Disabled people hit by the governments benefit re

first_imgDisabled people hit by the government’s benefit reassessment programme will be able to keep their Motability vehicles for up to six months while they appeal against losing their eligibility, thanks to a new series of measures.The changes will help former claimants of disability living allowance (DLA) who lose their eligibility for the higher rate of mobility support after being assessed for the new personal independence payment (PIP), and are therefore no longer able to stay on the Motability scheme.The need for the new measures has been highlighted by new Motability figures, which show the overall number of its customers plunged by 22,000 (3.4 per cent) to 633,000 between March 2016 and the end of March 2017.This is only slightly higher than the 629,000 customers at the time PIP was launched in April 2013, despite tens of thousands of new customers joining the scheme in the last four years.Last summer, Disability News Service (DNS) revealed that Motability expected 35,000 vehicles – up to 700 a week – to be handed back during 2016 as a result of the reassessment programme.But other new figures, highlighted by the disability charity Muscular Dystrophy UK, show that 51,000 disabled people have had to hand back their Motability vehicles as a result of the PIP reassessment process since it began four years ago.The figures also show that about 900 customers are now having to return their vehicles every week.Thanks to the new measures, some claimants who had their eligibility downgraded following a PIP reassessment and previously had to return their Motability cars, scooters or powered wheelchairs within three weeks, will now have this extended to six months.But Penny Mordaunt, the minister for disabled people, appears to have made no progress on a suggestion she made last November that she wanted to extend the Motability scheme to PIP claimants qualifying for lower levels of mobility support.The Motability announcements, made in a written statement from Mordaunt to MPs, means the package of support already introduced by Motability to help those caught in the transition from DLA to PIP will be updated.Customers who first joined the scheme before 2013 can now return their car within eight weeks of their DLA payments ending – instead of just three – and still qualify for a “transitional support payment” of £2,000, or they can choose to keep it for up to 26 weeks and qualify for a payment of £500.For customers who first joined in 2013, the same time limits will apply but the transitional payments will be £1,000 and £250.All other customers will have to return their car within eight weeks, instead of three.Motability said the “additional time and flexibility will prove helpful to former scheme customers in a variety of circumstances”, including those challenging the DWP PIP award decision and who do not wish to return their car “until they have completed the processes of reconsideration and appeal”. The charity said it was “for the customer to decide whether they wish to challenge the DWP award decision” and the new package was not “in any way linked to their decisions”.Mordaunt originally announced last November that she had “a plan” to help three groups of Motability customers caught up in the reassessment programme.She said she wanted to help those appealing against losing their entitlement to higher rate mobility support.She also said she wanted to help PIP claimants who leave the country for more than 13 weeks, for example to study or take a sabbatical.Mordaunt said this week that such claimants who return to the UK within a year, who have not reached their award review date, and whose needs have not changed, will be able to use a new “rapid re-claim process” – rather than having to start a fresh claim from scratch – that should enable them to start reclaiming PIP within a couple of weeks of their return.Mordaunt shocked many campaigners and mobility experts last November by suggesting that she also wanted to help a third group, by extending the Motability scheme to those who do not qualify for higher-rate mobility support but are only found eligible for the PIP standard mobility rate.They pointed out that recipients of the standard mobility rate receive only £22 per week, compared with £58 a week for recipients of the higher, enhanced rate, which is unlikely to cover the cost of leasing a new car, as well as insurance, servicing, repairs, maintenance, breakdown assistance and fitting adaptations, all of which are covered by the Motability scheme.The new measures announced by Mordaunt this week made no mention of extending the scheme to those on the PIP standard mobility rate.Motability has told DNS that it has no plans to change the scheme to allow recipients of the PIP standard mobility rate to obtain vehicles through the scheme.Declan O’Mahony, director of Motability, said: “We meet regularly with the DWP to discuss a broad range of issues of common interest. “Although we are constantly discussing options for the future, we have no immediate plans to change the eligibility criteria for the scheme.”Asked if Mordaunt’s proposal had been abandoned, and whether DWP was concerned or pleased at the plummetting number of Motability customers, a DWP spokesman said the department was now bound by the rules of “election purdah… which means we can’t issue new statements on any plans a future government might have, but, as you’re aware, we constantly review our processes to make sure they are working in the best way possible.“As we have said previously, there are more people on the Motability scheme than there were in 2010 and since 2015, 42,000 people on PIP have received cars to help them get around.“Decisions are based on all the available evidence provided by the claimant and their medical specialist, and most people leaving the scheme are eligible for a payment of up to £2,000 to meet their needs.”Meanwhile, Motability celebrated its 40th anniversary on Tuesday with the Queen, the charity’s chief patron, at Windsor Castle.She presented five disabled people with the keys to their new Motability vehicles.One of them, Edward Todino (pictured with the Queen), a disability advisor at Kingston University, said: “I have always had to rely on other people for lifts, but my powerchair has made this difficult due to its size.“I’ll be able to drive my Motability car directly from my powerchair, meaning I’ll have the freedom to go where I want when I want.”The charity has funded both the adaptations to his vehicle and his driving lessons.The scheme has leased 4.5 million cars, powered wheelchairs and scooters to disabled people in exchange for all or part of their mobility allowance since it was established in 1977.last_img read more

