Monthly Archives: December 2018

Australian gold project development stalled – recovery 2019?

Australia’s gold production increased in the first half of this year, but both export volumes and values have declined, Australia’s Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) reported Wednesday.

“Gold exploration expenditures in Australia has continued to fall and new project development has stalled in response to lower prices,” said BREE Resources Program chief John Barber.Kaminak Gold

“In 2015, a higher US interest rate, albeit marginally higher, is expected to further reduce the appeal of gold relatively to other investment assets and support lower prices,” Barber forecast. “A moderate rebound in jewelry purchases in response to lower prices is not expected to offset this decline in gold investment or market speculation that accompanies it.”

“The average price of gold is forecast to decrease a further 4.7% in 2015 to US$1123 per ounce,” he advised.

“Forecast lower prices in 2014 and 2015 are expected to slow the development of new mines with production from low cost projects that do start up likely to be offset by declining production at existing mines or closure of higher cost producers,” said BREE’s Resources and Energy Quarterly, September 2014. Nonetheless, gold mine production is Australia is estimated to have increased 7.5% and totaled 274 tonnes in 2013-14.

“Looking forward, the robust production growth in 2013-14 is not expected to be repeated over the outlook period. Lower forecast prices over the next 18 months are expected to challenge a number of high cost producers in Australia and many of the easier gains in cost cutting have already been reaped.”

The country’s gold production is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 1% and total 228 tonnes in 2018-19 with most of the growth occurring later in the period, BREE forecast.

“A rebound in private investment demand for gold is not anticipated in the short term as prices as forecast to continue to declining,” said the report. “All investment purchases except those of central banks are forecast to be lower in 2014 relative to 2013.”

Demand for gold bars and coins is forecast to decrease further in 2015 and ETFs are expected to remain net sellers, according to BREE. A projected recovery in investor demand is expected towards 2019.

Meanwhile, Wayne Calder, BREE deputy executive director, observed, “The prospects for the resources and energy industry remain positive. Continued economic growth in highly populated emerging economics will sustain increased demand for both resources and energy commodities into the future.”

“Closer to home Australia is moving decisively from the investment phase of the mining boom to the production phase,” Calder noted. “We will continue to see expansions in capacity from the Australian resources and energy sectors with increasing supply of iron ore and coal as well as the commencement of major new LNG projects across Australia.”

IRON ORE OUTLOOK

Iron ore prices have fallen 37% since the start of this year due to increase supply from Australia and moderating demand growth in China, observed BREE’s Ben Witteveen. “While prices are expected to rebound from current lows, over the medium term the peak of each rebound and trough is likely to be lower as more supply enter the market.”

Iron ore prices are forecast to average US$94 a tonne for the full year 2014, down 26% relative to last year. Over the next five years, iron ore prices are projected to average between US$90 and US$95 tonnes, said the BREE report.

“Decisions to close mines are unlikely to be made easily given the cost with placing operations on care and maintenance,” said Witteveen. “Iron ore suppliers are therefore likely to persist as long as possible but eventually prices that are substantially lower than high cost supplies from both exporters and domestic producers in China will result in reduced supply.”

In 2015 China’s ore iron imports are forecast to increase by 6.6% and total 933 million tonnes, according to BREE. Over the period from 2015 to 2019, China’s iron ore imports are projected to increase at an average annual rate of 4.7% and to total 1.12 billion tonnes in 2019.

A projected decrease in Japan’s steel production is expected to reduce iron ore demand by an average of 0.3% during the same period, while South Korea’s iron ore imports are projected to increase at an average annual rate of 1%.

Australia’s iron ore exports are forecast to increase 22% this year to 707 million tonnes, said BREE. In 2015 Australian iron ore exports are forecast to grow by 8.6% to 768 million tonnes.

Brazil’s iron ore exports are forecast to grow by 10% this year to 362 million tonnes, while India’s iron ore exports are estimated to grow by 29% to 12 million tonnes.

More oxide gold for Kaminak in near-deposit discovery

Kaminak Gold reported strong gold-mineralized intercepts Tuesday on its Coffee gold project in the Yukon.

The area looks promising for new gold resources which could bolster the wider Coffee project, now undergoing feasibility level studies.Kaminak Gold

The new area is called Kona North and it isn’t terribly surprising that it holds gold mineralization.

