Armah Supports Weah-Snowe’s Inclusion to FIFA Congress, But…

first_imgThe Secretary General of the Liberia Football Association Alphonso Armah has unequivocally reacted to widely publicized media reports over his omission in the Liberian delegation to the FIFA 65th controversial elections in Zurich, Switzerland, saying that his attendance is “nominal” with the inclusion of Montserrado County Senator George Weah and Representative Edwin Snowe.The chief scribe in a telephone conversation yesterday said he was one of the supporters for the inclusion of the duo on the Liberian delegation.Armah, in a rather euphoric tone, said though his being there was important the presence of Sen. Weah and Rep. Snowe is more important in the interest of the country.He added “Though, my being there is important, their being there is far more important.”Armah also said that he has complete confidence in Mr. Bility and the delegation to report to football stakeholders of what transpired in Zurich.Secretary General Armah’s explicit clarification stemmed from media reports of his second exclusion to the FIFA Congress, as being chief administrator, custodian and registrar at the LFA.He said his exclusion from the Liberian delegation to FIFA Congress should not be politicized and has therefore advised against those involved to desist, arguing that the fraternity of football is far above politics.Armah was also excluded on the delegation for the Brazil FIFA Congress.The president of the LFA, Musa Bility in a radio talk show on Monday said the inclusion of Sen. Weah and Rep. Snowe was in the interest of Liberian football and according to the LFA statute he (Bility) has the absolute authority to select members of the delegation.Minister of Youth and Sports Lenn Eugene Nagbe attended the Congress, as an Observer, according to Armah.Armah said FIFA extended accreditation to Minister Nagbe and was not part of the delegation.Sen. Weah, a former Liberian international footballer won the FIFA World Best Player in 1995 and the African Best Player three times amongst several awards. He is currently a member of the Football Committee of FIFA, while Rep. Snowe served as president of the LFA and was a member of the Security Committee of CAF.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More →

Donegal’s special relationship with the sea explored at Marine Tourism Conference

