Stories told over the ages form an important part of heritage, offering the reader fragments of the past. They also provide a window into the imagination of the author. (Image: Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature)South Africa has many unique and authentic stories to tell, stories that live in the minds of those who have dreamed them, lived them or witnessed them, but who don’t have the opportunity to share them with the rest of the world.In looking to provide the stepping stones they need to get their stories out into the world, through its Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature competition, financial services group Sanlam offers promising young writers the chance to have their books published for others to read.Entries for the competition close on 7 October 2016, so there is still time for writers to enter and stand the chance of being one of the finalists.The competition has six categories: English, Afrikaans, Nguni languages, Sotho languages, Xitsonga and Tshivenda. Each category has two prizes: R12 000 for first place and R6 000 for second place.To be considered for the competition, the author’s book has to be suitable for people between the ages of 12 and 18 and be at least 25 000 words long. The competition is only open to citizens of South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana.“As a bookseller I’m constantly on the lookout for more literature that is aimed at the youth that is both published and written locally, and the sad thing is that there just isn’t enough” says Jessica Smith from The Book Lounge in Cape Town.“But with the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature, they provide a great platform for both established authors and emerging writers and it gives them the opportunity to have their work published.”250 WORDS A DAYThe competition invites writers to join their team of established authors and take advantage of the opportunity to spend some time with programme facilitators and get tips and inspiration from established authors who act as mentors.Smith explains that the 250 words a day challenge “makes the overwhelming task of writing a full-length novel feel that much more achievable.“The guidance that they provide and the tools that you are given are just invaluable.”Listen to 2013 winner Sipho Kekezwa talk about what the win has done for him:GET INVOLVEDIf you are an aspiring writer and you feel you have a story that is worth being told, you still have time to enter this year’s competition. Visit the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature web page for more information.Entry forms are available on the website, along with details about how to enter and share your African stories for African youth. The competition gives you an opportunity to improve your writing and dive deeper into the world of storytelling.“Even for those whose stories are not published, a spark has been ignited and a love for both reading and writing solidified,” says Smith.“I am so grateful to this competition for allowing emerging voices to be heard and for talent to be nurtured. I absolutely cannot wait to see these works on our shelves.”PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part to help improve the lives of those around you or the environment? Do you know of anyone who has gone out of their way to help improve South Africa and its people?If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.
Joining the NFL and other sports organizations in the raining-on-our-parade camp, the NBA has declared pre-, post-, and mid-game social media verboten, according to a Sports Illustrated post this evening.According to a memo sent out to teams today, no mobile or other communication devices are to be used from 45 minutes before a game starts until after the players have finished performing their athletic duties, including postgame locker room interviews. The ban affects players, coaches, and “basketball operations personnel.” We are unclear whether cheerleaders are included in this perplexingly named category.We’re also not sure whether this ban applies to the official NBA Twitter account, which has more than 1.4 million followers, or to any of the myriad team Twitter accounts. What we do know is that the NBA will now be treating social media content the same way it would treat comments made to traditional media outlets.The complete list of NBA players affected by this decision is staggering, but the ban also applies to other forms of social media, such as Facebook status updates. It would even prohibit the sending of text messages and emails during the prescribed time limits.And although tweeting on the job is generally considered bad form, like all Twitter users who choose to make their professional lives part of their social stream, these NBA players are doing monumental things for engagement, brand ambassadorship, and real-time promotion. We consider the NBA’s decision to make basketball less fun short-sighted and generally uncool.However, the memo may be welcomed by many coaches and other team executives, who often prohibit the use of electronic communication devices at various times during team activities. Teams such as the L.A. Clippers and the Miami Heat already have guidelines in place that are much stricter than what was outlined in the NBA memo.Many thanks to Mathew Ingram for the pointer and for inspiring our headline.Does the NBA’s call make sense to you? Or did the out-of-touch leadership go over the line? Let us know what you think in the comments. Tags:#twitter#web Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos jolie odell Related Posts A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit
