Day: February 24, 2021

Impraise (YC S14) hiring Senior Engineer building a remote working tool for teams

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More Green Blackouts Ahead

Biden’s regulators are ignoring the electrical grid’s vulnerability.

The 'Experts' Cited by the New Censors

A leftist professor helps Democrats attack non-leftist media.

Who is Generation Alpha, and Why Are They Important to Marketers?

Every new generation brings new customs, behaviors, and cultural phenomena that shape the world as we know it.

Baby boomers brought significant economic influence.

Millennials taught us new ways of viewing our socio-political world.

Generation Z showed us what the intersection of technology and humanity looks like.

Now, we have Generation Alpha, a demographic of tech-savvy, racially diverse, and unapologetically influential children who will start entering adulthood at the end of the 2020s.

But, they’re children. They aren’t our buyers. Why should marketers care about them right now?

Studies have shown children under 12 can influence parental purchases of $130 to $670 billion a year. And, it won’t be long before they are the buyers.

It’s never too early to prepare. In fact, since the oldest kids in this generation are starting to hit middle school, we may even be cutting it close.

Let’s take a look at the climate shaping this upcoming generation and what we can expect from them in the future.

What Birth Years Are Considered Generation Alpha?

Generation Alpha covers those born between 2010 and 2024. Most of their parents are Millennials.

Every nine minutes, a new member of Generation Alpha is born in the United States. By 2025, this group will reach a worldwide population of more than two billion.

infographic of generation alpha births

Generation Alpha Culture and the Future of Marketing

Although some Gen Alpha babies haven’t been born yet, there are a few things we can predict about them.

For starters, Generation Alpha will be the most technologically advanced generation to date, growing up with mobile devices, AI, social media, advanced healthcare, and robotics as parts of their everyday lives.

They will be digitally literate and adept multi-taskers as a result.

Gen Alpha also stands to be the most materially endowed generation of all time. This means they could end up being able to spend more on nonessentials than previous generations.

They also stand to be the most globally informed group so far, and they will have the longest life spans.

Generation Alpha Technology Trends

As Generation Alpha evolves, so will their familiar technology.

We’ve already seen the effects of exponential technological growth on current generations, and these effects will continue to grow.

It’s expected that AI and robotics will be completely integrated into modern life by 2025. We can also expect machine learning, natural language processing, and smart devices to change, improve, and further connect us in the coming years.

Gen Alpha may find themselves interacting with robots just as frequently as with humans.

For marketers, this means speaking to an astute audience that may know the ideal product better than we do.

Similarly, we can expect Gen Alpha to reject traditional forms of marketing, much like their Millennial parents did not long ago. An increasing interest in personalization, humanized messaging, and social shopping should be assumed.

Generation Alpha Education Trends

Generation Alpha stands to be the most educated generation to date.

Access to education is at an all-time high, with most countries reporting twelve or more years of schooling for every individual citizen.

According to UNESCO, each additional year of education increases a person’s earnings by roughly 10%.

With improving digital resources and the increasing availability of technology, Gen Alpha will have better access to long-term education than any previous generation.

That said, the way they view education will likely be different. There may be less emphasis on formal degrees and, instead, a focus on skills.

The Eduniversal Evaluation Agency (EEA) put it this way:

In an age where every other tech CEO and startup founder dropped out of college and now rakes in millions, it’s hard to argue that moving forward, a degree will remain an absolute prerequisite for success.

In addition to these trends, we’ll see the continuation of highly personalized instructional content.

A generation used to instant access to information is unlikely to succeed in three-hour-long lectures. Instead, we can expect an increase in online learning, especially tutorials, which will further the technological proficiency of Gen Alpha.

Generation Alpha Social Media Trends

Young people are increasingly drawn to social media. With the introduction of social media e-commerce, social media has become one of the most essential tools for marketers in the modern age.

One survey found 49% of 16- to 24-year-olds look to social media for purchase inspiration. This is higher than older generations—their parents may only do this 20% of the time, for instance.

