Bringing an end to sex discrimination

first_imgAPTN InFocus In this episode we put Bill S-3 In Focus.That’s the legislation currently in front of the Senate that, if passed, will end sex discrimination in the Indian Act.Its aim is to restore full legal status to First Nations women and their children who were not eligible before.When that happens, thousands of people will become eligible for Treaty status.Reporter Todd Lamirande gave us an explanation as to what it means right now, and where the bill still has to go.And Jeannette Corbiere-Lavell came in studio to talk about the very first court case she launched challenging sex discrimination in the Act 47 years ago.Chief Rick O’Bomsawin of Odanak at the Akamaki First Nation in Quebec weighed in on the current court cases.And Donna Partridge joined us from Big Island Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan to talk about her struggles in getting her status.It’s a discussion not going away anytime soon, and it’s a discussion worthy of continuing.Subscribe to the APTN InFocus podcast below:last_img read more

Corporate citizen fixing bad road in Provo

first_img Airports Authority commanded to protect South Caicos airport by airline Turks and Caicos airline, ICA, now flies to Havana Related Items:Intercaribbean Airways, provo air center, road works InterCaribbean launches Cuba flights Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 27 Jan 2015 – Road works were underway yesterday at the junction of Old Airport Road; but it is not the public works department resurfacing the strip which was filled with huge potholes. InterCaribbean Airways and the Provo Air Center took on the job to give motorists, including their customers’ relief from the craters which are made worse whenever it rains. There had been a re-routing of traffic to the opposite end of the roadway while that work is ongoing. Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

San Diego City Council approves strategic implementation for bicycle master plan

first_img KUSI Newsroom, Carlos Amezcua July 24, 2018 Posted: July 24, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, Carlos Amezcua, San Diego City Council approves strategic implementation for bicycle master plan 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Tuesday, the San Diego Bike Coalition applauds City Council for approving the Bicycle Advisory Board’s recommended Strategic Implementation Plan for the Bicycle Master Plan. The master plan identifies high-priority bicycle initiatives such as bikeways, programs and other projects aimed at improving local bicycling infrastructure over 20 years.The implementation plan presents six main objectives, which the Bike Coalition and Bicycle Advisory Board have been working on for the past few years. The objectives call for an increase of mode share of bicycling, along with bike safety and education – specifically in corridors with the highest fatality and injury rates and in historically underserved communities.According to San Diego Bike Coalition Executive Director and Bicycle Advisory Board Chair Andy Hanshaw, City Council’s approval of the Strategic Implementation Plan advances important bicycling infrastructure improvements to align with growing ridership across San Diego Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Modern Luxury Surpasses 1M Ad Sales Mark for Manhattan Mag Launch

first_imgAs it preps for the September launch of Manhattan magazine, Modern Luxury Media has acquired luxury lifestyle e-zine Juli B, bringing a 700,000-name email list of readers in fourteen cities with it. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Juli B. delivers approximately 60 million email impressions per year, according to Modern Luxury CEO Michael Kong, as each edition is bi-weekly. “Many city magazines offer ‘email blasts’ to their subscribers that don’t even top 5,000 recipients,” Kong wrote to FOLIO: in an email. “With Juli B., we’ve got real scale and should be right on the radar screen of big national advertisers as well as smaller regional ones.” Modern Luxury will publish magazines in thirteen of Juli B.’s fourteen markets once it launches Manhattan, which will be distributed directly to 60,000 New York metropolitan area homes. The acquisition is particularly timely, according to the company, because of Juli B.’s “New York roots and the fact that the New York edition was the first and remains the biggest,” with approximately 108,000 of its readers located there. According to Kong, Manhattan surpassed its first issue ad revenue goal of $1 million several months ago. The magazine is set to launch with about 240 pages, 60 percent of which will be editorial. The acquisition of Juli B. is a first move in a series of planned digital initiatives, according to the company. Modern Luxury will announce another “major launch” in the coming weeks, Kong wrote.last_img read more

