New drug procurement process to officially kick off next week

first_imgMinister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence, has indicated that the revised drug procurement process will officially be implemented next week.Starting on Monday, June 26, 2017, the Ministry will roll out the revised Drug Procurement Plan, beginning with the “hiring and training of procurement and warehouse staff”, Minister Lawrence said.“This is an ongoing process…We are going to review it and we are going to look at the loopholes and the gaps,” which will be addressed.This new procurement process will bring closure to the ongoing drug shortage issue countrywide. Minister Lawrence explained that, in the past, the procurement and the ordering of drugs were not properly forecasted or catered to. The Ministry of Public Health is actively working to ensure that the first supply of drugs under this new procurement system will be here by September, 2017.According to a GINA report, Minister Lawrence also explained that, due to poor management of human and financial resources in the past, many drugs were left to be expired. During a recent visit to health facilities in Region Six, the minister highlighted that there is need for better resource management within the Public Health sector.Space has to be made at the varying hospitals and clinics to accommodate the new supply of drugs by September 2017. In the month of July, the next phase of the procurement process will be to visit regional hospitals and clinics to remove expired drugs.Minister Lawrence said the Ministry is aiming to rid the system of all expired drugs by year end.last_img read more

Drought in Western N.C. leaves pines more susceptible to attacks

first_imgPeople often expect insects to be most active in the warm days of summer, but pine bark beetles can be active any time of year.Kelly Oten, forest health monitoring coordinator with the N.C. Forest Service, tells landowners with pine on their property what they should look for so pine bark beetles don’t leave them pining for healthy trees.“One of the first symptoms noticed is needle discoloration in the canopy,” Oten said. “The green needles fade to light green, then yellow, then eventually red. Upon closer inspection, you may see dried pine resin on the bark of the tree. These are called pitch tubes and are the tree’s defense to a bark beetle attempting to bore through the bark.”Adult and immature beetles feed beneath the bark, creating winding tunnels that can be seen if the bark is peeled off, Oten said. These galleries prevent nutrients and water from traveling within the tree, effectively choking it.Most bark-beetle activity occurs in pines that are stressed or weakened by another factor. The current drought in Western North Carolina leaves many pines susceptible to beetle attack. Other factors that may increase susceptibility to attack are nutrient deficiencies, mechanical damage and lightning strikes.There are a few types of bark beetles that attack pine trees in North Carolina. The Ips engraver beetles are likely the most common. They rarely attack healthy trees and generally infest small groups or scattered pines. They can cause branches or the entire tree to die.Generally, the southern pine beetle also attacks weakened trees. However, it can reach outbreak levels and become extremely destructive, Oten said. When this happens, healthy trees are also attacked and a quick response is necessary. This response typically involves cutting down the infested pine trees and surrounding trees to create a buffer.Landowners suspecting bark-beetle activity in their trees should contact their N.C. Forest Service county ranger, who can assist with identification and offer forest management advice.last_img read more

The Election On The Web: A Slideshow

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Trends#web This historic U.S. election already fulfilled its promise of change even before the final ballots were cast. Never before had we seen the internet used so heavily in the political campaigning process. From Twitter debates to YouTube videos to Facebook and iPhone applications, the candidates, especially President-Elect Obama, used the tools found online to reach out to the modern-day voter. In addition, news organizations and other sites across the web enhanced the election process by encouraging citizen participation. The impact of these efforts made voting once again feel like a true participatory experience. Yesterday, we provided you with a web toolkit for the election, and as we watched the television news last night, we revisited some of those sites mentioned. In many ways, what we saw online as voting drew to a close was a little bit of history being made, too. Ustreamed speeches, Twitter voter reports, voters recording videos for YouTube, web sites breaking the news before the TV stations did, and so much more. The internet has not only impacted this last election, it has forever changed politics in America. Please enjoy this flickr slideshow of what we saw last night – the election, as seen on the web: sarah perez A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

