Tag Archives: CNN

Rand Paul says ‘seriously thinking about’ 2016 White House run

(Reuters) – Republican Senator Rand Paul said on Sunday he is giving serious thought to a run for the presidency in 2016 but might decide against it because of the burden a campaign would cause for his family.


United States Senate candidate Rand Paul at a ...
United States Senate candidate Rand Paul at a rally in Erlanger, Kentucky, along with Texas Congressman Ron Paul and his son, Will Paul. Please attribute to Gage Skidmore if used elsewhere. Unauthorized use by any candidate or candidate’s committee is strictly prohibited without approval. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“Well, you know, the thought has crossed my mind,” the Kentucky senator said on “Fox News Sunday.” “And I am seriously thinking about it.


“But I’m also very serious about the family considerations.”


Read more – > http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/08/us-usa-politics-paul-idUSBRE9B70BF20131208




10 Tips for Curating Viral Content

English: A protester holding a placard in Tahr...
English: A protester holding a placard in Tahrir Square referring to Facebook and Twitter, acknowledging the role played by social media during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Confession: I used to look down on anyone who thought they could create “viral” content for the web—like they knew the magic secret for making something so contagious that millions would share it. Oh, yes, you want to make your new music video thingy go viral…of course you do.

However, in the last few months my perspective has changed. I think it’s actually possible to create content with high viral potential. Not due to lectures or complex principles, but due to a tested editorial strategy that I’ve seen work, firsthand.

In early September, we launched a new social media sharing website, gleaning from the masters at Upworthy.com, BuzzFeed.com, Mashable.com and other like-minded sites, and it changed the way I think about viral content. Why? Well, in just one month we’ve achieved what took us years with other sites within our company. In short, we received 5.8 million unique visitors—more than the population of Colorado—in under two months, and grew our Facebook fan base to over 100K. We spent months on the backend strategy and development, but once we launched the site took off faster than anything else we’ve started. One key difference: we changed the way we look at social media, studied the psychology of sharing and refined our vision for content curation.I’d like to offer what we’ve learned—and are learning—with these 10 tips for creating viral content.

An important note: (he humbly demurs) most of these tips have been learned from the shared knowledge base of others. I tried to cite them within each point with supporting links. Although, what makes these tips unique and personal is how we’ve applied them along with the results we’re experiencing early in the launch process.

1. It’s all about content—kind of.

At Upworthy.com, their formula for viral content goes like this:

Virality = strength of the applicability of content and packaging x shareability of original content x size of distribution + luck.

In this formula there are three things you can work on and control and one you cannot. You can work hard to find or create great content; you can work hard on packaging that content with the best headline, image, abstract; you can work hard on expanding your distribution size (email list, Facebook fan page, etc.)—but you cannot create your own luck.

So. Work hard on the things you can control and make sure every piece of content is packaged for viral potential. Stay consistent over time and luck will inevitably strike. Unless you stink at it. In that case, it will not.

Sometimes the content we think will catch on like a virus ends up falling flat and other pieces that we’ve worked hard on—but didn’t expect much out of—will go crazy. One story we featured from the archives went viral as a total surprise. It was a big connect with an international audience that we didn’t see coming.

Image representing Upworthy as depicted in Cru...
Image by None via CrunchBase

Finding great content is where it all begins, but the packaging and distribution really matter. And there’s luck. You need luck.

2. Social media is not CNN. Make it fun.

Sara Critchfield, Upworthy’s editorial director, says it well in this short video. (It looks like it was shot in the 80s, but it’s recent and it’s so good.) In it, Critchfield says:

Social media is about socially defining ourselves to other people … there has to be some kind of opinion or point of view, some way to define who you are or else people aren’t going to share your content.

Stop thinking about Facebook as a marketing tool and think about it more like a conversation at a party. What makes something easy to pass on? It’s shared by someone you respect and value—maybe even someone you look up to. We don’t share content on social media just because it’s good content, we share it because it says something unique about us—who we are and what we value.

Dan Vuksanovich says this about the psychology of sharing:

We share content because we believe the people in our social circles will appreciate that content… AND… don’t ever forget this part… appreciate us for sharing.

This is the new way of shareable content—curating something that’s meant to be passed on, not just consumed.