Indias Youth Ride High on Union Budget

first_imgThe country’s youth have several reasons to cheer about the Budget, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sticking to Narendra Modi’s ambition of galvanising the large demographic group to push development of the country. India is said to have one of the largest youth population in the world, with two-thirds Indians below the age of 35 years.The Union Budget holds several schemes and promises that look set to bring the country’s youth to take charge in the future.From offering them skills training and giving them incentives to start businesses, to setting up sports facilities and premier educational institutes, the government’s Budget looks to capitalise on this age group.Skill India Programme: This national multi-skill programme announced by the government on Thursday is meant to train the youth in several professional skills. With an emphasis on employability and entrepreneurial skills, the government has set aside ₹100 crores for this programme. It will also provide training and support for traditional professions like that of welders, carpenters, cobblers, masons, blacksmiths, and weavers.Young Leaders Programme: “The youth of India are pragmatic, forward-looking and wish to be leaders in all fields. In order to promote leadership skills, I propose to set up Young Leaders Programme with an initial allocation of ₹100 crore,” the finance minister announced on Thursday. Jaitley allotted another ₹100 crore to promote village youth to take up entrepreneurship.Facilitating jobs: Jaitley said the government would work towards converting employment exchanges set up under the Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959 that primarily offer information on availability of jobs into career centres, where the youth will also be offered counselling on selecting jobs based on their aptitude and skills.₹10,000 crore assistance for start-ups – In order to help entrepreneurial youth in the country to start up their own businesses, the government has set aside a ₹10,000 crore fund to provide venture capital for the micro, small and medium enterprises. It also announced ₹200 crore for establishing a technology centre network to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.Five more IITs, IIMs: The Modi government has decided to take the number of IITs and IIMs, the most premier institutions in the country, up to 21 and 18 respectively. The government also announced that four medical instutions on the lines of AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) will be set up in the country.National-level Sports Academies: The current state of sports in the country is much below the international standard, and the focus of the government was to ensure the youth of the country get good sports facilities. The government has assured that academies with international-level facilities for training of accomplished athletes and for nurturing talent at junior and sub-junior level will be set up for shooting, archery, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting and various track and field events. Jaitley also announced ₹200 crore for upgrading the indoor and outdoor sports stadiums in Jammu and in Kashmir Valley to international standards.Sports University: The government has allotted ₹100 crore to set up a national sports university at Manipal.Amendment to Apprenticeship Act: Jaitley promised that the Apprenticeship Act will be suitably amended to meet the current needs of the industry as well as the youth. “Comparing the size of the Indian economy, the performance of the Apprenticeship Training Scheme is not satisfactory and a large number of training facilities in the industry are unutilised,” he said during his speech.last_img read more

15 more jailed in Vietnam over economic zone protests

first_imgA court in Vietnam has handed out prison sentences to 15 protesters arrested during mass demonstrations last month against proposed special economic zones in the Southeast Asian country, state media reported on Tuesday.Despite sweeping reforms, communist-ruled Vietnam tolerates little dissent. The country’s constitution allows freedom of assembly, but protests are often broken up by police.At least 31 people have been jailed for taking part in the nationwide demonstrations, triggered by fears that investors from China would dominate the 99-year land leases up for development in the zones.In a trial which ended late on Monday, the People’s Court of Bien Hoa City, in the south of the country, sentenced the protesters to between eight to 18 months in prison.Five others were given 12- to 14-months probation on charges of “causing public disorder”, Voice of Vietnam Radio said.They were arrested when taking to the streets on 10 June and “caused traffic jams”, the report cited the indictment as saying.Their lawyers were not immediately available for comment.Earlier this month, 16 people were jailed under identical charges in Binh Thuan province. June’s protests had turned violent in the province, with protesters hurling bricks and petrol bombs at police.Monday’s trial came less than two weeks after a court in Ho Chi Minh City ordered the release and deportation of William Anh Nguyen, 32, an American man of Vietnamese descent who was also arrested for “causing public disorder” during the protests.”They have done nothing wrong,” Nguyen wrote on his twitter account after Monday’s sentencing. “The fight for justice and democracy continues”.last_img read more

