What Motivates an Internet Troll? The Science Behind the Internet’s Least Favorite People

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In the depths of almost every internet community lives a troll. A snarky, quick-witted adversary waiting for an opportunity to insert an offbeat remark or uninvited comment. 

With 5.6% of individuals admitting that they self-identify as trolls or enjoy trolling online, it's likely that you or someone you know has had their feathers ruffled by one of these menacing online villains.  

Known for displaying high levels of psychopathy, narcissism, and sadism, internet trolls get a rise out of distressing others. In fact, they typically feel no remorse for their actions. But why? What fuels them? 

For answers to these questions, check out the video below from the folks at AsapSCIENCE on the anatomy of the modern internet troll. 

Have you had an encounter with an internet troll? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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The Art of Turning Off: 7 Ways To Do Your Best Work (By Forgetting About Work)

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Creative work takes a tremendous amount of energy. 

So much energy, in fact, that “turning off,” or forgetting about work for a period of time can feel counterproductive to a marketer who is set on creating something engaging and effective – especially if they’re under a deadline. That’s when it’s hardest to get past the guilt of tuning out and turning off. 

Why? Because it seems like you’re wasting time. But are you really?

Are you doing yourself a disservice every time you step away -- whether it’s for a short break or long retreat? Or are you investing in your work, and ensuring that it will be as fresh, creative, and persuasive as your potential allows? 

Science says it’s the latter ...

The Benefits of Turning Off

Basically, “turning off” means taking a break from work -- and not thinking about it while you’re away. Of course, all breaks are not created equal.

How long you turn off for, where you go, and who you’re with during your time away are just a few variables that make every break unique. But regardless of the circumstances, studies continue to prove that you’ll return a better, stronger, and more aware version of yourself.

Specifically, a couple beneficial things will happen:

You’ll improve your performance.

According to a study conducted at The University of Illinois, brief diversions from a task can trigger a dramatic improvement in one's ability to remain focused on that task for a prolonged period of time. 

In the study, 84 participants were divided into four groups and asked to focus on a repetitive computerized task. The control group worked on the task for 50 minutes with no breaks. The "switch" and "no switch" groups had to memorize four digits before taking on the task, and had to respond if they saw one of those digits. However, the "switch" group was presented with the digits twice. Finally, the "digit ignored" group was also shown four digits, but were asked to ignore them. 

The group that saw no drop in performance? The switch group, as they were given two brief breaks to respond to the digits which allowed them to stay focused.

So if you're feeling guilty about taking a break, keep in mind that intermittently leaving your work will refocus you, and can actually give you clarity. When it comes to writing, clarity is the mother of desire and action.

You’ll be better prepared to come up with creative solutions.

While it's easy to assume that day dreaming or taking a break is a waste of time, a study conducted at The University of British Columbia revealed that our brains are actually highly active when we daydream -- more so than we previously thought.

When we relax and take a break from challenging thinking, we allow our thoughts and ideas to incubate in our minds. And this ultimately sets us up to generate new, creative solutions.

For example, a study from the University of California, Santa Barbara revealed the benefits of daydreaming by tasking 145 undergraduate students to come up with uses for mundane objects such as toothpicks, bricks, etc. The students were assigned to one of four conditions. While one group received no breaks, three groups were given a 12-minute break to a) rest, b) perform a short-term memory task, and c) do something boring that would allow them to daydream. 

As it turns out, the group of students left to daydream came up with 41% more possibilities than other students. 

(Click here to read more about the hidden benefits of daydreaming.)

You'll avoid burnout.

When you keep pushing through work without taking a break ... it shows. Your energy levels slip. Your smile fades. And your overall demeanor takes a turn for the worst. Not to mention, it can lead to larger issues such as exhaustion or chronic stress. 

While the fear of being seen as replaceable or not having the time to take time off will often keep you from taking the plunge, you won't be doing anyone any favors when you're burnt out. 

According to an infographic from CityPass, almost nine out of ten American workers feel like time off increases their happiness, and 91% of business leaders admit that employees who take time off typically return feeling recharged and ready to work more effectively. 

