Sea shanties show TikTok is the global proving grounds for culture

If you’ve visited social media lately—and surely you haven’t because we’re all keeping good on our New Year’s resolutions—you’ve probably encountered a sea shanty.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, a quick recap. The sea shanty arose midway through the last millennium as a breed of work-song for sailors to while away the time, forge communal bonds, and generally keep from going insane. Then a couple months ago, a 26-year-old Scottish postman named Nathan Evans sang a rendition on TikTok that made the world become re-obsessed.

The sea shanty form is particularly suited to TikTok. The youth-craze app lets people create “duets,” a feature that adjoins a video post to one already playing. In Sept., TikTok revamped the feature, leading to a renaissance of collaborative creativity. Soon after, Evans posted his performance of “Soon May the Wellerman Come,” which promptly went viralRead the rest

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14 client-screening questions to ask before designing a site

There was a time, early in my freelance days, when I gleefully accepted any client who came a-knockin’ at my door — no client screening or preliminary fact-finding recon necessary. However, I quickly learned that it pays to be selective, and moved to using a rigorous screening process early in my onboarding process.

Providing a finely tuned and comprehensive questionnaire allows prospective clients to work at their own pace, pondering the questions over time, while formulating their responses.

Trust me, working through this exercise at the start saves time and aggravation down the road. If the prospective client answers all questions to your satisfaction, in addition to confirming the right fit, you’ve assembled much-needed information for your proposal. Useful questions not only gather information, but raise red flags to seriously consider.

Ask these client-screening questions

Here’s my starter list of 14 key questions for your “new client” questionnaire; take … Read the rest

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India gears up for a robust digital ecosystem as e-payments witness an upward trend

The payments industry, which saw unprecedented changes and challenges during the pandemic crisis last year, expects 2021 to be the year of innovation. With more small businesses adopting digital channels, India could see millions of new users enter the digital ecosystem.

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No direct link between the COVID vaccine and a recent string of deaths in the elderly, Norway finds

Health authorities in Norway say there’s no evidence of a direct link between the recent string of deaths among elderly people inoculated against COVID-19, and the vaccine they received.

The Norwegian Medicines Agency is seeking to address fears that taking the vaccine might be too risky, after 33 people in the country aged 75 and over died following immunization, according to the agency’s latest figures. All were already seriously ill, it said.

“Clearly, Covid-19 is far more dangerous to most patients than vaccination,” Steinar Madsen, medical director at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said by phone on Monday. “We are not alarmed.”

The initial reports from Norway made international headlines as the world looks for early signs of potential side effects from the vaccines. Until Friday, Norway had only used the vaccine provided by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, and the companies are now working with the Nordic country to look into the … Read the rest

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Cities with more diversity have more online micro-businesses

Amber Khan-Robinson, the daughter of the first African American athletic shoe designer in the U.S., has always had entrepreneurship in her blood. So when she was looking for ways to keep her three children from staring at screens all day, she decided to help them “start a business.”

Working at home in Atlanta, they made 85 hibiscus lime ice pops to sell at a festival. Soon, the family was selling hundreds per weekend at events around their city under the name MOKIPOPS.

When the pandemic hit, MOKIPOPS, like many neighborhood businesses, was forced to pivot their business to maintain sales. So Khan-Robinson set up a website for online orders. As customers began ticking up, the whole family pulled together to keep MOKIPOPS afloat.

“We just started delivering,” Khan-Robinson says.

She and her husband drive their 10-year-old son to a customer’s address and he takes it from there.

“He … Read the rest

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Guatemala police fire tear gas, disperse US-bound migrant caravan

Saying they are desperate to escape poverty, unemployment, gang and drug violence and the aftermath of two devastating hurricanes, the migrants set out from Honduras last week, aiming to cross Guatemala and Mexico and reach the US — an arduous journey of thousands of kilometers.

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