ASAE, The Center for Association Leadership, has announced plans to relaunch its publication, Associations Now, which will also coincide with the launch of a mobile app, a dedicated online news site, and a daily email newsletter. The relaunch is slated for October, and ASAE has aligned with TMG Custom Media to assist in development and strategy. ASAE is targeting a 360-degree approach for offering its association members relevant content. Editor-in-chief Julie Shoop describes the changes as “an extension of a really strong brand.” While the publication is redesigning its print product, Shoop indicates that what is significant is the addition of digital products. She says that, “Like every other publisher out there, we understand that the world has changed, as has the way we consume information. We were not in the digital space as a magazine, so the expansion into the digital world is a big step here.” In addition to the new digital products, organization was also vital in the relaunch. “In the past, people found it hard to find what they were looking for in the magazine, so we are going to have five standing sections, in addition to features, that cover major topic areas—leadership, technology, membership, money and business, and meetings. All of that content was in the magazine before, but it wasn’t organized,” says Shoop. She also says that organizing content in this manner will work well in the digital space. “The strength of the content is what brings people to it. Our current audience will find this really engaging and easier to use,” she adds.Associations Now previously did not have its own website, separate from the association. Shoop hopes that this new offering will not only enhance the existing reader’s experience, but also attract a new audience. “This is truly a launch, it didn’t exist before” Shoop says, adding, “[The site] will offer fresh online content every day, and is a new kind of content that ASAE has never provided.” For the time being, Associations Now’s app will be a digital replica of the print publication. However, Shoop suggests that the technology does allow for interactivity within the content and for adverters. She describes the app as “pretty basic,” and states that, for now, they “are not putting a lot of bells and whistles in it.” Associations Now is still finalizing its relaunch elements before the October release. However, Shoop discloses that the preliminary “buzz is good,” from those who have seen design mock-ups and strategy plans. She describes the ASAE community as “very engaged” and thinks the audience will embrace the publication’s new methods for delivering content.
Cygnus has sold its final group of brands to Southcomm Business Media. The deal closes the chapter on Cygnus as a standalone company and ends an 18-month process of bank-directed divestments. Terms of the deal were not released. Update: All of the brands in the transaction, including the ones in the November deal, will operate as a division within Southcomm and continue to use the Cygnus Business Media brand. According to Southcomm CEO Chris Ferrell, “primary operations” will remain at Cygnus’s Fort Atkinson, Wis. headquarters. Corporate Solutions represented Cygnus in all five deals. The other four deals include: • Ag group sold to American Farm Bureau in August 2013 • Heavy construction group sold to AC Business Media in August 2014 • Residential construction group sold to SOLA Group September 2014 • Public safety group sold to Southcomm in November 2014 Southcomm, a niche publisher of city weeklies and regional magazines in the Southeast and Midwest, also bought the 11-magazine and 7-trade show public safety group from Cygnus in November. In all, Cygnus has dismantled itself through five divestitures that essentially began when CEO John French joined the company in 2009 just as it emerged from bankruptcy protection. French then directed a 7-month realignment around four affinity groups, setting the company up for its eventual piece-by-piece sell-off. Update: All staff associated with the publications and events, including most of the corporate support staff, will transition to Southcomm. Included in the transaction were 10 trade shows, 10 publications and 5 websites for a collection of brands in the aviation, CPA, printing, automatic merchandising and landscape and facilities markets.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR Voters in the town of Harvard, Mass., last week turned down a proposal by MassDevelopment to rezone a portion of Devens to lure a biotech company to the site 35 miles west of downtown Boston.Zoning changes at the former Fort Devens require approval from Harvard and the installation’s other two host communities, Ayer and Shirley. Only Harvard voters rejected the state development agency’s proposal to rezone a residential area on the western side of Devens to allow industrial and commercial uses.Harvard residents were concerned about the potential for a factory to create noise problems after a nearby manufacturing facility built by Evergreen Solar prompted similar complaints, reported the Boston Globe. Evergreen Solar went bankrupt and suspended operations in 2011; its factory is being used by another firm.The reuse project is the home of a manufacturing plant operated by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., and MassDevelopment had hoped to bring a second biotech factory to Devens. Harvard’s rejection of its proposed rezoning represents a missed opportunity that would have brought $500 million to $1 billion in investment to central Massachusetts, according to the development agency.“There are very few sites of this scale, zoned and ready for development in the commonwealth,” said Marty Jones, MassDevelopment’s chief executive.Despite the setback, MassDevelopment and Harvard said they are hopeful of reaching agreement on a new zoning plan allowing for commercial development in that part of Devens.
