Monitoring consumer review sites is key to managing financial institution’s reputation

first_imgIn the not so distant past, if you had a bad experience at the credit union, you might go home and tell your spouse or your neighbor. If you were really upset, perhaps you wrote a letter of complaint, but that might be the extent of it. Likewise, if you loved a certain business or product, you may have recommended it to your friends and family.We know, for fact, that personal recommendations influence buying decisions.But today, we live in a digital world, and these gripes or recommendations take place across the web, instantaneously. Online reviews are increasingly important, both to consumers and the businesses subject to their review. Monitoring review sites should be an integral part of your institution’s social media and reputation management strategy.Research is the first step toward a customer buying a product or service, and online reviews–from describing how a particular product stood the test of time or which restaurant has the best burgers in town–play a huge role in this process. continue reading » 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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With bird sacrifices and chants, Cuba’s Santeria seek protection from coronavirus

first_imgTopics : Rituals via social media Some Santeria devotees are also coordinating, largely via social media, small simultaneous rituals performed in self-isolation at home.These are also being done in other Latin American countries like Venezuela where the religion has gained a following.The rollout of mobile internet in Cuba, where most homes do not have online connections, is enabling spiritual communion in times of self isolation.On March 22, for example, Santeria devotees heard they should light two candles at a precise hour and pray to the Orishas for their protection.”May Obatala [one of the main Orishas] protect us from the pandemic,” wrote Magdalena Barrera Valdes on a Facebook group for Santeria practitioners worldwide with 44,000 followers, posting a photo of her candles, on which 76 people commented “ashe” meaning “may it manifest” in Yoruba.Later that day, some Santeria priests, known as babalawos, were said to be imploring Iku, the spirit of death, to not take any more victims. Devotees warned one another to cover their heads to protect themselves as Iku swept across earth during and after the ceremony.”Religion is mainly about faith,” said Rodriguez, “and we want to give people hope.” The risk of spreading the virus has ruled out the large ceremonies of drumming and dancing that characterize Santeria, a religion that fuses Yoruba beliefs and traditions, brought to Cuba by African slaves, with elements of Catholicism.But devotees – of which there are millions in the Caribbean island nation – are turning to their pantheons of Yoruba deities called Orishas for strength in intimate family ceremonies or individual rituals at home.”Every day when I get up, I stand on the porch, look up to the sky and ask God to … send the epidemic away,” said Montoya, who in normal times runs a weekend school teaching Cubans to get in touch with their divine gifts like the ability to hear or see spirits.”Then I light a candle and pray to my Orishas for the whole world,” she said, her thick, twisted Afro locks wound up into a white scarf, as mandated for such Santeria ceremonies.center_img The family of Emilia Montoya, 79, sacrificed four white doves and two roosters, chanted in the African language Yoruba and pounded a wooden staff rhythmically on the floor in a ceremony to protect Montoya from coronavirus.The small gathering in her Havana home appealed to their ancestors and honored Inle, the deity of health in Santeria, a ritual-filled Afro-Cuban religion. Montoya does not have the virus though Cuba has so far reported 170 confirmed cases.”We are calling these blessings upon her to keep her healthy,” said her nephew Henry Rodriguez, 40, leading the ceremony. “But this ceremony isn’t just for us; it’s also for global health.”last_img read more

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UFC Sacramento: Germaine de Randamie, Urijah Faber end the night in explosive fashion

