Vol 2, #21, May 25, 2010
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May 25, 2010


Sympatico.ca uses gaming partnership to promote history
FlightNetwork.com soars into second place
Healthyblogging connects bloggers, PR professionals
Drive the dream 007 style with PartyPoker.net
Wikipedia founder to speak at webcom-Montreal
Startups wanted for The Communitech Hub
Book one-way flights online with Aeroplan
New VP Digital Media named at CTV Inc.
Suite 66 signs new online ad sales agreement

Sympatico.ca uses gaming partnership to promote history

In an effort to encourage the use of new technologies as an educational tool, Sympatico.ca will offer a free downloadable version of ‘History Game Canada’ on its portal. Developed by Toronto-based game company Bitcasters and thanks to Firaxis and 2K Games, ‘History Game Canada’ is based on the award-winning, best-selling game ‘Sid Meier’s Civilization III.’ As a ‘what if’ game, players decide Canada’s fate through historical actors and locations. With the explosion of the gaming industry and the emergence of new technologies, today’s youth expect a greater level of interactivity when learning. ‘History Game Canada’ offers that experience while also achieving educational goals.

Thanks to the generous support of these visionary industry leaders, players are able to learn more about the history of Canada and the composition of the various nations such as the British, French, Mi’kmaq, Huron, Ojibwe, Mohawk, Algonquin, Montagnais and Abenaki. They will be asked to make trades and negotiate with other nations while exploring the country, and making decisions about which resources to harvest – discovering just how the past can influence the future.

Expert partners for the historical content of the game include the University of Winnipeg. The first chapter of the game is available at http://historygamecanada.sympatico.ca/ and will be available soon on the Sympatico.ca portal. The funding for Chapters Two and Three, to be released on Sympatico.ca in the fall of 2010, is made possible by a generous financial grant from the prestigious MacArthur Foundation.

Thanks to the financial involvement of the MacArthur Foundation, ‘History Game Canada’ has raised interest in Washington D.C. where it was included in the White House’s Innovate to Educate ‘National Lab Day’ event.

“We envision the possibility of opening up doors to the development of an American version in the years to come,” said Lloyd Axworthy, board member, the MacArthur Foundation, and president, University of Winnipeg. “If new technologies can get kids to like history, we will have reached our goal.”

Sympatico.ca, with its ability to reach over 75 per cent of Canadians online, has set a goal of providing 100,000 free downloads of the game to students and teachers across Canada. Top of Page

FlightNetwork.com soars into second place

FlightNetwork.com, one of Canada's highest volume online travel sales sites, recently had their status as Canada's number two most visited online booking site confirmed through a PhoCusWright & Experian Hitwise Spotlight study (conducted between March-December 2009.)

The study, entitled Canadian Online Travel Traffic Analysis found that of the top 15 websites in the travel 'agency' category, FlightNetwork.com placed second - with 6% of the Canadian share of visits. FlightNetwork.com was second only to Expedia.ca. Immediately below FlightNetwork.com are Expedia.com, CheapOair.com and Yahoo! Travel.

"We are very pleased to have PhoCusWright & Experian Hitwise backup our own metrics and confirm that we are Canada's Number two most visited online travel site," said Naman Budhdeo, CEO of FlightNetwork.com. "Our winning formula of offering the lowest fares from the top airlines, as well as outstanding customer service online or offline from our 65 flight specialists will help us continue to grow." Top of Page

Healthyblogging connects bloggers, PR professionals

HealthyBlogging ( http://healthyblogging.net ), powered by The BlogWire, has launched its new blogging community site, aimed at connecting bloggers with marketing and PR professionals who are looking to promote their healthcare-related or green products and services to the blogosphere. At launch, HealthyBlogging has a community of more than 250 bloggers interested in receiving news items and promotional announcements.

“BlogWire’s flagship community, SheBlogs.org, has quickly grown to be a prominent distribution tool for savvy PR professionals looking for effective ways to connect with female bloggers on the Web,” said, BlogWire Founder Julie Wohlberg. “We’re pleased to announce the launch of our second community, HealthyBlogging, and look forward to seeing its growth in the coming months.”

