French police made dozens of arrests across France Saturday amid violent anti-government protests described by one of the protesters as a “civil war,” CNN affiliate BFM reported.
French police made dozens of arrests across France Saturday amid violent anti-government protests described by one of the protesters as a “civil war,” CNN affiliate BFM reported.
Ready to start a website? Great! Are you thinking that web hosting is the same thing as a domain name. Wrong. It is easy to get confused between web hosting and domain name and think that they refer to the same thing. Web hosting is the place where your website and all its files are stored, a server. Whereas, a domain name is the actual name of your website like facebook.com, amazon.com. In layman terms, domain name is actually the name of the house that you live in and web host is the actual house. Can you have a website without either? No. That is why they go hand in hand with each other. Let’s dig a bit deeper into domains.
What are Domains? We have all heard about IP addresses. They are series of numbers which are used to refer to a website. However, who is going to type or remember the long series of numbers.
That is where domain names come in. A website owner registers a domain name which is then used to route to the particular IP address of the website. It is essentially a pointer, and means nothing on its own.
Together or Separately: Should you buy the domain name and web hosting from different companies or one? Many web hosting websites also provide you with an option to register a domain with them but not all of them.
How To Choose A Domain: There are numerous articles detailing how to go about selecting a web hosting site for your business, but fewer details when it comes to choosing a domain name. It is extremely important to pay attention to it because it will be your online identity. Here are some tips to make sure you buy the right domain name:
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Life requires daily acts of ingenuity and novel workarounds, so it is in everyone’s interest to nurture creative impulses, regardless of one’s day job. How to shake up the way we think? Creativity is associated with many factors including conducive environments, ideal collaborators, personality traits, serendipity, and even a quest for spiritual muses. Research shows that creative thinking involves making new connections between different regions of the brain, which is accomplished by cultivating divergent thinking skills and deliberately exposing ourselves to new experiences and to learning. While research psychologists are interested in tapping innovative thinking, clinical psychologists sometimes encourage patients to use artistic expression as a way to confront difficult feelings.
Many people feel that they have no or very limited creative ability—even people who work in creative fields! However, innovation is not some divine gift; it’s actually the skilled application of knowledge in new and exciting ways. The truth is that creativity can be acquired and honed at any age or any experience level. When a person learns new information, sleeping or enjoying a distraction allows the unconscious mind to process the data in novel and surprising ways, thereby laying the groundwork for a creative insight or breakthrough.
In 1666, one of the most influential scientists in history was strolling through a garden when he was struck with a flash of creative brilliance that would change the world.
While standing under the shade of an apple tree, Sir Isaac Newton saw an apple fall to the ground. “Why should that apple always descend perpendicularly to the ground,” Newton wondered. “Why should it not go sideways, or upwards, but constantly to the earth’s center? Assuredly, the reason is, that the earth draws it. There must be a drawing power in matter.”
And thus, the concept of gravity was born.
The story of the falling apple has become one of the lasting and iconic examples of the creative moment. It is a symbol of the inspired genius that fills your brain during those “eureka moments” when creative conditions are just right.
What most people forget, however, is that Newton worked on his ideas about gravity for nearly twenty years until, in 1687, he published his groundbreaking book, The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. The falling apple was merely the beginning of a train of thought that continued for decades.
Newton isn’t the only one to wrestle with a great idea for years. Creative thinking is a process for all of us. In this article, I’ll share the science of creative thinking, discuss which conditions drive creativity and which ones hinder it, and offer practical tips for becoming more creative.
Creative thinking requires our brains to make connections between seemingly unrelated ideas. Is this a skill that we are born with or one that we develop through practice? Let’s look at the research to uncover an answer.
In the 1960s, a creative performance researcher named George Land conducted a study of 1,600 five-year-olds and 98 percent of the children scored in the “highly creative” range. Dr. Land re-tested each subject during five year increments. When the same children were 10-years-old, only 30 percent scored in the highly creative range. This number dropped to 12 percent by age 15 and just 2 percent by age 25. As the children grew into adults they effectively had the creativity trained out of them. In the words of Dr. Land, “non-creative behavior is learned.”
Similar trends have been discovered by other researchers. For example, one study of 272,599 students found that although IQ scores have risen since 1990, creative thinking scores have decreased.