As more Gen Alpha kids grow up immersed in social media, we can predict social media usage will become an increasingly inextricable part of their lives.

Gen Alpha already uses social media differently than their parents. They’re less likely to be on Facebook or Twitter, favoring Instagram and TikTok. Brands that stay on top of the newest technology stand to see greater success with this burgeoning generation.

engagement table of generation alpha

Generation Alpha Data Sharing Trends

Gen Alpha may be warier of providing or allowing access to their data to social media giants, search engines, ad agencies, and so on. We’re already seeing this trend today, with more and more countries instituting data privacy laws such as the GDPR.

By the time Generation Alpha reaches maturity, they’ll probably have a deep understanding of their data and how it’s used. This could lead to higher levels of criticism and questioning when consenting to data usage—they might read that fine print.

Companies looking to leverage consumer data should consider what they give back in return. Often, an equal exchange is enough to encourage consumer consent.

Brands doing this incorrectly risk losing their rising audience.

Generation Alpha Healthcare Advancements

Much like their millennial parents, Gen Alpha will likely spend more time finding medical information online. Self-service and convenience will continue to be driving factors for Gen Alpha’s healthcare.

In addition, younger generations are increasingly aware of mental health and are more likely to seek help for challenges with theirs when needed. They’ll likely expect their workplaces to offer mental health coverage and resources.

On the brand side, this means staying compassionate and aware of mental health can greatly improve overall brand integrity.

The Bell Let’s Talk movement is a strong example of a brand doing this right.

Healthcare Advancement for Generation Alpha

Generation Alpha Media Literacy Trends

Gen Alpha will have the best media literacy of any generation. They’ll be able to separate fact from fiction and more likely to identify conspiracy theories or fake news circulating on the internet.

For marketers, this means speaking to a well-informed audience that isn’t likely to be persuaded by traditional marketing tactics.

It also means engaging Gen Alpha in the arenas they prefer. Podcasting, video content, and gamification will become increasingly important when delivering information.

Additionally, personalization in marketing will continue to grow in popularity. For Gen Alpha, it won’t be enough to simply push a sale. Marketers will need to connect with this generation in an ongoing way.

Generation Alpha Diversity Trends

The US is becoming more diverse, and younger generations are increasingly aware and accepting of challenges based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Gen Alpha’s patience for inequality will almost surely continue to decrease as they grow up.

Children of this generation are unlikely to work for a company that doesn’t reflect their values. In the same way, they won’t buy from brands that go against what they believe in.

Brands championing diversity and social issues while embracing widespread change will flourish. Brands that don’t evolve will be left behind.

Generation Alpha Economic Trends

Generation Alpha first came into being during an economically tumultuous time as the world recovered from the Great Recession.

They’ve gone through some pretty interesting ups and downs since then, and significant political and social issues will continue to affect their economic standing.

We can be reasonably sure that they’ll be largely invested in the experience economy, including live entertainment, amusement parks, spectator sports, and tours.

This economy has largely been fueled by social media and technology, as people share the fun they’re having and others want to have adventures as well.

Additionally, Gen Alpha is predicted to be the longest-living generation of humans so far. Because of this, they’ll likely stay in the workforce longer, meaning more money over their working years.

As marketers, we need to plan for all of this. Our consumers face a bit of a question mark in terms of the economy. But, we know what they want—experiences—and that they’ll be educated and in the workforce for a long time. Catering to a changing climate and meeting their needs and desires throughout their lifetimes is essential.


Generation Alpha represents a fascinating, technologically advanced evolution of the human species.

People in this generation are digital natives growing up with smartphones, social media, and AI. They’re entering a genuinely advanced world where automation and innovation rule.

Additionally, their purchasing influence is already present, and they’re influencing their parents buying decisions even now.

Marketers who pay attention to this generation now will be better prepared to out-market big competitors in the coming years.

We can expect to see a well-educated, digitally fluent, socially-conscious generation. We need to keep up.

