Posts tagged with "digital"

A Cinderella Story: Starstruck illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

A Cinderella Story: Starstruck

A Country Girl with Hollywood Dreams

A Cinderella Story: Starstruck

Bring Home the Music & Magic

June 29th on Digital, July 13th on DVD

Lights, Camera, Action! Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will have you singing and dancing in your seat with the release of A Cinderella Story: Starstruck, on Digital beginning June 29th, and on DVD on July 13th. The all-new musical film set in Dreary, Idaho stars Bailee Madison (A Week Away) as our modern-day heroine Finley Tremain and Michael Evans Behling (All American) as her charming romantic interest, Jackson Stone. Other featured actors include April Telek (Chris Watts: Confession of a Killer) as the cruel stepmother, Valerian, and stepsiblings Saffron and Kale, played respectively by Lillian Doucet-Roche (A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish) and Richard Harmon (The 100).

A Cinderella Story: Starstruck will be available on Digital for $14.99 SRP ($14.99 in Canada), and on DVD for $19.98 SRP ($24.98 in Canada).

A Cinderella Story: Starstruck will also be available on Movies Anywhere. Using the free Movies Anywhere app and website, consumers can access all their eligible movies by connecting their Movies Anywhere account with their participating digital retailer accounts.

Finley Tremaine, a small-town farm girl, longs to spread her wings and soar as an aspiring performer. When a Hollywood film crew arrives in her sleepy town, she is determined to land a role in the production and capture the attention of handsome lead actor Jackson Stone. Unfortunately, a botched audition forces her to change course. Now, disguised as cowboy Huck, Finley finally gets her big break. But can she keep the charade a secret from everyone, including her evil stepmother and devious stepsiblings?

This is the sixth installment in the A Cinderella Story movie series. Other titles include A Cinderella Story (Hilary Duff), Another Cinderella Story (Selena Gomez), A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song (Lucy Hale) A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits (Sofia Carson), and A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish (Laura Marano)Michelle Johnston (Nickelodeon’s Blurt) returns as writer and director of A Cinderella Story: Starstruck, after writing A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish and directing the last 2 installments of the franchise. The veteran filmmaker also choreographed the first four films and served as a producer on the past three. Dylan Sellers of Limelight (Palm Springs, The Starling, The Giver, St. Vincent), keeper of the A Cinderella Story franchise, is back for his sixth turn as producer. Trygge Toven (Captain Marvel, Avengers: Infinity War, Trolls) and Toko Nagata (Shaft, The Predator, Pitch Perfect 3) are the music supervisors. Production services were provided by Front Street Pictures Inc.

BONUS FEATURES

  • Finley’s Best Friends: Meet the Farm Animals
  • Dirt Under My Nails: The Making of A Cinderella Story: Starstruck
Inhuman illustration by Heather Skovlund (Cover art for Inhuman provided by Smith Publicity) for 360 Magazine

Eric Leland × Inhuman

A Gripping Military Horror with Shocking Supernatural Twists

Q&A WITH ERIC LELAND:

AUTHOR OF Inhuman MILITARY THRILLER DEBUT

Question: What inspired you to write Inhuman?

Eric Leland: During a class for my MA I wrote a 25-page short story titled Recon Team: Mercury. That story was shortened to five pages and is now the prologue to Inhuman. For a NaNoWriMo idea I thought it would be interesting to see what happened when the rescuers came looking for the team that disappeared in my original short story. Inhuman is the result.

Q: What sets Inhuman apart from other military and horror books?

EL: The bravado one comes to expect when reading military fiction is quickly ripped away to expose and pick at the delicate flesh of fear and self-doubt we are ashamed to admit exists.

Q: What do you hope readers will take away from the book?

EL: It was never my intent for Inhuman to be didactic. Primarily I hope readers are entertained. I hope readers will remember the experience of Inhuman rather than any particular lesson.

Q: Inhuman features a diverse cast of characters. How did your military friendships, and experiences with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” inform this inclusivity?

EL: A diverse cast adds verisimilitude to military fiction simply because any U.S. military unit features a diverse roster. In my first combat experience I found myself fighting shoulder to shoulder with Mexican Americans, an African American, and a gay woman. Unfortunately, DADT was still a thing for most of my military career and I would only find out after DADT was repealed that some of my greatest friends were gay. I think truth in fiction is important, and if I did not write a diverse cast I would by lying. Readers can spot a lie from a mile out.

Q: How did you develop your characters? And which of them do you have the strongest connection to?

