Vol 2, #32, August 10, 2010
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August 10, 2010


Subaru launches mobile website
CNW offers seamless new platform
Score Media introduces iPad edition
Open Text boosts social experiences
iVdopia launches first HTML5 video advertising platform
Inbox preview automates email testing
New site for journalists covering Gulf oil spill
Points.com expands offering
Sympatico.ca brings exclusive live chat experience

Subaru launches mobile website

Subaru Canada, Inc. (SCI) announced the launch of a mobile version of its website designed specifically for smartphone users. No separate app is required - all users need do is enter the company's URL (www.subaru.ca) in the search window of their mobile device browser. They will instantly be connected to the mobile version of the Subaru corporate website, as well as to any Subaru dealer across Canada.

The mobile version of www.subaru.ca allows interested buyers quick access to vehicle specifications, pricing, leasing and financing details, previously owned vehicles, and a dealer locator that uses the GPS built into most mobile devices to find the closest Subaru dealer. The website currently supports iPhone and Android mobile browsers; access for Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices will follow shortly.

"While mobile browser traffic only amounts to two percent of the overall traffic to www.subaru.ca and our dealer websites, this still represents thousands of visitors - and the number is growing every day," said SCI's Director of eBusiness and Information Systems George Hamin. "We want to ensure that everyone can access the crucial information they require quickly and easily, and an important part of that is to connect them quickly and easily with a local dealership."

This move makes Subaru one of only three Canadian manufacturers to cater to the burgeoning population of mobile device users, and one of only two that offers mobile access to its dealer network.*

Subaru Canada, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of over 85 authorized dealers across Canada. Top of Page

CNW offers seamless new platform

CNW (Canada Newswire) has announced the integration of MediaVantage, its online communications management and media monitoring service, with the Access CNW client portal, the online editing and distribution management platform.

This integration represents a first for CNW and the newswire industry. CNW clients will be the first to benefit from the convenience of an end-to-end communications management solution.

"This solution enables a communications team to work collaboratively to create content; target and engage the appropriate audience - both traditional and web-based; distribute news; monitor and report results; and, evaluate the success of their efforts, all within a secure and convenient web environment," said Carolyn McGill-Davidson, President and CEO of CNW Group. "We know our clients will be excited by the new functionality that is now available."

The seamless integration of these two online systems is an early benefit of CNW's April 2010 acquisition of dna13, the technology powerhouse behind the MediaVantage platform.

MediaVantage is a powerful search engine that monitors all forms of traditional, online and social media, and relates results from those sources back to the issues, themes or campaigns being tracked by the client. Subscribers benefit from the ease and efficiency of a collaborative work space that provides tools that support the communications process, including easy-to-use measurement features and easy-to-share reports providing useable business intelligence and insight. Top of Page

Score Media introduces iPad edition

Score Media Inc. announced the launch of theScore iPad Edition, one of the first free sports apps on the market from the creators of the leading mobile app, ScoreMobile. Already a leading free sports app just days after launching in Apple's App Store, theScore iPad Edition offers the latest stats, news, scores and standings from every major sports league, while integrating the best content from The Score's multiplatform properties - The Score Television Network, theScore.com, Hardcore Sports Radio (HSR) and ScoreMobile - all on one app.

A hybrid of Score Media's leading sports app, ScoreMobile, and it's newly relaunched website, theScore.com, theScore iPad Edition brings iPad users the best of both platforms while offering original video and audio content from The Score Television Network and HSR.

theScore iPad Edition is the perfect companion for watching sports on TV or sitting around with your friends discussing the latest trade and stories of the day. It also gives users unlimited and immediate access to up-to-the-minute stats and entertaining content including:

  • Real-time scores, breaking news and updates
  • Original digital video segments available exclusively to iPad users like The Score's hit web show, The Break and The Footy Show, a news program and podcast dedicated to covering all of the latest soccer news and highlights
  • Integrated social tools for sharing articles, blog posts and videos
  • The Score's entertaining television content offering unique interviews with top athletes along with iPad exclusives from The Score's world renowned reporter Cabral "Cabbie" Richards as well as the popular, irreverent NBA web show, The Basketball Jones
  • A slick interface designed specifically for the iPad with an intuitive and clean navigation structure

"It took Apple only 80 days to sell 3 million iPads worldwide and with the exception of iPhone 4, that is faster than any other iDevice it's sold in the past. The iPad is yet another disruptive device that will transform how people consume and share content," says Jonathan Savage, Vice President, Digital, Score Media Inc. He adds, "We believe theScore iPad Edition is the best sports app for iPad on the market, period. And just like ScoreMobile, our leading mobile property, it's free, fast and fundamental to sports fans anywhere."

