New flowerpecker species discovered in imperiled lowland forests of Borneo

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Animals, Birds, Environment, Forests, Fragmentation, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Peoples, Islands, New Species, Palm Oil, Research, Species Discovery, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation The Spectacled Flowerpecker wasn’t entirely unknown up until now. Scientists and birdwatchers have spotted the small, gray bird in the lowland tropical forests of Borneo in the past, with the first sighting appearing to have occurred in Sabah, Malaysia’s Danum Valley in 2009.A team led by scientists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. collected a specimen and studied the species for the first time earlier this year. The researchers formally described the Spectacled Flowerpecker to science in a study published in the journal Zootaxa yesterday.The researchers say that it’s likely the bird’s current distribution has “become increasingly fragmented and diminished” thanks to human impacts on Borneo’s forests. They hope that by formally describing the new species of flowerpecker, they can help call attention to the importance of Borneo’s lowland forests. There’s a new species of fruit-eating bird in Borneo that is now known as the Spectacled Flowerpecker.The species wasn’t entirely unknown up until now. Scientists and birdwatchers have spotted the small, gray bird in the lowland tropical forests of Borneo in the past, with the first sighting appearing to have occurred in Sabah, Malaysia’s Danum Valley in 2009. But a team led by scientists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.  collected a specimen and studied the species for the first time. The researchers formally described the Spectacled Flowerpecker to science in a study published in the journal Zootaxa yesterday.There are close to 50 species in the flowerpecker family spread throughout tropical southern Asia, Australia, and neighboring islands. Borneo is home to 13 of the currently known and accepted flowerpecker species; only the island of Sumatra and the Philippines harbor more flowerpeckers, with 16 species and 15 species, respectively.Despite living in close proximity to so many of its cousins, molecular analysis shows that the Spectacled Flowerpecker isn’t closely related to any other known flowerpecker species, according to Christopher Milensky, the collections manager for the National Museum of Natural History’s Division of Birds who led the survey during which the discovery of the new species occurred.“This bird is totally unique,” Milensky said in a statement. “It’s unlike anything else, and it is the latest example of the rich biodiversity that can be found in this region.”A scientific illustration of the Spectacled Woodpecker eating mistletoe. Illustration by John Anderton.When it was first photographed by a group of birders in 2009, the new bird’s stout body shape and short bill immediately suggested it was a flowerpecker, but the white markings above and below its eyes, which give the bird its distinctive “spectacled” look, didn’t match up with any known flowerpecker species.The bird was sporadically observed in the wild over the next decade. No scientists got their hands on a specimen to study until earlier this year, when Milensky and Jacob Saucier, a specialist at the Smithsonian museum and the lead author of the study describing the new species, discovered the bird in the Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, a wildlife preserve in southwestern Borneo several miles from any previously reported sighting of the species.Milensky and Saucier took their unexpected discovery back to the museum in order to analyze its external features and DNA. The genetic analysis revealed yet another surprising find: the bird that was immediately tagged as a flowerpecker isn’t terribly similar to its closest relatives. “It isn’t related to any of the other flowerpeckers all that closely,” Saucier said. “It’s a whole new species that distinctly stands out.”The Spectacled Flowerpecker had been seen eating mistletoe, a parasitic plant that grows high in the forest canopy and is a staple of many flowerpecker diets. Saucier and the research team used DNA analysis and inspected seeds found in the bird’s digestive tract to determine exactly which type of mistletoe the bird prefers, affording new insight into the bird’s ecological needs and habitat preferences as well as, hopefully, making it easier for people to spot the new species even though it typically sticks to the treetops, Saucier said.He added that, because assistance from local communities was vital in granting the research team access to the wildlife preserve and animals for study, they gave the Spectacled Flowerpecker the scientific name Dicaeum dayakorum in honor of the Dayak native people of Borneo. “Their immense knowledge of the flora and fauna of their homeland forests is irreplaceable and crucial to future conservation efforts of Borneo’s endemic ecosystems,” Saucier and his co-authors write in the study.The expedition team preparing to set out on boats with local Iban guides who helped the Smithsonian team of researchers explore Borneo’s forest. Photo Credit: Holt Thrasher.Based on the many locations across the island of Borneo where the species has been observed, the researchers believe the new flowerpecker could be widespread. “We think that wherever primary forest and mistletoe occur, there’s a good chance this bird could be there,” Saucier said.But given how little we know about the distribution of the species, habitat fragmentation and disturbance “should not be underestimated” as threats to the birds, Saucier and team write. The researchers also note, however, that the fact that the species was discovered in Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary “is a reason to be hopeful… We see no reason why D. dayakorum would not occur throughout the sanctuary’s pristine forests, or the contiguous Batang Ai National Park to the south.”Still, the researchers say that it’s likely the bird’s current distribution has “become increasingly fragmented and diminished” thanks to human impacts on Borneo’s forests. Saucier and team hope that by formally describing the new species of flowerpecker, they can help call attention to the importance of Borneo’s lowland forests.“Lowland forests such as this are the heart of Borneo’s ecosystems,” they write in the study. “Sadly, these sanctuaries are under increasing threat with the encroachment of intensive selective logging and unsustainable agricultural practices, including widespread conversion of lowland forest to oil palm. It should also be noted that the indigenous Iban Dayak inhabitants of the region are the primary facilitators of conservation upkeep and protection. The imperilment and continued diminishment of these traditional longhouse communities is an underappreciated threat to the protection of these vital areas.”A photo of the Spectacled Flowerpecker taken in the Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary. While scientists and birdwatchers have previously glimpsed the small, gray bird in lowland forests around the island, a Smithsonian team of scientists surveying the birdlife of Borneo is the first to capture and study it, resulting in its formal scientific description as a new species. Photo Credit: C. M. Milensky.CITATION• Saucier, J.R., Milensky, C.M., Caraballo-Ortiz, M.A., Ragai, R., Dahlan, F.N., & Edwards, D.P. (2019). A distinctive new species of flowerpecker (Passeriformes: Dicaeidae) from Borneo. Zootaxa. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4686.4.1center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Read More

