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With a new guideline for bloggers, China steps up online controls

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On one of China’s leading microblogging sites, where he has 2 million followers, Ma Xiaolin has frequently written about current affairs. But recently, the Weibo platform called and asked him not to publish original content on topics ranging from politics to economic and military problems, he said in an article.

“As an international affairs researcher and a columnist, it seems that now I can only follow the path of entertainment, food and drink,” the professor of international relations wrote on January 31.

Ma, who has often reported on developments in the Mideast, is one of many prominent influencers working within the constraints of China’s heavily censored network, who finds that with the latest policy changes and a clean-up drive run by the powerful censors of the world, their room to talk is shrinking even further. He rejected an invitation for an interview.

Before they can publish on a wide range of topics, the Cyberspace Administration of China would require bloggers and influencers to have a government-approved credential beginning next week. Some fear that permission will only be obtained by state media and official propaganda accounts. Although permits have been required to write about subjects such as political and military affairs since at least 2017, compliance has not been widespread. The provision is applied to health, finance, education and judicial matters by the new regulations.

“The regulators want to control the whole information production process,” said Titus Chen, a Chinese social media policy specialist at Taiwan’s National Sun Yat-Sen University.

The latest change is in line with increasingly restrictive regulations under President Xi Jinping that limit debate to an already narrow space. The Chinese leader has made his law of “digital sovereignty” a core principle in which the authorities have set limits and expanded the digital realm’s power.

The new credential requirement could prohibit people from posting original material, including individuals like Ma who do not explicitly criticise the Communist Party’s ruling Xi line. Responding to Ma on the website, Weibo CEO Wang Gaofei said comments on news published by official media were allowed, but commentators could not “release news” themselves.

According to a statement released by the Cyberspace Administration, the policy revision is intended “to standardise and steer public accounts and information service platforms to be more self-aware in maintaining the correct direction of public opinion.”

“The administration held a nationwide conference on the importance of “strengthening order in online publishing” a week after the new rules were unveiled in late January. The head of the agency, Zhuang Rongwen, said the agency must “let our supervision and management grow teeth.

On Feb. 4, a month-long clean-up campaign targeting search engines, social media sites and browsers was publicly announced by the department. Such initiatives, in which businesses take action to meet government demands, are not fresh, but in the past, compliance was looser: in 2017, Weibo backed off from a pornography ban following allegations that it lumped gay content in.

In competition with a crackdown to enforce current rules, it seems to be happening.

“It’s a big deal, it’s a massive campaign,” said Xiao Qiang, an expert at the University of California at Berkeley on digital censorship. And there are people who have not written a sharp message. They are not purposely edgy about things.

In January, a notice on Sohu, which also hosts microblogs, said that public accounts without credentials do not issue or republish news about current affairs. Banned subjects include “articles and commentaries on politics, economics, military affairs, diplomatic and public affairs; Taking the content of the history of the Party and country out of context and distorting it; breaking news and commentary.” A similar warning was released by Internet giant Baidu, which also has a publishing website.

The degree to which bloggers will be disciplined if they post comments without qualifications is unknown.

“Last week, on “suspicion of offering an internet news information service,” a current affairs account on Tencent’s WeChat messaging app was shut down. It was controlled by Yu Shenghong, a former journalist at state broadcaster CCTV, nicknamed “August Old Yu.” He did not respond to a request for comment.

Baidu, Sohu, Weibo and Tencent representatives did not respond to requests for comment. There was no response to a faxed request by the Cyberspace Administration.

It seems that the coronavirus pandemic spurred the tightened regulations in part. Most of the news coverage was powered by online accounts and digital-only media outlets that spread both news and rumours in the early days of China’s outbreak.

The Cyberspace Administration said in a notice outlining the new policies during the pandemic, “” self-media ” maliciously created rumours and casually disregarded the privacy of others, severely affecting the stability and harmony of society and damaging the legal rights and interests of others.”

Ultimately, the new rules represent the fears of the censors, even though what they are so nervous about isn’t entirely obvious, said Xiao of Berkeley.

“Control has been so tight for the past year that hardly anyone can talk about anything,” Xiao said.

James Anderson is currently working on his second novel, a YA fantasy called Reaper, and on a number of freelance projects. His first novel, Allegedly, is available on Amazon.

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Do Sympathy Cards Really Make a Difference?

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sympathy cards with group greeting ecards

The act of sending sympathy cards is a time-honored tradition, a way for individuals to express condolences and offer support during times of loss. While some may question the impact of a simple card in the face of profound grief, the truth is that sympathy cards hold a unique and meaningful place in the process of mourning. Let’s explore the ways in which sympathy cards truly make a difference in the lives of those who are grieving.