More Twitter Analysis: Influencers Don’t Retweet

first_imgRelated Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… abraham hyatt Editors Note: This post is part of a series ReadWriteWeb is producing in partnership with Tableau Software, where we examine interesting data sets relevant to technology trends today. You can use Tableau Public to create interactive visualizations like this and publish them to your own blog or website or anywhere online. This is the last week to enter Tableau’s User Generated Graph Contest. Winner will receive a free trip to Web 2.0 and $500. Sign up before March 26.We used a variety of lists to identify 485 accounts and then ran those names through Tableau’s data visualization tools. What did we find? Surprisingly, the majority of influencers retweet fewer than 30% of the time.Play With the InfluencersThe top graph shows the distribution of total tweets from all of our influencers. You can play with the data yourself. When you select an account on the right you can see they fall in the larger @, retweet and hashtag trends. The data is from January and February.The DataPowered by TableauThanks to TweetStats for providing the Twitter data. Tags:#Analysis#web As part of our ongoing series in conjunction with Tableau Software and TweetStats, we’ve been looking at some of Twitter’s most influential users. What it means to be a “top” user on Twitter has changed a lot since 2007. Recently we found out that a high number of followers, which most people use to judge the popularity of an account, doesn’t actually really mean anything. However, Twitter lists – where we identify our favorites as “most influential” or “essential” – are still revealing. Today we’re using lists to unscientifically analyze what we think are some of the some of the most influential people and entities on Twitter. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Excerpt From “Do More Faster” by David Cohen and Brad Feld

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Analysis#start Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup, the new book by David Cohen, founder and CEO of TechStars, and Brad Feld, managing director of Foundry Group, came out this week, and the authors are in the middle of a fast-paced tour around the U.S. The impetus behind the year-long book project, according to Cohen, was “to try to capture the phrases that seem to be repeated often in the context of the program.” Contributors include dozens of TechStars mentors and founder alumni. Below is the title chapter, Do More Faster, by Cohen.Startups do almost everything at a disadvantage. Initially, most startups have less money than their competitors. Startups have less credibility. They have fewer customers. They have fewer employees, which means there are typically fewer people focused on things like marketing, sales, and product development. Resources are scarce at a startup.But, just like in the martial arts, the best startups use the weight of their opponents against them. Bureaucracy slows down larger companies. People do less because making a mistake can be politically costly. Risk takers who are wrong get fired or lose power internally. The larger the company, the more likely it is to be slow.If there’s one competitive advantage that most startups have, it’s that they can do more faster. And because they can do more faster they can learn more faster. They can immediately throw things away that don’t work because nobody cares anyway. Nobody is trying to protect a brand that doesn’t exist, and nobody has any reason to be afraid of small failures. Startups know that’s just part of the process.When you ask CEOs of major companies what they’re most worried about, one common answer is “a couple of guys in a garage somewhere.” Why? Because their larger and more established competitors have too much to lose to try something radically different. There’s too much at stake for these large companies to try to blow up the market to disrupt the existing players. Relatively speaking, startups have nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying radical or non-obvious things. Larger companies are often baffled at just how much a startup can get done and it scares them.One of the things we talk about with our startups at TechStars is that they simply have to do more faster. This doesn’t mean doing random stuff–they still have to be thoughtful. But if they’re not hyperproductive as small, nimble companies, then they’re fighting from a real disadvantage. I’m such a big believer in this that I named my own angel fund Bullet Time Ventures. It’s named after the move from the movie The Matrix, in which Neo is so fast that he can easily dodge bullets. His enemies seem so slow and he has an obvious advantage over them that can make all the difference in the (in his case, virtual) world.Cohen and Feld talk about writing Do More Faster When Occipital was in TechStars in 2008, they were faster than a speeding bullet. As a visual search company, they tried several products before having a runaway hit with RedLaser. All of them were interesting, but what really paid off for Occipital was their ability to try their ideas quickly and throw away what didn’t work while focusing on what did. RedLaser was the fourth product Occipital worked on in about six months. This may sound disorganized and random on the surface, but Jeff and Vikas were very deliberate about assessing progress at every step.Next Big Sound built an incredibly beautiful and functional product in under three months. SendGrid figured out how to scale their e-mail delivery infrastructure to 20 million e-mails a day in under a year. Oneforty rallied a community of thousands of Twitter application developers in just a few months. Intense Debate went from concept to being installed on hundreds of blogs in the course of a single summer. Companies that work just always seem to move at lightning pace. By contrast, the ones that don’t seem to always be talking about releases and features that are coming “in a few months.” How do the fast companies do it? They focus on what matters, and make massive progress in the areas that actually have an impact.At TechStars and as an angel investor in general, I’ve been involved with a few startups that couldn’t do more faster. They were just as slow to execute as larger competitors. They employed too much process too early, tried to convince themselves that they were absolutely right before taking risks, and thought at the expense of doing. Their great ideas couldn’t save them. It turns out that giving up your one obvious competitive advantage often proves to be deadly. If a startup can’t do more faster, it usually just gets dead faster.center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… guest author 1last_img read more

