Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Facebook almost a teen reaches big 012: Happy Birthday to you


"I used to do Facebook but you get a little too wrapped up in that stuff. Its more distracting than anything so I don't any more. I left it behind. I detoxed!"
~~ Emily Stone

American actress and 2012 People’s Choice Award, Favorite Movie Actress


Facebook that controversial social networking service with media, social, political and cultural implications launched in February 4, 2004,(speculative as some say February 3) and is almost a teen, turning 12 years young today.

Here are the latest statistics as reported by Facebook:
As of December 2015 there are 1.04 billion daily active users on average with
Facebook reports 934 million mobile daily active users on average for December 2015
There are 1.59 billion monthly active FB users as of December 31, 2015
1.44 billion mobile monthly active users as of December 31, 2015
Approximately 83.6% of FB's daily active users are outside the US and Canada

As of 2015, there are over 1.55 billion monthly active Facebook users (MAUs) which is a 14 percent increase year over year (Source: Facebook as of 9/30/15). Additionally, according to Zephoria Digital Marketing, of those 1.55 billion MAUs, 1.01 billion people log onto Facebook daily (DAU) for September 2015, which represents a 17% increase year over year (Source: Facebook as 9/30/15) with 4.5 billion likes generated daily as of May 2013 which is a 67 percent increase from August 2012 (Source: Facebook). As of December 2013, Facebook had over 1.23 billion active users, more than 945 million (versus 600 million a year ago) using Facebook on a mobile device. Happy Birthday Facebook! Any Google doodle this year?

From users hover time to determine interest, providing ability for users to choose what they want to see first in their news feeds to live-streaming and messaging application for booking Uber rides, Facebook continues innovating.

In January 2014, chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, clarified: "He [Mark] always said Facebook was started not just to be a company, but to fulfill a vision of connecting the world."

Facebook Inc. began selling stock to the public and trading on the NASDAQ on May 18, 2012.

Latest Facebook, Inc., Form 8-K (current report filing) from EDGAR® Online here.

Not surprising, Facebook is not number 1 in the following 11 countries: Belarus - vk.com; China - qq.com/qzone.qq.com; Kazakhstan - vk.com / odnoklassniki.ru; Moldova - odnoklassniki.ru; Russia - vk.com / odnoklassniki.ru; Ukraine - vk.com; South Korea - qq.com/qzone.qq.com; Uzbekistan - odnoklassniki.ru; Iran - Cloob.com; Vietnam - Zing.vn; North Korea - not available.

Facebook’s major competing social media are as follows: QQ.com; vk.com, odnoklassniki.ru and Zing.vn. Other competitors are mixi in Japan and renren in China.

Based on its 2012 income of US$5 billion, Facebook joined the Fortune 500 list for the first time on the list published in May 2013, being placed at position 462, BusinessInsider.com, Carlson, Nicholas (March 5, 2010) “At Last – A Full Story of How Facebook was Founded http://www.businessinsider.com/how-facebook-was-founded-2010-3#we-can-talk-about-that-after-i-get-all-the-basic-functionality-up-tomorrow-night-1

Below the resources section is a chronological timeline that reflects milestones, launches and product information beginning with October 2003 through January 2014.

Founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, the website's membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University.

Mark Zuckerberg wrote Facemash, the predecessor to Facebook, on October 28, 2003, while attending Harvard as a sophomore. According to The Harvard Crimson, the site was comparable to Hot or Not, and "used photos compiled from the online facebooks of nine houses, placing two next to each other at a time and asking users to choose the 'hotter' person.

With success comes controversy particularly with Facebook. Zuckerberg hacked protected areas of Harvard's computer network and copied the houses' private dormitory ID images. Harvard at that time did not have a student "facebook" (a directory with photos and basic information), though individual houses had been issuing their own paper facebooks since the mid-1980s.

From it’s first 4 hours online, Facemash attracted
450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views.


According to an article from Rolling Stone in July 2008, the site was quickly forwarded to several campus group list-servers, but was shut down a few days later by the Harvard administration.

Zuckerberg was charged by the administration with breach of security, violating copyrights, and violating individual privacy, and faced expulsion.

Ultimately, the charges were dropped. For more information visit The Battle of Facebook, Rolling Stone, NY July 2008.

Zuckerberg expanded on this initial project that semester by creating a social study tool ahead of an art history final, by uploading 500 Augustan images to a website, with one image per page along with a comment section. He opened the site up to his classmates, and people started sharing their notes.

The following semester, Zuckerberg began writing code for a new website in January 2004. He was inspired, he said, by an editorial in The Harvard Crimson about the Facemash incident. On February 4, 2004, Zuckerberg launched "Thefacebook", originally located at thefacebook.com.

Six days after the site launched, three Harvard seniors, Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra, accused Zuckerberg of intentionally misleading them into believing he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.com, while he was instead using their ideas to build a competing product.

The three complained to the Harvard Crimson, and the newspaper began an investigation. The three later filed a lawsuit against Zuckerberg, subsequently settling. In June 2004, Facebook moved its base of operations to Palo Alto, California and received its first investment later that month from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. The company dropped “The” from its name after purchasing the domain name facebook.com in 2005 for $200,000.

Writers for The Wall Street Journal found in 2010 that Facebook apps were transmitting identifying information to "dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies". The apps used an HTTP referrer which exposed the user's identity and sometimes their friends'.

Facebook said, "We have taken immediate action to disable all applications that violate our terms.” Facebook in Privacy Breach, The Wall Street Journal (New York).

In January 2013, the countries with the most Facebook users were:
FB stats by country, March 3, 2012)
United States with 168.8 million members
Brazil with 64.6 million members
India with 62.6 million members
Indonesia with 51.4 million members
Mexico with 40.2 million members This totals to 309 million members or about 38.6 percent of Facebook's 1 billion worldwide members.
43.1 Million Members of Facebook in Indonesia, Kompas, February 2, 2012.

In regards to Facebook's mobile usage, per an analyst report in early 2013, there are 192 million Android users, 147 million iPhone users, 48 million iPad users and 56 million messenger users


All photos courtesy of Wikimedia and screen shots taken from video and websites. All other photos will be credited as required.


Additional resources:
Facebook profile may expose mental illness Fox News
Facebook Banned: 9 Ways To Get Kicked Off The Social Network Huffington Post
Facebook Wikipedia
This is The Future of The Facebook ‘News Feed’ Business Insider

