Get certified marketing training on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more with these classes

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Twitter rants and various online ugliness aside, social media has actually grown up a bit over the past 15 years. In general, users are warier of their interactions on platforms like Facebook or Instagram — and marketers have taken note.

In fact, if you felt retailers you saw on social media were only looking to jam products down your throat, that’s not marketing in 2020. Of marketers surveyed in a recent study, the clear no. 1 goal for brands in the social media realm — a commanding 69 percent — was to build brand awareness. In case you’re curious, driving sales was a lowly fifth place on the list.

So how do products build that awareness and engage with the audience they seek? The training in The 2020 Social Media Marketing Bootcamp Certification Bundle lays out the plan for any company looking to make the most of a social media presence, drive brand success and make you an in-demand social media manager.

Since no two social media platforms are truly alike, this seven-course, 34-plus hour collection aims to help marketers create strategies customized to work on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more.

The fundamentals are explained in the Digital Marketing Foundations 101 course, a nuts-and-bolts walkthrough that hammers home the most critical decision for any social media manager: crafting a clear digital strategy. This course digs into email marketing, building a website, SEO, digital advertising, measurement, analytics, and all the latest trends in the digital marketing game.

While that course lays out the basics, Social Media Foundations 101 and Social Media Strategy advance your learning into practical steps for bringing that digital marketing plan to life. Read the rest

‘Lord of the Rings’ Reunion Brings Actors, Director, Writers Together on Zoom

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“Just about the entire cast of The Lord of the Rings gathered their Zoom screens together for a reunion nearly two decades after the end of the epic fantasy film trilogy,” reports CNET:

io9 notes that it was comic actor-singer Josh Gad who “gathered the hobbits, the wizards, the elves, and the wicked menfolk to go to Isen — YouTube, where they joke, talk shop, reminisce, and just seem to really thoroughly enjoy each others’ presence. In this stream are Elijah Wood [Frodo], Sena Astin [Sam], Ian McKellen [Gandalf], Orlando Bloom [Legolas], Viggo Mortensen [Aragorn], Liv Tyler [Arwen], and more, along with director Peter Jackson and, presumably, the kind doting ghost of J.R.R. Tolkien just off-screen.”
The Wrap has more details, including the fact that the event was to support No Kid Hungry, a charity in support of ending childhood hunger, and some ways they changed J.R.R. Tolkein’s book for the movie:

“Gandalf does not say, ‘You shall not pass!’ in the book,” McKellen notes. “He says, ‘You will not pass.” [Co-writer Philippa] Boyens also notes that Gandalf’s first line in the trilogy was one she came up with herself, instead of coming from Tolkien: “A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.”

Another moment from the trilogy that gained Internet immortality was Boromir’s famous “One does not simply” speech, where he warns the Council of Elrond that trying to sneak into Mordor to destroy the One Ring is impossible. Jackson admits that the speech was written the day before the council scene was filmed and while Sean Bean’s speech was done so well that it became a meme, he needed some help to remember it.
“What Sean did, which I thought was really clever, is he got a print-out of the speech taped to his knee,” Jackson said, pointing out Bean places his hand to his head to display Boromir’s sense of despair. “If you watch the scene now, you’ll see every time that Sean has to check his script.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

How to Get Familiar With A New Codebase

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As a developer, let’s assume you just got a new job and you are finding it hard to settle in and start working on your new team’s codebase. In this article, we discuss some of the tricks that can help you familiarize with a new codebase faster.

These tips and tricks are a summary after intense research and consulting with some field developers in the industry. They are also inspired by my new job at Instamobile. There’s no magic here, just practical and efficient steps in getting you familiar with a new codebase as fast as possible.

If you have been wanting to make your own pizza at home this training class will get you started

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Virus quarantines and shuttered restaurants sent millions of Americans back to their homes, only to rediscover the joys of firing up an oven and cooking something special for themselves. 

Whether by desire, necessity, or both, many of us have certainly been spending more time in the kitchen these last few months. And we haven’t just been hungry for the food itself. Americans have also been hungry for new ways to make it. Case in point, the Allrecipes Alexa skill saw recipe requests surge by 67 percent during March and April, while new users skyrocketed by 80 percent.

Pizza is an eternal crowd-pleaser, but plenty of chefs get intimidated at the thought of making crust and sauce from scratch. Thankfully, professional chef Tim Cunningham is on the case — and his 1-hour crash course Pizza Making: Bake the Best Sourdough Pizza at Home! seeks to prove that anyone with basic kitchen skills is more than capable of baking up a delicious pie.

The Australian-born Cunningham is a veteran of rustic Italian and Mediterranean cuisine — and over this step-by-step instruction, students learn the fundamentals for making a world-class pizza that doesn’t require expensive equipment or ingredients. 

Over these seven lectures, Cunningham starts by explaining how to make your own sourdough starter from yeast and bacteria so your handmade crust will always be absolutely stellar. From there, he walks students through the creation of a Napoli sauce for pizza bases. 

Then armed with your crust and sauce, you’re already more than halfway to a homemade pizza that will put anything you have delivered from Grubhub to shame. Read the rest

82-Year-Old Ridley Scott Shares Some Secrets About ‘Alien’

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Ridley Scott was the fifth choice to direct the 1979 film Alien, remembers the Los Angeles Times, “meaning that no one was expecting the film to become as important and influential as it now is.”
This week they chronicled some more remembrances about the film from 82-year-old Ridley Scott:

The central role of Ellen Ripley — also portrayed by Sigourney Weaver in three subsequent sequels — was originally written as a man… “I think it was Alan Ladd [then president of 20th Century Fox] who said, ‘Why can’t Ripley be a woman?’ And there was a long pause, that at that moment I never thought about it. I thought, why not, it’s a fresh direction, the ways I thought about that. And away we went… I found Sigourney by word of mouth. Somebody had been told that Siourney was on an off-Broadway stage doing something, that I should meet. And I did,” Scott said. “And there it was, she was perfect. In terms of scale, size, intelligence, her acting is just fantastic. And so it was made for her, really.”

