Category Archives for Blogging

“Old House Life” blogging team tours Historic Tryon – Tryon Daily Bulletin

Tryon Daily Bulletin

“Old House Life” blogging team tours Historic Tryon
Tryon Daily Bulletin
Old House Life, a nationally recognized blog focused on historic homes, recently shot several featured videos on Tryon's historic homes and other local sites of interest. The team of Michelle Bowers (blogger), Jeremy Bradham (historian) and Mandie …

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What I Learned From The FBI’s Best Hostage Negotiator

They kidnap your husband, they say they will kill him in 24 hours if you dont come up with a million dollars.

What do you do?

You call up Chris Voss, the former lead hostage negotiator for the FBI.

Chris has saved thousands of lives in hostage negotiations. Hes negotiated against the worlds most maniacal terrorists.

He worked at the FBI for 24 years.

Now he helps others negotiate. He helps companies, individuals, governments, etc.

He wrote an excellent book about negotiation called, Never Split the Difference. I recommend it.

So I gave him a call. Chris, how can I get better?

He laughed when I met him. I said to him, Did you fly here just to do this podcast?

Im meeting the most interesting guy in the world, he said. Why wouldnt I fly here?

Flattery will get you nowhere! Nevertheless, I am effusively recommending his book and that you listen to the podcast when it comes out in a few weeks.

And I got a chance to sit down with him and ask him everything I wanted to know about negotiation.

Im the worst at negotiating. Ive lost companies, Ive lost millions, Ive lost time, Ive gotten depressed all due to bad negotiations.

I like to think that I learned from all the bad negotiations. Because at least in a bad negotiation, someone is good (the other side) and I can pick it apart and learn from it.

But much better was for me to simply meet the best negotiator in the world and ask him as many questions as I want.


This is the most important thing I learned while talking to Chris.

You always want to get more information in a negotiation with as little commitment as possible on your side.

If one side says, Show up with a million dollars tomorrow! you can say, How am I supposed to get you a million dollars by tomorrow?

They will keep talking.

Outsource the hard things they are asking right back to them.

If one side says, We can only go as low as $36,000 on this car you can say, I cant go higher than $30,000. How am I supposed to come up with the $36,000? And just see what they say.

Ask open-ended questions starting with how or what. Ask a lot of them. Be prepared in advance with your how questions.


A lot of people think you get people to say easy yes-es so that when the situation gets more difficult, they are more primed to say Yes.

Not true, Chris told me. People are too primed now to say yes. They know what you are up to. Get them to say No first. Thats the starting point.

How can I do that?

Ask them a question like, Do you want this project to fail? or Is this situation not going to work out for either side.

They dont want to fail, so they will say No. Now you can start to find common ground.

List the Negatives

You can start to get empathy with the other side by listing the negatives on your side.

Then they start to agree with you.

For instance, you can say, I know you might not trust me. I know you have had bad dealings in the past. I know youve had a hard childhood and this is the only way to make money.

They will say, Thats right. And once you have empathy with them you can be a little more insistent on what it is you want.


Nobody wants to feel powerless. If the negotiation is not going your way you can say to them, Sounds like theres nothing you can do.

This will make them feel powerless. They will say no to that and now they will try to do something for you to prove they are not powerless.

Use Specific Numbers

If someone says, This car is $36,000 then start come back with something like, Listen, I know its very difficult to go below $36,000. I know you are doing the best you can here. But the most I can afford is $32,157.

Then it appears (and it can also be true) that you are doing the homework and preparation to come up with an exact number that you can afford.

This is, of course, better if you have done the work to back up that specific number. Then it is hard for them to fight it.


Whatever they say, repeat the last one to three words. Do this as much as possible.

If they say, We cant go higher than $100,000 on salary because thats what everyone else is making just say Thats what everyone else is making and see what they say next.

They will always say more.

Which goes along with:


Dont be afraid to go silent. Mirror and then have the confidence to go silent.

Nobody wants the negotiation to end. They will keep talking and give you more information.

Your goal is you want to get them talking as much as possible. The more information you have, the better. And the more likely they will negotiate against themselves.

Deadlines Dont Matter

They need you as much as you need them. Most people dont realize that in the heat of a negotiation.

Thats why they are in the negotiation in the first place.

If they put a deadline on, dont feel obligated to meet it. The negotiation wont end. They still need you.

