Mixed Martial Arts Training - Footwork, Maneuverability and the Value of the Hit and Run Strategy

One of the most important aspects in mixed martial arts fighting, and one that is often overlooked and taken for granted, is that of footwork. The fighter with superior footwork and movement skills has a notable advantage in any fight whether boxing, Muay Thai, MMA or streetfighting.

Some of the greatest fighters we have seen in boxing have all displayed tremendous footwork and movement; Jack Dempsey, Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Prince Nassim and the incomparable Mohammed Ali all utilized incredible foot work and movement skills to evade and attack their opponents.


One of the major difficulties that the early kickboxing scene was plagued with was that fighters came from the karate disciplines. The classical karate disciplines emphasized flat-footed stand your ground tactics with poor footwork and maneuverability. Many early kickboxers, coming from karate backgrounds, complimented their karate kicks with the superior punching techniques taken from boxing but most were slow to adopt the highly mobile boxing footwork.

Mixed Martial Arts Training - Footwork, Maneuverability and the Value of the Hit and Run Strategy

Those fighters that came from a boxing background or who recognized that maneuverable footwork and strategic positioning were an integral part of the boxers' game plan incorporated it in their training and demonstrated a notable advantage.

Muay Thai fighters, however, not tainted by the classical karate systems, have always demonstrated a very fine sense of footwork and position, such that that they move in and out just out of range to make the opponent miss and then back in to range to hit with power and precision.

We saw a repeat of the kickboxing era in the early days of mixed martial arts fighting, with the grapplers dominating and it appeared that fighters that predominantly relied on their standup skills were not going to be competitive. The fighters that relied heavily on standup were very ineffective at stopping the takedowns of the grapplers, allowing themselves to be put in positions that limited their movement and ultimately to be taken down.

That was until Maurice Smith showed that with good footwork and ring (cage) generalship the grapplers could be stopped with a predominantly striking game. From there the evolution continued and predominant strikers appeared again. The mixed martial arts fighters that predominantly relied on their takedown game now under the selective pressure of having to adapt their takedown methods to cope with the evasive maneuverability and adapted striking methods of the standup specialists. The main characteristics that set the successful mixed martial arts fighters apart from those that failed was there footwork and ring (cage) generalship that enabled them to neutralize the takedowns.

We now see mixed martial arts fighters who have adapted and developed there movement and positioning to the cage, such that the fights are more dynamic and evenly balanced between the grapplers and strikers. The latest exponent of excellent footwork and generalship, in mixed martial arts, is Lyoto Machida who demonstrates very powerful hit and move skills that are the key to the strikers' game against a grappler.

It is therefore important that when we train we include fast and maneuverable foot work into our mixed martial arts training drills. Once a new standup striking or takedown setup technique is acquired, and has been adequately drilled for efficacy, we must combine it with effective footwork and movement so that we can move in to execute it, and out again, if it is countered or if on execution we need to move away because it did not finish the job and the opponent covers up; a hit and run strategy of fighting.

Here are some of the main points that must be addressed in your footwork whether fighting mixed martial arts, Muay Thai, or boxing:

1) Learn to move on the balls of the feet with bent knees to facilitate rapid and precise weight transfer.
2) Keep the feet spacing about shoulder width apart, i.e. avoid wide stances.
3) When moving make the steps small; better to take a series of smaller steps, then one large one that upsets balance.
4) Practice quick changes in direction always ensuring to maintain good balance.
5) Practice constant movement.
6) Develop a keen sense of position in relation to your opponent; this must be acquired to the level of unconscious competence so that you can concentrate on the fight.
7) When you step in to strike train for speed, explosiveness and accuracy.
8) Train sprawling and angular changes for takedown avoidance.

In addition, footwork should be developed for both offensive and defensive tactics. The use of evasive angular stepping that is the basis of the "make 'em miss, make 'em pay" strategy, combined with fast bridging the gap techniques and good ring generalship must be developed to provide the complete fight game plan in mixed martial arts.

Mixed Martial Arts Training - Footwork, Maneuverability and the Value of the Hit and Run Strategy

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American Football - A Quick Guide to Positions in American Football

Football is one of the great American pastimes, but can be a little complicated. There is no other sport that has as many positions or stratagem. This article's purpose is to give a brief explanation of the different positions in American football and what their responsibilities are.

Offensive Teams


The quarterback is the offensive leader. It is his job to call the plays, and execute them. He stands behind and is protected from the opposing team by the offensive line. The Quarterback receives the ball and can either pass it by throwing, pitching, or handing off. The quarterback can also seize the opportunity to run the ball himself if the play or the situation calls for it. Due to the nature of the position, it is a leadership role that gets a lot of attention in the media.

American Football - A Quick Guide to Positions in American Football

Offensive Linemen:
The main group of players that block for the quarterback are called offensive linemen. They compose of differing responsibilities referred to as the center, offensive guard, and offensive tackle.

The center is in the center of the offensive line. He is in charge of hiking the ball back to the quarterback and protecting the quarterback along with the offensive line from the opposing team's defense.

Offensive Guard:
In a typical offense there are two offensive guards that position themselves on both ends of the center. There responsibility is to block the opposing team's defense from getting through. They also help open a running route for the running back.

Offensive Tackle:
The players that are on the outside or outer ends of the offensive line are called the offensive tackles. It is there job along with the other offensive linemen to block the opposing team from sacking (tackling) the quarterback, and open up areas for the running back to get through.

The receivers' main objective is to receive the ball on a passing play. They are also used as blockers on a running play. The different names for their positioning on the field are the tight end, and two wide receivers otherwise known as the flanker, and the split end. There positioning is listed below, each one has the same responsibility but are in different places on the field.

The tight end lines up at the end of the offensive line
The flanker lines up on the same side as the tight end but split from the formation
The split end lines up on the opposite side as the tight end and also is split from the formation

Full Back:
The fullback is behind the quarter back and this players job is to block for the halfback

Half Back:
The halfback also is behind the quarter back an performs most of the running plays. This player can also catch short passes when necessary.

Defensive Teams

Defensive Ends:
The defensive ends are positioned on the ends on the center group of the defending teams line of scrimmage. Their responsibility is to break through the offensive line in order to tackle the quarter back when he is planning to pass, or tackle the running back if it is passed to him.

Defensive Tackles:
The defensive tackles perform the same duties as the defensive ends. They are located on the inside of the usual four man line up for the defense.

Line Backers:
The line backers responsibility is just like their name "back the line". They are responsible for any running back that gets pas the defensive ends or tackles. They also cover short passes made over that defensive line

Corner Backs:
Corner backs cover the wide receivers on long passes. There responsibility is to try to prevent the long plays, tackle passes completed and even try for an interception.

