Do You Road Rage? Why We Do, and What We Can Do About It

Living in a city like Los Angeles requires a commute on some form of Freeway (too many to list), a journey through bumper to bumper surface streets, and possibly a walk. All of this is cemented between our daily stressors of work and family.

It’s often common for us to leave home upset around time management issues, conflicts with loved ones, or the dread of going to a place of employment. How can this not affect us? Most of us are also aware that there is an unofficial “Rules of the Road” handbook that establishes polite behavior, which is not followed by many. The perfect storm of impolite driving (unsafe, or self-righteous), and an average person’s bad day can lead to escalations that are unsafe for all parties. Most of us would call this sudden explosion of anger, Road Rage.

While the actions of others remain out of our control, we can be more mindful of our own state as we enter our cars. When a person makes a physical check of possible obstructions prior to pulling out of a space, they are hyper aware. Their eyes search all mirrors for people, dogs, and other cars as if life depended on it, and in many ways this is true. We can also look inward, within ourselves. Creating an awareness of how you are feeling prior to starting the ignition, can be helpful in creating awareness of where you are at.

Road Rage is related to the tipping point of our agitation. What is your frustration tolerance at that particular time, on that particular day? Some people appear to always be at a high frustration level, but for others, irritation can sneak up more slowly. What are the daily obstacles we still have in front of us? Maybe there is a specific meeting, appointment, or a time we have to pick up our kids. It could be the time of day we depart such as rush hour, or a work related task that still lingers on our mind. Are we late? There is an infinite amount of possible stressors, and personal drama or what we might call personal crisis situations (hey it seems like a crisis to us!), but when paired with inconsiderate drivers things can explode.

If we were to rank our personal wellbeing on a scale of 1-10, with one being Buddha, and 10 being Hulk, most likely we all live in a 3 most of the time. It’s once we cross 5 or 6, that we want to become more mindful of Road Rage triggers, and our own body awareness. This is the time we can course correct, prior to further and potentially more dangerous escalation.

Every person has a different anger response. If we begin to track our outbursts, we become more aware of the patterns in our triggers. This is where we can consciously begin to change patterns and replace or alter behaviors. Tracking body symptoms prior to outburst (twitching eye, flushed face, rapid breathing, warm forehead, watery eyes, itchy shoulders or neck, clenching, etc..), can be helpful in establishing patterns, but we need to work on better planning to implement prior to these escalations.

Listening to the radio, taking deep and purposeful breaths, or talking to a good friend or family member can be helpful. Avoiding conflicts while driving is a good rule of thumb as well. When a person is riding at an 8 or 9, it does not take much to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. As our mindfulness and self-awareness increase, it’s easier to make better choices, and do the things we need to do to be safe.

What Is an ICO in Cryptocurrency?

ICO is short for Initial Coin Offering. When launching a new cryptocurrency or crypto-token, the developers offer investors a limited number of units in exchange for other major crypto coins such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.

ICOs are amazing tools for quickly raining development funds to support new cryptocurrencies. The tokens offered during an ICO can be sold and traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, assuming there is sufficient demand for them.

The Ethereum ICO is one of the most notable successes and the popularity of Initial Coin Offerings is growing as we speak.

A brief history of ICOs

Ripple is likely the first cryptocurrency distributed via an ICO. At the start of 2013, Ripple Labs began to develop the Ripple payment system and generated approximately 100 billion XRP tokens. These were sold through an ICO to fund Ripple’s platform development.

Mastercoin is another cryptocurrency that has sold a few million tokens for Bitcoin during an ICO, also in 2013. Mastercoin aimed to tokenize Bitcoin transactions and execute smart contracts by creating a new layer on top of the existing Bitcoin code.

Of course, there are other cryptocurrencies that have been successfully funded through ICOs. Back in 2016, Lisk gathered approximately $5 million during their Initial Coin Offering.

Nevertheless, Ethereum’s ICO that took place in 2014 is probably the most prominent one so far. During their ICO, the Ethereum Foundation sold ETH for 0.0005 Bitcoin each, raising almost $20 million. With Ethereum harnessing the power of smart contracts, it paved the way for the next generation of Initial Coin Offerings.

Ethereum’s ICO, a recipe for success

Ethereum’s smart contracts system has implemented the ERC20 protocol standard that sets the core rules for creating other compliant tokens which can be transacted on Ethereum’s blockchain. This allowed others to create their own tokens, compliant with the ERC20 standard that can be traded for ETH directly on Ethereum’s network.

The DAO is a notable example of successfully using Ethereum’s smart contracts. The investment company raised $100 million worth of ETH and the investors received in exchange DAO tokens allowing them to participate in the governance of the platform. Sadly, the DAO failed after it was hacked.

Ethereum’s ICO and their ERC20 protocol have outlined the latest generation of crowdfunding blockchain-based projects via Initial Coin Offerings.

