Carols By The Sea

Carols by the sea at Greens Beach will be held at the Greens Beach Golf Club, on Saturday, December 22, at 7pm. Bring your own chair and sing along to your favourite Christmas carols led by The West Tamar Municipal Band and the Tresca Singers. Admission is by gold coin donation and supper will be available after the carols. For more information phone Gay on 63839152 or Gerry on 63839044.
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Facebook sneaks in fees to promote posts

Dazzle Strands has found its views on Facebook have dropped from 800-1000 to 90 per post. It’s not just an impost on brands – Facebook also charges for promoting personal posts to friends.
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Brands have to pay just to promote their posts to the people who “like” their page.

Facebook is being accused of an underhanded bait and switch, with brands and even personal users now forced to pay for “promoted posts” to reach all of their “likers” and friends.

Evidence suggests that the algorithm that determines which posts appear in your News Feed, called EdgeRank, has been tweaked so that posts are visible for under 15 per cent of your connections unless you pay.

For individuals the cost to promote a status update is $US7.20 ($A6.95) and for brands the cost depends on how many fans or “likers” they have, but is around $US20 ($A19.30) per post to reach 3000 fans and $US200 ($A193) to reach 50,000 fans.

Catherine Cincotta, 33, from Melbourne, runs hair accessory firm Dazzle Strands, which has about 4000 likes on Facebook.

“I was getting at least 800 to 1000 post views and then July hit and then all of a sudden it started going progressively down so I was starting to see 300, 200 and now it’s at about 90 on average,” she said.

“I find this to be underhanded … all of a sudden the posts are being suppressed and you’re getting bombarded with requests to advertise with them.”

Lisa Dale, 32, runs an online gift hamper business, Signed Sealed Delivered, and Facebook is one of her main avenues for promotion. She also has about 3000 fans and has noticed her post views have likewise trailed off significantly, despite her fan base growing.

“They’ve sucked me in. I’ve worked so hard to build up this great page and now the only way I can maintain it now is to pay. If they were going to do it, they probably should’ve done it at the start,” said Dale.

Mashable journalist Matt Silvermanwrotein a recent column that Facebook’s EdgeRank was creating artificial scarcity by “rigging the game and then asking users to pay to level the playing field”. TheNew York Observerwrotethat “Facebook is broke, on purpose, in order to extract more money from users”.

Last week blogDangerous Mindswrote a post titled “Facebook: I want my friends back”, accusing the company of turning down the volume on users’ Facebook reach. To reach the blog’s entire 50,000 fan base Facebook charges $US200 per post.

“We post seven days a week, that would be about $14,000 per week, $56,000 per month … a grand total of $672,000 for what we got for free before Facebook started turning the traffic spigot down in Spring of this year — wouldn’t you know it — right around the time of their badly managed IPO.”

Earlier this week Simon Dell, director of Brisbane-based marketing firm TwoCents Group, said for his firm’s page the average “reach” over the past 10 posts was 195 or 16 per cent, but at times it dropped to just 94 views.

One of Dell’s clients had an average reach of just 12 per cent of their 5400 fans and another was 19 per cent.

“Facebook isn’t seeing fans as a community anymore, they’re seeing them as numbers,” hewroteon MarketingMag南京夜网.au. “Being able to reach just 15 per cent of your brand advocates who have opted in to receive your communication isn’t a great ROI for your time and effort.”

Facebook has been under significant pressure to turn its huge user numbers into revenue and the company is now worth a bit over half as much as it was when the company went public. Its shares are worth

$US21.94 ($A21.18) down from the offer price of $US38 ($A36).

In a recentblog postFacebook ads engineer Philip Zigoris wrote that any changes Facebook makes to its news feed algorithm were more to do with offering users more relevant posts than making money.

“Regardless of whether you’re paying to promote a story or just posting one to your Page, the news feed will always optimise for stories that generate high levels of user engagement and filter out ones that don’t,” he wrote.