NuLayer, one of Canada's most innovative and reputable software development firms, worked closely with Score Media's content team to build the iPad app for the company.

"theScore iPad Edition takes advantage of all the great features the iPad has to offer and leverages its native performance and flexible web views," says Jeff Brenner, Co-Founder, NuLayer. "It's an awesome app that provides a socially-integrated way to explore the sports world. Fans are going to love it." Top of Page

Open Text boosts social experiences

Open Text Corporation has announced the availability of Web Site Management 10.1, featuring usability enhancements to accelerate common tasks and make it easier for website managers to integrate with corporate information and resources along with a sample project that speeds up delivery of new websites. It also offers integration points to many consumer social applications including Facebook and Twitter as well as enhanced native social capabilities with Open Text Social Communities.

The latest release of Web Site Management is the next iteration of Web Solutions 10, a major release introduced last year. A key member of Open Text's industry-leading portfolio of Web Content Management (WCM) products, Web Site Management is a powerful, easy-to-use Web site application that empowers employees to keep content fresh and relevant and offers extensive multiple-language support and social tools.

"At the core of an engaging Web experience is vibrant, relevant content and an immersive social community integrated with internal business processes and infrastructure," said Lubor Ptacek, Vice President of Product Marketing at Open Text. "Web Site Management makes this possible with rapid implementation, a strong reputation for usability, and a useful set of integrations with content sources. As demonstrated by the release of 10.1, our strategy is to continue building on these strengths."

Faster and Easier

One of the focus points for Web Site Management 10.1 was to not just make it easier for editors and administrators to complete website management tasks, but to actually accelerate daily editorial work. For instance, a new redlining component allows editors to quickly and easily make an editorial assessment of page content. Enhanced drag and drop capabilities allow editors to change the order of content in lists and visualize results of edits immediately. A new asset management panel with SmartEdit, and drag and drop speeds up work with digital assets.

On the back-end, Web Site Management 10.1 features a number of enhancements to servers for management and delivery of content, including a new graphical user interface that aligns the different server components. A new online help for administrators offers advanced search functionality and a clear navigation structure so information can be found more quickly and easily. Also contributing to lower support and training costs and allowing faster deploying of new sites is a new best practice project that provides an extensive set of pre-defined content classes and templates, along with SAP Portal examples.

On the integration front, Web Site Management 10.1 allows users to fully tap the extensive social capabilities in Open Text Social Communities (formerly Vignette Social Media) and lets them take advantage of Open Text Media Management 7 for managing digital media assets from across an enterprise. It also enhances third-party application integration with extended portlet connectors. Using a new HTTP connector, any type of social media component, such as Facebook or Twitter, can be added and administered.

Behind the scenes, Web Site Management 10.1 incorporates more than two dozen smaller feature enhancements and fixes, along with improved cluster performance for larger websites. Top of Page

iVdopia launches first HTML5 video advertising platform

iVdopia (www.ivdopia.com), the largest video and rich media mobile advertising network, has announced the launch of V5, the first HTML5 video platform with the ability to provide an unified video ad experience across all devices and Smartphones, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or the Android.

Up until now, advertisers and agencies were required to develop multiple versions and formats of video ad campaigns in order to support viewership on Flash and non-Flash devices - an inefficient and time-consuming process that plagued the industry. With the V5 solution, iVdopia provides a powerful and easy to use platform that eliminates this laborious process, empowering advertisers and agencies to deliver a single video ad experience that can be served across any device, regardless of it being supported by Flash or not. A “create once, run anywhere” tool, the V5 enables advertisers to overcome the operating system restrictions within the fragmented mobile device market and deliver the most compelling form of video advertising to the rapidly growing number of users across Smartphones.

