Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Top 10 Shows I Enjoy on Netflix

As of late, my finances have gone down the tubes, so I had to cut off my cable. Fortunetly, I was able to keep my Netflix. I get to enjoy many shows, either from other channels, or Netflix Originals. So I decided to share with all of you, my top 10 favorite tv shows on Netflix!!

1. Salem (Sexy Witches running rampant)

2. The Last Kingdom (Am I English, am I a Dane, who knows?)

3. Marco Polo (Khaaaaaaaannnn!)

4. Peaky Blinders (right, right)

5. Bojack Horseman (watch it, NOW!)

6. The Crown (We are not amused!)

7. Stranger Things (Wynona looking all kinds of crazy!)

8. Come Fly with Me (British, Little Britain, fracking hilarious, isn't it?)

9. Helix (Did anyone ever tell you, you have, nice eyes?)

10. Forensic Files (These criminals need to watch Dexter, lol!)

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

EDUREKA- Online Training from your home or Smartphone

    During a lifetime, people may look toward education, to continue growth in a field working in, or to learn something new for the future. Edureka is one of several online training companies, looking to help anyone interested in bettering themselves. Some of the courses found on the site : Programming, Digital Marketing, Data Science, Android Development.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

7 Ways You Can Increase Instagram Engagement for Your Small Business

July 12, 2017 Constantina Kokenes

As of April, Instagram has reached 700 million monthly active users (200 million of which are daily active ones) – that’s a lot of consumer potential! Instagram is an essential tool for small business owners, as 75 percent of users will take action if a post inspires them and 70 percent of users follow at least one business on the app. However, it’s not enough to just be on Instagram. You need to create unique, interesting content that cultivates engagement in the form of likes, comments, shares and followers. If you find your page lacking in engagement, here are seven ways to help you improve.  
1. Hashtags are key.
Hashtags are one of the most important aspects of Instagram – they’re how you find potential customers who aren’t following you (yet!). Studies show that posts containing hashtags see an average rise in engagement of almost 13 percent. With the right hashtags, you can expand your reach as well as find relevant conversations in your industry. In these conversations, you can contribute and see what your consumer base is looking for and what they like to see. If you haven’t already, you should create a unique hashtag for your business and cross-promote it by including it in the profile bios of your social media channels. When you add hashtags to your posts, always use this hashtag, but remember to be creative with other hashtags you use. Find trending hashtags for your posts with various tools and experiment with them. For example, if you’re a baker, “#baking” will only get you so far.
2. Create interesting content.
The content you post needs to be high quality and unique. It should inspire users to take action, whether it be through engagement on the post or going to your website to make a purchase. For example, if you own a coffee shop, don’t just post a picture of a plain cup of coffee. Tell a story with the product! If you’re not sure what type of content people like, check out competitors or larger brands in your industry to see what gets the most engagement. You can consider hiring a photographer or videographer to help create higher quality content, but don’t negate the potential of your smartphone. You also don’t want to drown your followers’ feeds by posting too much. Posting once a day, or every other day, around the same time is a good place to start. Remember: Quality is much more important than quantity.
3. Engage with others.
Another way to increase engagement is to engage yourself. Instead of just posting and closing the app, like and comment on photos from your followers – especially if you’ve been mentioned or tagged in them! Explore the hashtags and your industry’s Instagram universe by liking and commenting on non-follower posts as well. If you like their content enough, follow them! When they see the notification, they’ll likely check out your page and potentially like, comment and follow back.
4. Initiate the conversation/engagement.
As a small business owner, it’s up to you to successfully reach out to your consumer base. Having a call-to-action on your posts tells your followers – and potential followers – exactly what you need from them. You can do this through the caption or by having the text on the posts themselves. For example, if you’re in retail, post a slideshow of various products, and in the caption, encourage followers to comment their favorite product. You can also post images that followers will relate to, which will make them more likely to like, comment and share your posts. If you want to have a conversation, you must begin the conversation.
5. Promote yourself.
A simple and effective way to increase your Instagram following and engagement is by promoting your page through other social channels. Share your page through whatever other social channels your small business is on (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, Pinterest, etc.). Encourage your followers there to follow you on Instagram as well as engage in conversation on your posts.
6. Feature other people.
Spotlighting customers, followers or even non-followers can increase your engagement. When you tag them in the post or caption, they’ll get a notification and check out your page. They’ll be thankful that you liked their content enough to share it and will possibly like or comment on the post, which their followers will see (which in turn, leads to higher reach for your page). You can also do this by holding a contest or giveaway. Contests could be something as simple as posting a funny picture, asking followers to come up with the funniest caption and then editing the caption later to include the winning comment (make sure you tag the user for credit). You can also host a giveaway on certain products, a store gift card or store discount code if users engage on the post (via likes, comments, following your page, tagging their friends or sharing your post on their own social pages). Later, you can feature the winner or winners in a separate post.
7. Sponsor your posts.
If the organic methods for engagement aren’t working as well as or as quickly as you’d like, you can pay for an ad on Instagram. Ads will be shown to users who are interested in your small business’s industry but aren’t following you. You can promote your post from the app itself or through ad creation, Power Editor or the ads API. Ads will show you how they’re directly affecting your page and business, which is an advantage over organic methods. However, if you’re a new small business, you might not have the funding to take out an ad. Make sure you align your advertising with your marketing strategy and finances to ensure you can take out an ad at an appropriate time length.
Instagram is a powerful tool for small business owners. In fact, 60 percent of Instagram users discover new products from the app itself. The customer potential is vast with 200 million daily active users who crave inspiring and original content. By using the right methods, you can expand your brand’s reach and engagement. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