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Neighborhood Notes Doc screening Ecosuccess Valencia openings

first_imgPrefer your notes in audio? Here you go: Dolores documentaryThe documentary Dolores, about the co-founder of the United Farm Workers, Dolores Huerta, will show Sunday at the Brava Theater at 2, 5 and 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here. There will be a panel after each showing. Proceeds will benefit Mexico, Puerto Rico, Farm Workers, Fire Victims in Napa, Santa Rosa and the Mission, according to the organizers. –LC Eco-successRec and Park and Recology say that the Eco Pop-up at Dolores Park has “diverted over 42,840 gallons of recyclables and composts from landfill”  in the six months from May through October.  That equals  “48.8% of the total waste collected from the entire park for the same time period.”Think about it. “On a busy weekend, park-goers at Dolores Park generate up to 7,000 gallons of trash.” –LC New arrivals on ValenciaWe write a lot about businesses closing in the face of enormous rent increases on Valencia Street. Here’s what’s moving into those spaces:DCopper on Valencia CopperAt the former Aldea Niños space at 1017 Valencia, a new shop called DCopper Plus Has moved in, selling art and home decor, including lots of copper work. –LWCafe and maybe moreAt 1020 Valencia, across the street, a bakery very long in the making appears to be finally coming to fruition — a sign announces the arrival of Flor de Cafe, which a little internet browsing reveals may be a project of not trivial proportions. This Tablehopper blurb from 2015 indicates plans at the time included a basement with live music and Chilean empanadas. Could that be what’s on the horizon here? The current sign primarily touts the forthcoming steak sandwiches — Flor de Cafe claims to be the “King of Lomito.” –LW Balancoire status??Totally blank sign that used to proudly carry Balancoire’s name. What happened?center_img 0% Tags: arts • Business • food • restaurants Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% It’s been maybe about a month since Balancoire’s facade was completely painted over, and I haven’t seen it open since. Does anyone know what happened?? –LWlast_img read more

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RV on Airbnb City promises itll roll away — soon

