Vol 1, #21, August 4, 2009
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August 4, 2009


Canadian teachers get help educating kids on internet safety
First Tweetmyride global campaign raising money for charity
MyCareerFair.ca rethinks recruiting strategies
McAfee Q2 threat report reveals spam at an all time high
Mobile marketing guru joins Searchlinqs
CMA offers online job board promotion
Social web meets self-publishing
HP invites people to express themselves on YouTube
Delvina launches new projects, grows client roster
Site redesign helps pet owners cope with loss
Like bookmarking...but better

Canadian teachers get help educating kids on internet safety

As computers become more common place in the classroom, kids have greater access to the Internet - and all the good, bad and ugly that comes with it - not only at home, but now at school. Though not as commonplace as multiplication tables, spelling or learning about Sir John A. MacDonald, teachers interested in educating elementary and high school students on online safety will have a Student Internet Security Kit at their disposal for this school season.

Designed specifically for teaching professionals, by the makers of Norton Internet Security, the CD includes useful resources (PDFs of teacher ready class presentations, videos, online links and tutorials for elementary/tweens/teens) that allow educators to provide students with online safety guidance on issues such as:

  • Cyber bullying - guided presentation to discuss what it is, behaviours to avoid, what to do if you're a victim etc.
  • Social networking tips - basic rules for online engagement, appropriate behaviour etc.
  • Protecting personal information - i.e. appropriate and inappropriate information to share in the online world

The kit will be made available to teachers across Canada through Staples' Teacher Appreciation Days on August 13, 20 and 27. Top of Page

First Tweetmyride global campaign raising money for charity

tweetmyride is a Twitter-driven global charitycampaign, created to raise money for 10 charities around the world in the leadup to Vancouver-based Australian, Gavin Romanis, participating in theinternational mountain bike race, La Ruta de los Conquistadores in Costa Rica. Happening from November 11-14, 2009, the race is known as one of the toughest on the planet.

Inspired by Ashton Kutcher and CNN's challenge to gain 1 million followers on Twitter, and fuelled by the vibrant biking community of Vancouver, the basis behind the tweetmyride global campaign is to encourage global giving to a variety of causes.

Co-founders Leoni Milano and Gavin Romanis integrated these ideas to create a campaign with global reach, utilizing Twitter to help achieve their goal to raise $1 million over the 4-month period that runs from July 30 - November 30, 2009.

“When I realised how gruelling La Ruta de los Conquistadores was going to be I knew that I would need more than my own determination to get me through it - so the idea of doing it to help charities across the world seemed like the ideal inspiration,” says Gavin Romanis, who has no prior experience in mountain bike racing, but was seduced by the challenge's combination of travel and outdoor adventure.

Milano and Romanis wanted to create something that would have a global impact - hence the campaign's tagline: “Twitter has no boundaries – neither should we”.

Tweetmyride will demonstrate the power of social networking and show that contributions - no matter how small - all help to build something incredibly worthwhile.

The participating charities (including twitter names) being supported in the campaign are:

1. charity: water, USA - www.twitter.com/charitywater

2. First United Church, Canada - www.twitter.com/fucm

3. Fred Hollows Foundation, Australia - www.twitter.com/FredHollows

4. Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders, Canada -


5. National Breast Cancer Foundation, Australia -


6. Oxfam Canada, Canada - www.twitter.com/oxfamcanada

7. Starlight Children's Foundation, Australia -


8. Team Fox for The Michael J. Fox Foundation, USA -


9. The CREAR Association, Costa Rica - www.twitter.com/CostaRicaCREAR

10. World Vision, UK - www.twitter.com/WVUKnews

“There are literally thousands of charities out there doing incredible work, and we're thrilled to have these carefully chosen charities on board.

For some, this will be their first foray into experimenting with social networking and they have all embraced this unique style of fundraising and awareness with keen enthusiasm," says co-founder Le oni Milano.

Twitter allows each of the charities the opportunity to connect and communicate on a more tangible level with their followers, donors and supporters, which in turn helps develop relationships for a deeper impact. It gives the charities a voice that helps people connect on a personal level, rather than just being a donor.

The campaign's vision is to also encourage others to hold their own 'tweetmyride' biking events around the world and have family and friends donate (towards their rides) to the participating charities, which they can then tweet about.

Donors get to go online to the tweetmyride website and choose which charity they wish to support from those participating in the campaign. All donations will go directly to each charity. Top of Page

MyCareerFair.ca rethinks recruiting strategies

MyCareerFair.ca aims to streamline and improve the interviewing and hiring process with their innovative on-line career fairs. A first for the Canadian online recruitment scene, employers can not only post positions but now can utilize instant messaging and online testing to pre-screen applicants.