EL: The character Jaran is heavily based on my wife’s experiences who was born in Vietnam. At an early age, she and her family fled to a refugee camp after the war. The chaos of displacement during war time seemed terrifying. I can’t really say which character I have the strongest connection to—John’s sense of duty; Chris’s refusal to take anything seriously; and Brandon’s severe depression and self-doubt—they’re all variations of me.

Eric Leland grew up in Massena, NY and entered Army basic training upon high school graduation. He was an MP in the Army for six years and reclassified to a Special Agent with the Army Criminal Investigation Division. Eric deployed to Honduras in 2002, and Iraq in 2003 and 2009 where he was awarded an Army Commendation Medal with “V” device for valor. He completed his MA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University and has happily traded in his gun for a pen. Eric lives in Seattle with his wife. Connect with Eric Leland on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Inhuman is available on Amazon in both print and digital.

Audiobook forthcoming in Summer 2021.

Child with phone illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Children and Screens Announces Grant

­CHILDREN AND SCREENS ANNOUNCES $100,000 GRANT SUPPORTING NEW RESEARCH INTO DIGITAL MEDIA USE AND BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development is pleased to announce that it has awarded a grant of $100,000 to Marc Potenza, Ph.D., MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University, Yihong Zhao, Ph.D., member of the Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies at Rutgers University, and their interdisciplinary, interinstitutional team, in support of their research exploring the associations between screen media activity and brain development in school-aged children. 
 
“It is vital to investigate what ever-increasing digital media engagement means for developing brains, especially in middle childhood when children’s devices and brains are working on overdrive. Technology is advancing rapidly, and we hope to do our part to help science keep up; we are delighted to create opportunities to advance scientific research on this topic through the Institute, which I founded 13 years ago.” Dr. Pam Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development 
 
Drawing on longitudinal data from the NIH’s landmark Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, Dr. Potenza, Dr. Zhao, and their associates intend to utilize state-of-the-art statistical methodology and predictive modeling to investigate the relationships between digital media use and changes in brain structure and function, as well as the associated clinically relevant behaviors. The study, which was proposed following the Institute’s March 2020 Digital Media and Developing Brain Research Retreat, will examine the effects of a variety of specific media-based activities and will focus on children from ages 9-12. The results of this research will yield benefits and insight not only for the research community, but also for families, clinicians, and policymakers.
 
“The advances in ‘big data’ approaches have led to an unprecedented increase in our understanding of how brain structure and function relate to specific behaviors. With the support of Children and Screens, we aim to apply novel and innovative big data approaches to ABCD data to understand how brain structure and function relate to, and importantly may be impacted by, types and patterns of screen media activity. Dr. Martin Paulus and colleagues used a portion of the first wave of ABCD data to identify patterns of cortical thinning associated with screen media activity. We hope to build off and extend this work by examining the full initial sample and subsequent waves of ABCD data to determine brain-behavior relationships with respect to youth screen media activity. We hope to communicate these findings in order to advance prevention and policy efforts that promote healthy childhood development in environments increasingly involving digital technologies.” – Dr. Marc Potenza, Grant Recipient
 
Bridging the medical, neuroscientific, social scientific, education, and academic communities, the Children and Screens’ interdisciplinary scientific research grants program was conceived as part of a larger research program to advance and support study, knowledge, and scientific collaboration. Developed in 2017, the grants program provides researchers with access to the early-stage financial support necessary to pilot worthy new projects studying the impact of children’s engagement with current and evolving technologies.
 
In addition to the research funds awarded as part of the retreat program and those granted to explore the impacts of digital media during the current health crisis, Children and Screens’ regular Tips for Parents newsletter provides evidence-based, practical advice for families coping with the unprecedented realities of the pandemic, including changed economic circumstances, health concerns, lockdowns, social distancing, remote learning, and working from home. Each newsletter features insights from world-renowned experts, who share tips and advice about managing screen time, social media use, gaming, technology addiction, privacy, parenting, and more.
 
In addition, our popular, bi-weekly Ask the Experts virtual workshop series features dynamic conversations among international, interdisciplinary experts in the field of digital media and child development. Each discussion explores a different digital media challenge associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and presents families with current scientific research, clinical advice, and practical, evidence-based advice. Panelists include leading parenting experts, former AAP Presidents, top child and adolescent psychiatrists, high-impact journal editors, leading researchers, well-known authors, and others. To date, the series has reached parents, researchers, educators, clinicians, government agencies, and public health professionals in over 30 countries and all 50 states.
 
About Children and Screens:
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness.