The last defense for a running back is a safety. Their job is to cover any longer passes that the cornerbacks are not covering and also to tackle and running backs that get through the line backers. They have more of a observational role making sure that holes are filled and that the offense doesn't make any big plays.

Special Teams

Special teams deal with punts, field goals, and receiving or kicking the ball at the start of the game, after halftime, or any touchdowns.

Catch the kickoff and try to get as far down the field as possible

Block the defense for the returner and try to open up room on the field for them to get through

Hold the ball during a field goal

Place Kicker:
Kicks the ball from a place holder in a kick off

Drop kicks the ball in a punt play to get the defending team away from their inzone.

American Football - A Quick Guide to Positions in American Football

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The Importance of Access Control to Your Building

In today's tricky times, numerous kinds of industrialised facilities have been acknowledged as possible targets, counting all kinds of chemical and petrochemical plants, the oil production and oil refineries, the industrial liquid and gas buildings, fruit pulp and paper producing mills, coal, gold and gems mining operations and medicine production plants. That is the reason that the necessity for a widespread security stratagem for these industries and other significant buildings is growing in exigency universally.

Keeping in view these facts, you require a well confined security access control system which can assist you through the labyrinth of threats that you face in providing an effectual security key for your industrial or residential buildings. When it comes to something as imperative and intricate as the protection of your manufacturing plant, your staff and perhaps even the nearby vicinity along with the proper access control system that you choose to employ is a fundamental decision.


Any organisation has to depend upon its staff and the information they give or work at. This level of dependency and trust helps any organisation run its operations with a pace in accordance with the reliability of the factors involved. Accomplishment depends on the safety and security of these factors. Industrial surveillance, terrorism, stealing, flammable, and defacement put organisations under great stress to uphold security and protection. For this purpose access control is compulsory for both the private and public sectors.

The Importance of Access Control to Your Building

Access control system applications increase the efficiency of any project by providing entire information access and rule of your building. Protect people, property and research facility and accomplishments through the combination of interference exposure, access control, concurrent asset tracking and digital supervision for a complete protection and disaster reaction system.

Access control system advance the relieve, functioning effectiveness of your heating system, aeration and cooling systems as well as lighting and other building administration systems. This decreases costs, develop competence and lessen ecological blow through pioneering power running tools and optimisation of your apparatus. These also certify a safer situation and attain dogmatic observance through superior fire detection systems.

To list down the assistance one can receive by installing Access Control System;

1. Monitoring and protecting the border with interference detection and advanced sensor technology

2. Providing "beyond the perimeter" scrutiny including radar tracking of vessels

3. Identifying and authorising who enters and exits the building

4. Preventing illegal access by identical visitors and contractors

5. Tracking activities of plant occupants, and quickly locating equipment and other assets electronically

6. Controlling access to restricted areas, including enhanced control room.

7. Improving disaster response time through early warning systems and shared alarms

8. Preventing burglary of assets and chemical sources

9. Assessing site security and design solutions that meet projected legislation, including contingency and emergency response plans

10. Integrating systems for greater speed and efficiency

11. Protecting process automation networks and systems from cyber threats

12. Tracking and monitoring vehicle and hazardous materials movements and storage

13. Tracking the location of personnel and visitors on site through automated mustering

The Importance of Access Control to Your Building

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American Civil War Generalship

Generalship in the American Civil War was an uneven skill. None of the Army commanders had ever led planned tactics or led large groups of troops in combat. Those who were career military men were junior officers during the Mexican War. Before that war the peacetime United States Army was small force numbering around 7,400. It swelled with volunteers who enlisted for the duration. Then it returned to its former size after the conflict was over. By comparison many Civil War divisions were the size of the entire pre-Mexican War army. At the beginning of the Civil Warthe Army consisted of 1,080 commissioned officers and 15,000 enlisted men.

The general officers that commanded during the Mexican War were long gone by the time of the Civil War with the exception of Winfield Scott who was the Commanding General of the United States. Scott was approaching 75 when the war began and held the position until November 1861 when he resigned due to ill health. In the intervening months Scott had drawn up a complicated plan that he named Anaconda because he expected that it would choke the South with a coastal blockade and the closure of the Mississippi River. It was substantially the same plan that the North used to defeat the Southern Confederacy.


Robert E. Lee was a staff officer during the war and was promoted to brevet major during the war. By the end of the war, he had received additional brevet promotions to Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel, but his permanent rank was still Captain of Engineers and he would remain a Captain until his transfer to the cavalry in 1855. Future Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston had a similar career path as Lee.

American Civil War Generalship

The much younger Ulysses Grant was lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps but did see action. Most of the other officers of similar age had a similar rank. George Pickett, James Longstreet, Winfield Scott Hancock were also lieutenants.

At the onset of the war many of the Federal general officers were political appointees who had virtually no military experience. This was a situation that cost the Union Army dearly. Gradually the incompetents were weeded out and the better officers rose to higher command. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, a college professor, and Francis C, Barlow, a lawyer, for the North and John B. Gordon, a lawyer, for the South were three future generals that come to mind. (Barlow was my 2nd great grandfather's commanding officer at Antietam). Eventually, there were many more like them.

The Civil War was fought in stages and dissimilar regions of the country. Let's look at the various stages of the war. In the early stage, say from April 1861 to April 1862 the armies were no more than armed mobs. The commanders were not used to leading or maneuvering large groups of troops. First Manassas is a classic example of this. Anyone who thinks that this battle was anything but a clash of two armed mobs needs to reread accounts of the battle. On the Federal side the main goal was "On to Richmond" and most of the battles in this time period were attempts to capture the Confederate capital.

After a succession of near catastrophic defeats and close victories fought by inept generals Lincoln finally settled on Ulysses S. Grant who had won a succession of bloody battles in the Western Theater: Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, the capture of Vicksburg and battles around Chattanooga. Grant after his elevation to Commanding General selected officers who understood the the destruction of the Confederate armies and their supply lines were the two paramount goals of the Federal armies.

Of course, there were several deviations in this strategy: the Vicksburg campaign because it split the Confederacy in half comes to mind. Antietam was a meeting engagement that was precipitated by Lee's invasion of the North, as was Gettysburg.

Many of the Federal generals rehabilitated their reputations in subordinate commands and by being transferred to different theaters. Joseph Hooker who was relieved of the command of the Army of the Potomac in late-June 1863 was instrumental in the Federal victories around Chattanooga in the fall of 1863.

Comparing early generalship to later generalship is like comparing apples to oranges. McClellan was the right officer for the Union up until Antietam. At Antietam he was afraid to risk the army that he had created against Lee's much smaller force. If Grant, Sherman or Sheridan had commanded the Federal army the war probably would have ended right there with Lee's army defeated in detail.