Judge Rules Against Google and Facebook in Social Patent Infringement Case

first_imgTags:#Facebook#Google#mobile#web Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement dan rowinski What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Wireless Ink Corp has won the first round of a patent lawsuit against both Google and Facebook. The search and social companies failed to get Wireless Ink’s infringement tossed and now Wireless Ink can pursue charges pertaining to user participation in social networks on mobile devices against the tech giants .Wireless Ink is the creator behind Winksite, described by us in 2007 as a “mobile conversion and community site” that allows users to create mobile sites to engage users. According to Reuters, Winksite has 75,000 registered users versus millions of Facebook mobile users and potential millions of users for Google Buzz, which was also mentioned in the suit.Winksite says its patent went live in January 2004. Facebook was just emerging from a college dorm room in Cambridge, Mass. and Google was on its way to an initial public offering, way before social or mobile became priorities.“If two of the most resource-rich, patent-savvy and technologically advanced companies leading the Internet were not aware of the ‘983 patent, despite its potential ramifications upon a major segment of the defendants’ business,” Wireless Ink wrote, “this was solely due to a deliberate indifference on the part of defendants.”Google and Facebook failed to have the patent ruled invalid or Winksite’s claim thrown out, so the likelihood now is that the companies will have to pay Wireless Ink Corp to get the matter resolved. Wireless Ink is seeking a stop to the patent infringement along with compensatory and treble damages. Given the amount of users that access Facebook through their smartphones, it will likely be Facebook that is affected more by the Winksite claims than Google, considering that Google Buzz adoption remains low. Related Posts last_img read more

Xiaomi at top position in China with maximum sales

first_imgXiaomi India head, Manu Kumar Jain, has tweeted the company’s feat of being the number one smartphone company in China. According to IHS, Xiaomi has sold 14.2 million devices out of the 99 million devices sold all over China. Xiaomi is followed by Huawei and Apple at 11 per cent each and Samsung with 10 per cent of the entire sales. Xiaomi sold 14.2M smartphones out of 99M sold in Q1’15 in China, as per IHS. We are #1 🙂 @xiaomi @MiIndiaOfficial Manu Kumar Jain (@manukumarjain) April 28, 2015The 5 year old company was adjudged as the highest evaluated start-up last year and with time they have managed to tighten their grip in Asian markets. The company is focusing on two of the biggest smartphone markets in the World, China and India, which automatically brings them to one of the top positions in global sales as well.Xiaomi just released the Mi 4i in an in an India-exclusive event. The device is power packed for a mid-ranger and will pose as a great threat to contenders in that price bracket. It sports a FullHD LCD display and is powered by the 64 bit Snapdragon 615 chipset. Mi 4i also sports a humongous 3120mAh battery in a very slim and small form factor. The company claims to have solved the battery issue with the Mi 4i. The only fatal flaw with the device is the absence of a MicroSD slot which is a huge concern as the phone comes with a limited 16GB internal storage. advertisementlast_img read more