Digital Divide illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Digitally Disconnected

DIGITALLY DISCONNECTED

13 TIPS FOR HELPING BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE FOR CHILDREN DURING COVID-19

While social, racial, and economic disparities have always existed within the educational system, the COVID-19 pandemic is exasperating these inequities and widening gaps between students at a drastic rate. For families who can’t afford home computers, laptops, or high-speed internet access, remote learning is nearly impossible, and for students who already found themselves struggling before the pandemic, the prospect of more than a year of lost classroom time is a devastating blow. However, there are steps parents can take to shrink this digital divide, and there are resources available via schools, non-profits, and government initiatives that can help children access the technological tools they need to succeed. Indeed, Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder of Children and Screens, notes that “the inclusion of 17.2 billion dollars for closing the ‘homework gap’ in the recently passed American Rescue Plan is a watershed moment for digital equity.”   
 
Several of the leading figures in the fields of public health, education, psychology, and parenting have weighed in with their suggestions on the best ways to combat the digital divide, and many will participate in an interdisciplinary conversation and Q&A hosted by Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development on Wednesday, March 24, at 12pm ET via Zoom. Moderated by the Director of Internet and Technology Research at the Pew Research Center Lee Rainie, the panel will engage in an in-depth discussion about the digital divide and actionable steps we can all take to bridge the gap. RSVP here.
 
1. DON’T WAIT, ADVOCATE 

While schools across the country are doing everything they can to make sure that children have access to the technology and connectivity they need for remote learning, the unfortunate reality is that many families still lack adequate resources. If your family is among them, says author and MIT Assistant Professor of Digital Media Justin Reich, know that you’re not alone and that there are steps you can take to advocate for what your children need. “Start with your school staff,” Reich recommends. “They’re often overwhelmed during this challenging time but be polite and persistent. If you run into a dead-end with your school system, consider reaching out to school libraries and youth organizations like The Boys and Girls Club or the YMCA to see what kind of support they might be able to offer.”
 
2. SCALE DOWN 

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Professor Dr. Wayne Journell agrees, pointing out that sometimes, despite their best efforts, teachers and administrators may not always know which students are struggling with connectivity issues. “Let teachers know if you have slow internet at home,” says Journell. “Sometimes detailed graphics and animations that look cute but have little relevance to the actual lessons being delivered can cause problems for students with unreliable internet. If teachers are aware, then they can scale down the ‘frilly’ stuff and still get the important content across.”
 
3. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF  

While it’s important for parents to speak up on behalf of their children, RAND Senior Policy Researcher Julia Kaufman, Ph.D., highlights the importance of encouraging children to express their needs, as well. “If your child does not have access to technology at home and is falling behind, make sure your child’s teacher knows the obstacles they’re facing and ask what accommodations will make it easier for your child to do assignments offline,” says Rand. “At the same time, help your child feel comfortable expressing any technology concerns or confusion to their teachers, including cases where they have the technology but cannot use it well.”
 
4. CHECK YOUR ASSUMPTIONS 

One critical step that educators and policymakers can take in addressing the digital divide is to check their assumptions. They cannot – and should not – assume that students do or do not have access based solely on demographics such as family income level. “In addition, they cannot assume that providing access alone creates equity,” adds Dr. Beth Holland, a Partner at The Learning Accelerator (TLA) and Digital Equity Advisor to the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN). “This is a complex and nuanced challenge that needs both a technical and a human solution to ensure that students not only have access to sufficient high-speed internet and devices but also accessible systems and structures to support their learning.”

5. SURVEY AND MODIFY  

For teachers who are on the ground and in the classroom, checking your assumptions can be as simple as asking a few basic questions at the start of the term. “Survey students to determine the percentage of your population that doesn’t have home Internet access,” recommends former AAP President Dr. Colleen A. Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Once you know the divide, you can address it,” adding, “When planning 1:1 projects and choosing devices, for example, you can consider a device’s capacity for offline use. For those without Wi-Fi, a public library in the child’s neighborhood can also be an excellent resource.”

6. VOTE FOR CHANGE 

That parents and teachers need to worry about the digital divide at all is a failure on the part of our elected leaders, says Bates College Associate Professor of Education Mara Casey Tieken. “Contact your elected officials—local, state, and federal—and complain,” she suggests. “Write letters, call their offices, attend their legislative sessions, and make your voice heard. Join with other families whose children are impacted by this divide to amplify your message and use your vote to support lawmakers who understand the impacts of this divide, have a clear plan to address it and are willing to take action.”
 
7. MAKE BROADBAND A UTILITY  

Reich agrees, reminding those families who already have their needs met that they share in the responsibility to advocate for the less fortunate. “It’s our job as citizens to demand that we as a society give families and children the tools and resources that they need for remote learning now and in the future,” says Reich. “We need to advocate for a society where broadband is treated as a utility rather than a luxury good, and young people enrolled in schools and educational programs have access to computers for learning.”