The consistency of the Confederate leadership in the East enabled them to hold out far longer than they should have. Lee was both an offensive genius and a more than competent defensive commander. His subordinate commanders were mostly graduates of West Point. Men like Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson, Pickett, Lewis Armistead, Longstreet, Jubal Early and A.P. Hill were all West Pointers. Lee who had been the Superintendent from 1852 until 1885 was personally familiar with many of his future division and brigade commanders from his tour on the Hudson. His oldest son, a future general, Custis Lee graduated first in his class in 1854. It was the combination of superior generalship and dedicated soldiers that kept the Southern Confederacy in the war for so long.

From then to now West Point trains its officers to 'pursue the enemy with the utmost audacity' in the words of George S. Patton. At the battle of the Bulge Gen. Lawton J. Collins (Lightning Joe) was said to have told the British General Montgomery that the American Army organizes at the line of attack. And they did sweeping the enemy before them.

Up until modern times the United States military has always been a conscript army. In 1973 the United States instituted an all-volunteer force for all branches of the military. Previous to that we have had to create conscript armies by the use of a draft. The Civil War was no different. Both sides asked for and depended on volunteers for their armies. Eventually, due to casualty rates and the expansion of the fighting both sides resorted to conscription. The battles over conscription in the North and the South is a subject for another day.

From the middle of the war on generalship and leadership on both sides was similar. Their were competent officers and incompetent officers on each side. Eventually, the North, the side with the most men, material and industry won.

American Civil War Generalship

Richard Billies
Richard is a blogger and small business owner in central Virginia.

Pick the Best Liquid Diet For Quick Fat Loss - Know How They Work and What is Recommended

Liquid diets come in a variety of definitions, depending on how studies, experts, experienced amateurs or self-help manuscripts perceive it. To expand simply a good explanation on this, this reduction method is defined as a weight-loss program aimed to withhold solidified snacks being part of the eating habit of an individual. A frequently asked question many people need some clarity is regardless of the safety of the starvation plan. You're asking yourself; is this kind of reducing safe? The answer, it remains unanimously integrated. Since each starvation line ups has their own set of procedures or safety dealings dieters should adjust, they do not forcibly persuade dieters to undergo their methods or scare them if they don't do it. The dependency of how the dietary strategies work is all up to you.

Another frequently asked question; why this starvation plan works? Here's how it is. The fasting style moves during the upgrading of your full body. Losing burden boasts you excess energy in your body so you're not going to be worried during your organized activity juggles. Juice is the best drink among gooey dieters especially if you prefer fiber rich ones. The stored toxins inside your body are released and will leave you with that calm and healthy living. Juice-starving has been a lifestyle among many dieters, everything solid is taken away from their physique with a single, couple or multiple drinks.


Juice-fasting is effective, especially for those encompassing too much solids in their body. But it will be seven more essential and useful if you go with fiber rich fruit juices, which can be found usually in unsweetened or light juices.

Pick the Best Liquid Diet For Quick Fat Loss - Know How They Work and What is Recommended

Cabbage soup dieting is also as effective as the juice type since it requires great-elongated stratagem in wellness and balanced health.

Medifast is a sure frontrunner among the number of recommended gooey dieting. According to experienced dieters, the Medifast approach created a fundamental impact on millions of dieters around the globe; credit for its scientifically enhanced results and validity. It undoubtedly moves every runny dieter freely.

Pick the Best Liquid Diet For Quick Fat Loss - Know How They Work and What is Recommended

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Leaders Set Goals To Define Priorities

Setting goals as the way to define priorities, whether in business or in personal life, is what leaders do to maintain direction and focus in their organizations and in their personal lives. Unfortunately, many managers take a tremendous amount of potential leverage out of their organizations by not prioritizing.

I had a boss whose standard answer to "What's the most important thing?" was "Everything's the most important thing." What a copout. We were in a crisis mode and there was a lot to get done, but what that "Everything is important" direction led to was a lot of counterproductive behavior - hunker down and keep the boss off your butt by being busy all the time - 24/7 - and ride it out. Do what you're told to do, and then ask "What's next?" After a year of that no leverage management style he was fired - but not until some very good people had left the organization.


Managers that take the "everything is Number 1" approach are often rewarded for being tough, no nonsense, aggressive problem solvers. The fact that many of the problems they solved were created by them seems to go unnoticed. Actually, instead of leadership, they use a brute force approach to getting things done. That often works in a crisis situation, but when everything becomes a crisis, those managers lose their effectiveness and their people become cynical about how they are treated. Brute force managers rarely have goals they share with people, and even more rarely do they have their people participate in any meaningful way in setting goals and priorities. To many of them, sharing information and open communication are threats to their control. Many of them are quite happy with a compliance level workforce - the "Just tell me what to do and I'll do it" people. There is no leverage in the Brute Force management style.

Leaders Set Goals To Define Priorities

How do effective leaders create priorities that maximize their own effectiveness and the effectiveness of their organization?

They start with a clear understanding of what the three to five most important things are, personally or professionally. This is tough - there are always many more issues vying for attention than there are resources available to address them. The leader makes the tough decisions - the Brute Force manager doesn't.

Then the leader enlists people in the areas of importance to help arrive at ways to succeed in meeting the most important requirements.

Then the leader creates and communicates and negotiates goals that support the most important three to five issues, or challenges, or opportunities.

The goals are used to create supporting goals, expectations and understandings of importance in the universe of people that can contribute to meeting the goal.

Then leaders act - and expect action from their people.

Leaders protect their own time, and the time of their people, so that maximum focus can be kept on the critical few, and not frittered away on the unimportant many.

And then leaders evaluate, change if change is necessary, and continue to use the process as the basis for action throughout their organization.

And they insist that this process be kept as simple as possible - minimum bureaucracy here. Don't wait for an enterprise wide software system to capture all the data and signups and goal statements. More good goal setting systems have drowned of their own administrative weight than for any other reason. Leaders fight that. Leaders know the critical intersection in goal setting and prioritizing is at the person to person level - not at the form completion and submission point.

And the resulting action they get is so different from the "Tell me what to do and I'll do it" people. Lots of leverage in a shared goal environment - on both a personal and work level.

Leaders know most people want to help, want to contribute, want to be involved in a worthy enterprise, want to be recognized for their contribution. Leaders also know most people work best and most effectively where they have structure and an understanding of what needs to be done. Once they have that, great things start to happen! They no longer have to say "Just tell me what to do and I'll do it" - they know the priorities and what is most important. They can use the freedom that knowledge provides to keep their eyes on the few big balls - and not be distracted by all the little balls that will always bounce around and take up all the time people will let them take up.