All of this to say, claiming that “I’m just not the creative type” is a pretty weak excuse for avoiding creative thinking. Certainly, some people are primed to be more creative than others. However, nearly every person is born with some level of creative skill and the majority of our creative thinking abilities are trainable.
What does it take to unleash your creative potential?
As I mentioned in my article on Threshold Theory, being in the top 1 percent of intelligence has no correlation with being fantastically creative. Instead, you simply have to be smart (not a genius) and then work hard, practice deliberately and put in your reps.
As long as you meet a threshold of intelligence, then brilliant creative work is well within your reach. In the words of researchers from a 2013 study, “we obtained evidence that once the intelligence threshold is met, personality factors become more predictive for creativity.”
What exactly are these “personality factors” that researchers are referring to when it comes to boosting your creative thinking?
One of the most critical components is how you view your talents internally. More specifically, your creative skills are largely determined by whether you approach the creative process with a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
The basic idea is that when we use a fixed mindset we approach tasks as if our talents and abilities are fixed and unchanging. In a growth mindset, however, we believe that our abilities can be improved with effort and practice. Interestingly, we can easily nudge ourselves in one direction or another based on how we talk about and praise our efforts.
Here’s a brief summary in Dweck’s words:
“The whole self-esteem movement taught us erroneously that praising intelligence, talent, abilities would foster self-confidence, self-esteem, and everything great would follow. But we’ve found it backfires. People who are praised for talent now worry about doing the next thing, about taking on the hard task, and not looking talented, tarnishing that reputation for brilliance. So instead, they’ll stick to their comfort zone and get really defensive when they hit setbacks.
So what should we praise? The effort, the strategies, the doggedness and persistence, the grit people show, the resilience that they show in the face of obstacles, that bouncing back when things go wrong and knowing what to try next. So I think a huge part of promoting a growth mindset in the workplace is to convey those values of process, to give feedback, to reward people engaging in the process, and not just a successful outcome.”
How can we apply the growth mindset to creativity in practical terms? In my experience, it comes down to one thing: the willingness to look bad when pursuing an activity.
As Dweck says, the growth mindset is focused more on the process than the outcome. This is easy to accept in theory, but very hard to stick to in practice. Most people don’t want to deal with the accompanying embarrassment or shame that is often required to learn a new skill.
The list of mistakes that you can never recover from is very short. I think most of us realize this on some level. We know that our lives will not be destroyed if that book we write doesn’t sell or if we get turned down by a potential date or if we forget someone’s name when we introduce them. It’s not necessarily what comes after the event that worries us. It’s the possibility of looking stupid, feeling humiliated, or dealing with embarrassment along the way that prevents us from getting started at all.
In order to fully embrace the growth mindset and enhance your creativity, you need to be willing to take action in the face of these feelings which so often deter us.
Assuming that you are willing to do the hard work of facing your inner fears and working through failure, here are a few practical strategies for becoming more creative.
Constrain yourself. Carefully designed constraints are one of your best tools for sparking creative thinking. Dr. Seuss wrote his most famous book when he limited himself to 50 words. Soccer players develop more elaborate skill sets when they play on a smaller field. Designers can use a 3-inch by 5-inch canvas to create better large scale designs. The more we limit ourselves, the more resourceful we become.
Broaden your knowledge. One of my most successful creative strategies is to force myself to write about seemingly disparate topics and ideas. For example, I have to be creative when I use 1980’s basketball strategies or ancient word processing software or zen Buddhism to describe our daily behaviors. In the words of psychologist Robert Epstein, “You’ll do better in psychology and life if you broaden your knowledge.”
Sleep longer. In my article on how to get better sleep, I shared a study from the University of Pennsylvania, which revealed the incredible impact of sleep on mental performance. The main finding was this: Sleep debt is cumulative and if you get 6 hours of sleep per night for two weeks straight, your mental and physical performance declines to the same level as if you had stayed awake for 48 hours straight. Like all cognitive functions, creative thinking is significantly impaired by sleep deprivation.
Embrace positive thinking. It sounds a bit fluffy for my taste, but positive thinking can lead to significant improvements in creative thinking. Why? Positive psychology research has revealed that we tend to think more broadly when we are happy. This concept, which is known as the Broaden and Build Theory, makes it easier for us to make creative connections between ideas. Conversely, sadness and depression seems to lead to more restrictive and limited thinking.