8. CONCRETE INITIATIVES  

Angela Siefer, Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, advocates four concrete initiatives. “Establish a permanent broadband benefit, increase access to affordable computers, digital literacy and technical support, improve broadband mapping (including residential cost data), and support local and state digital inclusion planning.” By implementing these changes, Siefer says, policymakers can start to mitigate the digital divide. 

9. USE TECH FOR GOOD 

There are many reasons to consider equitable solutions along a “digital continuum” rather than the “digital divide;” a binary description leaves less room for nuanced and customized interventions. It may be imperative to fortify existing institutions, implement new governance structures and promulgate policies to confront disparities regarding working families. Antwuan Wallace, Managing Director at National Innovation Service, suggests that legislators consider a Safety and Thriving framework to increase family efficacy to support children with protective factors against the “homework gap” by utilizing technology to train critical skills for executive functioning, including planning, working memory, and prioritization. 
 
10. LEVEL THE FIELD 

Emma Garcia of the Economic Policy Institute emphasizes that guided technology education will be of great value after the pandemic. She says, “it will need be instituted as part of a very broad agenda that uses well-designed diagnostic tests to know where children are and what they need (in terms of knowledge, socioemotional development, and wellbeing), ensures the right number of highly credentialed professionals to teach and support students, and offers an array of targeted investments that will address the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on children’s learning and development, especially for those who were most hit by the pandemic.”
 
11. APPLY FOR LIFELINE 

Research also shows that the digital divide disproportionately affects Latino, Black, and Native American students, with the expensive price of internet access serving as one of the main obstacles to families in these communities. “Eligible parents can apply for the Lifeline Program, which is a federal program that can reduce their monthly phone and internet cost,” suggests Greenlining Institute fellow Gissela Moya. “Parents can also ask their child’s school to support them by providing hotspots and computer devices to ensure their child has the tools they need to succeed.”
 
12. GET INVOLVED 

Learning remotely can be difficult for kids, even if they have access to all the technological tools they need. Research shows that parental encouragement is also an important aspect of learning for children, notes London School of Economics professor and author Sonia Livingstone. “Perhaps sit with them, and gently explain what’s required or work it out together.” She adds that working together is a great way that parents with fewer economic or digital resources can support their children. “And if you don’t know much about computers, your child can probably teach you something too!”
 
13. NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL 

When it comes to encouraging your children, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. “Reflect on the more nuanced ways your children learn and leverage accessible resources (digital and non-digital) to inspire their continued curiosity,” says University of Redlands Assistant Professor Nicol Howard. Leaning into your child’s strengths and interests will help them make the most of this challenging time.
 
While the move to remote learning may seem like an insurmountable obstacle for families that can’t afford reliable internet or dedicated devices for their kids, there are a variety of ways that parents can help connect their children with the tools they need. For those privileged enough to already have access to the necessary physical resources, it’s important to remember that emotional support is also an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to children’s educational success, especially during days as challenging as these. Lastly, it falls on all of us to use our time, energy, and voices to work towards a more just world where the educational playing field is level and all children have the same opportunity to thrive and succeed, regardless of their social, racial, or financial background.
 
About Children and Screens
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness. For more information, visit Children and Screens website or contact by email here.
 
The views and opinions that are expressed in this article belong to the experts to whom they are attributed, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, or its staff. 

Kaelen Felix illustration for 360 MAGAZINE online sports betting

How Does Online Sports Betting Work?

With more and more of the world spending time at home, the interest in leisure activities has shifted. Over the past year or so, many are looking for ways to relax without spending a fortune. With trips to casinos often on hold and card nights amongst friends canceled, those who have fun gambling are often at a loss.

However, activities such as sports betting are available online and easy for anyone to get started. For those who don’t know how sports betting online works, it can feel like a scam. Worse yet, it can be a self-destructive hobby. In reality, it’s neither. Sports betting doesn’t require a large financial investment or blind faith in a website. In fact, many reputable sports betting sites will give you a hand getting started.

Is Online Sports Betting Illegal?

Absolutely not. While many forms of gambling, including online poker and blackjack, are now illegal in some countries, online sports betting is perfectly legitimate. There are, of course, strict rules and regulations that keep the industry in check. However, these rules and regulations are for the benefit of those placing bets. The crackdown on internet gambling that began a few years ago made sure that those sports betting sites that operate today are trustworthy and honest.

You can win real money with online sports betting, but most players deal in small amounts. The thrill of winning is not necessarily in the form of a briefcase full of cash but the fun of rooting for your favorite teams and players.

How Do I Get Started?

If you’ve placed money on a game before, you’re likely somewhat familiar with sports betting. The goal is to maximize the opportunities to win, plain and simple. However, each website has its own way of handling transactions and making bets. Before you begin playing, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations.

