Music Industry Sharks – How to Uncover the Unscrupulous Many in the Music Business

There are a ton of people out there claiming to be music marketing experts, music publicity experts, and social media experts. Yep – Literally thousands upon thousands. When it comes to marketing and publicizing your music you have a wide variety of good choices. RIGHT? Wrong – tons of choices – yes but how many of them are truly worth their salt? Not Many!

For some reason unscrupulous "music-want to-bees" prey on musicians – I don't know why, maybe they think they are an easy soft touch. Maybe they don't like musicians or worse yet – don't like music. (WOW) A lot of these folks are or were musicians themselves, or maybe an intern somewhere in the music business, or actually love music. They believe this gives them the right to proclaim themselves a music marketing expert, or worse yet, a music publicist which takes many years of music industry experience and the accumulation of thousands of music media contacts, and further, advertise the best possible product or service that will accelerate your music career.

Well here is what I have to say about that: I've been a musician myself – albeit a long time ago, back then, there were still many music industry scam artists. I've experienced the deep pain of being screwed by unscrupulous people claiming to be my savior in the music business. The Internet and the leveling of the independent music playing field has opened up a huge amount of opportunities for these sharks and scam artists to work their game. The only way my band became successful was sheer luck – we found the right honest people.

Here is a checklist to seriously consider when choosing your ultimate publicist or marketing service:

Check their credentials – And follow this checklist

Do they have a creditable online presence?

Do they have hundreds of testimonials? Or, as I like to call them TRUSTIMONIALS – Check their references!

How many "HONEST" years of experience do they have? Ver! Fy this

Have they written hundreds of articles about music marketing?

Do they belong to many high-profile music industry organizations?

Does the prospective marketer or publicist answer all of your questions

or do they subtly evade them?

Will they tell you who and where they will be promoting your music with?

ie their music media affiliations – or do they tell you to wait and see?

Have you seen proven samples of their work?

Will they give you what they are promising in writing?

Before you make a choice consider –

INTEGRITY – HONESTY – TRANSPARENCY

Aside from doing great work that actually helps you with your career, these are probably the three most important elements to consider

If any or all of the above credential checks are not in the positive category —

BEWARE, YOU MIGHT BE BEING SCAMMED

Being fortunate enough to uncover the right people for our project way back then, I'm not saying that it's impossible to do so. I'm just saying that it is so incredibly important, these days especially, to do your homework and due diligence before you shell out your hard-earned cash. Most indie musicians are on a shoestring budget and every penny means something to them. Take the time to possibly confer with a creditable music industry consultant. Most will be able to recognize a scam when they see it.

So, to all you unscrupulous sharks out there waiting to swoop down on the next unsuspecting musician, sorry about writing this article – but you need to be exposed. Therefore, I am not really sorry. It's people like you that give the music business, honest publicists and music marketers a bad name. Shame on you! I love my Indies and all musicians and artists and it hurts to see them taken advantage of. Try another niche '- maybe people who need marketing help in selling rockets or industrial products and services. BUT – Leave Our Music Niche 'Alone !!

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Robinhood Review: The Free Trading Application

About two weeks ago, I downloaded a pretty new trading application called Robinhood and thought I would share my initial review with you today.

I've wanted to trade stocks for the longest time, but the fees that come with trading or going to a broker always got in my way. If you're like me and you don't have much money to trade, these fees can eat into your profits. Robinhood enticed me to sign up because of the fact that the application is free but also because a promotion allowed me to get a free stock with registering.

Is Robinhood worth downloading?

It's been a long while since I've been excited about making any kind of money online. The Internet has become so overly saturated in almost every market and many companies are looking to sucker you in so they can make a quick profit, while you make nothing. Robinhood isn't that company.

Upon signing up for the application, you attach Robinhood straight to your bank account. I ended up getting a free share in Fit Bit and ultimately ended up selling that stock. Robinhood notes there is a 1 in 1000 chance that you'll pickup a big named stock like Apple. From the first stock I got along with 4 that I've now gotten for referrals, the best stock I received was valued at $ 10. Nothing big, but free money is free money. You do need to hold onto the stocks for 3 trading days before you can trade or sell your stock.

How does Robinhood make their money?

Much like a bank, Robinhood makes money (and is able to give out free stock) because they collect interest on money that you put into your account. As long as their customer acquisition costs are under their profits from interest, Robinhood will be a profitable business. Seeing that some users have over $ 100,000 in their account, you can easily see why Robinhood is able to offer free trades.

That doesn't mean it's perfect.

Day trading is something that you're not able to do unless you have over $ 25,000 in your account. I think you can get up to 3 or 4 day trades in a 5 business day period, or you could be labeled as a pattern trader. That said, Robinhood can be used for swing trading and long term investments.

What about the interface?

The Robinhood interface is very basic and bare bones. Although I haven't had the opportunity to dive into the Gold Membership, here's what I will say:

I do NOT recommend using Robinhood to decide when you're going to buy and sell a stock. Instead, compliment the Robinhood Application by using Market Watch and Barchart to get the information you need before trading.

Buying a stock with Robinhood is very easy.