Creativity is a talent and hard work. It’s not just a eureka moment. You have to work through mental barriers and internal blocks. You have to commit to practicing your craft deliberately. And you have to stick with the process for years, perhaps even decades like Newton did, in order to see your creative genius blossom.
I like to think of myself as a rational person, but I’m not one. The good news is it’s not just me — or you. We are all irrational, and we all make mental errors.
For a long time, researchers and economists believed that humans made logical, well-considered decisions. In recent decades, however, researchers have uncovered a wide range of mental errors that derail our thinking. Sometimes we make logical decisions, but there are many times when we make emotional, irrational, and confusing choices.
Psychologists and behavioral researchers love to geek out about these different mental mistakes. There are dozens of them and they all have fancy names like “mere exposure effect” or “narrative fallacy.” But I don’t want to get bogged down in the scientific jargon today. Instead, let’s talk about the mental errors that show up most frequently in our lives and break them down in easy-to-understand language.
Here are three most common mental errors that sway us from making best decisions.
Nearly every popular online media outlet is filled with survivorship bias these days. Anywhere you see articles with titles like “8 Things Successful People Do Everyday” or “The Best Advice Richard Branson Ever Received” or “How LeBron James Trains in the Off-Season” you are seeing survivorship bias in action.
Survivorship bias refers to our tendency to focus on the winners in a particular area and try to learn from them while completely forgetting about the losers who are employing the same strategy.
There might be thousands of athletes who train in a very similar way to LeBron James, but never made it to the NBA. The problem is nobody hears about the thousands of athletes who never made it to the top. We only hear from the people who survive. We mistakenly overvalue the strategies, tactics, and advice of one survivor while ignoring the fact that the same strategies, tactics, and advice didn’t work for most people.
Another example: “Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg all dropped out of school and became billionaires! You don’t need school to succeed. Entrepreneurs just need to stop wasting time in class and get started.”
It’s entirely possible that Richard Branson succeeded in spite of his path and not because of it. For every Branson, Gates, and Zuckerberg, there are thousands of other entrepreneurs with failed projects, debt-heavy bank accounts, and half-finished degrees. Survivorship bias isn’t merely saying that a strategy may not work well for you, it’s also saying that we don’t really know if the strategy works well at all.
When the winners are remembered and the losers are forgotten it becomes very difficult to say if a particular strategy leads to success.
Loss aversion refers to our tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains. Research has shown that if someone gives you $10 you will experience a small boost in satisfaction, but if you lose $10 you will experience a dramatically higher loss in satisfaction. Yes, the responses are opposite, but they are not equal in magnitude.
Our tendency to avoid losses causes us to make silly decisions and change our behavior simply to keep the things that we already own. We are wired to feel protective of the things we own and that can lead us to overvalue these items in comparison with the options.
For example, if you buy a new pair of shoes it may provide a small boost in pleasure. However, even if you never wear the shoes, giving them away a few months later might be incredibly painful. You never use them, but for some reason you just can’t stand parting with them. Loss aversion.
Similarly, you might feel a small bit of joy when you breeze through green lights on your way to work, but you will get downright angry when the car in front of you sits at a green light and you miss the opportunity to make it through the intersection. Losing out on the chance to make the light is far more painful than the pleasure of hitting the green light from the beginning.
The Grandaddy of Them All. Confirmation bias refers to our tendency to search for and favor information that confirms our beliefs while simultaneously ignoring or devaluing information that contradicts our beliefs.
For example, Person A believes climate change is a serious issue and they only search out and read stories about environmental conservation, climate change, and renewable energy. As a result, Person A continues to confirm and support their current beliefs.
Meanwhile, Person B does not believe climate change is a serious issue, and they only search out and read stories that discuss how climate change is a myth, why scientists are incorrect, and how we are all being fooled. As a result, Person B continues to confirm and support their current beliefs.
Changing your mind is harder than it looks. The more you believe you know something, the more you filter and ignore all information to the contrary.
You can extend this thought pattern to nearly any topic. If you just bought a Honda Accord and you believe it is the best car on the market, then you’ll naturally read any article you come across that praises the car. Meanwhile, if another magazine lists a different car as the best pick of the year, you simply dismiss it and assume that the editors of that particular magazine got it wrong or were looking for something different than what you were looking for in a car.
It is not natural for us to formulate a hypothesis and then test various ways to prove it false. Instead, it is far more likely that we will form one hypothesis, assume it is true, and only seek out and believe information that supports it. Most people don’t want new information, they want validating information.