first_img“The Italian Dream” is brimming with confidence and is just entering his athletic prime, so his best days should, in theory, be ahead of him. He showed strong takedown defense on Saturday and clean, crisp hands, though his gas tank continues to be a concern as he slowed noticeably down the stretch.He called for a fight with Paulo Costa, but “Borrachina” is otherwise engaged and, quite frankly, out of his league at this point. That said, you have to appreciate the moxie, and a performance like this one should elevate him toward the top 15 and a tougher matchup later this year.UFC Sacramento official resultsGermaine de Randamie def. Aspen Ladd by KO (right hand) at 0:16 of Round 1Urijah Faber def. Ricky Simon by KO (strikes) at 0:46 of Round 1Josh Emmett def. Mirsad Bektic by TKO (strikes) at 4:25 of Round 1Karl Roberson def. Wellington Turman by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)Marvin Vettori def. Cezar Ferreira by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)John Allan def. Mike Rodriguez by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)Andre Fili def. Sheymon Moraes by TKO (strikes) at 3:07 of Round 1Juliana Pena def. Nicco Montano by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)Ryan Hall def. Darren Elkins by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)Jonathan Martinez def. Pingyuan Liu by KO (knee) at 3:54 of Round 3Brianna Van Buren def. Livia Renata Souza by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)Benito Lopez def. Vince Morales by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) The last time the UFC ventured to the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., the home of the NBA’s Kings was relatively new and Urijah Faber was bidding the sport farewell, locking up with Brad Pickett in his retirement fight in front of a partisan home crowd.Two and a half years later, the UFC was back in the state capital, and while some things have changed, others remain the same. Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearThe venue is still considered one of the most impressive in The Association, while the Kings have taken major steps forward to become one of the league’s most intriguing squads. And just like last time the UFC blew through town, Faber was in the cage, after coming out of retirement a few months after turning 40 and becoming a father.Here’s a look at what transpired Saturday evening and the impact those results will have going forward:Germaine de Randamie stops Aspen Ladd in 16 secondsDe Randamie showed why she remains a serious threat in the bantamweight division, bouncing Ladd from the ranks of the unbeaten to close out the UFC’s return to Sacramento.As Ladd pressed forward, de Randamie fired a counter right hand that landed flush. Ladd fell to all fours. De Randamie then looked to uncork a follow-up left, but referee Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the fight.What it means: What it should mean is that de Randamie gets a chance to avenge her lone UFC loss to date in a bantamweight title fight with Amanda Nunes later this year. Both just had quick finishes, no one else is in position to challenge “The Lioness” at 135, and it would be an absolute firefight for as long as it lasts, but . . .What it probably means is that de Randamie will get booked against Ketlen Vieira once she’s cleared to return and the unpopular former featherweight champion will have to keep running the gauntlet to get another championship opportunity after how things went following her featherweight title win two years ago.It was a rough outing for Ladd, but ultimately, it will probably prove to be beneficial to her long-term development. She’ll have time to keep improving, and she didn’t catch a bunch of follow-up hammers.She handled things the right way following the loss and she has a ton of potential, but it’s clear there are areas of her game that still need work. There is no reason to hustle her into increasingly dangerous matchups with opponents who are exponentially more experienced.Urijah Faber returns with a bang, stops Ricky Simon in under a minuteI think most people had the same feeling I did heading into Saturday’s co-main event: Faber’s walkout is going to be awesome, but the 40-year-old will be stepping in with a surging, young prospect and the night could go really, really poorly.The walkout was great, as expected, but after getting touched up in one of the first exchanges, Faber hit Simon with an overhand right that took out his feet. From there, “The California Kid” swarmed. Referee Mike Beltran quickly jumped in and halted the action, giving the returning Hall of Famer the fastest finish of his career.What it means: If I say, “Nothing good,” are people going to think I’m a hater?Here’s the thing: It was a terrific moment for Faber — to come out of retirement and score a win like that at home was electric — but now what? Henry Cejudo called him out by name six weeks ago, Faber said after his victory that he was down, and the rest of the division surely let out a collective groan because it could happen, even though it has no business happening.When I spoke with Faber before the bout, he said he was interested in big fights, and that is surely a big fight, but even he wasn’t talking about a title fight at the time. It’s a possibility because, of course it is, but it’s one of those contests that will only cause more chaos if it’s booked.This is a rough result for Simon, who had won three straight to build momentum and creep into the bantamweight rankings. It’s not the end of the world by any stretch and no one would have limited the bump he would have gotten had he been victorious, but this feels like a bit of a wasted loss for a talented, emerging fighter. Faber is closer to being a mercenary than a permanent member of the roster.Josh Emmett blasts Mirsad Bektic, remains unbeaten at homeEmmett and Bektic spent the first three minutes and change standing in front of each other, slinging heavy leather with designs on creating an opportunity to finish. Late in the opening frame, Emmett stuck Bektic with a stiff jab; from there, he pounced, pounding out the finish to remain undefeated while fighting in Sacramento. What it means: Not a lot of people were talking about this fight going in, but it was a crucial one in the featherweight division and a massive performance for the 34-year-old Emmett, who is now 4-1 in the UFC at 145 pounds and the owner of back-to-back stoppage wins.Emmett felt he was close to contention prior to his crushing loss to Jeremy Stephens in February 2018, and his last two victories should carry him back into a similar position. He’s one of the more powerful fighters in the division and has wrestling skills to fall back on if needed, which makes him a tough out for anyone in the top 10.Featherweight is heating up and tons of quality matchups that could work for Emmett going forward, including bouts against Yair Rodriguez, Chan Sung Jung or Zabit Magomedsharipov.As for Bektic, he’s now 0-2 against Team Alpha Male and undefeated against everyone else. He was more than holding his own through the early going and he remains a top-15 fighter in the division, but he once again has to hit the reset button and find a way to close the holes in his striking defense to make another push toward the top of the division.Karl Roberson squeaks out split-decision victory over newcomer Wellington TurmanRoberson was originally scheduled to face John Phillips, but an injury sidelined the Welshman and opened the door for the 22-year-old Turman, who came ever so close to walking away from his UFC debut with a victory.After a strong start on the feet, Roberson got sucked into a grappling match with Turman. At various points, the Brazilian advanced to dominant positions and threatened with submissions, forcing Roberson to defend. While he was unable to secure the finish, it seemed as though Turman was on his way to stealing the win, but Roberson reversed positions and popped the debutant with a big right hand just before the horn.What it means: Honestly, the biggest takeaway from this fight was that Turman has solid upside and is someone to keep an eye on. Roberson may have gotten the victory, but it was ultra-close and you have to wonder how things would have played out if Turman had more than a month to prepare for his UFC debut.Roberson is a dangerous, explosive striker, but he has yet to figure out how to just play to his strengths and avoid troublesome spots, something that nearly cost him Saturday. He’ll need to sort that out if he wants to make headway in the division. Turman, meanwhile, should hold his head high after this one.Marvin Vettori returns to outwork Cezar FerreiraFighting for the first time in more than 400 days, Vettori snapped a two-fight winless skid, registering his first victory in two years by outworking former “TUF: Brazil” winner in the main-card opener.The 25-year-old Italian, who went the distance in a split-decision loss to current interim champ Israel Adesanya last time out, started quickly and maintained his lead throughout, busting up Ferreira’s nose in the first before continuing to touch up “Mutante” throughout. What it means: This is a crucial victory for Vettori, who has always been considered a quality prospect but who seemed to stall out after a very good start to his UFC career. Ferreira may not be a contender but he has beaten some talented opponents, and Vettori never gave him a chance to find his footing and mount any real offense.last_img read more