Facebook Timeline
2003
♦ October 28, 2003: Mark Zuckerberg releases Facemash, the predecessor to Facebook. It was described as a Harvard University version of Hot or Not
2004
♦ January 2004: Zuckerberg begins writing Facebook
♦ January 11, 2004: Zuckerberg registers thefacebook.com domain
♦ February 4, 2004: Zuckerberg launches Facebook
♦ March 2004: Facebook expands to MIT, Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, Stanford University, Dartmouth College, Columbia University, and Yale University
♦ April 13, 2004: Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Eduardo Saverin form Thefacebook.com LLC, a partnership
♦ June 2004: Facebook receives its first investment from Peter Thiel for US$500,000
♦ June 2004: Facebook incorporates into a new company, and Sean Parker (early employee of Napster) becomes its president
♦ June 2004: Facebook moves its base of operations to Palo Alto, California
♦ August 2004: To compete with growing campus-only service i2hub, Zuckerberg launches Wirehog. It is a precursor to Facebook Platform applications
♦ September 2004: ConnectU files a lawsuit against Zuckerberg and other Facebook founders
♦ December 30, 2004: Facebook achieves its one millionth registered user
2005
♦ May 26, 2005: Accel Partners invests $13 million into Facebook
♦ July 19, 2005: News Corp acquires MySpace, spurring rumors about the possible sale of Facebook to a larger media company
♦ August 23, 2005: Facebook acquires Facebook.com domain for $200,000
♦ September 2005: Added high school networks[14]
♦ October 2005: Added international school networks and added photos
2006
♦ 2006: A leaked cash flow statement shows that Facebook had a net loss of $3.63 million for the 2005 fiscal year
♦ March 28, 2006: A potential acquisition of Facebook is reportedly under negotiations, for $750 million first, then later $2 billion
♦ September 2006: Facebook discusses with Yahoo! about the latter possibly acquiring the former, for $1 billion
♦ September 2006: Facebook launches a high school version of the website
♦ September 26, 2006: Facebook is open to everyone aged 13 and over, and with a valid email address
2008
♦ June 2008: Facebook settles both lawsuits, ConnectU vs Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg et al. and intellectual property theft, Wayne Chang et al. over The Winklevoss Chang Group's Social Butterfly project. The settlement effectively had Facebook acquiring ConnectU for $20 million in cash and over $1.2 million in shares, valued at $45 million based on $15 billion company valuation
♦ August 2008: Employees reportedly privately sell their shares to venture capital firms, at a company valuation of between $3.75 billion to $5 billion
♦ October 2008: Facebook sets up its international headquarters in Dublin, Ireland
2009
♦ August 2009: Facebook acquires FriendFeed
♦ September 2009: Facebook claims that it has turned cash flow positive for the first time
2010
♦ February 2010: Facebook acquires Malaysian contact-importing startup Octazen Solutions
♦ April 2, 2010: Facebook announces the acquisition of photo-sharing service called Divvy-shot for an undisclosed amount
♦ April 19, 2010: Facebook introduces Community Pages, which are Pages that are populated with articles from Wikipedia
♦ April 21, 2010: Facebook introduces Instant Personalization, starting with Microsoft Docs, Yelp, and Pandora
♦ June 2010: Facebook employees sell shares of the company on SecondMarket at a company valuation of $11.5 billion
♦ October 1, 2010: The Social Network, a film about the beginnings of Facebook directed by David Fincher is released. The film is met with widespread critical acclaim as well as commercial success; however, Mark Zuckerberg says that the film is a largely inaccurate account of what happened.
2011
♦ January 2011: $500 million is invested into Facebook for 1% of the company, placing its worth at $50 billion
♦ February 2011: Facebook adds new "civil union" option for gay partnerships
♦ February 2011: Facebook application and content aggregator Pixable estimates that Facebook will host 100 billion photos by summer 2011
♦ June 2011: Facebook partners with Skype to add video chat
♦ September 2011: Facebook partners with Heroku for Facebook application development using the Facebook Platform
♦ September 22, 2011: Facebook launches new UI Timeline in F8 Convention
♦ October 10, 2011: Facebook launches iPad app
♦ December 21, 2011: Facebook log in page changes due to Facebook Timeline addition
♦ December 22, 2011: Facebook launches its new profile user interface, Facebook Timeline.
2012
♦ April 2012: Facebook acquires picture sharing and social network, Instagram, for $1 billion, the largest acquisition to date
♦ May 2012: Facebook IPO, initial price set at $38 a share, and the stock closed at $38.23 on its first trading day
♦ July 2012: Facebook adds same-sex couples as icons for marriage
♦ August 2012: Facebook forces all remaining users of the old profile style to the new "Timeline" style
♦ October 2012: Total number of Facebook users reaches 1 billion
2013
♦ January 15 :Product - Facebook announces and begins rolling out Facebook Graph Search.
♦ January 30, and April 9: Product - Facebook rolls out detailed and fine-grained emoticons to express different actions and emotional states in one's status updates (experimental launch January 30, official launch with universal availability April 9).
♦ March 7: Product - Facebook announces major planned changes to the News Feed. However, Facebook cancelled these changes after receiving negative feedback from users.
♦ March 8: Acquisitions - Facebook announces that they acquired the team from Storylane, but not the product itself.
♦ April 4 and then April 12 Product (mobile-only) - Facebook launches Facebook Home, a user interface layer for Android-compatible phones that provides a replacement home screen that makes it easier for users to browse and post.[62][63]
♦ April 15: Product - Facebook launches a new timeline.
♦ April-July: Product - Facebook launches Stickers, initially only for its iOS apps in April but later expanding to its web version in July.
♦ June 12, then June 27: Product - Facebook announces support for hashtags, initially only for the web (June 12). Later, more functionality is added and hashtags are extended to the mobile site and apps.
♦ June 30: Political activism - Zuckerberg joins 700 Facebook employees for the June 2013 Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration march in San Francisco, U.S. The 2013 Pride celebration was especially significant, as it followed a Supreme Court of the United States ruling that deemed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.
♦ September 26: Product - Facebook begins letting people edit their posts and comments after publishing.
♦ September 29: Product - Facebook announces that it will begin rolling out Graph Search for posts and comments.
♦ November 13: Acquisition talks - News outlets report that Facebook offered to buy Snapchat for $3 billion USD but was spurned.
♦ December 18:Financial/legal - Facebook, Zuckerberg, & banks face IPO lawsuit.
2014
♦ January 16: Product - Facebook launches Trending Topics for its web version in the US, UK, Canada, India, and Australia. This is based on feedback to a pilot version tested both on the web and mobile starting August 2013.
♦ January 30: Product (mobile-only) Facebook announces Facebook Paper, a separate iOS app that provides a newspaper-like or magazine-like experience for reading on the phone, scheduled for launch on February 3. Facebook also announces Facebook Creative Labs, an intra-company effort to have separate teams working on separate mobile apps that specialize in different facets related to the Facebook experience, rather than trying to make changes to Facebook's main web version, mobile version, or its iOS and Android apps, and says that Facebook Paper is the first product of Facebook Creative Labs. Facebook Paper receives mixed reviews, and some commentators note its similarity with Flipboard.
♦ February 3: Facebook launches Paper. http://www.facebook.com/paper
♦ February 5: Facebook launches Lookback. http://www.facebook.com/lookback
♦ February 19:Facebook makes its biggest acquisition, 16 times more than what it paid for Instagram by acquiring WhatsApp, a free text messaging system for $16 billion (spent $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in Facebook stock plus another $3 billion of stock over the next four years).
♦ March 3: Rumors are circulated that Facebook is buying drone maker Titan Aerospace for $60 million. It is believed that the acquisition will help bolster Facebook's vision with Internet.org. Later, on April 14, 2014, the Wall Street Journal reports that Google is acquiring Titan Aerospace.
♦ March 6: Product Facebook announces that it will begin rollout of a somewhat modified news feed. The changes are along the same lines as those announced in the planned revamp announced March 7, 2013 (that was halted), but are more minor and focused.
♦ March 17: Product Facebook's face recognition algorithm (DeepFace) reaches near-human accuracy in identifying faces.
♦ March 25: Facebook announces that it is acquiring Oculus VR, Inc., a leading virtual reality company. The amount is reported to be $2 billion in cash and stock.
♦ March 27 Facebook announces a Connectivity Lab as part of the Internet.org initiative, with the goal of bringing the Internet to everybody via drones, using acqhires from Ascenta.