My Top 4 Reasons to Love Chocolate

1. So damn yummy

2. Comes in so many varieties, who can keep up?!?!?!

3. Soothes a stressful mood, as it melts slowly in your mouth!

4. Strawberries, chocolate, champagne, BAM!!!

But seriously, #checkout the power of chocolate:

KAREN OLSON March 2014

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Kids, What Do They Know?

Sweaty, sick days on black death
The sounds of mad clowns calling
Shaved ice, ice cream dude, you wanted it
The screaming of missed opportunities

     For the record, destruction of psyche
And the lost innocence, brought up to
     Kill the last bits of childhood
Reborn into slavery of the green

No wonder you want to kick the can
  Ancient of games to explore when they dig
Library of webs, the shape of the mindset
  Trapped in screens of emptiness

Monday, March 20, 2017

Me & You

Journey climbs to segmented dreams
The finish falls caught in screams
Linked long the chain of love and pain
The heart strong beats forever to gain

Friday, February 17, 2017

Art and Politics: The Power of Creativity and Activism Across the Globe

Artistic projects of all kinds are so much a part of the fabric of our society/culture and continue to be tremendously inspirational, carrying a strong message and having the ability to resonate with large audiences no matter what the medium. It is this context that makes the work I am engaged in a small but important part of the enormous creative talent that exists throughout the world. I am a strong believer in the fact that in our world today, we are now all inter-connected in ways we never thought possible and that this enables us to change public discourse on critical issues. It of course takes much strength and conviction to create art that can promote transformational social change.

The intersection of arts and political activism are two fields defined by a shared focus of creating engagement that shifts boundaries, changes relationships and creates new paradigms. Both activist and artist work in the challenges of the unknown and the unpredictable, never truly able to determine the outcome and forever questioning if there is more to be done. This experimentation also forms the essence of what can be the engine of success and motivation towards true change whether we are immersed in a specific social cause or a global peace movement, composing an original score, sharing a story by means of carving a sculpture, or using performance to highlight a critical message. Whatever our chosen palette, the practice of understanding the importance of our own creative engagement is a source of potential change on its own, and a space where valuable insight can be found through reflection and sharing.

