Tuesday, March 24, 2020

How to Start an Online Store With WordPress in 7 Easy Steps

More than a quarter of the web  runs on WordPress. Theres good reason for this WordPress is easy to use and free. Plus, theres a ton of free information for novice users to get up and running online in a matter of minutes.If youre wondering how to start an online store, you need to read this guide. It will walk you through how to create a powerful e-commerce site with the worlds most popular web platform. keep growing for years to come.If you want to start an online store, here’s an overview first, and then we’ll get into the details below:Sign up for web hosting (I recommend Bluehost).Choose a hosting plan a niche.Pick a catchy domain name for your shop.Complete your hosting registration.Make sure WooCommerce was installed during the hosting account setup.Log in and publish your first product.1. Use Personal Passion To Fuel Niche SelectionAlmost every successful entrepreneur Ive crossed paths with attests to the fact that passion is the secret ingredient to the hig h-roller lifestyle they enjoy. And building an online store takes a lot of passion with years of effort required (in many cases) before youll make enough to pay yourself a meaningful salary.To find a product that overlaps with your personal passion:Analyze your past shopping habits. Why do you purchase the items that you do, and which ones excited you the most?Sample a few different product categories. Is there something in your local department store that lights you up?How do you want to impact peoples lives? Which products can you sell to help impact others in this way?What do you find yourself doing in your free time? How can you monetize these hobbies with your online store?The more specific your niche, the more youll be able to let your passion shine through online and offline.2. Catchy Domain NameYour domain name is how your customers find your website. If they hear about you somewhere, will it be easy for them to remember your name? Will it be easy for Google to use your dom ain to identify what your site sell?Heres how I recommend picking a domain name:Do keyword research. Domains that include these will be helpful for ranking on Google.Keep your domain short to minimize mistypes by customers.Secure all domain extensions (.com, .net, etc.) to keep copycats at bay.Avoid words with multiple spellings. For example, site and sight sound the same over the phone.Avoid hyphenated domain names. Your customers will forget the hyphen.Consider alternate meanings or interpretations. Think about goofy, or immature interpretations of your domain name. You dont want to be the butt of a joke.Make it easy to say. If a toddler cant say it, its no good.To help you with generating an original and even more important an available domain name, try using a domain generator tool like DomainWheel. The combinatory algorithms will present interesting new options to choose from, while the domain availability checkup will suggest available extensions.Here are some more tips by  Rand Fishkin of Moz:3. Nail Down Your Business PlanWhen learning how to start an online store with WordPress, you need to create a comprehensive business plan for your company that lays out exactly how you envision:selecting products to sell,acquiring inventory,creating your website,marketing your website,growing your market share,remaining compliant with legal requirements,handling taxes and other operating costs.Even if you dont need an outside investor to fund your dream, a plan will help you stay on track and focus your efforts. Youll also find that as you write your business plan, other problems and ideas that hadnt occurred to you will help focus your efforts in a more productive way.4. Set up WooCommerceWordPress creates a powerful foundation for your site. WooCommerce transforms your WordPress site into an e-commerce powerhouse and the base package is free. Even without paid plugins, you can implement the best elements of e-commerce design on all of your most important pa ges.Setting up WooCommerce  and listing your first product for sale isnt complicated:Select a host for your site that offers a package designed for WordPress  (the foundation of WooCommerce). Pay attention to their security and performance metrics if you cant find them, its time to look at a different host. And dont forget about customer service if something goes wrong, you need fast, competent help.Download and install the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress. Answer the questions in the setup wizard to get your site up and running in less than 5 minutes.Select, install and customize a WordPress theme thats fully compatible with WooCommerce.Use the Product Tab in your WordPress Admin center to add your first product. It will guide you through the process, step-by-step.5. Selecting a WooCommerce Friendly Theme for WordPressYour theme decides the entire layout and feel of your site. Finding a great theme that invites browsers to become buyers is worth taking a little extra time.Sho pIsleShopIsle is a powerful WordPress theme because it is clean and clearly features products in a way that scores engagements. A grid of large pictures, with core information below, encourages customers to quickly browse and click on what interests them.And, its fully compatible with WooCommerce, right out of the box. The responsive design is fully compatible with screens of all sizes letting your customers shop how and where they feel most comfortable.Theres a free and paid version. You can check this video-guide to start an online store with ShopIsle Pro on our YouTube Channel.StorefrontStorefront is the official WooCommerce theme. Its optimized to work with the platform out the box and provides you with some nice presentation and design choices. Storefront itself is free, but there are also loads of other paid add-ons and customizations.Perhaps the only downside with this one is that of originality when using it, youre making your store look like many other e-commerce stores r unning the same theme.Congratulations, at this stage youve selected a host, installed WordPress and the WooCommerce plugin. Now its time to really unlock the potential of your store with some additional plugins. Here are the ones I always use:Yoast SEOYoast SEO helps me to understand whether the content on my WordPress site is easy to read for both humans and search engines.It tells me this with a simple red, orange or green dot in my Posts page.I can also set specific parameters for how my content shows up in search results with quick edits to the slug, meta description and content title. This is