♦ April 24: Product Facebook announces FB Newswire to help journalists find news news on its website.[145]
♦ April 30: Product, accessibility Facebook launches anonymous login so that people can use apps without giving them their data.
♦ June 18: Product (mobile-only) Facebook releases Facebook Slingshot, an instant messaging software application for sharing photos and videos with friends, for Android and iOS devices.
♦ July 21: Product Facebook launches Save, a read-it-later feature that allows users to save links, places, and media pages for later perusal.
♦ September 15: Userbase/controversy Facebook cracks down on the Facebook profiles of drag queens in San Francisco, asking them to switch to using their real names, and shutting down the accounts of those who refuse to comply.[153] There is considerable pushback, including a planned protest at Facebook headquarters, that is delayed for a meeting with Facebook, but Facebook refuses to budge on its policy. Many people, particularly those in or sympathetic to the LGBTQ community, sign up for competing social network Ello, that does not enforce a real names policy, promises to remain "ad-free and porn-friendly", and aims to have a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech. On October 1, Facebook announced a clarification to its real name policy and said that drag queens could continue operating their accounts. The company clarified that people should use their authentic real-world names but need not use their legal names.
♦ October 6: Acquisitions by Facebook Facebook officially completes the acquisition of WhatsApp, and WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum agrees to match Mark Zuckerberg's $1 salary.[158]
♦ October 23: Product Facebook launches pseudonymous app Rooms, where Facebook users can create and participate in forums on any topic and do not need to use their real names. The forthcoming launch of the pap had been reported on October 7.
♦ October 31: Facebook creates a custom Tor link, making it easier for people to access Facebook anonymously in locations where it is censored.[162][163][164]
♦ November 7: Product Facebook makes it easy for people to unfollow friends and pages they've liked, both while viewing pages in the feed and while reviewing summaries of the most prolific contributors to their feed.[165][166]
♦ December 8: Product Facebook rolls out keyword search for all posts, part of Facebook Graph Search, to all US English users on desktop and using iPhones. It is cited as a potential competitor to Yelp and other product recommendation engines and also as a potential way to surface old, embarrassing posts by people.
♦ December 11: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg holds his second Q&A, open to the public, about Facebook, where he discusses the dislike button and Facebook's role in promoting viewpoint diversity, helping people share more, and facilitating social and political transparency.
2015
♦ January 5: Acquisitions by Facebook Facebook acquires Wit.ai, a Y Combinator startup founded 18 months ago to create an API for building voice-activated interfaces.
♦ January 8: Acquisitions by Facebook Facebook acquires QuickFire Networks, a company that built a custom hardware and software platform for reducing video file sizes and upload times. The Wall Street Journal got the news on January 8, with confirmation later arriving on QuickFire’s site.
♦ January 16: Open sourcing Facebook open sources the Torch library, containing some of its deep learning tools in machine learning, including new code that runs 23 times as fast for training convolutional neural networks as the fastest publicly available code until that time.
♦ January 20: Product Facebook announces that it will show fewer hoaxes in the news feed, and mark items it identifies as potential hoaxes so that readers can view them more critically.
♦ March 17: Product Facebook introduces a free friend-to-friend payment service within its Messenger app. This is touted by some tech journalists as potential competition for PayPal's Venmo service.
♦ March 25: Product At the first day of the 2015 F8 conference (a conference for Facebook to make announcements about major product and service changes), the company makes a bunch of announcements, with the unifying theme being that the company wants to be an integrated bunch of apps, each fulfilling a somewhat different role. Currently, the company's leading apps include its main app, Messenger, and externally built and acquired apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp. Specific announcements include making Facebook Messenger more of a platform, a new real-time comments system, embeddable videos, spherical video, Parse for the Internet of Things, updates to ad exchange LiveRail, and analytics for apps.
♦ March 26: Open sourcing Facebook releases its React native framework for building native apps as open source. This is announced on the second day of the F8 conference.
♦ March 31: Userbase, product Facebook launches a feature called Scrapbook that allows parents to give their kids an official presence on Facebook even when they are too young to have their own accounts on the network by tagging them in photos. A Scrapbook can be owned by two people who have indicated to Facebook that they are in a relationship. When the kids grow old enough and get their own accounts, they can take over ownership of the Scrapbook and change the privacy settings thereof.
♦ April 22: Product Facebook launches an Android app called Hello to instantly matches phone numbers of incoming and outgoing calls to Facebook profiles to show information about the caller/callee, block calls from commonly blocked numbers, and search for businesses to call, with initial rollout in the United States, Brazil, and Nigeria. There is no corresponding iOS app, because iOS does not allow apps to interact with phone calls. Commentators compare Facebook Hello to the native Android dialer app[202] and to TrueCaller, an app with crowdsourced data.
♦ April 28 (announcement), April 30 (closure): Product, platform Facebook announces that it is shutting down its friends data API, forcing developers to migrate to the Graph API. The company is also allowing for more granular control of data that users may share with apps.[204][205][206]
♦ May 12: Product Facebook launches "Instant Articles" for Publishers.[207] Publishers who use Instant Articles can opt in to have some of their articles shown to mobile users inside Facebook's app itself, without users having to leave the app and visit the customer's website. Initial launch partners include BuzzFeed, the New York Times, National Geographic and six others. The article as displayed on Facebook mimics the article on the website in terms of layout, and Instant Articles allows for correct attribution and analytics with tools such as Google Analytics, Omniture, and Comscore, in addition to publishers benefiting from Facebook's own analytics. Publishers can choose to have only a subset of their content available as Instant Articles, and Facebook handles the porting of the article to the Instant Article format itself. BuzzFeed praised Facebook for complying with its requests for compatibility with analytics tracking, and said the process was very collaborative throughout. Load times are claimed to be ten times faster than the mobile web. Publishers can keep all the ad revenue if using their own ads, but Facebook gets a 30% cut if the ads are shown by Facebook.
♦ May 29: Product Facebook confirms official support for GIFs. Autoplay settings for GIFs would be the same as those for videos: users who have video autoplay set to on (the default setting) will have GIFs autoplay when they scroll to the GIF in their news feed. Others can play the GIF manually by clicking the GIF button on the feed item with the GIF.
♦ June–August: Product Facebook adds more features for pages to make it easier for businesses to use them. These include: allowing pages to display how quickly they respond to messages, allowing pages to send saved replies to messages, allowing pages to use private messages for customer support, and adding buy button integration to pages.
♦ June–July: Product Facebook makes changes to its news feed algorithm in a few different directions. It relinquishes some control to users allowing them to dictate what they see first in the news feed. Also, it announces that it will start using information on how long people hover on a particular item in their news feed to gauge their level of interest in the item, in addition to the more explicit signals it currently uses (likes, comments, shares).
♦ August 5: Product On Facebook launches live-streaming, initially restricted only to celebrities.Subsequently, on August 12, it announces that the feature will be made available to journalists and those with verified profiles.
♦ August 27: Userbase Facebook announces that it has hit the milestone of 1 billion users accessing it on a single day.
♦ December: Product Facebook announces that it will add a feature for booking a ride through its messaging application. Users of Facebook Messenger in the U.S. will be able to summon an Uber car with a few taps.
2016
♦ January 29: Facebook bans gun sales on Facebook and Instagram (more info at this New York Times article)