first_imgEarlierthis month, while walking up Alabama Street from Mariposa en route to a show at Project Artaud, Tarin Towers spotted something even more surreal than much of what you’d find in an avant-garde art space.“I saw two young, well-dressed people carrying two fancy roller bags — each,” she recalls. That’s not who you’d expect to be traipsing along Alabama and Mariposa at twilight; this is a gritty, mixed-use neighborhood with tents and homeless encampments tucked between the parked cars and street signs. But things grew odder still. “They walked up to a pop-up camper with the door thrown open and all kinds of light coming from inside. There was the unmistakable greeting of people expecting each other who didn’t know each other.”  Or, as she put it on social media, “Yoooooo I just saw a young Italian tourist couple checking into an RV parked on Alabama Street as a motherfuckin’ Airbnb.”For Towers, who has fought mightily to stay marginally housed in this city — and harbors real worries she’ll end up in a tent on Shotwell or a camper on Potrero — this was a deeply distasteful moment. “Folks,” she wrote, “we have achieved the gentrification of homelessness.” Tags: Airbnb • homelessness • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img On the next day and the day after that, your humble narrator went and knocked on the door of the RV that met Towers’ description. Nobody answered, which isn’t surprising. Residing in a motor vehicle isn’t legal in this city, and one of the best ways to avoid being rousted by the cops is to simply not answer the door (Or, perhaps, no one was home). Accordion files were strewn about in the “Grandma’s attic” section above the driver and a plastic owl of the sort you’d use to dissuade pigeons from roosting on your dormers was propped up in the passenger’s seat. This is not decor befitting Italian tourists in dainty shoes. And there is no extant short-term rental listing online that meets the description and location of this RV. So, just what Towers saw remains a mystery. Perhaps two people decided to go clothes shopping and then practice their Italian while walking to met a man who’s down on his luck but still buys and sells fine roller bags. It’s hard to say. Ifthis were a “motherfuckin’ Airbnb,” however, it would come as little surprise to Omar Masry. He’s the senior analyst at this city’s Office of Short-Term Rentals, the outfit given the ostensibly Sisyphean task of enforcing this city’s seemingly unenforceable laws reining in short-term rentals. It’s hard to succeed in a government position when powerful elements of that same government don’t want you to succeed — and write the laws thusly. But Masry and his colleagues seem to be making decent progress pushing that stone up a hill. And, along the way, he’s seen some stuff. In the past couple of years, he says, he’s taken action on 20 or more RVs listed on Airbnb; around a quarter of them, he says, were parked in the Mission. In the same week Towers witnessed whatever she witnessed on Alabama and Mariposa, Masry wrote letters to two different men hawking RVs on Airbnb to visitors looking for a real San Francisco experience (and, it would seem, a late-night piss in the gutter). This guy, offering a stay in his on-street camper for $264 a night, was quick enough on the draw to immediately deactivate his listing. This guy, flogging the $22-a-night opportunity to sleep in his Vanagon (“There’s NO bathroom & NO shower, but I can point you in the direction of a few coffee shops and restaurants where you can use the bathroom”) was not. Or at least he hasn’t been yet. Masry has faced off with the van on Airbnb that moved from Bernal Heights parking spot to Bernal Heights parking spot and garnered attention because its residents had a propensity to defecate in the bushes. Its owner, a second-year law school student, initially decided to put his education to work in challenging the city’s regulatory authority, but has since capitulated. The Office of Short-Term Rentals has also curtailed the hawking of yurts atop industrial buildings and in backyards and all manner of 16-to-a-room hostels in residential neighborhoods, some of which were cheeky enough to paint numbers on the interior doors.There are only six people in Masry’s office. There are many, many short-term listings in this city; this would seem to be a setup akin to playing Whac-a-Mole against an invading army of moles. Fortunately, however, there are rules in both war and short-term rentals. And, Masry says, these rules are being followed. A settlement between this city and Airbnb, VRBO and Homeaway stipulated the gradual culling of problematic listings. Several weeks ago, dormant listings (“A PERFECT PLACE TO STAY FOR THE AMERICA’S CUP!”) were 86ed, along with below-market-rate units and places where tenants had been jettisoned via the Ellis Act. On Dec. 6, whole units listed for more than the city’s 90-day yearly limit were deep-sixed. And, on Jan. 16, all the outliers will be cut, too; that includes the RVs, the camper vans, the tents in the backyard, unregistered postings, yurts atop warehouses and other “gentrification of homelessness”-worthy offers. Masryis confident that the settlement is being followed. After the first round of cullings, his office was deluged with calls querying about the Ellis Act — indicating that people offering short-term stays in sites where tenants had been evicted in this manner were being proactively booted off by Airbnb et al. But how easy is it to evade the rules and offer up inappropriate sites to crash? Your humble narrator decided to give it a whirl and list the newsroom of Mission Local on Airbnb. Yes, for only $42 a night, you could stay beneath the table on the semi-carpeted floors of a real working newsroom! Exposed bricks! Exposed air ducts! A coffee machine! Heat! Keys to the bathroom provided by a put-upon Mission Local staffer! How can you afford to not stay here? Sadly for comedic possibilities — but not for effective government — our hosting attempt was spurned by Airbnb, which now insists on a registration number from the city’s Office of Short-Term rentals before one sets up shop. The same goes for VRBO and Homeaway. TripAdvisor, however, is not bound by the city’s settlement. And we were able to register the Mission Local office with them — but only for travelers willing to stay here for more than 30 days lest they violate San Francisco law. You can see the glorious screen capture of our successful attempt to rent out a rented office roughly the size of a Fiat 500 to up to six Italian tourists. But, sadly, fewer than 24 hours later, TripAdvisor suspended our account.Our listing.“This is the system at work,” noted Masry. Alas. And, come Jan. 16, “I generally expect that a lot of these sorts of outliers like tents and RVs should go away.” San Francisco, however, isn’t an island. It’s a peninsula. And when outliers of all sorts are pushed away from here, they tend to roll up in parts nearby. If you’re dead-set on paying good money to sleep in an RV or tent or yurt and gentrifying the homeless experience, you can still do so across the bay. In fact, here’s one proprietress in Berkeley offering a slice of the “glamping” life. “Glamping,” however, seems to be a malleable term, as the following stipulation would indicate: “If you opt to use the chamberpot, you MUST empty and rinse it daily.”Yoooooo — fair enough. Piles of unwanted excrement certainly drain the glamor from sleeping in a stranger’s backyard. Or on Division Street.   last_img read more