What LinkedIn Can Learn From Google And Build A Billion Dollar Business

first_imgI’ve been a member of LinkedIn for several years and continue to expand my network there. For those of you that are unfamiliar with LinkedIn, it is a social networking site targeted primarily at “professionals” (vs. MySpace which is for highschool students and Facebook which was originally for college students). If you’re not a member of LinkedIn yet, I’d encourage you to try it out. Step 3: Learn Yet More from Google, Provide Professional Search The idea here is relatively simple (and not that hard to implement). What makes the Google search algorithm so effective is the democratic nature of PageRank (and it’s recursive/iterative approach). It’s quite simple, but very powerful. Website owners link to other sites that they find useful/relevant. A lot of links coming in generally means a better site. The same concept can be applied within the LinkedIn network — because just as the Internet is a collection of connect web pages, LinkedIn is a collection of connected people. Many of the lessons from Google can be readily applied to LinkedIn. (I could probably write a book on this, but I’m not the Chief Software Architect at LinkedIn, but HubSpot, a software startup focused on (especially with regards to group features). However, I think LinkedIn is sitting on a fantastic opportunity to build a very significant business. How LinkedIn Can Become A Billion Dollar Company The whole point of getting a high Google PageRank is to help a website rank better in the Google search results. Something similar could drive the LinkedIn Search. If you’re looking for an SEO consultant, my guess is that the ProfessionalRank of the individual should factor pretty highly in the results. Though the “proximity” of that person to you should continue to be a variable (so those that are in your network rank higher than others), I think it’s often useful to find the “best” (most trusted, most authorititive) people — not just those you know directly or indirectly. LinkedIn could easily let users control their searches and specify whether they’re interested more in proximity or more in “quality”. Recently, I’ve been critical of LinkedIn in internet marketing For those of you that are not familiar with Google PageRank, it is one of the key factors that drives the Google search algorithm. Essentially, the Google PageRank is an internal number that Google assigns to each web page that it indexes on the Internet. PageRank is based largely on the number of *inbound* links to the page (i.e. other pages that are linking to it) and the power of those links. The power of the link is basically the PageRank of the page linking in. The higher the Google PageRank of a page, the more likely that page is to rank high in the Google results for any given search term. If you have some additional ideas that you’d like to share on this concept, feel free to leave a comment. I’m fascinated by this whole area. If LinkedIn did something like this, I think it would create a similar economic effect that Google PageRank did (in terms of search marketing). People would have an incentive to get linked “to” by trusted people and would also have an incentive to only link “to” others that they truly know and trust. For ProfessionalRank, LinkedIn could do a similar calculation. Your ProfessionalRank would be the number of people connecting “in” to you and the “power” (i.e. rank) of those other people. Very much like Google PageRank, ProfessionalRank would be earned over time based on the quantity and quality of your connections. Topics: Step 2: Learn More from Google, Distribute ProfessionalRank Across Connections So, lets say we had the above simple algorithm in place and your ProfessionalRank was 87.29 (on some sort of logarithmic scale of 0-100). This is of course based on the number of people linking to you and what their rank is. Now, what you’ve done is established some credibility within the network. What we would now do is “pass” your accumulated ProfessionalRank to the people *you* connect out to. So, if you only had 5 “trusted” people in your network, they would get some portion of the 87.29 units. The way Google does this is evenly distributes the weight across all outbound links. LinkedIn could go a step further and allow you to individually weigh your outbound connections. You could say: “Joe is the best thing since sliced bread, I’m going to give him 50% of my rank and divide the rest amongst everyone else…” Link Building Step 1: Learn from Google PageRank and introduce ProfessionalRank™ If someone from LinkedIn is reading this and is interested in discussing further, feel free to drop me a line. LinkedIn vs. Facebook Originally published Sep 12, 2007 11:14:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