New Zealand parliament passes tougher gun laws

first_imgNew Zealand parliament. AFP File Photo.New Zealand lawmakers have almost unanimously passed sweeping gun reforms, paving the way for a ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons to enter into force as soon as Friday.Lawmakers passed the legislation on final reading, less than a month after a gunman entered two mosques in Christchurch killing 50 people.During the debate Wednesday prime minister Jacinda Ardern told parliamentarians she “vividly” recalled the moment after the massacre when she, without consulting widely, decided the government had to act.Ardern, her voice filled with emotion, said it was during a briefing with the police commissioner when she was told about the “nature of the attack”, the weapons used and how they were notified but had been obtained legally.”I could not fathom how weapons that could cause such destruction, and large-scale death could have been obtained legally in this country. I could not fathom that,” she told lawmakers.She could not, she said, face the public or “the victims that had been left behind from this terror attack and tell them hand-on-heart that our system and our laws allow these guns to be available and that was okay. Because it was not.”The new rules amend permissive 1983 gun laws that had the subject of multiple reform attempts.The sole holdout against the legislation was the ACT Party, which has a single seat in the 120 seat parliament.The new rules are aimed at removing semi-automatic firearms from circulation through a buy-back scheme, prohibition and harsh prison sentences.A hand-in amnesty will be in place until 30 September 2019, but perpetrators will face between two and ten years in jail for breaking the laws.The new laws also prohibit “semi-automatic firearms, magazines, and parts that can be used to assemble prohibited firearms.”The law will now need royal approval, in practice a rubber stamp, which is expected to take place on Thursday, paving the way for the rules to enter into force the next day.The bill was first introduced on 1 April. Its passage in barely ten days has surprised even the most ardent gun control advocates.last_img read more

County Wins Three National Awards

first_imgBy Mark F. Gray, Special to the AFRO, mgray@afro.comThree Prince George’s County government agencies received awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) during their 2019 Annual Conference and Exposition.  These national awards recognize programs that are innovative by improving services for residents. “We are working to make you proud, bringing efficient, effective and award winning government services that utilize [innovation] to further enhance the quality of life for all our citizens,” said Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsoborooks through a public statement. The agencies that were honored are the County’s Department of Corrections, the Department of the Environment and the Office of Community Relations.  Alsobrooks’ “Clean County” campaign garnered a significant boost after it was recognized for the impact of the “Piloting Food Scrap Collection to Improve Organic Waste Recovery at the County Level” program.Prince George’s County won three awards from the National Association of Counties during their 2019 Annual Conference and Exposition. (Courtesy Photo0This program, which started in 2013 as a year-long pilot for 500 County households receiving residential curbside waste collection services, has helped reduce it’s continuous waste diversion and zero waste goals.   A recent “Waste Characterization Report” determined that 31.3 percent of the trash currently dumped at the Brown Station Road Sanitary Landfill in Upper Marlboro includes food scraps and other decayed organic material than can be used as a plant fertilizer.  The program diverts materials that are accepted and composted at the Prince George’s Organics Composting Facility which is touted as the largest municipal facility on the east coast. Food scraps are combined with the County’s collected yard trim and turned into a landscaping product called Leafgro. Approximately 172,000 households in the County and have their grass clippings, leaves, brush, small branches, and Christmas trees delivered to the facility. Once the yard trim is delivered, it is ground, placed in windrows and processed into compost which is sold to wholesalers in bulk.  For that effort, the program earned NACo’s “County Resiliency: Infrastructure, Energy and Sustainability Award.”After developing the 311 on the Go program, Prince George’s County won the “2019 Achievement Award for Civic Engagement and Public Information.”  The program increases citizen engagement and builds a more informed public through aggressive community outreach. It is designed to be the bridge that connects citizens, businesses and visitors to County information and resources.  They partner with other government agencies and County Council representatives that provide residents with the tools and resources which are designed to advocate for their needs.  The Department of Corrections’ Employee Support Unit earned NaCo’s “Achievement Award in the Personnel Management, Employment and Training” category.   Correctional facilities across the country are facing challenges, whose professional environment leads to a higher risk for health risks. Addiction, depression, anxiety, domestic violence and diabetes have contributed to physical issues that impede these County employees quality of life.Family engagement of correctional employees is at the core of this program, because they often share their stress and are recipients of the burden of parents or spouses who face difficult work hours in a challenging environment to their mental health. The Department hosts family tours throughout the year to give family members an opportunity to see how the correctional facilities operate and gives those loved ones a chance to address their concerns.  The Unit was honored for creating programs to deal with these issues by using a holistic approach to meet the needs of the staff with an onsite staff psychology coordinator, workshops and peer support groups.last_img read more