The area appears to be an extension of structures where Kaminak has outlined resources and is about 3 kilometres west of the Coffee project’s main resources comprising 467,000 ounces gold @ 1.77 g/t indicated and 2 million ounces gold @ 1.28 g/t Au inferred in oxide resources within 150 metres of surface which are being targeted for potential open pit mining and heap leaching.

Kaminak Gold

The new intercepts are near surface and include 3.55 g/t Au over 28 metres were associated with anomalous gold-in-soil concentrations that have guided so much of Kaminak’s exploration programs at one of the more important gold discoveries – the broader Coffee project – in the Yukon.

While the Kona North area won’t, at least at this stage, revolutionize Kaminak’s Coffee project it could but more shine on economics if they add ounces at decent grades.

Kaminak has said it aims to spend about $30 million on its feasibility work which will include extensive infill drilling to upgrade inferred resources to indicated resources. Earlier this year it outlined the Coffee project in a preliminary economic assessment. In that study it projected 167,000 ounces gold in average yearly production over an 11 year minelife a 26 percent IRR, after tax, assuming $1,250/oz gold and capital costs of $305 million.

Bass Fishing Budget Tips

It can be a daunting task for bass anglers to stick to a budget when they are trying to outfit themselves for the sport. While it would be easy to spend thousands of dollars on rods and reels alone — and the same amount or more on lures — not all bass anglers are in the financial position to spend so freely on fishing. Luckily for them, bass fishing does not need to be a budget-busting endeavor.Bass Fishing Secrets & Tips 1

Choose a Middle-of-the-Road Rod and Reel

For about $50 to $100, bass anglers can buy a fishing rod and reel that will work for most fishing situations. They should choose a spinning rod or reel — depending on their preference — that is 6.5 feet long with a medium to medium-heavy action. The rod should be graphite, and the reel should have as many ball bearings as possible, at least three. That length and action of rod is well suited to many fishing situations, and when anglers decide to spend more money, they can buy more specialized rods and reels.

Bass Fishing Secrets & Tips 1

Fishing Line

Anglers who decide to go with a spinning rod and reel should choose 8-pound test monofilament, and those who opt for a baitcasting rod and reel should go with 10-pound test monofilament line. Those sizes of line will perform well in many situations, though anglers who fish in particularly heavy cover would be better off fishing heavier line.

Narrow the Lure Choices

Anglers can choose from a nearly endless array of bass-fishing lures in hundreds of shapes, sizes and colors. But to consistently catch bass, anglers need relatively few of them. If anglers were to purchase one of several lure styles, they should choose: a spinnerbait (white in color and 3/8 of an ounce in size); crankbait (shad-colored and medium-diving); bag of plastic worms (pumpkinseed in color and 7 inches in length); buzzbait (white in color and 3/8 of an ounce in size); jig and pig (black and blue in color, 3/8 of an ounce in weight).

Bass Fishing Secrets & Tips 1

Become Proficient with a Bait or Two

While the idea of being a master of many presentations is attractive to many bass anglers, the reality is that fishermen who master a presentation or two — and then look for opportunities during which those presentations will work best — often are more successful. To the bass angler on a budget, this means becoming proficient at using spinnerbaits and plastic worms, for example, and then focusing future spending on purchasing more sizes and styles of these lures.

Fish from Shore

Where there is cover along the shoreline, there likely are bass. While some bass move to deep water, especially during the warm-water months, there oftentimes are bass located in shallow water around cover such as vegetation, trees and boat docks. Anglers who fish from shore should look for these areas and focus their fishing effort on them. That will save on the multiple costs associated with owning and operating a fishing boat.

Cheap Honeymoon Ideas

The honeymoon is a time for you and your spouse to enjoy being together. It doesn’t have to be in an exotic locale and you don’t have to scuba dive, walk through a rain forest or fly around the world. There are plenty of ways to have a wonderful honeymoon without spending a lot of money.Honeymoon

Register for a Honeymoon

The best way to have an affordable honeymoon is to have someone else pay for it. Try registering for all or part of your honeymoon. Your chances are probably better if you divide it up into parts: airfare, hotel, entertainment, drinks.