Leaders also know there are times when brute force may be the only appropriate tactic - a public safety health product recall, a natural disaster, a systems failure, a fire - all call for everybody pitching in to get things done - whatever that means. But leaders know the brute force tactic is the exception to the rule, and is only used when absolutely necessary. And their people know it - and rather than take it as just another in a long line of fire drills, they pitch in and know their efforts will be part of a worthy enterprise's efforts to succeed. The result is maximum leverage when needed.

If you work or live in an "Everything is important" situation, be careful of burning out. If you can take what leaders do and apply it to your work and your personal situation two things will happen - you'll have more time for the really important things, and your personal and professional success will increase - I guarantee it. And on those brute force days, or weeks, keep the leader's model of goals to priorities firmly in your sights - and get back to it as soon as possible. Start today.

Leaders Set Goals To Define Priorities

Andy Cox is President of Cox Consulting Group LLC. The focus of his work is on helping organizations and their people increase their success in the hiring, developing and enhancing the performance of leaders and emerging leaders. Cox Consulting Group LLC was started in 1995, and has worked with a wide range of organizations, managers and leaders - helping them define success, achieve success and make the ability to change a competitive advantage. He can be reached at http://coxconsultgroup.com

Great Model Railroad Backdrops

A well thought out model railroad backdrop is an essential part of landscaping that should not be overlooked. Here is a guide for a choosing the best background for your train.

One of the blunders I have seen over the years is when a modeler has a beautiful train layout with lots of attention to details, and a backdrop that looks almost like an afterthought. It really detracts from the whole look. Don't fall into the trap of a haphazard background for your railroad.


Do It Yourself

Great Model Railroad Backdrops

You don't have to be a skilled artist to be able to paint your own landscape, but you do have to practice. If you decide to do it yourself, start by practicing on poster board until you are happy with your technique. Be sure to choose the right colors to give a seamless transition from 3-D to 2-D. Pick a spectrum of greens, browns, and greys that reflect the colors of the ground foam products you already use for your ground cover and rocks.

You can keep the background fairly simple and still achieve a great look. You basically need three elements: hills, sky, and trees. The hills should gently slope upwards and downwards, and they will be speckled throughout with various trees. The sky above will of course need clouds, so research pictures and basic cloud painting techniques online.

Use Digital Photos

If you have a flair for photography, you can create a custom backdrop using your own digital photos. Head to the great outdoors and find the right scene that you think would be an appropriate background for your trains. Set your camera up on a tripod to stabilize it and then take a series of side by side photos, taking care to capture the entire landscape. These can be printed onto wallpaper and adhered to the wall with paste. The results will be stunning. Be sure to ask for mildew resistant wallpaper.

Panoramic Wall Murals

A third option is to use panoramic wall murals scaled to the appropriate size for your railroad. These are professional photographs printed onto wallpaper or vinyl wall banner material. You can choose from cityscapes, mountainscapes, or scenes with rolling hills. Be sure to measure the length of your layout so you aren't left short. Again, if you're going for wallpaper, use mildew resistant.

You've spent countless hours on your model railroad. Invest a little time and finish the look of your entire layout with a great model railroad backdrop. Not only will it complement your existing scenery, it will be a grand finishing touch that really completes your railroad.

Great Model Railroad Backdrops

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The Battle of Gettysburg - The Turning Point of the War

On Independence Day, 1863, the last thing on the minds of most Americans was celebrating freedom. Just outside a small town called Gettysburg, in Adams County, Pennsylvania, almost 50,000 men were casualties of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, the battle that was soon recognized as the turning point of the war.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee had succeeded in defeating Union General Joseph Hooker's forces at Chancellorsville, Virginia, in May of 1863. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia had managed to repel an army twice their size. Emboldened by the victory, Lee decided to continue his march north. His goal was Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; if he could make it to Harrisburg, he hoped to continue on to Philadelphia.


Throughout the month of June, Lee's army marched north toward Pennsylvania. The graciousness for which Lee was known was evident during this campaign; he instructed his troops to treat the civilians on the road well, not seizing supplies such as food and horses, but rather paying for them. Several towns such as York, Pennsylvania were made to pay indemnity rather than supply the Confederates.

The Battle of Gettysburg - The Turning Point of the War

However, on July 1, 1863, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia met Union General George Meade's forces just outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the battle of Gettysburg began in earnest.

For three days vicious fighting ensued on the hillsides of Gettysburg. Over 165,000 men would converge, and before the fighting ended, the ground would run red with blood. The battle was fierce, and the casualties proved it. But the casualties that resulted would not be in vain, at least for the Union; the formidable power of the Army of Northern Virginia would be stricken a fatal blow, one that they, and the South, would never truly recover from.

To this point, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia had proved itself a foe to be reckoned with; more than once they had turned back troops that outnumbered them significantly. And on the first day of fighting, it seemed that Lee would again be victorious.

By the second day, Lee's advantage disappeared. Meade's Army of the Potomac held their ground, outnumbering the Confederate troops by 20,000. When July 3, the third day of fighting, was over, more than a third of Lee's army would be felled.

It was a much needed victory for the North. Hailed as a Waterloo in the Northern papers, Gettysburg seemed to prove that the Union was more than a match for the Army of Northern Virginia, hailed universally as the most accomplished army of either the Union or the Confederacy.

The defeat was more than stunning for Lee; it shook the confidence of a man admired by Southerners and Northerners alike to the core. Still recovering from the recent death of his beloved General Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, whom Lee referred to as his "right arm," Lee seemed more than dejected by the loss at Gettysburg; he was stricken. He knew now how important Jackson had been to the Confederacy, and how crippled the Army of Northern Virginia was without Jackson.

"It's my fault," Lee was heard to say after the battle of Gettysburg. He blamed himself for the loss, and he was not entirely mistaken; his decision on the third day of battle to pitch a massive frontal assault on the center of the Union line, known as Pickett's Charge, resulted in horrific casualties that paralyzed the Confederate troops.

Lee's conviction that his orders had resulted in the heavy casualties - casualties the Confederate troops, already outnumbered, could hardly afford - drove him to send a letter of resignation to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, a resignation that was rejected.

Lee's official resignation may have been denied, but his own resignation was obvious; the Army of Northern Virginia never again mounted an offensive attack on the U.S. Forces, nor did they ever attempt any capture of Northern territory on the scale of the Gettysburg campaign. The glorious reputation of the Army of Northern Virginia as invincible was tarnished permanently, and the Union's ultimate victory was only a matter of time.