Moral of the story? Book that trip. Your work will be there when you get back. 

How to Take More Breaks and Forget About Work

Experiencing these benefits, of course, means you must turn off. And that’s not something we’re all good at.

To make it easier, check out these seven tips designed to help you take a break from the grind and recollect your thoughts. You'll notice there are a variety of suggestions -- from quick time management breaks to full-fledged sabbaticals -- so you're sure to find something that makes sense for you. 

1) Follow the 20-20-20 Rule. 

Known for being the go-to strategy to avoid straining your eyes and developing a repetitive stress injury (RSI), the 20-20-20 Rule also doubles as a nice, frequent break for people who sit in front of a computer all day.

Here’s what you do: Set a timer to go off every 20 minutes you’re at your desk. As soon as you get the alert, look away from your monitor and stare at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. 

This is a good opportunity to zone out and enter your “diffused” mode -- where who knows what’ll happen next.

2) Use the Pomodoro Technique.

In the late 80s, a man named Francesco Cirillo invented an easy productivity method that people still use and love. (And he named it after that kitschy timer your mom used to let you twist.)

Here’s what you do: Set a 25-minute timer and start working. When it goes off, stop working for five minutes. Use your five minutes any way you like, and then promptly get back to work as soon as they’re up. Do that four times in a row, and then take a 30-minute break before starting your fifth session.

By locking you into a timeframe, the Pomodoro Technique incites urgency, which may inspire you to make quicker decisions and waste less time.

3) Capitalize on your Ultradian Rhythm. 

We sleep in cycles, alternating between two forms of sleep: REM (deep, dreamy, restful sleep) and non-REM (less deep, more superficial sleep). And while one may be more intense than the other, both forms must alternate in intervals of 90 minutes to achieve a truly restful night of sleep. It’s called the Ultradian Rhythm, and it just so happens that it’s present in our waking lives, too.

Here’s what you do: Set a timer for 90 minutes and begin working. Silence your phone. Block Facebook. Don’t even stop to edit your work. Just work. When your timer goes off, stop working and take a break for 15 minutes. While taking a break seems unproductive, the act will actually help you balance your energy and avoid burnout. When you're done, try it again by focusing on a different project for 90 minutes.

By keeping with the ebb and flow of your body, you’ll maximize your productivity and creativity. Skeptical? Here’s the groundbreaking study that proves it’s true. 

4) Actually allow yourself the weekend.

Hopefully, employing some of the more micro time-management methods above will help you clear your workload throughout the week, leaving you completely free over the weekend -- which is what you want, right?

Here’s what you do: If years of workaholism have made “turning off” a difficult and unnatural task for you, divide your weekend into activity chunks (the way you would a work day). Doing so may help you become more comfortable with the idea of doing nothing. 

Leaving your work computer switched “off” for two days in a row may feel weird at first -- like a strange emptiness -- but it’s a healthy mental exercise and it’ll help you write your best copy

5) Take random days off.

The U.S. Travel Association commissioned a study that found that American workers are using only 77% of their paid time off. That adds up to 169 million forfeited days, which amounts to a whopping $52.4 billion in benefits that were simply given up. 

Don’t do this. It’s your time. And it’s there to help you make the most of your work.

Here’s what you do: If you have some spare days in the bank, give yourself a three-day weekend. Or schedule a Wednesday off and break up the week. Then use that time to do something other than work.

Go ahead. Use your time however you want. (Or look into one of these hobbies that are proven to make you smarter.) And if you’re not at peace with the idea of turning off for an entire day, find solace in the fact that employees who use more vacation days end up with better performance reviews (and higher salaries). 

6) Leave the country.

In 1997, Dan Pink left his job as Chief Speechwriter for then-VP, Al Gore, and began writing books about business, work, and human behavior. He’s since authored several best sellers, including To Sell Is Human, in which he references the concept of the “jolt,” which, I think, is particularly advantageous.