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SAINTS head to the Halliwell Jones Stadium tonight

first_imgSAINTS head to the Halliwell Jones Stadium tonight to take on Warrington Wolves.Squads:James Roby has been named in Saints’ 19-man squad. Read more here.Last 10 Meetings:St Helens 31, Warrington 6 (SLR6, 24/3/17) Warrington 18, St Helens 10 (SLSF, 29/9/16) Warrington 18, St Helens 20 (SLS8-R1, 4/8/16) St Helens 4, Warrington 26 (SLR17, 3/6/16) Warrington 22, St Helens 25 (SLR10, 8/4/16) St Helens 16, Warrington 32 (SLS8-R7, 24/9/15) Warrington 14, St Helens 20 (SLR22, 16/7/15) St Helens 20, Warrington 16 (SLR16, 31/5/15) (at St James’ Park, Newcastle) St Helens 32, Warrington 24 (SLR6, 19/3/15) St Helens 12, Warrington 39 (SLR26, 4/9/14)Super League Summary:Warrington won 12 (includes wins in 2012 and 2016 play-offs) St Helens won 45 (includes wins in 2010 and 2012 play-offs) 2 drawsHighs and Lows:Warrington highest score: 56-22 (H, 2001) (also widest margin) St Helens highest score: 72-2 (H, 2002) (also widest margin)Head to Head:SaintsWarringtonTries3936Goals3228Metres15,13215,550Breaks6552Tackles4,0814,028Penalties9189Career Milestones:Ryan Atkins needs two tries to reach 200 for his career. Atkins has scored 143 tries for Warrington since 2010, to go with 49 for Wakefield (2006-2009) and 6 for England (2006, 2009-2010 & 2012). He also has one non-scoring appearance for Bradford (2005).James Roby needs one try to reach a career century of touchdowns. Roby has touched down 91 times for St Helens since 2004, to go with 7 tries for England (2008-2013 & 2015) and 1 for Great Britain (2006-2007).Super League Milestones:(Players reaching significant figures in Super League games only, including play-offs & Super League Super 8s)Danny Tickle needs three points to draw level with Sean Long in sixth place in the list of Super League’s all-time leaders.1 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds, 1997-2015) 3,443 2 Paul Deacon (Wigan/Bradford/Oldham, 1997-2011) 2,413 3 Andy Farrell (Wigan, 1996-2004) 2,376 4 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons/Wigan, 2006-2013 & 2016) 2,284 5 Lee Briers (Warrington/St Helens, 1997-2013) 2,232 6 Sean Long (Hull FC/St Helens/Wigan, 1996-2011) 2,200 7 Danny Tickle (Leigh/Castleford/Widnes/Hull FC/Wigan/Halifax, 2000-present) 2,197 8 Danny Brough (Huddersfield/Wakefield/Castleford/Hull FC, 2005-2006 & 2008-present) 2,085 9 Iestyn Harris (Bradford/Leeds/Warrington, 1996-2001 & 2004-2008) 1,674 10 Michael Dobson (Salford/Hull KR/Wigan/Catalans Dragons, 2006, 2008-2013 & 2015-present) 1,583Tommy Lee – 1 appearance away from 200 (71 for Hull FC, 2005-2009; 12 for Crusaders, 2010; 25 for Wakefield, 2011; 18 for Huddersfield, 2012; 20 for London Broncos, 2013; 42 for Salford, 2014-2016 and 11 for St Helens, 2017)Betfred Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 Greg Eden (Castleford Tigers) 14 2 Greg Minikin (Castleford Tigers) 12 3 Albert Kelly (Hull FC) 11 4 = Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers), Ben Jones-Bishop (Wakefield Trinity), Liam Marshall (Wigan Warriors) 10 7 Joel Moon (Leeds Rhinos) 9 8 Matt Parcell (Leeds Rhinos) 8 9 = Richie Myler (Catalans Dragons), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Ben Murdoch-Masila (Salford Red Devils), Tom Johnstone (Wakefield Trinity), Tom Lineham (Warrington Wolves), Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors) 7Goals:1 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 63 2 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 57 3 Luke Walsh (Catalans Dragons) 45 4 Mark Percival (St Helens) 32 5 Morgan Escare (Wigan Warriors) 30 6 Ben Reynolds (Leigh Centurions) 29 7 Gareth O’Brien (Salford Red Devils) 28 8 = Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants), Sam Williams (Wakefield Trinity) 25 10 Liam Sutcliffe (Leeds Rhinos) 23Goals Percentage:1 Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos) 100.00 (10/10) 2 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 91.93 (57/62) 3 Luke Walsh (Catalans Dragons) 86.53 (45/52) 4 Liam Sutcliffe (Leeds Rhinos) 82.14 (23/28) 5 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 80.76 (63/78) 6 Ben Reynolds (Leigh Centurions) 78.37 (29/37) 7 Michael Dobson (Salford Red Devils) 76.19 (16/21) 8 = Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity), Tom Gilmore (Widnes Vikings) 70.58 (12/17) 10 Declan Patton (Warrington Wolves) 70.37 (19/27)Points:1 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 168 2 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 126 3 Luke Walsh (Catalans Dragons) 97 4 Mark Percival (St Helens) 88 5 = Morgan Escare (Wigan Warriors), Gareth O’Brien (Salford Red Devils) 77 7 Ben Reynolds (Leigh Centurions) 66 8 Greg Eden (Castleford Tigers) 56 9 = Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants), Liam Sutcliffe (Leeds Rhinos) 55last_img read more