In celebration of the launch of HealthyBlogging, The BlogWire will be offering 50% off all distributions on the service through May 31.

BlogWire uses a four-touch approach to outreach for the blogging community they service – utilizing a community Web site, weekly newsletter, Twitter and Facebook outreach to maximize non-invasive press outreach. Among the features BlogWire offers, PR pros are able to:

  • Distribute press releases – much the same way that they would issue media alerts and releases through a traditional wire service – but to a targeted market of bloggers
  • List their companies in the SheBlogs.org Blog-Friendly Company Directory – where companies can feature corporate information, stock images, and press contact information for bloggers
  • Announce contests and giveaways targeted at the blogging community
  • Participate in themed guides that range from holiday gift guides to spring cleaning and car buying guides

The BlogWire founding team has more than 25 collective years of experience in traditional and interactive marketing and public relations. Since the company’s July, 2009 Beta launch, the company has worked with such major brands as Gatorade, Atkins, Baby Orajel, and Lands’ End, as well as smaller Web services and brands, to distribute news and issue contest alerts for bloggers. Top of Page

Drive the dream 007 style with PartyPoker.net

Poker fans across the country will be ordering their martinis shaken, not stirred while they’re at the tables this summer, as PartyPoker.net – a global online free to play poker site -- unveils its latest interactive promotion entitled Drive the Dream. Launched late last month, the promotion invites players of any experience level to log onto www.partypoker.net to take part in the Drive the Dream freerolls for a chance to win the iconic sports car. The freerolls take place every day until September 12 th when the online final table takes place. One lucky winner from the final table has the opportunity of a lifetime to channel their inner secret agent man, when PartyPoker.net flies them on October 2 nd to play at a nine-handed table in a live international tournament in London, England, with top poker pro and TV celebrity, Canada’s own Kara Scott.

“This is truly an opportunity of a lifetime without investing a cent or any risk, simply by showing your best poker skills,” said a PartyPoker.net spokesperson. “Not only is the prizing unbelievable for all nine participants but the chance to be live in London with Kara Scott is truly a dream come true. We expect the response will be fantastic – what’s there to lose?”

Not only winner takes all

All nine players who have the moves to make it to London play for unparalleled prizes that only Bond could love, including a Lamborghini Extreme Driving Academy package, a Ferrari Driving Experience package, a Porsche Sport Driving package, an F1 Grand Prix package to Sao Paolo, Brazil, and F1 Grand Prix Santander d’Italia package (Monza) or cash prizes of US $4,000 and $2,000 respectively.

“Want real life, high octane action and the chance to win big?” asked Kara Scott, ambassador for PartyPoker.net. “I’m looking forward to going for a spin in some of the most beautiful cars in the world with the lucky winners who log on to take a seat and play in the big league at PartyPoker.net.”

PartyPoker.net ambassador and WPT presenter, Mike Sexton added, “I once challenged Paris Hilton to play for a Bentley but my offer wasn’t accepted. Now, the chance to win an Aston Martin DB9 Coupe is too good to be true. It’s the freeroll of the century!” he concluded.

The campaign for the promotion was conceived and created by Mississauga’s MacKinnon Calderwood Advertising and includes TV, print, radio and out-of-home elements and a sponsored supplement with Sun Media. Toronto’s boutique consumer agency, The Siren Group Inc. is handling public relations, which includes national media relations, media co-promotions, special events and a media tour.

“Aston Martin” and “DB9” are trade marks of Aston Martin Lagonda Limited. PartyGaming is not licensed, endorsed, sponsored or affiliated with Aston Martin Lagonda Limited and no such relationship is claimed, or should be inferred. Top of Page

Wikipedia founder to speak at webcom-Montreal

On May 26, 2010, Montréal will host the 8th edition of webcom-Montréal, the international conference on new technologies and Web 2.0. Ever use Wikipedia? Founder Jimmy Wales, named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, will be the guest of honour.

Among the renowned speakers also in attendance will be Tara Hunt, marketing and online community expert and pioneer, and author of the book The Whuffie Factor, Clara Shih, author of The Facebook Era, and Chris Heuer, founder of the Social Media Club.