With the basic membership (which is free), you get up to $ 1,000 you can use of Robinhood money, while you're waiting for your money to transfer from your bank account to buy a stock. In short, you get the stock right away (with money from Robinhood) until the money transfers from your bank account. This is very cool, as it's critical to get in at the right price points; Especially with swing trading.

Trading options is also another possibility within Robinhood.

You'll have the ability to setup contracts. That said, I'm relatively new to the stock market so all I've really dabbled in is buying and selling shares.

How much money can you make with Robinhood?

The other question really could be, how much money can you lose? If you're playing the stock market and you don't know what you're doing, it's very well possible that you could end up losing (and not making money) with this application.

I'm not a financial adviser so I cannot offer financial advice. What I can say is that I'd definitely recommend reading books on how to trade stocks successfully then practicing in a simulation application before ever actually using real money.

Overall Rating:

Aside from the fact that you cannot day trade in Robinhood, unless you have over $ 25,000 in your account? If you're looking to buy and sell stocks for the first time without any trading fees, this is probably going to be an application that'd be worth trying.

I give Robinhood a 4 out of 5 rating. The application is very basic and makes buying and selling stocks easy. Unfortunately, the application is also so basic that you'll want to utilize Market Watch and Barchart before making any purchasing decisions.

You could make a lot of money with this application, but you could also lose a lot of money.

At the end of the day, Robinhood can be a great way to make money, but if you're not sure about what you're doing, you could also lose money. Would I replace my Roth to fund this application? Of course not. But I would use Robinhood to supplement my income through smart investing and through referring family and friends to the application for more free shares.

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321 Area Code to Reflect the Countdown Capital of the World

321 Area code is the code serving Brevard County, Florida. It was assigned to the area after a successful petition to commemorate the Space Coast's impact on the county. The code 3-2-1 resembles the countdown which launches the many spacecraft from Cape Canaveral. Part of 321 also overlays area code 407 in the Orlando area. This is currently the only code in North America that is both the overlay of one established area code, but also the primary code of another. Also this is also the only code currently used with SatCom Satellite Phone units.

Florida 321 code has been in service since 1999. It has 230 landlines and 87 wireless prefixes (exchanges) serviced by 44 carriers. It covers 4 counties, 387 ZIP codes, and 39 cities, including Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa, Titusville, Merritt Island, Rockledge, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, and Cape Canaveral. All these places belongs to Eastern Time Zone (ET).

On December 1998, after the September 1998 hearings on "407 Area Code Relief", Florida PSC issued this order:

"Customer concerns also are extremely important to our decision. In his testimony, public witness Robert Osband suggested that we implement a split using a new code. He had searched the database of the NANPA for all the available codes, and he recommended that we implement the "321" area code to signify the countdown, fitting for Brevard County, where the Kennedy Space Center is located and commonly known as "the Space Coast."

On 1999 February 10, the Florida PSC issues a Press Release on the Order that created the code 321.

From 1999 November 01, Permissive Dialing Period begins in Non-Overlay Areas, so this code completely replaced the code 407 in Brevard County only, allowing those residents to maintain 7-digit dialing. In the remaining 407 Area, the 321 Code will be an Overlay where residents will be required to have 10-digit dialing for all calls – local or long distance. Callers to Bravard County may use either 407 or 321 to reach their party during the Permissive Period. It is at this time that the public is informed to use the new code. Brevard County residents will need new stationery and business cards to reflect their new code – but have 11 months to make the transition.

On 1999 December 01, mandatory 10 digit dialing begins in overlay area only. 321 code began issuing numbers to users in the Overlay Area of ‚Äč‚ÄčOrange, Osceola, and Seminole counties. This means that people in the Overlay Area must use 10-digit dialing, since the number they are trying to reach might be assigned in either code, or both. Residents of the Overlay Area will keep their old telephone number, and will not need to change their stationery and business cards. Only newly issued telephone numbers will get numbers in the 321 code.

On 2000 October 01, mandatory use of 321 area code begins in non-overlay area. As a result, permissive Dialing ends. All callers must use the proper code when calling into Brevard County. Since Brevard County still has only one area code, residents maintain 7 digit dialing for local calls.

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How to Make Money Fast by Retrieving and Returning Shopping Carts

Are you looking for a way to make money fast? If you have a large utility vehicle, like a pick-up truck, you can retrieve and return shopping carts for a cash reward.

Most every mid to large retail grocery, variety and department store has a stock of shopping carts on hand. They are purchased by the store, of course, so that customers can use them when shopping in their store.

Shopping buggies are expensive. The average cost to the retailer for just one is between 75 and 100 dollars. Large ones like the kind you find at wholesale and club stores can run upwards of 200 dollars or more.

Most retail stores have dozens of them; busy big-box stores may even have hundreds of them. Purchasing enough of them to meet a store's demand and traffic levels requires a significant expenditure of cash.

It is, therefore, in the best interest of the retailer to protect that investment. Most retailers do their best to make sure that carts remain on store property. However, shopping buggy theft is all too common. The average store loses about $ 8,000 $ 10,000 to per year to this problem.