first_imgDonegal’s special relationship with the sea provided the centre piece for this week’s Marine Tourism Conference which took place in the Redcastle Oceanfront Hotel on Thursday and Friday.Almost 100 people attended the two-day conference which was hosted by Donegal County Council and Donegal Tourism CLG and funded under the EU funded CAPITEN project. The diverse range of speakers included renowned marine biologist and wildlife cameraman Doug Allan. Photo: Pictured with Cllr. Niamh Kennedy Leas Chathaoirleach, Donegal County Council are speakers at Donegal Marine Tourism Conference which took place in the Redcastle Oceanfront Hotel on Thursday and Friday along with Donegal County Council elected members and representatives.  Pictured l to r Joy Harron, Donegal County Council, Cllr. Albert Doherty, Dr. Margaret Rae, AORA, Dr. Stephen Hynes, NUI Galway, Cllr. Barry Sweeny, Cllr Niamh Kennedy, Mark Roulette, Failte Ireland, Garry Martin, Donegal County Council, Dr. Peter Bolan, Ulster University, Doug Allan, Seamus Neely, Donegal County Council, Peter Grogan, Emagine, Cormac McDonnell, Sport Ireland, Cllr. Martin Farren, William McElhinney, Wild Strands Caife, Joan Crawford Failte Ireland and Barney McLaughlin, Donegal County Council.Doug Allan enthralled the audience with fascinating stories, photography and film clips on tracking polar bears and getting up close and personal with killer whales and leopard seals. He concluded his presentation with a stark insight to the effects of climate change particularly at the poles where he has witnessed first hand the effects of the change in sea ice cover on the populations of animals north and south and shared his insight on how best to develop marine tourism in Donegal in a sustainable and responsible way.In his opening address to the conference, Seamus Neely chief executive in Donegal County Council and chair of Donegal Tourism CLG reflected on the county’s progress over the last 10 years and said that “notwithstanding the uncertainties around Brexit being played out as we speak in Westminster, I believe that today is the right day to be meeting to reflect on the journey we have made in the last number of years and to explore the trajectory that we need to be taking in the next 10.”“One of our unique advantages in Donegal is our strong culture of collaboration and this has been borne out of a compelling need to work together and to overcome challenges to make sure that we are getting maximum value out of the resources we invest.”Pictured at the Donegal Marine Tourism Conference which took place in the Redcastle Oceanfront Hotel on Thursday and Friday are Cllr. Niamh Kennedy Leas Chathaoirleach, Donegal County Council and Seamus Neely, Donegal County Council with guest speaker Doug Allen.Seamus Neely reflected on the progress made in the tourism product in Donegal and how the Wild Atlantic Way has delivered for Donegal including major investment in key visitor attractions such as Sliabh Liagh, Malin Head and Fanad Lighthouse. He also acknowledged that the Donegal brand is a strong brand and that the focused approach to marketing Donegal has allowed the county to punch above its weight by pooling resources and achieving greater impact in the marketplace. The availability of the necessary skills to deliver a world class experience for our visitors has and continues to be a key priority in growing the sector in Donegal and Seamus Neely acknowledged the fullest support from various partner organisations including Failte Ireland, LYIT and Donegal ETB.He added “although there is no doubt that we face many challenges, I believe that tourism has reawakened in this part of the world and we are an emerging place that has the potential to grow in a