The film’s notorious chest-burster scene, in which an alien creature emerges from within actor John Hurt’s chest, is now among the classic scenes in modern horror cinema. It was shot with multiple cameras because Scott could only really perform the full effect once, “because once I blew blood all over that set, there was no cleaning it up… I kept it very much from the actors and I kept the actual little creature, whatever that would be, from the actors. I never wanted them to see it,” Scott said. “Remember there was no digital effects in those days at all. I’m going to somehow bring that creature out of his chest….”

Scott recalled the influence that Star Wars had on him at the time, noting, “It opened the gate for me feeling comfortable that science fiction was no longer silly fantasy but actually had a reality to it… So I was blown away… My hat still comes off to George,” Scott said of Lucas for the first Star Wars. “Without question his was by far the best, still.”

Scott directed the 2017 film Alien: Covenant, the Times notes, “And he may not be done yet.
“What I always thought when I was making it, the first one, why would a creature like this be made and why was it traveling in what I always thought was a kind of war-craft, which was carrying a cargo of these eggs. What was the purpose of the vehicle and what was the purpose of the eggs? That’s the thing to question — who, why, and for what purpose is the next idea, I think.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Our grimdark meathook cyberpunk now

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Jon Evans Contributor Jon Evans is the CTO of the engineering consultancy HappyFunCorp; the award-winning author of six novels, one graphic novel, and a book of travel writing; and TechCrunch’s weekend columnist since 2010. More posts by this contributor Living and working in a worsening world Why are people who cite videos always wrong? Ten […]

Get a 2-pack of these statement face masks for just $18

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Now that the world is starting to re-emerge from its self-imposed COVID-19 quarantine, we’re all going to have to start making some adjustments to both short-term and long-term changes. 

And the questions… Should customers be hounded out of a store if they aren’t wearing a face mask? Are crocheted face masks safe or not? And will face masks be required everywhere, even the Happiest Place on Earth?

It’s still too early to know the answers to many of these face mask-related questions, but there’s one we already know the answer to. Who wants to wear a boring plain white N95 mask anyway?

Answer: No one. 

Therefore, you can start assembling your too-cool-for-the-room face wear wardrobe now with a two-pack of these two-ply statement face masks.  Each one is made from a premium, washable poly span stretchy fabric that covers your nose and mouth comfortably while containing and blocking any airborne pathogens.

And thankfully, they’ve created these short, direct commentaries for the wide variety of personality types out there. 

For the concerned

In two words, an entire conversation path is established. In an instant, you express your clean-as-a-whistle health status, all while inquiring about everyone else’s state.

For the hugger

This period of social distancing is hard on those who thrive in other people’s personal space. For them, this simple four-letter declaration says everything their empty arms cannot these days.

For the non-committal

Look, make your statement out in the world, but there’s no reason to tip your hand, right? Hello is about as tacitly friendly, yet socially ambiguous a greeting as possible. Read the rest

Hyperlambda – Probably the coolest .Net Core Programming Language in the World

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Even if you’re not even interested in the automatic CRUD possibilities that Magic gives you, choosing it simply because you need a DSL engine for .Net Core, should probably be enough arguments for you to want to check it out for your enterprise software development requirements. Previously Hyperlambda has suffered from extreme lack of documentation, but today I released a huge new release of the the goods, where one of its most important features is just that – Documentation.

So what is Hyperlambda. Well, instead of me waiving my arms around, arguably trying to explain what a UFO is to a cavemen, let’s have the thing speak for itself. Because I guarantee you that you have never ever ever seen anything even closely resembling it, and I also guarantee you that you will be amazed by it.

Get over 140 hours of online piano lessons for less than $40

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Maybe you had a piano teacher as a kid that drove you off the instrument forever. Or maybe you always wished for some serious training, but never found the time.

Whether you have dreams of tossing off a Beethoven or Chopin piece at the drop of a hat or you have visions of being the next Ray Charles, The Ultimate Piano Bundle: From Beginner to Advanced course bundle was created to turn an interested, invested novice into a functioning, then studied master of the keys in record time.

This collection includes 10 courses with a massive 140-plus hours of training dedicated to helping you not only learn to play the piano but understand the instrument, read music, compose and generally become a real, honest-to-goodness musician.

Nobody was to get buried in scholastics before they ever touch the keys, so this training kicks off with the Ultimate Piano Course: Go from a Beginner/Average to an Advanced Pianist. Starting from the beginning, the class can make you a proficient player through over 30 hours of training. The course explains the hows and whys of music theory, walks students through the entire keypad, including chord progressions, and generally immerses first-timers in a world of music.

The next step is the Intermediate/Advanced Piano Course: Enhance Your Musical/Piano Skills as your basic skills are tested with an expanded variety of lessons to push your abilities even further. 

But since playing is only a piece of the piano experience, the collection includes courses in learning to tackle the music pages themselves. Read the rest

Director Ani Acopian breaks down her drone-shot video, ’A World Artists Love’

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“A drone is a camera,” Ani Acopian begins simply. “And it can fly. It’s basically a flying super-camera! I’d love to see more film and TV productions embrace the nimble and magical nature of drones and use them for more than bird’s eye view establishing shots.” The director’s video for London-based record label AWAL (Artists […]

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