Furthermore, early on during the presentation, the Centre francophone d'informatisation des organisations (CEFRIO) will present the exclusive results of a study on the progress of social media and Web 2.0 in Québec.

webcom-Montréal is the world's foremost francophone conference on new technology. It features a series of conferences divided between four different fields, namely Corporate 2.0, Marketing 2.0, Solutions 2.0 and Public Relations 2.0. These workshops enable participants to learn more about several 2.0 case studies within each theme, all grouped under three main themes: real-time Web, online communities and Wiki's collaboration.

Please note that as of 3:30 p.m., all conferences are presented free of charge as Speed-Keynotes.

The complete schedule and all relevant details are available www.webcom-montreal.com

New: WebTweet-Montréal

"I tweet, therefore I am". Canada's first Twitter conference: Jeff Pulver, special speaker at WebTweet-Montréal

For the first time in Canada, and in collaboration with webcom-Montréal: a conference on Twitter - a micro-blogging site and pop culture phenomenon, as well as media, politics, nanoliterature, music, etc.

For this first edition, WebTweet-Montréal will host none other than Jeff Pulver as keynote speaker. Vonage founder Jeff Pulver is the mastermind behind the "140 characters conference", the inspiration behind WebTweet-Montréal. The complete schedule is available: www.webcom-montreal.com. Top of Page

Startups wanted for The Communitech Hub

Communitech, Waterloo Region's technology organization, is rolling out the welcome mat for startups during this week's Discovery 2010 event at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, seeking tenants for its new digital media and mobile accelerator - The Communitech Hub.

The Communitech Hub will open its doors in downtown Kitchener in late summer, offering more than 2,000 square feet of space tailor-made for accelerated progress by early-stage technology companies. Tenants in the facility will have access to Communitech's Executives-in-Residence program which provides advice free of charge through a team of experienced tech company founders and former executives. Startups will also gain connection to the Communitech network of more than 700 technology companies in Waterloo Region, and have access to the specialized tools and Research and Development (R&D) infrastructure available at The Hub.

"Waterloo Region is increasingly being recognized as one of the best places in the world to do a startup," said Iain Klugman, president and CEO of Communitech. "We've modeled The Communitech Hub on the considerable success of our partners at the Accelerator Centre which is where Communitech is located along with a number of early stage companies in the Waterloo Research and Technology Park. And we'll be working closely with them to offer a coordinated set of programs and services to startups in Waterloo Region, both at the Accelerator Centre, and at the new facility."

Waterloo Region's tech organization launched The Communitech Hub in November, 2009 with a $26M investment by the Province of Ontario, $5.35M through the federal Centres of Excellence in Commercialization and Research program, and more than $40M in commitments from private partners. Klugman calls The Hub a bold initiative designed to give Ontario companies a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

"The Communitech Hub is all about making connections," said Kevin Tuer, Vice-president Digital Media at Communitech, "As a digital media and mobile accelerator, our job is to help startups build their business by providing appropriate space, connecting them to sources of talent and capital, and by leveraging the expertise of our partners across the country through the Canadian Digital Media Network."

The Communitech Hub features:

* 30,000 square feet of space dedicated to the growth of digital media research and commercialization

* A mix of early stage, SME, multinational companies, government, and academic partners

* A 3D immersive environment, premier event space, state-of-the-art labs, prototyping & virtual conferencing facilities and more

* Digital media collaboration, R&D and commercialization opportunities

* Connections to digital media efforts across the country through the Canadian Digital Media Network

Top of Page

Book one-way flights online with Aeroplan

Aeroplan has announced that Aeroplan Members can now book ClassicFlight one-way rewards online at aeroplan.com.

Aeroplan originally launched ClassicFlight one-way rewards as a pilot in Aeroplan's Contact Centre in May 2009. Due to a strong member response, Aeroplan has now made the rewards available online.