Stay Domestic

There are plenty of beautiful places to stay and fun things to do without leaving the country. Disneyworld is an affordable honeymoon. So is New York, Key West and Southern California. If you are both into the outdoors, there are hundreds of beautiful state and national parks peppered throughout the country. Yellowstone, considered one of the most beautiful natural areas in North America, is located in Wyoming. You don’t even have to camp; you can stay in the lodge.

Honeymoon Off-Season

Planning your honeymoon in the off-season is a great way to save money.For Europe, look into fall and winter. For the Southern hemisphere, plan on the summer months. Equator sites such as Southeast Asia are good picks for the winter months, but watch out for the rainy season.

Rental Home

If you can get the beach honeymoon or trip abroad idea out of your head and enjoy the idea of just spending time with your new spouse, a rental home in your area can be a great honeymoon. Search sites like Craigslist for a weekly rental and plan on spending lots of quality time together relaxing and enjoying each other’s company in a new atmosphere. Give each other massages, cook each other meals, watch movies, play games and, of course, talk about your future lives together.

Is Google Too Late With The Google+ Project?

This past Tuesday Google announced the new social networking platform called the Google+ project. It clearly has Facebook in its sights but will it succeed or go the way of Google Buzz, Orkut and Google Wave?

There is certainly a lot of, no pun intended, buzz going around about the Google+ project and rightly so, after all anything Google has a hand it surely gets a lot of attention. There is surely no shortage of articles to read all about this and I invite you to, pun intended, Google the Google+ project and read to your heart’s content.

One article in particular caught my attention and it was from The New York Times. In their piece, they make a very compelling argument that Google may in fact be too late to the Social Media dance as they reference the fact that “In May, 180 million people visited Google sites, including YouTube, compared with 157.2 million on Facebook, according to comScore. But Facebook users looked at 103 billion pages and spent an average of 375 minutes on the site, while Google users viewed 46.3 billion pages and spent 231 minutes.”

For those of you keeping score at home that’s 103 billion pages for Facebook vs. a little more than 46 billion for Google.

As far as Google’s unique selling proposition, or USP… one of the big selling points, at least Google hopes so, is that is designed specifically for sharing with groups, i.e. friends, family, co-workers etc., rather than with all of another user’s friends and more importantly, the entire internet like say on Facebook.

Not sure if that alone will be enough to convince people to use yet another social network, even it does come with the Google name attached to it… again, I offer Google Buzz, Orkut and Google Wave as Exhibits A, B and C as to why just having the Google name on something does not guarantee future success.

Then there’s the name itself… According to Vic Gundotra, the senior vice president who oversees Google’s social products, the “Plus” is reflective of the fact that it “takes products from Google and makes them better and ‘project’ because it’s an ongoing set of products,” said Vic Gundotra, the senior vice president who oversees Google’s social products.” Meanwhile internally, according to the New York Post, the project is codenamed “Emerald Sea.”

If they’re only two choices I’ll take Emerald Sea. At least it conjures up visions of Dorothy and Toto, et al and of a wizard and all that good stuff.

As far as the Google+ project being a direct competitor of Facebook, Mr. Gundotra claims that’s just not the case. “We aren’t trying to replace what’s currently available, we just want to introduce a new way to connect online with the people that matter to you.”

And if you believe that… well you get my point. And perhaps Mr. Gundotra was being truthful when he said Google’s not trying to replace “what’s currently available” a not-so-veiled reference to Facebook but rest assured they want their piece of the ever-expanding social network pie and are tired of watching Mr. Zuckerberg have all the fun.

And if you’re so inclined, here’s a brief video Google produced to help explain the Google+ project.

Have You Been In A Limo Today?

If you are looking to ride around town in style then you need to make sure that you hire yourself a limo. While it may seem that a limo is very expensive and you are not able to afford it you should know that there are people hiring a Limo on a daily basis. This is because the best prom car hire prices are very affordable and they want you to keep coming back to avail their services. This is the reason these services are very affordable as well as the best.

When you hire a limo rental service you will be able to make sure that you ride in the best cars possible. All the cars are well maintained and the drivers are well trained in the best customer service. This means that your ride will be luxurious and you will be treated well and spoken to very politely. Once you get used to the services, you will want to take it over and over again because this is something that is once in a lifetime and an experience worth taking.

