Vol 2, #26, June 29, 2010
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June 29, 2010


Idea generation platform engages employees
iPhone 4 gives new spin to Rubik's Cube
New ING site teaches kids about money
Partnership profiles women across media platforms
New TVOKids.com designed for single-screen future
Upload any size file free with Gygan Subscription
Half of online teens shared info with strangers, study
New microsite for DOmaine Chateau-Bromont
Site helps Ontario residents understand car insurance

Idea generation platform engages employees

MTS Allstream Inc. – one of Canada’s leading telecommunications companies – has launched a unique concept for internal communication as an idea generation platform, called Idea Factory.  Hosted on the company’s employee intranet, the social media application was created by Quizative Inc. the Toronto-based, privately held digital innovation agency that offers a unique approach to solving business, marketing and product design challenges.  Using its proprietary Social Media Marketing Framework, the agency developed the concept to allow MTS Allstream employees from across the country to participate in a conversation about how the company can improve and serve customers better with the goal of increasing engagement among employees while identifying small changes that could make a big difference to the organization. 

A new approach to ideation

MTS Allstream had engaged employees in idea development through its annual cross-country roadshow sessions with executives, and through basic employee forums.  Both approaches have proven to be very successful, leading MTS Allstream to want to add a new layer to the conversation by launching an online tool to support idea generation and collaboration.  Quizative was tasked with the challenge to build a site that would further inspire and engage idea contribution and development from within different departments, leading to idea implementation and ultimately, launch.

“We kept the user experiences straightforward and simple so employees with all levels of experience with social media would find it easy to get involved,” said Adam Oliviera, partner and executive creative director, Quizative Inc.   “Our Quizative methodology utilized the concepts of listening, responding, acknowledgment and options for user commitment, which allows participants to view, rate, review, react and/or create,” he continued.

The Idea Factory experience connects employees to propose and discuss ideas, building through ratings and forums, culminating in idea innovation and implementation.  Updates are provided by subject matter experts as ideas are investigated and actioned, which in turn encourages additional commentary.  Lastly, success stories about implemented ideas are posted.

“The key is to allow employees to contribute in different ways given some will be raring to pitch while others need lower commitment ways of engaging, like rating or offering feedback,” added Allison Laux, partner, vice president, strategy & insights, Quizative Inc.

“We’re very happy with the concept that was proposed, developed, and ultimately implemented by Quizative Inc.,” said Helen Reeves, Chief Communications Officer, MTS Allstream Inc. “Combined with our other vehicles such as our employee roadshows, Idea Factory is helping us improve employee engagement through dialogue.  The response to the site by employees has been tremendous – we have hundreds of ideas on the site and thousands of comments.” Top of Page

iPhone 4 gives new spin to Rubik's Cube

Magmic Inc. has launched the official Rubik's Cube application for iPhone, iTouch and iPad. The app, which does everything including doing the cube for you, is now available on iTunes for $2.99. Magmic's Rubik's Cube is the only iTunes application endorsed by Erno Rubik, the original cube's inventor.

"Rubik's Cube is the greatest puzzle ever invented," said Magmic's Director of Product Management, Jeff Bacon. "We were excited to take it to a powerful smartphone, and to enrich the experience. It's nothing short of a rebirth for this amazing invention."

But Magmic hasn't forgotten about real-world cubing. Simply take a picture of a real Rubik's Cube with your iPhone and the app's built-in Solver gives you a step-by-step solution.

Other features include:

  • Anaglyph 3D mode (glasses not included)
  • 2x2x2, 3x3x3, 4x4x4 & 5x5x5 Rubik's Cubes
  • 24 different game styles
  • 360 degree view using iPhone 4 gyroscope
  • Personalized cubes with stickers and photos
  • Easy-to-understand solution guide
  • All-new, extra-challenging CRAZY Cube

Top of Page

New ING site teaches kids about money

ING DIRECT wants to get more kids and their parents talking about money and is encouraging them to visit Planet Orange ( www.orangekids.ca ), an interactive web experience for children using rocket ships and an outer space theme that makes learning about money entertaining and educational.  And this summer, by exploring Planet Orange, kids get a chance to win great prizes in a first-ever Planet Orange contest, while learning more about how money works.

