Feature Stories With Heart

Feature stories have heart. Feature stories have warmth. Most of all, feature stories force a writer / reporter to evaluate the human side of a community – beyond the facts, beyond the opinions – to find the spirit of the story.

I have always favored feature stories (or soft news) as a writer because it gives me the chance to get to know people on a higher level than straight news reporting (hard news) does. Beyond that, it also forces me to work as a reporter with feelings – yes, some reporters have actual feelings.

For the past few weeks, I've evaluated a variety of types of college feature stories in preparation for a workshop I'm presenting at the Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Advisers National College Media Convention. After sifting through stacks and stacks of archives of papers, I've come to the conclusion that college newspapers are much more active to seek out the feature elements than mainstream, professional newspapers.

My students (and former students) from The Montage, have compiled heartwarming stories of life and death, fun and frolics, and service and sacrifice. Here are a few examples:

"A Day in the Life of Mary Davis:" As a regular series, my students write personality profiles, covering students, faculty, staff, locals, etc. This particular story highlights an 86-year old student still eager to learn.

"Turning Lead into Gold:" This profile provides an in-depth look at a faculty member's passions.

"Inauguration Road:" Following a road trip to the White House for Barack Obama's engagement, two of my students compiled a piece about a 1st person account of the journey itself.

"What's Brewing in St. Louis:" Beer is a priority for many college students. Recognizing this, my students compiled an in-depth centerspread on St. Louis. Louis' beer culture, including a list of "things" to do with beer.

"The Vertical Expression of a Horizontal Desire:" Fun and frolics come in all shapes and sizes as detailed in this feature about the art of tango music.

This list of stories (found at http://www.meramecmontage.com ) includes a variety of subjects, topics, and angles. Primarily, though, these stories offer readers something "different," something soft – a much-needed break from the heart-wrenching news of reductions, murders, and swine flu statistics. Even more so, they offer reporters (whether student or professional) a chance to explore more than just the facts but rather the fun-loving spirit of life.

I could spend all day listing compelling, heart-warming and entertaining features that have been written by both students and professionals, but I'd rather open my eyes and seek the next big story that could possibly touch someone else's life and in return, touch mine.

eCommerce: Why Cross-Selling Is an Important Element Beside Your Layout

The year 2016 presents tremendous opportunities for cross-selling techniques. eCommerce businesses can actually bolster sales records by even up to 30% by resorting to cross-selling. As a retailer, you do have the chance to generate extra traffic during the sales period by adding new features and optimizing user experience.

eCommerce: Strategies to Shore Up This Particular Technique

Cross-selling entails the practice of boosting sales by providing additional (but relevant) products along with the product the customer is already looking for. For instance, if a potential buyer is looking for a laptop then you can generally present them with the additional option of choosing laptop covers as well. While most may think that it's not that difficult to make a buyer shell out a few extra bucks for the cover when it's already buying a laptop- in reality, it's not that easy either. If it would have been that easy we would not really have taken the trouble to draw this primer up for you. So, do read on.

What you should know

Start off by shaking up your messaging techniques. No, we are not speaking about the stock-in-trade standard messages that are sent out in bulk to all your consumers during a sale or festivals. We are rather talking about personalizing your messages. Why not include the name of perspective within the message body itself? Notably, it has been found that the inclusion of the word "you" and "your" bolsters results by a significant margin. Your message should be more like you're speaking to your buyer right across the table.

It is very important to ensure that you're actually keeping your endeavors relevant. Like we have already pointed out that you can actually go on to offer something like a laptop cover with a laptop (or for that matter, a printer with a desktop). However, you just can not go on to present random products or accessories as cross sells. Presenting cross sells that will be needed without a doubt is a surefire tip to succeed. For instance, if you're selling a printer now, then putting printer ink along side is a more fruitful proposition rather than presenting a printer cover. A user may or may not make use of the cover but he / she has no other option but to use ink.

Now, you may not really believe it, but let us tell you even eCommerce website developers today focus a lot on this technique to aid their consumers to bolster their conversion odds. They can offer you insights regarding which cross sells pages to promote. In fact, there are eCommerce website developers who tell their clients how adopting cross-selling and up-selling measures count in your eCommerce success within an impressive layout does.

Michael Kors Shoes

Do you own a pair of Michael Kors?

If you are looking for elegance and sophistication in a shoe, Michael Kors has the design for you. Shoes are considered an accessory because it helps to complete an outfit. Whether you are dressing up to go out for the evening or you are just relaxing over a cup of coffee, you will enjoy the designs of Michael kors.

