Vol 1, #28, Sept. 22, 2009
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September 22 , 2009


Kia Canada contest logs 35 million impressions
Fundraiser gets social media makeover
The Future of Media debuts in Toronto
United Sample partners with RedFlagDeals.com
Shikatani LeCroix launches Designlounge site
Suite101.com goes global
Online help for small and rural charities
The Score launches enhaned version of BlackBerry app
#1 online food community now live in French
New focus for online elearning gaming solutions

Kia Canada contest logs over 35 million impressions

Within eight weeks of its launch, the "That's My Forte" Contest campaign achieved an overwhelming response of more than thirty five million impressions.

Launched on Monday, May 25, the campaign gave consumers the chance to win 1 of 2 new 2010 Kia Forte sedans through a photo contest hosted on Facebook. There were two ways to win a Forte sedan: The first was to have the most popular "Not my forte" uploaded image as voted by Facebook users, or the second was for Facebook users to vote for their favourite images and be entered into a random draw for the second Forte sedan. At the conclusion of the campaign there were 1,346 photo entries and more than 519,000 votes cast by Facebook users.

The "That's My Forte" Facebook Contest campaign stipulated that contestants were limited to one vote per photo per day. Top of Page

Fundraiser gets social media makeover

Social networking sites are no longer for connecting with only clients, colleagues, consumers, family and friends. They are increasingly being used by non-profit organizations to create awareness and to reach out to potential sponsors and donors.

Women's Community House will be hosting Walk a Mile in Her Shoes in London, Ontario on September 20, 2009. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is Women's Community House's annual fundraising event in which men are asked to walk a mile in high heeled shoes in an effort to raise awareness of violence against women, and to raise funds for the extensive services that Women's Community House provides for abused women and their children.

ShesConnected Multimedia Corp., a social media marketing services company, has been selected by Women's Community House to help raise awareness for Walk a Mile in Her Shoes by leveraging the power of social media and social networking websites.

ShesConnected Multimedia Corp. kick started the project with "Are You Man Enough?" campaign as Women's Community House wanted the open call for male pledges to participate in the event to be viewed as a challenge.

"Everyone knows walking in heels is not easy. But I don't think any of us believes men truly know that. That's why we want to dare men to make a pledge to our event and actually walk in heels for a mile. Talking about the difficulty of walking in heels is entirely different from walking in them," Women's Community House Executive Director Kate Wiggins explained. "We didn't have any experience with social media but ShesConnected came in and managed the entire process including managing our social media accounts."

"We are thrilled to be working with the Women's Community House on Walk a Mile in Her Shoes", said Donna Marie Antoniadis, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of ShesConnected. "This is a great cause for women and families in need. As part of the campaign, we created a customized web site for the Walk with an integrated blog and social media functionality. Additionally we created a Twitter account, blog, Facebook fan page, and Flickr and YouTube accounts. We are also managing all of their social media accounts on behalf of Women's Community House." Top of Page

The Future of Media debuts in Toronto

Citizen media news outlet DigitalJournal.com has announced that it will be hosting a unique panel discussion featuring some of the most influential leaders in Canadian media.

Dubbed “The Future of Media,” the live panel discussion will look at what challenges news organizations face in the changing news economy. The panelists will discuss new media, business models for Canadian news outlets and user-generated content.

The event will take place Thursday September 24 at the Drake Hotel Underground ( 1150 Queen Street West) at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and admission is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. The event will also be filmed and broadcast after the event.

The panel includes speakers such as Rachel Nixon, director of digital media at CBC News and former editor at NowPublic; Richard Mcilveen, producer of the local late-night CTV News and the tech trends segment “Webmania”; Keith McArthur, senior director of social media and digital communications for Rogers Communications; Tim Shore, founder of Toronto news site blogTO; and Chris Hogg, CEO of citizen journalism news outlet DigitalJournal.com.

The Future of Media will be moderated by DigitalJournal.com managing editor, David Silverberg. Many high-end gadgets tailored for journalists will be available as raffle prizes to attendees.