All photos courtesy of Wikimedia and screen shots taken from video and websites. All other photos will be credited as required.



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Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy Groundhog Day America: Punxsutawney Phil will be making his 129th prediction tomorrow: Will he or won't he see his shadow?


"This is pitiful. A thousand people, freezing their butts off, waiting to worship a rat! What a hype. Well they used to mean something in this town, they used to pull the hog out and they used to eat it. You're hypocrites! All of ya! You got a problem with what I'm saying, Larry? Untie your tongue and you come out here and talk, huh? Am I upsetting you, Princess? You know you want a prediction about the weather, you're asking the wrong Phil. I'll give you a prediction. It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be gray, and it's gonna last you the rest of your life." ~~ Bill Murray , American actor and comedian, as quoted in the 1993 critically acclaimed film "Groundhog Day"


It’s that time of year again, when a funny furry fortune-teller comes out and predicts six more weeks of winter if he casts a shadow – if no shadow, early spring is here. DID OR DIDN'T Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow? If so we can expect 6 more weeks of winter.

Punxsutarney Phil did not see his shadow! Is Punxsutawney Phil right? "There is no shadow to be cast! An early spring is my forecast!" said the Groundhog Club emcee at Gobbler's Knob.



Occurring every year on February 1st, 2nd or 3rd , dates for the entire celebration begin February 1st - February 3rd, and Punxsy Phil will predict what the next 6 weeks of weather will be.




Amazingly, for over two centuries, (1886 or earlier) crowds as large as 40,000 have gathered at Gobbler's Knob hill at Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to celebrate. Other celebrations taking place in Pennsylvania include Quarryville in Lancaster County, the Anthracite Region of Schuylkill County, and Bucks County.

The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhog Day received more mass attention after the release of the 1993 comedy film “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray who plays Phil Connors, an egotistical Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, dreams living February 2nd over and over while repeatedly indulging in hedonism and numerous suicide attempts.

Finally he wakes up and realizes his life matters and prioritizes and makes drastic changes and improvements. In 2006, the film was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."


YouTube Video: Groundhog Day - Phil (Bill Murray) Steals Phil (The Groundhog)

Many wonder just how scientific is Punxsy Phil's shadow. According to groundhogday.org, the furry fortune teller is accurate 75% to 90% of the time, while a Canadian study of 13 states has the success rate at 37% and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) has the overall prediction rate at 39% accurate (since 1987).

The Stormfax Weather Almanac reports Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow 100 times (as of last year 2014) which equates to 101 times this year (2015), no shadow 16 times with no record 9 times.
Groundhog day in Staten Island is sponsored by Time Warner Cable and garnered with trumpets to wake up the little Staten Island's very own woodchuck, "Chuck," as the Staten Island Zoo opens its gates at 6:30 a.m. on Feb. 2.

Also South Carolina has Sir Walter Wally.

Staten Island Chuck, or Charles G. Hogg as he is known in formal company, will make his prediction at 7:30 a.m. and the ceremony is free.

What do you think? Do you believe in the science or spirit of Groundhog Day?



All photos courtesy of Wikimedia and screen shots taken from video and websites. All other photos will be credited as required.


Additional resources:
♦ National Film Registry, FilmSite.org http://www.filmsite.org/filmreg.html
♦ Why Groundhog Day Could Lift the Loonie, CNBC http://www.cnbc.com/id/100416469
♦ Groundhog Day: 10 things you should know before going, PENN LIVE, http://blog.pennlive.com/go/2013/01/groundhog_day_10_things_to_kno.html
♦ Groundhog Day 2014: Groundhog Day 2014: Staten Island Chuck ready to make prediction at Staten Island Zoo http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/01/staten_island_chuck_to_make_pr_2.html
♦ Groundhog Day http://www. groundhog.org/groundhog-day
♦ Groundhog Day: Planning your trip groundhog.org/planning-your-trip



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Monday, January 25, 2016

The 2016 Oscars ♦ ♦ ♦ Who do you think will be the winners? Here are my picks.


Excerpts fromChris Rock's opening Monologue hosting the 77th (2005) Oscar Academy Awards.

"...So ...Great night tonight. We have 4 black nominees...Kinda like the deaf Oscar jam tonight ... You know why I love the Oscars. Cause the Oscars are the only awards show where the people nominated don't really perform...There's no acting at the Oscars ...The only acting you see at the Oscars are when people act like they're not mad when they lost...Like I remember one year when Halle Berry won the Oscar Nicole Kidman was smiling so wide she shoulda' won an Emmy at the Oscars for her great performance ...See at least they make white movies for people to enjoy ... real movies with plots ...with actors not rappers ... with real names like "Catch Me If You Can," "Saving Private Ryan," ... black people movies don't have real names ... you get names like "Barbershop," that's not a name that's just a location ... "Barbershop," "Cookout," "CarWash," ... they've been making the same movies for 40 years. That's right you know laundromat is coming soon. And after that check-cashing place." ~~ Chris Rock (Christopher Julius "Chris" Rock III) actor, comedian, voice artist, director, writer, and producer, excerpts from him while hosting the 2005 Oscar Awards (77th).
“It will be a night that ends with a lot of drunk, disappointed people.” ~~ Chris Rock, Actor, comedian, on hosting Oscar 2016 (Image left is screen shot of Oscar.com homepage)

The 88th Academy Award (Oscar) nominations were announced live on January 14th by Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Guillermo del Toro, John Krasinski and Ang LeeCheryl .

Two films that have the most nominations are “Revenant” (12 nominations) and “Mad Max: Fury Road” (10 nominations). This year, entertainment’s most valued entertainer, Chris Rock, will host again. Rock hosted the 77th Oscar awards eleven years ago (2005). According to a recent CNN post, "Chris Rock is truly the MVP of the entertainment industry," Academy Awards producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin said in a statement.


WHO DO YOU THINK THE WINNERS WILL BE? CAST YOUR VOTE ON OSCAR CHALLENGE.

All of the movies this year were spectacular and they are all winners. Here's a summary of films with multi-nominations (by movie) and I've also included my guesstimate as to how many Oscars each film will win:
♦ “The Revenant” Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent, Keith Redmon, Producers – (12 nominations, should win at least 7 possibly more, I actually have Revenant for winning 8 of 12 Oscar nominations)
♦ “Mad Max: Fury Road” Doug Mitchell and George Miller, Producers – (10 nominations, should win at least 4)
♦ “The Martian” Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer and Mark Huffam, Producers – (7 nominations, should win at least 2)
♦ “Bridge of Spies” Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers – (6 nominations, should win at least 1)
♦ “Carol” Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley, Christine Vachon, Producers – (6 nominations, should win at least 1)
♦ “Spotlight” Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust, Producers – (6 nominations, should win at least 2)
♦ “The Big Short” Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers – (5 nominations, should win at least 2)
♦ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Kathleen Kennedy, J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Producers – (5 nominations, should win at least 1)
♦ “The Danish Girl” Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Anne Harrison, Tom Hooper, Producers: Liza Chasin, Ulf Israel Executive Producers – ( 4 nominations, should win at least 1)
“Room” Ed Guiney, David Gross, Producers – (4 nominations, should win at least 1)
♦ “Brooklyn” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers – (3 nominations, should win at least 1)
♦ “The Hateful Eight” Richard N. Gladstein, Shannon McIntosh, Stacey Sher, Producers – (3 nominations, should win at least 1)
♦ “Sicario” Basil Iwanyk, Thad Luckinbill, Trent Luckinbill, Edward McDonnell, Molly Smith, Producers – (3 nominations, should win at least 1)
♦ “Ex Machina” Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich Producers – (2 nominations, should win at least 1)
♦ “Inside Out” Jonas Rivera, Producer– (2 nominations, should win at least 1)
♦ “Steve Jobs” Danny Boyle, Guymon Casady, Christian Colson. Mark Gordon, Scott Rudin, Producers – (2 nominations, estimated wins 0)

The 88th Oscars will be broadcast live from Hollywood's Dolby Theatre on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. EST on ABC, and will be televised in more than 225 countries. Host Chris Rock, joked by referring to this year awards as "white BET Awards."