Pink writes:  

Try a jolt of the unfamiliar. Clarity, we’ve learned, depends on comparison. But many times we become so rutted in our own ways that we scarcely notice what we’re doing or why we’re doing it -- which can impair our ability to bring clarity to others. Sometimes, as Tufts University psychologist Sam Sommers says, “it takes a jolt of the unfamiliar to remind you just how blind you are to your regular surroundings.”

Here’s what you do: Take Dan’s advice. Give yourself one of the following "jolts."

  • Mini Jolt. Sit on the opposite end of the conference table at your next meeting. Travel home from work using a different route from normal. Instead of ordering what you usually do at your favorite restaurant, choose the eleventh item on the menu. 
  • Half Jolt. Spend a day immersed in an environment not typically your own. If you’re a teacher, hang out at a friend’s law office. If you’re an accountant, take an afternoon and spend it with a lifeguard or park ranger.
  • Full Jolt. Travel to another country, with a culture different from your own. You’ll likely return jolted -- and clarified. 

Remember: Clarity is the mother of desire and action. It’s the ultimate fuel for a marketer. And a Full Jolt is one way to clear your mind and renew your perspective.

7) Escape on sabbatical.

If leaving the country is a Full Jolt, then taking a sabbatical would be a concussion -- a derailing, crippling concussion for your career, that is. At least that’s how some people see it. But depending on your professional circumstances, that's not always the case.

If you’re employed by a progressive company that appreciates the benefits of a sabbatical, then you'll know that a leave like this has the potential to do wonders for your productivity. 

Here’s what you do: If you get the opportunity to take a sabbatical, do it. It might just change the way you think, act, and create for the better. And at the end of the day, that’s the whole point.

What are your best tips for "turning off" and regaining focus? Share them in the comments section below.

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[Freebie Announcement] New Year, New Website for Real Estate Agents!

It’s a new year and you know you need a new mobile-responsive website that keeps up with the times, but you just can’t afford one right now? Well, I have awesome news for you! We are always looking for ways to help your marketing! This year we have a brand new arrangement with two terrific marketing partners that will allow us to provide you with a fully-functional and highly professional single agent marketing website for free – YES ZERO $$$ – The value of this fully-customized, map-enabled, SEO optimized, real estate website is $997, but we are able to offer it to you for nothing, zero, zip, nada in cost for web design or customization fees. (Teams of 2 or more and broker websites get a $997 discount – call for more info on that please) So, what’s the catch?The only ‘catch’ is that you need to cover the IDX setup fee of $99.99, IDX monthly fee, any local MLS fees for your IDX feed, and hosting on our servers. (A single agent should expect to pay about $75 - 99 per month for a single IDX feed including all website hosting and IDX fees.) We also can only offer this deal if you use our IDX provider, IDXBroker. Basically, you need to cover things you would have to pay for anyway. We just supply the website and customization, you know, the expensive part. How to Get StartedSignup for IDXBroker on our website, pay nothing now, and get started with your new website! We will contact you by phone within 1-2 business days to collect the IDX setup fee, get you setup on your monthly IDX fees, talk to you about the style of your design, and get your website started. Choose from ANY of the following professional website templates and we will customize it FREE (a $997 value) with your company information and logos:Curb Appeal Light  Curb Appeal Dark  Move-in Ready Theme (Purple, Red, Green, or Blue)  Must See Theme  Open Floor Plan Theme (Gold, Mauve, Green or Blue)  Picture Perfect Theme  Prime Location Theme  All Themes Look Great on Mobile Devices with a Fully Functional Mobile IDX and Blog!   So, what are you waiting for? Signup for IDXBroker on our website, pay nothing now, and get started with your new website! Just select the plan you want, no credit card is required to take the first step! Don't Miss Out on This!Because I am posting this publicly on ActiveRain, I might have to pull this off if we get too many responses. My web development team can only take on so many websites at a time and these ARE fully customized. If you come back and this is no longer here, I apologize. Don't miss out! Signup on our website now, before the deal is gone. Looking forward to your success in the New Year! Cheryl Carradini, MBA | Marketing Strategist |  SIMC Corp Cheryl Carradini is a seasoned SEO, SEM and SMM strategist. She is a doctoral researcher with a Master's Degree in Business and a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing.  She has authored several books, Internet courses, and direct marketing manuals for small businesses and real estate agents around the world. She is a contributing author to several websites and offers advice on dominating Google search results. Quote: "If you do not have a marketing strategy in place, then all you are doing is spending money on marketing that ‘might work’. Marketing is the single most important function in your business and you CANNOT afford to use guesswork as a strategy." FREE VIDEO TRAINING: Click Here  Leave a Review for VIP Services for Real Estate Leave a Review for Reputation Management, Social Media and SEO Before you go! Get Your FREE Snapshot Report Connect with Cheryl:Facebook ----> http://facebook.com/cherylwaller Twitter -------> http://twitter.com/cherylwaller LinkedIn -----> http://linkedin.com/in/cherylwaller YouTube -----> http://youtube.com/cherylwaller Active Rain --> http://activerain.com/cherylwaller