Because they are so expensive to buy, many store owners and retail companies pay cash rewards for the return of their carts which have been stolen (or "borrowed") and not returned. Cash rewards typically range from 25 to 50 dollars per cart.

Here's how you can retrieve and return those buggies for cash: contact retailers in your area which have shopping carts. Find out if they pay for returned carts. Many do, but won't give cash rewards to just anyone. (Store owners don't want the public to abuse the reward system by stealing carts themselves in order to get the reward.) Usually you have to sign a cash-for-retrieval contract.

You'll have to provide some forms of identification, usually a driver's license plus one other item (like a Social Security or credit card). You may have to sign a waiver absolving the store of liability in the event of something unforeseen.

You can make arrangements with any or all of the retailers in your area. The more contracts you have, the more money you can make.

If you've lived in your city for any length of time, you've probably seen common dump sites for stolen shopping buggies. Visit these areas regularly. Additionally, get in the habit of keeping your eyes open every time you're out and about town. You'll probably spot discarded shopping carts regularly. You can pick these up and return them as you come across them, or store them at home until you have several of them.

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Seventeen Classroom Management Strategies For Students Who Wander During Lessons

Many of the classroom management strategies that we discuss have a more general application. Let's take a look at some strategies for students who need to move around during class time. The first thing we need to determine is what need is the behavior attempting to satisfy. Our best guess of the top three possibilities is a good starter. Monitor the student's behavior and his response to your actions and words. That is the best way to discover which of your explanations is correct and decide how to respond.

When the student is wandering around and you speak to him, if he responds appropriately then you can be pretty sure that it is your attention that is being sought. What are some ways that you can be proactive and give this student the attention he seeks from you?

1. Have a brief (10 to 30) second chat with him as he enters class. What did you do last night? I like your shirt. Make sure you do this for every student at least once each day. (Small investment, big returns.)

2. Solicit his responses or ideas as you teach the lesson and respond to what he says to reaffirm that you are interested in and value what he has to say.

3. As soon as you have finished teaching the lesson pass by his desk and speak to him. You can reinforce the way he has gotten started so quickly. You could also ask him if he has a question about what he is to do. There might be some common link between the lesson and his interests that you could comment on.

4. At home time ask him if he has everything he needs. Do you have any questions about your homework? Good luck with the game tonight.

If the student only wanders from his desk to the desk of one of his friends then he is likely trying to satisfy his need to belong. The best classroom management strategy to satisfy this need is build group activities into your program.

1. Have your classroom set up so that students are sitting in groups of two to six people. The groups should be as heterogeneous as possible. Include boys and girls, high and low performing students, students with special needs, different ethnic backgrounds. And yes even friends.

2. In each subject have time for group activities.

3. For group activities assign each student a specific role and alternate the roles each day.

4. Be certain to include at least one activity that each student is good at so they can excel and make a positive contribution to the group.

5. Change groups frequently so that everyone gets to work with every other student as some point during the year.

If this behavior only occurs during math class then the wandering is probably an avoidance behavior.

1. Talk to the student and find out what concerns him about mathematics.

2. Conduct some informal diagnostic work to see what aspects of last years' curriculum he has not mastered.

3. Offer to give him extra help out of class time.

4. Visit him soon after teaching the lesson (not always first). Ask him to work on the first question until he gets stuck and then raise his hand.

5. Buddy him up with someone who can answer his questions right away.

6. Check back with him several times to be sure he understands what to do and how to do it.

7. Make certain that he has several correct examples that he can refer to at home when he is doing his homework.

8. If getting work done at home is a problem try to get a homework room set up in your school. There will be lots more like him who could use some quiet supervised time to complete homework.

If the wandering can be attributed to ADD or ADHD, that is a story for another day.

The classroom management strategies discussed above can be used for many students in your class. Making them part of your everyday routine will eliminate problems before they occur … the best way to manage your class.

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Revive Your Weave With Apple Cider Vinegar

We all know that apple cider vinegar has many remedies. If you've spent any time online, I'm sure you've come across the main uses from curing ailments to removing stains. What you may not know is that you can revive your weave with apple cider vinegar.

The key element in using apple cider vinegar (ACV) is it restores the pH balance that often gets out of whack in your hair when using chemicals and heating appliances. When this happens, you can bet your hair will go from fabulous to frightful in no time at all. Dull and frizzy, flat and matted – just plain messy and a horrible sight.

So how does ACV work on weaves you ask? Well, when you purchase high quality virgin hair the cuticles are intact and fully sealed. No chemicals have been used so the hair is nearly perfect. However, as soon as you start using shampoo, coloring, hot curlers, combs, and other chemicals and tools, the cuticles will begin to strip down until you have unmanageable hair that's just sitting on top of your hair.

I'm sure you've been there – standing in the mirror with your weave looking a hot mess. It feels like you have a couple of inches of new growth, but it's a weave. No girl, it shouldn't be that way, so let me tell you how to fix it.

You see, ACV helps reseal the cuticles of your hair because the pH balance is lower than the pH balance in the weave. Using ACV and rinsing sort of brings the pH balance back to its normal level, thus rejuvenating your hair.