3. Find a way to test. Even if it’s messy. Because it will be.

Testing headlines on social media is tricky business. There’s not a clear-cut way to make A/B testing work so you have to be a little creative, go with the data that’s available and keep refining the strategy. In fact, if you have a great way to A/B test on Facebook, do share.

We run content on Facebook once, measure the engagement and, at a later time, change the image and headline and re-feature it (up to 3-4x). Sometimes the content catches on in the subsequent run, sometimes it doesn’t. However, this practice helps build our knowledge base and gives great content a better chance to get passed on. Once we’re done, we compare notes on effective headlines and share them with the team.

We’ve also run Facebook ads (not that helpful because of the short character limitations) and A/B test our newsletter headlines.

4. Lead with emotion.

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...
Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Français : Logo de Facebook Tiếng Việt: Logo Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The top three metrics for viral content for me personally are: 1) Does it make me cry? 2) Does it make me angry? 3) Does it make me laugh out loud? If it does one of those things, well, there’s a good chance it will have the same affect on someone else.

In this fantastic article on creating viral content from SocialTriggers.com, Derek Halpern offers advice on emotional content:

Positive content is more viral than negative content.

(Amazing, right? When you read the news, you’d think that negativity was a must, heh).

Content that evoked high arousal emotions—positive or negative—is more viral than content without emotion.

(What’s a high-arousal emotion? Think awe, anger, anxiety, or anything related to the fear of loss)

5. Cause-driven content is the new storyline.

People, especially on social media, want to make a difference, share what they stand for and let their networks know what they’re passionate about. If we can publish relevant and inspiring cause-driven content that connects with our users, it makes sharing easy. Instead of trying to market content, we let our users share what’s genuinely important or moving to them. This eliminates the need for expensive ad campaigns and lets the content stand alone on it’s value—or, more specifically, it’s value to our readers. We’re positioning ourselves as their in-the-know friend who’s continually sharing content with them in mind. In other words, cause-driven content helps our readers do something that they already want to do, but don’t know how or where to start.

6. Forget everything you know about what works and doesn’t.

Sloggi Viral marketing?
Sloggi Viral marketing? (Photo credit: Denkbeeldhouwer)

We went into the site launch thinking that a specific kind of content would work best for our audience—mainly short, inspirational (and maybe funny) videos. What we discovered was that our readers wanted to engage in meaningful stories—stories that often lasted a lot longer than 3 minutes. Our first viral story was an ESPN feature about a father who found out his unborn daughter had down syndrome. It was 15 minutes long. We didn’t have a lot of hope for it, but we loved the story. It went on to receive 3.5 million views within just a couple of days. *Here’s the headline we used: “This Guy Writes a Confession Letter to His Daughter with Down Syndrome that Will Break Your Heart in 100 Ways.”

Read more of this post – > https://medium.com/social-media-for-business/6cf13df7d242

Two Republican congressmen defend U.S. spying abroad

Rogers departs after a closed-door meeting of the House Republican caucus during a rare Saturday session at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

(Reuters) – Two Republican congressmen on Sunday defended Washington’s surveillance programs abroad in reaction to protests from allies, after the wide scope of the eavesdropping was revealed this year by former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Mike Rogers, chairman of the House of Representatives intelligence committee, said much of the public information on those efforts, including allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency had spied on millions of French citizens, was misguided.

“They are seeing three or four pieces of a thousand-piece puzzle and trying to come to a conclusion,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Nation” program.


Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/27/us-usa-security-idUSBRE99Q07E20131027


Government Shutdown, Debt Limit Battles Continue In Congress

The following content is from the Huffington Post!

John Boehner

Two sides are still deadlocked

* Lew says Congress is “playing with fire”

* Conflict could go down to wire

By Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) – As the U.S. government moved into the second week of a shutdown on Monday with no end in sight, a deadlocked U.S. Congress also confronted an Oct. 17 deadline to increase the nation’s borrowing power or risk default.

The last big confrontation over the debt ceiling, in August, 2011, ended with an eleventh-hour agreement under pressure from shaken markets and warnings of an economic catastrophe if a default were allowed to occur.

A similar last-minute resolution remained a distinct possibility this time as well.