“Many people want to find out how media outlets will change and evolve into the future,” says Chris Hogg, CEO of DigitalJournal.com. “The Future of Media discussion will not only make us think about where news is going, but also ask questions about how regular people are involved in the news-gathering process.” Top of Page

United Sample partners with RedFlagDeals.com

United Sample and Clear Sky Media launched a new survey platform for the popular comparison shopping website and bargain hunting community RedFlagDeals.com.

United Sample will be the exclusive provider of a private-label panel website – Surveys.RedFlagDeals.com – offering Canadian residents the opportunity to share their opinions, while giving market researchers access to a robust community of Canadian consumers ready to participate in surveys on a variety of topics.

Those registered with RedFlagDeals.com can sign up today to take surveys in exchange for cash rewards. United Sample’s platform will pay the rewards in Canadian dollars through PayPal.

Visitors to RedFlagDeals.com are evenly split between male and female (49 percent/51 percent, respectively), and nearly three-fourths of users are between the ages of 18-44. The audience is largely affluent and educated – almost 64 percent are university or college graduates. In addition, the audience includes many IT professionals and early technology adopters.

“Our success is based on the community through which Canadian consumers are able to share information and opinions about products and services and the deals they find online,” said Derek Szeto, president and founder of RedFlagDeals.com. “Offering survey capabilities is a natural way for us to extend our community, build even more site loyalty and give our members a chance to earn money and have their opinions heard. United Sample has given us a survey platform that mirrors the high-quality experience our users expect.”

“This partnership allows United Sample to very quickly offer a large panel of Canadian residents available for market research,” said Gregg Lavin, president and co-founder of United Sample. “As we’ve seen in the past, partnering with a thriving comparison shopping community like RedFlagDeals.com is a great way to build a robust panel of people who are ready to share their opinions. There is a huge demand right now for Canadian survey panelists, and through this partnership we’re able to provide researchers with access to a broad base of affluent and educated consumers.” Top of Page

Shikatani LaCroix launches Designlounge site

Shikatani Lacroix, one of North America's premier design firms with expertise in branding, package design and retail environments, has launched the SLDesignLounge. The new site is a place to explore the importance and impact of design in your business. The site is a brainchild of Jean-Pierre Lacroix, President and founder of Shikatani Lacroix, and was based on the response from clients wishing to provide greater design knowledge to its employees.

"Over the 30 years of helping organizations better brand themselves and their environments, we noticed that a key to any organization's success is its ability to translate knowledge and understanding into an engaged organization where knowledge is translated into measurable results," says Lacroix.

With the downsizing of corporations which resulted in less money being spent on training, the site and webinars fill a gap that organizations can better leverage. The new site provides an area that marketers can visit to seek knowledge and insight that's simple and easy to navigate.

On a quarterly basis, new white papers and relevant information are provided. In addition, the firm has received inquiries from other organizations interested in posting articles and thought leadership material that would benefit businesses. As part of this commitment to providing industry with knowledge tools that fully link design to business needs, the site offers a wide range of lunch-and-learn "DesignLounge" sessions, developed to assist organizations in fully leveraging the power of design and branding. Additionally, the site also provides access to a wide range of resources, associations and consultants, with constantly evolving information as new information is identified. Top of Page

Suite101.com goes global

Suite101.com Media Inc. announced its expansion into Spanish and French-language countries this week with the opening of offices in Madrid and Paris, and the launch of online magazines Suite101.net and Suite101.fr.

These websites, with launch events happening in Miami and Madrid, are the first of their kind for Spanish and French freelance writers. Writers earn dividend-style revenue for their published articles, work with professional editors, and retain all copyright to their work.

"This kind of online revenue-share journalism is a totally new model for writers of these languages," explains Peter Berger, president and CEO of Suite101.com Media. "Our goal is to become a known outlet for Spanish and French freelance writers as an option alongside writing work at newspapers and magazines. We also want to reach experts who might not consider themselves writers."

The Suite101 model is a success in North America where it has operated Suite101.com from Vancouver, British Columbia for over a decade. The English-language site publishes articles by 2,500 freelance writers and gets 15 million visitors a month, most of whom find the site while searching the Internet for information on a specific topic. Today Suite101.com is the fourth most-visited Canadian-owned website (behind the Government of Canada and ahead of CBC.ca) in terms of monthly traffic, which has doubled in each of the past three years. A German-language site launched in 2008 went from zero to one million monthly unique visitors in ten months.