Developed by Michelle Pali and Peter DeFelice, MyCareerFair.ca features online career fairs that allow employers to connect with job-seekers at a virtual meeting place to chat, interview, and complete skill/aptitude assessments - all online in real time.

“Our site offers employers the ability to pre screen and test applicants before they agree to meet them in person. We wanted to create something that would really help employers find the best possible candidates in the shortest time,” says Peter DeFelice.

Membership to the online community for job seekers is free. Employers may take advantage of a special one-year unlimited full-access membership for $1,000. Top of Page

McAfee Q2 threat report reveals spam at an all time high

Spam volumes have increased 141 percent since March, continuing the longest streak of increasing spam volumes ever, according to McAfee, Inc.’s (NYSE: MFE) Q2 Threats Report, released today. The report also highlights the dramatic expansion of botnets and the threat from Auto-Run malware.

More than 14 million computers have been enslaved by cybercriminal botnets, a 16 percent increase over last quarter’s rise. The report confirmed McAfee’s first quarter prediction that that the surge in botnet growth would send spam levels to new heights, surpassing their previous peak in October 2008 before the takedown of the spam-hosting ISP McColo.

McAfee researchers also found that, over the course of 30 days, Auto-Run malware had infected more than 27 million files. Auto-Run malware, which exploits Windows’ Auto-Run capabilities, does not require any user clicks to activate, and is most often spread through portable USB and storage devices. The rate of detection surpasses even that of the infamous Conficker worm by 400 percent, making Auto-Run the number one piece of malware detected around the world.

“The jump in bot and spam activity we saw in the last three months is alarming, and the threat from Auto-Run malware continues to grow,” said Mike Gallagher, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of McAfee Avert Labs. “The expansion of these infections is a grave reminder of the potential harm that can be caused by unprotected computers in homes and businesses.”

Twitter’s growth in popularity has made it a new target for cybercriminals in the last three months. Malware like the “Mikeey” worm and new variations of the Koobface Trojan attack users through tweets and abbreviated URLs. Spam Twitter accounts are becoming increasingly prevalent. Twitter administrative accounts have also been hacked on multiple occasions, giving cybercriminals access to the private accounts of celebrities and politicians, such as Britney Spears and Barack Obama and even allowing for the publication of sensitive internal strategy and finance documents to be posted on the Web.

Facebook and MySpace remain strong attack vectors for cybercriminals. In May, spam messages on social networks pointed users to 4300 new Koobface files. Top of Page

Mobile marketing guru joins Searchlinqs

Simi Grossman has joined Toronto-based Searchlinqs as Director of Mobile Marketing. This strategic move adds yet another pillar to Searchlinqs’ online marketing portfolio. With a focus on supporting the growing sales, marketing and business development units, Simi will provide research, insight and expertise as they relate to mobile marketing.

“We are extremely excited to have Simi join our team,” says Jim Bensimon, President of Searchlinqs. “His expertise and passion will help Searchlinqs attain the next level not only in the mobile marketing segment but in the competitive world of online marketing. Our clients will now benefit from a complete online portfolio which includes paid search, organic search, social and mobile marketing.” Top of Page

CMA offers online job board promotion

The Canadian Marketing Association wants to help companies and employees connect through their online job board. Employer benefits include:

  • Direct access to qualified employees
  • Secure job management that allows them to post and edit jobs
  • Automatic pre-screening of candidates into “A-lists” and “B-lists”
  • 30-day job postings that can be utilized at any time
  • Exclusive resume database of marketing professionals

Their Summer 2 for 1 promotion allows employers to buy a job posting this summer and get a second one for free.

Top of Page

Social web meets self-publishing on new site

The newly launched self-publishing website FastPencil has stripped the complexity out of self-publishing, allowing users to publish a 100-page book and have it delivered to their doorstep for under $10.

Think social web meets self-publishing. Aspiring writers can go into FastPencil and use the free writing tools and templates to write their books. Those who have amassed their knowledge in a blog can use the blog-to-book tool which automatically imports the blog and guides the writer through a very simple process to turn it into a hardcover book...

The free service provides writers with many different tools and allows them to invite friends, editors or publishing industry veterans to collaborate on the book project. Once the book is written, images imported and a cover selected the author can publish and print one copy or thousands. Top of Page

HP invites people to express themselves on YouTube

The HP You on You project is a contest on YouTube that invites entrants from around the world to create and share videos that express who they are – without showing their faces.

The contest uses new video creation tools on YouTube, including improved video remixing and webcam video tools, to allow people of all skill levels to submit videos that run the gamut from comedies to mini-biographies and documentaries, and showcase their individual passions, causes and creative gifts.

Running through August 30, the contest offers the opportunity for contestants to win more than $300,000 in cash and prizes from HP. The contest is an extension of HP’s award-winning “The PC Is Personal Again” campaign, which features achievers including Shaun White, Serena Williams and Fergie discussing what they do with their HP PCs in a series of “Hands” commercials that don’t show their faces.

