Archive for: ‘October 2018’

Facebook sneaks in fees to promote posts

10/10/2018 Posted by admin

Dazzle Strands has found its views on Facebook have dropped from 800-1000 to 90 per post in just a matter of months. Brands have to pay just to promote their posts to the people who “like” their page.
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It’s not just an impost on brands – Facebook also charges for promoting personal posts to friends.

Facebook is being accused of an underhanded bait and switch, with brands and even personal users now forced to pay for “promoted posts” to reach all of their “likers” and friends.

Evidence suggests that the algorithm that determines which posts appear in your News Feed, called EdgeRank, has been tweaked so that posts are visible for under 15 per cent of your connections unless you pay.

For individuals the cost to promote a status update is $US7.20 ($A6.95) and for brands the cost depends on how many fans or “likers” they have, but is around $US20 ($A19.30) per post to reach 3000 fans and $US200 ($A193) to reach 50,000 fans.

Catherine Cincotta, 33, from Melbourne, runs hair accessory firm Dazzle Strands, which has about 4000 likes on Facebook.

“I was getting at least 800 to 1000 post views and then July hit and then all of a sudden it started going progressively down so I was starting to see 300, 200 and now it’s at about 90 on average,” she said.

“I find this to be underhanded … all of a sudden the posts are being suppressed and you’re getting bombarded with requests to advertise with them.”

Lisa Dale, 32, runs an online gift hamper business, Signed Sealed Delivered, and Facebook is one of her main avenues for promotion. She also has about 3000 fans and has noticed her post views have likewise trailed off significantly, despite her fan base growing.

“They’ve sucked me in. I’ve worked so hard to build up this great page and now the only way I can maintain it now is to pay. If they were going to do it, they probably should’ve done it at the start,” said Dale.

Mashable journalist Matt Silverman wrote in a recent column that Facebook’s EdgeRank was creating artificial scarcity by “rigging the game and then asking users to pay to level the playing field”. The New York Observerwrote that “Facebook is broke, on purpose, in order to extract more money from users”.

Last week blog Dangerous Minds wrote a post titled “Facebook: I want my friends back”, accusing the company of turning down the volume on users’ Facebook reach. To reach the blog’s entire 50,000 fan base Facebook charges $US200 per post.

“We post seven days a week, that would be about $14,000 per week, $56,000 per month … a grand total of $672,000 for what we got for free before Facebook started turning the traffic spigot down in Spring of this year — wouldn’t you know it — right around the time of their badly managed IPO.”

Earlier this week Simon Dell, director of Brisbane-based marketing firm TwoCents Group, said for his firm’s page the average “reach” over the past 10 posts was 195 or 16 per cent, but at times it dropped to just 94 views.

One of Dell’s clients had an average reach of just 12 per cent of their 5400 fans and another was 19 per cent.

“Facebook isn’t seeing fans as a community anymore, they’re seeing them as numbers,” he wrote on MarketingMag南京夜網.au. “Being able to reach just 15 per cent of your brand advocates who have opted in to receive your communication isn’t a great ROI for your time and effort.”

Facebook has been under significant pressure to turn its huge user numbers into revenue and the company is now worth a bit over half as much as it was when the company went public. Its shares are worth

$US21.94 ($A21.18) down from the offer price of $US38 ($A36).

In a recent blog post Facebook ads engineer Philip Zigoris wrote that any changes Facebook makes to its news feed algorithm were more to do with offering users more relevant posts than making money.

“Regardless of whether you’re paying to promote a story or just posting one to your Page, the news feed will always optimise for stories that generate high levels of user engagement and filter out ones that don’t,” he wrote.

The response from readers was mostly negative with most complaining that they shouldn’t have to pay in order for their posts to be visible by their friends.

“So tell me, how are people meant to engage with the content if they’re not being shown the content in the first place?” wrote one.

Another said: “I have to tell you the vast majority of my friends really hate this, find it very frustrating, and the only thing that keeps them from leaving Facebook is all their friends are here and there is no real option … yet.”

Facebook declined to comment for this story.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

‘Lynette was my life’: family’s grief as Halloween brings back painful memories of killing

10/10/2018 Posted by admin

Overcome with grief … Brian Bradbury. Killed … Lynette Bradbury.
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Lynette Bradbury’s family appeal for information into her killing. Seated are, from left, her husband Brian Bradbury, her sister Suzanne Walker and her mother Dorothy Smith.