"Looking ahead we see immense growth in this business," explains Berger. "Basically we create opportunities for writers and experts to write and publish, and we link them to readers who are hungry for reliable, trusted, well-written online articles." Top of Page

Online help for small and rural charities

Small and rural charities are often overwhelmed by the paperwork and keeping up with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regulations. As volunteer board members change, transferring the knowledge and the files can be a challenge. The Charities File: On Board has launched a web-site and will be hosting a series of training events throughout Canada to help board members of small and rural charities.

Safeguarding an organization's charitable status is essential for people who are passionate about their causes and communities. In 2007/2008, 1714 charities lost their charitable status for many reasons including failure to file the T3010 Annual Information Return. They can no longer issue charitable receipts nor receive funding from charitable foundations, not to mention the potential embarrassment.

CRA recognizes the dilemmas faced by volunteers of small and rural charities. It has funded The Charities File: On Board, among other projects, to help build capacity and assist with annual compliance reporting by creating training opportunities for the sector.

Training sessions delivered via webinars, telelearning and local in-person workshops are now being offered around the country. The first workshop was held in Whitehorse, NWT in July 2009 and workshops will be held from Cape Breton Island, N.S. and Gander, NFLD to Thompson, MB and Prince George, BC, and in northern communities in Inuvik and Iqaluit. Top of Page

The Score launches enhanced ScoreMobile for BlackBerry

Score Media Inc. recently announced the launch of version 1.2 of its leading mobile application, ScoreMobile, for BlackBerry(R) smartphones. With the fall sports season just under way, ScoreMobile launches the enhanced version with hardcore sports fans in mind. Now ScoreMobile provides a much better user experience with the addition of customizable content, game reminder features, and optimized navigation and display functions.

Enhancements to the leading sports application include:

  • Tracking of Favourite Leagues - users will be able to manage which sports they choose to see and hide on their device making tracking and staying up to date on their favourite teams easier than ever before
  • Addition of Game Reminders - with two quick clicks, users will be able to add a game to their BlackBerry(R) Calendar so favourite games will never be missed
  • Optimization of Navigation and Display - users can now take advantage of speedier data display and simplified navigation

In addition to NFL and NCAA football stats, UEFA Champions League soccer has also been added to version 1.2 of ScoreMobile giving both dedicated football fans as well as international soccer fans access to the stats and scores they crave on their BlackBerry smartphones.

"ScoreMobile is among the most highly rated and most popular sports applications on the market and demand for it is increasing exponentially with BlackBerry users," says Dale Fallon, Director, Mobile, Score Media Inc. "With strong uptake in the US, Canada and overseas, The Score is able to provide in-depth, mobile sports content to a diverse group of dedicated sports fans." Top of Page

#1 online food community now live in French

Capitalizing on the success of Allrecipes.com as the #1 food site in Canada, Reader’s Digest Canada has launched the French-Canadian version Allrecipes.qc.ca. The new site features localized content, language and measurements, and enables home cooks in Québec to connect, share and be inspired in an authentic, trusted and dynamic community with unique social media features.

The launch follows the global success of Allrecipes.com and builds on its innovative technology platform.  Allrecipes is the world’s most popular food-based social media site, attracting an average of 12 million monthly visitors. The site hosts more than 2 million visitors monthly from Canada, of which about 150,000 are from Québec.

The Québec launch will feature a four-month exclusive partnership with Kraft Canada that includes banner advertising, text links, integrated Kraft recipes and ingredients on Allrecipes.qc.ca, plus additional advertising on selection.ca and in the magazine Sélection. One of the key features of Kraft’s partnership will be its Sponsor status, which will enable the company to create a profile to connect and interact directly with the Allrecipes community.

 “ We have worked closely with Allrecipes.com in the past, and now look forward to connecting with Québec home cooks at Allrecipes.qc.ca. We have developed some delicious new recipes to cater to the millions of Canadians who enjoy Kraft products,” says Sandra Cifersons, Director, Consumer Communications

Québec’s home cooks can search for meal ideas by subject or ingredient, post recipes, reviews and photos, as well as sign up to receive newsletters, weekly email alerts, and “real time” alerts from friends. They’ll also enjoy the site’s most innovative social media feature, a message board called “The Fridge”, where friends can connect to post and share notes with each other and ask what they’re cooking next!

