Vol 1, #31, October 13, 2009
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October 13 , 2009


QuickBooks goes social with live community
Canadians need to take control of online info
Style platform makes online debut
Quizative awarded First Nations web portal
Score Mobile now #1 app for iPhone, BlackBerry
Scotiabank to launch eStore in Canada
More insight into claimed content on YouTube
Big first for CIBC.com
Learn langualges with your iPhone
iVillage uses new marketing toolkit to reach women

QuickBooks goes social with live community

Small business owners from across Canada can now connect with each other to share tips, ask questions and poll experts for advice, all from within QuickBooks.

New for 2010, Live Community is an online forum where users can connect with experts, accountants and other small business owners to get advice on a broad range of important business issues, all while building a professional network. Sharing best practices with other small business owners means better insights, increasing the odds of success.

Live Community is one of several new features in QuickBooks 2010 that will help small businesses save time and money. Designed for Canadian businesses and available nationally, QuickBooks lets small business owners spend less time on bookkeeping chores and more time on the things they are passionate about, like growing their business.

"Nobody knows small business needs better than small business owners, which is why we constantly ask them how to improve and update QuickBooks," said Barb Anderson, Group Sales and Marketing Manager, Global Small Business, Intuit. "QuickBooks 2010 goes beyond meeting their unique needs. We've also made it easier for new users to get up and running and get the support they need to operate a successful business."

The new features and improvements in QuickBooks 2010 to help small businesses succeed include:

  • Company Snapshot: Provides access to a real-time business snapshot on a single screen to help track every dollar coming into and out of a business. Each morning, the day's priorities are set out, so no bill payments are forgotten.
  • Multicurrency Capabilities: Makes it easy to buy and sell in more than 100 world currencies. This eliminates the need to search for and manually convert currencies, and reduces the likelihood of costly mistakes.
  • Tax Centre: Provides an easy and fast way to manage, track and pay year-end and goods and services taxes, while reducing the likelihood of errors and late payments. Online filing means no more searching for stamps and mailboxes.
  • Easier Invoicing: Integrates with current versions of Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express, allowing for easy creation and sending invoices or sales receipts in batches. Small business owners can now save time that would otherwise be spent copying and pasting cover letters and individually e-mailing customers.

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Canadians need to take control of their online info

As more and more Canadians live their lives online, the Privacy Commissioner is cautioning them to take greater responsibility for securing their privacy and thinking twice about what they post on the Internet.

"Many young people are choosing to open their lives in ways their parents would have thought impossible and their grandparents unthinkable. Their lives play out on a public stage of their own design as they strive for visibility, connectedness and knowledge," says Jennifer Stoddart, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

"Such openness can lead to greater creativity, literacy, networking and social engagement. But putting so much of their personal information out into the open can also...leave an enduring trail of embarrassing moments that could haunt them in future," the Commissioner says in her annual report to Parliament, which was tabled today.

The Commissioner's 2008 Annual Report to Parliament on the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) highlights the issue of youth privacy. It also looks at 2008 privacy complaint investigations; technology and privacy issues; and the Commissioner's efforts to encourage the development of international privacy standards.

Commissioner Stoddart noted that many people have been fired, missed out on job interviews and academic opportunities, and been suspended from school for instant messages, wall posts and other types of online correspondence they mistakenly thought were private conversations with friends.

There is also a risk that unguarded personal information could be exploited by identity thieves.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner recently completed an investigation into the privacy policies and practices of the popular social networking site Facebook. While that investigation focused on Facebook's obligations under Canadian privacy law, the Commissioner emphasized at the time that, with nearly 12 million Canadians on Facebook, it's also important for users to adopt the appropriate privacy settings and to understand how their personal information may be used or shared online.

The Privacy Commissioner's Office has made online youth privacy a key priority, using contests, communications materials and a dedicated youth privacy website to reach out to young people and to encourage them to reflect on privacy issues and to "Think Before You Click."

"As Canada's privacy guardian, it is our role to create awareness of privacy risks, show people how to address those risks, and make it easy for them to make informed decisions," says Commissioner Stoddart.

Adds Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth Denham: "We're not suggesting the clock be turned back; we just want to ensure Canadians have the information they need to make more privacy-conscious decisions."

The annual report, available on the OPC website at www.priv.gc.ca, includes details of complaints received and investigated by the Office in 2008. Top of Page

Style platform makes online debut

Stylecaster, the world’s first personal discovery style platform made its online debut just four months ago and its already boasting 350k unique visitors per month! The site takes a 360-degree approach to providing visitors with the key ingredients to discover new styles and profile their own.

The most important elements of commerce, community and content drive the site. The content is provided by former magazine fashion editors such as Chief Content Officer, Megan Cuna, formerly at Lucky Magazine and Carol Han who was previously at Elle. The site’s includes expert written content, short videos, original photography and patented 360- degree outfit inspirations.