Art, Religion and Peace and Activism
In conjunction with Religions for Peace and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, I have engaged at the intersection of interreligious dialogue and engagement in social action though the arts and other forms of dialogue in the Middle East, the Gulf States, North Africa and the Caucuses, over the course of several trips that took place in the last few years. We spent time with leaders and visionaries in both the UAE and Israel, to discuss our diverse ideas for stability beyond coexistence. In May 2015, I shared a panel in Baku, Azerbaijan for the 3rd World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue to discuss opportunities within dialogue as an influential tool and specifically ways it can be capitalized on as a mechanism for attempting to shift violent extremism.

In 2015 I also collaborated with two significant and powerful arts festivals that showcased globalization for participants that attended from every part of the world. They both actively demonstrated experiential proof of how gatherings such as these can play a powerful role toward achieving and promoting social change.

I was proud to support and promote The Creative Time summit in conjunction with Creative Time Reports as an official partner of the Venice Biennale in 2015. This was the first time the Biennale hosted an arts activism conference of this nature which is significant in itself.

Provocative perspectives from artists from many countries around the world from China to India and from the Middle East to North Africa to Europe congregated at the Summit to air their views on charged political subjects facing our world today such as migration and refugees, conflict zones, terrorism, uprisings and elections, race and integration and women’s rights. These views were streamed to over 50 countries, creating a discussion in real time on how artists engage in voicing their unique point of view and can challenge others to see things in a new light which can speak truth to power. A few strong examples included artist Mariam Ghani in conversation with her father Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan about the current state of affairs post 9/11 and on her project “The Guantanamo Effect,” an interactive digital archive defining and connecting key terms and events in the global war on terror and on the flow of weapons from conflict zones back to the US and its prisons. Another participant was Joshua Wong, the well known and prominent Hong Kong student activist who was the conveyer and founder of the Hong Kong student activist group, demanding equal voting rights from the Chinese in 2014. The 19-year-old has been featured as an important youth leader by both Time Magazine in 2014 and Fortune in 2015.

Music, Culture and Healing
I ended the summer with another equally prominent gathering in Jerusalem which I was proud to be a part of and who I will be working with again in 2016. Jerusalem Season of Culture is now in its sixth year and is an amazing gathering of thousands of Israeli artists and hundreds of other international artists and musicians that congregate in Jerusalem not just to engage Israelis with Palestinians, but the secular and Orthodox communities as well. There are thousands of artistic venues in galleries, museums, historic sites, restaurants, private homes, and broadcasts. The festival has helped to engage the community in the power of art and artists to create transformation and has been successfully used as a tool to dissolve politically charged issues in a city that is otherwise seen by the world as deeply divided. In fact, after the Gaza war in 2014, even though some of the programs were postponed due to security issues, the sacred music festival which is probably the most powerful venue was used as a successful tool to bring people together around healing through music.

Musicians participated from all over the world and nine bands stayed to play despite international boycotts including a Muslim group from Morocco, Orchestre Chabab al Andalous who performed together with a Rabbi in the Old Citadel, singing Andalusian songs in Hebrew and Arabic. A pop up radio station was also created during the conflict to broadcast interviews about the importance of art under fire. Other interesting projects included ones around the history of the Temple Mount and that of Lifta, an abandoned Palestinian village which was successfully and beautifully brought back to life through art, lights and music.

It is programs such as these which very clearly demonstrate how essential it is to push forward through generations of obstacles with ideas and programs that bring people together towards social cohesion rather than division despite the political rhetoric in their country and by their governments.

As I move forward in this new, busy year, I look forward to being an inspirational change agent, pushing forward with more projects that inspire activism, fighting for human rights and building on themes of unity and social actions. Engagement with these opportunities and dedication to these objectives, no matter how complicated and unpredictable will provide the space for creating solutions to the challenges our world is desperately in need of.