sustainable and progressive way but that this can only be done by continuing to work in a concerted and collaborative way at every level.”William McElhinney from Wild Strands Cafe who spoke at the Donegal Marine Tourism Conference which took place in the Redcastle Oceanfront Hotel on Thursday and Friday.Inishowen native and local entrepreneur William McElhinney from Wild Strands Caife shared his story of setting up his own family business and of his passion for seaweed. He talked about his journey which has seen him open-up an experiential Caife in Malin Head based on seaweed and devised around local organic produce. He also spoke about his passion for preserving and reviving marine built heritage and his role in the building of three traditional Donegal boats.Other speakers included Joan Crawford and Mark Rowlette from Fáilte Ireland, Dr. Peter Bolan from Ulster University, Dr. Stephen Hynes from NUI Galway, Peter Grogan from Emagine Media and Cormac McDonnell from Sport Ireland. While Trish Hegarty from Inis Communications, Kate Burns, Marine and Rural Resources expert, Dr. Margaret Rae from Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance and Gwénael Le Maguer from Université Bretagne Sud also spoke at the conference.Leas Chathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Niamh Kennedy provided a welcoming address to the conference while Garry Martin, Director of Service with Donegal County Council acted as MC.Donegal’s special relationship with the sea explored at Marine Tourism Conference was last modified: September 7th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal County CouncilMarine Tourism Conferencelast_img read more

Read More →

Costa will be given ‘complete rest’

first_imgChelsea boss Jose Mourinho has revealed that Diego Costa will have a period of absolute rest after this weekend’s match against Liverpool.The striker will not even be required to report for treatment on a hamstring problem for a few days ahead of the Blues’ game against West Brom on 22 November.Costa’s injury has been a worry since early in the season and Mourinho was annoyed that he was involved in matches for Spain last month despite concerns over his fitness.“He will have 15 days to finally rest and work properly.”Jose MourinhoHe has not been included in Spain’s squad for games against Belarus and Germany, at last giving Chelsea the kind of chance to give him a proper rest they have been hoping for.And Mourinho, who insists he had no influence over the decision to omit Costa, says the club plan to take full advantage of the situation.He explained: “The plan is immediately after the Liverpool match to have a period of complete rest – no training, no treatment, not even a massage on his muscle. Nothing – just let him rest a few days.“After that, there is specific work he is doing and we don’t have another match to play, so it’s very good news for him.”Costa missed four Chelsea matches and was also affected by an illness after recently playing for his country in games against Luxembourg and Slovakia.Mourinho has attempted to rest him at times, including for this week’s Champions League game against Maribor.“He was protected for the Champions League match but because the [half-time] result was not good, I couldn’t protect him and I had to play him for 45 minutes,” Mourinho said.“As a consequence of the work we are doing with him, I think he’s ready to start the match against Liverpool.“Then he will have 15 days to finally rest and work properly. It’s fantastic news.”See also:Spain leave out Chelsea striker CostaChelsea boss relishes Anfield atmosphereRemy passed fit to return for ChelseaChelsea set to make decision on FabregasFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Read More →