Ariana Grande Concert Tour Documentary Series Launch Set on YouTube

first_imgA behind-the-scenes look at Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman Tour and the making of her album “Sweetener” is coming to YouTube.The four-part “Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman Diaries” documentary series, to be released Thursday (Nov. 29), follows the pop superstar during her 2017 tour and through the creation of her third studio album, “Sweetener.” YouTube bills the docu-series as “a love letter to her fans.”The series features exclusive footage of Grande in the recording studio with Pharrell; on-set shooting music videos for “The Light Is Coming” and “God Is a Woman”; and rehearsing for her MTV VMAs performance. In addition, “Dangerous Woman Diaries” includes live performances of songs including “Focus,” “Into You,” “Touch It,” “Side to Side,” “One Last Time” and “Dangerous Woman.” Grande also this week shared a clip on social media teasing her upcoming video for hit single “Thank U, Next,” featuring YouTube stars Colleen Ballinger (Miranda Sings) and Gabi DeMartino as well Troye Sivan and Jonathan Bennett (who appeared in 2004’s “Mean Girls”).Watch the trailer for “Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman Diaries”: “Dangerous Woman Diaries” also will include footage from Grande’s “One Love Manchester” concert last year, which was organized to benefit the families of victims of a suicide-bomber attack outside Manchester Arena following her May 22 concert.All four segments of the docu-series will be available to binge-watch starting Nov. 29, at 9 a.m. PT, on Ariana Grande’s YouTube channel for subscribers of YouTube Premium, which is priced at $9.99 per month. It also will be available for free on Grande’s channel, but in a staggered rollout: Part one will hit Thursday, with subsequent episodes to be released for free, ad-supported viewing on Dec. 6, Dec. 13 and Dec. 20.According to a YouTube rep, “Dangerous Woman Diaries” will not address Grande’s short-lived engagement to “Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson. The duo announced plans to tie the knot in June, before breaking it off in October.The docu-series was directed by music-video director Alfredo Flores and produced by Scooter Braun and JD Roth’s GoodStory Entertainment. Each episode runs 30-40 minutes.Grande on Tuesday retweeted a post by Flores teasing the release date for the docu-series: Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Train services disrupted in Sealdah South section

first_imgKolkata: Train services were disrupted on Monday night and Tuesday afternoon in the Sealdah South section of Eastern Railway.On Monday, around 8:30 pm, one pantograph of Down Sealdah-Lakshmikantapur local broke after reaching Baruipur station. As a result, power services to the train was cut-off. Immediately engineers of Eastern Railway were informed. One tower van was also sent to repair the damaged pantograph. But, engineers were not able to repair it soon. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSome passengers allegedly ransacked the Baruipur station around 11:30 pm as the repair-work was taking time. Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) intervened and brought the situation under control. Repair work went on throughout the night and normal train services were resumed on Tuesday morning. After Monday night, train services were again hampered in the South Section on Tuesday afternoon due to road traffic congestion at Kakulia Gate near Ballygunge railway station. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAccording to Eastern Railway authority, train services in Ballygunge – Sonarpur and Ballygunge – Budge Budge sections were delayed due to road traffic congestion at the Level Crossing (LC) Gate No. 5ST near Ballygunje, which popularly known as Kakulia Gate. The heavy rush of road traffic at this LC Gate since 3 pm caused delay in closing the gate and granting proceed signal to the trains. Situation turned normal in the evening. Eastern Railway authority has also informed that train services will be partially affected due to the maintenance work on down line between Chakdaha, S imurali and Madanpur stations in Naihati-Ranaghat section which will commence from May 2. It will continue till May 15 as traffic block will be implemented. Several trains will be cancelled and many more will be controlled enroute.last_img read more