1. Emotional Comfort:

One of the primary roles of a sympathy card is to provide emotional comfort. Grieving individuals often feel a range of intense emotions, from sadness to anger to confusion. Sympathy cards offer a tangible reminder that others care about their well-being, providing a source of solace and understanding during a challenging time.

2. Acknowledgment of Grief:

Grief can be a lonely and isolating experience. Sympathy cards serve as a form of acknowledgment, affirming that the pain of loss is recognized by others. This simple act of acknowledging grief can be profoundly validating for those who are mourning.

3. Expression of Empathy:

Sympathy cards are a medium for expressing empathy. While it may be challenging to find the perfect words to say in person, a well-crafted card allows individuals to convey their feelings of empathy and compassion. This bridge of understanding can foster a sense of connection between the sender and the recipient.

4. Symbol of Support:

The physical presence of a sympathy card becomes a symbol of support. Whether hand-delivered or received in the mail, the card signifies that someone has taken the time to extend their condolences. This symbol can be a comforting reminder that there is a network of support available.

5. Encouragement for Reflection:

Sympathy cards often contain heartfelt messages, words of wisdom, or quotes that encourage reflection. These sentiments can prompt individuals to reflect on the positive aspects of the life that was lived and find meaning in the midst of sorrow.

6. Tangible Keepsake:

Sympathy cards become tangible keepsakes for those who are grieving. Many individuals hold onto these cards as mementos, preserving the memories of the messages, support, and love they received during a difficult time. The cards become a lasting reminder of the connections formed in the face of loss.

7. Cultural and Traditional Significance:

Sending sympathy cards aligns with cultural and traditional practices associated with expressing condolences. Different cultures have established rituals and customs, and the act of sending a card is often deeply rooted in these traditions. It serves as a respectful and recognized gesture of sympathy.

8. Aids in the Grieving Process:

Grief is a complex and personal journey. Sympathy cards play a role in aiding the grieving process by providing external expressions of care and understanding. They contribute to creating an environment where individuals can navigate their emotions and find support along the way.

9. Shared Grief Experience:

When numerous sympathy cards arrive, they create a shared experience of grief. Knowing that others have taken the time to reach out and offer condolences fosters a sense of communal support. This shared grief experience can alleviate feelings of isolation.

10. Respectful Space for Grieving:

Sending a sympathy card respects the individual’s space for grieving. It offers support without intruding on the personal and often private mourning process. The recipient can choose when and how to engage with the sentiments expressed in the card.

11. Encourages Open Communication:

Sympathy cards can be a catalyst for open communication about grief. They prompt conversations between the grieving individual and those who care about them, creating a space for sharing memories, expressing feelings, and receiving additional support.

12. Long-Lasting Impact:

The impact of a sympathy card extends beyond the immediate aftermath of loss. The cards become lasting tokens of the support received, and individuals often revisit them during different phases of their grief journey. This enduring impact makes the act of sending a sympathy card significant.

13. Promotes Human Connection:

In an era of digital communication, the act of sending a physical sympathy card underscores the importance of human connection. It represents a tangible, thoughtful gesture that goes beyond the fleeting nature of emails or text messages.

14. Demonstrates Thoughtful Gesture:

The effort involved in selecting, personalizing, and sending a sympathy card demonstrates a thoughtful gesture. It shows that the sender has taken the time to consider the feelings of the recipient and to express their condolences in a meaningful way.

15. Encourages Reciprocal Support:

The act of sending sympathy cards often encourages reciprocal support. Individuals who have experienced loss may be inspired to offer similar gestures of comfort when someone else is grieving. This ripple effect of compassion contributes to a culture of support and understanding.

16. Navigating Cultural Sensitivities:

Sympathy cards allow for the expression of condolences in a manner that respects cultural sensitivities. Different cultures may have unique customs associated with mourning, and sending a card allows individuals to convey sympathy in a culturally appropriate way.

17. Provides a Platform for Creativity:

For some, creating or selecting a sympathy card provides a platform for creative expression. The design, words, and even the choice of materials can be customized to convey a unique message of sympathy and support.

18. Acts as a Reminder of Loved Ones:

Sympathy cards often include sentiments that celebrate the life of the departed. These messages become reminders of the impact and legacy of the loved one. They contribute to keeping the memory alive in the hearts of those who are grieving.