The Power of Information

One time I was negotiating a hostage situation where they were asking for a million dollars

Turns out the negotiations would intensify every Friday. How come? Because they really just wanted money to party all weekend.

We ended up getting the negotiation down to $16,000 and by that time they had pretty much given up so the hostage was able to escape.

Late Night FM DJ Voice

This was a totally new one for me.

In Chriss book Never Split the Difference he talks about how you have to use you late night FM DJ voice when you negotiate to show people you are solid and serious.

I wasnt sure what that meant. He showed me. He got his voice about half an octave deeper and he slowed down a bit between each word.

I practiced. It worked. It was almost scary when I listened to Chris.

It brought back memories of my dad being super serious about punishing me and I did not want to mess with him.

Terms and Conditions

This is where I have messed up the most in my own negotiations.

And, by the way, I am not innocent. Ive sold, or been involved in the selling of, over a dozen companies.

Ive negotiated many many investments. Many sales of rights, inventions, patents, deals, etc.

Ive been around the block. But I mess up. A lot. And terms and conditions are what get me.

For instance, its not just a number for salary.

There can be more open-ended things that need to be discussed and put down on paper like, How can I best succeed at this job so I get a promotion/raise with a year?

Or, How can we work this out so I get an extra week vacation.

In every situation there are extra terms and conditions that need to be worked out.

15 years ago, one expert negotiator, Dr. Larry Brilliant (his real name), who later became head of all of Googles charity work, gave me advice, Always make sure your list is bigger than theirs so you can give up the nickels in exchange for the dimes.

Who Throws Out A Number First?

I always have gone back and forth on this. Its common sense to let them throw out a number first because maybe the number you throw out might be too low.

But then I used to figure that if I throw out a number first it will be good for me because I can anchor them on a high number

No, he said, Let them throw out a number first.

For one thing, your number might be so high that they stop trusting you. And as far as anchoring, know what your range is and if their number is too low then dont let their number anchor you. Be psychologically strong enough to not let them anchor you.

Also, if their number is too low you can get back to the open-ended How questions. Like, If everyone else in my industry is paid X then how can I go with the number you suggest?


Dont go crazy over this. Since you dont want to over-prepare. But get your how questions ready. Your no questions.

List your negatives down on a piece of paper. Figure out your terms and conditions in advance.

Do some basic work so when you come up with specific numbers you can back it up.

Make a preparation sheet.

I said to him, You should be a couples counselor. Thinking of the 10+ couples therapists Ive visited in the past 20 years.

Thinking of all the bad negotiations Ive had in (now -ex) relationships. Thinking of the hardships caused. The pain.

He laughed, These techniques are good for all situations really. Thats what I love about what I do.

I cant even imagine negotiating against him but he told me one story about working with his son.

One of his colleagues came to negotiate something with him. His son was there also.

They were talking for about an hour when his son started laughing. Dad! Dont you see what hes doing? Hes been mirroring everything youve been saying for the past hour and you just keep talking.

Im an assertive person, he said, so its easy to get me talking. My colleague was using my own tricks against me.

Even the master can be the student.

The key to success is to approach everything with humility. To know that there is always something new to learn in this surreal art of being human.

I think Im too much of a sucker. Im afraid every threat is true. And I want to please everyone. I want people to love me.

Next time my daughters negotiate with me Im going to have to call Chris for coaching.

But maybe I will let them win anyway. Love will beat me in a negotiation every time.

This is teaser post formy upcoming podcast with Chris Voss, the former lead hostage negotiator for the FBI and author of Never Split the Difference.

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Facebook investigates fake cancer child post – BBC News

Media captionListen: The post has been shared more than 1.2 million times

Facebook says it is investigating a mother’s complaints about a post that misused photos showing her child with a severe case of chickenpox.

The message claimed the boy instead had cancer and that the social network would donate money for surgery if users “liked” it or wrote comments.

Several hours after the BBC reported the matter, Facebook removed the post but left its creator’s account active.

More than a million people had engaged with the message since 1 February.

One security expert warned these users might now be targeted by scammers.

Sarah Allen, from St Neots, Cambridgeshire, gave media interviews in August 2016, after her then two-year-old son Jasper was covered head-to-feet in sores after contracting the virus.

She believes that images posted within articles about his illness were then stolen to create the fake post.

“We were warned people might take his pictures… because if you Google chickenpox his pictures are there,” Mrs Allen told the BBC.