This is how you live stream on Facebook

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Are you ready to live stream on Facebook?

After rolling out first to celebrities and then to a relative handful of regular users, Facebook's live video streaming feature is now a part of everyone's Facebook experience.

It's easy to use and will be familiar to anyone who has tried Twitter's Periscope, but don't expect hoards of viewers the first time you fire up your Facebook live stream.

Here's a real world look at how to use it and what it's like.

Finding It

You won't find a large "Broadcast Now!" button on Facebook. In fact there's no indication anywhere that you can do anything beyond your traditional posts. Live stream video is sort of hidden under the Status icon. Read more...

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How Threddies Uses Email Marketing to Connect with Crafters and DIYers

Elana Donmoyer owner of Threddies

As Elana Donmoyer slowly rolled her collection of handmade clothing and accessories around the parking lot of a Phish concert over a decade ago, she never thought her humble efforts to fund her trips to watch her favorite band would someday transform into a business that would help support her family.

As a crafter and DIYer back then, Elana saw other crafters struggling to find hair accessories in the right colors and quantities.

“Folks were buying basic styles at the drugstore or supermarket and adding on to them,” she said. “But there was no source for these basics by-the-color. If you wanted 50 pink elastic headbands, you’d have to buy assorted packs and pull the pink ones out.”

Elana saw an opportunity, and with $500 and a lot of hard work and bootstrapping, Threddies.com was born.

Threddies offers an extensive in-stock inventory of basic and fashion hair accessories in a huge selection of colors.

Threddies Product Samples

With a background in retail, launching Threddies just made sense for Elana.

“I am fortunate to have been raised in retail, wholesale and apparel manufacturing, so I knew what to do once I had the concrete vision,” she said.

When it came to growing her new business, she knew selling from a rolling rack in a concert parking lot wasn’t realistic in the long run. So she started a retail and wholesale website and began selling to crafters and DIYers all around the world.

She also understood the value of email marketing and started building an email list early on (high five, Elana!).

4 email marketing lessons from Threddies

Here are four lessons Elana and her husband Jason (who’s also AWeber’s very own Android Developer) have learned since using email marketing to grow her business (and how you can make them work for you):

Take advantage of every opportunity to build your list.

Most of Elana’s subscribers have come organically from her website and word-of-mouth. But recently she’s found great success using AWeber’s Atom mobile app to add subscribers on the go at trade shows, fairs, festivals and bazaars (take that, pen and paper!).

Threddies Atom App Example

Pro tip: Download the Atom mobile app and customize the design to match your brand or business.

Be genuine in your emails.

When Elana first started email marketing, she found that she was trying to sound a bit too buttoned-up in her emails. Over time, she’s learned to lighten up her tone and be more conversational.

“Be genuine,” Elana said. “We’ve found that people respond best when you’re being yourself – a bit candid, with some humor. Nobody likes boring, dry content!”

Pro tip: When writing your emails, remember that you’re speaking to a person, not an email address. Write as though you’re talking to a close friend. You’re also speaking to one person, not making a speech to a bazillion people at once, so get personal with your emails.

Deliver relevant, timely content.