Stylecaster also gives stylists, costume designers, models and other in-the-know individuals an opportunity to generate content and gain exposure to vast audiences. Last, the site provides a well-edited feed of the expansive fashion news on the web. Top of Page

Quizative awarded First Nations web portal

Invest in Kids, Canada’s only national charity dedicated to improving the outcomes for children by supporting their parents – has recently awarded its assignment to Quizative Inc. for the creation of an online web community for First Nations and Inuit Health professionals. 

The Toronto-based, privately held digital innovation agency that offers a unique approach to solving business, marketing and product design challenges developed the winning strategy to create a social community website to inspire, facilitate, educate, support and connect professionals who provide a range of programs for families with young children.

Professionals supporting the First Nations and Inuit reserves in Ontario include family home visitors, early learning and care practitioners, family resource consultants, parent educators and social workers.  Because the target audience works largely in remote communities, the business solution is the creation of a communal resource designed to connect, dialogue and share user information, challenges and success stories.  The online experience will include a community leader who will inspire and provide support, a Q&A dialogue, as well as specific blogs highlighting program features so members can share implementation experiences and overcome any issues.

“We’re proud to win the RFP for Invest in Kids and as a wonderful not-for-profit organization they’re a great complement to our client roster,” said Adrian Capobianco, founder and president, Quizative Inc.  “We’re looking forward to using the powers of social networking to help their very important cause,” he added.

“Invest in Kids is looking forward to working with Quizative to combine their digital skills and knowledge with our expertise in order to make a meaningful difference to this dedicated group of professionals,” said Nancy Birnbaum, president and CEO, Invest in Kids.  “Our online community will offer techniques, tools and education presented in an engaging way to connect and build knowledge and confidence, rather than simply post content.  But most important, it will use the power of social networking to create a powerful community of practice, bringing these hardworking and often isolated professionals together to learn and share with each other,” Birnbaum concluded. Top of Page

Score Mobile now #1 app for iPhone, BlackBerry

ScoreMobile is currently the most popular application worldwide in BlackBerry App World.  In addition, it is the #1 sports app in iPhone’s Canadian App Store.  Check it out for yourself in the store of your choice or see the attached image. 

With over 500,000 unique visitors accounting for 80 million page requests so far in September alone as well as over 10 million daily page requests on recent NFL Sundays, ScoreMobile is attracting users and competing with some of the world’s top media brands. Top of Page

Scotiabank to launch eStore in Canada

Scotiabank announced that it is the first bank in Canada to launch a full-service online precious metals delivery channel through its ScotiaMocatta division - a global leader in precious metals trading, financing, and physical products. Canadians may now browse, purchase and arrange delivery of gold and silver products online at www.scotiamocatta.com/eStore.

"ScotiaMocatta's online precious metals eStore provides Canadians with an opportunity to explore the world of precious metals, while also completing purchases in the comfort and convenience of their homes," said Rick Waugh, President and Chief Executive Officer, Scotiabank. "Our new eStore reinforces ScotiaMocatta's global industry leadership through innovations that respond to the changing needs and increasing sophistication of our customer base. This opportunity broadens the range of choices in our wealth management offering to customers."

The ScotiaMocatta eStore is currently accepting orders from within Canada only, and home delivery of purchases is available to most points across the country. Customers can purchase up to $6,000 worth of gold and silver per day and pay through the Interac network using Visa, MasterCard, or debit cards. Precious metals products will continue to be available for purchase through any Scotiabank branch in Canada. Eventually ScotiaMocatta will expand this service to include the 50 countries in which Scotiabank operates.

"The ScotiaMocatta eStore, an innovative and secure platform, will supplement our existing branch network in offering precious metals products to Canadians", said Barry Wainstein, Vice-Chairman and Deputy Head, Global Capital Markets, and Global Head, Foreign Exchange and Precious Metals. "This new delivery channel demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing exceptional customer service and market-leading products in Canada and around the world."

All ScotiaMocatta eStore purchases from September 29, 2009 to February 26, 2010 include a chance to win a one-ounce gold bar. Full contest details are available at www.scotiamocatta.com/eStore. Top of Page

More insight into claimed content on YouTube

Last week Google announced that they now have over 1,000 partners using their content identification and management tools to control how and where their videos are distributed on YouTube. As Content ID is proving to be an effective way for media companies to control, promote and monetize their content on the site, Google is always thinking about how we can make these tools even more valuable for content owners of all kinds.

They have now integrated Content ID with YouTube Insight. Previously, when you claimed a video with Content ID, they were only able to show you basic information (like view counts and tags) associated with the video you claimed. But now, all the statistics and data shared directly with uploaders in YouTube Insight is available to Content ID partners too, making content management tools more useful than ever — especially for partners whose claimed user videos generate lots of views for them.