Indonesian palm oil firm hit with $1.8m fine for 2015 fires

first_imgDeforestation, Dry Forests, Environment, Environmental Crime, Fires, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Fires, Forests, Law, Law Enforcement, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Peatlands, Plantations, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Banner image: Fires raze Jambi’s protected peat forest Londerang. Image by Elviza Diana/Mongabay Indonesia. Indonesia’s environment ministry has won a long-awaited court judgment and $1.8 million fine from a palm oil company that experienced fires on its concession in 2015.The company, PT Kaswari Unggul, had challenged the initial administrative sanctions issued in the wake of the burning, and continued to stonewall against the ministry’s efforts to hold it responsible for the burning.Ironically, the company’s resistance to the sanctions, which would have compelled it to introduce fire-prevention measures on its land, may have contributed to fires flaring up on the same concession again this year.The ministry has welcomed the recent judgment, but has yet to collect on any of the combined $224 million it’s been awarded in similar cases, thanks to legal stonewalling and a Byzantine court bureaucracy. JAKARTA — An Indonesian court has fined an palm oil company $1.8 million for fires that occurred on its concession in 2015, capping a four-year ordeal by the government to bring the firm to justice.The South Jakarta District Court ruled on Dec. 10 that PT Kaswari Unggul, a subsidiary of Jakarta-listed Bakrie Sumatera Plantations, was responsible for the fires that burned 129 hectares (319 acres) of its land in Sumatra’s Jambi province in 2015, and ordered it to pay a fine of 25.5 billion rupiah.“We see the verdict as evidence that land and forest fires constitute an extraordinary crime,” said Rasio Ridho Sani, the head of law enforcement at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, which brought the case against the company.The ruling and fine mark the latest chapter in a long-running battle between the ministry and Kaswari. Shortly after the 2015 fires, the ministry imposed administrative sanctions on the company and several others. But Kaswari challenged the sanctions by reporting the ministry to various government agencies, including the national ombudsman and the office of the president, according to Jasmin Ragil Utomo, the ministry’s director of civil litigation.“Kaswari is a company that’s naughty,” Jasmin said. “Instead of carrying out the administrative sanction, they reported [us] everywhere.”The company’s resistance culminated with a complaint filed at the State Administrative Court in May 2017, seeking to nullify the administrative sanctions. Kaswari argued that it was the victim of the 2015 fires, which it said had started in an unlicensed forest area more than a mile from its plantation and had spread out of control.“There’s no reason whatsoever for PT Kaswari Unggul to burn its oil palm plantation that’s still very productive,” the company said in a statement in 2016. “In fact, PT Kaswari Unggul suffered a lot because of the fires that destroyed oil palm trees that were still very productive. There’s no economic benefit at all, such as insurance claim, because [the plantation] wasn’t insured.”The administrative court rejected the company’s complaint in October 2017.For flouting the administrative sanctions, the environment ministry proceeded to bring a civil lawsuit against the company, as well as a criminal complaint. The criminal case is currently being heard at court.“If they had just complied with the administrative sanctions [in 2015], they wouldn’t be facing these heavier [fines],” Jasmin said.Burning in Jambi’s protected peat forest Lorendang where restoration efforts by WWF-Indonesia and the Peat Restoration Agency take place. Image by Elviza Diana/Mongabay Indonesia.Burning againThose initial sanctions, which called for, among other things, rehabilitation of the burned area and introduction of fire-prevention measures, could also have prevented a repeat of the disaster.Instead, the same concession experienced fires across 11.6 ha (29 acres) this year, prompting the environment ministry to seal off parts of the concession and put Kaswari on a list of repeat offenders.As it did with the earlier fires, Kaswari blamed this year’s burning on fires that spread from outside its concession. Sugeng Rahayu, the company’s head of agronomy, said the fires originated from the nearby Londerang protected peat forest, where WWF and the government’s Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) have been working to restore degraded peat areas.The Londerang peat forest is surrounded by five oil palm plantations and two logging concessions.Rasio said all concession holders in Indonesia, including Kaswari, are liable for fires in their concessions, regardless of where the burning started. That same concept was adopted by the Jakarta court in its recent ruling against Kaswari.Rasio said the environment ministry would continue going after companies with fires on their land, regardless of how long ago the burning occurred.“We can trace trails and evidence of previous fires with the support of experts and technology,” he said. “Land and forest fires are a serious crime because they directly affect the public health, economy, ecosystem degradation over a long period of time.”The ministry has to date taken 17 companies to court over fires, winning judgments against nine of them with combined fines of 3.15 trillion rupiah ($224 million), Jasmin said. He added more lawsuits were planned in 2020 over this year’s fires, which were the worst since 2015.However, the government has yet to collect any of the fines, thanks to a combination of legal stonewalling by the companies and a Byzantine court bureaucracy that renders rulings practically unenforceable.last_img read more