South Africans championing human rights

first_imgBesides the late Nelson Mandela, many other South Africans have stood up for human rights. Among their names, we can count people like Desmond Tutu and Miriam Makeba. They have all devoted their time and talents to improving the lives of all people.Human rights advocates have worked tirelessly to improve the world. Among their number is Desmond Tutu; there are many more. (Image: Kristen Opalinski/LUCSA, Wikipedia)Priya PitamberMany people have championed various human rights causes in South Africa. They were outspoken against abuses during the apartheid years, and remained advocates of human rights for all people in post-apartheid South Africa, some till their deaths.Desmond TutuDesmond Tutu’s hearty laughter matches his passion to improve the lives of people throughout South Africa and the world. Before he became a priest, Desmond Tutu, born in 1931, was a teacher. Following the introduction of Bantu education, however, he decided to join the church.In 1978, he was appointed the general secretary of the South African Council of Churches, where he became vocal about unjust racial laws. He climbed the ladder in the church: in 1985, Tutu was appointed the Bishop of Johannesburg; in 1986, he was chosen as the Archbishop of Cape Town, the head of the Anglican Church in South Africa – hence his affectionate nickname, “The Arch”.He was the first black person to hold the position, the highest in the South African Anglican Church. In 1987, he was also named the president of the All Africa Conference of Churches, a position he held until 1997.Tutu used his position to call for equality, and was a vociferous campaigner for human rights. In 1996, Nelson Mandela appointed him chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the body set up to investigate human rights violations during the apartheid.Tutu acknowledged that bringing an end to apartheid was a collective effort. “In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom and just peace without the help of people around the world,” he wrote on Huffington Post, the American news site, “who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime.”Among other accolades, Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986, and the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007.Here is his simple message to the world:Helen SuzmanHelen Suzman was an anomaly in parliament – an English-speaking Jewish woman at a time when it was filled with and controlled by predominantly Dutch Reform male Afrikaners. She won her parliamentary seat as a representative of the United Party in 1953, and was an MP for over three decades, resigning in 1989.Throughout her years in parliament, Suzman remained critical of the numerous unjust apartheid laws. She was vocal in her opposition to the death penalty; she argued against banning the South African Communist Party, and she addressed gender discrimination.“For an astonishing 36 years, Suzman was a flickering flame of white conscience in apartheid South Africa,” British newspaper The Guardian wrote. “For 13 of those years she carried that light alone, a one-woman party in a parliamentary sanctum of hostile men.”But leaving parliament was not the end of her involvement in public life: she became the president of the South African Institute of Race Relations and was a member of the Human Rights Commission in a democratic South Africa.Suzman passed away in 2009; in an editorial, The Star newspaper described her as “an icon of anti-apartheid activism and a woman who took a fearless and often lonely stance during the darkest days of our recent history”.Miriam MakebaSinger Miriam Makeba helped to change the world lyric by lyric, yet insisted: “I’m not a political singer.” She told The Guardian: “I don’t know what the word means. People think I consciously decided to tell the world what was happening in South Africa. No! I was singing about my life, and in South Africa we always sang about what was happening to us – especially the things that hurt us.”Makeba came to be known as Mama Africa, along the way winning not only a Grammy Award for her music, but also the Dag Hammarskjold Peace Prize in 1986.In the early 1960s she addressed the United Nations. “I ask you and all the leaders of the world, would you act differently, would you keep silent and do nothing if you were in our place?” she asked. “Would you not resist if you were allowed no rights in your country because the colour of your skin is different to that of the rulers?”After the end of apartheid, Makeba continued her humanitarian work through the Miriam Makeba Rehabilitation Centre for abused girls and the Zenzile Miriam Makeba Foundation. In 2008, at the age of 76, she died after suffering a heart attack.Albie SachsIn an interview with Australia’s ABC, Justice Albie Sachs described being a judge as an extreme sport. As a law student, Sachs took part in the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign when he was 17. He also attended the Congress of the People when the Freedom Charter was adopted in Kliptown in 1955.He became a member of the Cape Bar when he was 21, taking on cases in which people had broken racist laws. It made him the subject of security police scrutiny, and eventually he was jailed. By 1966, he was forced into exile, first in England then in Mozambique. In 1988, a bomb placed in his car by South African security agents blew up, causing him to lose an arm and vision in one eye.But that did not stop Sachs from preparing for a democratic constitution. He returned to South Africa in 1990 and became part of the Constitutional Committee. After 1994, Mandela appointed him to serve as a judge of the Constitutional Court.Passionate about art, Sachs was instrumental in choosing many of the works of art on show in the court, the highest in the country. “One artist, Judith Mason, was listening to the Truth Commission processes on the radio while she was painting, and she heard the story of an African woman, a freedom fighter, whose naked body was discovered because the man who executed her pointed out where she’d been buried,” he told ABC about a particular work, The Blue Dress, “and the only covering the body had was a little bit of blue plastic bag over her private parts.“And Judith was very, very moved by this, and she went out and she bought some plastic bags and she sewed them into a dress for the person she called ‘My Sister’, and that dress is now hanging in our court.“And they represent a kind of a spirit of the sacrifice, the loss, the pain that was involved in the treatment of our democracy, but also the spirit soaring and the rights that are now protected.”Sachs was also instrumental in bringing about the Civil Union Act, which grants same-sex couples the right to marry. It made South Africa the fifth country in the world to grant such a right.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Read More →