Lynette Bradbury’s family cry as they appeal for information into her death.

The husband of a Sydney grandmother killed last Halloween says his life has been a living hell since he discovered her body inside their family home.

Lynette Bradbury, 52, was found dead with her legs and hands bound, in her bedroom at Oatlands, in Sydney’s west, a year ago on Wednesday.

The grandmother of seven had suffered serious injuries and was found by her husband, Brian Bradbury, when he arrived home from work at 11.30pm.

Mr Bradbury sobbed uncontrollably as he held up a photo of his wife while the family made a public appeal to help catch her killer.

Lynette’s sister, Suzanne Walker, read a statement on his behalf saying a “brilliant light has been extinguished from our lives”.

“Lynette was my life,” Ms Walker read, flanked by Mrs Bradbury’s four children, her parents and her other sister, Cathy Harle. “She was the glue that kept our family together and without her I only exist. We didn’t have a social life. Our family was our life and somebody entered our home and took that away from us. Our lives will never be the same.”

It is understood that Mrs Bradbury, a ward clerk in the emergency department at Westmead Hospital, was at home when her husband left for work as a cleaner at the hospital at 4.30pm.

That night neighbours on Kerrie Road reported the street had been full of activity as “dozens of children” many of them in their late teens went trick or treating for Halloween.

It was also well-known that Mrs Bradbury had recently come into tens of thousands of dollars through a relative who had won a lottery.

Police said on Wednesday that the lottery win was still a possible motive for her murder and that detectives had not ruled out that she was killed by someone she knew.

Her family said she was an “outstanding person” with a cheeky smile, a great compassion and who had no enemies.

Mrs Walker said the family had been living “in limbo and in hell”.

“Lynette was a generous and loving person and she deserves justice,” she said.

Mrs Bradbury’s mother, Dorothy Smith, said no parent should have to bury their child. She urged anyone with information to come forward, saying she feared she may never learn what happened to her daughter.

Homicide squad commander Detective Superintendent Michael Willing denied the investigation had hit a “dead end” and said that all aspects of Lynette’s life were still being examined.

He hoped Halloween celebrations across Sydney would jolt someone’s memory who might come forward with information to help detectives.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

90% of kids using the net: study

10/10/2018 Posted by admin

Twice the number of Australian children are now using the internet than 10 years ago.More Australian children than ever are using the internet and playing computer games, a new Bureau of Statistics survey shows, with 90 per cent of kids aged 5 to 14 now accessing the web — double what it was a decade ago.
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And three-quarters of the nation’s 12 to 14-year-olds now have a mobile phone, the report shows.

The bureau released its Children’s Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities report on Wednesday morning.

It found that 90 per cent of children had accessed the internet this year, up from 79 per cent in 2009, 65 per cent in 2006 and just 47 per cent in 2000.

The study also looked at what sporting and cultural activities kids get up to in their spare time — and the trend is not good for cricket, which in 2006 made up just over 10 per cent of children’s sporting activity. By this year, it had fallen to 8.6 per cent.

While cricket participation fell, both soccer and Australian football recorded increases in children’s participation: almost 22 per cent of children now play soccer, compared to just under 20 per cent six years ago.

And 15 per cent of kids play Australian football, compared to 14 per cent in 2006. The number of children swimming remained unchanged, with 16.5 per cent saying they had been swimming this year.

The most popular cultural activity among girls was dancing with more than a quarter participating, while for boys it was playing a musical instrument with one in six (or 16 per cent) doing so.

The Bureau of Statistics’ David Taylor said that nearly one-third of children owned a mobile phone, but that the older a child was the more likely they were to have one. “Nearly three quarters of 12 to 14-year-olds have [a mobile phone],” Mr Taylor said.

On average, children spent 15 hours watching television outside of school hours in the last two school weeks prior to the survey period.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Mel B’s Island altercation

10/10/2018 Posted by admin

X Factor judge Mel B, aka Scary Spice, and her husband Stephen Belafonte are back in the spotlight after news of an incident on Sydney floating bar, The Island, at the weekend.
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According to sources, who were on the cabana-laden 350-square metre barge with the pair Saturday night, Belafonte spotted a group of girls out on a hens’ night taking what he thought were photographs of him and his wife, and asked them to stop.

‘‘He was aggressive and angry,’’ said one witness to the exchange. At one point the former Spice Girl was believed to have taken off her high heels and brandished them, so heated was the incident.