Read More

NBA roundup: McGrady stays hot vs. Cavs

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Houston 90, at Cleveland 81 center_img Tracy McGrady scored 34 points, Juwan Howard made two late jumpers and the Rockets won despite 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists by LeBron James. McGrady surpassed 30 points for the fourth consecutive game. Indiana 99, at Golden State 89 Stephen Jackson had 27 points to spark the Pacers, who had a 20-point lead after the first quarter. Pacers center Jermaine O’Neal arrived in the second quarter but didn’t play for the third game in a row because of pneumonia and a sore back. last_img read more

Read More

How Chromosomes Pack Without Exploding

first_imgWhen preparing to divide, a cell has to copy all its DNA accurately and pack it into chromosomes.  A professor at U Chicago told Science Daily this is “like compacting your entire wardrobe into a shoebox.”  The cell has another difficulty in this compaction process, though: DNA, being negatively charged, resists packing.    Eukaryotes overcome the resistance by neutralizing the negative charge with histones.  DNA wraps around the histones, forming nucleosomes, which then coil and supercoil into the familiar chromosomes.  One class of marine algae, the dinoflagellates, uses a different method: it neutralizes the negatively-charged DNA with positively-charged ions of calcium and magnesium.    The U Chicago team was puzzled at this exception to the rule.  They wondered if “this may have been the first and very efficient step toward the goal of neutralizing DNA, long before histones came into play.”  The statement was only a suggestion, however.  It also does not explain why dinoflagellates have much more nuclear DNA than human beings.    One observation, though, was dynamic.  When the scientists removed the positively-charged ions from the dinoflagellate DNA, the chromosomes exploded.Did they find a sequence from positive-ion neutralization to histone neutralization?  No; their evolutionary belief dictates that they use imagination and speculation to invent stories to link different organisms with common ancestry.  There are puzzles to solve here, for sure.  Why would a marine alga have so much more DNA than a human?  Why would it use a different method of neutralizing the DNA?  Don’t let these puzzles overshadow the major question: how genetic information arose that could be systematically and accurately copied, then condensed by orders of magnitude into a tiny space.  If you ever figure out how to compact your wardrobe into a shoebox, one thing is certain: you will not have done it by an evolutionary process.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Read More