What predictions do you have for Gen Alpha?

The post Who is Generation Alpha, and Why Are They Important to Marketers? appeared first on Neil Patel.

How to Make a Sponsored Snapchat Filter

Snapchat advertising has a lot going for it. With 249 million daily active users, you can get your brand in front of a large audience. The level of engagement on the platform is equally massive. Snapchatters open the app more than 30 times on average every day. 

There are three types of Snapchat ads: Snap Ads, Filters, and Lenses. I’ve written before about the value each Snapchat ad can bring to your business. That post provides an excellent overview of the different advertising options available on Snapchat and whether they are worth the investment. 

Today, I’m going to get more specific. Below, I focus on sponsored Snapchat filters, how to create them, and why you should.

What Are Sponsored Snapchat Filters?

Snapchat filters are overlay images used when taking selfies. They are one of the most popular features on the app and have been responsible for driving record growth. The gender-swapping filter attracted 7 million new users days after it was released, for instance.  

Businesses can pay to create their own Snapchat filters. Each filter is available on the app for a limited period of time. Filters can also be limited to a specific area, which advertisers can set before they launch. This is called a geofilter. 

Why Use Sponsored Snapchat Filters?

There are plenty of reasons why a business would want to pay for their own Snapchat filter. 

First, they are a great way to drive brand awareness, given the kind of popularity they inspire. A 2019 study by Snapchat found filters are one of the main reasons users spend time on the app. 

They can be incredibly cost-effective. You can create your own Snapchat filter for as little as $5, meaning you don’t have to be a massive brand to take advantage of them. 

Snapchat filters offer much less competition. While every business in the country has a Facebook presence, only a fraction of them are creating their own filters. They are a great way to differentiate your brand from competitors. 

Finally, Snapchat offers targeting that almost rivals Facebook. Being able to geofence your filters to a specific area, say, near your stores, means you can limit your ad spend to people who are actually likely to buy. 

How to Create a Sponsored Snapchat Filter

Creating a Snapchat filter isn’t nearly as daunting as you think it is. I promise.

Simply follow my step-by-step guide below, and you’ll have your filter live in no time at all. 

Load Snapchat

Head to Snapchat’s Creative Tools page. Click on ”Filters.”

Note: You don’t need to have a business account to create a filter on Snapchat. But it’s in your interest to do so. You’ll have more control with a business account and access to more advertising features. 

create snapchat filter

Use a Template to Create A Snapchat Sponsored Filter

Snapchat offers businesses all the design help they need in the form of templates. Use the drop-down list to find a relevant topic, then choose the template you like best.

dropdown snapchat filter

You should be able to find something to suit your tastes regardless of your industry or the kind of filter you’re looking to create. 

Create Your Sponsored Snapchat Filter From Scratch

You can create your filter design from scratch if you don’t like any of the templates. I recommend using a design tool like Canva, which comes with preset design dimensions for Snapchat.  

Upload your own design by clicking on the Upload button at the top of the page.

Upload snapchat filter

Your file size may be too big initially. If that’s the case, use a tool like Compress PNG to make it smaller. 

Set Date and Time

Next, you’ll need to set the date you want your filter to be available and how long you want it to run. The longer your filter lasts, the more you’ll have to pay. 

date of snapchat filter

Set Location

Next, you’ll need to set the location for your filter. You can search for a town or monument in the search box, or you can draw an area as shown below.

area snapchat filter

Note: The geofenced area must be smaller than 50 million square feet.

Again, the bigger radius you choose, the more expensive your ad will be. 

At this point, you’ll also be shown the price of your sponsored filter.

Price of snapchat filter

All you need to do now is check out. It will take a few days for Snapchat to approve your filter manually, but after that, you’re good to go.

4 Tips for Creating Great Sponsored Snapchat Filters

Don’t rush into creating a Snapchat filter. If you want to make your filter as successful as possible, there are a few things you’ll need to bear in mind. 