The response from readers was mostly negative with most complaining that they shouldn’t have to pay in order for their posts to be visible by their friends.

“So tell me, how are people meant to engage with the content if they’re not being shown the content in the first place?” wrote one.

Another said: “I have to tell you the vast majority of my friends really hate this, find it very frustrating, and the only thing that keeps them from leaving Facebook is all their friends are here and there is no real option … yet.”

Facebook declined to comment for this story.


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Beatles tribute concert

Beaconsfield Primary School will present A Tribute To The Beatles at the Senior Citizens Hall on Wednesday, December 12, at 7pm. Admission is a gold coin donation and all money raised will go to the school’s sponsor child, Mehujael, from Peru. Parents are invited to a barbecue at the school from 5.30pm. Sausages $1.50 and cordial $1.50.
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Fire closes gas plant

SYDNEY – A fire at Beharra Springs gas plant in Western Australia, which is majority owned by Origin Energy Ltd, has caused the plant to be shut down since Monday. Origin said the plant only accounted for about 3 per cent of its total gas production. It said the fire started in the gas condensate separator and was extinguished shortly afterwards without any personnel being injured.
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Worthy horses to carry top weight at Devonport

CAULFIELD trainer Peter Moody will give his Tasmanian Derby winner Currigee one more chance to prove he is up to a start in the $120,000 Devonport Cup. Currigee is the topweight in the Woodford Gold Cup at Warrnambool tomorrow and will need to run well to convince Moody to run in the Devonport Cup on January 9.
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“He needs to find some form and would have to win well at Warrnambool,” stable manager Geoff O’Connor said.

He said Currigee had been struggling to recover the form that won him the Tasmanian Derby in February this year and his preparation had been hampered by wet tracks.

He had been due to run over 1800m at Sandown last Saturday but was a scratching because of the state of the track.

Currigee has 57kg in the Woodford Gold Cup (1700m) tomorrow and is to be ridden by Ben Melham who was the winning jockey on Royal Lakes in the 2007 Devonport Cup.

Moody also had recent Moonee Valley winner Moonloushe entered for the Devonport Cup but the four-year-old had been sent to the paddock after his last-start failure.

Cranbourne trainer Robbie Griffiths remains undecided if lightly weighted Danzylum will make the trip to Spreyton.

Danzylum appeared to have every chance when third behind Barwon Express over 1400m at Caulfield on Boxing Day.

“I’m just not sure how effective he is past 1400m,” Griffiths said.

Griffiths said he had been attracted to the Devonport Cup by the lucrative prizemoney and would wait until after Danzylum runs at Sandown next Saturday before making a firm decision.

“At this stage he is probably doubtful,” he said.

In-form galloper Conquering, who ran third in the 2007 Devonport Cup with 56kg, will carry top weight of 58.5kg.

Conquering has won his past two starts at Mowbray including the weight-for-age Tasmanian Stakes on Boxing Day when he beat his arch rival Stuyvesant.

Stuyvesant has been given 58kg, 4kg more than he carried into second place 12 months ago.

The final acceptances for the Devonport Cup will be taken at 9am on Friday when the field will be reduced from 28 to 14 with four emergencies.

The barrier draw and calcutta will be held next Saturday afternoon at the Birdcage Tavern.

Devonport Cup weights:Conquering 58.5; Stuyvesant 58; Currigee,Bay Ritz 55.5; Lundardi, Moonloushe 54.5; Browneyed Boy54; Lord Danzero, Zeva Royale 53.5;All Geared Up, Alva, Daneland, Danzylum, Cuckoos Nest,Hotshoe, I’Paddy, Jennifer, Kanchanaburi,Maha Chakri, Makevina, Mijabelle, National Trust, One Way Traffic, Rhumb Line, Saval Prince, Stormy Youth, Triabunna, Undervalued 53.