So how much apple cider vinegar do you need? Well, it is recommended you use three parts water to one part apple cider vinegar. Put hair in a large bowl and leave the hair in for .75 min. to one hour. If your hair is on your head, put it on and put a cap on top for the same amount of time.

When the time is up, rinse the ACV out and use a deep conditioner. Conditioning the hair plays a big role in the final outcome so please do not try to cut corners. A little time will save you the cost of buying new bundles, at least for this time.

When you're done, you will find your hair is sleek, slick, and beautiful just like when you first got it.

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Home Sweet Retirement Home – Making Decisions

Where you live is important. This seems to be a burning question for many of us at retirement age. I hear it from my clients and my friends and I’ve been thinking about it myself. Urban or suburban? Mountains and forest or ocean and sand? Near my family or as far away as possible? House? Gated community? Sprawling apartment complex? Old or new? So many issues, so little time!

Here are three lists to get you started thinking about your surroundings.

List 1:  What do I want in my surroundings?

  • physical layout (think about stairs, for instance),
  • amount of space,
  • own or rent,
  • view or no view,
  • city, suburbs or country,
  • access to transportation,
  • price range (including extra charges like maintenance, heat, water and electricity),
  • access to activities (try to be realistic about the things you actually DO not the ones you’ve always thought you might do),
  • access to friends,
  • access to medical providers, climate, 
  • keep adding your own items.

List 2 – What do I absolutely need?

This list includes your bare minimum requirements winnowed down from list #1. It should also include cost factors – I can’t spend more than $XXXX.

List 3 – What do I absolutely NOT want?

You may be surprised by what shows up here. Maybe you don’t want to ever shovel snow or have upstairs neighbors or be within spittin’ distance of your relatives.

Use these three lists to research every possible location. Take good notes on how each meets your criteria. Try your top three on for size before you make a big decision, if you can. Use the suggestions below during your trial visit:

 Look for a socioeconomic match – feel comfortable that you can live well within your means.

 Identify local groups that share your passion – hiking, cooking, theater – there’s a group for almost anything.

 Observe the social networks to see if they meet your needs – think about how much interaction you want or need. How much time do the neighbors spend chatting? Must you join in? Is there pressure to become part of the local church or temple? The neighborhood association? Does everyone maintain a strict isolationist policy?

 Read the local papers to see if the area activities appeal to you. This is a great way to pick up information about the tone and values of the area as well.

 Visit your new neighbors to begin to develop a network. This also may uncover nasty surprises – like howling dogs or chain smokers directly below you.

 Invite people in for a meal or to join you at a local eatery – dinner, a weekend brunch – make it casual and easy and allow for lots of interaction.

 Get involved early – be a guest at clubs, civic or religious organizations, a book club or special interest group. Join a local friend in a volunteer activity. Check out the gym or club.

I’ve been visiting retired friends over the past several months and can attest to the power of location. Those who chose well are involved in all kinds of new activities as well as being able to continue those they’ve always loved. A few have become much nicer human beings away from the stressors in their old environment. Some chose poorly and are miserable, fighting with stairs or financial constraints or noise or undesirable neighbors.

Who will you be?

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The State Of Graphic Design In Jordan

Jordan’s unique geographical position results in its experts choosing self development, which includes graphic design. Experts are also involved with developments taking place in neighbouring countries and the internet was extremely useful in putting interested parties in these two fields in touch with each other and sharing possible development tools. The development of Graphic Design is also assisted by annual exhibitions and specialised conferences held both in Jordan and outside the Arab world.

The academic and professional specialists for the basis in developing graphic design through the formation of local learning institutions. In these institutions academics, programmers and graphic design teachers can meet with professional designers and discuss the way business is moving forward and requirements of the labour market.

Practical training is considered the foundation of Graphic Design, upon which the academic skill of the student and his creativity are built. Working in a design office is considered to be the most important and effective tool in measuring the level of academic learning. It also gives an indication of the effectiveness of teachers in producing a generation of students capable of dealing with the academic ethos and engaging with the requirements of the profession. This training provides the students with opportunities to polish and develop their skills by working along side established practitioners. Today’s graphic design tools rely on information technology for producing visualisations of scientific developments. This visualisation requires an understanding of the scientific theory and the visualisation tools available, which in turn relies on the expertise of graphic designers.

In this paper I will focus on the profession of graphic design and its development by discussing its early development. I will review the positive and negative aspects of that development and how they related to changes in the market and the size of the market and labour force. I will also discuss the academic concepts, and the requirement for graduate graphic designers.

In this paper I draw from my experience of working in Jordan since 1987 at the MIDAS Establishment and my roles in student training at Yarmouk University and the Applied Sciences University, which I had been attached to since 1999. This paper addresses many questions and aims to explore the mechanics of enhancing graphic design in the academic and professional sectors.