You should also make sure that your family members get a ride in a Limo because they will truly enjoy this experience. If you and your family members are going to a tough time and are very stressed there is no better way than a nice drive out of town. Rather than driving and focusing on the road and not spending time with your family members you need to make sure that you get into a Limo with them and enjoy the ride while someone else takes you to your destination. Not only will this bring you closer to your family you will also be able to enjoy the view like never before. This is something you will not be able to do if you are driving yourself.

Another advantage of hiring a driver is that they will take care of the vehicle and all the other formalities that come along with it. This includes parking the vehicle and ensuring that no one damages the vehicle anywhere. If you have taken a car on hire and you’re driving it yourself then you need to make sure that the car is safe and you would have to pay for the damages to the car. This is not the case with a limo rental service. Taking care of the Limo is not your responsibility. All you need to do is hop into the ride and you will be able to enjoy a nice peaceful drive along with your family members. Even if you have to get your business meeting there is no better commutation then a Limo. A limo will keep you comfortable and will ensure that you reach the meeting in the right frame of mind. If you have skipped breakfast or you are hungry there are refreshments that are provided inside the Limo. This way you will not have to make unnecessary stops and waste time.

ON OUR WAY HOME: A PHOTO EXHIBITION BY HOMELESS ELDERS

Few groups of people are invisibilized in our society quite like homeless people. We avert our eyes when walking down the street, pat our pockets to show we have no money to give them, and look at our phones when we pull up next to them at freeway exits. We fundamentally fail to even see them, let alone see life through their eyes.

ON OUR WAY HOME

The following social experiment, engineered by the New York City Rescue Mission, illustrates this point in a poignant and powerful way.

Elderly homeless folks are a particularly marginalized and invisibilized subset of this struggling population. As a result, six senior citizens–who currently experience or have experienced homelessness–collaborated with West Oakland’s Saint Mary’s Center to document their lives in order to humanize their communities.

The result is On Our Way Home, an exhibition showcasing the photos these elders took with disposable cameras. This Friday the artists will be on hand to show their work and address what we can do to end the growing epidemic of homelessness.

ON OUR WAY HOME

The Bay Area’s skyrocketing rents have been well-documented of late, and with that there is less incentive to build affordable housing. The most recent census data reveals that we have more seniors living in poverty than any urban area in the country, and yet few are looking out for their interests. “No one is building housing for extremely low income people,” St. Mary’s Center’s Executive Director Carol Johnson explains. “Where is an elder making $877/month supposed to live?”

Friday night’s event seeks to start the process of humanizing the people who suffer from homelessness and thinking more deeply about how we can help our community fight back against this epidemic. The exhibit is presented by St. Mary’s Center on May 2nd from 6 – 9 pm at Uptown Body & Fender 401 26th Street near Telegraph in Oakland. The exhibit will also be open May 5 – 16 from 8:30am – 5:00pm at the Uptown.

Molded Crayons Tutorial

On with the tutorial:

  • Crayons (or broken up crayon pieces)
  • a pot with water, empty cans
  • a mixing spoon that you don’t mind tossing after
  • your molds, and wax paper (or newspaper not pictured)

Remove all the paper from the crayons, and sort into like colored piles

On with the tutorial

Toss one color into one of your cans, note that since I only had 1 black and 1 brown I just put them into the blue can. When melted it just deepens the color.

Put the can into the water and bring it to a boil. You are just using your pot like a double boiler. I usually do more than 1 can at a time, but wanted to focus on one just to show you.

Molded Crayons Tutorial

While the crayons are melting down place your wax paper down and put your mold on top. I use a cookie sheet under neath just because I tend to be very messy.

After the crayons are all melted down, just pour them into the mold, and stick it into the fridge to harden quickly. As you will notice, one of the molds is only partially filled I will just fill it with the next color, or layer it with several colors and have a really fun and funky crayon.

Molded Crayons Tutorial

Here is the 4 finished crayons, that I let set in the fridge. When they were hard, I just popped them out of the mold. It is no work at all!

So there you go!

Easy Peasy! The hardest part is removing the labels from some of the crayons. Some slide right off, but some are more work. I had my 2 year old and 4 year old boys help me to take the papers off and we made fairly quick work of it.

BEN HARPER, THE BAY, AND THE IMPRINT OF BROWNIE’S BLUES

“I’ve been coming to Oakland for years. I used to come up here quite often to listen to the blues legend Brownie McGhee. We used to sit in his garage and eat candy. And talk—and talk some shit, really.”