Influencing Rational Buying Decisions

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Some buyers use a spreadsheet to make purchasing decisions. They line up all of the potential vendors they are considering in the first row, and then they list all of the things they need down the fisrt column, the A-column.Then they fill in a score for each potential supplier for each attribute and weight the importance of each attribute. It’s a logical, rational approach to buying. Except that this process isn’t really logical. It’s still subjective, and it can be influenced.Influencing the AttributesThe reason that relationships are so important to selling effectively is that they allow you to get into the buying cycle before there is ever a buying cycle to get into. Invariably, some salesperson influences what the buyer includes in the A-column. They work with the buyer to help them understand their needs, what’s important, and what must be considered.All the attributes might be real and important, but don’t be surprised when you discover that the salesperson that the buyer trusted enough to help them write the A-column is also the salesperson that won the deal.Should other attributes have been considered? Maybe attributes where you and your offering would have been the clear winners? While the A-column attributes may look like rational, objective criteria, it was the trust and relationship that allowed some salesperson to influence the decision to include those attributes.If you want a decision to go your way, you can try to change the attributes. What should be on the list? Why is what’s missing important? Why is what is on the list no longer relevant? If you can make the case that the attributes are wrong, you can influence a deal in your direction. (I hedge here because all things being equal relationships win, and all things being unequal, relationships still probably win.)Influencing the WeightingIf you didn’t write the A-column, you’re likely behind in a contest against the salesperson that did. But you can still influence a decision in your direction. This is what we do in sales: we work on the weighting.Each attribute has a score. But buyers have to weigh those scores. Some may weigh price as the most important factor. Others give a higher weighting to different factors, like service, fit, or solution. Your job in sales is to change those weightings.If a buyer gives price the greatest weight, can you show them how the lower price will cost them more by producing a lesser outcome than you can produce at a higher price? This is the difference between price and cost, and if you make your case well enough, you can change the weighting from price to cost.If your strong suit is service, can you change the weighting by showing how much money your buyer will lose by dealing with service failures? If you can show them what they put at risk, you can move a deal in your direction.Buyers buy emotionally and justify their decisions after the fact. Your job is to help them justify their decision. You do that by helping them to choose the right attributes or by helping them to choose the right weighting.QuestionsHow do you discover the attributes and components on which you are being scored?How do change the those attributes?How you discover the weighting? Do you make assumptions about the weighting?How do you change the weighting?last_img read more

Read More

Fishermen rescued after boat capzises

first_imgTwo fishermen from Quepem in south Goa who fell in choppy waters after their boat capzised were rescued by lifeguards on Friday. The men ventured into the sea in a small fishing boat from Mobor river in Cavelossim. This is the third instance of lifeguards saving the lives in the past four weeks, said a spokesperson of Drishti Lifesaving.Meanwhile, the Goa Captain of Ports has suspended permissions given to hold watersport events for tourists.The permissions will be renewed after September 15, said Captain of Ports James Braganza.last_img read more