Read the fine print carefully to find out how long it takes for winnings to hit your account, when you can cash out, and how many transactions you can place in any given period. Fans of sports betting online tend to enjoy the convenience of logging in and seeing all activity in one place. That way, betting and money management are simpler.

What Is a “No-Deposit” Bonus?

It may sound too good to be true, but sometimes there’s such a thing as free money! Most large online sports betting establishments attract customers by offering a no-deposit bonus. This means you’ll be given a certain amount of money just for signing up and completing registration, a perk of many gaming and gambling sites.

However, in sports betting, it’s not just applicable to your first deposit. You have the option to only bet using the money given to you as a bonus. It’s typically a small amount, from $5 to $15. If you win, you’ll win real money as with any other kind of bet. If you lose, you’ve only lost free bonus money. Many websites even return this in some form. It’s a wonderful way to ease into a new hobby or check out a new website.

How Do I Know if This Is for Me?

The benefit of the no-deposit bonus is that, win or lose, you have a sense of how online sports betting works and the culture of a particular website. Many will also offer chat rooms, forums, and interactive tools that connect players. Any new hobby tends to be fun when shared with like-minded individuals, and it’s not necessary to study sports and stats to enjoy betting.

If you end up not enjoying a particular site or sports betting doesn’t hold your interest, there’s nothing lost. With a responsible and knowledgeable attitude, though, many find fun and success. The past year has been one of exploring new interests from the comfort of home for many people. Why not give it a try?

NFL uniform rankings: which are the best and worst in the league?

It’s fair to say that the NFL is still one of the major sports in America, with millions of fans following the action each season. This saw $9.5 billion in revenue made by the NFL in 2020 and each team in the league getting a slice of this to build with. With the 2020 season delivering all the usual thrills and spills (with an exciting Super Bowl game to top it off), it is still a sport that offers so much to fans.

It is not just watching the drama unfold that brings so many people to the NFL, though. Betting on this sport also draws many fans in to keep up with the action. The AGA estimated that the 2018 Superbowl drew almost $5 billion in bets – much of it illicit. Thankfully, 2021 is a different time, and sports betting is making its way to gradual nation-wide legalization, with many states already fully allowing it.

In terms of actually making a profit from your wagers, for many, the key to success is finding the best NFL picks and predictions to use in their betting. If you can make the correct calls, it really helps you get the most from sports betting in the long term.

Of course, it is also the individual teams that make the NFL what it is. While the players that each team fields count for a lot, smaller things, such as the uniform each team wears, are very important. A snazzy uniform can help attract fans and make them feel good about their team – as well as leading to more shirt sales! A poorly executed uniform, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect.

With the NFL in off-season until September, now is the perfect time to look at which teams come out best and worst in terms of stylish uniforms.

Best 3 NFL team uniforms – Packers, Saints and Rams

As it is always nice to look on the bright side of life, let’s start with the most fashionable NFL uniforms around. While teams are always rebranding and updating each off-season, these are the current top three:

First up are the Green Bay Packers. The green and gold shirt design is pure class and instantly recognizable. It has remained pretty much unchanged for a long time and this gives it a really classic feel. The flash of yellow on the sleeve edging gives it extra zip, while the all-yellow pants complement the shirt perfectly.

Second best would probably be the LA Rams. This might be slightly controversial, as they had a kit rebrand recently, which was not to everyone’s taste. For a lot of fans, though, it looks awesome and is a definite update on their old uniform! The all-blue shirts and pants give an elite vibe, while the tight fit of both gives players an almost video game-style outline.

Third place must go to the New Orleans Saints. All you really need to know is that their uniform brings together black, gold and white to stunning effect. The players helmets, in particular, work very well, as the gold color and white stripe help offset the black uniform itself. For the same reason, the gold player numbering also stands out well on the black shirts.

Bottom 3 NFL uniforms – Jets, Bengals and Falcons

While the previous teams have got it spot-on in terms of cool uniforms, these three have not. First up are the recently rebranded New York Jets. There is just something about this uniform that does not work, and it looks ugly. This is mainly down to the outdated feel and how the white lettering sits awkwardly on the shade of green that is used.

If the Jets uniform is boring, then the Bengals have almost the opposite problem – there is just too much going on! The orange helmets with black stripes are like a migraine-inducing magic eye picture, while the stripe of orange on the black pants does not work, either. Throw in a shade of orange on the shirt, which anyone would find hard to pull on, and you have a real disaster.