The dicamba dilemma

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest With more acres of dicamba resistant cotton and soybeans growing in fields around the country, there is more potential for postemergence dicamba applications during warmer, more humid conditions and more chances for the controversial herbicide to move off-target.The situation has been particularly heated in in the South. An Arkansas man was shot and killed in 2016 over a neighborly dispute concerning off-target dicamba damage. Missouri and Tennessee have also been reporting off-target dicamba damage on significant acres.Available for 2017 planting were the Monsanto Xtend soybeans and cotton that are resistant to Monsanto’s XtendiMax with VaporGrip, which is also sold as FeXapan by DuPont. In addition, BASF developed the Engenia dicamba formulation. The long-needed new tools are finally available to help tackle tough weed control situations but are bringing with them (not wholly unexpected) logistical and management issues. Arkansas and Missouri have even banned any additional dicamba applications for the remainder of the growing season, although subsequent label changes will allow some continued use in Missouri. Some examples of this have been showing up in Ohio too.“I’ve walked a few fields and looked at some injury issues. There has been some off-target movement of dicamba from treated fields of Xtend soybeans. What I looked at I would characterize as more of a volatility issue than a particle drift issue,” said Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist. “Certainly it’s an effective tool. We needed some new tools and it’s an effective one but as individual growers and applicators, you’re going to have to be a little more careful about where and when you use it.”Loux has seen the curled up leaf fringes indicative of dicamba damage on soybeans in multiple Ohio sites. The good news for non-dicamba resistant soybean damage is that significant yield loss is not a common occurrence.“Exposure to dicamba in the vegetative stages has less long-term effect and potential to reduce yield compared with exposure in the reproductive stages. Our experience with injury during the vegetative stages is that it rarely leads to yield loss, unless there is a significant reduction in plant height,” Loux said. “I know my counterpart in Tennessee is concerned about fields getting hit multiple times. What we don’t really know about yields is the loss if you do have an instance where you’re getting the same field with multiple instances of exposure and injury. What does that do to yield? If you have a continued exposure, that would be an issue. One of the fields I looked at has second round of exposure so we had symptoms develop initially on the fourth trifoliate, followed by some recovery and then injury showed again several weeks later on the newest growth.”Beyond nearby soybeans, dicamba is also deadly for countless other horticultural, vegetable, and fruit crops. In such cases of off-target movement, the costs can escalate quickly.In addition, the damage can be hard to track and document because it can show up days or weeks after the initial application and can be misdiagnosed. Cases often go unreported.“One of the things that’s happening is that most of it is not being reported. It’s a neighbor not wanting to file an official complaint against a neighbor so unfortunately it’d be nice if the Ohio Department of Agriculture got to document some of that, but I understand what’s happening there,” Loux said. “We are a very populated state we have vegetables, we have vineyards and things like that and so the concern we have is if we have a high dollar situation like that happen here that’s going to raise red flags and get everybody more excited.”Dicamba damage can also be challenging to diagnose (and pinpoint the source of) because it can move off-target in multiple ways for multiple reasons. There are many ways the dicamba herbicides can be applied off-label.“They have an approved list of what you can and can’t mix on their website and you have to go by that. It’s all there, you have to go by the website and it’s all on label. If something happens, they’re going to come out and say, ‘OK you were off label on this.’ One of the things that has happened is that some guys have decided they don’t need to use the approved dicamba products. That was a big problem in the South last year,” Loux said. “The label is complicated. We talked about it this winter and tried to make information available and I know BASF and Monsanto did training too. And you can only use certain nozzles and they specify pressure range for that. There is a whole series of things about leaving a buffer and I have to say in a lot of the fields that I have looked at there is no buffer being left. That’s one of the first things being ignored, because it’s a pain in the neck. Then there is not spraying when the wind is in the direction of a susceptible field and not spraying in certain wind speeds. In some cases I looked at, all of those are being ignored except the right nozzle.”And, of course, dicamba is known for being volatile.“Historically dicamba is a volatile product. It’s one of the most volatile herbicides that we have worked with and it’s been difficult for companies to reduce that volatility. Weed scientists have no information on how volatile these new formations really are. We don’t test volatility ourselves, so we have to take companies really at their word on this,” Loux said. “I think our assumption on this was that we weren’t going to completely reduce the volatility. You had to sort of go on good faith and assume that they wouldn’t sell a product that has considerable potential for that.”That assumption was not made by southern weed scientist Ford Baldwin, who has been very vocal about his dicamba concerns. Baldwin works with Bayer and the Arkansas State Plant Board and has been in the thick of the steamy dicamba debates in the southern states.“We’ve got over 600 complaints right now and our plant board proposed to the stop the sale of dicamba because we’ve got about 34% Xtend beans and a lot of the counties where there is heavy Xtend use, every other soybean there is being hammered. We have two kinds of soybeans — dicamba beans and those that have been nuked by dicamba beans,” Baldwin said. “We’ve got about half the people that want to grow Xtend beans. They like the technology and they like the weed control. The problem is we’re not keeping it on target. When you go look at a field that has been hit by dicamba the first time, you see the physical drift pattern. Then things bump along and you think you’re pretty good until about two weeks later it’s like a bomb goes off in the air. Then every single field that is not an Xtend field in a given area looks the same. There is no pattern to it. Every plant and field looks the same. There is no doubt in my mind that it is vapor volatility. Even though these are lower volatility products they are not non-volatile. In these 90-degree temperatures when you get a whole bunch of it on the ground in a given area, the vapors are cooking off and going into the air. It is accumulating and there are inversions at night and it is going all over.”The challenge, Baldwin points out, in many of these situations appears to be by-the-book label-following with a volatile product.