The Battle of Gettysburg - The Turning Point of the War

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Strategic Thinking Vs Strategic Planning

Strategic thinking is often described as reflective dialogue about the future so that one can avoid pitfalls as well as take advantage of opportunities. It is a process whereby you learn how to make your business vision a reality by developing your abilities in team work, problem solving, and critical thinking. Strategic thinking requires you to envision what you want your ideal outcome to be for your business and then works backwards by focusing on the story of HOW you will be able to reach your vision.

Put another way, strategic thinking is the ability to think systemically, with a whole systems perspective which often transcends what the organization is currently engaged in.



Strategic Thinking Vs Strategic Planning

Strategy is a term that comes from the Greek, strategia, meaning generalship. Strategy is what you do and it is, in many respects, where you invest your funds and resources. A strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal, most often "winning". Strategy is different from tactics or immediate actions. Strategies are intended to make the problem or problems easier to understand and solve.

Strategy is about choice, which affects outcomes. Many organizations survive - and do well - for periods of time in conditions of relative stability, low environmental turbulence and little competition for resources. Over time, virtually none of these conditions prevail in the modern world for great lengths of time for any organization. Therefore, we have the need for strategic management.

Strategic management is necessary in situations where an opponent blocks the way to an objective. Strategic Thinking breaks the chains that currently anchor you in survival mode. Strategic thinking requires that you take a critical look at the underlying factors that lead to successful strategic planning.

Strategy should be adaptable rather than a rigid set of instructions which is why strategic thinking is so important.


Thought or thinking is a mental process that allows human beings to model the world and to deal with it effectively according to their goals, plans, ends and desires. Thinking strategically is not a dry or boring way of thinking, on the contrary, it is a creative, and powerful skill that energizes people and prepares the person and their organization prepared for the unknown future.

In strategic thinking, there are four viewpoints to take into consideration when forming your business strategy:

  • Environmental view
  • Marketplace view
  • Project view
  • Measurement view.

On the other hand strategic thinking is about synthesizing, about using your intuition and creativity to formulate anunique perspective or vision of where the organization should be heading.


Planning is the organizational process of creating and maintaining a plan. It involves the process of thinking about the activities required to create a desired future on some scale. As such, it is a fundamental idea or behavior. This thought process is essential to the creation and refinement of a plan, or integrating it into other plans.

Strategic Planning on the other hand is a discipline, which can include innovative elements but essentially focuses on the rigor of making sure how to get from one position to another without falling off the cliff.

Strategic planning is about analysis. In other words, it is about breaking down a goal into steps, determining how the steps could be implemented, and identifying the possible consequences of each step. Many people assume that strategic planning, strategic thinking, and strategy making are synonymous. To the contrary, strategic thinking is a complimentary and critical addition to the process of strategic planning, implementation, and management.

Unfortunately, few strategic decisions are made in the context of a formal process. This typically happens because a company's most important strategic decisions are often made as developments unfold. The use of a formal process for strategic thinking and effective execution is crucial to effective performance improvement and productivity enhancement. Maintaining competitive advantage requires an action plan - the allocation of responsibility for different outcomes to specific people who are passionate about seeing them through, and the development of appropriate incentives to motivate the right kind of behavior.

Effectuve execution of strategy requires an understanding the link between planning and strategy development. It requires broad-scale and effective information gathering, clarification of the mission and issues to be addressed, exploration and development of alternative strategies, and an emphasis on the future implications of present decisions.

This requires the determination of "what are the necessary thinking patterns to handle the paradigm shift that are associated with change?" The best intelligence comes from inside organizations that can influence the success of your project. A SWOT analysis is crucial to any strategic thinking process! It helps define the attendant goals developed as a result of the strategic thinking process


Creating a strategy for any organization involves defining goals and intermediate and short-term objectives,. Your goals are the broad results you wish to achieve over the long term. Your objectives should flow naturally from your goals.

Be clear on the goals and outputs, make the "SMART"

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed-Upon
  • Realistic
  • Time-Specific

In addition:

  • Ask yourself what things are important to the organization?
  • What perspectives do senior managers have toward organizational priorities, and more specifically, your work team
  • Which of your priorities or goals have the best chance to be viewed positively at any given moment.

It is critical to ask if the right thing is being done within the context of the organization's strategic direction (mandate, vision, mission, core values and goals and objectives (expectations).


Strategic thinking is pretty much like viewing a movie - it allows you to see things from "higher up. Strategic thinking is an attempt to think through as many "results" that come from our actions that defeat our purpose.

Strategic thinking is an ongoing process rather than a one-time event. Strategic thinking is not always easy nor should it be. Strategic thinking involves synthesis, using intuition and creatively forming, a shared vision, of where the organization should be heading if it is to survive and prosper in the current and future market place.

Strategic Thinking Vs Strategic Planning

Brice Alvord has over thirty years experience as an internal and external performance improvement consultant. He holds a BA in Sociology/Psychology from Central Washington University and an MBA degree from City University of Seattle. He is the author of over two dozen books on continuous improvement and training.

For more information, visit our website at: http://www.aleragroup.com

Energy Efficiency And HVAC Technology

The following overview offers a quick reference to key considerations with some of the most effective technologies. As with lighting, trial installations are a good idea; so is working with manufacturers and distributors.

Getting the most from HVAC controls


Because a building's performance can be dramatically improved by installing and fully using HVAC controls, it is essential to understand and correctly use those controls. The place to start is with a close look at what is really transpiring in your building, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Energy Efficiency And HVAC Technology

What is happening with each piece of equipment? On holidays? Weekends? As the seasons change, do your operations change? It is important to understand where and how energy is being consumed in order to identify where waste is occurring and where improvements can be implemented. Then it is imperative to ask, "What exactly do I want these controls to do?"

Energy management systems (EMS) are designed to run individual pieces of equipment more efficiently and to permit integration of equipment, enhancing performance of the system. In a typical EMS, sensors monitor parameters such as air and water temperatures, pressures, humidity levels, flow rates, and power consumption. From those performance points, electrical and mechanical equipment run times and setpoints are controlled.

Seven-day scheduling provides hour-to-hour and day-to-day control of HVAC and lighting systems and can account for holidays and seasonal changes. As the name implies, night temperature setback allows for less cooling in summer and less heating in winter during unoccupied hours.

Optimal start/stop enables the entire system to look ahead several hours and, relative to current conditions, make decisions about how to proceed; this allows the system to ramp up slowly, avoiding morning demand spikes or unnecessary run times.

Peak electrical demand can be controlled by sequencing fans and pumps to start up one by one rather than all at once and by shutting off pieces of HVAC equipment for short periods (up to 30 minutes), which should only minimally affect space temperature. Economizers reduce cooling costs by taking advantage of cool outdoor air. Supply-air temperature-reset can prevent excessive reheat and help reduce chiller load.