Have a Specific Goal

No one will engage with a filter that looks like advertising spam. You need to have a valid reason for creating your filter and a measurable goal you want it to achieve. Being clear on both factors will make designing your filter much easier and, ultimately, make your filter more successful in the long run.

For instance, if you’re using your filter to promote a new product, you can find fun and creative ways of including the product. If you’re promoting an event, you’ll want to make sure you nail the geographic area and include the event’s name in your filter so guests can show off where they are. 

Keep Specifications in Mind

Snapchat has a series of specifications your ad must meet to get approved. They include:

  • image must be 1080 x 2340px
  • file size must be 300kb or less
  • file must be in PNG format
  • at least 50% of the image must be transparent
  • there must be a 310px buffer zone at the top and bottom of the image
  • logo placement must be clear and obvious

Take time to read through these specifications carefully. There’s no point going through all the trouble of designing a great ad for it to get rejected for something avoidable.

There are also restrictions brands should be aware of, too:

  • No gambling or lottery images.
  • No URLs, barcodes, usernames, CTAs, phone numbers, email, or logos of other social platforms allowed.
  • No hashtags allowed.
  • Filters should honor Snapchat’s advertising guidelines.


If there’s one piece of advice you should follow above everything else, it’s this: Keep It Simple, Stupid. 

The best Snapchat filters are the most simple. Don’t take up loads of room with images, and don’t plaster your brand everywhere. The cleaner your filter looks, the more people will want to use it. 

Check out this example from Starbucks. 

Create Great Snapchat Filter - Starbucks example

The design is so simple even I could mock this up. You can bet your bottom dollar thousands and thousands of consumers took a selfie using it, however.

In other words, you don’t have to be a design genius to run a sponsored Snapchat filter. Any business owner can do it.

Measure, Optimize, and Improve

A sponsored Snapchat filter isn’t different from any other form of marketing. You need to measure and optimize your ad to drive the most value. Luckily, Snapchat makes doing this easy with its built-in analytics tool that gives you access to all of the metrics you need like impressions and engagement.

You can use this data to improve your next sponsored filter. For instance, you may want to avoid regions with low engagement and invest more in regions with high engagement. You may also want to look at other metrics, like store revenue, to see what kind of impact your sponsored filters had. 

Ways to Use Your Sponsored Snapchat Filter

Are you still unsure about how to use a Snapchat filter for your brand? Don’t worry; there are many different tactics you can use, and I’m going to cover a few of my favorites.

Promote Your Brand Partnership

If you’re sponsoring an event like a charity run or a festival, use a Snapchat filter to make sure your name gets seen. Everyone loves to use social media to show off what they’re doing, so a filter will get tons of engagement. Plus, when you brand it carefully, you’ll get the recognition you deserve. 

Attract Customers to Your Brick-and-Mortar Store

You can use the geofencing feature of Snapchat, so your filter is only available to consumers within the vicinity of your stores. A fun Snapchat filter can be just the kind of nudge people need to eat at your restaurant or shop your store. 

It can also be a great way to leverage word-of-mouth marketing. If consumers take a selfie with your filter after shopping at your store, they may encourage their friends to visit, too.

If you have a lot of stores, setting up individual ads will require a lot of work. I recommend running a test program with a couple of stores to see if your filter is successful before expanding the campaign to the rest of your locations. 

Launch a New Product

Snapchat filters are a great way to raise awareness of a new product launch. Including an image of the product within the filter will help consumers to identify it easily and engage with the product without needing to buy it.

The product doesn’t even need to be physical. The Terminator movie franchise created its own filter to promote the launch of “Terminator Genisys.”

Ways to Use Sponsored Snapchat Filter - Example of Terminator

Are Sponsored Snapchat Filters Better Than Other Forms of Digital Advertising?

I highly recommend businesses experiment with sponsored Snapchat filters. As I mentioned at the start of this article, they are very affordable and are less competitive than Facebook ads or Google PPC ads. This makes them a great choice for small businesses.