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Wilmington Police charge another teen with murder

first_img00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A third teenager has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with a fatal shooting Tuesday.According to a release from the Wilmington Police Department, Brandyn Rah’mish Queen, 17, was arrested by the Wilmington Police Department Thursday night.- Advertisement – On Wednesday, police arrested Devontae Mitchell, 18, and a 15-year-old for the murder of Tomar Bloodworth, 19.Bloodworth was shot in the 2800 block of Chestnut Street around 8:50 p.m. Tuesday.Queen, 17, Mitchell, 18, and the juvenile, 15, all of Wilmington are facing murder charges.last_img read more

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Turtle hospital tests eggs to see if there are any repeat visitors

first_img They began taking a single egg out each nest they find.Each nest typically has about 100 eggs.These samples are sent to a lab at The University of Georgia.Related Article: Loggerhead sea turtle found fatally injured, reward offeredThey are tested to see if they are repeat visitors to Topsail Island, even if years go by in between.Founder of the hospital, Jean Beasley, says even after decades of studying turtles, she never stops learning about them.“Some of these girls just take off and go 300 miles away — Good for them!” Beasley explained. “You can never tell what they’re gonna do. In fact if there’s one about sea turtles I love the most — It’s that just when you think you know a lot about them, they tell you something that shows you just how little you do know.”From one nest this year they learned this is the fourth time since 2011 the mother has returned to Topsail Island to nest!Beasley says no matter how long they study turtles — they will never learn everything there is to know, but these tests help! SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — Last week the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Surf City celebrated their first turtle release of 2019! ​Volunteers and staff began to wonder what these turtles are up to in the off season.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Toure returns to Olympiacos after 12 years

first_img SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a7617b59&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=128&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Greek side Olympiacos have signed Yaya Toure on a free transfer after the 35-year-old was released by Manchester City at the end of last season. The Ivorian midfielder turned down offers from teams in Europe, Asia and the United States so as to move back to the club he left in 2006.Toure spent one season in Greece and managed to win a domestic double before moving to Monaco. He joined Barcelona in 2007 and three years later moved to England where he won 3 Premier League titles.Olympiacos failed to win the league during the 2017-18 season and finished behind PAOK and champions AEK Athens.WhatsApplast_img read more