So spoke Southern California-raised singer, songwriter, and slide guitar sorcerer Ben Harper when he last passed through The Town, playing The Fox Theater shortly after it reopened in 2009. Harper was back in the area last month, albeit in the North and South Bay, playing consecutive sold-out solo concerts, at Weill Hall on the campus of Sonoma State University and at Mountain Winery in Saratoga.

For the uninitiated, Ben Harper is a successful recording artist and touring musician who has crafted an expansive and eclectic career spanning two decades and countless genres. His music is born of and indebted to a blues-folk fusion, but runs the gamut from soul to gospel, rock to reggae, country to funk, with jazz and hip-hop principles never too far. In the late ’90s and early 2000s he quickly became a star overseas, headlining European festivals for audiences upwards of 25,000, but back home—as was the case with many black artists before him—his following was a fraction of the size. Nonetheless, his prolific creative output and his willingness to stretch out in new directions, while still staying reverent to his roots, kept his U.S. fan base strong, if smaller in stature than that of many other countries. It also hasn’t hurt that his live shows are long, raucous, spiritual affairs that foster a genuine connection with his audience, and feature the frequent special guest, dynamic covers, and incendiary reimaginings of his already vast catalogue.

BEN HARPER, THE BAY, AND THE IMPRINT OF BROWNIE’S BLUESDuring 2012’s string of solo shows on the east coast (which concluded with his first headlining gig at New York City’s Carnegie Hall), Harper thrilled followers and casual fans alike with several extended, as-yet-unreleased lap slide guitar compositions, a couple ukulele adaptations of old classics, and the premier of a medley of Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man and Pearl Jam’s Indifference on the vibraphone. The following year’s west-coast version of the tour (featuring a stop at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco) peaked when Memphis-reared, Chicago-fortified blues harmonica king Charlie Musselwhite joined him on stage to play a few scorching cuts from their new collaborative record.

Suffice it to say, as concertgoers entered the recently built Weill Hall—a gorgeous building modeled after the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home at Tanglewood , featuring a wall that opens up onto a landscaped lawn—the air was abuzz. With the crowd welcoming him in rousing applause, Harper took his seat below a replica marquee of his family’s famed music store and launched into a brand new, Delta blues dirge entitled Call It What It Is (Murder), in which he decried the recent police killings of unarmed black men, invoking the names and stolen lives of Trayvon Martin, Ezell Ford, and Michael Brown. Over a brooding slide riff that deftly conjured the slave songs of the American South, Harper intoned bleakly and deliberately: “They shot him in the back / ’Cause it’s a crime to be black / So don’t act surprised / When it gets vandalized / Call it what it is / Call it what it is / Call it what it is / Murder!” The tune not only summoned up images of the ongoing protests in Fergusson, Missouri, but also called to mind past instances in which Harper’s music similarly denounced flagrant purveyors of racist violence, be it the LAPD in the time of Rodney King or the Bush administration during and after Katrina.

After that tone-setting opener, which it’s safe to say floored quite a few, Harper moved into more familiar terrain, playing decade-old crowd-pleasers Better Way and Diamonds On The Inside, the former performed with a looped tabla sample and his signature teardrop-shaped Weissenborn—a fretless, hollow-bodied lap slide guitar built largely of Hawaiian Koa wood back in the 1910s and ’20s. He then dipped back even further, giving renewed life to songs such as Please Me Like You Want To and Excuse Me Mr., both from his second album, 1995’s Fight For Your Mind. His poignant lyrics were sung in the understated hushed tones he grew known for over his first few years as a touring artist as well as in the more far-reaching falsetto he sharpened after getting a few albums under his belt. His ability to intimately grapple with his past, oppression, love lost, and self-conception, kept his audience enraptured.

But it wasn’t all stark and solemn. Harper frequently joked with the crowd between songs, poking particular fun at his status as an anomaly in the music business, mostly on the basis of his non-linear body of work. He mentioned that Pharrell had called and asked for his hat back, then put things in their proper historical context: “In all fairness, I’ve been wearing Borsalinos since…” After playing an unadorned version of With My Own Two Hands, a song celebrating individual people’s capacity to effect change, which first appeared on record as a more elaborate roots reggae number, he mentioned the flak he gets about it from “pessimists.” And without missing a beat: “They can kiss my ass every day—morning, noon, and night! I wouldn’t sing it if I didn’t believe it.”