Moreover, the V5 platform enables media companies, content owners and distributors to deliver ad-supported video content across non-Flash devices like the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

“We’re very excited to introduce this advertising solution to our customers. At iVdopia, we quickly gauged that media companies required monetization strategies that pervaded through multiple platforms and utilized multiple ad formats in order to be successful. On the other hand, brand advertisers demanded real-time, interactive video experiences that were not limited by Flash plug-ins and that played singularly across multiple Smartphone devices”, said Chhavi Upadhyay, Chief Operating Officer, iVdopia. “With the launch of V5, we have extended video advertising to every screen to take advantage of the rapidly growing audience numbers on non-Flash devices.”

Supporting multiple user engaging features for brand advertisers, the V5 platform will incorporate the HTML5 ad creation capabilities of the Future5 – iVdopia’s ad authoring tool – and launch innovative video ad units in partnership with leading advertisers and agencies.

Saurabh Bhatia, Chief Business Officer, iVdopia said, “We’re offering a suite of solutions for advertisers with the V5. Besides offering video as the most user-engaging ad unit to ever take over screens, the V5 is an OS agnostic solution - which is advantageous to advertisers who don’t want to be restricted to just one OS for serving such dynamic video ads! In addition, V5 powered ads are capable of all the unique video and audio effects found in HTML5, without relying on Flash. This is a first-of-its-kind platform that no one’s offered before, and we’re receiving tremendous interest from advertisers and media companies alike to be the exclusive launch partner for V5.”

V5 is iVdopia’s latest entry into the mobile advertising market, an estimated $3.8 billion dollar industry. In March 2009, iVdopia introduced the first mobile ads that let users stay within the application, more than a year before the iAd was scheduled to make that feature available. iVdopia also introduced the first social media ads for mobile with Talk2Me; the first HD advertisements on the iPad; and the Viper Ads, which delivered a new level of user engagement. Most recently, the company introduced Future5, the first HTML5 ad-authoring solution available for the iPhone and iPad. Top of Page

Inbox preview automates email testing

smartFOCUS, a global provider of intelligent multi-channel marketing software, has launched a new email testing capability for its eChannel marketing software. 'Inbox Preview' enables marketers to test the display of marketing emails across more than twenty leading email clients, including Gmail, Hotmail, Lotus Notes and Outlook 2003 through to 2010, and mobile devices such as smartphones and iPads.

smartFOCUS' new Inbox Preview functionality has been added to smartMARKETER eChannel, an application within smartFOCUS' flagship smartMARKETER suite. Pricing for Inbox Preview starts at $40 per month for a minimum of 100 tests per month.

smartMARKETER eChannel is a powerful yet user-friendly e-marketing SaaS platform that spans email, SMS, RSS, and web microsites. It can be used as a standalone application or used as an integrated module of the smartMARKETER suite. It handles all digital channels with fully dynamic personalization capabilities and integrated content management for editing text and images. smartMARKETER eChannel provides real-time tracking for campaign management and optimization; can be automatically triggered so campaigns can be linked to events and responses; and provides advanced reporting.

'Inbox Preview' provides an intelligent solution to the lack of established standards for displaying email. Until now, marketers have struggled to ensure that their communications display correctly across a broad range of email clients. With Inbox Preview, marketers simply load an email and see how it displays across more than 20 of the most popular email clients. Tests are run for, Outlook 2003 through to 2010, Hotmail, Gmail, Lotus Notes and many others. There is no need to install and log in and out of a succession of different email systems. Inbox Preview also solves the challenge of marketing to increasing numbers of mobile end users reading HTML email across diverse devices, clients and screen resolutions.

Curt Bloom, president for smartFOCUS said: "End users today have so many options when it comes to choosing email clients, types of device, and sizes of display - and as consumers use more devices for reading emails, including smartphones, iPads and other mobile devices, it?s become impractical for marketers to manually test campaigns across them all. Inbox Preview is an exciting, practical new tool that eliminates this frustration, freeing up marketers to concentrate on campaign tuning and creative development, without the unnecessary distraction of inbox infighting."

Another pain point for marketers arises from image blocking rules and how images are displayed when blocked. This can have a negative impact on the success rates of email campaigns and reduce response rates. smartFOCUS Inbox Preview enables emails to be previewed with and without images blocked, so marketers can test thoroughly and confidence. Top of Page

New site for journalists covering Gulf oil spill

The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) launched a new online newsroom, www.thisjustinneworleans.com, designed to serve as a resource for all journalists covering the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and provide the latest news from the city's $5 billion tourism industry.   New Orleans is a city that survives by tourism, which is a multi-billion-dollar, perception-driven industry.