“We want to help kids learn that saving money can be fun,” says Peter Aceto, President & CEO of ING DIRECT.  “On Planet Orange, kids get to play a number of adventure games that help them discover the importance and value of money. We believe that exploring the concepts of earning, spending and saving in a virtual world will go a long way in preparing kids for their real world savings adventures.”

Planet Orange, launched by ING DIRECT last September, features Amy and Cedric, two astronauts that children can choose to help steer them through four quirky cities on the planet. Space travelers must "earn" the money to fuel their space ships and can only "purchase" items for their space ship if their budget permits. The adventure begins on Mandarin Mountains, the planet that teaches the value and importance of money. Tangy Town is the second stop where children learn about budgeting, banking and paychecks. Naval City makes children aware of credit, interest and inflation. The last stop, Orangeopolis, introduces investing, stocks, diversification and risk. After the tasks are completed on each continent, the children are given a brief quiz of lessons learned and earn a certificate for answering all the questions correctly.

Parents and teachers may find that they can learn a thing or two from Amy and Cedric as well . It’s not everyday that we think about the concept of compounding interest, both as it relates to savings and debt.  With interest rates on the rise, the impact of compounding interest may force Canadians to take a serious look at their spending and saving habits.

Compounding interest is one of the most important concepts explored on Planet Orange and through the summer contest developed by ING DIRECT in partnership with OWL and chickaDEE magazines, kids will have the chance to win a Grand Prize of a $250 ING DIRECT Children’s Savings Account, a piggy bank and a book, Money, Money, Money: Where It Comes From, How To Save It, Spend it and Make it , published by Owlkids Books. If left in a high-interest savings account, that $250 would double in about 20 years*.

Second prize is a $100 ING DIRECT Children’s Saving Account, piggy bank and book.
Third prize is a $50 ING DIRECT Children’s Savings Account, piggy, bank and book.
Ten runners up will win a piggy bank to start their savings. 
The contest ends on August 31, 2010.  More details can be found at www.ingdirect.ca/contest

All kids have to do to enter is visit orangekids.ca, sign up as an astronaut, complete their first mission called Mandarin Mountains, print out a Certificate of Exploration, and then mail it in to the Planet Orange Contest.  (Kids will get their parents to help them fill out their name, age, address, phone number, parent’s name, e-mail and signature). Top of Page

Partnership profiles women across media platforms

Women’s Executive Network (WXN) has announced a new partnership with National Post to advance and profile executive women across media platforms and Canada. 

Integrating online, print and magazine, WXN and National Post will give more attention to an underserved market – professional women.  The December Cover Feature for FP Magazine will focus on the celebrated ranking of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100.

“Together WXN and National Post will profile the most powerful women in Canada and explore a range of topics from leadership to career advice, work/life balance and managing people,” said Paul Godfrey, President and CEO, National Post. “This will be the leading multimedia platform fully dedicated to women in business and leadership in Canada.”

“Our goal is to inspire women through this powerful media integrated platform,” said Pamela Jeffery, Founder WXN. “Working with National Post  ensures that the amazing stories of powerful women are told across our country. For our partners, this creates new opportunities for them to reach this powerful demographic of women and showcase their social consciousness for issues facing women in the workplace.”

The integrated program includes the creation of “Women Executives” on NationalPost.com, and a Joint Venture Series targeted at cities across Canada including Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. The online “Women Executives” section of Nationalpost.com will feature videos, regular columns, features and opportunities for interactivity on the topics that matter most to women.  Top of Page

New TVOKids.com designed for single-screen future

TVOKids.com, the popular online destination for kids from ages 2 to 11, presents a new and evolved website with the single screen universe in mind. Along with improved usability features, the new TVOKids.com responds to the increasing number of kids who use the website as an alternative to watching TV and those using both platforms simultaneously.