Last up are the Atlanta Falcons. They (like the Jets) recently rebranded but somehow managed to go backwards in terms of cool-looking uniforms. Whoever thought all white is a good look for the football field needs a serious eye test! The lettering and numbering on the uniform also looks like it has come from a Sega Mega Drive. All in all, it is a real no-no.

NFL uniforms are key to the game’s appeal

Although football is a sport, what the teams in the NFL wear really does matter. Just as you would only add the most stylish Italian fashion brands to your wardrobe, teams can only expect their uniform to be a hit if it looks great. Getting this right not only affects how the players feel when they wear their uniforms but also how the fans feel when they see them.

Back to College by Mina Tocalini

Benefits of Crossposting

Vendoo is a minority-based company that specializes in full-time reselling experience to software development, and provides a unique perspective on how to solve the common inconveniences of the reselling experience. Black CMO, Josh Dzime-Assision says, “As resellers, we’re always looking for opportunities to increase our sales and expand our businesses, which is why crossposting has become an important part of the reselling process. Crossposting manually can be very repetitive and time consuming, so without a helpful tool to simplify the process, some resellers can be intimidated by the workload.” Please see his explanation below:

So, what exactly is crossposting?

For resellers, crossposting is the concept of posting an item on multiple marketplaces; by marketplaces I mean, places where buyers and sellers meet to exchange goods. There are plenty of marketplaces out there like Ebay, Poshmark, Mercari, Etsy, Grailed, Depop, Tradesy, Kidizen and many others.

What are the benefits of crossposting?

There are many benefits to crossposting, some of which include increasing your sales by giving your products more visibility across different types of audiences. Having your item listed for sale in numerous places gives each item more potential customers and the ability to sell faster. It’s also good to diversify your audience because each marketplace has its own user base and “niche”.

What is the downside of crossposting?

The downside of crossposting is that it takes up a lot of time, because instead of having to create one listing in one marketplace, you would need to enter the same photos and item information on multiple platforms. But you shouldn’t let this bring you down, because crossposting really does work! You can still take advantage of the benefits of crossposting by finding a software or tool to help you.

How can I start crossposting?

‍Before you start crossposting, there are a few important things to take into account which I have listed below. 

• Know your demographics:

All the marketplaces out there have different audiences and are well known for the products you can find on them. For example, Etsy focuses on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies, whereas Grailed is the one-stop destination for buying, selling and exploring menswear. With this being said, it is important that you understand where your buyers are more likely to be!

• Find out marketplaces fees and shipping costs:

‍This is always important to keep in mind as all marketplaces have different fees and shipping policies. For example for Poshmark for all sales under $15, Poshmark takes a flat commission of $2.95. You keep the rest. For sales of $15 or more, you keep 80% of your sale and Poshmark’s commission is 20%.

• Identify tools to help you optimize the crossposting process:

‍Yes! There are tools out there that can help you to easily crosspost on different marketplaces.  Tools like Vendoo were created with the intent to make a seller’s life easier by saving time and allowing you to crosspost items to multiple marketplaces in a matter of minutes. With Vendoo you can also manage inventory, as well as delist and relist items with a few clicks. So depending on your budget and needs you might want to consider trying out a crossposting software! Or you can always work with a virtual assistant who can help you crosspost your inventory.

• Stay organized:

‍Make sure to track your inventory in a spreadsheet or even a notebook if you don’t have a software that allows you to do this. This is VERY important because it will help you keep track of what sold, on which marketplaces the item was listed on, how much it sold for, how much money you made from selling a specific product and much more!

Crossposting might not sound like an ideal task for someone looking to expand as it takes up some time, but I guarantee you that it is! If your business objective is to grow, there’s no better way to achieve this than by crossposting all your inventory.

For more information, please visit HERE.

About Vendoo

Vendoo is a minority-owned startup consisting of four young entrepreneurs from the Washington, DC area. Our CEO, Thomas Rivas, identified a void in the market and decided to create Vendoo while experiencing the usual pain points of trying to sell items on multiple marketplaces. After the team was assembled, we began building the software in 2017. Each team member has a different skill set, from full-time reselling experience to software development, and provides a unique perspective on how to solve the common inconveniences of the reselling experience. 

Herbalife article illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 magazine

The Entrepreneurs Top Tech Tools

Rhonda VetereChief Information Officer, Herbalife Nutrition

When the world shut down due to the pandemic, everything changed, especially for small businesses. Suddenly, the ability to connect to customers became even more critical, and the safe way to do so is through technology. While companies have long relied on email or text messaging to communicate, many entrepreneurs found they needed to expand their technology toolkit, becoming more creative and resourceful with how they conduct business and compete effectively. As a technology expert who advises more than 3.4 million entrepreneurs around the world on technology solutions that can help them serve their customers and manage their business, I recommend the following tech tips to help you power your business. 