“So, we were well aware that might happen, but not in this respect, to say he had cancer.”

Mrs Allen said she repeatedly messaged Facebook to complain about copyright infringement and was told on 10 February that the account in question had been removed for breaching the site’s rules.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Facebook had told Mrs Allen that the profile that posted the images had been removed

However, she said, it was back online within 24 hours, without explanation.

The profile continues to feature posts with identical text that show images of other children, and in one case a bearded youth – despite the words referring to a “little baby [that] has cancer”.

Other posts from the account – which claims to belong to Pooran Singh – show images of children in hospital claiming the viewer will experience years of bad luck if they scroll down without liking and sharing.

“What’s so disgusting [is] it’s not just Jasper’s pictures but [about] 100 of other people’s families as well,” Mrs Allen explained.

“Facebook needs to take action.”

Image copyright Mercury Press
Image caption Jasper Allen was two when the photos were taken – he has since recovered

The owner of the account did not respond to a request to explain his or her actions.

But one security blogger said this appeared to be a case of “link farming”, in which scammers seek to make people interact with a Facebook post so they can either direct further messages to them or sell on the profile and all its contacts.

“There are a lot of scams that use these kind of emotional images – oftentimes it’s done to make money,” Graham Cluley explained.

“They may later post something that claims you’ve won a prize and try and get you to enter your mobile phone number and then sign you up for a premium rate service, or ask for other personal information.

“The problem is that people just believe things that are posted online, and they need to be a lot more careful about what they like and share.”

Facebook says it is still reviewing the case with its complaints team and declined to comment further until this process had been completed.

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Rock is the new jazz and vinyl’s misleading revival: five things I’ve learned as Guardian music editor | Michael Hann

Im leaving the Guardian after 11 great years covering music years during which a great deal has changed in the way music is created and sold

Today is my last day at the Guardian, after 16 years, the last 11 of which have been spent covering music, and most of them running the Guardians music coverage. I started covering music at a point when downloading was the big threat to the music industry, but physical sales were still dominant; when guitar bands were still dominating the conversation, and still huge; when almost all of the Guardians coverage was in print, rather than online. Oh, how things change. So, if youll bear with me, Id like to offer some brief thoughts on what Ive picked up.

1. Music writing still has a place, but it needs to change

Its a myth that critics could make someone popular. As Sid Griffin, once of the Long Ryders, told me in the course of an epic piece I wrote about the Paisley Underground scene: If press sold records, Captain Beefheart would be a big star. And the influence of critics is less now than ever, simply because people can hear music before they buy, if they have the slightest interest in buying at all. Now, more than ever, what makes or breaks an artist is their music being played, but its no longer about getting on Radio 1: a place on a Spotify playlist will make a bigger impact on a new or little-known artists visibility (and income) than anything else.

Reviews, now, serve the music industry more than they serve readers. Their main purpose, so far as I can tell, is to provide star ratings for press advertisements and to enable artist managers to feel content their client is getting coverage. But music writing itself, I think, is in good health. In print and online, more differing stories are being told than ever before. Terrific writers are finding new ways to tell those stories. That, I believe, is why music journalism will survive, because people will never tire of hearing the stories behind the songs that make them feel alive.

2. Rock music is in its jazz phase

And I dont mean its having a Kamasi Washington/Thundercat moment of extreme hipness. I mean its like Ryan Goslings version of jazz in La La Land: something fetishised by an older audience, but which has ceded its place at the centre of the pop-cultural conversation to other forms of music, ones less tied to a sense of history. Ones, dare I say it, more forward looking. For several years, it seemed, I was asked by one desk or another at the Guardian to write a start-of-year story about how this was the year rock would bounce back. But it never did. The experts who predicted big things for guitar bands each year were routinely wrong. No one asks for that story any longer.

Making rooms go bonkers Catfish and the Bottlemen. Photograph: Andrew Benge/Redferns via Getty Images

Thats not to say rock and guitar bands arent still popular. Plenty of youngish bands can fill decent-sized rooms when they tour, and elicit a febrile response Ive never seen a room go bonkers the way Koko did for Catfish and the Bottlemen a couple of years back, for example. But guitar bands now feel as if they are at the periphery, and I dont see much likelihood of that changing.