An EMS can provide an abundance of information about building performance, but someone has to figure out what they want the EMS to do and then give it directions. Calibrating controls, testing and balancing are key to any well-maintained HVAC system, but are especially critical to optimize control efforts.

Variable speed drives and energy-efficient motors

Variable speed drives (VSDs) are nearly always recommended as a reliable and cost-effective upgrade.

VSDs are profitable where equipment is oversized or frequently operates at part-load conditions. Savings of up to 70 percent can be achieved by installing VSDs on fan motors operating at part-load conditions. They may be applied to compressor or pump motors and are generally used in variable air volume (VAV) systems. They are also cost effective in water-side applications. Backward-inclined and airfoiled fans are the best VSD candidates.

Air-handler configurations controlled by variable inlet vanes or outlet dampers squander energy at part-load conditions. Using throttle valves to reduce flow for smaller pumping loads is also inefficient. The efficiency of motors begins to drop off steeply when they run at less than 75 percent of full load; they can consume over twice as much power as the load requires. VSDs operate electronically and continually adjust motor speed to match load.

The power to run the VSD is proportional to the cube of the speed (or flow), which is why this technology is so efficient. If the speed is reduced by just 10 percent, a 27 percent drop in power consumption should result. A VSD pilot study performed by EPA found that VSD retrofits realized an annual average energy savings of 52 percent, an average demand savings of 27 percent and a 2.5-year simple payback.

Perform harmonic, power factor, electric load, and torsional analyses before selecting a VSD. Though harmonic and power factor problems are not common in VSD applications, VSDs should generally be equipped with integral harmonic filters (or a three-phase AC line reactor) and internal power factor correction capacitors (or a single capacitor on the VSDs' main power line). In general, this equipment is not standard and must be specified.

Improved design and better materials enhance the performance of energy-efficient motors, which use 3 to 8 percent less energy than standard motors; units with efficiencies of 95 percent are available.

To achieve maximum savings, the motor must also be properly matched with its load, increasing run time at peak efficiency. Motors operate best when running at 75 to 100 percent of their fully rated load; motors routinely operating below 60 percent of rated capacity are prime candidates for retrofit. For motors whose loads fluctuate, VSDs should also be considered.

Smaller, more efficient motors are integral to a system downsizing stratagem; downsizing a 75 horsepower standard motor to a 40 horsepower energy-efficient model will result in energy savings of 15 percent.

Some energy-efficient motors have less "slip" than standard-efficiency motors, causing energy-efficient motors to run at slightly higher speeds; consider a larger pulley to compensate for the higher speed and to maximize energy savings. Installing a new pulley or adjusting the existing one can also be an alternative to a VSD when the cost for the VSD is prohibitive or the load has been reduced.

Improving fan system performance

A common way to improve the efficiency of the air distribution system is to convert constant air volume (CAV) systems to VAV. One authority on energy issues, E-Source, reports that "typical (VAV) air flow requirements are only about 60 percent of full CAV flow."

VAVs respond to load requirements by varying the volume of the air through a combination of pressure controls and dampers rather than by varying the air's temperature. According to the air pressure, fan power and volume of conditioned air are reduced, thus increasing energy efficiency. Of course, it is crucial to maintain indoor air quality (IAQ) when altering air handling systems.

To maximize savings, VAV components such as VSDs, variable-pitch fan blades, diffusers, mixers, and VAV boxes must be operating properly; careful zoning is also required to achieve VAV optimization.

E-Source recommends considering the following VAV retrofit procedures:

• complete load reduction measures and calculate the maximum and minimum air flow requirements,
• measure existing fan performance; examine duct system for possible improvements,
• stage fans that are in parallel configurations,
• commission the system thoroughly,
• optimize static pressure setpoint and implement reset control, and
• possibly remove return air fans.

Energy-efficient and properly sized motors are also recommended along with careful control strategies. Installing a self-contained, thermally powered device to each diffuser can add greater control to VAV systems by controlling individual spaces, rather than entire zones, and eliminate the need for VAV boxes. Such a device also offers VAV-style capabilities to CAV systems.

VAV retrofit costs and paybacks can vary widely. Installation problems related to fan control, reduced supply air distribution, location of pressure sensors and their reliability, in addition to deficient design, can diminish a VAV retrofit's performance. Because VAV boxes are relatively expensive and one is required for each zone, it is generally not cost effective to partition the space into many zones. Careful zone designation -- according to occupancy, internal loads and solar gain -- will maximize efficiency, increase comfort and reduce reheat.

When reheat cannot be eliminated, consider these steps to minimize it: ensuring thermostat calibration; increasing supply air temperatures during the cooling season; and monitoring reheat year round and possibly employing reheat only during winter months. Where reheat is used primarily to control humidity, a desiccant wheel or a heat pipe might be considered.

Downsizing existing VAV fan systems is a relatively low-cost way to save energy when loads have been reduced or when the air distribution system was oversized to begin with. The following are means to downsize fans or airflow requirements:

• Reduce static pressure setpoint to meet actual temperature and airflow requirements.
• Rightsize motors and upgrade to energy-efficient models; install larger pulleys.
• Replace the existing fan pulley with a larger one; that will reduce the fan's power requirements by reducing its speed.
• Make sure the fan's speed corresponds to the load. Reducing a fan's speed by 20 percent reduces its energy consumption by approximately 50 percent.

There are several ways to determine if VAV fan systems are oversized. If a motor's measured amperage is 25 percent less than its nameplate rating, it is oversized. If a fan's inlet vanes or outlet dampers are closed more than 20 percent, it is oversized. If the static pressure reading is less than the static pressure setpoint when inlets or dampers are open and VAV boxes open 100 percent, as on a hot summer day, the system is oversized. Again, be sure to consider IAQ requirements when downsizing air handling systems.

Chillers and thermal storage

No one wants to replace a perfectly good chiller just because of the CFC phaseout. But once load-reducing efficiency upgrades have been completed, it may actually be profitable to replace an oversized chiller. That's especially true given rising prices and tightening supplies of CFC refrigerants.

Oversized units 10 years or older are good candidates for replacement. A high-efficiency chiller reduces energy costs throughout its lifetime; initial costs are reduced because the replacement chiller is smaller than the old one. Depending on the old unit's efficiency and load, a high-efficiency chiller's energy consumption can be.15 to.30 kW/ton less, decreasing energy consumption by as much as 85 percent if combined with downsizing.

An alternative to replacement is to retrofit chillers to accommodate a new refrigerant and to match reduced loads. That may involve orifice plate replacement, impeller replacement and possibly compressor replacement, depending on the chiller's specifics.