Like last year, there are 8 nominees for best picture (2015 also had 8, 2014 and 2013 had 9 nominees for best picture). There are quite a few disappointments this year but the most media-worthy is that there are no black anything nominations.

The Oscars are voted on by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. More information on the voting process is available at the Academy's website.

More Oscar nomination coverage is at the Official 88th Annual Academy Awards -- Oscar.com and visit the “Oscar Nominee” section of the Website. My picks are in the category headers below. Oscar.com is also interactive and has a "My Picks" section at http://oscar.go.com/mypicks. I've also included links to more information about the film and noted if any nominees have had previous Oscar nominations/wins in the listings below:


Best Picture: (My pick either "The Revenant" or "Spotlight") I've selected "Spotlight" first as my pick on Oscar.com site however since "The Revenant" won three Golden Globes, including best picture, I'm changing this to "The Revenant" as my pick to win.
WINNER:"TBA"
♦ “The Big Short” Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers
♦ "The Revenant" Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent and Keith Redmon, Producers
♦ “Bridge of Spies” Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers
♦ “Brooklyn” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
♦“Mad Max: Fury Road” Doug Mitchell and George Miller, Simon Kinberg, Producers
♦“The Martian” Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, and Mark Huffam, Producers
♦ “Room” Ed Guiney, Producers
♦“Spotlight” Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust, Producers


Best Actor in a Leading Role: (My pick: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant) As usual, DiCaprio had the most difficult part of all the nominees and this may be the winning factor this year. WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED HERE. WINNER:"TBD"
♦ Bryan Cranston, "Trumbo"
♦ Matt Damon, "The Martian" Fourth Academy Award nomination including this one; One win for Best Original Scrreenplay for “Good Will Hunting” shared with Ben Affleck (1997); Best Actor nomination, “Good Will Hunting,” (1997), Best Supporting Actor nomination for “Invictur” (2009)
♦ Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant" Sixth Academy Award nomination including this one; Best Supporting Actor nomination “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (1993); Best Actor nominations “The Aviator” (2005); “Blood Diamond” (2007), and “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2014); Best Picture as producer nomination “The wolf of Wall Street” (2014)
♦ Michael Fassbender, "Steve Jobs” Two nominations including this one; Best Supporting Actor nomination for “12 Years a Slave ( 2013)
♦ Eddie Redmayne, "The Danish Girl" Two Oscar nominations including this one; Best Actor win “The Theory of Everything” (2014)


Best Actor in a Supporting Role: This one was hard ~~ for me it’s a toss up between Mark Ruffalo and Sylvester Stallone.(My Pick: Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight) WINNER: TBA
♦ Christian Bale "The Big Short" Third Academy Award nomination, with one win for Best Actor “The Fighter,” 2010, Best Actor nomination for “American Hustle,”2013
♦ Tom Hardy, "The Revenant" First Academy Award nomination
♦ Mark Ruffalo, "Spotlight" Third Academy Award nomination; Previously Best Supporting Actor nominations for "Foxcatcher" 2015 and" THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT” 2010
♦ Mark Rylance, "Bridge of Spies"2016 First Academy Award nomination
♦ Sylvester Stallone, "Creed" 2016 Three nominations including this one “Rocky” 1977 for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay


Best Actress in a Leading Role: They were all awesome. (My pick: Brie Larson, Room) Unless the Oscar voters are hell bent on giving another Oscar to Jennifer Lawrence or Kate Blanchett.
WINNER: TBA
♦ Kate Blanchett, "Carol" Seven Academy Award nominations including this one; Winner of two Academy Awards -- Best Actress in a Leading Role “Blue Jasmine” (2013) and Best Supporting Actress “The Aviator” (2004); Best Actress nominations “Elizabeth” (1998), “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (2007); Best Supporting Actress nominations“Notes on a Scandal (2006), “I’m Not There” 2007)
♦ Brie Larson, "Room" First Academy Award nomination
♦ Jennifer Lawrence, "Joy" Fourth Academy Award nomination including this one; Best Actress winner “Silver Linings Playbook” (2013), Best Actress nominations “American Hustle” (2014) “Winter’s Bone” (2011)
♦ Charlotte Rampling, "45 Years" First Academy Award nomination
♦ Saoirse Ronan, "Brooklyn" First Academy Award nomination


Best Actress in a Supporting Role: (My pick: Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight. WINNER: TBA
♦ Jennifer Jason Leigh, "The Hateful Eight" First Academy Award nomination
♦ Rooney Mara, "Carol" Second Academy Award nomination; Previously nominated for Best Actress “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
♦ Rachel McAdams, "Spotlight" First Academy Award nomination
♦ Alicia Vikander, "The Danish Girl” First Academy Award nomination
♦ Kate Winslet, "Steve Jobs" Seven Academy Award nominations including this one; Academy Award winner for Best Actress “The Reader (2009); Best Actress nominations for “Titanic” (1998), “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2005), “Little Children” (2007); Best Supporting Actress nominations “Sense and Sensibility (1996), “Iris” (2002)


Best Animated Feature Film: (My pick : Inside Out – Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera. WINNER:"TBA"
♦ "Anomalisa" – Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran
♦ "Boy and the World" – Ale Abreu
♦ "Inside Out" – Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera
♦ "Shaun the Sheep Movie" – Mark Burton and Richard Starzak
♦ "When Marnie Was There" – Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura


Best Cinematography: (My pick: The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki) WINNER:"TBD"
♦ "Carol" – Edward Lachman
♦ "The Hateful Eight" – Robert Richardson
♦ "Mad Max: Fury Road" – John Seale
♦ "The Revenant" – Emmanuel Lubezki
♦ "Sicario" – Roger Deakins


Best Costume Design: (My pick: Cinderella – Sandy Powell) WINNER: "TBA"
♦ "Carol" – Sandy Powell
♦ "Cinderella" – Sandy Powell
♦ "The Danish Girl" – Paco Delgado
♦ "Mad Max: Fury Road" – Jenny Beavan
♦ "The Revenant" – Jacqueline West)


Best Directing: Wow this is tough as they were are all spectacular. Toss up between Alejandro G. Iñárritu "The Revenant" and George Miller "Mad Max: Fury Road" – (My pick: George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road ) WINNER: "TBA"
♦ Adam McKay – "The Big Short”
♦ George Miller – "Mad Max: Fury Road"
♦ Alejandro G. Iñárritu – "The Revenant"
♦ Lenny Abrahamson – "Room"
♦ Tom McCarthy – "Spotlight" –


Best Documentary Feature: (My pick: "Amy" – Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees) WINNER:"TBA"
♦ "Amy" – Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
♦ "Cartel Land" – Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin
♦ "The Look of Silence" – Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
♦ "What Happened, Miss Simone?" –
♦ "Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom" –