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Rubbish times

Residents are advised that there will be an extra collection of both domestic garbage and recyclables in all areas over the Christmas-New Year period. Instead of the normal fortnightly collection, all properties will have their bins emptied weekly for three consecutive weeks. Bins will be collected on the same day of the week as the normal collection day for each area. Collections will occur on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For zone details contact the council.
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Nanjing Night Net

By Amy Bloom

(Granta, $29.95)

LILLIAN Leyb has endured the unspeakable – the loss of her family, murdered in a Russian pogrom right before her eyes. But nothing haunts her memories like the glimmer of hope that her daughter, Sophie, is still alive.

During the chaos of the murders, little three-year-old Sophie vanished.

In the wake of this horror, Lillian travels to America, alone and determined to carry on with her life.

But the past torments her and when Lillian’s cousin Raisele arrives with news of Sophie, she begins an arduous journey to find her.

Away is a tale of a mother’s irrepressible yearning for the safety of her child, and as the story unfolds the reader is gripped by the hopelessness of the situation and the wild abandon with which Lillian continues her search.

It is a novel that traverses 1920s America, from New York’s Lower East Side to Seattle’s Skid Row and to Alaska along the Telegraph Trail.

Lillian runs “away” from pimps, prostitutes, constables and missionaries with the stubborn desire to find her only daughter.


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Enjoying Falls from home

IT’S here. Just two sleeps to go (one for those heading to Saturday Night Fever) until THE New Year’s Eve music event is on again. And with a fine forecast for the music extravaganza punters can breathe easy.
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So it’s time to memorise the play list, pack the esky and count the tent pegs.

But of course with overwhelming excitement for so many, comes a little sadness for those who missed out on tickets.

Luckily this year they’ll be able to catch the New Year’s Eve Falls action from the comfort of their own home.

Hobart radio station Edge Radio will broadcast live on the internet from Marion Bay on Monday from 8pm, and on January 12 they’ll stream highlights from both stages from both festival days, including band interviews.

The broadcasts can be accessed via www.edgeradio南京夜网.au.

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Get business savvy

Free business workshops will be offered through the Business Savvy Programme, a skill-development programme for small business owners and managers. The three-day workshop will be held in George Town on January 15, 16 and 17, and in Beaconsfield and Beauty Point on July 29, 30 and 31, 2008. For more information phone on 62577447.
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Darren’s sweet smell of success

DARREN HAYES’ Whore’s Bath. Look out for that perfume in the future.
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Hayes, the only genuine pop star we have created in Australia since Kylie Minogue, has got his pop career back on track with an indulgent but impressive double album this year (This Delicate Thing We’ve Made). He also runs his own label and has financed his concert tour – the most spectacular thing he has done since the heyday of Savage Garden.

He is rich, famous and maybe even a veritable mini-mogul.

“All I need is a perfume,” he jokes.

Detecting a strong aroma on Hayes, I ask if he is wearing his signature range.

“No, that’s a whore’s bath,” he responds, before realising the appeal of such a name.

“I like that. I’m glad I thought of that. I may use that in the future.”

Declaring himself well aware of his tendency towards being a control freak, Hayes says he surrounds himself with people who are prepared to say no, from staff, to the designer of his big flashy stage show, to the producer of his album.

There is democracy, then, although Hayes remains in control. But recently he watched as some things went out of control. An evening at a Thai restaurant in London mid- year led to accusations of racial abuse from a waiter, an arrest and police interview and the kind of newspaper headlines around the world that no quantity of Whore’s Bath could make smell sweet.

The fact that police dismissed the claim and laid no charges was, not surprisingly, given far less coverage.

“The truth is boring,” Hayes says. “I have two examples of this. One is that racist allegation, the other is the break-up of Savage Garden. In both instances I wasn’t guilty of what I was accused of. In both instances I said that from the get-go. In the (Savage Garden) instance it took four years before it became fact that I didn’t break up the band.”

This Delicate Thing We’ve Made out now through Powdered Sugar

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