Q&A: Robert Downey Jr. on Chris Evans and ‘The Avengers’

Originally posted on Variety:

Robert Downey Jr. helped Marvel’s “Avengers” franchise skyrocket to success the instant he suited up as Iron Man in 2008. It’s a role he’s reprised in three films, with all four earning $3.9 billion in worldwide box office. He spoke to Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh about the franchise, his friendship with Chris Evans and, at age 48, how many more times he wants to suit up.

Had you met Chris Evans before he was cast in “Captain America?”
I have a vague memory of seeing him and whatever hot girl he was dating across from a dinner with me and Susan Downey. I think he and his girlfriend invited Susan and I back to their house to get in the Jacuzzi, to tell you the truth.

Seriously — did you go?
No, we did not, and by the way, like I said, that’s a vague memory, but that’s what I’d…

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Diego Luna on ‘Cesar Chavez’: ‘The Story of Farm Workers Matters’

Originally posted on Variety:

The life and works of activist Cesar Chavez were remembered both on the big screen and through the testimonies of those who knew him at the Los Angeles premiere of helmer Diego Luna’s biopic “Cesar Chavez.”

In addition to cast members Michael Peña, America Ferrera and Rosario Dawson, Luna was also joined Thursday at the TCL Chinese Theatre by Chavez’s son Paul and 83-year-old Dolores Huerta, who founded the National Farmworkers Assn. with Chavez.

Paul Chavez said this film, produced by Mexico’s Canana Films, distributed by Pantelion Films and co-financed by Participant Media, was made after 30 years of searching for the right opportunity to tell his father’s story of standing up for the rights and dignity of migrant workers.

“Shortly after my father passed away, we were approached by people that knew my father, marched with him and loved him. But for different reasons it didn’t happen,” he said…

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10 Ways To Know You’re Dating A Real Man

Originally posted on James Michael Sama:

I’ve made posts in the past about qualities of a gentleman, as well as the differences between a ‘bad boy’ and a jerk. But, how does this all translate into how somebody acts while in a relationship?

A man may be able to put across a great image, but it could simply be a cover for hidden shortcomings, or he could just be totally faking it to ‘get the girl.’

Here are some ways to know if you’ve struck gold:


A true gentleman values more than just your looks.

Is every compliment from him about a different body part? It doesn’t matter how creative he can be, if a guy’s sole focus is on how you look, or ‘talking dirty,’ see it as a red flag. A real man will value your personality, your kindness, your intelligence, and who you are as a person, in general. The things he…

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Shane Barker Featured in Scientific American Mind

Shane Barker Featured in Scientific American Mind

How did I land the most unexpected job ever, without a resume or an interview? That’s what a recent article in Scientific American Mind explored, to help uncover how technology like social media and psychological testing is redefining the traditional job search.

The Social Media Connection
I am a self-professed social media addict. That’s what set me on a non-traditional path to apply for a social media manager position with the San Francisco 49ers. Oh wait, I never submitted a job application or prepared a resume. After I crashed the Dallas Cowboys training camp and recorded a video of myself cheering like the true fan I am, I posted it to my blog and wrote about my passion for social media — and for the 49ers. The little stunt didn’t land me a job with professional sports, but did put me in the spotlight of a up-and-coming startup company in Uzbekistan. Pretty soon, I was on my way to launching Modera, a fashion and lifestyle website and app with a team from Uzbekistan and Sacramento.

Technology is redefining the traditional job search as employers search online data, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts to gain insight. The traditional resume isn’t dead yet, but the way people are searching for jobs is — and so is the way companies are screening potential candidates.

The New Job Search
The abundance of information online means job candidates are empowered to research companies, keep up to date on the latest technologies and make personal connections quickly. Even people who have secure jobs are using LinkedIn to get their skills endorsed by others in the industry and could be recruited by any company in any location at any time.

Social Media Screening?
Scientific American’s article describes how the landscape of job searching is dramatically changing. Two thirds of employers surveyed use Facebook to evaluate job candidates. The social media website activity is used to evaluate a job candidate’s personality, behavioral traits and social skills. But Facebook isn’t the only one — employers also report using Twitter and LinkedIn. With all the new sites coming online, there is sure to be more electronic data trails to mine information from.