Read More

Viewers criticize Benazir Bhutto’s Indo-Pak speech at India Today Conclave 2007

first_imgIndo – Pak relationsDouble SpeakBenazir Bhutto is a hypocrite (“Can Indo-Pak Relations Be Reinvented?”, April 9). She now says that trade, not conflict, must be Pakistan’s top priority in the context of its relations with India. But when she was prime minister, conflict with India on the issue of Kashmir,Indo – Pak relationsDouble SpeakBenazir Bhutto is a hypocrite (“Can Indo-Pak Relations Be Reinvented?”, April 9). She now says that trade, not conflict, must be Pakistan’s top priority in the context of its relations with India. But when she was prime minister, conflict with India on the issue of Kashmir was her top priority. Hope she does not change her colours again if she becomes prime minister of Pakistan. R.J. KHURANA, on e-mailBhutto’s speech at the INDIA TODAY Conclave seems friendly, but when she was in power and had the opportunity to do something concrete in this direction, she proved to be no different from her predecessors. NUTAN THAKUR, LucknowShall the Twain Meet?Mohammad Khatami, former president of Iran, has spoken with empathy (“Can Civilisations Talk?”, April 9). His ideas on freedom and salvation and his emphasis on spirituality are similar to the Indian approach to life and should be understood by the western world, which is neglecting inner peace. VINITA SAHAI, on e-mailKhatami is right in saying that the East has wisdom, but this should not be interpreted to mean that the West lacks it. This is a mindset the East must get rid of. In fact, most of the progress that we see around us today is the result of the West’s endeavours in science, art, literature and economy. AMITABH THAKUR, LucknowPretensions of HarmonyManmohan Singh has spoken at length about India being a successful platform for the “confluence of civilisations” (“Can India Take the Lead?”, April 9). If it was really so, there wouldn’t have been riots in Gujarat, terrorist attacks on Mumbai, or demands for separate states. Is the Government’s policy on reservations really conducive to such a confluence of cultures, civilisations, religions and classes? M. SATYA SARVANI, HyderabadadvertisementExit WoundBy blaming Greg Chappell and Rahul Dravid, the media is missing the woods for the trees (“Now for the Hard Decisions,” April 9). The fault lies in the way the game is administered in the country. Administration is not about being the richest sporting Board in the world, but being an efficient and effective one. DR AMBUJ ROY, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, DelhiIf Indian cricket is down in the dumps today, it is the cumulative effect of years of political patronage, regional bias and gross commercialisation. We now miss our Pataudis, Wadekars and Gavaskars, for whom representing the country was the sole aim. We faced defeats in the past, but never felt as ashamed as we do today because our players would always give their best. JEEVAN BANDHU RATH, BhubaneswarThe media should stop lamenting the abysmal performance of our cricketers and devote more newsprint to deserving sportspersons like Viswanathan Anand. V.S. GANESHAN, BangaloreDespite not performing well for several years now, India is not willing to give up its so-called star players. If Brazil can drop its star football player Ronaldo, can’t India drop Dravid or Sachin Tendulkar? It is time for the old order to yield place to the new. J. JENA, on e-mailLet alone Indians, foreigners too had felt that India had a good team with an exciting crop of players, and yet we lost miserably. So what went wrong? Probably everything: the endless experimentation, the hype, the advertisements, and worst of all, the reluctance of some players to gracefully exit the game. H.R. BAPU SATYANARAYANA, MysoreThings might have been different had a full-time, professional management been in place instead of a part-time president in Sharad Pawar, who could not bring himself to say, the buck stops here. KESHAV AGARWAL, on e-mailThe discontent of the Indians should be within limits. Our players are being harassed and their houses guarded. Doctored photos are being circulated through e-mail, showing them taking up alternative professions-Ganguly as barber, Tendulkar as tea boy, Dravid as priest. People should realise that a team, however brilliant, can lose once in a while. RAJENDRA K. ANEJA, DubaiSunny SideSunil Gavaskar rightly contends that senior players like Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting and Brian Lara made their teams shine, but he defends the dismal performance of our seniors (“Time to Change Structure”, April 9). T.S. PATTABHI RAMAN, CoimbatoreQuote MisquoteIn his review of my book (“Bogeyman in Saffron”, April 9), Chandan Mitra claims: ‘Sharma has to admit that Golwalkar believed “Hindu culture has no place for it (Fascism)”‘. The actual quote in the book is as follows: “He (Golwalkar) proceeds to analyse Fascism, but can barely conceal his enthusiasm for it. The basic idea behind Fascism is not so bad, because it is also an attempt at wealth creation and this happens through the primacy and power of society. But Hindu culture has no place for it. Nazism is also a form of socialism. All power and all means of wealth creation are centralised. We do not call it good or bad, concludes Golwalkar, because everything has its uses and can do good in its own place.” Is such deliberate mischief an afterthought, or a forethought? JYOTIRMAYA SHARMAadvertisementCorrection In the Impact Feature (“Assam on the Move”, April 9), we erroneously mentioned that the 2005-06 profit after tax for Oil India Ltd was Rs 16.90 crore instead of Rs 1,690 crore. The error is regretted.Brick Bats for BuddhaBuddhadeb BhattacharyaContrary to the virtue of ahimsa preached by Lord Gautama, whose name he has inherited, the Buddha of West Bengal has butchered his own people, which is unpardonable (“The Struggle of Buddha”, April 2). He should change his name immediately. FIONA WALTAIR, ChennaiSanjiv Goenka, vice-chairman, RPG Enterprises, has hailed Buddhadeb Bhattacharya as the architect of new Bengal. What great achievement has he seen during his tenure? Not a single big industry has come up here yet. Many industries have shut shop. How could Goenka ignore the contribution of Bidhan Roy, who radically changed the face of West Bengal by setting up scores of industries? Roy is the true architect of modern Bengal. ASOKE C. BANERJEE, Kolkatalast_img read more