powerful for keyword purposes. Oh, and for the content within a post, the tool grades my writing and provides specific recommendations at the bottom of the page.OptinMonsterOptinMonster is like a steroid shot in the arm of your email marketing campaign. As visitors browse your site, you can prompt them to sign-up for your newsletter. This gives you their contact information, and an oppor tunity to build a relationship with them.Some sites report anywhere from a 600% to 1613% growth in new subscriber acquisition rates  by using this tool.If you have the ability to directly communicate with a target customer, on-demand, without having to pay for a PPC or retargeting campaign, youve got a serious opportunity to score future sales.Heres an in-depth comparison between  OptinMonster and some of its most popular alternatives: LeadPages vs SumoMe vs Thrive Leads.FreshdeskAs you build up your customer base, its important that you provide them with amazing online customer service.Freshdesk allows you to create searchable knowledge bases where customers can help themselves. And, if they need to reach you, Freshdesks ticketing system helps you keep customer requests organized, and helps your customer feel like their questions are being attended to.The annual cost for Freshdesk ranges from $79 to $199, depending on your needs.6. Attract With Content and SEOIf you build it, t hey will come. Field of Dreams was an excellent movie, but if they were talking about e-commerce, they would have changed the catch-phrase to: If you write a lot, in an SEO-friendly way, they will come.You need search engines to send motivated customers, ready to make a buying decision to your online store. The way that you do this is with content lots of content.Heres how you can use SEO friendly content to score new customers:Take the keywords from your business plan and put them into a tool like Ahrefs to see which keywords trigger product ads.Do additional research to find keywords appropriate for each product, or category on your site.Be highly selective when choosing your first keywords, Id focus on the top ten then go from there.Create blog articles  that teach about how customers can use your products. Focus on things that are helpful. Taking complex answers and breaking them down into easy-to-understand guides will go a long way.Ensure every page on your site has appropr iate:Page titles,Meta descriptions,URL slugs,Image alt tags,Content thats easy to read.Find bloggers that do product reviews and ask them to review or giveaway your stuff.7. Grow Traffic with Facebook AdsWhen you are shopping for a product or service, who do you trust? Chances are, youll ask a few of your friends what they own, and whether or not they love their products. Social selling is a way to cash-in on a shoppers instinct to trust their friends and family.Advertising your brands Facebook Page, or promoting a Facebook ad for a particular page of your website is an excellent way to inject your brand into your customers newsfeed.For example, this Facebook event listing has been promoted by a website attempting to sell tickets to a show. The ad, which appeared at the top of my newsfeed, tells me that one of my friends is already interested in the show, and is probably going to go.Instantly, this brand and entertainment product has more relevance, and I can trust that its probably a cool way to spend an evening.Create targeted Facebook ads to engage the ideal customers for your products. And, as you post on your blog, you can share links with catchy Facebook posts to help drive traffic. Just make sure your list is targeted.You can start your own online store using WordPress and WooCommerce, its easy!I hope you enjoyed my post, and feel confident that launching your own e-commerce store isnt rocket science. It takes a lot of time and trial and error, but if you follow the steps I outlined, youll be up and running in no time!If you have any questions about how to start an online store with WordPress, or want to share your e-commerce journey with the world, Id love to chat with you in the comments section below!. About the author:  Darren DeMatas has an MBA in Internet Marketing, but hangs his hat on 10+ years of experience in the trenches. Follow him on Twitter (@ecommerceCEO), LinkedIn (internetmarketingmba), and learn e-commerce from him at ecommerceCEO.co m.Free guide5 Essential Tips to Speed Up Your WordPress SiteReduce your loading time by even 50-80% just by following simple tips.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Chemistry Diatomic Molecules Cheat Sheet Essays

Chemistry Diatomic Molecules Cheat Sheet Essays Chemistry Diatomic Molecules Cheat Sheet Paper Chemistry Diatomic Molecules Cheat Sheet Paper Procedure for Negatively Charged Ions (CHIC-) Use the same procedure as outlined above, then as a last step add one electron per negative charge to fill octets. Carbonate ion has a 2- charge, so we have two electrons available to fill octets. Using the procedure above, we arrive a this structure: The two singly-bonded oxygen atoms each have an open octet, so we add one electron to each so as to fill these octets. The added electrons are shown with arrows. Dont forget to assign formal charges as well! The final Lewis structure for carbonate ion is: Procedure for Positively Charged Ions (NH+) Use the same procedure as outlined above, then remove one electron per positive charge as needed to avoid expanded octets. When using this procedure for positively charged ions, it may be necessary to have some atoms with expanded octets (nitrogen in this example). For each unit of positive charge on the ion remove on electron from these expanded octets. If done correctly, your final structure should have no first or second period elements with expanded octets. Using the basic procedure outlined above, we arrive at a structure in which nitrogen has nine valence electrons. (Electrons supplied by hydrogen are red; electrons supplied by nitrogen are black. ) Removal of one of these valence electrons to account for the 1+ charge of ammonium ion solves this octet rule violation. Slathers Rules: All other electrons in the same group as the electron of interest shield to an extent of 0. 35 nuclear charge units except Is group, where the other electron contributes only . 30. ) Write the electron configuration for the atom using the following design;(ls) (ad) (as,up) (ad) (if) (as,up) 2) Any electrons to the right of the electron of interest contributes no shielding. (Approximately correct statement. ) 3) All other electrons in the same group as the electron of interest shield to an extent of 0. 35 nuclear charge units 4) If the electron of interest is an s or p electron: All electrons with one less value of the principal quantum number shield to an extent of 0. 85 units of nuclear charge. All electrons with two less values of the principal quantum umber shield to an extent of 1. 0 units. 5) If the electron of interest is an d or f electron: All electrons to the left shield to an extent of 1. 00 units of nuclear charge. 6) Sum the shielding amounts from steps 2 through 5 and subtract from the nuclear charge value to obtain the effective nuclear charge. Examples: Calculate Z* for a valence electron in fluorine. Rule 2 does not apply; 0. 35 6+0. 85 2 = 3. 8 Z* = 9 3. 8 = 5. 2 for a valence electron. Calculate Z* for a as electron in Platinum. (1 (Dodd) (ass,app) (Dodd) (puff) (zaps) (add) (ass) Rule 2 does