Psychological Testing
Beyond social media, companies who recruit want to know how potential employees will perform on the job. Are social media postings really the best way to tell? Scientific American says the personality test and the IQ test are still some of the best indicators of future job success. That’s because independent research has shown that personality tests measure important traits like openness, extroversion, conscientiousness and emotional stability.

It’s no doubt that employers will continue to use social media and other online activity as a way to screen the psychological and personality traits of potential job candidates. What do you think of how technology is shaping our future?

Fashion Designer Sita Thompson is Today’s Honoree


Great Job Sita!

Originally posted on Today's Honoree is The #1 Blog For Recognizing The Works of Others:

SitaThompsonGrowing up with an organic farmer as a father and an artist as a mother, and a beauty queen as a grandmother, it’s no surprise that Sita Thompson would be inspired to launch her own eco-venture into the world of fashion. Learning to sew at the age of 11, Sita’s future was set out from that first McCall pattern she made. At age 17 she moved to Europe for school and to intern with Irene Dill, a couture designer for her label Issue. It was during her internship experience that she realized one day she would have her own brand.

A woman with many talents, Thompson moved to India to work in film, television and continue her dance career. Her desire to launch her own fashion label was again inspired after connecting with the unique and beautiful fabrics from India, as well as her discovery of the elegant way Indian…

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Online Community: How to Build One for Your Business?

Online Community: How to Build One for Your Business?

How to Build and Online Community

Want to build a better online community? Then you need to focus on building a better company — from the ground up! There are no easy shortcuts to the process. You can’t hire an SEO guru and throw a bunch of content up on your website and expect to grow a genuine following. You can’t go online without a solid offline marketing strategy. Let’s get back to the basics of building your business and developing the kind of community you need to succeed.

1. Set Some Goals

The first step in building an online community is to set some goals. Don’t focus on the online part just yet. Think about your marketing plan in terms of a coffee shop pitch. If you were face-to-face with someone in a coffee shop who asked what you were working on, how would you describe your company and its goals? Do you want to increase customers by 200 percent in the next 6 months? Do you want to focus on improving your relationship with the customers you already have?

2. Build Your Community Offline

In order to build an awesome online following, you actually need to start with a good offline community building strategy. Just because you have a fancy new webpage with buttons for people to Tweet, Like and Post, doesn’t mean you should stop attending community networking and charity events in person. Regularly recognize community members at public events. Give them awards of appreciation. Shower them publicly with praise. Build your community externally and internally into a cohesive team. That means treat your customers like you treat your employees and grow the community as a whole.

3. Build an Attractive Meeting Place

Whether it’s a website, blog or physical business location, make the place you spend time an attractive place to hang out. Customers, employees and business partners will want to invest time in each other. This community building effort translates to more networking, more time spent browsing your webpage online, and more exposure to your brand.

4. Integrate Your Social Media Efforts and Outreach

An important part of building an online community is to integrate all your social media efforts. People come in through many different channels, and some respond better to Facebook or Twitter than email. Still others prefer to use the telephone after searching testimonials online. Make it easy for your potential customers to discover and share your message across their favorite media.

5. Improve Online Ranking Organically

Stop chasing Google’s frequent algorithm changes by building an online community around your company. It’s more than brand name recognition — it’s genuine engagement. And it leaves Panda and Penguin updates in the dust every time.

6. Share the Value of Your Business Ideas with Others

Don’t think “sell”, think “share”. Start each day with a purpose to share the information and lessons you’ve learned in life and in business dealings. You’ll quickly find yourself surrounded by a strong community of like-minded people. And because you have built the group based on helping everyone succeed, they will genuinely engage with your business.

7. Build Your Co-Marketing Team

Invest at least 10 percent of your time in other companies. Partner with other small businesses to develop co-marketing strategies. Develop a formal or informal referral system among your co-marketing team, to keep customers within your partner companies.

What strategies have you used to build and grow your online community? What might you try differently now?

See more at http://www.ShaneBarker.com

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