It also made it very easy to invest in other ERC20 tokens. You simply transfer ETH, paste the contract in your wallet and the new tokens will show up in your account so you can use them however you please.

Obviously, not all cryptocurrencies have ERC20 tokens living on Ethereum ‘s network but pretty much any new blockchain-based project can launch an Initial Coin Offering.

The legal state of ICOs

When it comes to the legality of ICOs, it’s a bit of a jungle out there. In theory, tokens are sold as digital goods, not financial assets. Most jurisdictions haven’t regulated ICOs yet so assuming the founders have a seasoned lawyer on their team, the whole process should be paperless.

Even so, some jurisdictions have become aware of ICOs and are already working on regulating them in a similar manner to sales of shares and securities.

Back in December 2017, the U.S. Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) classified ICO tokens as securities. In other words, the SEC was preparing to halt ICOs they consider to be misleading investors.

There are some cases in which the token is just a utility token. This means the owner can simply use it to access a certain network or protocol in which case they may not be defined as a financial security. Nevertheless, equity tokens whose purpose is to appreciate in value are quite close to the concept of security. Truth be told, most token purchases are made specifically for investment purposes.

Despite the efforts of regulators, ICOs are still lingering in a grey legal area and until a clearer set of regulations is imposed entrepreneurs will attempt to benefit from Initial Coin Offerings.

It’s also worth mentioning that once regulations reach a final form, the cost and effort required to comply could make ICOs less attractive compared to conventional funding options.

Final words

For now, ICOs remain an amazing way to fund new crypto-related projects and there have been multiple successful ones with more to come.

However, keep in mind everyone is launching ICOs nowadays and many of these projects are scams or lack the solid foundation they need to thrive and make it worth the investment. For this reason, you should definitely do thorough research and investigate the team and background of whatever crypto project you might want to invest in. There are multiple websites out there that list ICOs, we recommend checking this ICO calendar if you’re interested to invest in a crypto project.

Why Your Business Needs Web Video Marketing

Build Your Brand

Plain and simple, video is the most engaging content available creating a multi sensory experience for the viewer. No other advertising medium can trigger an emotional response the way video can. As a result, this makes the greatest impact on your prospects and customers.

Video is also the most effective ways to get your face, voice and brand all over the Internet positioning you as a leader and an expert in your field. When people see you, you become real and this humanizes the experience differentiating you from your competitors by putting a face/voice on your business.

Viewers also get to know you through your videos and if they like and trust you, they will want to do business with you. If you are truly sincere in your desire to help others, your videos will convert like wildfire and unlike traditional forms of advertising your web videos have no expiration date!

What this means is that your videos are out there working for you 24/7, educating your prospects about your product or service even while you sleep.

Web Video is a Growing Mega-Trend

I have three words for you, YouTube, YouTube and YouTube. Why does YouTube matter in social media marketing?

-Over 2 BILLION video views per day (double the prime-time audience of all 3 major US broadcast networks combined)

-Every minute of the day, 24 hours of video content is uploaded to the platform.

-YouTube is also the fastest growing search engine currently ranked #2 in the world only behind Google.

-People go there to look for videos to answer their questions, show them how to do something, or review a product or business.

-YouTube has become more than just a place to park your videos. As a social network, it is a place to build an audience where people subscribe to your channel and come back to watch and learn more about what it is you have to offer.

-Videos are also part of Google’s search engine results which means increased visibility as well as becoming a powerful tool driving traffic back to your website, blog or the site of your choosing.

Engage Your Audience With Content That Provides Value

The first step in creating engaging content is to identify exactly who your audience is. Once you are clear on whom you are targeting, the idea is to create messages that resonate with this audience.

This is your chance to educate the consumer about your product or service focusing on the benefits that your product/service will bring. Keep in mind that consumers are generally looking to solve a problem or address a need while in the research phase prior to making a purchase decision. What you need to do is deliver the solution in order to gain their business.

Your web videos can brand you as an instant expert in your field if you can deliver a compelling message that adds value. By educating the consumer you can improve the quality of their lives. Not only does this include information about what you do, but simple tips or strategies that they can implement as well.

Once you gain a satisfied customer, an engaging and powerful content strategy is to capture a video testimonial that can be shared on your website, blog and/or social media site.

Testimonials are potent forms of social proof. 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations, so sharing your videos on sites such as Facebook and Twitter become the new “word of mouth.” Users of these sites seek and make recommendations for products and services and share their experiences with friends and followers.

Also, it is important to incorporate a call to action within the web video itself. Viewers need to be told what to do so that may mean visiting your website, picking up the phone to call you or even sharing the video with their friends on the social media sites.

In summary, your web videos can help get you found online, are the most dynamic forms of content that engage your audience and can also be shared in follow up campaigns such as e-mail keeping you fresh in the mind of the consumer.

Local Marketing Guru is a Philadelphia Internet Marketing firm that specializes in helping local businesses establish a complete web presence and dominate their niche online.