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Discuss the similarities and differences between Al Qaida and earlier Essay

Discuss the similarities and differences between Al Qaida and earlier jihadist groups - Essay Example Al Qaeda, though an offshoot of the early jihadist movements, has grown to be more radical, violent and passionate toward the struggle. Given the shifts, the question that comes to the fore is the extent to which al Qaeda is different from the previous jihadist movements. This paper therefore analyses the similarities between the modern day al Qaeda movement and the early jihadist movements. However, in order to get a better analysis of the similarities and differences between the sets of generational jihadism, it is imperative to first appreciate the origin of the movements. Comparison between Early Jihadist Groups and Al Qaeda The early jihadists’ movements and al Qaeda have all had elements of how Islam is exploited as a vehicle for political mobilization (Moaddel 375). The resurgence of jihadism or political Islam was mainly as a result of the defeats the Arab states suffered at the hands of Israeli forces in 1967, to challenge the nation states in the Middle East (Milton- Edwards 123). The Muslim Brotherhood emerged because of the fall of the secular Muslim States. Since the 20th century, the brotherhood has toiled to form Islamic states that strictly adhere to the teachings of the Quran, most of the time, as they understand those teachings. This was an invention of an Islamic figure christened Hasan Al Bannna who lived between the years 1906 and 1949. Another figure who was also particularly instrumental in this quest particularly in the Middle East was Sayyid Qutb who died in the year 1956. This was further sharpened and used by Abdul Ala Maududi in Asia, who lived in the period 1903 to 1979 (Gunaratna). Countries especially those in the Middle East have released their instruments of coercion to suppress society. The result of this is all too evident, as some of the Islamic groups have resulted to the use of violence to demand for their perceived rights. This ceding of political ground by the brotherhood has brought to the fore other groups that we re previously unheard of. The hardline Islamic groups for instance view the brotherhood with skepticism as they believe the brotherhood is compromised. The takeover by the US government in the initiative to flush out terrorist elements in Iraq, coupled by the occupation by the Soviets in Afghanistan in the month of December of the year 1979 has not only been spawning ground for the emergence of disparate Islamic groups but has led to the thriving of such groups. The notion that Islam is a monolithic threat to the West has significantly increased and fuels their energy toward use of violence (Knudsen 10-11). Such groups have grown in influence, which is because of the growth in numbers and increased financing. In addition, they have learnt vital skill in the field of war which is mostly attributed to the Afghan campaign. The assistance offered by western governments to Mujahidin groups native to Afghanistan and the subsequent disagreements during the revolution of 1979, which occurre d in Iraq and the later emergence of the Iraq-Iran War, has raised the level of assistance. This was offered by Washington to Iraq and other group especially Sunni, in addition the campaign by the Saudi in protest to the existence of Shias, has in turn given strength to Sunni groups from the 1980’

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Role of NGOs and Humanitarian Organizations in Peace Building Essay

Role of NGOs and Humanitarian Organizations in Peace Building - Essay Example Usually, NGOs or the development community has struggled to stay away from conflict situations. Concentrating instead on their development and humanitarian operations, aid groups have regarded themselves and their subsidies to be impartial and nonpartisan (Church, 2004, 23-24). Current scholarships on Somalia and Rwanda, though, have seriously challenged this view (Carey & Richmond, 2003,136). For instance, Peter Uvin (1998, 3) has studied the relationship of development assistance with the forces and mechanisms that resulted in the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. â€Å"In countries like Rwanda,† he states in Aiding Violence: The Development Enterprise in Rwanda, â€Å"where development aid provides a large share of the financial and moral resources of government and civil society, development aid cannot help but play a crucial role in shaping the process that leads to violence† (Uvin, 1998, 3). Another author, Michael Marin, has illustrated a much more threatening picture in the case of humanitarian intervention in Somalia all through the 1980s, concluding that development and humanitarian aid is mainly useless and unintentionally detrimental and that it circulates a system of hostility, corruption, and dependency (Cutter, 2001, 210). Hence, if the humanitarian intervention has the capability of inflicting even more suffering on the people and communities already exposed to hostilities, as these authors seem to claim, then should we dispose of development aid and humanitarian intervention altogether? In Mary Anderson’s perceptive and sensible book Do No Harm: How Aid Can Support Peace-or War, she retorts: â€Å"It is a moral fallacy to conclude that because aid can do harm, the decision not to give aid would not do harm† (Anderson, 1999, 23). A collaborative endeavor of international donor agencies, United Nations organizations, NGOs, and other delegates of the international development and humanitarian community Do No Harm examines the experiences of the people struggling to provide development aid and humanitarian assistance in conflict regions in order to enhance intervention (Cutter, 2001, 210).