Conclusion: The Meaningful Impact of Sympathy Cards

In conclusion, sympathy cards undeniably make a difference in the lives of individuals who are grieving. These seemingly simple cards carry profound emotional weight, offering comfort, acknowledgment, and a tangible expression of support. They contribute to the complex tapestry of the grieving process, providing a bridge between the isolating experience of loss and the shared humanity that connects us all. Sending a sympathy card is not just a formality; it is a meaningful act that acknowledges the depth of human emotion and the enduring power of compassion in times of sorrow.

The Power of Personalized Retirement Cards

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Business

How AI Can Help Improve Customer Service

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It can be challenging for businesses to sustain their customer service game while managing costs to compete in the market. However, Artificial Intelligence can help in several ways to get customer loyalty. 

AI, the most talked-about advancement in technology, has become a useful tool in the realm of marketing. With this advanced technology, you can carry out multiple tasks to improve customer experience. For example, it gives you an insightful understanding of your customers and their needs. Moreover, it predicts the result, allowing you to make timely efforts to mitigate a problem. All of the multidimensional features of AI, in sum, allow brands to create personalized and efficient services, improving customer satisfaction. Therefore, more and more marketers are leveraging AI to enhance customer journeys. 

That said, we are going to discuss how AI can be used to improve customer service in detail. 

But before that, we would remind you that to make the most of technology and put AI to work, you need to ensure you have a speedy and reliable internet connection. If seek recommendations, Optimum is the best in the business. It offers unrivaled internet services backed by 24/7 customer support. Contact Optimum servicio al cliente en español in case you questions and queries(For Spanish customers).

Anyway, let’s dive into it!

  • Facilitates Personalization

It may sound unreal to provide a personalized experience to each customer visiting a website. Well,  AI is smart, in fact, super smart. Whether hundreds or millions, it helps you nurture leads to convert them by allowing you to provide the best customer service. 

When you use the right AI tool, you can get and analyze a large sum of customer data, including browsing habits, purchasing history, and other demographic details like age, color, location, etc. All of this information can be used to provide personalized recommendations, offering them products and services they most likely be looking for. It can help you learn patterns of customer behaviors to predict the expected moves. As customers engage with a brand, their activities are overseen to provide accurate and timely services. This makes it easier for the customer to navigate through the products and services and find the most appropriate services easily. 

  • Chat Bots- Round-the-Clock Customer Support

With people having smartphones in their hands all the time, they look up on the internet anytime and anywhere to find a product to service they may need. When scrolling through the options on a brand’s website, they may have questions or would want to contact you immediately. During that time, being able to respond to their queries could be a significant factor in converting them. But not all brands can afford to have a customer support team around the clock, right? Well, you do not necessarily need human customer support professionals if you have AI. 

Chatbots, powered by AI, can handle regular queries and can provide relevant information about the brand and its products and services. Using chatbots allows you to improve customer service by offering quick assistance. They can also assist with complex queries and can be programmed to connect to a real human if the query is too complex. Since chatbots can handle multiple conversations at a time, you need to rest assured that all the leads will get quick responses. 

  • Predictive Analytics

AI has the potential to analyze customer data by evaluating trends and patterns to help businesses predict customers’ needs and preferences. This allows you to get insights into customers’ experience behavior and needs. Moreover, it can help you identify potential customer churn. For example, you would know who is most likely to leave. Keeping tabs on these insights allows you to make efforts to retain the leaving customers. By being proactive, you can ensure that you retain your existing customers and build pathways for potential ones to be the customers. 

  • Voice Assitance

Voice assistants are powered by AI which can be used to enhance customer experience. For example, it can provide instant support and access to information to customers hands-free, making it a convenient option. Moreover, the customers can get product recommendations and reminders to take action. Therefore, they come in handy for customers to save time and effort. 

  • Automate Recurring Tasks

Lastly, AI can automate repetitive tasks, saving time and energy for customer service representatives. These may include handling common questions, processing refunds, updating customer records, etc. Automating these tasks gives customer support representatives to focus on complex issues. 

Bottom Line

AI has been the most powerful advancement in technology lately. For businesses, it is a God-sent blessing to optimize their growth and productivity while saving big. It can automate tasks, identify and resolve issues timely, and provide personalized customer experience. So, what are you waiting for? Find the best AI tools to improve your customer service!