Harper proved slightly less talkative the following evening, performing at Mountain Winery’s stunning outdoor amphitheater in Saratoga shortly after the sun went down. He opened the gathering with four songs he hadn’t included the night before, among them the infrequently played By My Side and There Will Be A Light, evidence of his commitment to keeping each concert a fresh experience. And while the set ambled about a bit less cohesively than that from the Sonoma State gig, it benefited not only from the surreal, serene environs of a castle-resembling venue on a South Bay mountaintop at summer’s end, but also from the guest appearance of Harper’s mother. She came out, as she had the night prior, to play a few of the new tracks from their parent-child project Childhood Home. The song Farmer’s Daughter seemed to spark the audience’s greatest emotion, with its tale of modern agricultural exploitation backed by banjo and Dobro: “We can’t plant /And we can’t grow / We can’t reap / And we can’t sow / Don’t own the seed / Can’t plant our rows / It all belongs to Monsanto”).

A further highlight was Harper’s crowd-thrilling cover of Prince’s Purple Rain, sung with minimalist, at times percussive-style playing of the Weissenborn, and segued into unexpectedly from another rarity of his early recording career, the somber Give A Man A Home.

Harper also praised The Bay at length, comparing Oakland, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz to France, where he saw his quickest, and arguably greatest, popularity as an artist. He named Northern California “a home for the music I make” and “the first place that spoke English” to accept him, allowing the belief that “America might just understand what I’m doing.” This love affair with The Bay has been well-documented, as he’s often discussed the area’s support, and reminisced on early, decisive experiences here, be it during well-over-capacity shows at The Warfield in San Francisco, historic gigs at The Greek in Berkeley with guests like Santana and Maceo Parker sitting in, or an unforgettably elegant couple of nights at The Paramount in Oakland.

As I drove back up the 880 to The Town beneath a glowing half-moon, my mind wandered towards Harper’s 2009 mention of his tutelage under the aforementioned bluesman Brownie McGhee 20 years ago. What sorts of candy did the two of them crunch on? What kind of shit did they talk? And could the aging McGhee, a towering figure of Appalachian music turned Oakland transplant and local hero, have ever imagined his then-unknown pupil building on the history lessons imparted in that garage to carve out a genre-defying niche just as he himself had years earlier?

BEN HARPER, THE BAY, AND THE IMPRINT OF BROWNIE’S BLUESFor fans of Ben Harper, his formative experiences learning at the feet of blues and roots greats is the stuff of legend. Taj Mahal, a frequent visitor to The Folk Music Center in Claremont, California, founded by Harper’s maternal grandparents in the 1950s and kept in the family ever since, gave him his first touring gig in 1993. That same year, John Lee Hooker got hold of a promo copy of Harper’s first full-length album, Welcome To The Cruel World, and invited the newbie to fill an opening act slot for a handful of shows he was playing at The Sweetwater Saloon in Mill Valley. It’s there that the two laid the foundation for a mentor-mentee relationship that would last the remaining decade of Hooker’s life. It’s also where Harper first met Musselwhite, with whom he would collaborate on a long-discussed, generations-bridging album a decade-and-a-half down the line (last year’s Get Up!, released on the renowned Stax label, which nabbed the Grammy for best blues record of 2013).

All the same, Harper’s mention of an informal apprenticeship with Brownie McGhee—who’s credited with exposing the finger-picking Piedmont blues guitar style of the Carolinas to an international audience during the form’s 1960s revival—was a biographical nugget about which even the most ardent of Harper fans were likely unaware. McGhee moved to Oakland in 1974, living in what he called “The House That Blues Built,” at 43rd and MLK, which garnered official landmark status from the city shortly after his passing in the mid ’90s, and which some sources actually suggest McGhee constructed himself.

While McGhee was most celebrated for championing a highly syncopated acoustic guitar aesthetic that predated the Chicago electric blues boom, he also experimented broadly with his sound, cutting a number of R&B-sowing “jump” records with “his Jook House Rockers” in the late 1940s and ’50s, which prominently featured up-tempo piano and saxophone playing. And while “East Coast Piedmont blues is decidedly an African American art form”—to quote a research project at UNC Ashville influenced by Samuel Charters’ 1977 text Sweet As The Showers Of The Rain—an amalgamation of influence is undeniable, including “ragtime, country string bands, [and] traveling medicine shows … blend[ing] both black and white, rural and urban elements.” This willingness and ability to traverse styles no doubt influenced Harper as he studied with McGhee in that old North Oakland garage.