Elana uses email marketing to keep Threddies top of mind with her subscribers. Although her core line of basic accessories doesn’t change very often, she does switch up fabrics, add new colors, and introduce new lines of fashion accessories, so she uses email marketing to make sure her subscribers are aware.

“Our customers like the periodic updates, but, of course, they like the sales the best! When it’s the end of the season and we’ve got inventory to move, email marketing is a great way to get the word out about special deals and make it happen.”

Threddies Email Example

Pro tip: Understand what your subscribers want and deliver it. In Elana’s case, her subscribers love the seasonal sales she offers.

“Email marketing is also a great way to reward loyal customers with the occasional discount or private sale.”

Make time for email marketing.

As a mother and entrepreneur, Elana has to balance her time at home and in her business. But she doesn’t leave her time to chance. Instead, she makes sure to schedule in time for email marketing and other business to-dos.

“With so much to do to keep a business running, it’s easy to let these things go if you don’t specifically make time for them,” she said. “If you don’t make time for it, there never will be time for it.”

Elana has also found ways to squeeze in time when there isn’t a lot to go around.

“It’s all about stealing moments when you can – the mobile app has been hugely helpful for this,” she said. “Waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting for the kids to get off the bus. Five minutes here and there can really add up, if you use them wisely!”

Pro tip: Create an email editorial calendar to stay on track with your email marketing. If you’re crunched for time, use these tips to build your list and these tips to send quick emails today.

Big plans for 2016

With 2016 underway, Elana has big plans for growing Threddies this year.

“I plan to add more colors, sizes and fabrics to our line of in-stock basics, and to expand our popular private label program.”

As Elana grows her business, she’ll continue growing her subscriber list, too.

Whether you’re just getting started with email or you’ve hit a growth rut, fear not. Growing your subscriber list and your business doesn’t have to be scary. Check out our free, seven-day email course to learn simple organic list-boosting tips.

The post How Threddies Uses Email Marketing to Connect with Crafters and DIYers appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Mark Zuckerberg is now the sixth richest person in the world

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Only five people in the entire world are now richer than Mark Zuckerberg.

The Facebook founder and CEO (and America's favorite dad) saw his net worth surge overnight Wednesday to around $47 billion on the strength of the social network's latest quarterly results, pushing Zuckerberg up to number six on the list of the world's richest people, according to data from Bloomberg's Billionaires Index

Zuckerberg overtook Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers known for pouring money into Republican coffers, and now sits behind a couple of his tech cohorts in the rankings, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Read more...

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Inside Parlio: Egyptian Activist Wael Ghonim’s New Platform For Social Change

waelghonim Wael Ghonim is an activist who helped spark the Egyptian Revolution, a wave of protests and demonstrations in Egypt that were part of the Arab Spring, and which helped overthrow the long-reigning Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. Ghonim, who worked for Google at the time, used social media to unite Egyptians and create the movement in his country and was jailed for it. Thanks to social media… Read More

Facebook is finally bringing live streaming to everyone

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Facebook just flipped the switch on its live streaming feature in its iOS app.

The social network is expanding its live streaming capabilities to all of its iOS users in the U.S. The company first began experimenting with live video last year but Thursday's update marks the first time Facebook has made the feature widely available.

The new feature, which Facebook is calling "Live," now appears in the "update status" menu next to the check-in pin that allows you to share your location. Live videos on Facebook work similarly to Periscope broadcasts: you can begin a live stream with a brief description, and once you're live, viewers can comment on streams in real time. When you're finished, you have the option to save the video and share it on your timeline Read more...

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Top tips for following #NHLAllStar on Twitter

Twitter is your best bet for upsizing your #NHLAllStar experience as we bring the @NHL’s biggest stars to your second screen

Passwords May Soon Be Passé

retinapassword The early January theft of more than 320,000 user emails and passwords from cable giant Time Warner Cable gave validation to the argument that simple password authentication is becoming less and less reliable. But the Time Warner Cable hack is far from being the worst case of identity theft. In fact, it’s quite insignificant compared to some of the more severe cases we’ve seen in… Read More
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