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Business

The Power of Personalized Retirement Cards

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Retirement Cards
Retirement cards

Retirement is a time of transition, and it’s a significant milestone in anyone’s life. Retirement represents the end of a long career, and the beginning of a new chapter filled with rest and relaxation. It’s a time to celebrate the accomplishments of the retiree and to recognize their years of hard work and dedication. One way to show appreciation is by giving a personalized retirement cards. Personalized retirement cards are a thoughtful and meaningful way to express congratulations, well wishes, and appreciation for someone who is retiring. In this article, we’ll discuss the power of personalized retirement cards and provide tips for creating the perfect one.

Why Personalized Retirement Cards are Powerful

Personalized retirement cards are powerful because they are customized to the recipient. They take into account the retiree’s personality, interests, and accomplishments. A personalized retirement card is a unique and thoughtful way to express congratulations and appreciation for someone who is retiring.

Personalized retirement cards can be sentimental, funny, or a combination of both. They can include personal messages, quotes, or even photos of shared experiences. The sentiment expressed in a personalized retirement card can be a lasting reminder of the retiree’s impact on their colleagues and loved ones.

Creating the Perfect Personalized Retirement Card

Creating the perfect personalized retirement card can be a fun and creative process. Here are some tips for creating the perfect one:

Choose a personalized design – Personalized retirement cards come in a variety of designs, including traditional, modern, and humorous. Choose a design that suits the recipient’s personality and taste.

Include a personal message – A personal message is a great way to make a retirement card even more meaningful. Include a message that expresses your congratulations, well wishes, and appreciation for the recipient. You can also include memories of shared experiences or inside jokes that the recipient will appreciate.

Include a photo – Including a photo of the recipient is a great way to personalize a retirement card. You can include a photo of the recipient at work, or a photo of them doing something they love.

Consider the recipient’s interests – Consider the retiree’s interests and hobbies when creating a personalized retirement card. For example, if the retiree loves to travel, you can include a travel-themed design or a message about all the adventures they have ahead.

Examples of Personalized Retirement Card Messages

If you’re struggling to come up with a personal message to include in a personalized retirement card, here are some examples to help you get started:

  • Congratulations on your retirement! Wishing you all the best in this new chapter of your life. (traditional)
  • Enjoy your retirement, and don’t forget to take time to relax and recharge. You’ve earned it! (sentimental)
  • Happy retirement! We’ll miss your humor and hard work around the office. (humorous)
  • Thanks for being an amazing coworker and friend. I’ll never forget all the laughs we shared. (personal)
  • Here’s to the next adventure! Wishing you all the best in your retirement. (travel-themed)

Creative retirement messages

  • “Wishing you all the joy and peace that retirement brings. Congratulations!”
  • “It’s time to say goodbye to the 9 to 5, and hello to days filled with relaxation and adventure. Happy retirement!”
  • “May your retirement be filled with love, laughter, and lots of time to do the things you enjoy most.”
  • “It’s not goodbye, it’s just see you later. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement!”
  • “You’ve worked hard, and now it’s time to reap the rewards of retirement. Congratulations!”
  • “The world is your oyster, and retirement is the perfect time to enjoy it. Happy retirement!”
  • “Wishing you a happy and fulfilling retirement filled with new adventures and memories to cherish.”
  • “You’ve put in your time, and now it’s time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Congratulations on your retirement!”
  • “You may be retiring from your job, but you’re not retiring from life. Enjoy this new chapter to the fullest!”
  • “Cheers to the next chapter in your life. Happy retirement!”
  • “You’ve earned this time to relax and enjoy life. Congratulations on your retirement!”
  • “The hard work is over, and now it’s time to kick back and relax. Happy retirement!”
  • “May your retirement be as wonderful as you are. Congratulations on this new chapter of your life!”
  • “Thank you for your years of hard work and dedication. You will be missed, but we wish you a happy retirement!”
  • “Retirement is not the end, but the beginning of a new adventure. Enjoy every moment!”
  • “The office won’t be the same without you, but we’re excited for you to start this new chapter. Happy retirement!”
  • “May your retirement be filled with happiness, good health, and lots of fun. Congratulations!”
  • “You’ve left your mark on this company, and we’re grateful for your contributions. Enjoy your retirement!”
  • “Congratulations on your retirement! Wishing you all the best in this new chapter of your life.”
  • “May your retirement be filled with all the things you love most. Enjoy this well-deserved break!”

Conclusion

Personalized retirement cards are a powerful way to express congratulations, well wishes, and appreciation for someone who is retiring. They are customized to the recipient and take into account their personality, interests, and accomplishments. When creating a personalized retirement card, choose a personalized design, include a personal message, include a photo, and consider the recipient’s interests. With these tips, you’ll be able to create the perfect personalized retirement card and show your appreciation for someone who is embarking on a new chapter in their life.

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