“If it is moving off target due to drift, then you did not apply the product properly and that is an applicator issue. On the other hand, if you put it out in your field and you followed the label and got it perfectly on target and then the next couple of days it turns into a gas and moves off target and goes and kills a bunch of red gold tomatoes, is that an applicator problem or a chemical problem? I personally believe that the technology cannot be used in the form that it exists today,” Baldwin said. “If we can’t use it, that is a bad deal. That takes away a technology. But it has to be all or nothing. You cannot intercrop dicamba in non-dicamba soybeans and you all will learn that up there in Ohio probably around the first of August. You have to be either zero dicamba or 100% dicamba. It is all or nothing. Then if you go to 100% dicamba you are putting even more of it into the air and our trees will be rolled up, our gardens will be rolled up and our horticulture crops will be rolled up.”The other challenge is that more dicamba means more potential for dicamba resistant weeds.“We’ve already proven you can develop a dicamba resistant pigweed in as little as three years. If you’re a farmer out there planting 100% dicamba, you’re going to be happy for a year or two but then you’re not controlling your pigweed and waterhemp with dicamba and you’ll have drastically reduced yields. And if you don’t plant dicamba, then your neighbors are going to kill your beans,” Baldwin said. “On one side you have these farmers that say, ‘Look I paid the trait fee and bought this technology in good faith and now you’re taking it away from me in the middle of the road?’ On the other hand, for every acre of that you have two acres that are being severely affected and they don’t have a chance of getting any compensation for anything. What is the effect on the million acres of soybeans we’ve got that have been hit with dicamba and have a 10% to 15% yield loss on a 60-bushel yield average? Do the math.”But the dicamba issue is more complicated than simple math. The labels for the new reduced-volatility dicamba are more complex than most applicators are used to and it creates significant potential for accidental misuse. There is also cost incentive for purposeful off-label use or use of unapproved dicamba products which can directly cause some of the issues being observed, said Monsanto Crop protection lead Ty Witten.“There have been reports of off-target movement or damage from dicamba but we don’t necessarily have good data behind this. That is the part that is troubling to me,” Witten said. “Good data is really important to have regardless of how this is playing out to know what is going on. We know there are difficulties with application making sure that growers do the right thing. There are questions as to when to apply it with regard to weather patterns for inversion. That becomes an important piece. We have reports of off-label use and unapproved products. It is a lot of information and we don’t have clear line of sight on and we want to make sure everybody is well informed before we have immediate actions taken.”Witten said Monsanto has a hotline set up for these exact issues that is helping to provide insights into the issue.“We are hearing reports from the Boothill area of Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas. That is really where most of the reports are coming in. The calls we have received in the call center are not indicative of what we are hearing in the media,” Witten said. “We have had some calls from growers with questions and we are investigating those actively.”One of those cases illustrates part of the dicamba dilemma.“Volatility of XtendiMax TM with VaporGrip is the lowest on the market but it is still not zero. Unapproved tank mixes can cause problems, ammonium sulfate, for example, is not approved and it can increase the volatility of dicamba. AMS has almost become a staple on some farms for hard water and use of glyphosate but it can increase the volatility of dicamba. If a grower uses dicamba with an AMS product they are not going to have a good experience,” Witten said. “We got a call from a grower in Iowa and they went above and beyond and absolutely did the right thing. They left an upwind buffer and then went and treated that space with a small tank mix with about 35 gallons in their tank after they’d been treating other parts of their farm. In our field inspection he said he had two or three gallons of AMS left in the tank, would that cause the issue? That absolutely caused the issue. Even compounding that, it was late in the afternoon when they applied that and it went to a dead calm after the application. With AMS and the weather pattern, even though that grower did the right thing, he ultimately did something that could potentially harm the neighbor. With new technology we need to have good information so we can properly train and inform as the product moves forward.”Witten also stressed that good, clear communication is important when sorting these issues out.“There is nothing better for this than good communication as we move forward with more diversity in the future. With some of the reports that happened last year with off-target movement and illegal applications of dicamba, growers were reluctant to notify others that they were using dicamba for fear of getting the finger pointed at them if a problem did happen,” he said. “‘Flag the technology’ is a great tool out there to help, custom applicators especially. A flag can help identify those fields. Texas employs the use of flags for the technology. Being a good neighbor is important and the wonderful thing about this dicamba technology is that growers have more choice than ever before to combat weed resistance. That choice is an awesome thing but at the same time we really need to respect what is sprayed on the farm.“I have been involved with this technology for over a decade and I am excited about the success stories and the opportunities for effective weed control. There are approximately 20 million acres of Xtend crop product out there between soybeans and cotton. We have been seeing really good success and weed control. The growers that are having success are just moving on and farming.” Photo by Mark Loux.last_img read more