"The way children consume content is changing rapidly," says Pat Ellingson, Creative Head Children's Media at TVO. "Traditional television continues to be a powerful draw. We are not decreasing our focus on providing a unique broadcast offering. However, the tastes and wants of the "kid" audience are changing and web-based entertainment is part of this change. Our research shows that kids 2-11 years old and their parents are spending more and more time online. We wanted to stay ahead of the curve and not just keep up with what others are doing but anticipate what kids will need and be there first."

Every facet of the TVOKids.com redesign was based on the Ontario school curriculum and tested by kids, parents and educators to make sure the site reflected the needs and wants of the end users. The first thing website visitors encounter is a simplified splash page with two streams to choose from: Ages 11 and Under designed for school-aged children and patterned after The Space, TVOKids' afterschool programming block; and Ages 2 to 5, designed for preschoolers and their care givers and featuring themes and characters from Gisèle's Big Backyard, TVO's programming for preschoolers.

One of the key features you will find throughout the new site is an even larger video-on-demand offering with over 800 - and growing - videos including favourite shows, exclusive series, video blogs, stories from intrepid kid reporters, and more that can be viewed on a new 16x9 media player or full screen. Finding the content you want to watch is much easier with videos sorted by themed category tabs such as Arts and Music, Science and Math, Health and Sports, etc.

Games continue to be the core of TVOKids.com. Favourite games are easier than ever to find through a variety of methods including front and centre promotion on the homepage, well defined categories in the games section and a strong search engine.

Other examples of content found only at TVOKids.com include live stream web events such as Homework Hotline, where a real teacher comes into the TVOKids studio and answers children's homework questions with a focus on math and science. Kids can also call the TVOKids Hotline with their questions on sensitive issues like bullying, racism, and starting school. A counsellor from Kids Help Phone is live on the line responding to questions in real time, offering solutions and comfort.

The new site also makes finding contests and events simple by placing them in one location; includes a Create and Share area that allows users to share content they create online, at home or at school; and provides a download page where kids can print activity sheets and listen to or download their favourite songs.

TVOKids.com promises to be a dynamic destination for kids and their parents with web-exclusive videos, games, polls and surprises on a daily basis. Top of Page

Upload any file size free with Gygan Subscription

RapidShare might be one of the biggest online file sharing sites, but its 200-megabyte upload cap stands in stark contrast to the capabilities of Gygan, a new site that gives members the ability to upload any file size for free. No file size cap isn’t the only advantage Gygan has over RapidShare or other file-sharing and storage applications like DropBox and YouSendIt; Gygan also boasts unlimited free uploading for sharing videos, photos, audio files, documents—just about anything.

  But unlimited size and number of uploads are just the tip of the iceberg for file sharers; upload and download speeds are quicker than any file sharing service on the market. On a Verizon Fios 25 mbps connection, the Gygan desktop application can download a gigabyte’s worth of files in only 5 minutes, whereas with a web-based service, like YouSendIt, it can take up to two hours to complete.

  “A lot of file sharing services on the market have peak times and incent their users to upload and download during the off-times” said Vitaly Petritchkovitch, CEO of Gygan. “That’s the simplistic beauty of Gygan—you don’t have to wait for peak times to be over. Tens of thousands of users can all access the network simultaneously, at any time, with no slow-downs.”