28 Simple A/B Tests to Try in Your Marketing

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 28, 2011 4:00:00 PM, updated June 28 2019 When you hear about A/B testing, it’s often generically associated with testing landing pages. But what exactly can you test on the landing page? (Tons of things.) And can A/B testing extend beyond landing pages to other areas of your marketing? (It totally can.) So without further ado, let’s start by breaking down the benefits of A/B testing, and then dive right into all the places you can leverage the power of A/B testing that you might not have thought of before.Why A/B Test?If you’re creating landing pages with forms, then you already understand how important lead generation is to monetize your site traffic and meet your marketing and sales goals. But aside from following best practices, there’s no way to know if the approach you’re taking on that landing page is the one that will drive the best results. In the lead generation game, your gut can only get you so far. The real success comes from the numbers. A/B testing is a scientific approach to telling you whether your gut marketing instincts are correct, off base, or somewhere in between.What Can You A/B Test on Landing Pages?As we’ve discussed before, A/B testing of landing pages is most effective when you make large scale changes to a page instead of tiny, incremental changes over time. But how much is there, really, that you can change? If you’re at a loss, consult this exhaustive list of the elements you can test on a landing page. If you’re in doubt that such miniscule things could make a difference, read this case study on the difference just a change in button color makes. Here’s a list of everything you can change on a landing page to test for effectiveness.1.) Landing page headline: Does a punchier headline work better, or do more descriptive, clarifying headlines do the trick? Does different language and messaging make a difference?2.) Landing page form field names: Are prospects getting confused when trying to fill out your form? Are there clearer ways to label the fields on your form?3.) Number of landing page form fields: How many form fields is your prospect willing to complete to obtain the offer? How much information do you need to gather from him or her to effectively qualify the lead?4.) Form button color: Is a color that stands out from your color scheme more eye catching? Or is it distracting, and causing people to abandon your landing page?5.) Form button size: Is the size of your button too small for people to find? Or is it so large that it overwhelms the explanatory copy and other page elements?6.) Form button copy: Is the copy on your button actionable enough to get people to click through? Does it clearly explain what will happen after the submission?7.) Landing page layout: When you lay out your landing page, do more people convert when your form is on the right, or left side of the page? Where on the page should your image or video reside? And where is the best place for your headline and copy?8.) Form headline: What words in your form’s headline most clearly portray your message? Which headline provides the lowest landing page abandonment rate?9.) Image: Is your image engaging? Is it relevant to your offer? Or is it confusing landing page visitors?10.) Captions on images: Does adding a caption to your image help clarify it? Or does it distract people from filling out the form?11.) Copy and headline font size: Is the headline bold enough so page visitors can orient themselves quickly on your landing page?12.) Use of video: Would a video help demonstrate your value proposition, causing more people to complete your form?13.) Use of social follow buttons: Are you getting more followers by including social follow buttons on the landing page? Or does it distract people and bring them to your social media sites, instead? Are they best served on your thank-you page, only?14.) Use of testimonials: Does the inclusion of customer testimonials help make you convert more leads? Where on the page should they reside? Do they only help with certain offers, like case studies or buying guides?15.) Use of third-party seals of approval: Does adding a VeriSign seal or BBB seal of approval make people more comfortable submitting their information to you?What Else Can Be A/B Tested?I know. The landing page tests were so successful that you can’t wait to get these results for other areas of your marketing. Here are some more elements you can begin testing to maximize your marketing results. Over time, what was once a shot in the dark will become proven data points that you can implement on a daily basis as you craft your marketing campaigns.16.) Email subject line: Is your email subject line interesting enough to get people to open your message? Is it too long? Too short? Too vague? Or does it work best with only one particular segment of your email database?17.) Email image: Is your image too big for your mobile readers? Do you have better click-through rates when you use smaller images? Have you considered changing your alt text to something clearer?18.) Email P.S.: Which emails have better click-through rates, those with a P.S. or those without? Have you tested different offers in the P.S. to see which one elicits a more positive response?19.) Email sender field: Do your email recipients prefer to get emails from a real person’s name, or your company? Since the answer may change depending on the segment of your list, have you experimented with your sender field for different email recipients?20.) Call-to-action layout: When creating a call-to-action button, what design resonates best? Should the headline be bold and on the left of a square button, or centered above an image in a rectangular button?21.) Call-to-action headline and copy: Just as on your landing page, the language you use in your call-to-action’s headline and copy can make or break its success. Is your language actionable and clear enough? Have you tested different verbs to see which generate more clicks?22.) Call-to-action color scheme: Are your call-to-action buttons getting more clicks with a white background or a dark background? Is the color scheme blending in too much with your site’s skin? Do your call-to-action buttons look like paid ads instead of offers?23.) Call-to-action size: Is the call-to-action button big enough to get noticed? Or is it too big, getting your viewer’s attention before they’ve had a chance to read the copy explaining the value behind your offer?24.) Anchor text copy: If you’re trying to drive traffic from one page on your site to another, what text should be highlighted to garner more clicks? Is it product or branded anchor text, anchor text with an action verb in the beginning, anchor text that hyperlinks an entire sentence, or anchor text that hyperlinks only three words?25.) Placement of links in emails or page copy: Where in your copy should links be placed to get the most clicks? Are the links in the introduction of your blog post getting the majority of your clicks? Will people read your entire email to click the link in your P.S.?26.) Ad and call-to-action placement: Will you receive more clicks if your ads and calls-to-action are placed at the top of your page, at the bottom, or on the right or left of your page? Is there any difference in the quality of the traffic?27.) Placement of social sharing and social subscription buttons: Should your social sharing and subscription buttons be at the top of your blog post, or at the bottom? What about in your emails, or on your homepage?28.) Offer format: Do people enjoy downloading webinars more or less than whitepapers? Which content format does your audience prefer to digest?What other elements on or off a landing page can you think of to A/B test?Image credit: Jayt74last_img read more