The historic and technical initial stages of graphic design in Jordan

Graphic design developed alongside the printing and information technology industries. Printing was brought to Jordan in the 1940s by people who had learnt the trade in other countries. Jordan’s printing evolution was similar to that of other countries. Printing started using wooden moulds, then zinc clichés and letterpress, as well as other printing tools, symbols and shapes. It was the printing technology that restricted the scope for producing new designs. The range of items printed was limited to newspapers, cards and stationary. Printing started mainly in black and white, and was then developed to make photo made clichés through which the printers were able to print in full colour. Typolography, or raised printing was the main method and is still used today. Offset printing enhanced the quality of production, providing improvements in colour and picture reproduction. Around the same time the role of the graphic designer was developed, involving the preparation of makettes and then film montage and plates to be ready for printing (prepress); this relied on the professionalism of the film montage technician for the preparation of backgrounds for the pictures and words. Prepress was considered the most important process in the production of the final printed article. This process was carried out at the prepress service centre which was limited to a single institution until 1987. This centre had the capability and technology to perform a range of techniques where an artistic touch was required.

In the late sixties, design pioneers were not graphic designers, but had learnt the technologies of collage and calligraphy. They were able to imitate designs from abroad and in some instances reproduced them. Their work initially ranged from greetings cards, business cards, social stationary, letterheads and envelopes, then progressed to brochures and folders. The work was mainly limited to newspaper advertising which relied predominantly on the offset printing method. We shouldn’t forget the air brush technology that provided designers with the use of graded colours, achieving three dimensional effects for some designs, although the number of people using this was limited.

From 1980-87 design was performed by specialists in Plastic Arts and Architecture, as well as the first graduates of the college of arts at Yarmuok University and similar institutions. By the end of the eighties, the computer Linotype was used as a publishing tool by newspapers to prepare text for layout and paste it on the required pages next to advertising. Some publishing houses have graphic design offices which also acquired these systems to ensure the production of books and magazines to a similar quality. Linotype was also used to prepare the design of brochures and advertising materials that cannot be hand drawn. With time Linotype was also used for the preparation of other material by this method, including greeting cards, posters and advertisements.

The design and printing sectors found the computer to be an effective way of improving productivity. In 1988 with the arrival of the first design computer by Apple Macintosh, the numbers of workers in the field increased and performance progressed in the pre-printing stages such as film making and separation. However, the expense of computers meant that there use was still limited. The production of personal computers by competitors of Apple Macintosh as well as the ease with which film can be processed through its programs, created a huge increase in the number of professionals interested in graphic design. This became evident by the growth in the number of agencies, design offices, publishing houses and service centres.

Personal computers affected the technical and artistic aspects of production. Some production centres were able to develop their skill base and by recruiting experienced designers and developing them by organising training courses. These highly trained individuals achieved high standards of work within and outside Jordan and were able to compete with others in the Arab regions and captured a share of these markets, producing many publications. Jordanian specialists became serious competitors against other Arab countries which had previously monopolised the fields of design and printing. Jordan has developed so that it can meet the demand for design and printing within the country. Jordan has become a magnet for many publishing houses in the Arab region. Many production and publishing organisations were able to catch up to the levels of the latest technology. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that they will develop further, using modern production tools, and this will ensure there are enough local specialists who can continue to produce work of the highest quality.

The pace of technological development made it necessary for the academic institutions to provide the Jordanian market with the skilled workers who can work to the high standards required. These institutions have to continually adapt to the advancing technology as well as support the academics in their quest to enhance the artistic, scientific and technological aspects of production and publishing. Relationships must also be strengthened by co-operation between business leaders and academic institutions in order to provide the mutual benefit of improve standards, with the ultimate aim of keeping up with both local and international developments.

The easiest way to judge the standard of design and printing in a country is through the newspapers, magazines and books published. Television also provides a showcase for visual communication through locally produced advertisements. The speed of printing development has made impositions on graphic design and the designers themselves. Designers have to continuously update their training to keep abreast of new technology. This enables them to be at the forefront of improving quality and creativity in all aspects of production.

The advantages and disadvantages of sectors allied with graphic design

When discussing the organisations involved in design and production in Jordan it is easy to become overwhelmed by the variety and abundance of them. These organisations saturate the market. One of the reasons for the number of organisations is the variety of production formats, each of which has its own structure. Computerisation has lead to many operators being made unemployed.

Production sources can be divided into;

– Design

– Commercial printing

– Publishing houses

– Pre-press services centres

– Computer software training centres

These are the organisations where people often look for graphic designers, although most of them do not have academically trained staff who specialise in graphic design. Many of the people who own these organisations have chosen to specialise. Some of them specialised because the profession does not require a large capital outlay, others specialised because they had a knowledge of the tools used. Most appear to have specialised because this provides them with status in their community.

Although there are many organisations working in graphic design, the workers and owners in these establishments often lack awareness of the professional graphic design concepts as they have not studied the subject in depth. Employment opportunities for graduates only began to develop after 2000 when some organisations recognised the need for such skilled workers and academic institutions were able to produce professionals of this standard. The impression of graphic design graduates has changed so companies are no longer choosing graduates who studied abroad. Design establishments have noticed the high quality of products which trained graduates can produce with their competence and skills, and their ability to use the full range of design and printing equipment. Without this properly structured training program, experience had been gained through hap-hazard on the job training.