In addition to rankings, you can also learn about demographics, discovery sources and other metrics for videos that you've claimed, and then compare them to your own uploads. Do the audience demographics of a claimed video differ from those of the official version? What websites or search terms drive the most traffic to user uploaded versions of your content? Integrating Content ID and Insight can help answer questions like these and will be very helpful as you think about distributing, marketing and making money from your content online.
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Big first for CIBC.com

With the launch of a suite of new site enhancements today, www.cibc.com is now the first Canadian bank website to receive CNIB Site Check certification for providing barrier-free web access to people who are blind or have vision loss.

The new accessibility features give clients the ability to increase or decrease text size and further enhance text readability by changing the contrast on any of the pages within www.cibc.com. These new features also enhance screen reader compatibility, as clients can navigate easily by text headings, instead of image, and by quick access links that allow clients with screen readers to navigate directly to main content.

"At CIBC, we strive to make our banking channels accessible to all of our clients and we're proud to be the first bank recognized by CNIB's Site Check program," said Christina Kramer, Executive Vice-President, CIBC Retail Markets. "Over 830,000 Canadians live with vision impairment so it's important for us to provide improved online access for all of our clients."

The CNIB Site Check program evaluates the accessibility of websites based upon a range of criteria and gives a passing grade to sites that provide barrier-free web design. In addition to improved accessibility, www.cibc.com is now easier to use with even more ways to access important information instantly and wider pages loaded with more of the features clients use every day.

"CIBC met and exceeded the accessibility recommendations outlined in our accessibility audit," says John M. Rafferty, CNIB President & CEO. "It is imperative that financial institutions and other corporations take CIBC's lead and implement accessible digital platforms - for people who are blind or have vision loss - to provide equal access to online information for all Canadians."

CIBC has a long history of supporting CNIB across Canada having contributed more than $840,000 over the years. This includes a $300,000 donation to the CNIB Summer Reading Program.

CIBC also offers a number of other accessible banking alternatives for people with vision loss including over 1,700 'Access for All' ABMs which feature headphone jacks for audio access, brighter lighting and the option to black out the screen to increase privacy while at the machine. CIBC clients can also request statements in braille and large print formats and have access to advanced speech recognition (TTY) technology through telephone banking. Top of Page

Learn languages with your iPhone

"Parlez-vous francais?", "Parla italiano?", "¿Hablas Espanol¿" or "Do you speak English?"

Knowledge of a foreign language is advantageous, both professionally and when on vacation. The writer Frank Harris once said: "Every new language is like an open window that shows a new view of the world and expands your attitude towards life."

German mobile learning expert, mobilinga, offers modern applications for the iPhone and iPod touch, which make it possible to learn a new language with ease. For as little as $2.99, the programs from the "mobilinga travel" line can be downloaded in the US and Canadian App Store.

The mobilinga learning applications each contain approximately 1001 sentences from different areas of life such as shopping, hotels or restaurants. The selection includes lessons in Latin-American Spanish, French, German and Italian.

The user can choose phrases from individual categories or use the learning function with its virtual flashcard system, which saves the progress you have made. There is a recording of every sentence which can be played out loud. This means that your cell phone can also help, when needed, to ask for the bill or for directions, making the iPhone both a practical traveling companion and language teacher at the same time.

mobilinga took the number 1 spot in the German App Store and was given eLearning Magazine's eLearning Award. Its simple operation, multimedia support and intelligent learning concept guarantee optimum learning success. Top of Page

iVillage and others use new marketing toolkit

Conduit, the company enabling web publishers to distribute their offerings directly and through its global network of publishers, today announced strong growth among women-focused online communities. In fact, to-date, more than 750 community toolbars have been deployed by and for women-focused communities, showcasing a broad range of interests. According to these publishers, the distribution opportunity that they have gotten using the Conduit platform has dramatically expanded use of their social media channels for sharing information and creating communities around the world.

“The rate at which women-focused communities are getting online has grown fast in recent years and not surprisingly, their influence has increased dramatically as well. These tech-savvy communities are quickly adopting tools like the Conduit platform because they are looking for social media technologies that provide large distribution opportunities, are cost effective and are easy to use,” said Adam Boyden, President of Conduit.

Relative newcomer TwitterMoms, a social networking community for influential moms, has grown from a few followers on Twitter to a network of more than 18,000 members in less than ten months. In order to streamline its various online properties, including its Twitter Channel and website, Twitter Moms created a conduit where its members could conveniently engage with TwitterMom updates and blogs and connect to other network members via a branded community toolbar.

“Women have an instinct to create community and naturally gravitate toward tools that foster more communication in a more efficient way,” said Megan Calhoun, Founder of TwitterMoms. “With Conduit we discovered a means to increase engagement with a convenient tool that is an extension of our online properties.”

“As we re-launch iVillage.com, creating an even more engaging destination and community for women online, these community toolbars help us provide women with instant access to the top stories, expert advice, and tools they want right in their browsers,” said Michele Mitchell, Vice President of Audience Development, Research and Retention, iVillage Networks. Top of Page