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A Quick Way to Get More Likes on Your Facebook Page

first_imgAdvertisement I’m sure you’ve asked yourself the question of how to get more likes on your page, and it’s a good one to be asking. The problem is there are too many people recommending too many different ways to get more Likes & Fans — many of them not legit.Should you run ads to get more Likes &Fans? That’s the best way to get targeted Fans, but you’ll need a hefty ad budget. If you can’t commit the money to Facebook ads and run them consistently you won’t see results.[related-posts] – Advertisement – So what do I recommend to get more Likes & Fans on your Facebook page?Create posts that inspire people to SHARE your content. People love to share great content. And when your Fans’ friends see that great content, they too may share it — or even better, they may “Like” your page.It’s a win-win situation. Your current Fans share your content — and new Fans Like your page because of it!So how do you create content that excites people enough to share it? Again, another great question.Here are the 14 different ways to get more shares as listed on the infographic. My commentary on each item will be in (parenthesis) I will also add the infographic at the bottom of the post if you prefer reading it.1. Be ConsistentPost more that 5 times a week so you’re “top of mind” for your Fans. Post more if you’re getting great engagement.2. Time it rightThe best time to post will depend on the type of business you’re in.3. Use eye-catching imagesAlternate photos and video with text-only updates(Images are the most shared piece of content on Facebook — and all social media for that matter. This is why Instagram and Pinterest have done so well.)4. Keep it shortPosts between 100 and 150 characters (fewer than 3 lines of text) see 60% more Likes, comments and shares than longer posts.(I would go a step further and say limit it to 80 characters. The quicker it is to read, the more likely people will actually read & share it.)5. Be relevantYour content should let your audience know that you know who they are.6. Use your authentic voicePeople are your Fans and friends because they like what you do. Your voice on Facebook should be true to your brand.(There is nothing worse than being completely stale and boring on Facebook. If your audience is skaters you should post like a skater, not like a Wall Street CEO.)7. Include a call to actionIf you ask your Fans to Share, Like or Comment, they are more likely to do it.(With that in mind would you please Like and Share this post!)8. Be creative with appsContest and promotion apps, along with forms, surveys, etc. can deepen users’ involvement with a business or brand.(Don’t overdo it with apps on your page though. Contests are a great way to get more Fans and are highly shared on Facebook.)9. Have a sense of urgencyInclude up-to-minute tips and tricks, and whenever possible, dispel myths.(It’s always a good idea to stay on top of what’s going on in your niche — and to share that with your followers. What you don’t want to do is share a post that’s a year old and no longer relevant.)10. Offer valueBefore you share something on Facebook ask yourself if you think your Fans will find value in the content(If they don’t find any value in it, they won’t share it!)11. Be entertainingIf your followers like funny memes or respond well to video, take note. Use the type of media that works best for your audience.12. Be educationalPeople love to share how-to guides and tips.(Totally agree with this tip. But make sure the material you share is easy to follow and from a valid source.)13. Make a listLists, in the form of an infographic or a pdf (or a blog post) are great for sharing.(This tip is perhaps the best tip on the list. People love posts that are “Top 10 Ways to…” or “12 Can’t Miss Tips on…”. There is power in list related posts.)14. Be seasonableTailor your content to the season or an upcoming holiday.(A great way to get more shares is to do a promotion based on a holiday. Or you can change out your profile image or cover photo to something seasonal. People love to see personality on a page.)Source: Post Plannerlast_img read more

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Microsoft Ventures now provides support for African entrepreneurs