Available at www.gygan.com , a monthly download subscription starts at only $5 for 10GB of download transfer space. A free trial of the Gygan application offers 4GB of downloading and free unlimited uploading to start, with a 1GB of bonus downloading every month. Top of Page

Half of online teens still sharing info with strangers, study

McAfee, Inc., the world's largest dedicated security company, commissioned and released "The Secret Life of Teens," a survey conducted online by Harris Interactive from May 4-May 17, 2010. The study surveyed 955 U.S. 13-17 year olds (including 593 teens ages 13-15 and 362 teens aged 16-17) and reveals the online behavior of American teens and areas of concern for parents. Results were weighted as needed for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and other key variables. Overall data in this report is representative of U.S. tweens and teens, ages 10-17.

"Keeping kids safe no longer only means teaching them about the dangers of alcohol or how to deal with a school bully," said Tracy Mooney, mother of three and McAfee Chief Cyber Security Mom. "This report is a wake-up call to the real dangers our teens face when they make themselves vulnerable online. As a mom, it worries me that kids aren't practicing safe 'street smarts' when they're online."

Teens Talk to Strangers, Give up Personal Information

Harris Interactive conducted an online study on behalf of McAfee, and revealed that despite news headlines, teens are providing more information than they should with strangers:

  • 69 per cent of 13-17 year olds have updated their status on social networking sites to include their physical location
  • 28 per cent of teens chat with people they don't know in the offline world
    • 43 per cent shared their first name
    • 24 per cent shared their email address
    • 18 per cent shared a personal photo of themselves
    • 12 per cent shared their cell phone number
  • Girls are more likely than boys to chat with people online that they don't know in the offline world, (32 per cent vs. 24 per cent), and 13-15 year old girls (16 per cent) are more likely than boys the same age (7 per cent) to have given a description of what they look like.

"Kids know not to talk to strangers - it's one of the first lessons you teach them. But online, there's a sense of trust and anonymity, so kids let their guard down," said Mooney. "Kids would never hand out their name and address to a stranger in the real world, so it's alarming to see how many kids do that very thing online."

Despite Tragedies, Cyberbullying Remains; Nearly 50% of Teens Don't Know What to Do if Cyberbullied

Cyberbullying has made media headlines several times this year, with tales of teens and tweens harassing each other online- with tragic consequences. One-in-three teens knows someone who has had mean or hurtful information posted about them online - like sending anonymous emails, spreading rumors online, forwarding private information without someone's permission or purposely posting mean or hurtful information about someone online.

  • 14 per cent of 13-17 year olds admit to having engaged in some form of cyberbullying behaviour in 2010
  • 22 per cent say they wouldn't know what to do if they were cyberbullied

Teens Access the Web Away From Home More than Ever Before

Teens have more options to get online than ever before. "It's almost impossible to keep up with how my kids get online," continued Mooney. "It's not like keeping the home computer in the living room is the answer anymore - you have to educate your kids to be safe while they're accessing the Web from their friends' houses, or on their phone - away from my supervision."

  • 87 per cent of teens go online somewhere other than at home
  • 54 per cent access from their friends' or relatives' houses
  • 30 per cent of teens access the Web through a phone and 21 per cent through a video game system
  • 23 per cent of kids go online anywhere with an open Wi-Fi signal

Teens Hide What They're Doing Online

Approximately two in five teens say they don't tell their parents what they do while they are online (42 per cent) and that they would change their online behavior if they knew their parents were watching (36 per cent). In an effort to further conceal online behaviour, teens admit to the following:

  • 38 per cent of teens close or minimize the browser when their parents enter the room
  • 32 per cent of teens clear the browser history when they are done using the computer
  • 55 per cent of 13-17 year olds hide what they do online from parents

One in Four Kids to Blame for Infected Family PC

While most teens use the Internet for research and communicating with friends, three in five (62 per cent) of teens also typically view or download some kind of media online - which can lead to dangerous downloads and other online threats that put the family computer at risk.