3. Dont believe everything you read about how music can make money

Vinyl sales may be increasing every year, by large percentages. But a large percentage increase on very little is still very little. Whats more, as Nat Cramp of Sonic Cathedral wrote on this site, vinyl doesnt make money for many small labels, whose audience doesnt want to pay that much. And thats before we get into how major labels take over pressing capacity in the run-up to Record Store Day, forcing indies to change their release schedules because they simply cant get the records made.

Live music has been widely reported as the saviour for musicians. But while those who can charge a great deal to fill arenas and stadiums might be raking in the cash, hand over fist, that is a tiny minority of a large group of people. Below the top end, everyone venues, promoters, artists struggles. So if you have a local venue, support it. Take a chance on an artist you dont know much about. The future of music depends on people putting in, not just taking out.

4. People are too cynical about the musical industry

Of course, there are spivs and money grubbers, as there are in any industry that has historically promised large and fast returns. But pretty much everyone Ive met who works in music does so because they love it, and they dont make fortunes from it. Music is a remarkably uncorrupt world: theres an awful lot of trust and good faith involved. And it ignites the passions, still. The surest way to get an interview with one of the old lags of rock off to a good start is to ask them about the music they loved when they were 17. You can see their eyes light up as they recall how they fell in love with music.

30 seconds is all it takes music streaming. Photograph: Donald Iain Smith/Getty Images/Blend Images

5. But some cynicism is justified

Technology has vastly increased what record companies know about listeners and their listening habits, just as it has increased what newspapers know about their readers and their reading habits. And the results of this on both parts can be pernicious. At our end, its the reason why we get complaints about endless stories about Adele and Beyonc and Kanye West. Why do we run them? Because people read them. Whereas very few people read stories about the latest underground band we want to rave about. And in music, that knowledge has resulted in commercial music, more than ever before, being made to a formula. I recommend to you a terrific piece by Dorian Lynskey in GQ, of which this is a key section: For a stream to qualify as a sale, it has to play for at least 30 seconds. Most listeners will abandon anything too jarringly different before then, so theres an incentive for artists to draw on a small pool of bankable writers, producers and styles. I call it the shit-click factor, says [Chart UKs James] Masterton. If a record is too challenging, then people will say, Whats this? Its shit, and click on to the next one. There used to be room on the charts for something dynamic and exciting such as the Arctic Monkeys. I cant see the circumstances right now where that could happen.

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'Dreams don't work unless you do': One blogger reveals how she gets paid to travel the world – Lonely Planet Travel News

Lonely Planet Travel News

'Dreams don't work unless you do': One blogger reveals how she gets paid to travel the world
Lonely Planet Travel News
Today, Alyssa has travelled to approximately 70 countries and has amassed nearly 130,000 followers on Instagram, as well as having a wide online readership for her blog. She is making more money that she has in any of her previous positions, and while …

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Blogging is an easy way to make your play – Independent Online

The Good Men Project (blog)

Blogging is an easy way to make your play
Independent Online
Blogs are a class of website designed for keeping online journals. In fact, the name is a mash-up of the words "web log". Blogs represent a social phenomenon, so they are constantly evolving. The internet itself is changing very fast, so pinpointing a
How to Start a Successful Lifestyle BlogThe Good Men Project (blog)

all 2 news articles »

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The story behind 7 of history’s most successful women of business.

For a lot of history, business has been the sphere of the bros.

Much to-do has been made of the fact that many panels, business boards, advisory committees, venture capitalists, CEOs … the list goes on … are dudes.

And with good reason!

This is a board for a philanthropy organization in 1918. Two ladies! Frustratingly, at the top of many businesses, it’s looking like even 2018’s will still look a lot like 1918. Image via Center for Jewish History/Flickr.

Among 500 top-ranked companies in 2015, only about 14% of the highest leadership positions were held by women, and just 4% of the businesses’ CEOs were female.

Because the odds are not so hot that you’ll learn about a fantastic, inspirational lady boss today, we’re gonna fix that!

Here’s a sampling of some of our favorite female entrepreneurs and lady bosses.

1. Sara Blakely

“What I think I sell with my clothes is confidence, so hopefully all my dresses, my accessories, are friends to the women. When you open the closet, and your eyes are swollen, and you don’t like the way you look, you go to your friends.” von Frstenburg to the Wall Street Journal

3. Madam C.J. Walker

4. Lizzie Magie

5. Ayah Bdeir

Image via Ayah Bdeir/Flickr.