It speaks, as so many stories do, to The Town’s, and The Bay Area’s, significant, if consistently under-recognized, role in the lives and careers of some of the nation’s most intriguing musicians. As if on cue, a few weeks after the Sonoma and Saratoga shows, Harper officially announced he’d be reconvening his band of 15 years, The Innocent Criminals, following a half-decade hiatus, and kicking things off with a four-night run at The Fillmore next March. Why? Harper said, “It felt like the right place for us to set sail.”

The Zero Moment Of Truth And Why Marketers Must Win It

There’s a fascinating just-released e-book called Winning The Zero Moment Of Truth. Written by Jim Lecinski, Google’s Managing Director of US Sales & Service and Chief ZMOT Evangelist, the book speaks to the “moment where marketing happens, where information happens, and where consumers make choices that affect the success and failure of nearly every brand in the world”… at least according to Google.The Zero Moment Of Truth And Why Marketers Must Win It

Now truth be told, the Zero Moment of Truth has a lot to do with the time one searches on the Internet for a given product, service, ware, etc BEFORE making a purchase. And what browser do most people use when making said search? Google. So what ad-words, keywords, etc should marketers purchase and/or patronize? Google’s.

But be that as it may the book does reveal some very interesting insights re: the Zero Moment of Truth or ZMOT.

First, however, it’s important to go back in time just a tad to 2005. That’s when the Wall Street Journal ran a story that focused on the critical importance of the seven seconds after a shopper first encounters a store shelf full of various groceries, toiletries, whatever. Procter & Gamble called that moment the First Moment of Truth, or FMOT. P&G placed so much emphasis on this, they created a brand new position called the Director of FMOT.

And in a book published that same year, the CEO of Procter & Gamble astutely noted:

“The best brands consistently win two moments of truth. The first moment occurs at the store shelf, when a consumer decides whether to buy one brand or another. The second occurs at home, when she uses the brand — and is delighted, or isn’t.”

Back when the CEO wrote this the model looked like this:

Stimulus. Dad is watching a football game and sees an ad for digital cameras. He thinks, “That looks good.”

The Zero Moment Of Truth And Why Marketers Must Win ItShelf. He goes to his favorite electronics store, where he sees a terrific stand- up display for that same digital camera. The packaging is great. A young sales guy answers all his questions. He buys the camera.

Experience. Dad gets home and the camera records beautiful pictures of his kids, just as advertised. A happy ending.

Now of course times have changed… dramatically. Now after the Stimulus comes the Search where good old Dad pulls out his laptop or smartphone or tablet and searches his little heart out trying to find all he can about digital cameras. He goes on Twitter and Facebook and asks friends and anyone else for recommendations re: digital cameras.

So now the model looks like this:

How prevalent is the ZMOT?

Consider…

The Zero Moment Of Truth And Why Marketers Must Win ItIn a study commissioned by Google, Shopper Sciences surveyed 5,000 shoppers and asked them how many sources of information do they use before making a decision? The survey revealed that the average shopper uses 10.4 sources of information, ranging from TV commercials and magazine articles, to recommendations from friends and family, to websites, ratings to blogs.

The 10.4 number is very signficant when considering just a year earlier the average shopper used only 5.3 sources of information to make a decision.

What this means is consumers, shoppers, people have a plethora of information sources at their disposal and they are using them.

70% of Americans now say they look at product reviews before making a purchase
79% of consumers now say they use a smart- phone to help with shopping
83% of moms say they do online research after seeing TV commercials for products that interest them

There is a whole lot more to glean and learn from Winning The Zero Moment Of Truth and I recommend you take the time to peruse it for sure.

I want to leave you with a quote from the e-book from Matt Moog Founder and CEO ViewPoints Network:

“We’re about to see a merging of all the moments of truth. You’ll be looking at a product on the shelf and using your cell phone to find information and read reviews and then maybe you decide it’s really cool, so you ‘like’ it for your friends, all within a minute. A consumer journey that once covered days, weeks or months just happened in a matter of seconds.”