  • More than a quarter of teens (27 per cent) accidentally allowed a virus, spyware, or other software to infect the family computer
  • Nearly half of teens (46 per cent) of teens admit to downloading music or videos from a free service, which is much more likely to infect the family PC with everything from worms, viruses, ad-ware, spyware, or backdoors that allow people on the Internet to access the computer
  • 16 per cent of 16-17 year old boys have downloaded x-rated content

Mooney continues, "Like me, most parents think they have a handle on what kind of online content their children are exploring. This report makes it clear that we need to be much more involved with helping our kids make the right decisions online. Education is key." Top of Page

New microsite for Domaine Chateau-Bromont

As of today, Château Bromont, Auberge Bromont, and Golf Bromont resort will go together under the name "Domaine Château-Bromont." The Domaine thus comprises Hôtel Château-Bromont, Auberge Château-Bromont, and Golf Château-Bromont. Reflecting the full range of activities and services offered within the area, this name change is accompanied by the launch of a dynamic microsite, www.mygetaway.ca. The site will help clients plan their activities during a stay in this idyllic setting in the Eastern Townships. With a new positioning and development strategy, new services offering faster access to promotions and attractive deals are in store for the summer-fall seasons at Domaine Château-Bromont!

"This is a revival for Domaine Château-Bromont. It's like fresh air blowing through our resort. The new Domaine Château-Bromont signature and the launch of the www.mygetaway.ca microsite are an invitation to discover, or rediscover, our resort and the region of the Eastern Townships," said Denis Beauchamp, general director of Domaine Château-Bromont.

A microsite for a wide range of exclusive promotions

People looking to spend a weekend at Domaine Château-Bromont can visit the www.mygetaway.ca microsite and its various promotions. Each offer placed online offers a glimpse of the activities currently taking place in the region. Our main packages are: Big Top Soirées, International Bromont, Two-Wheeler Getaway and Swing Into Your Summer. The launch of the microsite and the new packages will be accompanied by a radio campaign offering listeners the chance to win exclusive prizes for a stay in the Eastern Townships and to benefit from the attractions of Domaine Château-Bromont. This campaign will certainly help us introduce the latest promotions and regional activities to Quebec tourists, national and international visitors, but also to our corporate clientele. The launch of the promotional site, which includes interactive platforms, is a way to improve our customer service. The promotions will also be integrated into social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

For regular updates and contest details, please join the Facebook Domaine Château-Bromont fan page or follow us on Twitter @ChateauBromont. Top of Page

Site helps Ontario residents understand car insurance

Today marks the official launch of MyChoiceCarInsurance.ca, a new website designed to help assist Ontario drivers make sense of their automobile insurance choices. This site comes to the aid of consumers just in time, as government-mandated changes affecting car insurance arrive on September 1st of this year.

Created by The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company (The Dominion), MyChoiceCarInsurance.ca helps the average consumer ask the right car insurance questions, and make more informed car insurance choices.

- "We have a good healthcare system - what does my car insurance cover that healthcare doesn't?"

- "What does the average injury sustained in a car accident really cost?"

- "How much coverage is enough?"

Drivers will ask these questions and more as Ontario car insurance undergoes reforms aimed at controlling claims costs, stabilizing premiums and offering more choice to consumers. Seeking answers, visitors to MyChoiceCarInsurance.ca are guided through what being injured in a car accident can cost, and how these expenses relate to the available Accident Benefits insurance coverage, including:

- an overview of four types of car accidents and the expenses that might follow;

- detailed case studies providing a closer look at what an injury can cost;

- an interactive chart of the optional coverages; and

- ASK THE DOMINION, a blog/FAQ through which visitors can ask their questions and have them answered on the site.

" Ontario drivers now have to understand much more about insurance, and the various available coverages, than they did in the past," says George Cooke, The Dominion's President and CEO. "MyChoiceCarInsurance.ca is about educating consumers - regardless of whether or not we happen to insure them - starting the conversation that continues with professional advice from an independent insurance broker."

As drivers receive informational mailings over the summer and existing insurance policies come up for renewal, The Dominion expects heavy traffic at MyChoiceCarInsurance.ca through September 1, 2010 and beyond.Top of Page