Bdeir is the founder of LittleBits, modular electronics that snap together with magnets. Think: electronic Legos that move. She’s also a major supporter of the open hardware movement, an initiative mainly focused on keeping technological knowledge open to everyone. Bdeir created a product that teaches tech and supports a movement that keeps knowledge flowin’ (and LittleBits has more than 65,000 followers on Facebook, so it’s clearly doing something right). Cool!

“We are hoping … littleBits will make electronics sexy, and when you see how empowering it is, then you will want to learn more, as opposed to thinking its too hard and boring,” she told the online magazine We Make Money Not Art.

6. Nely Galan

“Zipcar believes that you really can do well by doing good. … Most people who own cars do not really need a car full time, especially if they take public transportation to commute to work. Zipcar allows people to live car less without being car free.” Chase to FastCompany.

As you can see, many of these lady entrepreneurs and bosses have created products and businesses that aren’t just successful (because that’s a duh), they’ve created ecosystems of commerce that take advantage of their potential for impact.

They raise voices, fill needs, empower, and represent.

Soon there will be a day when all businesspeople, both ladies and dudes, will not be singled out for their gender. And that will be an awesome day.

But until the playing field is a little more even, we’ll be over here cheering for the smaller but mightier team of ladies in business.

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How the Cowboys dramatically reshaped their roster in just one offseason. – Blogging The Boys (blog)

Blogging The Boys (blog)

How the Cowboys dramatically reshaped their roster in just one offseason.
Blogging The Boys (blog)
The Cowboys still owe Tony Romo $19,600,000 in dead money over the next two years, but even if you added that money back into this group, it's well below what most of the Cowboys' NFC rivals are spending on this position. Most teams struggle to make …

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What 2018 mock drafts can tell us about the Dallas Cowboys – Blogging The Boys (blog)

Blogging The Boys (blog)

What 2018 mock drafts can tell us about the Dallas Cowboys
Blogging The Boys (blog)
I know, why the heck are we talking about mock drafts for 2018 right before the 2017 season starts? Well, it's not because we want to look at any one particular player the Dallas Cowboys might draft next year. It's more about seeing how outsiders gauge

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AI can make your money work for you

The way we thought of apps back in 2008 is how well view artificial intelligence five years from now; 2016 will look like the AI stone age.

Although apps have created completely new behaviors, especially in the fintech space with mobile banking and shared payments, the app economy, unfortunately, seems to be reaching a peak, and monetizing an app has become an uphill battle.

Apps will be the technology of the past, ushering in a new era for AI. Bots today are merely app replacements or novelties, and the experience still feels like talking to a robot. But with bots eventually becoming smarter than todays apps, theyll inevitably solve the problems that apps cannot fix in entirely new ways that havent even been realized yet.

Lets take a look ahead. In the future, for example, bots, and AI in general, will help you make money off your checking account.

Did you know that extra cash in your checking account is a missed opportunity? Every day, it loses value to inflation. To generate better returns, you could keep the bare minimum in your checking account and invest the rest. However, unexpected expenses can drain your account suddenly. Without extra cushioning in your checking account, you risk getting slapped with bank fees or credit card debt that quickly cancel out any gains from your investments.

AI will enable us to increase our wealth while decreasing our anxiety.

It feels like you cant win. Either youre missing out on capital gains, or youre playing limbo with your account balance. AI will make this struggle a thing of the past.

Advances in AI will create a robo-accountant that knows your spending better than you do. By analyzing your purchase history, it will constantly move money between your checking, savings, investments and credit cards. This way, your checking accounts balance is always in the narrow sweet spot: high enough to avoid fees, but not so high that you miss out on investment yield.

Right now, finding that sweet spot is time-consuming and anxiety-inducing. In time, the robo-accountant will know when youre likely to splurge. It will know when your car will need a repair, when your electric bill will spike. It will know when youre actually better off carrying a balance on your credit card than paying your banks minimum-balance fee.

A fee-minimizer/yield-optimizer could exist without AI, but it wouldnt work that well. AI incorporates the ability to make complex judgments based on your history of spending habits, the fees from your various financial institutions and countless other factors. This is the crucial link that makes the product useful: It plans ahead so you dont have to.

Your robo-accountant will take everything into consideration to make sure you get the most yield from your money while minimizing the fees you pay across the board. AI will enable us to increase our wealth while decreasing our anxiety. Given that more than 60 percent of Americans worry about missing their retirement goals, this is no small feat.

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