ADC AUTHOR Army Secretary Mark Esper remains confident the service will meet its goal for about 500,000 active-duty soldiers and about 500,000 more in National Guard and Army Reserves, Army Times reported Thursday.In 2018 the Army had flatline recruiting results, closing out the year with no end strength gains.Esper said service leaders believe they will reach their long-term growth target, and it could possibly go higher.“I can’t tell you what the Army end strength will be. I know it has to be above 500,000. I know it has to be above 500,000 in the regular Army – and I’ve always said associated growth in the Guard and Reserve, he said. “But our war games could come out and tell us – in two years, or a year and a half – that we really need 504,000. Or it could come out and tell us that we need 540,000,” he added.Esper’s Army Vision statement proposes 500,000 in end strength in 2028, but past interviews, testimony and documents detail the growth plan for 483,500 at the start of 2019, with another 4,000 added yearly until the end of 2022.The Army’s 2018 recruiting included a shortfall of 6,500 recruits, while another 1,000 soldiers separated, ending the year even at about 476,000. DOD photo by Edward Lopez
When we think about magic, we think of a magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat. Delhi Tourism’s third International Magic Festival presented the history of Indian magic to the audience along with experts dishing out pointers about being a mentalist.Audience consisting of mainly children along with their parents were amused to see magicians pulling things of thin air. They also got a chance to learn a few magic tricks themselves in the magic teaching classes conducted by the organisers. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The crowds was thrilled to witness the variety and the quality of magic acts in the festival. The street magic shows and stand-up magic shows were on throughout the day. Day two was marked by performance of various mentalists and their elaborate explanations about their art; they follow a doctrine that says that the mind is the true reality and that objects exist only as aspects of the mind’s awareness. A fancy dress competition was conducted on the theme of Halloween, magic and tourism where children were dressed as various spooky characters and magicians as well. It was followed by a magic competition for below 16-year-old children. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe performances by International Magicians from Malaysia and Poland starred as the biggest attraction during the festival. Magic Quest from Malaysia performed a Classical Magic act which was based on Indian music while magician Jakub from Poland enthralled the audience with his unique stand up comedies.A special exhibition area was devoted to showcasing the artefacts of magic. The festival concluded on 29 September. Sunday with prize distributions and some more magical performances. We can’t wait for next year!
Kolkata: Forty-eight hours after the Lok Sabha election results were announced, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee finally broke her silence. At the first press conference held by Banerjee the after poll results were announced, she said that she offered to resign from the post of Chief Minister, however, her party, All India Trinamool Congress, did not endorse it. “The first thing that I had said in the meeting was that I want to resign and only continue as the party president. But, my party leaders and workers did not endorse it,” Banerjee said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBanerjee made a few structural changes following the review meeting she held on Saturday at her Kalighat residence. It was attended by all elected MPs of her party, district presidents and senior leaders. The party supremo added that she would, henceforth dedicate more time to her party than to the government. “I have fulfilled my election manifesto. We have delivered all our promises. It’s now time to focus and dedicate more time to the party,” she said.(With inputs from DNA)
Moving to a neighbourhood with a high obesity rate is likely to make a person become overweight, say researchers who suggest that your social circles can inadvertently influence your weight. “Social contagion in obesity means that if more people around you are obese, then that may increase your own chances of becoming obese,” said Ashlesha Datar, a senior economist at University of Southern California in the US. “In other words, living in a community where obesity is more common can make sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy eating and overweight or obesity more socially acceptable,” said Datar, one of the authors of the study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfObesity is linked to many factors, including eating and exercise habits, genetics and the environment. Research shows that living in certain communities carries a higher risk of obesity than living in other communities, but this association has been challenging for scientists to explain. Researchers studied military families to assess whether living in communities with greater obesity increased their own risk of being overweight or obese. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMilitary families, they reasoned, cannot choose where they live –rather, they are assigned to installations. Some of those installations are in counties with higher rates of obesity. “We found that the families assigned to installations in counties with higher obesity rates were more likely to be overweight or obese than those assigned to installations in counties with lower rates of obesity,” Datar said. The researchers recruited families of US Army personnel at 38 military installations in the country to participate in surveys and measurements. In all, 1,314 parents and 1,111 children participated. Three-fourths of the parents and about one-fourth of the children were overweight or obese – reflective of the national rates. Researchers found that the family’s risk of obesity may increase or decrease, depending on the county obesity rate where they live. Moving to a county with a lower rate decreases the family’s chances of becoming overweight or obese. To assess whether shared environments could explain these results, the study accounted for extensive data on the food and activity opportunities in the county and neighbourhood, such as gyms and grocery stores.