Customer service 

We are living during a time of tremendous technology transformation. Gone are the days when people waited for what seemed an eternity to send or receive a message. Time has sped up, and with it is the demand from customers for immediate attention. According to recent research, 82% of consumers expect a quick response from brands. Keeping up or ahead of customers requires staying on top of technology trends and ensuring that you have the tools to compete in the digital age.  

For website support, many entrepreneurs use a live chat tool that can help customers with basic questions. Many of these tools can be used on social media as well. If paid chat options are price prohibitive, there are also useful and free tools, including Zoho Desk.

Communication and collaboration 

Video conferencing and video chat applications grew exponentially during the pandemic. In March, video conferencing apps saw 62 million downloads. Entrepreneurs are using video apps for connecting with customers, partners and vendors. While these tools are excellent for meetings, they are also useful for maintaining connections with industry organizations and networking groups. Many of the tools allow break-out rooms for a small meeting within a session, creating an intimate and collaborative space. 

As you continue to build your reputation as an expert in your industry, video conferencing can also be used to host a webinar for existing and potential customers. Many entrepreneurs are hosting panel discussions, bringing in other partners and collaborators. These sessions can be taped and repurposed as content for your social media channels, website and email marketing. There are many video conferencing options, including, Joinme, which has a free plan that lets you invite up to 10 video participants 

Social media 

Social media is not just for sharing videos and memes – it is a top business tool. Your customers are on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, and Instagram. Once you identify which channels you want to use, you need to post engaging content. These can range from news about products, sales and impactful information. Posting across several channels every week can be daunting. Thankfully, many social media tools help you schedule and publish your content that can be calendared and posted automatically. These tools range from Hootsuite (which has a free option) to Zoho Social to Buffer

Slack  

More and more brands, companies and entrepreneurs use Slack to communicate with their customers. It’s a great place to provide relevant updates, tips and advisement, and new product announcements. It also gives your customers a place away from social media to share stories and entrepreneurs a place to connect with their team more visibly easily. 

Storage  

There is a lot of discussion about the term “the cloud.” Think of the cloud as an off-site storage locker, where all your critical information is safe and secure – and easily sharable. Google DriveDropbox, or Microsoft Sharepoint safeguard your backups and allow users access from any location. Moving your work to the cloud not only benefits you to work from anywhere and any device, but it also makes it easy to share content with your customers.  

Email Marketing 

Your marketing toolkit may contain a variety of options – one of which is email marketing. Sending professionally designed, informative newsletters to your customers is a great way to keep in touch. One of the most popular companies in the business is Mailchimp. Even better, If your company sends fewer than 12,000 email messages per month to fewer than 2,000 subscribers, you can take advantage of Mailchimp’s Forever Free plan. 

E-commerce 

The pandemic has changed how we shop. Overnight, people began to purchase everything from groceries to furniture online and in record numbers. Customers now expect to buy their products online. They expect the experience to be easy and fast. There are many great e-commerce platforms out there, such as Shopify, a one-stop-shop for setting up your e-commerce store, to Amazon’s beyond popular platform. Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, and you can use it to chat with customers online, track orders and send invoices.  

One final note. As a technologist, I remind everyone that interaction with your customers is up to you. Nothing supplants human interaction and connection. With limits on our in-person meetings, it is even more essential to find ways to build businesses. Mix up how you connect with others – pick up the phone, or schedule a Zoom, to call a handful of customers every day. Don’t forego a personal email that is not meant to sell a customer or colleague – but to check-in with them and see how they are doing. Technology is a fantastic tool that helps small businesses act big. The challenge is to make the technology connections feel more three-dimensional vs two-dimensional. Technology can help us be more efficient and productive, and while it can enhance our communication, it will never replace the incredible power of the human relationship. That part is up to you.  

7 Noteworthy Figures in North American Horse Racing

Horse racing dates back to the year 1665, with the first racing event in North America being supervised by New York’s colonial governor, Richard Nicolls. The subsequent years saw many rising in the game, including jockeys, horse breeders, and ranchers. 

Businessmen like Eugene Melnyk came into the horse racing industry as a breeder and raised reputable horses. His prowess and progress in the field are only well explained on his website. North American horse racing jockeys were the most noteworthy figures.

Over the years, the jockeys rose and shone in the game that brought both the affluent and impoverished together. So, who are these noteworthy figures in the North American horse racing industry? Let’s find out below.

The Remarkable Figures of the North American Horse Racing Industry

Many notable persons behind the scenes made sure the North American horse racing industry ran smoothly. However, the most visible figures are the horse racing jockeys. Let’s have a look at some of them below.