Read More →

Wix Says You Don’t Need To Learn To Code To Build A Website

first_img7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… lauren orsini How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzes Related Posts center_img Tags:#democratization of technology#DIY#HTML5#learn to code#Web design#website#website builders#Wix Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid I hardly consider myself a coder. I just remember how, when I first encountered blocky, awkward, ugly site-building tools like Angelfire and GeoCities, I decided I could do a better job myself.So I taught myself hypertext markup language, or HTML, the lingua franca of the Web; cascading style sheets, or CSS, a basic tool for describing a website’s layouts; and JavaScript, a relatively simple programming language used to make websites interactive. If those skills prompt anyone to call me a coder, I’ll take the compliment.When I heard about Wix, an online website builder, I was skeptical. Web developers and designers tend to turn up their noses at site builders like Wix. Wix’s main feature is a graphical user interface that makes website production easy enough for anyone. But does relying on a tool like that take the “do-it-yourself” out of DIY?Too Busy To Code?Visit the main page of Wix and you’ll find photos of models portraying people in specialized careers—a seamstress, a gardener, a chef. They’re presumably managing their busy lifestyles by skipping out on the time-consuming task of learning to code.There are a lot of those people: More than 47 million people have used Wix to build sites. According to Eric Mason, director of communications at Wix, that’s the whole point.“Our service is based on HTML, CSS, and JS, but our goal is to ensure that our users never have to even learn what those words mean,” he said.Who Should Learn To Code?Software is an increasingly more important part of our daily lives. Whether it’s a cashier using an iPad as a point-of-sale system or a construction worker relying on updated plans sent to a smartphone, nearly every occupation is connected to a computer in some way. We all live in the programmable world.See also: Anyone Can Learn To Code: A Case StudyLearning to code enriches and deepens anyone’s understanding of this world where nearly every aspect of our lives can be tweaked, managed, and improved through software. But does that mean everyone needs to be a coder?For Mason, it’s almost a classist issue. Coding, in his view, is a highly specialized skill that takes years of practice, and not every small business owner has the resources or time to put their business on hold and master it. Editing in the Wix WYSIWYG editor.“In a world where content is still really king, developing a business brand is a full-time job,” said Mason. “If you’re learning to code on top of that, you lose the ability to go out and do business.“There’s an intimidation factor. There’s a hierarchy, with developers and designers at the top, that trickles down to ordinary people who just need websites. I think code is wildly important—half of the 700 people who work at Wix are engineers. But I think it’s also important to have a solution for everyone else.”The downside of this democratic approach is that Wix has struggled to win favor among those who make their living by coding. Wix lets experienced coders reach its millions of customers by offering their skills through Wix Arena, a marketplace for Web-design services, but Mason says it been a tough sell—partly because not all Wix websites are works of art. People can make whatever they want on Wix, which means that for all the slick templates, there are also some real eyesores. What Wix Offers Everyday Website BuildersSee also: Why Citizen Developers Are The Future Of ProgrammingWix began in 2006 as a tool for generating Flash-only websites. It’s hard to remember that now, but there was a time when Adobe’s Flash technology, known for adding animations and other interactive elements to websites, was cutting edge. But it wasn’t built for mobile devices, and its usage has sharply declined. As Flash’s influence waned, so did Wix’s, until 2012 when the company launched tools for editing websites built entirely on HTML5, the latest version of the HTML standard.On Wix, you begin with a template designed for a particular kind of small business—anything from childcare to consulting to law—and drag and drop your way to a custom site. As long as you stay under 30 pages of content and don’t want any plugins, it’s free. A selection of Wix sites designed with small businesses in mind.All Wix sites are responsive to the device people use to browse them, meaning they adjust layout and display elements for smartphones, tablets, and laptops. That includes free, customizable mobile versions which you can design to be strikingly different from their desktop versions. You can add music, videos, custom images, and anything you can think of to these static sites.“This is not a template site,” said Mason. “Templates are built in blocks. Wix is built in layers. You can drag and drop any part of a Wix site, and it’ll convert into code.”Unlike those early site-builders I remember, Wix is remarkably customizable. Playing with it makes me think that, had I discovered it in my formative years, I probably would’ve never turned to learning HTML.But Mason suggests that many Wix users do go on to become familiar with the basics of website code.“When they outgrow Wix, they become more informed about code, not less,” he said. “When they go on to work with Web designers, they can be more articulate about what they want.”Thanks to the increasing flexibility of HTML5, Wix truly is a shortcut for people who want to get a business online but don’t have time to learn to code. And while it’s hard for coders to admit it, that’s what the Internet needs. In a world where coders are king, Wix gives democracy a try.Photos via Wixlast_img read more

Read More →