One of the weaknesses of those producing the designs is that they are not always confident about how to use the latest techniques. They often ask advice and prefer to work within their comfort zones, failing to produce designs that would demand a great deal of time, effort or care. Graduates are much more comfortable with change and willing to develop new skills. There are a few professionals, however, who have been invaluable in the development of graphic design by training others and developing their own technical and professional skills. These people have also monitored the pace of development in the fields of printing and graphic design.

Many of the professionals have established themselves thorough the high quality of the work they produce. This is not possible without a capable, aware and educated body of co-workers, who have scientific knowledge and are creative rather than imitating the work of others.

The increasing gap between academic designers and employers, or art directors and creative managers is often due to misunderstanding the role of graphic designers. In industry, the priority of some designers or agency owners is profitability regardless of the quality of the results.

The first problem is that some of the art directors or creative managers are not aware of the importance of their position, and often the employer is equally ignorant of this. Job titles are often arbitrary so artistic or creative managers frequently lack experience and expertise.

There is an absence of a common language between academic designers and managers or employers. This often frustrates designers, creating insecurity and hindering creativity. Such an environment can be an attempt to reduce a designers` status and restricts him from engaging in the creative thinking he would have been taught and university.

Adequacy of the professional reality

Graphic designers are distinguished from other fields by being one of the most creative professions; they work with information technology and visual communication. It also involves dealing with the business world, in which credibility and ability are necessary to achieve the creative work. Qualifications and talent are essential for this.

A graphic designer is not only an artist but also a technician who is able to use software and techniques to tackle the project in hand. His approach should go beyond communication with the audience, to effective promotion and display. His aim is to produce clarity and he should be able to do this from the information using the techniques available to him. The aim is to connect the data and in order to do this must understand the development and design of the software that could be used. He has to understand all the innovations and methods of designing texts.

The design sector requires professionals to have the experience to be able to select and classify information, and to create links between related elements. However, this won’t be enough if they can not interpret this and transform it into definite forms. It is also important to understand the vocabularies of with language, sound and music as they are the most important tools of communication. Added to this, the designer must understand how to use the specialised design software to write texts, prepare drawings, animated cartoons and websites. The designer should know about design, timing, transformation, rhythm and visual presentation.

The potential of the design sector should be realised by knowledge of the necessary theories and techniques to improve communication with the audience, enrich the design proposals and understand the reflective aspect of the design process, studies and research.

There is much variation in the qualifications of staff within the design sector. It is important to differentiate between the craftsman and the academic designer. The graphic designer is a complete cultural and intellectual entity that is noted in the sensational theory, linguistic theory, visual eloquence and the cultural history of art, literature, science, technology, industry and humanity. They cannot isolate themselves from developments in theories of communication, information development, and from management and criticism. Moreover to improve the added value of the final product, all methods and tools used in production and publication should be understood. They must understand the stages before the design, and they must understand the printing process and its implications on the design.

The market is crowded with many people working in graphic design. Due to the wide use of graphic design in many fields of work, the widespread use of computers and availability of basic software packages there is a role for people using graphic design without any prior knowledge. The expression of graphic design is still not adequately understood by some employers in industrial and commercial firms and organisations that need graphic design services.

I do not doubt the potential of the vocational sector but this is the reality of graphic design. It must be remembered that well qualified people now occupy high status positions in the Jordanian market, showing its expertise and its ability to demonstrate the highest levels of graphic design.

The size of the market and people working in graphic design

There are now more than five hundred establishments working in graphic design. There are many who would not classify themselves as an agency, centre or office, as they have found their own market niche. Therefore these classifications can not be meaningfully applied in Jordan.

The sector is large compared to the market. The establishment of new graphic design organisations peaked in 1999. Since then, some have declined while others have expanded. Some have stagnated or changed management, while others have merged.

A quick look at the design sector will show that 85% of those working in the field can be classified as;

– Computer science graduates

– Architecture graduates

– Interior design graduates

– Graduates in ‘Computers and the Fine Arts’ from community colleges

– Fine arts graduates (both graphic design specialists and non-specialists)

– Graduates of design courses run by computer centres

– Unemployed people who are interested in computers

University educated graphic design graduates fulfil an important role because;

– Universities produce Graphic Designers with a different outlook to those mentioned above.

– Organisations run by people who understand graphic design will be better able to develop designers skills and adapt to the future

I am concerned for students who study graphic design at university but do not try to improve his rate of innovation and creativity in order to improve. This will affect whether he is employable.

Academically and scientifically talented students will have few problems because good employers need students who are able to form ideas quickly, use appropriate design programs for his ideas and able to produce those. Other organisations are not useful for the academic designer. These are the push-pull level of the graphic design sector which reflects the levels of awareness of the concepts and functions of graphic design.

The market is capable of absorbing all graduates. This is dependent on the development of visual communication methods through graphic design. Such development requires the presence of skilled workers capable of meeting the needs of the market. This places incentives for educational organisations that deal with design to plan to suit the graphic design market.

The academic reality of graphic design

The emergence of academic institutions that specialised in the arts started at the Yarmouk University where the first arts and music department was established in 1980. This became a faculty in 2001, teaching drama, design (industrial, interior and graphic), plastic arts and music. The university awards bachelor degrees. It started in 2001 at the height of the computer revolution within the design sector in Jordan. In1991 teaching graphic design started as an independent specialisation within the Arts Department at the Applied Sciences University. This was followed by the Ahiya Amman University, the Petra University, Philadelphia University, AlZaytouneh University, the University of Jordan, and later the Israh University.