Read More

Google AdWords for Nonprofits: 10 Tips About Keywords

first_imgWith a content network that reaches over 75% of unique internet users in more than 20 languages and over 100 countries, Google AdWords can be a powerful marketing tool. Though the efficiency of the program continues to be debated, Google Grants could offer your nonprofit free ads and assistance setting up an account! It should be noted, however, that while Google Adwords is one potential source of advertising for nonprofits, the volume of response from its campaigns to date have been lackluster.Google provides the reach, but it is up to you to write an ad that pulls net surfers in. Just how exactly do you go about writing an ad with a low cost and high ROI? An article from SiteProNews, by Leighton James explains 10 costly mistakes to avoid when launching your AdWords campaign.We’ve taken this advice from SiteProNews and added a nonprofit twist. If you need more detail on what not to do, make sure to check out the article. Otherwise, read on for our modified list of the do’s and don’ts of writing an ad for Google AdWords.1. Create a short list of targeted keywords: Generic terms lead to high fees and low ROI. Instead of writing a long list, take time to identify your target group beforehand and think of terms that will appeal directly to them. Online strategist Riche Zamor highlights the importance of conducting keyword research prior to launching an ad. Though you can pay someone to do this for you, MSN and Google offer free tools to do your own research. Cross checking keywords with multiple search engines to see the number of results and types of ads that it generates is also a good idea. Another aspect to consider that may not come to mind is seasonality. Google Trends allows you to see how keywords fare over time and to pinpoint when during the year searches for the keyword are most popular.2. Identify what is unique about your nonprofit: Identify your marketing strategy and highlight what sets you apart in your ad. Conduct a competitive analysis of the organizations you will compete with using the selected keywords, and look into possible variations of your selected keywords until you find a combination that places you in the first several ads that appear. If you need ideas for related keywords, Google’s Keyword Tool allows you to search for synonyms and get new keyword ideas.3. Use keywords in your ad text: Good ads spell out exactly what they are promoting. Well-placed keywords in both the title and body of the ad ensure that when people click they know what they are getting.4. Direct users to the specific area of the site, not the home page: People want to find what they are looking for without hassle. Directing potential donors to your donation landing page makes it that much easier for them to give. Links to your home page can be helpful if you are working on brand name recognition, but otherwise direct people immediately to the relevant page that matches your ad.5. Separate ad groups: Split up your keyword buys into different categories. For example, you could have one ad group devoted to recruiting activists, and another for reaching out to recruit potential donors. This distinction allows you to better track the progress of each campaign.6. Take advantage of single ad groups: Keep everything organized by creating containers to hold related ad groups. Keyword buys that relate to each other can be grouped into logical categories that will help you organize, but more importantly that allow you to track the success of each keyword.7. Use various phrase keyword-match types: Selecting various keyword types allows you to either expand or refine when your ad appears.The negative keyword option lets you select keywords for which you don’t want your ad to appear.The phrase match option allows your ad to appear only when terms are searched in the order you have specified.Broad match is less specific and targeted, and can incorporate related or relevant keywords.8. Use the AdWords ad serving service: This provides a platform that displays ads with highest click-through rates more frequently than ads with lower rates in the same ad group.9. Track your results: Which keywords were successful and which didn’t get results? Take advantage of Google Analytics to get in-depth reports on various aspects of your campaign. Use it to assess and evaluate your performance. Was it successful? Did it meet or fall short of your goals? There are many ways to track success, some more sophisticated than others. Google’s Website Optimizer is a tool used to track your progress.10. Modify bids before entering the contact network: AdWords allows advertisers to set different bids on the content network then appear on the search network. By modifying bids you can potentially pay less per click while still getting the same amount of traffic.Source: Frogloop, Care2’s nonprofit communications and marketing blog: http://www.frogloop.com/last_img read more