Once you understand some of these common mental errors, your first response might be something along the lines of, “I want to stop this from happening! How can I prevent my brain from doing these things?”
It’s a fair question, but it’s not quite that simple. Rather than thinking of these miscalculations as a signal of a broken brain, it’s better to consider them as evidence that the shortcuts your brain uses aren’t useful in all cases. There are many areas of everyday life where the mental processes mentioned above are incredibly useful. You don’t want to eliminate these thinking mechanisms.
The problem is that our brains are so good at performing these functions — they slip into these patterns so quickly and effortlessly — that we end up using them in situations where they don’t serve us.
In cases like these, self-awareness is often one of our best options. Hopefully this article will help you spot these errors next time you make them.
Backlinks are the focus of attention of SEO community for a good reason: link profile is one of key factors for the website’s SEO. At the same time, link building expenses are a significant part of SEO budget.
In this article, we’ll explain how to save your money and get free (or almost free) backlinks in 10 best different ways.
Social media use is one of the easiest ways to get free backlinks and increase your brand visibility in SERP. Some of them allow you to get dofollow backlinks, others don’t. In spite of the fact that dofollow links value much higher, do not underestimate nofollow links. Natural link profile must contain both dofollow and nofollow ones.
Independent blogging platforms and blog publishing services from leading search engines can serve as additional source of backlinks and traffic. While making posts, don’t forget that publishing of same content on all platforms definitely isn’t good for you. Besides, every blogging platform has its own specific characteristics you need take into account in the content development process.
Main perk of Q&A services in terms of your website’s SEO lies not so much in backlinks creating, but in increasing brand visibility and direct targeted traffic flow. Usually, Q&A websites automatically set rel=”nofollow” attribute for all links, but it doesn’t mean that such links are completely useless for your website.
Here are several Q&A services that deserve special attention:
Manual blog commenting is one of the most simple and widespread link building techniques: all you need to do is to find and filter topics relevant to your niche and then start leaving comments.
Before you start working with a certain forum, you need to check:
Before writing comments, take forum rules into account: some of them say that you need to get some reputation before placing links in your comments. Violation of the rules can entail temporary or even lifelong ban.
If ratings and lists (of products or companies) are popular in your niche, you can use existing options and add your company (and website link) to them.
To find popular niche lists, use one of the Serpstat instruments — Keyword Research → SERP Analysis → Top by Keyword.
Link adding method will depend on list format of the list itself. If it was created as an article, you need to write a message to its author directly. If it was generated automatically, perform all necessary procedures required by a website to get in general rating.
‘Blog’ section of niche media can be seen as next step in a long chain of ‘opinion pieces’ evolution of classic print media. The difference is that publication process became much easier than before. Now it is enough to register (or log in), upload your article with appropriate formatting and correct links and push a ‘Publish’ button.
This technique successfully works in such projects as TechInAsia: user-generated content goes through basic moderation and doesn’t require lengthy referral process and serious editing. It is a perfect way to place a natural link on the one hand and attract a great traffic from the newsfeed (and organic search) on the other.
One way or another, we can say that guest blog posting in niche media is a profitable venture 🙂 You need only to spend a little time and make an effort to create unique and valuable content that must be approved for publication.
If outbound content generating or publishing becomes problematic (you’ve completely run out of ideas or website owner asked for an exorbitant price), you can use one more link building method. This method involves searching for broken links and replacing them with active relevant links (from your website, of course):
Participation in professional events can not only be useful in terms of traditional PR: it also can provide additional possibilities for link building. Send your employee to an event as a speaker, become an media partner or a sponsor – and you are guaranteed to receive high-quality backlinks on event’s website. Don’t forget to speak out your requirements for links at the beginning of the partnership with event organizers.
In a perfect world partner (advertising) blog posts include an active dofollow link, and therefore content marketers and SEOs are interested in them.
Can we classify this method as free? If your company has sufficient social media authority or huge email subscriber base, your PR opportunities can be a good argument for collaboration with bloggers. Otherwise, you can always propose a straight swap if the blogger really needs your product.
This backlink creating method is the most resource-intensive. And we don’t even mean money: it’s all about your time and nerve cells. The process of creating a Wikipedia page demands your perseverance: you’ll face series of edits before your article will be approved by Wikipedia administrators. However, when a page will be published you’ll get your treasured trusted backlink.