Starting at 10,000 Aeroplan Miles, ClassicFlight one-way rewards are available anywhere Air Canada flies, increasing the flexibility and accessibility of flight rewards by providing members with the option of using miles for just a portion of their trip and ultimately planning it to their advantage. For example, Aeroplan Members can earn miles when they purchase an Air Canada flight at aircanada.com and redeem miles for a ClassicFlight one-way reward seat on their return trip - or vice-versa.

"Aeroplan is excited to launch ClassicFlight one-way rewards on the web. Based on the one-way flights redeemed through our Contact Centre last year, we know that over a third were booked within 14 days prior to departure. This kind of flexibility is important to our members and we're pleased to make it even easier for them to travel when and where they want to go," said Craig Landry, Senior Vice President, Commercial, Aeroplan. "This is a great option for those members who don't have enough miles for a roundtrip or aren't sure when they'll be coming home, such as university students and snowbirds."

Aeroplan also offers ClassicPlus one-way flight rewards both online and through the Aeroplan Contact Centre. Visit: www.aeroplan.com for more details. Top of Page

New VP Digital Media named at CTV Inc.

Rick Brace , President, Revenue, Business Planning and Sports, CTV Inc., today announced that Alon Marcovici has been appointed Vice President, Digital Media, CTV Inc., effective immediately.

As Vice President, Digital Media, Marcovici is responsible for CTV's overall digital media strategy, overseeing the company's initiatives across all digital platforms. Under his leadership, CTV Inc.'s Digital Media Group will continue to expand upon the company's multimedia platforms, maintaining its position as Canada's online network destination of choice for news, sports and entertainment. Marcovici will continue in his role as Vice President, Digital Media for Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium.

Marcovici's impressive and multifaceted career in marketing and communications spans the sports and entertainment, media and non-profit industries. Most recently, his responsibilities included the Consortium's development and distribution of digital programming, including online, mobile and other digital offerings, in addition to overseeing the research team.

Prior to joining the Consortium, Marcovici twice managed the on-site NBC Olympics Research Room at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney and the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. He has also served as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the Toronto Board of Trade, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the NHL's Florida Panthers and Office Depot Center, and Director of Marketing Media with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.

An alumnus of McMaster University, Marcovici is a frequent guest lecturer/panelist at numerous digital forums and conferences across North America. Top of Page

Suite 66 signs new online ad sales agreement

FrontRowMag.com announced today that Suite 66 is now the exclusive online sales agency for the premiere fashion site.

According Michelle Bilodeau and Rachelle Saevil, the fashionistas behind FrontRowMag.com, Suite 66 was selected because it knows how to connect advertisers with FrontRowMag.com’s audience of Canadian trendsetters and urban females.

"We could not be happier to be signing with Suite 66's amazing ad team, and we know this relationship is going to help further establish FrontRowMag.com as the go-to website in Canada for everything fashion, beauty and culture related."

“FrontRowMag.com is a fantastic new site for Canadian women.” says Steve Macfarlane, Vice President at Suite 66. “Michelle and Rachelle have quickly established themselves as an important addition to Canada’s online publishing business. The site is growing quickly because it has tremendous appeal for young women who follow fashion.”

About FrontRowMag.com

FrontRowMag.com brings together everything there is to know about the worlds of fashion, street style, beauty and culture. FrontRowMag.com gives its audience the latest trends and industry news, hottest models and best celebrity style, all while keeping you up-to-the moment with daily blog posts at frontrowmag.com. Editorial Director Michelle Bilodeau and Creative Director Rachelle Saevil have tremendous experience and style savvy, as both have worked in the Canadian fashion magazine industry for over 17 years combined. Bilodeau has been an editor at Flare , Fashion and Weekly Scoop , while Saevil has worked on the art teams of FASHION , Chatelaine and Weekly Scoop .

About Suite 66

Suite 66 is a Toronto based online media sales organization servicing advertisers and representing website publishers. Suite 66 provides advertisers with a portfolio of well recognized websites that reach diverse yet targeted online audiences. The combination of premium Branded Sites and a Performance Network allows Suite 66 to offer advertisers a range of options for their online advertising needs. Website publishers benefit from Suite 66’s proactive sales efforts to effectively communicate the advantages and benefits of their sites and unique offerings. Top of Page