Allrecipes’ distinctive user-generated content and social networking platform provide advertisers with a dynamic advertising vehicle, enabling them to reach a highly active and engaged audience of primary household decision makers at their immediate time of need at a time when consumers place the highest level of trust in peer opinions. The seamless integration of branded content into the site’s daily food conversations, members’ recipe ratings, reviews and photos generate powerful results for participating brands to deliver contextual relevance in a trusted and captive environment. Advertising sales for the new site will be handled by the Reader’s Digest Ad Sales and Olive Media.

“Allrecipes.com is one of the few established social media sites with a proven profitable business model,” says Yann Paquet, Director of Digital Media at Reader’s Digest Canada. “Considering who we are and where we are located, it made absolute business sense to launch Allrecipes.qc.ca. Our staff is already engaged with the new Québec website, contributing their favourite recipes and enjoying a special employee contest.” Top of Page

New focus for online elearning gaming solutions

CSA Standards, a leading standards-based solutions organization, announced the launch of a suite of interactive solutions that harness the power of eLearning gaming technology to teach emergency preparedness, safety and a variety of essential skills that could mean the difference between life and death on the job for many Canadian employees.

Canada alone experiences as many as 315,000 reported time-loss injuries and 1,055 workplace fatalities in a year. CSA’s new tools for business are designed to enhance the abilities of employers, employees, students and consumers to prepare for threats and emergencies of all sizes, by giving them the ability to experience them in realistic virtual scenarios – before they happen in real life.

“To reduce injuries, workplace training must teach best safety practices and change behaviour,” says Suzanne Kiraly, President, CSA Standards. “These new interactive modules go well beyond the simple transfer of knowledge and engage users in making decisions in the workplace that are linked to real-world standards and safety guidelines. From handling hazardous materials to assessing risks to prevent major disasters, preparing workforces with safety and emergency response skills in a virtual environment could mean the difference between life and death on the job.”

CSA Standards recently purchased the assets and intellectual property created by Ottawa-based Distil Interactive, an award-winning developer of eLearning products. This expansion of its interactive online portfolio of offerings, as well as the hiring of new development staff, will drive CSA’s transition to the next level in fully interactive online learning environments. The purchase represents a significant milestone for CSA and a commitment to utilizing technology and developing products to ensure that standards for safety, health and the environment are understood and applied.

The worldwide market for eLearning services is projected to exceed $52.6-billion by 2010. During the last two years, CSA has produced four new eLearning products for release in 2009 and is committed to developing several new eLearning projects annually in order to meet the growing demand for training solutions. Advancements in this form of training are critical to improving the health and safety of workplace environments in Canada.

While adoption rates are higher across the country among students, as little as 15 per cent of Canadian workplaces use eLearning tools for training purposes.

CSA Standards’ new eLearning interactive modules provide dynamic, entertaining and educational learning experiences, which are designed to increase an employee’s ability to understand, retain and apply standards, codes, guidelines and policies in the workplace. Several CSA Standards eLearning solutions focus on health and safety at work, testing a learner’s ability to assess risks, take appropriate action, and improve decision-making and problem-solving skills in settings where the risk for safety hazards can be very high. The eLearning interactive modules can be self-directed or paired with a classroom experience allowing students to learn at an appropriate pace. They can include life-like scenarios to help trainees understand the impact decisions can have on the job, providing a more dynamic learning environment than traditional text-based training.

CSA Standards can tailor eLearning solutions for organizations across a wide variety of sectors well beyond emergency planning or health and safety. For example, CSA Standards is currently working with Dr. Linda Manning who has developed a training model for Leveraging Immigrant Talent, a project funded in part by Workplace Skills Initiative Division of Human Resources and Social Development Canada and hosted at the University of Ottawa. CSA Standards is implementing a social networking game called TalentNet: Leveraging Immigrant Talent. TalentNet is an interactive, eLearning computer game designed to help managers learn how to keep pace with the changing demographics of Canada’s workforce by maximizing the skills and talents of their employees, and better identifying future business leaders. It will be officially launched in October 2009. Top of Page