“HP hopes to inspire and foster creativity,” says David Roman, vice president, Marketing Communications, Personal Systems Group, HP. “Combining personal passions, digital remixing tools and the YouTube stage means we’ll be able to gather, celebrate and reward expressions of originality like never before.”

“We are really excited about the global scope, accessibility and social aspects of the HP You on You project,” says Jamie Byrne, head of Marketing Programs, YouTube. ”This is one of the first programs where we have integrated tools for users to share their videos as broadly as possible across the web and other social platforms.”

This is the broadest worldwide YouTube contest to date – open globally and localized for 21 YouTube English and non-English countries – and it features technology to make it easy for participants to express who they are and share their creations. Top of Page

Delvinia launches new projects, grows client roster

A busy spring has turned to a bustling summer at Delvinia with its recent redesign and launch of Manulife’s CoverMe.com website. It’s also been busy working with some new clients and adding some new talent to their growing team.

Manulife’s website ( www.coverme.com) has just re-launched with a cleaner user friendly experience that has been years in the making. Delvinia and Manulife have been working together for more than three years and throughout that period they continually added functionality and optimization to the site, with great success and measureable results.

“It was time to take all the successful work to date, customer insights and key learnings during the sites optimization and build it on a blank slate,” says Steve Mast, Vice President and Managing Director of Delvinia Interactive.  “The outcome is a new site that delivers on its business objectives, providing a well designed Digital Customer Experience.”

As sophisticated companies continue to invest in optimizing the user experience to raise customer satisfaction and engagement through their on-line assets, the digital space continues to gain prominence within the marketing sphere. In fact, Delvinia too, has been busy with new clients on its roster including The Weather Network, Canada ’s top news and information website and The Richard Ivey School of Business, one of Canada’s leading business schools. Top of Page

Site redesign helps pet owners cope with loss

For years Pets at Peace Cremation and Funeral Services have been helping pet owners to deal with the sudden or anticipated death of their pet in a loving, proper and dignified manner. The professional staff of Pets at Peace help pet owners with arrangements for their pet's funeral, which include pet cremation and pet memorial services. Pets at Peace has gained much praise from satisfied customers and positive press coverage due to their professional and dignified manner of helping pet owners with the grieving process. Sudden death of a pet is a very distressful time for families filled with the pain of letting go. Pets at Peace offers invaluable help in reducing the stress and alleviating much of the pain while helping pet owners preserve loving memories of their pets.

TCK Media, a Toronto Web design and SEO company, is pleased to announce the redesign of the Pets at Peace website. The new website features a design that matches the dignity, professionalism and care of their services and offers pet owners an outlet for their grief. One of the key aspects of the website is the online memorial functionality which allows pet owners to post images and comments of their lost pet directly from their computer connected to the Internet. The website professionally presents the many products offered by Pets at Peace such as dog cremation urns, cat cremation urns, and other pet cremation urns and products. The pet funeral services offered are also presented on the new website. All of this along with grief resources as well as easy and clear contact information makes the Pets at Peace website a comforting and friendly point of contact and reference for grieving pet owners. Top of Page

Like bookmarking...but better

 iCyte is a revolutionary software product that allows you to save, tag and annotate your online research. Free and available for immediate download, iCyte is an easy-touse, powerful and effective tool for managing online content.

If you have ever searched for anything online, you have probably struggled to find effective ways of managing the information. Whether you wanted to save something to come back to later, share information with someone else, or save your research for use in other projects, no simple solution existed.

For example, have you wasted time trying to replicate a search, or struggled to find an effective way to mark pages that interest you? Bookmarking can be complicated and frustrating. Have you ever gone back to a bookmarked page only to discover it was

GONE? Bookmarking only saves the link, and doesn’t work if a page is changed or removed. The other alternative, cutting and pasting into word processing documents is time-consuming and tedious. Web pages generally don’t translate well into word processing documents, and valuable time is wasted reformatting material. Creating PDFs retains the formatting, but offers no easy way to access or search the material later on.

iCyte was created because the developers knew there was a more effective way to manage online content. With the simple click of a button, iCyte saves the web page and selected text. Notes and annotations can be attached (they call them cytes) and the information is grouped into projects. This means that searching or retrieving the information later on is fast and simple, and because iCyte saves the information to a server, web pages aren’t lost.

iCyte is ideal for any kind of web-based searching. It can be used in search engines like Google or across any online database. It’s easy to use and great for everyday searching, but sophisticated enough for professional and academic research.

Projects can be shared with friends and colleagues, offering new possibilities for working collaboratively. It is ideal for students and professionals involved in individual or team-based research. Top of Page