first_imgAdvertisement Microsoft Ventures, the company’s “strategic partner for promising startups around the world” announced this week that the program is expanding into Africa, starting in Kenya.Amrote Abdella, Director 4Afrika Venture Capital and Startup ProgramsMicrosoft Ventures was created to give startups a leg-up by providing access to tools, technology and training.Microsoft believes Kenya is quickly being recognised as an innovation hub, particularly in the mobility space. It’s been reported that there are 74 mobile phones for every 100 Kenyans and, of those who access the internet, 99% do it via a mobile device. – Advertisement – Expanded to Africa as part of our 4Afrika Initiative, Microsoft Ventures speaks to our belief that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world.Around the world, Microsoft Ventures selects strategic accelerator partners in each region to provide local market expertise. For our venture into Kenya, we’ve selected 88mph for its proven track record in helping local entrepreneurs turn ideas into thriving businesses. Since opening up in July 2011 the company has already graduated 32 startups. That equals nearly one success story for every month they’ve been in operation!Microsoft will also be partnering with Gamsole, started by Nigeria’s Abiola Olaniram. Abiola had a vision of creating his own tech company, capitalising on the growing mobile space and people’s love of entertainment in Africa and all over the world.  Funded by 88mph and Microsoft’s BizSpark program, he started developing Windows Games and is now the highest paid Windows game developer in Africa, with over 1.5 million downloads. Microsoft Ventures website has a list of many other examples.“We want to remove as many barriers as we can to enabling a startup to thrive. The program is simple: those who are interested can apply to an immersive 3-6 month accelerator program. The only requirements are a full-time founding team and less than $1 million raised. Qualifying companies will have access to mentors, technical and design experts, development tools and key resources,” wrote Amrote Abdella, Director 4Afrika Venture Capital and Startup Programs, in a blog post.“Ultimately, we want to see a thriving African startup ecosystem contributing to Africa’s economic development and competitiveness on a global scale. We feel strongly that by partnering with 88mph we are helping to pave the way to a better, stronger future,” he added.last_img read more

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8 Lessons To Learn From Evan Spiegel Snapchat CEO Worlds Youngest Billionaire