September 7, 2018 The frenzy around Bitcoin is at a fever pitch, and the reasons are obvious. Its value has skyrocketed over the past year, making millionaires out of early adopters. In its wake, thousands of would-be investors and coin creators are getting in on the action.Related: 6 Cryptocurrencies You Should Know About (and None of Them Are Bitcoin)A quick primer for the uninitiated: Bitcoin is the most well-known and highly regarded of digital assets known as cryptocurrency. It’s presented as an alternative to traditional paper money, with speculative investors buying and selling fractional amounts of Bitcoins (which, as of this writing, are valued at over $6,000 per coin, way down from last December’s high of $19,783) with hopes that their value will rise. Its blockchain-backed anonymity and rocketing valuations have inspired a mass of imitators, each hoping to be the one that truly breaks through and replaces traditional money.For such a recent phenomenon, it may surprise some to learn that Bitcoin has existed since January 2009, created by a (possibly fake) Japanese developer named Satoshi Nakamoto. The dubious reality of its creator is appropriate for reasons I’ll get into later. Whether Nakamoto is an actual person, it’s completely true that “his” creation has dictated the conversation about the future of money and investing in the post-2009 crash era.Possibly the most impressive thing about crypto is how heavily major banks, accounting firms and even consumer corporations have bought into the craze in the near decade since. These big-name endorsements certainly make Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies seem like a sure bet, but a cursory look beneath the surface reveals a lot of false promises and hype, with a need to dig a little deeper in order to see the real benefit of the crypto craze.Related: Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain AnymoreThe BS of BitcoinIt’s not only the idea that Bitcoin will replace the existing currency system that’s extremely questionable. The entire idea of investing in cryptocurrency is where the real swindle happens.Investors, probably more so than any other group of people, are in love with the idea of getting in on the next big thing before it blows up. This isn’t breaking news: It’s how our money’s made. From VC to armchair investors, the idea is to buy in when prices are low and sell when they are high. So, it’s only natural that an unregulated and complex field like crypto attracts a lot of excitement for a certain type of investor, maybe someone who’s not as money-savvy but has caught on to the transformative power of the internet. The online aspect only democratizes it further: When anyone can buy in, anyone can profit.Which is where things get troubling. At the heart of it, cryptocurrency is a fraud. We’ve all been sold on Bitcoin as the official future currency of the internet, its evangelists painting a picture of a world where our spending is safely anonymized and no longer subject to the whims of international bankers and governments. A number of retailers have bought in as well, meaning Bitcoin can buy you anything from a hotel room to pizza delivery. Sounds great, sure, but at its essence, crypto has proven to be something else entirely.It’s not a true medium of exchange the way that government bank-backed paper money is. Bitcoin is an asset, and a particularly dangerous one to drop any amount of your investment money into. While it can be exchanged for goods, these transactions amount to barter deals with opportunistic retailers who are likely more eager for the publicity that comes with announcing they’ll accept Bitcoin. You don’t have to take my word for it: No less an authority than JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has identified crypto as a bubble just waiting to bust. When that does happen, good luck paying for your pizza with whatever’s left.Even outside of the volatility of the currencies themselves, that Wild West atmosphere has proven a fertile ground for scammers. Old fashioned Ponzi schemes have gotten a 21st-century facelift thanks to criminals taking advantage of the Bitcoin craze, collecting funds for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) that never materialize. Fittingly for a currency that got its start abetting anonymous drug and weapons deals on dark web trading posts, unscrupulous operators have flocked to Bitcoin as their latest medium for ripping off the uninitiated. Consider yourself warned.Related: How Digital Wallets and Mobile Payments Are Evolving and What It Means for YouThe real benefitWhile Bitcoin as an investment is radioactive and not to be touched, it’s not the case that the whole cryptocurrency movement hasn’t created something of real benefit. The dangerous part of Bitcoin is in the unpredictability of the human element in the form of deceptive labeling and scams. The technology underpinning it all, free of hype and deceptions, is surprisingly trustworthy.The “crypto” in cryptocurrency comes from cryptography: the encryption technology that makes bitcoin transactions secure. Not only that, but all secure online activity is safe through the use of encrypted lines of code that can’t be broken by third parties. The encrypted ledger of Bitcoin transactions, known as blockchain, represents the safest data transfer medium ever created online. Burying your gold coins in the backyard was never this secure.The blockchain works because it isn’t stored on one central server: To alter its code would mean compromising a number of machines across a wide network, a near-impossible task for even the craftiest hacker. This level of security in transactions makes blockchain useful not only for ethereal assets like cryptocurrencies but real-money movement by banks and individuals alike.Once the Bitcoin craze blows away, we’ll be left with a truly transformative tool: a new, safe way to conduct business online. The evangelists weren’t completely wrong, only misguided. The bitcoins themselves won’t be changing our world, but the blockchain built to host them absolutely will. Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 6 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.