Major brands can also win big with Snapchat filters, especially if you have a product that Snapchatters can interact with. McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Disney have all had success with Snapchat filters. 

Snapchat filters will be particularly relevant if you target young consumers and women. Over 75 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds use the app regularly. Almost two-thirds of app users are women. 

If you are a B2B company or you target older consumers, then Snapchat probably isn’t for you. In that case, you’re better off spending your advertising budget on Facebook ads or Google ads, or even investing in SEO.

Otherwise, give Snapchat a go and see if it works for you.


Snapchat may not be the dominant social media platform it once was, but it’s still a valuable addition to your digital marketing strategy.

The site still enjoys almost 250 million daily active users, and filters enjoy a ridiculously high engagement rate. That means thousands of consumers could be interacting with your brand on a daily basis.

If your brand is B2C and targets young consumers in particular, creating a sponsored Snapchat filter could be a winning strategy.

What will your brand’s Snapchat filter look like?

The post How to Make a Sponsored Snapchat Filter appeared first on Neil Patel.

Top 10 News12 New Jersey RSS Feeds

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Top 10 News12 Connecticut RSS Feeds

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Understanding Experian’s Intelliscore and How An Expert Can Help

Experian’s Intelliscore can make or break your ability to get many types of business funding. If it’s bad, you need to fix it. That’s easier said than done however. 

Your Intellliscore is Important, but You Can Still Get Funding If It’s Bad

There are ways to improve your Intelliscore and get funding while you do so, but you need help.  The time is now. Delaying can only make the issue worse.  It helps to understand what your Intelliscore tells lenders about your business, and how Experian comes up with it. 

Understanding Intelliscore

The Intelliscore Plus credit score is a statistically based credit-risk analysis. It helps businesses, investors and possible future lenders make smart choices about who they should do business with.

It runs from 1 to 100, and can deliver insight on how much of a risk a business or business owner may be.

The higher your score, the lower your risk class. The chart below summarizes each Intelliscore Plus credit score range and its associated meaning.


Score Range Risk Class Risk Description
76– 100 1 Low
51– 75 2 Low to Medium
26– 50 3 Medium
11– 25 4 High to Medium
1– 10 5 High


Although there are more than 800 commercial and owner variables used to ascertain the score, the variables can be split into these pivotal factors:


This specific factor focuses on how you use credit. For example, how much of your available credit is currently being used? Are you usines a lot of your credit and not repaying? Responsible credit use is a huge factor. 

Intelliscore Credit Suite

Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.

Payment History

The bureaus call it recency. However, it’s just your current payment status. It’s basically how often any of your accounts become delinquent, the percent of accounts which are currently delinquent, and your overall trade balance.  

Intelliscore Plus is considered to be one of the more reliable tools for determining creditworthiness. One of the ways it maintains this reputation is by identifying the key factors that indicate whether or not a business is likely to pay their debt.


Somewhat closely related to payment history, frequency takes into account how often your accounts have been sent to collections, the amount of liens and judgments you may have, and any bankruptcies connected to your business or personal accounts.

On top of that, frequency can also incorporate details pertaining to your payment patterns. Were you regularly slow or late with payment? Did you start off paying bills late, but overtime, reduced this behavior? These things will all be taken into consideration.

If you haven’t started or don’t have a long history of business based transactions, how will Experian rate you?

This is addressed by using a blended model to identify your score. This means that they take your personal consumer credit score into account when calculating your business’s credit score.

What if You Have a Bad Intelliscore? 

If it’s bad, you have to fix it. It’s that simple.  However, it’s not as simple as it sounds.  In fact, you may not be able to do it on your own.  The best and fastest way to fix the issue is to start paying your obligations on time.  

Of course that sounds simple.  However, there is likely a reason you fell behind in the first place.  The fact is, you need business funding to pay your bills and raise your score.  But, how do you get funding without a good score?  There is no one size fits all solution, but there are some things you can do. 