The source reports the girls were unimpressed, saying they didn’t know who he was and that their happy snaps were their own business – and just for their Facebook page to record the hens’ night they had planned at great expense. ‘‘It was definitely a heated exchange.’’

Onlookers say Mel B calmed down later in the night and was happily posing with customers. Also in her entourage at the venue was X Factor host, Luke Jacobz.

Calls to The Island earlier this week were initially met with “there was definitely no altercation” but after news of the exchange was aired on 2UE this morning, with the suggestion the girls’ camera or memory card had been confiscated, The Island management told Fairfax: “We generally do not like to discuss individual patrons aboard The Island, Sydney, however in answer to your question, there were two belligerent women which we believe were part of a hens’ party aboard on Saturday – the remainder of the group were otherwise well behaved. I had multiple customers complain about these women and as a result, they were asked to leave.

“This is the first we have heard about lost cameras and memory cards, and no one has contacted us regarding lost property from the day nor have we come across either.”

Belafonte – formerly known as Stephen Stansbury – is believed to be considering investing in the Julian Tobias and Adam Abrams owned venue and was in meetings last week to discuss inking a deal as a third investor – although nothing has been finalised at this stage.

The couple have been enjoying life in Sydney with their three children and?Fairfax has learned they are looking at various Australian businesses in which to invest.

It isn’t all paradise and floating boats, though.?Last week the pair took out an application for an AVO against paparazzi Jamie Fawcett – reporting an incident in which he allegedly circled the kayak Mel B that was on, creating waves. The couple have had a long-standing paparazzi deal with another picture agency.

‘‘Nobody was in any danger,’’ Fawcett insisted to The Sun Herald of the incident which is listed in Waverley court tomorrow.

‘‘I’ve never followed them in a car. I have only photographed them when I’m in my local area shooting other celebrities. In fact, I usually can’t get a word in as Stephen is so busy shooting his mouth off.’’

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ADM ‘committed’ to Graincorp deal as profit slumps

10/10/2018 Posted by admin

Archer Daniels Midland, the US agribusiness giant bidding $2.7 billion for Graincorp, reported a 60 per cent fall in its quarterly profit on Monday, due partly to the US drought.
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Net profit for the September quarter fell to $US182 million, from $US460 million a year earlier. Sales were flat, falling 0.4 per cent to $US21.8 billion. ADM shares are yet to trade this week as the market was closed due to Hurricane Sandy, but the figures beat analyst estimates.

Meanwhile, Summa Group, Russia’s biggest port operator, is raising money for a foreign grain trading acquisition and was considering an offer for Graincorp before ADM made its takeover bid, Bloomberg says quoting two people with knowledge of the matter.

The Moscow-based company is seeking to expand its presence in Asia and around the world, and hasn’t ruled out a counterbid for Graincorp, according to a third person, who asked not to be identified before plans are decided.

Summa submitted a formal request to VEB, the Russian development bank where Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is supervisory board chairman, to fund a possible acquisition of GrainCorp, said the two people, who declined to be identified because the information is private.

Commitment to deal

ADM chief executive Patricia Woertz said first quarter results were mixed. “Oilseeds performance was strong. The ethanol industry experienced sustained negative margins and Agricultural Services managed well through a complicated quarter, challenged by the impacts of the drought.”

Asked why ADM bought 10 per cent of Graincorp before launching the takeover, Ms Woertz said it was “quite common in Australia to do a pre-bid stake, and I think it shows our commitment to wanting to do a deal with them”.

ADM and Graincorp were going through an engagement process and Ms Woertz would not comment on next steps.

“I think it’s premature … They’re evaluating our bid as they have said, and we’ll leave it there. The investment itself is, of course, in line with our strategy, as we’ve discussed before, investing globally in oilseeds and ag services. It’s part of our ongoing portfolio management, as I mentioned,” Ms Woertz said.

“And it will meet our financial hurdles as we continue to be disciplined, as we look at these kinds of opportunities. So I’m very proud of the work we did getting to this point. I think we have good capabilities to manage this kind of a deal, this kind of integration, and we look forward to hearing from them.”

Chief operating officer Juan Luciano batted away a question, on whether ADM would retain Graincorp’s malt business if its takeover bid succeeded.

“We like the fact that this is a global business with a lot of scale. We like that it has a good position with their customers. Other than that, without due diligence, very hard to tell. We did all this with public information without further due diligence, very hard to make an assessment.”

with Bloomberg

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