Five Ways to Tame Your Inbox

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. There’s no getting around it — most of us suffer from email overload. Business messages come in too quickly to deal with, resulting in cluttered inboxes that inspire fear and anxiety.But there are potential solutions. The following tools can help tame even the most out-of-control inboxes and make you more productive:Email templates No matter what industry you’re in, chances are you wind up sending the same types of emails week after week. Whether it’s a message introducing your company to a prospective customer or follow-up communication to help move a sale forward, such emails can eat up an entrepreneur’s precious time.Instead of searching your “sent mail” archive and then copying and modifying each message, consider a template program such as Yesware. Free for individual users and $19 a month for teams, Yesware and other email template programs let you set up standard snippets of text that can be integrated into emails quickly using simple commands. Yesware also can be incorporated into your customer relationship management program.Related: Three Tips for Saving Time on Email Task creation and email trackingIf you manage your “to do” list from within your email system, there’s always a chance that relevant items will get buried in your folders, untagged and forgotten forever. You don’t necessarily need to add an external “to do” management program to your arsenal of business productivity tools. Instead, consider supplementing your email’s task management system with a free program such as meinKopp or Zendio, which costs $9.95 per month.Both programs can be integrated into an existing inbox to provide additional functionality beyond the simple “red flag” system that’s standard in Microsoft Outlook and other email programs. Zendio, for instance, allows you to quickly transfer action items from email to your “to do” list and prevent them from getting lost in your inbox clutter.Email archivingWhile managing task items within your email inbox is important, how you handle the message you’ve decided to file away can be just as critical. If you aren’t sure why, just ask the frazzled colleague in your office who has just spent hours trying to track down a missing, but mission critical, message.The standard email archiving tools that are integrated into programs such as Microsoft Outlook can be useful but they usually don’t provide all the features most entrepreneurs need to manage messages related to ongoing projects. For that, consider an external email archiving tool such as Mail Steward.Related: Is Technology Killing Your Productivity?With packages starting at $24.95, Mail Steward allows you to do two important things:Securely store large amounts of data to prevent file security concerns, andEasily search your email archive for past messages, based on a variety of criteria.Spam control Although most email providers come with spam control installed, these standard tools often fail to filter out all unwanted messages. If junk is slipping past your inbox’s default spam scripts, consider a program such as the Mac-based Spam Sieve. Its advanced technology learns and adapts to your email usage, so that it’s able to block nearly all junk messages while creating a whitelist that prevents messages from colleagues and clients from being marked as spam. It costs $30 as a one-time investment.Email processing methodologyAll the tools in the world can’t help you manage email effectively if you don’t first have a methodology in place for processing incoming messages. For example, if you mark every email you receive as a “to do” list item, it doesn’t matter how sophisticated your task creation tools are. You’ve simply added another level of complexity to an already inefficient process.Related: Everything You Need to Know About Office Email EtiquetteBefore adding any of these tools to your inbox, put a system in place to process incoming messages responsibly. Most professionals adopt a system in which they assign an action to every email they receive immediately. Instead of reading a message and deciding how to follow up on it later, organized people decide immediately whether an action should be completed right away, delegated to someone else or filed away for future reference.One helpful resource for implementing such a system is David Allen’s Getting Things Done blog. This site offers plenty of helpful tips and tricks on how to process incoming email messages responsibly in order to help you take control of your business email. 4 min read Listen Now Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. How Success Happens January 23, 2012last_img read more

How Bots Can Benefit Businesses According to Messengers Director of Global Partnerships

