification equipment such as water softeners, water filters and waterwise distillers. After a 20 minute call the other day, I realized that he’s an unusual breed: a small business owner that taught himself the basics of search engine optimization and actually did it quite well. I invited him to write an article. What follows is an entertaining tale of discovery weaved amongst a bunch of great SEO lessons … Howdy. I am the proud owner and operator of a web-based business that sells water purification equipment to homeowners and small businesses. I’d like to take a few moments to describe my experience in search engine optimization: the mistakes, the successes, and my resulting philosophy on getting found in the World Wide Web.Like most small web-based startups, my business relies exclusively on traffic that is generated through the major search engines with, of course, Google carrying the most weight. When I started this business I understood intuitively that Google placement would most likely predict the success or failure of this venture but I truly had zero experience and faced a very daunting learning curve.As many entrepreneurs on a shoe-string budget do, I started asking people that I knew – people who were experts in this field – exactly what I should do to get found. And by experts, I mean people like my web-hosting tech support guy, my graphic designer, my buddy who works for IBM, and finally my Dad’s friend who runs the “Friends of the Lower Saugeen River Society” webpage. Oh ya – I forgot about the guy I met perusing the “Search Engine Optimization” section at Indigo. What would possess me to trust the opinions of this motley crew is beyond me now, but I guess in fairness to myself, desperation and ignorance have resulted in worse decisions than the ones I was about to make.The advice I received I acted on with reckless abandon. I bought dozens of domain names, hundreds of dubious links and read countless grossly outdated articles (“try adding a few hundred keywords at the end of every page for some added SEO punch!”). It took a few months but it soon became clear that a new strategy was necessary. I had exhausted my SEO budget going after very competitive key works like water softeners and water filters and all I had to show for it was a measly 10 visitors a day. But, it was in this defeat, that I wrested the one gold nugget that would be the foundation for later SEO success. The epiphany went like this: people were finding my website based on searches they made in Google. Wait, it gets dumber. Google was connecting these searchers to me because I was perceived by Google to be a trustworthy and relevant information source for the search string. I later came to realize that the meager traffic I was receiving was for extremely obscure searches but the learnings were of value nonetheless. The core principal I pulled from this experience was this:Google is a business with a primary goal of making money. All of Googles core revenue streams are ultimately related to the massive numbers of people using their web search services. Searchers only return to Google if they are consistently connected with relevant results. If Google loses these searchers, they lose their ability to make money.There it is man. Google will always reward websites that make their patrons (the “searchers”) happy with their service. They can’t afford not to. With this new mantra I took a critical look at my existing site. Ya – it was pretty, but I could not properly edit and format many of the critical fields necessary to describe to Google what I was about. I’m talking about very fundamental things like Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, and Meta Keywords.No wonder Google didn’t send many people my way – it had no idea what my website was about. It was a risk for Google to send a searcher for Waterwise Distillers to my site because I didn’t have a single page that showed this phrase in the title, description, or keywords. Who cares that I had the content if I could not show Google that I was a trustworthy authority on the topic.Imagine cruising down the road that most cities have, where all the car dealerships are lined up. You want to buy a Honda Civic. As you drive down the road you see a sign that say “Cars” and there’s a bus, a Ferrari, a John Deere tractor, and a Hummer in the parking lot. You gonna stop? Another sign reads “Honda Internal Combustion Engine Homo Sapiens Transporters for Sale” and there are a bunch of Honda Civics parked in a nice row. Maybe you’d stop there, but probably not if there was another sign that read “Honda Civics” and in the lot you saw hundreds of brand new shiny Honda Civics. Adding to your confidence, the sales office had an overhead sign that read “Honda Civics on Sale”. When you stopped and spoke to the salesperson he said, “We sell Honda Civics”.My simple point is to make sure that you accurately describe the content of your website to give Google confidence in sending its valued searchers to your site. I am amazed today at how many webmasters spin 500 mph circles executing the SEO fad of the week without any apparent realization of Google’s core duty in connecting searchers to high quality content. There are many, many webmasters who spend countless dollars on SEO without paying much attention to the simple, inexpensive, and effective results of on-page optimization. Spend time creating original, interesting, and keyword rich content and then do everything possible on your own site to ensure that Google knows what the page is about. Don’t jam repetitive keywords in critical fields. Again, remember that Google’s number 1 job is connecting it’s patrons to web pages they will find informative and useful. If your Titles, Descriptions, and Keywords look spammy your website probably will too. Do you like visiting spammy websites? Would you keep using Google if it always connected you to junky sites? My point exactly.I ultimately had to