Apart from universities, during the time when graphic design became popular and a profitable profession, community colleges started teaching graphic design. These included the Al-Quds College, Granada College, Middle University College and Princess Alya College.

The work of the universities that award bachelor degrees is similar to colleges that grant two year diplomas, because both produce students with a certificate in graphic design. But in reality where creativity and technical skills are concerned we find differences. The differences are in the course curricula, and include understanding the production process, product identity, knowledge of software and design innovation.

There is confusion between graphic design and graphic art. These differences affect the student, particularly when he enters employment. He is judged by both his creativity and innovation in producing new ideas and his ability to use technology which now involves the computer, the main graphic design tool.

The reason for these differences becomes clear when we look at the number of workers in the market and where they graduated from. During the time that the largest number of graduates were being produced, the highest quality graduates were produced by well-known institutions and these were recruited by the most successful companies.

A distinction has developed between technicians and designers. This is because some academic institutions concentrate on technology and the practical aspects of design software, whilst others developing the ability to use knowledge and know how to connect ideas to the psychological and social context and include qualitative studies of theories and design curricula.

The reasons for this are;

– The absence of specialised academic experts in graphic design and the poor quality of some of the teachers.

– The absence of appropriate study plans for creating graphic designers

– The absence of a system defining the role of universities and colleges in teaching graphic design

– The absence of entry examinations to graphic design courses, unlike courses in the art specialisations

– The absence links to the outside world, other than through books.

– Some universities and colleges do not understand the concept of graphic design in an industrial context.

– The absence of official government support for finding a way to establish a core curriculum for university courses.

I have taught in the art departments of a number of universities and have assessed many graduation projects. These gave me the opportunity to find out about graphic design teaching, the standards of students, and showed the need for appropriate study plans. There is a lack of competitiveness which would improve educational standards and there is an arbitrary use of teaching methods. Objectives can be clear, but often mistake in not using the appropriate teaching methodology leads to them not being achieved.

In order to develop and improve, the graphic design sector needs skilled and competent workers. The workers will not be able to respond to the changes in technology unless they have a formal academic training. In order to achieve this advancement it is essential that graduate students are used as graphic design specialists.

Conclusion

There is a requirement in the Jordanian arena for the academic and professional sectors to review their experiences and identify their strengths and weaknesses. This is used by them to set a strategy capable of giving graphic design the respected position it deserves.

There is a requirement for government intervention to provide arena where specialists in graphic design may discuss many of the concepts that help them make company owners and managers aware of how to make the best use of graphic designers.

As well as teaching graphic design, universities and community colleges must support the markets needs for designers and artisans within the new specialisations which need to be introduced in order to reduce unemployment.There is a need for a professional body in graphic design to give support to designers, co-ordinate educational and technical preparation and for making contacts with the outside world. It is important to hold workshops and symposiums that enhance the competence of teaching staff, designers and students; these should be held with assistance from international institutions which are respected in this field.

It is also important to hold national and international competitions to encourage creativity and innovation. This will create a competitive atmosphere in which graphic design can flourish.

Finally, it is important to create a national identity in graphic design, which can cement its position in the international arena.

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8 Key Training Principles For Fitness and Sports Training

The 8 Training Principles are research-based guidelines that can help you accelerate your training progress and optimize your results. Knowing how to apply these principles gives you an educated basis on which you can make informed decisions about designing your fitness or sports training program. The principles can also help you evaluate the merits of fitness equipment and personal training services.

All of the principles complement each other. For best results, they should be applied in concert throughout every phase of training.

1. Principle of Specificity suggests that your body will make adjustments according to the type of training you perform and in the very same muscles that you exercise. How you train determines what you get.

This principle guides you in designing your fitness training program. If your goal is to improve your overall level of fitness, you would devise a well-rounded program that builds both endurance and overall body strength. If you want to build the size of your biceps, you would increase weight loads on bicep curls and related exercises.

2. The Principle of Overload implies that you must continually increase training loads as your body adapts over time. Because your body builds and adjusts to your existing training regimen, you must gradually and systematically increase your work load for continued improvement.

A generally accepted guideline for weight training is to increase resistance not more than 10% per week. You can also use percentages of your maximum or estimated maximum level of performance and work out within a target training zone of about 60-85% of maximum. As your maximum performance improves, your training loads will increase, as well.

3. The Principle of Recovery assets that you must get adequate rest between workouts in order to recuperate. How much rest you need depends upon your training program, level of fitness, diet, and other factors.

Generally, if you perform a total body weight workout three days per week, rest at least 48 hours between sessions. You can perform cardio more frequently and on successive days of the week.

Over time, too little recovery can result in signs of overtraining. Excessively long periods of recovery time can result in a detraining effect.

4. The Principle of Reversibility refers to the loss of fitness that results after you stop training. In time, you will revert back to your pre-training condition. The biological principle of use and disuse underlies this principle. Simply stated, If you don’t use it, you lose it.