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Power Relations In Diego Velazquezs Las Meninas English Literature Essay

Power Relations In Diego Velazquezs Las Meninas English Literature Essay The author of the painting Las Meninas (1656), Diego Velà ¡zquez (1599-1660) worked at the court of Philip IV, thus at the centre of the centralised power structure of one of the original nation-states of Early Modern Europe. Las Meninas has been argued both in Velà ¡zquez time and in ours to be his masterpiece. My purpose in this essay is to argue for an interpretation of this painting and its shaping by an exploration of power relations rather than by perspectival considerations. My interest in the present essay will be to analyse Las Meninas within the perspective of power relations, in an effort to provide an alternative reading to the literature based purely on the technical aspects of the painting. A lot has been written regarding the great unclearness that the painting Las Meninas seals, but, there is a question that we must acknowledge in presence of the visual intricacy of the painting, what indeed did Velà ¡zquez paint? I am not looking to provide the final answer to this question in this essay. However, I believe that by analysing Las Meninas within the perspective of power relations, I can contribute to the scholarship on Velà ¡zquez and provide an approach that can also contribute to the answer of this question. Las Meninas (fig. 1) (Spanish for The Maids of Honour) is an oil on canvas painting with 318 cm ÃÆ'- 276 cm. The setting is a large room and it has long been unclear whether the interior represented in the painting is real or imaginary. F. J. Sà ¡nchez Cantà ³n identified the room by the paintings in it as the main chamber of an apartment in the Alcà ¡zar of Madrid that had been occupied by Prince Baltazar Carlos before its assignment to Velà ¡zquez.  [2]  However, F. Ià ±iguez Almech was unable, when analysing the seventeenth-century plans of Alcà ¡zar, to identify any room that would correspond to the one in the painting, being possible that Velà ¡zquez did not depict any actual room.  [3]   Fig. 1. Diego Velà ¡zquez, Las Meninas, 1656, Museu Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Available from: Museu Nacional del Prado Galerà ­a On-Line (accessed 29 March 2010). The painting presents a composition distributed in well organised spatial structure that provides to the depicted room a sensation of realism, proximity and depth, being the composition concentric, with the Infanta Margarita Marà ­a de Austria as its focal point.  [4]  The depth of the painting is accentuated by the frames on the wall on the right, by the canvas on the left and by the two empty chandeliers on the ceiling. In addition, the painting combines discreet colours, providing harmony to the painting (white, grey and black of the attires with details in red, beige of the canvas, and again tones of black and grey in the non-illuminated parts of the room).  [5]   On the right of the room, one has an oblique view of the wall with apertures which seem to be windows that let light into the room. On the left, the view of the room is cut by a large canvas seen from the back. The painter himself, Diego Velà ¡zquez, is portrayed in front of this canvas with a paintbrush on his hand, who seems to have just stopped working on the canvas for a moment in order to gaze out his models. Velà ¡zquez was fifty-seven years old when he painted Las Meninas and depicted himself in it, but without wrinkles, white hair, or any other sign that could indicate his actual age. The canvas Velà ¡zquez is working on is not visible to the viewer. More or less to the centre of the canvas stands a little girl identified as the Infanta of Spain, Doà ±a Margarita Marà ­a de Austria, who also gazes out in the manner of a portrait, and around who the other figures gravitate . . . like planets of an intricate, subtly ordered system, and reflect her light.  [6]  She is s urrounded on both sides by two young women attendants (the meninas of the title), being the one on the left (Doà ±a Marà ­a Agustina Sarmiento de Sotomayor) kneeling at the feet of the Infanta and offering her a bà ºcaro in a tray, while the other on the right (Doà ±a Isabel de Velasco) inclines a bit to the Infanta and turns her glance outwards the canvas. To the right of this group, in the corner of the canvas, stand two dwarves of distorted appearance, also court attendants. The woman named Marà ­a Barbola gazes outwards, while the midget who steps on the dog is Nicolasico Pertusato. On a more distant plan is Doà ±a Marcela de Ulloa, lady of honour, who turns her head to address a man (escort for ladies of the court), who stands beside her and looks outwards. Some distance behind them is the rear wall of the room, which has a door where stands Don Josà © Nieto Velà ¡zquez, Aposentador of the Queen, also gazing outwards. To the left of Josà © Nieto, the King Philip IV and the Queen Marà ­a Ana de Austria are reflected in a mirror. Some of the figures in the painting present little problem of identification, namely Velà ¡zquez and the Infanta; the others are less obvious. This identification of the figures in the painting is based on Velà ¡zquez earliest biographer, Antonio Palomino, who named the figures in Las Meninas on the basis of the known population of the court in Book III of his Museu Pictà ³rico y Escala Óptica, which was first published in 1724.  [7]  Palomino also identifies the two paintings in the upper part of the back wall with the then current royal holdings: Minerva Punishing Arachne and Apollos Victory over Marsyas, both originally by Peter Paul Rubens.  [8]   The Infanta occupies the centre of the visual focus, together with the King and Queens reflection on the mirror and the painter. The superior half of the painting is occupied with lamps and spots of light that enter trough the openings on the right wall; there are shadows covering the back superior part of the wall. The scene is taken from an angle that closes itself in the right with an opening in the wall. In the left, in another diagonal plan, the painting that is being painted by Velà ¡zquez leaves the figures in second plan and cuts obliquely the space. In the back, the mirror and the door make allusion to unknown spaces, which together with the spatial configuration of the portrayed room open the painting to the exterior and pulls the viewer to inside of the composition. As Madlyn Millner Kahr points out, the mirror in the painting contributes its own special brand of magic. In Las Meninas it directs the observers attention to events going on outside the picture (the presence of the royal couple), which in turn brings the observer within the picture area.  [9]   On her article Velà ¡zquez and Las Meninas, Kahr divides the cast of characters with a wide range of ages and physical types into different groups.  [10]  One of these groups is the dog, the midget and the female dwarf. According to Kahr, these three characters form a group apart due to their position in space and their compositional unity.  [11]  The central group, as Kahr argues, stands behind them, being constituted by the Infanta and the two meninas. The painter, Doà ±a Marcela de Ulloa and the guardadamas forms another group; and the last group is composed by the Aposentador of the Queen standing in the stairs and by King Philip IV and Queen Marà ­a Ana reflected on the mirror.  [12]  Thus, Kahr divides the characters in groups of three. This division provides unity, coherence and structure to the painting, and by placing the group of the Infanta and the two meninas as the central one, Kahrs group division concurs with Palominos consideration that the painting is a portrait of the Infanta.  [13]  The light that enters the room by the right side wall apertures mainly illuminates the Infanta, Doà ±a Maria Agustina Sarmiento and partially the other menina, that are highlighted in relation to the darkness behind them, reinforcing the conception that Las Meninas is a portrait of the Infanta of Spain. Carl Justi also described Las Meninas as a portrait of the Infanta Margarita as the centre of a recurrent scene of the palace life.  [14]   Joel Snyder agrees that considering the painting as the portrait of the Infanta Margarita, as Palomino and Carl Justi do, is a movement in the correct direction, but it fails to explain the presence of all the other figures in it that compete for our attention.  [15]  Jonathan Brown states that the subject of the painting is no one in particular, but that the painting is a claim for the nobility of Velà ¡zquezs art.  [16]  However, Snyder points out: To suggest that Las Meninas is a demonstration of the nobility of painting and of its proper place in the liberal arts, as Jonathan Brown does, is to locate the interest of the painting in the conditions of its origination and in the means employed to produce the demonstration. This is surely interesting and, if correct, revealing; but, again, it does not bring us to terms with the subject of the painting with what the painting is tout ensemble.  [17]   Firstly, the tout ensemble of the painting may be explored individually (considering the power relations between each figure in the painting), in order to then identify the subject of the painting. In approaching this issue, one should agree that one can identify the presence of the centralised power in the painting Las Meninas. The power in this painting may be recognized in several aspects. There is in the painting two distinct social groups: the working class and the one that enjoys the labour of those who work. On the one hand, we have the painter, the maids, the lady of honour, the escort for ladies of the court, the Aposentador of the Queen, and the dwarfs represented; while, on the other hand, we have the aristocracy represented in the Infanta that occupies the centre of the painting and King Philip IV and Queen Marà ­a Ana de Austria reflected on the mirror. When one questions why Velà ¡zquez depicted himself together with all the members of the royal household, the answer may be that he wanted to indicate that he also belonged to this illustrious circle. Sira Dambe states that in Golden Age Spain, the art of painting, still relegated to the rank of craft, had not yet been accorded equal status with the higher arts, such as music or poetry.  [18]  Therefore, this painting may be seen as Velà ¡zquezs proclamation of . . . power and status as a creator.  [19]  The ecclesiastic power is also present in the cross of the Santiagos Order in the chest of the painter, which was not originally painted by Velà ¡zquez, being painted after the artists death by the Kings demand.  [20]  When analysing the Fable of Arachne and Las Meninas, Jonathan Brown states, [Velà ¡zquezs] claim for the nobility of his art are firmly embedded in these multi-layered works, and in Las Meninas the gentleman painter, stands confidently at the easel, bas king in the glory of the monarchs person. And on his breast, the vibrant red cross of Santiago marks the artist as a nobleman.  [21]   In addition, one can also identify the presence of the artistical power of the painter over the remaining figures due to the dominium of the artistic language, but at the same time, the artistic needs to obey to a superior power, and in this case, the kingship. This statement finds support on the royal couple pictured in the mirror that accordingly represent the royal power. On her article Picturing Power: Representation and Las Meninas, Amy M. Schmitter affirms: The Kings representation is a force of power, a manifestation of royal power that embodies, displays, and extends it. It is a representation that acts, that represents by presenting, exhibiting, or exposing titles and qualifications, by figuring them in painting, by being a sign, by bringing to observation, and by playing in public. It thereby constitutes its subject, the royal power and the royal office, by representing it.  [22]   One can agree that the depiction of the King Philip IV and the Queen Marà ­a Ana de Austria on the mirror and of the Infanta Margarita as main focus of the painting represents directly in the painting the royal power it represents those that should be looked with reverence and submission. Furthermore, with the glances one receives and returns in the painting, the represented royal power gazes with control and vigilance over everyone else. Regarding the power relations between the remaining figures of the painting, one can argue that the meninas, the guardadamas and the lady of honour, by their own social condition are subordinates of the kingship. The two dwarfs are also condemned to the royal power and have as their function to entertain the royal household. The dog that is being stepped by the dwarf on the right is condemned to an even lower position (a submissive animal). In this perspective of power relations, the presence of Josà © Nieto Velà ¡zquez becomes enigmatic. Despite being the Aposentador of the Queen and therefore ruled by the royal power, he is portrayed in profile on the stairs of the back door, seemingly indicating an indecision of staying under the gaze of the royal power or leaving. From this analysis, one can agree that all the figures of the painting are entangled in the webs of power. Although the delimitations of power are well defined in the painting, representing the historical, political and economic conditions of seventeenth-century Spain, another way of looking at this issue is through the indirect allusions also present in the painting, such as the dwarf, positioned in perfect diagonal alignment with the painter. The two associate by contrast: the painter as the creator and admirer of what is beautiful, and the dwarf as symbol of deformity. In common, there is the fact that both are represented images of social groups placed aside from power. One should, nevertheless, consider this opposition from another angle. From the contrast itself between what the painter and the dwarf represent, one can obtain an exchange of parts by acknowledging that the arts represent both the sublime as well as the grotesque. Therefore, there is in this aesthetical inscription a subversion of the institutionalised values of power. The power of kingship is also central in Michel Foucaults chapter on Diego Velà ¡zquezs Las Meninas, being this the opening chapter of his book The Order of Things.  [23]  According to Foucault the function of the mirror reflection of the King and the Queen is to bring to the painting what is external to it. In the chapter Las Meninas, Foucault attributes the theme of the painting to the external space and gives the Infanta and her maids (internal space) the function of entertaining the King and Queen that are in front of the representation (outside space) as Và ©lazquezs models.  [24]   Foucaults critical analysis derives from the observation angle of the Infanta, the King and Queen in the mirror and how their gazes define the centre of the picture. The mirror in the back leads to the conclusion, as Foucault states, that it is about a question of what looks and what is looked. From these encounters of gazes and perceptions, the author notes that the notion of double arises from this painting. To Foucault the double reveals itself in the painting from inside the painting itself. The painting that Velà ¡zquez is painting in the portrait will be the representation of the reflexion of the King and Queen in the mirror at the back.  [25]   On the chapter dedicated to Las Meninas, Foucault argues that the Classical age, roughly the period from the seventeenth-century to the eighteenth-century, was a period when the intellectual world focused on the representations of the real. Accordingly, Foucault defines the subject of Las Meninas as the representation itself. To quote from Foucault: Perhaps there exists, in this painting by Velà ¡zquez, the representation as it were of Classical representation, and the definition of space it opens up to us . . . But there, in the midst of this dispersion which is simultaneously grouping together and spreading out before us, indicated compellingly from every side, is an essential void: the necessary disappearance of that which is its foundation of the person it resembles and the person whose eyes it is only a resemblance. This very subject which is the same has been elided. And representation, freed finally from the relation that was impeding it, can offer itself as representation in its pure form.  [26]   Therefore, Foucault argues that in Las Meninas representation tries to interpretate itself. In contemporaneous philosophy, it is the language that is going to establish the relation between the similarities with the world, making possible representation. Thus, one can affirm that the turning point from classic epistà ªmà ª to modern epistà ªmà ª is the passage of language as mediator (in representation) to object of knowledge. In the modern epistà ªmà ª, language does not reveal more directly the identity of the world, but it reveals the relations between things and the Man. It is from here that occurs the questioning of Man as centre around whom all the knowledge is created. Thus, Velà ¡zquez painting represents what is to come. The modern epistà ªmà ª is anticipated in Velà ¡zquezs Las Meninas it is the utopic function of art of anticipating the future. Consequently, to Foucault, Las Meninas is represented in an epistemic system the subject of representation should rema in invisible (the empty space of the kingship is the place that in the modern episteme will be occupied by the Man). Foucault points out: At once object since it is what the artist is copying onto his canvas and subject since what the painter had in front of his eyes, as he represented himself in the course of work, was himself, since the gazes portrayed in the picture are all directed toward the fictitious position occupied by the royal personage, which is also the painters real place, since the occupier of that ambiguous place, in which the painter and the sovereign alternate, in never-ending flicker, as it were, is the spectator, whose gaze transforms the painting into object, the pure representation of that essential absence.  [27]   Moreover, Foucault argues that the mirror portrayed in Las Meninas portrays the confrontation between representation and reflexion, being that a painting is different from a mirror and a representation goes beyond a reflexion. Therefore, the painting is a representation for the observer, and in the painting of Velà ¡zquez one has the painting itself, and inside it one has other represented paintings and also a canvas in first plan viewed from the back. In all, this painting is a representation that has as subject a kind of empty place that we can fill with several models. Foucault argues that instead of instituting a simple relation of mimesis as the main theme of the painting, the figures of the royal couple would be indicated as a kind of essential emptiness.  [28]   According to Foucault, the canvas on the left is the place for a dichotomy between visible/invisible. What the painter looks is doubly invisible, because it is not represented in the painting, and because we cannot see ourselves. The mirror in the back is the only visible representation, but despite that fact, no one looks at it. However, what is there represented, has nothing to do with what the painting presents, it reflects something that is exterior to the painting. In the place occupied by the spectator, are the models of the painter. Therefore, the painting allows to see what is doubly invisible. The characters in the mirror are the less noticed, but it is around them that all the representation happens. It is to them that all the other characters look gazing outwards the painting.  [29]  Thus, there are three looks that meet on the outside of the painting: of the model, in the moment he is being painted, of the spectator that contemplates the scene, and of the painter in the moment he paints the painting (the one in front of us, and not the one represented in the painting). Quoting from Foucaults The Order of Things: Of all the figures represented before us, they [the royals] are also the most ignored, since no one is paying the slightest attention to that reflection [in the mirror] which has slipped into the room behind them all, silently occupying its unsuspected space; in so far as they are visible, they are the frailest and the most distant form of all reality. Inversely, in so far as they stand outside the picture and are therefore withdrawn from it in an essential invisibility, they provide the centre around which the entire representation is ordered: it is they who are being faced, it is towards them that everyone is turned . . . from the canvas with its back to us to the Infanta, and from the Infanta to the dwarf playing on the extreme right, there runs a curve . . . that orders the whole arrangement of the picture to their gaze and thus makes apparent the true centre of the composition, to which the Infantas gaze and the image in the mirror are both finally subject.  [30]   One should note here that Foucaults theory emphasises the interior look it constitutes the interior from the exterior as a device built from the outside to the inside of the webs of power. Las Meninas, in Foucaults interpretation help us see this paradigm. By observing the painting, it is noticeable that the modern subject is constituted by surveillance, by the absent look (but at the same time very present), of a power that determines everything, from the characters clothing, gestures, attention, social position, in sum the ways of feeling and seeing are determined by a power that sees all and controls all. In view of these arguments, Foucault points out: In the profound upheaval of such an archaeological mutation, man appears in his ambiguous position as an object of knowledge and as a subject that knows: enslaved sovereign, observed spectator, he appears in the place belonging to the king, which was assigned to him in advance by Las Meninas, but from which his real presence has for long been excluded.  [31]   On his article Velà ¡zquez Las Meninas, Leo Steinberg presents similar arguments to Foucaults, including the viewers of the painting as part of a sphere which the partitioning picture plane cuts in two.  [32]  As Steinberg points out, if the picture were speaking instead of flashing, it would be saying: I see you seeing me I in you see myself seen see yourself being seen and so on beyond the reaches of the grammar.  [33]  What particularly interests me in Foucaults and Steinbergs approaches is the placing of the modern Man (in Foucaults case), and the observer (in Steinbergs case), as pivotal figures in the interpretation of Las Meninas, being that in their approaches the Man/observer holds the power he occupies the place of the royal power. To conclude, when one considers all these different approaches to Las Meninas, one is presented with a complex web of power relations. Firstly, the painting was produced in seventeenth-century Spain, a original nation-state of Early Modern Europe, and in and with the court of Philip IV the centre of a centralised power structure. Secondly, the painting depicts the royal power interiorly with the portrayal of the Infanta and the King and the Queen in the mirror, and at the same time exteriorly trough the implied presence of the royal couple reflected on the mirror. Thirdly, the painting also portrays all those ruled by the monarchic power, such as the maids of honour, the lady of honour, the guardadamas, the dwarfs, the Aposentador of the Queen, and also the painter. Fourthly, it also depicts Velà ¡zquezs proclamation of power by portraying himself in the royal household as a nobleman, and at the same time it celebrates his artistical power. Finally, the painting invisibly portrays the Man/observer that occupies the same place of the royal couple outside the painting, and that this way holds the power both as subject of representation and holder of knowledge. Therefore, one can conclude that what Velà ¡zquez did indeed paint in Las Meninas was power royal power, artistical power, and intellectual power. The setting and the figures of Las Meninas are merely incorporations of power relations, being the painting on his whole a metaphor of power.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Decision-Making Process Mgt 230

Decision-Making Process Michelle Shadinger MGT 230 December 17, 2012 Robert Bloomfield Decision-Making Process We make multiple decisions every day. Some of these decisions are for our personal lives, and some are business decisions. Each decision we make has an outcome, whether favorable or not that we must live with. Some people like to make quick decisions based on their gut reactions and others prefer a methodical approach. Using a step based decision-making process results in better decisions that have a lasting impact . I recently made the decision to return to school after many years of working.I had obtained my Associate’s degree almost 20 years ago and started working for the company where I currently still work. I have wanted to go back to school for many years but as I got married and had children the timing never seemed right. I recently started looking for a new job and discovered a Bachelor’s degree is a requirement for the majority of the positions I want ed to apply for. The more resumes I sent out with no response, the more I knew I had to take action. I knew going to a traditional school was going to be too difficult with my hectic schedule.I started to research colleges that catered to adult learners and found University of Phoenix. I spoke with a counselor at University of Phoenix who answered my questions on the amount of time school takes and how I would pay the tuition. I looked at going to a campus versus online and ultimately decided online would afford me the most flexibility. I prepared for my first class by doing a few things. I discussed my decision with my husband because more of my time would be spent doing schoolwork and I needed his support.I also prepared by attending a free orientation workshop online and I became familiar with the online environment and how the classes worked. I continue to evaluate my decision and feel it was the correct decision. According to our text, the six steps of the decision making proce ss are identifying the problem, generating alternative solutions, evaluating the alternatives, making the choice, implementing the decision, and evaluating the decision (Bateman & Snell, 2011). After reviewing the steps, I realized I followed the steps when I made the decision to return to school.First, I recognized the gap in my education for the jobs I wanted to fill. After identifying the issue, I thought about solutions and how I would obtain my Bachelor’s degree. I evaluated the decision and looked for the best school to achieve my goal. Once I decided to go to University of Phoenix, I had to implement the decision by applying for school and getting myself ready for the first course. As I continue school I evaluate if the decision still makes sense and if the online version is the best way to achieve my educational goals.Generating alternative solutions is the step I could have spent some additional time in and done additional research on colleges and compared the school s. I heard about University of Phoenix and knew others who had attended so I did not do much research on what other schools had to offer. Overall, I am happy with my decision to go back to school and my choice of college. References Bateman, T. S. , & Snell, S. A. (2011). Management: Leading & collaborating in a competitive world (9th ed. ). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company For decades The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) had dominated the US food and grocery market. However, with its size had come increasing managerial inefficiencies and an inability to respond to demands of changing market. A very crucial error was made in the 1950’s when A&P failed to follow customers in their move to suburbs. The result, which plagued the supermarket chain into the 1980’s , was a large number of small and inefficient stores serving declining urban neighbourhoods.In 1971, William J Kane took over as chairman and CEO of A&P. This was a time when company sales had leveled off and profits were declining. In an effort to overcome this slide, Kane ordered the conversion of thousands of regular A&P units to â€Å"WEO† supermarkets, which were described as super –duper discount stores. The average WEO store looked much the same as an old A&P and was about the same size (which was rather small and cramped by industry standards).The big difference between WEO’s and company’s conventional units was lower prices on 90% of the merchandise and a reduction in the variety of production offered from an average of items (SKUs) to as few as 8000. Chairman Kane summed up the company’s philosophy regarding this move as a â€Å"Tonnage recovery Program†, which emphasized volume business. He hope to attract many former customers by employing low prices, unfortunately the food costs began to skyrocket about the same time as WEO was instituted . The pressure caused by the price cuts was too much for the company to bear during this period.Therefore, prices were increased and the resulting market response was influential in causing further deterioration of the food giant. In 1973, the retail chain lost its number one market position to Safeway. Jonathan Scott took over Kane’s position in 1975 recognizing that the retail chain had far too many deteriorating s tores in declining urban neighbourhoods. Scott embarked on an ambitious program to close more than 1200 unprofitable locations. Unfortunately, hindsight revealed that was also needed was an entire withdrawal from certain geographic areas to achieve fficiencies of operations. In an effort market position, Scott responded by introducing the ill-fated â€Å"Price & Pride† advertising program. This advertising campaign focused on telling A&P employees and customers that the company had made a rebound and was concentrating on delivering quality products in attractive stores at low prices. It was a spirit – building campaign. Modern Stores with pleasing wide aisles served as a backdrop to the ads. The Price & Pride Campaign was quite successful in luring customers back to A&P.Unfortunately , shoppers expectation were built on the attractive scenes shown in advertisements, and many were disappointed when they returned because most stores had not really been dramatically chang ed . As a consequence, customers again left in substantial numbers to shop at competing stores. During the mid 1970’s , an ambitious program was undertaken to build many new and modern A&P stores and to remodel others. Regrettably , action fell behind plans. For example, in 1977 when 70 new stores were planned only 46 were opened due to an inability to manage the program.Remodeling also fell far behind schedule. The Price and Pride program was finally abandoned in Jan 1978. Even before this occurred, Scott began to look in earnest for new ways to get the slow moving giant moving heading in the right direction again. Once result was that a new promotional theme was adopted: â€Å"You will do better at A&P†. Along with this , three major steps were taken. First , â€Å"action prices† were instituted to pass manufacturers specials directly on to customers in the form of lower prices. Second , Generic products were offered in many stores.These plainly labeled packag es were placed in â€Å"economy cases† . located in special parts of the store. The result was that for some products customers could choose between national brand, A&P private labels and generics. Third, trading stamps were instituted in many areas. Although some of these measures may have been helpful in slowing the retail chain’s decline , they certainly were not sufficient as a long run turnaround solution. In 1979, the diminishing giant fell to the 3rd position in the supermarket industry and showed signs of serious problems .During that year , the Tengelman group , which owns a large supermarket chain in Germany at the time was able to acquire controlling interests in A&P for an attractive price. James Wood was brought in to replace Scott . One of the first moves of James Wood was to stop closing stores . Instead , a number of units were converted in to â€Å"Plus Store† which were â€Å"limited assortment† unit stocking thousands of essential produ cts far less than the 12000 products found in a general supermarket. The stores were also â€Å"no frill† in design.Goods were kept in their cartons , as opposed to being placed on attractive sheleves , and shoppers had to purchase their own paper bags. The emphasis was on offering bare bone services for low prices. However , perhaps because shoppers could not fulfill all of their shopping needs at Plus Stores, and because prices were not really drastically lower than their competitors , the Plus Stores proved unsuccessful as A&P entered the 1980’s. 1. Does it seem that A&P has tended to favour any particular model or models of buyer behavior? What appears to be the degree of success that has resulted? . Evaluate the relevance of understanding consumer behaviour knowledge to developing a marketing plan for A&P .. 3. What additional information about customers would you as a CEO like to have before designing such a plan ? How might such information be acquired ? 4. Trac e the development of A&P operations from 1979 to present – based on library research. 5. Discuss major concepts from Day 1 seminar discussions you see apparent in this case. 6. What is your personal opinion was the one major flaw in the way A&P went about its effort? Support your argument with reasons.