Best Documentary Short Subject: (My pick: "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness – Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy) WINNER:"TBA"
♦ "Body Team 12" – David Darg and Bryn Mooser
♦ "Chau, beyond the Lines" – Courtney Marsh and Jerry Franck
♦ "Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah" – Adam Benzine
♦ "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness – Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
♦ "Last Day of Freedom" – Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman


Best Film Editing: (My pick: “The Revenant” (Stephen Mirrione) WINNER:"TBA"

♦ "The Big Short" – Hank Corwin
♦ "Mad Max: Fury Road" – Margaret Sixel
♦ "The Revenant" – Stephen Mirrione
♦ "Spotlight" – Tom McArdle
♦ "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" – Maryann Brandon, Mary Jo Markey


Best Foreign Language Film: (My pick: "Son of Saul" – Hungary; László Nemes) WINNER:"TBA"
♦ "Embrace of the Serpent" – Colombia; Ciro Guerra
♦ "Mustang" – France; Deniz Gamze Ergüven
♦ "Son of Saul" – Hungary; László Nemes
♦ "Theeh" – Jordan; Naji Abu Nowar
♦ "A War" – Denmark; Tobias Lindholm


Best Makeup and Hairstyling: (My Pick: "Mad Max: Fury Road" – Lesley Vanderwalt, Damian Martin, Elka Wardega) WINNER:"TBA"
♦ "Mad Max: Fury Road" – Lesley Vanderwalt, Damian Martin, Elka Wardega
♦ "The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared" – Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
♦ "The Revenant" – Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini


Best Music (Original Score) (My pick: "The Hateful Eight” – Ennio Morricone) WINNER:"TBA"
♦ “Bridge of Spies” – Thomas Newman
♦ "Carol” – Carter Burwell
♦ "The Hateful Eight” – Ennio Morricone
♦ "Sicario” – Jóhann Jóhannsson
♦ "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" – John Williams


Best Music (Original Song): (My pick: "Til It Happens To You," - The Hunting Ground) WINNER:"TBD"
♦ “Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey
♦ "Manta Ray," Racing Extinction
♦ "Simple Song #3," - Youth
♦ "Til It Happens To You," - The Hunting Ground
♦ "Writing’s On The Wall" - Spectre


Best Production Design: (My pick: "The Revenant” – Jack Fisk; Hamish Purdy) WINNER:"TBA"
♦ "Bridge of Spies” – Adam Stockhausen; Rena DeAngelo, Bernhard Henrich
♦ "The Danish Girl" – Eve Stewart; Michael Standish
♦ "Mad Max: Fury Road" – Colin Gibson; Katie Sharrock, Lisa Thompson
♦ "The Martian” – Arthur Max; Celia Bobak, Zoltan Horvath
♦ "The Revenant” – Jack Fisk; Hamish Purdy


Best Short Film (Animated): (My pick : "Sanjay’s Super Team” – Sanjay Patel and Nicole Drindle) WINNER:"TBA"
♦ "Bear Story” – (Historia de un Oso)” Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
♦ "Prologue” – Richard Williams and Imogen Sutton
♦ "Sanjay’s Super Team” – Sanjay Patel and Nicole Drindle
♦ "We Can’t Live without Cosmos” – Konstantin Bronzit
♦ "World of Tomorrow” – Don Hertzfeldt


Best Short Film (Live Action): (My pick: “Shok” Jamie Donoughue) WINNER:"TBA"
♦ “Ave Maria” – Basil Khalil and Eric Dupont
♦ “Day One” – Henry Hughes
♦ “Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut”) – Patrick Vollrath
♦ “Shok” – Jamie Donoughue
♦ “Stutterer” – Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage


Best Sound Editing: (My pick: “The Revenant” – Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender) WINNER:"TBA"
♦ “Mad Max: Fury Road” – Mark Mangini and David White
♦ “The Martian” – Oliver Tarney
♦ “The Revenant” – Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender
♦ “Sicario” – Alan Robert Murray
♦ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – Matthew Wood and David Accord


Best Sound Mixing: (My pick: “The Revenant” – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom and Chris Duesterdiek) WINNER:"TBA"
♦ “Bridge of Spies” – Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin
♦ “Mad Max: Fury Road” – Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo
♦ “The Martian” – Paul Massey, Mark Taylor and Mac Ruth
♦ “The Revenant” – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom and Chris Duesterdiek
♦ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson


Best Visual Effects: (My pick: “The Revenant” – Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer) WINNER:"TBA"
♦ “Ex Machine” – Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett
♦ “Mad Max: Fury Road” – Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams
♦ “The Martian” – Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner
♦ “The Revenant” – Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer
♦ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould


Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay): (My pick: “The Big Short” – Adam McKay, Charles Randolph) WINNER:"TBA"
♦ “The Big Short” – Adam McKay, Charles Randolph
♦ “Brooklyn” – Nick Hornby
♦ “Carol” – Phyllis Nagy
♦ “The Martian” – Drew Goddard
♦ “Room” – Emma Donoghue


Best Writing (Original Screenplay): (My pick: “Spotlight” – Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer) WINNER:"TBA"
♦ “Bridge of Spies” – Matthew Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
♦ “Ex Machina” – Alex Garland
♦ “Inside Out” – Josh Cooley, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve
♦ “Spotlight” – Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer
♦ “Straight Outta Compton” – Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus


My previous scores have been 85% right on Oscar.com. Wonder what my score will be this time. Whatever my score this year, I'll share it on Facebook and this blog.

Any photos are courtesy of Wikimedia unless otherwise noted. All other photos will be credited as required.


Additional Oscar resources:
2016 Oscar predictions: Variety
2016 Oscar nominations, Oscar.com
88th Academy Awards - We all dream in gold, Wikipedia.org
Oscar Nominations: 'The Revenant' & 'Mad Max' Lead Way; Leo Is In, Ridley Scott Is Not, Deadline AwardsLine



Oscar 2015 resources:
♦ 2015 Oscar nominations: Complete list; ‘Selma’ snubbed; ‘Birdman’ and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ lead with nine http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/01/15/2015-oscar-nominations-complete-coverage/
♦ Oscars 2015: 'Boyhood,' 'Birdman' Score Big Nominations http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/oscars-2015-boyhood-birdman-score-big-nominations-20150115
♦ Oscars 2015: Nominations preview and predictions http://www.cbsnews.com/news/oscar-2015-nomination-predictions-who-will-be-in-the-running/
♦ Oscars 2015: 'Birdman,' 'Budapest' top nominations http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/chi-oscars-nominations-20150115-story.html
♦ Academy Awards nominations 2015: our predictions http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2015/jan/15/oscar-nominations-2015-our-predictions

Oscar 2014 resources:
♦ 2014 Oscar nominations: ‘Gravity,’ and ‘Hustle’ lead with 10 nominations including best picture, Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/moviesnow/la-et-mn-oscar-nominations-2014-main,0,500124.story#axzz2qZqycltO
♦ Oscar.com 2014 nominations, http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/86/nomineesByPicture.html
♦ Who’s gonna get picked ? Predicting the 2014 Oscar nominations http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/15/showbiz/movies/2014-oscar-predictions-nominations/
♦ Meet the 2014 Oscar Nominees, RottenTomatoes http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/15/showbiz/movies/2014-oscar-predictions-nominations/


Please visit this blog frequently and share this with your social media. Thanks.
Nominations are at Oscar.com page at http://oscar.go.com/news/nominations/oscar-nominations-2016-the-complete-list-of-nominees

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Blizzard - from A to Izzard - written 10 years ago


Just had to share this poem "Blizzard - from A to Izzard" - written 10 years ago. Enjoy!
#blizzard #blizzard2016 #snow #storm #snowStorm #poetry #poem #write #words #photo

Holy schmoley ... check out this longer video of our first blizzard 2016 January 23 at 3:00 pm

Amazing to see the wind blowing in multi directions during our first blizzard ( #blizzard2016 ) of the season on Saturday, January 23rd at about 3:00 pm. Check out this video. Wind pinwheel shifts pointing east and then back pointing west again. Spectacular. All weathermen must be kids at heart. I certainly feel like a kid again after being outside today and catching the winds of the eye of the storm here up in Yonkers, New York. The weather has that effect on me. Amazing I missed the directional shift rotation with my eyes but the video still captured it see video point beginning at 4:56 minutes to 5:00 minutes the pinwheel rotates another 180 degrees back to poining westward ‪#‎blizzard2016‬ ‪#‎weather‬ ‪#‎meteorologist‬ ‪#‎YonkersNewYork‬ hope the weather makes you feel like a kid too smile emoticon enjoy !