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LINAM Presents Sacred Choral Concert for Good Friday

first_imgOfficial Music will be performed by the Academy’s Choir, the Liberia Premier Choral Society (LIPCS)One of Liberia’s leading arts education institutions, the Liberia National Academy of Music (LINAM) will host a Sacred Choral Concert slated for Good Friday, March 30, at 6 p.m. at the Empowerment Temple A. M. E. Church, Sophie Junction, Congo Town, Monrovia. According to LINAM director Wilmot Bobbroh, III, the entire musical performance in concert will focus on the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ as He heads to the Hills of Golgotha and Calvary’s cross on Good Friday. Official Music will be provided by the Academy’s Choir, the Liberia Premier Choral Society (LIPCS), introducing some of its new repertoire to the Audience. The Liberia Premier Choral Society will perform music from the Baroque, Classic, and Romantic Periods. Wilmot Bobbroh, III, Executive Director, LINAMThe Concert will also promote local traditional Liberian music and Highlife compositions. The Concert will also feature the Psalmist and other professional soloists including soprano Georgia Mitchell Quaye and trumpeter Bobby Lee Billy; and will be conducted by Maestro Wilmot K. Bobbroh, III an acclaimed Liberian Musician trained in Classical Music.“The Sacred Choral Concert is open to the entire family, and admission is absolutely free,” said Bobbroh. “Come and enjoy Good Choral music that reflects the Messiah’s life and the Easter Season as a whole.”About the Liberia Premier Choral Society (LIPCS)Early in 2016, the Academy revamped its ten-voice ensemble to a choral group called the Liberia Premier Choral Society (LIPCS) in order to efficiently spread its vision through group singing with the use of Choral Music. The interdenominational choir, comprising approximately 45-50 members, is trained in performing choral works of all kinds including music done by Liberian and other African composers. The Liberia Premier Choral Society has held several concerts that have been both educative and entertaining. The Chorus had also been fortunate to have performed at many state functions and had composed many choral works of its own, including: “We All Are One”, “Put Our Homeland First” and “Pahgan Mini-yaboya”.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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