Read More

What You Get Is Why You Give

first_imgThis is my new column for Fundraising Success.Soon after I was divorced, I heard a story on NPR that really got to me. I was driving home from work, half-listening to a profile of East St. Louis. It was about the area’s extreme poverty and the efforts of some extraordinary people to rise above their circumstances and make better lives for themselves and their families.The details are long lost, but I remember one person from the story perfectly. She seized my complete attention. She was a single mother working long hours to support her two daughters. She’d cobbled together the funds to send them to a good school, and she was doing all she could for their future. She kept going, against all odds, for those girls.As the single working mother of two daughters myself, I was amazed and humbled by this woman. Though my life is far easier than hers, I did have an inkling of just how much strength it took to do what she did. When I got to work, I tracked down the NPR reporter, emailed him, thanked him for the story and asked him to put me in touch with the woman. After he got her permission, he gave me her contact information. I told the woman how much I admired her and thanked her for inspiring me, and then I sent a small check to support her daughters’ education. While technically I was the donor in this relationship, there is no question that she did more for me than I could ever do for her. She gave me faith that the job of raising two daughters alone could be done, even in the hardest of circumstances.I tell this story because it illustrates something so important: that giving and receiving go hand in hand. Fundraising is not simply about what you ask of people, it’s about what they get in return. You don’t have an empty, outstretched hand. You have a lot to offer donors, and you should frame your ask accordingly.In crass marketing terms, we call this the benefit exchange. It is the answer to the question, what do I get for my money? If I’m manufacturing pricey anti-wrinkle cream, the benefit exchange might involve $100 as the price for hope I can regain my youth. If I’m fundraising, there are many possible benefit exchanges I can offer to my donors – faith in themselves, inspiration, a feeling of accomplishment, or – on a more mundane level — a plastic wristband or logo-laden coffee mug.Think about this formula the next time you ask for money. Remind donors of the returns of giving, which are precious indeed.Here are a few qualities of a great benefit exchange:IMMEDIATE: What will people get right away in exchange for doing what you ask, whether you want them to give money, volunteer or quit smoking? Some good causes deal with the immediacy challenge with a gift like a t-shirt, hat or wristband. These offerings provide the person that donated money or took some action with an instant benefit, for example, recognition. Other options? Show how someone can save a life RIGHT NOW. Demonstrate they can feel good by making a difference THIS SECOND. And above all, make it incredibly EASY to act, so people will believe they will get the benefit exchange pronto.PERSONAL: Our audience members need to believe from our message that the reward we’re offering for taking action will make something better for them personally. The private sector understands the importance of making rewards personal. They don’t sell you a car by explaining the way the engine is built; they tell you the car is reliable, safe, or fast, depending on who you are and your personal priorities. They take the attributes of their product and translate them into personally desirable benefits. That translation is easy to make for most products. It’s harder for good causes because we get swept up in the huge scope of what we want to accomplish. But remember, at the end of the day, it is always the personal connection, not the grand concept, that grabs our attention. RELEVANT: We can’t easily change what our audiences believe, but by plugging into their existing mind-set we unleash great power behind our benefit exchange and our message. The values of our audience may have nothing to do with our cause, but we can still use them. A famous, frequently cited example of the value-based principle at work in social advertising is the successful Don’t Mess with Texas campaign. The phrase has become so famous that many people outside Texas don’t even realize that this is not a state slogan but rather a long-running marketing effort to get people to stop littering. The young Texan men who were the target of the campaign didn’t care about littering, but they did care about their macho image, and no one doubted the fierce pride they had for their home state. By tapping into these powerful feelings with the Don’t Mess with Texas concept, which didn’t have a thing to do with trash, the ad agency that created the campaign (GSD&M) drastically reduced roadside litter.The bottom line? Doing good is not a one-way transaction. It’s an exchange – I give your cause support or dollars, and you give me some thing or some feeling that I want and value, right away. In my case, I gave to a woman in East St. Louis because she gave me faith in myself. And that is a benefit that not only compels a donation, it is also most certainly priceless.last_img read more

Read More

Should You Send Emails to Supporters via Outlook?