The Michael Kors collection works with several different designs and colors to perfect the comfort and style of each shoe he brings into the market. The basic colors of black, orange, burgundy, and brown are used so you can find the shoe that you like the best. The choices in footwear include sandals, pumps, wedge heels, boots, and more. You can find everything you need with the Michael Kors collection.

Shoes that are in style for you

Michael Kors has the shoe for any outfit and any occasion. Some of the shoes available that are the most versatile include some of the following below.

The McGraw leather boot. If you like your boots to go to your knees then this is the right boot for you. You can not only walk taller but feel sexy too. This boot is made from a soft cognac leather so it will be durable and dependable for a long time. With this type of leather, the more you wear it, the softer it will feel. It features a five-inch platform heel that you can wear for everyday or just on an occasion.

Every woman needs a pair of leopard print pumps for those occasional nights out. The leopard print pumps feature a peep toe and a graffiti design. It has a five-inch stacked heel.

Domino suede boots are a must have whether you want to wear a pair of jeans or you want to dress up. Slip these boots on to maximize your comfort. It has a stacked three-inch heel and is perfect for any occasion. Save these for a night out on the town when you do not feel like wearing tall heels and a dress. You can still look sophisticated when you wear these boots with jeans. Throw on a leather jacket to complete the look.

Out in Style

With Michael Kors collection you are going to find everything you need for everyday or for that special occasion or event. Go through your closet and organize your outfits so you know what you have and then you can go shoe shopping for your Michael Kors shoes.

Translation Services Metrics and Averages

When requesting a translation quote the result can be a total mindfield. Translation quotes can be quoted per word, per hour, per character, per page, rates differ from language to language and translation company to translation company, some companies use translation memories and within this we get differing metrics for matching and repetitions, some rates include revision by a third party, rates differ from subject matter to subject mater while some companies charge project management fees. The list goes on and on and can often leave the client in a very confusing predicament. However in this article we hope to clarify some of the issues of translation quotes especially in the area of translation metrics.

Requesting a quote

The standard measurement of translation cost is by word or translation rate per word. This has many advantages in that it`s easy to measure and suits most world languages with the exception of some of the Asian languages. A translation quote per page is very unreliable as the word count per page differs depending on size of page, font size, graphics etc… A translation quote per hour also tends to be unreliable as some translators tend to be faster than others and a metric based on words has to be established to plan the work anyway. Also, both quotes per page and per hour do not fit into the analytical reports of translation memory tools. Most reports are based on raw analysis and manipulation of word counts. If a translation quote is based on time there is a huge and unnecessary degree of trust placed on the sub-contractor. In some cases a translation quote will be based on the character count. This is a reliable method to quote on translations however, leads to more complications due to higher character counts and more complicated calculations. In some cases, especially in the case of Asian languages it is more logical to base the quote on the character counts due to the nature of some of the Asian languages.

So far so good, we have reached our first concrete decision, the measurement value of our translation quote will be in words or in the case of Asian languages, characters. We now have to request an itemized quote from the translation services companies based on the word counts. After doing this we notice that some documents are translated at a higher rate than others. A general rule of thumb is that specialized fields such as legal, medical and technical tend to be 20% more expensive than general and business fields.

How so, you may ask and the answer is that there are fewer suitably qualified translators for the subject matter which tends to drive translation prices up. Other factors that contribute to a higher translation rate per word are as follows:

· Unusual language combinations with few translators

· Language combinations where the pool of translators have high living costs

· Highly specialized subject matter

Great! so we can now compare the word count and the rate from translation agency to translation agency but we then start to notice that some translation agencies are offering lesser rates for previously translated text or repeated text, while the rate for untranslated text may be slightly higher. These translation agencies are offering Translation memory services which stores previously translated text. It may be a first job with the agency so there is no previously translated text however there may be what we call in the industry repeated text which only needs to be translated once. This type of text may be offered to the client at say 30% of the normal rate. Translation Memory systems complicate the translation process and require investment on the part of the agency but they ensure consistency and cut costs in the long run. This is why translation services companies offering these services often have higher rates but in the long term the investment in higher rates is worth it

Here is a summary of the key decisions we have to decide on when analyzing translation quotes:

1. Translation Quote measurement (Words)

2. Understanding differing word counts

3. Understanding translation rates and why

- Degree of difficulty and expertise

- Language combination

Hopefully this article helps you to facilitate the translation quote process. Remember to ask the translation agencies to provide their quote in the same format. Ask them for a quotation per word with each document/text itemized. This will ensure you get an easy to compare breakdown of rates and word counts which should help the decision process easier! Happy outsourcing!