Retrofitting may entail gasket and seal replacement and motor rewinding. Depending on the refrigerant and the way the retrofit is performed, the chiller may lose either efficiency or capacity. To determine whether replacement or retrofit is a better option, consider both initial and life-cycle costs.

Retubing the condenser and evaporator yields sizable energy savings but whether it makes sense, given its high cost, depends on the condition of the chiller. Water-cooled condensers are generally more efficient than air-cooled units. Because condenser water flows through an open loop, it is susceptible to fouling. Scale build-up will inhibit heat transfer efficiency; maintenance is therefore required to keep the surfaces clean.

Absorption chillers are an alternative to centrifugal models. Absorption chillers cost up to 0 per ton more than vapor compression chillers like centrifugal units, but can be profitable in areas of high electrical demand charges or where steam or gas is available, depending on the local utility rate structures. Using a combination of the two chiller types can reduce electrical demand charges.

Thermal energy storage (TES) uses conventional chiller equipment to produce conditioned water or ice (or occasionally another phase-change material) in off-peak periods. Water is withdrawn from storage during the day or at peak hours and circulated through the cooling system.

TES systems can be incorporated into new and existing systems and can provide partial load leveling or full load shifting. TES helps decrease operating and maintenance costs; in some cases, a smaller chiller can be specified. Some systems provide lower supply air and water temperatures, so air and water flow requirements can be cut.

Water-side improvements

Fill material, size and fan configurations affect cooling tower efficiency. Cellular fill (aka film packing) increases efficiency over other fill types. Oversizing the tower to allow for closer approach to ambient wetbulb temperature can improve its efficiency. Generously sizing the tower and increasing its share of the chiller load can make economic sense because a cooling tower's initial cost and energy use per ton are less than a chiller's.

At part-load conditions, applying a VSD to the fan (or pump) will improve the tower's efficiency. Systems with VSDs and several fans are more efficient when all tower cells are operating at reduced speed as opposed to one or two cells at full speed.

Because cooling towers contain large heat exchange surfaces, fouling -- scale or slime build-up -- can be a problem. The efficiency of improperly treated systems can be improved with effective water treatment. High-efficiency towers are available; induced-draft types are more popular and efficient than forced-draft towers. Performance can also be improved by increasing cooling surface area.

In traditional pumping systems, flow is generally constant volume; a throttle valve reduces flow at part-load conditions, inhibiting efficiency.

Installing VSDs on secondary pumps in variable flow systems, rightsizing pumps and motors to meet load requirements, and upgrading single loop systems to primary/secondary loop configurations can increase the performance and reliability of pumping systems. In upgrading chilled water pumps, it is important to meet maximum and minimum flow rates through the chiller.

Other cooling options

Desiccants are dehumidification materials which can be integrated into HVAC systems to reduce cooling loads and increase chiller efficiency while improving indoor air quality and comfort. Formerly found only in niche and industrial applications, desiccant cooling is extending throughout commercial markets.

Desiccants make sense when the cost to regenerate them is low compared to the cost to dehumidify below dewpoint and can reduce HVAC energy and peak demand by more than 50 percent in some cases.

Evaporative coolers provide one of the most economical and efficient means of cooling, using up to 75 percent less energy than vapor-compression systems. Though initial cost is typically higher, paybacks for evaporative coolers range between six months and five years. Though evaporative coolers are particularly prevalent in the arid West and Southwest, they can service most U.S. climates. E-Source states that, in combination with evaporative cooling, desiccant cooling can eliminate refrigerative air conditioning in many climates.

Hybrid systems that integrate evaporative cooling with conventional HVAC technologies offer additional opportunities. To improve performance consider lower air velocity; better fill materials; higher fan, pump and motor efficiencies, including VSDs; better belts or direct drive; improved housing; improved controls; and duct sealing. Proper maintenance is key to energy-efficiency.

Packaged air-conditioning units are typically found in buildings or building zones where the cooling load is less than 75 tons. Running these units at part load can severely reduce efficiency. They are generally not as efficient as chiller systems but can be upgraded and rightsized when replaced. Existing systems can be improved by using higher efficiency compressors, larger condensers and evaporators, and VSDs, though life expectancies of 10 to 12 years for these technologies may mean that retrofits are not cost-effective.

Heat pumps are among the most energy-efficient heating and cooling technologies available today. Low operating costs, increased reliability and long life expectancies improve their viability. They function best in moderate climates and proper sizing is critical.

Multi-unit configurations can service larger loads and provide zoning; large, modernized central units offering capacities of up to 1000 horsepower or 750 kilowatts are gaining popularity. Air-to-air type heat pumps are the most common because of low up-front costs; ground supply heat pumps are the most efficient but tend to have higher initial costs.

Boiler upgrades

Especially in colder climates, improved boiler performance -- with improved fuel and airflow controls over a range of load conditions and increased heat transfer surface areas -- can contribute substantially to energy savings. Smaller units arranged in modular systems increase efficiency up to 85 percent while small units replacing those with open-loop condensing systems shoot combustion efficiency up to 95 percent.

Boiler retrofits, combined with improved maintenance measures, can also increase efficiency -- up to 90 percent. New burners, baffle inserts, combustion controls, warm-weather controls, economizers, blowdown heat recovery and condensate return conversions provide increased efficiency opportunities. A smaller "summer" boiler might be a good option when a boiler is required year round though at reduced capacities in warmer conditions. The much smaller summer boiler is sized for reduced loads; the main boiler is shut down.

HVAC upgrades can provide tremendous economic benefits, improve occupant comfort and system reliability, and reduce operating costs. But to maximize benefits and minimize capital investment, load-reducing measures, such as lighting upgrades, should precede HVAC system upgrades.

Energy Efficiency And HVAC Technology

Julian Arhire is a Manager with DtiCorp.com - DtiCorp.com carries more than 35,000 HVAC products, including industrial, commercial and residential parts and equipment from Honeywell, Johnson Contols, Robertshaw, Jandy, Grundfos, Armstrong and more.

Win Every Foosball Game with a Little Strategy

If you want to be good at the game of foosball, you only have to learn two important strategies -good offense and impenetrable defense. All other foosball strategies fall under these two categories.

When playing foosball, which is very similar to real soccer strategy, defense is king. And for starters, good defense involves learning how to resist spinning the rods aimlessly. This move, in fact, is not permitted in amateur and professional competitions. Besides, if you spin the rods too much, you'll lose control of your men and the game in general. Plus, you'll make horrible shots that won't break your opponent's defense. To block your opponents effectively, make sure your players are in an upright position at all times. Quick reflexes are also important in blocking shots.