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Happy 30th Martin Luther King Jr. Day America! ♦ ♦ ♦ Google celebrates with lovely doodle


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
~~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

American clergyman, activist, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement

Image below, screen capture of Google doodle to celebrate MLK Jr. Day's 30th. Happy MLK Jr. Day America! There are so many activities and volunteers throughout the U.S.A. are embracing the spirit by giving their time to all sorts of activities. Google is also celebrating Martin Luther King Day with an artistic Google Doodle. Also, happy belated birthday to First Lady, Michelle Obama who turned 52 Saturday, January 17th.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience. King has become a national icon in the history of American progressivism.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of Dr. King's birthday on January 15th. It is a federal holiday and all public schools, post offices, and government buildings will be closed. MLK Jr. Day was first officially observed nationwide in 1986.


There are many things to do to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. day. Below are some interesting things to read and also helpful resources to celebrate MLK day in NYC and the Tristate area:

How to celebrate MLK , Family Education
The Dos and Donts of Celebrating MLK Day, tolerance.org
Martin Luther King Jr. "I have a dream" speech http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm
Martin Luther King Day with NYC Kids: Celebrations & Volunteer Opportunities for Families http://mommypoppins.com/newyorkcitykids/things-to-do-on-martin-luther-king-jr-day-with-kids-in-new-york-city
Martin Luther King Day events: How to mark MLK’s legacy - Make the most of your time off. Mark the civil-rights leader's achievements at performances, programming and Martin Luther King Day celebrations in New York. http://www.timeout.com/newyork/martin-luther-king-day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service - A Day On, Not a Day Off, NationalService.gov http://www.nationalservice.gov/special-initiatives/days-service/martin-luther-king-jr-day-service
19 Kid-Friendly Martin Luther King Day Celebrations http://www.newyorkfamily.com/nyc-mlk-day-things-to-do-kids-children-family-celebrations-activities/
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events - Here are nine ways to honor Dr. King's legacy this holiday weekend. http://nymag.com/nightlife/barbuzz/78862/
Martin Luther King Day of Service, http://www.volunteer-center.org/mlk
♦ Martin Luther King, Jr. in New York , About.com http://manhattan.about.com/od/famousnewyorkers/a/mlknewyork.htm
♦ Martin Luther King Day events: How to mark MLK’s legacy Time Out New York http://www.timeout.com/newyork/things-to-do/martin-luther-king-day-events-how-to-mark-mlks-legacy


Please visit this blog frequently and share this with your social media. Thanks.


All photos courtesy of Wikimedia and screen shots taken from video and websites. All other photos will be credited as required.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

What's your New Year reSEOlution? Top pick reSEOlutions tips for 2016; 'Evergreen marketing insighter' ▲▲▲by Gloria Buono-Daly


“The success of a page should be measured by one criteria: Does the visitor do what you want them to do?”
~~Aaron Wall – SEObook.com

You’ve tried several years before but this time, come January 1, your New Year reSEOlution © is to be more SEOrganized © , pay more attention to the detail, save on SEM spending and track those milestones once and for all. According to a recent report by WebStrategies, in 2016, the average firm will allocate 30% of their marketing budget to online, this rate is expected to grow to 35% by 2019 and search engine marketing (SEO & SEM) will capture the largest share of online spend with online display (banner ads, online video, etc.) taking the second largest share. Additionally, social media investments will continue to grow as an overall share of online spend, but will only represent about 15% of the total online spend while mobile marketing has grown to a point that it’s no longer tracked in the forecast and it’s presumed to be considered across all channels.

You’ve been ready since it became popular in 2007 but are so busy that you get off track and end up putting it back in the proverbial rainy-day pile for next quarter. Hundreds of rainy days later and you have no idea what your SEO program is let alone the basic concept of relevant keywording, linkbuilding and the latest, MOBILE tail end phrases.

There are probably hundreds to thousands of FREE SEO tips you can incorporate into your internet marketing program. Although previous years listed the top social as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Instagram a recent report by Inc.com indicates the top four as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Yet, according to another reliable source eBiz MBA Guide | December 2014, the top 5 of their top 15 most popular social are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google -- which happen to be the 5 most popular social I use most ( Google it's mostly a combination of blogger, Youtube and Google+). Surprisingly Instagram came in at #7 behind Tumbler their 6th. More is at the eBiz MBA Guide site (see link below in the resources section.

A 2015 report by StronView titled "2015 Marketing Trends Survey" still holds true and reveals that of the total 377 business leaders who participated in the survey 54% (204 out of 377) indicated that their digital marketing budgets particularly email and social media marketing will increase and their traditional marketing budgets will continue to decrease; While 40% indicated their budgets will remain the same. A wealth of information including detail is included on StronView's recent Press Release regarding findings from their Annual Market Trends Survey 2015.

I’ve listed below key tips to help jump-start your 2016 New Year reSEOlution. Along the way, I’ve included a few helpful URLs that will provide you with many more SEO tips to choose from.


1. As always (since my first reSEOlution blog December 31, 2009), review your SEO stats for the past 3 years; This is crucial in order to effectively analyze and incorporate SEO strategies and plans. Make sure your existing marketing program is enhanced with MOBILE and REAL-TIME campaigns and consider the mindset logic that mobile is much different than laptop/desktop, phablet, etc. Create a spreadsheet of your SEO program and include timelines, milestones, language, personas, and other relevant items unique to your product/brand. Make sure you update and review this spreadsheet on a daily to weekly basis and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly; Don’t forget to include ALL CAMPAIGNS and leave plenty of space to add on to as you move down this list

2. Real-time networking will also remain a key element for brands to grow, and Twitter will continue to be critical to the success of a marketing plan. According to a recent Forbes post, Real-Time Marketing Analytics will converge Online and Offline Behavior for Richer Lead Scoring and Nurturing in 2016. Twitter is a key mix in helping marketers track their brand particularly in regards to product awareness, competitors and word of mouth. Also, according to Social Technology Review, since 2011, Twitter users are well educated ... "16%+ of their users hold advanced degrees and 30%+ hold 4-year degrees..." This means Twitterers live in higher income areas and have much higher purchasing power than the other social media.

In regards to branding stratgies, Social Technology Review also reported that Twitter users are +68% more likely to follow brands than the social media platform average (e.g.,Social Technology Review reported that 51% of Twitter users follow brands versus the 16% average from the social media spectrum). Also worth noting, Twitter users are more global than the other social networks, which optimizes international consumer potential at the lowest cost.