You’ve heard that e-commerce is an incredibly easy way to make money selling products, so you set up your site…and yet all you’re getting is crickets. You think your products are pretty unique, so what gives? Why aren’t you raking in the money?Likely you’re making one (or more) of the following mistakes. Fortunately, they’re all easy to remedy.1. It’s Not Easy to Make a PurchaseIf you log into your analytics, see where people are leaving your site. You might find that they’re actually putting products in their virtual shopping carts, but then not completing the transaction.Why?It could be that the checkout process is arduous and people get frustrated. Considering that they can buy something on Amazon within seconds, you’re going to have to ensure that buying a product is easy and fast.It might be because navigation is clunky and difficult to use. It could also be that there’s a link that doesn’t work.Pretend you’re a customer and go through the checkout process to ensure that everything is functioning correctly, and pay attention to how long it takes. If you can simplify, for example, the number of screens they click through to complete the transaction, you may instantly see an uptick in sales from this fix.2. You Come Off as UnprofessionalMaybe you got the free domain name that came with your e-commerce package because you didn’t want to spend money on one. That could be a big mistake. People pay attention to small details like the website name, and if you were too cheap to buy a $10 URL, that may make it harder for potential customers to trust you.The same goes for your business email address. If you’re using Yahoo or Gmail rather than @yourcompanyname.com, people may not take you seriously.It’s such a simple thing to buy a domain name, and it comes with free email with the domain name, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of making your business look more professional?3. Your Prices Aren’t CompetitiveIt’s sad to say, but e-commerce is often a race to the lowest price. Amazon has made it harder than ever to realize a hefty profit margin when you’re selling products online. On average, e-commerce stores see between 30 and 40% gross margin, but you might be lucky to get even that.Test out lowering your prices and see if that attracts more sales. If you can’t afford to lower your prices, find other ways to provide value. Can you offer a free gift with purchase or free shipping? The more enticing your offering, the more you’ll sell.4. Your Product Pages are LacklusterIf you were a shopper visiting your site, would the product pages spur you to buy from the site? Or are your photos dim and out of focus, your product description nil, and your add-to-cart button nowhere to be found?Your product pages are where you shine the spotlight on the things you sell. You need professional product photos, to start. It’s worth the investment. But if you want to DIY them, at least put effort into making the photos great. If you’re willing to really make your site stand out, try using explainer videos to highlight the product or service and increase customer engagement.The description copy is what tells visitors more about your products and helps them decide if they want to buy them, so go all out. Include keywords that help search engines find your product pages and describe in detail both the physical aspects as well as the benefits. Include dimensions and weight if applicable.Every product page needs to include the ability to add the product to the shopping cart. Otherwise how can you sell?? It may also be helpful to include a shipping calculator on each page so shoppers know up front what they’ll pay.5. Search Engines Don’t Even Know You’re AliveSearch engine optimization is your new best friend when running an e-commerce company. You need Google and other search engines to be able to quickly scan your site, figure out what it sells, and rank it high in search results.That doesn’t happen without a little effort.Each page should have one keyword focus. Your home page might have the keyword “organic dog treats” used throughout the copy, while one product page might use “vegan dog bones.” One keyword per page is all you need; more will confuse search engines and drop your ranking.Simply slapping up an e-commerce website isn’t going to make you a millionaire…or even a single sale. You’ve got to continually put effort into building your website and making it more user-friendly. Over time, if you do the right things, you’ll see sales. Happy customers will come back for more, and tell their friends. Have patience and be willing to put in the work. Maggie Aland Uber vs Lyft: Battling for Supremacy CEOs in Troubled Waters (with Myriam Joire from… A Review of Instagram Marketing by Matthew Lucas Related Posts 4 Ways You Can Make Your Workplace an Engine of…
A day after the CBI issued summons to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to appear before the agency, the senior IPS officer on Saturday failed to turn up at its headquarters in the city. The Calcutta High Court had on Friday vacated the interim order providing him protection from arrest by the CBI in the Saradha scam, following which he was issued summons by the Central agency. A team of CBI officers met their counsel Y J Dastoor, who had represented the agency in the High Court, and discussed their options for more than a hour. “We are discussing the matter with our lawyers,” CBI Joint Director Pankaj Srivastava told journalists. Asked what action would the agency taker against Mr. Kumar, “We cannot disclose that,” he said.Mr. Kumar, who is posted as Additional Director General, CID, remained untraced in the day. The CBI served notice on him under Section 160 of The Code of Criminal Procedure in the multi-crore scam. Mr. Kumar was part of the Special Investigation Team ( SIT) set up by the West Bengal government to probe the case before the agency took it up in 2014. In February, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sat in dharna when the CBI tried to question the former Kolkata Police Commissioner.
In a massive embarrassment for the Indian contingent at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta and wrestling referee Virender Malik have been arrested on different charges. According to reports, while Mehta has been arrested for drunken driving, Malik is facing a more serious charge of sexual assault. Media reports, quoting a Scotland Yard spokesperson, stated that “two male members – aged 45 and 49 – were arrested on separate charges.” The two will be produced in court tomorrow.The duo, however, is not part of the official 215-strong contingent which is staying in the Games village. Both of them were reportedly lodged at a local hotel.