As far as offense is concerned, you should be more aggressive. An aggressive offense means you have to hit the ball hard, among many other things. The harder a ball is hit, the tougher it is to defend. But a hard hit ball is going to be worthless if you can't strike the ball accuracy. You should focus on accuracy and force when you are on the offense - the combination of these two skills is deadly. If you master these two skills, you'll be difficult to beat.

Win Every Foosball Game with a Little Strategy

Passing is also an important part of any good foosball offense. You need to develop a clear eye so you can see which figure has a good shot. But more than a sharp eye, you need to have loads of patience. Sometimes you will need to wait until a good shot develops - if you are playing an tough opponent, it may take awhile for a shot to open up.

Each rod on a foosball table has a different number of players. It was created that way for a purpose. It is only right that you use the position of your men to your advantage. Use the goalie to pass to the five-figure bar or the three-figure bar onto the goalie. This way, you'll create a good shot for your own players. But more importantly, you will leave your opponent just watching and preparing for your moves.

In any type of game, practice is what you need to excel. You can't learn all the basics, techniques, and special strategies of foosball overnight. You have to put some effort into learning and mastering each skill. Don't worry; your sacrifices will certainly reap momentous rewards.

Win Every Foosball Game with a Little Strategy

Tyler Landow is a product director at Foosball Central. The company has a wide range of foosball tables [http://www.foosballcentral.com] including Shelti foosball tables [http://www.foosballcentral.com/shelti].

Product Segmentation Strategy

Targeting is identifying and specifically catering to visitor segments based on their needs and requirements and accordingly presenting the right service or product to them. Targeting -

  • Draws on the segmenting ability of your products/services.
  • Brings focus to your web efforts.
  • Increases effectiveness with key segments with interest in your products/services.
  • Allows a more customized experience for visitors.
  • Results in Higher conversions.
Let's look at some practical scenarios from different industries

Example 1:


A computer training school provides both Word and Excel classes.

Product Segmentation Strategy

The Problem:

  • Word classes tend be attended by less computer savvy students.
  • Their positions are often administrative and they are looking to simplify their work lives.
  • Excel classes attract accountants and analysts.
  • They are looking for more knowledge of Excel functions.

Question: Should the Word and Excel classes be marketed using similar content?

The Answer:

  • No.
  • The Word Classes should be marketed more on a benefits basis.
  • Specify how attendees would make their day easier and more efficient.
  • The Excel Classes should be marketed on a features basis.
  • Emphasizing the areas of Excel functions that a visitor will learn about.

Result: The prospects for each class type will receive content that is more convincing to them.

Example 2:

A financial planner provides services which help businesses to increase their profitability.

The Problem:

  • One service area focuses on improving cost management through budgeting.
  • Another service area focuses on ROI based budgeting.
  • Prospects interested in cost management are focused on accounting systems.
  • Prospects focused on ROI based budgeting are looking for strategic decision making advice.

Question: Should there be separate marketing content for each of these two service areas?

The Answer:

  • Yes.
  • Cost management prospects will need examples of simple to use budgeting systems.
  • ROI based budgeting prospects will look for facilitation skills of the consultant.
  • Result: Using different content will better target the unique prospect segments in each of these areas.

Targeting can further be divided in three sub categories:
  • Product Segmentation
  • User Segmentation
  • Pain segmentation

Product Segmentation: In layman's language, Product segmentation is categorizing your services/products as per the industry or user requirement. This could include tailoring of your services/product lines to meet the user requirements.


  • Understanding the different content requirements of prospects.
  • Assessing your products key customer segments.
  • Identifying common content and process needs based upon common product interests.
  • Customizing user experience based on findings during segmentation.
Why your company should aim towards segmentation?
  • Better connection with the visitor.
  • Value apparent to target segments.
  • More specific targeting of content.
  • More efficient experience for visitor.
  • Correct order of content.
  • Ability to balance investment to ROI.
  • Better ability to measure effectiveness.


1. Describe the Targets

  • Analyze your current customer base.
  • Describe the key customers for each product line.
  • Determine their industry, position, needs and business stage.

2. Drive and Satisfy Visitors
  • Connect content which matches your product to those characteristics.
  • Drive visitors by offering them a choice of product categories at their entry points.

3. Measure and Adapt
  • Implement analytics to measure effectiveness of efforts.
  • Use A/B testing to precisely establish effectiveness.
  • Then go big with most effective methods.
  • User & Pain segmentation will be discussed in the upcoming weeks.

AfterTheNet's precise strategy approach takes advantage of visitors self profiling -- giving you the power to target them more closely. The combination of 100's of similarly precise web strategies creates the strategy process which allows ATN to yield exceptional results for clients.

Product Segmentation Strategy

Neil is a member of the Knowledge Center Team at AfterTheNet. Our expertise helps clients' Marketing Teams to align to their business goals and targets. We are led by diversely experienced Business Executives giving you that cut above the rest advantage.

Blue Ocean Strategy Example in Asia - Example 1

One of the significant changes that airline industry have changed is the involvement of budget airline industry. The good example in Malaysia is Air Asia.

Air Asia have managed to avoid the red ocean (compete with Malaysia Airline and regional airline such as Tiger Air, Jet Air etc) by looking into the factors that industry take for granted and also factors that important to customers. With the Four Actions Framework proposed by Blue Ocean Strategy authors, Air Asia have implemented many strategic move to ensure they are making Malaysia Airline and regional airline company irrelevant.


Example of the strategic move as follows:

Blue Ocean Strategy Example in Asia - Example 1


* Over the counter booking system

* Free Food/Beverage on the plane

* Seating Class booking system

Reduce :

* "luxury" facilities provided by Airport Lounge

* No of attendance service on the plane

* Seat Quality


* Focus on several key destination

* Increase frequency of flight

Create :

* Online Booking system

* Point to point travel system

With this strategic move, Air Asia able to focus on factors that really bring value to the customers such as point to point travel system, easy booking system etc. This will help Air Asia to reduce cost and at the same time increase the value to the customers - Value Innovation.

Besides that, Air Asia is able to look at current non-customers as explained by the authors of Blue Ocean Strategy.

Current Airline Customers:

* Customers who are affordable to buy expensive ticket from Malaysia Airline and regional airline companies.

* Business people in Malaysia or ASEAN region


* Government Staff

* Those that cannot afford to buy expensive ticket such as who are in rural areas, students or fresh graduates.

With the successful implementation of this Blue Ocean, Air Asia have venture into other businesses such as Tune Hotel and Tune Money. The concept is toward Blue Ocean marketplace.

Blue Ocean Strategy Example in Asia - Example 1

ECO MAX Training & Learning Center provides Blue Ocean Strategy workshop for public listed companies, private held company, small businesses and Government body.

The author can be contacted via the web-site http://www.ecomaxmc.com/