In comments on Sunday political talk shows, neither Republicans nor Democrats offered any sign of impending agreement on either the shutdown or the debt ceiling, and both blamed the other side for the impasse.

“I’m willing to sit down and have a conversation with the president,” said Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, speaking on ABC’s “This Week.” But, he added, President Barack Obama’s “refusal to negotiate is putting our country at risk.”

On CNN’s State of the Union, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said: “Congress is playing with fire,” adding that Obama would not negotiate until “Congress does its job” by reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling.


U.S. says captures al Qaeda leader in Libya, also raids Somalia

The following content is from Reuters!

A U.S. embassy official secures the area around the embassy building after a powerful bomb blast in Nairobi

(Reuters) – U.S. forces launched raids in Libya and Somalia on Saturday, two weeks after the deadly Islamist attack on a Nairobi shopping mall, capturing a top al Qaeda figure wanted for the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, U.S. officials said.

Senior al Qaeda figure Anas al Liby was seized in the raid in Libya, but no militant was captured in the raid on the Somali town of Barawe, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Liby, believed to be 49, has been under U.S. indictment for his alleged role in the East Africa embassy bombings that killed 224 people.

The U.S. government has also been offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture, under the State Department‘s Rewards for Justice program.

CNN reported in September last year that Liby had been seen in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. It quoted Western intelligence sources as saying there was concern that he may have been tasked with establishing an al Qaeda network in Libya.


Republicans: We Were Too Nice to the Hungry, But We’ve Fixed That

Source NYMAG


Republicans hate domestic spending, but their hatred is not completely indiscriminate. Some programs offend them more, and others less. The general pattern is that social programs offend Republicans to the degree that they benefit the poor, sick, or otherwise unfortunate. The struggle over the farm bill is not the biggest policy dispute in American politics, but it is the one that most clearly reveals the priorities and ideological identity of the contemporary GOP.

The farm bill traditionally combines agriculture subsidies (which hands out subsidies to people on the arbitrary basis that the business they own produces food as opposed to some other goods or services) with food stamps (which hands out subsidies to people on the highly nonarbitrary basis that they’re poor enough to likely have trouble scraping together regular meals). Conservative Republicans revolted against the normally automatic passage, insisting that the cuts to food stamps — $20 billion — did not slice deeply enough. Last night the House rectified its failure by cutting food stamps by $40 billion.


The putative rationale for the food-stamp cuts is that eligibility standards have loosened, or that it encourages sloth. Jonathan Cohn makes quick work of these claims, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities makes long, detailed work of them. Click on those links if you want a blow-by-blow refutation. The upshot is that food stamps are a meager subsidy, of less than $1.40 per meal, for people either stuck in very low paid jobs or unable to find work at all. Their cost has increased because the recession has increased the supply of poor, desperate people. Republicans have offered specious comparisons to welfare reform, but that law both offered funds for job training and was passed in a full-employment economy. Neither of these conditions holds true of the GOP’s food-stamp cuts, whose only significant result would be the first-order effect of making very poor people hungrier.

CNN reported last night that Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, a Republican supporter of the bill, received a daily meal allowance of $127.41, or 91 times the average daily food-stamp benefit. Lucas is also notable as a recipient of the agriculture subsidies his committee doles out: He and his wife have collected more than $40,000 worth.


Wolves hire Milt Newton as GM !!! (QUICK READ)

Source ESPN!


The current Minnesota Timberwolves logo (2008-...
The current Minnesota Timberwolves logo (2008-present) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Timberwolves hired former Washington Wizards executive Milt Newton as general manager Friday, with new president of basketball operations Flip Saunders tabbing a familiar face to help him reshape the franchise’s front office.

Newton spent the previous 10 years with the Wizards, most recently serving as vice president of player personnel. He worked closely with Saunders when Saunders was the head coach for the Wizards, and quickly became a prime candidate to make the move to Minnesota when Saunders took over this summer for the fired David Kahn.

“I have followed Milt closely during his career and have always been impressed with his basketball knowledge, work ethic and professionalism,” Saunders said in a statement issued by the team. “His front-office experience in the NBA, as well as his ability to combine analytics evaluation with his basketball playing and scouting background will greatly benefit our organization.”