first_imgYou might be breaking the law. According to the CAN-SPAM law, if someone requests to be removed from your list, you must do so within 10 business days. Most people who send their emails from their desktop computers don’t have scripts to help them automatically process unsubscribe requests. They simply ask people to “reply with unsubscribe in the subject line.” That’s prone to mistakes, and potentially a CAN-SPAM lawsuit from the FTC. You’ll easily organize and manage your subscribers while you grow your audience the right way. The ease-of-use: Our intuitive interface makes even the most sophisticated email-marketing features easy for anyone to use, saving you time and effort and allowing you to let non-technical staff members help you manage your lists, content and account. And if you are using Network for Good’s DonateNow, you can see the fundraising results from your email campaigns right in your donation reports. You’ll easily create stylish campaigns and let EmailNow’s engine and relationships help you get great results. Your emails will get into your supporters’ in boxes because a team of deliverability experts keeps you off spam lists. You just hit send.Starting at just $29.95/month, EmailNow is an affordable and reliable email messaging service for nonprofits today. And most importantly, EmailNow is not like the other various programs designed to help you manage your customer and member email communications. What sets us apart? Here are four reasons: Send emails to thousands of recipients, and you’ll get all the bouncebacks and autoreplies from them. So much for free time! Will you be able to manually process them? Hard bounces (i.e. bad/incorrect addresses) should be removed from your list immediately, or your email address will be blacklisted by ISPs. Soft bounces (i.e. server timeout, full mailbox, etc.) should be retried a couple more times before removing them. Your emails may look terrible. Outlook sends HTML email in such a way that it only renders properly for other people using Outlook. What about all of your other subscribers who use another email client, like Yahoo!, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.? According to a recent survey, 54% percent of recipients opened their email in webmail, while only 27% used Outlook. The effectiveness: We focus a lot of time and attention to make sure we’re getting the highest rate of delivery possible. And that puts our nonprofit clients in the best position possible to stay connected with their supporters and turn those supporters into volunteers and donors. The relationship: We understand your email marketing needs because we are a nonprofit, and whether you’re just getting started or you have a question about a campaign or its results along the way, we stay involved to make sure you’re getting the most out of EmailNow. You’ll see how your audience members responded and use that knowledge to create more effective campaigns. You won’t know if anyone is reading your emails. Outlook and other desktop email applications don’t come with tracking tools to show you how many people opened and clicked your campaigns. How can you tell if your messaging is effective? How do you know if people are reading your information or just “filing” it in an email folder or the trash?Send Email the Right WaySo what’s the right way to send HTML email newsletters? Consider EmailNow, an email marketing service designed just for nonprofits.EmailNow (powered by Emma) was built by email marketing experts to do the tough stuff for you. It allows you to send beautiful email appeals without having to become a designer, a software engineer or someone who knows HTML or CAN SPAM laws. The secret? We built in all the expertise you need right into EmailNow and then priced it right. We’re a nonprofit that understands that’s what other nonprofits need. Here’s how EmailNow makes managing your email campaigns a snap: Say hello to your recipients spam, junk or bulk mail folder. If you send attachments with your email, you are increasing the likelihood of your email being marked as spam. In addition, if you put your email list in the TO: or CC: field, that’s a recipe for chaos.  Not only do people not like their email address shared with others, all it takes is for one subscriber to click “reply-to-all” then you’ve got communication pandemonium. Think the BCC field is the answer? Sorry to disappoint, but chances are your email will end up in the recipient’s spam, junk or bulk mail folder. How do you send emails to supporters and others who want to hear from you? An email marketing tool built with nonprofits in mind?Gmail (Google Mail)Microsoft Outlook?Carrier pigeons?If you answered anything but the first in that list, we’re here to sound the “bad idea” alarm. (We won’t get into why carrier pigeons are a poor decision… Let’s just say their delivery time isn’t up to snuff and clean-up is a nightmare.)Let’s talk about Outlook, Gmail, etc.Many nonprofit organizations get started with email marketing by sending out e-newsletters via Outlook, Gmail or one of their many cousins. But beware; there are rules, caveats, landmines and poison darts-ok, so we have a bit of a flair for the dramatic-awaiting the nonprofit using these email clients for email outreach.While these are fine solutions for 1-to-1 email, they weren’t designed for sending email newsletters or fundraising appeals to groups of people. Here are six reasons why using Outlook (or something similar) for a nonprofit’s email marketing is a recipe for disaster: You may get blacklisted. If you send too many emails from your own computer, your internet service provider (ISP) may think you’re a spammer and will most likely block you. The price: EmailNow is designed with small to mid-sized nonprofits in mind, so we’ve priced it that way, too. With affordable setup and monthly pricing, EmailNow is just as affordable as it is easy, particularly when you factor in the extensive features and unlimited customer support.We’d Love to Tell You MoreEmail us at sales@networkforgood.org or give us a call at 888.284.7978. One of our online fundraising specialists is waiting to introduce you to the easy and affordable world of email marketing with Network for Good’s EmailNow powered by Emma. Learn more about EmailNow.last_img read more

Read More