Suitable for all media, from broadcasters to bloggers, features of www.thisjustinneworleans.com include:

  • Video stories on timely topics including seafood safety, cuisine, music and cultural events featuring key personalities and chefs.  These videos are embeddable on news or blog sites, and available by request in broadcast quality.
  • Still photographs from around the city
  • Press materials, statistics and updates from the city
  • RSS subscription for future updates

Tourism is the largest industry in New Orleans providing employment to 70,000 citizens.  Tourism attracts $5 billion in capital annually and contributes more than $200 million in taxes to state coffers making crucial contributions to the health of the state.  More information on tourism in New Orleans is available on the new site.

The events on the coast 100 miles from New Orleans have been tragic and have impacted everyone in the region.   New Orleans continues to welcome hundreds of thousands of leisure visitors and conference attendees who enjoy the same hospitality and fun for which the city is known. Top of Page

Points.com expands offering

Points International, owner and operator of Points.com, the world's leading loyalty reward program management website, launched a new, enhanced Points.com boasting a more user-friendly look and feel.

The new Points.com has been reengineered with a focus on providing an interactive destination for millions of consumers to manage multiple loyalty programs in a more informed, and streamlined manner. The new site is focused on making it simple to earn, track and use miles and points in almost any program with "get," "move," "redeem" and "earn" functionality. In addition, a stream of real-time, individualized content geared at increasing user awareness will help users maximize their participation in multiple loyalty programs.

"In North America alone there are now over 1.3 billion loyalty program accounts across a variety of verticals. With more than 100 million consumers participating in an average of 14 programs each, we felt it essential to identify opportunities to enhance and expand upon Points.com's existing unique value proposition," said Christopher Barnard, President of Points.com. "Throughout the design effort for the new site, we canvassed tens of thousands of loyalty program members and actively studied user habits. The result is a highly individualized experience for each Points.com user that offers the most relevant information and earning options for the multiple programs each user is active in."

In addition to pre-existing capabilities, the following features will be introduced as part of the initial launch:

- Universal balance tracker: The site will now allow users to track points/miles from more than 100 programs including the more than 60 directly integrated partners within the loyalty space.

- Personalized news feed: The new Points.com dashboard is easy to use and tailored to individual users' programs of choice, incorporating a news stream of daily earning opportunities and offering a platform to post content related to users' favorite programs. The feed enables the world's leading loyalty programs to aid members in being fully informed about opportunities to earn points and miles.

- Location settings: Through the new location feature, both participating loyalty program partners and Points.com users will be able to post location based tips and promotions to the real-time news stream, thus notifying all registered members interested in specific locations, highly valuable earn opportunities.

The launch marks the initial phase of Points International's new consumer platform. The company expects to continue to evolve and enhance the Points.com feature set, introducing additional features throughout the year, including an expanded social media component.

In addition to the site re-launch, Points.com announced a collaborative promotion with select partners in which new users are able to register for a chance to win 1 million miles!

Mr. Barnard added, "Throughout the development and launch of our new Points.com service, we are constantly working alongside our loyalty program partners to ensure we deliver a feature-rich environment that will resonate with their members. Consistent with our goal of driving awareness and increasing engagement in our loyalty partners' programs, the new Points.com provides a highly targeted channel for our partners to highlight real-time promotions and market campaigns to their members. Taking it a step further, the new site also weaves in an upgrade of exclusive technology on the backend of the site to increase the value proposition even more for potential and current partners of Points.com. New loyalty programs will be added to the site faster and program operators will be authorized to post news and information to provide added benefits for members and operators alike." Top of Page

Sympatico.ca brings exclusive live chat experience

On August 3, inMusic.ca, Sympatico.ca’s music channel and Canada’s leading online music news destination, will launch its interactive ‘Live Lounge Series’. The series kicks off with a Canadian exclusive – a live chat featuring Grammy-award winners Maroon 5.

The concept of inMusic.ca’s ‘Live Lounge’ is to take the online dialogue between artists and fans to the next level. The series features real-time video chats with popular recording artists, giving users a direct line to their favourite musicians. “Imagine seeing and chatting with your favourite rock star. This is something most fans only dream about,” says Catherine Main, Music Editor of inMusic.ca.