first_imgEvan Spiegel, Snapchat CEO & World’s Youngest Billionaire. Image Credit: Business Insider Advertisement If Silicon Valley had a bad boy icon, it would be Evan Spiegel. The CEO and co-founder of Snapchat shot to the limelight when the app became wildly popular, with 100 million daily users and reportedly 6 billion video views per day. To top it off, he has a reputation of loving the party life and his popularity with the ladies has cemented his place as the tech company director that everyone wants to talk about. At 25, he’s also the world’s youngest billionaire.Here are the top 8 lessons you can learn from Evan Spiegel.1. It’s not about the degree, it’s about the experienceEvan Spiegel took off when Snapchat began to grow and decided to focus his efforts on the business.Image Credit: recode – Advertisement – It’s probably well known that Evan Spiegel has joined some of the tech greats in the college dropout club. Just short of 3 classes to graduate from Stanford University, he took off when Snapchat began to grow and decided to focus his efforts on the business.He did go through a graduation ceremony, as he revealed in a speech he gave at the USC Marshall Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony in 2015, but it was a “fake” graduation where the folder handed to him on stage was empty — an alternative Stanford allows students using the summer term to complete their degrees.“So I sat in the hot sun and listened to Cory Booker speak for what felt like quite a while, and I waved to my family who had travelled all the way to watch me not graduate,” he said.While Spiegel didn’t complete his degree, he’s no slacker. He’s taken several classes that helped bolster his skills in product design, including a class at the Arts Center College of Design in Pasadena, and two continuing-education courses at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. In Stanford, he majored in product design. His co-founders, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown, were also fellow fraternity brothers, and it was in his dorm that Brown complained to Spiegel about a photograph he regretted sending.The rest, it seemed, was history.2. When mistakes are uncovered, apologise for them as quickly as you can While one of the richest men under 30, Spiegel has quite the reputation. This was aggravated when a series of leaked emails written by Spiegel began to circulate, showing a side of him that was sexist, racist, and homophobic.The emails leaked by ValleyWag were sent during his frat days, and included a slew of misogynistic jokes, anecdotes about drunkenly urinating on drunk girls, and brags about incidents including marijuana and cocaine-based drugs. In response, Spiegel has issued an apology expressing his remorse for the emails. “I’m sorry I wrote them at the time and I was [a] jerk to have written them. They in no way reflect who I am today or my views towards women.”In the USC Marshall Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony in 2015, Spiegel may have made a reference to the emails, saying, “You are going to make a lot of mistakes. I’ve already made a ton of them — some of them very publicly — and it will feel terrible, but it will be okay. Just apologize as quickly as you can and pray for forgiveness.”You can’t undo mistakes you’ve made, but you can always apologise and hope for the best. Spiegel’s reputation may not have completely recovered from the incident, but if he’s still being invited to make speeches at Commencement Ceremonies and Conferences, you can be sure it’s not that bad.3. Mistakes can become the best opportunities — learn to spot them In starting a company, it’s important to recognise when opportunities arise. And if Spiegel’s experience with building Snapchat is anything to go by, mistakes can sometimes lead to some of the best changes.The inspiration behind Snapchat, for instance, began with a mistake, albeit one made by co-founder Reggie Brown: he’d stepped into Spiegel’s room to discuss a photo he wished he didn’t send to someone. The exact phrasing of what went down that night has been highly debated in legal disputes surrounding the ownership of Snapchat, but according to a Forbes article, Brown said something along the lines of “I wish there was an app to send disappearing photos.”Spiegel immediately became animated and called it a “million dollar idea”. He wasn’t wrong.The next formative step for the app was when it received a cease-and-desist letter from a photo-book company with the same name. While this would have staggered most startups, this came at a time when Picaboo was struggling, and this letter forced their hand to begin rebranding. What could have been a big ‘oops’ moment became what Spiegel called “the biggest blessing ever”.4. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again As an entrepreneur, you can’t be deterred by the idea of failure. Spiegel’s first business came in the form of Future Freshman in 2010. The site, which was designed to help high schoolers deal with the stressful college admissions process, never took off. According to Spiegel, “We got, like, maybe five people on the service.”His next venture was the idea of “disappearing photos”, but the first version of the app was far from the hit that Snapchat is now. Named Picaboo, the app was launched in 2011 and fell short of expectations — it only had 127 users by the end of the summer. Venture capitalists that they pitched to also had lukewarm reactions to it.“The feedback was basically, ‘Hmmmm. Well, thank you for showing us your project,’” recalls Spiegel. But the rebranding worked: in December 2011, Snapchat had 2,241 users. In January 2012, it had 20,000.[related-posts]5. It’s okay to say no to money When there’s a great idea and a well-performing app, it attracts the attention of many investors. One such investor was Facebook, who offered US$3 billion in cash to acquire Snapchat. Despite the large and very attractive number, Spiegel turned down the money, opting to grow the company on his own terms.In the Commencement speech he made, Spiegel shares that one of the most common questions he’s been asked is why he never sold his company. Exiting is common practice in Silicon Valley, and with large payouts like the one offered by Facebook, it’s hard to imagine turning instant billionaire status down. But according to Spiegel, if you know you have something valuable, you should stick to it — exiting isn’t the real end goal.“I am now convinced that the fastest way to figure out if you are doing something truly important to you is to have someone offer you a bunch of money to part with it,” he said. “The best thing is that no matter whether or not you sell, you will learn something very valuable about yourself. If you sell, you will know immediately that it wasn’t the right dream anyways. And if you don’t sell you’re probably onto something.”It doesn’t matter anyway. At their latest round of fundraising, the tech company was valued at $16 billion. 6. Age doesn’t really matterImage Credit: Vulcan PostThinking back to everything that he’s accomplished, it’s tough to remember that Spiegel was born in 1990. That means that the first prototype of Snapchat launched when he was merely 21, and Snapchat became wildly successful just a year later. He joined the Forbes 400 at age 25, coming in at No. 327, and became the world’s youngest billionaire.What were you doing at age 25?7. Don’t believe nerd stereotypes Spiegel has all the makings of a real nerd. According to a Forbes article, he jokes that his best friend was the computer teacher, and that he built his first computer in sixth grade (age 11-12). But if you still believe in the classic movie stereotype of nerds always being neck-deep in work and never being able to get the ladies, think again. The age of technology has made it so that tech CEOs are some of the coolest and most pursued guys around, and Spiegel is no exception. He is currently dating ex-Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr, and is known for being a fan of partying.He also came from a very wealthy background, and notably had the set designer of the TV show Friends, Greg Grande, design his house. This includes a home movie theatre, Venetian plastering, and floating bookshelves.Interestingly, Speigel has been called the “most stylish tech CEO” and the “Kanye West of Silicon Valley”, having been featured in magazines for his fashion style and even appearing on the cover of Vogue.8. Life isn’t fair — it’s about working the system While we’ve crooned about Spiegel’s accomplishments, we need to also recognise that he came from a place of privilege. Born to two successful attorneys, Spiegel is used to living a life of luxury. In a Forbes article, it was revealed that he often had fights with his father about his extravagant spending habits, once guilt-tripping him into buying him a new BMW.And if you’re in a position of privilege, you should own up to it. Spiegel has not been shy to admit that he’s been extremely lucky in his career, and attributes it to working the system.“I am a young, white, educated male. I got really, really lucky,” Spiegel said. “And life isn’t fair. So if life isn’t fair — it’s not about working harder, it’s about working the system.”[Vulcan Post]last_img read more

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