  1. Angel Cordero Jr. 

With an 18% winning percentage and over $167,570,000 total earnings, Angel Cordero Jr. became the most famous jockey originating to originate from Puerto Rico. He was the only person from Puerto Rico to win each of the Triple Crown.

He won the Kentucky derby thrice. This earned him a space in history books as one of the eight jockeys who have ever won the Race of the Roses three or more times. 

Cordero had an accident that saw him retire in 1992 but still pulled together in 1995 when he held his farewell race. He earned an induction into the National Museum of Racing and the Hall of Fame in 1988.

  1. Laffit A. Pincay Jr. 

Laffit Pincay Jr. was one jockey to watch, and his fellow competitors knew it. His resume was impressive, with 9,350 first-place finishes, a 20% winning percentage, and over $237,120,000 total earnings. 

He began his professional racing career in North America in 1966 after successful immigration from his native country, Panama. He has had a remarkable winning record in his racing career, which saw him gather the following winnings:

  • The Kentucky Derby in 1984
  • The Belmont Stakes in 1982, ’83, and ’84
  • The Santa Anita Derby seven times

Later on, he got inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1975 after he had retired.

  1. Russell A. Baze

Russell prides himself in a vibrant horse racing resume having finished first-place 12,842 times with a 24% winning percentage and bagging more than $199,334,000. He began his racing career back in 1974 and only recently hung his saddle in 2016.

When finishing his career, he decided to do it in a winning style. He made the most winnings there ever have been in the North American Thoroughbred Horse Racing history. He achieved these historical wins in December 2006. 

While making the historic wins in 2006, he was already on an impressive winning mission where he led all North American jockeys with 13 wins from 1992 to 2014. The Vancouver native was officially honored by an induction into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1999.

  1. Chris J. McCarron 

Chris J. McCarron is remembered for his stellar performance in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. As many jockeys struggle to win one Breeders’ Cup Classic, the case was different for McCarron. He did win the race a quintet of times between 1988 and 2001. 

With 7,141 first-place finishes, 21% winning probabilities, and a total earning of $263,986,000, Chris became a household name in the North American horse racing duel. Some wonder why he has one of the highest total purses amounts the horse race has ever seen, but not until they see more of his achievements which include: 

  • Two victories at the Kentucky Derby
  • Two victories at the Belmont Stakes
  • Two victories at the Preakness Stakes

Chris McCarron was later, in 1989, inducted into the National Museum of Racing and the Hall of Fame. 

  1. Pat Day

Triple Crown Races were some of the coveted prizes in the North American horse racing championships. However, not all jockeys could pride themselves in winning as much as Day won in the Triple Crown. Day won nine Triple Crown races in his entire career, putting him in the spotlight as one of the most successful racers.

His 8,803 first-place finishes, 22% winning percentage, and a lump sum of more than $297,914,800 as total earnings bring him to the coveted list of successful jockeys. He also found great success at the Breeders’ Cup Classic, winning four times over 15 years. 

Pat Day had his induction into the National Museum of Racing and the Hall of Fame in 1991.

  1. Bill Shoemaker 

Bill Shoemaker, popularly known as ‘The Shoe,’ started his riding career while a teenager back in 1949. Shoemaker is famously remembered for his 11 Triple Crown overall race wins and four Kentucky Derby wins. 

He achieved his Triple Crown race wins with the help of ten different horses. Damascus was the most successful one of the ten horses, helping him win two top 11 Triple Crown races. The two races he won while riding Damascus were the Belmonte Stakes and the Preakness Stakes in 1967. 

Shoemaker held the title of top winner in North American horse racing for 29 years in his entire career. He managed 8,833 first-place finishes, a total of $123,375,524 earnings, and maintained a 22% win rate. 

Before retiring as a jockey in 1990, he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and the Hall of Fame in 1958.

  1. Russell Baze 

While he may not be as high-profile as the other jockeys on the list, he boasts of the most winnings in the North American horse races. He managed about 13,000 first-place finishes in his career, at a 25% winning rate and more than $199,334,200.

He holds the record of most winners in a season and is a ten-time American champion jockey. He mastered the art of winning so much so that he could partner to victory, one of every four racehorses he rode on in his career. 

He might not have had a success story in the Triple Crown or Breeders’ Cup races, but he is worth the honors he received. However, he did participate in the Kentucky Derby and other Grade 1 races. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and the Hall of Fame in 1999. 

Final Words

Current Jockeys, investors, and horse breeders have much work to do to match the quality of work those who went ahead of them did. Investor and horse breeder, Eugene Melnyk, has done great already in his quest to see the North American horse racing sports continue. Upcoming jockeys are also doing a commendable job to make the sport exciting and competitive.