re-build my website from scratch because it did not allow me to manipulate key areas to allow me to describe my content accurately. The results of the change were staggering. With no other SEO effort – none – my traffic grew to about a hundred visitors a day. Just by accurately describing my content I had grown my traffic by 10X. Just by using my keyword in the title, the meta description, the meta keywords, and of course within the content I was able to grow fast.After this point, I quickly realized that on-page SEO would only take me so far. I needed a link building strategy to continue to grow – but this is a topic for another time. My simple advice to novice webmasters is to avoid getting caught up in time consuming and often expensive off-page SEO until you are 100% sure that your on-page tactics are locked down. You may find yourself wasting lots of time and money in link-building strategies with little payoff if Google can’t properly decipher the content or message of your web pages. And, as a final caveat, consult as many resources as you can in your quest to becoming your own personal SEO guru. If you hear the same thing from a number of reliable sources, it’s probably true. But never abandon common sense and never allow yourself to become so self-obsessed that you lose sight of the goal of the search engine who’s patrons you so desperately need. Keeping this top-of-mind will always keep you in-bounds and on the path to web-business success. Do you have a story like Reid’s you’d like to share with the readers of this blog? Send it to: rick at hubspot dot com. Although we can’t respond to every request, we love to publish guest posts from business owners and marketers with first-hand lessons about SEO, business blogging, social media and lead generation.  If you’d like to avoid the mistakes Reid made and learn more about how to do seo correctly, I’d recommend the following resources: HubSpot’s Search Engine Optimization Kit List of All of HubSpot’s Blog Articles about SEO 7 Reasons Why Marketing Can’t Trust the Webmaster with SEO Why You Can’t Fully Outsource SEO Website Redesign: Important SEO Considerations for Your Content Management System Three SEO Myths Debunked Inbound Marketing: Combine SEO, Blogging and Social Media Help! No One is Searching for My Products and Services Did You Graduate From Link Building High School Yet? last_img read more

State Of FriendFeed: 14 Things You Probably Don’t Know

first_img   The following are the users with the highest number of subscribers: Originally published Aug 20, 2009 7:35:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 1. any loic (Loic Le Meur) laughingsquid (Scott Beale) 3. chrisbrogan (Chris Brogan) 4. 41% of users have connected to Facebook. 5.   23% of users have connected to LinkedIn I’ve been working on analyzing some FriendFeed data (as part of my larger project of building free social media measurement tools).  The following are the some quick highlights of what I’ve found.  This is based on a somewhat random set of 80,000+ users and 420,000+ posted items aggregated into FriendFeed.  I think the dataset is reasonably large, but I didn’t apply much statistical rigor here so the stuff below is for curiousity/amusement value only.   29% have connected their FriendFeed accounts to Flickr.   On average, users have 186 subscribers and subscribe to 128 people.  If you’re a bit surprised that the number of subscribers is higher than the number of subscriptions, don’t worry — I was too.  I have a theory as to why this is, but I need to do more analysis to prove it or disprove it. cnnbrk (CNN Breaking News).  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack   Of the users that have connected their Twitter accounts, about 69% of them have the same username on both FriendFeed and Twitter. Upate:    73% of active FriendFeed users have connected their accounts to Twitter.  Among all the services supported by FriendFeed, Twitter is by far the most popular.  The average number of comments on a FriendFeed item is 0.31 (basically, one comment for every 3 items). 14 Fun Facts About FriendFeed davew (Dave Winer)   18% of users have connected to Google Reader.  I was surprised at how many people have connected their Google Reader accounts.  This is a relatively non-promoted feature and you’d really have to go looking for it to find it and use it.  I’m guessing FriendFeed users are much more sophisticated than the average user — even the average social media user. 6. evhead (Evan Williams)   24% of users have connected to digg.center_img The top sources for items being pulled into FriendFeed (in order): Twitter, Google Reader, delicious, Facebook, bookmarklet, Flickr, Tumblr, YouTube, digg, and StumbleUpon. bret (Bret Taylor — co-founder of FriendFeed) guykawasaki (Guy Kawasaki) steverubel (Steve Rubel) 7. 11. timoreilly (Tim O’Reilly) jowyang (Jeremiah Owyang) Social Media 14.   On average, users have joined about 4 rooms.  Less than half of the users have joined 8. 10. 2. scobelizer (Robert Scoble) 12. 9. rooms (but those that have, join 8.3 rooms). Not many big surprises.  Interestingly, only 2 of these power users are from the east coast (Steve Rubel and Chris Brogan), most are from California. 13. Found an issue in the software that was getting stuck on certain users.  Fixed now (I think) and Robert Scoble has now claimed the top of the list in terms of most subscribers.  Sorry Robert — thanks for stopping by.   On average, active FriendFeed users have connected their account to 6.1 external services.  This is higher than I would have thought.  Clearly, those that are using FriendFeed are spending the time to configure their account. Topics: Are you a FriendFeed user?  Does the recent Facebook acquisition impact how (or if) you’ll use the application?   40% of users have connected their account to a blog.  Seems a lot of people are using FriendFeed to publish articles from their blog.last_img read more