3. Mobile HAS WON and Worldwide Digital Marketing has replaced the traditional Digital Marketing arena. According to a recent eMarketer post, Mobile Ad Spend will Top $100 Billion Worldwide in 2016, and will reach a milestone of having more than half (at least 51%) being spent on all digital ad expenditures for the first time. eMarketer also predicts that between 2016 and 2019, the last year mobile ad spending will nearly double, hitting $195.55 billion to account for 70.1% of digital ad spend as well as over one-quarter of total media ad spending globally. Besides optimizing web sites for MOBILE webpages and rankings in SERP – user agents for search and bots should go to the same webpage version. Traffic is important but not if drops in conversion rates continue. Relevant messaging and mobile layouts need to be tailored to customers to create engagement and minimize the risk of higher bounce rates. It is also still important to create a map. Make sure web and mobile have consistent (vertically oriented) navigation especially since MOBILE devices have touchscreens. I’m amazed at how many web sites are not optimizing their site maps; Yes you’ve had a site map since the web site was first created but is it optimized to include relevant keyword descriptions, etc?

4. Incorporate keywords in your anchor text; this can take a very long time to determine and complete depending on how many links are on your web site. You may want to segment and delegate this to several on your team and schedule updates on a regular basis. Depending on your product or service, keywords may need to be revised regularly.

5. Create a schedule for frequency in updating meta tag descriptions regularly; Meta tag description is the snippet that is included with your organic search listing. The more creative and appealing your copy with relevant keywords that match your web site the better chances you have of being indexed more prominently. Review meta tag keywords and make sure a comma is after each keyword and that the max is no more than 250 characters (including spaces); This is a common error that is overlooked, however, this can make or break you organic positioning. Also, don't forget other platforms particular MOBILE. Make sure to incorporate end phrases in mobile campaigns.

6. MARKETING MEMES are integral to spreading word of mouth and increasing brand awareness. Make sure to incorporate hastags, at signs, etc. in every digital marketing platform particularly for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Also for websites, review title tags and use 3 to 4 relevant keywords -- repeating them each at least 2X but no more than 3X; Characters should not exceed 150 (including spaces). For example, a jewelry site might have the following title: "AnnHarringtonJewelry.com, discount diamond rings, diamond jewelry, diamond engagement rings, antique jewelry, modern jewelry" – note the web site URL address is 1st, then followed by the use of keywords "diamond" used 3X, "rings" used 2X, and "jewelry" used 3X, all relevant to this web site; All following the SEO industry standard as mentioned in this section (see 1st sentence).

7. Maximize the social networks, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Equally important is to repeat your posts (e.g., Hoot Suite for repeating Tweets). For more ideas visit these resourceful sites that have plenty of suggestions - seobook.com, searchengineland.com and moz.org (formerly seomoz.org)

8. There is no room for "writer's block" when it comes to blogging. Good web content is more important now than ever before. Make sure to blog regularly and here is a great resource for helping new and experienced bloggers written by David Moth of econsultancy.com titled 14 places to look for blogging inspiration when writer's block strikes.

9. THE AGE OF COGNITIVE COMMERCE IS KEY FOR 2016: An article in Forbes reports that 2016 will be the "age of cognitive commerce" vs. "visual influence" from 2015. A much more deeper level of customer relevancy is required so as to enable marketers to identify patterns to engage consumers. According to many social media periodicals and leading marketers in New York City, Pinterest and Instatram still remain top platforms for lead generation and visual integration. No surprise here that YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Vine will play more prominent roles in digital marketing strategies for brands and products especially as video production and posting videos become more mainstream. However, one of Forbes 2016 predictions is that wearable technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) will pave new ground. This is leading way for virtual and augmented reality including self-driving cars, Facebook's acquisition of Oculus, the Oculus Rift augmented-reality product soon to be launched along with Microsoft's HoloLens and next-generation Google Glass.

10. VIDEO CLOUD and THE AGE OF SOCIAL VIDEO AFICI0NADOS ARE HERE TO STAY: Are you a "social video aficionado?" If you're on FB you definitely are more "videofied" than previous years. Facebook's already doing it for you and the rest of the world for free, with "LookBack" and the latest out just in time for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the New Year with "Your Year." A recent Forbes report titled The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2016 indicates that videos will continue to dominate and apps will gradually replace optimized mobile sites. Although Facebook is winning with Social Videos -- "80 percent said they create videos to keep in touch with friends and family, 72 percent said they use videos as keepsakes ... " according to the Animoto research survey there is an even spread as to where video creators store their videos (who will the new dominant force be for personal video stoage?) -- i.e., 28% of consumers store their photos and videos on their PCs, 21% of consumers store their photos and videos on a USB or external hard drive, and 21% of consumers citing a cloud storage service as the primary place they store their photos and videos.

Brightcove continues to lead the way for powering the Next Generation of Online Video by incorporating HTML5 user interface. Platforms like Video Cloud are key and will enable marketers to expand audience reach, propagate their brand, and engage audiences across devices and platforms.

11. Submit your site to reputable search engines such as Google, Yahoo, DMOZ, Aviva, Business.com, etc.

Remember your "New Year reSEOlution program" is a WIP (work in progress) and the more regularly you review, update and add to your existing SEO program, the more impact your SEO will have to your bottom line.

Wishing you and yours a healthy and prosperous New Year!



Resources (latest trends listed on top)

Mark Zuckerberg Confirms Facebook Has Plans For Augmented Reality, UberGizmo
The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2016, Forbes
MarketWatch 2016 predictions: The six tech trends that will rule, MarketWatch
15 Digital Marketing Trends for 2016 That Could Destroy Your Business, Jeff Bullas,
My Best Posts of 2015|Scott Berkun, ScottBerkun.com
Digital Marketing Trends for 2015
The Importance of Twitter to your Social Media Marketing Strategy
Survey Says Facebook Is Winning Social Video, But A Bigger Trend Looms
eBiz|MBA Guide Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites | December 2014
What Comes Next? 5 Social Media Trends for 2015
Inc. How to Master the 4 Big Social-Media Platforms
10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2015
♦10 interesting digital marketing statistics we've seen this week http://econsultancy.com/blog/64047-10-interesting-digital-marketing-statistics-we-ve-seen-this-week-16
♦10 Simple tips for Effective Mobile SEO, Search Engine Land http://searchengineland.com/10-simple-tips-for-effective-mobile-seo-129100
♦The 3 Worst Ways to use Social Media, Social Media Today http://socialmediatoday.com/fixcourse/793301/3-worst-ways-use-social-media-grow-your-business-and-what-you-should-do-instead#comment-68121
♦5 SEO Tips To Get Mobile Apps Ranked In SERPs, Search Engine Land http://searchengineland.com/5-seo-tips-to-get-mobile-apps-ranked-in-serps-104595




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The terms reSEOlution © and SEOrganized © were coined by Gloria Buono-Daly in 2005.

What's your New Year reSEOlution? Top ten reSEOlutions for 2015 is part of the evergreen marketing insighter ▲▲▲ series by Gloria Buono-Daly

Photo above is snapshot of New Year 2015 decorations in New York City with "reSEOlutions" layered over. All photos courtesy of Wikimedia unless otherwise indicated.

This blog has been updated annually to include the latest trends and findings since the original publication on December 31, 2009 on the AllThingsDigitalMarketing "Evergreen Marketing Insighter" blog post.

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