first_img 8 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Bots are the talk of the town, and Anand Chandrasekaran is helping to create the buzz. The former CPO of both SnapDeal and Bharti Airtel, the third largest mobile provider in the world, has plenty of experience with big ideas and global strategy. But he has really been stretching his wings as Global Director of Platforms and Product Partnerships for Messenger at Facebook. With the integration of open-API bots into Messenger, Facebook’s marketing strategy has changed considerably, and Chandrasekaran was kind enough to share some of those thoughts with me.In part two of a two-part, in-person interview, I asked Chandrasekaran about how businesses can best benefit from chatbot technology, and to share some of the use cases he’s seen that have stood out as the most innovative and successful.Newlands: How can businesses and entrepreneurs benefit from understanding how bots work with Messenger?Chandrasekaran: The bot can be the solution, but that’s after first defining what the problem is.If you’re a brand, entrepreneur or developer — using those words interchangeably — there are over 1.2 billion monthly users on Messenger, and they are using Messenger for a greater amount of time every day.If you’re an entrepreneur, this is a platform that you can’t afford to ignore. The way we think about it is, it’s your customers who are on that platform. Wherever you are on that spectrum, if you’re a developer, a brand, or selling a digital service, it’s your customers, fans and users who are on that platform. That is the main benefit for anyone who is looking at Messenger.Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your BusinessNewlands: It seems that some bots struggle to be an effective and engaging experience – why is this? And what are solutions for that?Chandrasekaran: I wouldn’t necessarily define this notion as “struggling”, but I will say that when the purpose of the bot is not well-defined, it leaves the user with too many options. Like I said before, our best practices for developers is to always to start with a problem to solve, because when you define the problem very clearly, it becomes very obvious what part of makes sense to automate. That’s when AI functions very well.One of my favorite bots is called Brew the Way; they’ve had iterations of the the bot where it says, “Do you want to buy a coffee, or do you want to fool around?” The joke is that almost everyone who uses a bot wants to trick the bot into doing something silly — it’s everyone’s favorite trick. But what we find is when the goal is clearer, the bot does the fantastic job. So when the bot introduces an experience like, “If you want to order a coffee, here are three steps, but if you want to just play around, we can take you there.” Then they do fantastic job of setting expectations clearly and creating an experience of play that’s fun and engaging for the user, rather than making the bot completely open-ended.Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without CodingNewlands: What are some of the advantages that AI and bots provide for businesses? Chandrasekaran: AI allows people to solve basic problems. Sometimes people ask some very basic questions, many of them repetitive, and those are problems best suited for AI to solve. Especially where there is training data available, and there is a use case that is fairly repetitive on top of that training data; even something like, “Are you open right now?” That’s a fairly easy question for an automated system to answer without a human getting involved.One compelling success story is Globe Telecom in the Philippines. They have a hybrid bot called Gie that they’ve given a personality, a woman with a playful nature. When people ask the most obvious questions like, “Can you show me what my balance is,” or “What are your most popular plans,” those don’t necessary need to be escalated to a live person, because they will probably give the same answer. They’ve built an AI layer to respond to those questions promptly. Gie also has the ability to know when the question is a bit personalized or complicated, and can say, “Can you hold on a bit while I ask for a live person?” The question is passed thoughtfully to a human, and then the human can answer the question and pass control back to the bot. What we find is these kinds of purpose-built AI end up being super valuable for developers.You may know that about 15 or 16 months ago we acquired a NLP engine called wit.ai which we use for basic heuristics and basic NLP. It is doing extremely well, and powering a large chunk of AI and NLP today on top of Messenger.Related: 7 Ways Chatbots Can Benefit Your Marketing StrategyNewlands: What about sales?Chandrasekaran: With sales we try to narrow the definition of the problem even more. Sales for a developer is customer acquisition; sales for a commerce provider is revenue; sales for someone who tries to generate awareness is like someone coming back and re-engaging. What we try to do is, regardless of the size of partners or the entrepreneurs that we speak with, we try to sculpt the problem down to: What is the problem statement, and what does success look like? Because the more generic the problem, the harder it is to measure if the project was successful or not.Related: Social Media Marketing Strategies With ChatbotsNewlands: Where are customers engaging with Messenger and what are the business cases of engaging with Messenger? How do you see people do that?Chandrasekaran: If you look at the funnel of interacting with customers, they are engaging throughout that funnel, depending on where you slice it. On the top end of the funnel it’s just generating awareness. At Facebook, we talk about this “generating awareness” case study of Call of Duty. They created a Messenger experience when they launched the game where you answered a bunch of questions in character and in the same language as the game, and if you answered all those questions correctly, you got an unlock code to see the trailer of the next game. If you are Call of Duty fan, it’s awesome that you got an exclusive piece of content for engaging with the Messenger bot. It was purely awareness generation, just to create buzz for the game coming out, and they were able to see about 6 million messages within 24 hours of launching the game, purely with the bot from Messenger.Similarly, we have seen companies like Swelly and SnapTravel succeed on Messenger. They’ve gotten to a place where they are primarily focusing on Messenger as the only thing on which they spend developmental resources. This is, of course, music to our ears, because when you think about where you’re going to find your first five to 10 million users, you can’t put too many of your eggs in one basket or you get into an iteration cycle. It’s great that they choose Messenger, because consumers are there and they are looking for great experiences. These companies are getting a lot of success both in terms of user growth as well as revenue on the platform.The last use case I see towards the second half of the cycle is customer care. The comparison between calling a number, being on hold, and giving them a lot of context information and just pinging a business on Messenger to get a response back is incredible. The awesome thing is that messaging between two people doesn’t need to be synchronous. A customer can go and get dinner and come back to respond to the message, or the agent could look it up, take five minutes and respond. It’s not like they need to respond right away on the phone, so it plays with human nature a bit more and it’s also super convenient. From an agent or call center perspective, we have a couple case studies — like Rogers Telecom in Canada. They actually got a 65% increase in CSAT by using Messenger as a channel.If you look at awareness generation, enabling new functionality, acquiring customers, and well as customer care, those are the four top areas where businesses can really utilize Messenger. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global April 21, 2017 Register Now »last_img read more