Talk to a Business Credit Expert

If you are struggling with a bad score, you are going to need help.  Not only help with rebuilding your score, but help with funding and fundability as a whole.  Many business owners do not realize that business credit scores, like Intelliscore, are not the only thing lenders consider when it comes to business funding.  There are a number of factors that must be taken into account, but the business credit scores, including Experian’s business credit score,  are a big piece of the puzzle. 

A business credit expert will help in more ways than one.  First, they can help you find the best funding to fit your needs right now, that you can get even with a bad business credit score. Then, they can help you rebuild your business credit and evaluate your fundability overall, showing you how to make adjustments where necessary.  

What Business Options Exist with Bad Credit? 

Now is the time to talk to an expert, before your Intelliscore and other business credit scores get any worse. A business credit expert will likely suggest one of the following options to catch up on debt and start rebuilding your credit. 
Intelliscore Credit Suite

Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.

Credit Line Hybrid

A credit line hybrid is unsecured business financing.  It allows you to fund your business without putting up collateral, and you only pay back what you use.  

Your personal credit score should be at least 680.  In addition, you can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments.  Furthermore, in the past 6 months you should have less than 4 credit inquiries, and you should have less than a 45% balance on all business and personal credit cards.  

 Now, here’s the catch that helps a lot of business owners out.  If you do not meet all of the requirements, you can take on a credit partner that meets each of these requirements.  Many business owners work with a friend or relative to fund their business.  If a relative or a friend meets all of these requirements, they can partner with you to allow you to tap into their credit to access funding. 

The best part of this type of funding is that it reports to your business credit report, regardless of whether you use your personal credit to apply or that of a credit partner. That means, you get your funding and build your business credit at the same time.

If this still isn’t enough funding, or it won’t work for you, you  may qualify for other options.

Account Receivable Financing

To get this type of funding, you have to have open receivables from another business or government agency, not individuals.  In addition, you need to have been in business for at least one year. The minimum credit score is just 500.

You can get up to 80% of receivables advanced in as little as 24 hours.

Merchant Cash Advance

If you accept credit cards as payment, you may qualify for a merchant cash advance.  You only need a credit score of at least 500.  To qualify, your business must bring in $100,000 or more per year in credit card sales.  Typical approval amounts equal one months’ credit processing volume.  In addition to the application, you’ll need 3-6 months bank and merchant statements. 

Equipment Financing

If you need equipment, it might be better to consider equipment financing.  You will put up your existing equipment or the new equipment you want to purchase as collateral.  Amounts are available up to $10 million with terms ranging up to 60 months. You will  need a credit score of at least 550. 

Real Estate Financing

You can get real estate financing in amounts up to $10 million with terms from 6 to 60 months and interest rates as low as 6%.  You will need a 500 minimum credit score, and there are a few other requirements. 
Intelliscore Credit Suite

Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.

Business Revenue Lending

Another option is business revenue lending.  Again, the minimum credit score is 500.  Your business must earn annual revenue of $120,000 or more, and it must do more than 5 small transactions each month.  If your business brings in at least $15,000 monthly, then 6 months in business is acceptable.  You will have to fill out an application and provide 6 months worth of bank statements. 

Intelliscore, Business Funding, and Help for the Future

If your Intellicore is bad, you need help now.  It will soon become impossible, if it isn’t already, to get the funding you need to run your business.  An expert can help you come up with a plan to get your credit back on track, help you figure out what other issues you may have with fundability, and help you find funding you qualify for now to help you out in the meantime. 


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Mechanical Engineer to build advanced bio-automation at Volta (YC W19)

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Sirum (YC W15) Is Hiring Software and QA Engineers with Pharmacy Experience

SIRUM is making medications affordable for all. We’re a small (~25) but quickly growing team that’s passionate about our mission of reimagining healthcare access for those in need. We come from organizations like McKinsey, the Clinton Foundation, and Stanford Biology. We like to work hard, solve tough problems, and are determined to improve healthcare access …

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