While adequate recovery time is essential, taking long breaks results in detraining effects that may be noticeable within a few weeks. Significant levels of fitness are lost over longer periods. Only about 10% of strength is lost 8 weeks after training stops, but 30-40% of endurance is lost in the same time period.

The Principle of Reversibility does not apply to skills. The effects of stopping practice of motor skills, such as weight training exercises and sport skills, are very different. Coordination appears to store in long-term motor memory and remains nearly perfect for decades. A skill once learned is never forgotten.

5. The Principle of Variation implies that you should consistently change aspects of your workouts. Training variations should always occur within ranges that are aligned with your training directions and goals. Varying exercises, sets, reps, intensity, volume, and duration, for example, prevents boredom and promotes more consistent improvement over time. A well-planned training program set up in phases offers built-in variety to workouts, and also prevents overtraining.

6. The Principle of Transfer suggests that workout activities can improve the performance of other skills with common elements, such as sport skills, work tasks, or other exercises. For example, performing explosive squats can improve the vertical jump due to their common movement qualities. But dead lifting would not transfer well to marathon swimming due to their very dissimilar movement qualities.

7. The Principle of Individualization suggests that fitness training programs should be adjusted for personal differences, such as abilities, skills, gender, experience, motivation, past injuries, and physical condition. While general principles and best practices are good guides, each person’s unique qualities must be part of the exercise equation. There is no one size fits all training program.

8. The Principle of Balance is a broad concept that operates at different levels of healthy living. It suggests that you must maintain the right mix of exercise, diet, and healthy behaviors. Falling out of balance may cause a variety of conditions (e.g., anemia, obesity) that affect health and fitness. In short, it suggests all things in moderation.

If you go to extremes to lose weight or build fitness too quickly, your body will soon respond. You could experience symptoms of overtraining until you achieve a healthy training balance that works for you.

For fitness training, balance also applies to muscles. If opposing muscles (e.g., hamstrings and quadriceps in the upper legs) are not strengthened in the right proportions, injuries can result. Muscle imbalances also contribute to tendinitis and postural deviations.

Keep these 8 Training Principles in mind as you design and carry out your fitness training program. They can help you make wise exercise decisions so you can achieve your goals more quickly with less wasted effort.

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SEO Keyword Research Tips For Yoga Studio Businesses

SEO can be broken down into 2 main categories – on-page and off-page, also called on-site and off-site SEO. This article focuses on on-page SEO for a yoga business such as a yoga studio to improve a yoga business marketing campaign.

What is on-page SEO?

It’s researching and properly placing key search terms in each page of your website. Key search terms are also called keywords.

It’s critical that your yoga studio website use the very keywords that your prospective students will use to search for the yoga services they want. If your website is found by people who aren’t interested in your site, then you don’t have the optimal search terms.

Keyword research is a refining process. It’s never perfect; it’s a constant work in progress. You measure success by results. Results are the number of visitors to your website and the percentage of visitors who contact your yoga studio.

What are good keywords for a yoga business?

A good starting point for keyword research for a yoga studio is thinking of the required keywords in 2 categories:

  • Your location: your town, the nearest large city, surrounding towns, your county, your state, and any other commonly referred to geographic names in your area.
  • The yoga styles you teach: yin yoga, hatha yoga, kundalini, Bikram, etc.
  • General benefits: yoga, meditation, wellness, health, fitness, yogi, yoga teacher training, etc.

Keep in mind that the term “keyword” refers to a single work and phrases.

Where to research the best keywords?

Google AdWords is a free keyword research resource. I use it all the time. It’s simple, fast, and free. Be sure under “match type” at the top of the right column (in a search results page) to select the “exact” option for more precise results. The results will show you how many searches are performed for many related keywords and keyword phrases.

You want to try a variety of searches; some with your geographic terms, and some without. Don’t be discouraged if phrases with geographic terms have very few monthly searches (i.e. 50); if it shows a number that’s great. Remember that specific geographic search phrases (i.e. “Bellingham Yin Yoga”) with your yoga style will likely rank very well. That means those 50 searches in the future will list your site.

Where to place keywords in your site?

Your keywords, including phrases, must be placed the meta titles, headings, and used in the written content of a web page. Every page in your website is an optimization opportunity. Do not solely optimize your home page. For any yoga studio, you should be able to create a list of 50 to 100 keywords / phrases.

Here’s the thing, each web page in your site should have no more than 2 to 3 keywords. 1 if your keyword phrase is 5 or more words. This means you must methodically plan out on which pages you will place which keyword phrases.

Now you can see why a blog is so valuable; you can create as many new posts as you want and each post can be optimized for a new keyword phrase. Take for example a 15 page website with a blog that has 50 posts. This site has a total of 65 web pages. If each page (a post is a page) has 2 keyword phrases, that site is optimized for 130 keyword phrases. Without the blog, the site could only be optimized for 30 keyword phrases.

That is an overview of on-page, aka on-site SEO for a yoga business. Remember, on-page SEO is only part of the SEO equation; off-page SEO is equally, if not more important than on-page SEO for building tons of quality traffic to your site and blog.

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